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Governor Wolf Announces Resource Guide to Help Evacuees from Puerto Rico and Other Devastated Areas

first_img December 18, 2017 Education,  Human Services,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Weather Safety Harrisburg, PA – With thousands of people fleeing the aftermath of natural disasters earlier this year in the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, Governor Tom Wolf today announced the release of a new resource guide from the departments of Education, Health and Human Services to help school districts and communities welcome and assist those who have been displaced.“After hurricanes devastated portions of the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, communities across Pennsylvania have been opening their arms to help those who have lost everything,” said Governor Wolf. “That spirit of compassion is part of the fabric of our commonwealth and this new resource guide gives schools and local organizations the information they need to help the evacuees to get back on their feet.”Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, electricity is still out in some areas and thousands of businesses are closed, forcing tens of thousands of people to leave the U.S. territory, including thousands of students sheltering in Pennsylvania.“Many of the people fleeing Puerto Rico and other devastated areas are children who have lost everything,” said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. “Those children need and deserve a good education and schools across the state are up to the challenge. This guide provides a one-stop-shop of information about resources to help those school districts as well as the students and their families.”The Department of Education created the School Resource Guide for Disaster Evacuees in collaboration with the departments of Human Services and Health. The guide provides information for students from pre-kindergarten to postsecondary education on a wide range of topics from the Homeless Education Assistance and Pre-K Counts programs to nutrient, health care and the state university system.“This guide is a perfect example of the Wolf administration coming together to help individuals in need – a true testament to a government that works,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “As more displaced individuals enter the commonwealth, we must ensure that they have access to high-quality services and supports during this stressful transition.”“Pennsylvania stands ready to help families of evacuees,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said, “Pennsylvania has resources through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs, as well as through our State Health Centers to make sure evacuees stay healthy.”The School Resource Guide for Disaster Evacuees is available online and has distributed to local education agencies across the commonwealth. The guide is available in both English and Spanish, and includes pamphlets that may be distributed to students and their parents.A second toolkit, which will include information from additional state agencies and will support Pennsylvanians outside of the school system, is forthcoming. That toolkit will include information on enrolling children in school, finding disaster assistance, feeding programs, or health information, as well as other community and state supports. Governor Wolf Announces Resource Guide to Help Evacuees from Puerto Rico and Other Devastated Areascenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Efe Ajagba: From Local Baker to Heavyweight Champion Prospect

