IS IT TRUE if the City of Evansville’s books and records are so clean according to the Mayor and his City Controller why does it take one year and two months for the people to really know the findings of the State Board of Accounts audit of the City of Evansville?IS IT TRUE last week Federal IRS agents were at the Civic Center for a couple of days looking at 1099 and W-9 tax forms? …our Civic Center “Moles” tell us that the Federal IRS agents are looking at these forms in an extremely organized manner? …the Federal IRS agents visit was unscheduled? …. that IRS Form W-9 (Rev. December 2014) Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification?IS IT TRUE we heard that an official from the Winnecke administration asked some of his State and Federal political buddies to find out why the Special Agents of the Division of the Office of the Special Inspector General For The Troubled Asset Relief Program are doing an investigations of the spending of TARP Funds in Evansville?IS IT TRUE we are hearing that officials from the Division of the Office of the Special Inspector General For The Troubled Asset Relief Program are planning to revisit Evansville at the end of this month?IS IT TRUE that the past Evansville DMD Director bragged that he was well-connected with City and State officials in Indianapolis? …we wonder if he knows Reggie Walton, the DMD official who is sentenced to nine years in prison for his alleged felonious acts as Director of the Capitol City’s Land Bank?IS IT TRUE investigators of the not-for-profit Evansville Brownfields Corp will be meeting again with present and former city officials near the end of this month? .. .we understand from a very good source that most of the current officials are using the services of a city paid attorney to protect their interests? …we have heard that John Friend, Al Lindsey, Dr. Dan Adams and Connie Robinson have not engaged in hiring legal counsel,? … they must feel fine about answering questions from investigators without assistance from city paid legal counsel because they have nothing to hide?IS IT TRUE that we have been impressed with the changes we have seen in the Evansville Courier and Press under it’s newest ownership? … the new Courier and Press are reporting news that is less than flattering to the Winnecke administration and City Council ?IS IT TRUE we would like to see Brad Byrd do the same kind of interview with Jonathon Weaver that he did with Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley and John Friend CPA when they faced allegations of improper behavior?…We believe that the allegations made by the Courier and Press Editor Tim Elhridge concerning Weaver are as serious as the ones they faced,? …Missy Mosby stated at last Monday night City Council meeting that that Mr. Elthridge comments about Mr. Weaver were slanderous? … by Mr. Weaver appearing on the Bryd Byrd show he will be able to defend the allegations leveled against him by the Courier and Press Editor are incorrect?IS IT TRUE the way to be able to speak at City Council meetings is to ask the City Clerk to put you down as an “agenda item” ? …if someone is officially on the agenda, there are no restrictions on how much time may be utilized to address the Council, Commission, or Board? …the Chair of the meeting can decide and govern the speaking time, but in reality there are no legal restrictions on someone addressing the Council, Commission, or Board?IS IT TRUE the City Council unanimously agreed that Evansville Brownfields would hold the lease on the downtown hotel?…We wonder about the wisdom of this decision, and wonder why using the non-profit as a “pass through” will serve the cause of transparency?IS IT TRUE that CCO is doing in-depth research on some questions raised by our posters over the last few days, and will be publishing our findings in the coming days?… That some of these questions are leading us down potentially enlightening paths concerning some new public officials and their questionable connections and claims?IS IT TRUE we are asking our readers to “like page and share” on Facebook and encourage friends and family to do so, as well?Todays “Readers Poll” question is: DO YOU FEEL THAT GEORGE LUMLEY REQUESTS FOR PAST BROWNFIELD CORP. AUDITS SHOULD HAD BEEN DENIED?Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributedFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
ALMOST 30 workers fired from their jobs with an initial offer of less than €2k each as an initial pay-off are set to challenge the legality of the move.AssetCo employees say they now have documents which show they were employed directed by a London company and a bid to have them laid off without proper payment is “illegitimate.”The Lisfannon-based workers had provided 24/7 call centre support to the London Fire Brigade for six years until it closed two weeks ago. The money offered was later withdrawn, say former staff members and so far they have received nothing.Sacked worker Oliver O’Donnell said: “The administrators have been instructed by London Fire Brigade to offer the 29 employees, personally, in writing £55k to be shared between them for vital financial documentation, IT data, Payroll/HR data, and most importantly the methods which were used to manage the 24/7 Fire desk control centre which will then be presumably given to the third party to assist them in the operating of the London Fire PFI Contract.