Local teams learn matchups for upcoming WIAA softball playoffs

first_imgDivision 1Sectional 1Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Hudson at No. 8 Eau Claire Memorial, 5 p.m.No. 12 Menomonie at No. 5 Wisconsin Rapids, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 River Falls at No. 4 Superior, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 Wausau West at No. 3 Merrill, 4 p.m.No. 11 Wausau East at No. 6 D.C. Everest, 5 p.m.No. 10 Marshfield at No. 7 Eau Claire North, 5 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Hudson-Eau Claire Memorial winner at No. 1 Stevens PointEau Claire North-Marshfield winner at No. 2 Chippewa FallsSectional 5Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Stoughton at No. 8 Fort Atkinson, 4:45 p.m.No. 12 Waterford at No. 5 Mukwonago, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Janesville Parker at No. 4 Wilmot, 4 p.m.No. 14 Lake Geneva Badger at No. 3 Janesville Craig, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Oregon at No. 6 Burlington, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Milton at No. 7 Beloit Memorial, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Stoughton-Fort Atkinson winner at No. 1 Westosha Central, 4:30 p.m.Beloit Memorial-Milton winner at No. 2 Union Grove, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 2Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Neenah at No. 8 Appleton North, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Menasha at No. 5 Appleton East, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Appleton West at No. 4 Ashwaubenon, 3:30 p.m.No. 14 Green Bay West at No. 3 Green Bay Preble, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Green Bay Southwest at No. 6 Green Bay East, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 De Pere at No. 7 Pulaski, 3 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Appleton North-Neenah winner at No. 1 Hortonville, 4:30 p.m.Pulaski-De Pere winner at No. 2 Bay Port, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 8Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Racine Horlick at No. 8 FranklinNo. 12 Racine Park at No. 5 South MilwaukeeNo. 13 Milwaukee Reagan at No. 4 Oak CreekNo. 14 Milwaukee Pulaski/Arts/Juneau at No. 3 Kenosha TremperNo. 11 Racine Case at No. 6 MuskegoNo. 10 Kenosha Indian Trail at No. 7 GreendaleRegional finals, May 29Horlick-Franklin winner at No. 1 GreenfieldGreendale-Indian Trail winner at No. 2 Kenosha BradfordSectional 3Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Madison Memorial at No. 8 Monona Grove, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Onalaska at No. 5 Holmen, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Madison West at No. 4 DeForest, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 Madison La Follette at No. 3 Verona, 5 p.m.No. 11 Baraboo at No. 6 Madison East, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Waunakee at No. 7 Sun Prairie, 5 p.m.No. 15 Tomah at No. 2 La Crosse Central, 4 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Memorial-Monona Grove winner at No. 1 Middleton, 5 p.m.Sectional 7Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Glendale Nicolet at No. 8 Milwaukee King, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Milwaukee Riverside at No. 5 Whitefish Bay, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Milwaukee Vincent at No. 4 Brookfield Central, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 Milwaukee Madison/Collegiate/Samuel at No. 3 Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels, 4 p.m.No. 11 Milwaukee Bradley at No. 6 Brookfield East, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Milwaukee Pius XI at No. 7 Cedarburg, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Nicolet-King winner at No. 1 Germantown, 7 p.m.Cedarburg-Pius XI winner at No. 2 Mequon Homestead, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 4Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Sheboygan North at No. 8 Hartford, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 West Bend West at No. 5 Slinger, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Sheboygan South at No. 4 Oshkosh North, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 West Bend East at No. 3 Beaver Dam, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Fond du Lac at No. 6 Oshkosh West, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Port Washington at No. 7 Manitowoc, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Sheboygan North-Hartford winner at No. 1 Kaukauna, 4:30 p.m.Manitowoc-Port Washington winner at No. 2 Kimberly, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 6Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Wauwatosa West at No. 8 Wauwatosa East, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Waukesha South at No. 5 Oconomowoc, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 West Allis Central at No. 4 Waukesha North, 5 p.m.No. 14 Milwaukee Hamilton at No. 3 Hartland Arrowhead, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Waukesha West at No. 6 Kettle Moraine, 5 p.m.No. 10 West Allis Hale at No. 7 Sussex Hamilton, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Wauwatosa West-Wauwatosa East winner at No. 1 Menomonee Falls, 4:30 p.m.Hamilton-West Allis Hale winner at No. 2 Watertown, 4:30 p.m.Division 2Sectional 1Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Amery at No. 4 Barron, 5 p.m.No. 6 Ashland at No. 3 SpoonerNo. 7 Hayward at No. 2 Northwestern/South ShoreNo. 8 St. Croix Central at No. 1 Baldwin-Woodville, 5 p.m.No. 5 Altoona at No. 4 New Richmond, 5 p.m.No. 6 Osceola at No. 3 Ellsworth, 5 p.m.No. 7 Somerset at No. 2 Prescott, 5 p.m.No. 5 Tomahawk at No. 4 RhinelanderNo. 6 Lakeland at No. 3 MedfordNo. 7 Northland Pines at No. 2 AntigoNo. 