Publix Tests Self Checkout Lanes in South Florida Stores

first_imgThey replaced the express checkout lanes located next to the customer service desk. Two employees stand by, ready to assist customers with purchases and to explain how the machines work.A store located at 7060 West Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton has had the self-checkout option for several years.Company spokesman Dwaine Stevens says, “We are constantly evaluating how to best serve our customers.” A Florida-based retail chain is integrating technology geared toward giving customers greater control over their shopping experience.Publix recently installed self-checkout registers at several stores in South and Central Florida.Two locations in Coconut Creek and Coral Springs added the new registers earlier this month. The system has proven popular with customers at other big retail stores such as Walmart and Target.Publix spokeswoman Nicole Krauss adds, “We’re always evaluating how to best serve our customers and self-checkout is one of those considerations when we’re looking at remodels,” although she did not say whether this was a test or how many other stores would be installing the new equipment.last_img read more

Veteran education benefits up in the air with new bill

first_imgProposed benefits for USC veteransAfter holding out hope that officials in Washington, D.C. could fix a semantic glitch in the Post-9/11 GI Bill, USC decided at the eleventh hour to offer tuition benefits to veterans enrolling as undergraduates or as graduates in the School of Social Work and the Rossier School of Education through a new program.The Post-9/11 GI Bill promises to cover veterans’ tuition costs at a private college as high as the maximum in-state tuition. In California, however, the Department of Veterans Affairs determined the maximum tuition is $0, because California schools use the term “fee” instead. “The state of California has a proud history of not charging tuition — they charge fees instead. So [veterans] are entitled to a $0 benefit,” said Jennifer Grodsky, executive director of USC’s Office of Federal Relations. “It’s really unfortunate. We’re being penalized for our good policy of having no tuition.” The difference in wording led schools and members of Congress to challenge the VA’s interpretation, but the VA has refused to amend the problem. “Right now California vets are really getting the short end of the stick,” said Katharine Harrington, dean of admission and financial aid at USC. “The VA was unwilling to amend the language when it was pointed out to them that they had made a mistake and so there’s some arm-wrestling going on and it appears that it will continue to go on.” Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) has introduced legislation aimed to change the interpretation. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the VA endorsed by other members of the House, and California Sens. Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have also sent letters to the VA. Thompson’s letter calls on the VA to resolve the problem as soon as possible, saying “the denial of benefits to [veterans] due to word choice is unacceptable and will have real consequences on the effectiveness and success of the overall program.” The VA had promised to get a response to the Senate, but no answer has come yet, Grodsky said. The continuing process of fighting the VA’s interpretation in Washington led many California schools — USC included — to sit on the sidelines and not apply to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, an enhancement to the Post-9/11 GI Bill that allows schools to offer a set amount of tuition benefits to veterans, which the VA will match dollar-for-dollar. “We didn’t want to hurt California’s bargaining power in Washington over the change that absolutely has to be made so that veterans going to school in California are treated fairly,” Harrington said. In the end, USC decided to apply for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Pending approval by the VA, USC will offer 20 undergraduate veterans grants of $2,500 and 10 graduate students at both the School of Social Work and the Rossier School of Education grants of $10,000 — amounts that will be matched by the VA. Harrington said USC made the decision to join the program after consulting officials in Washington. USC’s undergraduate tuition benefits are similar to those being offered by other California private schools, including Stanford. “We wanted to keep our participation modest at this point because frankly there’s still a lot of moving parts,” Harrington said. Despite the school’s “modest” participation in the program, Harrington said a lot of veterans’ tuition expenses are covered by financial aid. In the spring, 101 of the 111 veterans at USC received a grant from the school, and the average undergraduate grant was $39,000, while the average graduate grant was $18,000. Still, veterans at USC said relying on financial aid does not offer the same certainty the Yellow Ribbon Program does and could deter veterans from USC and other California schools These veterans said they are excited by the promises made by the Post-9/11 GI Bill, but are disappointed by the VA’s refusal to fix California’s base tuition and by the lack of participation by other USC graduate schools. “Any school that isn’t participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program is really just hurting themselves and they’re robbing themselves of great students,” said Chris Roessner, a graduate student studying cinema-television production. Roessner also got his undergraduate education at USC after serving in Iraq from 2003-2004. Roessner added that even though the School of Cinematic Arts is not participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program, the new GI Bill will still pay for his rent through a part of the bill that covers fees. Scott Lowe, a senior majoring in accounting, served as an infantry Sergeant in the Army from 2002-2006. Lowe said he understands why California schools are hesitant to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, but hopes that more schools will come on board in the future. “It is a great program for veterans and schools,” Lowe wrote in an e-mail. “The VA would match every dollar that the school contributed for each veteran. That would save the school half of my grants. I hope that as they see how the Yellow Ribbon Program pans out, that USC will opt to participate in the future.” Lowe hopes to earn his MBA from USC, but said this is less likely if Marshall does not join the Yellow Ribbon Program or if the “tuition” versus “fee” difference is not fixed. “I’m considering pursuing a master’s degree in the future, and if this problem isn’t fixed, I will be much less likely to attend USC, and I’d be looking to go back east where the costs of an MBA would be covered,” he wrote. Grodsky said many of USC’s graduate schools may have chosen not to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program because of the uncertainty surrounding it. “There are a lot of unanswered questions about the program so it was hard for schools to choose whether it made sense to participate,” Grodsky said. “I think after this first year we’ll have a better sense of what’s happening.” Roessner said he hopes all of USC’s schools will adopt the program. “I love the college to death and would never go anywhere else, so I hope they don’t disappoint me,” he said.last_img read more