first_imgAfter trying to make ends meet as a baker in a local bakery, Efe Ajagba tried playing football with little success before taking to boxing in 2011 after which he won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland and was a quarterfinalist at the 2016 Olympic Games. Since turning professional he has won all his seven fights. Kunle Adewale asks if Nigeria is set to produce a heavyweight boxing championNo matter what Anthony Joshua could achieve as a boxer, the credit would always go to England- the country of his birth. The best his name could be attributed to his fatherland is being of Nigerian descent.However, another Nigerian boxer, Efe Ajagba (a full-fledged Nigerian) is on the verge of having a shot at the heavyweight title. According to the Ughelli-born boxer, “in the next two years, I should be having a shot at the heavyweight boxing title.”Ajagba took up the sport of boxing in 2011 after previously playing football for a club in Ughelli since 2005, under the tutelage of coach Anthony Konyegwachie.Ajagba was selected to compete for the Nigerian team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow. Competing in the super heavyweight division, he defeated Junior Fa of Tonga in the round of 16 and Paul Schafer of South Africa in the quarterfinals. He advanced to the semifinals where he was defeated by Joseph Goodall of Australia, meaning Ajagba won a bronze medal.At the 2015 African Games held in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, Ajagba was selected as the Nigerian entrant in the men’s super heavyweight event. He won the gold medal, beating Keddy Angnes of the Seychelles by a score 3–0 in the final.In 2016 he won the gold medal in the super heavyweight event at the African Boxing Olympic Qualification Tournament held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. By doing so, Ajagba qualified to represent Nigeria at the2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the first round, Ajagba beat Ugandan Michael Sekamembe on points, he defeated Tunisian boxer Aymen Trabelsi in the semifinal to secure his qualification and then in the final he beat Mohamed Arjaoui of Morocco.Ajagba’s silent rise did not go unnoticed and in 2017, Toronto businessman Les Woods flew to Nigeria to recruit the former baker.Ajagba doesn’t take a national television appearance lightly. Since childhood, he’s dreamed of becoming a star athlete. In elementary school, Ajagba competed in high and long jumps with kids several years older. At 11, he became the youngest member of the local soccer team in his hometown of Ughelli, in the Delta State. Three years later, he had little to show for it aside from a pair of worn soccer shoes and blistered feet. As he made the two-mile walk home from the pitch, he decided there had to be another way.“Boxing?” screamed Samuel Ajagba, his agbada nearly slipping off as he rose in anger. “I told you about that! My son, why not just concentrate on your job?”Ajagba worked part-time at a bread factory. The family needed every last naira. Samuel, his father, was once a boxer himself. After birthing five boys — Ajagba was the fifth and then two girls, he gave it up and found work at a local bottling company, a job he kept till retirement.“My father’s experience with boxing is why he didn’t want me to fight,” Ajagba says. “He didn’t make much money. He wanted to support my dreams, but he didn’t want me to waste my time.”Much of Samuel’s retirement fund was swallowed up by medical bills following a stroke. Ajagba’s earnings helped keep the house afloat, but he had bigger dreams.“Training and then working in the bread factory wasn’t easy,” he says. “I would be so tired that I wasn’t doing any one of the jobs as well as I should have. So, I decided to quit my job and concentrate on boxing full time.”Samuel was furious. At one point, he marched down to the boxing gym and threatened to have Ajagba’s coaches arrested for training his teen son against his wishes.“They had to beg him,” Ajagba smiles. “They convinced him that I had the talent, that Nigeria didn’t have a tall heavyweight and that I could go far.”Thankfully, they were right. Ajagba grew into a chiseled 6-5 standout. Three years after taking up boxing, he won bronze in his first international tournament, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Ajagba became the only boxer to represent Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics, advancing to the quarterfinals. His performance caught the eye of then-boxing agent Mirko Wolf.“He was there scouting with Floyd Mayweather,” Ajagba says. “But Mayweather wanted guys in the smaller weight classes.”Wolf, on the other hand, was intrigued. He passed Ajagba’s reel around. The person most interested was Shelley Finkel. Finkel managed heavyweights Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and currently manages WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.“He wasn’t the only one,” Ajagba says. “Lennox Lewis wanted to sign me too. He was my favorite boxer when I was growing up. I could watch him every blessed day if I could. But Lennox wanted me to train in Canada. I spoke to my father and we agreed the U.S. was best. I had my lawyers look over the agreement Shelley sent me and that was it.”Ajagba moved to Houston, Texas, where there is a strong Nigerian community. In Houston, he connected with trainer Ronnie Shields. Shields has worked with Tyson, Holyfield, and Pernell Whitaker, among others. Along with Ajagba, he currently trains Jermall Charlo and Erislandy Lara.“He’s the best,” Ajagba exclaims. “He’s like a father to me. He makes people laugh, he’s a great teacher and he treats everyone equally. He’s taught me so many things about boxing.”Ajagba’s right hand is scary, but Shields wants Ajagba to master setting up that shot by utilising his 88-inch reach.“Lennox Lewis used the jab a lot and he’s my favorite,” Ajagba points out. “If I want to get better as a fighter I have to improve every part of myself.”Ajagba’s stopped every opponent, but Harper didn’t give him the pleasure. News of that debacle, and Ajagba’s other exploits reached Nigeria.“They all keep up with me,” says Ajagba. “I miss them so much. They are amazed at everything that’s happening.” Samuel, who once pleaded with him to quit boxing, is now his biggest fan. “I’m in America for business. Boxing is now my job and that is something my dad respects,” Ajagba says. “He knows I can become the heavyweight champion of the world. My mission here will not be complete until that has happened.”On August 24, Ajaba scored the fastest victory in boxing history in a match against Curtis Harper, winning via a 1-second disqualification after Harper walked out of the ring in protest over a pay dispute.Normally, boxing matches end in one of three ways: a knockout, a technical knockout or a judges’ decision, but Harper decided to end the match before it ever really began.Harper was scheduled to fight Ajagba in Minnesota. But before anybody threw a punch, he climbed through the ropes and back to his locker room. The boxer did not return to the ring, and Ajagba was awarded a victory due to disqualification.According to PBC commentator, Jordan Hardy, who spoke to Harper after the bout, the boxer walked out in protest because he believed he was not getting paid enough for the fight. “He’s not getting paid enough and he wants respect,” said Hardy.In an interview with BBC Sport, Leon Margules, the promoter for the fight, said Harper made no money at all as a result of the disqualification. “He signed a contract and agreed to the fight,” Margules told the BBC. “First time we heard about money issues was after he left the ring. He weighed in and showed up on time and even touched gloves before the bell. It is strange.”Ajagba, however, is of the opinion that Harper got scared along the line, saying that his wife (Harper’s wife) met with him minutes before the scheduled bout appealing to him to thread gently with her husband.Minutes before the weigh-in, his opponent, chatted with a woman who kept looking in Ajagba’s direction. Then, she walked over.“I didn’t know if she was his wife, his girlfriend or what,” Ajagba recalls. “She said, ‘You are so talented. I watched your videos and you have real power. Please … take it easy on Curtis. Don’t hurt him.’”“I was caught off-guard,” says Ajagba. “But when me and Harper came face to face, I saw he was scared. It was in his eyes. “I was shocked,” Ajagba told Sporting News. “We all were: Coach Ronnie Shields, me, the whole team. We couldn’t believe it. I was upset and then I was angry.”Harper’s walkout went viral. Some say his actions prove just how fearsome Ajagba is, but these weren’t the kind of headlines Ajagba, (6-0, 5 KOs), wanted. “I was so upset about what Harper did,” Ajagba says. “But I’ve moved on. I’m thankful because more people know me now and will watch my fight with Jones. I have more to do, but I’m working hard to get here.”Ajagba’s promoter, Richard Schaefer, feels Harper simply feared the Olympian.“We waited a long time to have another heavyweight who instills fear in his opponents by just being in the ring and looking at them,” Richard Schaefer said. “The last time a fighter instilled that kind of fear in an opponent was Mike Tyson. The heavyweight division has a new star, and his name is Efe. No doubt that he is the biggest puncher in the sport. “He defined what the most feared man in boxing means — no punch necessary. A look and the opponent runs, runs out of the ring.”Harper’s trainer Nate Campbell has denied the allegation that the boxer walked out of his heavyweight fight with Nigeria’s Efe Ajagba in protest over pay.But Campbell wrote on Facebook, “This man disrespected himself, his wife, the fans and me. They didn’t change his purse, he made that up. He is pulling those lies out to cover up.”He said Harper’s action cost him money because he was not paid from the event.He wrote, “It’s sad that a guy with no integrity is trying to say anything about me. He cost me money and didn’t want to pay me for my time. This guy cost me money and now he’s trying to make me out to be the bad guy! I invested tens of thousands in him.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Badgers ready for red-hot Buckeyes

