ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: David MorrisonHome buyers who borrow money to purchase homes rather than refinance their existing debt helped push existing home sales in May to their highest rate in six years, according to the National Association of Realtors.Total existing-home sales – which refer to completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose by 5.1% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in May from an upwardly revised 5.09 million in April, the association reported. Sales have now increased year-over-year for eight consecutive months and are 9.2% above where they stood a year ago, NAR added. continue reading »
In the second installment of our behind the scenes look at the life and times of the Nation’s Game Development Officers, the Northern Territory’s Rebecca Houston delivers her “Postcard from the Edge” from Australia’s Top End.Last month Queensland’s North Queensland GDO Glenn ‘Richo’ Richardson was featured, this month, Rebecca ‘Chewbeckker’ Houston gives us a sneak peak of her life as a GDO in “The Territory”.Rebecca Houston is promoting Touch Football in some of Australia’s most remote communities, and loving it. The 27-year-old has been in the Game Development Officer role for a little over a year, having moved to Darwin from South-East Queensland when her boyfriend Luke joined the Northern Territory Police Force. Even though she is still relatively new to her job, Houston has an accomplished background in Touch Football.Houston played with Crushers in the Women’s Open SEQTL from 1999-2005, and the Gold Coast Sharks in the National Touch League from 1998-2005. She won an NTL Open Mixed title with ‘Sharkies’ in 2001, and in 2004 she represented the Queensland State of Origin Mixed Open team. Renowned as one of the best ‘finishers’ in the business, the speedster has played a pivotal role in the Barbarians Women’s Open Team’s surge into the semi-finals at the National Touch League for the last two years and continues to prove her mettle under the pressure at the Elite level.The bubbly and dedicated Redlands girl has adjusted well to life as a GDO.Initially moving away from her close knit family and the bright lights of Brisbane was a big adjustment, but the positive and enthusiastic extrovert jumped at the chance to make a career out of the game she has played since she was a teenager in the local Redlands competition.Rebecca has made friends easily and impressed all those around her with her eagerness to work, and willingness to embrace the people and lifestyle in the Territory.Northern Territory Branch Manager Isobel Appo is one person who has keenly observed Rebecca’s progress and is full of praise for the GDO.“Rebecca has done very well. Her AusTouch programs and Junior initiatives have gone over well in the Territory. She has a great rapport with the kids, and her hard work, sense of humour, and genuine desire to help people shines through. She has earned a lot of respect and acceptance in the communities in which she works,” Mrs. Appo said.Rebecca is doing a great job passing on the skills she has honed over her years at the top level to kids in communities that have often never even heard of any kind of football other than AFL. Rebecca recently visited Kalkarindji, Yarralin and Timber Creek in the Katherine Region to run Austouch clinics for 60 children over three days. “By visiting the communities, you get a lot of satisfaction from going out there and teaching them a sport that they’ve never really seen before. Most of the time out in the communities they’ve only seen AFL, so they play AFL. They’ve seen a little bit of Rugby League on the television and that’s about it. So your biggest battle is getting them to pass the ball backwards. Once you get them passing the ball backwards they start to understand what they’re doing and they start to get really excited, it’s a good feeling,” Houston said. Rebecca enjoys the travelling that is part of her Game Development Officer duties. She said she is always welcomed into any community that she visits and appreciates the laid back lifestyle on offer in the Territory. “Everyone loves playing sport, it doesn’t matter what sport it is, people get into it. The kids are always smiling and make you feel so welcome. There is so much natural athleticism and skill as well in the Indigenous communities, and of course it’s very rewarding to give people opportunities that they might not otherwise get in the remote localities,” Houston said.Having covered several communities across the Top End, Houston said she has noticed something about the kids from rural communities compared to the Darwin-based children. “They’re a lot less cheeky!” Houston said with a smile. In June Houston will be travelling to isolated communities in remote Arnhem Land. “I’ve been up to Gove before, but I haven’t been to see their community sport teams so that’ll be good.” Houston said.Houston is dedicated to getting more children involved in Touch Football. Without her work developing Touch Football at the grassroots level the game in the Northern Territory would be struggling for a base. A junior competition that has been established in Darwin is evidence of her work.