Heavy lifting: Ben Polk carries aspects from turbulent childhood into SU career

first_img tyler 22 5yr With the contract came rigorous expectations and methods of accountability. He stood nervously on the sidelines before each of his Sunday morning games, knowing a series of slipups could haunt him come the re-signing period.Polk’s coach pulled him and his mother into a room at the conclusion of his contract. In front of Polk was a sheet with attributes like “short passing” and “dribbling” listed next to grades A, B, C, D and F. He aced passing attributes but was docked on “decision making,” a quality he still wonders how it was measured.In an incomprehensible situation for a 12-year-old, his soccer fate with Oxford United was decided in front of his eyes: four more years.“It was a big deal,” Polk said. “I still get nervous now.”His long-term contract was curtailed after two years by his mother’s drinking. She lost her driver’s license and couldn’t get her son to events.Polk was taken in by the Frenzel family down the street after the mother, Anna, walked in on Polk’s mother drunkenly passed out multiple times with him sitting by the TV, having not eaten dinner.“I’d had enough,” Polk said. “It was like, how could you not give it up for me?“It’s so long ago now, there’s no anger. There’s nothing there.”Sandwiched between a fabricated American lifestyle and stressful, professional-style youth soccer are aspects of his childhood he stills holds onto. Polk positively spins his lifetime of travels by remembering he can count to 10 in four languages.He’s found an appreciation in “little things,” he said, such as the genuine nature of those in his inner-circle after an upbringing that didn’t lend itself to sincerity.Jon Mettus | Asst. Web Editor excellent Polk leaned back on a newly curated support system to get through an imperfect start to his SU career. He missed the Orange’s first two games before the NCAA granted him eligibility following his transfer from Herkimer County Community College, and then sulked in a five-game goal-scoring drought.He spoke with Pepe Aragon, his former coach at Herkimer, before SU’s game against Pittsburgh on Sept. 25.Aragon told him to stop worrying about when the goal would come —a familiar message from his current coach — and start having fun, like he did scoring 33 goals for Herkimer last year.Polk made good on Aragon’s word, netting three goals against the Panthers.That kid has worked for everything in his life. Nobody has handed him one thing.Pepe AragonPolk finds solace in the trials of his time growing up. He maintains his upbringing matured him quicker than others, not finding laughter in the same things as his fellow 10-year-old teammates.He never took a single item or memento with him from the 10-plus countries he’s traveled. A physical remembrance could only impede him from going forward.The imprints and scars from his journey are only between his ears, where the heaviest lifting of Polk’s life has taken place.“I would hope to say ‘struggled to success,’” Polk said, trying to encapsulate his life in a sentence. “Done the struggle part, still kind of struggling. Hopefully the end of the tunnel will be bright.” Comments “I have been everywhere,” Polk said, reflecting on a 22-year journey that’s brought him near death by Saudi Arabian gunmen, to the negotiating table as a 12-year-old vying for a soccer contract in Oxford, England, to now settling in Syracuse — his third collegiate soccer team.Polk’s childhood was punctuated by uprooting moments. He’s been molded by living in three different countries and indented by a toxic home life — he rarely speaks with his father and hasn’t seen his mother since he was 16. He took shelter on the soccer field, the only line of consistency in Polk’s seismographic-looking life.Things have straightened out of late for Polk — a junior forward with five goals in his last five games after not scoring in the first seven. He rides waves of confidence as long as he can. He has an intuition they can crash prematurely, having endured anxious periods wondering if his mom was too hungover to drive to soccer practice or if the NCAA would grant his eligibility to play at Syracuse.“Look Ben,” Polk recalls SU head coach Ian McIntyre telling him, “worry about the controllables. Don’t worry about what you can’t control.”As a child, ignorance was his best companion when his mother shouted to stay inside as gunmen infiltrated the sole entrance of the compound — armed by two guards without ammunition.Polk was fine. He didn’t know any better.He didn’t mind the “shady characters” his mother had in their Oxford home after they left his father in Saudi Arabia. Polk wasn’t fazed walking in on his mom passed out drunk on the couch.“Time to watch TV,” he’d think to himself.If there was one thing he could control, it was the secrecy of the life he lived inside his home. No one knew anything. He turned away school counselors and friends concerned with his quiet spells.He preferred to bury a gradually fracturing home life, even in his own mind.“At the time, I didn’t really know too much,” Polk said. “I was just ignorant, fortunately.”But ignorance dissolved like any imaginary friend. Polk knew he was a gifted soccer player. The budding, 10-year-old center midfielder began a six-week tryout to join Oxford United — a professional soccer academy. It took just two days of tryouts before he was offered a two-year contract.Chase Guttman | Asst. Photo Editor Published on October 12, 2015 at 11:18 pm Contact Connor: | @connorgrossman,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Ben Polk didn’t have much to hold onto growing up on an American compound in Saudi Arabia. He had a dirt field.It was configured in the shape of a diamond and was the sanctuary that fostered Polk’s first love: kickball.With each booming kick sent toward the towering walls of the compound, he gradually discovered his knack for kicking.Outside the walls was an unstable Middle Eastern nation. But inside, Polk learned English, attended school and lived as normal as the situation would allow with his father working as a fighter jet engineer.His American lifestyle displaced 7,000 miles was approaching normality, but his mother’s desire to leave the compound led her to leave her husband and move with her son to England.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCourtesy of Ben Polklast_img read more

