New Gas Tax Increase Closer

first_imgIndiana lawmakers are one step closer to passing a new tax that will increase the price of gas, increase vehicle registration fees, and open the door for statewide tolls on Indiana highways.If it passes, the state tax on gasoline, diesel, and other motor vehicle fuels would increase by 10 cents per gallon. It would also annually increase by one cent to adjust for inflation. Indiana motorists would also pay an extra $15 in vehicle registration fees at the BMV. Motorists with electric cars would pay an additional $150 in fees.House Bill 1002, sponsored by Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), passed the House Roads and Transportation Committee on Wednesday by an 8-5 margin.The proposal now heads to the Ways and Means Committee before going to the full house.Lastly, the governor would also have the ability to implement tolling without the approval of state lawmakers.last_img read more

Conference Tournament JV Basketball Action Cancelled

first_imgWRGC received information from Smoky Mountain High School Athletic Director Adam Phillips on Monday that The JV portion of the WNCAC tournament scheduled for Monday night in Waynesville has been cancelled. The instability in the weather conditions created to much risk for the younger students getting home after the games.  The Varsity portion of the tournament will continue on Tuesday Night unless there is a drastic change in the weather.last_img

Postseason primer: What to watch for as local girls basketball teams enter the second season

first_imgBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterThe Auburndale girls basketball team enters the WIAA postseason healthy and leaning strongly on its inside players.Senior Shannon Yahnke and juniors Taylor Gotz and Paiton Richardson give the Apaches an inside presence that will not be matched by many in the Division 4 playoffs. The trio combined for 37 points, 18 from Richardson, in a win over Athens on Tuesday.Auburndale, which entered Saturday’s Marawood Conference third-place crossover game at Edgar with a  17-4 record, did enough during the regular season to earn a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming regional. The Apaches will host the winner of Tuesday’s game between Stratford and Stevens Point Pacelli on Feb. 27 in a regional final. With a win the Apaches would likely face No. 1 seed and Marawood South champion Marathon in a regional final on Feb. 28.Auburndale handed Marathon (20-1) its only loss of the season back on Jan. 6, beating the Raiders 45-33.Stratford (13-8) is the third seed in the same Division 4 regional as the Apaches and will host Pacelli (4-17) in a regional quarterfinal on Tuesday at 7 p.m.Junior guard Macie Frueh has been the leading scorer for most of the season for the Tigers, averaging 13 points per game during conference play. Center Andie Zuelke, the team’s top rebounder, along with Stratford’s other inside players, will have to play an important role, especially in a potential matchup with Auburndale. The Apaches swept a pair of games from Stratford this season.“The key to make a long run in the playoffs is controlling teams that have strong posts in the paint,” Stratford coach Tammie Christopherson said. “We also have to play strong team defense and run an efficient offense. I personally feel that we have one of the toughest regionals in the state. Four out of the six teams currently have 13-plus wins.”Spencer, 6-15 prior to Thursday’s Cloverbelt Conference crossover matchup with Chippewa Falls McDonell, is also in that same Division 4 regional.The Rockets will play at Edgar (13-7) in a regional quarterfinal on Tuesday. The winner plays at top-seed Marathon in a regional semifinal Feb. 27.Spencer has been inconsistent offensively this season but has scored at a better rate recently.The Rockets have put up 39 points or more nine times since the first of the year after hitting that mark just twice in their first seven games.Freshman Lexi Baehr and junior Nadia King have been the leaders of the Rockets’ offense as of late, each scoring in double figures four times in the past month.In Division 1, Marshfield (15-6 going into Thursday’s game at Wausau East) is the No. 3 seed in its regional and will host No. 6 Eau Claire North (11-10) on Feb. 27 in a regional semifinal.Marshfield senior guard Caitlin Michaelis is nearing the 1,200-point mark in her career and is the Tigers’ leading scorer at 13.3 points per game during Wisconsin Valley Conference action.Junior McKayla Scheuer (12.5 ppg), senior Ellie Kummer (12.0 ppg) and junior post player Ema Fehrenbach (10 ppg) also score in double figures for the Tigers, giving them a balanced offensive attack.Columbus Catholic (11-10 prior to Thursday’s game against Thorp) will face Greenwood (4-16) in a Division 5 regional quarterfinal at home on Tuesday.The Dons have relied heavily on juniors Jess Trad and Abby Baierl to carry the scoring load. Coach Bryan DeVries said others need to step up for Columbus Catholic to go far in the playoffs.“We will have to shoot the ball much better than we have been,” DeVries said. “We have lost Tara Brock for the season due to a knee injury, so all of our players have to step up their games and play much more physical basketball. Hannah Stratman, Alishia Reigel, and Meena Thill have got to take some of the scoring burden off of Abby Baierl and Jessica Trad.”A win on Tuesday would most likely set up a regional semifinal against Cloverbelt Conference East Division champion Loyal, the third-ranked team in the state in Division 5. Loyal (19-2) beat the Dons by 25 and 30 points in their two conference matchups this season.“We will have to play extremely well just to be competitive,” DeVries said. “If we are on our game and shoot the ball well for all four quarters, we hope to make a game of it.”Paul Lecker is publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at [email protected]last_img read more

