Mr. Albert Owen “Buster” Powers, Sr.

first_imgMr. Albert Owen “Buster” Powers, Sr., age 90, of Vevay, Indiana, entered this life on December 21, 1928, in Rising Sun, Indiana, the loving son of the late, Carl and Beulah (Wainscott) Powers. He was raised in Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland County, Indiana and attended school in Rising Sun, Indiana. At the young age of 23, Buster was inducted into the United States Army on April 30, 1951, in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving during the Korean War. He received the Korean Service Medal with three bronze service stars, United National Service Medal for Korea and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Buster was honorably discharged with the rank of Private First Class on January 29, 1953, in Fort Riley, Kansas. Buster was united in marriage on February 20, 1954, in Vevay, Indiana, to the late, Jerrie A. Scranton. This happy union was blessed with a daughter, Dianna and four sons, Albert, Dennis, Mark and Michael. Buster and Jerrie shared 38 years of marriage together until she passed away on February 13, 1992. Buster was employed for General Motors in Norwood, Ohio, retiring in 1989, after 23 1/2 years of service. Buster farmed all of his life in Vevay, Indiana, where he raised tobacco and milked cows. Buster was a member of the National Farmers Organization, National Rifle Association and the Madison Moose Lodge No. 765. He was a lifetime member of the Vevay VFW Post #5396. Buster was a member of the Markland Baptist Church and later attended Long Run Baptist Church. Later on, Buster moved his membership to Riverview Baptist Church then to Switzerland Baptist Church and later back to Riverview Baptist Church. He enjoyed traveling, deer hunting, fishing, being outdoors and playing his jaw harp. Buster loved the idea of flying and took flying lessons and received his learners permit. Buster will be deeply missed by his loving family. Buster passed away at 7:54 p.m., Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Vevay, Indiana.Albert will be remembered by his daughter, Dianna Powers of Markland, IN; his sons, Albert O. Powers, Jr. and his wife, Angela of Vevay, IN, Dennis Powers of Bloomington, IN, Mark Powers and his wife, Patty of Madison, IN and Michael Powers and his wife, Kandy of Moorefield, IN; his grandchildren, Ashley Powers, Emily Lovins and her husband, Troy, Kim Kent, Kathy Kent and her wife, Shaunte McCool-Kent, Robert Gilbert, Braxton Powers and his wife, Sammy, Coltin Powers and his wife, Katie, Amber Powers, Andrew Powers and Courtney Powers; his great-grandchildren, Harlan, Woodrow and Reba; his 5-step-great-grandchildren; his 3-step-great-great-grandchildren; his sisters, Lulu Belle Thomas and her husband, Donald of Patriot, IN and Ruby Delores Rowlett of Madison, IN and his several nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Beulah (Wainscott) Powers; his wife, Jerrie A. (Scranton) Powers, died February 13, 1992; his granddaughter, Danielle Nicole Powers, died December 10, 2018; his brothers, Carl William and Omer Stewart Powers; his sister, Georgia Marie Powell-McDole; his daughter-in-law, Annetta “Bernice” (Kee) Powers, died January 15, 2019 and his step-grandson, Douglas Gilbert.Friends may call 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Saturday, March 16, 2019, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.Funeral services will be conducted Sunday, March 17, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., by Pastor Joe Lamson at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.Interment and full military rites will be conducted by the Honor Guard of the Vevay American Legion Post #185 and the Vevay VFW Post #5396 in the Grandview Memorial Gardens, Madison, Indiana.Memorial contributions may be made to the Hebron Baptist Church in Madison, Indiana or Charity of the Donor’s Choice. Cards are available at the funeral home or online at www.haskellandmorrison.comlast_img read more

Blatter backs USA to host 2022 World Cup

first_imgRelatedPosts Blatter faces probe in Switzerland Blatter urges FIFA to suspend Infantino Former FIFA President Blatter calls for Infantino’s suspension Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has suggested that the United States could host the 2022 World Cup if the tournament is taken away from Qatar.Last week the US Department of Justice issued an indictment charging that Russia and Qatar paid bribes in order to secure votes ahead of being awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.Blatter, who is currently serving a six-year ban from football-related activities due to ethics violations from his time in charge, has also pleaded his innocence over the charges.The United States are scheduled to host the 2026 tournament along with Mexico and Canada, but Blatter believes that they could host the 2022 tournament instead.According to the indictment, former Brazilian federation president Ricardo Teixeira, former CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz (who is now deceased) and a co-conspirator were given bribes to ensure their votes for Qatar.Blatter told Sport Bild: “Germany could do it. But this would mean the World Cup being staged in Europe again after 2018.“Europe therefore would not be first choice. The United States could do it instead of 2026. They are capable, it’s not rocket science! Japan could also do it. They also bid to host the 2022 World Cup.“Fortunately, the 2022 World Cup will only have 32 teams and not 48 as [FIFA president Gianni Infantino] had planned. The organisational effort would not be bigger than 2018.”As Blatter stated, the 2022 World Cup will have 32 teams, but it will be the last tournament to do so, with 48 nations set to participate in the 2026 World Cup.Should the United States host the 2022 World Cup as a replacement for Qatar it would create further problems for FIFA as they would then have to find new hosts for the 2026 World Cup.Tags: 2022 World CupSepp Blatterlast_img read more

