The Latest: Tour or Denmark in September canceled

first_img Associated Press The government allowed a maximum of 150 people at Teplice’s stadium on Saturday even though current restrictions limit gatherings to 100 people. That number will increase to 300 next week.Six rounds of games in the regular season and the playoffs remain in the league, which is scheduled to be completed by July 15.___The soccer league in Spain will be allowed to resume from June 8, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Saturday. While the top tier, La Liga, can play from this date, it has already said it wants to resume play on June 12. It is unclear when the first games will be held. May 23, 2020 The Czech league restarted under strict conditions on Saturday.Teplice beat visiting Liberec 2-0 without spectators as the First League resumed after a 73-day stoppage. The teams entered the stadium separately and players were not allowed to shake hands or celebrate goals together.The restart was made possible after the government eased restrictions that contained the coronavirus outbreak. The Czech Republic has not been as badly hit by the pandemic as the likes of Italy, Spain, France and Britain.One player from league leader Slavia Prague and another one from Mlada Bolestav tested positive for the coronavirus in a mandatory initial round of testing and were quarantined. All the tests in the second round of testing were negative. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Tour of Denmark in September has been canceled because organizers feared the best Danish cyclists, at least, would be committed to the Tour de France on at the same time. The British Horseracing Authority is hoping to get government approval to return on June 1 for the first time since March.Completion of an online education module and screening of all participants before they can attend an event are among the initial protocols. They will include health-related questions and temperature checks before people are allowed to enter racecourses.Social distancing restrictions will be employed, along with face coverings for those likely to get closer than two meters, including jockeys, trainers, stalls handlers, stable staff and valets.The BHA is also planning an ongoing surveillance program to monitor the coronavirus, including some testing.___ The Latest: Tour or Denmark in September canceled The Tour of Denmark was originally in mid-August, and requested new dates from the International Cycling Union. The governing body moved the tour to Sept. 1-5.But the UCI also agreed to move the Tour de France to Aug. 29-Sept. 20.Denmark has been reopening schools, shops, restaurants, and churches in the last two weeks, but the border remains closed to foreigners, and tour organizers aren’t certain when they will reopen. The organizers also say they aren’t able to test all participants for COVID-19, and prevent crowds along the route.___Jockeys and stalls handlers in Britain will be required to wear masks when horse racing hopes to resume next month during the coronavirus pandemic. There has been no play in the top tier due to the coronavirus crisis since March 12. Teams have recently returned to training at club facilities, but with players practicing individually. Barcelona is top of the league with a two-point lead over Real Madrid after 27 of 38 rounds.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

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The Latest: UNLV suspends on-campus workouts after positives