“We originally had four teams and this year we’ve got eight teams, from under-13s to under-16s. Next year we hope to grow it again so it’s definitely getting bigger. The main thing I want to do is just keep growing it for the children and getting them involved. If we don’t get the kids involved then our sport doesn’t grow and we cease to exist.” Rebecca said.By the end of this year Houston is planning to have a junior competition established in the Katherine region. Her Austouch clinics will hopefully have planted the Touch Football seed in some of tomorrow’s stars. But Houston knows that the kids can only develop their Touch Football skills if competitions are set up for them.“I’m going down to Katherine in August. They are starting a school competition, so hopefully they can get a little bit more interest there for their club so that they can start a junior competition themselves. It would be very rewarding. It is good to say that you’ve started something outside of Darwin, it means that you’re not just focusing on one area and that’s a good outcome for the sport.” Houston said.The Northern Territory is going ahead in leaps and bounds, with the formation of several junior competitions, AusTouch programs, and next month’s NT Junior Development Camp set to further consolidate the Top End’s position as a leading light for junior development in Touch Football in this Country.With the rapid growth of the sport in junior ranks in the Territory, Rebecca Houston is sure to have her hands full for some time to come.
Indiana Signee Ogugua AunobyWith the returns of James Blackmon and Yogi Ferrell, as well as the addition of five-star big man Thomas Bryant, Indiana projects as a top-20 team next season. Bryant and four-star Juwan Morgan are the big names of the Hoosiers’ incoming freshman class, but a third frontcourt player, Ogugua Anunoby, has some talent of his own. Anunoby, a 6-foot-8 three-star small forward from Jefferson City (Mo.), posted this video to his Instagram tonight. It was re-posted by the Indiana men’s basketball program’s official Instagram, and it features Anunoby throwing down an impressive, 180-degree between-the-legs dunk. Pretty good. We’re sure Hoosier fans will be salivating once they see this.
Story Highlights Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on May 24, Acting Executive Director of the JNHT, Dorrick Gray, said a preservationist architect has been working with the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to ensure that guidelines are followed and repairs “fit into the overall structure of the building.” The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) is monitoring repairs at the Ward Theatre to ensure that its heritage value is maintained.Renovation work is ongoing at the theatre, a historical landmark situated on North Parade in downtown Kingston.Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on May 24, Acting Executive Director of the JNHT, Dorrick Gray, said a preservationist architect has been working with the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to ensure that guidelines are followed and repairs “fit into the overall structure of the building.”He pointed out that any changes to the building will have to be approved by the JNHT, although the building is managed by the KSAMC.“It is a declared monument and we are interested in ensuring that the integrity of that building is maintained,” he added.As it relates to what areas of the building will be maintained, Mr. Gray said the structure is being assessed, after which the details will be discussed with the KSAMC.However, he noted that several areas are made of wood and they have insects and termites.“So, a lot of those will have to be replaced. But it is a work in progress,” Mr. Gray said.Highlighting the importance of the building, he argued that it represents “the local art of us as a people and the birth of the annual Pantomime.”Mr. Gray said the Ward Theatre, donated to the City of Kingston by Colonel C.J. Ward in 1912, is the last of four structures to have been constructed on the same site.He noted that the first one was built in 1770.“The last one before this theatre was built was destroyed by the 1907 earthquake,” he added.The Ward Theatre, which was declared a national monument in January 2000, is among some 300 sites declared as protected heritage by the JNHT. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) is monitoring repairs at the Ward Theatre to ensure that its heritage value is maintained.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The top leadership of the Miss America Organization, implicated in an email scandal that targeted past pageant winners for abuse based on their appearance, intellect and sex lives, resigned on Saturday, with the outgoing president apologizing to a winner whose weight he ridiculed.The president, Josh Randle, told The Associated Press his comment responding to an email to his private account about the physical appearance of 2013 winner Mallory Hagan came months before he started working for the Miss America Organization in 2015. But he said it was wrong.“I apologize to Mallory for my lapse in judgment,” Randle said on Saturday. “It does not reflect my values or the values I worked to promote at the Miss America Organization. Although this terrible situation was not caused or driven by me, in light of recent events and new developments, I am no longer willing to continue in my capacity as president and earlier today offered my resignation to the MAO Board of Directors.”Randle said his resignation was voluntary and had not been requested by the board of Miss America, which is based in Atlantic City.Hagan did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the resignations of Randle, CEO Sam Haskell and Chairman Lynn Weidner. But on her Facebook page, she posted a message asking anyone who was warned away from her to come forward and send her a direct message, in what might be a precursor to legal action against the Miss America Organization or its former officers regarding her post-Miss America work as a pageant interview coach.