Vautour goes down fighting as Cue Card claims King George

first_imgVautor was pipped by Cue Card (9-2) in the William Hill King George VI Chase at Kempton. Mullins was magnanimous in defeat and admitted it was “probably” a lack of stamina which cost Vautour. “He did everything right, bar the last 20 yards,” said Mullins. “He didn’t jump the last as efficiently as he could have, but it was a very brave run, as it was from the winner. “I don’t know if his stamina gave out, but it probably looks like that. We won’t make a decision about the Gold Cup for a while, we’ll see what we have to run in it when it comes – I won’t be taking him out of it, anyhow.” Trainer Colin Tizzard, whose stable star is now on the verge of a £1million Jockey Club bonus if he can win the Gold Cup, said: “Nowadays he’s a completely different horse, he might not look as if he’s going very well but he has that left for the end. It’s fantastic. “He’s been a great horse for five or six seasons now. Going to the last if he’d met it on a good stride he’d have won easier. “We’ll see how he is, but he looks like a Gold Cup horse now, whether he races again (before Cheltenham) I don’t know, he’s had a hard race and was all out. It’s lovely he relaxes so well in a race, it’s brilliant.” Press Associationcenter_img Willie Mullins’ Vautour had looked all over the winner after taking over at the head of affairs on the second circuit and was still on a hard rein with three furlongs to run as the rest were coming under pressure, none more so than the favourite Don Cossack, who to his credit was still in with a chance when he fell at the second-last. Cue Card looked to be booked for second as Vautour pinged two out under Ruby Walsh, but his stride began to shorten. Paddy Brennan needed a big leap on Cue Card at the final fence but he got in tight, as did Vautour, and the two gave their all on the run to the line, with Cue Card just getting the verdict. last_img read more

England batsman Jason Roy accuses Zalmi bowler of tampering

first_imgNew Delhi: Controversies in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) refuse to die down. After the ‘mobile phone’ fiasco in the game between Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi on Friday, it has now come to the fore that Zalmi’s pacer Wahab Riaz has allegedly been accused of tampering with the ball by England batsman Jason Roy during the Quetta Gladiators-Peshawar Zalmi game on Saturday. Taking to Twitter, Pakistan journalist Saj Sadiq wrote: “Jason Roy has accused Wahab Riaz of ball-tampering as the 2 clashed during a PSL match in Karachi. Sources say Roy asked Wahab whether he had tampered with the ball to gain reverse swing. Wahab reacted angrily before Sarfaraz Ahmed intervened to calm both players down #PSLV”. IANSAlso Read: Joe Denly to Open For England in 4th Test, Jason Roy at 4Also Watch: CJM Court Kamrup Metro sent Former JNU student Sharjeel Imam to 4 day police custodylast_img read more

Former African footballer to be new Liberian President

first_img(BBC) – Former Chelsea, Manchester City and AC Milan striker George Weah will be the next president of Liberia.Weah, 51, became the first non-European player to win the Ballon d’Or in 1995 – just one of many achievements over a prolific 18-year professional career that ended in 2003.He entered politics after his retirement and had been serving as a senator in Liberia’s parliament.His victory was announced by Liberia’s National Elections Commission yesterday – it said that with 98.1% of ballots counted, Weah had won 61.5% of the vote.He will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president. She defeated Weah in elections in 2005, held shortly after the end of a brutal civil war.For a few years in the 1990s, Weah was among the best strikers in world football.Capable of scoring all sorts of goals, his most famous moment came while playing for AC Milan in 1996 when he scored a solo effort against Verona which started in his own penalty area and saw him dribble past almost an entire team.First brought to Europe by Arsene Wenger at Monaco in 1988, Weah scored 47 league goals for the club in four years before a move to Paris St-Germain. There he won the league title in 1994 and was the top scorer in the Champions League a year later – finishing ahead of Jari Litmanen, Romario and Hristo Stoichkov – before moving to Milan in 1995.Playing alongside Roberto Baggio, Weah won Serie A in his first season with the club and won it again in 1999 but eventually fell out of favour and had short spells with both Chelsea and Manchester City in the Premier League.But he scored just four goals in the English top flight though before returning to France – though he did add the FA Cup to his trophy collection with the Blues.At international level, Weah was unable to help Liberia reach a World Cup but he did play in two Cup of Nations, scoring against Mali in 2002.last_img read more

