CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceAs Kevin Durant begins his recovery from his Achilles surgery today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite images I have taken of him throughout my career.Durant stated on his Instagram account: “My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way,” Durant wrote on Instagram about the injury he suffered against …
The Ohio State men’s basketball team’s 15-game home win streak and nine-game conference win streak came to an end Wednesday night after a 60-57 loss to No. 4 Purdue. The story of the game was Purdue’s first-half dominance. In front of the first sell-out crowd of the season at the Schottenstein Center, the Boilermakers jumped out to an early lead and led for all 40 minutes of Wednesday’s game. With just more than seven minutes remaining in the first half, junior Evan Turner converted a three-point play and for the first time all night the capacity crowd erupted. The jubilation was short lived, however, as Purdue’s Keaton Grant immediately responded with a four-point play at the other end. The crowd again rose to its feet when junior Jon Diebler made the team’s first three-point basket with less than a minute ago. But again, the Boilermakers answered, this time with a three-point play. In the first half “they made some shots and some of us didn’t have our heads right,” Turner said. “As a unit we didn’t execute how we were supposed to.”Purdue led by 13 at the break and although the Buckeyes got as close as 48-46 late in the second half, the first half struggles proved to be too much to overcome. OSU had one last chance in the waning moments when Diebler took and missed a potential game-tying three-pointer as time expired. “I got a good look,” Diebler said. “I should have knocked it down. There’s really no excuses.”Unlike in last month’s game at Purdue, the Buckeyes did a much better job of containing junior Robbie Hummel. Hummel torched Ohio State 35 points in the first meeting, but was held to just four Wednesday.However, OSU simply had no answer for junior JaJuan Johnson. After scoring a season-low four points in the first meeting between these two teams, Johnson led the way offensively for the Boilermakers. He scored a team-high 24 points on 11-17 shooting. “He made shots and those were some tough shots,” Diebler said. “That’s a heck of a basketball player right there.”As expected, Turner handled the bulk of the load for the Buckeyes and scored a game-high 29 points. With the loss, OSU dropped to 10-4 in conference play, but the Buckeyes have little time to regroup. They travel to East Lansing, Mich., Sunday to play the Big Ten’s first-place team. “You have to be honest with yourself and say ‘OK what didn’t we do well?’ but we have another tremendous challenge down the pipe,” coach Thad Matta said. “I told the guys after the game, we have to be a better basketball team on Sunday.”
The unofficial results, with all 28 precincts reporting, show Propositions 2 and 3 passed. Absentee and questioned ballots have yet to be counted as of Wednesday morning. Over 2,200 south peninsula residents voted in favor of expanding the South Peninsula Hospital service area boundary to the south side of Kachemak Bay, and 2,400 central peninsula voters approved expanding the Central Peninsula Hospital boundary to the south near Ninilchik. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Kenai Peninsula voters on the central and southern peninsula approved expansions of the borough’s two hospital service areas. The common boundary between the two hospital service areas has, since their inception, crossed the Sterling Highway at the Clam Gulch Tower, which is about 14.5 miles closer to Central Peninsula Hospital (“CPH”) than the roadway midpoint. The election results are set to be certified on October 9. For the full unofficial election results.
