JAMAICA is yet to win a medal in the men’s 110 metres hurdles at the IAAF World Championships, but history is on the horizon. Two athletes, Omar McLeod and Hansle Parchment, with strong medal prospects in the event will represent the island at the 2015 Beijing World Championships. The country’s best placing in the event at these championships came at the 2009 Berlin meet where Maurice Wignall finished fifth and Dwight Thomas seventh. World leader Orlando Ortega of Cuba, with a winning time of 12.94 seconds at the Paris Diamond League, will not be in Beijing and as a result of this, Jamaica’s Omar McLeod will go into the championships as the top seed, following his personal best of 12.97 to win at the Jamaica National Senior Championships in June. Only one other athlete, defending champion, American David Oliver, with 12.98, has gone sub 13 seconds this season. With no one taking the event this season by ‘storm’, Jamaica’s top two – McLeod and Hansle Parchment, with a season best of 13.08 – both have glorious opportunities to put their names and the country’s into the history book. Parchment does have the potential to go sub-13 seconds, as a year ago in Monaco he raced to victory in a personal best of 12.95. However, he has not competed since the June Trials. With world record holder Aries Merritt of the United States and France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde both struggling for good form, this will be a wide open race. After a wonderful 2015 season on the collegiate circuit where he dominated his peers, McLeod looks set to go much faster than his 12.97 best.He has an excellent start and good speed over the first three hurdles and could dominate early and ‘leave the field for dead’. Teammate Parchment, who mined bronze in the event at the 2012 London Olympic Games, may lack the competitive edge, but if he reports fit for Beijing, he could be among the medals. The other Jamaican in the event, Andrew Riley, will need a big improvement on his season’s best of 13.28 to be a factor. Oliver, the defending champion, will be hard to beat, but has his problems. He tends to start slowly and he will need to be on top of his game to win this event. Of the others, Serjey Shubenkov of Russia looks the best of the lot. While McLeod seems to be the best tactically in the event, Oliver with his experience is given the edge, but just to get the win here over McLeod. MY TOP THREE: 1. David Oliver (USA), 2. Omar McLeod (Jamaica), 3. Serjey Shubenkov (Russia). SET TO GO FASTER
Trinidad and Tobago’s players are dominating their rivals at the Caribbean Region Table Tennis Federation (CRTTF) Pre-Cadet championships, which is being held at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC). The T&T team ended yesterday’s penultimate day on nine gold medals. Jamaica have one gold while Barbados and Guyana are yet to taste any success. With several finals to be played on today’s last day, the strong Trinidad and Tobago team is set to win more medals. Dexter Abbott, head coach of the T&T team, says he is not greatly surprised by his country’s dominance. “We were well prepared coming to Jamaica for this important championship. We didn’t know the strength of the opposition, however, our team executed well,” Abbott told The Gleaner yesterday. Abbott said they were looking forward to the final day. “We are definitely looking for victory in each category tomorrow. We won’t be complacent, just continue doing what works,” he added. Christian Lillieroos, a representative of the International Table Tennis Federation, praised Jamaica for the level of organisation in staging the tourney. “It has been going on very, very well. If you take away the Central and Caribbean Games held every four years, this is the best-staged TT tourney held in the Caribbean. It has been very well done,” Lillieroos told The Gleaner during yesterday’s competition. “The national championship held two months ago was used as a warm-up for this. I am very happy, although there was a last-minute change in venue (from the National Arena to the NISC) that hampered certain things. It was a last-minute arrangement, but it a very nice venue,” Lillieroos, who is in Jamaica as part of the International Olympic Committee solidarity programme, said. Today’s competition starts at 10 a.m.
Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Barcelona’s new signing Chilean soccer player Arturo Vidal applauds during his official presentation at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. Vidal has agreed a three year deal. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)BARCELONA, Spain — Unable to win the Champions League title while playing with Juventus and Bayern Munich, Arturo Vidal is looking to finally do it with Barcelona.The 31-year-old Chile midfielder was on Bayern teams that were eliminated by Real Madrid the last two seasons, but he said he has nothing to prove against his new team’s biggest rival.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins 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 View comments LATEST STORIES Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Love, prayers for Asiad five Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Peza offers relief to ecozone firms Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Gov’t in no rush to rescue animals in Taal MOST READ In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk “I don’t know if I have unfinished business with Madrid, but I do with the Champions League, which is my goal,” Vidal said Monday at his presentation. “I hope to achieve this goal here with Barcelona. We’ll see what happens when we get to play against Madrid.”Bayern was eliminated by Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals in 2017 and in the semifinals in 2018. Earlier this year, Vidal didn’t hide his frustration with Real Madrid by posting messages criticizing the team on social media and saying it benefited from bad refereeing decisions.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’“I’m not anti-Real Madrid,” the Chilean said. “I’m against any rival that will be playing against Barcelona from now on.”In 2016, Bayern was eliminated by Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinals. Vidal joined Bayern from Juventus in 2015, not long after the Italian club lost the Champions League final to Barcelona. Juventus and Vidal made it to the quarterfinals of the European competition in 2013, losing to Bayern.Vidal was one of Chile’s key players when the South American nation won the Copa America in 2015 and 2016. He was also in the Chile squad that finished runner-up in last year’s Confederations Cup in Russia.Barcelona has also signed Arthur, Malcom and Clement Lenglet, while Andres Iniesta, Paulinho, Lucas Digne and Gerard Deulofeu left the team.On Monday, Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Yerry Mina and Thomas Vermaelen rejoined the squad following the World Cup. Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Ousmane Dembele had already reported to the team.Barcelona is the defending Spanish league champion.ADVERTISEMENT
Exclusive – Former Red Devils star: Van Gaal should NOT be sacked if Man United fail to make the top four
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has told talkSPORT Louis van Gaal should not be sacked – even if his side fail to finish in the top four this season.The Red Devils have played no part in any European competition this year, after finishing seventh last season, and the Dutchman has been given the target of a third place finish.But Neville, who was a member of the United side who won the competition in 1999, does NOT believe Van Gaal should be ditched should they miss out again.“Louis van Gaal should not be sacked [if Manchester United fail to make the top four],” he told Drivetime.“It would be a terrible season for Man United and Louis van Gaal. He would probably say it was a big failure because he knows his job this season.“He has to get in the Champions League but, on the other hand, if he didn’t, no, you can’t just sack a manager one year and then sack another manager the year after. Where do you go from there?“There has to be a level of continuity. I absolutely believe this time there will be continuity at Man United and they will stand by him even if he doesn’t finish in the top four and that’s the right thing to do.”Neville remains positive his former club can achieve their target this season, although he concedes they must improve their displays in the coming weeks.“I still think Manchester United will finish in the top four, he added. “I think they will scrape in.“At the start of the season I thought they’d finish third.“There is a period in March where they have Arsenal in an FA Cup quarter-final, then they have Spurs the Sunday after and Liverpool after that. There is an international break and then they have got Aston Villa, Man City and Chelsea.“That will be a big period but, actually, Van Gaal and Man United started the season really poorly and these big games came along and they seemed to grow.“I’d like to think these games will inspire some of the bigger players at Man United. They need to step up their performances. There is no doubt about that.”
Letterkenny Gaels Club Notes.Well done to our U-16 football team who won the Naomh Muire Invitational Tournament in Annagry last Friday evening. The lads overcame St. Michaels in the final. The U-16 football training continues on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings at 5.15pm.Both the senior and reserve footballers were defeated when they travelled to Ballyshannon at the weekend. They have no games this weekend.Our U-12 footballers got their season off to a start on Thursday evening when they travelled to Glenfin. Unfortunately the lads came up short on the night and were defeated by a strong Glenfin side.Congratulations to Letterkenny Gaels players Conor Cullen, Ronan Frain and Keelan Margey who were part of the St. Eunans Collage team who won the Treanor Cup final which was played at Drumragh GAA on Thursday last.An Irish traditional music session will be launched in the glass lobby at the Silver Tassie on Sunday 15th May from 7-8pm. This family friendly session is intended to encourage anyone and everyone