first_imgMatches were scheduled for this September and the Davis Cup finals were set for November in Madrid.Now the World Group I and World Group II preliminary matches will be played in various sites in either March or September 2021. The finals will be in Madrid during the week of Nov. 22, 2021.The International Tennis Federation says the 18 nations that already qualified for the 2020 finals will get a spot in 2021.The ITF has also scrapped the women’s Fed Cup finals for this year and says they will be played April 13-18 in Budapest, Hungary.The Fed Cup originally was supposed to be played this April but was initially postponed because of the pandemic. Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___UNLV has temporarily stopped all voluntary on-campus workouts after four athletes tested positive for COVID-19. Ivanisevic won the Wimbledon title in 2001. He says he twice tested negative for the virus over the past 10 days but has now tested positive.Ivanisevic says “I would like to inform everyone who has been in contact with me that I tested positive and ask them to take extra good care of themselves and their loved ones.”The Croat says he has no symptoms but will self-isolate.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The positive tests were detected as part of the screening process for returning to campus.The athletes were placed in isolation and several others who came in contact with them were placed in quarantine as a precaution.The workouts have been halted until at least July 5.___Cleveland Indians president Chris Antonetti said a “couple” of staff members have chosen not to take part in the resumption of training camp due to COVID-19 concerns. ___Virginia says its football players can begin returning to campus on July 5 if they participate in a voluntary workout period under protocols set by the school’s health system.The school says all student-athletes and staff will receive COVID-19 specific education through a variety of print and video media, utilizing CDC and NCAA resources. The UVA Health System will administer and coordinate testing of student-athletes and staff.The voluntary workouts will go from July 5-14, followed by required activity for up to eight hours a week including weight training, conditioning and film study from July 15-25. The program will then transition into a two-week period of required activities for 20 hours a week including walk-through sessions before fall training camp opens on Aug. 9.The UVA Health System also will be required to report positive tests or cases to the local health district and to the athletics program’s team physicians. The Fed Cup finals feature 12 national teams competing in a new format.___Tennis great Goran Ivanisevic says he has tested positive for the coronavirus.The former Wimbledon champion coaches top-ranked Novak Djokovic and was at the recent Adria Tour exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia.Djokovic and three other players have also tested positive for the virus after playing in the events. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki are the others. The Cavaliers are scheduled to open the season against Georgia on Sept. 7 in Atlanta.___Brewers general manager David Stearns says no Milwaukee players have opted out of playing this season for personal reasons. He says “a small number of individuals in our organization” have tested positive for COVID-19 but were asymptomatic. He didn’t specify the number or say whether these individuals were players, other team employees or both.___The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association say 16 players tested positive for coronavirus in the first wave of mandatory tests done in preparation for the restart of the season. Tennessee’s athletic budget for 2020-21 assumes the Volunteers will have fans in the stands for football season but still includes a $10.1 million cut in overall revenues. University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd says reducing the number of fans further because of the coronavirus pandemic would have a “significant impact” on the budget. But Boyd said Friday that Tennessee is financially prepared to handle any problems.Tennessee projects a drop of 19.4% with $29.8 million in revenue from athletic ticket sales. That would be down $7.1 million from the $37 million taken in over 2019-20. John Compton, chairman of the UT Board of Trustees, says that estimate is appropriate for now. He also says Tennessee will be able to handle if ticket revenue winds up even 50% lower.The Volunteers won their final six games last season under coach Jeremy Pruitt. They are scheduled to host Florida and Alabama, which are traditionally big draws for fans.Athletic director Phillip Fulmer has said Tennessee is expecting to fill Neyland Stadium this season and will adjust as needed. Speaking on a Zoom call Friday, Antonetti did not identify the staffers who have opted out or specify their roles in the organization. He added that he’s unaware of any players declining to participate because of health reasons. Antonetti said the club has spoken to “every high-risk individual” about the risks of returning.The Indians are scheduled to re-open camp on July 1 in Cleveland.“We would be fully supportive if anyone felt this wasn’t the right environment for them to participate,” he said.Antonetti added that the club has “had a few isolated cases” of players testing positive for the coronavirus. He said there were cases in the Dominican Republic as well as at the team’s training facility in Goodyear, Arizona. He said all of the infected individuals have recovered or are only showing mild symptoms.___ June 26, 2020 ___World Triathlon has resurrected a second race in its world series, in Montreal in October.The pandemic shelved the seven-race series, and the finals in Edmonton in August were canceled.But the Hamburg stop in July was postponed to September, and the Montreal leg in June will race on Oct. 4.A new date for the World Cup leg in Arzachena, Italy that was postponed in May was also found — Oct. 10. Those 16 players were part of a pool of 302 tested on Tuesday. Tests are continuing for all 22 teams that will be participating in the restart at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida, next month. The player names were not disclosed; some, such as Malcolm Brogdon of Indiana and Sacramento teammates Jabari Parker and Alex Len have publicly acknowledged they have recently positive.That was a 5.3% rate of positive tests leaguewide. The league did not announce results of testing on staffers and other members of team travel parties, all of whom are also part of the mandatory testing program.The league and the union say that “any player who tested positive will remain in self-isolation until he satisfies public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician.”___The Carolina Hurricanes will begin “voluntary small-group training” at PNC Arena on Tuesday. The Latest: UNLV suspends on-campus workouts after positives ___Diamond League track meets in France and the United States have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.Organizers say the Sept. 6 event in Paris and the Prefontaine meet on Oct. 4 in Eugene, Oregon, cannot be held because of the current restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel.A meet in Gateshead, England, has been postponed from Aug. 16 to a possible date in mid-September.The next possible Diamond League meet is scheduled for Aug. 14 in Monaco. The team said Friday those sessions will be closed to the public and media. Sixteen players, divided into two groups, are expected to participate.Players and staff permitted inside the arena will be tested for COVID-19. Team personnel will follow safety guidelines outlined in the second phase of the NHL’s return plan, as well as those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.The team says the arena has received “extensive cleaning” during the suspended NHL season and there will be “enhanced cleaning and sanitation efforts” going forward.___The Davis Cup men’s tennis competition has been canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and will pick up again in 2021. The baseball Hall of Fame museum has reopened after being shut for more than three months.Closed on March 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Hall welcomed visitors on Friday in Cooperstown, New York. Face masks are required from all staff and guests.The shrine is selling tickets that permit visitors to reserve a specific date and time to enter, reducing congestion in the front lobby and throughout the museum. Some of the Hall’s bigger gathering spots will remain closed. The popular plaque gallery is open.The Hall announced earlier that this year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremonies had been canceled because of the virus outbreak. Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker will be enshrined next year, on July 25, 2021.___ ___This year’s Fed Cup finals have been rescheduled for 2021 because of “challenges” related to the coronavirus pandemic.The International Tennis Federation says the women’s team competition will take place April 13-18 in Budapest, Hungary.The 2020 event was originally scheduled for April but was postponed because of the pandemic. Officials had hoped to squeeze the competition in this year.The ITF says there are “significant logistical and regulatory challenges” to holding “an indoor mass gathering” at the Laszlo Arena. The tennis body says “guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved will not be feasible.” Two more players on the PGA Tour have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship because of COVID-19. Denny McCarthy told Golfchannel.com that he withdrew after feeling sick Thursday night and testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Bud Cauley, who played with McCarthy on Thursday, also withdrew before Friday’s second round. McCarthy became the third PGA Tour player to test positive for the virus since its restart and the second this week, joining Cameron Champ who withdrew on Tuesday. Nick Watney withdrew just before the second round of last week’s RBC Heritage Championship. Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, Brooks Koepka and his brother Chase also withdrew from the Travelers after coming into contact with people who had the virus. The caddies for McDowell and Brooks Koepka both tested positive. Simpson cited the positive test of a family member.___last_img read more

