Michael Gray and Des Kelly were alongside Colin Murray on today’s show.
A Judge has allowed a man to spend his first Christmas with his family for 15 years after he appeared in court charged with assaulting a number of Gardai.Stephen Darby, who has 72 previous convictions, appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal charged with a number of serious offences. Darby, aged 45, was caught by Gardai acting suspiciously at The Beeches housing estate in Ballybofey on September 29th last.Darby was dressed in black and was trying to force his into one of the houses.He fled when Gardai arrived but he was caught jumping over a fence.A vicious altercation with Gardai then began which resulted in Darby assaulting a number of Gardai.At one stage he picked up a block and threatened to hit a Garda with it while he also told another Garda that he would kill him and burn down his house.After being pepper-sprayed a number of times, Darby was eventually arrested and has been in custody since.His solicitor, Mr Patsy Gallagher, said his client had been in care since he was aged 9 and was subject to horrors that no person should ever have to go through.He ended up in Dublin and became part of a criminal gang which he then, rightly or wrongly, considered his family unit.He ended up in prison for long stretches.However, in recent months he reconnected with his mother.Darby claimed that on the night in question he had taken medication and also drank lots of vodka and was trying to find his mother’s house.Judge Paul Kelly sentenced Darby on a number of charges including the assault on Gardai as well as criminal damage to a total of four months but backdated the sentence to when Darby went into custody.The accused man pleaded with Judge Kelly to suspend the last month of the sentence as he had not spent Christmas with his real family for 15 years.Judge Kelly asked him whose fault that was and Darby replied that it was his own.The Judge agreed to suspend all the sentence under the condition that Darby not be convicted of any public order offences for the next 12 months.Judge allows man to spend first Christmas with family for 15 years was last modified: December 6th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallybofeyCHristmasdonegaljailJUDGEStephen Darby
25 September 2007The Springboks secured their place in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup with a 30-25 win over Tonga in Lens on Saturday. A second-string starting fifteen failed to produce the goods, littering their effort with errors, which led to SA coach Jake White inserting his all-star substitutes’ bench early in the second half.Even though White and his fellow selectors made 11 changes to the outfit that crushed England 36-0, the Boks had been expected to win, and to win comfortably, but it proved to be a nail-biting victory for South Africa. Echoes of ConnachtA similar team had struggled to an 18-0 defeat of Connacht in a World Cup warm-up match, but another poor performance like the one produced against the Irish team was not expected; after all, surely the side couldn’t perform so poorly again?They could. And they did.It wasn’t that the Springboks didn’t create opportunities to score points. Rather, it was that they found ways to not score the points on offer.Flyhalf Andre Pretorius had a miserable day with the boot, landing only one out of five penalties. Ironically, it was with his toughest kick of the match that he neatly bisected the uprights.Pretorius also missed his touch kicks time after time. This made matters difficult for the Boks because it allowed the Tongans to play from their strength – open play – while it prevented SA from employing one of its strengths – the lineouts.Question about SA squad depthThe contest clearly showed that as much as White likes to proclaim he has a world-class 30-man squad, it doesn’t run as deep as that. In fact, the truth is that his first-choice team and substitutes is capable of beating any side, but beyond that there is a dramatic falloff in quality.Thankfully, for White, he had the most experienced bench in the history of test rugby at his disposal, with the seven players boasting 311 caps between them, which was 107 more than the entire Tongan starting team had.Viewing the match from a positive viewpoint, it was a case of mission accomplished for the Boks as they booked their place in the quarterfinals. With only one more match to play against the winless USA, the chances are very good that South Africa will top Pool A, and most probably face Wales in the last eight.The manner in which they defeated Tonga, however, will have left many Springboks supporters with a hollow feeling about the victory. After the thrashing of England, optimism ran rife throughout South African