Magic Clean House Fire Van Gundy GM

Stan Van Gundy is jobless.Whether center Dwight Howard asked for it or not, Stan Van Gundy is out as coach of the Orlando Magic — and general manager Otis Smith, too.Those two were at the helm of one of the franchise’s most successful eras, an era that in recent years has been marred by a tumultuous relationship between Van Gundy and Howard, its perennial all-star center. In fact, the relationship reached a peculiar stage when, prior to the playoffs, Van Gundy claimed, without prompting, that Howard had requested to the team’s hiearchy that Van Gundy be fired.Howard denied doing so, but soon after was sidelined with back troubles. Orlando went on to lose to Philadelphia in the first round. Turns out, that was Van Gundy’s and Smith’s final competition with the Magic.“It’s time for a new leadership and a new approach,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said at a news conference to discuss the moves. “We simply came to the decision that we were not on the right track.”Martins added:  “At no time during that time did Dwight ask me to have Stan fired.”No replacements have been named, but Martins said the hope is to have a new general manager in place by the NBA Draft in late June.There has been much speculation about Howard. He vacillated much of the season on whether he would accept a trade. The latest is that he does not want to return a Orlando. read more

Its Going Down Houston Rockets To Sign Dwight Howards

Josh Smith will apparently meet with the Houston Rockets today to discuss the possibility of joining their franchise, which is also pursuing Smith’s childhood friend, Dwight Howard, according to has to wonder if the organization is trying to assemble their own big three, which could possibly be Howard, Smith and the current Rockets player James Harden. The franchise reportedly had a good meeting with Howard, and is moving forward with finding pieces to compliment the free agent center.  By way of explanation, the Houston Rockets is upbeat enough to where they have started chasing other players who would make a good fit with Howard.According to Yahoo! Sports, Smith, who most recently played for Atlanta Hawks, has other teams seeking him as well. He already met with the Detroit Pistons just shortly after the free agency clock started, in which the general manager Joe Dumars considered him a top choice. read more

Ryan Coogler to Produce LeBron James Space Jam 2

This combination photo shows Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix on March 13, 2018, left, and filmmaker Ryan Coogler at the world premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time” in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2018. (AP Photo)LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler is joining LeBron James and the “Space Jam 2” team.James’ production company SpringHill Entertainment tweeted Wednesday that Coogler will produce the sequel to the 1996 movie that featured Michael Jordan alongside Warner Bros.’ animated characters.“Random Acts of Flyness” creator Terence Nance will direct James, and Bugs Bunny, in the film.According to The Hollywood Reporter which first reported the news, production is tentatively slated to being in 2019 during the NBA offseason.The Space Jam sequel with @KingJames has been announced! How many championships will the Tune Squad win?— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 19, 2018 read more

One More Reason To Raise A Fist At Boston Sports The Bruins

DALJ. BennT. SeguinA. Radulov201360.6 None of this is to say the Bruins are a one-line team — they’re far from it. Rookie forwards Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk have already chipped in with 11 goals each, and rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy5McAvoy recently underwent minor surgery to correct an abnormal heart rhythm, but is expected to return in two weeks. is building a solid case for the Calder Memorial Trophy. And David Krejci is a pretty decent second line center, too: He’s scored 24 points in 29 games, and he’s winning 56.3 percent of his faceoffs, by far the best mark of his career.Boston will lose in regulation again — Marchand, who is serving a five-game suspension, and McAvoy’s temporary absences should ensure this happens sooner than later. But there’s nothing in recent memory suggesting Boston’s top line will cease to be a possession beast any time soon.6All three forwards finished in the top ten in Corsi percentage in 2016-17. If they keep getting (and burying) their chances — and if Rask’s ascendancy holds up, which his dazzling career implies it might — the Bruins might find themselves playing hockey in June again. TBLV. NamestnikovS. StamkosN. Kucherov261957.8 TMLeft wingCenterright wingForVS.For % Each member of the line must be on the ice for a goal to qualifySource: Left Wing Lock NYIA. LeeJ. TavaresJ. Bailey241955.8 Goals TORZ. HymanA. MatthewsW. Nylander24972.7 BOSB. MarchandP. BergeronD. Pastrnak21387.5% For the first couple months of the season, the Boston Bruins had more problems than they could handle. They had lost more games than they had won. They were firmly out of the playoff picture. Top-line center Patrice Bergeron and his linemate Brad Marchand had both missed time with injuries. So had second-line center David Krejci. Goalie Tuukka Rask was a husk of his former self, and looked for a moment as though he might lose his starting job. Matt Beleskey, who the Bruins decided to pay $19 million because he had a handful of good weeks during the spring of 2015, had been placed on waivers.1He cleared them and now plays for Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence.This was a team that had won the Presidents’ Trophy as recently as 2013-14, and that had a core made up of several skaters who’d played in two of the past seven Stanley Cup Finals. This was also a team that had failed to qualify for two of the past three postseasons, and that hadn’t won a playoff series since they beat the Detroit Red Wings in the spring of 2014.But since a loss to the Washington Capitals in mid-December, the Bruins have been damn near untouchable: They are 14-0-4 in their last 18 games. The Bruins looked like basement dwellers a few months ago, and now pundits are wondering whether they’re legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. But are they for real, or is this streak just a tantalizing aberration?The Bruins are a balanced hockey team — seven skaters have at least 25 points — but much of their recent form can be attributed to the extraordinary play of a rejuvenated Rask and the top line of Bergeron, Marchand, and David Pastrnak, which has established itself as one of the best in the NHL.In his last 18 starts, Rask has lost exactly zero games in regulation; in his prior 13 starts, he had won just three. During his recent dominant stretch, Rask has stopped 94 percent of the shots he’s faced; during his disastrous stretch, he stopped just under 90 percent of the shots he faced.2Not what you’d expect from the NHL’s all-time leader in save percentage.Goaltender play is notoriously unstable, so these gulfs in Rask’s performance aren’t actually as shocking as they seem on the surface. Even if Rask’s save percentage regresses and he stops roughly 92 percent of the shots he faces for the rest of the season, the Bruins will be in good shape.To explain the dominance of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak, the best place to start is their possession numbers. Bergeron is yet again among the league’s elite faceoff takers, winning more than 57 percent of his draws.3That number drops a bit to roughly 53 percent on power play draws, but Bergeron can be forgiven — unless he’s the man in the penalty box, teams often task their best faceoff man with taking draws on the penalty kill. Among qualifying skaters, all three on Boston’s top line rank in the top 50 in Corsi percentage,4Adjusted for score, zone and venue. which estimates a player’s possession rate by measuring the percentage of shot attempts directed at his opponent’s net versus his own net while he’s on the ice. And because the Bruins’ top troika are sending so many shots toward their opponents’ nets, all three also rank in the top 15 for goals per 60 minutes.Among lines that qualify, only 11 others in the NHL have a higher combined shooting percentage than the combination of Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak. And their goals for percentage — which takes the total number of goals scored while a line is on the ice together and calculates the percentage of those goals that were goals scored by the line — is by far the best in the league. LOSA. IafalloA. KopitarD. Brown201360.6 VGKR. SmithW. KarlssonJ. Marchessault321666.7 PHIC. GirouxS. CouturierJ. Voracek231069.7 COLG. LandeskogN. MacKinnonM. Rantanen291467.4 The best among the best lines in the NHLThe top 10 lines in the NHL in goals scored while playing 5-on-5, by percentage of goals for CGYJ. GaudreauS. MonahanM. Ferland251267.6 read more

