LMTI Graduates 24 in Marine Engineering

first_imgPres. Weah (front, third from right) poses with the graduates and others.— President Weah Challenges them to serve with distinctionOn Thursday, September 5, 2019, President George Manneh Weah applauded graduates of the Liberia Maritime Training Institute (LMTI) for successfully completing a two-year Associate Degree course in marine engineering. The President also challenged each of the graduates to march into the job market and work with “distinction.”Every single cadet graduated “with secured employment and or continuing education opportunities,” LMTI has announced. “Several of the LMTI cadets will be employed with esteemed maritime shipping companies,” while others will are set to pursue further studies at the Regional Maritime University in Ghana.The LMTI offers Liberian youth the opportunity to earn essential technical and leadership skills so that they can be valued members of the national workforce and the economy.In his honorary keynote address to the 24 graduates, President Weah expressed gratitude that LMTI is now a revitalized entity of government that is in full operations.“LMTI, founded by international ship owners and countries within the Mano River Basin, has a long history, dating as far back as 198. But due to the civil war (1989-2003), everything here was damaged and over time remained dormant. It was a source of pride several years back, and this is what we are again experiencing,” the President said.Weah added that the Liberia International Shipping and Corporate Registry (LISCR), was tasked with the mandate to redevelop and manage the LMTI. This, he said the LISCR truly rose to the challenge by “excellently doing it assigned task, not only the construction of new training facilities, but training individuals most of whom are young to serve.”He described the LMTI as one of important contributors to actualize the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).The auspicious occasion was graced by an array of high profile government and diplomatic officials, as well as maritime executives and representatives of international business, some of which have already engaged the graduating cadets for employment.Dr. James Kollie, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the LMA, thanked the graduates for their commitment to gaining quality knowledge and practical skills that will positively impact in the country’s marine service.“It is this healthy and meaningful partnership with LSCR’s management that has transformed the entity. which we are seeing. This institute has transformed from a once battered and ravaged environment to a now citadel of excellence and productivity,” Dr. Kollie said.Taking a quote from the Bible (2 Timothy 1:15), Dr. Kollie urged the graduates that, by this rite of passage, they have studied and must now “show themselves approved” in the professional environment and in their further studies.LISCR was tasked with the management of the LMTI in 2015, and has since embarked on dramatic revitalization program that included overhauling the entity’s facilities, curriculum and faculty staffs. LSCR executive chairman, Elan Cohen, applauded LMTI’s staff and cadets. Cohen also thanked them for transforming the entity into one of the “world class maritime training institutes.”LMTI chair Avi Zaidenberg, appreciated President Weah’s support for LMTI, and his commitment to youth education. “None of this could become possible without the incredible support from you, Mr. President, and your efforts to empower the Liberian youth,” Zaidenberg said.The LMTI graduating class came from 14 of the 15 counties. Interestingly, Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper observed that not a single graduate was a native of of the host county, Margibi. This fact was reiterated by President Weah during his remarks, within earshot of hundreds of Marshall city children and youth, many who were keenly watching the graduation program.However, Mr. Zaidenberg said the selection of the trainees was carried out on the basis of geographical balance, as well applying merit system.“It is done with vigor; and those who meet our criteria, made it to the training halls for two years,” he said.To fill in the gap as created by the graduation of the 24 cadets, Zaidenberg said he and some members of his staff have already recruited those to be trained as the second batch of cadets.Among those who attended the LMTI graduation ceremony were the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) Chief of Staff, Major General Prince C. Johnson, III, Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, and a number of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, as well as other officials from the county.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Essequibo businessman opens multimillion-dollar shopping complex

