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South Korean conglomerate donates $255,000 worth of medical equipment to Indonesia

first_imgTopics : The Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) will distribute the donations gradually over the next 20 days. Meanwhile, the rapid test kits are expected to arrive later this month from South Korea.”This is a real symbol of the close ties between Indonesia and South Korea,” BKPM head Bahlil Lahadalia said in a statement on Monday. “The BKPM will help with the distribution so that medical staff and app-based ojek drivers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak can benefit accordingly.”CJ Indonesia, which has operated in the country since 1988, joins other companies in donating medical equipment amid the unfolding pandemic. The BKPM previously received 50,000 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing kits from another South Korean conglomerate, LG Group.Hospitals across the country are in need of medical supplies and test kits as the number of infected patients continues to rise amid calls for more aggressive testing. Official figures showed that more than 4,500 people have contracted COVID-19 in Indonesia, with the death toll reaching nearly 400. “As we forge relations with the BKPM and Indonesia during our 32-year operations, we have a sense of belonging and togetherness,” said CJ Indonesia business development director Wahju Onasis. “We want to help ease the burden caused by this outbreak.Two-Wheeled Movement Union (Garda) leader Igun Wicaksono added: “The donations we received today [Tuesday] from CJ Indonesia and the BKPM will be of great help to us — the app-based motorbike taxi drivers who have suffered as a direct impact — to support our daily operations.”Read also: TikTok donates Rp 100 billion for COVID-19 medical workersApp-based ojek taxi drivers are among the vulnerable groups that have been hit the hardest by the government’s social restriction policy to contain the spread of the virus.According to Online Driver Association (ADO) head Wiwit Sudarsono, drivers’ earnings have plunged nearly 80 percent, especially for those who usually transport passengers.A report by big data firm Statqo Analytics showed that Grab and Gojek had seen a 16 and 14 percent downturn, respectively, among their active ride-hailing users within the last week of March. A significant drop was seen on March 19, three days after schools and many businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CJ Indonesia, the local arm of South Korean conglomerate CJ Corporation, donated on Monday rapid test kits and hand sanitizer worth Rp 4 billion (US$255,000) to healthcare facilities and app-based motorcycle taxi drivers, as demand for these crucial items remains high in the fight against COVID-19.The company, which manages bakery franchise Tous Les Jours, among other businesses, has prepared 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 200,000 pieces of bread and 200,000 milk packages to be distributed to state-owned hospitals and community health centers (Puskesmas) handling COVID-19 patients, as well as ojek drivers impacted by the government’s large scale social restrictions.Read also: COVID-19 news is not all bad. Read this to stay positive Editor’s note: This article has been revised to reflect that the donation worth US$255,000.last_img read more

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Preview: Greyhound racing in Clonmel tonight

first_imgEddie Anderson is racing manager at the track and he previews tonight’s card. There’s greyhound racing in Clonmel tonight where the first is off at 7.30pm. The card sees:FINAL of the Dessie Loughrey Memorial A1 550 StakeFINAL of the B.I.F. National Produce Stakes A1 StakeFINAL of the B.I.F. National Produce Stakes A2 StakeFINAL of the B.I.F. National Produce Stakes A1 StakePlus Top Class Supporting Programmelast_img

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Winning Post – The current state of the Australian market