to come along and get involved in playing a little trad, singing an Irish song, enjoying the craic agus b’fheidir ag labhairt gíota beag Gaeilge. Organised by Gaeil Leitir Ceanainn and open to everyone everywhere. Bígí linn!Bingo continues every Monday in Arena 7. The Jackpot this week is €1750. Doors from 8pm. Eyes down 9pm. All welcome.Applications are invited for CLG Dhun Na nGall Gaeltacht Scholarships.Please download Form from Downloads Section of Club Website and forward to Jim McGlynn,Club Secretary on or before this Friday, 13th May.The underage football training continues every Sunday morning at Pairc na nGael from 11am to 12 noon. Please bring water and a mouth guard. New players are always welcome.Outdoor Hurling training for U-6, U-8 & U-10 continues every Thursday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Hurls and helmets provided. New players welcome. U-12 to U-18 hurling continues every Tuesday evening from 6.30pm.Circuit training continues every Wednesday night in the clubhouse from 7 to 8pm.U-12 girls football training takes place at the pitch every Sunday morning from 11am-12noon. All welcome.This year we will have Ladies and Girls football for u-12, u-14, Minor and Senior.Michael Murphy Sports are currently stocking a range of Gaels Club merchandise including jerseys, training tops, hats & scarfs.Camogie Training continues at Pairc na nGael every Monday from 6pm-7.30pm for U12s, 14s, 16s & 18s and Friday evenings from 6-7.30pm for U8s, 10s, 12s & 14s.New members always welcome. Contact 086 8163505 for more details.For regular club updates and photos see our club web page, Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @LetterkennyGael LETTERKENNY GAELS U16’S WIN NAOMH MUIRE INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT was last modified: May 10th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare 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:GAALetterkenny GaelsSport
Mommas, don’t let your baseball-playing sons grow up to be right-handed … Jason Vargas was right-handed as a child, said Sean Sers, his coach at Apple Valley High School. “Between age 5 and 8, his dad switched him over” to throwing and batting left-handed, Sers said. The rest is history. Left-hander Jason Vargas pitched a six-hitter at the Dodgers and drove in two runs in a 7-1 Florida Marlins victory on Sunday, improving his record to 4-1 – barely a year out of Long Beach State. Clearly, considerable talent is required to make the big leagues at age 22 and a modest 6-foot, 215 pounds. But the climb isn’t quite as daunting if you throw from the south side of the mound. Vargas’ father, Joe, is athletic director at Victor Valley High School and before that was its baseball coach. Jason hung around his dad’s teams year after year. Sers said Jason Vargas was preternaturally mature as a high school player. “His mental and emotional makeup made him stand out,” said Sers, who isn’t surprised to see his former star in the bigs. “He was way above your average high school kid.” Jason Vargas was all-San Bernardino County as a junior but not as a senior, when his Apple Valley team failed to make the CIF playoffs. Demonstrating a bad year doesn’t bury you as long as you’ve had a good one. And are left-handed. Vargas was a second-round pick out of Long Beach State, where he also was one of the 49ers’ leading hitters. He received a $525,000 signing bonus from the Marlins, and joined the big club on July 1. The Inland Empire/Inland Valley hasn’t generated scads of big-league pitching stars. The best who come to mind: Hall-of-Famer Rollie Fingers (Upland) and the late Daryl Kile (Norco). Chad Cordero (Chino) and Vargas are off to nice starts. Dodgers Milton Bradley and Jeff Kent, feuding? You didn’t have to be Nostradamus to see this one coming. Bradley is extremely sensitive to criticism. Kent is extremely blunt. Kent chiding Bradley for not scoring from first on Kent’s double on Saturday set off a rant by Bradley. Would have happened sooner, we imagine, had not Bradley been out two months with an injury. Bradley is prone to the occasional brain cramp. He probably should have scored on Kent’s double. But Bradley’s suggestion that Kent is particularly preoccupied by stats rings true, too. Kent and Bradley are Exhibits A and B in why the 2005 Dodgers clubhouse is as cheerful as a morgue. Neither is known as media-friendly or even friendly. Tight-lipped J.D. Drew is Exhibit C. Paul DePodesta, Dodgers general manager, says he doesn’t dismiss the concept of clubhouse “chemistry,” but suggests it can’t be designed. “When you’re winning, you’ve got great chemistry. I don’t think too many bad teams have great chemistry.” If you want to blame the Dodgers’ struggles on one player, Derek Lowe is a good choice. Signed in January for $36 million over four years to be a front-of-the-rotation starter, Lowe is 8-12 with a 4.20 ERA. His inability to keep the baseball in the park has been a huge disappointment. Lowe has allowed 25 homers; his previous career worst was 17. The Angels still need a hitter. Even if Garret Anderson comes back this week, they need another hitter. Steve Finley was supposed to be that hitter; that’s why the Angels signed him to a two-year, $14 million contract. But that .217 batting average and puny power numbers have turned him into an 8-hole hitter. Another Angels blunder: Giving $32 million over four years to shortstop Orlando Cabrera after cutting fan-favorite David Eckstein – who would have re-signed for a fraction of what Cabrera got. The numbers to date, with Cabrera’s listed first: 48/64 runs, 27/28 extra-base hits, 37/42 RBI, .255/.268 average, .309/.344 on-base percentage, .991/.980 fielding percentage. Dodgers manager Jim Tracy was a coach at Montreal when Vladimir Guerrero first came up, and he said Vlad has been a free-swinger from Day 1. “He’s one of those guys who’ll swing at an oh-two pitch even if it’s headed for the dugout. And he might hit