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The 2017 High Falls release will occur between 10am and 4pm on the following dates:June 10, July 1, July 22, August 12, and August 26.High Falls (sometimes called Cullowhee Falls) is located below the dam on Lake Glenville. The trail to view the falls was originally created for kayakers daring to face the challenging Class IV and V rapids that occur as the dam releases take place.On a typical day, the double 150ft falls are serene as they cascade into the Tuckaseegee Gorge below (shown). As the dam releases, the falls become an impressive force of raging water. Remember: Safety First! Don’t stand under the falls as the releases quickly and there is little chance of dodging it.
20 November 2012 South Africa’s Energy Department and state oil company PetroSA have launched an Integrated Energy Centre (IeC) in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape province, PetroSA announced in a statement on Monday. The centre is a one-stop shop offering services of energy goods. It will house an information centre, a convenience store, car wash, an energy shop, ablution facilities and a fuels forecourt. Petrol, diesel, paraffin and LPG gas will also be sold at the centre. “For years Mbizana residents have had to travel minimum distances of 15 kilometres to nearby towns to purchase everyday commodities like electricity, petrol and other energy necessities,” PetroSA said. The centre, which cost R10.8-million to construct, will be owned by a registered co-operative made up of members of the local community and will plough back part of the profit from the centre towards growing the business and job creation. Once fully operational, 15 people will be employed. “IeCs are not just about the integration of energy services. Rather they are primarily about integration and co-operation among the three tiers and structures of government, for improved delivery of energy services to the poorest of the poor,” said Energy Minister Dipuo Peters. The opening of the IeC was a significant milestone for PetroSA. “The centre is a showcase of our commitment to corporate social responsibility. I am sure that there are important lessons that PetroSA will take from this experience that will stand us in good stead for similar ventures,” PetroSA group chief executive officer Nosizwe Nokwe-Macamo said. The community is committed to ensuring that the venture is a success, said chairperson of the Mbizana IeC Co-operative, Zwelihle Moya. Source: SANews.gov.za
Several low-lying roads have closed due to flooding as of Wednesday morning, including Highway 94 west of Portland. See MoDot’s travel information map here.The Missouri River at Jefferson City was forecast to hit major flood stage late Wednesday or early Thursday, and crest at 32.1 feet, one of the ten highest levels in recorded history. Glasgow was on the way to a top-five all-time crest.More rain was in the forecast, starting Wednesday night.Jefferson City residents north of the Missouri River have also been given evacuation orders effective at 5pm Wednesday.In addition, The Salute to Veterans Airshow is canceled over Memorial Day weekend, because of flooding near the Jefferson City airport. Governor Parson declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.
Chelsea defensive duo Christensen, Emerson doubtful for Newcastleby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveAndreas Christensen and Emerson are doubtful for Chelsea’s clash with Newcastle United on Saturday, according to Goal.Emerson has been out of action since September with a hamstring problem, but he has not officially been ruled out of facing the Magpies.Christensen picked up a hamstring problem over the international break.In positive news for the Blues, Antonio Rudiger could be eased back by Frank Lampard’s after an interrupted start to the season.Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic also picked up injuries over the international break. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
VICTORIA – More inspectors at some casinos and tighter checks on gamblers with deep pockets have been ordered by the British Columbia government as it aims to prevent money laundering.The new security measures are the result of an ongoing independent probe of suspicious cash transactions at B.C. casinos, Attorney General David Eby said Tuesday, adding more changes could be announced when the government receives a final report.Peter German was appointed in September to deliver a report to the government by March, but the former RCMP deputy commissioner and money laundering expert was given the authority to provide interim recommendations to tackle suspicious activities.Eby said the review was prompted by a report that the River Rock Casino in Richmond had accepted $13.5 million in $20 bills over a one-month period in 2015, which police said could be proceeds of crime.The Great Canadian Gaming Corp., which runs River Rock, has said compliance procedures are strictly followed and the company is committed to preventing illegal activities at all its locations.Eby said he has directed the B.C. Lottery Corp. and the government’s gaming policy branch to set up identification rules on cash deposits of $10,000 or more in addition to the appointment of round-the-clock regulators at large facilities.Gaming facilities must now be able to identify customers playing with cash or bonds of $10,000 or more and have the customer provide the source of the money, he said.