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Joe Laws Jersey Sale

For most teenagers, holidays involved a water park, a disco at night and maybe having a drink of your dad’s beer.

But when Joe Laws was growing up, he spent his time knocking out prisoners in the Bahamas.

After wowing locals on a family holiday on the island, Joe was asked to fight for a team from the local ‘recreational facility’.

In a hot, sweaty gym, lit with electricity syphoned from a nearby streetlight, he defeated his opponent who was almost twice his size.

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The unique boxing entrance featuring the Benwell Bomber, a sombrero and a New Monkey rave legend
Stories like that give an insight into how the ‘Benwell Bomber’ was born.

Joe’s boxing nickname defines his love for a tear up and knocking out his opponents.

But he didn’t just learn his trade in gyms in the Caribbean, he grew up on some of the toughest streets in Newcastle’s West End.

“Benwell is very, very rough,” admits Joe, who still lives in the family home – which has a boxing gym at the back.

Joe Laws as a child; The ‘Benwell Bomber’ grew up boxing, like his dad and older brothers, and is now one of the most promising stars in the UK. (Image: ChronicleLive)
“If a stranger walks along these streets at night – a million per cent they will get bother.

“There’s no rules, no nowt – not on these streets.

“But this is where I was brought up, this is where I was raised and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Joe recalls having his first fight on these streets, aged 10, after a game of football on Ladykirk Road’s ‘blue courts’ turned ugly.

“These lads started on me and tried pinching my football. This kid was 14,” he said.

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“I started crying to my brother and he told me not to back down – go in and smash him.

“I went in and I done him. It felt mint.”

Born 14 weeks early and weighing little more than a boxing glove, Joe admits he had been written off since day one.

Encouraged by his dad Joseph, who was a talented amateur boxer, Joe laced his first pair of gloves.

Emblazoned with an American flag, the McGurk Sports mitts started a path he hopes will lead to fights in Las Vegas.

Joe Laws meeting Mike Tyson (Image: ChronicleLive)
Joe is no stranger to the city, having travelled their as a child with his dad to watch boxers including Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins.

Joe even ended up on camera at one event, dressed in his Newcastle United shirt.

Boxing mad, he threw himself into the sport.

Idolising Ricky Hatton, he honed his talents at Grainger Park and Birtley, transforming someone who admittedly was “as fat as butter” into a local celebrity.

Thousands of fans now flock to his fights, and many were at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle to watch his win over Justice Addy.

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“I’m getting little kids knocking on my door, saying sign this glove or for a picture,” the welterweight said.

“I’m just normal fat Joe, but I’m getting kids looking up to me saying they want to be a boxer and that just spurs me on.

“I’ve been to my old primary school doing talks with the kids and I’m speechless about it but I always make time for people – if you want a photo, have two, if you want my signature – have three.”

His rise in the last 12 months has seen him fight across Tyneside, including twice at the Utilita Arena where he extended his record to 8-0.

Joe’s last fight, against Addy, was regarded as some pundits as one of the best four rounders in living memory.

Joe Laws as a child; The ‘Benwell Bomber’ grew up boxing, like his dad and older brothers, and is now one of the most promising stars in the UK. (Image: ChronicleLive)
A crowd, including Alan Shearer, were on their feet to cheer on the ‘Benwell Mexican’ – who wears a sombrero during his ringwalk.

He even headlined his own show, a stone’s throw away from his home at the Eagles Community Arena on Scotswood Road.

As Joe makes waves in the boxing world, he always remembers where he come from.

And he knows that boxing has given him the lifeline many others never get.

“If it wasn’t for boxing, I’d probably be in jail,” admits the 25-year-old.

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“I’ve got friends doing life, some who are just in and out and are intitutionlised.

“One of my best friends growing up won the schoolboys and he’s just in and out. Talent wise it is a shame as he was cracking.

“I’d be working the streets ad having a little gang myself and the next thing you know, I’d be behind bars.

“But boxing doesn’t allow that, you have to be disciplined and people think I’m a joker but when it comes to boxing.

“I train hard and I really am disciplined.”

Joe Laws up and coming boxer, The Benwell Bomber (Image: newcastle chronicle)
Joe now hopes that hard work will let him fulfil at least one of his dreams.

The main dream, like many North East boxers, is to fight at St James’ Park.

That could soon become a reality.

Lewis Ritson, from Forest Hall, could fight for a world title at the stadium next year, according to his promoter Eddie Hearn.

With 52,000 seats, Joe’s ability to sell a huge amount of tickets could see him added to the fight card.

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“I want to walk down Vegas strip and see my name on the billboard,” he said.

“I don’t care if it is this big or THIS big, I just want to see my name.

“But the other thing is to fight at St James’; I’ve seen (Anthony) Joshua at the 02, I’ve seen Ricky Hatton at the Manchester Arena so imagine walking out at St James’ – ‘Country Road’ blasting with my hat on.

“As soon as I stepped in that ring, I’d be willing to die in the ring.

“No boxer wants too, but literally I would do anything to win at that ground.”

Hugo Marcolini Jersey Sale

Miembros de organizaciones conservacionistas, políticas y de comunidades tehuelches se reunieron el pasado jueves para denunciar irregularidades en el estudio de impacto ambiental que habilitaría la construcción de las megarrepresas Néstor Kirchner y Gobernador Cepernic, diseñadas sobre el río Santa Cruz.

Las denuncias son contra el subsecretario de Energía Hidroeléctrica Jorge Marcolini, a quien se le acusa de cometer los delitos de abuso de autoridad, incumplimiento de los deberes de funcionario público y negociaciones incompatibles con la función pública. Piden la nulidad del estudio elaborado por Marcolini.

El megaproyecto pondría en riesgo a los glaciares Perito Moreno, Upsala y Spegazzini: “Las represas inundarán áreas prioritarias e irremplazables para la biodiversidad, afectarán a los peces migradores, contribuirá a la extinción a una especie endémica como el Macá Tobiano (declarado monumento natural de la provincia) y sepultarán bajo el agua el enorme valor cultural del patrimonio arqueológico de la Patagonia”, señalaron las organizaciones.

Relacionado: Mirá Matar al río, el documental sobre las represas “sin grieta” de Santa Cruz

Las organizaciones son Aves Argentinas, Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Fundación Vida Silvestre, Fundación Flora y Fauna Nativa, Fundación Naturaleza para Futuro y Banco de Bosques, quienes junto a Sergio Nahuelquir, de la comunidad tehuelche Mapu Per Jur, el senador Pino Solanas, el presidente de la Asociación de abogados ambientalistas de la Argentina Enrique Viale y el profesor de glaciología Juan Pablo Milana (Conicet), se reunieron en audiencia pública para denunciar el caso. También estuvo presente, por parte del Frente de Izquierda, la dirigente Ivana Nazer (PO), de Santa Cruz, quien se comunicó por teleconferencia desde las instalaciones del Hospital SAMIC de la ciudad de El Calafate.