Agbonlahor Steps Down as Villa Captain

first_imgGabriel Agbonlahor has stepped down from his role as Aston Villa club captain and been given a “substantial fine” by the club.The striker, 29, apologised for his “actions in recent weeks” after he was pictured apparently partying immediately after their relegation from the Premier League earlier this month.His subsequent suspension will be lifted by the club on Monday.Agbonlahor said he “did not deserve” the captaincy.“This role was a huge honour to me and it hurts to have lost it,” added the striker, who has been “reminded of his responsibilities” by Villa. He had previously been investigated in March, with Villa opting to take no further action, after being pictured on holiday in Dubai appearing to hold a shisha pipe.“My celebrations and passion, especially in games against local rivals, shows my loyalty to Aston Villa,” added Agbonlahor, who has spent 16 years at the club, in a post on Instagram.“I am asking Aston Villa fans for forgiveness as I’m hurting as well despite reports and photos in the press making out otherwise.“I agree my performances this season have not been good enough but I will be working hard to make things right! Up The Villa, Villa Till I Die!”Agbonlahor – who had been put on a personal fitness plan before his ban – will miss Saturday’s Premier League trip to Watford.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Wentworth provides possible faceoff option as sophomore walk-on

first_img Published on March 5, 2014 at 2:10 am Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Last year, Austin Wentworth and his teammates would all gather before games. They’d lace up their shoes, throw on their jerseys and blast pump-up music, all before walking to Flanagan Gym for intramural basketball. For Wentworth — who came to Syracuse with aspirations to walk on to the lacrosse team — recreational basketball was all he had, and never enough to satisfy his competitive fire. “I just wanted to get back to the lacrosse field,” Wentworth said. “We all had fun, but it didn’t exactly do it for me.”The Stamford, Conn. native tried out for the lacrosse team as a freshman, but didn’t make the cut. Then he watched as the team he dreamt of being on reached the national championship game but fell short when its faceoff ineptitude caught up to it. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWentworth was a midfielder and faceoff specialist in high school, and tried out again before this season thinking he could help the Orange rectify its problems at the X. It seemed like wishful thinking, but he made the team and is now one of three active specialists — along with long-stick midfielder Peter Macartney — trying to solve a seemingly unsolvable puzzle for the nation’s ninth-ranked team. “We’re all working hard to figure this out,” said senior faceoff specialist Chris Daddio. “And having Austin has helped. He walked on and works hard, and has made good contributions.”When Wentworth joined the lacrosse program at Westhill (Conn.) High School, it was less than a decade old and he would never play on a winning team. Yet that didn’t stop him from standing out in the Vikings’ midfield, where he scored 65 goals, dished out 41 assists and picked up 232 ground balls in four varsity seasons. He notably excelled at the faceoff X, where he won at a 73 percent rate in his high school career before committing to Richmond as a junior. But at the time, Richmond was transitioning from a club team to a Division I program, and it ended up not being a good fit. Instead, he set his sights on walking on to a program with 10 national championships to its name. “It wasn’t the easiest track to playing, but I thought why not?” Wentworth said. After failing to make the team the first time around, Wentworth kept his next try on the backburner. During the summer, he worked an internship in New York City that took up most of his time, but he spent nights in his basement working on his timing and technique. And a year after falling short, the unseen work paid off. “I didn’t tell anyone except my dad that I was trying out again,” Wentworth said. “My mom was afraid I would get upset again and didn’t want me to try again, and I didn’t want to tell my friends.“Then it was like, ‘Hey guys, I’m playing for Syracuse.’”With incumbent faceoff specialists Cal Paduda and Daddio, and junior college transfer Mike Iacono joining the Orange a week before the team’s opening scrimmages against Hofstra and Le Moyne, the chances of Wentworth seeing the field were slim at the onset of the season. But Paduda remains sidelined with an injury, Daddio has struggled mightily and in turn, Wentworth — with his approach of getting as low to the ground as possible — has taken as many draws and picked up as many ground balls as Iacono. He’s just 4-for-12 at the X in limited action, but SU head coach John Desko has seen improvement and said the sophomore’s role isn’t an easy one. “He’s been doing a pretty good job, he has a different technique,” Desko said. “The tough part for Mike and him is when they get in the game they are cold. Somebody else has been taking 10, 12 whistles and it’s a very difficult thing to come in and make it happen.” So far this season, Daddio’s been the guy Desko’s used at the start of games. But the senior has won just 48 percent of 92 draws, which is allowing another specialist to emerge. Maybe it’ll be Wentworth, who shamelessly admitted that he was just excited to sit on the bench at the start of the season. Said Wentworth: “We just want one of us to get in a rhythm. If it’s me, then we’ll have done our job.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

