Free Fallin’, BASE jumpers highlight Bridge Day in the Gorge.In October of 1980, something incredible happened in West Virginia. Five men donning parachutes walked to the edge of the newly constructed 876-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge. With policemen, Park Service, and safety professionals looking on in approval, they stepped into oblivion.From these humble beginnings, Bridge Day has grown to over 800 jumps per year and 100,000+ spectators who all come to participate in a celebration of the sport, spectacular fall scenery, and the local community. Although originally started as a way for the general public to walk on the bridge, BASE jumping has taken center stage.Jumpers plunge from diving boards and platforms on the side of the bridge and land in the Fayette Station river access area far below. Safety boats patrol the waters, and spectators can view the whole show from the bridge itself, trails along the rim, or the National Park observation deck at the New River Gorge Visitor Center. It remains one of the most popular legal options for BASE jumping in the U.S., and it shines as an example of how fringe sport enthusiasts and authorities can work together towards a mutually beneficial solution.Summersville local jumper Marcus Ellison has witnessed the spectacle many times since he was a child. There was something about watching people submit to the forces of gravity that resonated with him. At the age of 23, Ellison began skydiving with the intention of moving to the BASE side of the sport. Before he knew it, Bridge Day 2008 had arrived, and he was standing on a platform looking over the chasm with friends and family watching. It was his turn to jump.“It’s a moment of clarity and relaxation,” Ellison explains. “When your feet disconnect from what you are on, there is an unbelievable feeling of release and freedom. That is what I’m after: that instant when you disconnect.”Marcus has disconnected across the country, and has over 300 skydives and nearly 200 BASE jumps to his name. He is drawn to the sport for many reasons, but in no small part because of the dramatic places that it brings him to. His favorite jumps are in massive alpine environments, and are sometimes combined with skiing. This focus on the beauty of the surroundings makes BASE jumping a soulful sport that is more similar to other outdoors pursuits than many think. It doesn’t require the manpower, airline fuel, and permits that skydiving does, and it is almost always a quiet, under-the-radar activity with just a friend or two. Due to the infancy of the sport, the rules of BASE are still being written.Bridge Day is hardly a normal day for these jumpers. In spite of the fanfare, lines, and spectators, it is often the only opportunity every year to reconnect with friends from across the planet. It’s a perfect chance for first-time jumpers to meet and learn from the legends of the sport. Personalities like Red Bull athlete Miles Daisher, oil rig lifestyler Chris McDougall, and wildman Jeb Corliss can be seen in the lineup, and are quick to give high fives and trade stories with aspiring young athletes.Jason Bell, BASE Coordinator for Bridge Day, says that it is without a doubt the best day for skydivers to make their first BASE jump. “We have over 100 first-timers every year, and due to setting, the system that we have developed, and the safety measures in place, it is a perfect way to get into the sport.”Rookies feel confident at Bridge Day for several reasons. First of all, it is the third tallest bridge in the U.S., and the more time that jumpers have to deal with the unexpected, the better. Jumping from a bridge also eliminates the danger of colliding with a cliff or other standing structures should the jumper spin and open the chute the wrong way. The primary landing area is a deep river, and rescue boats are constantly fishing jumpers out of the water. Finally, there are ambulances and other safety personnel and technology at the bottom, ready to deal with injury. On the logistical side, Bell and his team vet applicants through interview questions, and there are two gear checks for all jumpers before they are allowed to queue up for freefall.While it’s appealing to beginners, advanced athletes can also get excited about Bridge Day 2012, and its newest creation: The Human Catapult. A mechanical engineer by trade, Bell envisioned and designed a mechanism that is capable of launching jumpers 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally over the edge of the bridge during Bridge Day. This addition will augment the already classic launch platform and diving