What Has — And Hasnt — Surprised Us This NBA Season

As we cross the one-quarter mark of the NBA season — with the Clippers in first place out West, the Kings playing .500 ball, and the Jazz and Rockets near the bottom looking up — things are starting to come into clearer focus. That clarity is more than welcome, given how topsy-turvy the league has been for the first month and a half of play.We know a lot will change between now and April, but for the time being, here are the five things we’ve been most and least surprised by so far this year.Surprising: The Celtics haven’t been good, and the Jazz have been even worse.Boston, finally healthy after losing two of its best players last year, has been one of the bigger mysteries of the season. The Celtics have been elite defensively again this year,1At least from a statistical standpoint. They haven’t been very good at limiting individual scoring outbursts at all. but the offense — which almost never gets to the line — can’t get out of its own way much of the time.Before the season began, Jaylen Brown expressed a belief that the starting wings (him, Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum) have nearly identical skill sets, which was affecting chemistry. And after watching them for a month and a half, we can’t say that he was wrong. With that in mind, Brad Stevens’s recent lineup shift to bring the struggling Hayward off the bench could help matters.Hayward and Brown, in particular, have both shot far better from the floor when playing apart from each other. Hayward sports a solid 53.9 percent effective field-goal rate without Brown but just 39.7 percent with him. And Brown’s 50.5 percent effective field-goal rate without Hayward is well above the 38.5 percent mark he posts while sharing the court with Hayward.Their net ratings also improve when playing apart. The Celtics outscore opponents by 9 points per 100 possessions with Hayward but without Brown, and Boston wins by a margin of 1.5 points per 100 when Brown is on the court but Hayward is on the sideline. But the Celtics hemorrhage 2.2 points per 100 possessions with the two playing together.Using floor-spacing forward Marcus Morris as a starter may work better because of his rugged screen-setting ability. His off-ball screens, useful for a lineup with so many scoring options on the wing, produce the best scoring efficiency of any player on the team2Minimum 15 screens. at 1.12 points per possession when both Tatum and Hayward are on the floor and a whopping 1.53 points per possession when Tatum and Brown are playing together, according to Second Spectrum.It’s also worth keeping an eye on Terry Rozier, who, to this point, has regressed badly on the offensive end after a highly encouraging postseason run, in which he filled in admirably for the injured Kyrie Irving.As for the Jazz, this — 10-12, and third-to-last in the West — is what happens when your league-best defense from last season is merely a middle-of-the-road one, and your offense not only fails to improve but actually morphs into one of the NBA’s five worst in that same window.What’s behind Utah’s slide? A handful of theories have been discussed. But two things stand out to me: 1) The team’s schedule — the toughest in the league3Similar to last season, when their December schedule was the toughest individual month played by any NBA team. So perhaps this is reason for optimism. — has been front-loaded, and 2) a number of players aren’t playing to their capabilities.Outside of a one-week stretch at the end of October, Donovan Mitchell has been terribly inconsistent, struggling badly from outside. Dante Exum’s offense still isn’t catching up to his defense. And perhaps the biggest issue: Ricky Rubio has been awful on both sides of the ball thus far — even more than he was to start last season, when he had just joined the club and was learning the ropes.Rubio has generally been able to hang his hat on his defense and his passing whenever he’s struggling to shoot. But this season, he has sometimes looked a half-step slower laterally on D, allowing nearly a 10th of a point more per drive he defends, at 0.98 points per play, than he did last season, according to Second Spectrum. And while opponents have long sagged off Rubio, daring him to shoot, that experiment has paid far greater dividends this season, as he’s logged just a 46.6 percent effective field goal rate on jumpers when given 6 or more feet of open space4Shots from at least 10 feet away. — down from 53.5 percent just last year, and the worst percentage he’s connected on since the 2013-14 campaign, according to NBA Advanced Stats.It’s still a little early to consider changing the lineup — especially after Rubio played so well at times last postseason. But if he doesn’t turn it around in the next month or so, it might be worth trying a new starting five and letting Mitchell handle the ball more. (Utah, realizing it needs more punch on offense, traded guard Alec Burks and two future second-rounders Wednesday for sharpshooter Kyle Korver.)We wrote this summer that we believed the Jazz could be true contenders this season — which looks incredibly wrong at the moment. But we said then that much of Utah’s hopes would hinge on Rubio’s play. For better or — to this point — perhaps for worse, that seems to be the case.Not surprising: The Grizzlies got back to Grit ’N’ Grind.A lot of people either wrote off or simply forgot about the Grizzlies after a dismal 2017-18 campaign in which they finished with 22 wins and the second-worst record in the league. But the case for believing in Memphis this season was relatively straightforward: This group, finally healthy with the return of Mike Conley and a more motivated Marc Gasol, had its best players back and added considerable two-way talent over the summer through a handful of deals.Rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. looks like a potential star at times and is already the real deal defensively. The Memphis defense can be overly aggressive at times in helping from the weak side, which leaves corner shooters open more often than most teams. But the Grizzlies’ D is a top-5 unit, and it gets downright nasty when Jackson and Gasol play together, surrendering just 96.8 points per 100 possessions in 287 minutes. (Oklahoma City, which leads the NBA in defensive efficiency, allows 102.6 points per 100 possessions.)In case you need a sign of how smart the Grizzlies’ offseason pickups were, consider this: The team’s three most-efficient rotation players5By effective field goal percentage, counting only those who have played at least 100 minutes. to this point — Omri Casspi, Shelvin Mack and Jackson — were all acquisitions from this summer. Gasol is fourth on that list, but right behind him is Garrett Temple, for whom the Grizzlies traded.So don’t be too surprised if Memphis continues to hang around in the playoff race. There were indications all along that the Grizzlies would find themselves in the midst of this conversation.Surprising: Derrick Rose’s offense came back to life.Rose’s first career 50-point game earlier this year got considerable attention, but that game was no fluke: This whole season in Minnesota has been a consistent one for the former MVP. From an efficiency standpoint, he’s actually never played this well before.He’s shooting a career-best 49.8 percent from the field, and his 60 percent mark from a true shooting standpoint is 5 points better than he’s had in any other season. Rose used to be among the NBA’s worst 3-point shooters — enough of a liability that he essentially stopped taking triples altogether in New York — but he’s been good from that range, too. The 30-year-old, who’s long been a surprisingly good midrange shooter despite having the flattest shot in the game, is better than 48 percent from 3-point distance on almost four attempts per game to this point. His hot start even has him ranking as one of the NBA’s 15 most efficient offensive players, according to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus metric.It’s still early, but this shooting display — even if his numbers fall off some — figures to lengthen his career, a meaningful development based on how things were going 10 months ago. We knew his otherworldly athleticism wouldn’t be the same after all his injuries, but a steady jumper has changed his outlook.Not surprising: The Rockets-Melo marriage failed.We, like many others, fully recognized the potential pitfalls with Houston’s Carmelo Anthony acquisition this summer. He seemed a less-than-ideal fit, particularly as a sort of replacement for the switchy wing defenders the Rockets lost in Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. So it’s not necessarily shocking that the experiment didn’t work.But never did we imagine that the team would pull the plug as quickly as it did. Houston cut bait on the fallen star just 10 games in — even though other clear problems seemed to exist (like the lack of depth behind Clint Capela, or Eric Gordon shooting far worse than he ever has). Still, it’s somewhat difficult to knock the haste with which the Rockets made the decision: They couldn’t afford to fall too far behind in the loaded Western Conference, where the playoff race figures to be a bloodbath, and they began playing far better after making the pragmatic choice to hold Melo out of the rotation. But even after winning five straight at one point earlier in the month, Houston now finds itself mired in a four-game skid, meaning that there’s more for this club to figure out.Surprising: California’s other NBA teams have been legitimately good.It was totally fair to wonder whether Los Angeles might be a factor in the Western Conference playoffs this season, but who would’ve thought that the Clippers would be the team making that kind of noise at this point in the year? (In fairness, LeBron James and the Lakers have played well lately, too, and may very well find themselves in the same conversation as we move forward.)A number of things illustrate how and why Doc Rivers’s team finds itself atop the West for the time being. The guard rotation of Patrick Beverley, Avery Bradley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has done a fantastic job of defending; the Clippers have held opposing starting guards to 40.9 percent shooting, the NBA’s fourth-lowest figure through Tuesday’s games, per the ESPN Stats & Information Group. Danilo Gallinari, who hasn’t played more than 65 games in a campaign in six seasons, has missed only one game thus far and is shooting better than he ever has from outside.But above all else, the Clips have thrived because Tobias Harris — tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo for the league’s best effective field-goal percentage among wing players with at least 300 shot attempts — has quietly pieced together the offensive profile of a superstar this season. Between the huge leap he’s made and the gains of Victor Oladipo, the Orlando Magic front office has to be beside itself after trading away both players.And while Golden State has been Golden State so far, another Northern California team has been making a move. The Kings own a 10-10 mark and have been one of the more entertaining clubs so far. Just about everything begins and ends with their blistering pace. It seems possible that their ability to maintain that 106-possessions-per-48-minutes tempo for entire games may work to their advantage in the clutch, when Sacramento’s opponents simply don’t have anything left.Sacramento ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency in the first quarter, 25th in the second period and tied for 16th in the third, yet it sits sixth in fourth-quarter defense, right behind the defending champ Warriors. And get this: Despite the pace at which they play, the De’Aaron Fox-led Kings have yet to commit a clutch-time turnover this season — they’re the only team that can still make such a claim this late in the season. It’s part of the reason they are 8-3 — best in the Western Conference — in contests separated by 5 points or fewer with five minutes or less remaining, per bad for the NBA’s third-youngest team, one whose young players all seem to have taken a step forward this season.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Opinion Columbus Blue Jackets coaching change a desperate but hopeful move