“This payment will not in any way recognise the employment status of ROI employees as AssetCo London Ltd employees. ROI employees are willing to assist LFB and the third party if their employment rights are recognised.“The UK based contractual employees of Assetco London Ltd are still in employment in London having their continued employment transferred to the new third party responsible for the operation of the London Fire PFI Contract. “Donegal employees operated 24/7 call centre from which calls were received directly from London Fire Brigade station in relation to maintenance and repairs of London Fleet of vehicles and equipment.“Over the past 18 months ROI based employees have been paid directly from AssetCo London Ltd (Premier FireServe Ltd) bank account.“Documentation is available, which the ROI Employees believe, clearly demonstrate that they are in effect AssetCo London Limited (now known as Premier FireServe Limited) employees and thus when the London Fire PFI contract was novated to the third party the employment rights of the ROI employees should have been novated as well.“ROI employees have been denied right to their salary, consultation period, notice pay, redundancy and most importantly their jobs.” SACKED BUNCRANA WORKERS IN LEGAL FIGHT OVER STATUS was last modified: November 26th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:SACKED BUNCRANA WORKERS IN LEGAL FIGHT OVER STATUS
Chick and the mayor have defended her actions, saying she can bring public credibility to any review of the district. Chick has filed a Public Records Act request for all of the district’s previous audits, as well as what steps were taken to implement any recommendations. But Romer and Villaraigosa said Wednesday that they did agree on some fronts. Romer said he agreed to conduct a study of the number of students in the district who drop out as he and the mayor seek common ground on the issue. In bolstering his efforts to reform the city’s education system, Villaraigosa has cited a Harvard University study that found that more than 50 percent of LAUSD high school students drop out before graduating. LAUSD officials estimate the dropout rate is 25 percent to 33 percent. And Villaraigosa said he agreed that the city will pay for crossing guards at schools, with the money to be used as matching funds for the construction of joint-use facilities. Under that concept, schools would be located as part of a complex that also would include park space and library facilities. Romer said he also hoped to be able to better convey the district’s successes over the past five years. “If you just look at the numbers, we have had a dramatic improvement,” Romer said, citing more than 90 percent of schools that now have student Academic Performance Index scores above the 600-point average. Five years ago, fewer than 26 percent of schools reached that level, he said. “It is not size alone that determines if a district is successful,” Romer said. “We have an economy of scale that smaller districts could never achieve. And there are smaller districts that have poorer performance than we do.” Romer said he did not object to the debate over how to best improve the schools and their performance – as long as the district is able to also weigh in with its side of the issues. “That has been a problem,” Romer said. “We need to correct that.” Romer also said he believes a plan by Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Granada Hills, to introduce a measure this year that would break the 727,000-student district into more than a dozen smaller districts is premature. “If you want to talk about something like that, I think you should wait until at least 2012 when we are done with our building program,” Romer said. “To break up the district now would bring an end to all we are doing – the biggest school building program ever attempted.” Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After months of increasingly acrimonious wrangling, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles public schools Superintendent Roy Romer met Wednesday in an effort to improve relations and work together on district improvements. While the two said major areas of contention – such as mayoral control of Los Angeles Unified and a proposed audit of the district by City Controller Laura Chick – remain unresolved, they hope to meet more regularly to tackle a variety of issues. “If this were a business, we would be a Fortune 200 company, with 80,000 employees and an $18 billion building program going on in this city,” Romer told reporters after his 90-minute meeting with the mayor at City Hall. “I think it’s important for the heads of two large institutions like the school district and the city to meet.” The move to reach at least a partial accord comes as Villaraigosa steps up criticism of the nation’s second-largest school district, – blaming leaders for lagging test scores and a dismal dropout rate – and seeks public support for his efforts to overturn the status quo. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Villaraigosa said he appreciated the meeting with Romer, although he disagreed with some of the substance of the talks. “While he didn’t talk about governance, I made it clear I am committed to mayoral control of the school district to increase accountability,” Villaraigosa said. “I have also made it clear that I think we need an independent performance audit conducted by the controller.” Chick, a Villaraigosa ally, has asked to be invited by the LAUSD to perform her own audit of its operations at a cost of $800,000. Romer said Wednesday that he still is opposed to a Chick audit, as well as the way the proposal has been advanced. “I have audits coming out of my ears,” Romer said. “The last thing I need is another audit. And I don’t appreciate the way this has been approached as a political campaign.