LeBron To Be Named NBA MVP For Third Time

LBJ: Three times the MVP.It was when LeBron James was a kid that he developed the mindset of team.”I was always taught it’s team first,” James told the AP on Friday. ”My first time playing basketball, we went undefeated and won a championship and Frank Walker Sr. gave everyone on the team a MVP trophy. Right then and there, I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to see my teammates reap the benefits as well.”He has maintained that disposition, but his individual talent has been overwhelming, so much that he will for the third time be named the NBA’s most valuable player, putting him in rarefied air.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the MVP six times, Michael Jordan and Bill Russell five times each and Wilt Chamberlain four times. They are the only players with more than James. Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone also have been so honored three times.James likely will receive the trophy in Miami Sunday before Game 1 of the Miami Heat’s second-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers.James said last week that while another MVP award ”would be amazing and would be humbling,” it’s not what drives him. In his ninth year in the NBA, he is determined to win a championship.”I think he’s probably as committed as he’s ever been in his career,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said this week, asked to summarize James’ season. ”And he’s always been committed. … We all respond to his energy on the court.”James averaged 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists – making him only the fourth player with those totals in at least two different seasons, according to STATS LLC, joining Oscar Robertson (five times), John Havlicek (twice) and Bird (twice). read more

Tiger Woods Pursuit Of History Resumes At US Open

When you’re Tiger Woods, you live for this week at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. From the beginning, he placed his focus on winning major championships. With 14 to his credit, second-most in history, Woods has established himself among golfing greats. But that is not enough.That is why he looks at the U.S. Open that begins Thursday with so much hope, so much optimism. Having won two weeks ago at The Memorial helps, too, especially since it was a come-from-behind win. He is seeking to move closer to Jack Nicklaus, who holds the record for major championships with 18.Woods has been stuck four majors behind Nicklaus for the last four years. He last conquered a major in 2008 — the U.S. Open over Rocco Mediate at Torry Pines. To take this U.S. Open will require length, skill and patience, which is just how Woods likes it.“I’ve always preferred it to be more difficult, there’s no doubt,” he said. “And I’ve always preferred it to be fast. I just like a fast golf course, because then you have to shape shots. You have to think.”Woods will play the first round Thursday with the popular Bubba Watson, winner of this year’s Masters, and long-time rival Phil Mickelson, making for must-see golf.The Olympic Club is a long and difficult course, protected by water and bunkers. Most experts insist a score of even round after four days could be enough to claim victory. For Woods, he said a win this week would do little to deter his detractors from doubting him.“I think even if I do win a major championship, it will still be, ‘You’re not to 18 yet’, or ‘When will you get to 19,’ ” Woods said. “I’ve dealt with that my entire career, ever since I was an amateur and playing all the way through and to professional golf. It hasn’t changed.”Woods has won twice this year and insists he’s close to regaining the excellence that dominated the sport for several years prior to injuries plagued him — and his well-documented personal troubles that led to a divorce from wife, Elin. At 36, no matter what happens at the Olympic Club, Woods said he still has time to topple Nicklaus mark.“Well, Jack did it at 46, right?” Woods said of the age Nicklaus was when he won his last major. “So I’ve got 10 (years).Tom Watson almost pulled it off at 59. It can be done. We can play for a very long time. And that’s the great thing about staying in shape and lifting weights and being fit is that the playing careers have extended.” read more

NBA Finals LeBron James Heat Halfway To Championship

The Miami Heat have been here before. . . just last year. They had two victories in the NBA Finals, but the Dallas Mavericks ran off four straight wins to send LeBron James and Co. into a long, disappointing summer.After leading the Heat to a 91-85 Game 3 victory in Miami Sunday for a 2-1 series lead over Oklahoma City, James said it is different this year.”It’s all about chemistry,” James said. ”Last year I didn’t make enough game-changing plays in the Finals. I’m just trying to make game-changing plays.”James had 29 points and 14 rebounds and Dwyane Wade 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the Heat, who host Game 4 Tuesday. It is a must-win game for the Thunder, whose late-game execution Sunday was awful. Kevin Durant scored 25 points, but he had to be benched late in the third quarter, when OKC had built a 10-point lead.With Durant sitting, Miami mounted a run, retook the lead and used strong defense to thwart a Thunder comeback. Still, it took two late turnovers and a missed Russell Westbrook open three-pointer that would have tied the game.James’ poor performance was part of the problem in last year’s NBA Finals, but he seems on top of his game this time. His 3-pointer sent the Heat to the fourth quarter with the lead, and he scored five straight Miami points when the Heat were building just enough cushion to hold off another late flurry by the Thunder.“We carry that pain with us (from last year),” the Heat’s Chris Bosh said. “We think about it every day and that really helps us to succeed in this series.”“I just feel like we’re a more experienced team,” Wade said. “I’m not saying we want it more. But we understand the situation better.” read more

Tigers Miguel Cabrera Captures The Triple Crown

Williams, BOS194236137.356 PlayerYearHRRBIAVG F. Robinson, BAL196649122.316 Klein, PHI193328120.368 Hornsby, STL192242152.401 “I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title,” Yastrzemski said in a statement, pointing out that his Boston Red Sox advanced all the way to the World Series when he won one of baseball’s most coveted titles.The Tigers will have that chance when they open the postseason Saturday against Oakland.“It was hard the last two days because everybody talked about it. I just had to focus, I had to go out there and do the job,” Cabrera said. “The hardest part was to go out there and focus and win games. I said, ‘If we win the division, everything would take care of itself.’”Commissioner Bud Selig also offered his congratulations, calling the Triple Crown “a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of baseball history.” Hornsby, STL192539143.403 — The Associated Press Yastrzemski, BOS196744121.326 Mantle, NYY195652130.353 Gehrig, NYY193449165.363 Foxx, PHI193348163.356 Medwick, STL193731154.374 Cabrera, DET201244139.330 Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers won Major League Baseball’s Triple Crown Wednesday night, a feat not accomplished since Carl Yaztrzemski in 1967. That’s how difficult is to achieve.Further, Cabrera became just the 10th different player to lead the league in batting, home runs and runs batted in in the same season, joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. Cabrera’s numbers:  .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, tops in the American League in all categories.“It was like, everybody said to me it was unbelievable,” Cabrera said. “They were excited to see this, enjoy this, be a part of something big, and winning, I feel better.“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “I can’t describe the feeling right now.”Cabrera’s achievement wasn’t assured until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson  in their 14-2 rout of the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and just one short of CabreraCabrera went 0 for 2 in his last game of the regular season in Kansas CIty against the Royals before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season hitting four points higher than Angels rookie Mike Trout, his toughest competition for AL MVP. Cabrera was the runaway leader in RBIs. Here are other Triple Crown winners and their statistics for that year: Williams, BOS194732114.343 read more

