Wednesday at Super Nationals

first_imgSuper Nationals nears car count record; Modifieds, Stocks begin qualifying today BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 3) – Day three of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s boasts the first qualifying races Modifieds and Stock Cars, while last-chance races are on the docket for Hobby Stocks and SportMods.Hot laps are currently underway at Boone Speedway, where 277 Modifieds and 176 Stock Cars see their first action of the week.The Modified car count is up more than 20 from last year; total car count is currently 865, the second highest number in the 32-year history of Super Nationals. “Our car count is a reflection of our weekly racing. As our membership grows, so does the popularity of Super Nationals,” IMCA Vice President of Operations Brett Root said. “Plus, it’s a really cool place to be.” “This year’s Super Nationals is also a very fitting way to remember ‘Speedy’ Bill Smith and all that he and Speedway Motors have done for IMCA for so many years,” Root added.Thirty Modified heats and 20 Stock Car heats are on the Wednesday card. Two qualifying features will be held for each division to determine the front eight starters on the inside row of Saturday main events.Six drivers advance from last-chance features to the back two rows of Saturday main events for the Hobbies and the SportMods.***Jeff McCollum was planning to come to Boone Speedway as a spectator this week, but before taking the green flag last Saturday at Arlington Raceway he made a promise that if he won that evening’s IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature, he’d come to Boone and race instead. After winning for the 100th time in his IMCA career, the Mankato, Minn., driver made good on that promise. “The car has been working really good. If I could win this too, wouldn’t that be something?” asked McCollum, who qualified for the big show at Boone five years ago.The folks at Arlington presented McCollum with a special-made trophy following his landmark win. “It’s a pretty big trophy,” he said. “They had it made for me last year but it took a while for me to get it.” *His rapid ascension the past four weeks has taken A.J. Ward from 63rd to 54th, to 24th and ultimately to 10th in IMCA’s national point standings. The first-time Fast Shafts All-Star driver, from Ionia, Mich., counts nine wins among 29 top five finishes. He has yet to finish outside the top eight in 31 starts, no small achievement when you remember that he races weekly at Tri-City and Crystal.He aims to win track titles at both, with his sights on the state crown and Crystal’s Great Lakes Nationals special as well.“Making the dance at Super Nationals would cap everything off. Even if we finished last, it would be the highlight of my career,” said Ward, who made the nine-hour tow for the third time. “If I didn’t race weekly, I’d get a car just to come to this place. We look forward to Super Nationals all year.” ***Ethan Dotson joined fellow Bakersfield, Calif., pilots Levi Kiefer and Tina McGowan Tuesday as a qualifier for the Saturday night SportMod main event. The 15-year-old Independence High School sophomore has come to Super Nationals in the capacity of race fan the last two years. He finished fourth in his qualifier, in a borrowed ride. “It was better than anything I’ve ever done,” said Dotson, who had four feature wins and “way too many seconds” to show so far for his first full year in the division. “I’d be happy with a top five finish of Saturday but I’m always shooting for the win.”He raced in a local stock class before making the switch to a SportMod last season. “What I like best about this class is that we can race at any sanctioned track we want and don’t have to change the car,” Dotson said. “I like going to other tracks knowing we’ll be legal when we get there.*Having sealed the deal at 12:20 p.m. this afternoon, Tim Czarneski will race both his newly-purchased Stock Car and his Modified at Super Nationals this week. The Denmark, Wis., driver will be trying to match the 2004 accomplishment of buddy Benji LaCrosse in qualifying for main events in both divisions.