LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours TIP-INSTimberwolves: After Butler fell to the floor, the play continued and ended with Taj Gibson committing a horse-collar-like takedown of Harden on a layup. Harden made the desperation heave and ensuing free throw to put the Rockets up 14. … Towns and fellow 7-footer Cole Aldrich served as human crutches in escorting Butler to the locker room.Rockets: With a steal in the third quarter, Paul passed Allen Iverson for 12th on the NBA’s career list with 1,984. Mookie Blaylock is 11th with 2,075 steals. … In his second game with the Rockets, veteran small forward Joe Johnson had 10 points in 22 minutes.UP NEXTTimberwolves: Host Chicago on Saturday night.Rockets: Visit Denver on Sunday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next A Timberwolves official said during the fourth quarter that Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau would provide an update on Butler’s injury following the game.Clint Capela had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Houston, getting his 10th double-double over the past 13 games. Chris Paul added 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThe Rockets trailed for much of the first half before going ahead to maintain the NBA’s best record.Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 21 points, and Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns both had 18 points. Towns added 13 rebounds. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings The Rockets have won 11 straight at home against the Timberwolves and will go for a four-game season series sweep in Minnesota on March 18. In their previous three meetings, Houston overwhelmed Minnesota from beyond the arc, making 19.5 3-pointers per game. But whether it was rust or an improved defensive strategy from Minnesota, Houston was limited to just 14 of 38 3-pointers on Friday night.The Rockets were without guard Eric Gordon, who was a game-time scratch with an illness. P.J. Tucker started in his place and had 11 points in 28 minutes.Trevor Ariza, who missed the previous nine games before the All-Star break with a hamstring injury, was back in the starting rotation and scored 11 points in 26 minutes.Minnesota went on a 22-8 run to build an early lead and led 32-26 at the end of the first quarter. Houston closed out the second quarter on a 9-2 run to hold a 55-54 lead at halftime.The Timberwolves have lost four of their last six.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) drives around Houston Rockets forward Ryan Anderson (33) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)HOUSTON — James Harden scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets won their 11th straight game with a 120-102 victory Friday night over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who lost All-Star Jimmy Butler to an apparent right knee injury.Butler left the game late in the third quarter. After grabbing a rebound late in the third quarter, he pivoted and planted hard on his right foot before collapsing and grabbing his right knee. He was on the floor for at least three minutes before he was carried off the court by two teammates. He appeared to avoid putting weight on his right leg when heading to the locker room.ADVERTISEMENT It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson View comments MOST READ Tennis association, Bouchard settle liability lawsuit Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano
LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced MOST READ Australia’s Mile Jedinak, center, speaks with his teammates after the group C match between France and Australia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)KAZAN, Russia — Taking on a French legion of stars, Australia’s back line put on an impressive collective display to shut down France’s attack in their World Cup opener.It still wasn’t enough.ADVERTISEMENT Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coach Bert van Marwijk’s defensive strategy almost produced an unexpected draw against the 1998 World Cup champions, but luck was on the French side in their 2-1 victory at Kazan Arena on Saturday.France ultimately prevailed thanks to a penalty awarded following VAR review and a lucky goal from Paul Pogba. The Manchester United midfielder’s effort took a deflection off Australia fullback Aziz Behich and hit the crossbar before crossing the goal line.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownVan Marwijk looked dejected during his post-match news conference. He was pleased with his players’ effort and said the French “didn’t know what to do anymore in big parts of the game.”But he struggled to swallow referee Andres Cunha’s decision to award the French their penalty. Cunha initially waved away calls from the French players after defender Josh Risdon fouled Antoine Griezmann with a late tackle. Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Technology helps France beat gritty Australia 2-1 in Group C Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations “The body language was that he didn’t know,” van Marwijk said about the referee. “Let’s say from 10, seven people say penalty and three say no penalty. So I don’t know. He was standing very close in the moment of the penalty and he directly said, ‘No penalty.’ He directly said, ‘Go on.’ It’s also a human being, so everybody makes mistakes.”Australia will need two good results against Denmark and Peru to qualify for the knockout stage, but considering the team’s bold display, Van Marwijk has reason to believe it’s possible.Until Risdon’s foul on Griezmann, Australia’s defenders had been superb, making sure the French strikers did not get too many balls. Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe were largely ineffective.In the 30th minute, Risdon took the ball away from Griezmann’s foot at a crucial moment after the Atletico Madrid player brought it down with a fine control, preventing him from unleashing from close range.“We’re disappointed. We didn’t have the luck today,” said Australia captain Mile Jedinak, who scored his team’s equalizer. “The second goal was fortunate for them, just over the line. We’ve got to take the positives, pick ourselves up and go again. I told my teammates that if we maintain that structure and concentration we showed today, let’s see where it gets us. I can’t fault them, almighty effort today.”ADVERTISEMENT Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film View comments
1 Swindon are hoping to seal a second loan move for promising Southampton defender Jack Stephens.The 20-year-old impressed during a three-month spell at the County Ground, during which he made 10 League One appearances.It is unclear whether the versatile England Under-19 international will be able to force his way into the first-team fold under new manager Ronald Koeman this season, and Swindon are hoping to capitalise.Stephens, who can play anywhere across the back-four, came off the bench for the Saints in their 1-0 friendly win, incidentally against Swindon, on Monday night but has made just one senior appearance for the club since arriving from Plymouth in 2011. Jack Stephens in action for Southampton
For the last two decades, Manchester United have been one of the leading lights in developing and nurturing young talent.However, for the club that once brought football the famed ‘Class of ‘92’ the tide is turning, highlighted by their cull of players over the past few months.While it is unfair to expect a club like Man United to continually churn out top quality young players, it seems as though new boss Louis van Gaal doesn’t seem to believe the current crop are of the standard required to remain at Old Trafford and has wielded his axe.The most recent recipient of the Dutchman’s ire was one-time prospect Davide Petrucci.The 22-year-old was once hailed as a future first team midfielder, but after six years with the club he struggled to live up to expectations and was recently released, with Romanian side Cluj picking him up.His is just the latest example of United’s dearth of top talent, but who else falls into this category? Click the arrow on the right to find out…Man United fans, why do you think the club are unable to develop genuinely talented youngsters? Comment below… Click the arrow to see the Man United youngsters not good enough for Van Gaal – Previous Man United kids have gone on to have trophy laden careers and earned hundreds of international caps between them. However, new boss Louis van Gaal doesnt seem to believe the current crop are of the standard required to remain at Old Trafford and has wielded his axe… Federico Macheda – Released (Signed for Cardiff City) – Click the arrow for more – When Macheda scored a last minute winner against Aston Villa in 2009 he was tipped as a future United first team player. However, like so many players, his career failed to reach the next level and the young Italian started to stagnate. A string of loan moves and reported attitude problems resulted in Van Gaal cutting him almost immediately this summer. He joined Cardiff City shortly afterwards. Tom Lawrence – Sold to Leicester – Click the arrow for more – Lawrence was a shock starter at the tail end of last season in Uniteds 3-1 victory over Hull City, but his rising star proved to be nothing more than a false dawn as the club sold him to Leicester this summer. With the superstar options in attack, he was never really going to trouble Van Gaals squad this season, but despite being only 20 years old was not deemed worth keeping on. 5 5 Danny Welbeck ��� Sold to Arsenal – Click the arrow for more – It is debateable as to whether Danny Welbeck still classifies as a youngster, but at 23 years old and boasting 92 league appearances for United, many would argue he should be at a much more advanced stage of his development by now. Indeed it seems Van Gaal agrees, given his willingness to sell Welbeck to league rivals Arsenal and for a relatively modest £16m. 5 5 5 Fabio Da Silva – Sold to Cardiff – Click the arrow for more – When the Da Silva brothers arrived at United as precocious youngsters, many tipped Fabio to be the one to excel at the club. However, fast forward nearly eight years later and it is Rafael who remains, with Fabio finding himself plying his trade in English footballs second tier. Injuries havent been kind to him, but his form has arguably been even more worrying, and after a dismal loan spell at QPR, United opted to keep Alex Buttner, selling Fabio to Cardiff.
Sharks will in turn start their journey for a second consecutive final appearance and probably a shot at the title with an away trip to Nanyuki Youth.Gor Mahia who have won the title a record 13 times kick off their campaign in Mombasa when they take on SS Assad.Robert Matano will look to win the tournament for a second consecutive time and lead a different club to a historic third consecutive time when Tusker FC start their campaign away to Taita Taveta All Stars.Matano saw Ulinzi get to the final in 2016 losing to Tusker FC 1-0 in the final before leading AFC Leopards last year.Three-time champions Sofapaka will start their campaign against former giants Re Union while Bandari, winners of the title in 2015 will kick off their campaign in Garissa with a first round tie against debutants Berlin.Football Kenya Federation boss Nick Mwendwa conducts the 2018 FKF Shield draw. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluA total of 64 teams will participate with Five Kenyan Premier League clubs choosing not take part in the fcompetition. Mathare has had a traditionof by-passing the domestic cup and they will be joined on the sidelines by Nakumatt, Thika United, Chemelil Sugar and Zoo Kericho.This year will have a different sponsor with betting firm SportPesa taking over from GOtv whose five-year partnership ended last year. The bookmaker has splashed Sh66mn into sponsoring the tournament to be spread over the next three years.The prize money remains the same; winners will take home Sh2mn, the runners up Sh1mn, third placed side Sh750,000 while the fourth placed team walks home with Sh500,000.Full drawFortune Sacco v Mwatate United, Nunguni Yulu v Ushuru FC, Berlin (Garissa) v Bandari, Taita Taveta All Stars v Tusker, Emmausians (Tana River) v Leysa, Nanyuki All Stars v KCB, Re Union v Sofapaka, Equity Bank (Div One) v Baba Dogo United, Friend Zone v Naivas, Tandaza v Zetech University, SS Assad (Mombasa) v Gor Mahia, Kenpoly v Savannah Cement, Nanyuki Youth v Kariobangi Sharks, Nairobi Water v Wazito, Ligi Ndogo v FC Talanta, Balaji v Modern Coast, Rainforest v Sony Sugar, Shabana v AFC Leopards, Vegpro v GFE 105, Nyamira All Stars v Vihiga United, MKU Nakuru v Kisumu All Stars, River Plate v Nakuru All Stars, Nakuru West Combined v Kenya Police, Dero v Nzoia Sugar, Trans Milan v Ulinzi Stars, Asec (Kakamega) v Kakamega Homeboyz, Egerton University v Western Stima, Kabras United v Bidco, Transmara Sugar v Posta Rangers, Kisumu Hotstars v Raiply, Bungoma Superstar v Timsales, Transfoc v Eldoret Youth0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards players celebrating after winning the 2017 GOtv Shield title. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, KENYA, May 21- Defending champions AFC Leopards will start their Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield title defense against third tier side Shabana FC when this year’s tournament kicks off on June 1.AFC won their 10th Shield title last year with a 2-0 win over Kariobangi Sharks and will be looking to repeat the same feat this year.
• For full fire coverage vist the Special Section. SAN DIEGO – Four charred bodies were found Thursday in an apparent migrant camp burned by one of the wildfires raging across Southern California, authorities said Thursday. If the fire was responsible for the deaths – which authorities said was not immediately certain – it would mean seven people have died in the flames that have consumed about 750 square miles and at least 1,800 homes since the weekend. Border Patrol agents on routine patrol found the bodies in an area near Barrett Junction, just east of San Diego, agency spokeswoman Gloria Chavez said. The area is near a major corridor for illegal immigrants who often walk hours or even days to cross into the country. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Authorities said they discovered the bodies Thursday afternoon but did not know how long ago the victims died. “They could have been out there a while,” said Paul Parker, a spokesman for the San Diego County medical examiner’s office. They were tentatively identified as three men and one woman. The area was burned by the Harris Fire, the same fire that claimed the life of 52-year-old Tecate man who refused to leave his house when the area was evacuated Sunday. The other two people killed directly by the wildfires also died in San Diego County. Despite the deaths, there were hopeful signs Thursday. President Bush surveyed the damage in the hard-hit community of Rancho Bernardo, where he draped his armed around a woman who had lost her home. “We want the people to know there’s a better day ahead – that today your life may look dismal, but tomorrow life’s going to be better,” said Bush, who earlier declared seven counties a major disaster area, making residents eligible for federal assistance to help them rebuild. Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted for most residential areas of San Diego and shelters emptied rapidly. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said an evacuation center at Qualcomm Stadium, which had housed as many as 10,000 people, would be closed at noon Friday. The president’s visit came just hours after rescue crews found the bodies of a married couple in the rubble of a burned home in Escondido. Like the previous death, the pair had been urged to evacuate. Neighbors told authorities they last saw the two around midnight Monday. They were reported missing sometime after that. San Diego County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday had taken a cursory look around the couple’s home and found no one inside. When the two did not turn up during the day, a search-and-rescue team was sent to the site and found one body Wednesday night and a second set of remains early Thursday. They were identified as John Christopher Bain, 58, a mortgage broker, and his wife, Victoria Fox, 55, a teacher. A relative who did not want to be identified because she was too distraught to talk to other reporters confirmed the deaths to The Associated Press, and their names matched property records for the address where they were found. Officials have reported 10 deaths connected to the fires; seven died of causes other than flames. At least 40 firefighters and 35 other people have been injured. In the Los Angeles area, fire crews worked to tamp out many wildfires, including two that burned 21 homes and were now fully contained. But the focus shifted to flames still raging in Orange and San Diego counties, particularly in rural areas near the Mexico border where more evacuation orders were issued. The total burn area across California had expanded to more than 482,000 acres – about 753 square miles. Eight Indian reservations have been damaged, with evacuation centers set up for tribal members. San Diego officials said the number of homes destroyed had risen to at least 1,470, about 400 more than previously reported. That would bring the number of homes destroyed in the seven affected counties to at least 1,800. The Santa Ana winds that had fueled the flames were all but gone by Thursday, but San Diego County remained a tinderbox. Firefighters cut fire lines around sections of the major blazes, but none of the four fires was more than 40 percent contained. More than 8,500 homes were still threatened. Towns scattered throughout the county remained on the edge of disaster, including the apple-picking region around Julian, where dozens of homes burned in 2003. Authorities also evacuated Jamul, an upscale community of about 6,000 in a hilly region about 20 miles east of San Diego. David and Brandy Hradecky, who defied evacuation orders with their daughters, said a small percentage of residents stayed in Jamul and worked with firefighters to save their neighbors’ homes. David Hradecky said he spent 2 days using his bulldozer to create firebreaks around seven homes. He said his young daughters even used 5-gallon buckets to put out hot spots and quench the thirst of farm animals that had been left behind. “Where are you going to go? They were evacuating the evacuee places. We know what to do. We took care of all the people’s houses,” said Brandy Hradecky. To the north, crews were battling a 35,000-acre fire in northern San Diego County that was burning on Palomar Mountain. Fred Daskoski, a spokesman for the state fire department, said there was no immediate threat to the mountain’s landmark observatory, which housed the world’s largest telescope when it was completed in 1908. In the Lake Arrowhead area, fire officials said 16,000 homes remained in the path of two wildfires that had destroyed more than 300 homes. Both fires remained out of control, but were being bombarded by aerial tankers and helicopters. A 23,000-acre blaze in Orange County has been declared arson. Five people in San Diego, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties have been arrested on suspicion of arson, but none has been linked to any of the major blazes, authorities said Thursday. A sixth man, Russell Lane Daves, 27, of Topock, Ariz., was shot to death by San Bernardino police Tuesday after he fled officers who approached to see if he might be trying to set a fire.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. 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Wanted:HaltonBREAKING NEWS: GARDAI have ruled out reported sightings of an on-the-run sex offender in the Ardara and Lettermacaward areas.It follows a warning that Lorcan Halton could be in County Donegal.Gardai say they have investigated both alleged sightings on behalf of Scottish police and are “absolutely confident” Halton was not in Ardara or Lettermacaward areas at the weekend as had been claimed by several members of the public. Halton is a native of Dublin who had been living in Scotland for some time.People here have been told not to approach Lorcan Halton, from the Saracen area of Glasgow, who failed to appear in court in Scotland on January 15.He was last seen in Cairnryan, in south west Scotland, where he boarded the ferry to Belfast on January 9.Gardai have investigated several reported sightings but have ruled out all of them so far. Police Scotland said in a statement that “extensive inquiries” are being carried out to trace the 45-year-old, but they have so far been unsuccessful.Halton is described as being white, 6ft and of medium build with brown hair.He has a distinctive scar on his right arm. When he was last seen he was wearing dark-coloured jeans and a shirt.Detective Inspector Craig Willison, of London Road police office in Glasgow, said: “Mr Halton was due to attend court on January 15 but failed to appear and has not been seen since, although further inquiries revealed a sighting of him in Cairnryan on Thursday, 9 January where he was boarding a ferry bound for Belfast.“I would ask anyone who has seen Mr Halton, or who has any information regarding his whereabouts, to contact Gardai. I would advise that no one approaches him, but rather contact police immediately.” GARDAÍ RULE OUT ‘SIGHTINGS’ OF ON-THE-RUN SEX OFFENDER was last modified: April 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ArdaraLettermacawardLorcan Halton
“This is a major artery for all four of the mountain communities, as well as the Antelope Valley,” Wood said. The new segment is following a route roughly graded in the 1980s by county workers, but abandoned after the discovery of an ancient landslide farther south that would have made completing the realigned road too costly. Though that grading was done years ago, construction crews must widen cuts through hills and add fill in low spots because road safety standards have changed to require gentler curves and grades. The temporary bridge is being built by laying three railroad flat cars across a decades-old one-lane bridge. That bridge, expected to cost about $350,000, will commuters use the road while the permanent bridge is built a few feet upstream. The temporary bridge is needed because there is a time-consuming process to get federal and state approval of construction plans and environmental matters for a permanent bridge, said Mark Caddick, district engineer for county roads. The permanent bridge could cost $3.7 million to $3.9 million, which is included in the $7.5 million estimate. The construction could be completed by the end of January if no rain falls, Caddick said, but officials have set a reopening date of March 31 because of the likelihood of weather delays. A thunderstorm last month halted work temporarily. “There will be delays due to rain. We still think the end of March is a good date,” Caddick said. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 To get the road out of a low-lying area that is easily flooded, a 1.8-mile section is being moved to a a hillside west of the creek, avoiding a marshy area, a narrow canyon and two bridges damaged by last winter’s storms. Moving the route and repairing other storm damage – as well as reconstructing pavement damaged by heavy construction equipment rolling along it – is expected to cost about $7.5 million, of which about $5.5 million will be paid by state and federal governments. The new route will be the last segment of the restored road, already repaired for more than two miles between Green Valley and Saugus. Since July, hundreds of commuters have been driving the roughly graded dirt in early mornings and evenings, led by a pilot vehicle. Residents of Green Valley and the communities of Lake Elizabeth, Lake Hughes and Leona Valley have been driving to Santa Clarita on Lake Hughes Road and Bouquet Canyon Road to the west and east of San Francisquito, since those roads were reopened within weeks of the winter storms. Residents are glad that San Francisquito Canyon Road is being repaired, Green Valley Town Council President Kimberly Wood said. Green Valley residents count on San Francisquito as an evacuation route if a brush fire approaches from the north. ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – Construction crews are moving more than 37,000 tons of dirt and rock to cut a new route for winding San Francisquito Canyon Road, a main commuting link between Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley. Destroyed by January storms, the road is scheduled to reopen by early spring – as soon as a temporary bridge, made of three railroad flat cars, is completed across San Francisquito Creek. An aide said county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has been encouraging the Public Works Department to expedite building of the road and bridge. “He understands the hardship it causes residents of Green Valley and other communities in this area,” Norm Hickling, field deputy to Antonovich, said about the missing road.
SAN JOSE — Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said he might go back to dressing 12 forwards and six defensemen for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings even if Tomas Hertl is unavailable to play.DeBoer labeled Hertl, who has missed the last four games with a lower body injury, as doubtful to play against the Kings. The team will know more Friday morning with the game, the Sharks’ last at home this month, at 1 p.m.The Sharks looked lethargic in their 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday …
The annual community talent showallows the workers and their families tolet their hair down. Children look forward to the yearlybeach outing, a treat they mightotherwise never experience.(Images: Izel Botha)MEDIA CONTACTS • Izel BothaShine project manager+27 28 840 1203 / 2315 or +27 84 666 3210Emily van RijswijckFarm workers in the picturesque farming community of Villiersdorp in the Western Cape’s Overberg area are running a unique community outreach programme for their colleagues, teaching them important life skills ranging from budgeting to conflict resolution.The Shine programme was started by the Villiersdorp farming community in 2009 in an attempt to improve the quality of life of farm workers and their families and children.To date, 35 farms have joined the programme and more than 1 000 workers are reaping the benefits.By offering personal growth and life skills training, Shine aims to help the workers reach their full potential, says project manager Izel Botha.The programme has two components: the training focuses on providing workers with skills, and the social element aims to broaden the horizons of workers and their families.“The impact of this training reaches more than just the workers who are enrolled in the programme. Their families, children, communities and workplaces also benefit from their new perspectives and skills,” says Botha.Because Villiersdorp is a fruit and wine producing area work tends to be seasonal, so the training takes place for 10 to 12 weeks during off-peak periods. The enrichment programme is ongoing, offering monthly excursions and entertainment.Training starts with a foundation phase focusing on emotional health. Other life skills courses have evolved in response to feedback received from the workers. In 2010 an alcohol and drug abuse prevention course was added and in 2011 money management and budgeting training became part of the programme.In 2012 the community has requested a shift of focus to communication and conflict management in all relationships.This is not a quick-fix intervention, says Botha. “The whole emphasis of the programme is to be preventative and long term.”Workers actively involvedThe success of the programme can be attributed to the workers’ active involvement in the planning and decision-making processes, Botha believes.Courses and events are determined by the workers themselves and they are also responsible for fundraising. On each farm they elect a Shine official who functions as a link between project coordinators and participants in the programme.“These officials are the real heart of the project. They organise the events and decide what should happen and how,” says Botha.Looking to the future, Shine hopes to introduce subjects such as prevention of foetal alcohol syndrome, parenting skills and the practice of safe sex.While Shine reaches about 1 500 farm children and young adults through various outreach programmes each year, the organisers intend to focus strongly on the community’s young people throughout 2012, as this was a concern raised by parents, says Botha.“If we can secure the necessary funding we would like to address aspects such as how to be an emotionally healthy teenager, as well as alcohol and drug abuse prevention.”Entertainment and leisureThe enhancement of the workers’ social life and environment is an important part of the outreach programme.“The idea is to create uplifting, frequent and constructive relaxation activities to encourage positive ways of spending free time,” says Botha. “A strong focus is put on showing rural youth that it is possible to have fun without using and abusing substances.”Entertainment has included visits from soapie 7de Laan’s Christi Panagio, the Cape Minstrels, and local music icon Tant Grietjie, the popular 84-year-old singer from Garies in Namaqualand. The workers have to raise funds for these events, which also encompass annual youth festivals, angling competitions, sports days, talent shows and gardening competitions.Highlights on the calendar are an annual beach outing for about 1 200 adults and children and, in December, Christmas tree festivities, during which almost 700 farm children receive presents.Pearl of the OverbergVilliersdorp is a mere 90 minutes drive from Cape Town over the majestic Hottentots-Holland pass, from which the district derives its Afrikaans name, Overberg (meaning “over the mountain”).A little gem in an area which has much to offer the visitor, Villiersdorp is commonly known as the Pearl of the Overberg.Nestling in a valley surrounded by the peaks of the Waterval and Baviaans mountains, the quaint village has a mild Mediterranean climate and is a nature lovers’ and health fanatics’ paradise. While it is best known as an apple-growing area, farmers in the district also produce pears, apricots, peaches, grapes and onions.Villiersdorp forms part of the Worcester Wine Route and offers a less commercialised wine-tasting experience than the older, more popular Stellenbosch routes.The valley is also home to the Theewaterskloof Dam, South Africa’s seventh-largest dam and the major source of water for Cape Town.