Pnoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netCharles Rhodes finally feels that he has a better grasp of the Philippine style of play now.For a change, the 31-year-old import didn’t find himself in foul trouble when San Miguel played GlobalPort on Friday.ADVERTISEMENT “So for us, today was the day we got in our playoff mode. We just got to build off of that tomorrow in practice and keep that mentality.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The former Mississipi State standout found himself playing through five fouls in three of San Miguel’s last games.But slowly, Rhodes seemed to have adjusted well with his surroundings, keeping his foul total in check as the Beermen racked three straight wins to end the eliminations.“This is my first year playing in the Philippines and it was a process getting used to the referees, but I got it now,” he said.With his head locked in, Rhodes is preparing for bigger wars in the playoffs, where he is expected to help San Miguel accomplish its lofty goals.“This is what I came here for, to compete for a championship,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. Come playoff time, everybody has got to be ready. You can be the last placed team in the bottom of the playoffs, but you can come out playing like the number one team. Everybody just got to have that mentality.”ADVERTISEMENT For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Brownlee stars as Ginebra snares top seed Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in “Finally. It took me like 10 games to get used to it. Now I’m used and I understand it,” he said.READ: Rhodes lifts San Miguel to top 2 seedFEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundThat helped him get his groove faster as he fired nine points in the first quarter to help the Beermen jump to an early 32-21 lead before imposing his might in the fourth period, scoring 19 of his game-high 34 points to help his side grab the top two seed with the 112-101 victory.Rhodes said that it wasn’t easy adjusting to the game in terms of officiating, saying, “It was a process.” View comments Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig in China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak MOST READ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Swing Out Sister back to PH this April
Dear Editor,The Chairman of Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Board of Directors, Dr Clive Thomas, in another section of the media on Sunday spoke about how well the industry performed in 2015. The entire Government body has been making statements about how good the second crop was.Dr Thomas mentioned that the punt dumper at Skeldon estate works very well. This is true since a lot of work was done on it.He also mentioned that new markets have been found in Italy for Guyana’s sugar.Well, in my view, the Chairman made an excellent case for saving the industry and to prevent its closure. To his credit, he, as head of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI), did not recommend closure.The gains made in 2015 were as a result of the work of the PPP/C government.The old punt dumper was replaced in 2014 and commissioned in the beginning of the first crop in 2015. Indeed, GuySuCo’s projection was that the punt dumper would have averaged 275 tonnes of cane per hour. That was possible, the fact that in some days, it was lifting 280 tonnes per hour.The highly lauded achievements of the industry during the second crop of 2015 were due to the good management of Dr Raj Singh (the immediate past CEO), who ensured that every effort was made to see the canes planted.That, of course, is the main factor in dealing with the cane supply chain.The poor performance in the first and anticipated poor performance in the second crop of 2016 is due to the lack of canes in the fields—a clear managerial issue. The new board should find out why not enough canes were planted. The talk about drought is just an excuse.The Chairman also spoke about the new market in Italy.GuySuCo actually started selling sugar to Italy in 2013. In 2014, the quantity supplied was increased. It is good that GuySuCo has kept this market.The market in the US, where we are selling ‘Enmore Crystals,’ was launched in 2014. It is good that the new board has managed to hold onto this market as well.I wish also to point out that in recognition of the fact that the European Union (EU) had ended the Sugar Protocol, which cost the industry billions; the EU has been compensating the industry. They are giving ACP sugar-producing countries some financial assistance to cushion the ending of the Sugar Protocol. Of course, they attached certain conditions on its disbursements.Only last week, Finance Minister Winston Jordan received a cheque from the EU for €.4M (G.4B).This was money which the PPP/C Government had negotiated. Indeed, it was the PPP/C administration that met all the conditions for that money. It is intended to be pumped into the sugar industry.It is hoped that the regime would give that money to GuySuCo, which could help in staving off closures.The fact that this year’s production is down is due to many factors. The contempt shown to the workers and their unions is one of them. No discussions, no involvement, just dictation