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Marrack brings Canadian skills to Madison

first_imgWhen he arrived in Madison last fall, freshman Peter Marrack took to the courts of the Nielsen Tennis Center with an already impressive r?sum?, having played in professional international tournaments and earning top junior rankings in Canada.Born in Ontario, Marrack was aggressively recruited by UW head coach Greg Van Emburgh. Marrack came to Wisconsin with a chance to make an immediate impact with the Badgers. Although many players are redshirted as freshmen, Marrack’s skill and experience allowed him to contribute to the team immediately as the team’s only true freshman last fall.?Peter?s the type of player and person that you want on your team and every coach is excited to have,? Van Emburgh said. ?[He] practices hard, competes hard, does whatever you want, loves to be out there, loves getting better. He?s just a work horse.?Being a freshman in a new environment, combined with a new and heightened level of competition, can be extremely stressful. However, Marrack?s focus has allowed him to juggle the challenges of being a college freshman and varsity tennis player.?[I have] conditioning in the morning, then I go to class, then [practice], then eat, shower, then off to do all my work, and not to mention every weekend [there are matches],? Marrack explained.The Wisconsin men?s tennis team enters the spring season with a very talented roster and its highest ranking in years: 28th in the country. The addition of Canadian-born Marrack only adds to the Badgers’ powerful returning lineup.Van Emburgh believes it is important to reach out and recruit international players like Marrack who possess the skill and willingness to learn if the Badgers are going to consistently be a top team in the nation.?This is probably our best team in a very long time,? Van Emburgh said. ?We?re deep, and depth is a plus. And [Marrack’s] one of those players that makes us real deep in singles and doubles.?Before coming to the Badgers, Marrack was featured as one of the best junior tennis players in Canada, as he topped the Canadian National Rankings in both singles and doubles. He also played in professional events, such as Canada Futures, which gave him the chance to get used to the high-pressure situations he now faces in college.?I?ve had a lot of match experience before, playing some professional tournaments,? Marrack said. ?I guess I was just used to the pressure in playing in a higher level and having just a lot of close matches too.?As a freshman, Marrack still has had to get used to the style and skill NCAA players possess.?In the college tournaments, there is never an easy match,? Marrack said. ?Everyone is there, ready to play, and you have to fight for every match no matter who the opponent is.?Fighting for every point is something Marrack brings to the table for UW. In the Big Ten Indoor Championships last fall, Marrack was one of eight Badgers to compete in the tournament. With the stage set, the true freshman rose to the spotlight by advancing to the Round of 16.?I played the first [match] and won in two tiebreakers,? Marrack said. ?And the next one, I won in three tiebreakers. I?ve played in so many long matches, and just so many tiebreakers, which I think will help me later on.?Marrack?s determination on the court is complemented by a forehand he said has gotten increasingly better during his rookie season.?[T]hat?s the thing I feel has improved the most since I?ve been here,? Marrack said of his forehand.From beginning as a player who liked to hover by the net, Marrack’s game at Wisconsin has expanded and developed, which his teammates hope will pose a threat to his future opponents.?He?s gotten a lot, lot better even through this first semester,? senior Nolan Polley said. ?He?s really talented, and if he continues to work on it, I don?t see why he can?t be No. 1 or No. 2 [in the lineup] in his junior or senior year.?Marrack continues to be focused on taking his game to the next level every time he steps out on the court and is looking to secure his spot in the lineup, which allows for only six singles spots and six doubles pairs per match. The freshman said he is ready to do whatever is asked of him so he can look even farther down the road in hopes of advancing his play.?That?s another one of the reasons I came [to UW],? Marrack said. ?Our coach really supports that. He?s developing us for college and beyond that as well.?last_img read more