PNB Housing Finance, whose Rs 3,000-crore initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed almost 30 times, will keep investors on the tenterhooks, given that ICICI Prudential Life Insurance also saw 10 times oversubscription but listed at a discount on September 29. Curiously, in both the issues, the retail portion saw tepid response, of about 1.30 times.ICICI Prudential Life Insurance listed at 1.5 percent discount to the issue price of Rs 334 and closed almost 11 percent lower on its first day on the stock exchanges (September 29).The PNB Housing Finance public issue was the second largest this year, after ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s Rs 6,057 crore last month.The price band for PNB Housing Finance shares was Rs 750-775 per equity share of Rs 10 each and the three-day offer closed on September 27.The company raised Rs 894 crore from anchor investors by issuing shares at the upper end (Rs 775) of the price band. Some of the anchor investors who were allotted equity shares included General Atlantic Singapore Fund FII Pte Ltd. (5.22 percent of total anchor portion); Government of Singapore (5.40 percent); Monetary Authority of Singapore (2.06 percent); SBI Life Insurance Company (2.60 percent); HDFC Prudence Fund (4.02 percent) and Neuberger Berman Emerging Markets Equity Master Fund L.P. (2.60 percent), according to a statement issued by PNB Housing Finance. Public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) has 51 percent stake in the company, which will come down to around 35 percent after the public issue.For the financial year ended March 31 2016, PNB Housing Finance had reported net profit of Rs 326 crore, up 66 percent from Rs 196 crore in the preceding fiscal, while revenues rose 52 percent to Rs 2,697 crore. Assets under management stood at Rs 27,555 crore as of March 31 2016.Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net NPAs stood at 0.22 percent and 0.14 percent, respectively, at the end of financial year 2015-16.The global coordinators and book running managers for the public issue were Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited, DSP Merrill Lynch Limited, J.P. Morgan India Private Limited and Morgan Stanley India Company Private Limited.
Share Bob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneState Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs, closes the door as the House Republican Caucus prepares to meet in Austin on Dec. 1, 2017.Texas House Republicans agreed Friday to change their rules for selecting the next house speaker, paving the way for a potentially more conservative leader of the chamber in 2019.In a unanimous vote — most of the caucus’ 95 members were present — the caucus decided to meet next December and work to rally around a speaker candidate before going to the full floor, according to lawmakers who emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting Friday afternoon. The caucus will hold additional rounds of voting if a speaker contender does not win two-thirds support on the first ballot.The decision is in line with a proposal the full caucus received last month from a working group looking into the possibility of a bylaws change on the issue. One of the questions that proposal left open — whether the caucus speaker vote should be open ballot or secret ballot — was settled Friday, with legislators agreeing to the latter.The bylaws change has no enforcement mechanism, meaning that there will be no formal consequences for members who vote for a speaker candidate on the floor other than the caucus choice. State Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, said he was not too concerned about that after seeing the unity that the caucus displayed Friday.“I just believe that they will,” Simmons told reporters, referring to GOP members sticking together on the floor. “But there’s no guarantee. Everybody’s their own person. They do what they think is right. I just believe that they will.”The vote comes weeks after House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, made a bombshell announcement that he will not run for re-election next year. At the time, state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, had already announced he was running for speaker for the next legislative session. State Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, announced a bid shortly after Straus’ retirement news. Several more lawmakers are expected to enter the race ahead of the 2019 session.The process leading up to Friday’s vote was set in motion earlier this year when the conservative House Freedom Caucus pushed for a meeting of the chamber’s full GOP caucus to start the conversation about the proposal. That discussion continued into the GOP caucus’ retreat in September, when it agreed to assemble a working group to look into the issue.“From the Freedom Caucus perspective, this is a huge win, but it’s a huge win for the whole Republican caucus,” state Rep. Matt Schaefer of Tyler, who chairs the Freedom Caucus, told reporters after the meeting. “I think we knocked the first domino, but the credit goes to a lot of other members who helped the process along.”In addition to the Freedom Caucus, the Republican Party of Texas and its chairman, James Dickey, have also actively pushed the proposal, which meshes with a plank in the party platform. The party is asking candidates to sign a form pledging to support the caucus’ eventual nominee for speaker — a move that has drawn an inquiry with the Texas Ethics Commission about whether it amounts to legislative “bribery.”Appearing at an unrelated event earlier Friday afternoon in Austin, Straus declined to weigh in on the proposal, saying he’s “not in the advice business” when it comes to selecting a speaker during a session in which he will not be a member. But Straus did raise doubts about whether the caucus would stick together on the floor if they managed to settle on a speaker candidate ahead of time.“I’m not sure that anything can be binding, but it sounds like the state party chairman and others are really kind of whipping this thing up, but I would think the wiser approach would be to change the state Constitution,” Straus told reporters after addressing the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association. “You can’t bind somebody to vote for a speaker candidate on the floor, so … whatever.”