“Mr. German has confirmed for me there is cash coming from unknown, illegitimate sources in Lower Mainland casinos in British Columbia,” he said. “These are sizable transactions.”When pressed about the possibility the casinos were being used to launder cash, Eby said he did not want to prejudge the issue ahead of the final report.The 24-hour on-duty regulators have the power to monitor and discipline gaming employees and casino owners. They will be working with undercover police squads, Eby said.“This presence will allow for an increased vigilance required in casinos,” Eby said in a statement.The original report that set off German’s review was commissioned by the previous Liberal government. Eby made the report public only after the NDP took office.“It may seem like common sense to British Columbians when someone shows up with a duffel bag full of $20 bills or a hockey bag full of $20 bills that there is some kind of problem there,” Eby said.The B.C. Gaming Association, which speaks for casino operators, said in a statement: “Mr. German’s interim recommendations provide enhancements to how B.C.’s casinos handle large cash transactions that we believe represent the continued evolution of the framework we work within in the province.”Last month Eby gave the B.C. Lottery Corp. more authority to monitor the gaming industry with new service agreements aimed at strengthening security and compliance.The lottery corporation issued a statement Tuesday welcoming German’s ongoing review and accepting the two interim recommendations, saying it is actively engaged in the prevention and detection of money laundering.The lottery corporation generated $1.3 billion in net revenues for the province in 2016-17.
There’s a good argument to be made that MLB launched the new sports–data revolution in 2006, when it introduced PITCHf/x. The technology used cameras to measure the velocity, position, and break of every pitch in real time, transforming how sabermetricians analyzed the sport. But this season, PITCHf/x was phased out in favor of Statcast, a newer and more advanced system that tracks the ball (and players) using a combination of radar and cameras.On paper, Statcast is an incredible leap forward — and when it works, it’s amazing. But so far, it has struggled to measure the basic elements of pitching that PITCHf/x had down cold, causing confusion among sabermetricians and fans alike.It all started the first weekend of the season, when observers noted some unusual pitch velocity readings from San Francisco Giants hurler Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner’s fastball was up almost two full miles per hour compared with last year; in a league where every tick matters, that reading could have meant a much better season for the Giants’ ace than expected. It wasn’t just Bumgarner: FanGraphs writer Dave Cameron quickly noticed that velocity numbers had jumped across the league. Days after the changes were noted, MLB data guru Tom Tango clarified in a blog post that the changeover from PITCHf/x to Statcast had altered the way pitch speed was recorded, making it appear that velocity had increased. An MLB Advanced Media spokesperson who requested not to be identified said “the transition saw unexpected issues that have been resolved,” but declined to comment further.And tracking velocity was only the beginning of Statcast’s troubles. Real-time data from MLB’s Gameday app has been inconsistent or obviously erroneous in the season’s first month. Some days, it has gone missing altogether, only to reappear later without explanation. Statcast has always had gaps in its data, but in previous years, that missing information was limited to batted-ball velocity and launch angle. The pitch-tracking issues that cropped up this year are in dramatic contrast with those we saw from PITCHf/x, which tended to miss only a handful of throws a season.Even if you focus solely on the pitches that Statcast successfully tracks, its measurement error is much higher than PITCHf/x’s was. We can tell whether a park is systematically measuring pitches incorrectly by looking at the average vertical and horizontal coordinates of pitches there. If the data from a particular park tends to always be a bit high