Southland Basketball Tip-Off Shows Debut Monday

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference Basketball Tip-Off shows, previewing the 2019-20 men’s and women’s basketball seasons, premiere Monday, Nov. 4, on ESPN3. The Women’s Tip-Off Show will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT, followed by the Men’s Tip-Off Show at 7 p.m.Each show features interviews from the head coaches and select student-athletes from all 13 Southland institutions. Host Madi Morris will also provide a rundown of the coaches’ preseason picks and highlights of players to watch.The Abilene Christian men’s and women’s programs enter the season after earning the first berths in school history to the 2019 NCAA Division I Tournament. Lamar women and Sam Houston State men are defending their regular-season titles from a year ago.ACU, along with seven other men’s and eight women’s programs open their 2019-2020 basketball seasons on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The season culminates at the 2020 Southland Conference Tournament, which will be held March 11-15 in Katy, Texas. The men’s title game will be held Saturday, March 14 at 8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2, while the women will battle for their crown on Sunday, March 15. Tip-off is 1 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.last_img read more

Summer signings will deliver success for Brentford, insists Alan Judge

first_img Alan Judge 1 Brentford’s impressive summer signings are still settling in and will only get better as the season progresses, according to midfielder Alan Judge.The defeat to Hull City on Tuesday night ended a four-game winning streak for the west Londoners, who currently sit five points off the play-off places.That run of form came during a cruel succession of injuries, ruling out key players like captain Andreas Bjellend and ex-Chelsea starlet Josh McEachran.And Judge reveals there is still more to come from new faces like Maxime Colin and Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos, once they adapt to the rough and tumble of English football.“Maxime Colin, I like him,” Irishman judge said about the French defender. “He’s good on the ball and he knows how to tackle.“Sergi is so direct and we need that. The new players are settling in well but it will take time.“In some cases they have come from a country where you can barely touch a player to one where you can boot them six foot in the air. They will get stronger.”last_img read more

Wildfires torment 3 states

first_imgOKLAHOMA CITY – A rash of wildfires raged Sunday across Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, including one that burned several homes in northeastern Oklahoma City. Several city residents were evacuated but no injuries were reported, Fire Maj. Brian Stanaland said. Television images showed at least one large structure engulfed in flames. At least a dozen wildfires continued to burn across Oklahoma on Sunday evening, urged on by winds up to 50 mph and hot, dry weather. A large blaze near Guthrie threatened several homes, said Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. At least 20 fires sprang up in Texas, including an 8,000-acre blaze that threatened up to 200 homes near Carbon, about 125 miles west of Dallas. In Hobbs, N.M., a grass fire forced the evacuation of a casino, community college and neighborhoods. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson High winds, record-high temperatures and drought-like conditions across much of the region have increased the fire danger to critical levels. Wildfires in Oklahoma and Texas last week ravaged more than 50,000 acres, destroyed nearly 100 homes and businesses and killed four people. At least 15 grass fires burned in the metro area Sunday afternoon, consuming more than 100 acres, Stanaland said. “Today has been extremely intense,” he said. “I think it’s maybe starting to take its toll on our department.” Power lines arced and sparked one grass fire in northeast Oklahoma City. While firefighters battled that blaze, high winds tossed material from a nearby construction site into power lines, causing the debris to burn before it landed on a nearby nursing home, Stanaland said. “You basically had flying, flaming debris,” Stanaland said. “Luckily, we were already on the scene putting out the fires when it happened so we were able to put it out.” A fire near Wainwright in Muskogee County charred several thousand acres and was at least a mile wide, but no injuries or structure fires were reported, said Bill Beebe, an information officer at a statewide command center established in Shawnee. Oklahoma had called on firefighters from across the South to help battle the blazes, which had been predicted over the weekend. In Carbon, at least three homes and several barns were destroyed Sunday afternoon and area residents were evacuated, said Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Traci Weaver. Helicopters with the Texas Air National Guard help firefighters battle the blaze. Billowing clouds of light gray smoke hung across the horizon for miles. Carbon is just northeast of Cross Plains, where more than 90 homes and a church were destroyed in a raging grass fire last week. “We just took up money for the folks in Cross Plains at church this morning, never thinking it would be us in just three hours,” said Mallory Fagan, who waited in nearby Eastland with her daughter, Shana Fuchs, and 15 dogs they rounded up from the family’s dog rescue. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