board options for jumpers, and will be mixed in to the other two as participants jump on 20-25 second intervals.BASE jumpers often struggle with being labeled as adrenaline junkies and daredevils. Just like any sport, there are those who take it to its limits, but the vast majority are there for the experience and the camaraderie. “BASE jumping is what you want it to be,” says Ellison. “It can be the craziest, scariest, most sketchball thing you could ever do, or it can be the foundation for some of the most joyful moments of your life.”Jason describes his personal fascination with the sport, and touches on the fact that it is still an incredible and vivid experience, even after over 500 jumps. “From the powerful acceleration of the jump, to the peacefulness of flying the chute, and finally the satisfaction of landing back on earth, there is nothing else like it. You realize that it is an experience that very few people will have, and it’s almost as if you are privy to a secret.” •DateOCTOBER 20, 2012Hours9:00 AM – 3:00 PMLocationNew River Gorge Bridge,Fayetteville, W.Va.Website [email protected]/TjhUfiOther ActivitiesRappelling, highlining, car show, music, chili/cornbread cookoff
Robert Russa Moton Museum Mural, photo by Michael Mergen **Know before you go! Please wear a mask or face covering when indoors and observe Virginia’s current safety guidelines when you travel. Before visiting, be sure to contact individual businesses for the most up-to-date hours and info. ROUTE 15: FARMVILLE TO CLARKSVILLE Leave downtown through the Manchester neighborhood, crossing the James River and following Route 360 (Hull Street), where you’ll discover the Metro Richmond Zoo’s exotic animals like kangaroos, orangutans, giraffes and lions. Scenes Along the Dan River in Danville, photo by David Hungate Cover Photo: High Bridge Trail State Park, photo by Ali Zaman Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort, photo by Ali Zaman Continue on to Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Park, another excellent stop along your Richmond to Farmville route. Conquer the treetop course, then rent canoes, kayaks or paddleboards to set out on the reservoir. Consider spending the night at this amazing adventure park, as their luxury glamping tipis are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. ROUTE 360: RICHMOND TO FARMVILLE Clarksville is known as “Virginia’s only lakeside town” due to its location on the shores of Kerr Lake, also called Bugg’s Island Lake. Experience the best of the area’s outdoor adventures at Occonechee State Park, where you can rent paddle boards or kayaks, fish the 50,000 acre manmade lake, and walk shaded shoreline trails. Visit the Robert Russa Moton Museum to learn about Farmville’s important contributions in the battle for Civil Rights in Education. The site of the first non-violent student demonstration, the schoolhouse-turned-museum explores the regional history that led to the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case. Upon arriving in Farmville, head to High Bridge Trail State Park to walk, jog or bike along 31 multi-use miles with beautiful aerial views of the Appomattox River. Rent bikes from Outdoor Adventure Store, located right on the trail in Downtown Farmville. Cooper’s Landing Inn & Traveler’s Tavern—Historic home in Clarksville that has been renovated into a beautiful pet-friendly inn. Eat, Drink & Stay Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Retreat—Fully furnished log cabins, a cottage and glamping tipis on a 23-acre farm outside of Farmville. Three Roads Brewing Company—Craft brewery in Downtown Farmville with outdoor seating. Hotel Weyanoke—Newly renovated pet-friendly boutique hotel in Downtown Farmville with on-site dining and a rooftop bar. Before leaving Downtown Richmond, stretch your legs and get a prime view of the river at the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, a pedestrian walkway that runs above the James and spans from Brown’s Island to Manchester and stop by Legend Brewing Company for pub fare paired with skyline views. Walk or bike the nine-mile Danville Riverwalk Trail or head to Ballou Park’s disc golf course. Mountain bikers love the Anglers Ridge Mountain Bike Trail System, one of the longest single track mountain biking trails in the region, offering a variety of trails for every level. Kerr / Bugg’s Island Lake, photo by Sam Dean North Street Press Club—Burgers and sandwiches in Downtown Farmville with patio seating. While travel may look a bit different this year, Virginia still has much to offer in the way of safe escapes. So if you’re still