During a news conference on Tuesday Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that Florida is currently seeing some of its lowest percentage of positive coronavirus test results since the pandemic started.“I wonder whether people will say, as Florida launches into Phase One, percentage positive tests plunge to record low?” DeSantis said. “The fact of the matter is, Florida has met all the gating criteria to be into Phase One.The governor said the state received its highest number of coronavirus test results on Monday with 23,884, and only 589 patients were positive for COVID-19, which is less than three percent.According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 37,439 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, including 1,471 deaths.
By John Burton HIGHLANDS – It is still very quiet and vacant along Bay Avenue but life is returning there.Eleven weeks after Super Storm Sandy hit, many buildings and businesses are still closed and shuttered. But, behind the emptiness and eerie stillness, there is activity as owners take on the work of repairing their businesses – with some already up and running.“I think we’re progressing in a very positive manner,” said Carla Cefalo-Braswell, president of the Highlands Business Partnership, the local business improvement district. So far there are about 20 businesses that are open or just about to, out of the partnership’s 70 members, which include a number of seasonal businesses.“There are very few who are not going to return,” she said.With charitable organizations, such as the Robin Hood Foundation, offering financial support for businesses and residents, there is a future, Cefalo-Braswell said.One of the businesses that has reopened along the borough’s Bay Avenue business district is the Welsh Farms. Its owner said his location has become more than just a convenience store in the storm’s aftermath.“People were so thankful to us,” owner Ben Saini said, explaining that residents were happy to have the store open and operating. “It made me feel so proud and a little better” after Sandy.Saini, who is originally from India, has owned Welsh Farm, 300 Bay Ave., for 16 years, and Katz’s Grill, 208 Bay Ave., a small luncheonette that is also open, for the past five years.Sandy hit his businesses hard, Saini said, with the bay’s waters causing more than about 3 feet of water to flood his two locations, resulting in about $125,000 in damage to Katz’s and another $75,000 Welsh’s Farms.Saini decided to forgo help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the federal Small Business Association, deciding that the red tape would be onerous. Instead, he said, he went directly to his banker and was able to quickly secure a loan to rebuild.Skip Ross (left), who owns the Sand Witch Shop, and a worker put the finishing touches on his Highlands shop as he prepares to reopen after the October storm that caused about 3 feet of flooding and considerable damage to his business.For Skip Ross, who, with his wife Donna owns and operates the Sand Witch Shop, 71 Waterwitch Ave., the issue has been dealing with the insurance company as he works to get his operation up and running.“I’m on eternal hold,” he said, as he held a cordless phone receiver to his ear, waiting for another insurance representative to answer.“The water was this high,” he said, reaching out to touch the restaurant’s wall, about 3 feet off of the floor. “I lost every piece of equipment I had.”The Rosses live around the corner from their business, just off of Bay, and saw the first floor of their home flood too. “We ran from Irene,” the hurricane that came in August 2010. “We thought we would be all right,” by staying and riding out Sandy, he said, acknowledging how wrong the decision was.“It’s defeating,” he said. “It brings you to the realization that we’re only human and Mother Nature rules.”Ross has spent about $20,000 for new equipment, though he tried to salvage as much as he could. “I know I lost as much in product,” he said, as he worked on getting everything in shape for his reopening. He reopened the shop the weekend of Jan. 5.Rosann Ketchow gets the offices at her Highlands business, Gateway Marina, back in shape and prepares to move forward in the aftermath of Sandy.Rosann Ketchow, who owns and operates Gateway Marina with her husband, has been in business at 34 Bay Ave. since 1994 and has a second location in Port Monmouth.Gateway is operating, continuing its work on winterizing and storing boats and repairing those that were damaged along the shore, she said.The Ketchows were in Florida when Sandy hit, but had taken some precautions before leaving. They placed computers and other equipment on high shelves and took other steps. But it wasn’t enough, Rosann Ketchow said. They got 5 feet of water in their office.“I couldn’t believe there was this much damage,” she said. “How could water do this much damage? “We never thought it would get to be 5 feet. Nobody did.”They returned from Florida with a generator that allowed them to warm the office as they began getting back in business, repairing and replacing what Ketchow estimated to be about $750,000 in damage to their “completely saturated” business.Outside, there was additional damage to some boats in storage and the storage area, with the water and wind destroying a portable tent-like enclosure where mechanics did some of their work.Some of the biggest hassles have been getting the phone and computer systems operating to allow the Ketchows to contact boat owners and vendors for much needed equipment and parts.Despite the problems, some business owners remain hopeful.As businesses – such as the restaurants and bars – return and again become summer destination spots, Welsh Farms owner Saini is hoping “at the end of the tunnel there’s a light.”
Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.OAKLAND — The A’s unveiled a new battery tandem on Sunday, and it provided a big charge in Oakland’s 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, cementing a two-game series sweep.Newly acquired right-hander Tanner Roark pitched five innings to get the win, and catcher Dustin Garneau, returning to the team after two years, delivered a go-ahead two-run double in the fourth inning.The A’s (64-48) won their third in a row and …
Indian hockey is again in focus and this time for non-performance at the London Olympics.Having watched the team fumble against Holland and New Zealand, I decided to not go to the venue today. It was far more important to keep track of Mary Kom as women’s boxing made its debut.The problem with Indian hockey is however much you try and distance yourself from it, the passion will never go.Watching glimpses of the team getting whacked 4-1 by South Korea at the Riverbank Arena on Sunday was indeed painful as finishing within the top eight is now ruled out.Let me tell you some truths about our hockey. Even the large Indian media contingent has lost interest in this team as there are better options to write about.When you have to choose between athletes who are winning and can bring you a medal and a team which looks lost, the option is very clear.It is indeed sad the team is now in shambles and uplifting their morale is now very tough. I saw in archery how thanks to the hype and pressure, the men and women archers collapsed so miserably.Its one thing to say hockey is our national game and another thing not being able to stomach one defeat after another.A friend of mine called me from India and said it was very surprising that coach Michael Nobbs had decided to lash out at some of the players’ for non-performance.My first reaction was one of anger as in the middle of the tournament if the coach is going to open his mouth, the team members will feel let down.However, after watching the meek shown against the South Koreans, I am convinced Nobbs hasn’t said anything wrong at all.His lines were clear when he spoke of some senior players being unable to deliver and how they were content just to wear the “Olympian” tag now.Nobbs has always been fair and open in his assessment of players and has been friendly with the media. He knew that if he had taken a phone connection in London, he would have gone nuts. So all communication with him is through emails, and nothing gets misinterpreted in it.Having said that, I am convinced the coach who got plaudits for piloting the Indian team through the qualifying stage will face the heat even before he returns to India.We all know how India treats its foreign coaches when it does badly. I have no shame in admitting this Indian hockey team which has come to London had no medal chance at all. Yes, finishing within the top eight seemed realistic to me at one stage but not now.I still recall, after the Guangzhou Asian Games disaster, when India was unable to win gold, hell broke loose. It meant curtains for coach Jose Brasa, though he had done his best.I shudder to think what lies in store for Nobbs as there is one mistake he has made and that is being open about the Indian players.We all know what happened when Greg Chappell spoke against Sourav Ganguly and he had to face the heat.Over here, Nobbs has been frank but he needs to explain why this team has flunked so badly.I am sure all of you at home watching the matches on television will find it hard to fathom how penalty corner expert Sandeep Singh has forgotten his job.I am also convinced that the Indian defence, which was always suspect, has too many holes which can’t be plugged.There is a general lackadaisical approach on the field and if it has happened all of a sudden, it’s very hard to digest.Exposure, camps, money and better living standards, the Indian hockey players are more pampered than before.At this stage, I would certainly not ask for Nobbs’ head to roll as it’s the players who have let the nation down. They just don’t seem to take any pride in playing for India.advertisement
NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 26: Albert, the mascot for the Florida Gators, performs during their game against the Butler Bulldogs in the Southeast regional final of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Tomorrow’s Florida-Ole Miss basketball game is “’90s Night” in Gainesville, and the Gators have been posting really cool NBA Jam-style promo clips for the special event on their Instagram page. Between Dorian Finney-Smith jumping off the screen for a huge baseline slam, and Chris Chiozza catching literal fire, these “Gator Jam” videos are pretty awesome.The Gators and Rebels tip off at 9 p.m. We hope Florida has plans to roll a few more of these out before game time.