first_imgIn time for Christmas – started from humble beginningsBy Indrawattie NatramEssequibo businessman Hemant Kumar Takram, called “Cheap Boy”, has opened a new shopping complex at Anna Regina in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) which will offer a wide range of services and items to the public for Christmas.Takram said the demand from the Essequibo population has definitely prompted his decision to construct another shopping area for residents.During an interview with Guyana Times, Takram said he started from humble beginnings:  from pushing go-carts and selling on the pavements in Georgetown to owning his own business.Today, the businessman said he has no regrets venturing to the Essequibo Coast – a decision he took 14 years ago.“I used to push carts in the streets of Georgetown selling hair bands, combs and other fine things, then business was not doing well. As such, I decided to come to Essequibo. I knew no one when I came here; I slept on stalls before I could have actually stood on my feet,” Takram recalled.When asked the cost of his new investment, the businessman said “millions of dollars” and explained that over 50 persons were hired. The spanking new, modern-looking shopping complex located at Anna Regina has already opened its doors to the Essequibo population.The businessman said that his success was as a direct result of his second wife, Sophia Takram, who would give him all the support he needs. “With an encouraging wife, anything is possible…she guides me,” the businessman said.He also said he lived according to the guiding principle of doing the right thing and trending in the righteous path. Takram also alluded to several other investments he made over the years in Berbice and Bartica, which were halted as he decided to consolidate the business in Region Two.Takram said the main challenge for his business was shoplifting and he was putting everything in place to ensure that this did not happen at his new location.In the past, many persons caught were pardoned and some were even charged for simple larceny. The businessman said that persons were often caught red-handed on camera trying to steal from him. However, security has been boosted at the new location.last_img read more

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Bullets kill mom, dreams of new life

first_imgBURBANK – Roxanne Toof Paul had plenty of reasons to smile. The proud single mother was anticipating her second marriage in September and had plans to complete a nursing degree to better look after her two boys. But a blaze of gunfire from a jealous ex-boyfriend shattered her bright future and left her boys motherless. “She was a beautiful person inside and out. She was a very bubbly person and had a beautiful smile,” her sister Cathy Rowley said. “Her two boys were her world. They were her No. 1 priority. … She died trying to save her boys.” For Paul’s fiance, Kevin Reflow, it’s memories of better days that are helping him cope with his loss. “She was always smiling,” said Reflow, 34, of Tarzana. “That’s what got me – it was her eyes and her smile. … We were trying to create a happy home. It was her goal and it was mine.” Paul, the youngest of four siblings, was the hometown girl who married her high school sweetheart. Though they divorced in 2004, it was an amicable separation, Rowley said. She was a devoted mother who relished watching her kids play sports, despite working full-time as a medical assistant to support them. “She was a team mom,” Rowley said. “She was always willing to bring snacks for the kids and caravan the kids.” Yet it was at her job where the seed of tragedy was planted. Paul met Miao when she was working at his father’s Sherman Oaks clinic. They were “friendly” but did not begin dating until last year when she left for a different job, Rowley said. There were early signs Miao, 28, of Reseda, was troubled. According to police and county coroner’s records, he was arrested in 1990 at age 11 for bringing a knife onto school grounds, and in 1994 for assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury. Other arrests – including possession of marijuana, petty theft, forgery, assault and stalking – followed. Paul and Miao broke up after dating for three to five months. That’s when the threats began. Miao was arrested in August 2006 and pleaded not guilty to charges of stalking and threatening another person. “She felt he did not like her kids and he had a very bad temper,” Rowley said. “He was very jealous and … could not accept that she (did not want to) date him anymore.” “The father is deeply sorry for what happened to the victim and with his son,” said Alex Kessel, Miao’s former attorney. “The father is relieved that the children weren’t hurt.” eugene.tong@dailynews.com (818) 546-3304160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Paul, 28, was killed early Friday when Garret Miao, who was under a restraining order to stay away from her, kicked down the back door of her Burbank apartment and stormed inside. Dressed in green military fatigues with a ski mask covering his face, Miao fired an assault rifle at the children and shot their mother before killing himself, authorities said. “She had come over to have dinner … and was going over different scenarios of how she wanted to have the wedding,” Rowley said. “That was Thursday night. In the wee hours of Friday morning, Garret murdered her.” Friends and family Monday remembered Paul as a caring and generous mother – another loss for a family that was still mourning Paul’s older brother, who died in February from kidney failure. “The whole thing was a nightmare,” Rowley said. “For my mother to lose her son, and in less than two and a half months we lose her – our main concern is the welfare of her sons.” Paul’s two sons – Joshua, 10, and Brandon, 4 – were not injured in the attack and were under the care of their father, Josh Paul, and other relatives. last_img read more