B.I.G. problem

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card This is getting expensive. The city had to pay all the costs for the mistrial, including the plaintiff’s legal expenses. Now it must shell out $1.1 million, plus as much as $300,000, according to Cooper’s ruling. In the end, the LAPD may still prevail. But even so, its deceits surely haven’t helped – and they’re costing the city dearly. Top brass at the Los Angeles Police Department have long insisted, in the face of a civil lawsuit and several books, that the LAPD had nothing to do with the death of rapper Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G. And that may be be true, but now there are 1.1 million reasons to doubt that claim. Last week, U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper ordered the city of Los Angeles – that is, all L.A. taxpayers – to pay $1.1 million to Wallace’s family. The reason? Because in her opinion the LAPD deliberately withheld evidence linking the unsolved killing to disgraced former cops David Mack and Rafael Perez. Clearly Cooper thinks that the evidence – which LAPD officials insist was withheld by accident – is pretty important. She ordered a mistrial in the case last July, and a new trial is scheduled to take place this summer. last_img read more

Rioting cost sheriff 15,216 overtime hours

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Using the starting salary of a deputy – $3,715 a month – the potential fiscal liability is a minimum of $326,079. Factoring in supervisory staff, the numbers are most likely much higher. The allocated hours cover a period that started Feb. 4, when 2,000 inmates at the North County Correctional Facility rioted, resulting in the death of inmate Wayne Tiznor. The fighting continued sporadically, spreading to the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 13, when inmate Sean Anthony Thompson died of injuries suffered in a racial confrontation. “The overtime was utilized providing additional personnel at some of the facilities, along with additional response teams,” McCorkle said. “On the first day, personnel from patrol stations responded, along with court services division, to staff additional emergency response teams.” McCorkle said that the last time this much overtime was dedicated to custody division, it was during a three-day melee at Pitchess Detention Center in April 2000, when Latinos and African-Americans clashed, injuring hundreds of inmates. “We always track unusual-occurrence overtime,” he said. “Last time, it was the same scenario, at least for the custody division. This is all specifically for managing the disturbances in the jails. It doesn’t include any overtime used for regular vacation vacancies.” CASTAIC – The recent spate of fighting in the county jail system – at Castaic’s Pitchess Detention Center, in particular – cost the county 15,216 hours of overtime, but the cost for that work is not yet known, a Sheriff’s Department official said. The extra manpower was needed to back up jail staff and to guard inmates who were hospitalized with injuries suffered in combat over some three weeks, battles that pitted Latinos against blacks. Sheriff’s deputies, typically rookies, man county jails. “It’s difficult to attach a dollar figure to this because personnel have the option of taking overtime paid or saved,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Mike McCorkle of the sheriff’s custody division. “If they take it saved, they accrue 12 hours of credit (for every eight hours of overtime) that they can use with vacation or for other time off.” McCorkle also said that it would be easy to calculate a monetary figure if all personnel worked similar shifts, but some auxiliary staff, such as those from court services, worked 10- and 12-hour shifts. Deputies are routinely required to stay over their standard eight-hour shifts during emergency situations to ensure coverage. Additional deputies were put on overtime to guard hospitalized inmates; immediately after the Feb. 4 incident, 33 inmates were being treated at 15 different hospitals from Lancaster to Santa Monica. In emergency situations, deputies working after their scheduled shift is over is standard operating procedure. But there is a limit, McCorkle said. “The longest anyone can work, accruing overtime, is 19 consecutive hours,” he said. “That’s department policy.” Sheriff Lee Baca has blamed the unrest on a high inmate-to-guard ratio due to budget constraints. The county’s jail system is the largest in the country, with 21,000 inmates in six facilities. Currently, there are only 5,000 deputies working in custody assignments, resulting in frequent forced overtime. The Sheriff’s Department is funded for 9,400 deputies, but to date has only 8,200 sworn personnel working out of the various stations. The department is aggressively recruiting candidates and county supervisors have directed staff to come up with additional financial incentives and deployment strategies to make working for the county more attractive. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