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Volleyball struggles to find a win in Milwaukee

first_imgJunior outside hitter Khalia Lanier has dominated so far this season with a total of 138 kills and 89 digs. (Sinead Chang | Daily Trojan)The No. 9 Women of Troy had a tough weekend at the Milwaukee Invitational where they took two losses against No. 15 Brigham Young University and host Marquette but ended the tournament  on a strong note with a 3-2 victory over Syracuse. USC opened up the weekend with a Friday morning match against BYU. The Cougars swept the Trojans, out-hitting them .287 to .242 and collecting nine aces to USC’s two throughout the match. USC fought hard in the first two matches (28-30, 21-25) before falling in the third set 25-14 despite impressive performances from the Women of Troy outside hitters. Junior outside hitter Khalia Lanier had a powerhouse performance, boasting a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs. Junior outside hitter Emily Baptista also recorded 13 kills, along with three blocks and two digs. As the third Trojan to collect 13 kills in the match, sophomore outside hitter Brooke Botkin added six digs and one block. Freshman setter Raquel Lázaro pieced together the offense with 35 assists and eight digs. These shiny numbers weren’t enough to take down a top-ranked team that managed to avoid any errors in the third set. Senior outside hitter Veronica Jones-Perry lead BYU with 26 kills, two blocks and three digs throughout the match, while senior setter Lyndie Haddock-Epich added 34 assists, 11 digs, four kills, three blocks and one ace to seal the win. The Women of Troy had to move on from the loss quickly, facing tournament host Marquette that same night. After a hard fought battle, the Trojans fell in a five-set loss. They took the first set, but the Golden Eagles responded by winning two in a row. USC forced a fifth set after a 33-31 fourth-set win but ended up losing 11-15. Lázaro made her mark with 46 assists, 16 digs, six blocks, two aces and one kill. Lanier had another double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs, and Botkin delivered once again with 17 kills, six digs, four blocks and an ace. Junior middle blocker Jasmine Gross showed up with 10 blocks and seven kills. The defense was led by senior libero Victoria Garrick’s 21 digs and two aces. For the Golden Eagles, Hope Werch recorded 17 kills and 14 digs and junior outside hitter Allie Barber lead with 29 kills. USC led the match in blocks and made less errors, but Marquette’s .286 hitting percentage to the Trojans’ .243 made all the difference. Driven by 71 total assists, their offense was more productive throughout the five sets. Coming off of two losses, the Women of Troy walked into their last set against Syracuse on Saturday afternoon, and they took a much-deserved five-set victory. They ended the weekend with a win after starting the match down two sets with close scores (22-25, 25-27) and finishing with three dominant wins in a row to claim the match (25-14, 25-14, 15-13). The Trojans found their sense of urgency on offense, starting with Botkin’s career-high 28 kills, nine digs, two blocks and two aces. She finished with a .400 hitting percentage. Gross and Lanier continued to deliver against the Orange, with seven and 18 kills, respectively. Lázaro showed why she is already a two-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week winner this season with 53 assists, seven digs, six blocks and two aces. Senior defensive specialist Reni Meyer-Whalley added 10 digs to Garrick’s 14 to complete the win. On the Orange side of the net, freshman outside hitter Polina Shemanova led the offense with 20 kills and 10 digs. Senior setter Jalissa Trotter had a dominant performance with 35 assists, 11 digs, five kills and three blocks. However these key players weren’t enough to stop the Women of Troy on their determined quest for a victory in the tournament. USC will head to San Diego this weekend to take on Louisiana and host San Diego in the SDSU/USD Challenge before returning home next week to open Pac-12 play against UCLA on Sept. 19.last_img read more

