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Chicago man blinded in one eye by baseball sues the sport

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first_imgLOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Gins’ mission: Stop Durham Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC PLAY LIST 01:04Trump attends World Series baseball game in Washington DC00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Chicago, United States — A man blinded in the left eye by an errant ball in one of a series of recent baseball stadium injuries is suing Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs.John Loos, 60, was hit in the eye by a foul ball during an August game at the Cubs’ home stadium Wrigley Field, where he was seated close to the game action, according to his attorneys.ADVERTISEMENT Four teams announced in September that they would extend protective netting, joining 10 others, after a young girl was hit by a foul ball at New York’s Yankee Stadium.A Cubs executive announced in September that safety netting would be expanded at Wrigley as well, according to local media.“We’ve studied… where the balls are heading and obviously, we’ve been pulling the nets further and further,” Chicago TV station WBBM reported Cubs’ business operations chief Crane Kenney as saying.But Loos said MLB should do more to protect fans.“There should be nothing more important than (fan) safety. This is a problem that Major League Baseball has known for decades,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Cubs did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES “My eye took a direct hit. It’s not functioning,” Loos told a news conference Monday, after his lawsuit was filed on Friday in a Chicago court.Loos said the high-speed ball destroyed his eye, which may need to be replaced with a prosthetic, and broke five facial bones.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHis injuries have required three surgeries and will require “at least two more,” he said.There have been a series of incidents of fan injuries, leading to calls for more protection for spectators at Major League Baseball (MLB) games. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentlast_img read more

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Planning to bike your way to Himalayas? 13 things you should keep in mind

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first_imgIt’s become somewhat “cool” to just pick up your bike–or rent one–and leave for the hills. While the thought itself is brilliant, what most people aspiring to do a biking trip to the Himalayas don’t understand is that one needs to be mentally and physically prepared to undertake such a physically taxing journey.”It’s not uncommon now to comes across cases where people have fainted or been extremely breathless in higher altitudes. I’ve even seen people who have no proper equipment whatsoever, and they come wanting to bike all the way to Leh,” says Moksha Jaitley, 54, Manali-based professional biker.Here are few things, as suggested by Moksha, that everyone looking to do a bike trip to the Himalayas should keep in mind:1. Get a thorough health check-up done: Before you embark on such a road trip, don’t play guessing games with your health. Get all basic checks done–especially BP and sugar–right before you embark on the journey.2. Check if the routes are open: A lot of people reach Rohtang on bikes and realise the pass hasn’t opened yet. Don’t be one of those people. Make sure you check with authorities much before you embark on the journey.3. Let your body get acclimatised: If you’re embarking on a journey to Leh, for instance, and are coming from the plains, stay a couple of days in Manali or around so your body gets acclimatised to the altitude and weather. The altitudes are going to rise further as you proceed. Don’t let your body go through such major changes in short spans of time.advertisement4. Talk to the locals: Be it about what and what not eat wherever you take a break, or about the weather that awaits you as you go further–locals know more than you think.Picture courtesy: Facebook/Moksha Jetley5. Let the snow melt before you take the trip: Even though the passes open up in June, the snow doesn’t melt before July. So, the best time to visit is July-August. In June, most of the ways will be too slushy, and hence, more dangerous.6. Do not carry camping equipment: You cannot camp in the Himalayas, at that high an altitude. The temperatures are freezing and oxygen levels are very low. So, check into any small hotel you find for the night, and leave early next morning.7. Keep the baggage light: Don’t carry your whole world with you. A heavy bike is difficult to manoeuvre, especially in hilly terrains (it’s not as pretty as the plains). Very often, you’ll find no road whatsoever. So, the lighter you travel, the better.8. Sport shoes just don’t cut it: Sport shoes are not for biking, especially not in hilly terrains. Buy heavy-duty hiking shoes from a reliable brand; they’re an investment in your safety, don’t think about the money.9. Carry some handy food: Dry fruits, protein/energy bars and chocolates, the kind of food that will give you energy to keep going, even at places where you won’t find food for hours.10. Warm inners are a must: Goes without saying, you need to keep your body warm, especially on a two-wheeler. Dress up accordingly.11. A proper first-aid kit is a must: This kit should include Dettol/Savalon, band aid, a couple of bandages and basic medicines for headache, stomach ache, allergies, and some generic painkillers.12. Be prepared for anything: Weather conditions and the conditions of the roads are absolutely unpredictable in the Himalayas. Moksha says she’s been doing bike tours for a decade now, and she still is sometimes shocked by the weather up there.13. Slow and steady: Last but not the least, remember to maintain a slow, sturdy speed. Don’t be in a hurry. High speeds will only make it easier for your bike to go out of control in a tricky situation.last_img read more

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IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians trade Jayant Yadav from Delhi Capitals

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first_imgJayant Yadav will play for Mumbai Indians in the next season of the Indian Premier League in 2019 after the three-time champions traded the all-rounder from Delhi Capitals on Thursday.Jayant became the second addition to Mumbai Indians through the transfer process, with South African wicketkeeper-bat Quinton de Kock being the first from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) earlier.Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani expressed satisfaction over the transfer and feels ‘the squad is complete with the right balance in all aspects’.”We were delighted to bring in Quinton in the pre auction transfer window. His multi-tasking abilities and recent exploits with the bat including player of the tournament performance at the recently concluded Mzansi Super League in South Africa has been a delight to watch and am sure he will carry the current form into the IPL season as well.”On Jayant’s inclusion, Akash said: “I am delighted Jayant is now an @mipaltan. His experience and skills with both the bat and ball adds to the MI squad tremendously and I am happy to have him join us within a few days after our successful auction.”The 28-year-old was part of the Delhi franchise since 2015, playing in just 10 IPL matches. He has represented India in four Tests and and an ODI with his last international appearance coming in February 2017.Jayant plays for Haryana in domestic cricket and recently represented India in the Emerging Teams Cup in Colombo.The trading window remains open until 30 days to the start of the 2019 Season.(With inputs from Agencies)advertisementlast_img read more

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‘I don’t care!’ – Zidane shrugs off Poch to Madrid talk