5 Sparta at No. 4 Black River Falls, 5 p.m.No. 6 Nekoosa at No. 3 West Salem, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Amery-Barron winner at No. 1 Rice LakeTomahawk-Rhinelander winner at No. 1 MosineeSparta-Black River Falls winner at No. 1 La Crosse LoganWest Salem-Nekoosa winner at No. 2 Gale-Ettrick-TrempealeauSectional 2Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Seymour at No. 4 Oconto Falls, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Wittenberg-Birnamwood at No. 3 Peshtigo, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Clintonville at No. 2 Shawano, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Denmark at No. 4 Southern Door, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Sturgeon Bay at No. 3 West De PereNo. 7 Two Rivers at No. 2 Green Bay Notre DameNo. 5 Fox Valley Lutheran at No. 4 Appleton Xavier, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Waupaca at No. 3 Wrightstown, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Little Chute at No. 2 Freedom, 4:45 p.m.No. 5 Berlin at No. 4 Omro, 5 p.m.No. 6 Ripon at No. 3 Wautoma, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Seymour-Oconto Falls winner at No. 1 Marinette, 4:30 p.m.Denmark-Southern Door winner at No. 1 Luxemburg-CascoFox Valley Lutheran-Xavier winner at No. 1 New LondonBerlin-Omro winner at No. 1 Adams-Friendship, 5 p.m.Wautoma-Ripon winner at No. 2 Winneconne, 4:45 p.m.Sectional 3Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Platteville at No. 4 Reedsburg, 5 p.m.No. 6 Richland Center at No. 3 Dodgeville, 6 p.m.No. 7 Mauston at No. 2 Viroqua, 5 p.m.No. 5 Wisconsin Dells at No. 4 Sauk Prairie, 5 p.m.No. 6 Mount Horeb at No. 3 Portage, 5 p.m.No. 7 Lodi at No. 2 Madison Edgewood, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Jefferson at No. 4 Watertown Luther Prep, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 East Troy at No. 3 Elkhorn, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Lake Mills at No. 2 Whitewater, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Big Foot at No. 4 Evansville, 5 p.m.No. 6 Edgerton at No. 3 Monroe, 5 p.m.No. 7 Clinton at No. 2 Delavan-Darien, 4:45 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Platteville-Reedsburg winner at No. 1 River Valley, 5 p.m.Wisconsin Dells-Sauk Prairie winner at No. 1 McFarlandJefferson-Luther Prep winner at No. 1 Columbus, 4 p.m.Big Foot-Evansville winner at No. 1 Beloit Turner, 5 p.m.Sectional 4Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Sheboygan Falls at No. 4 Plymouth, 4 p.m.No. 6 Kiel at No. 3 North Fond du Lac, 5 p.m.No. 5 Milwaukee Lutheran at No. 4 Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 5 p.m.No. 6 Brown Deer at No. 3 Mayville, 5 p.m.No. 5 Milwaukee Languages at No. 4 St. Francis, 5 p.m.No. 6 Milwaukee Bay View at No. 3 ShorewoodNo. 5 Waukesha Catholic Memorial at No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Pewaukee at No. 3 New Berlin West, 4:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Sheboygan Falls-Plymouth winner at No. 1 Waupun, 5 p.m.North Fond du Lac-Kiel winner at No. 2 Campbellsport, 4:30 p.m.Milwaukee Lutheran-Kettle Moraine Lutheran at No. 1 Grafton, 4:30 p.m.Mayville-Brown Deer winner at No. 2 Kewaskum, 5 p.m.Languages-St. Francis winner at No. 1 CudahyShorewood-Bay View winner at No. 2 St. Thomas MoreCatholic Memorial-Wisconsin Lutheran winner at No. 1 New Berlin Eisenhower, 4:30 p.m.New Berlin West-Pewaukee winner at No. 2 Whitnall, 4:30 p.m.Division 3Sectional 1Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Chetek-Weyerhaeuser at No. 4 HurleyNo. 6 Ladysmith at No. 3 CameronNo. 7 Washburn/Bayfield at No. 2 PhillipsNo. 5 Frederic/Luck at No. 4 St. Croix Falls, 5 p.m.No. 6 Unity at No. 3 Cumberland, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Webster/Siren at No. 2 Clayton/Turtle Lake, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Colfax at No. 4 Durand, 5 p.m.No. 6 Eau Claire Regis at No. 3 BoycevilleNo. 7 Mondovi at No. 2 Elk MoundNo. 5 Cornell/Lake Holcombe at No. 4 Fall CreekNo. 6 Stanley-Boyd at No. 3 CadottRegional semifinals, May 27Hurley-Chetek-Weyerhaeuser winner at No. 1 Chequamegon, 5 p.m.Frederic/Luck-St. Croix Falls winner at No. 1 Grantsburg, 5 p.m.Colfax-Durand winner at No. 1 BloomerCornell/Lake Holcombe-Fall Creek winner at No. 1 NeillsvilleCadott-Stanley-Boyd winner at No. 2 Osseo-FairchildSectional 2Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Auburndale at No. 4 Loyal/Granton, 5 p.m.No. 6 Edgar at No. 3 Marathon, 5 p.m.No. 7 Colby at No. 2 Stratford, 4:45 p.m.No. 5 Gillett/Suring at No. 4 CrivitzNo. 6 Crandon at No. 3 BonduelNo. 5 Necedah at No. 4 Westfield, 5 p.m.No. 6 Princeton/Green Lake at No. 3 Montello, 5 p.m.No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Oshkosh LourdesNo. 6 Neenah St. Mary Central at No. 3 Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Auburndale-Loyal/Granton winner at No. 1 Spencer, 5 p.m.Gillett/Suring-Crivitz winner at No. 1 OcontoBonduel-Crandon winner at No. 2 Menominee IndianNecedah-Westfield winner at No. 1 Laconia, 4:30 p.m.Princeton/Green Lake winner at No. 2 MarkesanAmherst-Lourdes winner at No. 1 Weyauwega-Fremont, 4 p.m.Shiocton-St. Mary Central winner at No. 2 Iola-ScandinaviaSectional 3Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Whitehall at No. 4 La Crosse AquinasNo. 5 Prairie du Chien at No. 4 Mineral Point, 5 p.m.No. 6 Lancaster at No. 3 Boscobel, 5 p.m.No. 7 Darlington at No. 2 Iowa-Grant, 5 p.m.No. 9 Lakeside Lutheran at No. 8 Brodhead, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Parkview at No. 5 CambridgeNo. 13 New Glarus at No. 4 Wisconsin HeightsNo. 11 Palmyra-Eagle at No. 6 Deerfield, 5 p.m.No. 10 Pardeeville at No. 7 Belleville, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Whitehall-Aquinas winner at No. 1 Onalaska LutherNo. 3 Westby at No. 2 ArcadiaPrairie du Chien-Mineral Point winner at No. 1 Cuba City, 5 p.m.Brodhead-Lakeside Lutheran winner at No. 1 PoynettePalmyra-Eagle-Deerfield winner at No. 3 Waterloo, 4:45 p.m.Belleville-Pardeeville winner at No. 2 MarshallSectional 4Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Brillion at No. 4 Manitowoc LutheranNo. 