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Farmers certainly don’t want to be sellers at this price level. However, some were probably forced out of positions they carried for the last year on “free” DP grain that came to an end on Aug. 31. Many are saying the end is near, but that may mean 10% from the bottom. Corn could potentially drop another 30 cents, which is scary for unpriced farmers.I also think it’s close to bottom, but I don’t know when it will be. Wheat is trading at 10-year lows (below $4) and is working into the feed market. So, bushels traditionally filled by corn, are not going to happen. Some farmers are signing up for LDP right now. Hopefully Brazil will need some feed wheat or corn and buy from the U.S., but I’m not sure it will help the markets much. Will we see a yield reduction in the September USDA report? Will it be large enough to make a difference? I’m not expecting it at this point. Market Action1. Holding grain from 2015 to 2016For the first time in 40 years we are going to hold 10% of our 2015 production into the next marketing year. We have capacity to store it at home and it’s in excellent condition. I’ll likely lose 1% moisture, but with corn at $3, it only means 3 cents. Combine this with the interest on my money (5% = 1.25 cents/month), which means it is costing me 8 cents to hold this grain until after the end of the year.Why would I do this? The market is currently paying 11 cents to hold until Dec. Basis in Dec is 5 cents better than anything I have seen in the last few months. So, while I could net 7 cents in this trade right now, the market is suggesting I hold this crop until spring or summer next year.This is an example of why I always suggest farmers get to 110% storage capacity. Sometimes the market provides opportunities if farmers are flexible. 2. Market carryI needed to move sales of last year’s crop and some of 2016 from Sep to Dec, which was an 11.5-cent premium. This means buying back Sep and then selling out in Dec. Since Dec is worth more, I take the premium.The first rule of business is buy low and sell high. This trade is very simple and shows why I always want to be a seller of corn in the future. Typically there is a premium for corn from the current month to a future month (market carry). Since I’m sold already, and I want to continue to be sold to get the market carry premium, I have to buy Sep (the lower value) and sell Dec (the higher value) both at the exact same time. Closing out the marketing year for 2015 corn cropAt the end of August I review the successes of the marketing plan from the last year. With hindsight I can see which trades did better and worse given the conditions and outcomes of the market. Each year is different and a plan one year may not work the same the following year. Marketing plans need to be adapted to the conditions of the time. Analyzing this helps me make better decisions in the future. Following shows the three categories of my marketing that I review to determine the cash price I received. FuturesMy 2015 corn was sold for an average price of 4.535, as seen by the red line in chart below.I received a value above what the market traded because of long-term planning. The first trade was a put protection plan (that doubled as an insurance supplement) in May 2013. By Nov 2013 this trade looked like it would be best used as potential protection for the 2015 crop, since by then my 2014 crop was protected and the guaranteed levels were well above my breakeven points. So, I rolled my protections forward with market carry at higher levels.Many farmers back then took the put profits in 2014, but I was concerned prices would decline in the future considering the potential heavy global supply and carry out, so I used those puts to protect my long-term downside rather than make a quick profit in the short-term. Obviously this decision was a very good one, knowing what we know today. BasisIn most years (seven of the last eight) I’ve managed to sell at the top of the basis market. Unfortunately, this year I was disappointed that I didn’t. I did everything the same as in previous years, so why didn’t it work this year? There were two reasons. Reason No. 1 — WeatherI assumed (correctly) last winter that farmers wouldn’t sell in the mid-$3s, which was below many farmers breakeven points. Therefore, I thought local markets would raise basis to acquire the bushels they needed, and this did happen through Mid-Dec. However, I didn’t expect it to rain 13 inches throughout the upper Midwest on many U.S. corn piles (which hadn’t happened since 1993, 22 years ago), forcing elevators to move grain much sooner than planned. This sudden movement of grain caused basis at ethanol plans to fade lower. Reason #2 – Deferred pricing (DP)End users provided more creative DP offers than ever before. This led to more farmers than ever signing on to move their grain, but price it later, hoping for a summer rally. I really didn’t expect so many farmers would participate in these marketing schemes.Then summer came and the market took off due to dry weather rumors. Similar