Colin Kaepernick Completes 10for10 Challenge Thanks to Some Celebrity

Colin Kaepernick’s #10for10 challenge serves to wrap up his Million Dollar Pledge. (kaepernick7.com)Colin Kaepernick has completed his $1 million pledge. The former pro footballer vowed back in 2017 to donate $1 million and all proceeds from his 2016 NFL season jersey sales to organizations working in oppressed communities. And when he got to his last $100,000, he asked several celebrity pals to join in.By Wednesday, Jan. 31, Kaepernick had completed his 10 for 10 challenge, which was launched to round out the end of his $1 million pledge. Celebs like 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and rapper Meek Mill all contributed to the effort. On days seven and eight two donors contributed — Chris Brown with Jhené Aiko and Joey Bada$$ with Nick Cannon.During the process, celebrities chose the organization they wanted the political athlete to donate to, offered a donation of at least $10,000, and Kaep matched them each day in $10,000 increments.The final round went to Usher’s H.O.M.E organization to benefit single mothers in Lithonia, Ga.“Thank you, brother,” Kaepernick says in a Twitter video. “We love you.”“You did it, you have raised a $1 million,” Usher says in the video. “I’m happy to be a part of the completion of that $1 million. Everyone that has done something around this is amazing. This is a collaborative effort. As a result of us helping each other, we all become stronger.”I am happy to announce I have completed my #MillionDollarPledge. For the final #10for10 joining me is my brother @usher! He is donating $10k to match my $10k for $20k for H.O.M.E from Lithonia, GA. Head to https://t.co/aK6dK9NZZA for a complete list of my Million Dollar Pledge! pic.twitter.com/WiSAJePPcB— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) January 31, 2018 read more

A Brief History of NY vs LA Championship Battles

The Lakers showcased one of the most dominant teams ever in their 1972 championship victory over the Knicks. And New York successfully secured its revenge over LA in the 1973 title series. Unfortunately for the Knicks, they were unable to retool after losing the core of those great early-’70s teams, and soon Celtics-Lakers would supplant Knicks-Lakers as the league’s premier cross-coastal rivalry.But if we count the New Jersey Nets as a “New York team” — at the time, they played at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, 7 miles west of Midtown Manhattan — then the 2002 NBA Finals did feature a New York-Los Angeles battle. (Granted, it was something of a lopsided one; the powerhouse Lakers swept Jason Kidd’s Nets in four games.)If we define “New York” and “Los Angeles” as their metropolitan statistical areas, then the NHL won’t be seeing its first N.Y.-LA championship battle this season. Although the Rangers and Kings have never faced each other for a Stanley Cup before, Los Angeles won its first hockey crown over the New Jersey Devils — who play in Newark, New Jersey (a part of the New York metropolitan area) — in 2012. And in 2003, the Devils beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks for the Stanley Cup in seven games.Unfortunately, no such technicalities can produce a New York-Los Angeles championship clash in football.The Los Angeles Rams appeared in four pre-merger NFL Championship Games, but none were against New York teams (three came against Cleveland and one against Philadelphia). And by the time they left for St. Louis in 1995, the Rams had only one Super Bowl appearance to their credit — the same total as the New York Jets. The two cities’ more successful franchises never got on the same wavelength, either: Like the New York Giants, the Raiders have appeared in five Super Bowls, but only one as a Los Angeles-based squad (against the Washington Redskins in 1984).The timing was off when both cities had teams, and Los Angeles hasn’t been home to an NFL franchise since the 1994 season. The dream of a New York-vs.-Los Angeles Super Bowl will continue to be on hold.In the 10 championship matchups that have taken place between the two cities over the years, five have gone to Los Angeles and five to New York. The Rangers are hoping to break the tie in their favor over the next week or so, although the opening odds are about 3-to-2 against that happening. Then again, the Kings have kept things interesting throughout the playoffs, despite arguably being the league’s best team on paper. If that trend continues, look for a long, entertaining Stanley Cup Final. The Los Angeles Kings prevailed in typically dramatic style Sunday night, beating the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime in Game 7 to end the Western Conference finals. With the New York Rangers having clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Final last Thursday, the Kings’ victory sets up what is a surprisingly rare occurrence in professional sports: a championship matchup between the two biggest cities in the United States, LA and New York.New York City, of course, has been home to major pro sports since the very beginning and hosted the first “World’s Series” in 1884. Los Angeles was a relative latecomer to the professional scene; it wasn’t until 1946 that the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and the All-America Football Conference’s Los Angeles Dons became the first LA-based major pro sports teams. Since then, the two cities have faced each other with hardware on the line just 11 times, including the coming Rangers-Kings tilt: four times in MLB, four times in the NBA and three times in the NHL (these matchups have also provided a few “Where were you when … ?” moments).The first came in 1963, five years after the Dodgers uprooted themselves from, coincidentally enough, Brooklyn and put down roots in Los Angeles. Facing the heavily favored two-time defending World Series champion New York Yankees, the Dodgers put together one of the more surprising routs in sports history, sweeping the Yankees in four games. The two franchises would go on to meet in three more World Series, all between 1977 and 1981; the Yankees won in 1977 and 1978, and the Dodgers won in 1981. Of course, the 1977 World Series gave us: There have been a few close calls since. In 1986, the Anaheim-based California Angels would have faced the New York Mets in the World Series if not for a heartbreaking loss to the Boston Red Sox in the AL championship series. And in 2009, the Dodgers could have met the Yankees in the World Series again, but LA lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in a five-game NL championship series.In the NBA, it seems like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks should have a marquee rivalry. But aside from a brief period in the early 1970s, things have been one-sided in favor of the Lakers. LA has won 10 NBA titles since 1974; New York has zero. What a rivalry it was during its halcyon days, though. Willis Reed hobbled onto the court against LA in 1970 NBA finals: read more

