Citizens of Bong County, District #6 in particular, are demanding speedy and unconditional investigation into the recent assault on their lawmaker by Margibi County Representative Roland Opee Cooper.Representative Adam Bill Corneh of District #6, Bong County, was slapped during a standoff in the chamber of the House of Representatives, an action that is contrary to House’s Rules and Procedures.At a petition ceremony yesterday at the Capitol Building, citizens of Bong County converged in demand of “justice and prompt action by plenary of the House.”According to the petitioners, the ‘disorder’ exhibited by Opee Cooper “lacks any semblance of civilization . . . does not portray the image of the Honorable House of Representatives.”The petition under the signature of over fifty citizens inclusive of chiefs, elders, youth groups and commissioners among others, reminded Opee Cooper of the sacredness of the House, noting; “The House is a place of representation, lawmaking and oversight and therefore should comprise of individuals of good moral [character]; not individuals who resolve to physical brutality as means of persuading [their] colleagues.”“We the peace-loving citizens of Bong County are calling on Rep. Roland Opee Cooper, whose action does not match his title, to recognize that he has sinned against us and he must subsequently repent of his sin and prepare himself to bear the consequences thereof; as will be determined by the plenary of the House of Representatives in accordance to its standing rules,” the petitioners said.They recommended a speedy investigation and stringent action be taken in accordance with the House’s rules in order to serve as a deterrent to “would-be hooligans and barbarians.”Responding to the petitioners, Representative Adam Bill Corneh commended his people for taking such a decisive move.“I can assure you that your representative will not be beaten for nothing. I am positive that Speaker Alex Tyler and the leadership of the House will bring this matter to a logical conclusion in the shortest possible time,” Corneh declared.He told the Daily Observer that Opee Cooper there had never been any “unfriendly interaction” between himself and Rep. Opee Cooper, and as such, he was very saddened by his colleague’s action.Before the start of the petitioning ceremony, the House plenary reached a decision to allow its Rules, Order and Administration Committee to investigate Corneh’s written complaint addressed to the House on January 21, 2015 and submit findings in one week.Meanwhile, Opee Cooper has since declined to comment on the matter. When asked in the corridors of the Capitol Building yesterday, Opee Cooper insisted on being mute for now.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A snow-encrusted sled dog in Ambler during the 2015 Kobuk 440. (Photo: Francesca Fenzi, KNOM)Sixteen dog teams took off from Kotzebue this afternoon at the start of the 2018 Kobuk 440. Leading the pack across the sea ice was this year’s Iditarod Rookie of the Year, Jessie HolmesListen nowOther big names in this year’s race include Hugh Neff and French-born musher Nicolas Petit. Petit finished second in this year’s Iditarod, with many of the same dogs he left with today. He was candid about his goal for the 2018 Kobuk.“I wouldn’t mind winning again,” Petit said.Missing from the starting line was Kotzebue’s own Katherine Keith. She withdrew from the race just two days ago. But two of her handlers are competing with dogs from the kennel she runs with her husband, Iditarod champion John Baker.“This is the first time that we have ever raced, and it’s a long race,” rookie Maja Bernhoff said. “So for sure we’re going to stick together as much as possible, you know?”Bernhoff and her best friend, Julie Flotlien, moved to Kotzebue from Norway to handle for Team Baker Kennel. They’re hoping to run their first ever race side-by-side.Bernhoff explained her team includes a mix of veteran dogs, who raced with Keith on this Iditarod, and yearlings who are getting their first taste of competition. The idea, she says, is for the young dogs to watch and learn from the more experienced ones.As for a strategy for herself and Flotlien, Bernhoff says, “Oh we haven’t planned that at all …take it as it comes.”The Norwegian rookie says they’re both just thrilled to be there.As much as he’s hoping for a win, Petit echoed Bernhoff’s sentiments. He says what he’s looking forward to most is the journey.“The beautiful scenery and the nice people everywhere,” Petit said.Sixteen mushers left just after 12:30 Thursday afternoon, although 17 were originally registered. They’ll race the more than 200 miles to Kobuk and then back to Kotzebue, with the first finisher expected to arrive Sunday morning.