to other farmers at the time, I thought a run on $5 corn was a possibility, and if it did, a flood of farmers would sell old crop corn and basis would crash, so I tried to set my basis ahead of that. Unfortunately, the rally was too short and few farmers sold. Ultimately, I picked one of the lowest basis values before the market crash and basis would come off the bottom. One small bit of comfort: it was still 5 cents above the value at harvest, so I took some profit.Below is a chart showing basis levels for the year.Note: the purple spike in June was due to DTN not reporting for two days. That value was not actually available in the market CarryMost farmers completely dismiss carry and instead focus on trying to capture market rallies in the future. Since I never know if or when market rallies will ever happen, I prefer to take the sure (less risky) bet by taking advantage of market carry. Therefore, I always try to have my crop priced before harvest. For 2015, I collected 18.5 cents. In most years I want to get closer to 25 cents, which I consider to be about average. Why was it lower than expected this year?The 2015 yield estimates were expected to be very high, so at the time I thought there would be a lack of storage options, which would make the market pay to hold and keep it stored at home. However, the eastern Corn Belt was short on corn, which led to less corn stored in commercial facilities near the delivery elevators on the Illinois and Ohio rivers. This limited the pressure on storage and need for grain, which pushed down the carry in the market.Did it pay to store grain?Many farmers ask me why I store grain when I have such great sales on. There are two reasons. Reason No. 1: Storing grain allows me the opportunity to capture carry and basis premiums in the market. Reason No. 2: I can reduce my moisture discounts using my bins instead of paying commercial rates. The following example from my farm illustrates the benefits when factoring moisture discounts (five cents/point) and 1.5% shrink discounts:25% harvested above 18% at approximately 18 cents savings50% harvested 16% to 18% at approximately 12 cents savings25% harvest below 15%, no savingsFlexibility to blend lower and higher moisture corn is a 1- to 2-cent savingsEstimated average savings is approximately 10-12 centsThere are some costs that need to be factored in though, including five cents to load/unload bins and run fans and the interest cost to sit on grain (5% against $3.50 per bushel) is 1.4 cents per month (i.e. 10 months is 14 cents). Summary of storage performance for 2015Market Carry $.185Basis Appreciation $.05Drying savings $.10Loading/Unloading Bin -$.05Interest expense -$.14Total profit $.145 This year I didn’t cover the cost of my bin payments of 28 cents. However, the past 4 years I have been extremely profitable compared to savings versus bin payment costs, so when averaged I’m still ahead. It’s important to remember that bin costs are are a sunk cost, I have to pay them regardless if I use them. However, in two years the bins will be paid off and the benefits become pure profit. It’s a long-term profit plan for my farm operation. Summary for 2015 cornFuturesThis year my futures trading that started in 2013 was my best decision (maybe my top trades of all time). In baseball speak, I would consider it a grand slam. CarryThis was about average. I’m pleased with the premium, but in hindsight there was a few cents of lost potential. I consider this a single or double. BasisThis was my worst basis trade ever. Atypical situations combined with me waiting too long to pull the trigger resulted in a lost opportunity of 20 cents. At best I advanced the runner (I did better than basis at harvest) and at worst I hit a ground up the first base line for an out. This illustrates why farmers need to consider these factors independently of each other when forming their marketing plans. While this year I hit a grand slam in futures, basis suffered. In previous years basis was a home run and futures was only average. There are so many things out of farmer’s control affecting prices, basis, etc. that optimizing each of these factors independently for the most potential profit possible is the best way to diversify and minimize risk.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]
An AirAsia India flight to Delhi had to abort its take-off on September 1 morning at Goa airport after a dog entered the runway when the plane was readying to depart, said a senior official of Airports Authority of India (AAI).Flight I5778 was set to depart around 8.25 a.m., the official said.“The dog, once spotted by the Air Traffic Control, was immediately removed from the runway. The flight then departed at around 9.15 a.m.,” the official added.Commercial airline companies operate their planes from the civil enclave of INS Hansa, which is an airbase of the Indian Navy.The Indian Navy spokesperson said on Twitter, “At about 0825 hours today, when AirAsia flight 778 was rolling for take off at Goa airport, alert ATC spotted a dog entering runway and immediately informed pilot who aborted take off. The flight departed 0915 hours after additional technical checks.”The ATC at Goa airport is run by the Indian Navy.The spokesperson added, “INS Hansa has proactively taken steps to relocate dogs from vicinity of runway. Under MOU of Indian Navy with Department of Animal Husbandry, nearly 60 dogs have been relocated since mid-August.”