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DD Motoring: Time travel in Fintown by train

first_imgFintown has always had memories of travel and time for me, half way between Ballybofey and Glenties, and the same half way halt between Letterkenny and Dungloe.There was a time when a lot of the shopping for our house came from Mc Geehan’s shop in Fintown when my father was working in Dungloe with the ESB. There he would call in for cigarettes, petrol and some shopping and maybe a “half and a bottle” before he would head on his journey over Meenaroy in his Ford Anglia Estate.On Friday last I was invited to Fintown to cover a special function for the former Minister of State and T.D. Dinny McGinley who was presented with a picture by photographer Brendan Alexander from Killygordan. The picture was of the milky way of a star shower and the surrounding mountains and lake pictured looking up the way from the tracks of the train. Advertisement After the speeches, some of which were longer than the length of railway track laid along the old railway, the same founder members said he could have done a lot better if he had have known he had to make a speech! No bother to you Joseph!. After the presentation of the photograph it was followed by a complimentary trip on the train for the guests attending.All aboard Train drivers and staff member at Fintown Railway Station including Frankie Keeney, Caroline O’ DonnellBack to the past.The train that we were travelling, or railcar to give it its right title, was sitting on the platform facing towards Stranorlar Station but for the first part of our journey today we were heading in the direction of Glenties. So a small shunting engine is coupled up at the rear. We headed out of Fintown Railway Station in reverse.Years of engine wear on the old shunting engine produced a plume of smoke as it took the strain of the weight of the carriage.Smoke of any sorts at an old station just makes the place feel so real. I don’t know why I like old train and engines and narrow gauge railways because they were all long gone before I was born. Advertisement As I leave the station I see a sign saying maximum speed 5mph, which feels about right.I can hear the carriage wheels build up a rhythm as they click slowly on to each new length of rail. As I listen to the passengers trying to talk above the sounds of the workings of the train. My mind is travelling back the way as well at a speed a lot faster than this train is travelling in real time.Fintown has one lasting memory for me and that’s where my music career started when my father got a fiddle for me when I was 7 years of age. It wasn’t something that I wanted but it was something that he landed home with one night and as I was the oldest in the house, what better idea than to get Brian to play the fiddle.A fiddle not unlike the one I broke that once belonged to John Doherty one of Donegal’s best musician.The fiddle landed with no rosin, no bow, no case no nothing. My grandfather, Pop Coyle had a fiddle that he no longer played so he gave me the missing pieces to get me started.Miss Mc Menamin from Mount Southwell at the Market Square was teaching piano and violin in the front room of her house and she was tasked to learn me to play the fiddle. New decimal currency was in for a couple of years but my music teacher was still in old money and a price of I Guinea. per quarter which was £1 and 1 Shilling. I don’t know which was the hardest part of learning the fiddle in them days, the lessons or running the gauntlet getting out of Wolfe Tone Place every evening and across the green as my so called friends would take target practice with a football at my fiddle case.The train has now come to a stop and nothing is happening. Then a recording of a soft Donegal voice tells us the story of the railway through Fintown. The rail car that we were sitting in was built brand new for this very line. It was going to be the answer to keeping the railways running at the time as steam was getting too expensive to run and not enough passengers were using the services.Train drivers and staff at Fintown Railway Station including Frankie Keeney, Caroline O’ Donnell and George KellyThis very railcar went on a journey of its own after the Donegal Railway closed down in 1959 until a few people in Fintown believed they could recreate this beautiful thing of the past and lay a railway on the old Stranorlar to Glenties line and get a train back running on it.If I said that I thought the speeches were long. I now think they were justified. This is a great achievement as we listen to the short history of Fintown’s fight for the railway. Brian Friel was one of the committees first patrons and he once described the run past Fintown lake as far nicer than any. “What is on offer is a unique journey along the shores of a lake as grand as any in Switzerland or Minnesota”The engine proper on the railcar is now fired up and the talk is over. The big Gardener diesel engine picks up the revs and fights with the sticking brakes of the railcar and the weight of the shunting engine. Now we are moving the driver changed up into second and the gear stick nearly takes a bite out of his hand as the whine of the gearbox tries to get the train moving again and the din of ones chatting is back in the train.I was the oldest in my family when I was asked to take up the fiddle that night my father