South Ripley at JCD Boys Middle School Basketball Results.Grade 7-JCD 36 SR 25.The host Eagles were able to pull away in the second half and defeat the Raiders 36-25. Zach Gentile paced the visitors with 15 points while Ryan Miller scored 10. Nick Schwarte had several rebounds and contributed a great defensive effort, as did the whole team in holding the high powered Eagles to 36 points.Grade 8-SR 45 JCD 38In a fiercely contested battle, the visiting Raiders were able to come away with a 45-38 victory. After a 14-8 first quarter lead, South Ripley enjoyed a 23-15 lead at halftime. However, the home team rallied to cut the lead to three at the end of the 3rd period 32-29, out scoring the visitors 14-9. But the Raiders kept their composure, winning period four 13-9 and eventually outlasting the Eagles. Brady Linkel led an outstanding defensive effort with 8 rebounds and several hustle plays, as well as scoring a season high 7 points. Lane Sparks led all scorers with 17 points with several assists; Bryce Franklin added 11 points and 8 boards, Cody Samples 5 points and clutch ball handling late in the game, Dillon Binion 4, and Kaden Rinear one point.The seventh grade squad falls to 3-5 while the eighth grade pushes their record to 7-1. Both teams will be in action Thursday, hosting South Dearborn in a 5:30 tip.Courtesy of Raiders Coach Jeff Greiwe.
Update on the latest sports — The Green Bay Packers’ additions of linebacker Christian Kirksey and Rick Wagner this week signaled moving forward without two key veterans. Longtime right tackle Bryan Bulaga has agreed to terms with the Los Angeles Chargers and linebacker Blake Martinez is joining the New York Giants.— The Buffalo Bills have signed cornerback Josh Norman to a one-year contract in hopes the eighth-year player can secure a starting job opposite Tre’Davious White.-The Philadelphia Eagles added former Steelers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, released standout safety Malcolm Jenkins and retained starting safety Rodney McLeod, starting cornerback Jalen Mills, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway and backup quarterback Nate Sudfeld so far in free agency. The Eagles previously announced they wouldn’t keep nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters and aren’t going to tender restricted free agent running back Corey Clement. — Defensive tackle Linval Joseph has agreed to a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. Two people familiar with the deal tell The Associated Press that Joseph’s contract is for $17 million but could go as high as $19 million with additional incentives.—The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to an $11 million, two-year deal with Brandon Shell, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Associated Press VIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSOttawa NHL player tests positiveUNDATED (AP) — The NHL has its first player who has tested positive for the new coronavirus.The Ottawa Senators say an unidentified player tested positive for COVID-19. The player was experiencing mild symptoms and was in isolation. Ottawa’s final three games of the suspended season were all in California.In other virus-related developments: — A person familiar with the deal says free agent cornerback Eli Apple has agreed to a contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. Apple is the latest free agent addition to agree to the Raiders this week as part of a defensive overhaul.— The Texans traded star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona by receiving running back David Johnson in the deal. The Texans were in need of a running back with both Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller becoming free agents this week. Randall Cobb could help fill the void left by Hopkins.— The Washington Redskins are signing safety Sean Davis to a one-year contract that can be worth up to $5 million. The 26-year-old missed the vast majority of last season with a shoulder injury.— A person with knowledge of the deal says the Los Angeles Rams have agreed to a one-year contract worth $10 million with pass-rushing linebacker Leonard Floyd.— Seattle Seahawks are reuniting with an old friend, bringing back former first-round pick Bruce Irvin, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. Irvin will be a boost to Seattle’s pass rush that needed attention. — The Cincinnati Reds say an employee who worked at Cincinnati’s spring training complex in Goodyear, Arizona has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The team says the employee lives in Arizona and has been self-quarantined, along with other members of the Reds staff who were in close contact. The employee worked at the complex from Feb. 29 through March 14. While players in the NBA and the NHL have tested positive for COVID-19, no Major League Baseball player is known to have been infected. Two New York Yankees minor leaguers have tested positive for the virus.— The IndyCar race in Long Beach, California, won’t be held this year. Officials with the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach said Wednesday they pursued the possibility of rescheduling the popular race to a later date. The race had been scheduled for April 19. Ticket holders can either receive a credit that will apply to the same level of admission for next year or receive a full refund.— Formula One has moved its midseason break from August to March and April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The break has also been extended from 14 days to 21. Four of the season’s 22 races have already been postponed, and they are hoping that moving the annual break forward could make it easier to find new dates later for events.