Late errors cost Wisconsin

first_imgAmanda Najdek (pictured) allowed just 1 run, but it was her relacement, Meghan McIntosh, who ended up taking the loss for UW after 8 unearned runs.[/media-credit]For four innings the Badgers hung tough with Notre Dame, as freshman Amanda Najdek pitched through the Fighting Irish lineup like a fifth year senior.But when a pitching change removed Najdek in the top of the fifth with two outs, the fight was put back in the Irish, as Notre Dame responded by rocking Badger sophomore Meghan McIntosh for eight runs to beat Wisconsin 9-1 in six innings.“We were hoping Najdek could go through the Notre Dame lineup twice, and she did,” head coach Yvette Healy said. “We pulled Najdek in the fifth because the Notre Dame hitters were starting to time her up. McIntosh is a rise-ball pitcher, so we wanted to give them a different look. The decision didn’t work out today, but we’ll learn from it and see how we can do a better job next time.”McIntosh (6-8) worked one inning, suffering eight unearned runs, while Najdek went five innings, giving up one run and six hits.McIntosh entered the game in the fifth with two outs and the game tied at one apiece. Facing the top of the Irish order, she put Notre Dame star Alexa Maldonado on base when she struck her with a fastball. After walking Alexia Clay, McIntosh finally got what she wanted when Heather Johnson popped the ball up to the gap between right field and the second baseman.The supposed end to the inning spelled the end of the game for Wisconsin. A communication error resulted in the collision of two Badgers playing the pop up, as the error allowed Notre Dame to take the lead for good.With the extra out the Irish capitalized and put the game further out of reach. Following the Badger error Notre Dame batter Dani Miller’s deep fly to center received a little help from the wind, blowing out of the park for a three run home run. While Notre Dame enjoyed a five-run fifth inning, they were far from finished. Taking advantage of three Badger errors in the sixth, the Irish reaped the benefits, scoring three more runs at the expense of the Badgers outfield struggles.“Mistakes hurt a lot. We had a lot of easy plays go wrong for us,” senior Jen Krueger said. “As a team we needed to just buck up and make the next play; it sort of got out of control there. After the inning we were sort of like, whatever. We had to keep fighting, but after the game it sunk in.”Current reigning Big Ten freshman of the week Najdek voiced optimism after the Badgers let a close one turn into a blowout.“I’ll always trust the defense that we have,” Najdek said. “Stuff like what occurred today happens in softball.”The loss on Tuesday did reveal a bright spot for the Badgers, as Najdek continued to shine for Wisconsin on the mound. In her last two appearances the young pitcher has given up only two runs in 11 innings of work.“Her performance of late has been great; you want to be able to have a lot of people who can throw,” Healy said. “She’s giving us opportunities with her play to put her in. We’re really excited about her outing, and she’s definitely going to throw more.”Without Najdek the Badgers chose the wrong game to give up unearned runs, as Notre Dame’s pitcher Laura Winter froze the Wisconsin bats. Winter (12-3) allowed three hits over five dominant innings of work, showing a mastery of off-speed pitches and control on the mound.“She was hitting her spots and moving the ball well,” Krueger said. “She was definitely hittable, but she had good command of her pitches.”There were early signs of promise for the Badgers against Winter, especially in the second inning when an RBI single by Michelle Mueller scored Abby Gregory from second as the Badgers jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Notre Dame catcher Kristina Wright responded by ending the Badgers’ momentum, gunning down her second Badger of the game when Gregory tried to steal second.From that point on the Badgers never threatened again, failing to put a runner past first in the last four innings.“We knew going in to this season we wouldn’t be consistent because we are such a young team,” Healy said. “On paper we knew there was a good chance a game like this would happen, but as coaches and a team we want to win every game.”Even when Notre Dame relieved Winter from the game, the Badgers went three up and three down against pitcher Jody Valdiva.Wisconsin will have a chance to erase this loss from memory, as the team finds itself back in action on Thursday.“You need to learn from games like this and not walk away from this experience,” Healy said. “We were tempted to not even meet after the game and say let it go, but you have to keep teaching and learning. We had a couple communication and decision making errors today which we’ll learn from and correct. I’m hoping with this young squad we learn quickly and put this loss behind us.”last_img read more