“He did it, so I’ve got to do it, too, Czarneski said.A Modified regular at 141 Speedway – and a winner of one of the Red, White and Blue Series races there this season – Czarneski has just four Stock Car starts to his credit this season.Time is at an ever greater premium as Czarneski and his wife Leah welcomed their fourth son Reed on May 6. Family activities keep both busy and Czarneski has added Pop Warner football coach to his parental resume. This is the seventh September he’s brought a Modified to Super Nationals.“We look forward to this every year,” he said. “We have a good time and just keep coming back.”*1993 Super Nationals champion Ron Pope of Mason City will debut his Modified displaying a Hayden’s Hope wrap during Wednesday qualifying.He’s promoting awareness of the Hayden’s Hope Foundation, which has raised more than $100,000 for research into a cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia (a rare form of muscular dystrophy) and the foundation’s 5K/10K Warrior Run on Sept. 27 in downtown Mason City.Hayden Despenas, the son of family friends, was diagned with Friedreich’s Ataxia in May of 2012, when he was eight years old. Pope’s wife Kelly designed the wrap, done by Sybesma Graphics.“Hayden just loves race cars. It means a lot for us to be part of this,” Pope said. “There were quite a few emotions when we rolled the car out for the first viewing. People knew something was up because the race car trailer was there. It was very exciting.”***Tristan Carman got the last laugh on whoever it was that broke into his race shop three weeks ago. IMCA’s national Stock Car rookie of the year last season, the 17-year-old from Killeen had made plans to compete at Boone this week. Not long after, a thief or thieves tried to rain on his Super Nationals, stealing his tools, shocks, springs, set-up equipment … even his steering wheel. “Everything on the car and in the truck now is what we have left or borrowed,” he said. “After the break-in, we made it a point to come and so far Super Nationals has been everything I expected, except that there are a lot more cars.” “I’ve always wanted to run Super Nationals,” added Carman, armed with a new B & B Chassis. “And I want to win the show.” While the money was designated for Super Nationals expenses, Carman picked up some extra bucks before Boone the old-fashioned way: He shaved his beard.Phil Egbert, P.J. Egbert, Michael Walter, Kenny Stone and an anonymous donor pledged a total of $900 and Carman agreed to put his razor back to use.***Burg is best in last-chance feature for Hobby StocksBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 3) – A caution with three laps left made things more interesting, but Andrew Burg completed his green to checkered run at the front of the field to win Wednesday’s last-chance qualifying feature at Boone Speedway. He’ll be joined in the back two rows of Saturday’s IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s main event starting grid by Weston Koop, Tiffany Bittner, Kyle Parizek, Mike Traskow­sky and Justin Nehring. The start in the big dance will be Burg’s career third. Koop, Bittner, Traskowsky and Nehring all are in for the second time, Parizek for the first.***Ryerson reigns in SportMod last-chance featureBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 3) – Chad Ryerson caught Brandon Long at the line and led the last six laps in winning the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s last-chance qualifying feature for SportMods Wednesday afternoon.Ryerson had started on the pole but chased Long the first 18 times around the Boone Speedway. Michael Murphy slipped by Long with three to go for runner-up honors. The rest of the top six finishers advancing to the back two rows of Saturday’s main event were Clinton Luellen, Daniel Gottschalk and Ryan Hiscocks.Luellen is in the big dance for the fifth time in his career, Long for the second. Ryerson, Murphy, Gottschalk and Hiscocks are all first-time qualifiers.*The number of states represented at Super Nationals XXXII is an event record 27 as competing drivers hail from Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.Nine of those states were represented by the 10 drivers in the sixth Modified heat. Tom Berry Jr. (Oregon) and Joe German (Washington) made long trips from the scenic Pacific Northwest for their first Super Nationals and will get the opportunity to watch plenty of racing before getting on the track themselves. Both are in the 29th of 30 Wednesday night heats.