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Grammy-Award Winners Morgan Heritage to Release New Album and Video

first_imgKINGSTON, Jamaica – Gramps, Peetah and Mr. Mojo are the holy trinity comprising the iconic reggae based, Grammy-winning family band Morgan Heritage.Their brand new album, ‘Loyalty’, was created across several continents and completed in unorthodox fashion with the three brothers all in different locations – Mojo in Kenya focusing on the group’s philanthropic efforts, Gramps travelling the world healing people with the Masaya CBD products created by his wife Dr. Annabelle Manalo, and Peetah in Miami anchoring the production.This meant utilizing technology to bring them together virtually in one studio to orchestrate the finishing touches to their new masterpiece.Twelfth studio record‘Loyalty’ is the trio’s twelfth studio record and is set for release in August on their CTBC (Cool To Be Conscious) Music Group label in partnership with Membran.Known worldwide for their riveting stage presence and exciting showmanship, Morgan Heritage is scheduled to travel globally from Africa to Europe, North to South America and beyond during 2019 and 2020.Their itinerary not only embodies the group’s global citizenship but is a testament to the sibling’s embrace of unifying cultures that is prominent in their music, with the brothers stating: “The new album showcases the universal state of Reggae and Jamaican music today. Our music is not one dimensional and we’re not loyal to one dimension of the music, rather we’re loyal to our genre.”Eclectic fusion of sounds Personified by an impressive discography with each release displaying the eclectic fusion of sounds that have influenced each member, including Reggae, Rock, Hip-Hop, Jazz, R&B and Afrobeat, the common thread throughout has been authentic original Reggae.‘Loyalty’ can certainly be defined as a globetrotting work of art and offers 16 diverse songs produced by Morgan Heritage with co-production from fellow GRAMMY award winners such as Jerry Wonda, Jason ‘J-Vibe’ Farmer, Shane Brown and Aston Barrett Jr.The album also features star-studded appearances from African superstars Diamond Platnumz, Stonebwoy and Patoranking, Reggae Rock stars Pepper and Iration, Dancehall sensation Popcaan, plus the voice of Emmy Award-winning journalist and broadcaster Jeff Koinange on the album intro track.‘Loyalty’ truly delivers the Morgan Heritage sound that fans recognize as ‘Rockaz’, the outstanding production embracing instrumental breaks that allow individual artists to shine in their own right while still being geared towards further elevating the music.The lyrical prowess of the songs will also captivate listeners, touching on love on ‘All For You’, social commentary on ‘The Awakening’, relationships on ‘Pay Attention’, while also including motivational songs such as ‘The World is Yours’.They embrace and pay homage to their African and Jamaican roots with the hard-hitting ‘Africa x Jamaica’, while the gentle, acoustic ‘Home’ is an ode to all travelling parents who work hard for their families and was actually penned on Father’s Day by Mr. Mojo and his son Esh.The video – Beach and CountryTJugglerz, Haegi and Morgan Heritage produced the video related to the song, Beach And Country. The video was filmed on location in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde and directed by Mojo Morgan & Adilson Ramos.The group says; “‘Beach And Country’ is a song to take away musically any time of the year to a tropical oasis. Music has a way to contribute to our emotions and we hope our new single takes everyone on a journey down memory lane for those that don’t live in a tropical destination.” The new video for ‘Beach And Country’ with the album pre-order became available July 12.last_img read more