22 Early Voting Sites To Open in Broward County

first_imgPine Trails Park Amphitheater10555 Trails EndParkland, Florida 33076 Broward Mayor Dale Holness announced that 22 early voting sites will be opened throughout Broward County to facilitate voting. Davie/Cooper City Library4600 SW 82nd AvenueDavie, Florida 33328 Nova Southeastern UniversityAlvin Sherman Library3301 College Ave.Davie, Florida 33311 Southwest Regional Library16835 Sheridan StreetPembroke Pines, Florida 33331 Lauderhill Mall1519 NW 40th AveLauderhill, Florida 33313 North Regional Library1100 Coconut Creek BoulevardCoconut Creek, Florida 33066 Emma Lou Olson Civic Center1801 NE 6th St.Pompano Beach, Florida 33060 Ft. Lauderdale Branch Library1350 E. Sunrise BoulevardRoom 130Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33304 African-American Research Library2650 Sistrunk BoulevardFt. Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Coral Ridge MallNorth or Northwest Entrance3200 N. Federal HighwayFt. lauderdale, Florida 33306 South Regional Library7300 Pines BoulevardPembroke Pines, Florida 33024 Weston Branch library4205 Bonaventure BoulevardWeston, Florida 33332 Early voting for the primary election begins Saturday, August 8 and runs through Sunday, August 16. center_img Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center410 SE 3rd StreetHallandale Beach, Florida 33009 Voting sites are as follows: Hollywood Branch Library2600 Hollywood BoulevardHollywood, Florida 33020 Tamarac Branch library8701 W. Commercial BoulevardTamarac, Florida 33321 West Regional Library8601 W. Broward BoulevardPlantation, Florida 33324 Women’s Club of Wilton Manors600 NE 21st CourtWilton Manors, Florida 33305 Miramar Branch Library2050 Civic Center PlaceMiramar, Florida 33025 On the weekends, Saturday & Sunday, August 8th & 9th and August 15th and 16th, the sites will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During the week, from Monday to Friday, August 10th through August 14th, sites will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Broward Health NorthConference Room201 E. Sample RoadDeerfield Beach, Florida 33064 E Pat Larkins Community Center520 Martin Luther King BoulevardPompano Beach, Florida 33060 Nob Hill Soccer Club10200 Sunset StripSunrise, Florida 33322 Northwest Regional Library3151 University DriveCoral Springs, Florida 33065last_img read more

Colin Kaepernick’s NFL workout brings out protesters: ‘Get out of my town’