“If you have ever been told to not work with me, communicate with me, hire me, etc. Will you send me a DM?” she wrote.The scandal began Thursday, when the Huffington Post published leaked emails showing pageant officials ridiculing past Miss Americas, including crass and sometimes vulgar comments about them.The emails included one that used a vulgar term for female genitalia to refer to past Miss America winners, one that wished that a particular former Miss America had died and others that speculated about how many sex partners Hagan has had.Randle noted that the worst communications were exchanged in 2013 and 2014, years before he joined the Miss America Organization, and said the article’s implication of “complicit participation on my part in a years long array of inappropriate email communication” is untrue.Haskell’s resignation is effective immediately, while Randle and Weidner will remain for a few weeks to help with a leadership transition. Dan Meyers, who had been vice chairman of the board, was named interim chairman.The organization announced the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss Americas, including Hagan, signed a petition calling on the group’s leadership to step down because of the emails.The emails already cost the pageant its television production partner and raised questions about the future of the nationally televised broadcast from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall the week after Labor Day each year. Dick Clark Productions told the AP on Thursday that it cut ties with the Miss America Organization over the emails, calling them “appalling.”Also on Saturday, one of the main recipients of fundraising from the Miss America Organization said it was reviewing its association with Miss America. The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals said it was “conducting an immediate review of the situation and will take appropriate actions.”And New Jersey officials are reviewing their Miss America Organization contract, in which the state still owes $4 million toward the cost of next year’s pageant.___Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
The Province hopes the environmental assessment process will enhance the public’s and Indigenous participation if passed, by keeping the First Nations communities more engaged and involved.“Having Indigenous collaboration from the beginning means a more certain and efficient process where good projects can move forward more quickly, providing benefits to Indigenous peoples while respecting their rights, values and culture,” said Heyman. “We want to reduce the potential for the types of legal challenges we’ve too frequently seen in B.C. These have impacted our province’s economic development, eroded public trust, alienated Indigenous communities and left project proponents trying to navigate through a costly, time-consuming process.”With more open engagement from the public and First Nations groups the Government will be able to better understand the needs of all parties included before making formal decisions.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs“I am relieved that the day has finally come when we are beginning to see the legislative and policy shifts that are necessary and essential to facilitate genuine reconciliation. Recognizing Indigenous governments, laws, jurisdictions and decision-making is an essential part of this, and the legislation today is a small step in the right direction. The Province of British Columbia has committed to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including free, prior and informed consent, and we are looking forward to seeing this realized on the ground through environmental assessments under the new process. We are hopeful that the new legislation will ensure the sustainability of our precious lands and waters for our children and grandchildren and all British Columbians. While much more legislative and policy change is urgently needed, today is a good day.” VICTORIA B.C. – The B.C. government introduced legislation to modernize the environmental assessment process for resource projects.In 1995 B.C. was one of the first provinces to introduce environmental assessment legislation, a system for responsible resource projects, reconciliation with B.C.’s Indigenous peoples, environmental protection, increased transparency and increased public engagement.“By revitalizing our environmental assessment process, we’re striking a better balance for our province, where good projects that respect B.C.’s environment, Indigenous peoples and the public will be approved more quickly,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Our province was built upon the wealth of natural resources at our disposal. This legislation reaffirms the continued importance of these resources to British Columbians and enhances public trust by engaging people and communities early to ensure our resources are used sustainably. Growing a strong economy and protecting the environment we all cherish go hand in hand. That’s the legacy we want our kids and grandkids to inherit.”