***Gifford takes checkers ahead of Stock Car qualifying dramaBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 3) – He wasn’t part of the finish line drama, but Jerry Gifford was the winner of an IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Stock Car qualifying feature that announcer Jerry Vansickel was quick to describe as epic.Gifford led all 25 laps of Wednesday’s first Stock qualifier at Boone Speedway. Travis VanStraten took over second place for good five laps in while 2001 champion Brian Blessington started 11th and cemented third with three laps left. The top four finishers advance to the inside row of Saturday’s main event and Brandon Taylor and Derek Green were both bound and determined to get it. After completing the 24th and next-to-last lap virtually bumper to bumper, the pair got together and slid sideways toward the finish line. Abe Huls and Terry Pruitt both took advantage and drove by, with Huls getting fourth and the transfer spot. Taylor was scored sixth, Green seventh.Top four finishers from each of the two qualifiers will square off in games of roshambo on Thursday in the fan zone to determine inside row starting positions.Blessington is now a 12-time qualifier for the main event. VanStraten is in for the fifth time, Huls the third and Gifford the first.Schmidt scores big in second Stock Car qualifierBOONE, Iowa (Sept. 3) – Jay Schmidt led all but the first lap and held off defending champion Brandon Czarapata in winning Wednesday’s second IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Stock Car qualifying feature at Boone Speedway. Schmidt started fourth and drove by Trent Murphy on the second circuit; after a lap 21 caution, Czarapata used the ensuing restart to his advantage to take over the runner-up spot.He couldn’t reel in Schmidt, however. Murphy was third while Kyle Vanover made a last-lap charge to steal the fourth and final qualifying spot from Nathan Wood.Top four finishers from each Wednesday qualifier will play roshambo in the fan zone to determine how they’ll line up on the inside row for Saturday’s main event.Schmidt will start his career 12th Super Nationals main event, Czarapata his 10th, Murphy his seventh straight in the division and 10th overall. Vanover made the show for the third time.***Stone, Jergens to decide pole for Super Nationals Modified main event BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 3) – Californian Paul Stone or home state driver Mike Jergens will start on the pole when the biggest event in dirt track racing goes green Saturday night at Boone Speed­way. Stone ran second the last 19 laps of Wednesday’s first IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Modified qualifying feature, then was promoted to the top spot when Adam Lar­son failed to meet frame specifications in post-race tech. Jergens had tracked down and race-long leader Kyle Strickler in lapped traffic with a couple cir­cuits to go in the second qualifier. Strickler became a DQ from the runner-up spot for use of unapproved wheels; Chase Allen crossed the line in third and also failed post-race tech for failing to meet frame specs. Stone and Jergens will duke it out in a game of roshambo, in the fan zone south of the main grand­stand, on Thursday to determine who gets the coveted pole position in Saturday night’s main event. They’ll be joined on the inside row by top three finishers Aaron Turnbull, 2011 champion Richie Gustin and Jay Noteboom from the first qualifier and Johnny Saathoff, Troy Jerovetz and Josh Most from the second.Gustin had started 13th and Noteboom 15th in the first qualifier. Jergens took the initial green from 13th, Jerovetz from 16th, Most from 28th and Saathoff from dead last in the 30-car second qualify­ing field. Saathoff made the big dance for the 14th time in his career, Noteboom for the ninth and Gustin for the fourth. Stone, Jergens, Turnbull and Most all are second-time main event qualifiers while Jerovetz is in the big show for the first time.last_img read more