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first_imgReal Madrid ‘I don’t care about next year’ – Zidane shrugs off Pochettino to Madrid rumours Dom Farrell 21:30 2/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) MauricioPocehttinoZinedineZidane - cropped Getty Images Real Madrid Tottenham Hotspur Premier League Levante v Real Madrid Primera División The Blancos coach is under pressure after a disappointing domestic campaign in the Spanish capital as they prepare to take on Levante Zinedine Zidane accepts other coaches being linked to his job comes with the territory of being Real Madrid boss.The Spanish and European champions made it back-to-back wins in La Liga with an impressive 4-1 triumph at Valencia last weekend but remain 19 points shy of leaders and bitter rivals Barcelona.A humbling Copa del Rey exit at the hands of Leganes still lingers and Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is among those being talked of as a potential successor to Zidane, who has won the Champions League twice in two years at the helm. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “It’s like that. Not just here, not just in Madrid. It’s the daily work of any coach,” the France great told reporters ahead of Saturday’s trip to Levante.”When things are difficult they talk about and a change and those who could come in.”It doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t stop me doing my work and fighting and looking for what I want to do each day – improving things.”I am not thinking at all about what will happen next year, I don’t care [for the moment].”A mouth-watering last-16 clash against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League is on the horizon, with Madrid’s remaining hope of winning major silverware this season on the line to further raise the stakes.Nevertheless, Zidane maintains his players are focused upon more immediate tasks against Levante and Real Sociedad in La Liga, where he is refusing to concede the title just yet.”No, it’s straightforward. If we think about the PSG game that’s a mistake. The players don’t think that,” he said.”The players think that we have to get our confidence back, as we have been doing. We’ve scored 11 goals in two league games, so just keep thinking about that.”If we do things well, we will have a lot of possibilities to win the game. If we don’t then it is going to be tougher.”We have to do well in the league, finish as high up in the league as possible and think the league isn’t over. That’s all.”Zidane reported playmaker Isco and captain Sergio Ramos will be available to face Levante after overcoming respective thigh and calf complaints.last_img read more

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Sea Trucks Gets Contract Award from INPEX Australia

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first_img Print  Close 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 zoom Sea Trucks Group (“Sea Trucks”), has won a contract from INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd for the provision of flotel services for the Ichthys LNG project.Ichthys LNG project is located in the Browse Basin about 200 km north-west of Western Australia’s Kimberley coast at the western edge of the Timor Sea.The scope of work consists of providing accommodation support services for 200 people on board including catering services. The offshore duration of the contract will be 6 months starting from Q4 2015, with options to extend.Jascon 25, Sea Trucks’ nominated vessel for this project, will be connected to the Ichthys Project’s floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel via its telescopic gangway 24 hours a day with the vessel continuously following the FPSO movements with its enhanced follow target system. My location Sea Trucks, February 27, 2014last_img read more

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Military on defensive after soldiers mistakenly given guns for Sikh parade

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first_imgOTTAWA — The Canadian military is scrambling to explain why a group of soldiers was issued weapons to march in a Toronto parade on Sunday for Canada’s Sikh community.Photos and videos of the event show the soldiers, many of them Sikhs, marching in the Khalsa parade in full military uniforms and carrying assault rifles — which is not normally allowed for such events.Canadian Army spokeswoman Karla Gimby says the only time weapons are normally allowed to be carried in public is during certain military parades or demonstrations such as a tattoo.She says the commanding officer of the Lorne Scots reserve unit, which is based in Mississauga, signed off on the weapons after his commander approved participation in the parade.Gimby says additional orders prohibiting the carrying of weapons at similar events have been issued by the army’s top commander in Ontario, Brig.-Gen. Joe Paul, who is also following up with the unit.Held to commemorate the Sikh holy day of Vaisakhi, Sunday’s Khalsa parade coincided with the federal government’s decision to remove a reference to Sikh extremism from a report on terrorism.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Kanye West cancels all remaining Saint Pablo tour dates including Toronto

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first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Kanye West has abruptly pulled the plug on his Saint Pablo Tour.A representative for the rapper said Monday the remaining dates of West’s current tour have been cancelled. No reason was given.The tour, which had dates scheduled through the end of the year, was set to hit Toronto on Dec. 18. Facebook Saturday’s truncated show became a hot topic on social platforms, as amateur videos circulated of a 10-minute tirade by West about Beyoncé, Jay Z, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, the radio and MTV. Other shows in Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, New York City and Washington, D.C., are among the cancellations.The move comes after a complex weekend for the musician, who abruptly ended a concert in Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday, then cancelled a performance Sunday in the Los Angeles area. In this file photo Kanye West kicks off his Saint Pablo tour in Indianapolis. At two concerts last week, the rapper voiced support for President-elect Donald J. Trump; then, he cancelled the rest of his shows.  (AJ MAST / NYT)  Fans in attendance said on social media that West played only a few songs before ending the show abruptly after only 30 minutes. The angry audience booed, and many are seeking refunds for the aborted show. Some paid around $250 (U.S.) for a pair of tickets.The performer said he was putting his life, career and “public well-standing” at risk by talking to the fans in the audience “like this,” adding that his Saint Pablo tour “is the most relevant (expletive) happening.”He continued: “I am here to change things. And things won’t change until people admit their own falsehoods. I got the visions, bro. That’s what I’ve been blessed with. My vision. I’m not always going to say things the perfect way, the right way. But I’m going to say how I feel.”West’s representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment. Twitter Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement With files from The Associated Press and The Washington Post Advertisement West has been known for going on tweetstorms, but he remained silent on his social media accounts over the weekend. His Instagram account, which until Sunday only had one photo, suddenly became populated with dozens of blurry fashion photos.last_img read more

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UN chief to discuss issue on foreign judges in war probe

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“It’s a forward‑looking message of the need for, obviously, for accountability, for reconciliation, and for development.  And that the UN will be there with the Sri Lankan people to help… to help them on their road forward,” Dujarric said when asked about Ban Ki-moon’s Sri Lanka visit. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon may discuss the issue of having foreign judges in Sri Lanka’s domestic accountability process on the war, a UN spokesman said.Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said that the UN chief will address a number of issues related to justice and accountability. At the invitation of the Government, the Secretary-General accompanied by Mrs Ban Soon-taek, is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a three-day visit, where he will meet with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and other members of the Government and of the Parliament. The Secretary-General will travel to Galle on 1 September, where he will participate in an event involving youth under the theme ‘Reconciliation and Coexistence: Role of Youth’.On 2 September, the Secretary-General will travel to Jaffna, where he is expected to visit a resettlement site. During the visit, the Secretary-General will also meet with several Cabinet Ministers including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera; the Speaker of the Parliament Karu Jayasuriya and Political Party Leaders; and civil society representatives.At the invitation of the Chairperson and Board of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), the Secretary-General will speak at an event in Colombo on 2 September on ‘Sustaining Peace – Achieving Sustainable Development Goals’, focusing in particular on Goal 16, namely, the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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Government rejects Speakers ruling

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Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that the Speaker had violated Parliament standing orders when he took the floor test.He said that the Speaker had conducted part of the sittings without the Mace in place, which is illegal. The Government has rejected Speaker Karu Jayasuriya’s ruling that it does not have the support of Parliament to continue in office.Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa told reporters the floor test in Parliament was illegal and so Mahinda Rajapaksa will continue as Prime Minister while the Government led by Rajapaksa will continue in office.