Fred landed back with it from Fintown.The man that owned my fiddle before me was the youngest member of his family when he took up the fiddle. He was born in 1900 and was just 3 years old when the train first travelled this line in 1903 from Stranorlar to Glenties. Others claim he was born in 1895 and if he was he would have been celebrating his 100th birthday, had he lived, the year Fintown Railway was reopened in 1995.Anne Marie Wright chairperson of the Finntown Railway makes a presentation of a picture by Brendan Alexander to the former Minister and T.D. Dinny McGinley of behalf of the committee in recognition of Dinny’s support in the development of this great Tourist attraction. Photo Brian McDaidI can feel his sprit beside me on the train as we make our way back to the station.The fiddle that my father landed back from Fintown with that night was given to him by none other than the great John Doherty who was from a clan of Irish Travellers who worked as tin smiths and were famous for their music.The haunting image of the great John Doherty playing his fiddle onboard a trainSitting on this railcar the thought crosses my mind could John have flagged this very railcar down. I can picture him with the tools of his trade in a small bag and his fiddle under his arm heading from town to town.If his spirit was close to me on my journey through time last Friday on the train it wasn’t that close nearly 50 years ago when I first took ownership of his fiddle.Bad StartIf I wasn’t having enough bother trying to learn to play this fiddle in the clinical surrounding of Mount Southwell with a brass music stand placed in front of me with sheet music and Miss McMenamin, god rest her, cutting both her fingers and mine as well pressing them down onto the strings but to no avail.Meanwhile my father who would enjoy his half and a bottle in Nellie Mc Govern’s on Lr Main St. would be chatting to Nellie, She always would ask him with her strong Cavan voice ‘ Hows the boys, Fred?That was the signal for him to go off on one telling her about his eldest son “Brian” up at music lessons in the big house at the Market Square with John Doherty’s fiddle!In them days Nellie’s Brother Hughie an undertaker by trade stored his coffins in a room underneath the lounge at Lr Main St. and also a keen fiddle player and a great lover of ceile music and listening to the conversation was homing in on John Doherty’s fiddle.I wasn’t having much success learning to play this famous fiddle. And at one stage Hughie offered to buy me a new fiddle and pay for my lessons for a full year for my fiddle.My father was never going to sell it and it just made him the more success learning to play this famous fiddle. And at one stage Hughie offered to buy me a new fiddle and pay for my lessons for a full year for my fiddle. My father was never going to sell it and it just made him the more determined to make me learn it.I walked the roads like John Doherty did before me with my fiddle under my arm from my home in Glencar to the Market Square in wind, hail, rain and snow and cheers from my so called friends along the way. But unlike the great musician John Doherty all I had to show at the end of six months of fiddle lessons was one of the worst renditions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.Our train journey has now ended and we are back at the station platform in Fintown near where it all began for me and my trip down memory lane. I have to say the more The Fintown Railway committee feel they could get more support to preserve the heritage of the area, they have done a great job over the last 28 years. They did a far better job of preserving their heritage than I did with John Doherty’s fiddle.The great John Doherty telling a story with his fiddle ready to goBad End.There was many the day I wanted to tell my teacher Miss McMenamin about the famous man that once owned this fiddle but I was too shy to say.This fiddle produced music learned by ear not by notes on a page.It was my father that finally called the tune and spoke up after listening to far too many of my versions of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the lesson were brought to a close. Shortly after that a music teacher landed out from Derry and apparently was able to teach anyone any musical instrument.The first week we all signed up and paid up the second week He was bringing notes out of my fiddle that I never brought out before.The third week he didn’t turn up for the lessons all the Letterkenny wains ended up playing football outside the Literary Institute on Lr Main St. When the football was over we headed back to collect our instruments in the hall. When I arrived in the wake had already started. It was quiet as children look on in silence as I went in to identify my fiddle complete with the track of a shoe where someone stepped on it and smashed it into pieces.That’s was the night the music died for me and John Doherty’s fiddle, but years after that my father needed no fiddle to play his sorrowful tune anytime we passed through Fintown as he would start by saying , that’s where John Doherty gave me his fiddle, Brian!DD Motoring: Time travel in Fintown by train was last modified: July 26th, 2017 by Brian McDaidShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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BOXER JASON QUIGLEY REVEALS HE IS CONSIDERING TURNING PRO

