Jacksonville native JJ Grey may have had the shortest trip to Wanee Music Festival on any of the main stage artists this weekend. Grey’s southern heritage and the swagger it afforded him resonate in every syllable he sings and every guitar lick he peels off, sowhenever he gets a chance to play at one of his beloved childhood haunts–The Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park–he tends to go all out. That maxim held true at JJ Grey & Mofro’s Wanee performance on Friday, as Grey braved the heat in a sharp suit (which he seemed to regret upon meeting face-to-face with the blazing Florida sun) to deliver a set of soul drenched rock to an eager audience.Thanks to our own Rex Thomson, we can see a bit of Grey’s natural southern charm and Mofro’s considerable groove-spinning talents in the videos below! Pour yourself a sweet tea, open the windows and let the sunshine music welcome the Spring!“Every Minute”“Gal Youngn”“Everything Is A Song”“Devil Behind You>Georgia Warhorse”
Photo: Michael Gray Wantagh / CC BY-SA 2.0MIAMI — Theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Paris Resort will be closing through the end of the month, starting at the close of business Sunday, the Walt Disney Company announced.The company said in a statement Thursday that the decision was made “in an abundance of caution” to protect guests and employees amid the global outbreak of the new coronavirus. The decision came hours after the announcement of the planned closure of Disneyland in California.Additionally, Disney Cruise Line will suspend all new departures beginning Saturday and continuing through the end of the month, the statement said. The Walt Disney Company will pay its cast members during that closure period, according to the release.The hotels at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris will remain open, along with the shops and restaurants at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World and Disney Village at Disneyland Paris, according to the news release. Orlando is the nation’s most visited tourist destination, bringing vast numbers of people from around the globe to its major theme parks, which also include Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. The city attracted 75 million visitors in 2018. No one has tested positive in the two counties that are home to the popular amusement parks.Universal Orlando Resort also announced in its own emailed statement that it will temporarily close its theme parks starting at the end of business on Sunday. The company said it anticipates remaining closed through the end of March but will continue to evaluate the situation.It added that Universal Orlando’s hotels and Universal CityWalk will remain open and that it has instituted flexible programs for guests who had booked travel packages and tickets with the resort.In a day of fast-moving developments, NASCAR announced a March 22 race in Homestead, Florida would take place without fans.And Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced the cancellation of the Miami Open tennis tournament.Florida’s governor has strongly advised municipalities and businesses to limit or postpone large gatherings as concerns spiked over the new coronavirus.The number of cases statewide was raised to 42 after the state health department announced late Thursday that 15 people ranging in ages from 20 to 83 tested positive for COVID-19. Most appear to be travel-related but in at least six cases, the cause was not immediately clear.“I am recommending to local municipalities and private entities to strongly considering limiting or postponing mass gatherings,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Thursday in Miami.It is normally a busy time of year in Florida as the Sunshine State usually hosts lucrative spring break tourism.Miami Beach authorities declared spring break over, suspending permits for concerts and an LGBTQ festival as venues in the city shut down.Florida politicians also expressed concerns about coming into contact with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s press secretary Fabio Wajngarten. Wajngarten tested positive for the virus after he joined Bolsonaro while visiting South Florida over the weekend and Monday — including a meeting with President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and the Miami-Dade County mayor announced in news releases or on Twitter on Thursday that they would be self-isolating. Scott said he did not feel ill and was told he did not need to be tested, but that he would isolate himself as a precaution.The new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people. But it can cause more severe illness including pneumonia in older adults and people with existing health problems. The vast majority of people recover within weeks.DeSantis said most of the Florida infections stem from international travel, especially noting that 10 of the positive cases in the state involved people returning from a cruise on the Nile River in Egypt. One of those resulted in one of the two deaths reported by the state.The case of a 61-year-old man from Broward County is associated with the Port Everglades cruise ship terminal. Two other cases include a 63-year-old New York resident, who was in Florida for Daytona Beach’s Bike Week and a 70-year-old Broward County resident who attended a recent Emergency Medical Services conference in Tampa.A passenger on a JetBlue flight from New York that arrived late Wednesday at Palm Beach International Airport tested positive for COVID-19 and other passengers were advised to monitor their health, authorities said.Even though most cases in Florida are linked to travel outside the state, universities, government officials and businesses are taking measures to control the spread within the state.Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said museums and venues were shutting down altogether or canceling their events. The city will not issue permits for spring break concerts and the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade, scheduled for early April. Public beaches are still open.“To the extent that anyone can declare spring break is over, it is over this year,” Gelber said.Public universities — which have some of the country’s largest enrollments — will move to remote instruction effective Monday. Schools in Broward County — the county with the highest number of infections at 7— are canceling academic, athletic and extracurricular events starting Monday.As a further precaution ahead of Tuesday’s presidential primary, the governor urged elections officials to move any polling places away from nursing homes or other facilities that house or care for the elderly. And he suspended all official travel for state employees for 30 days. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is organizing a business trade mission to Asia and the Pacific Rim this fall. A delegation of Vermont dignitaries and business people will travel to Shanghai, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for an 11-day trip, October 13 to 23, 2003. The tentative itinerary includes business meetings in all three locations, in addition to a variety of events and receptions.Lt. Governor Brian Dubie and Vermont Secretary of Commerce Kevin Dorn will lead the Vermont business delegation. Trade mission highlights include:* Official ribbon cutting and ceremony of the Vermont Chamber Shanghai office.* Individual targeted meetings for each participating business.* Evening reception with Taiwan president Chen Shui Bian.* Participation in the two-day Taiwan Business Alliance Conference.* Networking opportunities with both Vermont and Asian business and political leaders.* Detailed briefings on each region’s economic, political and business climates.* Opportunities for select companies to demonstrate their products and services to the Asian markets.The mission is open to all Vermont businesses who wish to explore business opportunities in Asia, either through discovering a new market, or expanding existing trade programs.The trade mission is limited to 20 individuals and will be filled on a first come / first served basis. Businesses wishing for more information about the trip may contact Curtis Picard, Vice President of International Trade ([email protected](link sends e-mail), (802) 223-3443 x 124).For over a decade the Vermont Chamber has grown a trade program to market products and services by helping foster business relationships in the international arena. As the Vermont Chamber’s international trade program continues to grow, Vermont Chamber President Chris Barbieri will leave his position effective November 1, 2003 to become the Chamber’s International Trade Liaison based in Shanghai.
Scene 3 Lynchburg has been designated a Runner Friendly City by theRoad Runners Club of America! Stop by Riverside Runners for shoes,apparel, fuel and accessories before hitting the road. Just a few miles from downtown stands the Rivermont neighborhood, a turn-of-the-century gem filled with striking, ornate Victorian era homes. It’s there that you will find Riverside Park, a serene oasis with plenty of sites and activities for all. For parents and children, there is a playground and a Sprayground for a free afternoon activity during the summer months. There are a variety of secluded trails and breathtaking views of the James River waiting to be explored. For history lovers, there are historical artifacts and sites to see. While walking throughout the park’s 49 acres, you can find a preserved early 20th century steam engine, the remains of the packet boat, Marshall, which carried the body of Stonewall Jackson to Lexington, and the Miller-Claytor House, a late 1700’s town house said to have been visited by Thomas Jefferson. FishingPicnic Multi-use trails Nestled underneath the Blue Ridge Mountains and alongsidethe James River, Lynchburgers love to be outdoors enjoying the naturalsurroundings. With dozens of parks and40 miles of urban and wooded trails, thousands come out daily to walk, jog, orbike in the fresh air. And they love togreet visitors along the way and tell them of their favorite places to eat, getsome culture, and shop. Here are just a few of the scenic parks that are sureto please and the outfitters who serve these adventurers. To Do: Percival’s Island Natural Area James River Adventures Ivy Creek Park To Do: Riverfront Park Riverside Park Canoeing/KayakingFishingNature