The Initiation by Chris Babu, Permuted Press, 325 pp., $21.If adolescent boys may be the most difficult age group to entice into reading literature, Southampton resident Chris Babu certainly makes a strong pitch for their attention with The Initiation, a compelling futuristic adventure tale that will appeal to young males with heroism fantasies and testosterone on the move.It’s possible, though, that teenage girls who tend to mature earlier, and are not sidelined by romance fiction, may also find Babu’s debut novel engaging.One of the main characters, Clarice, a beautiful, super-bright withdrawn 15-year-old, comes to allow herself to feel affection for the protagonist of the book, young Drayden Coulson, a “math geek” and the smartest guy in his class, but also kind of shy. What they share is a love of intellectual challenge, and what the plot of The Initiation gives them and four of their classmates is plenty of challenge by way of a series of life or death games.Call the story a “nerd version of The Hunger Games,” the author has said. And look at it as “quasi-interactive” because it invites readers to solve the “brainy challenges” that confront the youngsters who pledge for The Initiation, as a way to improve their lives.What the characters can’t imagine, however, are the timed mental and physical ordeals they will have to face in the sinister, abandoned NYC subway system, where the Initiation takes place. Some puzzles may be familiar to older readers, but everyone will recognize that the ultimate challenge is to be a decent and courageous human being in the face of fear, envy, or pain.The author, a former Wall Street bond trader and a math graduate from MIT, cleverly draws on contemporary concerns to fashion his sci-fi narrative: “If several of the world’s major issues all went worst-case scenario at the same time, you’d end up with the near-future dystopia of New America.”That apocalyptic “Confluence” has already occurred when the story begins, leaving in its wake a despotic regime of 100,000 people who live in Manhattan, are separated into class zones, and are ruled by restrictive political, economic, and societal laws. Teachers and parents might well consider suggesting that this literate and suspenseful book be included on middle school and high school curricula.Annie’s Bones by Howard Owen. The Permanent Press, 264 pp., $ 29.95.Though this is crime literature award-winning Howard Owen’s 16th book from his Sag Harbor publishers, he continues to deliver inventive fiction by way of colorful characters and a strong sense of place, usually regions around his home town of Richmond.Fans will recognize some minor characters who were major players in earlier murder mysteries, and it’s nice to see them back, if briefly, because Annie’s Bones is in many ways about nostalgia — as though Owen is keeping up with his own age as well as the age of his protagonist, who is introduced on page one “squatting like an arthritic catcher in the Virginia mud.”The narrative opens in May 2016 and alternates between that date and 1968, when James Grayson (Gray) Melvin’s 19-year-old college sweetheart went missing after rejecting him. She ran from his car, never to be seen again until 48 years later, when her bones accidentally turn up during a local dig.Gray would have married Annie in a heartbeat. She still had his class ring when they split. But what happened that night she fled? He’s well aware that locals consider him the prime suspect in her disappearance, which they really think was murder. Four decades later, her family is still hell bent on revenge.Wealthy and politically well connected, her brother ensures that Gray never gets or keeps a decent job, especially in journalism, his love, and it is obvious who makes the phone call that sets the plot in motion: “Enjoy your last few days of freedom, asshole . . . they found her. They found Annie.”By giving Grey sympathetic context — a drunken father, a mother who left him when he was a child, a troubled sister, a failed marriage — Owen makes clear that Grey is a likeable, hardworking man who is honest with himself. (“He didn’t have any experience being cool. He only had experience pretending to be cool.”) He has earned the love of a good woman, but even she doesn’t know the full story of his relationship with Annie.Still, she stands by him, giving Owen a chance to do what he does best — craft complex characters of flawed humanity that are as much universal in their longing as they are exemplary of a changing rural, low-income part of the country that more Americans should know more about. Share
Judges could be given new powers to bring contempt proceedings against defendants under proposed redrafting of civil procedure rules.Consultation was opened yesterday by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee on possible amendments to Part 81, concerning the practices and procedures on contempt of court.The current rules have come under greater scrutiny, most notably during committal proceedings against former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson in A-G v Yaxley-Lennon. Committee chair Lord Justice Coulson said a number of senior judges have commented on the unsatisfactory wording of Part 81 – including in the Yaxley-Lennon case – and the current provisions now appear unsatisfactory. Source: ShutterstockRobinson arrives for sentencing for contempt of court at the Old Bailey in LondonCoulson said the existing Part 81 is ‘not easy to operate’ and the committee proposes a uniform procedural code for use in all contempt proceedings.The most eye-catching change could be to allow the court to initiate its own contempt proceedings without any need for an application from a third party. Judges could be able to issue a summons to the defendant, requiring them to attend court for directions. The summons would indicate to the defendant whether the proceedings will be tried by the judge issuing it; judges would have a template to fill in and could instruct staff to help with drafting.The consultation notes: ‘While some may object that judges are already hard pressed enough, in many cases if the judge does not take the lead, serious contempts will go unpunished.’Power to commit individuals for contempt could also be extended to circuit judges, although the committee does not express a view on whether this extension might also include district judges and/or masters. Procedural rules currently limit the jurisdiction of those who are not salaried High Court judges.The consultation says guarantees of procedural fairness must be the ‘cornerstone’ of the new draft Part 81. This includes defendants having the right to be legally represented, being entitled to apply for legal aid and being given reasonable time to prepare and produce witness evidence. Punishment should be reduced if the defendant admits the contempt and wishes to apologise to the court.Other proposed rule changes include changing ‘applicant and respondent’ to ‘claimant and defendant’, listing and hearing all contempt hearings in public unless the court directs otherwise, advocates and the judge appearing robed in all contempt proceedings, and judgments being transcribed on the judiciary website.Coulson said the committee is agreed that current rules cause ‘frequent difficulties’ and must be simplified, shortened and strengthened. The consultation closes on 1 May.