it.” Tracy claims to have seen Guerrero hit a ball off the wall on a pitch that bounced before reaching the plate. “Just bleepin’ crushed it.” Baseball should ban upper-body armor for batters so hitters aren’t as brazen about standing on top of the plate. Barry Bonds is captain of the Kevlar Brigade, but dozens of guys, from David Ortiz to Jayson Werth, do it too. It may be months before we learn the cause of death of 49ers rookie guard Thomas Herrion, who collapsed after an exhibition in Denver. Our first thought: It must be hard on any body’s heart to carry 315 pounds. USC announced 30,000 in attendance for its Coliseum free scrimmage on Sunday. Most Division I programs have trouble drawing that many for real games. Chris McFoy, the Trojans’ redshirt junior from Chino, is being pushed hard by freshman Patrick Turner for the No. 3 receiver spot. Turner is 6-foot-5, and Pete Carroll loves tall receivers. McFoy is 6-1. McFoy’s nickname: “Bobble.” No, not in reference to his hands. Former Trojan Jacob Rogers said McFoy’s head jiggles when he runs. Like a bobble-head doll. USC quarterback Matt Leinart and tailback Reggie Bush have been instructed not to sign autographs this season. Said a USC official: “Ninety percent of them end up on eBay, anyway.” Landon Donovan itinerary update: The Los Angeles Galaxy standout from Redlands played for the national team in Connecticut on Wednesday, went to Washington D.C. on Thursday and waited for the Galaxy to arrive for its Saturday match with D.C. United. He flew to Madrid from D.C. on Sunday for Tuesday’s match pitting Major League Soccer all-stars against superclub Real Madrid. Wrote Donovan in an e-mail: “Sounds fun, huh?!?!?!” On Wednesday, Donovan crosses nine time zones, from Madrid to L.A. We assume the Galaxy won’t ask him to continue on to San Jose (California, not Costa Rica), where L.A. plays the Earthquakes that night in the MLS Cup semis. Donovan’s curling, free-kick goal against D.C. United was exquisite. A few more of those, and someone might do a “Bend It Like Landon” movie. Donovan undoubtedly was on the same flight to Madrid with goalkeeper Nick Rimando, the D.C. United standout from Montclair High School who is among the 19 MLS all-stars. We still watch Indy Racing League contests to see how Danica Patrick does … but eventually she needs to win to keep our interest. Kudos: To Marcie Van Dusen of Lake Arrowhead, who won a women’s wrestling bronze medal at 121 pounds at the World University Games in Turkey. Van Dusen attends the University of Minnesota-Morris. Condolences: To anyone who pays real money to see an NFL exhibition game. Lookalikes: Until he shaved his training-camp beard, Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick, Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski. Where are they now? Tim Burroughs, backfield standout at Fontana High School and the University of Redlands before beginning a long coaching career in San Bernardino, is retired and living in Morro Bay, according to son Dan. They said it: “He painted the corners all day. He knows what he’s doing. He’s going to be around for a long time.” – Marlins catcher Paul Lo Duca, on left-hander Jason Vargas. And finally: Sers said Vargas hits woods and irons right-handed, when he comes home to Apple Valley to golf. But when things get serious, on the greens, Vargas putts left-handed. Paul Oberjuerge’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Readers may contact him at email@example.com. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is ready to move for Clint Dempsey and wants to play him behind Robin van Persie and Lukas Podolski, according to The Sun.Dempsey, who has scored 23 goals for Fulham this season, has frequently been linked with the Gunners as well as the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool.His contract expires next year and Fulham manager Martin Jol is hopeful the American will sign a new long-term deal at Craven Cottage.It is claimed that if Arsenal fail to land Dempsey they will go for Blackburn’s Junior Hoilett, who is one of several players being targeted by QPR.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The rumble of the engines, the belching black smoke and the undeniable power of pulling competitions make them a staple of many fairs and events through the summer and fall months. Diesel fuel powers the machines but it is the spirit of competition that fuels the events, said Joe Singer, president of the Darke County Tractor Pullers Association.“It’s like a drug. Once you get that in your system to be a competitor, you are going to do it — ‘black smoke ‘til I’m broke.’ It’s an addiction, within reason. I’m not saying that it is bad, but you can get hooked on it. When I pulled a little, we took four antique and farm stock tractors. All four tractors won the championship of their classes two years in a row. It was all about the competition. That’s what makes the world go ‘round,” Singer said. “When you start talking about the national level competitions, it is the same bunch of people that run the circuit. You run into them at each national event, and even some regional events over and over again. A lot of the good competitors travel all over the country to compete against each other. Some even share trailers and they may be the best of friends off the track but they try to beat each other on the track at every event. They loan parts off of their vehicles to help a fellow competitor out, but they are still focused on competing. That is just the way it is. It is a good bunch of people.”Of course, the trucks, tractors and drivers get all of the attention at the pulls, but the excitement would not be possible without the sleds. Singer is the owner of Singer Sled Rental in Darke County and has a fairly unique perspective on pulling competitions in the region after a lifetime around tractor pulls and decades of working behind the scenes.