ZonePicnic/Play areaMulti-use trails To Do: Bikes Unlimited Riverside Runners Ivy Creek Park is an ideal location for avid natureadventurers. The park’s biggest attraction is Clemmons Lake, a perfect spot forcanoeing, kayaking or fishing. But if hiking or biking is more your fare, taketo their scenic multi-use trails. If you’re looking to spend some family time,along with the park’s picnic and play areas there is the Nature Zone, anauxiliary site filled with aquatic reptiles and amphibians. Percival’s Island is a familiar landmark in DowntownLynchburg. Railroad tracks once crossed to the island for train cars tobe serviced, but now visitors may see herons, migrating waterfowl, and nativeplants and animals as they follow the Riverwalk Trail, which bisects thenatural area. Anyone wishing to spend aquiet afternoon or quick bike ride while enjoying views of the James River willfind a lovely park with many special places to explore. TaleTellers Fly Shop Rent a canoe or kayak for an hour or two onthe James River. There’s a sandy beach nearby for great swimming and fishing.Bring a picnic lunch for a relaxing day on the river. This wide open park is positioned perfectly between thehistoric James River and the stunning, 19th century architecture of Downtown’scityscape. It’s a favorite among locals as a great place for a pick-up game orfetch time with their four-legged friend. It’s also a favorite among parents asthe zero-depth fountain allows children to cool off with some water fun! Duringthe weekends, Riverfront Park often serves as a gathering place for numerousfestivals and events where you can hear great music, taste mouth-wateringcuisine, and drink the best local brews Whether looking to buy a bike, or just rent one for a fewhours on the trail, Bikes Unlimited has you covered. Blackwater Bike Shop TaleTellers Fly Shop offers free fly tying classes, flycasting lessons, and information on local rivers and lakes. They offer guidedtrips and gear rentals for those looking to learn. To Do: Walking, Jogging, HikingGeocaching Sprayground/PlaygroundThree Tennis CourtsPacket boat Marshall Miller Claytor HouseEarly 20th century steam engine festivals/eventsZero-depth fountainPicnic This shop holds a variety of skateboard and biking gear. It alsois home to products made out of recycled skateboard decks. Blackwater Bike Shop carries a wide selection of bikes,gear and accessories including helmets, saddlebags and shoes. Find these Outfitters to help you gear up for your adventure in Lynchburg
Pictures from that giant rally shook some prominent Pennsylvania Democrats. “That’s not photoshop,” John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, a Democrat, wrote in a string of Twitter warnings. “Can’t fake a crowd like that.”Phillip Keil, who came to hear Mr. Trump, was optimistic. “I think it’s going to be a landslide,’’ said Mr. Keil, 65, who owns a power-washing business in Gibsonia, Pa. Like the president, he put more faith in crowd sizes, yard signs and other omens than polling, which has the president behind an average of 5 points in Pennsylvania. Driving to the rally in a pickup festooned with Trump signs and flags, Mr. Keil said, “I had one finger given to me and five beeps and hurrahs.’’To fervent Trump supporters, many of them sealed under a dome of misinformation from the president and his media supporters, he is a champion. He has done the best that any president could have managing the coronavirus scourge, supporters say. He lowered taxes and triggered a roaring economy. He alone stands between a free Republic and an all-out assault on liberty if Democrats win control in Washington.Watching the president’s arrival on Saturday in Butler from her porch just beyond the airport, Nadine Schoor, 63, compared his leadership of the country to that of a stern but all-knowing father.“I look at President Trump and we’re the family — the country’s the family,’’ said Ms. Schoor, who works for the county government. “And he’s the parent. He’s got a lot of tough love, and he doesn’t care what anyone thinks to get something done that he knows is right.”All of Pennsylvania does not look like Butler County. On Election Day there were lines of people stretching out of sight in the Democratic strongholds of Philadelphia and elsewhere. But rather than Santa Claus, it was Mr. Trump dropping in for the third of four rallies in Pennsylvania in one day, mostly in places where he had trounced Hillary Clinton in 2016. If Mr. Trump is able to outrun the polls in Pennsylvania and other battlegrounds that show him trailing Joseph R. Biden Jr., it will be because he re-energized the white blue-collar voters in places like Butler County, home to a steel mill that employs 9,000.Supporters like Ms. Cook, 62, viewed the president in heroic terms and had no doubt that he would be re-elected. “Because he’s the greatest president,’’ she said. As the sun set on Saturday in Butler County, which is just north of Pittsburgh, Mr. Trump marveled at his supporters packed shoulder-to-shoulder and largely not wearing masks, despite daily records of coronavirus infections. “You can’t even see the end of people,’’ he beamed. “There’s a lot of people here.” Both polling and analysis