Marcolini, juez y parte
En el ojo de la tormenta se encuentra Jorge Hugo Marcolini, quien asumiera el 10 de diciembre de 2015 como subsecretario de Energía Hidroeléctrica, dependiente del Ministerio de Energía y Minería de Aranguren. A Marcolini se le acusa de cometer los delitos de abuso de autoridad, incumplimiento de los deberes de funcionario público y negociaciones incompatibles con la función pública.

Jorge Hugo Marcolini, subsecretario de Energía Hidroeléctrica.

Esto se debe a que Marcolini en su calidad de funcionario público ha sido el responsable de recibir desde el Estado el estudio de impacto ambiental (EIA) que habilitaría la construcción de las megarrepresas. Sin embargo, a su vez, también ha sido el responsable de presentar al propio Estado el mencionado estudio: en un primer momento como jefe del Departamento de Ingeniería Sanitaria de la consultora IATASA, una constructora de megaemprendimientos industriales, como las represas, y cuya primera versión del EIA fue rechazada por falencias, omisiones y errores técnicos; y en un segundo momento como director de Emprendimientos Energéticos Binacionales (EBISA), una sociedad anónima de capitales estatales, ya que el 99 % de sus acciones pertenecen al Ministerio de Energía, mientras que el resto a Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (la compañía que produce y comercializa la energía generada por las tres centrales nucleares del país). Ocurre que al momento de publicar el segundo estudio de impacto ambiental, EBISA no se encontraba inscripta en el Registro de Consultores de Impacto Ambiental perteneciente al Ministerio de Ambiente. A esto se suma que Marcolini posee $ 657.017,53 en acciones de IATASA. También tiene $6.392 invertidos en acciones de Central Puerto S.A., que opera en distintas centrales termoeléctricas del país, y es miembro fundador -con $ 90 mil- de la sociedad Añelo 30-2015, una inmobiliaria, desarrolladora y constructora con un nombre referido al pueblo sobre el que se monta el gigantesco yacimiento de shale gas Vaca Muerta.

Frente a ese conflicto de intereses, los denunciantes pidieron la nulidad del estudio de impacto ambiental hecho por EBISA. “El hecho de que Jorge Marcolini continúe, como subsecretario de Energía Hidroeléctrica, a cargo de la revisión del proyecto ’Aprovechamientos Hidroeléctricos del Río Santa Cruz’, da cuenta de la nulidad de todo este procedimiento. Su falta de independencia y la violación a la Ley de Ética Pública tornan cualquier decisión del Ministerio de Energía y Minería de la Nación vinculada al proyecto hidroeléctrico en cuestión, nula de nulidad absoluta”, señalaron a Infobae, Solanas y Viale días previos a la audiencia pública.

Irregularidades en el estudio de impacto ambiental de EBISA
Uno de los temas de debate en la audiencia pública pasada fue el estudio de impacto ambiental. “Son numerosas las críticas al estudio presentado”, señalaron las organizaciones conservacionistas en un comunicado tras la audiencia. “Pero en principio consideramos que está incompleto, porque no cumple una de las pautas específicas del contrato firmado por el Estado argentino con la República Popular China, en el cual queda de manifiesto que el estudio debe hacerse con las dos represas hidroeléctricas junto con la evaluación de impacto ambiental del tendido eléctrico. Este último está ausente en los informes presentados”, denunciaron.

El propio Ministerio de Ambiente en su Informe Técnico reconoce que no se ha realizado la ampliación del estudio del megaproyecto que incluya la línea de AT de 500 KV, por lo que de proseguir la obra se estaría infringiendo la Ley General de Ambiente.

Uno de los expositores en la audiencia pública fue Juan Pablo Milana, investigador principal del Conicet, doctor en Ciencias Geológicas y profesor de glaciología de la Universidad Nacional de San Juan. Según Milana, los datos del estudio de impacto ambiental de la represa Néstor Kirchner -la más cercana al Lago Argentino, cuyas aguas se sitúan en el Parque Nacional Los Glaciares- se encuentran adulterados, lo que pondría en riesgo a los glaciares Perito Moreno, Upsala y Spegazzini, afectando en consecuencia la biodiversidad en el último río glaciario que corre libre de la cordillera al mar.

Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

Para el investigador, lo más peligroso del diseño de la represa es la posibilidad de embalsar agua muy por encima del nivel definido como mínimo para el Lago Argentino. Milana también indicó que el estudio reconoce que los caudales del lago Argentino y del río Santa Cruz dependen principalmente del derretimiento de nieves glaciares, pero no analiza el potencial impacto sobre los glaciares: “Es un glaciar de gran fragilidad y ante un evento externo, como lo es modificar la presión del agua en la punta por efecto de la represa, podría provocar un desequilibrio y hacer que colapse. Nadie hasta ahora constató científicamente que eso no vaya a pasar”, declaró a Infobae días previos a la audiencia.

Por su parte, el Instituto Argentino de Nivología, Glaciología y Ciencias Ambientales, dependiente del Conicet, remarcó: “La revisión preliminar del informe de EBISA sugiere que existen importantes inconsistencias y omisiones en la información relativa a los glaciares de la cuenca del río Santa Cruz, lo que consideramos debería ser objeto de un estudio específico”.

Glaciar Perito Moreno.

Según las organizaciones, lo más alarmantes es que si las represas no son operadas de manera precisa, podrían elevar la cota del lago Argentino muy por encima de su altura normal, impactando seriamente sobre el Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. “La empresa responsable de este manejo es la misma que fue sancionada por el Banco Mundial por ‘mala praxis’ y ha sido inhabilitada para adjudicarse cualquier contrato financiado por esta entidad por fraude y corrupción. Que el futuro del glaciar Perito Moreno dependa de esta empresa es inadmisible. El proyecto no garantiza que, bajo cualquier circunstancia, no va a haber impacto sobre el lago Argentino y los glaciares”, afirma Pedro Friedrich de Banco de Bosques.

Efectivamente, la china Gezhouba fue sancionada por el Banco Mundial y el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo por operaciones fraudulentas y mala praxis en diversos proyectos, y es responsable por las desastrosas consecuencias ambientales de la construcción de una represa sobre el río Yangtsé, en China.

Como si fuera poco, el Consejo Superior de la Universidad de Buenos Aires aprobó recientemente un convenio marco de colaboración con Gezhouba. Si bien los detalles del acuerdo están todavía por definirse, este habilita a la utilización de los “recursos humanos, profesionales y técnicos de la UBA para el emprendimiento”. Las otras empresas beneficiadas con el acuerdo son Hidrocuyo y Electroinegienría, esta última propiedad del empresario kirchnerista Gerardo Ferreya, quien junto a Lázaro Báez y Cristóbal López formaban el triángulo empresarial de la ´década ganada´.

Daños irreparables al patrimonio natural y cultural
“Este proyecto es cuestionable por razones institucionales, económicas y ambientales”, denunció el senador Pino Solanas. Andrés Nápoli, de la Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, alertó sobre la falta de garantías sobre el daño ambiental que producirán las represas y el riesgo institucional de llevar adelante un proyecto con un estudio de impacto ambiental incompleto, y solo impulsado por un condicionado contrato con el Estado chino.

