Month: September 2019

South Carolina defensive star Jadeveon Clowney likely will miss the Gamecocks’ spring game Saturday because of a neck injury that is not deemed to be serious.“His neck and back (are) stiff,” defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. “Whether he goes another snap [this spring], I don’t care.”The All-American defensive end reportedly sprained his neck last week when he collided with defensive tackle J.T. Surratt in practice. Clowney was not cleared for practice Tuesday, but he seemed optimistic his absence the rest of the week will not hurt his preparation for 2013.“It’s not really about being out here,” Clowney told reporters. “It’s about learning the playbook. We put in some new stuff, so all I have to do is learn the play calls. The rest of it, I’ll catch up on.”As long as Clowney’s neck heals properly, there should be no fallout from this injury other than disappointment for fans watching the annual Garnett & Black Spring Game on Saturday. Clowney is expected to be a Heisman Trophy candidate after ranking second nationally in sacks (13) and tackles for loss (23½).While Clowney might not be in pads, he will be honored at halftime as the winner of the 2012 Ted Hendricks Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive end. Former college and NFL great Ted Hendricks will be on hand to present the trophy with Gamecocks’ coach Steve Spurrier. read more

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Ivan Rodriguez.14997.8.235127.7+.086 PLAYERISOWRC+ISOWRC+ISO DIFF. THROUGH AGE 25AGE 26-29 Late-blooming power hittersLargest difference in isolated power (ISO) between appearances through age 25 and age 26-29, 1901-2017 George Sisler.096136.7.192160.0+.096 Rogers Hornsby.162162.6.300203.5+.138 Albert Belle.222118.0.323159.9+.100 Martinez isn’t the only recent player to go on an out-of-nowhere power spree — Jose Bautista, for instance, went from a light-hitting utility man early in his career to a fearsome, bat-flipping homer machine as he approached his 30s. Nor is Martinez the only exemplar of the fly-ball phenomenon sweeping across the game; from Daniel Murphy to Yonder Alonso, plenty of players have given their careers new life by way of an uppercut swing.But Martinez might be the best of the bunch.Because of his newfound affinity for fly balls, Martinez — who landed in Arizona via a midseason trade — has remade himself into one of the game’s most dangerous hitters. Over the past four seasons, Martinez ranks as the eighth-best batter in all of baseball according to Weighted Runs Created Plus, which measures how many runs a player generates per plate appearance.Early in his career, it would have been a pleasant surprise if Martinez had hit four home runs in a month. But after Martinez modified his approach, Monday’s accomplishment is just the latest signpost along his road to stardom. And with the red-hot Diamondbacks practically assured of making the playoffs, a national audience will have a chance to get acquainted with Martinez’s power stroke this fall.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Kirby Puckett.07186.0.182138.3+.111 Ken Griffey Jr..234141.9.321146.0+.087 Sammy Sosa.18396.7.273123.5+.090 In becoming the 18th major-league player to hit four homers in a game (and the second player this season), Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder J.D. Martinez did something rarer than a perfect game. But in accomplishing the feat, Martinez has also become the poster boy of one baseball’s biggest trends: the overnight fly ball-smashing sensation.Martinez began his career as a slap-hitting prospect for the Houston Astros — and to be charitable, he was not successful at it. Over his first three MLB seasons, Martinez had an adjusted on-base plus slugging that was 12 percent worse than average, accumulated negative 1.3 wins above replacement1Taking the average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs’s versions of WAR. and hit for very little power, belting just 24 home runs in 252 games. By 2014, Martinez was struggling so much that Houston released him.