of the more than 100 million votes cast before Tuesday nationwide suggests that Mr. Trump has lost ground with college-educated voters compared to four years ago. To compensate, he must drive up his advantage with white working-class voters even higher than in 2016.In Armstrong County, where Mr. Trump won 74 percent of the vote four years ago, Pat Fabian, a Democrat on the county commission, predicted that Mr. Biden would “shave that by 10 or 15 percent” — an improvement that if repeated across Pennsylvania would likely doom Mr. Trump. Mr. Biden spent all or part of the final three days in Pennsylvania, the surest sign of its significance, visiting his childhood home in Scranton on Tuesday. On the final pre-election weekend, Emily Skopov, a Democrat running for the State Legislature, canvassed in an affluent suburb of brick homes north of Pittsburgh, where almost every resident was a registered Republican. Almost no one was willing to speak with her.One couple who did listen to Ms. Skopov’s pitch (“I’m not a communist or a socialist!’’ she quickly said.) was Brian and Patty O’Conner, whose opinions mirrored the gender gap that has imperiled Mr. Trump. Updated Nov. 3, 2020, 5:47 p.m. ET Rich Fitzgerald, the county executive of Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, boldly predicted, “I fully expect Joe Biden to carry Allegheny County by 150,000 votes this time.’’ Mrs. Clinton’s margin in the county four years ago was 108,000 votes.Mr. Trump faced a particularly uphill battle in suburban Pennsylvania, where his support among women has eroded over the last four years.Bucks County, just outside Philadelphia, went for Mrs. Clinton by less than a percentage point in 2016. By the 2018 midterms, it went for the Democratic Senate candidate by 14 points. This year, Mr. Biden hopes to run up his margins in places like Bucks, where disaffected Republicans were not hard to find.“I feel that Trump is just an embarrassment to the country,” said Andy Innocenti, a 62-year-old retail manager. He is a Republican but this year he voted for Mr. Biden and “Democratic right down the line” to send a message to his own party. The Trump campaign in Pennsylvania has pointed to its months of in-person canvassing and outreach to low-frequency voters, which in some counties resulted in a surge of newly registered Republicans. The state includes 2.2 million non-college-educated white voters who didn’t vote in 2016, more than in either of the other blue wall states of Michigan and Wisconsin, which had gone steadily Democratic for years until 2016.In Bucks County on Tuesday, Wendy Hummel, a 72-year-old Republican, waiting in a long time to cast vote for Mr. Trump because he was “for life and not death,” referring to abortion. She was willing to overlook Mr. Trump’s own less-than-pious personal history. “He is in his walk with the Lord,” she said, “and he’s learning like the rest of us.”Across the hallway, in a middle school where the line to vote zigzagged throughout the school and where so many cars had piled into the lot that many were parking on the grass, Jessica Voutsinas had been clutching her vote-by-mail ballot for more than two and half hours. She was concerned with Republican efforts to disqualify such ballots, and planned to surrender it and vote in person instead.Ms. Voutsinas, 24, called herself a climate change voter and was unsure how Bucks, a swing county in a swing state, would vote. If you just want results… There will be a results map on The Times’s home page, and yes, the infamous needle will be back — but only for Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, the only states providing granular enough information for our experts to make educated projections of uncounted votes.If you want constant updates… Times reporters are live-blogging all day and night. This will be your one-stop shop for minute-by-minute updates: race calls, on-the-ground reporting from swing states, news about any voting issues or disruptions, and more.If you want to check in every so often… Times journalists are also producing a live briefing from roughly 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET, with an overview of what’s happening in the presidential race, the Senate and House races, and the voting process itself. Mr. O’Connor, a lawyer, denounced Mr. Trump’s personality but said he would vote for his re-election. Ms. O’Connor said she was “embarrassed” to have voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 yet she remained undecided days before the election. “We have five kids, we put them through schools; taxes are a big issue to us,’’ she said. “We are practicing Catholics. Abortion’s a big issue — sometimes. Personally, I don’t like Donald Trump.’’