Urban Meyer CavsOutside of coaching college football, photobombing is probably Urban Meyer’s best skill. He’s great at it. And the 50-year-old coach – perhaps unintentionally – was at it again last night at the Cleveland-Golden State NBA Finals game. Urban is #ALLinCLE. @OSUCoachMeyer @cavs (photo via @GavinRBlair) pic.twitter.com/A6I5kSNjev— Niraj Antani (@NirajAntani) June 10, 2015Urban Meyer, photo-bomber extraordinaire, strikes again. http://t.co/pWDCl6SI2A pic.twitter.com/4HVe0yEiXD— Ben Cohen (@bzcohen) June 10, 2015When you thought your conversation was private but you get put on blast… pic.twitter.com/EF9sWIsCxA— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) June 10, 2015Photobombing is getting a little dated, but when you’re a national championship-winning head coach, you can do whatever you want.
The IRPC 2013 exhibition, which will run for one week at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C., was officially opened to the public on November 14. The Alpha Boys’ School music department will benefit from the sale of posters that were entered in the second International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC). The International Reggae Poster Contest was established as a global platform to shine a powerful beam on the positive impact of reggae music and to present a bold vision. Story Highlights The Alpha Boys’ School music department will benefit from the sale of posters that were entered in the second International Reggae Poster Contest (IRPC).The IRPC 2013 exhibition, which will run for one week at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington, D.C., was officially opened to the public on November 14.Founder of the IRPC, Mr. Michael Thompson said that Alpha Boys’ School is a Jamaican success story which has contributed significantly to Jamaica’s musical legacy.“This academy for underprivileged youth, located in the heart of Kingston and founded in 1880 by the Sisters of Mercy Order, has produced some of the most notable legends in the history of Jamaican music. Some of these legends include Don Drummond of the Skatalites, top Rocksteady singer, Desmond Dekker and Yellowman, one of dancehall’s first superstars,” he said.Mr. Thompson noted that this year’s competition received 1,100 submissions from 78 countries worldwide. He said this has exceeded expectations and shows that Reggae music has touched the hearts and minds of music lovers the world over. Poster winners were selected from among 363 finalists.The International Reggae Poster Contest was established as a global platform to shine a powerful beam on the positive impact of reggae music and to present a bold vision.Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, in declaring the exhibition open, lauded the founders of the IRPC. The competition, he said, gives participants from around the world the opportunity to infuse art with Reggae music.He said the exhibition now on display at the embassy brings to the forefront how far Reggae music has gone around the world and highlights the reason why “we are proud of our culture.”The Ambassador also commended the IRPC for dedicating proceeds from the exhibition to the Alpha Boys’ School music department, which he said, will go far to help nurture and produce more outstanding musicians.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be engaging 230 primary schools in September as it prepares for full roll-out of the Primary Specialist Programme in 2022. Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (June 5), Chair of the Primary Specialist Teacher Model Oversight Committee, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, said that the programme will be implemented in three phases beginning with the preliminary phase this year. The initial 230 schools will be prepared for transition to the use of the model through sensitisation sessions, administration of the redeployment toolkits and the training of principals and teachers. Story Highlights The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information will be engaging 230 primary schools in September as it prepares for full roll-out of the Primary Specialist Programme in 2022.Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday (June 5), Chair of the Primary Specialist Teacher Model Oversight Committee, Dr. Tamika Benjamin, said that the programme will be implemented in three phases beginning with the preliminary phase this year.The initial 230 schools will be prepared for transition to the use of the model through sensitisation sessions, administration of the redeployment toolkits and the training of principals and teachers.Following the year of preparation, the model will be implemented in terms of curriculum delivery in 2020.An additional 230 schools will begin their transition at that time, and in 2021, the final 230 schools will start their preliminary year for full roll-out across the system the following year.The Primary Specialist Programme is aimed at improving curriculum delivery at the primary level of the education system.Dr. Benjamin told JIS News that the new initiative will move away from the current model of having “generalist” teachers in the classroom to having more specialist educators.She explained that in the generalist approach, a teacher is responsible for imparting all the subjects that are included in the curriculum. However, the specialist teacher will deliver fewer subjects and will, therefore, have to be trained in designated subject areas.Dr. Benjamin, who is the National Mathematics Coordinator, said that the process of exploring the specialist model began in 2014, after a delegation from the Ministry visited Singapore and observed the approach being used.She noted that initially, the Ministry considered the model as part of its strategy to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics and language/literacy, however, after consultations with principals and teachers, the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) and teacher-training institutions, the specialist approach was broadened to include the teaching and learning of science and social studies. In 2016, the model was approved and in September 2017, it was piloted at a cost of $50 million in 39 public and private primary schools across the island. There was full roll-out in these schools in 2018.Dr. Benjamin told JIS News that support for the pilot was provided by the Specialist Teacher Model Oversight Committee, which is made up of internal and external stakeholders.Monitoring and assessment of the pilot was guided by a plan developed by the Programme Monitoring and Evaluation Unit.Dr. Benjamin said implementation of the specialist model is being informed by data gathered from the pilot.
