Graffiti probe uncovers more

first_imgPALMDALE – An investigation into graffiti vandalism resulted in the recovery of property stolen in several local burglaries and the arrests of six teenagers. Computers, computer monitors, a diamond ring, a pistol, and other property were found along with methamphetamine and marijuana at a west Palmdale home where three of the teens lived, deputies said. “The way this started … was a graffiti investigation with vandalism to a city vehicle. That was just the tip of the iceberg,” Palmdale Partners Against Crime unit Sgt. Kyle Bistline said. Also found was a backpack filled with spray-paint cans and paper marked with doodles similar to thousands of dollars in graffiti damage around the city, deputies said. At a west Palmdale house where three of the suspects live, deputies said they found items stolen in at least four burglaries. Arrested were Tully Huffaker, 18, and Glenn Perez on suspicion of possession of stolen property and Shea Perez, 18, on suspicion of burglary. Also arrested was Eric Montierth, 18, of Palmdale on suspicion of burglary, as well as the teen found in the car at Highland High and another teen arrested at home. Other arrests are expected, deputies said. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It matches a lot of graffiti we’ve seen throughout Palmdale,” Bistline said. The items include two computers belonging to the Antelope Valley Union High School District and one belonging to the Palmdale School District, he said. “Some of the property’s already been returned. A lot of property here has been identified to the victims and will be returned next week,” Deputy Bob Farkas said Friday. The investigation started when graffiti was etched into windows of a Palmdale city truck. Farkas, the Palmdale graffiti investigator, obtained information about a car and juveniles believed linked to that vandalism and to other graffiti around the city. Highland High School deputy Sean Walters on Wednesday spotted the car Farkas was looking for in the school parking lot, along with one of the teens Farkas was seeking, a second juvenile and alcohol. last_img read more

Wally Hayward: going the distance

first_imgIn the course of an athletics career spanning 60 years, Wally Hayward excelled at distances ranging from 100 metres to 100 miles.He competed on the track in his early twenties, represented South Africa at the Olympic Games in the standard marathon, and set world long distance records.His defining achievements, however, were reserved for one of the greatest ultra-marathons of them all: the Comrades.One of the world’s greatest ultra-marathons, the 90-kilometre Comrades Marathon is internationally recognised both for the body-sapping challenge it poses and the camaraderie it fosters among its thousands of participants.Run between Pietermaritzburg, capital of Kwazulu-Natal province, and the coastal city of Durban, the race alternates each year between an “up run” from Durban and a “down run” from Pietermaritzburg.First Comrades victoryWally Hayward won his first Comrades Marathon in 1930, at the age of 21, in a time of 7 hours 27 minutes – then returned to racing shorter distances.Earlier in the same year, he had won the national 10-mile championship, and over the course of the next 20 years he became national champion in distances from three miles to the marathon. He was also decorated for his actions during World War Two, being made a Member of the British Empire.When Hayward returned to the Comrades in 1950 he was discounted as a serious contender because of his age – he was 41 years old. That didn’t stop him from taking the lead at halfway and going on to win in a record time of 6 hours 46 minutes – 41 minutes faster than his winning time two decades before.6-hour barrier, 24-hour recordThe following year, in his first attempt at the Comrades down run, he powered his way to a 6 hours 14 minutes victory, slashing 7 minutes and 57 seconds off Johannes Coleman’s 1939 record.Hayward missed the Comrades in 1952 when he competed for South Africa at the Helsinki Olympic Games, but returned in 1953 to become the first athlete to break the six-hour barrier, in a time of 5 hours 52 minutes.In the same year he travelled to England, where he established new records in the London to Brighton Marathon, the Bath to London 100-miler – and a 24-hour track race staged by England’s Road Runners Club at Motspur Park.Hayward’s distance for “the day race” was 256.4 kilometres, a new world best – and a mark not bettered until two decades later, when Englishman Ron Bentley managed 259.6 kilometres.Hayward followed that up in 1954 by breaking his own record for the Comrades up run with a win in 6 hours 12 minutes.Barred from racingHowever, a second visit to England that year cost him dearly when the South African Athletic and Cycling Association declared him a professional for allegedly accepting donations for expenses.The rules of the race at the time meant that Hayward – having established new records for both the up and down runs and equalled the five wins of Arthur Newton and Hardy Ballington – could no longer run the Comrades.His amateur status was only reinstated 20 years later, in 1974, by which time he professed little appetite for racing, though he attended the finish of the Comrades every year to help inspire other runners.Saving the best till lastThen, in 1988, Hayward was persuaded by friends to take part in the race once more. The country was stunned when the 79-year-old crossed the finish line in 9 hours 44 minutes, beating more than half the field.Hayward’s most dramatic moment, however, came the following year, in 1989, when he completed the down run at the age of 80. There was hardly a dry eye in the stadium as he staggered across the line in an obviously distressed state, making the 11 hours cut-off time by a mere 1 minute and 57 seconds.To this day, he remains the oldest finisher in the history of the Comrades Marathon.The Wally Hayward medalWally Hayward died in May 2006 at the age of 97. In November, the Comrades Marathon Association announced that a new medal, the Wally Hayward medal, would be presented to runners for the first time in 2007.The medals are awarded to those runners who fail to earn Comrades gold medals – awarded to the first 10 men and women finishers – but still come in under the six-hour barrier first broken by Hayward in 1953.“The late Wally Hayward was one of the greatest ever Comrades runners, with seven finishes, including five wins,” association chairman Dave Dixon said in announcing the new medal.“He had a remarkable Comrades career that spanned 60 years, and is still the oldest person ever to finish the race.“In creating this medal, the Comrades Marathon Association salutes a man who epitomized the spirit of the race and inspired thousands of men and women to run it.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