Ohio State mens hockey looking to pick up points in final series

OSU sophomore forward Matthew Weis (16) tries to corral the puck during a face-off in a game against Michigan on Jan. 15. OSU won in a shootout. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Asst. Sports EditorThe Ohio State men’s hockey team (9-17-2, 4-8-2) is preparing for its final homestand of the season at the Schottenstein Center and is looking to take advantage of a struggling Wisconsin (6-15-7, 1-10-3) team.The last-place Badgers arrive in Columbus on a four-game winless streak; their last win was back on Jan. 30 in Madison, Wisconsin, against Alaska. Their lone Big Ten victory was a 3-0 result against Michigan State in December.The Buckeyes are undefeated against the Badgers this season. In their two games at the Kohl Center in early January, the Scarlet and Gray grabbed a win and a tie.“We’ve got a ton of respect for Wisconsin. They’re as good as anybody. Their record doesn’t show it, neither does ours, but at times people like as us say, ‘Jeez, they play some really quality games,’” OSU coach Steve Rohlik said. “Wisconsin’s kind of in that same boat. Watching the video over last weekend, they probably deserved to win two games and ended up not winning either one.”Rohlik played for Wisconsin from 1987 to 1990, where he was a two-time captain and hoisted the 1990 NCAA championship trophy with the “C” on his jersey. He was also an assistant coach for the Badgers during the 1990-91 season.Senior forward Tyler Lundey, a Wisconsin native, said he is hoping to carry the momentum from last Saturday’s victory over Penn State and look past the blowout loss the night before.“It was definitely a big win Saturday night at Penn State. We learned our lesson Friday night. Wisconsin is one of those teams that are always going to come at you. They’re going to work hard,” Lundey said. “It’s kind of our game plan too. Work hard, stick together, play as a team, and get ready to play some playoff hockey.”Tale of two goaliesRohlik might have a bit of a decision to make between the pipes this weekend. His junior goaltenders, Christian Frey and Matt Tomkins, started Friday’s and Saturday’s games, respectively, against Penn State. While Tomkins fared much better against the Nittany Lions, Rohlik said he remains confident in both of his netminders heading into the series.“We always talk as a staff like today here after practice and kind of put our whole lineup together for the games. (Pulling Frey) I did more or less that just to get our team spark going there on Friday night. Wasn’t really necessarily his fault,” Rohlik said. “I just figured (Tomkins) has been practicing hard and deserved a chance to get in there and play, so we’ll evaluate and see what happens here.”Frey leads the Buckeyes’ shot stoppers in save percentage with .920 in 17 games played, while Tomkins has posted a .892 percentage in 13 games.“We score a lot of goals”The Buckeye offense will have to pile on the shots against a determined Badgers defense. Coach Mike Eaves’ men continue to be one of the top teams in the nations in blocked shots. Wisconsin ranks 16th in the country with 14.07 blocks per outing. Senior defensemen Eddie Wittchow and Kevin Schulze are ranked nationally at sixth and 13th, respectively.“They do a really good job blocking shots,” Lundey said. “We score a lot of goals from the hash marks and ends, so our goal is to score relatively close. A big part is getting shots on net initially, getting pucks through, and then cleaning them up.” Senior defenseman and co-captain Craig Dalrymple said he isn’t too worried about the defense having to contribute more on offense, but rather playing to each position’s strengths.“As a defenseman, and all the other defensemen on the team, we kind of always want to chip in on the scoresheet at the end of the day, which is always nice. I don’t think we’re really going to change our type of play,” Dalrymple said. “When there are chances, the defensemen are going to jump up into the play. If we kind of go out of our element, we can run into trouble.”The Scarlet and Gray will look to junior forward and co-captain Nick Schilkey to continue his fine form. Schilkey was named the Big Ten Second Star of the Week on Tuesday after a conference-best five-point performance last week, with a goal and four assists against Penn State.The Buckeyes will also face another staunch penalty-killing opponent in the Badgers. Wisconsin sits 14th in the nation with a kill ratio of .849. OSU, on the other hand, is one of the country’s best power-play converters, coming in at 12th nationally with a .214 conversion rate.Senior night at the SchottWith the team entering the final homestand of the season at the Schottenstein Center, Saturday’s game will mark its senior night. Dalrymple, Lundey and forward and co-captain Anthony Greco will be recognized prior to the matchup.“Every year, you know it’s coming. It’ll be fun. It’ll be important to enjoy it and have fun and hopefully get the win,” Greco said.Rohlik hailed his senior members and said he hopes the rest of the squad can follow their examples.“Find me anybody in that locker room, you want to play for each other, but you also want to give a little extra for those three guys,” Rohlik said. “Someday, some of those other guys will be sitting in those same shoes, and you want everybody to give their best effort.”Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday and  at 7 p.m. the following evening. read more