or a bit outside compared to when the same pitchers throw at other parks, it’s likely that the measurements are off. And according to models I built to measure the systematic error in each ballpark,1I used generalized linear models, with a random effect for the park. the new system is struggling to determine where the ball crosses the plate. Here’s what those errors look like when averaged across the league. Errors in both horizontal and vertical movement have never been higher in the four years that Statcast has made some of its data publicly available.2This year’s horizontal errors are tied with last year’s as the highest ever; this year’s vertical errors are the highest ever. So it’s not just your imagination as you watch the game on TV: In-broadcast representations of the strike zone (like FoxTrax) take their data from Statcast, and Statcast’s errors, in turn, have bred anger with umpires and confusion over how pitches are being called.Statcast runs into the most trouble when it’s quantifying pitch break, or the degree to which pitches move up and down or side to side as they travel between the mound and the plate. Third-party observers have catalogued numerous inaccuracies with Statcast’s break numbers. “It appears that the current Statcast/TrackMan h[orizontal]/v[ertical] break can be up to 3 inches divergent from the truth, simply comparing it to 2016 PITCHf/x data,” said Kyle Boddy, a data-driven trainer with multiple MLB clients. Even the average Statcast-reported break number is about an inch off. Some readings are especially egregious: One pitch was originally reported to have arced upward more than 20 inches on its trip from the mound to the plate. The combination of errors in velocity and break have rendered some pitches impossible to classify, further confusing sabermetricians.Making matters worse, some ballparks show much larger errors than others. So far this season, Atlanta’s brand-new SunTrust Park appears to have the most accurate vertical break numbers, only off by two-tenths of an inch on average. Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park shows the worst errors, missing by an average of 2.4 inches per pitch. So not only are the errors bigger than in the days of PITCHf/x, they’re also more inconsistent: Last year, every park’s errors ranged from 0.04 to 1.4 inches.Park-specific calibration errors such as these may explain other aberrant MLB trends. Despite the aforementioned league-wide hike in measured velocity, Chicago Cubs starters have registered lower fastball velocities than last year, sparking concern among Cubs fans. Writers have pointed to poor starts by Chicago pitchers as evidence that the velocity drop-offs are real, and even suggested that it could be part of a conscious effort by Cubs pitchers to decrease fatigue. But the far simpler explanation is bad data: If the club’s pitch tracker is poorly calibrated, it could make it look like pitchers are losing velocity when in fact the readings are just wrong. Supporting this idea is the fact that opposing teams’ pitchers in Wrigley have also registered a lower raw velocity than average. Unless the Cubs’ velocity woes are contagious, it seems likely that Statcast errors are driving some of their low numbers.The root cause of Statcast’s troubles is unknown. The problems could originate in the hardware, the computer code processing the resulting data, or any other part of a complex system. The hardware part of Statcast — the part that actually tracks pitches — is a radar system sold by a company called TrackMan. Boddy’s company, Driveline Baseball, maintains their own TrackMan machine and has previously characterized its performance. “It is well-known in the industry that TrackMan has a lot of calibration issues, especially in nonstandard deployments.” Boddy said. For a radar system that works best in empty environments, it hardly gets less standard than trying to take measurements in a crowded MLB stadium on game day.The good news is that MLB could learn from the last major technological innovation it deployed. When PITCHf/x first came out in the postseason of 2006, there were major issues with its initial calibration. “The data was open sourced and required tons of work from the public sphere to massage and get right,” Boddy said. “It was years before the data stabilized, and MLBAM has public analysts to thank for doing tons of free work.” But in contrast to a decade ago, MLB is now providing very little detail about Statcast’s internal workings. Without greater disclosure from MLB, it’s impossible to know what issues Statcast is having, or when they may be resolved. (At times, their own analysts appear to find out about changes to the public data after the fact.) Until Statcast improves, television viewers and sabermetricians alike will have to take pitch-tracking measurements with a grain of salt.