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoAfter having seemingly no chance at finishing first in the Big Ten just one week ago, the Wisconsin men’s basketball team (17-7, 7-4 Big Ten) finds itself one game behind Iowa for the top spot in conference as they take on the second-place Ohio State Buckeyes (18-3, 7-3 Big Ten) tonight at the Kohl Center.After a three-week struggle that saw Wisconsin lose five out of six games, the Badgers suddenly find themselves with a modest two-game conference winning streak. Saturday’s game against Penn State was probably the most telling sign that Wisconsin had broken out of its midseason slump as it blew out the Nittany Lions in the second half, outscoring Penn State by 22.What made the victory even more meaningful for Wisconsin’s psyche was the fact that the Badgers won without much assistance from Alando Tucker, who scored only nine points in the contest.The fact that sophomore Brian Butch and junior Kammron Taylor combined for 47 points shows Wisconsin’s versatility and ability to pick up the scoring when their leading scorer plays poorly.”Right now, I think we’re playing with a lot of confidence. When things are clicking and we’re hitting shots, you can’t help but feel confident,” Taylor said. “I think right now, going into this game on Wednesday that guys are starting to get their swagger back. That’s always a good thing because we’re going into the last stretch of the Big Ten.”Wisconsin is going to need to harness that confidence against one of the premier teams in the Big Ten in Ohio State. While Wisconsin has struggled over the past three weeks, Ohio State has been red hot, winning six of their past seven game, including a 77-67 defeat of Wisconsin in Columbus.Ohio State is led by a formidable 3-point attack, as the Buckeyes shoot 42.8 percent behind the arc. Additionally, big man Terence Dials hurt Wisconsin in the last meeting, scoring 15 points and securing six rebounds to lead Ohio State.But another player who the Badgers have to keep an eye on is sophomore Jamar Butler, who had a career week last week as he scored a career-high 20 points at Michigan only to top that performance with a 22-point effort at home against Illinois.Honored as the Big Ten Player of the Week, Butler made 71 percent of his shots in the two games and 88 percent of his 3-point attempts in the wins.In order for Wisconsin to come out victorious tonight, it will need to lead a balanced defensive attack on the perimeter and on the blocks. Leaving one of those areas unguarded could lead to easy Ohio State baskets.”In order to contain their perimeter players you just have to be just aggressive on defense,” Michael Flowers said. “We just have to contain their perimeter players as much as we can and not only that — they are shooting the ball well — but they have a big force inside in Dials,” Flowers said. “We just have to play an all-out game on defense, as well as offense, to try to come out with a victory.”While some teams see playing a team a second time as a challenge because of the first-hand scouting reports, UW head coach Bo Ryan feels that the problem is more internally, as the Badgers need to worry about themselves being prepared to play.”The best way to survive on a camping trip is make sure you prepare and take the right food and clothes,” Ryan said. “Take care of yourself, prepare, do the things, get ready to keep practicing the things that you’ve been working on and keep trying to get better at those things. And obviously we throw in what the other team is doing, but there’s no other way to prepare for it. The main thing is be ready yourself.”Despite the recent success of the Badgers, they still have something to prove down the stretch of the Big Ten season. Of course, anything can happen this season in the Big Ten, and tonight’s game against the Buckeyes seems like another turning point for the 2005-06 men’s basketball season.”We only have five games left, and after this game on Wednesday we’re only going to have four left,” Taylor said. “So with a team like Ohio State coming in here — they’re in first place. This is definitely a big game for us. After this game we are going to have eight days off. You don’t want to go into that break thinking about that loss. So this game is definitely big and it’s definitely a turning point for our season.”last_img read more