“I’m doing everything the coaches tell me,” Martinez told Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs in March about that period of his career. “I’m swinging down on the ball. In BP, I’m hitting low line drives everywhere. In games, it doesn’t play.”But the Detroit Tigers saw potential in Martinez, snapping him up a few days after his release. And Martinez repaid their faith by turning his career around, with the help of a new philosophy at the plate. He became one of baseball’s earliest fly-ball revolutionaries, reducing his ratio of ground balls to fly balls from 0.87 in his first three seasons to 0.64 in the seasons since. And the results were striking. Since 1901,2The first season of MLB’s modern two-league era. only Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby increased his isolated power — which is slugging percentage minus batting average — more from his career average through age 25 to his average between the ages of 26 and 29 (Martinez was coming off his age-25 season when the Astros waived him): Jeff Bagwell.170138.4.284169.1+.115 Andy Pafko.114111.7.203132.2+.089 Tony Armas.12773.6.219105.1+.092 Damion Easley.09272.9.190105.5+.098 J.D. Martinez.13687.3.265145.8+.129 Gorman Thomas.16281.8.264129.5+.101 Todd Hundley.13667.0.251128.1+.115 David Ortiz.182101.5.288143.9+.106 Joe Adcock.15297.5.246138.5+.094 Gil Hodges.14796.4.244135.9+.098 For players with at least 750 plate appearances through age 25 and at least 1,500 from age 26 to 29.Sources: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com Duke Snider.203124.0.306163.8+.103 George Foster.14898.0.258151.3+.110 Harry Heilmann.125118.3.216165.4+.092 read more

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2012BaylorBig 1234-0127.31Champion 1995ConnecticutBig East29-0135.11Champion Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. 1993VermontAmerica East28-01818.081st round 1997ConnecticutBig East30-0127.21Elite 8 YEARTEAMCONFERENCERECORDAP RANKAVG PT DIFF.SEEDRESULT 2010ConnecticutBig East33-0134.81Champion Last year, the women’s college basketball season culminated with a final between two undefeated teams. This year, the tournament will have at least one undefeated team: Princeton, which finished its regular season 30-0 with a 55-42 win over Penn on Tuesday.Most of the prior 14 teams to enter the tournament undefeated had far better pedigrees. Ten were ranked No. 1 entering the tournament, and eight left the tournament as undefeated champions. The only reason last year’s Notre Dame team didn’t enter the tournament as No. 1 or exit it as undefeated champ was that it faced another undefeated team in the final: UConn.Unlike UConn and Notre Dame last season, which were the clear top-two teams entering the tournament, Princeton won’t even be favored to advance from its region. None of its wins came against teams now ranked in the Top 25. Its conference schedule was a breeze: Penn was the only other Ivy League team with a winning conference record, and just Cornell joined Princeton and Penn with a winning overall record.Princeton’s nonconference schedule wasn’t all that hard, either. After Tuesday’s regular-season finale, senior guard Blake Dietrick said she started thinking 30-0 was possible when the Tigers beat Michigan by 30 in Ann Arbor. Dietrick called the December game “a monumental win for us against a nonconference team.” But Michigan finished 16-14, with a losing record in the Big Ten. Princeton is ranked 13th in the country, behind five teams with five or more losses.Princeton is more similar historically to three undefeated teams in the 1990s that were seeded No. 8 or worse and lost in the first round: Vermont in 1992 and 1993, and 1998 Liberty, which was knocked out by fellow undefeated team Tennessee. But Princeton will probably do better than those three teams did — it likely will be ranked higher in the final pre-tournament AP poll, and it has a greater margin of victory.Finishing in first isn’t the highest-priority goal for Princeton, which mainly wants to become the first Ivy League team since Harvard to win a game in the tournament. “That is No. 1 on our list right now, second is finishing my thesis,” Dietrick said. “It’s the thing I want to do most in the world, most in my life.”Below is each undefeated women team’s record, ranking and seed entering the NCAA tournament, along with how it finished, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info: 1998LibertyBig South28-0—18.3161st round 2014Notre DameACC32-0225.61Finalist 2015PrincetonIvy30-013*24.9—— 2009ConnecticutBig East33-0131.51Champion 1992VermontAmerica East29-02521.991st round 2002ConnecticutBig East33-0137.01Champion 1998TennesseeSEC33-0131.11Champion 1986TexasSouthwest29-0127.41Champion 2014ConnecticutAmerican Ath.34-0135.71Champion 1990Louisiana TechAmerican So.29-0135.21Final Four read more