feeling some wanderlust – or WanderLove, as we call it – start packing your car and hit the road in central and southern Virginia. Mucho Taqueria—Eclectic taco restaurant and tequila bar in Danville’s River District. Occonechee State Park – park your RV, pitch your tent or cozy up in one of 13 cabins for an overnight stay. Buggs Island Brewing Company—Clarksville craft brewery. Discover local history along Millionaires’ Row, a long section of Main Street boasting pristine Victorian and Edwardian homes. The five historic and architecturally-significant churches bring Danville’s “City of Churches” moniker to life. Take Route 58 west towards Danville, stopping in charming South Boston and Halifax along the way to your final destination: Danville. Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort, photo by Ali Zaman Charley’s Waterfront Cafe—Downtown Farmville restaurant with upscale, family-friendly dining. ROUTE 58: CLARKSVILLE TO DANVILLE Heart Line Restaurant—Classic greasy spoon diner in Danville that is popular with the locals and known for their delicious and affordable meals, especially breakfast. Leaving Farmville, pick up Route 15 and enjoy the scenic drive to Clarksville. Berry Hill Resort—Historic South Boston luxury resort on 650 acres; spa, on-site dining options, and an indoor pool. The Lodge at Virginia International Raceway—Lodge and private villas located alongside the racetrack at Virginia International Raceway. Before leaving Clarksville, walk along Virginia Avenue and peruse some of the local shops like The Cottage Barn or Galleria on the Lake to browse local artwork, home decor and a selection of gourmet foods and wines. Southern Plenty Cafe—Eccentric South Boston coffee shop, cafe and boutique. Eat, Drink & Stay Ballad Brewing—Craft brewery in Downtown Danville. Eat, Drink & Stay For more road trip ideas, check out Virginia’s WanderLove getaways! Peruse Green Front Furniture Company, which has nearly a million square feet of showroom space in 13 shops and warehouses for all tastes, from sleek and modern to exotic and colorful to tastefully classic. Before leaving downtown, walk through Longwood University’s campus to enjoy gorgeous architecture and get a taste of the local college experience. T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, photo by Matt Long Lamplighter Restaurant & Lounge—Clarksville casual dining restaurant that serves full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
CLICK HERE FOR UPDATED STORYNassau County police arrested a Seaford man Wednesday for criminal possession of a weapon after they discovered a rifle in his car and several assault weapons at his home, police said.Detectives said 29-year-old Jonathan Erler was driving a 2004 Subaru north on Seamens Neck Road when Asset Forfeiture Criminal Investigative Rapid Response Team officers stopped him for a traffic violation and found a Flint Lock Rifle in the back seat and marijuana inside the car.After he was placed under arrest, CIRT task force detectives and the Arson Bomb Squad conducted a search of his Seamens Neck Road home where they recovered six assault weapons, five high-capacity ammunition clips, several Chinese throwing stars, two bullet proof vests, marijuana and concentrated cannabis, police said.Erler was charged with criminal possession of marijuana, criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and six counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.Police did not immediately release arraignment information. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York
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A South African court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for embattled former president Jacob Zuma after he failed to appear for a pre-trial hearing over corruption charges related to a 1990s arms deal.But the court said that execution of the warrant will be deferred until May 6 when the case is due to resume.Zuma’s lawyers said he was not able to attend the pre-trial hearing on Tuesday because he was ill and receiving treatment abroad, in the latest twist in a case that has seen numerous legal turns over a decade and a half. Topics : The High Court in the southeastern city of Pietermaritzburg issued the warrant after it questioned the authenticity of the sick note said to have been signed by a military doctor.”The court accepts that Mr Zuma may be unwell,” said judge Dhaya Pillay. “But this court needs reliable evidence that Mr Zuma is indeed ill.””It is not clear that [the doctor] is indeed a regular practitioner,” she said.State prosecutor Billy Downer said it was a “criminal