fans about the chances of winning the World Cup; that optimism will have been tempered after the stuttering success against the Sea Eagles.Scrappy startFrom the start, the Boks’ play was scrappy as Bob Skinstad and co failed to settle into any sort of rhythm that allowed them to string their passes together. Time after time the players went into a ruck with the ball and time after time they gave up possession.After eight minutes Tonga was the first on the scoreboard. They won a penalty when JP Pietersen spilled a ball forward and into one of his teammates who, by playing the ball, was offsides. Flyhalf Pierre Hola nailed the kick at goal to put his side into the lead.Two minutes later, Pretorius had an opportunity to level the scores, but his penalty attempt was off target.After a quarter-of-an-hour the Bok flyhalf had another chance to pull South Africa level, but he was again wide of the mark.Pienaar inspirationThen, after South Africa was awarded another penalty, the Tongans drifted towards the poles, expecting Pretorius to take another shot at goal. Fullback Ruan Pienaar, cleverly summing up the situation, took a quick tap, rounded the thin defence and dived over in the corner for the opening try of the match.This time Pretorius was on target with his touchline conversion, putting SA 7-3 in front.The Tongans came close to replying with a try of their own, but the pass to Soane Tonga’uiha, who appeared set to score, was ruled forward.Pretorius then had a chance to extend the Springboks’ lead, but his compass wasn’t functioning properly and the gap between the two sides remained at four points.Chance missedWith 32 minutes on the clock, the Boks should have added a second try. However, the pass from Wynand Olivier to Ashwin Willemse, with the Sea Eagles’ defence stretched to breaking point, was a poor one and the momentum of the move was lost, which enabled Tonga to stop the South African attack.A minute later, Ricky Januarie broke to the blind side and fed Willemse. The winger was over the tryline, but he bobbled the ball and lost it forward as yet another try-scoring opportunity was blown.Tonga could have made it 7-6 shortly before the break, but Hola hooked his shot at goal. So, the teams went into the break with South Africa leading only 7-3. It should have been a far greater advantage.Tonga tryWithin the first five minutes after the restart, Tonga drove over the South African tryline and tighthead prop Kisi Pulu was credited with the try. Hola slotted the conversion to put the Pacific islanders into a 10-7 lead.By this time, SA coach Jake White had seen enough and he immediately sent on five replacements, namely John Smit, BJ Botha, Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana, and Francois Steyn.Two minutes later, Pretorius once more butchered a penalty attempt, leaving South Africa still three points adrift.When the Boks were awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute, with Pretorius having been replaced, Steyn took over the kicking duties and duly showed how it should be done, converting the kick to draw the teams level at 10-all.SA hit the leadFinally, with almost an hour played, South Africa strung some good passes together and, after CJ van der Linde was held up just short of the line, the ball was recycled quickly for Juan Smith – yet another of the substitutes – to sidestep a Tongan defender and crash over for a try.Steyn was lining up the conversion, but Percy Montgomery, winning his Springbok record 90th test cap, took over and calmly booted the conversion to put South Africa 17-10 in front.It took the Boks just three more minutes to score again. Another beautiful flowing move was completed when Bob Skinstad did the honours, holding off a tackler to cross in the right-hand corner for a five-pointer.Skirmish and yellow cardsReferee Wayne Barnes held up the conversion attempt to deal with some off-the-ball stuff going on in the midfield. It led to Barnes sending Steyn and Tongan winger Joseph Vaka to the sin bin.Vaka could consider himself lucky because he had been warned earlier in the game about running from a distance to get himself involved in pushing and shoving, which was exactly what he did, yanking Steyn off of a player the South African had tackled.After that break, Montgomery missed the tough conversion, leaving SA 22-10 to the good.Flowing move and tryThree minutes later the Boks once more cracked the Tongan defences as the back and forwards linked up well in a flowing move which ended with Pienaar diving over in the corner for his second try.Montgomery missed the conversion but, at 27-10, South Africa looked comfortably in control.Then, with 11 minutes to play and Tonga on the attack, Habana was somewhat harshly yellow-carded for preventing