Share LocalNews DOWASCO reports full water restoration post TS Erika by: Dominica Vibes News – January 6, 2016 Sharing is caring! Share Tweet General Manager of DOWASCO, Bernard Ettinoffe (file photo)Access to potable water has been restored to every village following destruction caused to Dominica’s water supply during the passage of Tropical Strom Erika, General Manager of the Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO), Bernard Ettinoffe has said.The impact of Tropical Storm Erika on the island’s water and sewerage system was estimated at fifty million Eastern Caribbean dollars (EC$50M) as 100% of DOWASCO water systems were adversely impacted.Prior to the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, DOWASCO provided water to ninety-eight percent (98%) of the population and the completion of the Belles/Sylvania/Layou Park Water Project would have brought this to about 99% water coverage throughout the island.In an interview with the Government Information Service recently, Ettinoffe explained that the Belles/Sylvania/Layou Park Water Project should have been commissioned in October 2015 but because of the storm “we had a major setback not just for Belles/Sylvania/Layou Park Water Project but throughout Dominica. All 44 water systems were tremendously affected”.Ettinoffe said he is pleased to report that almost all of those systems are now up and running and every community is again being served with potable water from DOWASCO.He added that some of the systems were replaced temporarily in order to ensure that all persons have access to clean water.Due to the fact that some of the systems are temporary DOWASCO is having issues with providing constant water supply in some communities.“We have been trying to provide water to as far as Grand Savanne, Salisbury from the Picard, Portsmouth intake. That has been going fairly ok with the exception that to fill the Salisbury tank, we have to shut off some valves in the Portsmouth area so that we can divert more water on the west coast so that everybody can receive water at some time,” he explained.Ettinoffe, who acknowledged that the temporary systems are not the best thing as customers complain from time to time, said the company tries to inform the public beforehand of the schedule interruptions by way of radio announcements.“Temporary restoration cost DOWASCO in excess of $5m and the more permanent work will cost in the region of $38m. We will be working with government and the financial institutions to see how we can bring those systems up to speed in the shortest time,” he indicated.Ettinoffe explained that because DOWASCO recognizes that the systems are very vulnerable, even to minor weather conditions, the company will do all that it can with government’s cooperation to ensure that the systems are brought to a standard that can serve the people of Dominica.He said Giraudel, one of the communities seriously affected by Tropical Storm Erika, was the last community where water supply was restored in December.“It’s a pumping system and we had to replace pipes and source the armoured cable to power the pumps down by the river. We got those just before Christmas and with the assistance of DOMLEC and the contractor, we were able to restore water to the Giraudel community,” Ettinoffe noted.The next step for DOWASCO, he said, is to source money to make the systems more permanent. 206 Views no discussions Share
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The No. 4 ranked West Florida women’s soccer team had one of its strongest overall performances of the year at the UWF Soccer Complex on Wednesday, as the Argonauts defeated visiting Shorter University 6-0 in the team’s final regular season home game of the season. The Argos scored four goals in the game’s first 20 minutes and cruised to their seventh shutout of the year.Junior Chelsea Palmer (Plano, Texas/Tyler JC) led the offensive assault for the Argonauts (14-1, 7-0 GSC), scoring two goals and adding one assist. Four other Argonauts scored in the win, including junior Shelby Bush (Shalimar, Fla./Darton). Palmer now leads the team with 11 goals and 10 assists, and Bush is tied for the team lead with 11 goals.The Argos defended well, limiting Shorter (3-10-1, 2-4-1 GSC) to just four shot attempts. Senior Rachel Cutts (Pace, Fla./Ole Miss) and sophomores Kelly Andres (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) and Taylor Harbison (Neptune Beach, Fla./Fletcher HS) led the effort on the back line, shutting down the Shorter attack.Palmer wasted little time in putting UWF on the board, scoring the first goal of the game just 31 seconds into the first half. Bush was then next to score at the 10:32 mark, thanks to assists by Cutts and senior Tori Fish (Bellaire, Texas/Bellaire HS). Senior Monica Malavassi (San Jose, Costa Rica/University of Costa Rica) got on the board next with a header off a cross by Palmer, and Palmer rounded out the first half scoring barrage with an unassisted goal at the 20:07 mark.The Argos shifted their lineup around in the second half and added two more goals. Junior Daniela Cruz (San Jose, Costa Rica/University of Costa Rica) capitalized on an opportunity to score the team’s fifth goal in the 63rd minute. Junior Nathalia Cerceau (Belo Horizonte, Brazil/South Dakota) then put it out of reach at the 78:51 mark off an assist by Brittany Hensley (Enterprise, Ala./Enterprise HS).The game marked the final regular season home game for four UWF seniors: Cutts, Jessica Ebanks (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands/University College), Malavassi and Fish. The four Argonaut seniors were recognized for their contributions to the program before Wednesday’s match.The Argos will finish the regular season with a three-game road trip, first visiting West Alabama on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com. #ARGOS# Shorter (3-10-1, 2-4-1 GSC) vs. West Florida (14-1-0, 7-0-0 GSC) Date: 10/17/12 Attendance: 276 Weather: Warm, partly cloudy Goals by period 1 2 Tot ——————————- Shorter…………. 