South Africa’s social grant clean-up saves billions

first_img7 February 2014 South Africa’s move to modernise its administration of social grants, involving the live certification and re-registration of grant beneficiaries and the introduction of a biometric card payment system, is saving the country hundreds of millions of rands annually, says South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) CEO Virginia Peterson. Presenting the agency’s 2012/13 annual report to the National Council of Provinces’ (NCOP’s) select committee on social services in Cape Town on Thursday, Peterson said that over 150 000 grants had been voluntarily cancelled between June 2012, when the re-registration process began, and June 2013, amounting to an annual saving of R150-million. The number of voluntary grant cancellations had since increased to 299 837, she said. Interviewed by Business Day following the NCOP briefing, Peterson said that in total more than 650 000 social grant recipients had been removed from the grants register, saving the fiscus almost R2-billion, while an additional R800-million in service fees had been saved in this financial year alone.Electronic grant payments, biometric cards Sassa’s new system aims to minimise fraudulent grant applications and collections and reduce administration costs by distributing grant payments electronically. It involves the mass collection of data of existing and new beneficiaries, children receiving grants, and procurators. The Sassa grant card’s biometric functionality identifies grant recipients using unique identifiers such as fingerprints, voice and other personal information, which means that the cards cannot be used by any person other than the approved beneficiary. “A total of 18.9-million people were successfully re-registered onto the new system by end of the financial year,” Peterson told the NCOP committee. “The number has since increased to 20.7-million.” She noted that the biometric payment cards allowed beneficiaries to access their grants through various payment gateways, including ATMs, pay point stations and retail points of sale – effectively incorporating beneficiaries, many of whom were previously “unbanked”, into the country’s banking community. At the same time, she said, the new payment system almost halved the cost to the agency of each transaction, from an average of R30 to R16.44 per transaction – while giving Sassa, for the first time, automated intelligence on all payment activities. Sassa is currently paying approximately 16-million social grant benefits monthly to approximately 9.5-million recipients.Fraud: focus shifts to agency staff Peterson told the committee that, in its fight against fraud, Sassa’s focus had shifted from grant beneficiaries to agency staff members who colluded with beneficiaries and crime syndicates to defraud the system. Against a target of investigating at least 50% of fraud cases identified, she said, 78% of cases identified to date had been investigated, with 98% of suspicious grants verified as valid. “Efforts to clamp down on corruption in specific regions resulted in arrests and convictions of 10 current agency officials, three former agency officials and 15 agents,” Petersen said. “Fifty-two Sassa officials were suspended from duty, 25 dismissed, and seven resigned prior to the completion of their disciplinary cases. The monetary value related to cases finalised amounts to R59.4-million.” Other successes, she said, included the arrest of 50 individuals in the Mahlabathini area within the Ulundi District who were found to be in possession of 127 unregistered Sassa cards, three CPS registration machines and R47 000 in cash. Five of these suspects remain in custody. Petersen said that money lending had also became a focus, with 29 individuals arrested and 1 008 agency cards and R82 156 in cash confiscated. She acknowledged that the implementation of its fraud management strategy was one of the challenges facing Sassa, adding that the agency had had to “close-out some offices due to the number of officials that were implicated in fraudulent activities.” and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Kala-azar: The disease that just won’t go away