the ball from emerging at a ruck. That meant SA had 13 players on the field against the 14 of Tonga.Sea Eagles’ flyhalf Pierre Hola immediately looked to exploit his side’s numerical superiority by kicking wide for the left-hand corner. Centre Sukanaivalu Hufanga gathered the kick and dotted down in a very tight decision which the television match official ruled in favour of the Tongans.Hola’s conversion attempt lacked the precision of his cross kick, leaving the Springboks 27-15 in front.Two tries in two minutesOnly two minutes later, Tonga crossed for a third try. Kicking to the spaces out wide, they managed to beat the Boks to the ball until, eventually, flanker Viliami Vaki kicked through and won the race to the ball to add another five points.Hola converted to make the score 27-22 to the Boks, thus bringing the Tongans to within range of snatching a win, as well as close enough to secure a bonus point if they lost.Montgomery took the Sea Eagles out of bonus point range by goaling a penalty with four minutes to play, but Hola brought them back to within five points by replying with a penalty of his own.With time running out, Tonga surged up the middle of the field, gulping up the metres as they moved to deep within Springbok territory. From a ruck, a clever kick was knocked over the the top for winger Tevita Tu’ifua, but the bounce carried the ball into touch.Referee Barnes blew the final whistle, leaving South Africa somewhat relieved 30-25 winners.White credits benchAfterwards, Bok coach Jake White credited his experienced bench with pulling off the win for South Africa. Nonetheless, he said he never feared the men in green and gold would lose the match.White said playing with only 13 players had been difficult, but had the Springboks taken advantage of their scoring opportunities, especially their kicks at goal, they would have been comfortably in front at halftime.Among the second stringers, only Ruan Pienaar ehanced his reputation. Apart from the versatile backline player, there was little to enthuse about.The victory kept South Africa’s record against Tonga perfect, following a 74-10 victory in 1997. It also lifted the Springboks’ record in World Cup matches to 17 wins in 20 tests. 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MediaClubSouthAfrica 30 June 2010 Acclaimed theatre-maker and director Brett Bailey has no interest in sport, he tells me, and while the 2010 Fifa World Cup is under way in South Africa he’ll be taking a break in the Himalayas. “My first holiday in many years.” Nonetheless, it is no coincidence that the Market Theatre in Johannesburg is hosting his latest show, House of the Holy Afro, from 11 June to 11 July, from kick-off to the final whistle of the tournament. The Market, like most arts institutions across the country, wants to use the World Cup to showcase South Africa and Africa’s artistic talent to the thousands of overseas visitors – and attract local audiences looking for something more than footie. Free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service. But Bailey warns against the production of “commercial fodder” to meet the appetite for host country arts and culture – as, he feels, happened in Germany in 2006. Certainly, his own contribution differs markedly from the productions other theatres are showing during the World Cup. But that is no surprise: Bailey’s work tends to go against the grain.Blood Diamonds At last year’s National Arts Festival in the Eastern Cape university town of Grahamstown, his provocative site-specific performance/installation piece Blood Diamonds shocked many with its explicit critique of affluent white South Africans literally or metaphorically descended from the 1820 British settlers. Bailey used to live in Grahamstown, but never liked it: “It’s dead quiet without the students, and during university terms it always seemed to me to be populated by privileged white kids from the Natal Midlands.” This discomfort lead him to research the Eastern Cape’s frontier history, during which Britain established dominance over Xhosa, Griqua and Boer alike. In Bailey’s view, the ongoing racial and economic divisions visible in cities like Grahamstown can be traced directly to the “colonising buffer” the settlers were imported from Britain to create. “Somehow, in the popular consciousness of white South Africa,” he wrote in the Blood Diamonds director’s note, “the 1820 settlers have managed to retain a butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-the-mouth innocence. As if they were any less rapacious, opportunistic, violent and bigoted than other ‘civilizers’ … In Grahamstown the faces of black poverty and white wealth gaze at each other from opposing banks of a stinking stream as they have done for close on 