SA one of Africa’s innovators

first_imgSouth Africa, Botswana, Mauritius and Tunisia are the continent’s most globally competitive countries. (Image: World Economic Forum)Janine ErasmusFind out more about using materialThe Africa Competitiveness Report 2009, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), has revealed the continent’s top innovators – Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia. The report was launched just before the WEF on Africa, held in Cape Town from 10 to 12 June.All in all, 33 African countries and 101 others around the world were assessed and scored according to what the authors – 17 economic and financial specialists from the WEF, World Bank and African Development Bank – term the 12 pillars of competitiveness.The pillars are institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness, business sophistication, and innovation.Each is divided into a number of subsections ranging from judicial independence and property rights in the pillar of institutions, to research collaboration between universities and industry in the innovation pillar.The report takes into account the fact that countries in various regions develop at different rates and are at different levels of economic development.It is compiled from a variety of sources, including survey data gathered from questions put to top executives in each country during 2007 and 2008 for the WEF’s Executive Opinion Survey.The report also makes use of hard data – facts and figures such as the incidence of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV, the number of steps required to start a business, the number of patents granted for inventions, or the GDP of a country.These are culled from organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and various United Nations agencies.Impressive growthThe findings of the report show that Africa has experienced impressive growth rates and an economic resurgence over the past decade. In fact, since the arrival of the new century African growth rates have consistently exceeded those of the world average, although they are still far below that of the developing nations of Asia.The current economic climate threatens to undo all that, but, says the report, African economies have been spared the worst because they are not linked as deeply to global financial markets as other regions.Still, the continent has not escaped completely, with regional GDP expected to drop to a decelerated 3%.By paying attention to the African competitiveness report, policymakers can identify areas where action is needed to ensure that previous growth is sustained. The publication is intended as a tool for all relevant parties to measure the current and future business climate, to implement steps where necessary, and to help Africa improve its competitiveness in the global arena.The stages of developmentThe report mentions three stages of economic development, applicable to all countries. These are the factor-driven, efficiency-driven, and innovation-driven stages, with the latter being the most advanced. According to the report, a developing economy starts off as factor-driven – this is where countries compete according to the quality and quantity of factors such as primarily unskilled labor and natural resources. Pillars which influence a country’s competitiveness include institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomics, and the workforce.A country will then move into the efficiency-driven stage of development, and this is where efficient production processes and product quality is important. Relevant pillars here include higher education and training, goods and labour markets, financial markets, size of the domestic or foreign market, and use of technologies.In the innovation-driven stage, businesses must be able to compete with new products if a country is to maintain higher wages and the associated enhanced standard of living. The pillars that count are innovation and sophisticated production processes.South Africa, and a number of its continental compatriots, is in the middle stage, beyond which no African country has yet progressed.According to Jennifer Blanke of the WEF, productivity reaches a point where doing things more cheaply or in a better way does not enhance competitiveness, and this is where innovation plays a vital role.Globally competitiveOverall, only four African countries made it into the top half of the rankings – Tunisia, South Africa, Botswana and Mauritius. Tunisia is the continent’s most competitive country at 36, followed by South Africa at 45, Botswana at 56 and Mauritius at 57.Tunisia was among the top three African countries in eight of the 12 pillars, followed by South Africa and Mauritius which were among the top three in seven pillars. Botswana was among the top three in just three pillars, while of the rest, only Gambia and Kenya made a notable showing with top ranks in at least two pillars.In terms of basic requirements, measured by the pillars of institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, and health and primary education, South Africa came in halfway down the table at 69. Namibia came in first in Africa at 48, followed by Mauritius at 50 and Botswana at 53. South Africa’s score puts the country into fourth position in this section.In terms of efficiency enhancers, measured by the pillars of higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness and market size, South Africa scored higher than any other African country.The country’s score of 35 in this section puts it far ahead of its closest competitor, Tunisia at 53. The third-ranked country here is Mauritius at 66.Finally, in terms of innovation and sophistication factors, measured by the pillars of business sophistication and innovation, South Africa is ranked at 36, with Tunisia ahead of it at 30 and Kenya behind it at 50.Pillars of competitivenessBotswana, Gambia and Tunisia scored particularly strongly in their institutional capacity; their ranks of 36, 38 and 22 respectively put them on par with nations such as the US, Chile and the Republic of Korea. Good governance is a characteristic of this section, as well as high levels of confidence in the government, and these countries serve as good examples for the African continent. At 46, South Africa is ranked sixth, after Mauritius and Namibia.With regard to infrastructure, Namibia, Tunisia and Mauritius, at 33, 34 and 43 respectively, top the rankings. Good transport infrastructure is a strong feature here, especially roads and ports. South Africa’s ranking is 48, which puts it into fourth place in Africa. Most African countries came in low down on the list, which highlights the urgent need for infrastructure development.In the macroeconomic category, Algeria and Libya are undisputed leaders, coming in at five and six. Both are oil-exporting countries. Third on the list is Botswana at 22, which is also a big commodity exporter. South Africa again comes in about halfway, at 63. This pillar highlights the high budget deficits, high debt and inflation with which many African countries continue to struggle.The continent as a whole fared poorly in terms of health and primary education. Of the top three countries – Mauritius, Morocco and Tunisia – only Mauritius and Tunisia made it into the top half of all countries. A whopping 84%, or 26 African countries, are in the bottom third. This is the area most in need of attention, but it can also be seen as an opportunity to address specific problems and eliminate them.In terms of higher education and training, the situation is very much the same as the previous pillar, but the difference between the highest- and lowest-ranked countries is not as great. The top three countries are Mauritius, South Africa and Tunisia. However, only Tunisia made it into the top third of all countries. The report says that the weakness showing here is linked to the poor quality of primary educational facilities, and is a critical area to address for future development.Pillar six, goods market efficiency, shows a better picture. The efficiency of the goods markets in the top three countries, Mauritius, South Africa, and Tunisia, are equal to those in countries such as Spain and Chile, and are characterised by strong competition in the market and taxation systems that are conducive to ethical business decisions.In terms of labour markets, Uganda tops the table for Africa and stands at 25 overall, followed by Gambia at 38 and Kenya at 40. This shows that these countries have implemented flexible and efficient recruitment systems. South Africa is ranked at 88.However, the country makes a strong comeback in the next pillar, financial markets. South Africa, with its sophisticated financial systems and reliable banks, is the best on the continent and number 24 overall. Here the country is on a par with Belgium and France. The next two countries are Botswana and Mauritius, while the financial markets of Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria and Zambia are all in the top half. However, the bottom of the table also belongs to Africa.The area of technological readiness also shows a need for development. South Africa, although the top-ranked African country, is 29 overall, followed by Tunisia at 52 and Mauritius at 55. There are 24 African countries in the bottom third. This, says the report, is an indication of the relatively low spread of new technology into Africa and the low priority that many governments allocate to information and communications.South Africa also tops the African rankings in terms of market size, followed by Egypt and Nigeria at 23, 27 and 39 respectively. Thriving domestic and foreign trade is an important factor here and, says the report, while many lower-ranked countries cannot simply increase their domestic market size, they can lower barriers to overseas trade and thus enlarge their foreign market size.Business sophistication refers to factors such as local supplier quantity and quality, and the control of international distribution. South Africa, Mauritius and Tunisia are top in this pillar, at 33, 40 and 55 respectively.In the last pillar, innovation, Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia were rated highly on their scientific capacity and are in the same league as other innovative developing countries such as Brazil and India. Tunisia is ranked at 27, South Africa at 37, and Kenya at 42, while Senegal, Nigeria and Egypt, at 59, 65 and 67, are indicative of the existing potential for innovation in Africa. Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at storiesSouth Africa’s competitiveness upUseful linksAfrica Competitiveness Report 2009World Economic ForumWorld BankAfrican Development Banklast_img read more