John Tortorella is introduced with alumni from the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship team at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on March 17, 2014.Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe Columbus Blue Jackets have had a terrible start to the year with a 1-8-0 start. They lost the first eight games they played, but fired then-coach Todd Richards after an 0-7 start and brought on John Tortorella.Tortorella is someone who the team believes is going to give these Blue Jackets a wakeup call they desperately need. The choice of getting rid of Richards was not an easy one, as the Blue Jackets had a lot of success with him being the winningest coach in team’s short history.Richards had taken the Blue Jackets to the playoffs and helped guide their first victory in the postseason, as well as the only postseason victory at Nationwide Arena. Richards was a good coach who got fired for something that was not his fault: the play of the players.Coming into this season, the Blue Jackets had the highest expectations in franchise history and were being talked about as a possible winner of the Metropolitan Division, a first for the franchise if accomplished. Columbus played a good, hard-fought first game until it came unraveled in the third period. After that, the Blue Jackets didn’t look anything like they did in the preseason. Something had to be done.At the time of Richards’ canning, the team was coming close to history by losing seven games in a row. The last time an NHL team had lost as many games as the Blue Jackets to start a season was in 1943, when the New York Rangers started out 0-11-0.The Blue Jackets lost the debut of Tortorella, but battled to a close finish, falling 3-2 against the Minnesota Wild on the road, which set the franchise-worst eight straight losses to open the season. They came back and won the ninth game of the year on Saturday, pulling to .500 under Tortorella. Since being hired on, the team has looked more and more like the team many thought they could be. Maybe this is all because of Tortorella and what he brings to the table for the Blue Jackets.Tortorella is a very well-respected hockey coach around the league. The man is the all-time winningest American-born coach in NHL history. He has led three different clubs — the Rangers, Tampa Bay Lighting and Vancouver Canucks — compiling a record of 446-375-37-78 (ties were a part of the league until it introduced the shootout in 2005). His career winning percentage is .538, while he joins a team that has a franchise winning percentage of .394.He has won a championship in 2004 with the Lighting and took the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012. He also has a tendency to not be quite as friendly to media as others. Just ask the New York media who had to cover him. That could be what this club — and city — needs. He could restore the team’s blue collar attitude that it held for the last few years, as it finished above .500 in each of the past three seasons.Tortorella has to get this club to wake up. We saw the potential in this team at the end of last season, and the Blue Jackets have had a history the past few years of starting slow but still making a run. The team still has a lot of the same core players that it had last year. All Tortorella has to do is get the players back to the level of play they had, and the confidence they had as well.The Blue Jackets’ biggest weakness has been on the defensive side, starting with the defensemen not looking anything like last year, and Sergei Bobrovsky carrying a 4.45 goals-against average and a 1-6 record. The Blue Jackets showed flashes during their losing streak, but have looked consistently better since Tortorella arrived.Columbus is not the first team to fire a coach this early in the season. In 2013, the Philadelphia Flyers fired Peter Laviolette after just three games and the team still made the playoffs. In the last 25 years, four other teams have fired their coach 10 games or fewer into a season, two of which ended up making the playoffs.The Blue Jackets have some serious odds against them. Going into their 10th game, they are already 12 points behind the Rangers for the top spot in the division. They are also seven points out of a wild card spot.They have an opportunity to get it turned around, but they have to come together with their new coach or it could be another long, postseason-free season for the franchise. read more