200 years. The city starkly illustrates an elemental fracture in the South African soul.” Much of Bailey’s work examines this fracture. In Ipi Zombi, iMumbo Jumbo and The Prophet – published collectively in 2003 as The Plays of Miracle and Wonder – he challenged “the Valium called political correctness” and “Western bigotry which denies other world-views” by affirming pointedly irrational aspects of African culture, including witchcraft, ghosts and prophecies.Challenging ‘Afro-Disney’ Yet he also undermines attempts to essentialise Africa. The House of the Holy Afro is billed as “Afro-kitsch”, conflating spiritual melodies from both gospel songs and shamanistic ceremonies with driving housebeats and the over-the-top club poetry of cross-dressing performer Odidi Mfenyana. While the show may seem to represent South Africa and Africa in front of a global audience – it has already toured widely in Europe – it is a complex, perhaps even subversive, representation. Bailey strongly resists the images of “foot-stomping, happy natives” that various internationally successful South African musicals have sold to audiences, images that don’t disturb people or push their buttons, but instead reinscribe the “folkloric picture of South Africa that we export to the globe”. This is what Bailey calls “Afro-Disney”, a safe, sanitised Africa that has its negative twin in the association of Africa with war and poverty. He feels that they are two sides of the same coin, the result of mediated perceptions of Africa – and the cause, in turn, of “hyper-politically correct” responses to some of his work, such as Big Dada, which explored the rise and fall of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Bailey does not wish to glorify Africa, but to be self-critical. At the same time, he does not see his job as an artist as trying to solve problems. Rather, he aims to “make people aware of the sub-strata” and to “scratch beneath the surface, to find out what has been hidden”. This extends to work he produces primarily for European audiences, such as his recent Exhibit A, an indictment of German colonialism in Namibia when that country was called South West Africa. Despite this desire to get Europeans to admit culpability in Africa, Bailey has identified the archetypal power of ancient European mythology – his Orfeus and Medeia, for example, made use of Greek myths as “clean, simple stories that have been in the human repertoire for so long that they have universal applicability”. The rhythm, dancing, melody and spectacle of House of the Holy Afro no doubt also have global appeal. Theatre critic and scholar Daniel Larlham says Bailey’s work seems to be “split into two distinct currents: the dark theatrical strain and a strain of flashy entertainment”. House of the Holy Afro fits into the latter category – Bailey himself describes it as a party: “This show celebrates the jol.” During the World Cup, Johannesburg locals and international visitors alike will be in festive mood and inclined to appreciate the nightclub atmosphere that is House of the Holy Afro. But audiences should bear in mind that dark theatrical strain if they really want to appreciate the artistry of Brett Bailey. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.
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Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily UnglesbeeDTN Staff ReporterROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Farmers have a range of choices when it comes to herbicide-tolerant soybean technology in 2020 — up to seven different traits.When selecting seed, remember that disease, insect tolerance and other genetic characteristics should still top your soybean shopping list. But with the growth in herbicide-resistant weeds, weed control is a crucial part of soybean profitability, and herbicide-tolerant traits can be an important tool.Moreover, the growing web of different herbicide-tolerant crops planted across the country has made it more important than ever to know what is in the variety you are growing — and what’s in your neighbor’s. So here is the latest information on the status and availability of each different trait option, organized by herbicide-tolerant genetic platform:1. ROUNDUP READY TECHNOLOGYROUNDUP READY 1The original glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready trait have been off patent since 2015. Although Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, phased the trait out of its seed stock years ago, the trait is still available from university breeding programs and some smaller, localized seed suppliers. Because the trait is off patent, growers who use RR1 soybeans can save them for seed. Growers interested in finding varieties with the RR1 trait should check with