“I don’t know, I really tell you, I’m undecided,’’ she added. Outside the Trump rally in Butler, a supporter named Jeff, who declined to give his last name because he distrusts the media, acknowledged that “it looks bad” for Mr. Trump winning a second term. He blamed the media for not reporting the president’s successes and “the criminal activities the Biden family has been involved in.’’Among the president’s triumphs, he named “rescuing a lot of women and children who were abducted” for sex trafficking, part of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.Mr. Trump has fanned myriad conspiracy theories. For months he has raged that he will only lose if the election is “rigged’’ and he has insisted that mail-in votes counted after Nov. 3, which are expected to favor Mr. Biden, would be fraudulent — a groundless charge.In such an atmosphere, with Mr. Trump’s base unprepared to accept a loss as legitimate, Mr. Biden’s task of bringing together the country, should he become president, would be immeasurably more difficult. “From this house to the White House with the grace of God,” he scrawled on the wall.Vote counting is expected to take longer in the state than in many other key battlegrounds, and legal fights are already underway. But if Mr. Trump defies the polls, his frenetic schedule of rallies in the homestretch may deserve much of the credit, reminding his base why they voted for him in droves four years ago, when he promised to protect their jobs from foreign competition and from immigrants.- Advertisement – Election 2020 ›How to Follow the Election ResultsHere’s a guide to The Times’s election night coverage, no matter when, how or how often you want to consume it. BUTLER, Pa. — “Here he comes!’’ cried Jeannie Cook over the chomp of rotor blades as a fleet of helicopters flew out of the setting sun, blinding thousands of eyes turned toward the arrival of President Trump in the heart of red America.No president had ever visited Butler County, according to that day’s Butler Eagle. “It almost feels like Christmas Eve,’’ the newspaper editorialized.- Advertisement – The Biden campaign expressed confidence that it had run up a cushion of support in early voting, after Democrats returned 1,641,000 mail-in ballots by Tuesday morning, compared to 586,000 that were returned by Republicans.Republicans were expected to vote disproportionately in person on Tuesday, and Mr. Trump’s campaign had made a far larger investment in ground operations. As voters cast ballots on Tuesday, Pennsylvania loomed large as the potential tipping point for the presidency, and perhaps Mr. Trump’s best hope to maintain his hold on one of the so-called blue wall states, along with Michigan and Wisconsin, that he narrowly won four years ago to secure the White House. His advisers believe the state is on a “knife’s edge,” the closest contest on the map.- Advertisement – “It seems aggressively moderate to me,” she said. – Advertisement –
Arsenal set to complete transfer as Runar Alex Runarsson undergoes medical Comment Runar Alex Runarsson is on the verge of joining Arsenal in a £1.5m deal (Getty Images)Dijon goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson will undergo a medical with Arsenal on Thursday, according to reports.The Gunners have agreed a £1.5 million deal with the French club and are now on the verge of completing the transfer.Runarsson has been quickly indentified by Arsenal as the replacement for Emiliano Martinez, who completed his £20m move to Aston Villa on Wednesday.And according to The Telegraph, the 25-year-old is now due to complete medical checks in London and will finalise his move to the Gunners.ADVERTISEMENTThe report also claims that Arsenal are still open to signing Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, even though Runarsson is on the verge of joining the club.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe Gunners are looking to sign Raya this summer but allow him to remain at Brentford on loan for the remainder of the season. Metro Sport ReporterThursday 17 Sep 2020 8:56 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.8kShares Advertisement Emiliano Martinez left Arsenal and joined Aston Villa in a £20m deal this week (Getty Images)More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityRunarsson, meanwhile, will arrive and immediately act as a back-up to Bernd Leno, who started in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Fulham on Saturday.The Icelandic goalkeeper has already worked with Arsenal’s current goalkeeper coach, Inaki Cana, at Danish side Nordsjaelland.Runarsson has won five caps with Iceland’s national team and was in their squad at the World Cup in 2014.Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement
The number of U.S. offshore rigs remained unchanged for the second week in a row, according to weekly rig count reports issued on Friday by Baker Hughes, a GE company. Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. -4 to 909 rigsU.S. Rig Count is down 4 rigs from last week to 909, with oil rigs up 1 to 737, gas rigs down 5 to 172, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged.U.S. Rig Count is up 352 rigs from last year’s count of 557, with oil rigs up 296, gas rigs up 58, and miscellaneous rigs down 2 to 0.The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is unchanged from last week at 20 and down 2 rigs year-over-year.Baker Hughes Rig Count: Canada -11 to 191 rigsCanada Rig Count is down 11 rigs from last week to 191, with oil rigs down 11 to 96 and gas rigs down 1 to 94, and miscellaneous rigs up 1 to 1.Canada Rig Count is up 38 rigs from last year’s count of 153, with oil rigs up 23 and gas rigs up 15.