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Washington state wants Canada to improve spill plan for US spur of

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington’s Department of Ecology wants the Canadian government to fix what it calls “deficiencies in critical areas” of its spill response plan for a spur of the Trans Mountain pipeline that runs through the state.When Canada purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and assets for $4.5 billion, it also bought the Puget Sound line, which carries Alberta oil to four Washington refineries.The state’s Ecology Department says in a news release that the Canadian government, as the owner of the 100-kilometre pipeline, is required by law to have an approved spill response plan.Skepticism abounds in Alberta as Ottawa launches new Trans Mountain reviewNational Energy Board ordered to redo Trans Mountain review in 22 weeks in bid to get pipeline approvedTrans Mountain pipeline plan coming by end of month, possibly guided by former judgeIt says the pipeline operator submitted a plan to the department for review and approval, and it’s now given the operator 60 days to add more details in several areas.It wants to know more about how it would respond to a spill of heavy oils that may sink to the seafloor, how it would protect endangered killer whales, salmon, and other natural resources from a spill, and the initial steps it would take after a spill is discovered.The Trans Mountain Corp., a newly formed Crown corporation, says it’s reviewing the department’s conditions and will respond within the allowed 60-day period.“Our top priority is the safety of the communities where we operate and Trans Mountain understands the most critical and responsible emergency management strategy is to prevent an incident from occurring at all,” it says in a statement.“In the unlikely case of an emergency, we have detailed emergency response procedures and trained professionals who are prepared to quickly respond to any type of incident anywhere along the pipeline system.”Canada’s Department of Finance and Environment and Climate Change Canada did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Washington’s Ecology Department says it received 14,000 public comments after a public review of the proposed response plan. The comments opposed the plan’s ability to address a response to heavy oils that are difficult to clean up once spilled, as well as the lack of details in the plan on species at risk from potential spills, such as declining populations of southern resident killer whales, it says.“We expect Canada to adhere to the high standards Washington has worked so hard to achieve that protect our environment, economy, and the health of our communities,” says Dale Jensen, manager of the department’s spill prevention, preparedness and response program.The spill response plan only covers the existing operation of the Puget Sound line that has been transporting oil in Washington since the 1950s. In 2017, it carried more than 9.8 billion litres of crude oil to refineries in Ferndale and Anacortes, the department says.While it wasn’t part of the review’s scope, many comments expressed concerns about the planned expansion of the pipeline on the Canadian side of the border, the department says. read more

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CGI to acquire IT services company Logica for 17 billion pounds

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AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CGI to acquire IT services company Logica for 1.7 billion pounds MONTREAL – CGI Group Inc. is acquiring the British-based information technology services firm Logica Plc for 1.7 billion pounds, or $2.8 billion Cdn, the two companies announced Thursday.The Montreal-based CIG said Logica shareholders would get 105 pence in cash for each share, a premium of almost 60 per cent on Wednesday’s closing share price of 65.70 pence.Logica stock has traded at an average of 70.2 pence for the one-month period ending May 30, CGI said.The purchase will be effective by the end of September 2012, it said.CGI (TSX:GIB.A) chief executive Michael Roach said the acquisition was consistent with the company’s growth strategy and its belief that global consolidation of the industry is both necessary and inevitable.Logica chairman David Tyler said combining the two businesses will help meet clients’ requirements for a more comprehensive international presence.Founded in 1976, CGI is one of the largest independent IT and business process services firms in the world with about 31,000 employees and $4.3 billion in annual revenues.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares closed up five cents at $21.01 on Wednesday. by News Staff Posted May 31, 2012 4:37 am MDT read more

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Food banks growing own food – even farming fish – as donations

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TORONTO – In a bid to make up for a shortfall of high-quality nutritious food, some Canadian food banks are growing their own produce — and even farming fish.The Mississauga Food Bank recently launched AquaGrow Farms, where tilapia is being raised in tanks and lettuce is raised through hydroponics, or without soil.Executive director Christopher Hatch said the Ontario food bank is the first in Canada to be producing its own fish.“It’s not a complete solution, but it’s certainly in the right direction and it shows the community we’re thinking creatively about how to solve this problem,” said Hatch.There were just under 90,000 visits to food banks last year in Mississauga, Canada’s sixth largest city with a population of about 720,000.Donations of fresh food have been declining and higher food costs make it tougher to stretch donated cash.“People tend to want to give us a can of soup and box of Kraft Dinner, which is fine, but we’re trying to also source higher-quality nutritional value food,” said Hatch.A couple of years ago he began exploring aquaponics — which combines aquaculture, or fish farming, with hydroponics — and thought it could be a viable solution to raise nutritious food year-round.It takes about six months for tilapia fingerlings to reach about a kilogram in size, at which point they’ll be sent off-site for processing and packaging. The first harvest is expected at the end of March.The fish are the vegetable farmers, in a sense, as their waste, which is converted to nitrate, fertilizes the plants, says farm supervisor Colin Cotton. He’s experimenting with growing buttercrunch and romaine lettuce.“From seed to salad is about 60 days at the moment and we’re trying to cut that down to about 45 days,” he said.“Every week we harvest 36 heads of lettuce and that goes out to our member agencies all across Mississauga. We’re estimating in a year we can feed about 11,000 servings of lettuce so that’s pretty significant for such a small setup.“It’s already having a big impact in the community. We’ve been getting some feedback from clients who have received this lettuce and they have been very happy and feel very fortunate to have received this fresh lettuce especially when it’s dark and grey outside.”Clients of a food bank depot in Surrey, B.C., part of metro Vancouver, will also be the recipients of leafy salad greens, thanks to hydroponic growing walls donated by Ethan O’Brien, founder and owner of Living Garden Foods.During O’Brien’s last semester in a sustainable community redevelopment program at Simon Fraser University, students were challenged to find an organization in the community to which they could provide assistance.“I thought why don’t we talk to some local food banks, see what their problems are and see if maybe there’s an avenue where we could use vertical farming in the food bank to address food insecurity issues,” said O’Brien.Two growing walls, each about two metres high by four metres wide, are being installed at Zion Lutheran Church, which runs a food depot attended by about 80 families every two weeks.One wall can support 80 plants and yield 182 to 272 kilograms of lettuce, Swiss chard, mustard greens, kale or collards annually.Students attending an elementary school within the church will take on the responsibility of caring for the wall, says Marilyn Herrmann, executive director of the Surrey food bank, which serves 250 to 300 families per day.The types of items available at a food bank at any given time fluctuate, Hatch and Herrmann said, so having a regular source of fresh salad vegetables, at least, will be helpful.“I think people will appreciate the fact we’re looking at ways to increase our donations and we’re giving kids and a church an opportunity to really do something quite creative and supportive,” says Herrmann.Follow @lois_abraham on Twitter. by Lois Abraham, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 14, 2017 1:38 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Food banks growing own food – even farming fish – as donations decline Aquaponics farm supervisor Colin Cotton takes the cover off of tank containing Tilapia fish at AquaGrow Farms inside The Mississauga Food Bank in Mississauga, Ont., Friday February 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch read more