OSU freshman midfielder Sarah Roberts (10) during a game against Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Sam Harris / For The LanternHeavy winds and rain were major factors in Saturday’s match against the nation’s No. 10 team.Penn State got on the board first in the early minutes of the game when sophomore forward Frannie Crouse went one on one with OSU redshirt junior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker, knocking it right past her through the net.Both the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions played an aggressive first half as OSU tried to break through the Nittany Lions’ defensive front but couldn’t get anything going offensively.The Nittany Lions put the next point on the board in the 39th minute as freshman midfielder Marissa Sheva finished inside the left post from 15 yards out.“In the first half, honestly, I couldn’t see,” OSU junior forward Lindsay Agnew said. “The rain was coming in and the wind was blowing hard. It stinks that they got those two goals, because I really feel if we would have held them to one goal then we could have buried them in the second half. Once the conditions changed, they couldn’t get ahold of the ball.”The Nittany Lions’ underclassmen were a threat to the Buckeyes on Saturday, just like they have been all season, as they have accounted for 24 goals on the year, two of which were scored against OSU.The teams went to halftime with Penn State in the lead, 2-0. The Lions also held the 8-2 advantage in shots, including 5-0 on goal.“I told them it was the best position I ever felt being down 2-0,” OSU coach Lori Walker said. “The wind was such a factor trying to get out early on. Having that at our back in the second half, I just said we have to take advantage of it and fight back and just get one at a time. I am pleased that we were able to come back out in the second half and really do that.”McVicker was replaced in the second half by freshman goalkeeper Devon Kerr.“I was confident and ready to play,” Kerr said. “I really wanted to make a change in the game in a positive way to get my team upbeat.”Walker downplayed the change, saying switching goalkeepers is not a big deal. She said a team has to take advantage of the skills each keeper can contribute to the game.“There’s nothing that (McVicker) did wrong in the first half,” Walker said. “It’s just a matter of utilizing players’ skill sets. At this school we change quarterbacks, and we change goalkeepers. It’s just what we do.”Back-and-forth play consumed much of the second half, as it the game remained at 2-0 until the 81st minute when OSU finally broke through the Nittany Lion defense. Freshman defender Kylie Knight found Agnew inside the box, who then knocked it in from eight yards out to cut the Penn State lead to 2-1.Agnew’s goal reignited her team as it tried to equalize.“I think it gave us another little bit of hope,” Agnew said. “But leading up to that goal, we had so much momentum and everyone was working really hard and winning every ball. Kylie played an amazing ball to me over the top and I was just happy to put one away.”Walker said the goal lit a fire under the team, but the clock remained its biggest enemy.“It really excited us, ignited us,” Walker said. “Because when you’re fighting back you just need that one thing to kind of change the momentum. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time.”For the game, the Nittany Lions held a 15-7 advantage in shots, including 9-2 on goal.Saturday’s game was also the return of redshirt junior defender and co-captain, Morgan Wolcott to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Wolcott saw action in last weekend’s game, but it was her first game played back at home.Wolcott had been sidelined due to injury for much of the season.“I thought playing for the first time again, under the lights, in the rain, just got my adrenalin going,” Wolcott said. “Playing with my team and seeing how hard we fought all the way through, a full 90 minutes was unbelievable. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”The Buckeyes now prepare for their final regular season match of the season against the Michigan State Spartans.“Looks like it’s all going to boil down to that one,” Walker said. “It’s a championship game. I love championship games, and I think our players will show up for it. It’s home, it’s senior day, so there’s a lot of great elements to play for.”OSU is slated to kick off against the Spartans at 7:30 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
