Standing tall: Paul Francis shares his story of courage

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first_imgDania Bogle, Senior Gleaner Writer FANS OF athletics may have heard the name Paul Francis as the master strategist behind Jamaica’s gold medal in the women’s 4x400m at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Beijing, last August. Others know him as the younger brother of MVP Track and Field Club head coach, Stephen Francis and one of the club’s founders. Athletes at the University of Technology (UTech) know Francis as head coach of the women’s track team and for four years between 2010 and 2014 their classmate. Francis was 44 years old when he decided to go back to university. He had started in the 1980s at the University of the West Indies and dropped out after a year. He was accepted to do a degree in Business Administration at UTech in 2005 and opted out; but on February 2, 2010, what started out as a minor car accident, would change Francis’ life forever. While travelling on Highway 2000, he had a minor accident and when he left the vehicle to inspect the damage, was hit by a passing car which crushed his right leg. That exacerbated an injury Francis had suffered in 2008. “One day after training, I was fooling around on the track with a football and twisted my ankle and it just …broke. So I was walking around with a noticeable limp from two years before,” Francis told The Gleaner. After three weeks in hospital he was told his leg had developed an infection, and would have to be amputated. Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association president, Dr Warren Blake, one of the island’s most noted orthopaedic surgeons, conducted the operation. “Of course, I would have felt a deep remorse on hearing that I would have had to lose half of one of my legs and like any normal human being, I buss a bawl,” he shared. NO LOOKING BACK “After that bawl, never again have I looked back and regretted or thought that I am disadvantaged because I have a disability.” Francis, an IAAF Level IV certified sprint and hurdles coach, and Area Technical Official, was fitted with a prosthetic leg that August. The amputation made him reevaluate his position. “I did not see myself being able to demonstrate a high knee drill or a start to any athlete, and I thought that would somehow reduce my premium as a coach, and I thought it would be an excellent idea to ensure I try to expand my knowledge in terms of the administration of the sport because sport is my passion. I didn’t want to be somebody who had to sit down and rely on people,” he said. In 2010, a long-time dream of local track and field icon Dennis Johnson, who was for many years head of sports at UTech, the Bachelor of Science in Sport Science would come to fruition. “So as soon as I heard it was on, I jumped at it,” Francis, who turns 50 in April, said. There were days when Francis, who graduated with a degree in Sports Management, would go to classes on crutches as his prosthetic limb caused soreness. “Each day, I got a little stronger in terms of how to manage my own body. I had years of coaching experience and every sporting event doesn’t need only players, but it also needs strategists who are going to guide or coach the team. So oftentimes I played that role but at no point did I refuse myself from any practical activity because of my disability. I took part in every one of them,” he said. Being a full-time coach and student can be difficult, but Francis said difficulty is relative. “I thought I was blessed. It was simply a thing of managing your time. I have always considered myself a realist. In most situations I prefer to see a bottle as half full rather than half empty, and one of my most dominant philosophies is that no matter how bad a situation you think you are in there are many who are worse and they have survived it, therefore you can too.” Francis works very closely with his brother, and while he is the more celebrated, has nothing but great love and respect for the job his brother is doing. FIRST ATHLETE He was Stephen’s first athlete as he coached him in the discus while he was at Wolmer’s. “I have zero reservation about the kudos and recognition Stephen gets. I am his biggest admirer. He is bright. He is working at his passion and he uses all his available resources to ensure that he keeps improving at what he does. I feel a bit ashamed sometimes when people big me up because I think that he deserves most or all of the praise,” he said. Since graduating, Francis has started his own events planning business and is enthusiastic about his future. “You can either choose to lie down and die or you can choose to get up and live. I chose to live,” he said.last_img read more