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Did The Packers Squander Aaron Rodgers

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1990 was the first season of the NFL’s current playoff format. Expected Super Bowls are based on a season-by-season logit regression between a QB’s Yards Above Backup and whether his team made the Super Bowl.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com QuarterbackYears StartingYARDS Above BackupActualExpectedDiff. Rodgers hasn’t won as much as he should haveTop 10 NFL starting quarterbacks by Yards Above Backup QB, 1990-2017, with their actual and expected Super Bowl appearances TEN18.910.6JAX0.10.121.91478 PHI69PHI66PHI 28, WSH 13-4.1– The dismissal of Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy — who was let go after the Packers’ stunning home loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday — wasn’t exactly a shock. Perennially tabbed as a Super Bowl contender out of the NFC, McCarthy’s team had gone just 11-16-1 over the past two seasons, including a disappointing 8-9-1 in games that featured future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers as Green Bay’s primary passer.1Meaning he led the team in attempts for the game. It was time for a change along the sidelines that Vince Lombardi once roamed.Things weren’t always so bleak on the frozen tundra. The McCarthy era had its high points, particularly early on — when he and Rodgers appeared to have Green Bay positioned on the cusp of a potential dynasty. But between postseason near-misses, roster changes, injuries and coaching miscues, McCarthy’s Packers never fulfilled that promise. Instead, it’s fair to wonder whether Green Bay squandered the prime of one of the most talented QBs in NFL history.The Packers team that McCarthy inherited in 2006 from Mike Sherman2Because every Packer coach must be named “Mike”. was one in transition — and that meant navigating some heavy-duty Brett Favre melodrama in his first two seasons at Green Bay’s helm. However, McCarthy quickly found that he had an all-time great on his hands in Rodgers, who, when he took over the starting job at age 25, was just entering his best years as a passer. The McCarthy-Rodgers marriage sputtered to a 6-10 finish in its first season but yielded great results shortly thereafter: an 11-5 playoff campaign in Year 2, then a Super Bowl crown in Year 3 and a 15-1 regular season (with Rodgers winning MVP) in Year 4. The sky seemed to be the limit for McCarthy and his star QB.Since the end of the 2011 regular season, however, the Packers have gone just 5-6 in the playoffs; by comparison, Tom Brady and the postseason Patriots are 13-5 over the same span. Green Bay’s record includes a crushing home defeat against the New York Giants two weeks after that 15-1 season ended and another loss in which they watched helplessly as ex-49er Colin Kaepernick destroyed their defense in 2012 — still one of the greatest individual QB games in playoff history. The Packers’ postseason circumstances have not always been ideal: For instance, that Giants game was actually the only time since 2011 that Green Bay lost in the playoffs while favored — meaning the rest of the losses were as underdogs. But at the same time, the Pack have also had clear chances to return to the Super Bowl, and they came up short in each of them.All told, it remains mystifying that a quarterback of Rodgers’s stature hasn’t won more frequently. If we run a simple logit regression between a QB’s Yards Above Backup in a season and whether his team made the Super Bowl,3Minimum six starts during the season, using data since 1990 (the era of the current playoff setup). we’d expect Rodgers to have made 1.86 Super Bowls in his career through 2017 — roughly twice as many as he’s actually been to. (Meanwhile, other contemporary QBs — such as Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and even Brady — have gone to more than twice as many Super Bowls as we’d expect from their individual stats.) 10Tony Romo98,19201.11-1.11 CAR59CAR64TB 24, CAR 17-7.8– GB1.41.3ATL1.11.25.51469 TEN78TEN72TEN 26, NYJ 22-4.4– 7Philip Rivers1210,72101.54-1.54 WSH26.411.7NYG0.10.124.91435 8Steve Young810,02211.65-0.65 PHI28.324.2DAL81.119.451.01578 TB1.72.0NO100.00.06.91570 Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 13Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 13 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game PIT62PIT54LAC 33, PIT 30+6.7– IND51IND62JAX 6, IND 0-14.0– 2Tom Brady1619,73583.63+4.37 3Drew Brees1617,25012.89-1.89 OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION NE67NE65NE 24, MIN 10-3.8– CIN52%DEN59%DEN 24, CIN 10+8.5– MIN59.719.9SEA87.711.841.41572 IND9.810.1HOU98.22.423.61515 LAR68LAR79LAR 30, DET 16+4.1– CHI69CHI72NYG 30, CHI 27-6.1– 1Peyton Manning1721,58544.15-0.15 BAL65.0%+/-15.1KC100.0%+/-0.031.81628 6Ben Roethlisberger1410,94531.35+1.65 Playoff %Playoff % SEA83SEA83SEA 43, SF 16-1.5– CAR17.89.9CLE0.30.422.01454 5Aaron Rodgers1010,98811.86-0.86 DET0.30.3ARI0.00.04.21412 Super Bowls Made Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup. Total Change adds up the potential swing in playoff odds for every team in the league (not just the two teams listed).*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN.com ATL53ATL50BAL 26, ATL 16+1.5– Although the Packers hadn’t replaced a coach at midseason since 1953, Sunday’s loss forced their hand. Now they’ll need to figure out who’s next, from a candidate list that includes big names among both pro coordinators (Josh McDaniels) and up-and-coming college coaches (Lincoln Riley). They’ll also need to hope Rodgers’s issues were more related to McCarthy’s offense and less to his getting older and less productive — basically, that the next Packer coach will be more Mike Shanahan to Rodgers’s John Elway than Jimmy Johnson to his Dan Marino. So while the Packers may not have much on the line over the rest of their games, this promises to be the most interesting offseason Green Bay has had since Favre was retiring and unretiring more than a decade ago.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersMake sure to check out FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings using our NFL prediction interactive, which simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times and tracks how often each team should make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. And did you know you can also pick against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game? Maybe you can also climb up our giant leaderboard (or, if you’re like me, fall down it with each passing week).Here are the games in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: Over time, it became more and more difficult for the Packers to come within striking distance of the Super Bowl. In 2015, Rodgers slumped to career-worst numbers without top wideout Jordy Nelson, though the team as a whole was still good enough to get to the divisional playoffs before losing. In 2016, it was more of the same when Rodgers mused that Green Bay could still “run the table” — sparking an eight-game winning streak that saw the QB return to vintage form and left the Packers a win away from the Super Bowl.4Though their defense was shredded by Matt Ryan and the Falcons for 493 yards, ending the streak. By then Rodgers was 34 years old, so a sense of urgency was setting in when 2017 came and went without a playoff berth — even though that could be written off as the byproduct of Rodgers missing nine starts.The 2018 season was always going to be the real crossroads for McCarthy. With