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Wellington City Council votes 3-1 to purchase bulldozer

first_imgFollow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (8) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +3 Vote up Vote down redfanx2 · 247 weeks ago Now that the decision has been made to buy the dozer, can they use at the cemetery too help with drainage problems there? Report Reply 0 replies · active 247 weeks ago +10 Vote up Vote down Just me · 247 weeks ago I am curious why Jan Korte abstained. Report Reply 3 replies · active 246 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Larry · 247 weeks ago I would also like to know what Ms. Korte abstained, and also I have a question. Has Mr. Valentine ever voted yes on anything. I understand voting some times to save money, but believe it or not sometimes you pay at little more up front to save in the long run of things. In all the time I have read this site, I cannot remember Mr. Valentine ever to be in favor of anything. Report Reply +5 Vote up Vote down Jennifer · 247 weeks ago I’m guessing she abstained because her husband Frank Korte, the city judge, voiced his opinion on the matter. Report Reply +1 Vote up Vote down james jordan · 246 weeks ago yep that was it .. Report Reply -3 Vote up Vote down notlla · 247 weeks ago Some people have a short memory. Report Reply 0 replies · active 247 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Eric Lacey · 247 weeks ago The Cat is the only brand to go with trust me I know that’s the only thing I will ever own,you cant just look at the up front cost,you need to look at the service and parts that Foley will provide you.Plus the Cat will hold its value way over the Deere and Kamatsu. Good choice council on Caterpillar you wont be sorry. Report Reply 0 replies · active 247 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down SuCo Pride · 247 weeks ago I’m glad to hear that the funding will be through dollars collected through the sanitary service. One of the benefits of owning this utility, and Jones made a sound suggestion to not deplete the fund completely. 2.5% interest is cheap money over the long term. I hope they maintain an adequate maintenance budget to keep this machine running beyond its expected life cycle. A dollar spent on maintenance can save $10 spent on repair. Report Reply 0 replies · active 247 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by James Jordan, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council made the purchase of a new bulldozer for the landfill official Tuesday night, voting 3-1 to buy a new Caterpillar bulldozer from a dealer in Wichita for $374,500. The city will pay $150,000 down and finance the rest. Voting in favor of the purchase of a new bulldozer was: Vince Wetta, Kip Etter, and Bill Butts. Jim Valentine voted against it. Jan Korte abstained. Kelly Green was absent while attending a state water conference. The dozer has been a topic of discussion for a few meetings, and others considered included a new John Deere that would have cost $50,000 less. But city officials felt they would have to spend more on the Deere which would have negated the savings. Public Works director Jeremy Jones said their current piece of equipment is a Kamtasu that has 6,100 hours on it, and it was not designed for landfill type work. They had spent well over $100,000 on repairs over the last year and a half, and Jones said companies he talked to recommended not continuing repairs. They would have to spend $74,000 to replace the motor and it would still need more work. He said even salvage operations did not want the machine for scrap metal. The city held a long work session recently and talked in great detail about the dozers. Judge Frank Korte addressed the council and suggested they try to rebuild the older one. Jones explained that the money for the machine is coming from the departments funds, and not from taxes They get their money through monthly garbage collections as well as transfers and people who bring material to the landfill. That includes non residents of Wellington, so people living outside the city are paying a small part. He said they had the money in the reserve fund about $325,000, but he did not want to completely deplete that fund, so suggested spending $150,000 as a down payment. Jones said people do not realize how harsh of an environment a landfill is for a bulldozer. A machine needs specialized equipment to work in that environment. He said there are 25 caterpillars being used in Kansas landfills, and no John Deere’s. Someone else noted that there are Deere bulldozers being used in other places. The city is currently paying $8,000 per month for a rental unit. The new dozer should be available soon after the first of the year. Councilman Bill Butts said he talked at length with several people in the construction business, “and they all said we need the caterpillar.” He agreed that it is a lot of money, but spending a lot more to fix up the old unit did not make much sense when that money could have gone for a new unit. Council member Kip Etter said he went to Wichita to look at the bulldozers, and talked with a lot of people, and was convinced the Caterpillar was what the city needs.. “From what I have seen, while the Deere costs less, the cost of ownership is less with the Caterpillar,” Etter said. “It would be made up over the life of the machine.” They also took bids for financing, and Cornerbank was given the nod with an interest rate of 2.25 percent. •••••City employees recognized… The city of Wellington recognized employees for years of service. Employee longevity service awards are as follows:  •10 years of service. Bryan Booth, Water Department.; Bryan Stewart, Police Department; Chrostopher Fullerton, Electric Department John Karns, Electric Production Department. •15 years of service: Nathan Nuss, Sanitation Department; Sandra Brownlee, Utility Collections Department; Jerry Preston, Fire Department. •20 years: Tracy Thomas, Street Department. •25 years: Travis Horsch, Electric Production. •30 years: Mark Farley, Fire Department; Darrell Grizzle, Street Department •35 years: Dale Miller, Electric Distribution. •••••Wellington resident concerns… City resident Russell Rains addressed the council, and pointed out what may be an unintended consequence in the city’s contract with utility customers. He said he and some friends have been helping some people who are having trouble paying their bills. According to the contract with the city, no one can live in a house that has past due utilities on it. That could mean if he were paying someone’s utility bill, and they owned a back utility bill, he could get in trouble with his own account. City officials said they would look into it, and said they were not aware of anyone having a problem with that type situation. They also said they were unaware that was in the contract. ••••• In other news: • The city agreed to a design engineering service for a road project on Highway 81 from Harvey Street south to Bodkin. This will cost the city $108,000. It is part of a state project and the state will pay 85 percent of the cost up to $1.5 million. •The city will have a work session with officials from the Kansas Power Pool at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23 at City Hall.last_img read more

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Stefani strikes gold at 2016 BC Winter Games