Weekly football predictions Week 2

Last year, Quinn Pitcock took home the title belt after dominating the competition in the first season of Lantern weekly picks. This year, Pitcock is seeking to defend his title, and his performance in Week 1 will certainly help. Pitcock and Justin Zwick – who finished third in the standings last year – finished a perfect 3-0 last week, thanks to Boise State’s late comeback win against Virginia Tech. The rest of the field limped to a 1-2 start. Each competitor was asked to predict the winners of four marquee matchups this week. Can Pitcock and Zwick keep their records unblemished? THIS WEEK’S GAMES: No. 11 Miami @ No. 2 Ohio State Michigan @ Notre Dame No. 18 Penn State @ No. 1 Alabama No. 17 Florida State @ No. 10 Oklahoma Dallas Lauderdale Last week/Overall: 1-2 Picks: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Oklahoma Justin Zwick Last week/Overall: 3-0 Picks: Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Florida State James Laurinaitis Last week/Overall: 1-2 Picks: Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Oklahoma Quinn Pitcock Last week/Overall: 3-0 Picks: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida State Zack Meisel Last week/Overall: 1-2 Picks: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida State read more

Chevertons swimming career a whirlwind of success

The past three months of Samantha Cheverton’s life have been amazing — but you wouldn’t know it while sitting down with the soft-spoken swimmer at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. In February, she won the Big Ten individual title in the 200 freestyle. In March, she garnered four All-America honors at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Then, in April, something even greater happened. Cheverton qualified for the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) World Championships for Canada at the trials in Victoria, British Columbia. The championships will be held August in Shanghai. Cheverton won two events, the 200 and 400 freestyle with personal bests times of 1:58.80 and 4:09.67, respectively. “That was really unexpected,” she said. “I made the team but also won two events. I had never won an event at nationals before.” The swimmer from Lachine, Quebec, was not the only one surprised by it. Coach Bill Dorenkott felt the same when he saw the results. “I was at home, and when I saw the results on my computer I started screaming,” he said. “My wife came in and asked what’s wrong.” Cheverton had experience with this song and dance before. The year prior, it was the same routine with all three events falling within 10 weeks of each other. However, this time she felt better prepared and more at ease. “I think our training at the beginning of this year was a lot tougher, more intervals. Maybe that helped me have three solid meets in a row,” she said. “And that’s tough to do not just physically but mentally and emotionally.” Cheverton did have one other thing to help her through it all: her team. “Big Tens is really our focus. We don’t even really talk about NCAAs until it’s over,” she said. “The one thing I love about college swimming is that it is still a team sport. You want to do well so you can get points for your team.” Her fellow OSU swimmers made sure they were there in Canada, in some way, supporting her. “Through Facebook and other means you are always getting messages encouraging you. When I won the 400 free(style), I got like 1,000 text messages from people saying, ‘Good job!’” You wouldn’t know by her post-race interview how excited she really was. “People made fun of me because they pull you out of the pool and immediately interview you when you win,” Cheverton said. “Apparently I sounded not excited at all, but I think I was just in shock.” Though she finished her degree in psychology in December, Cheverton has already started working on a second degree, in human development and family studies. She will take some time off from swimming to recuperate, then focus on the task ahead. Dorenkott said he feels there can be more swimming in her future. “It’s another step in her development as an athlete,” he said. read more

Ohio State wrestling bounces back with wins against Indiana Wisconsin

The No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team improved to 9-2 over the weekend after victories against Big Ten rivals Indiana and No. 19 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes followed a 36-3 trouncing of the Hoosiers last Friday by defeating the Badgers, 29-10, Sunday, improving their conference record to 3-2. Although proud of the victories, OSU coach Tom Ryan said in a phone interview that the team is still not where it needs to be. “You know, I don’t think we’re wrestling our best right now, but we’re in the middle of the Big Ten season and we need to pick up our intensity,” he said. OSU rallied behind nine wins to cruise past Indiana, dropping the Hoosiers record to 6-5 and 0-3 in the Big Ten. The road to victory was a bit different for the Buckeyes against Wisconsin, though the outcome was the same. The Badgers got off to a quick 4-0 start after Wisconsin redshirt junior Tyler Graff defeated OSU redshirt freshman Kyle Visconti, 25-11, in the opening bout between the 133-pound weight class. The Badgers’ momentum was stopped, however, when OSU sophomore Hunter Stieber pinned redshirt senior Tom Kelliher in 1:22, extending his record to 23-0 and giving the Buckeyes a 6-4 lead. Wisconsin went back on top 7-6 when redshirt senior Cole Schmitt defeated OSU sophomore Cam Tessari, 8-7, in a close-fought battle of the 149-pound weight class. Despite the early deficit, the Buckeyes went on to win five consecutive matches. Winning the next three bouts were redshirt sophomore Josh Demas at 157 pounds, freshman Mark Martin at 165 pounds and redshirt junior Nick Heflin at 174 pounds. OSU redshirt freshman Kenny Courts dominated his match in the 184-pound weight class, going up 16-0 before winning the match by a technical fall in the second period. At 197 pounds, sophomore Andrew Campolattano followed with a narrow 3-2 victory over Wisconsin’s redshirt junior Jackson Hein. The streak ended when redshirt junior Peter Capone suffered a 5-2 defeat to redshirt freshman Connor Medbery in the heavyweight class. For the Buckeyes, though, the match concluded on a high note when OSU senior Nikko Triggas of the 125-pound weight class pinned his opponent, redshirt sophomore Matt Cavarllaris, in 45 seconds. With the loss, Wisconsin slipped to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten. Ryan said that in order to finish the Big Ten portion of the schedule strong, the team needs to improve in several areas. “There’s plenty of technical stuff, little conditioning things, but we have to get ready for Illinois and we’ll have to put in some hard work for next week,” he said. The Buckeyes look to continue their winning ways when they take on Illinois on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in Oak Harbor, Ohio. read more