Ohio State mens basketball faces judgement week against No 3 Michigan No

When Thad Matta was coaching at Xavier in 2004, the Musketeers had a three-game stretch against Mississippi State, Texas and Duke. Each of those teams was ranked in the top 11 of the Associated Press poll, with MSU (No. 4) and Duke (No. 5) placed in the top five. Those contests came in the NCAA Tournament, as Matta led Xavier to its first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight before losing a close one to the Blue Devils, 66-63. “It was crazy,” Matta said Monday, who left Xavier after that season to coach Ohio State. As treacherous a task as that was for Matta and his team, his current Buckeyes squad is staring down a two-game trek that might be even tougher than the one Xavier faced in 2004. OSU will play two top-three teams in a six-day span this week. And these upcoming bouts will come in the regular season, not in March when consecutive battles against elite programs are commonplace. OSU, ranked No. 10 in the most recent AP poll, is set to take on No. 3 Michigan in Ann Arbor Tuesday night. After squaring off against the Wolverines, the Buckeyes return home Sunday to play the No. 1 team in the country, Indiana. “It’s another week,” Matta said so sarcastically he cracked a smile before finishing the sentence. Matta’s players weren’t as light-hearted in talking about the venture ahead. “It’s why you come to Ohio State and play in a conference like the Big Ten, for weeks like this,” said junior guard Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes’ leading scorer, Deshaun Thomas, agreed, saying he “loves a challenge.” “I’m hyped,” the junior forward said, who leads the conference in scoring at 20 points per game. At 7-2 in the Big Ten, OSU is a game back of the Hoosiers, who are all alone in first place. The Buckeyes share a tie of second with Michigan and Michigan State. OSU is 1-1 against those teams this season, beating Michigan at home but losing to the Spartans on the road. Every team in the Big Ten plays 18 conference games, so no two-game stretch at the midway point is going to decide the league champion. But if OSU wants to stay alive and well in the race for a fourth consecutive regular season title, winning at least one game this week might be necessary. Thomas would love to win both. “It’s going to mean a lot for this team, especially if we get two wins against Michigan, they’re highly ranked. If we get a win against IU, we know we got to go down there and it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be big if we can get these two wins,” he said. This week also represents a turning point in the season for the Buckeyes. OSU (17-4) is exactly halfway through its conference schedule, and they’ll likely be tested much more in the second half of the year than they were in the first. During their first nine Big Ten games, the Buckeyes played five of the worst six teams in the league, and only three of the six best. OSU’s second half includes two games against No. 1 Indiana (20-2), trips to No. 3 Michigan (20-2) and unranked Wisconsin (15-7), and home games against No. 12 Michigan State (18-4) and No. 18 Minnesota (17-5). In his ninth year coaching in the Big Ten, Matta said the league is as competitive as he’s seen it. “I think that probably from top to bottom it’s as good – and we haven’t seen everybody yet – but seeing on tape, seeing scores, seeing the standings, I would probably agree (it’s as good as ever),” Matta said. For now, though, OSU is just focusing on the Wolverines. The Buckeyes gave Michigan its first loss on Jan. 13 with a 56-53 win, also preventing the Maize and Blue from ascending to a No. 1 national ranking. “To be honest, we haven’t even talked about Sunday’s game,” Matta said. “Obviously the mindset is on tomorrow night’s game, knowing that they have a great team.” Michigan, ranked No. 1 last week, dropped in the polls after losing at Indiana Saturday night. Add in the fact that OSU beat the Wolverines the first time around in Columbus, and Michigan will be ready Tuesday night, Craft said. “There is no way we can try to look past this game in any way,” Craft said. Getting out to a fast start in Ann Arbor will be crucial for the Buckeyes, Craft said. In Michigan’s two losses this season, they fell in a big hole early and couldn’t recover. OSU, 3-3 on the road this season, probably needs to at least stay even with the Wolverines (undefeated at home) early to have a chance for an upset. Doing that will require solid defense, something OSU has relied on all season. “Defensively I think we’re pretty sound,” Matta said. “We’re trying to get our guys to have a prideful mentality in terms of getting stops. We want to continue to get them to understand we have to have that for 40 minutes.” That won’t be easy against the Wolverines, who are led by a National Player of the Year candidate and Columbus native Trey Burke. The sophomore point guard has potentially the country’s best sidekick in junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr., who averages 15.6 points per game. Two freshmen, guard Nik Stauskas and forward Glenn Robinson III, also average double figures in points. OSU has played three teams this season currently ranked in the top 12 by the AP in No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Kansas and No. 12 MSU, not including Michigan. The Wolverines are likely the toughest team the Buckeyes have had to defend. “With the number of people they can put out there, the number of people that can score the ball, it’s really tough to play normal defense when you’re worried about the number of shooters they have,” Craft said. Defending Michigan’s shooters is just one of the many challenges OSU is facing in the week ahead. Matta said his team is as close to being ready for the daunting task as he’d like them to be. “We had two good practices. I’ve never had a team exactly where I wanted it. I do think we’re making strides. We just have to continue to find that consistency and every night we take the floor, we need our guys to play the best that we can,” the 45-year-old coach said. OSU and Michigan are scheduled to tipoff at 9 p.m. Tuesday night in the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. The Buckeyes then take on Indiana at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Schottenstein Center. read more

2017 Big Ten football preview Michigan State Spartans

Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock throws the ball away under pressure from Michigan State’s Chris Frey (23). Credit: Courtesy of TNSLocation: East Lansing, Michigan2016 season: 3-9 (1-8)Head coach: Mark Dantonio2017 record: 2-0All time record vs. OSU: 15-30What has happened thus far in 2017:This is a do-or-die season for Michigan State and coach Mark Dantonio, who might be on the hot seat following his worst season since he became head coach in 2007 and the preseason dismissal of four of the program’s highest-rated recruits in its 2016 class due to a sexual assault investigation. To have the type of season the Spartans need to have in the Big Ten East Division — with Penn State, Michigan, Ohio State and a rising Maryland program — is a difficult task.But so far, the Spartans have done something they couldn’t do last season — defeat the teams they’re supposed to. Michigan State has wins against Bowling Green and Western Michigan under its belt with Notre Dame, Iowa and a road game at Michigan on deck after a bye week in Week 3.Impact Player:Senior linebacker Chris Frey from Upper Arlington is the latest edition in a line of All-Big Ten linebackers at Michigan State. After leading the team in tackles (96) in 2016, Frey returns as one of two captains for the Spartans, leading a defense that would be the reason Michigan State makes any noise in the conference this season. The central Ohio native leads the nation’s 11th-best defense with 1.5 sacks, ranks second with 12 total tackles and tied for second with 1.5 tackles for loss.Strengths:Michigan State is a young team at every position, but its front seven is the centerpiece of what can keep the Spartans relevant in the Big Ten. From 2015 to 2016, Michigan State’s sack total decreased from 37 to 11. So far this season, the Spartans have tallied five sacks this season, albeit against two Mid-American Conference teams.A formidable secondary and a menacing front seven made Michigan State Big Ten champions in 2013 and 2015. With just one returning starter in the secondary, ability to pressure the quarterback is paramount to the defense’s success.Weaknesses:The Spartans’ offensive line struggled in Week 2 against Western Michigan, despite paving the way for 296 rushing yards from Michigan State’s three tailbacks and redshirt sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke. The O-line has yet to face a strong defensive front and already has allowed 14 tackles for loss, 97th in the country. Michigan State is searching for a permanent answer at running back and a go-to receiver, so the offensive line will be a major storyline moving forward. read more