their local universities and state seed associations for information on availability.ROUNDUP READY 2After phasing out RR1, Monsanto focused on its glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready 2 platform. The trait remains a standalone option for growers in 2020, and will likely continue to be available for a few more years, either from Bayer seed brands and other seed companies that license the trait, albeit in smaller and smaller numbers, said Bayer Soybean Portfolio Lead Ryan Rubischko.Ultimately, Bayer is shifting its breeding pipeline to the RR2 Xtend platform, said Wes Hays, Bayer germplasm and deployment lead.RR2 XTENDGlyphosate and dicamba-tolerant RR2 Xtend soybeans accounted for 60% of the soybeans planted in the U.S. last year, roughly 54 million acres. It’s too early to say if that number will rise in 2020 or — as it is now facing increased competition in the marketplace — stay the same or even decrease, Rubischko noted.The trait is available in maturity groups ranging from Group 00 through Group 7 from Bayer seed brands and more than 100 licensees, he noted.Growers who use RR2 Xtend varieties in 2020 should be aware that the corresponding herbicides, XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan, face an increasingly complicated number of use restrictions.In 2018, EPA released a new set of restricted use pesticide (RUP) labels for these herbicides with restrictions on when and how growers can use them. Another herbicide, Tavium, was registered in 2019 for use in the Xtend system, with a similar set of restrictions.However, after the third consecutive year of off-target dicamba injury reports — including record levels in Illinois and Indiana — some states are taking measures to further restrict dicamba use in 2020. Most recently, Illinois has announced a 24(c) label with a June 20 cutoff date and an 85 degree cutoff for dicamba next year. (See more here: https://www.dtnpf.com/…)XTENDFLEXBayer’s next generation of soybean herbicide-tolerant trait technology is XtendFlex. These soybeans can tolerate over-the-top use of glyphosate, dicamba and glufosinate. The technology was used under stewardship in 2019 in Bayer’s Ground Breakers program, but the company hopes it will be fully commercialized in 2020. The only remaining obstacle to full commercialization is EU import approval of the trait, Rubischko noted.“We’re hoping for a late spring of 2020 approval of XtendFlex with the EU,” he said. “Given that anticipated timeframe, we could see an introductory launch of XtendFlex for the 2020 season.”The company has XtendFlex soybeans available in a broad range of maturity groups for 2020, but the timing of that EU approval will determine what volumes are available in what regions, added Hays. Given that these soybeans contain the Roundup Ready, Xtend and Liberty Link traits, growers should have a range of herbicide options to use over the top of them legally in 2020, he added.Ultimately, the XtendFlex trait is expected to inherit RR2 Xtend’s “throne” as the basis for Bayer’s soybean breeding portfolio in the coming decade. “We’ve shifted breeding efforts from RR2 to the Xtend platform and we’ll start to shift that to XtendFlex in the future,” Hays said.2. LIBERTY LINK TECHNOLOGYLIBERTYLINKThe glufosinate-tolerant trait LibertyLink remains a standalone option for growers in 2020, said Marc Hoobler, soybean agronomy lead for BASF, which now owns the trait after Bayer divested it in 2018.“There is a transition underway to the enhanced LibertyLink platform, which is LL GT27, so we do expect those LibertyLink acres to decrease in 2020, but there certainly still will be varieties available for sale with the standard LibertyLink trait in both the Credenz brands and other licensees’ brands,” Hoobler said.The LibertyLink trait remains available in maturity groups ranging from zero to mid-Group 7, he added.LL GT27The LL GT27 trait was co-developed by Bayer and MS Technologies and is now part of BASF’s portfolio. It provides tolerance to glufosinate, glyphosate and a new HPPD/Group 27 herbicide called Alite 27 that isn’t yet registered for use by the EPA.Some seed companies are offering GT27 (the glyphosate- and the HPPD-tolerant trait) as standalone varieties, but BASF is focusing on the combined LL GT27 moving forward, Hoobler said. Between LibertyLink and LL GT27, BASF expects the LibertyLink platform to exceed 20% market share in 2020, Hoobler said.The LL GT27 trait is only offered in maturity groups ranging from Group 0 to mid-Group 4, and that is unlikely to change, he added. “The target geography is largely the Midwest,” he said. “Late Group 4 is probably the latest maturity we would ever have.”The company is hoping Alite 27 will be registered in the fourth quarter of 