a healthy Rodgers leading the way, the Pack could always count on contending in the past, so this year’s expectations were no different. But Rodgers’s numbers have been merely good, not great. Brett Hundley isn’t around anymore to take any blame. And unlike in 2015, when Green Bay was talented enough to survive despite a downturn in its QB’s individual stats, there has been no answer from the team’s supporting cast this time around. It all came crashing down around McCarthy in the loss to Arizona as 13½-point favorites, Green Bay’s single most disappointing defeat since the merger according to Pro-Football-Reference’s point-spread data.We can visualize the Packers’ decline over McCarthy’s final few years at the helm using FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings. Specifically, I’ve been tinkering with an experimental version of Elo that keeps a separate adjustment for the primary QB in each game, similar to how we treat starting pitchers in our MLB ratings.5For those curious, it uses what I’m calling a QB’s Performance Value Added (PVA). That metric starts with an estimate of a primary QB’s value over replacement (according to ESPN’s expected-points data) in a game:PVA = -2.2*Attempts + 3.7*Completions + (Pass Yds / 5) + 11.3*Pass TDs – 14.1*Interceptions – 8*Sacks – 1.1*Rushes + 0.6*Rush Yds + 15.9*Rush TDsIt then compares that number to the per-game average allowed by the opposing defense in all other games that season (excluding the game in question). By definition, an average PVA is 0.0. Then a running mean of PVA is kept for both teams and individual QBs, which is used to modify the team’s base rating depending on which QB is used. (Interestingly, the predictions work best when the individual ratings update slightly faster than the team ones, which suggest QB “hot streaks” do contain extra information.) Debut QBs are assigned an expected PVA of -47, and they reduce a team’s effective Elo rating by 108 points relative to an average QB. Using this, we can trace how a team’s performance rises and falls independent of its QB — which is useful in cases like 2017, when Rodgers was hurt and Hundley started nine games. (For instance, by season’s end, the Packers would have projected to be a 1529 Elo team with Rodgers starting — compared to a 1427 team with Hundley. And remember, 1500 is average.) HOU77HOU69HOU 29, CLE 13-6.6– 9Matt Ryan108,25111.14-0.14 DEN20.911.1SF0.00.024.71427 PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS MIA6.67.4NE99.70.516.21537 KC83KC89KC 40, OAK 33+0.4– LAC96.03.6CIN0.91.39.11504 The best matchups of Week 14Week 14 games by the highest average Elo rating (using the harmonic mean) plus the total potential swing for all NFL teams’ playoff chances based on the result, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions GB73GB79ARI 20, GB 17-10.5– BUF0.00.0NYJ0.00.02.41377 Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality MIA58MIA57MIA 21, BUF 17-2.3– Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. At the beginning of 2015, the Packers had an effective Elo of 1622, which included a 73-point boost from having Rodgers at QB and a 49-point boost from his teammates. By the end of the year, Green Bay’s effective Elo was still in the same neighborhood (1597), despite Rodgers’s adjustment actually dropping to negative 11, because the rest of the team carried a larger share of the weight (+108). Meanwhile, at the peak of the Packers’ run-the-table surge in 2016, the team’s 1657 effective Elo arose out of a 61-point boost from Rodgers and 97 additional points (relative to league average) from the rest of the team.But fast-forward to now, and it’s clear how much the Packers have crumbled around Rodgers. His own adjustment is 16 points of Elo above an average QB, the lowest it’s been since Week 10 of the 2016 season. But he’s still expected to be above average; his supporting cast, by contrast, has fallen to a negative-67 score relative to the average team. That’s the worst they have been in Rodgers’s entire NFL career, and it isn’t especially close. Keeping QB play constant, the Packers’ Elo has dropped by a total of 139 points since the end of the 2016 season, which is essentially the difference in current Elo ratings of the 11-1 Los Angeles Rams and the 6-6 Carolina Panthers.The reasons for the slide are varied, but many can be traced back to a series of poor drafts under former general manager Ted Thompson, who was replaced by current front-office chief Brian Gutekunst in January. As Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler pointed out last week, only three of Green Bay’s 17 draftees from 2014 and 2015 remain on the current roster. While no team can avoid dry spells in the NFL draft if given enough time, the Packers also — largely by design — did little in the way of enlisting outside help as a backup plan.6In addition to the lack of starters from recent drafts, only two of the team’s current starters were drafted by a team other than Green Bay. Again, this was the byproduct of the Packers’ religious devotion to drafting and developing their own prospects, but that plan only really works when you draft well. Combine those infrastructural problems with criticisms of McCarthy’s offensive scheme (criticisms of a perceived lack of innovation that Rodgers apparently shared), plus legitimate complaints about Rodgers’s own decline in performance, and a season like this was bound to happen to Green Bay sooner or later.Even so, it came contrary to preseason predictions. Going into the schedule, you might have penciled in this week’s matchup against the Atlanta Falcons as a marquee game with playoff implications. Instead, it will be the third-worst game of the week, according to our combination of matchup quality (i.e., the harmonic mean of the teams’ Elo ratings in each game) and game importance (how likely it is to swing every team’s odds of making the playoffs):7A little note is in order here, to explain how these game importance ratings are now calculated. All season long, I have been crunching the numbers on how a given game affects the two teams involved. But this week, with the playoffs on the horizon and certain matchups taking on more importance because of their outside implications, I changed the formula to add up a game’s potential swing in playoff odds for every team in the league — including those not participating in the game itself. PIT83.811.0OAK0.00.023.71453 4Brett Favre1913,04721.86+0.14 NO64NO74DAL 13, NO 10-15.3– CHI94.44.3LAR100.00.010.81615 After a series of narrow wins at midseason, the algorithm handed the readers their worst loss (-55.2 points on average) since Week 3. Some of the blame can go to the subject of this column — the Green Bay Packers, whose loss not only cost Mike McCarthy his job but also cost users 10.5 points on average. But readers were also burned by the Jaguars’ win over the Colts and the Cowboys’ upset victory over the Saints. Add it up, and Elo has beaten the average reader 12 times in 13 weeks this season.But congrats to Mike Edelstein, who led all users in Week 13 with 137.0 points, and to one of my favorite leaderboard names, Greg Chili Van Hollebeke, who maintained his No. 1 ranking on the season with 1,002.1 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and if you haven’t, be sure to get in on the action! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you haven’t played yet.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

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Analysis Which Ohio State offensive players will declare early for the NFL