first_imgWhen asked about the sign by NBC reporter Blayne Alexander, a protestor responded, “I don’t want him in my town. He disrespected the anthem and the flag.”Sign outside of the entrance to the facility.— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) November 16, 2019MORE: Everything to know about Colin Kaepernick’s workoutAnother sign, appearing to be part of the protest, was also visible outside of the facility. The sign reads “stand up for the flag” and is surrounded by several small American flags.When asked by ESPN’s The Undefeated about why he’s there, another protestor said he wants to make sure people respect the flag.”I’m not here to disparage anybody, or anything or any organization,” he said. “I’m here for one reason, and that’s to lift up the big, beautiful flag of the country. I’m not negative at all. There has been some tearing down of the flag, and it’s easy to tear things down. It’s hard to build something up, so I’m here to lift up the flag today.” Additional signs, and flags at the entrance of the facility.— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) November 16, 2019Of course the area wasn’t full of just negativity.There were other people who showed up in support of the free agent quarterback. Kaepernick also received support on Twitter as the hashtag #StillWithKap became the top trending topic on the social media platform. A few people at the Falcons’ facility could be seen wearing Kaepernick jerseys.This man told me he drove two hours to sit outside and support Kaepernick.His message is pretty clear:— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) November 16, 2019Expect more people to protest or show their support as the start time for the workout approaches. Colin Kaepernick’s scheduled workout for NFL teams takes place Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET, and people are already standing outside to make their voices heard.Several hours before Kaepernick’s workout, people were seen outside of the Falcons’ facility (where the workout is scheduled to take place) with signs. One sign reads, “Colin Kaepernick un-American loser get out of my town.”last_img read more

NFL power rankings: Packers, Chiefs, Seahawks rise; 49ers, Steelers, Bears fall for Week 16