AS HE SAYS: Moe Neal Jr. driven by his father’s mistakes

first_imgMoe Neal Jr. pulled back the sleeve covering up part of his right arm to reveal an elaborate design. His mother’s name, Tracy, ranges from just below his elbow down to his wrist, each letter stretching the width of his forearm. His grandmother’s name, Mae, written in script, fits on the inside of his wrist with a large set of clasped praying hands above it.It’s his family arm, he said. Doves and clouds unite the two names. He’s added a guardian angel with roses and a dove on his bicep, and there’s still enough space for his little nephew’s name and his older brother. He plans to finish the arm soon.But one person is noticeably missing. Moe Neal Sr. His father.“I’m saving something for my dad,” Moe Neal Jr. said, smiling and rubbing his arm.Moe Neal Jr., Little Moe, admits he’s a daddy’s boy. He still sits in his father’s lap like when he was a kid and sometimes stays in the hotel room when his dad visits Syracuse for games. They talk every day about football, school and girls — some conversations lead to secrets that they keep from the rest of the family.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMoe Neal Sr., Big Moe, didn’t miss any of Little Moe’s games in his first season at SU. He stayed with his son in Syracuse for the first week of spring practices this year, observing Little Moe’s position switch from running back to wide receiver. Little Moe is “going to play” next season, SU head coach Dino Babers said, but the coaching staff isn’t sure where.Little Moe is driven by a desire to be just like his father yet nothing like him at all. The Big Moe of the present, who often drives 12 hours alone from his home in Gastonia, North Carolina, to SU for games, is the goal. The one of the past, who stayed out late and battled drug addictions, is what to avoid. The lessons that Big Moe learned through the good and bad parts of his life are what he’s used to shape his son.“Blessing from God to spare his life out there in the streets,” Little Moe said, “just to straighten up and to become a better dad. And just tending me and guiding me because Lord knows where I would be without him.”When Big Moe was young, he decided if he had a child that he’d want it to call him by his first name. He wanted to be a best friend.His wish came true. Though Big Moe’s birth name is Shelly, and Little Moe’s is Darius, they call each other Moe because the comparison a middle school football coach drew between Shelly and the leader of “The Three Stooges.” Big Moe had a habit of losing a shoe or running into the goal post after touchdowns.As an infant, Little Moe raced around the house in diapers and avoided the toys littered across the floor without having to look down. Big Moe watched, impressed, realizing he could groom his son into a talented athlete — when he was home. The father’s penchant for late nights and drugs drove a wedge between the family. Sometimes he’d be out until the early hours of the morning. Other times, he wouldn’t come home at all.He missed Little Moe’s birth because he was in prison, Little Moe said. The father met his son when the baby came home from the hospital, and then Big Moe went away to either rehab or a halfway house, his stepson Preston Watts said.By age 7 or 8, Little Moe realized what was going on. He was disappointed in his father, though he never discussed it with the rest of the family.“Where are you going?” Little Moe asked when his dad was leaving at night.“I’m going to see a man about a dog,” Big Moe always replied.Little Moe didn’t know what to do except go to his room and pray. He asked for help for his father to stay straight “while he was doing bad.” He implored God to bring his dad home.Dear Lord, please look over my father as he’s out there in the streets.“Just making bad decisions,” Big Moe said of his life at the time. He declined to say any more than that.With his father gone and his mother working multiple shifts every day to support the family, Little Moe was raised in part by Watts, his older half-brother. Watts cooked noodles and taught Little Moe how to play Madden by age 4. Watts was the one to ensure his little brother got to bed on time.Still, Big Moe and Little Moe were — and are — inseparable. They played sports together, talked and cried. Little Moe found it “easy” to love his dad through the “rough times.”“If something happens to you, we’re gonna have to put that boy in the grave with you,” Big Moe recalls his mother telling him.Big Moe was out late one night when Little Moe was in elementary school. He was riding around on his moped when two men approached him. One smacked him in the head with a pistol and knocked him to the ground. The man stood over Big Moe, put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. It jammed.Big Moe heard the click, got up and ran away.When he arrived home, Big Moe was beat up “really pretty bad,” Watts said. “Very brutal.”“He told us he was done with that lifestyle. He wasn’t trying to do that no more. He was ready to better himself.”The family believed him, Watts said.When Little Moe hit middle school, his father started talking to him about drugs. Big Moe hid nothing. He didn’t want his son to be “green” to the world. His No. 1 lesson: Do as I say, not as you see me do.“You be a leader not a follower,” Big Moe told his son. “Be better than me. Take that next step. You lead.”,Little Moe saw a man who had almost thrown his life away. He knew he didn’t want to do the same. That was more powerful than any lecture could be.Sometimes, though, Big Moe thought his son wasn’t listening. It took until the two went to watch a high school football game together that it all finally clicked.As they walked up to the stadium, Big Moe stopped his son, specifically telling him not to horseplay or run around. But as they got through the gate, Little Moe pushed his friend and took off running, only to fall partly into a manhole that was covered up by grass.He gashed his leg down to the “meat, the white part” of his leg. Big Moe took his son to the hospital to get several stitches.“Son, I want you to understand just listen to me,” Big Moe said as his son cried. “I promise you I won’t tell you anything wrong. Just listen, I got you.”Looking back on the moment, Little Moe believes God intervened just to show him that his father wanted to help him. To start listening to him.Big Moe taught his son to have a firm handshake, make eye contact and eat properly at a table. He drilled him with mock interview questions as the two lifted weights in the backyard. Big Moe knew his son would have to face them some day.Above all else: stay straight and stay within yourself. Don’t let anyone throw you off course.When Little Moe’s friends were doing drugs at parties, he’d say no, he said. His dad often called or texted, urging him to come home. Most of the time, Big Moe advised against going at all.At school, Big Moe constantly visited the counselor’s office, checking in on his son’s grades and the paperwork Little Moe needed for college — a dream Big Moe always had for himself but never attained. He pestered the teachers and principal enough to help Little Moe graduate high school early and enroll at SU in the spring.“Everything I see, I tell him,” Big Moe said.“Everything he says comes to pass,” Little Moe said.Big Moe spends several days and weeks at a time in Syracuse on what he calls his little vacations. Players, coaches and others will often tell him how great of a father he is. What they don’t realize, Big Moe said, is how great his son has been for him.The focus once geared toward negative influences is now fixed on his son.Little Moe isn’t planning to add his dad’s name with the rest of the family on his arm. He wants an etching of his father’s face, likely on his chest above his own heart.“He sees himself in me,” Little Moe said. “He lives his life through me. That’s what he always says. He don’t want to see me throw my life away like he did growing up. He just tries to guide me in the right direction.” Comments Published on April 20, 2017 at 11:53 pm Contact Jon: jrmettus@syr.edu | @jmettus,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.last_img read more