offence” for the 77-year-old Zuma, who was in office between 2009 and 2018, to skip court. Zuma’s lawyer Dan Mantsha told reporters outside the courtroom that “our courts have no sympathy, no compassion”. “We are very concerned when courts issue warrants under the circumstances like this when the whole country knows that president Zuma is not well … indeed president Zuma underwent two operations in early January this year,” Mantsha said.”When you start to issue warrants under such circumstances, people start to question whether we are all equal under the law.” He said for the court to doubt “whether he is sick or not, is absolute unimaginable”.Mantsha vowed that the “elderly” Zuma, will attend court when he is fit, as he has done for previous hearings.Local media suggested that Zuma is in Cuba undergoing treatment for an undisclosed ailment.Zuma posted a video clip on Twitter on December 29 of himself dancing with a local gospel choir, with the caption “Happy Holidays.. From myself and the Umlazi Gospel Choir”. The former president has not tweeted since.Zuma is alleged to have taken bribes worth four million rand ($270,000) related to a $3.4 billion arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president.In all Zuma faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering related to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment when he was deputy to the country’s second black president, Thabo Mbeki.Both Zuma and French defense company Thales, which supplied equipment for navy vessels, deny the charges.Last year Zuma unsuccessfully tried to stop the trial from going ahead.If the trial takes place, it would be the first time Zuma faces a court on graft charges, despite a string of accusations over his long political career.Critics have dubbed Zuma the “Teflon president” for his reputed ability to evade judicial reckoning.He has also been accused of organizing the systematic plunder of government coffers in a scandal known as “state capture”.Zuma appeared at an inquiry into the scandal in July, putting on a defiant performance and denying all wrongdoing. He was forced to step down in 2018 by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party after a nine-year reign marked by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.The main opposition Democratic Alliance hailed the warrant decision, saying the court “has put its foot down and shown Mr Zuma that he can no longer continue wasting the court’s time and public resources because he is too afraid to face the music”. “He has gone above and beyond and tried every trick in the book to avoid being held accountable for his alleged hand in the arms deal,” the DA said in a statement.
Australian officials tried to contain a fresh outbreak of the novel coronavirus on Monday, telling residents in the cluster hotspots to avoid travel outside their suburbs in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city.Victoria state of which Melbourne is the capital has recorded double digit rises in new COVID-19 infections, accounting for nearly 90% of the 126 cases detected nationally over the past week.”At the moment the recommendation is simply an advisory, a strong advisory, where what we don’t want is people to come from those areas to other parts of Victoria, or interstate,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio. “If you are coming from interstate and you have family in one of those areas, we would prefer you not to come and visit that area and potentially take the virus back.”The Victorian government has said it would reimpose restrictions on social gatherings after the surge in new cases it says has been caused by family get-togethers attended by people with mild symptoms.Officials have also criticized people who have gone shopping while awaiting COVID-19 test results.New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, told residents to avoid travelling to hotspots in neighboring Victoria as the winter school holidays approach. Topics : “We’re asking people to consider their trips to Melbourne as community transmission at the moment is higher than what they would like,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.Despite the spike in cases in Victoria, Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged states and territories to continue removing the bulk of social distancing restrictions by the end of July.”We have to ensure that we can run our economy, run our lives, run our communities alongside this virus,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney.Australia had reported nearly 7,500 coronavirus cases and 102 deaths as of Sunday.