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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City“All of the heads were cut off,” said Morales, a kick boxer who was running with Joe Butanda of Rosemead. “Maybe it was a cult or something. Why cut the heads off?” Whittier police and county animal-control officials said the dumping is under investigation, but were pessimistic they would find who did it. “At this point we can’t link it to anyone,” said Brenda Sanchez, spokeswoman for the county Animal Care and Control Department. “At this point it’s just a dumping site. We don’t have any leads.” Sanchez said she also doesn’t know about the motive. “Sometimes those can be linked to witchcraft or Santeria,” she said. “It’s really hard to know unless you have a specialist on witchcraft or Santeria.” The county does not, she said. Whittier police Officer Diana Salazar said several calls came in Monday morning and were forwarded that day to the county Animal Care and Control Department. Whittier has a contract with the county to provide animal-control services. Apparently between Monday morning and the evening, someone moved the carcasses and trash from behind the brush to the street. A white sign with the words, “animal control,” and an arrow pointing to the brush was staked into the ground. Teri Salazar, who lives nearby on Elmquist Avenue, saw the dead animals Monday night and was horrified. “It’s beyond belief and despicable,” Salazar said. “People are going to be sick to their stomach.” Sanchez said she’s not sure why it took so long for the carcasses to be removed. She said City Hall didn’t notify the county until 3 p.m. Monday. “We did go and pick it up this morning within 24 hours as our policy requires,” she said. Sanchez said she isn’t sure why the remains weren’t removed Monday, but the fact that Monday was Columbus Day, a holiday, could have been the reason. Mario Ramos, an animal-control officer who removed the dead animals Tuesday, said he only found out because of a tip from a resident early Tuesday morning while he was removing a dead possum. Stephanie Bell, senior cruelty case worker for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said she is horrified by the killings. “As long as these perpetrators are at large, they pose a continual threat to the community,” she said. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: Decapitated animals dumped in Whittier WHITTIER – Several bags containing three decapitated goats, headless chickens and rotting fruit with maggots were found dumped at the top of Hadley Street on Tuesday. City public works and Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control employees removed the carcasses and trash Tuesday morning. Residents said the material had been left there most likely since the weekend. “It was terrible,” said Armando Morales of Whittier, who discovered the animal parts and trash behind the brush at the end of the street Monday morning. last_img read more


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first_img Meanwhile, legal experts are gearing up to help fight those citations, saying that many of the students attended public meetings, and can’t be suspended for walking out under the California education code. “We believe there are some defenses to these truancy tickets, including attending a public meeting,” said Cynthia Anderson-Barker, a Los Angeles attorney and member of the National Legal Guild. She believes O’Connell’s reluctance to honor district waivers during the walkouts will change. “I don’t believe it’s a done deal,” she said. Susan Abram, (818) 713-3664 susan.abram@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event Waivers can be filed only for emergencies – such as fires, floods or earthquakes – or a labor strike involving transportation services, according to state education codes, O’Connell said. Los Angeles Superintendent Roy Romer issued a statement expressing disappointment but did not say if the LAUSD would pursue other options. “It’s unfortunate there is little likelihood for appeal for the loss of state revenue resulting from the drop in student attendance during the walkouts,” Romer said. “We need every dollar we can get to support our schools.” The state pays school districts $28.60 per day per student. Local school officials estimate 26,955 students walked out of classes on Monday, 7,685 on Tuesday and 211 on Wednesday, including 30 students from Birmingham High School in Van Nuys. About 90 students were cited for truancy or loitering on Wednesday. No walkouts or citations were reported on Thursday, according to the LAUSD. Three days of student walkouts could cost Los Angeles Unified almost $1 million in attendance-based funding, which state officials said Thursday they would not reimburse. California schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell said he has received numerous inquiries from districts statewide about waivers that would offset the cost of students skipping class to demonstrate for illegal immigrants’ rights. But O’Connell said the criteria that would allow reimbursements does not include students who miss school for protests. “While I am pleased that students are engaging in civic debate and exercising their right to free speech and assembly, we must encourage them to enjoy these hard-fought liberties in ways that will not hinder their or their classmates’ education,” O’Connell said. “I know you have already shared with your students the fact that missing school not only impacts their education, it also affects school funding.” last_img read more