Existen numerosos casos en el mundo donde el daño ambiental ha significado la desaparición de especies como delfines, peces migradores y aves acuáticas. Algunos ejemplos mundiales han tenido lugar en China. El delfín del río Yangtze (el tercer río más largo del mundo) sufrió las consecuencias de los emprendimientos hidroeléctricos sobre el río, constituyendo el primer caso documentado de extinción de megafauna. En Argentina se extinguió el Pato Serrucho, una especie de la región paranaense, a raíz de la construcción de la represa sobre el arroyo Urugua-í, en la mencionada provincia.

Hernán Casañas, de Aves Argentinas, destacó la extrema fragilidad del área: “No hay compensación posible para un área tan frágil e importante que se destruye como el estuario del río Santa Cruz”. Según Casañas, “la Administración de Parques Nacionales elaboró un informe diciendo que la mayor parte del río Santa Cruz es un área prioritaria para la conservación. Y la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN) envió una nota al presidente Mauricio Macri expresando su preocupación por la construcción de las represas y la conservación del Macá Tobiano”.

Macá Tobiano. Foto: Hernán Podevano.

El Macá Tobiano es un ave endémica de la Patagonia Austral. Desde su descubrimiento en 1974 se ha convertido en un símbolo de la naturaleza silvestre y la conservación en la Patagonia. Su población hoy no supera los 800 individuos, lo cual significa que la población decreció más de un 80 % en los últimos 25 años, por lo que podría extinguirse en la próxima década.

“Hace diez años todos los ambientalistas hablábamos del cambio climático y se nos reían en la cara. Hoy está en todos los discursos de funcionarios. Ojalá en diez años no estén todos lamentando las represas”, sentenció Casañas.

Para Andrés Nápoli, de Fundación Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (FARN), “toda actividad humana genera impacto en el ambiente. Lo importante es discutir qué impacto estamos dispuestos a soportar como sociedad. Estas represas son inconvenientes porque se puede producir la misma energía con otras fuentes que incluso promoverían mayor y mejor empleo. Además son necesarias políticas de eficiencia energética que podrían desarrollarse con la inversión que van a tener estas represas. Sin embargo, el gran motor de la construcción de las represas sobre el río Santa Cruz no es la energía que producirán las represas, sino el contrato cerrado con China, que condiciona el futuro de todos los argentinos y argentinas”.

Además, el Plan de Gestión Ambiental presentado en el estudio de EBISA no evalúa alternativas energéticas al proyecto hidroeléctrico en cuestión, a pesar de que el Manual de Gestión Ambiental para Obras Hidráulicas con aprovechamiento energético establece la necesidad de un análisis de alternativas.

Según el Régimen de Fomento Nacional para el uso de Fuentes Renovables de Energía, las megarrepresas Kirchner y Cepernic no pueden ser consideradas energía renovable, ya que generarán 1310 MW, mientras que la Ley 27.191 establece que “el límite de potencia establecido por la presente ley para los proyectos de centrales hidroeléctricas, será de hasta cincuenta megavatios (50 MW)”.

Las megarrepresas representan una forma de energía obsoleta en el mundo actual, denuncian las organizaciones. En países como Estados Unidos o la India se están demoliendo represas a fin de que los ríos vuelvan a correr libres y, en otras partes, como Chile o Brasil se han cancelado grandes proyectos hidroeléctricos. Incluso, al contrario de los lagos naturales, los embalses tienden a inundar grandes extensiones de materia orgánica que, en la medida que se va descomponiendo, produce dióxido de carbono, metano y óxido nitroso. Además, reciben de los ríos abundante materia orgánica, y nutrientes como nitrógeno y fósforo; lo que estimula la producción de gases contaminantes.

Representantes de los pueblos originarios de la zona también estuvieron presentes en la audiencia pública. Sergio Nahuelquir, de la comunidad tehuelche Mapu Per Jur, afirmó: “Estamos en total desacuerdo con la construcción de estas megarrepresas, sobre todo en la forma en que se quieren llevar adelante e instalar sobre el río Santa Cruz, ya que no coincide con la forma de vida que tenemos los pueblos originarios, aunque tal vez a una parte de la población no le interesa mucho. Pero algo a lo que no estamos acostumbrados nosotros es a hipotecar, a coartar, a vender o a comprometer el futuro de nuestras poblaciones. La idea de condicionar la biodiversidad no nos parece aceptable”.

Un informe técnico presentado por la Comisión Nacional de Lugares y Bienes Históricos del Ministerio de Cultura explica que las medidas de mitigación contenidas en el estudio de impacto ambiental de EBISA “no guardan relación con la magnitud de la pérdida irreversible de patrimonio arqueológico que provocará la construcción de las represas”. Y no se han completado las tareas de rescate del material arqueológico, un patrimonio cultural que quedará sumergido.

Mano en negativo, en Yaten Guajen. Foto: Marina Aizen.

Las organizaciones denuncian que “las represas sepultarán definitivamente bajo el agua pinturas rupestres y petroglifos estampados con belleza por grupos que habitaron hace casi diez mil años esta meseta esteparia. Un sitio particularmente sensible es el cañadón de Yaten Guajen, que en la lengua tehuelche quiere decir ‘piedra pintada’. Será importante e histórico, pero quedará inundado si se construye el embalse Jorge Cepernic. Se trata de un daño permanente desde el punto de vista arqueológico. No sólo hay dibujos de manos, pies y de fauna en las paredes de las montañas, aleros y cuevas, sino que también hay gran cantidad de material lítico y restos óseos. Los pobladores que allí vivieron eran cazadores recolectores, que se sostenían gracias al guanaco”.

Otro aspecto por el que se cuestionan las megarrepresas es que estas desprecian la generación de empleo sustentable vinculado a servicios turísticos y que pongan énfasis en el paisaje y los valores culturales. Incluso, el proyecto ya no pertenece a la provincia, pues esta solo se quedará con un 12 % de las regalías, lo que representa apenas un aumento del 0,25 % del presupuesto con el que cuenta Santa Cruz.

Tampoco es consistente la oferta laboral y el empleo de calidad que promoverá la construcción de las represas: “Según Marcos Peña dicho proyecto estimulará la creación de 6.000 y 6.500 puestos de trabajo. El pliego de licitación de la obra requiere que un 80 % de esta mano de obra sea satisfecha por trabajadores de la provincia de Santa Cruz”, indicaron las organizaciones conservacionistas. “Sin embargo, la evidencia a nivel internacional es que el porcentaje de contratación de mano de obra nacional (ya que no siempre proviene de la localidad donde se emplaza la obra), en los casos más promisorios es del 70 %, y en diversos proyectos han emergido denuncias sobre conflictividad laboral vinculados a dificultades en el pago y maltrato”, denunciaron.