first_imgShare Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Share Related Articles Submit StumbleUpon Regulus Partners, the strategic consultancy focused on international gambling and related industries, gives an insight into some of the key developments in the gambling industry as part of its ‘Winning Post’ column.Australia: market development – the state they’re inThe Australian betting market was significantly rearranged this week, with William Hill bowing out and Stars becoming an important player. New South Wales has also launched a public consultation on betting POC taxes, seven months after Victoria’s (with 3.4% state revenues from gambling being referred to as ‘small’). Australia is a market of mixed messages. Regulated online growth has been strong despite a (recently reinforced) ban on in-play and gaming as well as material product fees. Gambling spend per capita is the highest in the world, despite a strident and frequently effective anti-gambling lobby. A cultural propensity to gamble is matched by high mobile penetration, high disposable income and continued popular interest in horseracing. The attractions of the market are obvious, but are they now under threat?There has been significant organic and M&A-driven consolidation in the Australian market. The creation of one major monopoly (ex RWWA) has given Tab a 38% market share online (including telephone) and a 52% market share overall. Its business model is designed around high taxes (or more precisely monopoly rights payments) and product fees, further assisted by an over-index in occasional customers who yield materially higher gross margins than the mean. However, retail is now only 33% of the total market, and is in decline despite significant distribution and investment in self-service terminals (where in-play is allowed, unlike online). This is a fairly similar mix and underlying trend to the UK (where retail has in fact been slightly more resilient, driven by football coupons and SSBT multiples). There are now three major players in the remote market. PPB remains comfortably the biggest corporate, with 26% share and three-year revenue CAGR of 18.3%: outperforming the market’s 14.9% (including telephone) by a convincing 3.4ppts. Equally importantly, a 2017E EBITDA margin of 34.4% gives it material wiggle room for what might be happening next (see below). Stars has created a 15% market share business (NB, not 20% as previously reported), with the blended growth rate of an under-performing WH (flat) and an outperforming CrownBet delivering market growth of 15%; post synergy EBITDA margin of c. 25% is materially below PPB but not by any stretch bad.  Ladbrokes is a trailing #4 with 9% share but strong growth (52% 3-year CAGR); the key question is whether this growth has expanded profit margins or effectively been bought. bet365 has been unable to leverage its key in-play strengths and trails at 4% share, 11% growth and poor margins.In summary, Tabcorp can probably take a material increase in costs (especially given market disruption), PPB and Stars can take some, the rest will struggle: POC taxes coming out at 15% will more than halve Stars’ EBITDA and it is clear that the key states of NSW and Victoria are heading in that direction (with declining retail and SA/WA models acting as a catalyst and blueprint). Victoria’s positioning is particularly sensitive. On the one hand, legislators are being told (by both betting and racing) that material POC taxes will hurt product fees, but on the other the optical dangers of a lower figure than other states are being made clear by less pro gambling lobbies. Further, Victoria has precedent for turnover levies and this dangerously distorting system being applied to betting tax cannot be ruled out (the thrust of question 3 of its consultation). Here, the fact that Australian horseracing has effectively filled the gap created by no proper taxation system for corporate bookmakers (with only 10% GST being levied), is cold comfort with an obvious victim. Consequently, given that the underlying profitability of the newcomer likely to at least halve, with no gaming to cross-sell (hopes of poker legislation are probably just that in the current climate) and the risk of distorting as well as expensive taxes, why would anyone choose to be in Australia?The answer to that might be painfully simple. Limiting regulation, escalating taxes and a skewed product mix is in danger of becoming the new normal in many markets, and if an operator can’t make it work in gambling-mad Australia, they have little chance elsewhere, in our view. The irony here is that William Hill couldn’t thrive in the world’s most traditional betting market, but is hoping for a much easier time in the US: if operators think Australia is in danger of becoming an over-taxed patchwork of distorting state-driven regulation which favours domestic incumbents, they ain’t seen nothing yet…UK: in Parliament – Harris bombs bookiesDespite the pressures of running for deputy leader of the Welsh Labour Party and campaigning for women’s pension rights, the formidable Carolyn Harris (Lab, Swansea East) still found time this