New trail to honour struggle fallen

first_imgThe moment to the Gugulethu Seven,situated close to where the young menwere ambushed. (Image: Picasa) The Zanempilo Clinic, co-founded bySteve Biko, is also on the nationalheritage trail.(Images: Steve Biko Foundation) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sandile Memela  Department of Arts and Culture  +27 12 441 3077 RELATED ARTICLES • ANC celebrates 100 years • PE launches heritage walk • Can heritage, development coexist? • Celebrating Soweto’s heritageShamin ChibbaThe South African government recently announced that it will undertake a massive nationwide route project that will honour the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle.Speaking at a media briefing on 20 February, home affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said that the government will unveil a series of monuments over the next few years.The project’s estimated cost is over R1-billion (US$132.7-million).Zuma said that new museum and historic sites will be built in rural and urban areas. This will include work on numerous historical locations around the country.One of these is the site of the Pondo Revolt of 1960 to 1962, where people of the amaPondo nation were gunned down by police while protesting the government’s apartheid laws. The attack took place on Ingquza Hill near Flagstaff in the Eastern Cape.The nearby Holy Cross Church, which counted Oliver Tambo among its baptised members, is also to be declared a heritage site.Other events to be commemorated in the project include the 1913 Free State protests against the imposition of pass laws on African women – those women were led by struggle heroine Charlotte Maxeke – and the 1957 anti-pass revolt by women in Zeerust in the then Western Transvaal.Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s home in Brandfort in the Free State where she spent eight years under house arrest will be restored and protected as a heritage site.The graves of Pan African Congress founder Robert Sobukwe, former African National Congress (ANC) leaders Oliver Tambo, AB Xuma, Walter and Albertina Sisulu and Pixley Ka Seme, as well as those of activists Rahima Moosa and Steve Biko, will be upgraded and declared heritage sites as well.Good for local economy, tourism and educationAccording to arts and culture minister Paul Mashatile, the project will help boost local economies and make arts a serious economic player. He said that the local economy can be revitalised by this initiative.“There are massive benefits for people living in those areas where we plan to implement these projects,” he said.Lwazi Apleni, a tourism management graduate, was upbeat about the initiative, saying that it will play an influential role in the tourism industry.“It will bring a lot of foreign tourists and even historians who are interested in the liberation struggle,” he said.Though he acknowledges that the project’s costs are staggering, considering the country has many social issues to deal with, Apleni believes the expense is reasonable as it will sustain the history of the country for current youth and future generations.“It is to commemorate the heroes who played an influential role in ensuring that South Africa is where it is now,” he said. “It’s because of them that we’re part of the world community. It will also make sure that the heroes are not forgotten.”Apleni suggests that the organisers of the project have a road show whereby they emphasise the importance of arts and culture to the public.“Arts and culture are the cornerstones of every country,” he said.Steve Biko Foundation part of trailThe Steve Biko Centre in the Eastern Cape will be dedicated to the legacy of the man and the Black Consciousness Movement.Amongst its features are a museum, an archive and library centre resource centre, cultural performance and production spaces, a community media centre, and space for retailers.Biko’s home in Ginsberg Township, the Biko Bridge and the Zanempilo Clinic, which was co-founded by Biko in East London in the mid-1970s, will also form part of the centre.Homes and monuments to be restoredThe homes of Oliver Tambo in Nkantolo Village in the Eastern Cape, Bram Fischer in Westdene in Johannesburg, and James Sebe Moroka in Thaba Nchu, Free State, as well as those of Lilian Ngoyi and the first ANC president John Langalibalele Dube, will be showcased on the nation-wide trail.The Bhambatha monument in Greytown, where Zulus rebelled in 1906 against the establishment by colonial authorities of a poll or head tax, will also form part of the initiative.The Matola Raid Monument and Interpretative Centre will also form part of the trail. Commemorating the 1981 raid by the defence force on ANC safe houses in Matola, Mozambique, the structure is under construction and will be completed in July 2012.Existing sites such as the Wesleyan Church Hall in Waaihoek, Mangaung, as well as the Gugulethu Seven Monument, which honours seven young victims of a security forces ambush in 1986, will be refurbished before they are unveiled.The former building is said to be the birthplace of the ANC, as the organisation’s first meeting took place there is a hall at the back.last_img read more