Un megaproyecto “sin grieta”
Algo que señalaron los denunciantes como “muy llamativo es que todas las voces escuchadas a favor del proyecto correspondieron a funcionarios de diversos organismos nacionales y provinciales, mientras que las personas interesadas, ciudadanos de Santa Cruz y los representantes de las organizaciones de la sociedad civil se manifestaron en contra de las represas. Cabe preguntarse ¿qué intereses representan y defienden esos funcionarios si se contradicen con las voces de la sociedad civil?”.

“Este proyecto tiene muy escasa oposición política”, declaró Manuel Jaramillo, de la Fundación Vida Silvestre. “Su mejor ventaja ha sido cerrar la famosa grieta. Es por ello que seguramente deberemos esperar que la justicia se expida a favor de la libertad del río Santa Cruz”. Jaramillo también señaló que “no existió consulta previa e informada a los pueblos originarios. Pero se considera que es posible remover o inundar una gran cantidad de sitios arqueológicos que son testigos de su cultura. En este contexto no puede considerarse válido este estudio de impacto ambiental”.

Ivana Nazer declaró por su parte en la audiencia pública: “Dicho proyecto no obedece a un proyecto nacional de desarrollo de nuestra economía (no asegura trabajo genuino, no resuelve la crisis energética, no responde a un plan de industrialización de la provincia, ni reúne el nivel de prioridad en comparación a otros proyectos energéticos del país), por lo tanto el proyecto económico obedece a un interés de resarcimiento de una multinacional y no del mejoramiento de la condiciones de vida del conjunto de la población”. En teleconferencia desde las instalaciones del Hospital SAMIC de la ciudad de El Calafate, Nazer señaló que “quienes dirigen e imponen su agenda en esta situación son los empresarios chinos. Esto corresponde tanto para el mandato de Macri como para el pasado gobierno kirchnerista”.

Tim Baylor Jersey Sale

When Tim Baylor stares across the street from the McDonald’s he owns in north Minneapolis, he says he sees a row of potential.

Across the busy stretch of W. Broadway sits an empty lot and small, brownstone retail buildings he wants to replace with more than 200 apartments, the majority of them market-rate. It’s a revamped project that Baylor has pushed for the last five years but hasn’t gotten off the ground.

There has been little market-rate apartment development in north Minneapolis while there has been a surge in rental construction elsewhere in the city.

“I looked at this and I wondered why not?” Baylor said. “Why aren’t things happening here that are happening in other parts of the city?”

Baylor and his wife, Doris, who own several restaurants and have development experience in the Twin Cities, are advocating for the project “to bring higher-quality housing stock to an area where it is needed,” they said.

“I think it’s a beautiful neighborhood,” said Doris Baylor. “I think it can be so much more.”

The first phase of the “Satori” project, as it has been called, would encompass the 800 block of W. Broadway between Cub Foods and Bryant Avenue. With the retail buildings and some residential property behind them razed, a new six-story building would be constructed.

The building would have 112 apartments, 20% of the units dubbed affordable for renters who make 50% of the area median income. Rental rates for an apartment with an alcove for a bedroom would range from $850 to $1,000.

There would be about 13,300 square feet of retail space on the first floor and about 40 surface parking spaces, in addition to 45 parking spaces available in a level of underground parking.

Future phases of the development would be built in the 900 block of W. Broadway.

Baylor wants to build a 36-unit, affordable complex with “micro apartments” in an empty lot between businesses — the block had been damaged by an April 2015 fire. Another building is proposed to be constructed behind the micro apartments that would have 60 senior apartments with 20% being affordable.

About two-thirds of the units in the three-building development would be market rate. Baylor said he felt confident about getting higher rents for the majority of the units because of the project’s proximity to downtown, the nearby Cub grocery store and the neighborhood diversity.

In order for the project to move forward, the city would have to rezone the property along Bryant Avenue from residential to commercial as well as allow for increased building heights and other variances.

The city also owns two vacant lots along Bryant Avenue that would need to be used. Baylor said he has exclusive development rights for the city-owned lots.

According to Hennepin County property records, Baylor’s Pinnacle Management LLC is listed as the owner of the existing retail properties needed for the development.

The project was discussed at the Planning Commission’s committee of the whole earlier this month.

Baylor has plans to meet with the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council and West Broadway Business and Area Coalition.

C.J. Davis Jersey Sale

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — After Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis presented the city’s newest crime report to city council, she spoke to ABC11 and laid out what DPD thinks is behind the new uptick in gun violence: More illegal guns on the street and an unrelenting gang problem.

The chief also made clear that the department needs help – not just from City Hall but also from grassroots community organizations that are fed up with the violence.

Joel Brown

@JoelBrownABC11
After an especially bloody end to the summer and start of fall, Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis presents the city’s newest crime report. #abc11

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9:34 AM – Nov 19, 2019 · Durham City Hall
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DPD releases these crime statistics every 90 days. But this snapshot of January through September 2019 was an especially bloody one.

There were 32 homicides through September, a 33 percent increase compared to the same time last year.

Aggravated assaults, like shootings where the victim survives, are up 19 percent; 930 cases compared to 784 this time in 2018.

RELATED: 5 shot, 1 killed in Durham after drive-by shootings minutes apart

Violent crime in Durham is up 6 percent: 1,471 cases compared to 1,393 a year ago.

Joel Brown

@JoelBrownABC11
Replying to @JoelBrownABC11
3Q Durham Crime Report: 32 homicides between Jan-Sept compared to 24 at the same time last year. 33%#abc11

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9:38 AM – Nov 19, 2019
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Chief Davis delivering the sobering numbers Monday night, almost five months after her request for 18 additional police officers was denied by this city council.

Some in the majority of were concerned with the image of over-policing in the city’s neighborhoods of color. Council member Mark-Anthony Middleton, who voted for the increase in officers, used his question time with the chief Monday to call for more action from city hall.

“I think what needs to be displayed and said is that we have the moral credibility to look our folk in the eye and say we have done everything we can do at least to create an atmosphere where things like this are less likely,” Middleton said.

Davis told ABC11 that her department is committed to using a variety of different tactics to get a handle on the city gun violence. But, she also stood firm that DPD needs more officers to combat the issue of illegal guns and gangs.

“We absolutely do (need more officers),” Davis said. “This is a growing city and I’ll leave it at that. This is a growing city and we have to make sure that our service delivery is comparable to the city we serve.”

The new crime numbers do not include the rash of violence at the end of October; a bloody 36 hours where two people were shot and killed, 8 others were shot and wounded.

But the numbers do include the August drive-by murder of 9-year-old Z’Yon Person.

Chief Davis alerted the council tonight that not only does DPD have a primary suspect in custody for the boy’s murder, the suspect will likely face federal prosecution.

Marvin Harvey Jersey Sale

Marvin Odum, the former Shell Oil president Mayor Sylvester Turner tapped as Marvin Harvey Houston’s volunteer recovery czar shortly after Hurricane Harvey, announced his departure from that role Wednesday to broad praise for his efforts to tweak bureaucracies from City Hall to Washington for the benefit of Houstonians.