first_img“It made me want to perform my best floor routine. We had to wait two hours for the floor final,” added Stefani. “It was torture. I just wanted to get out there and tumble.”The floor event final had the audience on the edge of their seats, with all 12 participants performing personal best routines. Stefani was the sixth gymnast to perform.Going into her routine the highest score was 9.6 out of 10. She performed a high back layout in her first tumbling pass to a perfect stick, in her second tumbling pass she fought hard not to take a step.“It was obvious that Brianne had a goal of locking up a top three finish at the Games,” said Long.“She fought for every landing and performed all of her skills with maximum amplitude.”Long said Stefani is also very expressive and a beautiful dancer which contributed to the artistry score.Stefani’s routine earned a 9.6, which put her in a tie for first, with six gymnasts yet to perform. One other gymnast also scored a 9.6, making a three way tie for the gold medal.“It was wonderful to see all three girls up on the podium to receive the gold medal,” said Long.“They all had near perfect performances and they all deserved to be up there.”Stefani is already planning to attend the next BC Winter Games in two years.  She will need to move up into the Level 8 category in order to compete at the next Games.“I am already planning out my routines for the next Winter Games,” said Stefani. “I’m excited get back into the gym and start working on new Level 8 skills.”Stefani will start adding new more advanced skills into her routines for the BC Provincial Championships which takes place April 15-17 in Langley.Long said that they will use the Provincials as a stepping stone into Level 8.“Brianne is a very motivated and hardworking gymnast,” said Long. “I’m confident that she will be able to achieve any future goals that she sets for herself.” Nelson’s Brianne Stefani struck gold at the 2016 BC Winter Games this past weekend in Penticton.Stefani, 11, captured the gold medal on the gymnastics floor event during the provincial competition.On day one of the gymnastics event, the Glacier Gymnastics Club gymnast placed 11th overall in the Level 7 category and qualified for the floor event finals in second place and the beam event finals in third place.“The point spreads between first and fourth was two tenths of a point in both events,” said Stefani’s coach, Sandra Long.“We knew going into the finals that Brianne’s routines would need to be close to perfect in order to get on the podium.”Unfortunately, Stefani had a couple of small wobbles and a step during the beam event finals, which dropped her into fourth place. “Beam is a highly stressful event, no one had a perfect performance in finals, including Brianne,” said Long.Nelson’s Glacier Gymanstics Club’s members are still very proud of Stefani’s beam performance which missed securing the bronze medal by two tenths.“One less wobble and the results would have been in Brianne’s favour,” said Long.The disappointment of the beam final results helped pump Stefani up for the floor event final.“I was so close,” said Stefani.last_img read more

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Latest: Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0 – Costa puts Blues on course for win

first_imgDiego Costa’s 15th goal of a prolific campaign put Chelsea on the verge of another home victory.The Spain striker pounced just shy of the hour mark, driving the ball in from 15 yards after a fine move involving Eden Hazard and Oscar.Oscar had put the Blues in front just before half-time when he converted Branislav Ivanovic’s pull-back.Newcastle will have felt hard done by going in at the break a goal down as they were much the better team in the first half.Petr Cech made good saves from Yoann Gouffran’s free-kick and Remy Cabella’s drive, while Moussa Sissoko hit the outside of the post.But Chelsea, chasing their 10th win in their 10th home league game this season, were much improved after the restart.And their vaunted front four clicked into gear to create Chelsea’s second goal, with Hazard feeding Oscar in the box and the Brazilian teeing up Costa, who took a touch before drilling home. Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa.Subs: Courtois, Cahill, Filipe Luis, Mikel, Ramires, Remy, Drogba. Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Colback; Cabella, Perez, Gouffran.Subs: Woodman, Santon, Haidara, Ameobi, Vuckic, Armstrong, Riviere.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Local Roundup: Humboldt State softball coaching staff honored for second straight season

first_imgLOUISVILLE, Ky. >> A second straight West Region title, a second straight trip to Nationals and a second straight major honor for Shelli Sarchett and her coaching staff because of it.For the second time in as many seasons, the Humboldt State softball coaching staff was selected as a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Regional Coaching Staff of the Year, it was announced on Tuesday.After leading the Lumberjacks on back-to-back trips to the NCAA Division II National Championships and making …last_img

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SA-born scientist wins Nobel Prize