Football The difference in Ohio States offense moving forward could be Mike

Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) runs the ball in the first half in the game against Illinois on Nov. 18. Ohio State won 52-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State shouldn’t have needed a 30-point loss to a team that just lost at home to Purdue to know it needed to run the ball more.The Buckeyes have two of the best running backs in the Big Ten, and for some reason it took an embarrassing loss at Iowa for head coach Urban Meyer to figure out that J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber should touch the ball 30-plus times combined each game.It wasn’t surprising the Buckeyes went back to the ground game after being trounced against an inferior opponent, but Weber’s play has been surprising, and it’s what makes Ohio State’s offense even more dangerous moving forward.“If you can get the running game going, put a guy on a guy and execute pretty highly,” center Billy Price said, “then our running backs are lights-out speed, get out in open space, then good things happen.”Weber started the scoring against Michigan State with a 47-yard touchdown run, then topped that with an 82-yarder. The thought was: Maybe Weber is finally healthy and this is a running back that can hit long runs for scores.He scored twice Saturday in a 52-14 drubbing of Illinois. One was another long touchdown run of more than 40 yards.That thought of “Is this a new Mike Weber?” has additional supporting evidence, which would give Ohio State two legitimate homerun threats at running back.So why wasn’t he running like this before?“Weber is just 100 percent healthy,” Meyer said. “We were bragging about him all summer and then had the tough injury. But he’s doing very well.”Meyer said last week that Weber’s hamstring injury was severe enough to consider surgery. So maybe he truly is finally healthy and that’s what is making the difference in his game and perceived improved quickness since the Iowa game.No one has really been able to figure out Ohio State’s colossal conundrum against the Hawkeyes.“What just happened,” has been a repeating question for three weeks. Meyer raised it after a fourth-quarter comeback against Penn State. Fans and media asked it following a complete collapse against Iowa the week after, then it came up again in an annihilation of Michigan State the week after that.Still, no one really has a good answer for the Iowa game, especially after the blowout of a ranked Michigan State. Maybe fans can just chalk it up as an unexplainable letdown and hope that Ohio State team doesn’t show up again because this Ohio State team that clobbered Michigan State and kicked the snot out of a terrible Illinois team is pretty good — maybe playoff good.Weber is a major part of that.“If we get the running game going, everything else opens up,” Price said.Meyer and the offensive coaching staff have talked all year about the possibility of playing both Weber and Dobbins in a formation. That’s now possible. And what a better week to do that than against Michigan.Weber is averaging 13.5 yards per carry the past two games and has gained more than 100 yards in each. The offensive line has been making its case as one of the best units in the country, but the running backs are doing their job, like they have been all year.Weber’s production in the past two games is unequivocal to the first nine games, and it’s a welcomed addition.Meyer and the coaching staff somehow didn’t see the writing on the wall that the running game was always the team’s identity. But that gaffe by the staff might not matter because Ohio State is in the playoff picture, and if Weber’s performances the past two games are an indicator of a new Weber, he can make this offense College-Football-Playoff good. read more

Peter Beagrie sacked by Sky Sports over assault conviction

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sacked football pundit Peter Beagrie has said he will appeal against his conviction for assaulting his partner.The former Everton and Manchester City player was “devastated” after he was convicted of attacking Zarah Blake by Skipton Magistrates on Tuesday.In a statement, Beagrie, 51, said: “I am innocent, something I have maintained from the outset, that is why the verdict was so devastating.”I will be appealing.”In his statement, he said he was still with his partner, adding: “This has been an upsetting and traumatic time for us and we both feel there is no other alternative but to appeal.”Sky Sports sacked the football pundit following his conviction.The court heard he punched his partner while angry and drunk in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, in April.He was sentenced to a 12-month community order and 15 days’ rehabilitation.last_img read more

Pothole related breakdowns soar following harsh winter

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “While RAC patrols saw the third highest quarterly share of pothole-related breakdowns in the first three months of 2018, the figure was not as high as we had been expecting, probably due the fact that the weather hit relatively late in the quarter.”For this reason we feel we are likely to see more vehicles suffering pothole damage in the second quarter of 2018 compared with recent years.”The Government has made additional funding available through yet another emergency pothole fund, but at best this will only allow councils to patch up roads that in many cases are in desperate need of longer term preventative maintenance.”A Local Government Association spokesman said: “When exceptional weather occurs, the impact on local roads can be significant.”It’s essential this is measured and that funds are provided for serious repairs so that traffic can move freely through our communities, and local economies and businesses aren’t impacted.” Pothole related breakdowns have doubled in the space of three months following the harsh winter, the RAC has revealed.The breakdown rescue firm said the proportion of call-outs caused by issues such as damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels reached 2.3 per cent between January and March.This is almost double the rate during the previous three months and equates to 5,540 cases.Since RAC records began in 2006, only two three-month periods – January to March in both 2015 and 2017 – saw a higher proportion of pothole-related breakdowns.A better indicator of the true state of the UK’s roads is expected to be revealed in figures for April to June as the Beast from the East brought snow and freezing weather towards the end of the previous quarter.RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “Anecdotally, few would disagree that the harsh cold weather experienced over the last three months has led to a further deterioration of road surfaces.last_img read more