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Ohio State defeated Illinois Sunday 8-4 to snap a five-game losing streak and avoid being swept for the first time this season.Things were not looking good early for OSU as the Illini scored first, as they did in the first two games of the series.Illinois scored one run in the first and added three more in the second inning of starting pitcher Brett McKinney. Two consecutive Illini hitters reached base, one walked and one hit by a pitch, which allowed shortstop Josh Parr to bring both runners home on his second triple of the weekend. Parr scored on a single by center fielder Willie Argo.That is where the scoring stopped for Illinois.Ryan Dew, who is usually the designated hitter, made his first start in right field and connected on a solo home run to dead centerfield in the bottom of the second.Fueled by a great defensive play by right fielder Zach Hurley to save a run and end the top of the third, the Buckeyes added four more runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead.After only scoring five runs in the first two games of the series combined, the Buckeye offense responded with eight runs on 15 hits.Dew and his high school teammate, second baseman Cory Kovanda, led the way with four hits apiece. Dew also had five RBIs and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle. The small crowd that endured 50-degree, windy conditions greeted Dew with applause as he was replaced by a pinch runner in the eighth inning.“I needed that, I was slumping a little bit,” Dew said. “When you play loose, that’s when you can play the best.”The whole team seemed to play loose. Theron Minium, who replaced McKinney after the third inning, pitched three scoreless innings to pick up the win and move to 3-2 on the season.The defense followed suit, as multiple diving stops were made to protect the lead, including one by Dew.“Today they came and tried to just stay focused on playing the game of baseball,” coach Bob Todd said. “They played a little more relaxed but still with focus.”That focus translated to a key win to move the Buckeyes to 9-9 in the Big Ten.The team plays Ball State next at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium. read more

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Coach Thad Matta understands the complications of having such a young basketball team going through the rigors of the Big Ten season for the first time. But he says age is no excuse for poor play at this level. “They’ll tell you, I don’t hide behind the fact that freshmen do hit a wall,” Matta said Tuesday. “Just not here. That, to me, is a sign of weakness, a sign of softness. Those guys have to continue to bring it every day.” Freshmen standouts Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft have played integral roles for the latest No. 1 team in the country, just more than halfway through their first season at Ohio State. Sullinger, the power forward who has started all 20 games and averaged a double-double with 17.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, credits his veteran teammates with preventing the team’s rookies from succumbing to the difficulties of Division I basketball. “It’s kind of hard to hit that wall when you have people like Jon Diebler, David Lighty, William Buford and Dallas Lauderdale always in your ear,” said the three-time Big Ten Player of the Week. “Their leadership and communication is always really big … because from day one they’ve been in our ear talking about how they need both (me and Craft) to play good basketball.” Matta and his veteran players have instilled maturity in the team’s freshmen during their first year as collegiate athletes. “We can’t be coming in as a freshman; we have to play like a sophomore or junior,” Sullinger said. “It really hits us. … We’re listening to them and focusing on what we have to do.” Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Sullinger won the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award eight times. Craft and Deshaun Thomas have won the award once. Seven games into the Big Ten schedule, OSU has faced what it expected: a slew of more talented, hungry and difficult opponents than what it saw early against non-conference foes. After cruising through their non-conference slate and winning their games by an average of 28.8 points, the Buckeyes have won their first seven conference games by 6.4 points per game. “I think a lot of it is keeping the foot on the pedal and constantly talking to them about getting better,” Matta said. Sullinger said his teammates have “no compassion at all” for the youngsters — an attitude conducive to mental toughness. “There (are) definitely times when they know they have to get after us. That’s just needed, and it’s understood as freshmen that they’re not doing it to pick on us; they’re not doing it to make fun of us or point us out,” Craft said. “But it’s definitely needed to get us on the right track. We couldn’t have stepped into a better group of leaders for us and all the freshmen on the team.” Although Craft’s 6.3 points and 4.9 assists per game don’t jump off the stat sheet, his strengths lie on the defensive end and controlling the tempo of the game as point guard. Craft recorded a career-high 19 points, along with seven assists, Jan. 15 in the team’s 69-66 win against Penn State. Being the nation’s top team comes with its own set of challenges, especially for a team that features as many freshmen as OSU does. Sullinger averages 30.5 