first_img8 October 2002South African born and educated molecular biologist Sydney Brenner and two of his colleagues have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their research into the genetic development of organs and the “programmed death’ or “suicide’ of cells.Brenner, Sir John Sulston of the UK and Robert Horvitz of the US will share the US$1-million prize for identifying the key genes that regulate the formation of organs and the controlled elimination of old cells in a worm approximately 1mm long – and showing that corresponding genes exist in higher species, including humans.Their discoveries “are important for medical research and have shed new light on the pathogenesis of many diseases’, the Nobel Foundation said on its web site.Brenner is the fourth South African born or raised scientist to win a Nobel prize, after CAT scan co-inventor Allan Cormack, Max Theiler for his research on yellow fever, and Aaron Klug for his research on macromolecules.It was Brenner, widely regarded as a giant in molecular biology, who put the worm or nematode Caenorhabditis elegans on the scientific map, after realising in the 1960s that fundamental questions about cell differentiation and organ development were difficult to tackle in higher animals.C. elegans, on the other hand, provided the perfect subject for research: transparent and fast-growing, its cell division could be directly observed under the microscope; multicellular yet simpler than mammals, its genetic secrets were relatively accessible and at the same time applicable to more complex species.Brenner provided the basis for the award-winning research in a 1974 publication in which he broke new ground by demonstrating that specific gene mutations could be chemically induced in the worm’s genome. Different mutations, he showed, could be linked to specific genes and specific effects on the worm’s organ development.“This combination of genetic analysis and visualisation of cell divisions observed under the microscope initiated the discoveries that are awarded by this year’s Nobel Prize’, the Foundation said.The knowledge of programmed cell death that Brenner, Sulston and Horvitz arrived at has helped the scientific community to understand how some viruses and bacteria are able to invade our cells, and how abnormal (either excessive or reduced) cell death plays a part in a number of diseases, including Aids, stroke and cancer.Today, for example, many cancer treatment strategies are based on the stimulation of the body’s cellular “suicide programme’. According to the Foundation, further exploration is called for to “reach a more refined manner to induce cell death in cancer cells’.Germiston boy, Wits studentBrenner was born in Germiston, South Africa on 13 January 1927, and studied medicine and science at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg before going to Oxford, where he received a D.Phil in chemistry in 1952.After a brief return to South Africa he returned to England, spending the bulk of his 50-year career in Cambridge, where he directed the Laboratory of Molecular Biology.He retired in 1992 – but came out of retirement four years later to become director of science at the Molecular Sciences Institute, a private research institute in Berkeley, California. He retired from this job at the end of 2000, and almost immediately took up an offer to become a distinguished research professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, where he now lives.“I don’t want to retire to play golf. Science is one’s hobby and one’s work and one’s pleasure”, Brenner is quoted as saying on the Beyond the Human Genome Project page of the Harvey Mudd College web site.Brenner is best known for his work in the 1960s, which established the existence of messenger RNA, which transmits information from DNA to proteins. That discovery won him the prestigious Lasker Award in 1971 for basic medical research.More recently, he has been part of a team studying vertebrate genome evolution using the Japanese puffer fish. Brenner won a second Lasker award in 2000 for work in medical sciences, honouring his achievements over a lifetime. “The first one was for science”, Brenner commented at the time. “The next one was for surviving.”SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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ACTowers in R116m empowerment deal

first_img27 January 2009AltX-listed Africa Cellular Towers (ACTowers), a manufacturer and supplier of telecoms support systems and electric transmission and distribution lines throughout the continent, has concluded a black economic empowerment deal with the Tiso Group.As per the transaction, investment group Tiso will acquire a 25.1% stake in ACTowers for a total of R116-million, with the capital being used to expand the production and installation capacity of ACTowers, for manufacturing either mobile telecommunication masts or power pylons.“We are very excited about the transaction with Tiso, as we now have a strategic black commercial partner who we believe will add real value to the company and who will, as part of the subscription, inject additional cash into the company for expansion,” ACTowers CEO Chris Kruger said in a statement last week.“Most importantly, this transaction affords us the opportunity to realise the full potential of the ACTowers Power Lines division, in a sector with vast growth opportunities.”Turnkey providerThe company’s power lines division has been positioning itself as a full turnkey provider of power lines in southern Africa over the past two year, and has been working with power utilities from around the region.While ACTowers had been awarded supplier status in certain regions of South Africa by Eskom in 2008, the company now believes that the partnership with Tiso will enable it to successfully tender for larger contracts, as a result of its improved BEE rating.According to the company, Eskom has embarked on major capital expenditure programmes to upgrade and expand its network of power lines, with an investment in excess of R30-billion having already been made.Targeting home marketThe company’s telecoms division is also expected to benefit from the need to roll out telecoms base stations in Africa for the foreseeable future, it has also begun to target the needs of fixed-line and mobile operators in South Africa – a country not previously focused on by ACTowers.“The investment by Tiso in ACTowers will be complementary to our other investments in the infrastructure and power sectors, and we look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship with Chris Kruger and his team,” said Tiso executive chairman Nkunku Sowazi.The transaction is effective as of the end of January, with the possibility of ACTowers receiving and additional payment from Tiso of up to R22.5-million if certain performance criteria are met for the financial years ending in February 2009 and 2010.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Ups and downs for small businesses