Heisler: Lakers could be worse — Dwight Howard, anyone?

first_imgOld School tough love didn’t work as fast with Randle, who mooned around so forlornly in San Antonio, ESPN’s Mark Jackson called him out for it.Happily, they lost everywhere they went to remain second-worst, a pace that could give them a shot at LSU phenom Ben Simmons … which would be preferable to missing the top three, conveying the pick to Philadelphia and giving the 76ers two shots at Simmons.What comes around goes around, surprising as that has been for the Lakers after decades of seeing gifts drop in their lap.In 1968, Wilt Chamberlain forced the 76ers to trade him for Archie Clark, Darrall Imhoff and Jerry Chambers.In 1975, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar forced Milwaukee to trade him for David Meyers, Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters and Elmore Smith.Magic Johnson came with the first pick in 1979, awarded as compensation for losing free agent Gail Goodrich three years before.James Worthy came with the first pick in 1982, acquired from Cleveland for Don Ford three years before.Shaquille O’Neal came as a free agent in 1996.Kobe Bryant arrived the same week, completing the draft-day trade for Vlade Divac that not only brought a future all-time great but cleared the cap space for Shaq.Lately nothing has worked out, not even deals for Chris Paul — nixed by Commissioner David Stern — and Dwight Howard, who fled to Houston after one season, taking $30 million less.On the other hand, as the sun doesn’t always shine on the same dog’s back, it can’t always rain on the same pooch.Losing Dwight turned out to save the Lakers $130 million over five years to see him age overnight like the villain who drank from the wrong cup in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”Welcome to Dwightmare 3.0.Dwightmare 1.0 was the two seasons of agony he visited upon Orlando officials until they realized nothing was worth this.Coach Stan Van Gundy, who announced that Dwight was trying to get him fired, survived.Magic president Bob Vander Weide, the owner’s son-in-law, didn’t. He was forced to resign after drunk-dialing Dwight late one night to urge him to stay.Vander Weide admitting having a few glasses of wine but said it wasn’t that way.“That phone conversation has not changed my relationship with Dwight,” he insisted. “We like each other. We even love each other, as people. … That phone call has not changed his feeling about this organization.”No longer in love, Vander Weide recently recalled the day Dwight told him that he was an icon, like Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Nelson Mandela.“I knew it was over,” Vander Weide said. “I knew we had no chance of keeping him.”So the Lakers got off comparatively easy. Dwightmare 2.0 lasted only one season.The Rockets reached the Western Conference Finals in the second season of Dwightmare 3.0, but the good times are over.Coach Kevin McHale, signed to an extension last season, was fired 11 games into this one amid reports that Howard and James Harden had tuned him out.No longer a physical prodigy, Howard missed 41 games last season and sat out training camp to save his back, but now often looks 40 instead of 30.This season’s 12.7 scoring average is his lowest since he was an 18-year-old rookie. Asked to concentrate on defense, he’s taking 6.5 shots a game under McHale’s successor, J.B. Bickerstaff.“That’s a tough one,” said ESPN’s Calvin Watkins, handicapping Dwight’s matchup with the Nets’ Brook Lopez. “A 30-year-old Dwight Howard with his back problems entering a free-agent year doesn’t sound as desirable as Brook Lopez.”Indeed. Lopez outscored Dwight, 24-10, as the Rockets fell to the 5-15 Nets.So maybe the Lakers’ luck is changing, however slowly.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published Sundays in Los Angeles News Group print editions. The Dwightmare continues, just not here.The Lakers had another grisly week as Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour ground on while his personal camera crew captured every hug, ovation and, of course, shot attempt.Bryant, who had made 40 percent of his shots three times this season, shocked the world by making 48 percent over the last four games.As fans proclaimed throughout Lakerdom:: “Way to go, Kobe, we were with you all the way!” Meanwhile, Byron Scott, who’s supposedly developing their stars of the future, benched D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle.Scott, who coached prodigies Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, told Yahoo that it’s not like that with Russell.“This kid,” said Byron, “I’m going to have to start from scratch pretty much.”That was sobering, or dismaying, after the Lakers passed up 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis, now happening in New York, not to mention Jahlil Okafor for D’Angelo.In the nick of time, Russell posted NBA highs of 23 and 24 points back-to-back (the second as a starter), preverving the notion that the Lakers have a future, however distant.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Sunday feature: Depletion of utility reserves puts City of Wellington in financial bind