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Why the XFL blocked Steelers, Lions from signing quarterbacks to NFL contracts

first_imgThe short-lived Alliance of American Football (AAF) league made its mission very clear: It wanted to serve as a developmental league for the NFL. That desire ultimately played a big role in its demise as the NFL wasn’t that interested in partnering with a developmental league.The XFL learned from the AAF’s failure, commissioner Oliver Luck said in a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times. He used the example of Josh Johnson, who was the first overall pick in the AAF’s quarterback draft. Johnson never played a snap in the AAF because he was signed by the Redskins just a few weeks after being picked. Luck says once the season is over, he hopes these players can find jobs in the NFL. He’s not about preventing his players from ever joining the big leagues, but doesn’t want them constantly rotating in and out of the league. As he says, they are “a league of opportunity.”Taking such a hard stance should pay off for Luck in the long run. It might make some players disinterested in joining the league, but it’s a good way of keeping your talent. Especially at the quarterback position, which is so important to the success of a team.”If there’s one thing we learned from watching the Alliance it was that quarterback play is critical,” Luck said. “In the game of football today — whether it’s pro, college or even high school arguably — your quarterback play is determinative.” “A good example is Josh Johnson, who last year signed a contract to play in the Alliance,” Luck said. “Then — and this was a bit of a mystery to me why they did this — the Alliance allowed the NFL’s Redskins to sign him. He played and won a game toward the end of the season, but the Redskins never released him. Josh would have been one of the Alliance’s better quarterbacks, and they missed having him. That first year is critical, in terms of quality of play.”MORE: Trent Richardson headlines list of surprising names not taken in XFL DraftLuck says he was put in a similar situation as the AAF, but made the opposite decision as the AAF.”The Detroit Lions wanted to sign [Johnson] when they lost Matthew Stafford to injury,” Luck said. “We said, ‘No, we’re keeping him. He ours. He signed a contract. He’s committed to us.’ He’s probably going to be the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles team.”Once any player signs with the XFL, they are under contract until the XFL season ends. This is completely different from the AAF’s contract, which had an opt-out clause in case an NFL team was interested. Luck believes letting your players leave for the NFL does nothing but damage the product on the field.In addition to Johnson, Luck said he was contacted about two other quarterbacks. After the Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh wanted to know about a pair of quarterbacks.MORE: Every player selected in the 2019 XFL Draft”This happened to Landry Jones,” Luck said. “Ben Roethlisberger got hurt, and Landry had backed up Ben for years. First phone call was, ‘Can Landry come to the Steelers?’ ‘Nope, sorry. He’s ours. We signed him.’ “It even happened with Phillip Walker, who’s now with the Houston Roughnecks. The same team, the Steelers, called and said, ‘We’d like to have Phillip for a week because we’re playing the Ravens and Phillip’s a little bit like Lamar Jackson. We’ll sign him to a one-week contract so we can get accustomed to that kind of quarterback.’ We said, ‘Thanks for the compliment, but we’re not going to let him go.'”last_img read more

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New County Homeless Shelter to Cost More