Don’t hog the road, driving can be a real bear in Ohio

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It was a week of high adventure on the highways of Ohio.Early in the week a semi hauling 2,200 piglets crashed on U.S. 35 near Xenia in Greene County. The highway was closed for eight hours after the accident. Piglets scattered in every direction, including the nearby wooded areas. Authorities guess that around 1,100 were killed and the remaining 1,100 were rounded up in a monumental pig scramble for the ages.Then on Wednesday a story came out about a Fairfield County man who spotted a young, endangered black bear lying dead on the side of the road on US 33 outside of Sugar Grove, not too far from my house. The 160-pound bear was apparently the victim of a hit and run accident.ODNR’s 2014 Black Bear Report found that bear sightings in the state were down from the previous year with 135 sightings compared to 158 in 2013. Though sightings were down, the number of individual bears identified was up to 88 from 74 in 2013. Most sightings are in northeast Ohio.Suzie Prange, Ohio Wildlife Research Biologist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife said bear numbers do seem to be on the rise in Ohio.“We don’t know for sure how many residents we have, but a good estimate would be about 50 bears,” Prange said. “They are increasing slowly, and this is normal for black bear populations, especially recovering ones. The age when females first produce cubs is related to the available food supply, but most begin to reproduce at age three or four. Some don’t reproduce until eight years of age. Once a female reproduces she will usually continue to have young every two years, but again this is related to nutritional status and may be as long as every four years. Litter size is small and ranges from one to four cubs, with litters of two or three being most common. Cubs are weaned when they are about seven months old and will remain with the female until the second summer of their lives. Then, the young bears, especially males, may travel great distances in search of their own territories. Yearling females frequently settle near their mother’s home range.‘Most bears sighted in Ohio are likely young, dispersing males. They will settle in a territory in Ohio, but only if they find an area with a female. Because females tend to settle next to their mother’s territory, black bear range expands very slowly. Many of the young males we see each year in Ohio won’t find females and won’t stay.”Bears prefer forested areas. The area of Fairfield County where the bear was recently found is heavily wooded enough that he could have lived unnoticed.“Black bears are woodland species, they can occur in deciduous or coniferous forests. They prefer forested areas that are interspersed with openings. Forests, such as the hardwood forests in Ohio, provide acorns and hard mast in the fall, whereas openings are good sources of berries and young plant growth in the spring and summer,” Prange said. “As such, they occur predominately in the eastern half of Ohio. Most sightings are in the northeastern part of the state. However, there are also more people to see them there. It is likely there are more bears in the more remote, unglaciated region of Ohio (southeastern Ohio) than we would think given the small number of reported sightings because they aren’t many people there to see them.“Habitat in southeastern Ohio is not quickly changing. It has actually been recovering from deforestation in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and its recovery is one of the factors making the recovery of black bears, as well as other species, possible.”She said males are larger than females and males typically weigh from 150 to 400 pounds, although bears as large as 600 pounds have been reported (not in Ohio). Females are smaller and weigh from around 100 to 200 pounds. At any rate, either gender of bear is best avoided on the highways for all parties involved.With piglets in Xenia, bears in Sugar Grove and the busy summer travel season here, drive safe Ohio because you never know what may be around the next curve.last_img read more

