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1 West Ham defender Winston Reid West Ham co-owner David Gold is adamant the club are not looking to sell Winston Reid and remains confident he will sign a new deal with the Hammers.Reports have suggested that West Ham are giving Reid until January to give a final answer over his future, as he can walk away as a free agent at the end of the season but Gold says they are still optimistic they can tie him down to a new long-term contract.The New Zealand international has been one of the star performers for the east London club since they gained promotion back into the Premier League.But with his contract set to run out next summer, Reid has so far failed to reach an agreement over a new long-term deal.West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is desperate to keep the 26-year-old but with Arsenal and Manchester United showing interest in the talented defender he could opt for a big move away from Upton Park.But Gold, speaking on his Twitter site, said: “We are not ‘getting rid’ of WR. We want him to stay and sign a new contract.”
PUT on your city-planner cap, and consider the following question: What would likely have a greater impact on the local environment, traffic and civic life: converting one big-box store (a shuttered Kmart) into another (an operational Home Depot) on the outskirts of town, or erecting numerous, massive skyscrapers in an already congested area? According to the L.A. City Council, the Home Depot would do more to upset local quality of life. At least that’s what one can infer from two decisions the council has recently handed down. In the first, a council committee voted to hold up the conversion of an old Kmart in Sunland-Tujunga into a Home Depot. The committee is demanding a full-blown environmental impact report, which will only delay the project while adding millions to its price. In the other, the full council has voted unanimously to bring taller buildings to downtown L.A. Under the ordinance, developers will be allowed to build buildings 35 percent larger than currently allowed if they include sufficient affordable housing within them. Taken in total, the council seems to be putting the brakes on progress in Sunland-Tujunga, and hitting the accelerator for downtown. Naturally, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is pleased. “Downtown L.A. is emerging as a world-class urban center where people can live and work while enjoying a thriving arts and entertainment scene,” the mayor gushed. We should certainly hope so. Ever since the Bradley administration, turning downtown into the West Coast Manhattan has been the dream, the obsession, at City Hall. It’s about time the effort bore fruit. But while filling the downtown sky with skyscrapers enjoys unanimous council support, the council is less inclined to give a corner of the Valley a measly home-improvement store – to say nothing of adequate affordable housing of its own. In both cases, politics is driving the policy. Downtown, it’s the vast sums in campaign money and favors from special interests. In the Valley, it’s a well organized local community. So the moral is this: If you want sensible planning, instead of senseless pandering, you need to buy the politicians’ votes or scare them to death by organizing your community.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Middlesbrough sank deeper into crisis in the absence of manager Aitor Karanka as the promotion hopefuls suffered a 2-0 defeat at lowly Charlton.The visitors were still in a state of confusion after their Spanish boss did not travel with the squad, with assistant Steve Agnew taking charge at the Valley, and goals from Jorge Teixeira and Callum Harriott added to Middlesbrough’s problems.Karanka walked out following a stormy meeting with his players on Friday, and despite later seeking to apologise he did not make the trip to London for the Sky Bet Championship clash.With the game held up 30 seconds after kick-off due to a large number of beach balls thrown onto the field by protesting home fans, unhappy with their own situation, the contest began in scrappy fashion.The first real effort of note came after 24 minutes, when Charlton winger Johann Gudmundsson unleashed a fierce drive from just outside the area, which was well held by Middlesbrough hoalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos.The visitors looked more assured initially and had the bulk of possession. However, another chance fell to the hosts, this time after 39 minutes, when Harriott blasted his shot wide from the edge of the area after some good movement.Middlesbrough almost took the lead in first-half injury time, albeit with help from Charlton defender Rod Fanni, who nearly put a clearance into his own net. Goalkeeper Nick Pope showed excellent reflexes.The second half started evenly, although home captain Jordan Cousins had the first effort of the half after 54 minutes. His solo run from just inside the box was unchallenged and led him to try his luck from 20 yards, with a shot that went well over the bar.The deadlock was finally broken after 57 minutes as Teixeira headed home from a corner by Gudmundsson – his first goal for the club.Middlesbrough, who had begun to look lacklustre, finally showed some endeavour, and Albert Adomah forced Pope into palming away his shot after 70 minutes, before blasting a rebound over the bar.Gaston Ramirez also forced Pope into tipping over the bar, from a free-kick after 72 minutes.Charlton doubled their lead with 10 minutes remaining, when a shot from Harriott rebounded off defender Dael Fry, the persistence of the forward paying off after he pounced on the loose ball to blast home past Konstantopoulos.The only on-field negative for the hosts came with an injury to Harriott after 88 minutes, with the goalscorer limping off. Problems are suddenly abundant for second-placed Middlesbrough at this critical stage of the season. The Spaniard did not travel with the squad 1