minutes per game, Craft 27.9 and Thomas 16.0. But being a part of a top team is nothing new to Sullinger, who, alongside Craft, starred on one of the nation’s top AAU teams during his high school years. “We won three national championships in a row. After our first … we realized we had a target on our chest,” Sullinger said. “As freshmen, me and Craft are kind of used to it.” Although the team is doing everything it can to keep its younger players playing their best, Matta said there is no contingency plan for a drop in play from any of the team’s star freshmen. “You really can’t. You got to have a trust, got to have a belief in your players that they want to be good, want to be great and want to win,” Matta said. “If you see it, we just make practice harder.” read more

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The Ohio State men’s soccer team overcame a late rally by rival Michigan for an emotional 3-2 win in overtime Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. “It was a great win, a very emotional win and nice to do it in front of our fans here at home and in front of the student section,” head coach John Bluem said after the game. “But we have to play better than we did today that’s for sure.” Junior midfielder Austin McAnena notched his second goal of the season in the 16th minute off of an assist by sophomore forward Omar Vallejo to put OSU up 1-0. Ohio State would hold the 1-0 lead until the 81st minute when sophomore midfielder Fabio Pereira of Michigan scored on an assist by junior midfielder Latif Alashe. Four minutes later, Michigan took a late lead with an unassisted goal by sophomore forward Ezekial Harris. With less than five minutes left to play, OSU senior midfielder Parnell Hegngi knocked a header into right side of the net on a long throw-in by freshman midfielder Adam Gorski to tie the game. “We realized it wasn’t the first time all year that we’d been down; we had risen up against teams all year,” said junior forward Chris Hegngi after the game. “We kinda collectively gathered together and realized that we had five minutes left…we rose up together and did it.” Bluem said there was no time to give the team a pep talk after Michigan had rallied to take the lead. “There wasn’t a lot we could do and say to them, we changed the lineup as best we could to push people forward and then we got the equalizer,” Bluem said. “Now the momentum was back on our side.” The Buckeyes would need just 34 seconds in overtime to send the Wolverines packing. Vallejo added his second assist on a pass to Chris Hegngi from the right side of the field and Chris Hegngi sent the ball into the right side of the net past goalkeeper Adam Grinwis as the redshirt freshman charged the ball. “I saw the keeper charge out a little bit and I thought I had a chance to hit it,” Chris Hegngi said. “It worked out I was very fortunate.” Chris Hegngi and his teammates celebrated the win with the student section. It was the first overtime victory for the Buckeyes since their 1-0 win over Valparaiso on Oct. 17, 2010. Bluem said the team has a lot to work on before its next contest. “Just about everything,” Bluem said. “Mostly defending. Akron is a very, very good team. We’re going to have to really be organized and all on the same page defensively when we go up there.” Michigan fell to 2-7-1 as OSU improved to 5-3-1. The Buckeyes travel to Akron (5-0-2) Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. match. read more

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With just four games left in the regular season, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is fighting for position in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. The team, tied for fourth place with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is hoping to separate itself from UMD in order to gain home-ice advantage for the conference playoffs. Coach Nate Handrahan called the next few weeks a “hotly contested race” to get the last home ice advantage spot. Both teams have 38 points heading into this weekend’s conference matchups. Senior forward Natalie Spooner said OSU’s next four games are big, adding, “We’re striving right now for home-ice advantage.” It won’t be easy for the team to pick up points in the four upcoming games. They host Minnesota this weekend at the OSU Ice Rink then travel to Wisconsin the following weekend to take on the Badgers. The first time OSU and Minnesota met, OSU dropped both games, 4-1, on Dec. 10 and 11, 2011, respectively. “I know we want to get some wins this weekend against Minnesota,” senior forward Laura McIntosh said. Wisconsin and Minnesota occupy the No. 1 and 2 spots in the standings, respectively. “The rest of the season, like I said, we have Minnesota and then Wisconsin, two highly ranked teams,” McIntosh said. “I