first_imgThe English Mohanpur village, one of the worst affected areas in Malda district.  Historically, a 20-day treatment schedule with sodium stibogluconate (SSb) injection and the spraying of the malarial insecticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethan (DDT) in houses and surroundings were the only weapons against the disease.When DDT was used as part of the malaria eradication programme, very few cases of kala-azar were reported. When the use of DDT was stopped a few years later, there was an increase in the number of kala-azar cases.Over a period of time, resistance to the only drug (SSb injection) led to frequent outbreaks and fatalities and the Union Health Ministry, which had committed to eliminating kala-azar by 2010, revised it to 2015. Bangladesh, India and Nepal committed to eliminate the disease from the region, where elimination (as opposed to eradication) is defined as no more than one case per 10,000 population at the upazila level in Bangladesh, sub-district (block PHC) level in India and district level in Bhutan and Nepal.Since 2003, India’s National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is in charge of coordinating with endemic States to eliminate the disease. With funds from a World Bank-supported project (2008-2013), the NVBDCP now funds consultants at State and district level and Kala-azar Technical Supervisors (KTS) at the State’s blocks (or clusters of village panchayats) to conduct active surveillance. That means local village health workers (Accredited Social Health Activists or ASHAs) are entrusted with constantly visiting houses and looking for patients who may present symptoms of the disease and alert health authorities.Several new medical advances have aided the fight against kala-azar. A rapid diagnostic test, called rK39 can — with a pinprick of blood — indicate the presence of the parasite. With SSb injection on the decline, there are now two mainline drugs, miltefosine — originally conceived as an anti-cancer drug and taken orally — and liposomal amphotericin B (LAmB), a drug that once needed to be injected at regular intervals over four weeks but now only requires a single shot. These, besides an array of genetic tests that have obviated the need for painful jabs to the spleen and liver to confirm the presence of parasites, and global and national political commitment in terms of funding research and drug dispensation, has meant that kala-azar may be on the verge of being stamped out. However the 2015 elimination target was missed and postponed to September 2017, again a deadline that won’t be met. This, in spite of the number of kala-azar patients plummeting from 36,000 in 2005 to 2,969 in 2017, according to Central government figures.At the campSarkar is one of 57 residents who’ve made it to the Habibpur hospital as part of biannual medical camps organised as part of the active surveillance process. About 160 were expected but a bus strike has thwarted attendance. West Bengal, like the other endemic States, was to have eliminated kala-azar in 2015, but is set to miss the deadline this year too despite the number of patients in the State coming down from 2,700 in 2005 to less than 50 as of this July. At 17, Rohim Sarkar weighs as much as the average 11-year-old. When shirtless, each of the seven pairs of bones that make up his upper ribcage is visible from five feet away. An attending doctor at the Habibpur block hospital in Malda, West Bengal feels his spleen and the verdict is clear: “VL,” he declares, followed by two other colleagues jotting the verdict and leading the boy aside for a confirmatory dipstick test, a detailed set of photographs, a skin biopsy and a recommendation that he “immediately” begin treatment.Sarkar presented symptoms considered typical of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), or kala-azar, a disease that is endemic to a contiguous blob of districts spanning West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Caused by the Leishmania donovani parasite, harboured by an insect called the sandfly, the Habibpur block, barely 30 km from Bangladesh, is considered particularly vulnerable to kala-azar outbreaks.A parasitic diseaseKala-azar is a parasitic disease that is confined to humans, meaning that unlike, say, bird flu, there is no other animal that harbours the infection in Asia. Endemic to the Indian subcontinent in 119 districts in four countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal), India itself accounts for half the global burden of the disease. If untreated, kala-azar can kill within two years of the onset of the ailment, though the availability of a range of drugs for almost a century has meant that less than 1 in 1,000 now succumb to the disease. According to numbers from the Union Health Ministry, 2016 was the first year that no kala-azar death was reported in India. Experts, however, note that like malaria and several other vector-borne diseases in India, the government only considers lab-confirmed and officially registered deaths and therefore, frequently underestimates both caseload and mortality. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar;Ritu Raj Konwar  Even though this link between kala-azar and PKDL was hinted at since 1922, it wasn’t until 2005 that the World Health Organization (WHO) and health authorities in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sudan (who together account for 90% of kala-azar cases) began concerted efforts to eliminate PKDL, as part of kala-azar elimination strategies.In a round-up of the country’s progress in dealing with the disease, at a conference in Bengaluru earlier this year, Chatterjee showed a slide illustrating that in spite of the rapid dive in kala-azar cases across endemic States, PKDL cases in Bihar, which bears 70% of India’s kala-azar burden, had risen to 500 from nil in 2013; from 300 in 2013 to 900 in 2017 in Jharkhand and 50 to 250 in West Bengal, in the same period. To Chatterjee, however, the rise in cases indicates States’ increased efforts to find kala-azar patients and hidden PKDL cases becoming manifest.At the IPGME&R, one of the nodal research medical labs in Kolkata that’s part of the kala-azar surveillance-detection-and-analysis network, scientists are finding out through DNA analysis that the leishmaniasis parasite is an extremely resilient entity and can be dormant in the body and seed infections even after as many as five years.The group of mostly-women scientists, who are trying to cleave apart the mysteries of the parasite, are located a five-minute walk away from a modest building that once hosted the laboratory of Sir Ronald Ross, the India-born British Nobel Laureate who established that mosquitoes were responsible for transmitting malaria. Ross was also the one who christened the kala-azar parasite as Leishmania donovani, after the scientist duo that discovered them.Over the days spent peering through blood samples and skin biopsies from medical camps such as at Malda, Moulik points to yet another possible chink in the government’s artillery to weed out kala-azar. The single injection of LAmB, which is now used to treat kala-azar, dramatically reduces the number of parasites in the blood and can cure the infection. However, when PKDL patients were subjected to the same medicine (targeting the same parasite), it didn’t completely clear the parasite load. On the other hand, prior to LAmB, the treatment of choice for kala-azar was miltefosin, which is an oral pill taken over 12 weeks. It usually brought about nausea and other discomfort because of which several patients would quit treatment midway. However Moulik points to data in the lab that shows miltefosin did a superior job in flushing out the parasites from PKDL patients. There is a catch though. The ultra-sensitive probes that Moulik employs can spot parasites only if there are at least 10 of them in a microgram of DNA. It is quite possible that a patient might be well and disease-free for a few years but have a miniscule amount of parasites that will multiply at an opportune time in, say, five years, and then radiate the vicious cycle of outbreaks and epidemics that has undermined anti-kala-azar programmes through the years. “I believe that if parasite loads go down to 10, the body’s immune system should ideally stave off infection but this is indeed the million-dollar question: ‘How long till we are sure that the parasite loads never increase enough to pose a threat?’” says Moulik.The ground realitiesThe Habibpur hospital, from where IPGME&R gets a significant number of patient samples, is as large as a single-screen movie hall with X-ray machines, photocopiers, beds and a handful of trained nurses. To get to it, one must cross a stream of stagnant water that, according to local residents, swells up during the monsoon. Within several areas of the hospital, debris is piled up. There is a mossy pool of garbage alongside a water cooler that is inaccessible to the most flexible of gymnasts.The block medical officer is a busy man who must, alongside coordinating a kala-azar camp, dragoon the same set of field workers to fan out into the villages looking for tuberculosis, malaria and leprosy patients. Since 2015, when the government authorities woke up to the urgency of eliminating PKDL, patients are being given financial incentives. All those who complete the course of treatment will get ₹2,500 (and the medicines made available through the WHO network) and the village field staff, consisting of ASHAs and KTSs, stand to get ₹500 for every such patient. “If financial incentives are given, then we get patients,” says a doctor who has been part of several field camps, “but almost never has a district medical officer accompanied us. They are supposed to.”English Mohanpur, an inexplicably-named village a few km away from the hospital, is a slushy hamlet between rice fields. Several tribal