Jacob Villanueva/iStockToday’s Texplainer question was inspired by reader Tiffany Adair.Hey, Texplainer: How do employment benefits for Texas educators compare to those in other states?This question has been a point of contention between lawmakers and educators for many years. Texas teachers say they’re frustrated due to a lack of state funding for public education. But lawmakers say the uncertainty surrounding the budget makes it hard to allocate better benefits for educators.If you look at the raw numbers, Texas ranked 27th in the nation for teacher pay in 2016, according to the National Education Association. On average, Texas teachers earned $51,890 — roughly $6,500 below the national average.However, teachers have long argued that inadequate funding for public schools cuts into their salaries. During the 2008 fiscal year, the state covered roughly 48.5 percent of the cost of public education, according to the Legislative Budget Board. By the 2019 fiscal year, that figure will be closer to 38 percent. Over the same period, teacher salaries remained about the same [Texas teachers, on average, earned roughly $47,000 in 2008].“One of the biggest costs to education are the teachers and other employees at a school district. That’s the biggest cost to the state,” said Clay Robison, a spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association. “When you start cutting education in Texas, you’re shortchanging teachers. We’re already behind the national average when it comes to teacher pay, and we’re getting further behind.”But salaries aren’t the only component to consider when looking at how Texas teachers fare compared to their peers in other states, said Ed Allen with the American Federation of Teachers.“When looking at a nationwide comparison, most people factor in the salaries. But when teachers get older, what’s being paid into retirement and the health insurance becomes a really big deal,” Allen said.When it comes to health care benefits, advocates say Texas teachers are stuck in 2002. That’s when state lawmakers created the plan known as TRS-ActiveCare. The teacher health insurance program, which is run by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, requires the state to contribute $75 per employee toward monthly health care premiums.Nearly 430,000 public school teachers and retirees are covered under the plan, which is used by many of the state’s 1,200-plus school districts. Since the program went into effect, employees’ share of premiums have more than doubled, while the state’s contribution to teacher’s health care has remained the same.“When your salary is barely going up year after year, health care costs are going up considerably and you’re not getting any additional money put toward those healthcare cost by your employer — which is the state in this case — then effectively you’re taking a year over year cut to your salary,” said Monty Exter, a lobbyist at the Association of Texas Professional Educators. Under the TRS-ActiveCare program, districts are also required to put a minimum of $150 per employee per month toward health insurance premiums, with the option of contributing more. But Exter said that can be difficult for districts as education budgets are squeezed. Joel Solomon, a senior policy analyst with the National Education Association, said it’s hard to compare Texas teacher health insurance programs to other states since the structure of such programs varies nationwide. But, he said, “when we look at educators’ health benefits around the country and how important … ensuring quality health benefits to educators are, what we see in Texas is deeply troubling.”When it comes to retirement funding, a majority of states pay into both a pension plan and Social Security. Texas is in the minority of states that only pay into a pension fund and does not pay into Social Security for the majority of its teachers — which means most Texas teachers won’t have access to Social Security benefits when they retire. Fewer than 50 of the state’s districts participate in Social Security on their own.Among states that only offer a pension plan for teachers, Texas is dead last when it comes to funding its pension programs — by a lot.For years, Texas only paid 6 percent — the constitutional minimum — into the Teacher Retirement System. It now pays 6.8 percent, according to the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. And the Texas Constitution says the state’s contributions to pension funds can’t eclipse 10 percent without a constitutional amendment approved by voters.“The next closest non-Social Security state had a retirement contribution rate at least double ours,” said Ann Fickel, the associate executive director of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. The median contribution for the other 14 other states that don’t pay into Social Security for their teachers is around 18 percent, she added.“As retirees’ costs rise, especially for medical care, there will be pressure on lawmakers to find a way to increase benefits for retired teachers,” Fickel said.The bottom line: When it comes to teacher pay, Texas ranked 27th in the nation — right around the middle. But Texas is dead last in teacher retirement funding and puts a little more than the minimum into the Teacher Retirement System.Disclosure: The Texas State Teachers, the Association Association of Texas Professional Educators and the Texas Classroom Teachers Association have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here. Share