— The Green Bay Packers are extending the deadline for season ticket holders to pay for their 2020 tickets to June 1 to allow them more time to deal with any potential impact from the coronavirus.— Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and pop star wife Ciara have announced they are donating 1 million meals through Seattle’s Food Lifeline to help provide meals for those in need during the coronavirus outbreak in the region. — The New York Jets are re-signing cornerback Brian Poole to a one-year, $5 million fully guaranteed contract, according to agent Drew Rosenhaus. Poole was the Jets’ best cornerback last season in Gregg Williams’ defense, playing in the nickel spot.—Trumaine Johnson’s stint with the New York Jets is over after two disappointing and injury-plagued seasons. The move saves New York $11 million in salary cap space this year. The Jets are bringing back cornerback Brian Poole by re-signing him to a one-year, $5 million fully guaranteed contract.—The Washington Redskins are signing safety Sean Davis for a one-year deal that can be worth up to $5 million. The Redskins also agreed to terms with linebackers Thomas Davis and Kevin Pierre-Louis and re-signed Jon Bostic. They augmented their defensive additions by agreeing to sign guard Wes Schweitzer for help on the offensive line.— The Denver Broncos have acquired five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey from the Tennessee Titans. Two people familiar with the trade tell The Associated Press that the Titans swapped Casey to Denver for a seventh-round draft pick. Casey is due $11.2 million this season and is under contract through 2022 with a price tag that only rises in the final two years.— Versatile Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Austin Blythe has agreed to a one-year deal to return. Blythe has started all but one game over the past two seasons with the Rams after serving as a backup in 2017 — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers enter free agency with expectations of signing six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady. There’s been no official announcement on Brady joining the Bucs after 20 seasons with the New England Patriots. But there’s already an increased demand for tickets. Within hours of reports of the team closing in on a deal with Brady, the website selling season passes for 2020 showed more than 2,400 people waiting for a chance to make purchases.— The Patriots were in cost-cutting mode on the first day of free agency. Safety Duron Harmon was traded to the Lions, defensive tackle Danny Shelton also landed in Detroit and offensive lineman Ted Karras agreed to a deal with the Dolphins. Linebacker Elandon Roberts is also expected to sign with the Dolphins. Combined with other moves this week, the Patriots are about $13 million under the salary cap. Coach Bill Belichick will look to add depth this offseason to a defense anchored by several players age 30 and older. He also has the task of replacing quarterback Tom Brady.—The Detroit Lions agreed to a two-year, $8 million deal with defensive tackle Danny Shelton. Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed that deal Wednesday. Shelton started 14 games last season for New England. The Patriots also agreed to trade safety Duron Harmon to the Lions. The teams did not announce additional terms of the deal. The trade is pending a physical. Lions coach Matt Patricia has familiarity with Harmon. Patricia is entering his third season as Detroit’s coach and was New England’s defensive coordinator before taking over the Lions.— The Miami Dolphins have added up to seven starters with a spending spree at the start of free agency. The latest addition to the starting lineup: center Ted Karras. A person familiar with the deal says Karras agreed to a $4 million one-year contract. Earlier the Dolphins made Byron Jones the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback and bolstered their pass rush by reaching agreements with linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah. On offense they upgraded by acquiring running back Jordan Howard and guard Ereck Flowers. The seven deals were for a total of more than $222 million. -The Bengals released right guard John Miller. The move came five days after the Bengals released left tackle Cordy Glenn, who missed 10 games last season with a concussion and a team suspension. The Bengals also released B.W. Webb as part of a cornerback shuffle. They’re expected to sign former Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes. Kansas finishes No. 1 in final AP poll; Gonzaga, Dayton nextUNDATED (AP) — Kansas can start celebrating their finish atop the final Top 25 from The Associated Press.The regular-season Big 12 champions, who were 28-3 when the season abruptly ended after the first day of the conference tournament last week, received 63 of 65 first-place votes from a national media panel in balloting released Wednesday.That easily outdistanced No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 3 Dayton, each of which received a first-place vote.Florida State was fourth, easily the best finish ever for the Seminoles, while Baylor rounded out the top five after spending a longer stretch at No. 1 than any other team during a topsy-turvy season.The final rankings were based on play through March 11, when the outbreak of the coronavirus brought the sport to a halt. NFL-OBIT-MCPHERSONLongtime 49ers assistant Bill McPherson dies at age 88SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Longtime San Francisco 49ers coach and executive Bill