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Seven youngsters off to Germany

first_img Tags: Boys, German Open, Girls, St Leon Rot 29 May 2018 Seven youngsters off to Germany Seven players will represent England in the German boys’ and girls’ open, which starts on Thursday at St Leon Rot.The four boys are: Barclay Brown (Hallamshire, Yorkshire), Enrique Dimayuga (Walton Heath, Surrey), Matthew Freeman (Notts, Nottinghamshire) and Max Hopkins (Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire).The girls are Caitlin Whitehead (Carus Green, Cumbria), Mimi Rhodes (Burnham & Berrow, Somerset) and Thalia Kirby (Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire).All the players are members of the England Golf boys’ and girls’ squads.The championships are played over 54 holes and end on 2 June.Image: Barclay Brown (copyright Leaderboard Photography).last_img read more

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US Open champion Osaka dominant on return to action in Japan

first_imgNaomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia during the second round of Pan Pacific Open women’s tennis tournament in Tokyo Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) TOKYO (AP) — Naomi Osaka’s homecoming couldn’t have gone much better. Playing in her first tournament since winning the U.S. Open, third-seeded Osaka impressed her Japanese fans Wednesday with a powerful 6-2, 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova to reach the quarterfinals of the Pan Pacific Open.Osaka was in control of the second-round match from the outset, breaking Cibulkova’s serve in the first game at a sold-out Tachikawa Arena.“My first match (since the U.S. Open) in Tokyo felt really special,” Osaka said. “I didn’t really feel pressure, I felt more excitement because I knew that a lot of people were watching this match. I felt really grateful.“I’m just grateful I could play in front of you guys and want to thank everyone for their support.”The local favorite raced out to a 4-0 lead before Cibulkova finally held to win her first game. Osaka hit three aces to close out the first set.She broke her opponent three more times in the second set to win in just over an hour, hitting 25 winners to just nine unforced errors.Osaka became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title when she upset 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams on Sept. 8 in New York.Two years ago Osaka lost in the Pan Pacific final to Caroline Wozniacki, who is the top-seeded player this year.Osaka was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother. They were both in attendance Wednesday.The shy 20-year-old Osaka, who has spent most of her life in the United States and lives in Florida, has been in the spotlight both on and off the court since returning to Japan last Thursday.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took to Instagram to praise Osaka’s accomplishments and the rising star also appeared at a sumo match.Osaka signed a three-year contract last week with Japanese carmaker Nissan — no financial details were released — and she is reportedly close to landing a large deal with Adidas, perhaps in the range of $10 million.The U.S. Open title was worth $3.8 million in prize money.Osaka also has endorsement agreements with Japanese sporting goods company Yonex, noodle maker Nissin Foods, Citizen Watch and satellite broadcaster Wowow.Cibulkova has been in the midst of a resurgence since reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and upsetting former No.1 Angelique Kerber on the way to the second week of the U.S. Open, but she couldn’t make a dent in the Osaka serve.“It wasn’t a match I was proud of,” Cibulkova said. “I just couldn’t find my rhythm. She was serving so well. I felt I was in control of some rallies, but it was too hectic.”In other matches, American qualifier Alison Riske upset former No. 1 Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-2 and Karolina Pliskova defeated Daria Gavrilova 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Caroline Garcia beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.Osaka will next face the winner of the match between Anett Kontaveit and Barbora Strycova.The world No. 7, who served 10 aces, said she is pleased with her game despite all the distractions of the past 10 days.“As a whole I can say I played maybe, like, 80 percent,” Osaka said. “For me I never know the limit of what level I can go to.”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

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