The lack of financial resources tosecure technologically-improved hull materials is a major challenge to boatoperators and associations of Iloilo and Guimaras that have been told to changetheir wooden-hulled boats to either aluminium, steel or fiberglass. “How should we reposition Guimaras asa tourist destination at this point in time? Should we stop promoting Guimarasfor a while until it has fixed its problems? Or despite all the problems, do wekeep on promoting it but with certain conditions?” said Catalbas. Individual boat operators, however,are not eligible under the CRUISE. Only the following are qualified: privatecorporations, government agencies, local government units, government-owned andcontrolled corporations, financial institutions, and cooperatives. “Our plea is that for the time being, samtang wala pa ang modernization, ibalik ang trapal with some modifications,” said Fred Davis ofHugpong Guimaras. * Motorbancas shall be equipped withdistress signals/equipment. Participants included students, businessmen, motorboatoperators and workers, motorcycle and jeepney drivers, and resort owners, amongothers. * Passengers should wear lifejacketsat all times throughout the voyage. * Motorbancas should carry passengersonly up to 75 percent of their authorized capacity. * The tarpaulins and canvass (toshield passengers from heat and rain) shall either be rolled up or removed. Wearing black shirts, they called for the return of the way motorboatsoperated prior to the Aug. 3 Iloilo Strait tragedy that killed 31 people. “The effect is really negative forGuimaras. Several groups cancelled their trips to the island province and oneof the reasons is the uncertainty and availability of the water transport,”Catalbas said. During a recent workshop held as anoffshoot of the capsizing of three motorboats, MARINA OIC administrator ViceAdmiral Narciso Vingson Jr. stressed the importance of upholding maritimesafety and promoting the comfort of the riding public through the use of modernboats. According to Catalbas, touristarrivals in Guimaras were 73 percent down in August this year from the touristarrivals in same month last year. With the safety of sea travellers inmind, MARINA is imposing the following conditions on wooden-hulled motorboats: Yesterday a group calling itself Hugpong Guimaras held a“unity walk” in Guimaras to dramatize the sorry plight of the province due tothe tightly regulated operation of motorboats. So what should boat operators andassociations of Iloilo and Guimaras do? Despite this, MARINA is not suspendingor revoking its order phasing out wooden-hulled passenger ships and boats. A Philippine Coast Guard personnel (standing, left) is making sure all the passengers of this Guimaras-bound motorboat are wearing lifejackets before allowing the boat to leave the Iloilo Ferry Terminal in Iloilo City. The lifejackets must be worn at all times throughout the voyage. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN “I cannot meddle with the mandates ofother government agencies,” said DOT regional director Helen Catalbas, citing“interagency courtesy.” The workshop held in Guimaras providedan opportunity for local boat associations to raise their concerns. * The operation will be from sunriseto sunset only. ILOILO City – The Maritime IndustryAuthority’s (MARINA) stringent rules imposed on motorboats crossing the IloiloStrait following the capsizing of three boats last month are hurting Guimarasisland province’s tourism industry. The Department of Tourism (DOT) is notabout to challenge these rules but it hopes to find common ground to helprevive the tourists’ interest in Guimaras. Gov. Samuel Gumarin of Guimaras andCong. Lucille Nava themselves earlier warned of the economic dislocation ofmotorboat operators, crew and their families if the phase out of wooden-hulledboats is not done gradually. However, Catalbas said, she isorganizing a consultation before this month is over and MARINA would beinvited. * The operation of motorbancas shallbe during fair weather only; wind not more than Force 3 of the Beaufort scale(7-10 knots) and the wave height is not more than 0.5 meters. The financing program reinforces thedevelopment of an integrated and multimodal national transport and logisticssystem in the country. The loan is payable in 15 years. Anticipating the financial concern,MARINA brought to the workshop representatives from the government-ownedDevelopment Bank of the Philippines. They bared a financing program calledCRUISE or Connecting Rural Urban Intermodal Systems Efficiently. They were encouraged to formcooperatives so they may explore other business ventures to further increaseshared capital and enjoy tax exemption./PN