United States Men’s National Team defender Clarence Goodson (21) heads the ball away from goal during a World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico Sept. 10 at Crew Stadium. The USMNT won, 2-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorFor months, my mind has been singularly focused on this year’s FIFA World Cup. Ever since the calendar turned to 2014 it’s seemed so close, but in truth it’s always been comfortably out of reach. That situation has changed, however, and the world’s greatest sporting event is now right around the corner.The first event announcing that the tournament is imminent – the World Cup herald, if you will – is the naming of the rosters. Competing nations had until Tuesday to name a provisional squad of 30 players to take to a pre-tournament training camp. Each country has until June 2 to provide FIFA with a final list of 23 players whom it will take to Brazil.Some countries – England, Brazil, Mexico and others – elect to skip the 30-man squad and go straight to the 23. But a majority of the nations still name preliminary squads.One of those countries to name its 30 players this week: the United States.Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his selection of players on Monday, and while the names didn’t cause shock among the American soccer public, the omission of striker Eddie Johnson did raise a few eyebrows.Johnson scored the winning goal in the U.S.’s 2-0 victory over Mexico on Sept. 10 at Columbus Crew Stadium. Even though his goal effectively clinched World Cup qualification, Johnson’s failure to score in his first eight games of the season with D.C. United is probably the reason Klinsmann decided against selecting him.There’s a very good chance that Columbus will be represented in Brazil with Crew captain Michael Parkhurst included in the preliminary roster. Parkhurst may have been on the outside looking in a year ago, but his performances since then for the national team have been exemplary, and I’d be very surprised if he didn’t wind up with a seat on the plane to South America.Other than that, the squad picks itself – meaning the real test will be seeing who makes the final 23. In my opinion, there are roughly 20 “locks,” while the final three spots will be decided over the coming weeks.The team will gather for the first time on Wednesday at Stanford University. Once there, they’ll participate in a training camp and ultimately compete in three friendlies: against Azerbaijan on May 27 in San Francisco, against Turkey on June 1 in Harrison, N.J., and then with the final roster against Nigeria on June 7 in Jacksonville, Fla.The prize awaiting the players who make the cut? A shot at playing against some of the best players in the world during games against Ghana, Portugal and Germany in the opening round at the World Cup.I’d argue that the U.S. has one of the most talented squads in its history, with an array of talent from the goalkeeping position all the way to the forward line. It may not include a world superstar, but then that isn’t a prerequisite to succeeding in a World Cup – just ask Argentina forward Lionel Messi.The doubters will rightly point to the standard of opposition, a group that deserves it’s moniker as the “group of death.” Germany and Ghana have both overcome the U.S. twice in World Cup play, while Portugal fell to the Americans in 2002 with arguably the most disappointing squad in its history. Thank goodness this year’s World Cup isn’t being played in Panem, because the odds certainly aren’t in the U.S.’s favor.But having said that, I don’t see why many are so quick in writing off the U.S. team’s chances.For starters, having a tough group at the World Cup shouldn’t be a blow to morale. It should be expected. After all, the competition isn’t held in high esteem for nothing. It takes the best teams on the planet and puts them in one place to find an eventual winner.In 2010, it could be argued that the U.S. was handed an “easy” draw against England, Slovenia and Algeria. Even though the Americans navigated that group successfully, it’s not like it came easy. If you’re hoping to face a second-rate, low-quality side at the World Cup, you’ve come to the wrong place.That’s why I think the prospect of facing these talented countries shouldn’t be seen as a doomed exercise. Instead, it should be recognized as a tremendous opportunity to showcase just how far soccer in this country has come since the days when barely any matches were shown on television. The world’s best teams become the world’s best teams because they overcome difficult opposition, and that’s the only way the U.S. is going to move up world soccer’s ladder.The U.S. has never made it out of the group stage in consecutive tournaments, and if that trend continues it won’t necessarily signal a failure, but more of an indication that the national team’s growth still has a long way to go.But if it can reverse that trend, and bury the demons of the past three World Cups against the countries that eliminated them, it will be an epoch-defining achievement.Believing in an outcome like that sounds a lot more fun to me than dismissing the national team’s efforts before they even begin.If you want a place on the bandwagon there’s still time. We’ve got plenty of room.