McPherson has died at the age of 88. The 49ers said McPherson died Tuesday. McPherson spent 20 seasons as a defensive assistant for the 49ers from 1979-98, helping the franchise win five Super Bowl titles. McPherson later worked as the team’s director of pro personnel then as a personnel consultant from 2003-05.NFL-RAIDERS STADIUMRaiders on target to move to LA Although information on dozens of contract agreements and a slew of trades has been leaked, teams were not allowed to complete the deals until the 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday start of the 2020 NFL business year. However, all of those transactions now come with the caveat that the signings and physicals need to occur. Free agents involved won’t be getting paid until those deals are signed and physicals are taken.The NFL has barred travel to team facilities by free agents and also has banned team personnel from traveling to meet with players as a safeguard against the new coronavirus.In free agency news:— Dak Prescott has his No. 1 receiver back after the Dallas Cowboys opened free agency by signing Amari Cooper to a $100 million, five-year contract. The next question is whether the star quarterback will get a long-term deal after the Cowboys placed the roughly $31.5 million franchise tag on Prescott. Dallas is trying to counter the losses of several defensive starters with the expected signings of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and cornerback Maurice Canady. The Cowboys also are re-signing linebacker Sean Lee, cornerback Anthony Brown and safety Darian Thompson.— DeForest Buckner made it official by signing a four-year, $84 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts, one day after his celebrating his 26th birthday. The deal makes Buckner the second-highest paid defensive tackle in the NFL. Indy also has agreed to terms on a one-year, $25 million deal with quarterback Philip Rivers. But the Colts did not officially announce that move. March 18, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNFL-FREE AGENCYAP sources: Free agent deals can’t be official even as NFL year beginsUNDATED (AP) — The new NFL year has begun, but free agent contracts and trades agreed upon in recent days or weeks won’t become official just yet. UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the team’s plans says the Raiders have declined an option to remain in Oakland for 2020 and are on target to move into their new Las Vegas stadium this summer. Construction on the stadium has been deemed an essential project and is going on without interruption despite most business being shut down in Nevada because of the new coronavirus. The Raiders announced plans to move to Las Vegas in 2017 and the NFL approved it later that year. The team remained in Oakland as a lame duck the past three seasons and had an option to stay for 2020 if needed.NBA-CLIPPERS-MANNClippers’ Terance Mann has ligament surgery on right handLOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann has had surgery to repair a ligament in his right hand, the team said Wednesday. The surgery was performed Tuesday. Mann was injured during a game on March 8 while on assignment with the team’s G League affiliate in Ontario, California. No timetable for his return has been set.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-POLL —The Atlanta Falcons and Dante Fowler have agreed to a $48 million, three-year contract, reuniting the outside linebacker with one of his coaches in college according to a person familiar with the deal. The 25-year-old Fowler played college ball at the University of Florida. When he was a freshman in 2012, Falcons coach Dan Quinn was the Gators’ defensive coordinator.— The Baltimore Ravens added 6-foot-8 defensive end Calais Campbell and the acquisition of 6-5 free agent defensive tackle Michael Brockers. The Ravens also sent tight end Hayden Hurst and a 2020 fourth-round draft choice to the Falcons for Atlanta’s second- and fifth-round selections in the draft.— A person familiar with the trade says the Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to send quarterback Nick Foles to the Chicago Bears for a compensatory fourth-round draft pick. The Jaguars are dumping Foles a little more than a year after giving the former Super Bowl MVP a four-year, $88 million contract that included a whopping $50.125 million guaranteed. Foles is due to make $15.125 million in 2020 and would have counted $21.837 million against Jacksonville’s salary cap. The Bears are getting a veteran starter to compete with Mitchell Trubisky, who struggled in his third season.—The Chicago Bears traded for quarterback Nick Foles to push Mitchell Trubisky. They also brought in one former All-Pro to boost their pass rush by agreeing to a five-year, $70 million deal with Robert Quinn, and have another former star on the way in tight end Jimmy Graham.— The Carolina Panthers have released Eric Reid, just 13 months after giving the veteran safety a three-year, $22 million contract extension. The decision to release Reid means the Panthers will be on the hook for $5 million in dead money. Reid was the first player to join former teammate Colin Kaepernick’s protest against social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. He has also been an outspoken voice in the players’ union. — All men’s and women’s professional tennis tournaments through June 7 are being called off because of the pandemic. The ATP and WTA announced that the entire clay-court circuit “will not be held as scheduled.” Both tours also said that their rankings will be frozen until further notices. — The Western Athletic Conference has canceled all competition and championships for the remainder of the academic year. The WAC’s decision affects men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, softball and baseball.