first_img2011 $12,539,570.00 $1,319,897.00 $1,595,284.00 $15,454,751.00 As one can tell, the city of Wellington has become increasingly dependent on the utility fund reserves with the percentage increasing every year until 2015. The 2015 figures also includes a one-time transfer of $750,000, thus upping the electrical revenue figure for that year.From 2013 to 2014 there was a single year increase of 4.4 percent or $682,697. From 2010 to 2014, over the four-year period there was an increase of 6.64 percent or $1,152,477.But that’s not the only fund the city has used utility reserves. There is transfers to utility capital improvement funds for the electrical switching station, water wells, etc.  These were the transfers from 2010 to 2014. 2009 $12,324,219.00 $1,206,956.00 $1,207,350.00 $14,738,525.00 2010 $12,142,080.00 $1,201,690.00 $1,638,143.00 $14,981,913.00 2014 $1,264,850.00 $460,500.00 $1,725,350.00 2013 $12,759,960.00 $1,208,729.00 $1,560,364.00 $15,519,053.00 201513 $2,426,836.00 $364,065.00 $2,790,901.00 20119.1 $1,046,566.00 $277,349.00 $1,323,815.00 20129.6 $1,123,415.00 $286,867.00 $1,410,282.00 Utility accounts% used  Electric revenue  Water/sewer rev.  Total for year  Utility accounts   Electric revenue    Water/sewer rev.    Total for year   2012 $168,069 per audit report 2012 $12,596,427.00 $1,283,763.00 $1,562,699.00 $15,441,889.00 Total:$922,648 2015 $235,000.00 $631,983.00 $866,983.00 Yes, that is a sizable chunk of change. But considering the city has taken $7.8 million out of the utility reserves in the same period, SRMC is only a small portion of the problem.In other words, there is a myriad of issues leading to the reserve depletion – including the building of a new substation, switching station and electrical transmission circuit which we will delve in more detail in the second part of this story. 20108 $975,053.00 $170,600.00 $1,145,653.00 2010 $250,000.00 $300,000.00 $550,000.00center_img 2010 $187,402 per audit report How we got to this point…Ultimately, the greatest culprit of all, is robbing Peter to pay Paul – a scenario the state of Kansas knows all too well.In the city’s quest to keep taxes down in the face of stagnant evaluations and rising operating expenses, additional money has had to come from someplace. And the utility fund cash reserves, which has as much funds as the general operating fund, is a convenient place to start.Haas cautions people not to overreact. Taking money out of the utility reserve fund isn’t a bad thing.“In fact, I would have great concerns if a city did not use its utility funds to cover some of its general operating expenses,” he said. “That’s what it is supposed to do.”The problem is, it has become too good of one thing for the city.Each year in August, the city council approves next year’s budget and the city manager authorizes the percentage of funds used in the utility budget.The chart below illustrates transfers to the general fund and the percentage the city manager used for that particular year: 201414.64 $1,876,058.00 $422,042.00 $2,298,100.00 2014 $321,421 unaudited amount 2011 $159,513 per audit report by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington City Council election is April 7. Those who win a seat may soon wonder why they were running “for” council, instead of running “away” from it.For the new Wellington city council will have the dutiful task of trying to replenish a diminishing utility city reserve fund while trying to balance a budget, hold down utility rates and/or property taxes, and not cut out much needed governmental services.John Haas, the City of Wellington’s financial advisor for over two decades, brought news to the council latest work session meeting that the city’s utility fund cash reserves are being depleted at an unhealthy rate.In 2011, the city of Wellington utility fund had a cash reserve balance of $11.2 million. In 2014 that fund is down to $8.2 million. At the end of this year, the reserve fund could be lower than $5.5 million.The depletion of reserves, is a warning sign to bond investors. The city might not be in good financial shape.Standard and Poor’s Rating Service currently gives the City of Wellington an A+ rating. That is considered “strong creditworthiness.” A triple AAA rating is considered the best. In order to preserve this A+ rating, the city must continually report that it is good financial health. One of those factors, include healthy reserves. A governmental entity must demonstrate it has enough rainy day funds to financially withstand a disaster. Haas said the Wellington’s reserve fund needs to be at least $8 million – which up until this year, was fine. But because this fund has been depleted in the past three years, Wellington’s municipality stands to lose its credit rating and therefore its purchasing power.A municipal bond rating acts much like your credit score. If you have a high credit score, and you seek a loan, you’ll be eligible for better interest rates and other favorable terms because the lending institution knows you are more of a low risk. If you have a low credit score, well, good luck with that.In other words, unless the city of Wellington figures out a better way to balance its books, stop the bleeding and get its reserves funds back on track, it will be a tough way of doing business over the next few years.And how does it do that?Hold onto your wallet Wellington citizens. You, the utility consumer/property owner, stands a very good chance of paying more for utility costs and/or property taxes. 