BCNREB President, Leah Mayer, says the Northern Region continued to see a decrease of 7.64 percent in sales, but a 5.55 percent increase in active listings.“Many of the communities in our Board region saw a decrease in the number of sales and the number of listings. Overall the sales activity has decreased by 7.64 percent, and the number of active listings has increased by 5.55 percent.”Despite the decrease in most Northern markets for the first half of 2019, the Fort St. John market saw an increase of 258 property sales with an overall value of $85.4 million in comparison to the 2018 number of 243.As of June 30, there were 687 properties of all types available for purchase in Fort St. John.For more information, you visit the B.C. Northern Real Estate Board’s website. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The B.C. Northern Real Estate Board has released its listing statistics for the second quarter of 2019.Within the first six months of 2019, the Real Estate Board has reported 2,298 with a value of $716.5 million.This compares with 2,488 sales worth $680.2 million in the first half of 2018.
Kolkata: On the eve of the Bengali New Year, Trinamool Congress candidates across the state got themselves engaged in exchanging greetings with the voters and organised intense campaigns to renew contacts with the people.Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who is contesting from the North Kolkata seat, campaigned at ward 52 in Janbazar area of Central Kolkata. “BJP will not get a single seat in Bengal as they have no organisation in the state. The first phase of elections in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar has already been held. Our internal party inputs have indicated that we are winning these two seats,” Bandyopadhyay said. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaHe said that he is contesting in the elections for the 9th time and has won eight times. “I have been campaigning regularly and the support that I am getting from people is overwhelming. I am confident of winning this time too,” he added. Bandyopadhyay was accompanied by Swarnakamal Saha, who is an MLA from Entally and Nayna Bandyopadhyay, MLA of Chowringhee. TMC candidate from the Kolkata South seat Mala Roy campaigned at areas like Manoharpukur Road, Sarat Bose Road and Deshapriya Park. She was accompanied by MMiC Debasish Kumar. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayTMC candidate from Purulia Mriganko Mahato gave the slogan of Mamata Di Arekbar (Mamata Banerjee again) as a counter to BJP’s slogan ‘Ei Trinamool Ar Na’ (Trinamool not again). Mahato, who is a doctor by profession, started his campaign from Indkuri Junction at Manbazar and after travelling through various areas, reached Manbazar bus stand. The TMC supporters chanted poems that they have come up with, highlighting the various people-friendly schemes of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, like Sabuj Sathi, Khadya Sathi, Rupashree etc. Local MLA Sandhya Rani Tudu and senior leaders of the district accompanied them. Meanwhile, state Cooperation minister and MLA from Central Howrah Arup Roy took out a rally on the occasion of Ram Navami. The rally also campaigned for Trinamool Congress candidate Prasun Banerjee, who has been fielded from the Howrah seat. Roy hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed that this Lok Sabha election will witness the ouster of BJP from the Centre. Slogans like ‘Gali Gali Me Shor Hain, Chowkidar Chor Hai’ were raised against the Prime Minister at the rally. It started from Agra Sen Street in Belur and traversed several areas under the Shibpur police station. Roy walked and exchanged pleasantries with the voters. Hitting out at BJP’s Ram Navami processions with arms that were taken out in various parts of the state, he said: “Ram is an embodiment of sacrifice. He has never said that children would take up arms for his worship. BJP will not get a single seat in Bengal.” TMC candidate from Basirhat Nusrat Jahan also campaigned and interacted with the people of the constituency. “Voting for me means voting for Mamata Banerjee. You should vote for her for a good future. Don’t waste your vote,” she asserted.