Body found as police search disused quarry for missing midwife

Mr Potts, 53, added: “The quarry is about quarter of a mile down the road from my place, it’s in the middle of nowhere but once a month you get organised 4×4 events there. You also get walkers and cyclists up here.“My heart my goes out to that poor woman’s family, not knowing where she is and now police searching on such a big scale for a clue to her whereabouts.” CCTV footage captures the moment Samantha Eastwood was last seen as she left work Credit:Staffordshire Police Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Police investigating the disappearance of missing midwife Samantha Eastwood launched a murder inquiry on Saturday after finding a body during the search of a disused quarry eight miles from where she was last seen alive.Specialist teams had been searching an area near the village of Caverswall, which lies close to the Staffordshire moorlands, as part of the increasingly desperate hunt for the 28-year-old.Staffordshire Police said the body has yet to be formally identified but that specialist officers were  supporting Miss Eastwood’s family at “this difficult time”. The force also revealed that three men were being held in custody in connection with Miss Eastwood’s disappearance. Neighbours said the family are “utterly heartbroken” following the discovery of the midwife’s body.One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “They are absolutely and utterly heartbroken as you can only imagine. It’s just the saddest outcome imaginable.”I will be going around to offer my condolences, but at the moment they just need time to grieve and digest this awful news.”Dozens of specialist officers and police dogs spent the day searching Tick Hill Quarry and nearby fields and woodland, while Ms Eastwood’s family waited anxiously for news.Uniformed officers could be seen using long sticks to examine bushes and undergrowth as they scoured the vast area in the hope of finding clue to the whereabouts of Ms Eastwood, who was last seen leaving work at Royal Stoke University Hospital at 7.45am on Friday, July 27.Chief Nurse Liz Rix, of University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, confirmed Miss Eastwood’s death on Twitter and paid tribute to the “much loved and valued” midwife. She wrote: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our friend and colleague Samantha Eastwood. She was reported missing 12 hours later when she failed to turn up for work, which colleagues said was “completely out of character.” Police searching near Tickhill Lane in Caverswall near Stoke-on-Trent on SaturdayCredit:PA Police are understood to be investigating whether the midwife was taken to a hideaway in a vehicle on Friday night. They are thought to be are focusing specifically on a two hour time frame between 9pm-11pm on the day she vanished.Nigel Potts, a farmer who lives close to the quarry at New Hall Farm, one of only six homes along the mile long single track Tick Hill Lane, revealed police were hoping to recover CCTV footage from his home and neighbouring properties covering those key hours.He said: “Officers first came to visit on Thursday afternoon and were inquiring if I had any film from the Friday 9-11pm. They said they were focusing on those two hours and were looking for a vehicle.“It’s a very rural and remote and area and I have CCTV but it didn’t go back to that day unfortunately.” Detectives released pictures of her £85 Radley purse, which is missing, and asked for anyone with dashcam footage recorded in north Staffordshire last weekend to come forward.Miss Eastwood had been due to marry John Peake, 34, this June but their engagement was called off in January and Mr Peake moved out of her home. She put her unworn wedding dress up for sale last month. Detective Superintendent Simon Duffy from the force’s Major and Organised Crime Department said: “The discovery today is not what anyone wanted, and this is now a homicide investigation. “A 32-year-old man who was previously released on conditional bail, has now been re-arrested for murder, and remains in custody.  Two other men, aged 28 and 60, have been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.”Miss Eastwood’s family said in a statement: “The family of Samantha would like to ask that their privacy is respected at this terrible time. We would like to say ‘thank-you’ to all the people who followed Samantha’s story and tried their best to help.”  Detective Superintendent Simon Duffy from Staffordshire Police’s major and organised crime department, appealed for the public to report any unusual or suspicious activity, including parked vehicles in rural laybys around the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire area.He said: “Today’s extensive searches are part of the ongoing investigation, which has officers and staff working round the clock in an effort to find anything which brings us closer to finding Samantha.”Miss Eastwood had been due to marry John Peake, 34, this June but their engagement was called off in January and Mr Peake moved out of her home. She put her unworn wedding dress up for sale last month. A police community support officer stands guard outside the home of Samantha EastwoodCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Another Stoke property connected to the family, whose elderly owner lives in a care home, was searched by forensics experts for several hours, according to neighbours.A neighbour said: “Me and my wife just came back from church and saw two unmarked police cars in the road. Later on a third one came then a fourth.“There was a forensic team too and they were there for three or four hours.”Mr Peake, who is understood to have met Miss Eastwood at  Keele University has made repeated appeals for information on social media, while Miss Eastwood’s mother, Carole Eastwood, as said: “I just want my baby back.”CCTV footage of the midwife leaving work in her blue scrubs last Friday as well as further video footage of her driving her Volvo XC60 away from the hospital has been released by police. Samantha Eastwood was last seen leaving Royal Stoke University Hospital at 7.45am last FridayCredit:Pixel8000 The search around Caverswall came after police began treating the home of Mr Peake’s brother-in-law as a potential crime scene.Forensic experts spent four hours scouring the property for possible clues. Police have been stationed outside the property, belonging to Katie Stirling, Mr Peake’s sister, and her husband Michael, a fencing contractor, since last SundayMs Eastwood vanished after driving home from a night shift at the hospital. Neighbours told police they heard screams coming from her semi-detached house at around 2pm, some six hours after she finished work.Miss Eastwood’s devastated sister Gemma, 26, sobbed as she appealed for information about her “happy, bubbly” sibling on Friday, adding: “Without her, half of me is gone.” Samantha Eastwood was last seen leaving Royal Stoke University Hospital at 7.45am last Friday CCTV footage captures the moment Samantha Eastwood was last seen as she left work  Gemma Eastwood broke down as she appealed for her sister’s safe returnCredit:Tristan Potter / SWNS.com Her car was later found at her home, with the keys and bank cards inside her house.Gemma Eastwood, a support worker, said: “Samantha is a fantastic woman and friend. She is warm, friendly, loyal, kind and generous, with a great sense of humour. And whoever she is with she will always make their times together fun.”Samantha was determined to become a midwife from a young age and succeeded.”All of Samantha’s work friends describe her as an amazing midwife.”She is caring, harmless and gentle. Samantha is selfless and would do anything for anyone before herself.”Officers have declined to say whether they have recovered Miss Eastwood’s mobile phone, stating that it was part of an “ongoing investigation”.DI Duffy asked the public to report any sightings of vehicles parked in “strange locations”, isolated areas, or lay-bys, no matter how inconsequential they may appear. Gemma Eastwood broke down as she appealed for her sister's safe return “Sam will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with her family and friends during this time. “Sam, who had worked as a midwife at Royal Stoke for six years, was a much loved and valued member of the Maternity service. “I would like to thank @StaffsPolice for their dedication and support this week.” A police community support officer stands guard outside the home of Samantha Eastwood Police searching near Tickhill Lane in Caverswall near Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday read more

Declan Donnelly and Ali Astall announce birth of daughter

Ali Astall and Declan Donnelly  Used to being part of a double-act, TV presenter Declan Donnelly will now have to get used to being one third of a larger ensemble following the birth of his daughter.Donnelly said he is “head over heels” as he announced the birth of his first child with wife Ali Astall.He posted on Twitter: “Ali and I are thrilled to announce the arrival of our baby girl, Isla Elizabeth Anne, who was born just after 9 o’clock this morning.”Mother and daughter both doing well, Dad is head over heels! D x.”Donnelly, 42, also shared a picture of his baby daughter’s hand wrapped around his finger.The Britain’s Got Talent host married Astall, his former manager, in 2015, and they announced they were to become first-time parents earlier this year. Ali Astall and Declan Donnelly Credit:Karwai Tang/Wireimage The new arrival comes days after it was confirmed that Donnelly will head to the Australian jungle to present I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! later this year alongside This Morning star Holly Willoughby.Willoughby is filling in for Donnelly’s long-time presenting partner Ant McPartlin, who is taking a step back from TV commitments until next year.McPartlin admitted to drink-driving after an incident in March which saw him banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000. Ant and Dec have presented the reality programme together since it began in 2002. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

New London skyscraper is attentionseeking and extremely damaging for Tower of London