2011 $262,000.00 $714,000.00 $976,000.00 If you combine the figures of the three spreadsheets above, one could see, the city has made more significant withdrawals lately, than before.Now let’s look at the utility revenue side.These are audited utility sales from electric, water, sewer and the combination of the three from 2009 to 2013. 2014 figures have not become available yet. Utility sales Electric  Water  Sewer  Total  As you can see the utility revenue has gone up slightly, but not meeting the withdrawals from the city.So, as one can see, the city of Wellington has a problem on its hands.And what will that cost you?We’ll delve into that very subject in the second part of this series, including details of the switching system and the methodology behind the city council’s budgetary actions of recent past.Follow us on Twitter. 2013 $667,500.00 $479,600.00 $1,147,100.00 2012 $688,800.00 $370,000.00 $1,058,800.00 2013 $89,243 per audit report 201310.24 $1,314,193.00 $301,210.00 $1,615,403.00 The sidebar issues …Before we delve into the problem, let’s preface that the council is only in the discussion phase. There has been no action take. In fact, this Wellington City Council won’t be making the decision. That’s for the new council which will be ushered in April 21 after the city election.Also, let’s eliminate any wild unsubstantiated accusations on Facebook from the equation. There are no missing funds and there are no official accusations of embezzlement.Each year the city of Wellington is required to have an independent audit through the Kenneth Cooper CPA accounting firm. A system is in place in which there is enough checks and balances that if impropriety was going on it would have to involve many people.“If there were missing funds, the city would have contacted me long ago,” Cooper said from his office Friday.Some have also questioned whether there were rebates offered through Westar Energy – the utility conglomerate that supplies utilities to municipalities, and whether the city of Wellington should have been transferred those rebates along to the consumers.There seems to be no consensus amongst city officials and council members that such rebates were even offered. Sumner Newscow believes this is a story for another day and doesn’t address the issue of depleting reserve funds at hand.As always, the Sumner Regional Medical Center receives its share of the blame from the public at large when it comes to city utility discussions. The city has allocated $922,648 in utility abatement from 2010 to 2014 according to figures accumulated by Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (41) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… Commenting Disabled Further commenting on this page has been disabled by the blog admin. You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -1 Vote up Vote down wanting a change · 280 weeks ago our utilities are very high, look into why businesses do not stay here. I have talked to several owners that have pulled from here, between the high rates on leasing and the utilities its a wonder how any of them can stay here. the city needs to also regulate the amount of electricity they are using, because who pays their bills?? the library always has lights on, why do we need them on all night long? or other businesses that are city owned, we have security lights for this purpose not leaving the lights on all night. that could solve a bit of an issue. living in other towns in Kansas, I have never paid high utilities as I have paid here in wellington, people can barely feed their families as is, then you add this on top of it. makes for a hard time to get ahead. even Westar has a great payment plan, that is workable for all families, here, good luck. you get charged a huge fee if you are one day late, then charged another it says if they shut you off, its crazy! I think Jazzy would be an amazing Mayor just reading these questionnaires and knowing she is the real deal. several others are just “rolling with the punches” and saying what you want to hear, and I don’t believe have the best interests for our town. look at this town folks, people are moving out, businesses are moving out, people don’t want to shop here because of no variety, or simply lost hope