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first_imgPicture by Mark Talia Happy Independence anniversary. One people, one nation, one country. While most schools in NCD celebrated PNG’s 44th Independence Day in cultural fashion, one school took a different approach. The Waigani Christian College yesterday put on a sporting event to celebrate the country’s pre-independence anniversary, to be followed up with a flag raising ceremony this morning. The second chance school pitted its students in four houses – blue, red, yellow and green, in touch footy and volleyball in senior and junior divisions for the director’s shield. School principal Abakure Kaure said that the theme of the day was ‘take back PNG’ and the college chose sports to emphasise Prime Minister James Marape’s call. He said although the school has no proper sports oval, they utilised the assembly ground for the celebrations. The directors shield will become an annual inter-house carnival.last_img read more

first_imgA day after Manny Machado injured his right knee while taking a swing in the third inning of Monday’s win over the New York Yankees, the Orioles announced the third baseman was diagnosed with a right knee ligament sprain.The official update didn’t offer much clarity on his status moving forward since the Orioles announced during Monday’s game that Machado had exited with a sprained right knee. More information will be revealed Wednesday, but executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette told local reporters that Machado being placed on the disabled list is under consideration.He underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam on Tuesday.“I haven’t heard anything negative,” said manager Buck Showalter after Tuesday’s game against the Yankees was postponed due to rain. “Manny seems to be in good spirits. That’s good. So, we’ll see what the day brings. I’ve heard early stuff and whatever, but [I’ll wait] until everyone weighs in. I feel more positive than negative, especially after talking to Manny.”Machado fell to the ground after his knee bent awkwardly upon hitting a grounder to shortstop in the bottom of the third inning. He was helped off the field by head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and Showalter but was walking around in the clubhouse and spoke to reporters following the game.In addition to playing exceptional defense at third base, Machado is hitting .278 with 12 home runs and 32 runs batted in over 327 at-bats this season. Since serving a five-game suspension stemming from a bat-throwing incident in early June, Machado is hitting .351 with five homers and 15 RBIs while posting a .929 on-base plus slugging percentage in 122 plate appearances.Shortstop J.J. Hardy also underwent an MRI on his sprained left thumb on Tuesday, and the results indicated there are no long-term concerns regarding his status. The Orioles hope he will be available to play over the weekend when they begin a road trip in Cleveland.Even if Machado is able to avoid going on the DL, the Orioles are considering calling up an infielder from Triple-A Norfolk with Steve Lombardozzi and Jimmy Paredes among the candidates to be promoted.last_img read more

Top honours for Izzy

first_imgBy JARROD POTTER AUGUST has been an amazing football month for Izzy Marsh. The Garfield football prodigy represented Victoria, helped…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

first_imgA culture of hard work is what has contributed to the massive success for the Selkirk College Saints over the last few seasons and the team has added a pair of recruits that will help continue the trend.Grant Iles and Connor Harding have committed to play for the Saints in the upcoming British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season, both arriving with a proven record of tenacity and grit during their junior hockey careers.“There are not very many nights over the course of the season where our team gets out-worked,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “Both of these players have shown that they will fit in very well because of their commitment to compete hard every shift.”Iles arrives to Selkirk College after finishing his junior eligibility with the Creston Valley Thunder Cats of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). The 20-year-old forward scored 14 goals and added 18 assists while playing under former Saints head coach Jeff Dubois. “I chose Selkirk College because the strong programs and smaller class sizes,” says Iles, who will either take the Forest Technology Program or the Heavy Mechanical Foundation Program. “I also chose Selkirk College because I love living in the Kootenays and playing for a prestigious team like the Saints is an honour.”Iles is a two-way forward who is known for his ability to win faceoffs, but Heaven says it’s the overall style of play that made the Whistler native stand out.“He has an ability to get under the skin of his opponent while still contributing offensively,” says Heaven, who is heading into his third season as head coach. “His tenacious persistence will be a huge asset to our roster given his record of being a leader on every team over his junior career.”Harding is a six-foot defenceman who played Junior A last season with the Elliot Lake Wildcats in the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL).“Connor is an extremely hard working individual with a desire and commitment to physical fitness,” says Heaven. “He competes extremely hard, has a great first pass and plays with edge. Connor should bring another level of excitement to our defensive core.”Harding will enter the Business Administration Program when classes begin this coming September on the Castlegar Campus.“I decided to return to British Columbia and attend Selkirk College for the quality education and championship history of the program,” says Harding, who is originally from West Kelowna.After winning a historic four straight BCIHL championships, the Saints’ drive-for-five was stopped short this past spring when they were defeated in the league semi-final by the Trinity Western University Spartans. The 2017-2018 BCIHL season begins in September.last_img read more