The deadlines for comments on the plans is early 2019 and if approved the project is due to be completed in 2025. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Historic Royal Palaces has warned the “attention-seeking” design would be “extremely damaging” for the Tower of LondonCredit:Daniel Sorabji/AFP It has also lodged a number of planning objections aimed at preserve the environs of Hampton Court Palace from new apartment buildings over the years. If built, Tulip Tower will become the second tallest building in the city after only The Shard – which is nearly 310m tall. The proposal has been controversial and has also received an objection from London City Airport, among others, which believes the tower could interfere with its radar systems.A spokesman for Foster + Partners, said in response to HRP’s objection: “We recognise the position of Historic Royal Palaces as an important local stakeholder whom we engaged with prior to the submission of this planning application.”We will continue to work with the City of London Corporation and stakeholders to address these comments as part of the planning process.” Historic Royal Palaces has objected to the building of a new “attention-seeking” skyscraper, claiming it would overshadow the Tower of London and detract from its prominence in the city’s skyline.If given the go-ahead, the so-called Tulip Tower will soar 1,000ft over the capital, from its position next to the Gherkin, and house a bar, a “classroom in the sky” and an external track carrying glass-fronted gondola viewing pods.But Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which owns the Tower of London, has complained that the building would become “the most visually intrusive element” in the surrounding area. A planning objection submitted to the City of London Corporation states: “The proposed Tulip development will be extremely damaging to the setting of the Tower of London.”We believe it would diminish a key attribute of the Tower’s Outstanding Universal Value, challenging the Tower’s eminence as an iconic, internationally focus monument. HRP has put in a number of planning objections over the years in a bid to protect the six royal palaces it manages. Last year, the charity submitted an unsuccessful objection to the proposed 37-storey ‘1 Leadenhall’ skyscraper, also to be built in the City, claiming it would ruin views of the Tower when seen from the east.The development is still scheduled to go ahead.  If plans next year are approved the project is due to be completed in 2025Credit:DBOX for Foster + Partners/SWNS “We do not believe that the claimed public benefit of the proposed development would outweigh the potential harm to the Tower of London.”The height and attention-seeking nature of the Tulip’s design would make it the most visually intrusive element of the cluster in these views. Its effect would be both major and adverse.” Historic Royal Palaces has warned the "attention-seeking" design would be "extremely damaging" for the Tower of London If plans next year are approved the project is due to be completed in 2025 read more

Seven year old boy who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley rollercoaster in

A seven-year-old boy who fell from a rollercoaster is now in a critical condition, police have said.After the accident on The Twister rollercoaster at the Lightwater Valley theme park, the young child was thought not to have life-threatening injuries.However, doctors have since found that he had injuries not apparent at the scene. After falling from the rollercoaster on Thursday afternoon, the boy was airlifted Leeds General Infirmary with head injuries. Witnesses said the boy plunged up to 15ft from the Twister ride at the attraction, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.On Friday, North Yorkshire Police said in statement: “A child was taken by air ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary after an incident at Lightwater Valley on Thursday 30 May 2019.”On arrival at hospital, the child was assessed and found to have injuries that would not have been apparent at the scene of the incident.”The child remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.”The force clarified that the boy, who has not been named, is seven years old and not six, as previously stated.In a statement, Lightwater Valley said: “We have been informed by North Yorkshire Police that the medical condition of the child involved in the incident at the park yesterday is now described as critical. Riders must be taller than 4ft 11in (1.5m) unaccompanied or more than 4ft (1.2m) if accompanied by an adult, it adds.Durham University student Gemma Savage died when two cars collided on the park’s Treetop Twister ride in 2001.Paris-based Reverchon Industries SA, which manufactured and supplied the ride, was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of two charges of failing to ensure its safe design and construction, and failing to give information necessary to ensure the ride was safe when open to the public. “We are devastated by this news and our thoughts are with the family.Screengrab of footage of an air ambulance helicopter near Lightwater Valley theme park (@RowlandBird/PA)”While the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation is continuing, we will support them and be guided by their advice.”Witnesses have described how the boy fell around 12-15 feet leaving his hysterical mother stuck in the car on the ride above.Members of the public ran to his aid along with park staff before paramedics and an air ambulance arrived.Mark Charnley, who was queuing for the Twister with his 10-year-old daughter while enjoying a half-term break, said he looked up to see the boy “hanging backwards outside of the actual carriage” before he plunged to the ground.North Yorkshire Police said they were working with the Health and Safety Executive, which is leading the investigation into what happened on the ride, which is now closed.The park bills itself as the “ultimate family adventure” on its website.The Twister is described as a “spinning rollercoaster” which “gives an awesome, fun-packed experience for all the family”.”The track is full of seriously tight turns, giving riders the impression that they might not make it around the next corner, with the threat of plummeting into the treetops being a constant source of tension for parents (and amusement for the kids)!” the LightwaterValley websites says. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Plastic bottles in the bin and rats in the machinery life on