first_imgBy Laura D.C. Kolnoski |OCEANPORT – As 2017 drew to a close, Monmouth County was preparing to solicit bids from firms interested in building a modular, prefabricated adult emergency homeless shelter on a 3.1-acre site on the former Fort Monmouth from plans prepared by the Spiezle Architectural Group of Hamilton.When potential bidders were contacted, however, officials discovered the timeline and costs would be impacted by a lack of availability of modular structures.“Prefabricated trailers have been scooped up due to natural disasters like hurricanes and fires around the country,” said Monmouth County Administrator Teri O’Connor on April 2. “What was available two years ago isn’t now. We haven’t given up hope on it, but we’re now looking at other options.”O’Connor said plans for the shelter have been expanded to include “stick built traditional construction,” adding the county is hopeful the original completion target for this fall can still be met.Original plans called for two prefabricated modular structures connected by a bridge portion at the corner of Courier Avenue and Murphy Drive.The site was conveyed to the county by the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) in March for $1. The county’s original homeless shelter, located nearby on Stephenson Avenue, was destroyed in Super Storm Sandy in 2012. Since then, adults needing temporary shelter have been placed at the John L. Montgomery Care Center in Freehold, a former county facility that was sold to a private concern last year.By statute and agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the county’s homeless shelter must be located in the Oceanport section of the fort. A suitable permanent site was identified last year and accepted by county, FMERA and Oceanport officials.FMERA is obligated by contract to reimburse the county for approved costs up to $1.5 million for demolition of two small existing buildings on the site, and design and construction of the new 4,080-square-foot emergency homeless shelter. Those monies come from the FMERA Homeless Trust Fund, funded by a percentage of each fort parcel closing. At the authority’s March 27 meeting, members approved transferring up to $450,000, primarily for preparatory work at the site, which proved more involved than originally anticipated.Costs “will substantially exceed the previously established $1.5 million budget based on their updated engineering and construction estimates” because of the revised quotes, according to the FMERA resolution authorizing the increase. These cost overruns prompted the county to request a proportion of funding from FMERA’s Homeless Trust Fund.Additional roadwork was required, O’Connor said, as FMERA opposed plans for including a side street the county planned to use as part of the project. Engineering and utility relocation work has been performed but additional work was required to improve ingress and egress. Other additional costs were incurred demolishing the two structures, which contained more asbestos than originally anticipated, O’Connor added. The site already includes a paved parking area.The adults-only facility will have one side for men and the other for women, with an area in between with a kitchen, laundry, a dining area and a common room, with space for security, counseling, clothing, a computer nook and staff. The Spiezle Architectural Group renderings released by the county last December are still valid, O’Connor said.The county houses a fluctuating number of about 18 up to 30 homeless adults who are required to work or look for work and permanent housing during daylight hours. Occupants are allowed to remain at the emergency shelter for a maximum of 30 days.“There are strict criteria participants must follow,” said Monmouth County Freeholder deputy director Lillian Burry, the county’s FMERA representative. “It’s an interim place to be sheltered until they can transition into new circumstances. This is something we’ve done for years for those who are in a temporary state of homelessness.”This article was first published in the Apr. 5-12, 2018 print edition of the Two River Times.last_img read more

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Police Besiege Chronicle Newspaper

first_imgScores of police officers Thursday, August 14, barricaded the National Chronicle newspaper offices on Carey Street in pursuit of the paper’s managing editor, Philipbert Browne.Mr. Browne is being pursued for several articles the paper has been running of late, particularly relative to the alleged formation of an interim government to unseat President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.Without prior notice, sources close to the paper explained that officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) placed a blockade at the entrance of the media house, warning users to “keep off or remain in their respective positions until the police operation is over.”According to an eye witness, police arrived on Carey Street opposite the Civil Service Agency around 6:15 p.m. demanding access to the paper’s offices, but were denied.“We saw the police moving in towards the newspaper shouting, ‘no one should move in there!’ They went up the stairs attempting to break into the building but could not because the newspaper workers had locked their iron gate from inside upon receiving the news of the police operation.“The police attempted shooting teargas from the onset but I don’t know as to whether that was done. We heard them (police) hitting the paper’s iron gate, a situation that created heavy noise and panic in the minds of many around the area,” an eyewitness, who did not give his name, asserted.One police truck, two pickups, and dozens of police officers blocked both entrances of the street, forcing a gathering of a huge crowd in support of the paper’s publisher, whose publications are often harshly critical of the government.It is not clear as to whether police entered the building or not, but Browne was seen walking out after several minutes of engagement with police authorities by media executives including the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Reporters Association of Liberia (RAL) and other journalists who had gathered to show solidarity.According to Saye Messah, a reporter at The Chronicle, police broke into their offices with weapons and demanded that all employees turn in their laptops and other devices.“We didn’t come to harm you people. We only came to close down the paper; and if you corporate, no one will harm you people,” Saye quoted police as having said.During that period, he explained, Browne and other employees were allowed to walk out of their office based on the intervention of Montserrado County Representative Solomon George.“We came out and walked towards the Heritage Newspaper offices up on Carey and Broad Streets. As we were walking, the police followed us and shot teargas canisters amongst us. We were terrified and fought for survival. Unfortunately, two of our colleagues Emmanuel Messah, editor, and Emmanuel Logan, web designer, were arrested and taken to an unknown destination. As we speak, we don’t know their whereabouts.”The incident created panic among many citizens in central Monrovia forcing very early exits from the streets, which had already become virtually empty since President Sirleaf declared the State of Emergency last week Wednesday.Rumors spread fast across the city that guns were being fired in the city. This situation caused serious fear in the minds of citizens already panicking from the spread of the deadly Ebola virus backed by the “State of Emergency” imposed by President Sirleaf.Meanwhile, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) late last night said it was disappointed and disgusted by the forceful and illegal closure of the National Chronicle Newspaper and the arrest of several staff of the paper including News Editor Emmanuel Mensah and IT Officer Emmanuel Logan, and the manhandling of Philibert S. Browne.“The Press Union sees these actions as a further expression of intolerance and an unwarranted attack on the free press, and calls upon President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to immediately denounce this action, release the staff and reopen the National Chronicle,” the PUL said its statement.The Union’s president, Abdullai Kamara, said this action, which is yet to be explained from the highest level of the Liberia National Police, “strengthens the distrust between the government and the media, undermines the rule of law and lays to waste the fruitful collaboration that has existed in the fight against the ebola virus.The Union is calling all of its members to a mass emergency meeting at 12 noon today, Friday, August 15, at its headquarters on Clay Street to chart further options.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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LFA Ends Campaign against Ebola Stigma