week to take a swipe at the betting sector. In fact, she took more than one – submitting seven written Parliamentary Questions in relation to both FOBTs and to the recent high-profile money laundering and social responsibility failures at William Hill’s online operations.Harris has the bit between her teeth on gambling regulation. As chair of the Labour Campaign for Gambling Reform, she is likely to retain a strong interest in the industry even after the conclusion of the current DCMS review (assuming of course that the review does ever end). Other MPs appear less bothered. Just 43 MPs have signed Early Day Motion 174 (‘Fixed Odds Betting Terminals’) – half the number who signed the very similar EDM 61 in the 2015-2017 Parliament. No MP has signed EDM 174 since October last year, in spite of all the rhetoric and press coverage (perhaps a sign of the extent to which larger affairs of state dominate parliamentary thinking).Elsewhere, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Lab) became the latest to quiz the Government on the status of yet another interminable gambling review – the DCMS investigation into the regulation of society lotteries. Meanwhile, MP comments in The Times on the subject of advertising ban for junk food may have read across for gambling. Sarah Wollaston (Cons, ), the chair of the Select Committee on Health is reported to have said that: “when it comes to children … it’s absolutely right for government to make progress and pull the levers that will make a difference”. Irrespective of the Government’s apparent preference for a compromise solution (RG ads rather than ad restrictions), the issue of gambling advertising may have a way to run yet.Next Tuesday will see the publication of the Government’s Spring Statement. It is expected to be a fairly low-key affair and – while we would not rule out the odd consultation – we do not foresee any changes to gambling taxation being announcedUK: regulatory reform – a train (of thought) bound for nowhere The legendary poker player, Doyle Brunson tells the story of a college student called Tom who carried to the card table a book with the title ‘How to Bluff Constantly and Win’. Several hours later, as he cashed in his winnings, Tom threw the book on to the table for the other players to read. The pages were blank – all except the first one which simply contained the word “Don’t”.On the face of it, it looks as though Ladbrokes Coral may have overplayed its hand on FOBTs. Last Friday, the BBC claimed that LCL had threatened to withdraw sports (and notably racing) sponsorship if FOBT stakes were cut. Five days later, the company appeared to backtrack on the comments, explaining that it had simply intended to point out that any hit to revenue would have cost implications – and that sponsorship was one area that might be affected.In between the BBC story and LCL’s apparent climbdown, Paddy Power played its hand – emphasising its pride in supporting racing and its commitment to continue to do so, regardless of the Government’s decision on FOBT stakes (presumably because it is economically rational, as some parts of LCL probably knew while other parts got political). This was a typically agile and opportunistic move from PPB, demonstrating (with some justification) that the group continues to take a different approach to regulatory risk management and PR than its ABB peers.The FOBT defence erected by the major high street bookmakers has been constituted largely of third-party ‘shields’ – the articulation of consequences for others in the event of Government intervention. We are told that people will lose their jobs, HM Treasury will miss out on taxes and racing will face a funding crisis. There are two obvious issues with this approach. First, it highlights a failure to make the consumer case for non-intervention. Second, it seeks to depict costs which management teams are trying to control as societal benefits. The jobs case appears weak when sector employment is falling as a result of management action; the tax case is undermined by a case history of duty allergy (historically in Great Britain; currently to some extent in Australia); and the tears for racing appear rather amphibian given recent spats over media rights and the ABP scheme.There is also something a little perverse about threatening to take action in one area of public policy concern (sponsorship) if greater restrictions are placed on another. Moreover, the idea that racing will suffer if FOBTs are meddled with provides support for allegations that Britain’s retail betting companies have forgotten how to be bookmakers.Of course, the bookmakers are right to point out that a margin squeeze will affect each of these areas; and Government should approach policy change with eyes open. However, the game becomes dangerous when explanations are perceived as threats. As we (and Kenny Rogers) have pointed out before, “you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…”Germany: retail betting tax – everyone wants a cutA small but potentially significant number of German municipalities are adding to mounting ‘DACH’ pressures by seeking to add a 3% local turnover