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt selected the Leinster duo in his wider Six Nations squad despite both still battling long-term injuries. Schmidt’s decision not to send the influential forward pair back to Leinster to continue their recovery increases their chances of turning out for the Irish Wolfhounds’ clash with England Saxons on Friday, January 30. Fit-again Connacht prop Nathan White and Leinster back-rower Jack Conan are the only uncapped members of Schmidt’s squad. “The coaching group have tried to strike a balance between some players getting the chance to fully complete their rehabilitation programmes, or get a bit of rest, and others getting the opportunity to push their claims with further game time in the Wolfhounds fixture,” said boss Schmidt. Injury doubts remain over Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and Robbie Henshaw, but all three have been included in the extended squad. Racing Metro fly-half Sexton could miss the first two rounds of fixtures while he completes a 12-week lay-off after suffering four concussions in 12 months. Munster scrum-half Murray is carrying a disc problem in his neck but the severity of the issue remains unclear, while Henshaw is battling a “low-grade” ankle ligament problem. Ireland open the defence of their Six Nations title by taking on Italy in Rome on Saturday, February 7, with a host of regular stars missing through injury. Chris Henry, Paddy Jackson, Stuart Olding, Dan Tuohy and Damien Varley have been excluded from the squad entirely and effectively ruled out of the tournament. Robin Copeland, Dave Kilcoyne, Luke Marshall, Donncha Ryan and Andrew Trimble have been told to stay with their provinces, but Ireland have reserved the right to bring them back into the squad if and when required. The decision to retain Healy and O’Brien underlines just how close both men are to making playing returns. Leinster decided against pitching one or other into action in Saturday’s crucial Champions Cup trip to Wasps, before targeting the Pro12 clash against the Dragons on February 15 as a potential return fixture. Bullish flanker O’Brien has not featured for Ireland since damaging his shoulder in the 24-22 Test defeat to New Zealand in November 2013. The 27-year-old has had to undergo two successive operations on the same shoulder, but is finally nearing fitness. Ball-carrying prop Healy suffered a severe hamstring tear in September and has been grafting towards Six Nations fitness ever since. New Zealand-born prop White was in line to become Ireland’s fourth-oldest debutant of all time in the autumn at 33, but ruptured an arm tendon and missed the November series. Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien moved a step closer towards Six Nations action after being named in Ireland’s 46-man training squad. Press Association
THE opening night of the Petra-organised Futsal tournament at the National Gymnasium on Monday, featured big wins for Tucville, Broad Street Ballers and Sparta Boss.In game three of the evening, the Tucville side managed to hold off the Kitty Weavers 7-5.Three braces each from Dennis Edwards (2nd and 9th), Jermin Junior (5th and 15th) and Delon Williams (18th and 26th), coupled with Tefon Daly’s 8th minute strike ensured the lead lasted until the final whistle.On target for Kitty was Nigel Denny (9th), Daniel Ross (23rd), Tevin Fowler (29th) and Gregory Jones (30th) while an own goal in the 12th accounted for the fifth goal.Sparta Boss also registered a 6-1 win on the opening night over Globe Yard with a pair of hat-tricks from Gregory Richardson (3rd sec.), 10th and 16th and Devon Millington (8th, 20th and 23rd). Globe Yard had Rolex Smith (9th) on target.The Broad Street Bullies also registered the same score line against the Channel 9 Warriors with a hat-trick from Keiron Solomon (7th 11th and 24th) while there were single strikes from Jimmy Gravesande (8th), Rocky Gravesande (10th) and Lennox Cort (23rd). Anton Alexander (2nd) registered the lone Channel 9 goalNorth East La Penitence were also victorious over Leopold Street 2-1 with Romario Andrews (9th) and Kelvin Moore (25th) each netting to cancel out Orandel Williams’ 15th minute strike.Festival City were unable to fight off West Backroad who won 2-0 thanks to Josiah Charles (6th and 22nd).Agricola Champion Boys had a close battle against the North Ruimveldt side, winning 3-2. A double from Domini Garnett (12th and 20th) and Quacey Weeks 8th minute strike handed their side the win.The North Ruimveldt side, on the other hand, had Gerald Gittens open their scoring in the 1st minute while Andrew Gibson added the second in the 3rd minute for an early lead.Matches continue tomorrow with Hustlers taking on Tiger Bay, West Front Road playing Camp Street All Stars and Albouystown tackling Campbellville in the first half of the evening.Following a brief break, the action will resume with Alexander Village clashing with Sophia, Bent Street opposing Stevedore and Back Circle challenging Show Stoppers.