communities populate its interiors and Koel, an ASHA worker, says some of the tuberculosis and kala-azar patients also battle alcoholism. Few houses have concrete roofs and fewer still comply with the government directive to spray the houses with the insecticide synthetic pyrethroid, the replacement for DDT. These sprays are needed at regular intervals and need a thorough application in every room including the kitchen. “The problem is that the spray stinks and people say they’d rather risk kala-azar than bear with the smell,” says Chatterjee. “There is also a cluster effect. Families stay very close together and one infected person can spread it to the others.”Sripad Mandal, 42, a daily-wage labourer and village resident, was bedridden for three months because of kala-azar. He says he visited the block hospital and was given a course of medicine but that didn’t work. He wasn’t given a second round of medicine at the hospital and finally had to get himself admitted to the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine. He now claims to be well. His disease, however, manifested before the government announced financial incentives for completing the treatment. “This is the disease of the poorest of the poor. Unless socio-economic conditions are improved and better sanitation is available, I don’t see just medicines and drugs completely eradicating kala-azar,” says Chatterjee.center_img  Among the camp attendees, seated on the rows of wooden benches that made up the capacious common hall of the hospital, Sarkar was the only one who presented the typical symptoms — the emaciation, anaemia and signs of a puffed spleen — that have helped doctors quickly ferret out kala-azar cases for almost a century. More than Sarkar, however, what worried the visiting doctors were 20 outwardly healthy occupants of those benches. Most were once kala-azar patients and, as the doctors who screened them found, are stricken in various degrees by a mixture of blotches and ulcers on their hands, legs, backs and, sometimes, on their faces.Painless and never known to trigger the fevers and pains typical of parasitical diseases, the blemished skin is the only sign of post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL). It isn’t the kind of disease that prompts villagers of Habibpur block, who besides kala-azar also live under the constant threat of malaria and tuberculosis, to skip farm work or forego a day’s earnings from manual labour, to line up outside hospitals. “One of the patients with PKDL told me that the only reason he wanted treatment was because he was looking to get married,” says Dr. Mitali Chatterjee, a medical doctor and researcher at the Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGME&R), Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, Kolkata, which is known informally as the “PG” hospital.PKDL results from the parasites left over from a kala-azar infection that couldn’t be slain by the chemical cocktails used to treat kala-azar. Though harmless, the pigmented skin can provide harbour, says Chatterjee, to the parasites and they can make their way onto other sandflies. Like the anopheles mosquito, the sandfly needs human blood to nourish their larvae and in the process can pass on parasites to new people and trigger a kala-azar infection. Roughly a tenth of those with a history of kala-azar will go on to develop PKDL and, potentially, seed a fresh outbreak. The precise reason for this isn’t known yet. “In the 1970s or early ’80s, VL [kala-azar] had almost disappeared and then there was suddenly an epidemic,” says Srija Moulik, a research scholar at IPGME&R, “it was later traced back to a single case of PKDL. There’s a paper on that.”Case and cure filesThe earliest empirical evidence for a link between PKDL as a silent agent provocateur for kala-azar outbreaks and DDT sprays came in the 1990s from C.P. Thakur, a physician and now a BJP Rajya Sabha MP. He reported an unusual trend in kala-azar cases in Bihar. Between 1970 and 1989, 530 individuals were confirmed with PKDL at the Patna Medical College (PMC), with the number of cases rocketing from two in 1970 to 59 in 1989. This was in contrast to no cases of this disease being reported at the PMC from 1958-1970. In the period 1977-1990, there were 3,01,076 cases of kala-azar reported in Bihar alone, with a mortality rate of over 2% (compared with 31,074 cases and a mortality rate below 0.4% for the rest of India). “It seems possible, that once DDT spraying stopped, the re-establishment of large sandfly populations and infection of these vectors, largely as a result of them feeding on cases of PKDL, provoked the resurgence of kala-azar,” Thakur and co-author K. Kumar reported in the June 1992 edition of the Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology. | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar;Ritu Raj Konwar Patients waiting for their check up at a medical camp in Malda.last_img read more