Odum had committed to coordinate Houston’s storm recovery until the arrival of the first significant chunk of federal aid, and Houston is now expected to receive $1.17 billion in housing assistance within a month.

Departing with him as of Friday — following another trip to D.C. to advocate for funding and project proposals — will be Niel Golightly, a Shell vice president who has been on loan to the city as Odum’s chief of staff.

Steve Costello, a drainage engineer and former councilman who has served as the city’s flood czar since 2016, will replace Odum. Houston plans to hire a new chief resilience officer (Costello’s formal title) to replace him.

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“This is by no means the end of the recovery,” Turner said. “They’ve taken us through Phase One and we begin now to launch Phase Two, but we’ve just been very fortunate to have the benefit of their expertise, their intellect over the last 15 months. The city could not have asked for a better team to assist us.”

Odum and Golightly worked with only one to two staff devoted to the recovery, but they convened weekly meetings of city department heads, some of whose employees spent some work time on recovery tasks; Odum was quick to credit this broader team.

Among the group’s accomplishments was securing local control over the housing aid the city and Harris County will receive, rather than having that money routed through the state General Land Office, as state and federal officials originally intended.

Bob Harvey, president of the Greater Houston Partnership, participated in meetings with Odum and state and federal officials on the issue and said Odum’s presence was key.

“It certainly was important in Washington and in Austin that the former president of Shell Oil had taken on this role and had immersed himself in it to the degree that Marvin did,” Harvey said. “He had a very good high-level view of the problem, but he could go as deep as was needed in the moment. No matter who he was dealing with, he had a command of the facts.”

Odum also successfully pushed FEMA to adopt a new nationwide policy that lets local governments count volunteer work hours and donated materials toward the local match required for grants to repair damaged facilities. In Houston’s case after Harvey, that local match could top $250 million.

Odum said he was proud his team had tried to think outside the typical disaster recovery process, pointing to the new FEMA policy and to the city’s move to hire data scientists to produce a flood inundation model showing that the $1 billion in housing aid Houston is about to receive — an allocation based on readily available but incomplete damage data —falls $2 billion short of the city’s actual needs.

“‘That’s just the way it’s done.’ Well, actually there’s something better than that,” Odum said. “We just kept saying, ‘Why can’t it be this way?’”

Odum highlighted the 14 recovery centers the city, county and nonprofits staffed in affected neighborhoods, linking more than 16,000 residents to services, and pointed to the council’s vote to set stricter development rules in floodplains. Referencing his experience as an industry leader in a heavily regulated field, Odum waded into the intensely lobbied fight, pushing council members to embrace the proposal and helping secure its narrow 9-7 passage.

Moving forward, Odum said, Houston must continue collaborating with county, nonprofit and business groups; push FEMA to fund repairs sufficient to harden city facilities against future floods, not simply fix them; advocate for more funding; and keep seeking the $30 billion, three-decade flood mitigation blueprint he believes the region needs.

Costello, who has led recovery efforts related to infrastructure projects, said he is getting up to speed on housing issues, including a Wednesday night meeting with city housing director Tom McCasland.

“Most of the leadership in these organizations, whether state or federal, knew that Marvin was going to be sort of a short-timer, so the transition is going to be relatively smooth simply because we’ve been part of the recovery team from Day One,” Costello said. “I know most people that we’re dealing with. It just made sense.”

A Houston Chronicle investigation last year found that the engineering firm Costello left in January 2015 helped develop neighborhoods in the Barker Reservoir flood pool and produced a study showing thousands of properties were at risk of flooding there. Costello has said he personally did no work related to the neighborhood in question, called Grand Lakes, and didn’t recall the study. He said Wednesday he does not believe the issue will affect the public’s confidence in his work.

“I’ve been the flood czar for two and a half years and that hasn’t really come up,” he said. “I’m focusing on providing protection to our neighborhoods, our city and our citizens.”

Some local governments respond to disasters by staffing entire agencies to run their recoveries, but Houston has basically no money budgeted for its recovery team, and Turner said Costello is simply taking Odum’s seat.

Coming federal aid would let the city add staff, but that’s not necessarily the right choice, said Andy Kopplin, who was the founding director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which led rebuilding after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The structure of the recovery team is less important than its leadership, he said. Whether it is the mayor, the recovery czar, or someone else, Kopplin said, there must be a voice emphasizing the need to select impactful projects, even if they are costlier or politically more difficult.

“You’ve got to have somebody who can execute and build the team to get the money out the door,” Kopplin said, “but you also have to have folks who hold true to the vision for building a more resilient city.”

Paul Lynch Jersey Sale

Chargify’s story began in 2009, when it was created as the billing engine for telecoms business Grasshopper. After an investment from American businessman and investor Mark Cuban in 2011, Chargify was spun out from Grasshopper.

In 2016, the growing business was acquired by Scaleworks, and Lynch came on board as chief executive earlier this year.

He described the company as having “a remote team and a strong business culture”. While these may sound like positive aspects, it was these two factors that were holding Chargify back.

“Not to oversimplify it, but I want the sales guys shouting at the marketing guys when the leads are bad and I want the marketing guys shouting at the sales guys when they can’t close,” Lynch said.

“You can’t get that in a remote culture. You want those guys together to create a healthy level of competition and cooperation to get to the end goal.”

What is Chargify?
Providing an overview of what Chargify does, Lynch said: “We’re a billing and revenue management company. What does that mean? On the billing side, typically the cycle of business around SaaS companies is the founder sets up the business, gets a couple of customers, and at that point he needs to start generating revenue.

“Invoices need to be raised, cash needs chasing and everything else. Often, people will get someone like their brother-in-law who’s an accountant to do this kind of work. For the first year, this guy’s doing the books. Suddenly he has 100 customers.”

At this point, however, the friend or relative who has been helping a start-up may begin to get fed up. “What happens is that founder has to pay the brother-in-law or set up a script to automate the process,” Lynch said.

“Automation happens. Recurring revenue happens. Invoices start getting sent. That works for a couple hundred customers, maximum.

“At this point, things start getting complicated, the founder notices missing revenue, invoices aren’t going out the way they should be and the founder doesn’t even know what their top-line revenue is.”

‘Saas is a great equaliser’
Lynch noted that SaaS is still a growing market and, according to Forrester, revenue from public cloud infrastructure, platforms and applications will reach $411bn by 2022. “It’s an era of SaaS garage start-ups,” he said.

“SaaS is a great equaliser for start-ups, because it’s so easy to get into sales cycles. Business cycles are really increasing in terms of speed and barriers to entry are so low.”

‘Nobody likes fintech tools. No one ever enthusiastically says, “Let’s get a billing solution!”’
– PAUL LYNCH

In a massive market such as SaaS, there are many leads for a company like Chargify. Lynch is aware of this and has to be selective of the businesses he targets.

He joked: “If you’re selling mangoes online, don’t talk to us. You’re not going to have a good experience with Chargify. If you’re selling a subscription based around marketing tools or DevOps tools, we’re the guys for you.