first_imgConn McCluskey CEO of Ireland Active said: “Ireland Active welcomes the measures announced as part of the July Stimulus however, we believe that more needs to be done to support an industry that employs 12,000 people and contributes €500 million to the economy. Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the health and fitness industry in Ireland, and while measures outlined in the July Stimulus provide positive initial steps, additional supports will be needed to ensure the future viability of the sector and to ensure over 1 million people continue to exercise and swim in member facilities nationwide.”Throughout the Covid-19 restrictions, commercial sports facilities have worked tirelessly and at great cost to ensure staff are trained in all Public Health protocols and that facilities are equipped and ready to welcome the public into a safe environment for exercise. Operators are ‘solutions focused’ by nature and have had to adapt to the new normal like many other businesses across the country by implementing social distancing measures and complying with the Ireland Active framework for safe operation which was approved by government. Through the dedicated following of these procedures and protocols, gym and pool operators nationwide are now providing a Covid-19-safe environment to protect the health and safety of members and employees.The fitness sector gets over 1 million people active each week with over 550,000 adults exercising, and 450,000 adults and children swimming each week in leisure facilities across every community in Ireland. The sector is pivotal in keeping people active and healthy in the fight against COVID-19. Ireland Active will continue to work with government to ensure that the sector is recognised and supported for the contribution that it makes to getting more people, more active, more often. Ireland Active, the national association for the leisure, health and fitness sector, has today welcomed the news of improved measures for supporting business as part of the July Stimulus package. The extension of the wage subsidy scheme, rates exemption extension, improved restart grants, low cost loans and warehoused tax liabilities were all called for in Ireland Active’s submission to Government earlier this month. However, the trade body believes that more will need to be done as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan in order to provide valuable support for the industry, including sector specific support measures such as tax rebates/vouchers and a VAT rate reduction to keep commercial sports facilities viable into the future. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emailcenter_img The sector is estimated to have lost over €150m in revenue due to closures during Covid-19, and many facilities are now operating on less than 50% capacity due to social distancing measures.last_img read more