The housing slowdown came after several years of unprecedented gains in home sales and prices. The increases were fueled largely by historically low interest rates and the availability of exotic mortgages that allowed homebuyers to forgo a downpayment while paying only interest for the first few years of the loan.Many of these loans did not require good credit or proof of income from the buyer. Such loans, known as subprime mortgages, encouraged many homebuyers to buy more than they could afford.But the housing slowdown – with many more sellers than buyers – has seen many of these homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payments as their monthly bills eventually rose to include the principal. And the escape route – selling the house to pay off the mortgage – was blocked by a drop in home prices that left many home values at less than the mortgage amount.2. Mortgage industry woesThat brings us to the No. 2 business story of the year: the mortgage meltdown. The slowing housing market has resulted in a sharp rise in mortgage defaults.For example, the number of foreclosure filings in November spiked by 68 percent nationwide, compared with the same time last year, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc. That was 201,950 foreclosure filings reported for the month.The mortgage troubles were especially rough on lenders heavily involved in subprime loans such as Calabasas-based Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, and Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp.Countrywide’s stock price dropped to about a fifth of its 52-week high as the company’s credit rating tumbled and its monthly home loan production eventually dropped by about half compared with the year before. New Century announced that its mortgage troubles were forcing it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.3. Toy recallsIt was also a rough year for El Segundo-based Mattel Inc. Over the summer, as the company prepared for the busy Christmas shopping season, the world’s largest toymaker announced recalls of millions of lead-tainted toys from China.Like other major toymakers, Mattel uses Chinese factories to produce many of its toys because the production costs in the Asian nation are so low. But these cost savings have come at a price.Against Mattel’s own instructions, some Chinese factories made millions of toys with paint that contained lead, which can be harmful if ingested.Recalled toys included Barbie, Polly Pocket dolls, Tanner play sets and others.That sent Mattel into crisis mode, as company Chairman and CEO Robert Eckert announced major enhancements in its oversight of Chinese-made toys. This included “significantly increased” spot testing and other safety protocols at manufacturing plants.4. Pain at the pumpGasoline prices rose nationwide in 2007.The average price of gasoline in the United States rose 21 cents, or 8 percent, this year to about $2.79, according to the Lundberg survey of about 7,000 gas stations.In car-dependent Southern California, the price of gasoline hovered around $3 a gallon or more through much of the year. In mid-December, the average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area was about $3.29, up 80 cents over last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.The price of gasoline nationwide rose as the price of crude oil increased from $60 a barrel at the start of 2007 to more than $90 now.The increase was because of growing demand from such nations as China and India, as well as the dropping value of the U.S. dollar, which has made imports such as oil more expensive.5. WGA goes on strikeHollywood writers went on strike in early November, the first such labor action in nearly two decades.Late-night talk shows such as CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” immediately began airing reruns as the Writers Guild of America and studios were unable to agree on how much writers should make for content distributed on the Internet.With no new scripts, many shows, including ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” stopped production, putting actors, makeup artists, set designers, key grips and others out of work.Restaurants and other businesses that serve the entertainment industry also have been hit by the strike.6. Tainted spinach, lettuceToys weren’t the only products recalled in 2007. In September, an E. coli outbreak traced to tainted spinach was blamed for the death of one person and the illnesses of more than 100 others, as federal officials announced the recall of 34 spinach brands.E. coli cases linked to tainted spinach were reported in at least 19 states, with a majority of cases in Wisconsin.San Juan Bautista, Calif.-based Natural Selection Foods LLC, the world’s largest producer of organic produce, was linked to the infected greens.In October, an E. coli scare involving lettuce led to a voluntary lettuce recall by producer Nunes Co. Inc. of more than 8,500 cartons of green leaf lettuce grown on one farm in the Salinas Valley.Both recalls scared consumers into at least temporarily reducing consumption of spinach and lettuce.7. Food prices soarAs Americans dealt with higher gasoline prices and a drop in the value of their homes in 2007, food prices also pinched their wallets.The price of wheat, corn, rice and soybeans soared despite big U.S. harvests, as China and India turned their growing wealth into increased consumption of these commodities.Wheat prices rose 90 percent, soybeans 80 percent and corn 20 percent. In the first 11 months of 2007, U.S. producer prices for food increased at an annualized rate of 7.5 percent, the second highest increase since 1980.8. Tesco debuts in stateIn November, Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer, rolled out its first six U.S. grocery stores in an ambitious bid for American shopping dollars. The first half-dozen stores were all in Southern California. The British retailer, whose U.S. arm is based in El Segundo, plans to spend $2 billion over five years to open hundreds of stores in California, Arizona and Nevada.Each of Tesco’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets will have about 10,000 square feet of space, roughly the size of a Trader Joe’s. Tesco hopes its stores will appeal to American consumers by offering fresh fruit, organic products and precooked meals, with quick checkout like a convenience store.9. Superjumbo jet at LAXIn March, Airbus’ A-380 superjumbo, the world’s largest passenger plane, landed at LAX for the first time, promising a new era of air transportation.The aircraft, which can carry more than 800 passengers, was fully equipped when it made its second landing at LAX in November. Qantas Airways will be the first to offer regular A-380 flights through LAX.The flights will begin in the fall of 2008 between LAX and Australia.10. Stock market swingsU.S. stock indices behaved erratically in 2007, as concerns about an economic slowdown led by the subprime meltdown made investors more cautious with their money.The Dow Jones industrial average peaked at 14,280.00 in October, from a low of 11,926.80 in March.Then the index plunged to below 13,000, before recovering somewhat.The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was also hit by worries of economic slowdown, pulling back from its October high of 2,firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Reminiscent of the housing slump of the last decade, home sales took a major dive in 2007, with a double-digit year-over-year plunge nationwide. That was followed by a drop in home prices that also reached double digits in some markets, including Southern California.In November, Los Angeles County saw a nearly 12 percent drop in the value of previously owned houses compared with a year earlier, according to the Los Angeles-based California Association of Realtors. Sales fell almost 37 percent.Statewide, prices also sank about 12 percent, with sales down 36 percent.According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index, prices in October posted the largest drop since early 1991. October also represented the 23rd consecutive month that prices nationwide either fell or grew more slowly than the month prior.Some economists predict the housing market will bottom out next year, while others say the bad news will last into 2009 and beyond. Could it be the early 1990s all over again? Or maybe the 1980s or 1970s?It certainly feels that way. From the housing crisis to striking writers to high gas prices, old was new again in 2007. Here is a look at the year’s top local business stories:1. Home sales, prices dropThe housing market suffered a major slump in 2007, representing this year’s top business story.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhy these photogenic dumplings are popping up in Los AngelesMonday saw a further management shuffle at Airbus, which named a new head of the A380 program. Mario Heinen, previously in charge of the single-aisle A320 plane family, replaces Charles Champion – who also steps down from his role as chief operating officer, but stays on as an adviser to Christian Streiff, who succeeded Humbert as CEO in July. Streiff has imposed a temporary hiring freeze at Airbus and is scheduled to report to shareholders by the end of this month on the full extent of the A380 delays, following a detailed audit. With the A380, Airbus has bet heavily on future demand for very large planes to fly growing numbers of travelers among the world’s increasingly congested major airports. In mid-sized, long-range jets – where Boeing Co. sees much more demand – Airbus is about four years behind its U.S.-based rival’s next-generation plane, the 787 Dreamliner, tailored to cover more destinations with more frequent, nonstop services. The A380 can seat 555 people in three classes, but launch customer Singapore Airlines is expected to operate the plane with a configuration similar to the 474-seat layout chosen for the test flights with passengers. During Monday’s sortie over western Europe, about 25 cabin equipment technicians and the remaining volunteers – chosen from 15,000 Airbus staff who entered an internal lottery – put the super jumbo’s cabin fittings and features through their paces, testing out the seating, air conditioning, kitchens and in-flight entertainment. PARIS – The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, took to the sky with a full load of passengers for the first time Monday, and the European aircraft maker announced further management changes in the wake of costly delays to the $13 billion jet program. The 308-ton jet touched down Monday evening after flying a seven-hour round-trip from Toulouse, southern France, with 474 Airbus employees on board, on the first of four test flights scheduled this week to try out the plane’s cabin environment and systems. Airbus says it is on schedule to deliver the first finished A380 to Singapore Airlines Ltd. by the end of the year, despite production bottlenecks that are expected to hold up subsequent deliveries by about six months. The latest hitches led to the ouster of Airbus CEO Gustav Humbert as well as Noel Forgeard, joint CEO of Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., weeks after they were announced in June. Flight tests with volunteer passengers are not a required step toward the plane’s certification but nonetheless help to ensure that “airlines will benefit from a fully mature aircraft on delivery,” Airbus said in a statement. The super jumbo is entering the final stages of its test program, with 1,900 hours of flying time