For Ohio State mens basketball rematch against Wisconsin is game on

CHICAGO-Ohio State will play in the Big Ten tournament championship game after beating Michigan State Saturday evening, the likely high point of the Buckeyes’ season thus far. The low mark of the year came against Wisconsin Feb. 17, during a 71-49 drubbing by the Badgers in Madison. OSU’s opponent for the conference title at the United Center in Chicago Sunday afternoon? Wisconsin, which upset No. 1 seed Indiana, 68-56, before the Buckeyes and Spartans took the floor. Since the defeat at the hands of the Badgers in the middle of February, OSU has rattled off seven-straight wins. “Ever since we suffered that loss at Wisconsin, we’ve gone into every game with a business-type mindset. Every game is business. There’s no ‘He-he, ha-ha,’” said redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel. Sunday, the Buckeyes will look to hand the Badgers a spoonful of revenge for the embarrassing loss they suffered that Sunday afternoon at the Kohl Center. OSU is a much improved team since that Feb. 17 contest. So, though, are the Badgers. “We’re a better basketball team than the last time we played them, but unfortunately, so are they. I think Wisconsin is playing at a very high level right now,” said OSU coach Thad Matta. OSU players attribute their success since that rout to them coming together as a complete unit. Everyone is contributing on both ends of the floor, they say. “We kind of came together as a team and said, ‘We can’t rely on just one guy to play offense or one guy to play defense,’” said junior guard Aaron Craft, who scored 20 points in the Buckeyes’ 61-58 defeat of the Spartans Saturday. Wisconsin has been playing cohesively as well. The Badgers had four players in double figures against the Hoosiers and shot 51 percent from the floor. Wisconsin has won five of its seven games since its beatdown of OSU at home. Sunday’s contest will almost assuredly look very different than the two team’s last matchup. “We’re two totally different teams,” said junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. “Now that we get another crack at them, it’s game on.” Analyzing the opponent Record: 23-10, 14-6 Big Ten Against OSU in the regular season: 1-1 Jan. 29, OSU 58, Wisconsin 49, in Columbus Feb. 17, Wisconsin 71, OSU 49 in Madison Matchup to watch: OSU’s perimeter defense vs. Wisconsin’s outside shooting OSU hangs its defensive hat on the heads of Craft and sophomore guard Shannon Scott, who routinely disrupt opponents’ guard play. Wisconsin relies heavily on the three ball. In their win against Indiana Saturday, the Badgers made seven threes. In their shellacking of the Buckeyes on Feb. 17, Wisconsin totaled seven makes from deep. If Craft and Scott can hold Wisconsin’s guards in check, limiting the Badgers’ looks from behind the line, OSU would be in good shape. OSU and Wisconsin are set to tip-off at 3:30 p.m. from the United Center in Chicago Sunday. OSU is playing for its fourth Big Ten tournament title under Matta. read more

Amedeo Della Valle ready to contribute in year 2 as a Buckeye

Sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle (33) watches his shot during an exhibition game against Walsh Nov. 3 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 93-63.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternAt times during the 2012-13 Ohio State basketball season, Amedeo Della Valle wasn’t sure if being in Columbus — more than 4,400 miles from his hometown of Alba, Italy — was for him.“I’m here by myself,” Della Valle said at OSU Media Day Oct. 10. “I don’t have family with me, so it’s not the easiest thing to do.”The sophomore sharpshooter spent the summer back home, earning Most Valuable Player honors during the U20 European Championship after averaging 13.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while playing with his Italian team. Della Valle said although his lack of playing time last season was tough, he decided to come back because of assurances from the coaching staff and the relationship he has with his teammates, who he calls his “best friends.”“Coach (Thad) Matta’s a great coach, not just as a coach, as a person (too), and coach (Chris) Jent was here too, so sometimes when I wasn’t playing, I used to talk to them and be like, ‘What am I doing wrong?’” Della Valle said at Media Day. “They would tell me, ‘It’s not just about being ready today. We know what kind of player you can be, so just work hard on your game.’”Jent has since joined the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, but Della Valle continued to work hard in the offseason. It paid off, as he logged 21 minutes in OSU’s 93-63 exhibition victory over Walsh Sunday, totaling 13 points.“I like his confidence. Amedeo is a young man who cares about the welfare of the team,” Matta said after the win. “He wants to do everything he can do to help this team win; I put that in higher regard than a lot of things that happen.”The 6-foot-5-inch 190 pound sophomore has never been shy about taking his shot when it is there, hoisting 26 3-pointers last season while only averaging 7.2 minutes per game. Spending the majority of his time toward the end of the bench during his freshman year was because of one simple thing.“Definitely defense,” Della Valle said at Media Day. “Definitely wasn’t surprised that defense was something I had to work on, because I’ve never been a great defender my whole life. You just look at your teammates and what they do, and how they do it, and you just try to see yourself doing that.”His defense might have improved, but the Buckeyes could need Della Valle’s help offensively more than they think as they try to replace 2012-13 Big Ten leading scorer Deshaun Thomas, who left following the 2012 season for the NBA.Junior forward LaQuinton Ross said he thinks Della Valle can certainly be that guy because of how he’s always been able to score.“I would say Amedeo has probably been one of the most consistent guys since he’s been here as far as scoring the ball,” Ross said at Media Day. “What he did overseas this year with his Italian League was incredible … I think he’s one of the best scorers.”Della Valle made three of the Buckeyes’ four 3-pointers in Sunday’s win, something Matta said he was pleased with, even though shooting from the behind the arc might not be what the team is looking for a lot this year.“Obviously shooting the ball is very, very important to us in terms of percentage and that sort of thing,” Matta said. “Fortunately for us, (Amedeo) knocked down some threes. But we didn’t attempt a lot of them, which is good.”The Italian, though, said going away from the outside shot is not necessarily the team’s mindset.“I feel like that’s not the plan, or something we are focused on. I think we are focused on running the right play, and taking the right shots,” Della Valle said Sunday. “You don’t want to take a forced three — I mean the threes that I shot, I was open, so I had to take those shots.”At Media Day, Matta said replacing Thomas is going to be a team effort this season. That was clear in the win against Walsh, as Della Valle was one of five players who scored in double figures.“I don’t think we necessarily need somebody that shoots 20 shots per game or averages 30 points,” Della Valle said. “But I feel like we have enough scorers, enough players to make plays.”Della Valle believes he is one of those players, and said he is excited to be on the court more this winter after a “fun” first year as a Buckeye.“I’m lucky,” Della Valle said at Media Day. “It was definitely fun, and it was definitely a good freshman year. It helped me a lot. I feel like if I would have played more, I would have never realized what I need to work on more, and I would have never been motivated like I was last year to push myself.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to open their regular season Saturday at the Schottenstein Center against Morgan State at noon. read more