0 0 – 0 West Florida…….. 4 2 – 6 SCORING SUMMARY: 1. 0:31 UWF Chelsea Palmer (10) (unassisted) – dribble from midflied, 1v1 with keeper 2. 10:32 UWF Shelby Bush (11) (Tori Fish;Rachel Cutts) – Cutts free kick, deflected by Fish, tapped in by Bush 3. 12:56 UWF Monica Malavassi (5) (Chelsea Palmer) – Cross from Palmer, headed in by Malavassi 4. 20:07 UWF Chelsea Palmer (11) (unassisted) – intercepted in the box, driven into the goal 5. 62:13 UWF Daniela Cruz (3) (unassisted) – dribbled in from the left side, driven in off the post 6. 78:51 UWF Nathalia Cerceau (2) (Brittanie Hensley) – fed from Hensley, rolled into the net Shots: Shorter 4, West Florida 26 Saves: Shorter 7 (Katie Stachula 7), West Florida 1 (Sarah Story 1)Print Friendly Version No. 4 West Florida overwhelms Shorter in 6-0 senior day win Share L-R: Tori Fish, Jessica Ebanks, head coach Joe Bartlinski, Rachel Cutts, Monica Malavassi (Photo by Bill Stockland)
Vince McKee Iron Tiger 84 presented by Hamilton Contractors and Joslyn Colon Insurance rocked Express Live tonight in Columbus. It was shown live on FLO Combat TV on PPV and sent each fan home extremely happy with the outstanding card. There was plenty of athleticism on display, as well as plenty of blood too.Here is a full recap from the red-hot show in Columbus.Deshawn Morton vs Robert DurstResult – Morton by 2nd round KOTakeaway – Some wild swinging early into the first round led to Morton taking Durst down to the matt. Durst recovered quickly however and took control to win the first round as most of it was spent on the canvas.The second round was a totally different story as only seconds into it, it was Morton connecting a vicious haymaker for a brutal knockout. It was a highlight reel knockout from Morton.Jon Garrison vs Brandon McCownResult – Garrison by TKO round 1Takeaway – Jon Garrison looked incredible tonight with a complete performance in his debut effort. The two time All American wasted no time taking McCown down. From there he used an excellent ground and pound until the ref put a stop to it late into the first round.Donnie Scott vs Feraris GoldenResult – Golden by TKO round 1Takeaway – This one ended early as a Scott kick was checked by Golden, resulting in a broken foot for Scott. The fight was stopped immediately.Jason Mullen vs Alex Johnston Result –Johnston by UDTakeaway – Alex Johnston out grappled Mullen on their feet in the first round, and then did it again on the canvas the last two rounds. It was a solid plan by Johnston that he pulled off in dominant fashion.Andre Small vs Darnell TrueetResult – Small by UDTakeaway – Small used his wrestling skills to keep Trueet grounded for two straight rounds. Then in the third it was a furious rally by Trueet on the matt that almost saw him complete a dramatic comeback with several submission attempts. The clock would eventually run out and Small took home the duke.Sean Dinan vs Dan StevensonResult –Stevenson by second round tap.Takeaway – Stevenson made his case for submission of the night with an excellent rear naked choke. He used incredible ground control to get the back of Dinan and put him away.Robert Gidron vs Lance PhillipsResult – Gidron by UDTakeaway – Gidron escaped a deep choke attempt by Phillips in the second round. Other than that flurry, it was 3 rounds of Gidron using incredible ground skills to pull away with this one. This fight saw several slams of Phillips. Don’t’ count out Lance yet however, he has a world of potential and is a very dangerous fighter. This night belonged to Gidron however. Travis Hussey vs Trent McCown Result –McCown by second round submission.Takeaway – What an excellent main event this one was. A total blood bath that saw Hussey stay in control of the action for the bulk of the first two rounds. McCown would show the heart of a champion with a furious rally in the third to come all the way back, and choke out Hussey for the win as the lid was blown off Express Live. Related TopicsMMA
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Campbell County Chamber of Commerce Director Christie Elkins and staff along with others welcomed Rotech to the Chamber on Friday morning.Rotech is at 240 West Central Avenue across the street from the First Baptist Church of La Follette,Rotech is here to help patients manage their treatment and care at home with high-quality medical products, services, and customer care. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 10/07/2019-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S ANN RUTHERFORD)Share this:FacebookTwitter