first_imgDonegal boxing star Jason Quigley has admitted he is considering turning professional.Jason Quigley is considering turning pro.The 22 year old Ballybofey man and World silver medalist has revealed offers are coming in thick and fast for him to join the paid ranks.Jason told the Irish Star “I’m going to be straight, I’m interested in going pro. “It gives me a tingle, it gives me a hunger, it gives me a new drive. It’s another journey for me.“I’m 22 years of age…it comes down to making a great life for me now.”Jason said he still dreams of going to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 but must also consider his long-term future.He said that no matter what happens his father Conor will be in his corner. He said the time is coming fast when he needs to make a decision because they might not come along again.“It’s like a car. Once you drive it out of the showroom, you’re losing money,” he said.Read the full interview in today’s Irish Daily Star. BOXER JASON QUIGLEY REVEALS HE IS CONSIDERING TURNING PRO was last modified: December 10th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Jason Quigleyprofessionallast_img read more

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COWEN TO CHAIR FF SELECTION CONVENTION THIS SUNDAY

first_imgFianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen will chair his party’s Donegal selection convention this Sunday.Five candidates were duly nominated: Mr. Pat The Cope Gallagher , Ms. Claudia Kennedy, Mr. Charlie McConalogue TD, Cllr. James Pat McDaid and Cllr. Seamus O’Domhnaill.Since close of nominations Cllr. O’Domhnaill has withdrawn as a candidate.The convention will be held in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny at 3pm and will be chaired by Fianna Fáil Environment Spokesperson Barry Cowen. Two candidates are to be selected.COWEN TO CHAIR FF SELECTION CONVENTION THIS SUNDAY was last modified: October 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Banker seeks sexual favours, booked in Maharashtra

first_imgThe Maharashtra Police have booked an official and a peon of the Central Bank of India for allegedly seeking sexual favours from the wife of a Dalit farmer, who had applied for a farm loan from the bank in Buldhana district.Rajesh Hivase, an official in the Datala branch, and the peon have been booked under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.FIR against peon“We received a complaint on Thursday, and we registered an FIR on Friday. The farmer and his wife submitted a loan application to the bank one month ago. Mr. Hivase was trying to get in touch with the farmer’s wife before processing the application. The peon was asked to deliver the message to the woman. There were some phone conversations between the woman and Mr. Hivase, in which he sought sexual favours to process the loan,” Buldhana district Additional Superintendent of Police Sandip Doifode said.The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana staged a protest in front of the bank branch on Saturday, demanding Mr. Hivase’s immediate dismissal and arrest. “We will not allow the bank to function till it sacks Mr. Hivase. He called the farmer’s wife and asked for sexual favours to process the loan request. This is disgusting and highly condemnable,” Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Ravinkant Tupkar said.Accused at largeThe Buldhana police have sent a special team to Wardha district, Mr. Hivase’s native place.“Both the accused are absconding but we hope to arrest them soon. A sub-divisional police official has been given responsibility of this case,” Mr. Doifode said.PTI adds:A shame, says Ashok ChavanCongress leader Ashok Chavan said the Buldhana episode was a “shame” and a “blot” on a progressive State like Maharashtra. The government should try the case in a fast-track court and punish the guilty as quickly as possible, he said in Mumbai.last_img read more

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Bharat Army welcomes Team India at Adelaide airport ahead of 1st Test vs Australia

first_imgWith only three days to go for the most-anticipated Test series of the season, Virat Kohli’s Team India have arrived in Adelaide which will be hosting the first of the four-match rubber from December 6.Bharat Army, a well-known group of travelling fans, welcomed India at the Adelaide airport on Sunday ahead of what promises to be a cracking period of four weeks.The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ishant Sharma even posed for a few photographs with the passionate fans immediately after the touchdown.India have reached Adelaide a day after playing out a drawn four-day match – their only warm-up fixture – against Cricket Australia XI in Sydney. The visitors posted a decent first innings total of 358 but they were made to work hard on the field by the hosts, who made 544. Pacer Ishant Sharma poses with the members of the Bharat Army in Adelaide (Twitter Photo) Members of the Indian cricket team arrived in Adelaide on Sunday (Twitter Photo)Kohli’s men will be without Prithvi Shaw for the Adelaide Test due to an injury the teenage opener picked up in the warm-up match. However, second-choice opener Murali Vijay has seemingly claimed a spot in the playing XI after scoring an impressive century in the second innings.India’s busy cricket season this year that began with a four-Test series in South Africa will come to an end in Australia. The visitors showed a lot of promise in the Rainbow Nation and in England earlier this year. However, it didn’t translate into wins in both the overseas tours.advertisementRavi Shastri’s men are heading into the upcoming series with a slender advantage, considering Australia will be without two of their best batsmen – Steve Smith and David Warner as the duo is serving ball-tampering ban.However, India’s frailties with the bat which was exposed in South Africa and England is still a major cause for concern. Australia may be a weakened batting unit but they still possess one of the best bowling attacks in the world that has the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon.India were expected to boss the three-match T20I series but Aaron Finch-led Australian unit posed a stern challenge. In fact, Kohli’s team were made to chase the series after they lost the opener in Brisbane. A timely half-century from the visiting captain in the series decider helped India clinch a 1-1 draw.India in Australia 2018-19: Tests schedule1st Test in Adelaide: December 6 to 102nd Test in Perth: December 14 to 183rd Test in Melbourne: December 26 to 304th Test in Sydney: January 3 to 7Also Read | Virat Kohli in no mood to get into confrontations with Australia: Do not see the needAlso Read | Australia cricketers tend to break fine line between cheating and gamesmanship: GavaskarAlso Read | Ex-Australia cricketers differ on ways to tackle the Virat Kohli threatAlso see:last_img read more