first_img25 January 2011Almost half of small business owners in South Africa reported an increase in turnover in 2010, while an equal proportion reported stagnated or decreased revenue, according to a new survey.Forty-nine percent reported an increase in turnover, while the remainder reported a stagnation or decrease, accounting software provider Pastel Accounting said in a statement on Thursday.“Despite the seemingly good news, profit margins were squeezed, with just more than a third (32 percent) of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reporting an increase, and an almost equal amount (29 percent) facing a decrease in profitability,” managing director Steven Cohen said.Participants blamed market uncertainty, due to the current economic condition, for the slump in profitability.The Pastel SME Survey, which will become an annual review, was conducted online among small businesses nationally in December 2010.Of the 2 000 respondents, 63 percent reported an annual turnover of less than R5-million. Only five percent had turnover of more than R50-million, and the other 32 percent were evenly spread between these values, Cohen said.When it came to employee size, 52 percent of survey participants currently employed a maximum of 10 people, 17 percent employed 10-20 people, and 14 percent up to 100 people.“The survey provides us with empirical data that the financial success of SMEs is based on a delicate balance of factors, not all within the control of the business owner,” Cohen said.“And the marked increase in 2010 in the price of electricity, rates and taxes, labour and inflation has put many small businesses under severe pressure as they have had to keep their own prices low to remain competitive.”In contrast, JSE trading statistics for the first half of 2010 were up year-on-year by 22 percent in volume and by 17 percent in value to R1.5-billion.Cohen said these numbers often masked the struggle small businesses faced.Sapalast_img read more

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Bullish, bearish or both?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCThere are several reasons why someone could be bullish or bearish today. Understanding marketplace variables that could affect prices can be helpful when developing a grain marketing strategies. Following are some recent variables that could potentially impact the market. Reasons to be bullishParts of the Corn Belt are a little too dry and others are a little too wet.Sorghum appears to have been removed from China’s no trade list.There are rumors China will be buying more ag products from the U.S. Many think it will be corn, DDG, and ethanol.Wheat prices have been increasing.Globally, and especially Brazil, corn growing areas outside of the US are dry.Potential ethanol sales to China, as part of recent trade talks, could encourage more corn usage.Corn trendline yields would mean the lowest carryout in several years.Weather forecasts indicate a hot and dry June. Reasons to be bearishPlanting pace is nearly perfect, which may mean more corn acres.There are many trade unknowns involving NAFTA.There is no guarantee that China will actually buy all of the grain in the new trade agreement being discussed.Trade talks are constantly changing, so there is no guarantee of anything.The 2017 carryout is still sizable.July and August forecasts are indicating normal weather. How biases can affect grain marketing plansOver the summer social media will be flooded with crop pictures from farmers. Usually, the most extreme pictures (i.e. crops under stress) are shared more frequently, while healthy crop pictures are posted much less often. I think this stems, at least in part, from farmers’ natural market position. They want prices to go up and they look for any reason to justify why it should happen.When I ask most farmers to predict their final average yield before harvest, they give me a very conservative estimate. I don’t know if they are protecting themselves from the worst, or just want to be surprised with positive results — probably a bit of both is what I suspect.On the flip side, when I ask end users to estimate where they think prices will go, they usually say why prices are near the top and should start going lower. Rarely do they say prices will rally significantly from current levels. Since they need to buy grain daily, their estimates likely mirror their hopes, just like farmers on the other side.Last summer when crops looked questionable, the farmers with the least sold were the most vocal, saying $4.50 to $5 was likely. Then in August when the USDA report revealed the crop may have been underestimated and prices went down, answers shifted. While farmers said the USDA had to be wrong, end users said that corn would likely drop to $3.25 or even $3. In the end, neither were correct, as prices stayed sideways.Nearly everyone has biases because psychologically people want to defend their decisions. It’s not wrong to have these biases. They help anyone make a decision. It’s why there is a market and the cause for movement up or down on any given day.As I wrote above there are many reasons why the market could go up, there also are many reasons it could also go down. It’s easy for farmers to stay focused on the reasons the market has to go up, because that’s what they need. But by doing this it could blind them to valid reasons the market could go down.I’ve already seen the cycle continue this year. One analyst recently told farmers to protect their downsides by buying puts, because the market may not rally siting some of the reasons I detailed above. Then the very next day a different analyst told farmers the market is going to rally to $5 siting some of the above examples as well, so they should be buying calls on anything that have already sold.This kind of flip-flop advice can be very confusing for farmers. Many, but not all, of these analysts are brokers at brokerage companies. Rather than make money when their farmer clients make money, they make their money when clients make trades. To be clear, I’m not saying that these analysts don’t have good intentions. I’m sure all of them do, and obviously they would lose clients if they were never right. But it’s important to remember their goals and objectives might not always align with farmers. This is why a farmer should always look at all possible outcomes of any trade before taking a course of action for their farm.Some farmers may only follow the advice of whoever is saying what they want to hear at the time. That can lead to confirmation bias, which can be misguided. Instead I prefer to follow only a couple of analysts. By doing this, I can better see shifts in market dynamics that I should take into consideration. For instance, if an analyst has been bearish and shifts bullish, there may be an opportunity I should consider for my marketing plan. I find this strategy helps prevents information overload or analysis paralysis.I also think it’s important to listen to the insights of analysts I generally disagree with too. As a farmer I naturally have a bias that markets should go higher. So, to maintain perspective it’s important to hear what those saying why that may not happen. Listening doesn’t mean I have to take their advice but hearing alternative interpretations to market variables can keep my biases in check and help me maintain a well-balanced marketing plan.These biases certainly are not limited to just analysts, it could be another farmer, friend, grain buyer, banker or broker. Biases aren’t inherently bad and it’s unrealistic to never have them. After all, when I choose to sell or not sell I make that decision based upon the beliefs or information I have of where the market is going. The trick is to be open-minded to market scenarios that may not align with what I want to happen and to question those whose advice I take.The next time someone tells you the market has to move a certain direction, ask them what their position is. If it’s a farmer friend with nothing sold and they say the market is going to $5, be wary. They might be a little biased. 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]last_img read more