— The Big South Conference became the latest to announce it is canceling all spring athletic activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.— People familiar with the discussions tell The Associated Press that Major League Baseball is considering skipping its amateur draft this year and putting off the next international signing period as a way to preserve cash while games are affected by the new coronavirus. MLB proposed crediting full major league service for 130 games or more and proportional service for a shorter season. The union wants a full season of service even if no games are played. Service determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration.IDITAROD Norwegian musher wins Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog raceANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Norwegian musher is once again the winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.Thomas Waener of Norway easily won this year’s race, running his sled dog under the famed burled arch in downtown Nome early Wednesday after driving his team off the Bering Sea ice. It took him 9 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds to travel nearly 1,000 miles across Alaska.Waerner’s closest competitor was three-time champion Mitch Seavey, who was about five hours behind.This is the second time the 47-year-old Waerner has run the Iditarod. He earned Rookie of the Year honors for his 17th place finish in 2015. Two other Norwegian mushers have won the Iditarod.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
NEW YORK — Eighth-seeded Syracuse (18-14, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) missed an opportunity to potentially solidify its spot in the NCAA Tournament with a 62-57 loss to ninth-seeded Miami (21-10, 10-8) in the second round of the ACC tournament at the Barclays Center Wednesday afternoon. Andrew White scored a game-high 22 points and John Gillon couldn’t repeat his late-game heroics, as the Orange will have to wait to find out its fate on Selection Sunday.Here’s what we learned from Wednesday’s game.Despite allowing 62 points, Syracuse’s defense still isn’t good enoughIt was going to be hard to top Syracuse’s defensive showing from Jan. 4, when the Orange held Miami to 55 points in the Carrier Dome.Despite surrendering only seven more point at the Barclays Center, Boeheim still said his defense isn’t good enough, referencing the four first-year players he starts with two of them sitting by his side at the postgame dais.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Wednesday, Miami shot only 9-of-23 from long range, but that topped the Hurricanes’ season average of just over six made 3s per game. They hit six alone in the first half to open up an eight-point lead. Some makes came at the tail end of the shot clock, which made the few that did even harder to stomach for the Orange.“Well, they made some tough shots, last-second shots,” freshman guard Tyus Battle said. “That happens. I thought we did a pretty good job defensively most of the game. We had a couple breakdowns where we let guys we didn’t want to shoot, shoot the ball.”The ACC may not get as many teams in as was once thoughtAfter Georgia Tech lost on Tuesday night to Pittsburgh and Clemson fell short against Duke, the Yellow Jackets and Tigers are all but officially off the NCAA Tournament bubble.Wake Forest still plays Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. Wednesday with a chance to possibly seal its spot in the field of 68, but the Demon Deacons are no lock. Syracuse, especially with its loss to Miami, is hardly a lock either. On Tuesday night, GT head coach Josh Pastner argued that any ACC team with eight league wins (his team) should make the NCAA Tournament.As of now, eight ACC teams are locks when as many as 12 have been alive to make the field. Now, with almost two days of the ACC tournament in the books, it’s clear that the ACC may not get as many teams in as was once thought.“We are universally felt to be, I think by everybody, the No. 1 conference in the country,” Boeheim said. “We finished seventh, tied for seventh. Other conferences are talking about getting 60 percent of their teams in the Tournament. If we’re the best conference in the country we should get more than 50 percent in the Tournament.”Jim Boeheim is not a fan of the ACC tournament in GreensboroBefore the ACC tournament moved to Washington, D.C. last season and now Brooklyn this year, it was played in Greensboro, North Carolina. Boeheim hopes it never returns there.“There’s no reason to play in Greensboro. None,” Boeheim said. “The only reason they play there is because the league offices are there. It’s always been there and there are like 150 people who like to have meetings. It should not be there.”MORE COVERAGEThe Final Word: Beat writers discuss Syracuse’s 62-57 loss against MiamiJohn Gillon can’t pilot Syracuse offense in ACC tournament loss to MiamiJim Boeheim pitches case for Syracuse to make NCAA TournamentSyracuse loses to Miami in ACC tournament and now all the Orange can do is waitGallery: Syracuse loses third straight ACC tournament game Boeheim also noted how media and recruiting hubs are in cities such as Washington D.C., New York and Atlanta, and that New York was the foundation of the Big East, which holds its conference tournament in Madison Square Garden.After his mini-rant finished, the head coach offered why he had no filter on criticizing the city where he played his first ACC tournament.“I’m saying all this because I don’t give a sh*t,” he said with a laugh. Comments Published on March 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+
