Northern Province

Major Popondetta drug ring uncovered

Over 200 marijuana plants were seized, including a home-made firearm and six .50 calibre bullets, when OIC Sgt Jimmy Bonanda and his team raided a hideout at Koropata village.

The successful bust in the Higaturu LLG, along the Kokoda Highway, was the result of information received during the weekend after the detention of a teenager.

He was found in possession of an unusually large amount of marijuana. Upon interrogating the young man, Bonanda and his team uncovered a supply network that ran through Girua all the way up the Kokoda highway to the supplier in Koropata.

A new magician in town

He is in his early teens and is currently an apprentice to the nation’s favourite – Jack Spade.

In his mission to grow the talent, Jack Spade randomly selected 10 boys around the same age who showed interest and taught them a simple magic trick.

It was Jemo Magical who followed the rules as laid out and showed eagerness to learn more.

Jemo Magical has already performed with Jack Spade in some gigs around their hometown of Popondetta, Northern Province.

But at the moment, he performs as a mute magician.

13 dead in road accident in Oro

Reports reaching Loop PNG from a reliable source say that the casualty toll has been put at 20 with 13 confirmed dead while seven are in Intensive Care Unit at the Popondetta General Hospital.

According to Ramsay Afo in Popondetta, the PMV was travelling from Kokoda to Popondetta and the oil palm fruit truck travelling towards Kokoda at a high speed.

Afo, who was at the Popondetta General Hospital, told Loop PNG that the casualties might increase.

The fruit truck belongs to the Higaturu Oil Palms.

PM to officially open Kumusi Bridge

Funded by the Australian Government and delivered through the Department of Works, the contract value of the bridge is over K139 million.

After Cyclone Guba destroyed the bridges in 2007, PNG requested Australian support to design and construct four new bridges in the province. 

The three major bridges at Eroro, Girua and Ambogo are now open to the public, with the bridge at Kumusi just completed. 

All four bridges have been designed to withstand future flooding events and ensure a safer and more reliable road network in Northern Province.

Trekkers: Kapa Kapa Trail a tremendous journey

The trekkers, from Australia, Belgium and Scotland, commenced the 220km journey at Gabagaba Village, Central Province, on October 4.

They successfully completed the track in 17 days, led by experienced trekker Peter Gamgee from the Getaway Trekking Company.

They’ve all taken home wonderful memories of the diverse plants, animals, culture and people living along the trail.

The track was used by American soldiers during World War II in 1942 during a battle to defeat the Japanese on the northern beaches.

Fire destroys Chinese-owned shops

According to Paul Jnr Maliou, the Lucky Winner Supermarket and Yummy Kaibar "all burnt down".

Town residents helplessly watched as the fire destroyed the Chinese-owned shops.  

"There is a fire station here but their fire truck has been in the workshop for some time now.

"Higaturu Oil Palm firefighting unit was called down to assist but most of the chain of buildings were already burnt down," Maliou said.

Another resident who spoke to Loop PNG, said: "Luckily it (fire) did not reach the fuel service station."

Northern Governor aids remote women

They always do gardening, marketing and also giving birth which is always so hard and in pain.

Uiaku women in the Ijivitari district of Northern province have called on Governor Garry Juffa to look into this issue and help them.

They called on Juffa to build a market for them to sell food and other stuff at Popondetta town.

Spokeslady Helen Gegeyo when giving her speech during the opening of the aid post and elementary classroom  on Tuesday said the women want to see change and it's about time they will experience that change.

Delay in funding hampering development, says Juffa

One of tourist destinations in the country, Tufi in Northern Province, is one of those least developed districts in the Ijivitari electorate.

Northern Governor Gary Juffa told Loop PNG that his administration is still waiting on the government to release fundings earmarked for the development of Tufi.

He said Tufi is a tourist destination and infrastructure like airstrips and wharves must be of paramount importance.

"Proper airstrip facilities are really needed at Tufi to attract tourists into the beautiful Tufi Fjords," says Juffa.

Managalas Plateau considered for conservation to protect Birdwing butterfly

The endangered Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterfly is endemic to the area.

Minister for Environment and Conservation John Pundari said PNG has a lot of endangered species and conservation is very important.

Pundari explained that while the plateau is considered for conservation, finding alternatives for the people to sustain their livelihood is a challenge.

Juffa to launch local newspaper

Northern Observer, a community newspaper to inform and promote good governance in the province is an initiative of the Oro Provincial Government.

Juffa said the monthly publication is aimed at informing the people on what is happening within the province and around the country and allow locals to have their say and contribute towards the development of Oro.

The newspaper is a new concept and will mainly focus on positive and development issues affecting the province.