Success for SA cyclists at UWCT Final

first_img27 August 2012Former South African and African Elite road cycling champion Lynette Burger bookended her racing career with two world championship titles at the 2012 UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Pietermaritzburg on the weekend. She was one of four South Africans to be crowned world champion.With South Africa hosting the World Championships, Burger, who had retired from professional racing at the end of 2011, decided to enter the 30-34 year age category. It proved to be a great decision.The 31-year-old Boksburg resident secured gold medals in both the individual time trial and the road race in what she describes as the highlight of her racing career.“I wore the stripes of national champion and African champion as a professional racer, but to wear the rainbow stripes of world champion is simply the best accomplishment for me,” beamed Burger.Unable to hold back the tears, she also explained that she had been riding for her late grandfather who died in the past year. “He was my greatest fan and greatest supporter,” said Burger. “It really felt like he was with me all the way today. This is the greatest moment of my career.”Scenes of jubilationThere were scenes of jubilation at the medal ceremonies as South Africa celebrated four new world champions, topping the results in the 61km and 96 road races with gold medals for Pauline Cound (women 50-54), Anette Loubscher (women 40-44), Burger (women 30-34) and a late 50th birthday present for Gary Beneke (men 50-54).“It is absolutely fantastic to have won. It is something I have always aspired to,” said Beneke. “I can now imagine how the guys feel at the Olympics.”The women’s race was complex as the splintered group that raced into Wartburg included riders from three different classes and four nationalities. However, aggressive riding at the turn at Wartburg saw Burger and van Houweling take charge of the front of the race, and they raced away to the finish together.“She (Burger) was too strong for me in the end sprint and I think she is the better climber,” said the Californian, who was delighted to be the new world champion in her age group. “In the last two miles I was cramping so badly. Thank goodness the race wasn’t any longer!”BrutalWith racing more than hot enough to match the 40-degree plus temperatures out on the road, the battles for the rainbow jerseys were brutal, none more so that the riveting tactical battle in the men’s 45-49 age group where local icon Andrew McLean was pipped at the post by the wily French rider Gregoire Balland.It was bitter pill for McLean to swallow as he had been narrowly beaten to the rainbow jersey in Thursday’s time trial. “It was tough out there, but in the sprint he had the legs and I couldn’t get rid of him,’ he said.Italian rider Daniella Passalacqua was the star of the morning’s 61km race that started in Wartburg and wound back into the city, winning the UCI rainbow jersey in her 45-49 year age group as she posted the fastest time of the morning.While Passalacqua won comfortably in her age group, the women’s 50-54 age group saw a ding-dong duel between local rider Pauline Cound and Norwegian Sissel Vien, with the pair trading the lead throughout until Cound found that little bit extra in the final few kilometres to prevail over Vien.Similarly American master Ann Marie Miller won her first world title after managing to outsprint the gutsy Dutch woman Marti Valks in the closing stages of their 55-59 year age group race.The men’s 65+ age group produced similarly ferocious racing with tough Belgian rider Herman van der Borre leading for most of the latter stages of the race to edge out English rider Jimmy Young on the home straight.Italian successOn Sunday, the final day of racing, the Italian flag flew enthusiastically in the wind at Alexandra Park after the 112km road race brought down the curtain on the UCI World Cycling Tour Final as two of the three world titles on offer went to Italians.D’Andrea Allesandro won a thrilling three-way dice to the line to snatch the coveted UCI rainbow jersey away from local riders JC Jooste and Jaco Ferreira in the 30-34 year class, while his compatriot Gabriele Clementoni capped a tactically astute race with an imposing victory in the men’s 40-44 class.“Of course it is a great honour to have won,” said Allesandro. “Cycling is a hobby for me now. I used to be a pro, but now I have a full time job. But my whole season has been focussed on this and winning was my main goal.”“We are a little disappointed,” said JC Jooste. “At 35km to go, myself and Jaco Ferreira had a gap of two minutes and when one of the 16-29 youngsters bridged the gap the Italian had a lot of help closing in on us.”“To get two South Africans on the podium is great,” added Ferreira. “We obviously would have liked top spot but we are still very happy.”Dramatic crashThe day will also be remembered for the dramatic crash 50 metres from the line by Slovenian rider Igor Kopše who had dominated the 35-39 year class to the extent that he was able to enter the home straight alone, and he started to celebrate as he entered the straight.The move proved costly because as Kopše threw his arms aloft and punched the air he lost control of his bike and crashed hard into the tarmac.As he got up, he glanced back to see where second placed Jone Ellinsen was and tried to remount his bike, only to discover the he had smashed the gear off his back wheel in the crash, and he had no option but to pick up his bike and run to the line.“I probably tried to salute too much when I got it wrong, but none of that matters now because I am so happy to have won,” said Kopše.“I have been working for this the entire season trying to push the limit,” he said. “Yesterday my derailleur broke and we tried to repair it until 8pm last night. Just before we started, I had to put a new chain on and I was very nervous that it wouldn’t working properly.”“On the last descent there were three or four times when I nearly fell, but somehow I managed to survive and I attacked on the downhill. I am not a sprinter but I can push it when I need to and that gave me the gap over the others,” he explained.Second placed Ellinsen cottoned onto the dramatic developments too late as he too was coasting into the finish, and his late charge was not enough to keep a relieved Kopše from the rainbow jersey.16-29 age groupThe 16-29 year age group Challenger class produced breakneck racing in the cool overcast conditions until the sun burnt off the clouds, creating ideal conditions for very fast times.Belgian Simon Collard, 27, retained his title in the class, which is the only age group not eligible for Masters’ world champion rainbow jerseys as he crossed the line first in a four-way sprint finish with Allesandro, Jooste and Ferreira.“I am very happy to have defended my title,” said Collard afterwards. “Four of us got away and were coming in together and I wanted to win overall, and my sprint is good so I went with about 300 metres to go.”The event concluded with warm praise from the riders for the standard of organisation and the hospitality shown by the residents and fellow riders in Pietermaritzburg. It was the first time that the UWCT Final has been held outside of Europe.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Big Data: Gartner’s Advice for How to Avoid Project Failure

