HASTINGS, MI — An organized protest against Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf may have been canceled over safety concerns, but that didn’t stop residents from showing up to show support or denounce the sheriff.

Individuals and crowds of people began to gather more than an hour before Tuesday morning’s Barry County Board of Commissioners meeting to express their views on the sheriff and, if space allowed, get inside the meeting to voice their opinions.

Leaf came under fire for having shared the stage at a Grand Rapids rally in May with militia members, including one who’s since been arrested for the alleged governor-kidnapping plot, and for controversial comments he made after the arrests last week.

With capacity limits maxed out indoors due to social distancing protocols, some 40 people listened from speakers outside the community foundation center as public comment was given Oct. 13.

More spoke in favor of the sheriff than against, as nearly a dozen individuals praised his constitutionality, loyalty and dedication to the community, many doing so to much applause.

Related: Michigan sheriff accepts criticism of association with militia members, will not resign

Leaf supporter Joel Ibbotson said he knew many people who vehemently oppose Leaf’s personal politics, but publicly advocate for him as sheriff.

“Simply put, his personal politics do not get in the way of his public duty to the Constitution of the United States,” Ibbotson said. “He was elected constitutionality by we the people and has run the office in a way to serve the people not to arrest them.”

Olivia Bennett, who organized the protest against Leaf, asked commissioners to pass a resolution asking for Leaf’s resignation.

Bennett, who is transgender, spoke using her legal name, Cody Hayes.

“Unlike others in my county, I believe safety to be of the utmost importance,” she

29 September 2020

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today (Tuesday 29 September) announced the recipients of the 2020 RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarships, worth a total of £30,000.

Pictured clockwise from top left: Amber Godfrey, Richard Aina, Cora McLean, Hunter Doyle, Ayanna Blair-Ford

The scholarships support outstanding Part 2 students who have the potential to make a significant contribution in the field of architecture.

The five recipients are:

  • Richard Aina – Architectural Association School of Architecture (completed RIBA Part 1 at The Bartlett School of Architecture)
  • Ayanna Blair-Ford – Royal College of Art (completed RIBA Part 1 at Oxford Brookes University)
  • Hunter Doyle – Architectural Association School of Architecture (completed RIBA Part 1 at the Architectural Association School of Architecture)
  • Amber Godfrey – Royal College of Art (completed RIBA Part 1 at Oxford Brookes University)
  • Cora McLean – The London School of Architecture (completed RIBA Part 1 at the University of Bath)

Each student will receive £6,000 to support their Part 2 study and mentoring from an architect member of the Wren Insurance Association.

Chairman of The Wren Insurance Association, David Stanford, said:

“The Wren Insurance Association is delighted to continue its sponsorship of some of the very best students entering the final year of their Part 2 courses. The standard of entries this year was, if anything, even higher than previous years and I would like to congratulate the five winners and wish them continued good fortune as they commence their final year studies in difficult circumstances.”

RIBA Director of Education, David Gloster, said:

“Students need support arguably now more than ever, as they navigate their way through a particularly volatile period. Scholarships and bursaries are an important part of our ongoing commitment to support students and student talent, and we are very grateful

The life insurance industry will see a contraction in premium income this year on the back of the COVID-19 crisis, despite people’s rising awareness on health, the Indonesian Life Insurance Association (AAJI) has stated.

AAJI chairman Budi Tampubolon said on Sept. 25 that the association expected the industry’s premium income to contract 2.5 percent year-on-year (yoy). 

The life insurance industry’s premium income has contracted 2.5 percent yoy to Rp 88.02 trillion (US$5.9 billion) in the first half of the year from the same period last year. The decline in new premium income and renewed premiums contributed to the lower figure.

“Everyone is now focused on surviving. The second quarter was better than the first quarter but if the third and fourth quarter are similar to the second quarter, we will still see contraction this year, but just not too deep,” he said during a virtual press conference.

In comparison, the industry booked Rp 196.69 trillion in premium income last year, up 5.8 percent compared to 2018, according to AAJI data.

Insurance penetration in Indonesia has been low for a long time. According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s insurance spending in 2018 was only 1.79 percent of the country’s GDP, lower than in neighboring Malaysia, where it was 4.4 percent.

Read also: Need for insurance rises as pandemic poses risks

In the first half of this year, new premium income dropped 2.7 percent yoy to Rp 54.57 trillion, while renewed premium income fell 2.2 percent yoy to Rp 34.91 trillion, AAJI data show.

Despite the slowdown in premium income growth, Budi said the group saw improvement in new premium income in the second quarter of 2020 from the previous quarter.

He said that in the second quarter, new premium income had grown

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