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Ohio State redshirt junior reciever Johnnie Dixon (1) catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in the game against Penn State on Oct. 28. Ohio State won 39-38. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorQuarterback J.T. Barrett, left tackle Jamarco Jones and 17 other Ohio State seniors will play their final collegiate game on Friday when the Buckeyes take on USC in the Cotton Bowl. They will be joined by a select group of redshirt sophomores, junior and redshirt juniors who will decide to forgo their remaining years of eligibility to test their mettle in the NFL draft. None of them have declared their intention of entering the NFL draft yet, though more than a couple will suit up for the final time in Scarlet and Gray on Friday.Here is a look at the situation of each offensive underclassman who might declare early for the 2018 NFL Draft and play their final game for Ohio State on Friday. Also, read about which of Ohio State’s defensive players might declare early for the draft.Redshirt junior wide receiver Johnnie DixonWhy he would leave early: After battling injuries for the majority of his collegiate career, Dixon is finally healthy and, early in the season, was a primary playmaker for Ohio State. He has pulled in 18 catches for 422 yards, an average of 23.4 yards per reception. Dixon could capitalize on his health and declare early for the NFL. Though the health issues and lack of long-term production would hurt him in the eyes of NFL evaluators, he would have a shot at hanging on an NFL roster. If Dixon returns, he could have another injury issue that would limit him his final year and potentially end his profession football career before it begins. Also, he would once again have to fight for touches at a crowded receiver position.Why he wouldn’t leave early: Though Dixon has been an integral part of Ohio State’s offense, he ranks just eighth on the team in catches. With another season in college, Dixon could expand his role and work for more touches. He could also improve how NFL teams view his future role. Given his high yard per reception average, Dixon is seen as a deep threat by many, but believes he can be much more. Another season would allow him to prove that to the NFL. Also, with Dwayne Haskins likely stepping in as starter, Dixon could get more opportunities catching passes from a more prototypical pocket-passing quarterback.Prediction: Finally healthy, Dixon leaves early for the NFL. If he sees an opportunity to get paid, especially after dealing with devastating injury issues, it would be hard to imagine him turning it down. Even though he might go undrafted, Dixon would have a shot at latching onto an NFL roster, something he would have no shot to do if he, once again, gets injured.Ohio State redshirt junior H-back Parris Campbell runs after a catch in the first half of the Buckeyes’ victory against Illinois on Nov. 18. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt junior H-back Parris CampbellWhy he would leave early: One of the fastest players on Ohio State, Campbell would offer NFL teams a versatile weapon capable of gashing teams on the ground, in the air or on kick returns. In his second year as a starter, he ranks second on the team with 39 catches for 587 yards and the former high school running back has added 90 yards on seven carries. He has three 57-plus yard catches. Campbell’s return ability — he averages 36.6 yards on nine kick returns — might be most appealing to NFL teams, though. He has already started two seasons and, if he returns for his redshirt senior year, would still be fighting for touches since most receivers will return.Why he wouldn’t leave early: Though Campbell has showed his game-breaking speed and the ability to stretch short catches into long gains, he has not been the prototypical NFL receiver. Specifically, he has struggled to catch the ball, an ability usually in demand for wide receivers. If he returns to Ohio State, Campbell could show an improved catching ability which could make teams view him as more of a receiver rather than an athlete who returns kicks and can catch short passes.Prediction: Campbell declares early for the NFL draft and forgoes his final collegiate season. With two years of starting — one at receiver (2016) and one at H-back (2017) — he has proven his strengths and weaknesses. If here were to return to college, Campbell would be unlikely to make drastic enough strides to dramatically improve his draft stock. NFL teams have seen his speed and ability to break plays. Another year in college would not do much to the draft stock of Campbell, a known commodity.Ohio State junior wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) celebrates after running the ball in for a touchdown in the first quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt junior wide receiver Terry McLaurinWhy he would leave early: One of head coach Urban Meyer’s favorite players, McLaurin has reeled in 28 passes for 434 yards and six touchdowns, including an 84-yard score in the Big Ten championship win against Wisconsin. But Meyer does not like him for his receiving ability. Instead, he appreciates the wideout’s blocking and unselfishness. In the NFL, McLaurin could offer teams a versatile option who could go out for routes, but also block and make plays on special teams.Why he wouldn’t leave early: McLaurin’s style of play is not a natural fit for the NFL. Teams pay players to make catches, not to block. Though he has 28 receptions, neither his catching ability nor his athleticism stand out in comparison to other NFL prospects. If McLaurin returns for his final year of eligibility at Ohio State, he could show marked improvement in skills most valued by NFL teams. Prediction: McLaurin will be back for his redshirt senior season. Despite ranking third on the team in catches and receiving touchdowns, McLaurin is viewed less as a receiving option and more as a blocker. In order to show NFL teams he can be more than a blocking receiver, he needs to make improvements in his receiving skills.Ohio State redshirt junior offensive lineman Demetrius Knox walks into the Hyatt Place to check in for fall camp on Aug. 6. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports Editor.Redshirt junior right guard Demetrius KnoxWhy he would leave early: Though he has just seven collegiate starts, Knox played well in his limited snaps. The redshirt junior took over for Branden Bowen after the opening-game starting right guard after Bowen went down with a broken leg. Though he lost the position battle to Bowen in the offseason, Knox filled in admirably for him. If he were to return for a fifth collegiate season, Knox would have to hold off Bowen, Matt Burrell, Wyatt Davis, Josh Myers and a bevy of other talented linemen to hold onto his starting spot. Why he wouldn’t leave early: Without much film of Knox playing, NFL teams would be wary to select the 6-foot-4, 308-pound interior lineman. Though he would have to battle Bowen and others for a starting spot, the chance to return to school would allow Knox to prove the small sample size of five games is not a mirage. Recent Ohio State offensive linemen who have succeeded in the NFL were multi-year starters in college, something that would benefit Knox. Prediction: Knox will return for his final collegiate season. If he were to declare, Knox likely would not get drafted, despite his large frame and physical style of play. Another year of collegiate play would allow NFL teams to have a better idea of the player they would get.OSU then-sophomore offensive lineman Isaiah Prince (59) waits for the ball to snap during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Nebraska on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes won 62-3. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo EditorJunior right tackle Isaiah PrinceWhy he would leave early: Prince is just a year removed from a turbulent season during which he faltered at key moments and fans called for him to be replaced as starting right tackle. But now, after his second season as a starter, Prince has positioned himself as an intriguing potential early entrant into the NFL draft. With a massive 6-foot-7, 310-pound frame, Prince has learned to maximize his power and has improved agility in pass block sets. He has the size NFL teams desire and is physically ready for the next step.Why he wouldn’t leave early: Though he has improved in his second season as a starter at Ohio State, Prince has the ability to further improve his draft stock by continuing to make advances in his pass block ability, mobility and footwork. With left tackle Jamarco Jones and center Billy Price graduating, he also would have the opportunity to step into a leadership role with a fellow two-year starter, sophomore left guard Michael Jordan. Prediction: Prince returns for his third year as Ohio State’s starting right tackle. Next year’s spotlight on him and the ability to continue making dramatic improvements in his weak spots could dramatically improve his draft stock. After a horrific first season and good second season as a starter, Prince has the ability to continue the trend line in a positive direction by returning to Ohio State for his senior season.Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) runs the ball in for at touchdown in the fourth quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt sophomore running back Mike WeberWhy he would leave early: Weber entered the year as the presumed starter after rushing for more than 1,000 yards as a redshirt freshman. But after suffering a partially-torn hamstring, Weber lost his starting spot to freshman phenom J.K. Dobbins, who will be back next year and in 2019. Though Weber is a solid back who etched his name in program history with the 1,096-yard season, he would likely not be able to reclaim the starting job. Entering the NFL draft would allow him to move on from what likely would be an unwinnable position battle and maximize his NFL potential while healthy.Why he wouldn’t leave early: Though he would like have to split reps, Weber could return in a successful one-two punch with Dobbins, similar to that of former USC running backs Reggie Bush and Lendale White. Weber showcased improved speed at times, but dealt with injuries and a lack of playing time. Those two factors prevented Weber from demonstrating improvements from the season prior. Another year of college would allow NFL teams the ability to scout the player they would expect to draft.Prediction: After three years at Ohio State, Weber decides to leave college for the NFL. The challenge of competing for carries with Dobbins seems steep. The added mileage on a running back’s body combined with a lack of opportunity make the NFL an appealing option. He expected to be the starter, but was unexpectedly usurped. Though he would also have to fight for carries in the NFL, he would be getting paid and is now healthy enough to maximize the opportunity. Ohio State redshirt sophomore receiver K.J. Hill (14) runs the ball in the third quarter of the game against Michigan on Nov. 25 in Ann Arbor. Ohio State won 31-20. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt sophomore H-back K.J. HillWhy he would leave early: Often lost in the shuffle of Ohio State’s unusually large cast of six starting wide receivers, Hill finished with a team-leading 55 receptions for 546 yards and three touchdowns. He was quarterback J.T. Barrett’s safety valve and always seemed to come through at key moments of the game. A possession slot receiver, Hill is an advanced route runner. He also has the versatility to impact the game on special teams, a skill NFL teams value highly.Why he wouldn’t leave early: Hill is far from an explosive wideout. None of his 55 catches went for more than 29 yards and he 9.9 yards per catch, the lowest amount of any Ohio State wide receiver with more than three catches. In order to not just make an NFL roster, but to thrive at the professional level, he will need to maximize his technical receiving skills. Another year or two at Ohio State, would put him in position to showcase his strengths to the NFL and work on converting more explosive plays.Prediction: Hill returns for his fourth collegiate season. The benefits outweigh the costs for Hill, who would likely be a low draft pick or even go undrafted. With his current lack of explosiveness, the pressure would be on to either make a team as a punt returner and special teams ace or somehow convince teams he can translate a seeming lack of speed into production at a higher level, which seems unlikely.Ohio State redshirt sophomore tight end Rashod Berry (13) celebrates after running the ball in for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Ohio State- UNLV game on Sep. 23. Ohio State won 54- 21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorRedshirt sophomore tight end Rashod BerryWhy he would leave early: On a team stocked with some of the best athletes in college football, Berry stands out. A physical freak who has played on both sides of the ball, he seems to have settled in at tight end. But he retains the ability to play defensive end. NFL teams have shown the willingness to take risks on physical specimens. Mo-Alie Cox, a former VCU basketball player, was signed by the Indianapolis Colts after not playing football since he was 14 years old. Berry, who also has a basketball background, would likely be given a shot by a team.Why he wouldn’t leave early: Berry does not even have a steady position and has never started a game in college. He played behind tight end Marcus Baugh this season and has a chance to step into the starting role next year. Another year or two of development could do him wonders and potentially make him a well-regarded prospect not just for his combination of lifting and jumping abilities, but his football skills, as well.Prediction: Berry returns for his redshirt junior season at Ohio State. Sure, his body is ready for the NFL, but he does not have an obvious position in the NFL. In a year or two, his football skills could match his physicality, which would pique the interest of NFL teams. read more