GameCo is set on making casino floors more fun. Rumour has it, it’s succeeding too. The New York and Vegas based company’s flagship product is its VGMs (or video game gambling machines) for land based casinos. Blaine Graboyes, GameCoThey went live in Atlantic City in November 2016 and they’ve a number more launches planned for this year. Their focus is on gamers, and they’ve different genres to suit different tastes. We spoke to GameCo CEO Blaine Graboyes about the VGMs, what their recent Gaming Laboratories International approval means and why they’re focused on attracting gamers rather than millennials.Las Vegas is of course on the cards too, and it’s another reason that it’s exciting time for esports in the city with the likes of Millennial Esports’ venue, The Luxor transforming a huge space, and Unikrn acquiring Leet. Esports Insider: Catch us up, where is GameCo at and what have you been up to since last we spoke in Autumn of 2016?Blaine: In November 2016, GameCo launched the first-ever skill-based Video Game Gambling Machines (VGMs) in Atlantic City.After a successful launch at all three Caesars properties, we quickly expanded to Tropicana as well. We’re now expanding further in Atlantic City and have new launches upcoming in Connecticut, Florida, and many other jurisdictions. Response to the product has been tremendous with strong demand from casinos and positive feedback from players.“We’ve shown that skill-based games can meet, or even beat, floor average at casinos with the right marketing and placement”In fact, our surveys show that 84% of players would recommend the game to their friends. There’s no better marketing than social promotion amongst friends. Another major milestone was receiving our Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) approval for our platform and games in March 2017. This opens up a majority of the gaming markets in the United States and worldwide. Our original product strategy was to develop new video game gambling products under the existing GLI-11 standards. Achieving this goal was incredibly fulfilling for us and proves the ability to innovate in the casino industry.Esports Insider: Which titles have proven the most popular to date in the casinos your VGMs have gone live in? And do you have much data on how long customers spend at them, their average spend etc.?Blaine: GameCo currently has three games live in the market. Our first game, “Danger Arena”, is a first-person action game. We’ve recently released “Danger Arena Reloaded”, a new and improved version based on player feedback. This is perhaps the greatest advantage of being live – we get actual player comments and are able to quickly incorporate into our games. Our second game, “Pharaoh’s Secret Temple”, is a Match3 game which we produced in collaborate with Pirates Gold studios. It’s similar to games such as Candy Crush but with an Egyptian theme!“Our surveys show that 84% of players would recommend the game to their friends. There’s no better marketing than social promotion amongst friends”Our newest game is “Nothin’ but Net”, a basketball game in which players get 12 shots on basket to achieve the highest score and payout. As you’d expect, different games attract and retain different players. “Danger Arena” players tend to be male and 60% are under 40 years old. This is great news for the casino industry, where the average slot player has “aged” ten years in the last decade. With “Pharaoh’s Secret Temple” we’re attracting more of a casual gamer (the average female gamer is 42 years old). And “Nothin’ but Net” is appealing to a wide audience, including sports enthusiasts. Appealing to all gamers is a key strategy for GameCo and we’re seeing this take hold with each new game.As for VGM performance, we’re very happy with initial results. We’ve shown that skill-based games can meet, or even beat, floor average at casinos with the right marketing and placement. And we’ve also seen that we’re attracting “net new players” who would not normally play slot machines. This is driving incremental new revenue for casinos, which is critical to the ongoing viability of our industry.Esports Insider: How have conversations with the regulators in the US progressed? What work have you been doing to this end?Blaine: We’ve found gaming regulators to be strong partners in our process of bringing new products to the casino floor. Regulation is sometimes viewed as a “necessary evil” but we’ve experienced completely the opposite.“We’re working on a new variety of new territories including Europe, South America, Canada, Caribbean, and Asia”At GameCo, we’re strong supporters of regulation and believe that broad standards and strong enforcement create market opportunities. Looking at unregulated markets such as skins betting or daily fantasy shows the challenges faced due to a lack of regulatory oversight. Our GLI-11 approval was watershed, as this is the most widely accepted standard in the casino industry. We now have a clear path to market in gaming jurisdictions worldwide and working to continue leveraging our first-mover advantage.A key strategy for GameCo was building on existing slot machine technologies and this has proven to be a key factor in our speed and agility. By implementing new content on accepted hardware and software, we’ve provided a “plug-and-play” replacement for slot machines that appeal to a new audience of Gamers.Esports Insider: Next on the cards is Europe. What are the challenges here? Do you expect that this market will take to the same exact games in the same way as the North American player base has? How much have you considered variations in genre popularity from North America, to Europe and then to Asia?Blaine: We’re working on a new variety of new territories including Europe, South America, Canada, Caribbean, and Asia.