Civic polls: Sangli, Jalgaon record 58% turnout

first_imgThe polls to the Jalgaon and Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad civic bodies in Maharashtra witnessed an average turnout of 58% on Wednesday.According to election authorities, the Sangli-Miraj-Kupwad Municipal Corporation (SMKMC) in western the part of the State recorded an estimated 60% turnout while the Jalgaon Municipal Corporation (JMC) in the northern part recorded 55%.There are 451 candidates in the fray for the 78-seat SMKMS and 303 for the 75 seats in JMC.There were 4,24,179 eligible voters for the Sangli civic body and 3,65,072 for the JMC. A total of 1,013 polling booths were set up in the two cities and nearly 5,800 election staff deployed, said State Election Commissioner J.S. Saharia. The counting is to take place on Friday.Polling commenced at 7.30 a.m. and was generally peaceful, except for stray incidents of unrest at some booths. In ward no. 11 in Sangli, former Mayor Kishore Shah was detained by the police following allegations of distributing cash, while in Jalgaon, a vehicle said to be carrying cash to be distributed to voters was seized by the police. The ruling BJP is trying to gain control of both the civic bodies. BJP leader and State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan has allied with Shiv Sena leader Suresh Jain’s local front, the Khandesh Vikas Aghadi (KVA) which currently rules the JMC. If he wins, Mr. Mahajan could cement his ascendancy over Eknath Khadse, who has hitherto been regarded as the BJP’s face in North Maharashtra.Mr. Jain (73), who is Mr. Khadse’s rival in Jalgaon, is an influential politico and a nine-time legislator. He was a minister in the erstwhile Shiv Sena-BJP government that was in power between 1995 and 99. He was arrested in March 2012 in connection with the ‘Gharkul’ housing scheme scam.As a member of Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 2004, Mr. Jain was the State’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister and later defected to Shiv Sena ticket in 2009 and won again.Meanwhile, in the SMKMC, the Congress and the NCP have joined hands to take on the BJP which is targeting the ‘sugar belt’ dominated by NCP and Congress politicos.In 2008, the NCP came together with local BJP leaders to snatch power from the Congress in the civic corporation. In 2013, the Congress wrested the civic body back from the NCP.last_img read more

23 days agoArsenal boss Emery reveals crunch Pepe, Ceballos talks

first_imgArsenal boss Emery reveals crunch Pepe, Ceballos talksby Paul Vegas23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery is urging Nicolas Pepe to embrace the pressure of being their record signing.Pepe, 24, has struggled to live up to his £72million price tag since his deadline day move from Lille.But Emery is certain that, just like former Gunners idols Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Pepe will be a sensation when he eventually comes to terms with the physical demands of the Premier League.He claimed: “Pepe is an amazing player and I am sure that he is going to have a big career here, but he needs time.“For a lot of great Arsenal players, the first month here was not easy, even the first year.“Every player needs time to adapt when they arrive in England but the process with Pepe is going in the direction we expected.“He still needs to get his confidence and to understand better with the other players. But his performances are getting better step by step.“The players are also human beings and they are all working under pressure because we are at a big club with very demanding objectives.“To be selected for Arsenal is a privilege and the pressure that brings is a positive.“I don’t think about how much the club has paid for a player or how much is his salary. For me, the money is not relevant and it is not important.“I was speaking with Pepe and with Dani Ceballos and they say that the intensity of the Premier League has been the biggest change for them.“The Premier League is the strongest competition in the world. Every match has quality players and physical players.“So I am going to work with Pepe and with Ceballos to help them with that adaptation.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: Michigan’s Blake O’Neill Boots 80-Yard Punt vs. Michigan State

first_imgMichigan players down a 80 yard punt by Blake O'Neil.michigan 80 yard puntMichigan’s offense didn’t have much success against Michigan State on its first drive, but the Wolverines were still able to pin the Spartans deep in their own territory after the possession. Why? Punter Blake O’Neill somehow booted an 80-yard punt to flip the field. Check this out:What does an 80-yard punt look like? @umichfootball punter Blake O’Neill show you! Brought to you by @GrubHub.— Michigan on BTN (@MichiganOnBTN) October 17, 2015Michigan and Michigan State are scoreless near the end of the first quarter.last_img read more

TEN Sends New Aframax Tanker on LongTerm Charter

first_imgzoom Athens-based shipping company Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) has taken delivery of the aframax tanker Oslo TS, the seventh in a series of nine tankers built for long-term employment to a European company. Featuring a 1B ice-class notation, the new ship commenced its long-term employment with possible gross revenues in excess of USD 110 million.The two remaining aframaxes under the company’s fifteen-vessel growth program, the Bergen TS and the Stavanger TS are scheduled to be delivered and commence their long term employment in the third and fourth quarter of 2017.With the deliveries of these two vessels, TEN’s current expansion program will reach its conclusion and result in 77% of the fleet in secured contracts with gross revenues of over USD 1.5 billion and average charter duration of 2.5 years.last_img read more