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Explore ICON 4×4’s Stunning Vehicle Restorations

first_imgJust north of LA, in the unremarkable town of Chatsworth, Jonathan Ward and his team are slaving away on some of the most incredible vehicle restorations on the planet. What started as a bet between Ward and a university professor over the laws of supply and demand has turned into a four-year-long wait list of handmade customization projects across a range of classic cars and trucks. Ward graciously invited Digital Trends to peer inside his operation, take a spin in a few of his latest projects, and – in my case – share a steak salad.ICON 4×4 was created from a vision to re-master the Toyota FJ40. Jonathan and his wife Jamie had found success servicing and restoring Toyota Land Cruisers in the mid-90’s, capped off by a request from Akio Toyoda to build a prototype of the 2007 FJ Cruiser. The contemporary project prompted Ward to consider adding modern, high-end suspension, powertrain, and build materials to the FJ40. As clients flocked to Ward’s unique FJs, ICON expanded to include the BR (Bronco) and TR (Thriftmaster) resto-mods. In recent years, Ward’s obsession for vehicular excellence has introduced a broad range of custom projects that fall under the “Derelicts and Reformer” Series. ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s era models from Lincoln, Buick, Dodge, Chevrolet, Willy’s, and other brands have entered Ward’s shop and left as spectacular one-offs.Inside the mind of a visionaryIn just a handful of hours, I became convinced that Ward’s success with TLC and ICON was nothing resembling luck – despite what he might say to the contrary. Rather, his ability to foresee market trends and his attention to detail laid the groundwork for a booming business, satisfied customers, and industry acclaim. Nike and Ford don’t partner with just anyone.While automakers are only just beginning to realize how far they can push extravagance in premium vehicles while still reeling in buyers, Ward has been putting form and function ahead of practicality and pricing for decades. “Some clients know exactly what they want, but others just want something different,” said Ward. “Different” is precisely how ICON approaches new projects.Ward doesn’t just obsess over the aesthetics and materials; he considers how powertrain and technology evolutions will impact owners over time. Instead of butchery a classic dashboard to include a new audio head unit, Ward’s team will create a hidden panel behind the dash or within the center console to maintain the original cabin look and feel. Similarly, ICON is in tune with maintenance complications and the transition towards alternative energy powertrains. “I want customers to be able to easily swap out an engine for the latest and greatest unit down the road,” he said. That means the wiring, mounting, and structural engineering are designed for modification – whether those changes come from ICON or not.It’s not just broad-stroke processes that set Ward apart; the subtle details of ICON vehicle construction communicate a focus on the end user and an unwillingness to settle for second-rate. Ward described his search for a center console that featured a hydraulic hinge, locking front compartment (that housed the infotainment system), and a machined surface without sharp edges. Instead of accepting that manufacturers wouldn’t incorporate his suggestions, Ward simply built his own. ICON’s power window system is another examples of Ward’s ingenuity. Instead of replacing roll-up handles with modern switches, he engineered the glass to power up or down by pulling or pushing the handle. Not only is the mechanism intuitive, it maintains the classic interior aesthetic. These are just two of literally hundreds of significant and subtle tweaks unique to Ward’s best-or-nothing philosophy.ICON design“Before I could drive, I was doing leatherwork, painting, and sculpting,” said Ward. “I’m a tactile person.” Nothing appears to have changed. Ward’s office, littered with automotive toys, posters, pictures, and models from all over the world, is also the designer’s innovation lab. Here, Ward fondles leather samples, ponders new vehicle designs, massages client visions, and works with his spotter network to find aging cars and trucks. Metal, wood, electrical, and every other hardware sample crosses Ward’s desk before finding its way into an ICON restoration. The finite details add up to over a year’s worth of work per project at a cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Sure, some people are going to run out and buy the latest Bentley and be perfectly happy, but others with patience and inspiration can have a tailor-made vehicle imbued their own personality,” said Ward.