TORONTO – Strong wireless results helped Rogers Communications Inc. beat analyst expectations in the third quarter and raise its full-year outlook.Wireless revenue climbed five per cent while churn, a measure of customer retention, was the best in a decade, said company CEO Joe Natale in a conference call Friday.“In wireless we’ve delivered another strong quarter. We’ve continued to reduce post-paid churn, delivering the best Q3 postpaid churn since 2009.”The improved financial picture saw the company increase its outlook for adjusted earnings growth before taxes and other charges by two percentage points to between seven and nine per cent.Cable revenue climbed a modest one per cent in the quarter, but the company expects to see future growth with its new Ignite TV system introduced in the quarter.The move to the internet-based television product, which Natale said they’re rolling out at a “thoughtful pace,” has the company seeing an end to conventional television products some time in the future to drive down costs and boost simplicity.“At some point in the future you will see us stop selling legacy TV, and then really kind of drive further efforts in getting the built op-ex and cap-ex efficiencies of that move,” he said.Installation costs alone would lead to substantial savings, with conventional cable costing about $1,100 for a full install, compared with $400 and potentially lower with internet-based services, said Natale.Service costs would also be lower in the future with fewer systems, he said.“Having various vintages of TV set-top boxes and home gateways drives complexity in the field for our people.”The new service, which allows customers to browse Netflix and YouTube as well as cable channels from one source, will also allow a boost to revenues per account as they spend more time watching.“Customers have an easier time finding content, navigating through content, and therefore we think a much easier time consuming content,” said Natale.“We’ll continue to find other ways of packaging and merchandising content in the fullness of time, which we think will also help with economics of the business.”Overall, Rogers net income was up 17 per cent to $594 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30 from the same quarter last year.The telecom company says the earnings per share for the quarter worked out to $1.15 per diluted share, up from 98 cents per share last year.Adjusted net income hit $625 million, or $1.21 per share, which beat analyst expectations of $601 million and $1.17 per share according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Overall revenue was up three per cent to $3.77 billion, driven by the wireless gains. Media revenue was down five per cent because of lower revenue from the Toronto Blue Jays.Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B)
NEW DELHI: Following the huge outcry over comments by BJP leaders glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, including by Pragya Singh Thakur who called him a “deshbhakt (patriot)”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a television channel on Friday: “I will never be able to forgive them for insulting Bapu.”On Thursday, Pragya Thakur had said: “Nathuram Godse was a deshbhakt (patriot), is a ‘deshbhakt’ and will remain a ‘deshbhakt’. People calling him a terrorist should instead look within, such people will be given a fitting reply in the election.” This was followed by more comments from three more leaders, Anant Kumar Hegde, Nalin Kumar Kateel and Anil Saumitra. The BJP tweeted PM Modi as saying in an interview to the channel: “The comments on Gandhi and Godse are deplorable, disgusting and are not language fit for civilised society. Those who say such things should think 100 times. It is a different issue that they have apologized, but I will not be able to forgive them from my heart.” The ruling BJP Friday launched damage control after a rash of comments in favour of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, just two days before the final round of voting for the national election. Pragya Singh Thakur, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde and Nalin Kumar Kateel, all contesting the election, have been asked for an explanation within 10 days, BJP president Amit Shah said in a series of tweets on Thursday. “These comments have nothing to do with the party. All three have apologized, but these comments are against the ideology of the BJP and are being referred to the disciplinary committee,” Amit Shah tweeted. Friday, Nalin Kumar Kateel, a BJP lawmaker compared Godse with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Another Karnataka parliamentarian, Union Minister Anant Kumar Hegde, tweeted that “seven decades later, the condemned were being heard”. Both the tweets have disappeared from their Twitter timelines. Anant Kumar Hegde put out a message claiming his account had been breached.