Kerry Coombs Ohio State cornerbacks will be good and ready for 2015

Then-redshirt-freshman Gareon Conley (19) makes a tackle during a game against Illinois on Nov. 1 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 55-14. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor“There is tremendous value in appreciating what you’ve earned.”Those were the words of Ohio State cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs on Tuesday when he addressed the media after spring practice No. 9.Coombs, now entering his fourth season at OSU, said the Buckeyes should be able to reflect on and celebrate the school’s eighth national title from 2015, but they also need to focus on the task at hand.For now, part of that task is replacing Doran Grant at cornerback as spring practice rolls on.But while one corner spot remains open, the other has been locked down by redshirt-sophomore Eli Apple, who Coombs said has impressed throughout spring practice.“Eli was coming off of an illness last spring, and we didn’t have any idea of how he was going to play,” Coombs said Tuesday. “I thought he had a very good season and I think he has had a much better offseason and spring than he has ever had.”Apple accumulated 53 total tackles last season and added three interceptions while playing in all 15 games, including 14 starts.He also led the team in pass breakups with 10, edging out Grant, who totaled nine in his senior campaign.But even though Apple has momentum heading into 2015, Coombs said the returning starter is not yet a complete product.“He is not finished, and he knows that. We talk about that all the time,” Coombs said. “(I am) really excited about him.”As for the position mirroring Apple, Coombs seemed to have narrowed the competition down to two players.Redshirt-sophomore Gareon Conley was the first name out of Coombs’ mouth when asked about the other corner spot, and he added that Conley has bulked up this offseason.“Gareon has had a very good spring. He has put on weight, he has put on strength,” Coombs said. “He showed up at 168 pounds, now he’s 190 pounds. He is a very fast player, (and) his skill set continues to improve.”Conley played sparingly last season, totaling 16 tackles to go along with two pass breakups. He earned a start against Michigan State, but was replaced by Apple after giving up an early touchdown.Coombs also named a player who is getting his first taste of college football spring practice.“(Sophomore) Damon Webb, this is his first spring. It’s a lot, it’s hard. He is playing corner and nickel and he is handling it extremely well,” Coombs said. “He is one of the most competitive players on the team.”And while the two-horse race might come down to Conley and Webb, Coombs added he is hopeful that redshirt-freshman Marshon Lattimore will be available next week for full-speed drills.Lattimore suffered a season-ending injury toward the beginning of the 2014-15 season.With a number of young players set to make an impact in 2015, Coombs said he still believes his unit will be able to maintain the success of the press-man coverage defense that was implemented last season.“They will be good and ready,” Coombs said. “I love my room right now, I love my unit. They are really working at the craft of studying themselves, grading themselves every day; they show up ready to work.”The Buckeyes are set to play their annual Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 18 before starting the 2015 regular season on the road against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 7. read more

Football Personnel changes could lead to improved kickoff coverage

Ohio State freshman kicker Blake Haubeil (95) sends the ball down the field during the 2017 season opener vs Indiana. Ohio State won 49-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe opening kickoff of No. 6 Ohio State’s game against No. 7 Penn State resulted in a returned touchdown. The second was purposely kicked short and fair caught at Penn State’s 27-yard line. The third was returned to Ohio State’s 23-yard line by a linebacker.Penn State’s average starting field position off kickoffs against the Buckeyes was at the Nittany Lion 44-yard line. To put that in perspective, had Ohio State kicked the ball out of bounds every time, it would have been about 9 yards better than the average end result.So considering it would have been better for Ohio State to simply kick it out of bounds, it is understandable that head coach Urban Meyer has described his kickoff coverage as “a joke” and “comical.”That is why it should come as no surprise to learn that he wants to adjust the lineup are coming ahead of Saturday’s matchup against Iowa.“Oh yeah, we’re going to make some changes on personnel,” Meyer said on Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference. “I just have to keep re-evaluating.”Typically, Meyer has used special teams as a way to break in some of the younger players on the team who have not had as much playing time. Five freshmen, two sophomores and three current or former walk-on seniors comprised the group that allowed Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to return the touchdown.Meyer said Monday he has turned to a lot of younger players and highly touted recruits on his roster in an effort to give them more playing time. He said those prospects often leave after their first year if they are dissatisfied with the playing time, and that by playing them on special teams he is giving them a chance to show they belong and make a case for early playing time. With a personnel change coming, the kickoff coverage will likely turn to more veteran players on the team. Though it could cut into the early development time for some of the younger players on the unit, the Buckeyes need to do what they can to ensure they shore up the kickoff coverage. They have already allowed two returned touchdowns this season and cannot afford to allow special teams blunders to determine their future.Sophomore wide receiver Austin Mack said he has been on kickoff coverage before and expects to return to that role later this season, given the current struggles of those currently out there.“More reliable people. People that’s going to get the job done,” Mack said Tuesday. “Because we can’t have what we had last game. So that’s something that we have to be serious about and make sure that we get done.”He is not the only leader on the team who hopes to step up and contribute in coverage. Redshirt senior linebacker Chris Worley said he hasn’t played special teams since linebackers coach Bill Davis joined Ohio State’s staff in December 2016, but he would like to return to assist. He said Davis welcomes the idea of Worley potentially being used on kickoff coverage, even though when he was hired, he wanted to keep his starting middle linebacker on defense.And if Meyer has his way, Worley just might end up back on the unit, even if it means cutting into the playing time of those younger players.“During the special teams meeting today, [Meyer] made it clear that [there is] just going to have to be some guys that play a lot of football around here on offense and defense that may have to go into the game on special teams,” Worley said. “We have great young players. They have to play great, and we’ll see how that unfolds.”Worley said he might not be the only linebacker to contribute to the unit. Worley listed unior Jerome Baker and redshirt junior Dante Booker as two linebackers who could see more time on special teams. Improving the players tasked with stopping the return could be Meyer’s final chance at fixing the unit. Meyer said the team has attempted to adjust schemes and kick the ball in different directions. However, he said the team is limited in the adjustments it can make given the inability of his kickers to reach the end zone with their kicks. “I’d kick it out of the end zone every time,” Meyer said Monday. “We’re the only team in America that can’t kick it out of the end zone, even with the wind at our back.”How accurate that assessment might be — freshman kicker Blake Haubeil has six touchbacks in seven games this season — is all a moot point if Meyer is determined to pin opponents deep near their own end zone. But if Ohio State continues to struggle to kick the ball into coverage or can’t effectively cover the returns, its chances of achieving its end goal of a national championship will be greatly diminished. read more

Police let market town brothel stay open for 10 years councillors say

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Police should have shut it down, there’s no doubt about itCllr Pete Fuller Cllr Pete Fuller added: “Police should have shut it down, there’s no doubt about it. They should not choose which laws they uphold and which ones they don’t or it would cause anarchy and leave them open to accusations.”Some European countries are more liberal than us and don’t seem to mind brothels but I for one hope they are never legalised in the UK.”Phoebe Kemp, 27, a prospective Labour councillor who lives in Norwood Court, said: “We’ve been here for 18 months and guessed something might have been going on.”My partner used to see lots of strange people going in and out. It’s worrying that police chose to let it continue – it makes me wonder what else they are turning a blind eye to.”I would really like to know why they chose to let it remain open and I’m sure other people would, too.”Trowbridge mayor Linda Self said: “I do think the police should have closed it down when they first heard about it.”The same Wiltshire police force recently announced that 40 sex workers a week were selling their bodies in Swindon after being trafficked by Eastern European gangs.Detective Sergeant Chris Hitchcock said: “Officers attended this address as part of a National Crime Agency led operation into human trafficking.” Councillors in a market town are demanding to know why a brothel was allowed to continue for ten years after police were first tipped off.Officers finally raided the “massage parlour” in Trowbridge, Wilts, as part of an operation led by the National Crime Agency into human trafficking.They found a punter with two middle-age English women who told him they were happy working at the sex den. The madame was traced as mother-of-two Marion Meyer-Smith, 49, who admitted running the brothel in the flat for 14 years. She raked in between £100 – £150 a week from the two sex workers, both of whom were working in their hometown. Meyer-Smith, who lives in Chepstow, Gwent, was spared jail earlier this month with a 12-month term suspended for two years at Swindon Crown Court.But the court heard that police had been tipped off about the brothel in Norwood Court by a local a decade earlier but failed to act until last June.A letting agent contacted the police to tell them what was going on there and got an acknowledgement from the force.Local councillor John Knight said: “It’s absolutely shocking and inexcusable that the brothel was allowed to remain open and the police have a lot to answer for.”I had no idea that kind of thing was going on there but if the police did they should have shut it down immediately.”Prostitution really is a big problem and you have to wonder why Wiltshire Police aren’t giving it a higher profile.”last_img read more