“Geeking out,” is how Ward describes ICON’s design principles. Without resource limitations, Ward’s team is able to apply a fine-tooth comb to every aspect of a vehicle. In terms of form, everything from hood latches, to body moldings, to door handles, to radio knobs, to gauges – everything has been texturized, measured, weighed, and material-upgraded to exacting standards. In the case of ICON’s BR, and TR vehicles, the updates are clear as day. Beautifully machined grilles, LED headlights, and high-displacement motors communicate significant investments.However, ICON’s more recent Derelict projects are a completely different story. Rusted, patina exteriors hide advanced suspension systems, intricate interior features, and high-end materials. ICON is so devoted to the barn-find look that mirrors and wheels are treated to extensive “faux-rust” procedures. “These cars either prompt smiles and thumbs-up, or are completely ignored,” said Ward. Only ICON’s signature lizard logo (and the roar of an LS3 V8) betrays the beater visage. As I walked through ICON’s facility, fawning over the stunning BR, my mind struggled to grasp that these Derelicts represented the same investment of time and resources. Perhaps I’m too vain, but even a secret as good as a sleeper Derelict doesn’t quite match the splendor of ICON’s other creations.ICON engineeringLike Rob Dickinson’s Singer Vehicle Design, ICON takes the whims of the affluent, pumps them with Ward’s vision, and produces the level of aesthetic grace and performance that accountant-leashed automakers could never mimic. To give you an idea of the sophistication behind a finished product, I’ll rattle off just a few of the more significant enhancements applied to the ICON BR.It all starts with the frame, which is overhauled with mandrel-bent mild steel and laser-cut accessory mounts. The structure is wider and more rigid than stock – the perfect foundation for heavy-duty off-roading hardware. An Atlas II transfer case (designed for on- and off-road performance) is mated with Dana 60 front/44 rear axles and optional ARB locking differentials. Add to that Fox Racing 2.5” Emulsion shocks (or optional Nitrogen-charged units), Eibach coils, and adjustable front and rear sway bars for a full 12.0-inches of wheel travel front and rear. Translation: this is one tall, rugged rig.Competent, durable hardware are met with equally impressive braking performance thanks to four-wheel Brembo brakes with boosted ABS and stainless steel lines. Steering precision comes courtesy of a PSC Stage Four box dialed in for mild power assistance and maximum road feel. Customers can choose BF Goodrich 285/70/R18 All-Terrain or Mud-Terrain tires to wrap around standard 18-inch cast aluminum wheels. Also included is a BULL BAR front bumper with integrated LED lights, a rear ICON design tow and tire carry bumper, and integrated storage lockers. Finally, at the heart of the beast is a fuel-injected alloy V8 producing 426 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque paired with a five-speed manual transmission or optional automatic.Off-road, the BR will match or out-maneuver the best contemporary models from Land Rover, Jeep, or Toyota, and draws a crowd the moment it returns to suburban streets. Not even the $200,000 Range Rover Autobiography can do both.ICON’s futureHaving garnered a reputation for building the most unique, capable, and striking 4×4’s available at any price, ICON is plotting its evolution. Reforming classic roadsters, coupes, and pickups are still within Ward’s wheelhouse, but the designer is dreaming up grander initiatives. Among his immediate prospects, Ward envisions an ICON edition of a mass production vehicle. Picture walking into your local Ford dealer and ordering an ICON-spec Explorer; sure it wouldn’t be quite the same science experiment as the current ICON models, but it beats a “King Ranch” special.Further down the road, Ward is plotting his own line of watches and furniture. Sketches and renderings of watch faces and bands line his office walls, suggesting Ward’s fantasies will soon be tangible. Then there’s the designer’s most ambitious dream yet: his own electric vehicle, built from scratch. Though sketches rarely translate directly to production, if the finished design looks anything like Ward’s renderings, the automotive world is in for a tremendous treat. 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