is now the new style of management. I suppose this reflects Central Government’s administrative style.The decline in production is also due to the racial and political discrimination that is so rampant in the industry. Many managers with lifelong experience in the industry, some of the best the industry had, were fired for no credible reason. The only reasonable conclusion was racial and political discrimination.I had, in a previous article, spoken about this and listed the names of the persons dismissed – all of whom were Indo-Guyanese.These are things that the board should investigate. Racial discrimination will ruin the industry as it did to the whole country in an earlier PNC regime.The regime has also gone on a hiring spree of high paying persons. The decisions being taken are very poor.For instance, the Wales Estate is one of the cheapest estates to operate. This estate is totally gravity drained. No money has to be spent on pumps and fuel. Moreover, 40 per cent of the canes grounded at that estate come from farmers.The APNU/AFC regime should be told that closing sugar is a bigger mistake than the scrapping of the railways by an earlier PNC regime.It will have major consequences on the workers, the sugar communities and on the economy as a whole.It would also add to the growing unemployment and fuel even further the crime wave.Dr Clive Thomas should look again at the plan left by the last GuySuCo Board. The industry can be saved and could prosper.Thomas is eminently qualified to so advise the regime. The problem is that it appears the Cabinet is made up of the deaf and blind when it comes to sugar.Sincerely,Donald RamotarFormer President
MANILA, Philippines–ONE Championship held its biggest event in its inaugural show in Japan last April, and it’s only fitting that the Home of Martial Arts will be back in the Japanese capital for its 100th show at a grander scale.ADVERTISEMENT ONE: Gina Iniong eager to showcase her best in 1st fight of 2020 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coco Gauff vs. Venus Williams in 1st round of Australian Open Roger Federer: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic ‘will win more’ There will be two full fight cards on the same day featuring one world title fight on top of another in ONE: Century on October 13 at the historic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.“To celebrate our historic 100th show, I am thrilled to announce that ONE: CENTURY on 13 October in Tokyo will feature two full-scale World Championship events (of 11 fights on each card) on the same day with World Championship title fights, World Grand Prix Championship title fights, and much more,” announced Chatri Sityodtong, founder, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAllen Durham chews out Meralco: Everybody played like sh*tSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsSityodtong said the Japan card also marks the first time that the promotion will be aired live in the US in partnership with TNT on Saturday night.“In what will be the biggest martial arts extravaganza in history, our morning Tokyo show will air live on TNT on Saturday night in the US (as well as other select countries), and our evening Tokyo show will air live across 140-plus countries.” MOST READ Lacson on Albayalde, ‘ninja cops’ indictment: The law has a ‘very long memory’ WATCH: Robredo repacks relief goods with ‘mocha’ behind her View comments NBA star Stephen Curry finances college golf team for six years BREAKING: DOJ indicts ex-PNP chief Albayalde for graft Read Next LATEST STORIES Robredo hits Mocha over false post: Why let gov’t pay a fake news purveyor? A couple of World Grand Prix finales are also scheduled.Demetrious Johnson, who is regarded as the greatest MMA fighter of all time, will take on fast-rising Filipino Danny Kingad in the Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final while another legend in Eddie Alvarez will lock horns with Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev in the Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final.A duel between two of the best kickboxers in the world in Giorio Petrosyan and Samy Sana are also in tow in the Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final with the winner pocketing $1 million. Sityodtong also vowed to add more explosive fights in what is already a loaded card as it stands.Headlining the show are a pair of champion versus champion bouts with heavyweight titleholder Brandon Vera facing reigning two-division champion Aung La N Sang for the Burmese hero’s light heavyweight belt.Angela Lee, on the other hand, will defend her atomweight crown in a rematch with strawweight queen Xiong Jing Nan.Xiong stopped Lee in the fifth round of their scintillating first encounter.Bibiano Fernandes is also putting his bantamweight belt on the line in an unprecedented fourth fight with Filipino star Kevin Belingon.ADVERTISEMENT OSG petition a ‘clear sign’ of gov’t bid to block ABS-CBN franchise renewal — solon