tax to 5% existing Inter-State taxes. Ironically, this is in part due to a court’s recognition of the limitations of square footage tax, while recognising that the existing 5% levy was ‘rather low’. Operator cries of double taxation probably confuse a legalistic point borne out of balancing POS regimes with simply being taxed by more than one authority for the same thing (as in normal in many Federal jurisdictions for GST, for example). More significantly, it is showing that a number of German authorities think: a) 5% turnover tax is indeed rather low, and; b) punitive taxes which reduce supply are overall a ‘good thing’. The economic and channelling arguments against this position are clear, but a lobby which looks too similar to ‘betting companies don’t like tax’ does not seem to be cutting much ice. This might be a tax increase which falls hardest on German retail franchisees, but it would be naïve at best to assume the remote sector and retail ‘supply chain’ is not immune to the logic, or the impactBrazil: gambling reform – when a black swan is just a swan in the darkMany commentators reacted with surprise to the ‘shock’ news that one of Brazil’s progressive gambling liberalisation bills was soundly defeated in Senate Commission of Constitutionality and Justice Committee 13-2. The decision has been described as a distortion, with a full chamber likely to be much more sympathetic to the allure of legalised resort casinos and regulated online gambling. We would be less sure. It is a global pattern that gambling liberalisation wins the support of interested parties who take meetings with sympathetic stakeholders and persuade themselves that they are being listened to in the corridors of power. Often, with a shadow timetable the anti-lobby are at work, but never the twain shall meet. Then, the force of conservative reaction to economic and social liberalism comes as a surprise – every time. What will be really surprising is a gambling lobby which recognises the concerns of its anti-gambling (or anti certain types of reform) counterparts and seeks to address them head on – economic arguments always look cheap (to most politicians) next to social ones, and pro-gambling lobbies tend to give the latter field to their opponents. The defeat of this particular bill is not a black swan moment – it is painfully common, and it will continue to be common while the global gambling industry lobbies as it does.Global: Football World Cup – BoJo boycott scare Operators’ hearts would have been in their mouths for a short while this morning as it was reported that Boris Johnson had threatened to withdraw the England football team from this summer’s World Cup, after the suspected poisoning of a Russian dissident in Salisbury at the weekend. The Prime Minister’s spokesman moved quickly to clarify that Johnson was referring to the attendance of diplomats and political representatives at the event in Russia, rather than the team.  While some may question the extent to which British civil servants (or even the England football team for that matter) would be missed in any event, operators will be acutely aware that as big a betting event as the World Cup will be, if it were to take place without an England team at all (given that a tournament life expectancy of three games is the best that fans can realistically expect anyway), their anticipated big business on the event would be materially negatively impacted. In a fluid and escalating situation, the Foreign Secretary’s (or his aides’) pronouncements on this subject might have to be given more attention than normal by the sector…Global: eSports – land based tournaments gaining tractionFollowing the announcement that the Luxor Las Vegas would open its dedicated 30,000 sq ft eSports facility in March, Caesars Casino have joined the eSports fray. Partnering with H1Z1 Pro League, Caesars Casino will host the Battle Royale eSports League starting on the 21st of April in its 50,000 square foot production facility dubbed, ‘Caesars Entertainment Studio’. The Tournament will host 15 professional teams over two 10 week cycles, culminating in a championship in the Autumn. Facebook are partnering as the dedicated streaming provider, and fans will be incentivised to tune in, receiving in game redeemable rewards. In a statement Caesars claimed that this latest eSports development builds on the strategy to be at the leading edge of all forms of Interactive Entertainment.In the UK, European Gaming League also announced it is hosting its ‘Gears of War’ eSports Tournament at the Sheffield Ponds Forge Arena, on the 21st and 22nd of April with a total prize fund of $20,000(yes USD not  GBP!). These unrelated developments suggest that there is a growing optimism for land based eSports tournaments, given the size of the investment, albeit one that does not yet contain a direct betting involvement. How soon will we see a land based eSports tournament combined with real money gaming? Whilst there may be a betting appetite from punters so far most eSports providers are treading extremely cautiously. Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020last_img read more