first_imgGartner recently released their findings about the state of Big Data from a survey among 450 of their client companies.  Here are some highlights of the results.Who’s investing in Big Data?About three-quarter of companies say they plan to invest.Why are businesses investing?Enhanced customer experience (64 percent) and increased process efficiency (47 percent)Will Big Data investment have Positive ROI?About half of companies planning to invest think so, but another 43 percent aren’t sure.Who initiates Big Data Projects?Gartner found that about one-third of projects are initiated by business unit heads, and another third of the time by CIOs.What’s the expected success rate of Big Data projects?Actually, not so good.  Gartner said to expect about two-thirds of projects to not succeed and likely be abandoned.What is good advice to avoid failure of a Big Data project?Choose a business project where it’s likely that there could be a win.Rely on outsourcing and packaged software when you don’t have the in-house Big Data skillsSolicit buy-in from important stakeholdersDecide how to build up Big Data tools and skills internallylast_img read more

Don’t look back, live strong buddy: Lance Armstrong to Yuvraj Singh

first_imgRecuperating after undergoing three cycles of chemotherapy for a malignant tumour between his lungs, cricketer Yuvraj Singh received an inspiring video message from his “real life hero” Lance Armstrong — the cycling legend whose own successful battle with cancer is well-documented.”Very special and inspiring message from my real life hero,” tweeted Yuvraj along with a link to the message from the cyclist who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times after having survived testicular cancer.In the 19-second video, Armstrong urged Yuvraj to keep moving forward optimistically.”Hi Yuvi, I am Lance Armstrong and welcome home. Man you have got one big following, I have heard about you every hour of every day since you have been diagnosed. We are pulling for you, so glad you are healthy now. Have a great life, don’t look back, live strong buddy,” said the 40-year-old American.Armstrong was 25 when he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer, which spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain.Armstrong had an orchiectomy to remove his diseased testicle and was given less than a 40 per cent survival chance by his doctors. But he battled out of it successfully to not just survive but also renew his career as a cyclist.The 30-year-old Yuvraj, who will return to the country on Monday, was discharged on March 18 from a hospital in the United States.Thousands of well-wishers have sent messages to cricketer, who is known for his aggressive batting and disciplined spin bowling.Yuvraj, has scored 8,051 runs in 274 one-dayers and 1,775 runs in 37 Tests since making his international debut in 2000.advertisementlast_img read more