The MD also applauded other sponsors and Lagos State government who had partnered with the bank in their quest to develop the youths.“Skoolimpics has come to stay and this is just the pilot edition,” he said.“We have planned, meet people and today we all can see the results of the planning. I am happy that we have somebody as Onyali as an ambassador because she was discovered from school competition like this.“The target is to build future champions from amidst all these students and I am looking forward to see an athlete that will break our ambassador’s 200m record.“I am going to start an endowment fund with N10m, for anyone that can break her record in the next 10 to 20 years, the money will be increasing and whosoever break that record will take the money, and with that I declare this year Skoolimpics open.”Five events will be competed for across two venues, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere and Rowe Park, Yaba. The events are athletics, basketball, table tennis, swimming and handball.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, has set aside a N10m trust fund for any athlete that can break the 200m African record set by ex-international, and Skoolimpics Ambassador, Mary Onyali-Omagbemi.The MD while declaring the pilot edition of the Heritage Bank- Lagos State Skoolimpics 2016 open said he would be setting aside the sum of N10m that would be yielding interests and would be handed over to any athlete discovered at the competition who was able to break Onyali’s record.Onyali’s 200m record of 22.07secs was set 20 years ago at the IAAF Weltklasse Meet in Zurich, Switzerland and no athlete has been able to match it.
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (17) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +14 Vote up Vote down Wellingtonite · 218 weeks ago …very well written. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down paul · 218 weeks ago Eckert works for only one year and then gets $115K severance from Montrose County. Eckert then accepts Wellington job over Florence Job, accepting $20K less annual salary in Wellington over Florence, because wellington has better severance clause than Florence. Eckert then works for a little over one year in wellington and gets $100K Severance payment from Wellington. If Eckert put 1/2 as much effort into being a city manager, as he did setting himself up to get paid to not work by Montrose county and Wellington. He would have been an incredible city manager! Report Reply 2 replies · active 218 weeks ago +12 Vote up Vote down paul · 218 weeks ago Cueball: This is great story and information! I had heard all week it cost the City of Wellington $100,000 to terminate Eckert. I feel much better it was only $37,000 extra money paid to Eckert to terminate him immediately instead of allowing his contract to run till the end of 2016, based on what we know as of today. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago +15 Vote up Vote down John Munro · 218 weeks ago A very well written article, Tracy. I didn’t detect any favor in either direction, it seemed to be very well balanced, very un-political. Good journalism. Now; if maybe sometime down the line, if possible, we could get an interview with Mr. Eckert this whole episode would be complete. Keep up the good work, we all deserve it. Report Reply 1 reply · active 218 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Wes Smith · 218 weeks ago In your story posted October 18, 2014 about Roy accepting the job it detailed his contract. One of the items in this contract it was stated as follows “after the first six months the governing body will conduct a performance review on whether or not to provide the employee with a salary increase;” Was this 6 month review complied with? Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Guest · 218 weeks ago This might be the best reporting in the history of Wellington, Kansas. Good job. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down Jeremy Davis · 218 weeks ago Great article. Only problem is not reporting the very, extreme decision making made by our council, and mayor without in my opinion any regard for the consequences. I’d love to show the amount of money wasted on things since this last election but every time I try and add them up my calculator says error. The cause…..not enough spaces for the amount I try to figure up. When you have to go to a bigger calculator to accomadate the very, Very.VERY high amount of wasted money this town throws away on dumb $#!+. I’m suprise there’s still room in the budget to pay someone $100,000 not to work. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago -2 Vote up Vote down Jeremy Davis · 218 weeks ago I would love for anyone to go and lookup (or download the pdf file like I did) and go through and look at where the city money actually goes. I went through the 300+ pages of the pdf file. Took me quite a long time as well and deduced that the average wasted money. Not money going to basic service but the budgeted amount each dept is alloted. I promise you. It is shocking. Wasteful. And quite literally benefit a very select few. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down ??? · 218 weeks ago I thought Sims and Newberry both had the title of Assistant under Gus?? Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Fedup215 78p · 218 weeks ago I too would like to see a comment from Roy. There are always two sides to every story. Report Reply 0 replies · active 218 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” The Wellington City Council has had plenty of executive sessions over the years, but none of them were quite like the ones held on Friday, May 27, during a special meeting.Only the seven people alone in the room know what was specifically said in the closed room at the council chamber for an hour long private meeting that included a 30-minute and two 15-minute executive sessions. But has been described as â€œfraught with emotion.â€Roy EckertWhen the council finally reconvened in open session, councilman Kip Etter uttered a motion never made in the history of the city of Wellington politics since switching to a city manager system over 50 years ago. He moved to terminate Wellington City Manager Roy Eckertâ€™s contract immediately. It was seconded by Kelly Green Hawley.In order for the resolution to pass, the council needed two more votes to get a majority. It would get one. Bill Butts, the council newcomer who replaced B.J. Tracy last June, cast an affirmative vote. Jim Valentine, Jan Korte and Vince Wetta would vote against it. The vote then rested on the shoulders of Wellington Mayor Shelley Hansel.Shelley HanselA mayor in Wellington city councilâ€™s system, theoretically is the least powerful person on the board. He/she only votes occasionally and that is during a tie – and that happens rarely. But on this Friday afternoon, not only was the council deadlocked, but it came on what was the most controversial vote this council will probably ever make.She voted â€œyes.â€And thus the tenure of Mr. Eckert, Wellington City Manager, had ended after a stormy 19 months. He was to leave at midnight that day.â€œIt was not a matter of ‘if,’ it was a matter of when,â€ Wetta said the Saturday afterwards. â€œHe is a nice guy and all that, but as far as being city manager is concerned, it was over.â€Wetta said when it came down to it, he personally could not give $100,000 away with seven months left on his contract.â€œI have served on railroad boards and the state legislature for a number of years,â€ Wetta said. â€œThis was by far the most difficult vote I ever cast.â€Hansel would tell Newscow reporter James Jordan that she thought the seven months left on his contract would have made for an awkward working environment knowing his contract wouldnâ€™t be renewed. The council had also contemplated taking action closer to the day of non-renewal. The council had 45 days before the his two year contract ended on Dec. 31. She said that wasnâ€™t a good option either.In the end, the council majority voted to get it over with. Since then it has been both applauded and jeered.The Friday vote in some ways was two tiered. Not only did the council terminate Eckert, but it also chose not to take action on naming a replacement or even an interim. That could come Tuesday. The council has an executive session on its agenda for its first regular June meeting.But today at this writing, the city has no city manager. Hansel told Newscow that Jason Newberry, the assistant city manager, was to handle the day-to-day operations until then.This is unchartered territory for the city of Wellington. How it ends is anybodyâ€™s guess.The contractWhen the Wellington City Council voted to fire Eckert it was basically choosing between two scenarios:1) Pay him a $100,000 severance package as stipulated by his employment agreement;2) Discontinue paying him for the remainder of his contract. That would have cost the city $57,692 for 30 weeks of salary, $3,500 in car allowance, $700 in cell phone expenses (not including his health insurance premiums) in 15Â bi-weekly payments.Sumner Newscow has obtained the employee agreement (found here) of Eckert signed on Oct. 22, 2014 by himselfÂ along with former Wellington Mayor Roger Stallbaumer, acting in behalf of that city council.The agreement commenced on Nov. 10, 2014 the beginning of Eckertâ€™s employment and would have ended on Dec. 31, 2016, as a two-year contract. Had the council done nothing, it would have been automatically renewed until Dec. 31, 2018.According to termination clause on page 3 of the agreement:â€œtermination shall occur when the majority of the governing body votes to terminate the employee at a duly authorized public meeting.â€But in doing so, according to the contract stipulations, the city of Wellington would pay Eckert one year salary, since he did not resign or was terminated due to disciplinary reasons.The alternative to the quick termination was to keep Eckert on the payroll until Dec. 31. He was paid $3,846.16 bi-weekly for a $100,000 a year salary. With 15 payments left on his contract, that equated to $57,692 in salary alone. Combine the other amenities in his contract and the city would have paid $63,392 not including health insurance payments. So even though, Wellington paid Eckert $100,000 in severance, the net cost to the city at minimum is less than $37,000.Of course, that all depends what the council does next when hiring a new city manager. If it names a city manager soon, then it would be paying for two city managers until Eckert’s severance is paid out.The issue of severanceThe City of Wellington is no different than most municipal governments its size or larger or for that matter a CEO serving a private corporation. A severance package is used by the company as a contract incentive while at the same time protecting the employee from wrongful termination.The hope is, the severance package will never be used. And it hasnâ€™t in the case of the City of Wellington. The city government has never fired a city manager. Most have resigned for other career opportunities. There