“To date, we’ve announced deals with Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, and other massive brands with multi-generational appeal”While each presents new challenges and opportunities, the process and standards are relatively similar. Again, our GLI-11 approval is massively helpful as this provides a basis for entering a majority of gaming jurisdictions. Considerations of genre, as well as game design and art styles, is important. We’re finding the ability to utilise most of our existing games and technology with changes that enhance the experience for each market.For example, we’re currently launching with casinos in South America and our games seem to be a good match for the audience and only require translation of minor aspects of the instructions and gameplay. In Canada and Europe, we believe that our game library will have massive appeal given the similar interests of gamers in these territories. As for Asia, we are working on some original games for the market as well as updates to existing games to better match the customers and their interests. This includes licensing new properties that are specific to Asia, including AAA video games.Esports Insider: Do you see your game as the skilled disruptor to slots in casinos, as DFS is looking to be to sports betting? Do certain GameCo titles have a greater degree of skill than others?Blaine: At GameCo, we think of our company and products as more evolutionary than revolutionary. We’re expanding the universe of casino games from slots and table games to appeal to a mix of current customers and new players who may not play slots or other current games. We use existing slot machine technology such as bill acceptors and ticket printers and support universal standards such as the SAS protocol and player tracking systems. The innovation is in the content experience (video games!) and appealing to an audience of gamers who are looking for a place to gather, socialize, compete, and gamble. Our thesis is that gamers are the largest underserved audience, sadly due to existing stereotypes of “kids in their parents’ basements.” And casinos are the experts in hospitality and have made multi-billion dollar investments in their infrastructure. Providing a “VIP Experience” for Gamers is central to our vision and philosophy.“We believe the market is much bigger and we focus on appealing to all gamers. The average gamer is 35 years old and over-indexes for income and education. The success of stadium esports events shows that gamers are social and willing to spend”As for the skill component of our games, all of our games include our patented method and system for managing Return To Player (RTP) – which is how much the machine will theoretically pay out over time. Our games have similar economics for the casino as slot machines. This is essential as slots generate about 75% of casino revenues in most markets. And this revenue has been stagnant or declining over the past two decades, especially with commercial casinos. GameCo’s VGMs are a true skill gaming experience – the players’ score is their payout and winnings.Esports Insider: Can you tell us some more about your brand licensing agreements, you’ve deals in place with Terminator and Star Trek for example?Blaine: We’ve had good success working with entertainment and video game brands to bring these popular properties to the casino as skill-based games.“GameCo expects to have a broad portfolio of games, including licensed properties, original games, and games co-developed with other game studios”To date, we’ve announced deals with Terminator 2, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, and other massive brands with multi-generational appeal. Shortly, we will be announcing our first AAA video game partnerships as well as bringing some of the best classic video games to the casino. We want to appeal to all Gamers and believe that these well-known brands will provide instant recognition and achieve wide appeal on the casino floor.GameCo expects to have a broad portfolio of games, including licensed properties, original games, and games co-developed with other game studios. However, it’s worth noting that GameCo does not produce any games internally. We provide the hardware and software platform for implementing video games in the casino. We work with outside developers to adapt their existing games or create new game experiences for our VGM.Esports Insider: Does GameCo bring new players to casinos or does it transform and diversify the players they already have?Blaine: The “Millennial” discussion has been top of mind in the casino industry for the past few years. But we believe the market is much bigger and we focus on appealing to all gamers. The average gamer is 35 years old and over-indexes for income and education. They’re looking for a place to socialise with like-minded peers and meet new people. The success of stadium esports events shows that gamers are social and willing to spend – but they want to spend money on video games. Casinos are the perfect venue to provide an unparalleled experience to a wide audience of gamers.“Our thesis is that gamers are the largest underserved audience, sadly due to existing stereotypes of ‘kids in their parents’ basements’.”Based on our exit interviews with VGM players, we see that our games are definitely attracting a new audience that would not normally play slot machines. Generally, they’re at the casino to go to the nightclub, bar, or restaurant. Now, with GameCo’s VGM, there’s a gaming experience that appeals to this underserved audience.