Tony Hawk Stands Up For Skateparks

first_imgAs Tony Hawk’s 10th Annual Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit approaches, tickets are selling fast!SUFS Auction Item – Triumph BonnevilleStand Up for Skateparks is celebrating a decade of raising funds that benefit youth in underprivileged communities, and the event has sold out every year. This year is set to sell out once again, but a few tickets are still available.Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Benefit is presented by SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills.Guests will enjoy ramp-side access for the Vert Demo with Tony and other skateboarding and BMX icons as they ride Tony’s personal ramp. Confirmed athletes include Tony Hawk, Lizzie Armanto, Mitchie Brusco, Andy Macdonald, Tom Schaar, Elliot Sloan, Kevin Staab, and Coco Zurita. After the Vert Demo, there will be a special live performance by Grammy nominee Modest Mouse at the intimate venue.The family-friendly event also includes activities for all ages, exceptional food and drinks, as well as live and silent auctions for one-of-a-kind items and experiences. This year, the Stand Up For Skateparks auction will feature two unique high-performance luxury vehicles, along with a wide variety of other unique items and experiences. The 1972 Triumph Bonneville is more than a motorcycle, blending sparkling blue-metal flake paint, black trim, and just enough patina to show its authenticity. This hand-built bike can never be duplicated.SUFS Auction Item – LexusAlso, for auction is a transformed 2014 custom Lexus IS 250 F SPORT, customized in a collaboration between Tony Hawk, Lexus and DUB Magazine. DUB Magazine’s world-class customization team added matte black accents, tinted rear tail lights, tinted windows, Borla exhaust, lowering springs, 20″ Dropstars Wheels, 20″ Nitto Tires, a complete Pioneer Sound System, a 10-inch subwoofer in custom truck box, plus many more jaw-dropping features.Los Angeles Lakers fans will not want to miss this one-of-a kind opportunity: Experience a Lakers game like no other with NBA Hall of Famer Bill Walton. This is your chance to see the World Champion Lakers in all their glory with one of basketball’s top commentators, a multiple NBA All Star and MVP, a man tutored by legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden, mentored by Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, and a dedicated humanitarian. The package for four covers everything—Bill and Lori will pick you up and drop you back off—and includes dinner at the exclusive Staples Center restaurant. Watch the pre-game shoot-around/practice and the Lakers Girls preparation; meet the players, coaches and whomever else is there. The package also includes private luxury suite access and great up-close premium arena seats—all with Bill at your side. In addition, Bill has personally donated an amazing framed collector’s piece.Proxy bids are being accepted for Stand Up For Skateparks auction items, including the Triumph motorcycle and 2014 Lexus IS 250 F SPORT. View many of the amazing auction items at To make a proxy bid, contact Lily Schwimmer at (760) 477-2479 or“It’s been 10 years, and our event keeps getting bigger and better!” said Tony Hawk. “This year we have a stellar lineup of skaters and a performance by one of my favorite bands, along with incredible auction items. I can’t wait.”This year’s event will be Co-Chaired by Tony Hawk and renowned actor, director, and producer Jon Favreau. Benefit Committee members include Ron Burkle, Chantal and Stephen J. Cloobeck, Patrick Dempsey, Fred Durst, Leeza Gibbons, Bobby Kotick, Jason Lee, Tommy Lee, Chuck Liddell, Howie Mandel, Rodney Mullen, Sam Nazarian, Lyn-Z and Travis Pastrana, Christian Slater, Steve Van Doren, Mark Wahlberg, Lori and Bill Walton, Shaun White, and DJ-Z-Trip.Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks is made possible through the generosity and support of SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, Kohl’s, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Activision, Bravo Sports, Dynacraft, HEXbug, Lexus, Nixon, olloclip, SIGG, Sweetwater, The Yucaipa Companies, and RIDE Channel.Individual tickets and ticket packages are still available for the 10th-Annual Tony Hawk’s Stand Up For Skateparks Presented by SLS Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. To purchase tickets, please contact Lily Schwimmer at (760) 477-2479, or to purchase online here.last_img read more