first_imgFor those still unplugged, online social networks are kind of a cross between a college commons and a high school homeroom where you never get in trouble for passing notes. Friends link to other friends, “poke” them as a means of greeting, and update their “status” to inform buddies about their mood or thoughts at any given moment. They are also politically active places. On Facebook, for instance, company officials estimate that half the users have declared political leanings. And beyond straight party activism, they said, more than 1 million users have signed on to groups that promote causes – from saving Darfur and cutting taxes to ending global warming. Yet fewer than 100 members of Congress operate sites on Facebook, although the Palo Alto-based company has made it easy by creating pages for all federal officeholders. Even fewer use MySpace, which boasts nearly 100 million users. WASHINGTON – California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was baffled when asked recently about his use of the popular online gathering site Facebook. “Faith book?” replied the Republican from Huntington Beach. Rohrabacher is hardly the only lawmaker oblivious to the social-networking craze. While presidential candidates have been making online buddies on such sites as MySpace and Facebook for years, analysts say members of Congress have been slower to hook up to the digital phenomenon than dial-up users in a power outage. “There’s a trickle-down effect that comes into play when we look at how legislators use technology. The presidential campaigns use the shiny new tools first,” said Julie Barko Germany, deputy director of the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet. Moreover, many of those who do use the sites have done little more than post biographical data. “This is a new age,” said Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Whittier, who actively uses her MySpace page and is the only Southern California lawmaker with one of the sites. “I think more members are starting to use it, but a lot of officials are still not focused on how it can be an important tool,” she said. When a bill Solis wrote preserving the legacy of labor leader Cesar Chavez came up for a hearing in March, for example, Solis didn’t rely only on traditional press releases to get the word out. She turned to the more than 300 “friends” she had accumulated via MySpace and Facebook. Like wildfire, she said, information about the hearing spread via e-mail blasts and blogs. Soon, even anti-Chavez bloggers were opining about the future of the bill. “It helped mobilize our people, too,” Solis said of the rapid-fire opposition. “It’s an exciting way to talk to people across the country.” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, is the only other Southland member who uses his Facebook page. Officials with the site said they created pages for all federal officeholders as a part of a strategic initiative to galvanize youth political activism with Rock the Vote – as well as to prevent the creation of fake pages that use lawmakers’ names. The organizers then gave logon data to the Republican and Democratic national parties. “We decided to put resources against it because we felt it would become important, and we were right,” said Facebook’s chief privacy officer, Chris Kelly, noting that in the past election, the largest growth in voter turnout was among 18- to 24-year-olds, the primary users of social-networking sites. Still, he said, when his company approached political organizations, many were unsure what to make of it. Even now, some don’t use their Web sites very effectively. Pages that have not yet been claimed by lawmakers sport an American flag in place of a photo and are operating on autopilot. Indeed, lawmakers have collected hundreds of “friends” – Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Sherman Oaks, has 66 and Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Thousand Oaks, has 55 – without even being aware of it. Supporters such as Sylvia Wei, 19, of Thousand Oaks, who listed herself as a Gallegly backer because she agrees with the congressman’s tough position on illegal immigration. And Helene Sinnreich, who is from Ohio but lists herself as a supporter of Rep. Howard Berman, D-Van Nuys, because she is a lifelong Democrat and also friends with Berman’s daughter. Waxman said he started using Facebook at the behest of his tech-savvy staffers. “Many of the people who access it become a community of sorts,” he said. “I want to be part of the conversation.” Kat Barr, research director for Youth Voting Strategies, which works to boost political involvement among young people, called social networking “a hugely helpful medium” for local lawmakers. But she said the key is for lawmakers to figure out how to turn their online “friends” into voters – and ultimately into volunteers, donors and political organizers. “There’s a huge potential in reaching out to people in a big way. But it’s also important to combine that with substantive outreach,” she said. Social-networking experts noted that some members of Congress are using the sites in innovative ways. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, for example, has an application on his Facebook page called “Ask George,” on which he answers questions from members about the war in Iraq. North Dakota Democrat Rep. Earl Pomeroy started an online group called “Earl Jam” to stay connected with young voters. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi posts content about Democrats’ doings on the Hill on YouTube almost daily. Overall, according to social-networking experts and political analysts, Democrats seem to be taking to the tool quicker than Republicans. Among the 87 House members on Facebook, for example, 36 are Republicans while 51 are Democrats. At the same time, Republican National Committee online strategist Cyrus Krohn noted that there is a “critical mass” of Republicans among users of social-networking sites. And, of course, not all Democrats are social-network savvy. Berman is one such lawmaker who has not touched his Facebook page – despite the fact that his daughter, Lindsey, works for Youth Voter Strategies, has linked herself as a “supporter” on her father’s page and has encouraged many of her friends to do the same. “It’s ironic, because he’s probably the best expert on copyright and patent reform,” Lindsey Berman said of her father, who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property. But, she added, “He also doesn’t have a BlackBerry.” Germany said it might take a while for local lawmakers to realize the potential of networking sites. “There’s a lot of political activity and online issue involvement,” she said. “But if you don’t see that, it looks like just another place to get a date.” [email protected] (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