Dear Editor,Freddie Kissoon has had a history of spreading hatred and falsities against intellectuals like Swami Aksharananda, Ravi Dev, Rhyaan Shah, and others on account of their Indianness. Freddie uses lies, fabrication, intimidation and fear tactics as weapons against these intellectual colossuses. And as a Lilliputian, he defames giants (without a shred of evidence) to cower them into submission as he can’t argue rationally with intellect.In addition, Freddie encourages hate comments against Indians, as he finds such attacks expedient in his anti-Indian mission. That is the nature of his latest invective against Swami Aksharananda and others. So, instead of castigating Pastor Steve Anderson for his sickening attack on Hinduism and Indians, self-hater Freddie disingenuously pillories Swami-ji for critiquing the pastor. Freddie mendaciously places Swami in the same league with Anderson. This is plain wrong, and it is hardly a reasonable basis for justifying Anderson’s unacceptable behaviour. No one should be attacked on account of his/her faith or racial identity, and the newspaper must be condemned for allowing this unjustifiable attack.Freddie is unprepared to play the role of an honest, responsible letter editor or columnist; and, as he stated, my responses to him will never see the pages of KN.As journalist intellectual Walter Lippman wrote, there is only one side to a fact; but Freddie has several sides to a fact. What Freddie wrote against Swami and others is fiction. And Freddie’s religious (cultural and political) ignorance is appalling by any standard. His hatred of Indians blinds him to reality. He lacks what in politics is known as reflective thinking – relate events or thoughts to reality around. He tells flat out lies and slants information to suit his purpose. He provides flawed and incomplete info on issues. He suffers from what in journalism is known as “pretension of facts”.Freddie referred to Anderson as “Pastor”, but refused to accord the same respect to Aksharananda as “Swami”. Freddie refers to Aksharananda-ji as a “Hindu Priest,” which he is not. Aksharnanda is a Swami, which is an elevated title to a Pandit. And there is no such thing as a Hindu priest; it is Pandit. Clearly, this shows that Freddie has no cultural or religious training, and does not understand Hindu titles.Swami and Anderson are not comparable. Swami-ji is a scholar, intellectual, non-racist, and a virtuous person who does not go about attacking people’s faith or ethnicity.Freddie contends that Swami, Dev, Shah, and other Indian intellectuals called for “race voting”, but no newspaper account supports Freddie’s claim. Freddie also charged that Dev campaigned in the 2015 election; Dev was not a 2015 candidate, and never appeared on any platform or in the media urging people how to vote. Rhyaan and Swami were/are not members of any party, and they did not instruct people on voting. Freddie, on the other hand, proudly campaigned for the PNC, engaging in propaganda for his favourite party.Freddie has distorted Swami-ji’s political position, accusing the revered Swami of engaging in political propaganda and hate. He charges that Swami wrote a commentary reminding Indians of their ethnic identity and abuses suffered during the PNC dictatorship; and he equates the commentary with a political campaign. That is not propaganda. Aksharananda penned facts — that Indians were brutalised during the PNC dictatorship and that since the return of the PNC in May 2015, thousands of Indians (and Amerindians) have been fired. Those are not hateful remarks. Can Freddie provide evidence to counter these facts?In the academic realm, Swami is a scholar, writing analyses on the state of Indians and on politics in Guyana. What is wrong with a writer telling readers to be proud of their cultural identity? David Hinds, Eric Phillips, Ogunseye and Kwayana did the same for Africans. Why hasn’t Freddie excoriated them? All Swami did was to denounce violence against Indians. Freddie has criticised Swami for complaining that Indians were fired from their jobs. Is Swami’s statement inaccurate? Didn’t Hinds and other Afro-nationalists made similar claims against PPP rule regarding Africans? Why didn’t Freddie also label their behaviour as propagandistic?Swami is right to rebuke the headmistress for allowing a priest to sermonise in a public school, attacking Hindus and Hinduism. Everyone has criticised the headmistress. Why Freddie has not found that hate message obnoxious is beyond any rational thinker. Is it because the preacher attacks Indians that Freddie finds the attack okay? After all, Freddie did say he is not Indian.Freddie wrote that PNC president Desmond Hoyte moved away “from ethnically based policies”. Really? So how does Freddie describe “mo fire and gyam fire” and the violence against Indians in 1992, 1997, 1998, 2001, etc? How does Freddie explain Hoyte draping Blackie’s coffin with the Guyana flag for Blackie’s violent attacks on Indians? How about Hoyte telling Indians he would render the country ungovernable, and his refusing to condemn robberies against Indians?Freddie equates racist, misogynistic, anti-Hindu fulminations of a fringe character with a (factual) commentary of a swami in the newspaper. It is not surprising that Freddie equates the two. After all, Freddie’s mind is limited. Swami’s rational, sober comments don’t rise to the same level of the preacher’s racist ranting. Swami has not committed any sin; Freddie and the preacher did. Swami is not inciting ethnic anger, but rather calling on the Ministry of Education to investigate and end the attacks on Indians.Will this correction of Freddie’s misapplication of facts and his spiteful invective against Swami and others help to reform his behaviour and make him a better person or accurate writer? I don’t think so, given that Freddie was corrected dozens of times before and he has refused to apologise. Freddie sees (alleged) wrongs done by Dev, Rhyaan, Swami, and others even when they are right; but he can’t see his own wrongs, like his Janus-faced attacks on others.Yours truly,Vishnu Bisram