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first_img13 July 2007Toyota South Africa is to produce Corollas at its Prospecton plant outside Durban specifically for export to the carmaker’s European markets from next year onwards, giving the KwaZulu-Natal economy a major boost.The decision was taken following a meeting this week in Tokyo, Japan, between provincial officials, led by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele and Toyota representatives led by Toyota Motor Corporation chairperson Katsuhiro Nakagawa.Nakagawa also announced that about 50 engineers have already been sent to South Africa to help with the manufacturing of the vehicles: “Toyota is determined to produce more vehicles in South Africa which can be exported to other countries.”“The exporting of vehicles from South Africa to other countries is very important for South Africa’s economy. The automotive industry is also important for the development of South Africa,” he said.Nakagawa said they also wanted an increased presence in Japanese automotive parts suppliers in South Africa as the country was considered to be the gateway to the rest of Africa.“We want to make our South African plant more competitive compared to Toyota plants in other countries,” he said.In a bid to ensure the competitiveness of their South African plant, he acknowledged that the training of workers would be important to achieve this: “If we skill more workers, more automotive parts supplier companies will come to South Africa.”He explained that they planned to establish a Toyota Training School in South Africa, which would benefit the company’s employees and create a much needed skills base for growth.“We want to listen to the voice of the workers to be able to produce more vehicles, more efficiently and effectively. Training, development and education of our workforce must be intensified,” Nakagawa said.The production of the latest model of the Toyota Corolla in South Africa is currently proceeding well and will be launched in August this year.“However, we are trying hard to introduce new models of Toyota to be produced is South Africa as well,” he said.Premier Ndebele appreciated the confidence shown by the company to South Africa, particularly KwaZulu-Natal, adding they would welcome the development of an automotive supplier park in the province.“We appreciate the new investment of more than R4-billion at the plant at Prospecton in Durban. However, we would like to see Toyota producing other automotive components in KwaZulu-Natal as well,” he said.He added it was important to accelerate training of the current and future workforce.“Continuous training is very important. We have to train all the time. For the market in South Africa, the market in Africa and the market elsewhere, training is important.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more


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first_img10 May 2011 Johannesburg’s Chancellor House has been reborn, and although the offices of Mandela & Tambo Attorneys are empty, the spirit of the two icons is almost tangible in the building. The modest, three-storey structure, on the corner of Fox and Gerard Sekoto streets in Ferreirasdorp in Johannesburg’s CBD, has had its dignity restored. Executive Mayor Amos Masondo and his team presided over the launch of the refurbished building last week, a process that begun in September 2010. “We meet to celebrate the opening of a fully restored Chancellor House – a historic building that was used as a legal firm for both Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo in the 1950s,” Masondo said. “If bricks could talk, this building would have been replete with colourful stories about the struggles for national liberation.” Advocate George Bizos, a long-time friend and advocate of Mandela, was the special guest, and he warmly recounted anecdotes of attorneys Tambo and Mandela. He said of his friend: “He had a wonderful presence.” Bizos added: “I am very pleased about the initiative of the City to restore the building; it is a living structure, a living space in honour of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Duma Nokwe, Mendi Msimang, Godfrey Pitje and others.” He also paid tribute to the Essa family from Polokwane in Limpopo, which owned the building since 1943. It was expropriated by the City last year. “They took a chance in allowing them to stay [in a white area]; they couldn’t always afford the rent. They played a role,” he explained. Other guests included representatives of the Sisulu and Mandela families – Beryl Sisulu and Ndileka Mandela. Attorneys who worked in the firm were Mendi Msimang and Dumi Nokwe, who were represented by Hlula Msimang and Nosizwe Macamo.Restoration The building, a derelict disaster for the past 10 years, has been restored using old photographs, says Lauren Segal, the curator of the exhibition of Chancellor House. The tall ceilings and interior pillars give the inside a more elegant look than the exterior promises. The