“I never really did a lot of pulling but I have always had an interest since I was really little. My dad always made sure we’d go watch. He never pulled but he liked to spectate and help put the event on,” Singer said. “We were putting on an event and a sled operator came in and asked if I knew anyone who wanted to purchase a sled. I made him an offer and it went from there and before long I owned a worn out, older pulling sled. That was in 2000 and it allowed me to get started. We have since rebuilt and purchased other sleds. That first one cost $30,000, but today if you buy one they are $300,000 for a new one and that doesn’t include weights, the truck to pull it, scales or any of that.”Singer farms full time with his brother and spends his winters hauling grain and scheduling events. The majority of his summers are spent on the road at pulls in Ohio, Indiana and surrounding states.“We have 108 events booked for this year. Scheduling is tough because we do all that from December through April. You have to not only book the dates but you have to see if you can physically make it from one event to the next one and back to another one. Some events I can get there, but I can’t get back in time,” he said. “It gets tough in the spring because of planting season. Scheduling events in May and the first of June is always hectic, but you need to schedule events then to make the business work. In July we have a lot of pulls during the week because it is prime time fair season. My son runs a sled too. He drives truck for a living and works for a very understanding company. They allow him to take a large number of days off work so that he can be running a sled. I have four other people, with full-time jobs too, that help run the machines as well. I can’t do it alone, I’m too busy. Last year I went 10 miles outside of Wheeling, to the suburbs of Chicago, then to a few miles outside of Tennessee, and finally to Bowling Green, Ohio. I appreciate everyone that helps both on and behind the scenes.”In addition to the logistics of simply getting from place to place, Singer also must constantly monitor the details required for maintaining the sleds and hauling heavy loads over many miles.“Most places we take one sled, but there are some venues that take two sleds. Sometimes we take a sled and someone else brings others,” Singer said. “You have to look stuff over after the shows so you are ready to go the next time. Sometimes things break, you can’t help it. You just buckle down, be prepared to fix things and do it all over again the very next day.”The sleds hook up like a detachable gooseneck trailer.“I’ve got several semis for this and I use them for the farm work also. A sled weighs 32,000 pounds empty and every weight weighs 2,000 pounds. We carry eight to 11 weights while we are traveling to an event,” Singer said. “An unlimited modified tractor or super semi takes 13 or 14 weights to get them stopped. We can’t carry enough weight legally to stop some of this stuff. Normally if you’re at an event with that type of vehicle, there are two sleds there so you can borrow weights back and forth.”Though the appeal of pulling has always been the power and competition, there have been changing trends through the years.“Pickup trucks are very popular. The kids today didn’t grow up on John Deere 4020s and International 806s like we did, but they can relate to that pickup truck. Every kid, boy or girl, in rural America drives a pickup truck to school or wants one. They relate to trucks,” Singer said. “Personally, I like the tractors the best, but that is what I grew up with. Even the kids on farms that plant beans with a four-wheel drive tractor don’t relate that to a pulling tractor going down the track. But they relate to that pickup truck they drove home with. That is the trend of the future — trucks.”The agricultural economy also has a significant influence on the popularity of pulls.“There is a lot of agriculture involved with pulling. When agriculture is good, pulling is very good. When prices are lower, like now, numbers fall off,” he said. “Events, competitors, and audiences change from year to year and you just have to adapt.”The high dollar game of pulling competitions also depends on the success of the events that hold them.“For fairs, it can be tough to draw spectators during the week and it takes spectators to pay the bills. Fairs need to make as much money as possible to pay the bills, and the way they do that is by getting people through the gate,” Singer said. “There are sponsorships, which are great and are helpful, but they do not cover everything.”And while the crowd is cheering the pullers on the track, Singer enjoys the satisfaction of seeing his sleds perform the way they should night after night.“I love the speed and the competition and trying to get the machines set so the fans, pullers, and promoters get the results they want. It’s a delicate balance. If it is a 300-foot track I need to get them stopped in that range. You don’t want them stopping at 180 feet or 400 feet, so you have to know how to set your machine for each class that’s pulling. We have standard settings that we use and then we go from there changing the gears, changing the drop on the pan, adding a weight or taking a weight out,” he said. “That is what my job is to get that desired result for the track.”And once the smoke clears and the dust settles Singer loves to be a part of pulling because of the people.“It is in my blood. My son was born going to pulls right away. My wife goes to some events and helps and thinks it is fun,” he said. “There are so many family and friends that help out along the way I couldn’t do it without them, from late night mechanical work, to the laser measurers who can’t move all day, and the numerous secretarial duties, everyone is greatly needed and appreciated. My best friends are in the pulling community, whether they are officials or competitors. These are people I know, people I like and this is where my family and friends are.”