It was Hamilton’s second win in Mexico, his 10th this season and the 83rd of his career, moving him within eight of Michael Schumacher’s record of 91.It was also one of his most unexpected.“Firstly, we’re going to applaud this incredible crowd,” he said immediately after the race. “This is the best crowd we’ve ever seen.“Today is an incredible result. I have to say a huge thanks to my team – the guys continue to work incredibly hard and stay focused.“They came here on the back foot and we pulled through — we had a quite a bit of damage and the race was a struggle, but I kept my head down and it felt like a long second stint.”He said his victory “was for Bono”, his regular race engineer Peter Bonnington who missed the race as he recovered at home in Britain after a minor surgery.Bonnington’s replacement Marcus Dudley and the team’s strategist James Vowles did more than “step up to the plate”, as Hamilton said, they delivered a perfect strategic platform for his victory.“We wanted to do it for Bono because he is here with us in spirit and Marcus did a great job.“For us all, it is quite emotional. Bono knows how we feel. After all these years, he knows. I could not have done it without him or them, the team and I hope they are all as proud of me as I am of them.”Hamilton said he did not mind not winning the title in Mexico as he had without a podium finish in 2017 and 2018.“I don’t mind, I love racing and I take it one race at a time,” he said. “This is a race I’ve wanted to win for some time and it’s been a bit tricky for us.“Today I had the opportunity and the car held together and the team executing the best strategy.”Hamilton thrilled a massive crowd of more than 120,000 inside the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a demonstration of ‘doughnut spins’ before he – and his car – celebrated on the podium.Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff praised Hamilton for conjuring a victory out of the jaws of defeat with a disciplined drive.“Who would have expected that result for us after we started P3 and P6 he said – to come out of it one and three?“I guess it’s the right balance, with Lewis, between the aggression that you need to have on the out-lap, to undercut, but also then to switch and manage the tyres to the end of the race.“And the communication with the engineer is very important because you are almost flying blind.”He said Mercedes did not know that the tyres would last.“We thought he could make it, but for him in the car it feels bizarre to make 47 laps on one tyre.”0Shares0000(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000‘I hope they are all as proud of me as I am of them’ says Hamilton of his Mercedes team © AFP / ALFREDO ESTRELLAMEXICO CITY, Mexico, Oct 28 – Lewis Hamilton shrugged off any disappointment he felt at not clinching a sixth world title on Sunday by heaping praise on his Mercedes team after claiming their 100th victory with a flawless strategic triumph in the Mexican Grand Prix.The 34-year-old Briton, who needed to outscore his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 14 points to be champion again, turned a one-stop strategy into a convincing win ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Bottas.
For information call (626) 256-8246. The Monrovia Watercats swim team offers a year-round competitive program for ages 5-18. Divisions are based on age and ability level. The Watercats practice weekdays from 5:30-7 p.m. at Monrovia High School, 845 W. Colorado Blvd. Swimmers may register any time during the year. The training fee is $30 per month. All swimmers must be able to swim one lap. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
0Shares0000Mario Balotelli. PHOTO FILEROME, November 18 – Italy striker Mario Balotelli has undergone successful surgery on a groin injury and may be playing again in as little as four weeks, his club AC Milan said on Wednesday.Previous reports had suggested he would miss between six to 12 weeks, harming his hopes of a recall to the Italy squad ahead of next summer’s European Championships in France. “Mario Balotelli was operated on in Munich. The procedure was a success and his convalescence should be around four weeks,” explained AC Milan.On loan from Liverpool the forward has made only four appearances since re-joining Milan after struggling with his niggling groin over the past month.After Italy’s first-round exit from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Balotelli became a scapegoat for their generally poor performances.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