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Gardaí investigate arson attack at newlyweds home during wedding reception

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first_imgGARDAÍ IN LETTERKENNY are investigating an alleged arson attack on a newly married couple over the weekend – while they were at their own wedding reception.Gardaí said that there was damage to two outhouses and vehicles at the property.  The couple who lived in the property had been married earlier that day and were at their wedding reception at the time.Gardaí sealed off the area for a technical examination and are now appealing for anyone with information to contact them.Gerry McMonagle, a Letterkenny Town Concillor told TheJournal.ie that a lot of people are “shocked” by the incident as the area is “usually very quiet”.“It’s a terrible thing to happen, especially with the day that was in it,” he said. “It’s supposed to be a memorable day and now they will remember it I’m sure but for the wrong reasons”.Read: Two police officers treated for smoke inhalation after arson attack>Read: Hogan reports email threat to burn his family home to gardaí>last_img read more

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Column Industrial action by gardaí is unacceptable and heres why

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first_imgMEMBERS OF AN Garda Siochana are forbidden from striking on account of their vital role in preserving the peace and maintaining law and order in the State. The government seems to be foolishly using this as the cornerstone to their negotiations with members of the force, who are now openly voting to engage in a guerrilla form of industrial action through work to rules and potential blue flus.Members of the force have a very legitimate demand to be protected from further pay cuts during the Croke Park II process. Indeed, they deserve pay increases for the increasingly strenuous work they do in an era of insufficient resources, where fewer police do more work with less in their hands. Nevertheless, given the special position of the gardaí, industrial action that is a strike by any other name is nothing short of sedition against the authority of the State.The Macushla RevoltThe Garda Representative Organisation was formed in the wake of the “Macushla Revolt” in November 1961, when many gardaí started to meet and organise in protest of their poor pay and conditions. Back in those days there was a force-sanctioned body to represent gardaí that was stuffed with the officer class, old guards who looked after themselves and didn’t much bother with the conditions suffered by younger and increasingly well-educated rank and file.A pay deal was reached that gave rises to older guards, particularly those coming up on retirement whose pensions would be most positively affected; and younger gardaí got nothing in a move quite reminiscent of the state of public sector pay today: The older generation pulling up the ladder behind them in the guise of union deals that leave new entrants, like graduate nurses, expected to do the same work for less money.The younger guards in 1961 were in an organisation of strict discipline and few pleasures. Guards posted around the country lived in sparse barracks and had to observe a curfew at midnight when off duty. They lived at the whims of their superiors and were not well paid for the standards of the day.Well over a thousand gardaí crammed into the Macushla Ballroom in Buckingham Street to organise a protest against their pay and conditions. The leadership posted senior officers on the doors and started to take names, and 11 gardaí were dismissed from the force; including Jack Marrinan, who would later become the first full-time general secretary of the Garda Representatives Association (GRA) that is organising industrial action today.The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid, stepped in to mediate between the disaffected gardaí and the then Minister for Justice, a man unaccustomed to luxurious conditions himself, Charles Haughey. The dismissed gardaí were reinstated and steps were taken to both resolve the problems and create a process for relieving tensions in an organisation that cannot go on strike.Problems soothed by spendingPeace reigned (mostly) contentedly until the Celtic Tiger took off, and gardaí took to having a ‘blue flu’ in protest at the widening gap between their pay and that of people like teachers, with whom they had had parity to date. That problem was put to bed in a time of ever increasing government spending, though the principal of having a blue flu became a reality that was bound to resurface during as straitened a time as today.The government is looking for reductions in overtime pay, premiums for working night shifts, weekends and holidays. The pay of gardaí is a naturally complicated animal, given the nature of how they work. It has been much derided the idea that guards assigned desk jobs receive payments in lieu of the unsociable hours they no longer get to work. But, if that has become a part of their take home that they base their family budget on then we’d have a hard time getting guards into vital desk jobs if it meant the very backwards incentive of a pay cut in return for career progression. Thus, there is a law of unintended consequences in cutting various payments to gardaí that should be considered.The government is continuing their process of blunt blanket cuts, and so they are asking all workers affected by shifts and unsociable hours and so forth – mainly frontline workers – to accept the same calibre of cut as they go looking for pen pushers to give up allowances and oddities in their pay packets. There is no discrimination in the world of well-paid politicians, senior civil servants and union bosses who hide bureaucrats behind frontline workers in their negotiations. There is never any notion of closing a quango and using the money to pay for gardaí to – heaven forbid – get paid more for working nights than nine to five.No justification for seditionNevertheless there can be no justification for gardaí to engage in sedition, such as going on effective strike or refusing through work-to-rule to uphold the peace as ordered by the government and the Garda Commissioner. There is a mutual obligation between the gardaí and the government, that they will uphold the peace come what may; and the government must treat them specially from other groups in recognition of their role and the burdens they bear without right to industrial action.The gardaí deserve a better deal on their pay; we need more of them and to provide them with more equipment and backing. If our political leaders are too feeble minded to see this and take action on it, however, the gardaí must not endanger the stability and order of the country through industrial action.They must, in effect, be the bigger men.Aaron McKenna is a businessman and a columnist for TheJournal.ie. He is also involved in activism in his local area. You can find out more about him at aaronmckenna.com or follow him on Twitter @aaronmckenna. To read more columns by Aaron click here.last_img read more

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Trump orders end to program protecting immigrant ‘dreamers’

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first_imgWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday began dismantling Barack Obama’s program protecting hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, declaring he loves the “dreamers” who could face deportation but insisting it’s up to Congress, not him, to address their plight.Trump didn’t specify what he wanted done, essentially sending a six-month time bomb to his fellow Republicans in Congress who have no consensus on how to defuse it.On Twitter Tuesday night, he wrote: “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”The president tried to have it both ways with his compromise plan: fulfilling his campaign promise to eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, while at the same time showing compassion for those who would lose deportation protection and the ability to work legally in the U.S. New applications will be rejected and the program will be formally rescinded, but the administration will continue to renew existing two-year work permits for the next six months, giving Congress time to act.“I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly,” Trump told reporters.last_img read more

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Video Hazard produces brilliant pass for Belgium goal

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first_imgEden Hazard provided fans with a timely reminder of his world-class talents on Thursday in Belgium’s 2-0 win over IcelandThe 27-year-old winger has had a quiet return to action from a back injury with just one assist and no goals in his last three games at Chelsea.However, eight goals and four assists in 14 appearances still represent an impressive tally for this season.But Hazard was on top form on Thursday night at the Heysel Stadium and produced a moment of true class in helping assist Michy Batshuayi’s opening goal.The Belgium captain’s superb pass from the final third of the pitch had carved open the Iceland defence with Batshuayi later breaking the deadlock.Batshuayi, who’s on loan at Valencia from Chelsea for this season, then added a second to seal the win for Belgium.Incredible pass from Eden Hazard. pic.twitter.com/e21Ejk0btZLuka Modric, Real MadridReal Madrid suffer a Luka Modric injury blow Andrew Smyth – September 12, 2019 Real Madrid have announced that Luka Modric has suffered an adductor injury, which could rule him out of some key fixtures.— 🇧🇪 (@FlicksLikeEden) November 15, 2018Speaking before the match, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez hailed Hazard’s leadership skills.“He’s been a very good leader,” said Martinez, according to FourFourTwo.“There are many different types of leaders but I think what Eden Hazard brings is someone you can get influenced by.“He is an incredible source for younger players and who has been someone who can never, ever get affected by the pressure of the game or the pressure of the situation.”last_img read more

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Arrest made in thefts from Woodlandarea fire trucks

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first_imgA Castle Rock man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing fuel cards and thousands of dollars worth of equipment from some Woodland-area fire trucks.The Daily News of Longview reported Timothy Steven Moss, 30, was seen on surveillance cameras using one of the stolen gas cards to fill up a red Toyota truck at the Commercial Fueling Network station in Woodland. In all, $1,500 worth of fuel was stolen, along with $16,300 worth of firefighting and medical gear.The victim was Cowlitz County Fire District 1, which had to remove three of its vehicles from service temporarily because they lacked adequate gear.The burglary was reported April 11 at a volunteer fire station along Woodland Heights Road.last_img

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Public to hear details of baseball proposal Friday

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first_imgDetails of a proposal to bring a professional baseball team to Vancouver will be announced at a press conference at 1 p.m. Friday at Clark College.Ron Arp, a project adviser for Identity Clark County, sent out the media advisory.As reported in The Columbian in a “Print Extra” article on Tuesday, renewed interest in bringing a short-season Class A minor league team to Vancouver has been heating up. Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt sent an email to council members last week, saying he’s participated in two meetings on an effort to land a Class A team. Leaders of the effort include Arch Miller, a longtime Southwest Washington baseball advocate and founder of the Vancouver-based International Air and Hospitality Academy.Members of the Arnada Neighborhood Association recently received a “fact sheet” about a proposal to build a stadium on Clark College property that could also be used by the college’s baseball, softball and soccer teams. The Class A team would play 38 evening games from mid-June to Labor Day, according to the fact sheet. In March, a Facebook page was created by Mike Bomar, a former Prairie High School baseball player and current coach for the Falcons who pitched for the University of Washington and played for a short-season Class A minor league team.last_img read more

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