ground floor has had its large Fox and Gerard Sekoto street window fronts re-instated. Parquet flooring, gleaming and warm, has been sourced and covers the ground floor and the three offices on the second floor of the Tambo and Mandela rooms, which overlook the Magistrates’ Courts across the road. The rest of the office space has grey carpeting, and all walls are crisp white. The other offices have been opened up to create spacious, open-plan areas, with toilets and kitchens running along the north side on each floor. The original entrance on the Fox Street side has been restored, while the courtyard toilets have been demolished, to create a new, enlarged space with plants and benches. A fire escape has been added and a new lift installed. A new roof was constructed, the old one having been damaged by fire and water seepage. Some 68 homeless people had to be removed from the building and were relocated to a shelter, before the City could expropriate the building. Around 30 skips of rubbish had to be removed before a proper assessment could be done, and work could begin.Busy practice Mandela and Tambo had a busy practice in the building from 1952 to 1960, at times bringing in other attorneys when they were caught up in trials in which they were the accused, like the Treason Trial, for which they were arrested in 1956. In an article titled “Save Chancellor House” in the De Rebus magazine of April 1999, attorney Norman Sher recalls his association with the building. Sher worked in the early 1950s as a clerk while studying to write his matric, in the firm of Berman & Berman, the attorneys who occupied the second floor of Chancellor House. He says: “It seems like yesterday and I can see them firmly imprinted in my mind: Nelson Mandela, a most imposing figure with a charming and genial personality, and Oliver Tambo, in contrast, with his deep penetrating features, a quiet and dignified man who spoke very softly in well-modulated and precise sentences.” He described how their offices were “neat and orderly” but crowded with people wanting help with obtaining passes, a process which involved “overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles”. Sher acted as a messenger to Tambo and Mandela, and often fell down the narrow staircase while trying to deliver messages as fast as he could. Mandela named him “Haasie”, Afrikaans for rabbit, “a nickname which he cherishes to this day with fond memories”. He was paid in kind for his messenging duties – he was treated to meals at Kosi’s Cafe on the ground floor, “an institution in itself playing host to many famous personalities”. Sher says that the three of them became good friends, with him bringing the lawyers their daily lunch of samosas from Kosi’s. “Little did I realise then what an important role Mandela and Tambo were to play in the future history of our country.”Museum A museum, to be positioned along the ground floor windows and outside the building, is to be opened at the end of May, says Segal. She explained at the launch, finding it hard to contain her excitement, how she had found documents, including letters, previously unseen photographs, banning orders, police correspondence stamped “Geheim/Secret”, invoices, and court admission material, relevant to the Mandela and Tambo practice, at the national archives in Pretoria. “It is a very exciting find; it felt like new stuff,” she exclaimed. The material has been deposited with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The three offices of the law firm will house a library containing a collection of digitised documents of legal cases handled by the two icons. Blown-up photographs with text will fill each of the ground windows, allowing passers-by to participate in the exhibition. “The various exhibitions will be designed to celebrate the history of this area, of the building and of the people who walked through its doors. Many of them, giants of our history, but also ordinary people in search for a better life, basic justice and elementary human rights,” said Masondo. Tenants for the building are being sought. They will preferably have a legal connection. Bizos indicated that he was going to approach the legal fraternity to ask them to help maintain the library and a possible legal clinic. “There are enough lawyers who have a social conscience.” The shuttered north entrance of the courts in Fox Street will be opened, to allow attorneys to cross the road to use the library and clinic. The Johannesburg Development Agency has overseen the restoration, at a cost of R7-million. “I trust that Chancellor House will remain a beacon of hope for all our people as we continue with our collective efforts to consolidate our freedom and deepen our democracy,” concluded Masondo. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more