Thad Matta stands on the sidelines during a game against Minnesota. OSU won, 64-46.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editorCoach Thad Matta and the Ohio State men’s basketball team are gearing up for a trip to the Bahamas, where they will take part in two exhibition matches.Last season, the Buckeyes’ run ended in the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 60-59 loss to the Dayton Flyers.Following the 2013 season, the Buckeyes lost guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. to graduation, forward LaQuinton Ross to the NBA draft and guard Amedeo Della Valle to the European professional league.Craft and Ross, neither of whom were selected in the NBA draft, saw action in the NBA Summer League, as Craft suited up for the Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors while Ross took the court for the Los Angeles Lakers.During the offseason, the Buckeyes were able to add two transfers, forward Anthony Lee and center Trevor Thompson, to the roster.Lee, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Temple graduate started 27 games last season with 13.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and a .495 field goal percentage.Lee said Matta was the reason why he transferred to Ohio State and added, “I know I have the opportunity to win a possible championship, and so I wanted to be a part of that.”Thompson, a Virginia Tech transfer, will not make the trip with the team and is awaiting word on whether or not he will be eligible for the rest of the season. Last year the 6-foot-11, 210-pound freshman forward averaged 5.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game before transferring to Ohio State.During the Buckeyes’ final practice before making the trip to the Bahamas, senior forward Sam Thompson applauded the attitudes and work ethic of the new recruiting class.“They all came in ready work and willing to learn from some of the older guys, so anytime you have guys coming into your program with that kind of attitude it’s a great experience,” Thompson said.Sophomore forward Marc Loving and senior guard Shannon Scott also commented on the improvements and expectations the offense has going forward into this season.“I think our offense is going to take a really big step then what it was last year, but we’re not going to let that change our defense,” Scott said.“Everyone can spread the floor, everyone can create their own shot and create for others, it’s going to be hard for teams to guard us,” Loving added.The Buckeyes leave Columbus on Tuesday morning and will play the Bahamas All Stars on Aug. 7 at 9 p.m. and the Providence Storm on Aug. 8 at 7 p.m.
Individual members of Ohio State’s track and field team competed in the Black and Gold Challenge in Orlando, Florida, despite the team not sending its full roster.The two-day meet hosted 22 teams, including Kentucky, Florida State and South Carolina, all three of which faced off against Ohio State during the indoor national championship on March 9-10.Ohio State was not alone in leaving a bulk of its roster behind. However, the Buckeyes traveled without junior Sade Olatoye, their best thrower during the indoor season. Senior and All-American long jumper Zack Bazile was on the heat sheet, but did not compete in long jump. Junior Nick Gray did not compete in the 200-meter dash, the event in which he claimed a Big Ten championship.Women’s recapOhio State claimed each of the three top spots at the 1500-meter run with sophomore Julia Rizk finishing first at 4:25.84, senior Christine Frederick finishing second at 4:25.98 and sophomore Abby Nichols finishing third at 4:26.In the 200-meter dash, senior Maggie Barrie finished second with a time of 23.59 seconds, a personal best. Barrie, an individual second-team All-American in the 400-meter run, did not compete in the event during the invite.After an indoor All-American 4×400-meter-relay performance last week, Ohio State split up its runners and put them into two separate teams. The ‘A’ team, which consisted of senior Beatrice Hannan, freshman Anavia Battle, sophomore Tamani Wilson and junior Karrington Winters, finished second at 3:37 behind Empire Athletics, a professional team.In the 800-meter run, freshman Aziza Ayoub finished second with a time of 2:08.Senior Chantel Ray finished third in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.65 seconds. In the 100-meter dash, Battle finished third with a time of 11.85 seconds.Men’s recapSenior Cole Gorski broke his previous school outdoor record of 5.25 meters with a jump of 5.40 meters. Junior Coty Cobb finished third at 5.15 meters.In his first-ever 5000-meter race as a Buckeye, junior Luke Landis finished first with a time of 14:47.Sophomore Brent Carroll finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.27 seconds.Ohio State’s 4×400-meter-relay team, consisting of senior Drelan Bramwell, freshman Joseph Cooper, sophomore Asa Burke and freshman Andre Jeff, finished second with a time of 3:06. That same unit finished third in the 4×100-meter relay with a time of 41.10 seconds.Senior Max Seipel finished third in shot put with a throw of 17.39 meters. Nicholas Demaline, an All-American in shot put, did not compete. The Buckeye will head off to Los Angeles for the USC Invite on March 23-24.