2019 as a pre-emergence herbicide for use with LL GT27 varieties in 2020. “Initially, it will only be registered in select counties and states, but in the first year, we believe we can enable use on 10 million to 12 million acres,” Hoobler said. “Then, later on, we will add additional states and counties as we complete data requirements for the federal label.”The LL GT27 soybeans do not contain the Roundup Ready gene, but rather a different glyphosate-tolerant trait. That means some glyphosate products that use Roundup Ready-specific language on their labels are not technically legal for us on GT27 varieties, an issue EPA is working to resolve for the 2020 season, BASF said. “The EPA is aware of the confusion in the marketplace and is willing to speak individually with any state that is still concerned about which products can be used over GT27,” BASF said to DTN in an emailed statement.3. ENLIST TECHNOLOGYEnlist E3 soybeans, co-developed by MS Technologies and the former Dow AgroSciences and now part of Corteva Agriscience’s portfolio, are tolerant to glyphosate, 2,4-D and glufosinate. Last year, Corteva received final import approvals in the spring and were able to release a limited commercial launch of the soybean trait. “We were able to get that technology out on several million acres this past spring,” said Mike Dillon, global soybean portfolio lead for Corteva.This year, the company is expecting to reach at least 10% of U.S. soybean acreage, roughly 9 million acres, with Enlist E3 soybeans, Dillon said. “We have well over 100 licensees for 2019 and 2020, and since we launched the technology, we have had a 15% increase in the number of seed companies that have chosen to obtain a trait license,” he said.At the moment, Enlist E3 soybeans are available in maturity groups ranging from Group 00 to Group 4, Dillon added. “We are working toward more maturity groups and anticipate those products coming very soon,” he said. “But the bulk of our varieties right now are most adapted to the central U.S.”Since, like GT27, Enlist E3 soybeans contain a non-Roundup Ready glyphosate-tolerant trait, some glyphosate products are not technically labeled for use on them. Corteva has two herbicide products registered for use on Enlist soybeans: Enlist One (2,4-D choline) and Enlist Duo (a glyphosate and 2,4-D choline pre-mix).“Additionally, Durango DMA glyphosate herbicide and other products from our distribution partners that are inclusively labeled for use on crops that are ‘glyphosate tolerant’ or ‘containing a glyphosate-tolerance gene’ may be applied to Enlist E3 soybeans,” the company said in an emailed statement to DTN.4. STS-TOLERANT TECHNOLOGYSTS-tolerant soybeans remain an option for growers in 2020 under two different platforms. The first are STS-tolerant soybeans that contain a single gene, Als1, which confers tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicides (in the ALS-inhibitor class of herbicides). First deployed in the mid-1990s, this STS-tolerant trait is now off patent and therefore available from a range of seed companies, Dillon noted.A newer STS-tolerant platform, Bolt soybeans, was released by DuPont Pioneer in 2015 (now owned by Corteva Agriscience), and contains two STS-tolerant genes, ALs1 and Als2, providing enhanced tolerance to sulfonylurea herbicides.Both STS-tolerant options are native (non-GM) traits that allow soybeans to tolerate the application of certain ALS herbicides, which makes them a good fit for soybeans double-cropped after wheat or grown around rice fields, two crops where this type of herbicide use is common, said Dillon.“There is localized availability of STS-tolerant soybean varieties in certain geographies with these cropping rotations,” he noted. “It’s not widely deployed across the corn and soybean belts, but there is a good selection of products from multiple companies out there.”Emily Unglesbee can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee(PS/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. 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Sellers of single-family detached homes that are 10 or more years old and served by Austin Energy will need to have an energy audit of their propertyLots of information changes hands when houses are bought and sold. Sellers disclose information about the houses they sell that might affect the listed property’s value or intended use. Prospective buyers pay building inspectors to evaluate the property’s structural soundness and illuminate existing or potential safety problems.And now one famous city in Texas, Austin, is adding another bit of data that many sellers will have to deliver to prospective homebuyers: an energy audit.Required by a city ordinance scheduled to take effect June 1, the