His opponent, Jack Gaunt (Drayton Park) has fulfilled his first ambition with today’s semi-final win. He lost on the 18th in last year’s semi, to eventual champion Dan Brown, and this time he was determined to go one better. He was three up after five holes and, for the most part, the score stayed that way until the 15th, which Poppleton (Wath) won with an eagle three. His lead was reduced to one hole on the long 17th where they both found heather off the tee. Clements eventually holed from 12ft for his par but Poppleton, from half the distance, slotted in a winning birdie putt. Clements (Braintree) added: “It was a strange time of the match, but then we had the break for thunder and lightning and that let the dust settle.” On the par three 18th, it was advantage Clements when Poppleton went through the green, into the rough, and chipped back a good 40ft past the pin. But the Yorkshireman rolled the putt straight in for his par. Clements, pictured left, held his nerve and two-putted for the half and his place in the final. “This is one better than last year and I’m excited about tomorrow,” he said. “Todd and I played together in the stroke play and I’m expecting a good game.” Click here for full scores But by then Sloman had found his stride and with a great birdie two on the 10th he reduced the deficit to one hole and, after another birdie on 14, the match was all square. Todd Clements of Essex and Jack Gaunt of Staffordshire will meet in tomorrow’s final of the English amateur championship after winning hard-fought matches at The Berkshire. They both won their semi-finals by one hole after an afternoon which included great golf, a weather delay of over an hour for lightning and a rules issue. “I’m over the moon,” said Clements, who paid tribute to his coach Zane Scotland for improving all aspects of his game. “This will be one of the best experiences of my life so far and I’m going to enjoy the moment.” Images copyright Leaderboard Photography 5 Aug 2017 It’s Clements v Gaunt in English amateur final “It’ll never happen again,” he said afterwards, but was characteristically upbeat and paid fulsome tribute to Clements’ golf: “He was fabulous, he beat me. I asked him some questions over the last couple of holes and he answered them.” He played Somerset’s Tom Sloman (Taunton & Pickeridge), took the lead with a first hole birdie, was two up at the turn and looking comfortable. The referee had to be called on the second hole when Clements’ opponent, Nick Poppleton of Yorkshire, realised he had a non-conforming club in his bag. He’d added it at lunchtime, planning a practice session, and forgotten to remove it – and the error cost him a two-hole deduction, going from one up to one down. Gaunt came straight back with a winning birdie on the 15th and he also captured the 16th with a par after Sloman’s ball hit a sprinkler head and went long. But Gaunt’s lead was cut to one hole after he found the heather twice on the 17th and he had to par the 18th to secure the win. “Last year taught me a lot about keeping your head and not getting too bogged down thinking about past shots, but to try and stay in the moment,” said Gaunt, pictured top. Tags: English Amateur Championship
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Joint Animal ServicesCute bunnies and fuzzy chicks find their way into the Easter baskets each spring. Unfortunately, as they grow, many of these Easter pets become unwanted or owners are unable to care for them.Some neighborhoods do not allow these types of pets. Rather than a living addition to the Easter basket, give an adoption gift certificate from Animal Services. This way the recipient can select the pet that fits their lifestyle and speaks to their heart. As Easter is right around the corner, here are some tips to help keep your pets safe. 1) Keep all that extra candy safely tucked away from your pets. Chocolate, macadamia nuts and xylitol (an artificial sweetener) are toxic to many pets.2) Easter Lilies can be fatal if ingested by our furry friends.3) Many pets will try to nibble the plastic grass from Easter baskets, which can cause blocked digestive tracks and other medical issues.For more information, visit www.jointanimalservices.org or call Animal Services at (360) 352-2510.