first_img Getty Images MORE: NFL playoff picture | Updated draft orderWithout further ado, here’s how all the teams stack up from No. 1 through No. 32 in the eyes of Sporting News.NFL power rankings1. Baltimore Ravens, 12-2 (previous ranking: 1)The Ravens crushed the Jets in their latest dominant victory. They are looking like the clear Super Bowl favorites and can cement that status with the AFC’s top seed in Week 16 by avenging one of their only two losses.2. Green Bay Packers, 11-3 (3)The Packers have been flexing their muscle with Aaron Jones and the running game plus big-play defense all season. Somehow quietly, they are a mighty contender with Aaron Rodgers, who you know will deliver as a bigger factor in the playoffs.3. Kansas City Chiefs, 10-4 (6)The Chiefs are back to health offensively and showing just how improved they are defensively. Patrick Mahomes is back in a groove, and they are peaking as a complete team at the ideal team. They are better than last year’s version of themselves.4. Seattle Seahawks, 11-3 (5)The Seahawks won big and then lost big, so they went back to playing their close games with their escape in Carolina. They don’t get a lot of style points, but the defense keeps getting key takeaways. When Chris Carson’s running sets up Russell Wilson’s downfield passing so well, they are hard to beat.5. San Francisco 49ers, 11-3 (2)The 49ers went into a bit of an offensive slump and got caught by the Falcons in a trap game. With key pieces missing on every level, their defense isn’t capable of shutting down opponents. They are still dangerous, though, because they can win in any way. The Dolphins have done their best with limited talent because of fiery leaders Brian Flores and Ryan Fitzpatrick. But you can’t do much when you can’t run the ball well or play good defense.32. Cincinnati Bengals, 1-13 (32)The Bengals have played better defense and used Joe Mixon well to take some positives out of Zac Taylor’s rookie season. The good news is that another Joe (Burrow) is on his way. 26. Carolina Panthers, 5-9 (24)Christian McCaffrey stamped his special season by reaching 2,000 yards from scrimmage. There are other Panthers standouts offensively, namely D.J. Moore, but unfortunately, the QB situation and defense disarray have taken away from the bright spots.27. Arizona Cardinals, 4-9-1 (27)Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury have given the team plenty of promise going forward, with an assist from new feature running back Kenyan Drake. The offseason priority will be fixing the defense.28. Detroit Lions, 3-10-1 (28)The Lions have become an offensive shell of themselves without Matthew Stafford and with a revolving door at running back. But Matt Patricia’s defense has been the biggest disappointment.29. New York Giants, 3-11 (31)The Giants did right by Eli Manning one more time at home to get a much-needed win that may not save Pat Shurmur. Given the right defensive upgrades, they have promise for a big turnaround in 2020.30. Washington Redskins, 3-11 (30)The Redskins have fought hard with Bill Callahan and spry Adrian Peterson leading the way over the past several weeks, with Dwayne Haskins also showing good development. Their next coach could turn things around in a hurry with the right help from upstairs, which is the bigger question mark. (SN/Getty) (Getty Images) 31. Miami Dolphins, 3-11 (29) (Getty Images) Week 16 of the 2019 NFL season is here, and there has been yet another shakeup in the league’s power structure. Last week seemed like it was going to form until the late Sunday afternoon window and the night game arrived to turn things upside-down in a hurry.With only two more games left for every team, there’s room for several more changes before the regular season ends and the playoffs begin. The latest upsets shook things up at the top and created more of a muddled middle. (Getty Images) 21. Atlanta Falcons, 5-9 (25)Dan Quinn has proved why the Falcons needed to keep him. He is an underrated midseason adjustor and obviously a good motivator of players in a season that wasn’t going their way. You can bet it was sweet for him to beat former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s team on the road.22. Denver Broncos, 5-9 (21)Drew Lock has given the Broncos some excitement to finish the season, but the rookie had a reality check on the road in Kansas City. The Broncos’ defense is doing its best to hold up, and Vic Fangio looks like he is certain to get another year as coach.23. Los Angeles Chargers, 5-9 (22)The Chargers went from blowing out the Jaguars on the road to being routed by the Vikings at home. That’s their typical roller-coaster of a season in a nutshell. Anthony Lynn should survive as coach, but they will have a tough call to make on Philip Rivers, who has become a turnover machine.24. New York Jets, 5-9 (23)The Jets were grounded and pounded by the Ravens to reflect their awful road play this season. Their tough stretch continues to close the season with the Steelers and Bills back-to-back. Adam Gase’s first year isn’t exactly a disaster, but it has been messy.25. Jacksonville Jaguars, 5-9 (26)The Jaguars rediscovered their fight from earlier in the season after a temporary free-fall. Instead of being totally sucked into the Black Hole in Oakland, Gardner Minshew provided a spark in what still is likely the end of the Doug Marrone era. 16. Philadelphia Eagles, 7-7 (20)The Eagles somehow found a way to score the required points late to beat the Giants and the Redskins in the same week. To their credit, they are grinding and squeaking things out with a slow offense and an overmatched defense.17. Chicago Bears, 7-7 (14)The Bears got Mitchell Trubisky and the offense to wake up in the second half against the Packers, but there still was plenty left on the table. There might be a Year 3 together for Matt Nagy and Trubisky, but this team no longer can lean on its defense to win.18. Cleveland Browns, 6-8 (15)What was that? The Browns traveled to the desert to play a bad defense, and their offense once again deserted them with dysfunction everywhere when they weren’t handing the ball to Nick Chubb. Freddie Kitchens might be getting a reprieve for this season, but we’re not sure why.19. Oakland Raiders, 6-8 (17)What was that? The Raiders had a comfortable, 16-3 at halftime and were playing inspired in the final game in front of the Black Hole faithful. Then they found a way to wear down against the long road-tripping Jaguars. Remember those good Year 2 vibes with Jon Gruden early in the season? Neither do we.20. Indianapolis Colts, 6-8 (19)The Colts have had a trying season of injuries, and those, not Andrew Luck’s retirement, are the real reasons they’re not returning to the playoffs in Frank Reich’s second year. They will now look for a strong closing surge to end a recent ugly skid. (Getty Images) 6. New Orleans Saints, 11-3 (4)The Saints should like Sunday’s results, because they hold the tiebreaker over the Seahawks and not the 49ers. With their division wrapped up, they can keep focusing on upgrading their playoff seeding. They will need to keep overcoming key injuries in their defensive front seven to do it.7. New England Patriots, 11-3 (7)The Patriots were slow out of the gate in Cincinnati like they are in most games, and their passing still failed to light it up. But New England got rolling with its running game, big-play defense and special teams in a much-needed win game before the key rematch with the red-hot Bills.8. Buffalo Bills, 10-4 (9)The Bills threw down their most impressive victory of their breakout season with their defensive dominance of the Steelers in Pittsburgh. They are showing they can do all the little and big things to win games in the playoffs, too.9. Minnesota Vikings, 10-4 (8)The Vikings could have fallen into a trap against the Chargers, but their defense finally made enough plays to lift the offense in a tough matchup. Minnesota suffered a tough break in losing Dalvin Cook, but it’s talented enough to take the division away from Green Bay.10. Houston Texans, 9-5 (13)The Texans’ defense finally helped the offense, which allowed the team to control more action with Carlos Hyde and the running game. When Deshaun Watson is asked to do it all, there are limitations. They restored their confidence with a well-rounded win over the Titans. 11. Dallas Cowboys, 7-7 (16)The Cowboys were going through the motions before the Rams game, but their defense rallied with sound covering and tackling to allow their offense to operate at its balanced, explosive best with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combining to play the closer role.12. Tennessee Titans, 8-6 (10)The Titans made just enough mistakes to lose to the Texans and put a damper on their recent momentum with Ryan Tannehill. The defense is springing enough leaks for one to think their second-half surge will end short of the playoffs.13. Pittsburgh Steelers, 8-6 (12)The Steelers have survived on defense, a timely effective running game and a few big plays in the passing game. But they play with fire every week with their limited firepower from a depleted offense. They have to dig deep to score enough to avoid a late-season crash after all the hard work they did to get back in contention.14. Los Angeles Rams, 8-6 (11)The Rams continue to be an enigma. Just when you thought they had figured things out offensively and had a chance to close with nasty defense, everything fell apart in Dallas. Sean McVay has done his best to find answers, but there are not enough of them with this overpriced personnel.15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7-7 (18)How about Jameis Winston? Can we stop looking at the interceptions and look at his mental and physical toughness and resilience? He has the make-up to be a winner, and the Bucs are finally on the cusp of winning big with him (let’s hope so now) in 2020.last_img read more