In reserve – Cian Healy (Ire), Rob Evans (Wal), Kyle Sinckler (Eng), WP Nel (Sco)An embarrassment of riches to choose from in the second row and, perhaps, a slice of Scottish bias to bring both of the Grays. Their partnership counts in their favour. Itoje is listed at lock despite playing flanker for the England, as extra mobility against the Kiwis is always welcome.In reserve – George Kruis (Eng), Courtney Lawes (Eng), Luke Charteris (Wal)Warburton was back approaching his best this spring and formed a great 6-7 partnership with Tipuric. Until last weekend I had Hamish Watson as my bolter for his outstanding performances, but Ireland’s pack dominance to end England’s winning run ensures O’Mahoney and O’Brien must go ahead of him.In reserve – Chris Robshaw (Eng), James Haskell (Eng), Hamish Watson (Sco)Perhaps the easiest selections of the whole squad, this pair are simply exceptional at their position. Vunipola will be one player that the All Blacks genuinely fear as his ball carrying can provide significant momentum.In reserve – Jamie Heaslip (Ire)Murray and Webb speak for themselves – the outstanding 9s of the northern hemisphere this year. Laidlaw is probably controversial as he’ll be light on gametime after his ankle injury and both England scrum halves – Danny Care and Ben Youngs – have strong form. If I were Gatland I would give the Scotland skipper every chance to get fit as his leadership and character are priceless on a gruelling tour, while his game management and goal kicking can win tight games on the field.In reserve – Danny Care (Eng), Ben Youngs (Eng)Sexton’s on the plane and wears 10 on Test days, as simple as that. His understudy will be a matter of intense debate. I make the case for Russell because he is in the form of his career to date, has the self-confidence to deal with the intensity of the tour, and provides a known midweek partnership with Laidlaw. If Greig doesn’t make the plane, neither does Finn. In that situation the place goes to George Ford who can slot in to a comfortable 10-12 tandem with Owen Farrell.In reserve – George Ford (Eng), Dan Biggar (Wal)Farrell is a leader of the backs and if he hits it off with Sexton the Lions will stand a chance of causing an upset. Daly has versatility and could easily start on the wing, because Joseph has the strongest claim to play 13 in the Test side. Davies and Henshaw both had good championships and will push all the way for full Test honours.In reserve – Garry Ringrose (Ire), Jared Payne (Ire), Ben Te’o (Eng), Alex Dunbar (Sco)North had a superb Six Nations in attack and is back in the Lions Test reckoning. His defence was sporadic – at times he was impossible to pass; but he was also burned badly by Tim Visser on numerous occasions at Murrayfield. Williams is a good wing and also cover for full-back. Watson is England’s number one wing and must travel with a good chance of being a Test starter. My case for Seymour rides on his defence and aerial ability being better than the others with a claim to inclusion, while his finishing has been proven regularly in the Pro 12 and internationals.In reserve – Jack Nowell (Eng), Simon Zebo (Ire), Keith Earls (Ire)Hogg is box office; he has everyone talking and he will occupy more than a few pre-match talks by this summer’s opposition teams. The Six Nations sealed his reputation as the best full back on the northern hemisphere not just because of his attack, but because his defence has noticeably improved. Halfpenny just edges out Rob Kearney on the basis of his goalkicking and his experience from the 2013 tour of Australia.In reserve – Rob Kearney (Ire)Jamie’s British and Irish Lions Test side:McGrath, Best (c), Furlong, Launchbury, Itoje, Stander, Warburton, B Vunipola; Murray, Sexton, North, Farrell, Joseph, Watson, HoggReplacements: Hartley, M Vunipola, Cole, Jones, O’Brien, Webb, Daly, Williams With another Six Nations in the books the thoughts of rugby fans now turn fully to next month’s announcement of the British and Irish Lions squad.Warren Gatland announces his men to head to New Zealand on April 19.Always a moment to spark debate and argument, the matter of who will be given the honour of wearing the famous red jersey in the toughest of international test series is almost as anticipated as the tour itself.Nobody can make an objective judgement. Each of the Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish observers will think their countrymen could earn a spot on the flight in the more borderline positions. This author is no different so, having watched each team in the flesh this spring, here are 37 players (21 forwards and 16 backs) that I believe could do the job.The quality, experience and temperament of Best marks him out not only as the Test starter, but also a strong candidate the captain the Lions. Hartley has been a stalwart for an England side that would give the All Blacks a run for their money right now, and Owens had a terrific Six Nations and thoroughly deserves his place.In reserve – Jamie George (Eng), Scott Baldwin (Wal)With combinations counting for so much at the highest level, the temptation would be to field Ireland’s full front row unit to start the Tests, with England’s in reserve on the bench. Deciding on a third tighthead was tough as a fit WP Nel would have been a shoo-in. I chose the experience of Francis over England’s younger ‘finisher’ Kyle Sinckler.
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon has called on Celtic to use the feel-good factor from picking up a late victory against Rosenborg to get back to winning ways domestically.Substitute Leigh Griffiths struck a last-minute winner as the Hoops defeated the Norwegian champions in their Europa League opener.That result ensures Celtic currently top their Europa group, but in the Premiership they currently sit five points behind early pacesetters Hearts.Gordon insisted the Scottish champions must take confidence from their European showing when they look to reduce the gap against Kilmarnock on Sunday. “Sometimes that is the best way to win a game,” he said. “Winning 2 or 3-0, sometimes that doesn’t feel as good as that last minute goal.“It’s a good feeling, the dressing room was very happy with that and hopefully we can use that to spur us on in the next few games.”Asked if the Hoops can use that feel-good factor this weekend, he added: “Absolutely, that’s exactly what we were talking about in the dressing room.That was a great start in the group phase for us, now to take that forward into the league campaign and try and get a win at Kilmarnock.” Celtic looked fragile defensively early in the campaign but they have shored up at the back of late to put together a run of five straight clean sheets.Gordon said he’s delighted with the improvements the Hoops have made in defence to become a “very solid” unit.At the other end of the park, the goals have also somewhat dried up though and the Scotland international said the focus must now be on improving in the attacking third. He continued: “Early on we were conceding a few goals, we had to go back to the drawing board and look at a few things.“We’re starting to get that right, that is five clean sheets in a row.“Now, we have to put that in to the attacking side of things and try and score a few more goals.“We’ve looked very solid, regardless of who is playing in the centre of defence, for the last month or so.“That gives the team and myself a lot of confidence, if we do get the goal we should win games.”
Orange County Economic Development Partnership announced today that the Paoli LLC building has new ownership and a revitalized purpose as the Jasper Group plans to expand its operations at the Orleans facility early next year. When HNI announced in October 2016 that Paoli LLC would be closing in Orleans, the future of the building, and its employees, had been uncertain. Currently, about 120 people still work at the plant as Paoli LLC employees; and community stakeholders, including the OCEDP, have worked diligently to find a solution for the building that could keep jobs in the county. “I want to thank HNI; while they could not continue operations here in Orleans, they understood the need to have an employer here that employs citizens from Orange and surrounding counties. That is why they felt compelled to donate the building to the OCEDP,” said OCEDP Board Chair Alan Beck. “They knew that our board would be more than capable of finding a party to purchase the building and continue to offer employment.” Jasper Group’s four brands manufacture furniture for business interiors, public spaces and the hospitality industry. The company has multiple facilities in close proximity in southern Indiana including five in Dubois County, one of which is its headquarters, and now three in Orange County, with operations in French Lick, Paoli and the newly added facility in Orleans. Beck added, “Mike Elliot and the Jasper Group share the same concerns as the OCEDP, HNI, the residents and other business owners in the county; we need to save jobs, offer new employment and provide tax revenue that flows to the school system and local municipality.” Jasper Group plans to retain the current production employees and possibly add more workers to the manufacturing floor when it begins operations in the first quarter of 2018. The company also plans to use part of the facility for warehousing and shipping for its multiple product lines. “We are dedicated to helping Orange County and to growing a local economy that attracts investment and creates jobs,” said OCEDP Executive Director Misty Weisensteiner. “Orange County has long been known for excellence in furniture manufacturing and has a skilled labor force that is in high demand – we want to take every opportunity to capitalize on our strengths.” Paoli LLC will likely wind down operations by the end of February, and during that time Jasper Group will begin bringing in raw materials and finalizing equipment purchases that can be used immediately in its new operation. About Orange County Economic Development Partnership:OCEDP is committed to recruiting new business to the county, as well as promoting the retention and expansion of existing industry. We are organized as a 501(c)3 organization, funded by both public and private organizations that reflect the diverse assets of Orange County. Likewise, our board consists of 12 members, including county commissioners, county council, four town councils, and business/industry. Since our inception, we have fostered the growth of dozens of new and expanding businesses, providing personalized assistance in identifying sources of business capital; connecting businesses with educational, workforce development, supply chain, and other resources; and matching relocating and expanding companies’ needs with available properties. “We plan for a seamless transition and are very optimistic about our new employees and our new building in Orleans, which is now the largest facility for the Jasper Group, and a perfect complement to our other operations,” said Jasper Group’s President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Mike Elliott. “We have had a great experience working with the OCEDP to make this expansion happen and couldn’t be more pleased to keep jobs here in Orange County.” OCEDP was then able to quickly convert the donation into a real estate sale that brings in the Jasper Group as the new owners of the 1.2 million-square-foot facility. ### HNI, the parent company of Paoli LLC, generously donated the building to OCEDP in December.