was one exception. In 1987, a council did exercise its option not to renew the contract of city manager Craig Hubler, who was told on April 22, 1987 that the city of Wellington would exercise its 60-day option to terminate the employment agreement. He worked until June 22, 1987. He did not get severance pay.But when Eckert signed his two-year contract, he had a one-year severance pay package it was the largest ever offered in the Cityâ€™s history. Former Wellington City Manager Gus Collins had a six months severance package.This did not come by accident.The severance package was one of the key negotiating points in bringing Eckert to Wellington.Before accepting the job at Wellington, Eckert had been county administrator at Montrose County, Colo. In late April 2014, when his tenure came to an end after his resignation, the Montrose County Commissioners provided Eckert a severance package of $115,000.When Eckert applied for the city manager in Wellington, he was one of three candidates left in an exhaustive interviewing process that had lasted for six months. He was not Wellingtonâ€™s first choice. But after the first candidate turned down Wellingtonâ€™s offer, Eckert was offered the job at $95,000 annual salary as well as a $500 car and $100 monthly cell phone allowance.But Eckert had sent Stallbaumer a letter,Â also turning the council down. At the time, he thought the council should wait another seven months before hiring a city manager until after the city election. He was also concerned with the high property taxes in Kansas and the housing situation in Wellington.In the meantime, Eckert had been offered a job for $120,000 a year from a municipality in Florence, Ore., a coastal town of 8,466 people in the west-central part of the state, $25,000 more than what Wellington was offering.But Eckert turned that council down as well. According to a statement issued by the Florence City Hall on Oct. 11 in the Siusaw News it stated:â€œThe council has offered Mr. Eckert what they believed to have been a very fair compensation package but could not meet his requirement for a severance clause.â€Florence had offered a six-month severance package and an additional month for every year he served thereafter.The Wellington City Council, hoping to get someone hired soon, upped the ante and offered Eckert a $100,000 a year contract with a 12-month severance pay package instead of six. Eckert would accept.In other words, Eckert accepted a contract paying him less money than Florence, Ore. but getting twice the severance pay package.Suffice it to say, Eckert has now made $215,000 since April 2014 by not working – $115,000 severance pay from Montrose, and $100,000 from Wellington.The stormy tenureFrom the onset, one could safely say, Eckertâ€™s tenure had been a stormy one – not completely his fault.It wasnâ€™t too much later that he found himself engulfed in the Wellington Housing Authority controversy between the board and then Wheat Capital Manor Executive Director Melissa Hamlin. He would remove the WHA board President.It was soon thereafter that Wellington Finance Advisor John Haas had announced during a work sessionthat too much money was taken out of the utility reserve fund during the Collins year and it needed to be replenished in order for the city of Wellington to not affect its bond rating.The Wellington Council, which brought in three new members in April’s election and replace another member in June, would eventually have to raise utility fees as well as property taxes to the chagrin of the taxing community.Arguably, though, Eckertâ€™s biggest issues involved personnel (see story here).Â Eckert moved city employees like pawns. Wellington City Clerk Shane Shields was moved to finance director; Carol Mericle was moved in to replace him as clerk. Jason Newberry was made an assistant to the city manager – a new position that would cost city taxpayers $70,460 a year. Secretaries were moved and offices were changed. The funds going to the city managerâ€™s office was upped by $38,032.Eckert was also having issues with both the Wellington Fire and Police Department after implementing a salary freeze and not delivering on promises for new equipment.As one city employee, who wished not to be identified, would put it about Eckert.â€œThey (the council) did not see the near daily occurrence of indecision, lack of leadership, disorganization, etc. that other staff experienced.â€One of the more troubling aspects with Eckert, many found, was his inconsistent leadership style.According to one individual not on the current council:Very early on, with the hospital situation, (Eckert) commented several times in public meetings, that he didn’t know how bad the situation was.Â He absolutely did know as it was a specific item he was briefed on – just as we did with the other applicant, the first choice.Â They were briefed and given full information on the SRMC issue, the status of the utility fund, the raw water issue and other issues that the city was facing.â€ Then there was the golf sprinkler crisis that developed this February in which the council was told the sprinkler system was no longer functional and needed and its computer needed to be replaced immediately. The council voted for the purchase, without a bidding process. Some have accused Eckert for a lack of leadership throughout the ordeal.None of the council members, contacted by Sumner Newscow said it was one specific thing that Eckert did that led to his dismissal but a collection of things. Council woman Green Hawley stated it came down to very poor job evaluations and general disappointment in leadership and control.The councilâ€™s actions If the council can be accused of one wrongdoing, it would be nor performing a performance evaluation when it was supposed to.As stipulated in the Eckert agreement:â€œThe Employer shall annually review the performance of the Employee subject to a process, form, criteria, and format for the evaluation which shall be mutually agreed upon by the Employer and Employee. The process, at a minimum, shall include the opportunity for both parties to: 1) prepare a written evaluation, 2) meet and discuss the evaluation, and 3) present a written summary of the evaluation results.