6 Manitowoc Roncalli at No. 3 KewauneeNo. 7 Gibraltar/Washington Island at No. 2 Mishicot, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Valders at No. 4 Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Oostburg at No. 3 New Holstein, 5 p.m.No. 7 Howards Grove at No. 2 Reedsville, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Dodgeland at No. 4 Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs, 5 p.m.No. 6 Winnebago Lutheran at No. 3 Random LakeNo. 7 Cedar Grove-Belgium at No. 2 LomiraNo. 5 Kenosha St. Joseph at No. 4 Shoreland Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Whitefish Bay Dominican at No. 3 Lake Country Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Racine St. Catherine’s at No. 2 Glendale Martin Luther, 4:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Brillion-Manitowoc Lutheran winner at No. 1 AlgomaValders-Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler at No. 1 Chilton, 4 p.m.Dodgeland-St. Mary’s Springs winner at No. 1 HoriconSt. Joseph-Shoreland Lutheran winner at No. 1 Kenosha Christian Life, 4:30 p.m.Division 4Sectional 1Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Solon Springs at No. 4 Birchwood, 5 p.m.No. 6 Mellen at No. 3 Drummond, 5 p.m.No. 7 Winter at No. 2 Northwood, 5 p.m.No. 5 Prairie Farm at No. 4 Bruce, 5 p.m.No. 6 Rib Lake at No. 3 Flambeau, 5 p.m.No. 7 Prentice/Butternut at No. 2 Gilman, 5 p.m.No. 5 Plum City at No. 4 Elmwood, 5 p.m.No. 6 Clear Lake at No. 3 Glenwood City, 5 p.m.No. 7 Spring Valley at No. 2 Pepin/Alma, 5 p.m.No. 5 Independence/Gilmanton at No. 4 Blair-Taylor, 5 p.m.No. 6 Melrose-Mindoro at No. 3 Augusta, 5:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Solon Springs-Birchwood winner at No. 1 Shell LakePrairie Farm-Bruce winner at No. 1 Chippewa Falls McDonell, 5 p.m.Plum City-Elmwood winner at No. 1 Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran, 5 p.m.Independence/Gilmanton-Blair-Taylor winner at No. 1 Cochrane-Fountain City, 5 p.m.Augusta-Melrose-Mindoro winner at No. 2 Lincoln, 5 p.m.Sectional 2Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Marshfield Columbus Catholic at No. 4 Greenwood, 5 p.m.No. 6 Owen-Withee at No. 3 Abbotsford, 5 p.m.No. 7 Northland Lutheran/Wisconsin Valley Lutheran at No. 2 Athens, 4:45 p.m.No. 5 Port Edwards at No. 4 Wild RoseNo. 6 Pittsville at No. 3 Almond-BancroftNo. 7 Tri-County at No. 2 Wisconsin Rapids AssumptionNo. 5 Wausaukee at No. 4 Wabeno/LaonaNo. 6 Pembine/Goodman at No. 3 FlorenceNo. 7 Elcho at No. 2 Niagara, 5 p.m.No. 8 White Lake at No. 1 Rosholt, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Manawa at No. 4 BowlerNo. 6 Gresham at No. 3 Wausau Newman CatholicNo. 7 Marion at No. 2 TigertonRegional semifinals, May 27Columbus Catholic-Greenwood winner at No. 1 Thorp, 5 p.m.Port Edwards-Wild Rose winner at No. 1 Stevens Point PacelliWausaukee-Wabeno/Laona winner at No. 1 Three Lakes/PhelpsSectional 3Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Hillsboro at No. 4 Bangor, 5 p.m.No. 6 New Lisbon at No. 3 Brookwood, 5 p.m.No. 7 Royall at No. 2 Wonewoc-Center, 5 p.m.No. 5 La Farge at No. 4 Kickapoo, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Weston at No. 3 Ithaca, 5 p.m.No. 7 North Crawford at No. 2 Seneca, 5 p.m.No. 5 Potosi at No. 4 Riverdale, 5 p.m.No. 6 Cassville/River Ridge at No. 3 Wauzeka-Steuben, 5 p.m.No. 7 Fennimore at No. 2 Belmont, 5 p.m.No. 8 Black Hawk at No. 1 Juda/Albany, 5 p.m.No. 5 Barneveld at No. 4 Argyle, 5 p.m.No. 6 Pecatonica at No. 3 Southwestern, 5 p.m.No. 7 Benton/Shullsburg at No. 2 Monticello, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Bangor-Hillsboro winner at No. 1 Cashton, 5 p.m.La Farge-Kickapoo winner at No. 1 De Soto, 5 p.m.Potosi-Riverdale winner at No. 1 HighlandSectional 4Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Living Word Lutheran at No. 4 Hustisford, 5 p.m.No. 5 Heritage Christian at No. 4 Faith ChristianRegional semifinals, May 27No. 4 Sevastopol at No. 1 Coleman, 4:30 p.m.No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas/Lena at No. 2 Green Bay NEW Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.Living Word Lutheran-Hustisford winner at No. 1 OakfieldNo. 3 Stockbridge/Hilbert at No. 2 Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, 4:30 p.m.No. 4 Fall River at No. 1 Johnson Creek, 5 p.m.No. 3 Cambria-Friesland at No. 2 Randolph, 5 p.m.Heritage Christian-Faith Christian winner at No. 1 Burlington Catholic CentralNo. 3 Williams Bay at No. 2 Racine Lutheran, 4:30 p.m. Regionals start May 26By Paul LeckerSports ReporterThe WIAA announced its pairings Thursday for the upcoming 2015 WIAA softball playoffs.Regional quarterfinals in Divisions 2, 3, and 4 are set for Tuesday with regional semifinals in all four divisions on Wednesday. Regional finals are Friday, May 29, with sectionals on June 2 and June 4. The survivors move on to the 2015 WIAA State Softball Tournament in Madison on June 11-13.Among the local teams, Marshfield is the No. 10 seed in the Division 1 Sectional 1 bracket and will play at No. 7 Eau Claire North in a regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 27, at North beginning at 5 p.m.In Division 3, Auburndale, Spencer, and Stratford are in the same regional in the Sectional 2 bracket.Spencer, the Cloverbelt Conference East Division champion, is the No. 1 seed and received a first-round bye. The Rockets will host the winner of No. 5 Auburndale at No. 4 Loyal/Granton on May 27 at 5 p.m. The Auburndale-L/G matchup will be at 5 p.m. May 26 at Loyal High School.Stratford, the Marawood Conference South Division co-champion, is the No. 2 seed in the bracket and will host No. 7 Colby at Hilgemann Field in a regional quarterfinal on May 26 at 4:45 p.m.Columbus Catholic is the No. 5 seed in the Division 4 Sectional 2 bracket and will play at No. 4 Greenwood in a regional quarterfinal on May 26 at 5 p.m.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)2015 WIAA softball playoffslast_img read more