Overtime… ‘Spurs in Seven, take it to the bank!’

first_imgFollow @NewPghCourier on Twitter us at our mobile app at BILL NEAL  :10 By the next time you hear from me, I’ll be coming to you from “Tim-Buk-Tu”…that’s a place in Africa for all you Allderdice grads (Debbie Norrell…say what?). Anyway, I am starting to get the same feeling LeBron James is getting.  Yep.  It’s over!  That said, I will stay the course and stick with Tim Duncan and One Leg Tony Parker and trust that the Spurs will prove me to be the sports information genius you all know me to be.  “Spurs in Seven.”  Take it to the bank!  (Bank might be closed…so be it!):09 Speaking of Debbie Norrell…and I was if you missed it, try to pay attention here, I know I am in the right place when I show up and she’s there.  That spot was the backyard…wait check that…the Back Forest of Ernie Groover. And “The Grove Man” delivered big time. First of all, free food and plenty of it, that always works. Big ole white folks tent, D.J. Rich McCord, Jazz band. Beverages of all kinds for all kinds and a VIP list as big as the area we occupied. Two time Olympic Gold Medalist Roger Kingdom, “All Hail to the King.” Jerry Lopes, Don Patterson, Fred Crawford, the Vett Club, Warren Wilson Sr. & Jr., Debbie Hickman, Ron Hunt, Steve Snyder, Curtis Aiken and the list goes on and on.  Happy 60th and a great party Norma and Ernie Groover. You come in a tight third behind Debbie Norrell and Vince Neal.  Let that be your motivation!:08 I know we all…well, most of us anyway…want Tiger to win, and for a variety of reasons. But guess what?  Tiger you better get busy son.  The clock is ticking on you being the greatest of all time!!! Tick…tick…tick…:07 Hey, for all you doubters, I found “Dude’s” Top 10 Greatest NBA Players of All Time List. It’s Good. Not as good as mine, but pretty good.  (And like I said, he’s on vacation and has time to wait…I am just saying.)  See it next week.:06 Did ya’ll know Milton Raiford…excuse me, “Elder Milton Raiford” can preach?  I mean in your face, matter of fact, right now for real preach!  Is there anything this man can’t do?Top defense attorney in the state, firery community advocate, VIP level status, last, but not least, a humble and beautiful wife.  I ask, is there anything this man can’t do? Yes – there – is!  He – can’t – sing!  Aw c’mon.  If ya were at Petra Ministries for Fathers’ Day on Sunday, you know it…you just don’t want to say it.  But you’re thinking it! …(huge smile)…Brother Raiford, I love you man!:05 Serena Williams won another Grand Slam.  Not only is she the best in the world today, she just may be the greatest female player of all time!:04 Next to the last call for 14 and under boys middle school basketball tournament coming up in three weeks. Call the Champions at 412-628-4856 to get your team in.  Also get ready for the annual Armon Gilliam Memorial “Hard Work Basketball Camp” for boys and girls ages 8-16 coming up Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 at the Penn Hills YMCA from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day.  Call the Champions at 412-628-4856 to register.:03 Yet another tip of the judges cap to my main man Dwayne Woodruff.  He will soon be inducted into the Kentucky Hall of Fame. Not the college…the state man. Now that’s huge.  The Judge is rackin the awards up so fast he’s going to have to add another wing on the estate.  (Opps, my bad. Did that already.) Congratulations Wood!:02 You like LeBron. Think he’s the greatest of all time? Tell you what I’ll do. Bring all your money to any gym on the planet and I’ll lock LeBron in the gym with Michael Jordan…then I am going to go spend all your money, while you and L. B. sit there and try to figure out what happened. I’ll tell you what happened! The mean and nasty in Jordan happened.  LaBron ain’t got the mean and nasty. Now run tell that. Or call me. You got the number.:01 The Pirates are for real I promise.  They just have to keep their Jolly Roger out of Atlanta. I predict a 92 game winning season.:00 At the Buzzer.  HHHEEERRREEE We Go.•Rick Cokely—great job with your youth mentoring program. “A Few Good Men.”  Keep up the good work.  It’s valuable and needed.  Let’s hope a few more good men step up for the next one.•Ernie Bey and the Pittsburgh Chapter of Mad Dads—another great Fathers’ Day event. Old School style. Hot dogs, burgers, kids playing kick ball, prizes and games and that back in the day music. Job well done Mad Dads.  Job well done!•Coming at ya the same way with a little different flavor, Harlem Nights Old School Par-tay, Friday, June 28.last_img read more