WRWA is responsible for managing waste produced by four London councils – Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, and Kensington and Chelsea.Between 2017 and 2018, 10 million tons of household waste were recycled in England – almost half of the 22.2 million tons produced.After sources raised concerns about processes and high levels of contamination, an undercover reporter signed up for a job at the Material Recovery Facility in Wandsworth.Last year, The Telegraph and Unearthed found plastic recycling sacks showing the logo for both Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea councils at an abandoned rudimentary factory next to an illegal waste dump in Malaysia. However, the findings of an investigation by The Daily Telegraph and Unearthed are likely to call into question how much of the waste is processed appropriately and whether more can be done by the firms doing so, as well as households. Only one team leader warned that it could be a “waste” of recyclable material, and several employees said that staff needed to be careful because of the “cameras”.Staff told the reporter that items put in the bin were incinerated. “The rubbish we don’t process, that goes to be incinerated”, said one employee. “We send it off on the barges.”Cory said that it carried out regular checks at the facility and workers were told not to throw away recyclables.Both Cory and WRWA said that the targets were “common industry practice” and contamination was often caused because residents had not cleaned or separated their waste properly.Asked about the presence of rats and cockroaches, the two companies told The Telegraph that, while pests were an “unavoidable part of the waste management industry…. The health safety and welfare of our staff is our highest priority”.Wandsworth council said it would be “seeking detailed answers” from the waste authority.investigations@telegraph.co.uk Plastic bags, recycling bags or light plastic were to be sent into the “chute” that stood above their heads and sucked up the materials, while electrical and larger items were to be taken to a “skip” where they would be processed. Staff were issued with protective clothing, but conditions in the warehouse were tough. Rats and cockroaches were seen on the conveyor belt and changing rooms, as well as downstairs where staff had to sweep among the bales of plastic or paper that were waiting to be transported.Workers were instructed to stop the “line” if they saw a rodent in case it became caught in the machine, but few bothered. One woman told the reporter to “grab” items “like a raccoon”– an instruction which was accompanied by her miming how to use two hands to take items quickly from the line – and an undercover reporter working for The Telegraph and Unearthed saw at least six members of staff put recyclable items, including plastic bottles and paper, in the bins.The reporter saw four employees throwing unopened bags containing recycling in the bins at such speed it appears unlikely they were able to check the contents. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Inside the factory It was possible that householders had put these items in their rubbish bins, but it also raised the prospect that some recyclable material was not being processed properly.When The Telegraph asked why the sacks had ended up in Malaysia, both Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea denied that they – or their contractors – shipped waste or recycling to Malaysia.While working at the facility, the undercover reporter spent most of their time in an area known as “pre-sort”. Here, staff were told to remove black bin liners and other items which could not be recycled and discard them in the bins. When the reporter discussed the practice of recycling being put in the general waste bins with their colleagues, most told them not to worry, with one woman commenting that there was “a lot of carelessness here”. When the reporter asked another worker if it was a “problem” if plastic bottles went in the bin, the woman replied that it was not. “Everyone does it. I do it too sometimes,” she said. Inside the factory Standing in a sweltering factory, the men and women wiped sweat from their foreheads as they leant towards the conveyor belt to pull off waste. It was only May, but the smell from the bags of rubbish was strong as the food inside started to rot in the warmth.Black bin liners, nappies, food – all items which could contaminate a batch of otherwise recyclable waste – needed to be separated from the recycling and put in the bins marked “general waste”.Tasked with removing 35 pieces of rubbish a minute from the line, it was sometimes hard for staff to keep up, and it appeared several workers may have felt pressured to “grab” any items – including plastic bottles, cardboard and unopened sacks containing recycling – and discard them in the bins.When the undercover reporter asked what happened to the items put in the bins, they were told: “If it goes to the bin? Well then it goes to the incinerator.”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––The comments may come as a surprise to residents who believe their waste is being recycled and are likely to prompt questions about what more households can do. The Western Riverside Waste Authority’s (WRWA) materials recovery facility in south London is operated by a company called Cory. Both organisations say that 99 per cent of the recyclable waste they are sent is ultimately recycled – a cheering figure for the hundreds of thousands of residents who live in these areas. read more

Britains first ever degree in rap as university offers qualification to find

Kaine Clements, chief executive of ACM, said: “I could not be more proud of the team at ACM who have put together this incredible programme for lyricists, rappers, MCs and those of you who want to make beats.”You know that you can really only get to where you want to be by collaborating. “So that is what this is all about and I cannot wait to see what happens next.” The course runs for two years, or three with a foundation course for those without A Levels, and costs up to £11,000 per year. However, the government will fund parts of the degree in certain circumstances.The university said that the degree has proven popular, with only “limited spaces” left.It said in a statement: “Here at ACM, we have been building sustainable, long-lasting careers for its students in all corners of the music industry since 1995. With its innovative learning-by-doing approach, we ensure it brings students fresh knowledge direct from the industry via our world-class tutors, as they teach their students in an industry environment. Partnered with Europe’s largest recording facility, Metropolis Studios, our exclusive industry connections mean that our students receive an unparalleled learning experience, making our graduates highly regarded by music business professionals.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Britain’s first rap degree has been launched as universities try to find the next Stormzy, who made history as the first British black solo artist to headline at Glastonbury Festival on Friday night.The Academy of Contemporary Music has decided to host the new course at its campuses at the University of Birmingham, the University of Guildford and Middlesex University.The course will be run by professional, award-winning rapper ShaoDow who has appeared on Radio 1Xtra and opened for Stormzy.He also was recently invited into Parliament to speak on behalf of grassroots music venues across the country. The rapper said a variety of industry experts will be enlisted by the course to help students.“When I was young, just asking a question about what to do next is worth more than a degree,” he said.He added the course would generate young people who were business minded and talented enough to make a career out of music while paying their fair share of tax.The Technical Studies for Rappers and MC’s course investigates each strand of rapper’s profession, including the study of the “4 weapons of rap” (lyricism, flow, delivery, and originality).According to the prospectus, students will “analyse music theory, study the ideologies behind skillful artistry, develop analytical skills for long and lyric writing, and receive integral guidance on how to hold audiences through effective performance and how to captivate listeners with the art of freestyle.” read more

Transport for London apologises after refusing to waive congestion charge fine for

Frustrated at the way TfL treated her, Hickey posted a picture of the rejection letter  on Twitter, sparking outrage from hundreds of users, including Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. TfL was forced to retract a £250 fine levied against Cairis Hickey after admitting it had sent her a “highly insensitive letter” and “handled this incorrectly”. She had appealed the fine on the basis that she had been overwhelmed with grief, but TfL had rejected her case.  “Thank you TfL for acknowledging my miscarriage would have been a ‘distressing time’,”… Transport for London has been forced to apologise to a grieving woman whom it fined for forgetting to pay the congestion charge the day after she had a miscarriage.  read more

Woman unconscious found lying on decomposing husband in Cummings Lodge home

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCummings-Lodge decomposing body: Man died as a result of malaria, typhoidJune 8, 2017In “Health”Cummings Lodge decomposing body: Wife in severe shock, no marks of violence found on husbandJune 7, 2017In “Crime”Woman found unconscious in home with dead husband takes life weeks laterJune 26, 2017In “Crime” The community of Cummings Lodge on the lower East Coast of Demerara was on Monday evening shocked to discover resident teacher Cindy Dawson in an unconscious state, reportedly lying on the decomposing body of her husband Kevin Dawson in their Hugh Ganie Park, Cummings Lodge, ECD home.While reports are sketchy, this publication understands that the couple were found by the woman’s colleagues, who went to her home after she did not report for work on Monday. A stench was emanating from the house, and this caused Dawson’s colleagues to become suspicious. They forcibly opened the door and, upon entering, found the couple.The house in which the couple were foundShe was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where she remains a patient.Police have since launched an investigation. read more