â€However, there was no performance review made last December, the first year anniversary of his employment.Eventually on May 16, 18 months after Eckert was hired, the council had its first performance review. And according to Hansel, the evaluations were terrible.Eleven days later, the council was faced with the prospect of doing one of three things:1) Doing nothing and letting Eckertâ€™s contract renew until December 2018;2) Not renewing his contract effectively making him a lame duck city manager until Dec. 31;3) Terminating Eckert immediately.The split council would ultimately decide to terminate a city manager immediately.There has been much speculation why the first performance review, was not made in a timely fashion. Many felt this was a white elephant scenario in which the council knew the issue of Eckert was looming but chose to ignore it for as long as possible for both financial and public relation reasons.Nevertheless, history will reflect that once the first performance review was made, Eckert did not survive it.Now comes the ramification of the Councilâ€™s May 27 decision – looking for a replacement.Collins resigned in April 2014. One can argue, that search for his permanent replacement is still ongoing.Follow us on Twitter.
The Ebola Coordinator of the European Union (EU), Mr. Christos Stylianides, has warned Liberia and its neighbors, who are bearing the brunt of the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, not to be complacent in the fight against the disease, but rather exert more vigilance to ensure that it is eradicated as soon as possible.Though there are positive signals that the Ebola disease is retreating in some parts of Liberia, which is a clear indication that the Liberian Government is doing much to stop the disease, it would be a serious mistake to let the guard down, Mr. Stylianides cautioned.“All of us – Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, EU and all partners – must remain on the alert,” he warned, adding that the responsibility is collective and everyone must work hand in hand.The EU Ebola Coordinator, who is also the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, spoke last Friday when he held a joint press meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.Mr. Stylianides was leading a high-level EU delegation to Liberia including EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Mr. Vytenis Andriukaitis.The press briefing was preceded by a closed-door meeting with President Sirleaf.The EU Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management boss, on behalf of the organization, expressed his solidarity to the Government and people of Liberia and assured President Sirleaf that “Europe’s solidarity is real and tangible.”Mr. Stylianides said his delegation is in Liberia to listen to the concerns of Government, including the challenges faced with, to see the needs of the people and to assess the situation.President Sirleaf lauded the European Union (EU) for its many interventions in the post-conflict recovery process of Liberia.She used the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Stylianides for his preferment and welcomed his delegation to Liberia. She briefed them on the current status of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.She recounted the EU’s contribution to all of the country’s major development projects since the end of the civil war, ranging from direct budgetary support, energy, infrastructure, health, education, and more recently the fight against the Ebola virus disease. President Sirleaf stressed that going forward, international assistance will be most urgently required in strengthening the healthcare system as well as overall support for the government’s National Economic Recovery Plan in the post-Ebola era. She expressed the hope that the EU would be a partner to rely on in this regard.She particularly requested the EU’s support in changing the Ebola response by targeting more attention and support to communities, integrating the Ebola intervention with the public and regular healthcare services and support to the government’s energy program.For his part, Commissioner Andriukaitis said only cooperation and a common action plan at the community, county, state will defeat the Ebola virus disease and begin the recovery process which will restore the confidence of the people.He thanked the Liberian Government for developing the community-based approach to tackling the further spread of the disease as well as developing and strengthening primary healthcare.According to an Executive Mansion statement, Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh, during the closed-door meeting, gave a special update on the impact of the disease on the economy, which reflected a 20 percent decline in revenues. He outlined the National Economic Recovery Plan for the post-Ebola period.Dr. Emmanuel Dolo, Presidential Youth Advisor, provided updates on the specific interventions and current status of the fight against the further spread of the virus.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)