think we’re hoping to be consistent both days, both weekends, and pull out some big wins to get home ice.” In the WCHA playoffs, the top four teams receive home ice advantage. First place plays eighth place, second plays seventh, third plays sixth, and fourth plays fifth. Following the first round, the teams are again reseeded and advance to the WCHA Final Face-Off. OSU will most likely be playing in the four versus five matchup in the first round; it’s just a matter of whether they get the higher seed. “It’s up to the other games,” McIntosh said. “It looks like we’re going to play Duluth in playoffs, but it’s whether it’s home or away.” UMD will host this year’s WCHA Final Face-Off. Knocking UMD out of a tournament that they’re hosting is something McIntosh said she wouldn’t mind doing. “You know, Duluth, we’ve had a big rivalry with my whole time here, I think it’d be definitely nice,” she said about defeating them in the first round. Spooner and McIntosh said they are pleased with the season up to this point. “I think the season has gone well so far, you know, we’ve accomplished a lot of the goals we set at the beginning of the season,” McIntosh said. “We’re being more consistent and that was big for us, so we’re doing pretty good.” Those accomplishments include picking up big wins against rival programs like North Dakota and UMD, she said. “I think we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve lost a few games that we’d like to have won, but I think that we’ve definitely learned from the mistakes we’ve made and it’s made us a stronger team,” Spooner added. Handrahan echoed the sentiments of his players and said he was pleased with a lot of the things the team has done. “I think we’ve grown a lot over the course of the season,” he said. “It’s a special season with a special group of girls.” Players and coach alike said they think the team’s best hockey is yet to be played. “If everyone does their part and plays how they can, I mean, we should be really successful,” Spooner said. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday when the team will take on the Golden Gophers. read more

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Senior Kevin Metka prepares for a forehand hit during a match against South Florida on Feb. 8 in Columbus. OSU won, 4-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorAs his team gets set to defend its ITA Indoor National Indoor Championship title this weekend, Ohio State men’s tennis coach Ty Tucker said his players plan to show the other schools the discipline and mental toughness it takes to play like a Buckeye.“You’re at Ohio State, they expect to win matches,” Tucker said. “You’re at a major place … It’s a major athletic department. You want to win to be able to hold your head up high.”Going in as the defending champs might give the Buckeyes a slight advantage but they are dealing with a different lineup this time around,” redshirt-senior Kevin Metka said.“This year we have a little less experience in some positions … So everyone’s got to focus on all the courts to get the job done,” Metka said.Metka said he believes it will be just as hard, if not harder than last year for the Buckeyes to take home the tournament title. OSU is heading to Chicago as the No. 8 seed and is set to kick off the tournament Friday against No. 9 Texas. The winner will then play the winner a match between No. 1 University of Southern California and No. 16 Penn State on Saturday.Metka said the Buckeyes have to take the tournament one match at a time in order to earn a repeat of last season’s triumph.“I’d say mostly just getting through that first match and then hopefully getting a shot at USC,” he said. “That would be the next match but we’re trying not to look at it … We just want to take care of business in that first match.”One of the most important things for the Buckeyes is to get off to a fast start in these matches and capture the doubles point, Tucker said.“If we get the doubles point, we’re a tough team to beat,” he said.With doubles only being one set, Tucker said the Buckeyes won’t have a chance to have a bad game or be moody and get off to a slow start.Defending their first and only Indoor Championship isn’t something Tucker puts too much emphasis on, though, he said.“Tennis courts (are) the same size everywhere we go, whether we’re at the nationals, whether we’re at Iowa,” Tucker said.Although the court is the same size, Metka said it is not the same feel.“The courts, it may not look like it but there’s actually some big difference in where you play,” he said. “Ball bounces a little but it can really throw off your strokes.”For that reason, the Buckeyes left Columbus on Wednesday to get an extra day of practice on Thursday.OSU is coming off its 200th consecutive home win, a record Tucker is happy to leave in the rearview mirror.“It’s nice not having to answer questions about the streak … The guys can just concentrate on tennis,” Tucker said. read more