“We have a lot of large companies, too. People enter our sales cycle when they find it difficult themselves to invoice. There’s lots of larger businesses out there that have invested in their own systems which aren’t working now.”

‘We’re in an exploding global economy’
When asked if Chargify has any plans to seek further investment in the future, Lynch replied: “Oh, God no!”

“We’ll never raise again, we don’t need to. The path we’re on is a good one. I’ve been doing this a long time, running and founding businesses and start-ups, and the biggest problem you have is if you’re operating in a declining economy.

“Then, you’ve basically got a headwind against you every time you go to the office. We’re not in a declining economy. We’re in an exploding global economy. Chargify, at the base level, is a fintech tool. People will always need fintech tools.”

Adding to this, he admitted: “Nobody likes fintech tools. No one ever enthusiastically says, ‘Let’s get a billing solution!’ They go, ‘Jesus, we’re losing revenue, our invoicing is a disaster – what do we do?’ And on the revenue management side, you’d be amazed at the number of companies I speak to that don’t know their own revenue.”

Lynch said that, in his experience of acquiring businesses and going through due diligence, he has found that often the figures given to him by a business have been incorrect.

“Revenue management tools can take that enormous headache away,” he concluded.

Stu Wilson Jersey Sale

A farewell to Fitzgerald in St. Paul at the University Club today will celebrate the 7-year-old organization’s achievements. But no sad songs for FSP, dedicated to honoring the life and work of St. Paul native F. Scott Fitzgerald, because stewardship is being turned over to Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.

“This just makes sense,” said Stu Wilson, FSP president and one of the founders.

“It’s a struggle these days to run a nonprofit, volunteer organization,” Wilson says. “We had 11 active folks, financial support from 400 to 500 people and a mailing list of 1,200. But it does tire you out after awhile when people have real jobs outside the organization. Especially with the big Fitzgerald centennial coming up, it was beginning to become apparent that we were not going to get to the next level.” (He’s referring to the 100th anniversary in 2020 of publication of Fitzgerald’s first novel, “This Side of Paradise,” written at his parents’ home at 599 Summit Ave.)

The Friends are equally enthusiastic about welcoming FSP to their family of programs.

St. Paul native and American treasure, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, shown in a 1920s-era portrait. (Associated Press)
“It’s an honor to be entrusted with Fitzgerald’s legacy, and comes at the perfect time in history here at the Friends,” said Friends president Beth Burns in a prepared statement. “As we celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2020, we feel a tremendous amount of excitement as well as a responsibility to honor our state’s incredible literary legacy while we also champion today’s writers.”

Wilson says this was the right time for FSP to transition to the Friends because that organization’s strategic planning calls for more concentration on readers, writers and the literary world, moving away from film and performance.

The Friends also announced today the good news that Twin Cities-based Baird financial service will provide major grant support for continued Fitzgerald work.

Fitzgerald in St. Paul was born in 2012, thanks to a $250,000 bequest from the estate of Dick McDermott, who taught in the University of Minnesota’s department of speech-language-hearing sciences and was Stu Wilson’s friend.

McDermott helped restore the buildings that included 481 Laurel Ave., where Fitzgerald was born in 1896. During the 35 years McDermott lived there, he became a passionate promoter of Fitzgerald and his work. Before he died, McDermott set up a fund with instructions, as Wilson recalls, “to go forth and do more to promote Fitzgerald but also to do more for Fitzgerald in St. Paul.”

That’s what Fitzgerald in St. Paul did, and Wilson is proud of what the organization accomplished in raising the profile of St. Paul’s native son, who never returned to the city of his birth after 1922, although he kept in touch with boyhood friends.

FSP ran Fitzgerald programs for the St. Paul Public Library, co-hosted with Common Good Books (now Next Chapter Booksellers) the [email protected] monthly reading series, and presented the annual McDermott Lecture by prominent scholars and authors.

The organization’s biggest success was hosting the 14th International Fitzgerald Society conference in 2017, which drew some 400 attendees to St. Paul. It was the first time this prestigious conference had met twice in the same city. One highlight of the four-day event was release of the coffee table book “F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota: The Writer & His Friends,” by Fitzgerald scholar Dave Page with photos by Jeff Krueger, published by Fitzgerald in St. Paul.

“I feel really good that Dick’s legacy will continue with the Friends,” Wilson said. “We proved there is interest in, and a fan base for, Scott Fitzgerald in the Twin Cities. What’s exciting for me is that four members of our organization presented (papers) at the Fitzgerald Society conference this summer in Toulouse, France. That kind of St. Paul connection with the world didn’t exist before. Twenty years ago, it was just Dave Page. St. Paul deserves to be the premiere place for Fitzgerald and now lots of people are doing research.”

Wilson is “looking to a great future for Fitzgerald fans, scholarship, and celebrations in St. Paul. The Friends can manage that.”

Tuff Harris Jersey Sale

MISSOULA — Tuff Harris was one of 14 members inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Harris earned all-state accolades in football and track and field at Colstrip High School before embarking on a stellar football career at the University of Montana. He appears in the Montana Grizzlies’ football record book eight times, including his 96-yard punt return for a touchdown against Eastern Washington in 2006, which is tied with Marc Mariani for the longest in program history. His 667 punt return yards that season became a Montana Grizzly and Big Sky Conference single-season record.

Harris sat down with MTN Sports to discuss his Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame induction as well as his football career, which included four seasons in the NFL.

MTN Sports: To start, can you talk about being inducted into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and how you’ve felt since then?

Tuff Harris: “I was actually on the Crow Indian Reservation, I was doing some work out there and I got a call from Donnie (Wetzel) Jr. and he kind of let me know I got inducted into the Hall of Fame. Kind of an overwhelming feeling for me, because that for me is kind of where it started, in Lodge Grass on the Crow Reservation, just surreal to be standing in the place. Most of my childhood and my upbringing and a lot of things that helped me get into the Hall of Fame and the things that I’ve been able to accomplish all started in the town of Lodge Grass, and to be doing work and get that call in that moment was pretty special, but, yeah, absolutely honored to be a part of this class. And it’s an all-star class. I mean, it’s amazing the caliber of people, the caliber of athletes that are being inducted, some of the other ones also like the M.O.A. official. It’s just amazing to grow up hearing these names a lot and to be able to watch these players play sports. It’s just absolutely amazing to be a part of this class. It’s kind of surreal.”

MTN Sports: Can you touch on this class of inductees?

Harris: “This class, along with former classes, I grew up watching any sort of videos and stuff, highlights and hearing their names. It’s just amazing to see how far they’ve gone and what they been able to accomplish, and a lot of them in the face of adversity. So to be able to see this class and these people and be a part of the class is something really special to be a part of.”

MTN Sports: Being back at the University of Montana, how have you felt?