first_imgIn his first official back-to-school address to thousands of administrators, Brewer vowed a cultural revolution this year in the 708,000-student district. “Failure will no longer be an option at LAUSD,” he told nearly 2,000 principals, assistant principals and LAUSD administrators gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Nearly 10 months after he took the helm of the nation’s second-largest school district, Brewer said new evaluation forms for administrators will take into account state testing performance, absentee rates and the number of ninth-graders moving to the 10th grade. And Brewer told teachers and administrators that despite the new benchmarks – and the difficulties ahead – they need to persevere. “When you feel like you want to give up, you look at a young child ? to give yourself inspiration. You go out and look at some of these young people who are struggling every day walking through gang gantlets to get to school to get an education and then you say to yourself, `I will never give up,”‘ Brewer said. “When I have a bad day, I go visit a school because I have to be reminded viscerally what I’m all about, why I left my comfort zone to come here.” In a district where accountability has never been institutionalized, Brewer said directors will visit schools every month to monitor progress. The new evaluation forms, which have the support of the administrators union, will be formally introduced next year, Brewer said, but administrators will be targeted on the standards this year. “I am going to come see you, the local district superintendents are going to come see you, the directors are going to come see you and when we come see you, we’re going to have a scorecard,” Brewer said. In his speech, Brewer eschewed notes and the lectern, and paced confidently on stage like a motivational speaker as his “8 Steps to Change” reform plan was projected on two jumbo-size screens. In a marked departure from predecessor Roy Romer’s style – which usually included cardboard charts of student test scores – Brewer forcefully prodded school leaders to establish a sense of urgency. He exhorted them to build their own teams, create a vision, communicate the vision, empower others to act, produce quick wins, not let up or give up and create a new culture. And he emphasized that each administrator will undergo professional development courses that will guide reform along with data, innovation, engaging parents and the community and ensuring student safety. The goal, he said, is to create an environment that nurtures teachers such as Jaime Escalante, who defied expectations and taught advanced math classes to poor students at Garfield High School. Actor Edward James Olmos was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Escalante’s challenges and triumphs in the 1988 film “Stand and Deliver.” But Escalante resigned in 1991 – after 17 years at Garfield – to take a teaching post in the Sacramento City Unified School District. “All I know is that we have not recovered from that at Garfield. ? In this culture, we kill our savants. We have to stop that. That is a part of the cultural revolution that is going to happen under David Brewer,” he said. “We will not kill our savants. We will model them and benchmark what they’re doing and replicate what they’re doing.” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell urged principals to continue to challenge students to higher achievement and to feel connected to their schools. “Our jobs have become more difficult because this is a new economy,” he said. “It’s a hyper-competitive global economy and it’s an economy that requires of all of us to have higher-level thinking skills and we need to impart that on our students.” Julie Korenstein, who has served on the school board for 20years and has heard numerous back-to-school addresses, complimented Brewer’s style of speech but questioned its content. She said professional development courses are costly and may not be necessary for all administrators. “I don’t know whether or not what he is suggesting or recommending, where the teeth is in it yet,” she said. “These are a lot of hardworking administrators who have worked at their schools for a long, long time. ? I’m not sure if we need wholesale retraining of every administrator in the district.” LAUSD spokeswoman Binti Harvey said Brewer will use existing funds to pay for the professional development, along with some corporate funding. For Jefferson High Assistant Principal Jose Avila, the message was clear: Focus on students and don’t deviate no matter how difficult it gets. “It was inspiring. I think it’s definitely the move that we need to make and the direction we need to take,” Avila said. “We have to focus on the child and every time that something becomes difficult, take a look at who our clients are – our children – and they’re the ones we’re here for. “They’re our customers and they’re the ones we have to serve.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SPEECH: In a back-to-school address,thedistrict’ssuperintendent places emphasis on accountability. By Naush Boghossian STAFF WRITER Seeking to elevate performance at Los Angeles Unified schools, Superintendent David Brewer III said Friday that he will hold administrators accountable for the first time with new evaluations, dropout and test-score benchmarks, and districtwide reviews. last_img