SA could benefit from huge Moz gas find

first_imgThe latest drilling activities revealed new finds “significantly expanding the estimated recoverable resource range to 15- to 30-plus trillion cubic feet of natural gas,” the company said in a statement on Monday. The company’s announcement came a month after Italian energy giant ENI announced the discovery of off-shore natural gas deposits in Mozambique to the tune of 22-trillion cubic feet – the largest find in the company’s history. US-based Anadarko Petroleum said on Monday that natural gas reserves in its Mozambican fields could be three times larger than earlier estimated, at up to 30-trillion cubic feet. 30 November 2011 Mozambique lies at the southern tip of a fault line running along the east African coast to Somalia, forming a geologically inviting region for natural gas that has become the focus of an exploration boom in recent years. Sapa, with additional reporting by SAinfo Focus of exploration boomcenter_img This was the third appraisal by Houston-based Anadarko since August. The finds by the two companies have the potential to launch impoverished Mozambique into the top tier of African gas exporters. The discovery is one of the most important natural gas fields discovered in the last 10 years, with long-term benefits for Mozambique, Anadarko chief executive Jim Hackett said. Italian and US companies have announced the discovery of massive natural gas fields off Mozambique in the last month, promising huge long-term benefits for Mozambique, and potentially significant spin-off benefits for neighbouring South Africa. South Africa stands to benefit from the discovery, Business Report said in an article on Tuesday, with Cape Chamber of Commerce president Michael Bagraim telling the paper that a complete rethink of South Africa’s energy and electricity plans was called for in light of the massive new natural gas discoveries.last_img read more

The stool pigeons

first_imgIn Punjab’s Rs 500 crore a year human-trafficking industry a new kind of sport has come to light. It is called kabootarbaazi-helping people land overseas on a genuine visa, but one secured by having the aspirant adopt any one of these common fraudulent guises: sportsperson, artist, preacher or a minister’s,In Punjab’s Rs 500 crore a year human-trafficking industry a new kind of sport has come to light. It is called kabootarbaazi-helping people land overseas on a genuine visa, but one secured by having the aspirant adopt any one of these common fraudulent guises: sportsperson, artist, preacher or a minister’s personal staff. So when five women players of a dubious cricket team from Jalandhar went missing in London, the only surprise in Punjab was the gender of these “kabootars”. Two of the five girls returned but this case is just the tip of the iceberg. Though there are no authentic figures, every year around 500 youths from Punjab are estimated to reach foreign shores through this “sporting” route. Let alone fake sportspersons, even the tales of promising players-some of whom were India’s medal winners in global competitions – doing the disappearing act abroad are legion. In the recent past, two Punjab boxers – Lakha Singh and Gurcharan Singh who had won medals in the Asian Games and represented India in the Olympics-jumped ship. They disappeared while on an official sporting tour in the US. The well-oiled migration mafia is now an open secret in Punjab. But the lesser-known dimension is the involvement and patronage of the state police officials, sports authorities and some politicians in the multi-layered racket that has a deep nexus with shady travel agents and some NRIs who form crucial conduits. A Punjabi diaspora in Britain and north American countries helps the runaway sportsmen from the state melt away into their communities with ease. The entire trade has been a big moneyspinner for several police officials who are plugged as office bearers in most of the official sports bodies and private sports organisations. A section of top brass of the Punjab Police has been under the cloud for facilitating human smuggling through the “sporting” route by sending teams to foreign countries. The Punjab Armed Police (PAP) – employer of a large number of sportspersons-has almost become the hub of this nefarious activity. The modus operandi is simple: the kabootars are included in the official teams going abroad, where they simply disappear. Alternatively, the PAP players are inducted into a club for the purpose of strengthening the case for visa for the entire team which has “fake” players. In the recent past, kabaddi, wrestling, basketball and hockey have been the common sports used for off-loading kabootars in foreign lands. A top sports official in Punjab has been reportedly identified as the kingpin of the operations to drop fake wrestlers abroad as part of an officially sponsored team. A former kabaddi player-turned-police official is known to have raked in lakhs of rupees by exporting foreignseekers in the garb of players. “It is a more-you-dig-the-more-youfind type of racket in Punjab,” says a senior state sports official. But given the fact that a powerful lobby of police and sports officials has a major stake in the racket, it continues to be under wraps. Sports has become the best way to beat the system now in place. “The sporting route is an expensive deal but ensures safe landing,” says Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Jalandhar range) Dinkar Gupta. The reasons why sports has emerged as the most common factor in this business is because post-September 11, immigration rules have been tightened by western governments. Heightened rules of surveillance have choked the favoured immigration routes used for the smuggling in human cargo. It is not surprising, therefore, that Punjab has seen a mushrooming of sports clubs and “international” tournaments. Much of this sporting surge is not to produce champions but to groom players and prepare the documentation to seek foreign visas under the garb of sports tournaments abroad. In Phagwara, for instance, an akhara recruits and trains the aspirants as wrestlers. The most sought-after countries are the US, the UK and Canada. The price tag for migration through this scam is between Rs 7 lakh and 12 lakh. Some survive, some don’t. In Jalandhar, the capital of the smuggling racket, the nexus between sports organisers, police officials and travel agents runs deep. When the travel agents hook the foreign aspirants and strike the deal, the police and sports authorities facilitate their trips abroad. “It is a no-risk-high-profit business,” says a senior police official. A leading travel agent has been allegedly running a human smuggling racket in connivance with a former top official of the Punjab police who had been a sports administrator at the PAP. A karate coach in Jalandhar has been known to belt out “black belts” to foreign-crazy youths at a huge price only to buttress their visa applications for overseas tours. Many a ruse is employed with alleged government help to establish the credentials of a club before applying for visa to the US, Canada or European countries. For example, Ravi Sharma, the owner of the dubious Lynex Club of India, which sponsored the controversial women’s cricket team to England, had taken the same team to Sri Lanka four months ago with ease. The trick worked in his case as the British High Commission granted a three-week visa to his 13-member team. The girls had paid Sharma Rs 2 lakh each for facilitating their entry into Britain. Of the missing five-Mandeep Virk, 19, Rajwant Kaur, 24, Baljeet Kour, 22, Parvesh Rani, 25, and Ekta Andotra, 21-Rajwant and Parvesh returned under pressure from relatives. “Their disappearance was preplanned,” says Sharma, while denying having struck a “money-for-migration” deal. The girls’ parents, far from being anxious about their daughters melting away in London, insist that Sharma had assured them a six-month visa but produced only a three-week one. A sports-goods dealer until a few years ago, Sharma allegedly became one of the numerous fly-by-night sports promoters who make fast bucks through human smuggling in the garb of conducting teams abroad. Last year, the Kapurthala Police booked Sunny Gill and Loveleen, son-in-law and daughter of wrestler-turned-film star Dara Singh for allegedly duping 78 youths of Rs 3 crore that they had collected from them promising a passage to Canada as members of a wrestling team. But Canada-resident Gill never provided them visas. The desperation to reach greener pastures often touches bizarre levels. When the British High Commission held a cricket quiz before the cricket World Cup in South Africa in March, a youth from Faridabad won the contest and was granted a gratis visa along with one for a companion for a free trip to Britain. He chose to take a friend along instead of his newly wed wife. They too wanted to try their luck abroad. The two never returned-a fact that came to light only when the winner’s wife made queries about her missing husband. Clearly, not all aspirants of luxury in the West are equal in their luck.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Week 1 In The NFL Was Full Of Upsets But Not Necessarily

Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season isn’t over yet — there’s a pair of games Monday night — but through Sunday’s slate of matchups, you might get the distinct sense that upheaval is afoot. The New Orleans Saints lost in Atlanta, the Buffalo Bills beat the Chicago Bears on the road, the Kansas City Chiefs were manhandled by the Tennessee Titans, the New England Patriots lost their opening game for the first time in 11 years, and the Cincinnati Bengals went into Baltimore and handed the Ravens a rare home loss.According to our pre-game Elo ratings (which are computer power ratings that factor in each team’s strength of schedule and margin of victory, along with a prior of how good it was last season), only 57.1 percent of favorites have won so far this week, which would be tied for the 15th-most chaotic opening week since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. (The average NFL Week 1 sees 62 percent of favorites win.)There are alternative ways to measure how upset-happy a week was, though. And when you look at how the games were won or lost, Week 1 (thus far) has actually been less surprising than the typical opening week.For instance, we can look at the root-mean-square error (RMSE) between the predicted point spreads of games — our NFL Elo ratings can generate an expected point spread for a given game, using the location of the game and the difference in the two teams’ ratings — and the actual point differentials of the games. By that standard, 2014 featured the 13th-most accurate Elo predictions of any opening week since the merger. In other words, the actual margins weren’t far off from what we expected going into the games.Or we could just look at how much the Elo ratings shifted after each game, on average. One key concept of Elo’s system is that the ratings update based on how unexpected a game’s outcome was; the more surprising the result, the more the ratings change in the face of new evidence. By that metric, Week 1 of 2014 was pretty typical of an opening week: The average game saw a 19.9-point shift in Elo ratings, while the average opening week since 1970 saw a 20.5-point shift per game.A number of the aforementioned upsets were won by small margins. While the Titans and Miami Dolphins prevailed by double-digits, the Atlanta Falcons and the Bills only won by three points apiece, and the Bengals won by seven in a game where they had the superior pre-game Elo rating (Baltimore was only slightly favored because it was at home). Plus, the rest of the schedule saw things pretty much go according to form, with a few exceptions, such as the St. Louis Rams losing by 28 at home.In general, we know less than we think when it comes to how good NFL teams are early in the season. But this year, Week 1 has been slightly more predictable than the norm thus far. read more

