Cleaning Oconee.

first_imgLarry Risse looks forward to the twice-monthly, voluntary checks of the water flowingthrough his 100-acre farm. He wants to know if practices on his land somehow contribute tothe pollution of nearby Lake Oconee.”We need to know what kind of nutrients are being washed away from ourfields,” Risse said.A stream runs though his farm, only a few hundred feet from a pasture rigged withspecial collectors that sample the rainwater running off the land.Researchers with the University of Georgia and the Agricultural Research Service of theU.S. Department of Agriculture check the quality of water entering Risse’s farm, therunoff from nearby fields and the water quality when it leaves.Farmers Often Wrongly BlamedFarmers often get blamed for polluting water. But the research is finding that theimpacts of land use vary greatly. Some farms do seem to add to the pollution problem.”But in some cases, the water leaving the farm is cleaner than the water coming onthe farm,” said Dory Franklin, an ARS geographer.On Larry Risse’s farm, for instance, his pond acts as a big filter. As far as thecurrent technology can detect, it’s cleaning up the pollution.”As (pollutants) slow down, they sink into the pond and stay in the pond, ratherthan going out the back,” Franklin said.Farmers, Scientists Work TogetherThe water that cuts through the Risse farm and other farms around the northern part ofLake Oconee eventually winds up in the lake. Pollution in Lake Oconee already worriesstate officials, since it has high bacteria and nutrient levels. Many of the local farmers have raced to the lake’s aid. By keeping a close, scientific watch on the water going in at various farms, the scientists can correct problems beforethey get out of hand.The farmers test a sample themselves, while the UGA Agricultural Services Lab testsanother for more detailed analysis. The feedback is valuable.”Often, a farmer has no way of knowing how his practices are impacting the environment,” said Mark Risse, a biological and agricultural engineer with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”In this study,” he said, “the farmers are ‘seeing’ their water quality twice a month and after every big rain. They know exactly how their farms impact water quality.”Identifying SolutionsAs they see the research results, the farmers know firsthand if changes to their landshelp or hurt.Wherever researchers find problems, they identify solutions. Some are as simple asfencing off streams to keep cattle out and providing alternative water sources. Othersinvolve building buffer zones or grass strips to naturally filter water before it enters astream.Farmers also learn to better manage manure and other nutrients and use rotationalgrazing, which can help both them and the environment.The research project looks for low-cost ways to solve problems. In some cases, thelandowner actually profits from the changes.”We can recommend lot of practices that make a farm more productive and improve the water quality, too,” Mark Risse said.The biggest benefactors are Lake Oconee and the people who use it. “The benefit iscleaner water for drinking, fishing, swimming,” Franklin said. “Lake Oconee willlast a lot longer.”Ultimately, the research could help more than Lake Oconee. The scientists say theapproach they use is easily adaptable. It could be used to clean up many other lakes,streams and rivers in Georgia and nationwide. Pollution in Lake Oconee worries state officials. But farmers and scientists are working together to help protect the water.center_img Photo: Joe Coursonlast_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_img— The Portuguese soccer federation says six of the 15 stadiums seeking to host matches when the league resumes next month amid the coronavirus pandemic have failed health inspections. All stadiums must comply with a series health measures established by local authorities to be able to host matches. The federation says the stadiums for league leader Porto and second-place Benfica were among the nine stadiums that passed the inspections conducted by local health authorities. The stadiums that failed belong to smaller clubs. They will be allowed to make changes to their venues before another inspection is conducted.MLB-PIRATES-KRAMERPirates infielder Kramer out 4-6 months after hip surgeryPITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kevin Kramer will miss four to six months months while recovering from surgery on his right hip.The team announced Wednesday that Kramer underwent the procedure last week in Vail, Colorado. The 26-year-old Kramer had been dealing with what the club called “chronic symptoms” while attempting to stay ready for the potential start to the 2020 season. May 20, 2020 Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSNASCAR set for first Wednesday start since 1984UNDATED (AP) — NASCAR’s comeback from the coronavirus continues at Darlington Raceway Wednesday night, three days after resuming its season at the South Carolina track. The Toyota 500 will be NASCAR’s first Wednesday race in 36 years. In that last race, Richard Petty won his 200th Cup Series race at Daytona on July 4, 1984.NASCAR added a couple of weeknights into its schedule as it tries to make up the eight races it missed because of the pandemic.Like Sunday’s race, won by Kevin Harvick, Wednesday’s race will be without fans and with only essential personnel inside.In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:— With an eye toward getting back on the field, the NFL is working on a helmet face guard that might provide the same protection as a surgical mask. Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay says the issue came up about a month ago during a conference call with the league’s competition committee. Many players already wear visors to protect their eyes. McKay says the new mask would cover even more of the face. The medical director of the NFL Players Association tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter that league engineers and sports equipment company Oakley are already testing prototypes of the modified mask. — The Kentucky-Michigan college basketball matchup scheduled for Dec. 6 in London has been postponed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic. And the three-game series has been restructured. The schools were scheduled to highlight the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame London Showcase doubleheader at the O2 Arena which also included Marist against UMBC. Michigan will now host the Wildcats on Dec. 4 in Ann Arbor before the schools meet in London one year later. Kentucky will host the Wolverines in Lexington on Dec. 2, 2023.— Japan’s beloved high school baseball tournament has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament is a huge annual event in Japan and is followed much the way Americans follow the college basketball tournament. The Japanese High School Baseball Federation says the cancellation was the first since World War II. The high school tournament has showcased some of the biggest stars in Japanese professional baseball. They include major leaguers like Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui.— The Italian soccer federation has given the country’s top three leagues until Aug. 20 to complete their seasons. The federation has also come up with alternative plans if the leagues have to be halted again because of the coronavirus pandemic. They could resort to playoffs or decide positions by applying coeffecients. The following season is now scheduled to start on Sept. 1. Serie A has been suspended since March 9. There are 12 rounds remaining in the league and the Italian Cup is in the semifinal stage.— The head of the organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup says a global recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic could affect the ability of fans to afford to travel to Qatar (KUH’-tur). The World Bank is forecasting a deep recession caused by the shutdown of economic activity around the world. Organizing committee secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi says he is hopeful the tournament will be an opportunity for the world to come together again in November 2022. But he says there are “concerns about the global economy and the ability of fans to be able to afford traveling and afford coming and participating and celebrating the World Cup.”— Watford defender Adrian Mariappa says he is one of the six people to test positive from the first round of coronavirus checks in the Premier League and is surprised that he contracted the disease. Mariappa says he has been “scratching my head to try to work out how I might have got coronavirus” because he hasn’t “really left the house apart from some exercise and the odd walk with the kids.” The 33-year-old Mariappa says he hasn’t had any symptoms and has felt “as fit as ever.” Two members of Watford’s staff also tested positive for COVID-19. Burnley said assistant manager Ian Woan has also contracted the virus. Kramer was in the mix for a utility spot with the Pirates. He hit .149 with a home run and two RBIs in 29 appearances for the team in 2019 and batted .240 in 11 games during spring training before the Major League Baseball season went on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.MLB is talking with players about plans to start the season, possibly in early July.NCAA-STEPHEN F. AUSTINStephen F. Austin gets postseason bans; agrees to sanctionsHOUSTON (AP) — Stephen F. Austin received postseason bans and agreed to several sanctions including probation, scholarship reductions and the forfeiture of wins on Wednesday for having low scores on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate. — Washington Redskins rookie receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden says he tested positive for the coronavirus in March and had fully recovered by early April. He says his symptoms were mild. He says he feels 100% now and is ready to get on the field. Gandy-Golden played the past two seasons at Liberty University, an evangelical college in Virginia that reopened this spring despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Redskins selected Gandy-Golden in the fourth round.— The NCAA’s Division I Council is debating whether to let a moratorium on voluntary workouts on campus expire on May 31. The move would be another sign that college sports is on the way back amid the coronavirus pandemic. A number of schools have announced plans to reopen their campuses for the fall semester. But many caution that even if games go ahead, there will be safety protocols in place and fans may not be allowed.— Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says he thinks football games can be played in Ohio Stadium this fall with 20,000 to 30,000 fans in the stands. Smith thinks that number of fans could be kept at a safe distance from one another in the stadium, which seats about 105,000. Face masks and other precautions would be required to limit the spread of COVID-19. He says he hasn’t figured out yet how spectators would be chosen from among those wanting tickets.— The presidents of the University of Miami and Notre Dame say in separate interviews that they expect the football season to be played. Both Miami’s Dr. Julio Frenk and Notre Dame’s the Rev. John Jenkins raised the very real possibility of crowds being much smaller than usual or eliminated entirely. Jenkins says he expects to have clarity on how — or if — football season can happen in the next few weeks.