Harris: “Yeah, being back is amazing. Memories kept flooding into my mind of things that I did, all my classes that I had taken, people that I met. It was life for me for five years here. And so for me to be back, we look forward for every excuse to come back and watch a game or be part of something like this. Those type of feelings, they just the flood back, just by the smell, the feel of the crisp air in the fall, in the winter, and being in the ballroom like this and being a part of an event like this that brings me back is special to me and my family. I met my wife here at the University of Montana and just such great memories.”

MTN Sports: How did your training and success in track and field translate onto the football field?

Harris: “Yeah, my parents started training us when we were young. Little Hershey track meets around the state, as well as sometimes out of the state, and my parents did a great job raising all the kids as athletes, training us. Their coaching education started with horses — they train horses, they ran the horses and they kind of did the same thing with us. They took us to the hills, kind of like they would take horses to the hills, you know, put them on a diet, all of those kinds of things. And so if you don’t mind the oats and hay at the end of the day, it was some good training. All jokes aside, I mean, it’s absolutely awesome. My foundation came from my parents, came from my family. It’s always been a family deal for us with sports and education and our upbringing, and just trying to do the best we can, and so, yeah, it started when we were young children, and it was always stressed that academics and athletics are very important and you can go very far in them. And I thank my parents a lot, because they told me education can take you even further than your sports can take you. And so I’m glad they did that. Sometimes families will fall short and tell their kids about academics when their athletics are doing so well. And so we got a good healthy balance of both. And that’s really where it started for me as a young child knowing that this is a family thing and having that support of a family is what really helped me go through some of the hardest times. When I was by myself, my parents and uncles, people rallied around me when it got hard, I would hear those voices and push through the hard times and so that was a lot of my experience and upbringing.”

MTN Sports: What are some of your best NFL memories?

Harris: “The NFL was amazing. I enjoyed every part of it: the hard work, the dedication, the intensity, the highest level of competition there was and I enjoyed it, I enjoyed a lot of it. The parts I didn’t enjoy was being injured sometimes and sometimes you’re competing against your friends. You know, you make good friends and then all of a sudden there’s one spot for three guys, and it’s your friends. That’s a difficult thing to do, but we trusted each other, we pushed each other, let the best man win and sometimes you either made it or you didn’t, and those are difficult times to go through that. But I take all those lessons, everything I’ve learned from the NFL and I use them today. Everything I’ve been able to do, a lot of it is from sports. And it’s lessons that I learned from the NFL, and so I there’s specifically some stories that I carry with me in my back pocket sometimes to inspire kids and help kids.

“There’s one story, in particular, not so much a football story as a sports hero story when I was playing for the Miami Dolphins in 2007. It was just a normal day in the meeting room, we were preparing for a team and someone comes in and says, ‘Hey, Michael Jordan is here in the next room.’ And they are saying stuff like this all the time, because they’re playing jokes because were rookies. So we’re thinking, ‘What? Are they going to throw us in the cold tub or tape us up, put whipped cream on us? What are they going to do?’ And sometimes they’ll joke with us and say, ‘Hey, come over here and do some crazy stuff,’ all the fun hazing and stuff. But sure enough, we went into the auditorium. They announced to the whole team, and we went in there and sure enough, right in the front, there was Michael Jordan. And for me, my childhood growing up seeing Michael Jordan or even being in proximity in the same room as him, addressing the team and talking to us specifically. … We weren’t having the greatest year, I think we were 0-8 at that point when he talked to us in the facility. He had some great, encouraging words and some of the things he said, they were just powerful. He was at the highest level and was able to achieve the things that he did, you hang on to every word that he said. You took it as things that you could use, but one thing that I remember thinking was at the end of his conversation with us he opened it up for questions and said, ‘Does anyone have any questions?’ Nobody raised their hand, there wasn’t a single question, you know? What he did was, he had such star power he turned a whole room of professional athletes into children again. That’s just the kind of star power that Michael Jordan had. We didn’t have any question for him, but the moment he left the facility everyone had a question: ‘I should’ve asked this, I should’ve asked that.’ I had 10 questions lined up after that. So it’s a story about preparation, it’s a story about saying, ‘Hey, when your opportunity comes, you got to be ready.’ That opportunity came and went, but thankfully I had another opportunity down the road to golf with Michael Jordan and be in the same tournament, competing against each other. It was awesome, but, yeah, that opportunity, you got to be ready for it. So I tell kids, you can’t just let things happen. You got to know that things are coming down the pipeline. You have to be ready for a great opportunity like that. And I took that lesson and say you never know who you are going to meet or how things are going to shake out. So you have to be prepared. And that’s something I learned. If I wasn’t in the NFL or on that team that was 0-8 at that time, I don’t know if I ever would have had the opportunity to meet one of my childhood heroes, who is Michael Jordan.”

MTN Sports: What does it mean to you to officially be in the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame?

Harris: “I grew up and I was a little bit shy and I didn’t really play sports for the crowds, I never played sports for what it gave: You know, the fame and those sorts of things. I always wanted to be quiet, the silent teammate. I always wanted to do the best, but I didn’t want that loud role where everyone is following you kind of thing. Because of that, I didn’t speak up very often and so events like this where you are being honored, it’s a little difficult for me just because I would rather just received the plaque in the mail. It’s just harder for me to do that, but I realize these moments aren’t for me, they are for other people. It’s a chance to be able to honor those who have helped you, to be able to thank your parents, to thank your grandparents, to thank the coaches, everybody who’s ever put a bit of something into you that has helped you, even in the hard times, and so I realized these moments aren’t for me. So just as hard as it was to run hills and a train and stress your body the benefit was always worth it, to come to this and receive this honor and to be able to give respect where it’s due, it’s hard for me, but it’s such an honor and it does pay off. It’s things that we can take, the stories we can take, it’s a lifetime of an accumulation of someone’s life, but many people in that life, so it’s a great opportunity to say thank you to those who deserve it.”

Jim Wolf Jersey Sale

The owner of a Gratiot County pontoon building company has been honored by the Michigan Manufacturer’s Association.

Jim Wolf, president of Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing Inc. of Alma, is the recipient of the organization’s John G. Thodis Large Tier Michigan Manufacturer of the Year Award.

He received the honor during the MMA’s annual award’s banquet in East Lansing earlier this month.

pontoon builder
Jim Wolf, president and owner of Avalon & Tahoe Manufacturing Inc. in Alma, was presented the John G. Thodis Large Tier Michigan Manufacturing of the Year Award by the Michigan Manufacturers Association earlier this month in East Lansing. (Courtesy photo)

According to the MMA, recipients of the award make “important, positive and tangible contributions to their employees, customers and communities.”

Avalon & Tahoe has undertaken a number of expansions since 2010, which in turn has allowed the company to increase its workforce from about 120 employees to 390 during that time.

It’s currently in the midst of adding another 23,000 square feet of space at its Michigan Avenue plant at a cost of $1.44 million, which will create 35 more jobs.

“Manufacturing has been my passion for a long time, and when you are at a place like this, where the people are right and the product is right, you can move mountains,” Wolf said in a press release.

Recipients of the award also must have a positive impact on their communities.

Wolf is involved in the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Works, Great Lakes Bay Region and the Central Michigan Manufacturers Association.