The NBA Is Getting More Interesting If Not More Competitive

As we near the end of a weeklong frenzy of NBA signings and dealings, our NBA braintrust discusses which teams made themselves better and which got worse. The transcript below has been lightly edited.neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): OK! The draft is over and most of the major free agents have signed on the dotted lines. (Although I know we’re all waiting with bated breath to see if Washington matches the offer to Otto Porter.) So we thought now would be a good time to survey the NBA landscape and take stock of the biggest offseason moves.First, I wanted to ask: Which team improved themselves the most in the offseason thus far?chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): Oklahoma City made a massive trade for Paul George that at least puts them in the conversation again. Maybe not for a title, but at least they’re interesting enough that I want to talk about them again. Minnesota also made some nice moves.kyle (Kyle Wagner, senior editor): Yeah, it’s between OKC and Minnesota, but I’d go with Oklahoma City. Nate wrote that the Wolves are threatening to enter the Western Conference elite, but that’s based on a lot more hypotheticals than Oklahoma City returning to the mix. We’ve already seen the Thunder look like a championship-level team when they had Kevin Durant and the rest of the roster was largely the same. Paul George obviously isn’t KD, but the fit is similar enough that we have proof of concept. The Minnesota team looks much better, but we still have to see them play.chris.herring: I would’ve been all in on the T-Wolves if they could’ve landed J.J. Redick. They still would’ve been light on defense, but all they really need is a shooter to be able to score with anyone.kyle: Speaking of J.J., the 76ers are a good answer if we’re defining improvement as “Who’s going to see the biggest bump in win total?” It’s not nearly as hard to add wins from the bottom of the pile, but it’s good to see Philly fielding an actual team.neil: I think that was an interesting comment Chris made earlier about what “the conversation” is: These are all teams that have become fun again, though not necessarily teams that are likely title contenders. Is that one of the themes of this offseason? That NBA junkies like us are looking for reasons to find teams interesting, but it’s less clear whether anyone is closer to knocking off the Warriors?kyle: If anything, teams are getting further away from competing with the Warriors. San Antonio, for instance, beat the hell out of Golden State for two and a half quarters before Kawhi Leonard landed on Zaza’s size 17s, but they haven’t fared well this offseason. They whiffed on a rumored swing at bringing on Chris Paul; they’ll be missing Tony Parker; they don’t seem to know what to do with LaMarcus Aldridge; and they haven’t locked up key rotation guys like Jonathon Simmons and Dewayne Dedmon, who are in talks with other teams. (Simmons in particular is a flight risk, as he’s the kind of wing defender/scorer a lot of teams need and a long shot to take a San Antonio discount at age 28, having been one bad D-league tryout away from getting his barber’s license just a few years ago.)Meanwhile, the Cavs haven’t yet been able to pull off a trade to bring in an extra star. Melo would help, but it’s hard to say how much, even when looking at the projections, since their sleepwalked regular season threw their projection off so much this past year.chris.herring: And the Warriors very quietly added more talent while keeping all their main guys on totally reasonable deals. Not even sure how you’re supposed to compete with them when Durant takes a deal that’s worth $9 million less than market value.Because of that, the free agent conversation begins to feel a bit academic. Who is realistically beating the Warriors over the next two years?kyle: Right! The biggest key to building a championship team is finding stars who give you surplus value, whether it’s talented young guys on rookie deals and second contracts or superstars worth far more than even the max. With the Warriors, they have Steph projected to be outperforming his $201 million deal for the next five years and KD taking less than the max.neil: And I think that whole feeling of league-wide ennui was fueled a little by this year’s free-agent class not necessarily being very star-packed. Gordon Hayward’s decision to sign with Boston received a lot of attention this week, but even he is only classified by CARMELO as a “borderline All-Star.”(Ditto Paul George, who wasn’t a free agent but was, as you mention, maybe the biggest name on the move.)This wasn’t KD and LeBron changing addresses.chris.herring: There are two teams that intrigue me a bit, that could be in the playoffs now but weren’t before: Denver and Minnesota.Denver got an absolute steal in Paul Millsap on a three-year, $90 million deal. The last year of the contract is a team option. One of the best contracts of the summer thus far. That Northwest division could be tough.kyle: Yeah, Hayward and George have near-identical five-year projections just about in line with what they can be paid on a max deal, prorated for four years. That’s obviously very good, but simply living up to a max deal traditionally hasn’t been good enough for the best player on a championship team. For now, Boston still has a ton of young talent on cheap deals (and Isaiah Thomas playing for a little more than $6 million in his final season before unrestricted free agency), but the Celtics still have no one creating value at the top end.Oklahoma City, meanwhile, has Russell Westbrook projecting to produce about $80 million in 2017-18 alone. Westbrook’s projection is a little nutty because of his preposterous MVP season, and his game will change a ton now that he’s not the only gun in the valley, but it’s a more promising starting point for the next few seasons. But even then, OKC is capped out enough that adding pieces to truly challenge Golden State (such as Rudy Gay) remains a long shot.neil: OK, so it sounds like little has been done to close the gap between Golden State and the rest of the West. But while we’re speaking of Hayward and the Celtics, are they (or anybody else) closer to being competitive with Cleveland in the East?chris.herring: The Celtics might be the future of the East, depending on what happens after this season with LeBron. Though I have to think he’d avoid going west given how much of a free ride the Eastern Conference will be for the foreseeable future. That said, I’d be beyond shocked if Boston takes out Cleveland unless they add one more star.kyle: Boston’s problems in their series were what to do when Isaiah wasn’t firing and the offense breaks down, and Hayward doesn’t solve that. He was a strong pick-and-roll scorer last season, but the Celtics offense runs on movement and passing — when things go bad, they haven’t been equipped to hustle up an impromptu high screen. And if the Celtics are going to rely on Hayward to just muscle up some buckets, they may be disappointed — he was a middling isolation player last season, scoring 82 points per 100 plays, according to Synergy.neil: I was stunned to plug Boston’s depth chart — including Hayward — into CARMELO and get a 45-win projection back out. I’d still probably take the over on that, but it underscores how much work these other teams have to do.kyle: Yeah, and this goes back to a pillar of Boston plan, which has been to hoard “assets” who are good rotation players, but not much better than any other playoff team’s average starter. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder are good players, but at some point your roster full of 45-win talent isn’t a pile of assets — it’s just your roster.chris.herring: I’ll one-up you, Kyle. What about a 55-win roster that can’t win anything past a first-round series? Because that’s what you have with the Clippers. Only now they don’t have Chris Paul, either.They are paying a whole lot of money to be decent these next few years. Huge, $173 million payout to Blake Griffin. Big money for Gallinari, who I love, but who also can’t stay healthy. They’re spinning this as the best frontcourt in the league, with DeAndre Jordan. But what about their backcourt? And why is Doc still in charge of personnel?!neil: Yeah — while most teams in recent years have been trying to get out of the no-man’s land between contending and rebuilding, the Clippers seem like they just locked themselves in that zone for a while.chris.herring: I have a feeling Toronto just did the same thing. Although I’d have a hard time blowing everything up if LeBron might be leaving Cleveland in a year, too.kyle: Yeah, the Clippers’ frontcourt will be amazing for the 20-odd games they’re on the court together. I do love Gallo, though, who’s a really underrated player and drives the lane like he’s running from the cops on stilts.But I respect teams not just immediately tearing down. This is the first extended run of success the team has had in god knows how long. It’s a bummer that they’re not sniffing the Warriors’ contrails, but putting out a basketball team that doesn’t raise Clippers fans’ depression rate is an OK place for them to be.neil: And just to bring it back to the “interesting” (if not championship-level) teams angle, maybe that’s an encouraging sign for the league next year. Between the Chris Paul experiment in Houston; these new free agents; Denver; and maybe the most compelling future team, the Pelicans, who scarcely made a splash this offseason, it seems like we’ll have plenty of interesting teams and rosters, even if the Warriors are heavy favorites again (and again, and again).chris.herring: The NBA’s got me addicted. I can’t quit now, even if we pretty much know how this will end this time next year.kyle: And the rookies! This year’s lottery class will add a bunch of entertaining League Pass teams, and CARMELO has a bunch slated as great prospects. Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball at the top are both on interesting young teams (the Sixers more so than the Lakers, obviously), but teams like the Kings (with De’Aaron Fox, Harry Giles and second-year Buddy Hield) or Hornets (with Malik Monk pairing with Kemba Walker, who’s become a legitimate star) will be a lot of fun.neil: Lonzo in L.A. alone should be worth the price of admission.kyle: Without the Warriors, this would be one of the most entertaining, wide-open eras the league has ever seen. With them around, the season should be a hell of a party before the scheduled execution. read more