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The first week of the 2018 Feeding Farmers program, sponsored by AgriGold, took the Ohio Ag Net crew just outside of Urbana in Champaign County to the Yocom farm where brothers Ross and Roger have been farming together for several years. The two were heavily involved in a building sprayers from 1974 onward, but recently retired from the business to solely farm. Ohio Ag Net’s Joel Penhorwood visits with Roger about the operation and its history.Listen to Dale Minyo’s interview with Ross Yocom Audio Playerhttp://ocj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Dale-interview-at-Yocom-Farms-6-18-18.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Dale Minyo and Ross YocomJoel Penhorwood and Roger YocomThe group enjoying lunch at the Yocom’s
Love may hurt, but it also sells. The Hallmark Channel produces 90+ holiday and romance films per year, so we sat down with the woman behind the words.When you think of chestnuts on an open fire, gingerbread houses, and sugar cookies, you think of the holidays. Screenwriter, Tracy Andreen is grateful for the head start that imagery gives her when writing a holiday film. But, at her prolific pace, her work takes so much more skill, craft, and imagination. We sat down for a cup of holiday cheer to unwrap what it takes to make a successful Hallmark Channel holiday screenplay.Courtesy of Tracy Andreen.PremiumBeat: Tracy, in 2018, you’ve written six produced films for Hallmark, and it’s only November. Clearly you are the most romantic, holiday-obsessed person in the world — or you have a great understanding of Hallmark’s brand of entertainment. What is your secret sauce to success?Tracy Andreen: Being professional. When given a deadline, I do everything in my power to deliver on that deadline, especially as the time to start production nears. In the realm of TV movies, the windows for delivery can be quite narrow, and there is a whole cadre of other professionals (actors, directors, production supervisors, casting, etc.) who are often times dependent on the writer’s ability to deliver a teleplay in a timely fashion so they can then do their jobs.As much fun as this can be — and being allowed to be creative for a living is a dream! — it’s also crucial to remember that this is a job and the writer is part of a team working together to create the best product possible. Movies are awesome. Chances are quite good that your readers love them, love storytelling, love the chance to get lost in flickering lights for an hour or two (or twenty, depending on how much binge-watching a person can fit into their day). But making them is unquestionably work, and writers have to put in the hours to be able to execute.My “secret sauce” is knowing that, and making sure to do my part. Some writers see themselves as artists, and good on them. If they can get a movie made exactly as they envisioned all on their own, congratulations! Otherwise, writers have to learn the fine art of knowing when to compromise and when to speak up for what aspect of the story you believe should remain if/when it’s challenged. I know that sounds dry and crazy un-inspiring, but it’s the truth.Tracy with co-writer Kevin Taft (courtesy of Tracy Andreen).Now, once that’s established, the other part of what I think has helped contribute to my recent success is I just freakin’ love movies! I grew up in a family that loves movies. My dad was a huge movie buff (anyone want to talk John Ford films? Billy Wilder? Howard Hawks? MGM Musicals? — he introduced me to all those and more) so I grew up with what turned out to be a phenomenal unofficial education in cinema. Classics, modern, and all points in-between. Watching all those movies taught me the art of recognizing stories that work — as well as stories that don’t — and learning the rhythm of good dialogue (thank you I.A.L. Diamond, Comden & Green, Nora Ephron, Neil Simon, just to name a few), even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I was just enjoying cinematic stories.And that’s important. Love of what you do, whatever you do, is the element that has the potential to take you to the next level of your chosen profession because, as my dad once told me, “As long as you love what you do for a living, it doesn’t feel as much like work.” Which might seem like a giant contradiction to the first part of what I just espoused, but it’s not. I love what I do and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be able to do it, but at the end of the day it’s still work . . . awesome work I love, so I’m thrilled to do so and, hopefully, that shines through.Courtesy of Tracy Andreen.PB: Writing is not only about inspiration; it is also a craft that takes skill, structure, and discipline. Obviously — since you are so prolific — you must have a system in place that keeps you organized, on message, and on deadline. What is your process? Do you start with an outline? Beat Sheet? Character bio?TA: Oh, God, “process” . . . Welp, believe it or not in this glorious age of digital, my first step when beginning a new project is to get a notebook (preferably TOPS 8.5 x 11, spiral-bound, college-ruled — and, yes, that’s how picky I can get) and pen (Pentel Energel Alloy gel pen, .5 tip) and make a cup of