first_imgThe Liberia Football Association (LFA) has announced the end of its one-month awareness and sensitization campaign “Stop the Stigma against Ebola Survivors and Ebola is still real.”The 1st vice president and secretary general Musa Shannon and Alphonso Armah in separate interviews said the anti-Ebola Stigma campaign ran from December 1, 2014 to January 15, 2015.The campaign, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation valued about US$13,000.00.Armah said the campaign focused on stigmatizing survivors, ensuring tolerance, empathy and understanding.He said the campaign was successful through the support of former Lone Star players.Shannon added that the ‘Stop the Ebola Stigma against Survivors’ message was spread through interviews and radio talk shows, as well as in newspapers, banners on buildings and on bus stops, including football games, amongst others.He thanked the Ministry of Information for their partnership, which provided them the platform to speak to over 3, 000, 0000 Liberians through its regular ‘Ebola Hour.’He also hailed the media – radios, newspapers and internet users and bloggers for their coverage.The frontliners were former players of the George Weah 11, who are currently serving as coaches.They included former international players of Christopher Wreh, (Arsenal), James Salinsa Debbah, (A.S Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais, OGC Nice and Paris Saint-Germain) and Kervin Sebwe, who played in France, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and Greece.The rest: Musa Shannon, (Tampa Bay Tunity and Carolina Dynamo in the US), Dionysius “Dion” Sebwe, (Park College and the Kansas City Wiz) and Oliver Markor, (Greece).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Energy Forum Discusses Closer China-Africa Energy Partnership

first_imgParticipants at a forum discussing Africa’s electrification challenges held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on Monday urged closer China-Africa energy partnership to help meet the continent’s energy needs.According to a dispatch from the Xinhua News Agency, the forum on, “Grid Connection Gearing Up Sustainable Africa” was organized by Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization (GEIDCO), a Chinese non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development of energy worldwide.Kuang Weilin, Chinese ambassador to the AU, told attendees at the forum China is ready to work with the AU and its 55 member states to meet the needs of estimated 600 million Africans who lack electricity to undertake their daily activities.“African energy interconnection will enhance economic integration, improve African people’s living standards and unleash great potential for intra-Africa trade,” he said.Kuang said China has keenly followed AU’s efforts to electrify the continent through the AU’s Agenda 2063 declarations and is ready to help Africa in its electrification drive through various Chinese-led initiatives.Kuang said the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) are two Chinese-led initiatives that can incorporate China-Africa energy partnership in their frameworks.He said the September FOCAC summit will heavily focus on China-Africa partnership in renewable, clean energy sector, with many African countries seeing energy as a key driver of their development.Sileshi Bekele, the Ethiopian Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, said his country’s electricity needs are growing by 20 percent with an annual 10 percent economic growth during the last 15 years.“Ethiopia is building with Chinese assistance 12 industrial parks, several agro-processing industrial parks and is creating a transport infrastructure, including railways that are dependent on electricity from renewable energy,” he told the forum.“Ethiopia is partnering with China on clean energy development as part of its climate resilient green economy strategy and contribute to creating a healthier earth by using clean and safe energy,” said Bekele.Bekele said Africa has only used 10 percent of its hydro power potential and even less from other energy sources.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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