All quiet on the LaQuinton front for Ohio State mens basketball

Ohio State men’s basketball freshman forward LaQuinton Ross used social media to voice frustration about playing time after the team’s 78-68 Tuesday win at Minnesota. Coach Thad Matta and a teammate agreed Ross has learned a lesson from the ordeal. Following the Buckeyes’ road victory against the Golden Gophers in which Ross watched from the bench as 10 of his teammates entered the game, the player let fly with a tweet from his account, @qross2011, which read: “Don’t know how much longer I can take this BULLSHIT!!!!!.” Matta said Ross, rated the No. 43 overall recruit in the class of 2011 by Rivals.com, came to him minutes later to discuss the tweet. “He said, ‘I think I made a mistake,’” Matta said during a Friday press conference. “I was shocked.” Ross deleted the tweet and told his coach he wanted to issue an apology, which later read: “I let my emotions get the best of me!!! I want to apologize to #buckeyenation that should have been something I took up with my coaches!!,” Ross said from his Twitter account. Shortly after, Ross tweeted again, saying: “At the end of the day I’m just a competitor.” Matta said he appreciates Ross’ desire to play, adding that he wants the player to display that in practice and not on social media websites. “I think he knows that he has a tremendous future here, there’s no doubt about that,” Matta said. “He’s been awesome at practice.” Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger announced earlier in the season that he was taking a vacation from Twitter and said he therefore didn’t know exactly what Ross tweeted. Sullinger said he addressed the issue with Ross. “I told him that it’s going to be all right,” Sullinger said. “Most talented players go through something like this. Honestly, to put it out there in the public eye was wrong and he understands now.” Ross’ frustration might stem from the fact that he missed team activities during the fall academic quarter after being ruled academically ineligible on Sept. 26, 2011, Sullinger said. “He didn’t have a chance to tryout in the two weeks before we played our (preseason) exhibition game,” Sullinger said of Ross, who rejoined the team at the start of the winter academic quarter. “So, he was kind of behind the eight ball. He understands that now. All you can do is get better and keep plugging away and just compete.” Ross has played in a team-low six games during the 2011-12 campaign and is averaging just four minutes per game. The forward is 2-of-10 from the field and has scored 11 points during the playing time he’s received. Sullinger said that while Ross might not be on the floor helping the team during games, his effort in practice has been valuable. “I think he understands that he has next year,” Sullinger said. “He also has this year. You never know what can happen.” The No. 6-ranked Buckeyes (22-4, 10-3 Big Ten) continue Big Ten play against No. 17-ranked Michigan (19-7, 9-4) Saturday at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. read more

Ohio State looking for answers as it finishes nonconference schedule vs Western

Redshirt sophomore linebacker Darron Lee steps into the end zone for a score during a game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19. OSU won 20-13. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorWhile the defense has kept Ohio State No. 1 in the country and undefeated through three games, team members have made it clear that its current pace will not work throughout the season.“We have to play better, we have to coach better, we have to play better. We have to execute. We have to do a better job as an offensive unit,” running backs coach Tony Alford said Monday.In OSU’s first two home games — victories against Hawaii and Northern Illinois — the Buckeyes’ two quarterbacks, redshirt junior Cardale Jones and redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett, combined to go just 35-of-61 for 314 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.Jones’ 4-of-9 start against Northern Illinois caused coach Urban Meyer to pull the plug on him for that game early in the second quarter. However, Meyer said on Wednesday that Barrett has not done enough to unseat Jones as the starter, and Jones will make his seventh consecutive start on Saturday.After the Northern Illinois game, junior running back Ezekiel Elliott said that a more aggressive mindset is required to be successful regardless of which player is under center.“The thing is, we’re just really not starting drives well,” Elliott said. “So we get behind and behind, and we’re the type of offense that’s always running, so that’s a problem.”On Saturday, OSU is gearing up to welcome the Western Michigan Broncos for its fourth and final nonconference game, and third consecutive home contest. The Broncos are paced by redshirt junior quarterback Zach Terrell, who ranks 10th in the nation with 947 passing yards through three games.“I’m very excited for this matchup,” redshirt sophomore cornerback Eli Apple said. “They’re a very good receiving corps, for sure, and have a good quarterback as well, so I’m ready, I can’t wait.”Missing in actionWhile the core of the Buckeyes is still mostly intact heading into the fourth game of the season, there are a few players who serve as valuable depth that OSU will likely be without on Saturday.Redshirt freshman wide receiver Parris Campbell has started each of the Buckeyes’ three games this season opposite redshirt junior Michael Thomas but is still seeking his first collegiate reception.That appears to be on hold for at least one more week, as the Akron, Ohio, product was not listed in the depth chart for the WMU game. Campbell left Saturday’s game during the first quarter with a left knee bruise and did not return. Taking his place at the second starting wideout spot on the depth chart is sophomore Curtis Samuel, who leads the team with 11 receptions.Also away from the field on Saturday will be sophomore cornerback Damon Webb, who is  suspended indefinitely from the team for an undisclosed violation of an athletics department policy.“Damon was playing well for us, and he’ll be missed,” co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash said on Monday. “But we’ve got enough people that will fill in, and we’ll continue to get the production that we need.”Finally, the date of freshman running back Mike Weber’s return from a meniscus tear is still not clear. OSU coaches have mentioned for a few weeks that he is near a return to make his debut.“We’ll see. That’s a day-to-day deal as he works through with the trainers,” Alford said. The coach said the team doesn’t plan to redshirt the Detroit native.Previously for Western MichiganThe first three games of the season for WMU were marked by inconsistency.The Broncos began the season by putting somewhat of a scare into now-No. 2 Michigan State in a home game, falling 37-24 after cutting the deficit to 10 early in the fourth quarter. Terrell had a big game, completing 33 passes for 365 yards and two touchdowns, but two interceptions and seven sacks marred the effort.The next game was not as encouraging for WMU, as it was crushed by Georgia Southern 43-17. Terrell threw three more interceptions, and the Broncos allowed 413 rushing yards.Finally, in last week’s game they allowed 367 total yards to Football Championship Subdivision opponent Murray State, but won 52-20 to grab its first win. Terrell had a huge game, going 25-of-30 for 355 yards and four scores, without throwing a pick.MACtionAgainst teams currently in Western Michigan’s Mid-American Conference, the Buckeyes hold a 31-1 record. The one loss? Just 111 years ago against Akron — known then as Buchtel College and coached by trophy-namesake John Heisman.Northern Illinois had a chance to end that streak last week but came up seven points short. Now, the Broncos will get a crack at it Saturday. WMU has never faced the Buckeyes.Up nextAfter wrapping up its nonconference schedule against the Broncos, OSU is set to travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to open up Big Ten play against the Hoosiers. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. read more