in our town. Look at the past, this town was a hopping, thriving town with so much potential, what were we doing then that we are not doing now?????? Report Reply 0 replies · active 280 weeks ago -16 Vote up Vote down Wheat · 280 weeks ago I have no confidence In Roy Eckert to handle this complicated issue. If you look at Eckert background in Ketchikan, Alaska and Montrose County, Colorado you see examples of how he has gross mishandled issues that left those communities worse off by the time he left. Why so many complicated issues in his 4 months only as our city manager? Now the threat of much higher utility rates. Eckert has had more problems in 4 months than Gus Collins had in 8 years combined. Shane Shields did an awesome job in his 6 months as interim city Manager! I am voting against all city incumbents on April 7 that hired Eckert. I urge others to do the same! Report Reply 8 replies · active 280 weeks ago +15 Vote up Vote down dave · 280 weeks ago Hey Cue, Is it just me, it seems only idiots that comment on your stories. Great information. It’s just what I suspected. I feel the revenue is there, just need to slow spending for a while. I feel a 10 million reserve or above is what it should be, and the Council needs to be accountable for the excessive spending. Report Reply 1 reply · active 280 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Steve · 280 weeks ago So who at the city is in charge of making sure this kind of thing does not happen. Is there no one to do this. It is not like it is something that just happened over the last year. This has been a problem for a long time. Has the financial advisor for over 2 decades never looked at this before??? Report Reply 2 replies · active 280 weeks ago +21 Vote up Vote down Guest · 280 weeks ago In defense of Mr. Eckert, he walked into a mess! Let’s give him a chance to deal with the disaster left by Gus Collins. Someone, presumably the Council, was not paying attention for us to get to this point! Gus pretty well did as he pleased and allowed spending to go unrestrained in almost every dept! Now Mr. Eckert has the unfortunate task of “putting a halt to” the open checkbook mentality that is rampant in our City! Case in point, look at the amount of overtime turned in by the Fire Dept. every pay period. As of the end of Feb. almost $41,000.00 in overtime alone! I appreciate our Emergency Services, but I’m convinced they are taking the City for a cleaning! I wish the New Council “Good Luck” Report Reply 0 replies · active 280 weeks ago +7 Vote up Vote down Lynda · 280 weeks ago Does this have anything to do with why our tax Value was raised on our house well over 10,000.00 dollars? We have not done any improvements, houses in our neighborhood is falling down, and there are no new businesses or big improvements to this town, nor are there a huge amount of people flocking to Wellington to live and buy homes here. Something strange is going on here and it is not good. Report Reply 1 reply · active 280 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down Citizen · 280 weeks ago In my opinion, losing city residents could be part of the equation. If more people are paying into the fund, perhaps more reserves could be built. Have we asked ourselves WHY people leave Wellington? Let’s clean up our town, attract more businesses, large and small, as well as families, then maybe we can start to solve some of these issues. Report Reply 0 replies · active 280 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down anonymous · 280 weeks ago Over spending causes this. This regime has spent money like the Clintons. Other people’s money. No problem… we’ll abscond with another utility or tax hike. Again and again. Covering your overspending by tying it to the nefarious utility bill amounts to strong-armed robbery. This bunch has the “disease of MORE. Tired of the same excuse of “if we don’t do this people wont attract new bla bla (pick one). And the chamber pretending everything is just hunky-dory. Report Reply 0 replies · active 280 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down old craig · 280 weeks ago We have gone broke living this myth that we have to add all these new things to attract anyone. They’ve been trying to morph wellington into their own perfect little enclave…at our expense. That’s baloney and now millions are misspent or missing. Federal auditors please! Report Reply 1 reply · active 280 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Guest · 280 weeks ago I am very dissapointed in Jan Korte. She is highly educated CPA with a great financial Background, where was her leadership the last two years on the city council ? if city hall has made more poor decisions with the utility fund. Report Reply 0 replies · active 280 weeks ago 123Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! 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