After clinching last season’s Big Ten regular season title with four games to go, Jim Foster’s team is fighting for survival and a spot in the NCAA Tournament with four games left this time around. Being ranked as high as No. 6 on Nov. 22, Ohio State (15-9, 6-6 Big Ten) has been streaky and unpredictable during conference play. But a strong run during its last four conference games could spring the team back into the tournament picture. Foster said the urgency the team will need to have down the home stretch is critical because last season’s team wasn’t mentally prepared for the rigors of the postseason. “They hadn’t experienced it,” Foster said. “That’s how you develop some character; that’s how you develop some toughness; that’s how you become a better player and a better team.” Last season ended in the NCAA Tournament’s second round when Mississippi State upset the second-seeded Buckeyes. “We just didn’t have a sense of urgency. … We already won the conference and were looking at the Big Ten Tournament,” senior center Jantel Lavender said of the team’s mindset this time last year. “We didn’t play as hard as we should have, and now everyone’s playing on edge and we can’t lose games.” Lavender became OSU’s all-time leading scorer on Sunday after adding 29 points and bringing her total to 2,587 in its 83-76 win Sunday against Minnesota (11-14, 3-9). “It means a lot. I think it’s something I’ll never forget,” Lavender said. “I think it shows my dedication to my teammates and what I want to do for my team. … I just try to play hard for my team all the time.” After winning two straight conference games against Purdue (17-9, 7-6) and the Golden Gophers, the Buckeyes are hoping to keep the momentum rolling when they host Penn State (21-6, 10-3) on Thursday. In its previous encounter, Jan. 30 in State College, Pa., OSU fell, 80-71, to the Lady Lions when Penn State’s backcourt of Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas combined for 39 points. Foster said Wednesday that the team must do a better job of preventing Bentley from penetrating and kicking the ball out to Lucas, who made 6 of 8 3-point attempts in that contest. Although Foster had questioned his team’s defensive intensity, he said he thought it was increasing lately. Senior guard Brittany Johnson said in addition to improving defensively, the team is becoming more cohesive on the offensive end. “I think we’re starting to mesh really well; we’re moving the ball. Last Penn State game we weren’t really moving the ball,” Johnson said. “It’s starting to come back. We’re starting to mesh, and it’s coming down to the end of the season and we’re playing really well right now.” Thursday’s tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
After serving as assistant coach for the University of Utah’s women’s gymnastics program, Meredith Paulicivic will now take the reins of Ohio State’s team, the university announced Tuesday.The hiring of Paulicivic comes nearly a month after former women’s gymnastics head coach Carey Fagan was promoted to assistant athletics director for OSU.“I am thrilled to be named head coach at The Ohio State University,” Paulicivic said in a statement. “It’s a prestigious honor to lead this program and opportunities like this do not come around often.”Paulicivic helped lead the Utes to a Pac-12 team championship in 2017 and fifth-place finish in the NCAA championships. She served as the primary vault coach while at Utah.Prior to her time with Utah, she was the assistant coach at Arizona in 2015 and served as a head coach of a club program in the Southern California Elite Gym from 2007-2014, and assistant coach from 1997-2006. While coaching at SCEGA, she coached Rachel Tidd, a three-year U.S. National Team member and won a bronze medal with the U.S. World Championships team in 2001.During her playing career at Utah, she was a three-time on vault All-American. She competed for a pair of Utah NCAA championship-winning teams in 1992 and 1994.