“Jim is a passionate advocate of manufacturing whose influence extends far beyond the walls of his company,” said Bill Henderson, owner of Aircraft Precision Products in Ithaca and president of the CMMA. “He is an inspiration to manufacturing leaders locally and statewide and is a particularly deserving recipient of the Manufacturer of the Year Award.”

Wolf and Avalon employees are also supporters of the United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties, Salvation Army Angel Tree, Volunteer of America Adopt a Family, Special Olympics Michigan, Gratiot County Child Advocacy, Alma Highland Festival and the Come Home to Alma for the Holidays annual Christmas celebration.

“Jim recognizes the importance of investing in the local area in order to ensure a superior quality of life for Avalon’s employees and the citizens of Gratiot County,” Greater Gratiot Development Inc. President Jim Wheeler said.

Avalon & Tahoe is a “vertically integrated builder,” which means it manufacturers every part of the pontoon, including furniture, at its Alma plant.

It has won the National Marine Manufacturers Association customer service award for 10 straight years, and all of its pontoons are certified by the NMMA ensuring each craft meets or exceeds industry standards.

“Avalon & Tahoe is meant to be about more than just a boat,” Wolf said. “It’s a great brand and it’s a lifestyle.

“I was given a great opportunity to take a company that had a lot of promise and potential, make some tweaks, surround myself with an amazing management team and now we’re seeing the rewards I always knew we could see.”

Wolf’s company was also a top 10 finalist for the MMA’s “Coolest Thing Made in Michigan Award” for its Excalibur pontoon with twin engines.

Need is great for Gratiot County Toys for Tots
Beauty Beyond Drag shows support charities at two Mt. Pleasant venues
Union Township highlights projects to be covered in the 2020 Fiscal Year Budget

Dana Brinson Jersey Sale

Mike Brown is on my short list of favorite Huskers somewhere next to Barron Miles, Dana Brinson, Ken Clark and anyone named Makovicka. For whatever reason, I still remember him answering questions in the postgame room after some fall Saturdays with his school backpack on as though he had to get to a weekend night class.

Or, in my then teenage mind, I assumed there were textbooks in there on proper tackling form and how you destroy the will of some receiver who dares to stand in your way of representing badassery.

So when the former Husker safety great tweets a message out to to the Husker defense, as he did this week, I recommend they put it in their fuel tank that should already be nearly topped off after the embarrassment in Minnesota.

Brown’s message: “Coach Frost, BLACKSHIRT ALUMNI CHECKING IN! IF Y’ALL GOING WITH THE BLACK(SHIRTS) IT’S A HEAVY LOAD!”

It deserved some all caps treatment, because there should be some dang urgency in Husker camp after a 4-3 start which would be more palatable if the brand of football being played looked crisp and on the verge of producing a late-season run. It hasn’t looked like that … yet. The beauty of sports is there’s always a chance for a makeover.

But for good reason, there is some building concern within the Husker fan base. Not lose-your-wits kids of stuff. There’s some toe-tapping going on though. The offense is banged up and clapping off beat like some NU fans during the Tunnel Walk (sorry, it’s true). No one is quite sure who’s playing quarterback, or if Wan’Dale Robinson will be out there, or if the offensive line can move people or avoid a false start at the absolute worst time.

And the defense is coming off a performance against Minnesota that was bad enough to have had Husker fans discouraged enough during the bye to wonder aloud if it was now possible Nebraska could be in danger of missing bowl eligibility for a third straight year – which would be an absolute killer. Yes, that’s jumping to the most pessimistic place with some winnable games still on the slate including this Saturday contest against Indiana, but I understand the sentiment. Play like they did at Minnesota and they’re not going to beat anybody the rest of the way.

So that brings us to this fascinating Saturday in which the Huskers are going to wear their black alternative jerseys because, as Scott Frost put it, “We’re running out of home games” to wear the things – which are in a way paying tribute to those like Mike Brown who came before.

Husker defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, who has embraced the Blackshirts tradition to its fullest, acknowledged this week his team probably hasn’t earned wearing that color in a game. But they’re going to put them on, and as Chinander said, “It better mean a lot this week and you better represent it when you put it on.”

Most alarming has been the downfall of the rushing defense, which was giving up just 2.18 yards per rush after non-conference play. I know, I know. The competition wasn’t great. You knew that number would get beefed up. But I thought it might be better than the 4.30 yards per rush it stands four games later, which ranks 73rd.

Minnesota ran for 322, Ohio State ran for 368 and Illinois ran for 221. If Indiana, with its big bulldozer back Stevie Scott gets in that territory Illinois did, I don’t love Nebraska’s chances.

What the Huskers have going for themselves, though, is they’ve had an extra week to get back into the first chapters of the book. What killed them against Minnesota wasn’t complicated. Understandably, that is a scary thing to Nebraska fans. On the other hand, for the glass-half-full crowd, there should be some reachable solutions against it for Chinander’s crew.

No doubt Indiana coaches will test Nebraska on the same basics. If the Huskers got right on them, the Blackshirts have it in them to carry a day like this. But they need more than just heart and cliches. They need their eyes to get it right.

“Eyes have been really bad in the last few weeks,” Chinander explained. “Guys not just getting lined up fast enough and not getting their eyes where they need to be. Seeing some ghosts. Seeing what you’re not supposed to see. If you can correct their eyes, which we’ve done a lot in the last few weeks. It wasn’t putting in a whole bunch of new stuff. It was going back to basics and, ‘Here’s where your eyes need to be.’ You can’t be an eye violator out there and play good football. I don’t care if you’re at the high school level, or college level, or the NFL level, you have to have your eyes where you’re supposed to be.”

With lack of eye discipline, and bad run fits, they’ve been losing on early downs, and “haven’t earned the right” to go get after the QB in third-and-longs. Sure, it’d be nice to have Deontai Williams, and Cam Taylor-Britt has been banged up, but the Huskers aren’t any worse for wear with injuries on that side of the ball than most.

“I’d like to say that’s huge, but that’s football,” Chinander said to a question about that. “We’re banged up, but so is everybody else. … At the end of the day, you have to be able to play when you’re hurt a little bit – especially in the Big Ten.”

You also need to make your own luck. The takeaways? They’ve gone away. Nebraska has 11 on the season, but only two in four Big Ten games. Five of the 11 takeaways came in Week 1 against South Alabama and nine came during the non-conference season.

The good news: This Saturday can be won. So can next Saturday. It’s entirely within reason for Nebraska to be a 6-3 football team at the next bye with that bowl eligibility box checked by the next bye. That would change the tone around here in a big way.

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But on this day in which Nebraska’s QB situation could still be precarious, the Blackshirts need to play like like they deserve those jerseys. They need to get those eyes right and be that kind of defense we saw basically own most of three quarters against Colorado – stopping the run, getting after the QB, making their own breaks, confident and running downhill.

Mike Brown had it right this week, as he almost always did as a Husker player: You better go ALL CAPS out there.