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Harden lifts Rockets in victory over Grizzlies

first_imgHouston Rockets guard James Harden (13) regains control of the ball under pressure from Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks (24). APHOUSTON — James Harden scored 38 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 111-96 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday (Sunday Manila time).After suffering two losses to Memphis in the first two weeks of the season, the Rockets finally solved their shooting woes against the Grizzlies.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Beal, defense lead Wizards to win over Hawks LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion In their previous two meetings, Memphis held the Rockets to 90 and 89 points, the only two times the Rockets have been held under 100 points this season, and Houston’s lowest two scoring efforts ever under head coach Mike D’Antoni.On Saturday night, however, Houston jumped out to a 9-0 lead by draining three 3s and never let Memphis go ahead, leading by as many as 25 points. The Rockets outdid their previous scoring against Memphis by the end of the third quarter, entering the fourth with a 93-70 lead.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHouston hit 16 of 45 (35.6 percent) from beyond the arc, including 6 of 14 from Harden, who added eight assists and four rebounds. Eric Gordon added 26 points on 6 of 11 3-point shooting for Houston.Tyreke Evans led Memphis with 22 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Marc Gasol and Mike Conley struggled from the floor, scoring 15 and 12, respectively. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ben McLemore made his season debut and Grizzlies debut, returning from an Aug. 8 surgery to repair a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. McLemore had four points and two rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench in his first game since joining the Grizzlies after four seasons in Sacramento.The Rockets led 62-50 at halftime behind 22 first-half points from Harden.Houston won its fifth straight game and improved to 10-3, the team’s best 13-game start since opening the 1996-97 season at 12-1.TIP-INSGrizzlies: Memphis’ bench outscored Houston’s bench 50-19, led by Evans’ 22 points and Chandler Parsons, who had 10. Memphis’ bench entered Saturday outscoring opposing second units 483-281. The Grizzlies reserves have outscored their opposing counterparts in every game but one this season.ADVERTISEMENT Rockets: Nene played seven minutes but sat out in the second half with ankle soreness. . Luc Mbah a Moute, who entered the game questionable with a left knee contusion, played 28 minutes. . Clint Capela had seven points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Read Nextlast_img read more

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