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first_imgRichard Shepherd, a barrister representing Pc Adams, said the officer was of “impeccable character” but he was doing his best while working at the Barton Street station.”You have the revolving door of sergeants and supervisors and then you have a probationary officer lobbed into this maelstrom, with dozens of cases to manage and no supervision,” Mr Shepherd said.”He is a hard-working, diligent officer who was doing the best he could with the inexperience he had.”Pc Adams did his best to manage the symptoms of his condition. He did so with his affinity to horses. Pc Adams says he found that going to the horse racing was a good coping mechanism and making him feel betterStephen Morley Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. PC Jonathan Adams “There is nothing dishonest about that. There may be failings but it’s not dishonest.”Mr Shepherd suggested that there are many different activities a police officer could undertake to relax, such as hill walking, sailing, going to the gym or the spa.”They might sit in front of the telly watching Judge Rinder,” he said. “There is a value judgment because he went horse racing.”He has a stress-related condition, aggravated by his workplace, and he tried to alleviate that by his affinity and closeness to horses.”The hearing continues. Quiet Reflection wins The Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June 2016Credit:Julian Herbert/Getty “It was a tough environment and all the officers were under a lot of pressure,” he said.The panel heard that during this period, Pc Adams reported sick on four occasions and on three of those days he went horse racing.He said: “Should he have been going horse racing if he was suffering for diarrhoea, vomiting or a cold? He is a public servant and should be resting to make sure he should be returning to work as soon as practicable.”If he was worried about passing on germs, why has he gone horse racing? In relation to Royal Ascot, he tried to get the time off, but he wanted to go and he did go.” The hearing heard Pc Adams transferred to Gloucestershire Police in 2014 from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.After completing his training, he was posted to Barton Street police station in central Gloucester in July 2015 before moving to a different station the following summer.Mr Morley said there was no dispute with Pc Adams being dyslexic and that he found working at Barton Street police station “difficult”. “He was not as sick as he made out. It is not good enough to report in sick and go on a jolly. He is a public servant and he is like obligated to do what he could for the public.”Mr Morley added: “It is right to say this officer did not have a financial interest in Quiet Reflection. It is not our case that this officer has personally benefited financially from taking time off from work.”The hearing was told that during the nine-month period that the gross misconduct allegations span, the officer went to see his GP complaining of abdominal problems relating to stress.When Pc Adams was interviewed, he said he was ill on the days he went to the races.”He said that he found attending race meetings was genuinely therapeutic and helped him cope with stress and depression,” Mr Morley said.  Quiet Reflection ridden by Dougie Costello wins The Commonwealth Cup Race Pc Jonathan Adamsm, pictured at his passing out ceremony, faces allegations of gross miscounductCredit:Gloucestershire Live / SWNS The hearing heard that same month Pc Adams had asked for June 14 to 20 off as annual leave, but his request was rejected for operational reasons.Mr Morley said that on June 17, Pc Adams reported he was too ill to work because of irritable bowel syndrome. Instead he went to Royal Ascot where the horse Quiet Reflection, which is one of 50 horses owned by his syndicate, won the Commonwealth Cup.The panel watched a 10-second clip from Channel 4 Racing showing Pc Adams jumping around and celebrating Quiet Reflection’s win.”The clip suggests that the officer was well enough to come to work. He was well enough to be in the Royal Enclosure, jumping around, as you have seen,” Mr Morley said. Royal Enclosure at Ascot He called in sick twice to watch a horse he part-owned with a racing syndicate and on a third occasion said he was ill – only to attend Royal Ascot, the misconduct hearing heard.Stephen Morley, presenting the case for the force, told the hearing: “In a nutshell, on three occasions he deliberately reported sick in order to go to the horse races.”There is no dispute that he reported sick and there is no dispute that he did go to the