— The Minnesota Timberwolves are reopening their practice facility for voluntary sessions for players starting Thursday. Only one coach and one player will be allowed on the court at Mayo Clinic Square, across the street from Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. They’ll be required to stay 12 feet apart. Workouts will be limited to 45 minutes, and areas beyond the court will remain closed. center_img OCEAN SEARCH-MISSING WRESTLERBody found on LA beach identified as WWE pro Shad GaspardLOS ANGELES (AP) — The body of former World Wrestling Entertainment pro Shad Gaspard was found early Wednesday on Los Angeles’ Venice Beach, where he was caught in a rip current last weekend.A Police Department statement says patrol officers were flagged down around by a person reporting that a body had washed ashore. The department says the body was identified and next-of-kin notified.Gaspard was last seen about 50 yards offshore after he was caught in a rip current. Gaspard’s 10-year-old son was rescued and several other swimmers made it out of the water. US Olympic bobsledder Carlo Valdes announces his returnLAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — Carlo Valdes, a member of the 2018 U.S. Olympic team in bobsled, has announced he is returning to the sport with hopes of making the team for the 2022 Beijing Games.Valdes was a push athlete on the team that finished 20th at the Pyeongchang Olympics in a four-man sled driven by Justin Olsen. Valdes hasn’t competed at the World Cup level since, taking the last two seasons off to focus on business interests.The 30-year-old Valdes has won eight World Cup medals in his career as a push athlete, including a gold medal in two-man with the late Steven Holcomb in 2016 at the Americans’ home track in Lake Placid, New York.If this sliding season happens as planned — an uncertain proposition because of the coronavirus pandemic — USA Bobsled and Skeleton will host the 2021 world championships at Lake Placid in February. The Texas school’s football team won’t be allowed to participate in the 2020 postseason, the men’s basketball team can’t participate in the 2021-22 postseason and the baseball team will be prohibited from participating in the postseason in the spring of 2021.The three teams were on a nationwide list released Tuesday that faced bans for posting a four-year score below 930. The scores are based on academic eligibility, graduation and retention. Athletes receive one point a semester by remaining academically eligible and another if they graduate or come back to school for the next term.Stephen F. Austin’s men’s basketball team had the lowest score of any team in Division I at 810 and its football program was one of six other Division I teams nationwide that fell below 900, at 894. The school’s baseball team also fell below the 930 mark.Along with the bans, the school agreed with the NCAA to several sanctions, the most severe of which includes three years of probation, a public reprimand and censure, and a fine of $5,000 plus half of 1% of the total budget for men’s basketball and football.HOCKEY-2021 WORLDS Update on the latest sports Gaspard gained prominence in the WWE as one half of the tag-team group Cryme Time, along with his partner, JTG. After retiring from the WWE in 2010, Gaspard has had small roles on TV and in movies, including the 2015 Kevin Hart comedy “Get Hard.”,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 US, Canada drawn in same group at 2021 men’s hockey worldsZURICH (AP) — The United States and Canada have been drawn into same group for the 2021 men’s hockey world championships.The North American rivals are in the eight-team group to be played in Riga (REE’-guh), Latvia. Defending champion Finland and Germany are also in that group. Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic will be in the other group alongside co-host Belarus in Minsk.The 15,000-seat Minsk Arena will host the medal games and semifinals. The International Ice Hockey Federation says the 2021 tournament schedule will be published at a later date. Finland won the 2019 title. The 2020 tournament in Switzerland was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.BOBSLED-VALDES RETURNSlast_img read more

All change? What next for European club football

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Real Madrid lift Champions League Paris, France | AFP | Plans by UEFA to reform European club competitions would see 128 clubs playing a total of 647 matches starting in the 2024 season (with 407 per season 2021-2024) spread over three continental competitions, according to a document seen by AFP on Friday.The 128 teams would be divided this way: 32 clubs in the Champions League, 32 in a competition similar to the Europa League and a further 64 clubs in a third competition, itself divided into four groups resembling the basketball conference system used by NBA.– Champions League, large groups –– According to the documents AFP has seen, the group phase would begin in August with four pools of eight teams who would play 14 preliminary round matches rather than the six in the current system.– In total there would be 21 match days in the Champions League.– The most controversial point is that only four of the 32 participating clubs will have qualified through their national championships.– Four other clubs would qualify via having reached the semi-finals of the second level competition (Europa League).– Above all 24 places are reserved for teams that do well in the Champions League and to stay in the competition they would need to finish in the top five of their group, or win a play-off between those clubs finishing 6th or 7th.– UEFA insists a maximum of five clubs from any national league can be in this top tier competition.– Europa League –– The second tier now known as the Europa League will consist of 32 clubs divided into eight groups of four clubs in the first round. The participants:– The four teams relegated from the Champions League and the four losing teams on the play-offs.– The four losing sides from the previous season’s ‘Europa League’ quarter-finals.– The four semi-finalists from the the third tier cup the previous season.– Twenty clubs qualifying directly from the national leagues.– The third tier –– This is the only one of the three competitions which is entirely open with all 64 teams qualifying from the national leagues.– The main peculiarity of this competition is its four separate ‘conferences’ in the manner of NBA basketball.– In each section there will be four groups of four teams who qualify for quarter- semi and finals of their respective conference.– The four winners would then meet in a mini tournament with semi-finals and a final, with all four gaining promotion to the 2nd tier competition the following season.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more