Milne Bay Province

Milne Bay police remain positive

Chief Inspector George Bayagau remains positive following a number of meetings with the provincial law and order committee as well as additional manpower on ground.

Once known as a tourist hotspot, the beautiful province of Milne Bay attracted unwanted attention when armed robbery and public shootouts started making headlines.

Elderly woman caught in crossfire, succumbs to injury

The 85-year-old woman from Suau, Milne Bay Province, was inside a house when she was hit by a stray bullet and taken to the hospital at around 5.30pm yesterday.

According to police, the gunfight, which lasted for over 30 minutes, erupted after criminals ambushed a police patrol at Garuboi within the precincts of Alotau town.

A policeman in Alotau said the suspects were positioned at a vantage point atop a hill and they used high powered weapons to attack the policemen.

2 deaths from accident, Alotau shuts down

Four women and a child were knocked down this morning by a hired vehicle used by police from Lae.

“It was instant death for the child, who was around 5-6 years old, while one of the women passed away whilst under treatment at Alotau Health Centre at about 1-2pm,” said Milne Bay provincial police commander, George Bayagau.

“The other three are fighting for their lives.”

Bayagau said the visiting police personnel were on their way to APEC in Port Moresby.

Death sentence reduced for hired killer

A five man Supreme Court bench quashed the death sentence against Lota today and substituted it with life in prison.

The court found the trial judges’ sentence was excessive.

Sedoki Lota of Salakahadi village Ferguson island, was 22 years old when he was sentenced to death by hanging on October 1 2007, by the Alotau National Court.

He pleaded guilty to killing a Marcia Kedarossi of Nade village; a woman he had suspected of killing 19 people through sorcery.

Lota was hired for K1,500, two bagis, a traditional arm band and shell money.

PNG Air operates new ATR72 into Losuia

“This was a first for the airline and a first for the Island as we have to date served the Losuia using the Dash 8 aircraft,” said Paul Abbot, PNG Air Acting Chief Executive Officer. “Under the command of Captain Kalai Hungrabos and First Officer Eroli Yasi, the new ATR made its inaugural service to Losuia where the flight was greeted with a traditional welcome by the people.

“The increased capacity of the ATR will provide more opportunities for people to be able to travel to the mainland without having to risk the dangers associated with travelling by boat.

FPDA expands to Alotau district

District Administrator Lindsay Alesana made these remarks at the Naura Model Farm, outside Alotau town, on Wednesday.

During the launching of three model farms initiated by Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) in Alotau, Alesana announced that Alotau district will sign a memorandum of understanding with FPDA so they can work in partnership to assist local farmers in the food and horticulture industry.

He said the district wants to capture the work of FPDA in its Five-Year Development Plan, so as partners they can roll it out to the rural farmers.

Farmer happy with training

Paulus is a model farmer trialing Chinese cabbage, watermelon, round onion, corn and a few other crops and has been an extension officer for trial rice farming until recently.

“I switched to growing crops after fetching K1500 on a small piece of land where we trialed vegetable farming,” he said.

Today Mr Paulus has engaged 12 farmers in the Huhu LLG area where he believes more locals would convert their time into farming.

Alotau, hub of food production

General Manager for Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA) Mark Worinu said this will only happen if foods and vegetables farming was given priority by local farmers.

He said the soil and climate is suitable for growing different types of foods and vegetables to supply the local market and even to other parts of the country.

Mr Worinu made these remarks after a trial farm visit to Laviam village outside the provincial capital.

He said organically grown fresh produce was the way forward for small to medium level PNG farmers.

Free lecture on Massim culture

To date, there are more than 20,000 Massim artworks and artifacts in storage and on display in museums around the world, including Papua New Guinea.

However, no comprehensive book on Massim art has been published so far.

In a step closer to understanding the brilliant artworks in Milne Bay, Dr Harry Beran will be doing a free lecture on Massim culture this evening.

Dr Beran is a western authority on Massim culture and a frequent visitor to the province.

A night of adventure

But if seafarers in the past have succeeded, the ancient seafaring wisdom will prove worthy again.

A journey which began in August 2016 where, for the last nine months, a Danish adventurer and filmmaker Thor F. Jensen has been sailing around PNG and Papua in a Milne Bay traditional sailing canoe.

This may be the world’s first circumnavigation of the island of New Guinea in a traditional sailing canoe.