races. Pc Adams says he found that going to the horse racing was a good coping mechanism and making him feel better. “We do not accept he was sick at all. He was throwing a sickie to go horse racing.”Mr Morley told the three-person panel the first allegation was that on September 30 2015, Pc Adams reported he was suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea but instead went to Nottingham race course to watch Little Lady Katie, a horse he part-owned with the Ontoawinner syndicate.On April 6 2016, Pc Adams reported sick saying he had a migraine and again went to Nottingham race course to watch the same horse. Pc Jonathan Adams was caught on camera at the Royal Enclosure at AscotCredit:Alan Crowhurst/Getty A police officer was caught “throwing a sickie” to attend Royal Ascot after he appeared on television celebrating a win, a tribunal heard.Pc Jonathan Adams said he was too ill to go to work, only to attend the racecourse – and appear on Channel 4 Racing “jumping around” in the Royal Enclosure after Quiet Reflection, a horse he part owns, won the Commonwealth Cup.The probationary officer faces three allegations of gross misconduct under “honesty and integrity” and, if found proven, he could be dismissed from Gloucestershire Police.Pc Adams claimed in interview that he was ill on the days he went to the races, but found attending the meetings “genuinely therapeutic and helped him cope with stress and depression”.last_img read more

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first_imgPlanting honeysuckle can help attract insects Detritivore, such as woodlice and worms which provide a crucial leaf eating service which fertilises the oil, were 24 per cent higher on the native plots than the exotic and 36 per cent higher on native than on near-native plots.RHS principal entomologist Dr Andrew Salisbury said: “In order to help create a positive environment for these valuable invertebrates to thrive gardeners should plant plenty of plants from the UK and relax, refrain from spraying plants at the first sign of pest attack, and reduce trimming and allow some plant debris to accumulate in order to support the garden’s food chain.” There were more than three times as many insects like ladybirds in the native species plots There were more than three times as many insects like ladybirds in the native species plots The RHS suggested attractive native plants that gardeners can add to borders to boost wildlife include foxgloves, purple loosestrife, common honeysuckle and heather. In contrast avoiding thyme, dahlia and fushia could help native insects.Gardeners were also advised to turn a blind eye to the odd nibbled leaf or pest attack, rather than use pesticides. Pruning should also be used sparingly, the experts advise.“The presence of a wide range of invertebrates, such as ladybirds, springtails, spiders and even caterpillars are indicators of a diverse and well-functioning garden eco-system, and so should be encouraged and supported,” added Dr Salisbury.”While some of these animals, particularly herbivores, are traditionally regarded as pests by gardeners, they are vital to support healthy populations of natural predators which in turn help keep pest populations under control.”And they provide food for garden birds and mammals such as hedgehogs. In short, an abundance of bugs of all types equates to healthy garden ecology.”The study was published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Planting honeysuckle can help attract insects Plant-dwelling invertebrates from caterpillars and butterflies to woodlice and weevils play a key role in a healthy garden, providing food for other wildlife such as birds, and include helpful predators such as ladybirds and spiders which keep down pests. Gardeners should switch from exotic plants back to British to help wildlife, the Royal Horticultural Society has advised, following a landmark four year experiment.In 2012, experts at the RHS filled 36 plots of land in Wisley, Surrey, with 14 different species from either Britain, the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere.The plots were then tended like a normal garden for 48 months to see which insects moved in. It is the first research project to test whether the geographical origin of garden plants affect the amount and different types of insects and spiders they support.The experiment showed that insects were more than three times as likely to choose plots with native British plants than exotic species. Out of the 22,000 bugs collected from the patches, 56 per cent of all invertebrates were found in the native ‘gardens’ compared to 26 per cent in the near-native plots, and just 19 per cent choosing the more exotic varieties. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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