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Salah and Mane to score against Newcastle – Mybet.africa

first_imgOne of the leading sportsbook makers in Africa, mybet.africa, strongly believes both Salah and Mane will score this weekend when Liverpool welcome Newcastle at Anfield to signify unity.The sight of the usually mild-mannered Sadio Mane, incandescent with anger, aimed in the direction of Mohamed Salah, raised eyebrows at Turf Moor.Liverpool had done enough to walk away from Burnley with the points after a tactical display saw them run out 3-0 winners. Mane was clearly irked at an incident prior to his substitution where Salah had elected to try and shift the ball onto his unfavoured right foot for a shot when the No.10 man was unmarked and ready for a simple tap-in.However, mybet.Africa believes the two will settle their differences on the field on Saturday hence they are offering special odds of 3.0 to sports punter to place a bet on the match. Punters who bet 10GHs will get 10GHs bonus for Liverpool’s Champion League match on Tuesday in addition to their winnings should both players score.Salah and Mane shared a Premier League Golden Boot award last season, with twenty-two goals apiece, and the influential African duo has started this season in electric form, scoring five between them for the Reds so far. Both Salah and Mane have played 10 matches respectively this season, with both players scoring five goals with two assist each. However, for four matches played in the EPL,  Mane has scored twice, whiles Salah has scored three goals. The international break has afforded the pair the perfect chance to rest up and smoke the peace pipe as much will be expected from the duo this weekend.Liverpool will play six times, between September 14, and October 2. They will need all hands on deck for a busy period of action that includes games in the Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup.Klopp will be enthused by the fact that he has been able to work with his biggest goal threats for the entire week ahead of the opportunity to open up a five-point lead at the top of the league table at home to Newcastle.last_img read more