Theresa  May is urged to hold a public inquiry into death of

first_imgFour MPs have written to the Prime Minister urging her to hold a public inquiry into the “manifold failings” that led to the death of Poppi Worthington.The cross-party MPs, all from Cumbria where the 13-month-old girl died in 2012, have also set up an online petition on the Downing Street website calling for an investigation to help “make children safe” and restore public confidence in the police.Last week an inquest coroner concluded that the girl was sexually assaulted by her father, Paul Worthington, just hours before she suffocated in “unsafe sleeping conditions” in his double bed.David Roberts, senior coroner for Cumbria, also said there had been “very significant failings” by Cumbria police in their handling of the case. Prosecutors refused three times to put Mr Worthington on trial, and police bluders could mean he is never prosecuted. Mr Worthington, 49, who has always maintained his innocence, is currently in police protection. It urges Theresa May to hold an inquiry to ensure such a tragedy is never repeated, adding: “You can make other vulnerable children safer by launching a public inquiry to examine how so many warning signs that Poppi could be in danger were missed, and how they could be missed again.After listing recent successful inquiries like the one into the Hillsborough football tragedy, it concludes: “In Poppi’s memory, please do the right thing again and order a public inquiry to restore confidence in our police force and improve child protection. Please act to stop other children being failed like she was.” Poppi WorthingtonCredit:Family Handout Poppi Worthingtoncenter_img The MPs’ letter, signed by John Woodcock, Trudy Harrison, Tim Farron and Sue Hayman, claims that only a public inquiry can ensure that confidence is restored in the police and child protection services.It says that the coroner’s “bombshell verdict” into Poppi’s death has ”heightened a crisis in public confidence in the vital public services that work to keep children safe.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Princess Charlotte learning ballet after a little introduction from the Royal Opera

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Royal Opera House The Duchess of Cambridge watches Royal Ballet Principal Dancers Lauren Cuthbertson and Vadim Muntagirov  rehearsing The Two Pigeons  The Duchess of Cambridge watches Royal Ballet Principal Dancers Lauren Cuthbertson and Vadim Muntagirov  rehearsing The Two Pigeons Credit:Heathcliff O’Malley The royal visitor also commented on the build of the dancers, saying: “I was asking if the men’s costumes had shoulder pads and they said ‘no they don’t need them’,” adding that after seeing the dancers the reply now “makes more sense”. Duchess of Cambridge looks at a costume with head of dye deparment Parveen Banga Princess Charlotte has developed an interest in ballet after being given a “little introduction” by a member of the Royal Opera House, the Duchess of Cambridge has disclosed.The Duchess mentioned three-year-old Charlotte’s interest as she thanked a member of the Royal Opera House, adding that her “lucky” daughter has been “so keen ever since”.It is understood that she was referring to her mother and daughter trip to the Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House in December, when they watched a rehearsal ahead of the opening night.According to royal staff, the duchess is “passionate” about learning more on textiles and costume design due to her family history, with her great-great grandfather running the family’s successful textile manufacturing company, Francis Martineau Lupton, in Leeds.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Principal dancers from The Royal Ballet, Lauren Cuthbertson, Laura Morera, Vadim Muntagirov and Tomas Mock, met the Duchess to explain how their costumes work as they perform, before she watched a rehearsal of the Two Pigeons ballet, which premieres on Friday. Duchess of Cambridge looks at a costume with head of dye deparment Parveen BangaCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Ms Morera explained her excitement at fitting into a costume she had first worn when she graduated from the Royal Ballet School in 1995, joking: “It was rewarding as a woman.”Later, the Duchess asked the dancers if they “like having the feeling of structure” in their costumes, to which Ms Cuthbertson quipped: “I like to have as much stretch as possible!” Artists from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera House use up to 10,000 costumes each year.The costumes department is responsible for storing and refurbishing opera and ballet costumes, some dating back to 1861. Many of these are used time and time again, with the entire refurbishment of a costume taking the workroom around 1,500 hours.During her visit the duchess also visited the pattern room, where she was shown the process of working and creating costumes for a new production with designers, including sourcing fabrics and samples. The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Royal Opera HouseCredit:PA The Duchess was then shown the dye shop, where staff showcased different techniques including dyeing, hand-painting, staining garments and digital printing which allows the team to reproduce historic fabrics no longer available.As designers explained the process of creating each costume, she said: “It’s wonderful to see the detail and the skill set involved.”She added the team were “so talented” and the costumes were “amazing”. read more

Chelsea footballer Danny Drinkwater given 70 hours community service as he is

Danny Drinkwater in action for ChelseaCredit:Adam Davy/PA Chelsea footballer Danny Drinkwater has been banned from the roads after ploughing his £125,000 Range Rover through a wall while twice the legal drink-drive limit.Drinkwater, 29, who had two female passengers in his car, caused £50,000 worth of damage to the vehicle and suffered a grazed forehead, Stockport Magistrates’ Court heard.He pleaded guilty to drink driving during a brief appearance in the dock, before he was banned from the roads for 20 months and ordered to do 70 hours of community service.He was also given a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and an £85 victim surcharge.Subi Chowdhury, prosecuting, told the court Drinkwater himself called emergency services after the crash at about 12.30am on April 8.His car had gone through a wall on Ashley Road, Mere, near to Tatton Park, a country house in Cheshire.Paramedics and police arrived and Drinkwater admitted to officers he had been drinking.His road-side test proved positive and he was taken to Middlewich Police station.There he gave a reading of 87 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, with the legal limit being 35 microgrammes.Drinkwater was then put in the cells, the court heard, and charged with drink-driving. Danny Drinkwater in action for Chelsea Robin Sellars, defending, said Drinkwater was “fully compliant” with police after his arrest and said he had been to a private function, with a friend expected to drive him home. However, his friend was unable to do so, so Drinkwater decided to drive himself to his home on Bollington Lane, Nether Alderley, Cheshire.Mr Sellars added: “He only had himself to blame. He understands he’s done wrong.”He absolutely knows he’s going to be banned. He knows he’s lost the privilege of driving.”He instructs me he will be employing a driver.”Mr Sellars said Drinkwater had no previous convictions and asked for the defendant to be punished by way of a fine, rather than community service.He handed up to the bench paperwork of Drinkwater’s income, which was not revealed in open court.District Judge Mark Hadfield, reading the paperwork, replied: “This is monthly, is it?”He rejected the defence request for Drinkwater, now living in Oakshott, Surrey, to pay a fine instead of a community work penalty.He added: “The alcohol limit is around two and a half times the legal limit. You knew when you got behind the wheel of that vehicle you should not have been driving.”Drinkwater nodded to the judge as he was sentenced and was told to see his probation officer before leaving court.The Sun reported that Drinkwater crashed his Range Rover after attending a “chav-themed” charity party. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. He signed for Chelsea from league-winning Leicester City in 2017 for £35 million but has failed to make his mark in the London side.He has not featured under Italian manager Maurizio Sarri or played a competitive game for 13 months.He started his football career as a trainee with Manchester United and has also played for Watford, Huddersfield, Cardiff and Barnsley. read more