first_img8 September 2011 The levels of “contact crime” in South Africa – crimes usually involving violence – decreased by 6.9% in 2010/11, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday, while adding that the fight was far from over. Releasing the country’s annual crime statistics in Pretoria on Thursday, Mthethwa said there was a decline in all types of “contact crime”, including murder, rape, assault with intent to do serious bodily harm, common assault, aggravated robbery and common robbery. Murder was down by 6.5% and sexual offences by 3.1%. Assault with intent to do serious bodily harm dropped by 4.5%, while robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%. However, Mthethwa said the stats were still worrying. “Contact crime is an area of crime which by its nature leads to serious feelings of fear and insecurity, because it is this form of crime [with] which violence is normally associated.”Drug-related crime on the increase Noting the 10.2% increase in drug-related crimes in 2010/11, Mthethwa said the police, instead of focusing on arresting people in possession of drugs, would be mounting operations aimed at the leaders of drug syndicates. He said they would also be working with the Departments of Education and Social Development in addressing the challenge of affected children. “We also acknowledge that dealing with drugs is a global challenge that needs to be coordinated with our international counterparts.”Drunken driving on the increase Mthethwa said it seemed people were not taking the “don’t drink and drive” motto seriously, as drunken driving cases were up by 3.5% in 2010/11, following the previous year’s 10.6% increase. “We all have a duty to ensure that our roads are safe, and those who break the law will be severely punished.” Although the stats showed a general decrease in all crimes, Mthethwa said this was just a motivating factor for the police, and that the fight was far from over. “Victory against crime is now an achievable goal. However, for as long as young children are still under bondage of crime and drugs, for as long as businesses are robbed, for as long as women are abused and raped, for as long as South Africans are mugged and hijacked – none of us must rest.” Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

first_imgPolice in Colorado today were searching for a gunman who calmly walked into a Walmart in suburban Denver and opened fire with a handgun, randomly shooting at shoppers and store clerks, killing three people, before he fled. The suspect “nonchalantly” entered a Walmart in Thornton, Colorado, and opened fire a little after 6 p.m. local time on Wednesday and then walked out, got into a red four-door hatchback and drove away, Thornton Police Department spokesman Victor Aliva told reporters, citing witness accounts. “What we have determined is that it is random as of right now,” Aliva said. “As witnesses stated, the person came in and just shot toward a group.” Two men died at the scene of the shooting. A wounded woman was taken to a hospital where she died, he said. The shooter is a white man, who was wearing a black jacket, maroon shirt and blue jeans, Aliva said. There was no indication that the shooting was an act of terrorism as no one has claimed responsibility, he said. “We can’t rule anything out.”Thornton is city of about 120,000 people roughly 10 miles northeast of downtown Denver. A Walmart customer, Aaron Stephens, 44, of Thornton, told Reuters he was inside paying for groceries at a self-checkout stand when he heard gunshots and the sound of ricocheting bullets. “The employees started screaming and the customers started screaming” as people began to flee the store, he recounted. “I ran out, too, because I didn’t want to get shot.” Stephens said he did not see where the shooting had come from and did not see anyone struck by bullets. Local NBC television affiliate 9NEWS reported that a woman whose son was in the Walmart had told her that he had heard about 30 gunshots and was still inside. A video posted on Twitter showed the Walmart, which is in a large complex of big-box stores and other retail outlets adjacent to U.S. Interstate 25, apparently empty except for police officers with guns drawn.   [Source: Yahoo! News]UPDATE: 12:00 PM: The Thornton Police Department said on Twitter that Scott Ostrem, 47, who authorities said randomly opened fire on Wednesday, had been taken into custody but did not immediately give details. Authorities had earlier released a surveillance camera photograph of a middle-aged white man wearing a black jacket and blue jeans. They also published a photo of the red four-door hatchback he was believed to have fled in. [Source: MSN News]- Sponsor – Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

first_imgGartner recommends businesses begin looking past just analytics dashboards and standard visualizations when using Business Intelligence (BI).  As the market matures, software is becomming smarter, more scalable, and able to support complex analysis and data models, but delivered in a more easily human consumable way.Gartner expects that within two years, 90 percent of BI platforms will use artificial intelligence (AI).  Half of all BI queries will be natural-language or voice-based queries.  Improvements in BI will enable automated advanced analytics and visual-based data discovery.  These changes will also allow the number of BI users to increase substantially.The number of “citizen data scientists” within organizations is expected to grow by a factor of five over the next two years.  These “citizens” typically don’t have formal training in data science and statistics, but new features added to analytics packages make the software increasingly accessible to these lay users.The Gartner report found that “for the small, but growing, group of data-minded users who want to go beyond visualizing data, modern A&BI platforms have begun to offer more sophisticated analytic techniques, but packaged for self-service use. This capability, called Advanced Analytics for Citizen Data Scientists, is becoming of increased importance as organizations become more data-centered.last_img read more

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