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Dodger brand suddenly catching on again

first_imgOwn up to it. What’s the best way to measure the Dodgers’ success in 2013?Stan Kasten tries every day.His metrics of the moment are fans in the stands.The National League West champions have emerged from recent attendance apathy to not only eclipse the 3.7 million mark at home — leading all of baseball as they had once done on an annual basis in years gone by — but also have the greatest road attendance average per game. Seeing these Dodgers in person are believing in them, Kasten said.“We don’t even know the last time a National League team led in both those categories,” the 61-year-old Dodger president, CEO and co-owner said the other day, a reference to the fact the New York Yankees last accomplished that in 2010.“To me, that speaks to the progress we’ve made. None of us feel our job is close to being done because we want to be a team that has sustained success and we’ve just started. But we feel we’ve made real progress.“The response, the reaction and the support from our fans have been very gratifying.”Ask any Dodgers fan how far this franchise has come since the departure of Frank McCourt, who with wife Jamie took over in 2004 only to see it all come unglued by early 2012, and you’re likely to get a number in the vicinity of infinity. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img When former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals general manager Kasten pulled together a ownership group that starred the Chicago-based deep pockets of Mark Walter with the L.A.-savvy Magic Johnson, and then outbid everyone else on the planet with a $2.1 billion deal, a lot of major promises were made 16 months ago once the paperwork was completed.In concert with upping the team payroll to $216 million on Opening Day (second only to the Yankees’ $228 million), the extensive excavation of Dodger Stadium included an elaborate new underground training facility — which came in very handy this season considering all the injury rehabs taking place.Capturing the NL West title was a notable but not unexpected accomplishment, but Kasten admitted it’s all about keeping the proper perspective at this point.“The NL West title is a milepost, a marker on the road in what we want to accomplish this year,” Kasten said. “I do think the most extraordinary part of this restoration process over the last year and a half was implicit on our bet on this fan base that, if we did things right, it would make the gamble pay off for us.“Not that we ever thought it was a bad gamble. It was a good, smart one. Mark Walter put it best when he said that we’re a little tired of the silly question: Why did you pay so much for the team? Because we thought it was worth a lot more.“That’s as straight as we can be, because of the size and depth of this market and the passion of its extraordinary broad fan base.”General manager Ned Colletti, who has seen the highs and lows of the franchise since arriving in 2005, has this perspective:“Any business in the sports and entertainment industry should prioritize opportunity to create goodwill and precious memories at their events. That includes an exciting, competitive team, a comfortable ballpark experience conducive to a family outing, an outreach program that makes a positive impact in the community and region. Those three facets should be able to independently stand on their own but also need to blend together for the ultimate fan experience.“We have a tremendous fan base and brand that reaches throughout the world. We see it every road stop we make. By next April we will have played in Beijing, Taiwan and Australia during the last seven years. When you have a fan base that vast and they are proud to be connected to a franchise and they voice their support and show their passion, that is also a measure of being successful.”When ESPN The Magazine recently released its 10th edition of the “Ultimate Team Rankings” — objectively taking eight weighted categories derived from fan surveys and marketing research and deciding which franchise of the four major sports qualified best as “turning dollars into wins” — the Dodgers landed in a rather pedestrian No. 56 out of 122.The NHL’s Ducks (8) and Kings (24) were far ahead. The MLB’s Angels (51) and NBA’s Clippers (55) were in the same ballpark. Interestingly, the NBA’s Lakers (77) were lagging behind.Since 2011, however, the Dodgers have seen a most noticeable rise in these standings based on ownership — moving up an incredible 65 spots. They now rank at No. 43 in that category, the best number of all eight categories on the Dodgers’ ledger.That still may put them behind the Ducks’ Henry and Susan Samueli (13), the Kings’ Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski (17) and Lakers’ Buss family (39). But it is better off than the Angels’ Arte Moreno (65) and the Clippers’ Donald Sterling (89).Ownership — defined as “honesty and loyalty to core players and to the community” — only accounts for 10.2 percent of the total package in this ESPN aggregated mess. More important are fan relations (25 percent), the affordability of tickets, parking and concessions (17.4 percent) and something called “bang for the buck” (16.8 percent), which accounts for “how efficiently teams convert revenues from fans into performance on the field.”In fan relations, the Dodgers are No. 53 — ahead of the Angels, Lakers and Clippers. In “bang for the buck,” the Dodgers are 52nd.Aside from not being sure what those ESPN numbers mean in the grand scheme of things, Kasten offered this analysis to ESPN’s poll: “As a guy who runs a team, I can’t think of anything more important than how your own fans feel about you. That’s why being number one — of all the teams in all the sports — is the most gratifying ranking of all.”Performance in 2013 means the Dodgers’ first postseason in four years. A team roster mixed of veterans and youth, experience and talent and the rejuvenation of the farm system only point toward moving up future franchise polls, no matter how they are measured.During a town-hall meeting Kasten attended in July at the L.A. Sports Museum, at a time when the team had rebounded from an injury-riddled start and finally crept back up to the .500 mark, he was asked if there was a chance at getting an All-Star game back at Dodger Stadium.Kasten said that was a bit problematic, since “until a year ago, this wasn’t a popular franchise or a popular place for Major League Baseball, you know?”In the last couple of months, he has noticed change in that perception.“No question, the way we are treated and received with the rest of baseball, I think any questions that were raised up to the time we’ve got here are put to rest,” Kasten said. “We have an excellent relationship with central baseball as it relates to all of our partners.”Kasten paused for a moment.“Maybe with the possible exception of that one team that has a pool or something in their stadium,” he added with a slight grin. “Other than them, we have a pretty good relationship with everyone else.”Measuring success is more than just who you can call to hold a neighborhood pool party, of course.Johnson may be invested financially in the future of the team, but as the former Lakers NBA champion can tell you as a competitor he’s got a whole other barometer when it comes to how ownership follows up with the fans.It’s a Dodgers season with a World Series title. Or bust.“That’s going to always be my feeling,” Johnson said this week in Atlanta. “Whether that’s everybody else’s feeling, that’s another thing. Am I trying to put that type of pressure on my team? No. That’s how I feel.”Johnson also recently went on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” and promised if the Dodgers won it all — that’s “if” — he would don a Dodger blue Speedo and jump into a pool. And he admitted he can’t swim.“I will go and stand in the pool, but if you’re trying to get me to swim that won’t happen,” Johnson told Leno. “But if we win the World Series, I’m puttin’ them on and gettin’ in the pool.”If Johnson does that, he’ll have 3.7 million friends who want to join him.Staff writer J.P. Hoornstra contributed to this story.last_img read more

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Mary (Kincaid) (Stewart) Murphy, formerly of Wellington: June 6, 1925 – June 30, 2014

first_imgMary MurphyMurphy, Mary F. (Kincaid) (Stewart), born June 6, 1925, died June 30, 2014.Preceded in death by parents, brother Bill, husbands John Stewart and Al Murphy, children Becci and David, granddaughter Erika Bennett.Survived by daughters Marilyn (Ron) Deckert and JoAnn “Jodie” Bennett, 8 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and many friends. Mary loyally served her God Jehovah for many decades. We look forward to the fulfillment of her hope of being reunited with her loved ones on a paradise earth. Memorial service Saturday August 2, 2014, 4 p.m., Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 6007 E 29th St N, Wichita.Memories or condolences: www.dayfuneralhome.info. Donations to Watchtower or Humane Society.last_img