NPRA Lease Sale Should Be Relatively Quick Fix To Budget Woes

first_imgIndustry experts estimate it would take over a decade to bring ANWR online. A conservative 2010 U.S. Geological Survey estimate suggests the reserve holds an estimated 896 million barrels of recoverable oil and 52.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management will auction off the largest amount of land offered in a single lease sale in National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a hotbed of oil exploration and development in the western part of Alaska’s North Slope. Story as aired:Audio PlayerDorene-on-npra-lease-sale-should-bring-relatively-quick-fix-to-budget-woes.mp3VmDorene-on-npra-lease-sale-should-bring-relatively-quick-fix-to-budget-woes.mp300:00RPd The Trump Era seems to have started a new age of discovery, as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued an order in May to review Arctic Alaska oil policies, with a potential repeal of environmental rules restricting NPR-A drilling. ConocoPhillips plans to drill four exploration wells this winter on leases within NPR-A, and one on adjacent state land.center_img The NPR-A was set aside in 1923 as a source of oil for the military – and it took 70 years to bring it on line in 2015. Additional development hit a brick wall in the Obama Administration’s land management plan, which established special protections in five areas across the 23 million-acre reserve. The company most active in NPR-A, ConocoPhillips, is on record that they intend to ask the Bureau of Land Management to open up some territory near Teshekpuk Lake, the North Slope’s biggest lake and site of protections that date to the Reagan administration. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享While Alaskans are holding their breath to see if the House will accept the Senate’s ANWR opening provision in the final tax bill,  the real action is 150 miles west, where Wednesday 10 million acres of land will be placed on the auction block in an attempt to revitalize the state’s sagging crude production. Located next to currently producing fields, development in the NPR-A could yield results much more quickly than drilling in more remote coastal plains which are hindered by limited infrastructure.last_img read more

Monday 3PM Update Swan Lake Fire Continues To Impact Sterling Highway

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 25th, 2019 at 06:16 amUpdate: 3PMThe 32,300 acre Swan Lake Fire, is being pushed by a north-northwest wind and is estimated to be 2 miles from the Sterling Highway near Sterling. Recreationists in these areas should remain alert and vigilant about staying away from the center of the lakes while these aircraft assist the fire crews as they work along the fire’s edge. Incident Meteorologist Julia Ruthford: “We are starting to get into significant warm and drying trends. The temps area going to go way up as we move into the week. You will see skies clearing out, temps going up, and drying up which could be a concern for the firefighters.” Firefighters were moved to safe areas as smoke obscured the location of the flaming front. In the interest of public safety the Alaska Interagency Management Team asked for traffic to be delayed between Mileposts 58 and 75. Due to the proximity to the Sterling Highway the Division of Forestry has ramped up aerial resources that remain critical in targeted areas to slow fire spread towards the Highway. The Canadian ‘Scoopers’ joined the fight on Sunday. These planes are capable of delivering significant amounts of water to support suppression efforts by scooping hundreds of gallons of water from nearby Skilak and Hidden lakes and dropping it along the fire’s edge. The weather has been hot and dry with persistent winds from the northwest. This hot and dry weather pattern is expected for the next several days. On the southwestern perimeter of the fire, crews strengthened existing containment lines on the southern edges of the fire to prevent spread toward the community of Sterling. These control lines continue to halt fire spread to the west. Skilak Lake Road is a narrow gravel road and should not be considered as an option for recreation vehicles, fifth-wheel trailers and semi tractors with trailers. According to Casey, traffic delays will be unpredictable and ongoing throughout the week. Troopers and the Department of Transportation are Continuing to monitor road and travel conditions due to the increase in smoke activity along milepost 58 and 75.5. Kale Casey with State Division of Forestry: “This fire is going to impact the highway for several days now, and it’s going to have smoke impacts on travel. The black spruce area has not burned since 1947, that is what is being very hard to control. It’s a lot of smoke and it’s going to impact the highway this week with even more smoke.” In the interest of public safety the Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team asked for traffic to be delayed between Mileposts 58 and 75. All motorists are encouraged to drive slowly and cautiously with headlights on. Emery Johnson with the State Division of Forestry: “Today, we have crews working on the highway and we are working north of the HEA inner tie so that we can work on that eastern flank and prevent it from progressing towards the highway to the best of our abilities.”   Update: Noon Due to an increase in fire activity the Swan Lake Fire has now reached 32,300 acres. It is continuing to be pushed by a north-northwest wind is estimated to be 2 miles from the Sterling Highway near Sterling.last_img read more