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first_imgSuccessfully adapting novels into screenplays means that the film version must become its own work of art – a slew of changes must be made to the format, story and characters involved.If you’re reading this, you may have already accomplished the first step in your adaptation: finding a book you truly love and making certain it is movie material. Once you’ve found your story there are many challenges that, as a screenwriter, you must prepare to face on the journey from book to screen.Too Faithful or Not Faithful EnoughWhat to cut and what to keep? This is one of the first challenges you’ll need to tackle when adapting a novel. Subsequently, one of the greatest criticisms an adaptation will receive, in either direction, is that the film version was either too faithful (thus, not translating well to the screenplay format) or not faithful enough to the original version, which sends fans of the book into an uproar. Is it possible to please or serve both audiences, the die-hard devotees and those who haven’t read the book (they’re only seeking out a great film)? Possibly, but ultimately, your degree of faithfulness should be left out of the equation entirely.Instead, you want to engage with the material in such a way that honors only the great parts of the story. So rather than wondering how you must bring every detail to life on the big screen, ask yourself a more important question: what aspects of this story are so great that I must put emphasis on them? From there, you’ll explore the important characters, scenes and themes that are most pertinent to the story you want to tell. Remember that no matter which approach you take some people will love it and some people won’t, so just follow your instinct and tell the story in the best way that you know how.Point of ViewSome novels represent many viewpoints, alternating between multiple characters when telling a story. Most films on the other hand, tell a story from one singular point of view –that of the protagonist. For you as a screenwriter, adapting a novel with multiple viewpoints is not as easy as simply picking your favorite character or the most prominent character and running with it. In fact, the best route for your film may not necessarily be to choose the strongest point of view or have the character with the most dramatic experiences tell your story.Ideally, you want to look at the novel as merely a foundation, or the facilitator of the story you wish to tell. If this leads you to choose a smaller character from the novel, but one that is interesting and engaging and that would translate well to film – then so be it. When deciding how you want your story to be told, and who your protagonists will be, I would strongly suggest trying to go into things with an open mind. If you can accept that the novel and your screenplay may simply share only the same general idea, your mind will be free to make the best story choices. Once you have decided on your central characters, you can go back to the novel and choose to integrate what you believe to be worth while details and scenes from the original novel into your adaptation.It Isn’t Going to Be PrettyIrrespective of the writing style, you can always count on a novel to be beautifully written and rich in imagery. A screenplay… not so much. Even if your intention is to stay as true to source as possible, your script adaptation will look vastly different from the novel. This is a point that I would especially emphasize for any of you that come from a background in novel writing, but haven’t yet written as screenplay.Quite simply, a screenplay doesn’t have room for some of the most enjoyable aspects of a novel, no matter who writes the script. For instance, your script (at most) will be 120 pages with large margins, and most novels run at least 300 pages, which leaves no room for long paragraphs aimed at exploring a character’s internal monologue or scene descriptions. Nor should it be there in the first place, as the screenplay is a blueprint for the cast and crew, and not meant to be written with flowery language. When you set out to write your script, it is your job to get down to the essence of any one particular element, so that it can be explored via action or dialogue, or costume/set design, etc. It may not look as pretty, but trust that it will translate to be just as beautiful on the screen once it is interpreted by the talented artists that come on board.Creating New ContentWe’ve touched on the notion of choosing what will remain and what will be removed from a story when adapting it to a traditional screenplay, but it’s also worth thinking about what new elements can be added. Your script may be one that requires new plot points or characters that did not even exist in the novel in order to make it work as a movie, so keep this in mind when moving ahead with your new story. For instance, sometimes a writer will decide to write an alternate ending so that the film can feel more conclusive or set a certain tone.Naturally, this particular challenge can cause quite a bit of controversy among viewers, but nonetheless there are certain situations that call for it to be done. In such scenarios, writers typically approach the book as a springboard to create new content that still has a similar feel, making sure that any new ideas, characters, or scenes that are introduced still feel consistent and in line with the rest of the work. The reality is that sometimes change is demanded by the medium of film, which is highly visual. For an obvious example – If you are adapting a novel that is decades or centuries old, you may want to consider more contemporary themes or settings to make the story more appealing to a modern audience.Writing, of any variety, can be a daunting task and this sentiment could not be truer for adapting novels into screenplays. Nevertheless, so long as books continue to achieve a spot on the “best-seller” list, there will always be a studio in Hollywood ready to finance its adaptation to the big screen.Note: An adaptation is considered a derivative work of the novel, and as such, usage must be cleared for the work.  For more info on the legal ramifications of a novel adaptation, check out the post: ‘Legally Speaking, It Depends: Ins and Outs of a Novel Adaptation‘ from ScriptMag.com or ‘The Legal Hurdles of Adadpting a Novel or Book‘ from WriteYourScreenplay.com.Once you discover the right book, you must face the impending challenges associated with adaptions. Whether it is meeting fan expectations or knowing what to cut, keep, or add, or deciding which story you’d like to tell, you must be comfortable and confident in the writing decisions you make. This confidence comes from committing yourself to knowing the story from every all angles and making crucial (but necessary) choices on what stays and what goes.last_img read more


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first_imgSome NCAA Tournament emojis.If you’re one of those people who can only communicate on text using emojis, The Washington Post has you covered for March Madness this year. The publication has designed emojis for all 68 NCAA Tournament teams, along with a number for squads that just missed the cut. And to be honest, they did an incredible job. Here are the emojis for the Kentucky Wildcats and the Duke Blue Devils, two of the favorites to win it all this year. They’re fantastic.Kentucky DukeHere’s the entire grid – you can click through to see more. You can also save them to your phone if you open the link in a regular browser.EmojisCollege basketball fans – will you be using them this March?last_img


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first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A special air quality statement that was issued by Environment Canada last Wednesday because of a large amount of smoke in the air remains in effect for all of Northeast B.C. today.Last week, officials with the Ministry of Environment said that at this point, it’s not entirely known where the smoke is coming from.Air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams said that the smoke isn’t coming from any local fires in Northeast B.C., but could possibly be coming from fires burning in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and even as far away as Scandinavia and Siberia. “The view at the moment is that it’s likely coming from there. It’s likely that this smoke is coming from Eurasia, but at this point, there’s no agreement.” A map of the current fire danger rating in B.C. Photo by BC Wildfire Service. A map of the current fire danger rating in B.C. Photo by BC Wildfire Service. A map of all active wildfires on the BC Wildfire Service website shows that no new major fires have erupted in the B.C. Peace and Fort Nelson regions, where the fire danger rating is currently between very low and moderate.Of the fires that have started in Northeast B.C. recently, most are either in unpopulated areas or are less than ten hectares in size.People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects.Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.last_img read more


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It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings. The least you need to know about how these numbers work: Each team is ranked according to a projection of its strength over the upcoming week — and the upcoming week only — using Real Plus-Minus (RPM) player ratings provided by Jeremias Engelmann and Steve Ilardi. For more details on the ratings, see our introductory rankings post.(Note: These ratings were calculated before news broke that Chicago’s Jimmy Butler would miss three to six weeks with an elbow injury. Butler carried a strong +3.2 RPM rating, so replacing his 26 minutes per game with a replacement-level player would drop the Bulls from 11th place to a tie for 19th with the Pistons. Chicago’s saving grace might be that the average player below Butler on the team’s depth chart is significantly better than replacement level, but there’s no doubt that this news reduces the Bulls’ rating.)Some observations about the rankings this week:The Oklahoma City Thunder climbed more in the rankings from last week than any other team, leaping from No. 13 to No. 6. The biggest reason? The expectation that Kevin Durant will return in some capacity this week, even if in reduced minutes, was worth 1.7 points per 100 possessions to OKC’s overall rating. The ripple