(PhysOrg.com) — Road trains linking vehicles together in a traveling convoy are planned for Europe. With only the lead vehicle being actively driven, the road trains would allow commuters to sleep, read a book or watch TV, or anything else they fancy as they drive to work. A research project financed by the EU’s Framework 7 plan looked at ways to reduce the cost of traveling along European highways and has suggested the idea of a “road train” that could link up to eight vehicles to a lead vehicle by wireless sensors. The vehicles could be any mix of cars, trucks or buses, but the project focuses on commuters traveling long distances to work. The project is named Sartre, for Safe Road Trains for the Environment. Citation: Road trains may be coming soon to Europe (w/ Video) (2009, November 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-road-europe-video.html Co-ordinator of the project, Tom Robinson of British Consultancy firm Ricardo, told the BBC that each vehicle joining the road train would have its own control system, communications equipment, and software monitoring system, but the lead vehicle would monitor the entire road train. Vehicles would be able to join by stating their destination and using their navigation system to locate the nearest road train. They could leave it whenever they wished, by signalling the lead vehicle, and then taking control of their own vehicle.It should be possible to use readily available components to enable vehicles to link up to the road train, and changes to the roads should not be necessary.The Sartre project will be tested for about three years once the preliminary research on the elements required and on the safety issues is completed. Robinson said that the first platoon of two trucks and three cars will be tested on special tracks in Sweden, the UK, and Spain. Later tests will probably also be carried out on public roads in Spain.According to Volvo, the first prototypes of the road train could be tested within a couple of years. Nissan’s new concept car ‘feels like flying’ (w/ Video) Explore further Early results suggest linking the vehicles and having them travel close together could reduce fuel consumption by around 20% for all the vehicles except the leader. Traveling as a group could also result in a reduction in travel time, fewer accidents and less congestion on the roads. Relaxing, or even sleeping on the way to work could also cut out the stress of driving.A professional driver (such as a bus or truck driver) in the leading vehicle would be charged with steering and controlling the convoy and monitoring its members. Drivers of the other vehicles could relax, since the leader would be controlling their vehicle. © 2009 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Punter found hiding in bushes Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 10:31Road reopenedAll lanes re-opened and traffic easing, accident cleared on A50 Westbound from A5007 Victoria Place Link (Heron Cross / Fenton, Longton) to A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent).Lanes two and three (of three) are blocked. affecting traffic into Stoke on Trent. 09:03INRIX updateTwo lanes blocked and queueing traffic due to accident, three cars and a lorry involved on A50 Westbound from A5007 Victoria Place Link (Heron Cross / Fenton, Longton) to A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent). Travel time is 20 minutes.Lanes two and three (of three) are blocked. affecting traffic into Stoke on Trent. 08:54West Midlands Ambulance ServiceWe were called at 8.46am to reports of a collision between a car and a van near the Pepper Mill, A50, Fenton. One ambulance is en-route. 08:51Latest traffic and travel news08:50Accident location (Image: Google) Motorists travelling along the A50 in Staffordshire face delays this morning due to a collision. The westbound carriageway between Heron Cross/Fenton and Longton is currently blocked until the A500. A spokesman for traffic monitoring company INRIX said: “A50 Westbound partially blocked, queueing traffic due to accident, three cars involved from A5007 Victoria Place Link to A500 D Road. “Travel time is 20 minutes. Affecting traffic into Stoke on Trent.” Motorists have this morning also experienced major delays on the M6 after a collision between a pedestrian and a HGV. We will bring you more on the A50 in the feed below. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Police search for missing woman Driver named following fatal collision