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SoCal teams look forward to good year

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Then there’s the continuation of bias in postseason bids, evidenced by the SEC and ACC getting a fleet of bids to the 64-team tournament while West Coast conferences find themselves annually squeezed. Last year, the Big West received two bids and the West Coast Conference and Mountain West Conference one each. “I’m looking forward to 2008,” Fullerton coach George Horton said with a grin. “I have a couple of trips to the Bahamas planned. I’ll get to spend Christmas with the kids, and maybe go see USC play in a bowl game on New Year’s Day. “It’s a disappointment. It will be tougher on the state schools in California because of the limitations on contact and our school schedules. We literally will not be able to do the kind of things in January that we’ve done in the past.” It could be worse. The original proposal had the season starting in March. “I’m glad we at least got the one week back,” Dirtbags coach Mike Weathers said. “What I don’t like is the possibility that we’ll lose games. That’s horrible for everyone, because we’re coaches and the games are what we live for. The 14 college coaches who attended Wednesday’s Southern California Media Day at the Pyramid all agreed that baseball in the Southland is healthy and successful despite the best efforts of most of their rivals east of the Rockies. The powers that be in the college baseball world can’t stop themselves from fussing with parameters of the game that have potentially negative implications for teams in the west. Two years from now, the season’s start date will be pushed back to the last week in February to accommodate schools in the east that view the good weather on the West Coast to be too much of an advantage. In the process, schedules will get crunched and the number of games teams can play in a season may be trimmed by four or five. There’s also growing interest in taking away college baseball’s exemption to transfer rules. Currently, a baseball player may transfer without sitting out a season; legislation being proposed would force athletes to sit out a year if they chose to transfer. center_img “You’ll see a lot of changes if we lose games. Teams will stop making cross-country trips and playing intersectionals. We’ve already canceled our series with Baylor. Teams will stay home more. Schools like LSU and Texas won’t travel at all. “I think the game is good. It’s too bad they’re changing it.” As Horton noted, it’s not like the change is a panacea for schools in the east. “They’re not exactly going to get all their games in just because we’ve started the season later. They’re going to have to travel somewhere.” Transfers have become rampant. The ticking of the eligibility clock and the opportunities to be drafted as a junior leads players to seek the most playing time they can find. Most every team in the west has a few notable transfers. Fullerton added players from LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina. The Dirtbags grabbed Robert Perry from Santa Clara. San Diego State and Loyola each have three transfers expected to contribute this season. “I hope they don’t do it,” Northridge coach Steve Rousey, a one-time Dirtbag assistant, said. The Matadors welcome six transfers in 2006, from as close as UCLA and as far away as Clemson and Villanova. “But I do have mixed feelings about it.” Rousey added. “With all the limitations the NCAA puts on what coaches can do in the summer, it opens the way for a lot of recruiting (for transfers) in summer leagues. At the same time, it can be a good thing if it means a player getting a chance to play.” One player can be the difference, too, in a team getting an at-large bid, especially when they’re so precious in the west. “It’s so tough for us to get an at-large bid,” Tony Gwynn, the Poly High and Padre product who is in his fourth season as San Diego State’s coach, said. “The teams (outside California) have no idea how tough it is for these teams to play each other in the non-conference season and in midweek games. “I call it the BCS-ing of college baseball. The big conferences can get their nine bids like the SEC while the conferences that aren’t big football conferences struggle to get anything but their champion into the tournament.” All that said, the coaches believe this will be a banner season for the west. Fullerton, Long Beach, USC and Pepperdine are ranked in the Top 20, the University of San Diego and several Big West schools look live, and UCLA is bound to rebound from last year’s meltdown. “I think there will be a lot of teams in this room in the Top 25 come June,” said Horton. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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