Bel Air resident remanded on multiple fraud charges

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVenezuelan remanded on multiple chargesSeptember 27, 2016In “Court”Man pleads guilty to fraud charges; sentenced to one year in jailFebruary 4, 2015In “Crime”Land Fraudster remanded to prisonSeptember 27, 2013In “Crime” A 57-year-old man was remanded to prison when he appeared earlier today (Tuesday) before Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court, on fraud charges.Clayton AlleyneClayton Alleyne, a resident of Bel Air, Georgetown pleaded not guilty when  he was read three charges for collecting money under false pretense.The first charge stated that between November 3 2016 and February 8 2017, Alleyne obtained cash in the sum of $516,000 from Samuel Manbodh under the pretense that he would make a $4M loan available to him. The second charge also stated that during the same time period he collected $700,000 from Dolan Lulchand promising that he would be given a $5M loan. The court heard that the final charge was that during the same time frame, he obtained $415,000 cash from Kezia Shepherd after promising to make a loan of $3.4M available to her.The accused was refused bail on the grounds that he has several other fraud charges to be filed against him since the investigations are still ongoing. Also, Alleyne was previously charged for a similar offence and was granted bail.He is expected to return to court on May 19 2017. read more

Hurricane Maria Guyana stands in solidarity with Dominica ready to offer

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGuyana available to render assistance to Dominica following Tropical StormAugust 28, 2015In “Regional”Hurricane Maria aftermath: Dominica appeals for further helpOctober 19, 2017In “Regional”Guyana stands ready to support hurricane hit territories- PresidentSeptember 7, 2017In “latest news” Hurricane MariaAs Dominica becomes the latest hurricane-hit territory in the Caribbean region, President David Granger has said that Guyana stands in solidarity with the island state even as Guyana remains committed to extending support for the Caribbean States including Dominica, which have been affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  Reports indicate that there has been severe destruction with no deaths confirmed thus far.Meanwhile, in an invited comment, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who is responsible for the disaster relief agency, the Civil Defence Commission (CDC), informed that Guyana stands ready to lend technical and other forms of support as may be required.According to a report from the BBC, Maria, has powered back to category five strength after pounding the Caribbean island of Dominica.It weakened to a four after wreaking “widespread damage” on the island but is now packing maximum sustained winds of 265km/h (165mph) again.The storm is moving roughly along the same track as Irma, this season’s other category five hurricane.At least one person was killed and two others are missing in Guadeloupe.President David Granger will be addressing World Leaders tomorrow at the 72nd Session of the United Nations General AssemblyMeanwhile, President Granger said that a broader platform is needed to effectively provide protection and relief to Caribbean States that are vulnerable to natural disasters. He noted that urgent efforts must be made to strengthen the capabilities of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the regional mechanism that deals with disaster preparedness and response. “The Caribbean has to go to the drawing board again. We have got to create a more effective platform maybe in terms of architecture, in terms of response, in terms of measures to provide relief to our citizens…Guyana has a wide diaspora but have to look at the logistical capabilities of the Caribbean Community,” he said.The Head of State made these points during a meeting with Commonwealth Secretary General, The RT. Patricia Scotland at the United Nations Headquarters today.Speaking to the Guyanese media corps after that meeting, the Head of State said that, “It is quite clear that climate change is not something we could ignore… I have more or less put it to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth that next year when we meet in London at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting we have to put climate change and the issue of protection of and relief to Caribbean Commonwealth States on the agenda. We already have a mechanism, the CDEMA and we have to broaden CDEMA because what is happening now is that several countries are being adversely affected at the same time,” President Granger explained.He said that with several Anglophone Caribbean states being devastated simultaneously by hurricanes, a more comprehensive plan is needed to address the issue of evacuation; noting that people cannot be moved from one affected country to the next. Moreover, he emphasised that efforts at mitigation must be intensified. “We got to think about how we are going to prevent climate change at the global scale from affecting the Small Island Developing States [SIDS] and also the low-lying coastal states because countries like Belize, Suriname and Guyana can also be affected by global warming and rising sea levels. Even though we do not get hurricanes, we are going to see rising sea levels which will jeopardise our sea defences,” President Granger said.Granger said that the country can play a key role in terms of using its vast land space to offer citizens of affected Caribbean territories a chance of a better life in the wake of recent climatic disasters. Additionally, with Guyana transitioning to a ‘green state’ and its commitment to preserving its forests, it is providing an important service to the world.“We are leaders in environmental security and we have to emphasise that all states of the world must try to preserve their biodiversity, protect their forests and mitigate or prevent the situation in which greenhouse gases tend to contribute to global warming. So we have got to look at green technology and environmental measures…So that gradually, global warming could be brought under control and eventually the tendency for the earth to get warm will be slowed. Guyana is very important to the environmental future and this is the main issue I raised with the Commonwealth Secretary General,” the President disclosed. read more

Soesdyke man found hanging by father

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related10-yr-old died from hanging – autopsy findsJuly 20, 2018Similar postBerbice man found hanging from rope around neckJune 14, 2016In “Local News”Berbice man who murdered wife, daughter found hanging in abandoned houseJune 6, 2018In “Crime” DEAD: Gregory SuklalA 33-year-old man, was on Wednesday night, found hanging from the ceiling of his home,  by his father.Dead is Gregory Suklal of Seosdyke, East Bank Demerara (EBD), a former employee of the Bounty Farm.Inews understands that the man’s father, whom he lived with, was headed to the washroom when he called out to his son. However, he received no response which prompted him to make inspections; and it was then Suklal was discovered handing from a rope in the ceiling of his bedroom.It is unclear what prompted the action by the now dead man. (Kizzy Coleman) read more