Nikhat Zareen calls for a trial bout against Mary Kom to decide who will…

first_imgAdvertisement 6l8qaNBA Finals | Brooklyn VsbfdWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E1kxr( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) b4ysttWould you ever consider trying this?😱4di1bCan your students do this? 🌚yRoller skating! Powered by Firework Nikhat Zareen has called for a trial bout against Mary Kom in the category of 51Kg Boxing to decide who will represent India in the Tokyo Olympics next year. The rule of Boxing Federation of India states that only gold and silver medalists will be extempted from the trial round of Olympics qualifiers. However, BFI has now decided to send the Bronze medalist Mary Kom directly in the Olympics qualifiers.Advertisement According to Nikhat Zareen, it is going to be unfair. All should be given equal chances to represent his/her country at the biggest stage and the rule should be same to all. The rule can not change overnight to favour someone. Nikhat demands for fair play in this case.Advertisement Today, Nikhat Zareen wrote a letter to the Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Kiren Rijju to look into this matter. According to her, the gold medalists like Michael Phelps also had to go through trial before the qualifying round. So, there should not be any problem for Mary Kom to participate in the trial round.The gold medalist in shooting for India, Abhinav Bindra openly supported Nikhat Zareen in Twitter. However, both of these sportspersons are attached with JSW group.India suffers double elimination in World Athletics Championships with Javelin and 4×400 relay teams failing to make the cut Advertisementlast_img read more

UPDATED: Rockies rain on Leafs parade, outlast Green and White 7-4

first_imgIt’s been that kind of season for the Nelson Leafs.Just when hockey fans are ready to book seats on the Leafs bandwagon, the Green and White falter.Ryan Skytt scored twice to lead the Columbia Valley Rockies to a 7-4 victory over the Leafs in KIJHL action Saturday night in Invermere.The loss, the eighth in nine games, saw the Leafs split the two-game road swing through the Eddie Mountain Division. Friday, the Leafs shutout Golden Rockets 4-0.After allowing the first goal of the game 16 minutes into the game, the Rockies struck for four goals in a span of four minutes on the game clock to take a 4-1 lead and never look back.The four goals chased Leafs netminder Jason Sandhu from the Leafs goal in favour of backup Ben Kelsch. Sandhu was in goal to shutout Golden Friday 4-0.Columbia Valley held period leads of 2-1 and 5-3.Peter Matthews, Jagger Thiessen, Carter Beaston-Will, Colby Sherlock and Riley Knott also scored for Columbia Valley.Nicholas Wihak led the Rockies with three assists.Sawyer Hunt, Jordan Unger, Colum Mcgauley and Eamonn Miller replied for Nelson, which out shot the Rockies 36-34 in the game.Connor McKay picked up the win in goal for Columbia Valley. Nelson remains in fourth spot in the Murdoch Division behind Grand Forks Border Bruins, which also lost Saturday, 7-2 to Kimberley Dynamiters.Nelson returns to action Wednesday in Castlegar against the Rebels.Next home game for the Leafs is Saturday, November 26 against Grand Forks Border Bruins.Sandhu backstops Leafs back into win columnNovember has not been very kind to the Nelson Leafs.Losers of seven straight, the Green and White rode the shutout goaltending of Jason Sandhu to dump the hometown Rockets 4-0 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night in Golden.Sandhu, who was exceptionally sharp during the third period when the Rockets outshot the Leafs 14-6, finished the game stopping 32 shots to register the shutout and the first win for the Leafs since October 22.Andy Fitzpatrick, Jordan Unger, Colum Mcgauley and Dash Thompson scored for Nelson, which held period leads of 1-0 and 3-0.The win was key as 9-11-0-0-2 Leafs look to keep pace with the rest of the Murdoch Division. Beaver Valley, winners of 12 straight leads the division with 32 points.Second place Castlegar, two points in front of the Leafs in the standings, have been just has hot winning six consecutive games. The Rebels and Grand Forks Border Bruins are tied for second, each team with 22 points.Nelson continues its two-game road swing through the Eddie Mountain Division Saturday in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies.In the only meeting between the two clubs, Nelson edged Columbia Valley 3-2 in overtime — which just happens to be the last win for the Leafs.Next home game for the Leafs is Saturday, November 26 against Grand Forks Border Bruins.last_img read more