effects of Durant’s return extend beyond his own increased minutes. Our playing-time projections also see Dion Waiters (whose extremely negative RPM falls below the replacement level) getting fewer minutes on the wing — a boon of 0.8 points/100 to the Thunder’s rating. More minutes may also go to plus-minus darling Andre Roberson,1Relative to other metrics at least; from his awful 9.9 Player Efficiency Rating (PER), you wouldn’t expect his RPM to be a strong +2.4. and fewer minutes will go to guard D.J. Augustin, an additional 0.6 point boost for OKC’s rating. The mix of very good and very poor players on the Thunder roster makes the team a great case study in how much effect playing-time reshuffling can have on a team’s overall talent rating.The Atlanta Hawks dropped four spots in this week’s rankings, largely because Al Horford (+2.3 RPM rating), Jeff Teague (+1.3), DeMarre Carroll (+1.2) and Pero Antic (+0.8) are all listed as day-to-day in the team’s injury report. Those slight playing-time downgrades gave more minutes to a host of negative RPM players; chief among them are Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore.Joining the Hawks with a four-slot decline this week are the Toronto Raptors. More than half of Toronto’s 1.8 point ratings drop is driven by an injury to Kyle Lowry — and the resulting uptick in playing time for the man behind him on the team’s point guard depth chart, Lou Williams. Williams’s box-score numbers are very good, and Toronto has played much better with him on the court this season. But Real Plus-Minus isn’t convinced despite his great 2014-15 season to date. His long-term predictive RPM is currently -1.9 — with a -3.6 defensive mark — numbers only slightly improved from his -2.0/-3.7 ratings from the end of last season.For all the changes just outside the league’s top tier — in addition to the rise of OKC and declines of Atlanta and Toronto, the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets both moved up a pair of spots — the top four in our rankings stayed constant. This marks the first time that’s been true since we introduced the rankings in mid-January.With Oklahoma City’s gains, the Western Conference playoff picture is all but set. Seven teams have postseason probabilities in excess of 97 percent, and the Thunder don’t sit too far behind, at 92.7 percent. As for the East, it boasts six teams with playoff odds of 99.6 percent or greater, although there’s some drama to be had with six teams battling for the conference’s final two playoff berths. The Indiana Pacers have the inside track for one of the slots, with a 62.7 percent playoff probability, but none of the five teams behind them are any more than 40.2 percent likely to qualify, which ought to bring at least some tension to the final month and a half of the season.Related to the previous point, it’s worth mentioning that the Utah Jazz have a zero percent probability of making the playoffs despite ranking 12th in talent. What happened? Utah’s record has undershot its Pythagorean expectation by three wins, but the team has also improved its talent rating recently (granted, by too little and too late) by jettisoning Enes Kanter and his -2.5 RPM in a three-team trade with Oklahoma City and the Detroit Pistons.Finally, who on earth is Joffrey Lauvergne? Our projections had the French big man down for 2.8 minutes per game for the Denver Nuggets last week, but he ended up averaging 21 minutes per game instead (and even got a starting nod against the Jazz on Friday). Denver might be toning down Lauvergne’s playing time after he shot 38 percent from the floor and posted a -36 plus-minus in that lone start, but his expected role increase — and -4.4 RPM rating — is still enough to help the Nuggets drop by five slots in the rankings. They’re still not New York Knicks bad, but after their mass talent exodus at the trade deadline, the Nuggets now bring up the rear of the non-Knicks/Philadelphia 76ers division of the power rankings. read more


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first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, November 16, 2017 – Nassau – Police have three suspects for a string of crimes – including rape and kidnapping – from the Summer which riled up residents and two of the men are charged and remanded to prison now.Chavez Musgrove, a 22 year old and 26 year old Andrew Parker – both of Blue Hills, Providenciales were arrested and charged in recent weeks for a dozen crimes, all committed in July 2017.The two appeared in court to answer to three (3) counts of kidnapping, two (2) counts of Robbery, three (3) counts of rape, three (3) counts of possession of imitation firearm with intent to cause fear and taking motor vehicle without authority.    Most of the charges were against Musgrove, the youngest of the two.There is a third man arrested, but he is not yet formally arraigned and is being held as a person of interest by Police.#MagneticMediaNews#2menchargedinforJulycrimes Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#2menchargedinforJulycrimes, #magneticmedianewslast_img read more