The logic was sound for Scott: Kessler/McCown as the most obvious case, the Browns starter last year up against the least bad Jets passer; Kessler/Hackenberg if the Jets were aggressively tanking; Kizer/McCown if the Jets had back-tracked on tanking and the Browns were attempting to invest in their future; and Kizer/Hackenberg if both teams were racing to the bottom for Southern Cal’s Sam Darnold, the presumed No. 1 pick at the time.To the untrained eye, Brock Osweiler going into the season could be the guy: He started the first two preseason games, had been a starting quarterback in two cities and even signed a baffling $72 million contract. To the trained — by which I mean open — eye, Osweiler is an awful quarterback, now riding the bench behind Trevor Siemian in Denver after failing to make the 53-man roster in Cleveland. Hogan, meanwhile, emerged as the sleeper candidate by earning the backup role ahead of incumbent Kessler, giving me some brief hope. But the Browns have fully committed to their rookie Kizer in the past four weeks — undeterred by the lowest QBR in the NFL.For the Jets, it’s been a far weirder ride. They are a team that cannot choose between tanking for Darnold (or Josh Rosen … or Mason Rudolph) and winning enough games to ensure that they do not obtain him. Bryce Petty remains inexplicably in the mix. Hackenberg obtained the No. 2 spot and then promptly lost it. For those questioning the logic of the “other” column, the Jets kicked Jay Cutler’s tires when he was a free agent. And yet, the mediocrity of McCown has helped the Jets win two whole games, all but ensuring that the Jets will not be able to draft a reliable replacement for him next year.All good teams are good for the same reasons, but all bad teams fail for different ones. It’s looking increasingly likely that I’ll owe Red [checks book] several beers. But good God, was the roller coaster worth it: Nothing quite like skin in the game to make the Jet’s inability to tank correctly entertaining. On July 31, I made what will surely be the single most entertaining bet of my NFL season, a down-to-the-wire nail-biter that this Sunday is manifested in either total glory or unspeakable defeat:Who on Earth would be the starting quarterbacks for Jets at Browns in Week 5?The teams, which have been the poster children for “problems behind center” in recent seasons (OK, recent decades), will each presumably field a passer during the Sunday game. The identity of those individuals was a mystery in late July. For the Browns — historically, the kind of quarterback trash fire that other trash fires look at and say, “Oh, God, the smell” — there were five possibilities in July: Brock Osweiler, Kevin Hogan, Cody Kessler, rookie DeShone Kizer and “other.” For the Jets, who had parted ways with Ryan Fitzpatrick earlier that year, the options were considerably slimmer: Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, second-year clipboard holder Christian Hackenberg and, of course, “other.”So here was the bet between me and internet friend Red Scott of Bunker Politics.1Full disclosure, this is our second bet. The first was which number would be higher, the combined wins of the Jets and Browns or the White House tenure of Anthony Scaramucci in months. I won that one. He gave himself even-money odds that he could guess the starting quarterback combo for New York at Cleveland in four tries. I would take the rest of the field. Here’s what he ended up picking:
Green BayRashan GaryDE1211.2+0.8 PittsburghDevin BushLB1015.5-5.5 WashingtonDwayne HaskinsQB158.8+6.2 TennesseeJeffery SimmonsDT1929.5-10.5 With the first round of the NFL draft complete, it appears that the wisdom of the crowds wasn’t particularly wise. The first three picks went relatively as expected, but the draft went off script with the Oakland Raiders’ pick at No. 4 overall: defensive end Clelin Ferrell of Clemson — a player who mock drafters believed would go somewhere in the middle of the first round. The Raiders’ pick was the first of many that defied expectations and left amateur GMs scratching their heads.In the case of the New York Giants, some fans were banging their