tea (Earl Grey or English Breakfast with the occasional chai if I’m feeling adventurous) and start writing there.Aside from the fact that studies show our brains retain more information when read in book or magazine format, and that different parts of our brains “light up” when we write longhand (as opposed to typing up notes or ideas onto our laptops), a big reason I go this route is I feel less obligated to anything I put down on paper than when I see it oscillating back at me on my monitor. I can scratch through an idea and keep going, and if later I think, “Hey, wait, that other idea was pretty good after all,” I can flip back a few pages, locate it, and use it going forward — instead of being annoyed because I sent it into oblivion via the delete button.Right now, I have boxes and drawers filled with notebooks that go back decades, for projects I’m just spitballing to those that have already aired. If I’ve been given a rewriting assignment, I will read the last draft of the project then the notes from the network/producers and come up with my ideas for solutions then pitch those ideas to said network execs/producers. And what my experience has shown [to be] the best route to those solutions is going through the main characters to find out what’s working and what isn’t. If possible. Sometimes I’m brought in so late in the game that a plot point I would prefer to bypass has to remain because there simply isn’t time to reconfigure everything for a different solution (I’m looking at you “overheard-conversation-leads-to-misunderstanding-and-heartbreak!”).When it comes to an original story, I usually have a very broad idea first then ponder what kind of story that idea would work best as in order to execute the idea, and almost always by that time the characters have already begun to reveal themselves. Look, writing is weird. I’ve often likened it to managed schizophrenia. Voices chattering in one’s brain, telling you which direction they would like the story to go, as opposed to what you, as writer, initially envisioned. This happens all the time.Snow Bride.On Snow Bride, for instance, I didn’t know that the character of Maggie (played by Patricia Richardson, who is lovely) had basically known the true identity of the character of Greta (played by Katrina Law, who is also quite lovely, and my awesome sister-in-law) the entire time until I was 2/3rds of the way through the first draft! I remember when the epiphany hit, saying to myself (out loud, btw): “Oh! Really? Huh. Of course!” Then I went back and made the (as it turns out, minor) adjustments, so it all made sense.Same thing happened recently on Under the Autumn Moon when the character of Josh learned that Alex’s company had very different plans for his ranch than what Alex initially told him. My thoughts when approaching that scene were that he’d be angry with Alex, but when I got there the “Josh” voice basically said, “Nope. I believe this woman.” And I went with it because it was true for his character. So, essentially, in terms of process, I can be organized and deliberate in preparation (beat sheets, outlines, etc.), but when it comes to execution, I allow myself the freedom to see what develops along the way (what the characters themselves tell me) and try my best to embrace those ideas when they materialize because they’re often the best.PB: Hallmark does close to 90 holiday films a year. Can you fill us in on the process from the writer’s standpoint? Do you pitch ideas? Are ideas pitched to you from development, and how does the network go from idea generation to script to production?TA: At this point, I’ve almost done it all. I’ve had pitches bought, been brought in from the beginning to shape an idea from producers, been hired to adapt books from the start, worked as a co-writer (with Lee Friedlander on three projects now: All for Love, Switched for Christmas, and Love, of Course, which aired for the 2018 Fall Harvest stunt on Hallmark), and done rewrites, both with loads of time and those called “emergency” (when the production is already in place but the script itself isn’t). Emergency rewrites need to take place in a very short amount of time (my record is a page-one rewrite delivered in 3.75 days; I would very much like to keep that as a record I never break, thank you veddy much) and require significant discipline because there is almost no room for error.On the flip side, I just had an original pitch bought two weeks ago by Hallmark that I’m going to be writing with my friend, Kevin Taft, which I’m very excited about! It’s presently called Hannah’s Honeymoon (titles change a lot), and the hope is that it goes in summer (not necessarily this summer, but a summer). I’m also working on another potential summer movie called Camp Lovestruck, which MarVista brought to me for development. And I have a couple ideas that I don’t think will be bought as pitches, but, rather, I’ll have to execute as specs for them to have a chance (you know, when I find the time!).PB: If someone wanted to tackle this genre, what tips would you give a writer when they are crafting their idea or spec script? What does Hallmark or perhaps Lifetime and Freeform look for specifically? And do the different networks have different agendas and audiences in mind?TA: I’ve primarily worked with the Hallmark Channel with a few at Lifetime and one at Up Network. And all networks work hard to know their audiences, passing on the information they’ve acquired to their writers, directors, actors, etc. People tune into The Hallmark Channel and Freeform for very different reasons, and that’s something writers have to keep in mind when approaching a project, be it as a pitch or a last-minute rewrite. As such, it’s my job as writer to familiarize myself with what that network likes, and that means watching their movies. That’s plural, by the way; the bigger your sample size the better.When I was first approached back in 2013 to come up with an idea for a Hallmark Christmas movie (the producer had a title, I had to come up with the corresponding story, and then the title changed because titles almost always change, but we kept the story), I’d honestly never seen one. But thankfully it was July, and Hallmark does this delightful movie block called “Christmas In July,” and I watched at least 10 in a row (The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is super fun!) so I could familiarize myself with what they liked. Oh, and I took notes. Copious notes. You know that Hallmark Christmas Movies Bingo game that’s been making the rounds the last couple years? I could’ve written that. The challenge for me was how to incorporate those elements — Gingerbread houses! Snow! A Christmas dance! — into a story that was still original and fun, and that ultimately became Snow Bride (2013), a movie that gets a good amount of play even to this day. (I love that one, btw, for a whole host of reasons.)PB: How involved is the writer in the production itself? When you hand in your final draft, is the process done for you, or are you ever asked to do on-the-fly rewrites or be on set?TA: Each production is different. The first two movies I wrote (Snow Bride and Stranded in Paradise) were both directed by the same man (the late Bert Kish, who was one of the kindest, most generous people imaginable), and he very much believed in having the writer around to ask questions. Not all directors are like that, though I find the better ones believe in communicating with the writer(s).Now, the WGA has rules in place that make it so a writer is allowed on-set if they’d like to be, and since I’ve joined the WGA (two years ago), I’ve been invited on every project. The good news/bummer news part of the equation is I’ve been so darned busy (!) writing that I haven’t had time to go to the sets, which have mostly been in Canada. I’m going to try to make a point to get to the set(s) more in the future. That said, there’s really not a whole heckuva lot a writer can do on-location during a three-week production besides get in the way of busy crew and graze the crafts service table (which is never a good idea for someone who works in a profession already known to be sedentary). Most of my work is done before the cameras start rolling, though there are a couple of exceptions when I’ve had to hand in pages after production was already well underway. That was fun. (No, it wasn’t.)Katrina Law joking behind the scenes of Snow Bride (Courtesy of Tracy Andreen)PB: Finally, where do you see the future of this genre? 90 plus stories a year is ambitious! But clearly there is a hungry audience out there if the ratings are any indication. What stories will you tell?TA: Pretty simple: as long as there’s an audience, these movies will be made. And right now the audience is voracious! There’ve been all sorts of articles written speculating why rom-coms are making a comeback, and specifically Christmas rom-coms are thriving. And the ratings show they are definitely thriving! At a time when almost every other network is seeing declines in their viewers, Hallmark Channel is soaring! I don’t think there’s one specific reason but a convergence of several. They’re safe at a time when the world doesn’t really feel safe. You can watch them with your whole family and not have to worry that something uncomfortable is going to slip in and cause you to have to have awkward conversations. Also? (And this is a big one in my mind.) People love love. Always have, always will. Love stories have been around since the beginning, but the cineplex marketplace isn’t providing love stories anymore, especially romantic comedies, so the viewers who crave them — and there are millions — have turned to the TV movie to feed their appetite. Hallmark Channel recognized this early and leaned into it, hard, and has been greatly rewarded for it in return.As for what stories do I have to tell? Quite a few, I hope! I’m presently doing a rewrite for a Valentine’s Day movie and a revision for a 2019 Christmas film that I hope goes into production in the first quarter of next year. Behind that are several projects (a couple mentioned above) bubbling about in development and far more ideas behind those, so I hope to keep busy for the foreseeable future. As long as people keep devouring romantic movies, and I keep delivering for the people who hire me, I plan to keep right on working because this really is a dream job.Fingers crossed!Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Screenwriter James V. 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