Now, a SMART initiative to provide market for farmers

first_imgOver 49 companies including the Tata Group, Amazon, ITC, and Patanjali, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government’s ‘State of Maharashtra’s Agribusiness and Rural Transformation (SMART)’ project, assisted by World Bank, to revamp the agricultural value chain and improve the price realisation for the farmer. Project SMART entails an investment of ₹2,000 crore, of which World Bank contributed ₹1,500 crore while the State government contributed ₹430 crore. The balance ₹70 crore was raised by Village Social Transformation Foundation (VSTF) through its partners. The VSTF has signed MoUs with 22 corporates and start-ups to focus on increasing farm productivity and higher price realisations for farmers by ensuring direct tie-up with end buyers.SMART will help support value addition in post-harvest segments of value chains, facilitate enterprise promotion, and business investment for Community-based organizations (CBO). Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the industry partner for this important initiative “With higher farm productivity through Jalyukt Shivar despite lower rainfall, ensuring price realisation is paramount. This initiative will be an ideal conduit between a chain of empowered farmers in the form of producer companies, self-help groups with direct access to the large retailers, and will lead to transformation in agriculture. This will not only ensure that agriculture is profitable, but also sustainable over the next 6 years across 10,000 villages with 3 lakh people being skilled for this emerging agri-business,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis while launching the project on Wednesday.Maharashtra state rural livelihood mission, Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture (PoCRA) and Primary Cooperatives Societies will be among the agencies to design and implement the project.last_img read more

Uber Doubling Down on India Investments After Exiting Southeast Asia

first_imgSan Francisco-based cab aggregator Uber on Wednesday said it would stay put in India and will step up its investments in the country to take on arch rival Ola. Uber’s new COO Barney Hardford said the Indian market has such a huge potential that the company won’t settle for minority stakes in deals here.The world’s most valued startup’s comments come in the wake of talks of a merger of its India unit with homegrown rival Ola.Read it at Business Today Related Itemslast_img

Vyapam scam: man gets 10 years’ RI, ₹5,000 fine

first_imgA CBI court in Bhopal on Monday sentenced one man to 10 years in jail and 30 others to seven years’ imprisonment in the multi-crore Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh. The Vyapam scam refers to irregularities in exams held by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, also called Vyavasayik Pareeksha Mandal or Vyapam, for admission in professional courses and State services.CBI special judge CBI Special Judge S.B. Sahu sentenced Pradeep Tyagi (29) to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment along with a fine of ₹5,000 after finding him guilty of rigging the 2013 police constable recruitment exams conducted by Vyapam, special prosecutor Satish Dinkar told PTI. Judge Sahu sentenced 30 others to seven years in jail and fined each one of them ₹30,000, finding them guilty of several offences, including cheating by impersonation, cheating and forgery related to the 2013 police constable exam. These 30 persons include 12 people, arrested at the time from Bhopal and Datia, who wrote the exams on behalf of other candidates.91 witnesses Mr. Dinkar said 91 witnesses were examined in this case. The MPPEB is now known as Professional Examination Board.last_img read more