already logged by its team of test pilots. Airbus so far has 159 orders for the plane, which is priced at $316 million. The A380 faces another hurdle in November, when a working group within the International Civil Aviation Organization is due to report back on the A380’s “wake vortices” – air turbulence created by airliners that can be dangerous to other planes flying close behind. As a precaution because of its size, ICAO has temporarily set a much larger minimum exclusion zone behind an airborne A380 than around Boeing 747 jumbos. If adopted permanently, the rules could hold up airport traffic behind the super jumbo and reduce the plane’s efficiency. Airbus argues that the A380 is no worse for wake turbulence than the largest version of Boeing’s 747. BAE Systems PLC declined to comment Monday on reports that is to decide this week whether to recommend that its shareholders approve the planned sale of the company’s 20 percent stake in Airbus. The British defense group exercised a put-option to sell the stake back to EADS, which owns the remaining 80 percent of Airbus, but an independent assessment commissioned from investment bank Rothschild after negotiations broke down valued the stake $3.52 billion, well below BAE’s expectations. In Paris, EADS shares ended 0.9 percent lower at 23.08 euros ($29.58).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
James Maddison admits he would be happy to extend his loan spell at Aberdeen but says it’s a decision that’s out with his hands. The 20-year-old is on loan from English Championship side Norwich City until the start of January and is yet to learn where he will play his football for the rest of the season.Maddison, who has become a fans’ favourite since moving to Pittodrie in the summer, believes the decision lies with Alex Neil, his manager down south. He expects him to come to a conclusion with Dons’ boss Derek McInnes but says if he is to decide his own future he would consider staying in Scotland. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of being here, I’ve got exactly what I wanted coming here,” he said. “If I did go back in January I would go back a better player especially with the help of the manager and the team. “That’s a conversation I’m sure Alex Neil and Derek McInnes will have at some point. I haven’t really thought about it because there’s been so many games. “I just want to play football, I love football, it’s my job and I want to play games. I think Alex Neil will decide whatever’s best for me. If he thinks that’s going back to help the team there or staying here to play games I trust his judgement. “There’s no rush, especially with the winter break. I don’t know what his thoughts are on it but it’s out of my hands and I will leave that to Alex and the gaffer here. “When the time comes, if I have to make a decision then I’ll make it for the best of my ability. I’ve enjoyed my time here and if that means staying for the rest of the season I’m happy to do so.”
February 27Indiana State PoliceTravis K. Hollen, 35, Salem February 28Washington County Sheriff’s DepartmentTaylor Lee Holland, 23, New Salisbury Battery – Resulting in Bodily Injury Habitual Traffic Violator – LifeWashington County Sheriff’s DepartmentRyle William Barnett, 43, Jeffersonville Possession of MethNeglect of a DependentMaintaining a Common NuisancePossession of MarijuanaPossession of Paraphernalia Failure to Appear on Felony Charges (Battery Against A Public Safety Officer X2)City of Salem PoliceCandice Kirtley, 33, Salem Possession of Meth with IntentPossession of MethPossession of a SyringeHabitual Traffic Offender – 10 yearsLeaving the Scene of an AccidentPossession of ParaphernaliaHabitual Felony OffenderMary Robbins, 35, Mitchell Possession of MethNeglect of a DependentMaintaining a Common NuisancePossession of Marijuana, Hashish, Hash Oil or SalviaPossession of ParaphernaliaShawn Kirtley, 32, Salem Violation of ProbationDanny Lee Sidwell, 44, Salem
Vivek Kundra, the first executive-branch CIO, in his final days on the job before taking a job at Harvard in August, announced a plan to cut the number of federal data centers from roughly 2000 today to 1200 over the next four years. In Kundra’s plan to move to the cloud, Kundra says that his optimal design for the government computing architecture would be to have only three data centers.In a NY Times article, Kundra explains how by eliminating 800 data centers, the government will save billions of dollars and to free up significant amounts of real estate. But even 1200 data centers is a lot — in 1998, the US had only 498 data centers. Kundra said that over the last decade “redundant systems and applications sprouted like weeds, We need to shift resources away from duplicative systems and use them to improve the citizen experience.”Kundra said that the current IT operations in the federal government are inefficient and are the result partly because of the way that money is appropriated to fund IT tasks. Kundra said that “The biggest problem is how we fund. If we don’t solve that, none of the other stuff matters, because in appropriations language agencies are forbidden from sharing money across the board, so that’s a pretty serious issue.” With a current budget of $80 billion, US federal IT is the world’s number one IT operation.Closing down 800 data centers will save $3 billion a year, and since each data center consumes as much electricity as 200 homes, significant energy savings will also be realized.Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, said that “The government is : a very large IT system and benefits from scale effects: common platforms, common services, common data architectures. Left to computer-scientist designs, you’d have one data center with a replicated data center; you’d have uniform fiber; everyone would have common platforms and so forth.”