audits are part of an initiative by Austin’s mayor, Will Wynn, to reduce the town’s carbon footprint. A story posted by the Austin American-Statesman notes that the goal of a resolution accompanying the ordinance, which the city council passed in November, is to have 25% of homes sold between June 2009 and June 2010 receive energy efficiency upgrades.The ordinance applies only to homes that are 10 or more years old and are served by Austin Energy, a local utility, although that is a very big chunk of the Austin market. Audits are to be done only by auditors who are certified by the Building Performance Institute, and likely will cost sellers from $200 to $300.Sellers must provide a copy of the report to buyers. The auditors are required to provide a copy of their report to Austin Energy within 30 days.A utility as green advocateCity-owned, Austin Energy has long been leading attempts to shape city policy for the greener good through Austin Energy Green Building, a program that develops energy code proposals and nudges homeowners, builders, and remodelers toward energy efficiency through a combination of ratings services, resources (including a case-study library), contact information, and rebates and loans.As noted in a recent EcoHome magazine story, the program also is the lead-in to what is known as the Zero Energy Capable Homes initiative, which calls for all Austin homes, by 2015, to use 65% less energy than houses built to code in 2006.Austin Energy offers rebates or zero percent loans for energy upgrades. The American-Statesman story points out that in the past five years 23,800 residential customers have made improvements that collectively reduced their energy use by 38 million kWh and saved a total of $3 million on their energy bills, according to the utility. Homes that have had made certain improvements under Austin Energy programs within the past 10 years are exempt from the audit requirement.Resistance to the requirement appears to be vocal but so far largely ineffectual, in part because the ordinance, which is designed to encourage sellers and/or buyers to make energy efficiency improvements, doesn’t require them to actually make the improvements.An amendment is being considered by a conference committee in the state legislature that would strip the ordinance of its power to levy a fine of as much as $500 on sellers who fail to perform an energy audit. But should it pass, the amendment may be more of a political trophy for its proponents than a truly effective counterpunch to the audit requirement, especially because buyers who have come to expect energy audit information will wonder what sellers are trying to hide if the audit info is not provided.
The Philadelphia Eagles locked in a crucial piece to their offense yesterday, signing running back LeSean McCoy to a five-year extension worth up to $45 million.McCoy, 23, had one year remaining on his rookie deal. The Pennsylvania product scored a franchise record 17 rushing touchdowns last season and was elated to have his contract situation taken care of before the beginning of training camp.“It feels good just to wake up tomorrow and go to work knowing that the deal is done and it’s over with,” McCoy said during a press conference. “I’m not a guy to try and hold out and do this and do that. I try and do things the right way. I’m just happy that everything is done and over with, and I can go to work happy tomorrow and enjoy myself.”Head coach Andy Reid echoed his running back’s sentiments, saying, “We are excited to continue this off-season of taking care of our own players. LeSean is one of the most electrifying running backs in the National Football League. He can do it all – run, catch, block and score touchdowns from anywhere on the field.”
Ohio State head football coach Luke Fickell announced Thursday that Braxton Miller would start at quarterback in Saturday’s matchup against Colorado. Fickell made the announcement during his weekly radio show around noon, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The expected start would be Miller’s first at OSU. Miller did not see playing time against Toledo, but split time with redshirt senior quarterback Joe Bauserman in games against Akron and Miami (Fla.). Bauserman started the previous three games. Kickoff for Saturday’s game at Ohio Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and will air on ABC.
The Ohio State football team held their 2019 Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 13. Gray beat Scarlet 35-17. Photos by Casey Cascaldo and Jack Westerheide Ohio State sophomore quarterback Justin Fields (1) warms up prior to the start of the 2019 Spring Game on April 13. Gray beat Scarlet 35-17. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for Design