heads against the wall and collapsing in tears. New York, which passed on many quarterbacks a year ago to take running back Saquon Barkley, took Duke QB Daniel Jones at No. 6. Jones averaged a 20.4 pick in mock drafts taken in the last 30 days before the draft but came off the board an eyebrow-raising 14.4 picks earlier. The Giants seemed to be trying to get ahead of a quarterback run that didn’t exist: Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins lasted until Washington took him at No. 15 (6.2 picks later than expected), and no subsequent QBs were taken on Thursday night.But the New York football Giants, armed with three picks in the first round alone, weren’t finished reaching. Using the 17th overall pick they acquired when they dealt Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, the Giants selected DT Dexter Lawrence of Clemson, 10.5 picks earlier than expected. The Giants were able to capture some surplus value with their third and final pick of the first round, however: Georgia CB Deandre Baker lasted 3.2 picks longer than expected and should help fill the void in the Giants secondary that was left when Eli Apple was traded to New Orleans last October for picks in the fourth and seventh rounds. Tampa BayDevin WhiteLB57.0-2.0 The NFL draft has been full of surprisesThe first round of the 2019 NFL draft by each player’s pick and his average draft position (ADP) in mock drafts since March 26, 2019 New EnglandN’Keal HarryWR3229.3+2.7 WashingtonMontez SweatDE2610.6+15.4 MiamiChristian WilkinsDT1319.0-6.0 BaltimoreMarquise BrownWR2525.4-0.4 Green BayDarnell SavageS2154.7-33.7 N.Y. GiantsDexter LawrenceDT1727.5-10.5 CincinnatiJonah WilliamsOT1113.3-2.3 The selections of Lawrence and Ferrell were part of a larger trend: NFL GMs appear to have been particularly enamored with Clemson players. Three Tiger defensive standouts from the national championship team were selected in the first round, and they went 10.5 slots earlier on average than mock drafts predicted.A dominant theme of the night, as expected, was NFL teams trying to find the next star pass rusher. But it was a pass rusher who had the biggest slide down the board among the first-round selections. Washington appears to have gotten a substantial value when it selected Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat 26th overall. In a draft class stacked with edge rushing talent, Sweat came off the board 15.4 picks later than expected.1Sweat was diagnosed with a heart condition earlier this year, which may have caused his stock to drop, but it was reported Thursday that the diagnosis could have been wrong.When we look at all 32 first-round picks, the correlation between what mock drafters expected and what actually occurred was about the same in 2019 as it was in 2018. In 2019, the average draft position in mock drafts explained 48 percent of variance, down slightly from 49 percent of variance explained in 2018. This year’s first round skewed toward reaches, with six teams trading up on draft day to get their guys. Overall, players came off the board six picks earlier than expected; last year, that difference was five spots.As a result, Day 2 of the draft should be one in which savvy teams can find more value than they may have initially anticipated. That could even drive more pick swapping, as teams look to swoop in and grab coveted players like mock draft darling D.K. Metcalf on the cheap. PhiladelphiaAndre DillardOT2217.6+4.4 CarolinaBrian BurnsLB1616.0+0.0 Sources: NFL, Ben Robinson HoustonTytus HowardOT2360.7-37.7 San FranciscoNick BosaDE22.1-0.1 OaklandJosh JacobsRB2427.2-3.2 N.Y. JetsQuinnen WilliamsDT33.7-0.7 DenverNoah FantTE2022.9-2.9 DetroitTJ HockensonTE813.0-5.0 AtlantaKaleb McGaryOT3143.3-12.3 teamplayerPositionpickADPdiff JacksonvilleJosh AllenLB73.7+3.3 BuffaloEd OliverDT99.3-0.3 L.A. ChargersJerry TilleryDT2831.6-3.6 MinnesotaGarrett BradburyC1825.7-7.7 N.Y. GiantsDaniel JonesQB620.4-14.4 SeattleL.J. CollierDE2962.9-33.9 OaklandJohnathan AbramS2733.6-6.6 OaklandClelin FerrellDE419.0-15.0 N.Y. GiantsDeandre BakerCB3026.8+3.2 AtlantaChris LindstromG1429.3-15.3 ArizonaKyler MurrayQB11.8-0.8 From ABC News: