Liverpool look a LOT more solid this season, hails former Anfield boss

first_imgRoy Evans believes Brendan Rodgers has made Liverpool a much more resilient outfit this season.The Reds have yet to concede in three Premier League games, with summer signings Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez fitting seamlessly into the full-back positions and Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren beginning to form an impressive partnership in the centre of defence.Liverpool’s resolute display in the goalless draw against Arsenal on Monday night was in stark contrast to their last visit to the Emirates, when they shipped four goals, and Evans says Rodgers must be delighted with his new-look back-line.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Anfield boss said: “I like the way he has changed his system slightly.“Certainly the two full-backs are not pushing so far up the pitch. That gives them a chance to be in better defensive positions but it still gives them a chance to go and attack when needed.“The whole defensive system looks a lot more solid than it did last year. That gives them the base to go forward and attack and even in the second half when they weren’t as dominant against Arsenal they still managed to hit them on the counter-attack and give them some problems.“As a back four, it looks completely solid. They are closing down people, they look to be more alert, they are a litte bit closer together and nobody seems to be getting isolated.”last_img read more

Expert Eye – Martial will make it ‘impossible’ to shut down Man United

first_imgLouis Saha claims Anthony Martial’s arrival at Manchester United will make it “impossible” for opposition teams to shut down the Red Devils.The French youngster became the world’s most expensive teenager last week when he moved to the Premier League in a £36million deal from Monaco.And while Saha, who spent four years at Old Trafford, admits that price tag may be a “bit too much”, he has no doubts the 19-year-old has the ability to succeed at the Theatre of Dreams.“I’m  a big fan of his,” he told talkSPORT. “I think he’s got the quality [Louis] Van Gaal requires and I’m not surprised they went for him. It’s a good choice.“He will bring speed and unpredictability [to the team] and they are the things missing at the moment – someone who is capable of doing things you’re not expecting, beating three or four players on his own and creating his own chances. He can really ease the pressure on the player up front because he can hold the ball up. He’s strong and he can do that.“United need someone who can surprise teams. Sometimes coaches can read the gameplan of Van Gaal a bit too easily, but with this player that’s not possible.”last_img read more

Man United 5-1 FC Midtjylland: 18-year-old Rashford lights up Old Trafford

first_img The 18-year-old replaced Anthony Martial after the Frenchman got injured in the warm up Teenager Marcus Rashford became the latest academy graduate to light up Old Trafford as Manchester United overturned their first-leg defeat to FC Midtjylland to reach the Europa League last 16.Rashford, 18, replaced Anthony Martial who pulled up in the warm up as Pione Sisto put the Danes ahead before an own goal from Nikolay Bodurov levelled it up on the night.Juan Mata missed a penalty but Rashford scored twice in 15 second-half minutes to send the Red Devils through and give Louis van Gaal a stay of execution.Ander Herrera got the fourth from the spot with Memphis Depay adding a fifth as they go into the draw for the next round which could see them up against Gary Neville’s Valencia.Murphy’s Law looked like it was striking again as, for the second Europa League game in a row, injury struck in the warm up.Last week it was David De Gea and this week it was Martial, who pulled out five minutes before kick off with a hamstring injury.Rashford – who only scored his first under-21 goal in December – came in for the Frenchman and had the first real effort with a shot at the edge of the area pushed away by FC Midtjylland goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen.However, it was the visitors who opened the scoring when Sisto danced through some dreadful defending from Daley Blind and Michael Carrick to slot past Sergio Romero.Memphis was looking particularly dangerous on the night and it was he who forced the equaliser in the 37th minute when his low cross was turned it to his own net by Nikolay Bodurov.Morgan Schneiderlin came close to scoring twice, first with an acrobatic bicycle kick before he saw his header rebound against the post.Moments later Mata had a chance to take the lead for the Red Devils after Herrera was fouled in the area, but the Spaniard’s weak penalty was well saved by Andersen.Herrera should have put United ahead after the break but his header went straight into the side netting following splendid work from Memphis.Just after the hour mark, Rashford did what Herrera couldn’t and put United in front after he followed in Mata’s cross to fire in for his first goal for the club.And Rashford doubled his tally in the 75th minute when he connected with Guillermo Varela’s cross at the back post to put the 18-year-old in dreamland.And Herrera made certain of the result at the death with a penalty after Memphis’ shot was handled in the area.Midtjylland’s right-back Andre Romer saw red late on for a second yellow card before man-of-the-match Memphis got a well-deserved goal with a great effort from the edge of the area as the clock turned 90. 1last_img read more

Wounded vets shortchanged, Congress told

first_imgFor example, there would be a single medical exam to evaluate injuries; the military and VA now do separate exams. Wounded service members and their families would receive lifetime health care coverage. Those with post-traumatic stress disorder would be eligible for lifetime treatment. Relatives could take up to 12 months off from their jobs to help with care. The proposals are similar to legislation that President George W. Bush sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday. Shalala said Bush’s recommendations would cost more and add to the commission’s proposals. Bush said Tuesday that his administration has put in place many of the recommendations from the Dole-Shalala commission. But a Government Accountability Office report released last month cited poor communication between the VA and Pentagon on patient records; persistent backlogs on benefit payments to veterans; and staff shortages that mean nearly half of returning veterans lack access to personalized care medical units promoted by the Army. WASHINGTON – The leaders of a presidential commission that reported on poor treatment of wounded war veterans recommended Wednesday expanding and streamlining the benefit system for those with potentially life-altering injuries. Former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., and Donna Shalala, health secretary in the Clinton administration, outlined changes that would require action by Congress. They include payments for wounded troops to help with the transition into civilian life; compensation for loss in earnings their injuries might cause; and coverage that, for the first time, takes into account changes in quality of life. Shalala said the current system of disability payments is outdated and mired in bureaucratic problems that confuse veterans and fails to compensate for how a combat-related injury will affect their daily lives. The system is overseen by the Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department. The proposals were among 34 from the Dole-Shalala commission this year. They would simplify evaluating the injuries of troops wounded in combat-related service and provide a lifetime annuity for those who can no longer serve. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

The week of ill winds

first_imgBy Saturday, more than a half-million acres would be gone, 1,700 homes destroyed, with the damage surpassing $1billion. Stunned homeowners who just last weekend were setting out Halloween decorations and watching football would find themselves sifting through kindling and ash, mumbling things like: This used to be my kitchen. This used to be my bedroom. This used to be ? Even a week after it all started, several thousand would remain evacuated as blazes burned on relentlessly. There would be questions about prevention in the midst of persistent drought, lack of preparation in a fire-plagued state and whether resources were put to use as fast as possible. But first, before all of that, came the winds. They were different, undoubtedly, although no one could have predicted just how deadly and destructive. Gonsalves is a man who usually takes things in stride, especially the weather, perhaps because he knows it so well. He knows how easily a fire can kick up when the winds get going, and computer models at work had predicted a nasty Santa Ana for days. And so, when he stepped out of church last Sunday morning and sniffed smoke, he was hardly surprised. “It’s begun,” he thought. “Here we go again.” The surprise came hours later, when Gonsalves arrived home from the gym and turned on the news. Fires – plural – were everywhere: The Ranch Fire, sparked at 9:42p.m. the night before, racing through 500 acres some 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The Canyon Fire, ignited at 4:50a.m. in Malibu, forcing 1,500 people – even Hollywood’s elite – to evacuate. The Harris Fire, begun at 9:23a.m. southeast of San Diego, exploding to 500 acres in just over three hours. The Witch Creek Fire, burning at 12:37 p.m. in a mountain town northeast of San Diego, consuming 3,000 acres in two hours. At the Weather Service office in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Bernardo, Gonsalves’ colleagues watched as satellite images showed plume after plume of smoke roaring over a swath of Southern California. Their computers are programmed to display wildfire hot spots as little red squares. Red squares seemed to cover the lower half of the state. By evening, the forecasters had to shut off the air conditioning to stop smoke from seeping into the office. Back at home, on his day off, Gonsalves was thinking about what to pack – just in case his own family had to flee. Sunday was an off-day for Zeulner, as well. He, too, had gone to church, near his home in San Luis Obispo, and was having lunch when he got word: “You guys are going.” A battalion chief with the city fire department, Zeulner commands a 20-member strike team that operates five Type 1 fire engines, ideal for defending homes and structures. The team, when called upon, can be dispatched anywhere. They were summoned to the Ranch Fire, to help protect homes in the tiny citrus-growing village of Piru. “Immediate need,” Zeulner had been told. In other words: Get there fast. By 2 p.m., the caravan of engines was on the road, Zeulner monitoring AM radio for fire updates. The 33-year veteran was alarmed by what he heard. Winds were gusting from 60 to 80 mph; in some places, they exceeded 100mph. “That’s hurricane force,” thought Zeulner, who knew from experience that anything over 60mph was unusual during Santa Ana season. When the team arrived at the fire, they were told to bed down and be ready to work at dawn the next day. Zeulner set up camp in a park under the smoky sky, but rest was hard to come by. His sleeping bag rocked back and forth throughout the night, the mighty winds tossing him about like a leaf. Crane awoke early Monday and looked at the clock: 4 a.m. He smelled smoke coming through his bedroom window, but when he got up to shut it, he heard something on the street below. A car honking, he thought. He peered outside. Rancho Bernardo’s Lancashire Way, Crane’s home for 20 years, looked like an erupting volcano. “We gotta go!” he yelled to his wife, Sherry, still in bed. “Now!” Their neighbor’s wooden fence was ablaze, the palm trees in front of that house igniting like matchsticks. Glowing embers shot horizontally across the street. To the north and east, a line of flames lit up the ridge near a subdivision called The Trails. To the south, Battle Mountain, directly behind Crane’s home, went up like a Roman candle. Terrified neighbors roused one another with phone calls and knocks on the door, driving past police officers who cruised a nearby street, shouting through bullhorns, “Evacuate! Now!” Elsewhere across San Diego County, reverse 911 calls alerted residents to fires that had gone out of control overnight. In a day, the Witch Creek Fire grew from 3,000 acres to 30,000, eating through the communities of Rancho Bernardo, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, Poway – taking out multimillion-dollar estates and modest ranch homes. The biggest evacuation in California state history was just getting started. Some 560,000 would be forced from their homes in San Diego County alone. Qualcomm Stadium, home to the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, was opened to evacuees in a scene reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina. The Del Mar Fairgrounds and schools housed others. At the Weather Service office, Gonsalves arrived just after 6 a.m. to start his regular shift. He saw the smoke hanging low out the window, the line of cars snaking down West Bernardo Drive. Three hours later, the forecasters received a reverse 911. They, too, packed up and decamped. By nightfall, more than 500 homes had already been destroyed in San Diego County. Two fires that began just that day in the mountain vacation haven of Lake Arrowhead would destroy 300 more. Elsewhere across California, more than a dozen fires were now burning, incinerating 374 square miles in seven counties. And Monday afternoon, this warning from the Weather Service: “Strong winds are expected to redevelop tonight.” The wrath of the Santa Anas was far from over. All the chatter on the radio was about San Diego. But Zeulner and his crew had their own firefight to deal with – for 4 hours Tuesday afternoon near Piru, after a blowing ember landed in steep vegetation. They had spent much of their time doing structure protection: clearing away brush and moving wood piles stacked next to wood-sided homes, work homeowners themselves should have done in this drought-stricken state. The Ranch Fire, 1,000 acres when Zeulner first got the assignment, had grown to almost 40,000. But he was proud that his crew had yet to lose a home. In San Diego, Crane couldn’t say the same. Tuesday, watching the news with his son at a friend’s house where they’d taken refuge, he saw a reporter walking up and down Lancashire Way. Flames still burned from the remnants of some houses. “Twenty-five homes, on this one block ? have burned to the ground,” the reporter was saying. And, then, he started reading off house numbers. For a moment, Crane and his son thought they didn’t hear 18626. Then: “635 ? 629 ? 626 ?” the reporter said. “Now we know,” Crane said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! INFERNO: Weather and fire veterans quickly realized they had entered a perilous time. By Pauline Arrillaga THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN DIEGO – They know what the winds can do. They forecast them. Fight the fires the winds fan. Ready for evacuations that, in years past, never came. They thought they knew, until seven days of fury began a week ago. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.From almost the beginning, this Santa Ana was different somehow. Meteorologist Philip Gonsalves recognized it when he saw the smoke through the picture windows of the National Weather Service station in Rancho Bernardo, closing in on the office itself. He had helped forecast the tempest: an ominous combination of strong gusts, low humidity and soaring temperatures. In weather speak: red flag fire conditions. Fire Battalion Chief Tom Zeulner understood it, too, when en route to his first blaze of the week, his wife called to tell him five more had begun. Dan Crane thought it was “situation normal,” his words for the Santa Ana fire season that torments Californians every October through February, when blustery winds blow out of the desert. He’s lived through a half-century of them, and never once had to evacuate – not even during the two-week onslaught of 2003, when fires burned 750,000 acres and killed 22 people. This time, he awoke to neighbors honking and smoke wafting through his windows. last_img read more

O.J. Simpson co-defendant makes deal

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Cashmore will testify that two of the other men who entered the room with the former football star were armed, his lawyer, Edward Miley, said Friday. Miley said Cashmore will plead guilty to being an accessory to robbery, a felony that could get him up to five years in prison. A court hearing is set for Monday, a court clerk confirmed. “He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Miley said of Cashmore, a 40-year-old laborer, bartender and disc jockey who lives in Las Vegas. Clark County District Attorney David Roger declined to comment. Simpson and the others are charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, assault, burglary and conspiracy in the Sept. 13 encounter in a Las Vegas casino hotel room between Simpson and memorabilia collectors Alfred Beardsley and Bruce Fromong. COURTS: The man will plead guilty and testify that guns were involved in the robbery. By Ken Ritter THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LAS VEGAS – Accused of being one of five men who joined O.J. Simpson in a hotel-room confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers, Charles Cashmore will plead guilty to a reduced charge and testify that guns were involved in the theft of sports collectibles. Simpson also faces a felony charge of coercion, alleging that he took a cell phone from Fromong. Simpson has said he wanted to retrieve personal items that belonged to him, and his lawyers have maintained that no guns were used. But Cashmore will testify that Walter Alexander and Michael McClinton, two men who entered the room with Simpson, had guns, Miley said. Miley said Cashmore was unarmed during the alleged robbery. “The only people with guns that he knew of were Alexander and McClinton,” Miley said, adding that Cashmore’s crime was failing to immediately go to police and turn over the items he carried out of the room. Cashmore surrendered to authorities six days later and turned over the items, after police released images from hotel security videotapes showing him carrying a box from the room. Lawyers for Simpson, McClinton and most of the others did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Alexander’s lawyer, Robert Dennis Rentzer, declined to say whether Alexander had a gun in the room. “I owe the district attorney an answer to that question before the press,” he said. Rentzer said he was scheduled to meet with Roger on Monday, but he expressed doubt Cashmore could say Alexander was armed. “How can he put a gun in the possession of someone who didn’t have a gun out?” Rentzer said. Miley said Cashmore met Simpson and most of the others in the group for the first time minutes before the alleged robbery. “O.J. says, `Hey I’ve got to move some stuff, can you help?”‘ Miley said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Trojans get defensive

first_img“I’m obviously ashamed,” Oregon State offensive guard Roy Schuening said after quarterback Sean Canfield was sacked nine times. “Words can not express it.” USC linebacker Rey Maualuga felt similar to Schuening last week after the Trojans’ loss to Oregon and said that pain was used for motivational purposes against the Beavers. “It was on our backs,” he said. “(Assistant coach Ken Norton) was telling us all the negative things the whole week. I never wanted him to be that upset again.” USC coach Pete Carroll installed an aggressive game plan, with plenty of man-to-man pass coverage because he knew Canfield often took a five-step drop and was too slow to evade the defensive line. No one took advantage more than freshman defensive end Everson Griffen. One of USC’s most highly touted recruits in the Carroll era, Griffen’s generally been a disappointment compared to his hype. But Griffen earned 31/2 sacks, forced a fumble and made six tackles. “It’s a big relief for me,” Griffen said. “I just showed everybody what I can do and what we can do. There’s a little bit of a release off my shoulders.” Carroll credited the defensive backs as much as the line for frustrating Canfield. “This was as much about the pass coverage as the pass rush,” Carroll said. “That’s clear.” It was also about an offense that went to sleep in the second half and failed to score. “It was not a stellar night on offense,” Carroll said. Quarterback John David Booty returned after missing three games with a broken finger, and immediately reminded everyone how inconsistent he could be before the injury. Booty completed six of his first seven passes but then reverted to his “Washington-Stanford” mode, with five consecutive incompletions and an embarrassing turnover when he got sacked for a 23-yard loss by defensive end Victor Butler, who forced a fumble and also recovered it. “I was a little rusty. The ball got away from me a couple times,” Booty said. The receivers also dropped a few passes, which made every pass play an adventure. “We really missed our chances in the catching dept.,” Carroll said. “It wasn’t all the receivers, John also had some high passes.” Fortunately for the Trojans, Booty’s fumble led to the only points of the night for Oregon State. So it didn’t matter if the offense scored or not in the second half. Booty did enjoy a nice drive that broke the 3-3 tie in the second quarter. He completed five straight passes during a 46-yard drive that culminated with tailback Chauncey Washington’s 1-yard run to give the Trojans a 10-3 lead with 9:35 left in the half. This being a USC game, there were some sticky spots. The 21-point victory did not protect some recent USC targets from the wrath of the crowd. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, already under fire, irritated the Coliseum crowd twice in the first quarter, when he called runs on third-and-long plays. USC faced a third-and-12 situation from its 34-yard line when he called a run to Joe McKnight that lost 2 yards. Sarkisian then called a run to McKnight on third-and-8 from the Oregon State 25-yard line. The play lost 4 yards and the Trojans settled for a field goal. The crowd also briefly turned on Booty in the second quarter, booing him on a high incomplete pass and then becoming more irate when Booty fumbled. The crowd’s fickle nature became apparent on USC’s next possession. Tight end Fred Davis dropped Booty’s pass and Booty then threw behind wide receiver David Ausberry. Only Booty’s bad pass elicited boos, however. “I think we can expect (Booty) to only improve,” Carroll said. The Trojans were happier focusing on the defense anyway, as Canfield completed 11 of 25 passes for 85 yards with an interception. Maualuga said with three games left, the Trojans can still salvage their season, as they are a game behind Oregon (8-1, 5-1) and Arizona State (8-1, 5-1) in the Pac-10 standings with a road trip to Berkeley next weekend. “It’s still too early. It ain’t over,” Maualuga said. scott.wolf@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre USC might be ranked 13th, but the Trojans applaud baby steps following two losses in October and suddenly being forced to consider the possibility of playing in the Las Vegas Bowl. So it was not viewed as a total disaster that USC’s offense took a half off in its 24-3 victory over Oregon State before an announced crowd of 85,713 at the Coliseum. A win under any circumstances passes as acceptable these days. “We’re just sick of the feeling of losing,” linebacker Brian Cushing said. “That’s not something we can accept.” Luckily, the Trojans (7-2, 5-2 Pacific-10) found an opponent with an even more inept offense Saturday night, as Oregon State (5-4, 3-3) refused to alter its game plan despite being overwhelmed by USC’s defensive line. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Booty, USC offense are shaky, but team still dominates the Beavers. By Scott Wolf Staff Writer If you want an indication of how quickly the bar’s been lowered for USC football, the Trojans took comfort in an offense that gained 112 yards in the second half against Oregon State. last_img read more

Strikers now striving to be creatively frugal

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsShelby, who became a registered securities broker after her writing career dried up, has sharp advice for striking writers: “Cut back because this is a crazy business. This is a Nantucket sleigh ride of careers.” One advantage writer couples have is they are inured to severe downturns. Another couple might not be prepared if one of them loses their steady job. “Someone whose spouse is in another business, they have an advantage immediately, which is that they have a second income,” said Karen Harris, who writes for daytime dramas like “General Hospital.” Her husband, Bruce Cervi, is also a television writer. Harris, who sits on two Guild committees, lives in Studio City with Cervi and their two cats. The couple started to save and cut back months ago, when many people predicted disagreements about how writers should be paid for content viewed online would lead to a strike. The couple does not have a second source of income besides residuals, which are just enough to cover a sushi dinner every Monday. To get by, Harris and Cervi increased the equity loan on their home by about 25 percent and toned down their vacations. Instead of two weeks in Italy they drove through Arizona and New Mexico, staying with relatives or at low-budget hotels. Cervi, who does the grocery shopping, now heads to Trader Joe’s instead of Gelson’s. Harris canceled her gym membership, singing lessons and no longer goes to the spa for facials and massages. “There are certainly the luxuries I allow myself because I work hard,” Harris said. “Now I don’t because I’m not working.” Be prepared for the worst Shelby, once a writer for “Growing Pains,” now specializes in helping those with erratic incomes as founder of Shelby Financial Services and Insurance with offices in mid-Wilshire. If you have two years or more in savings, no need to worry, said Shelby, who is finishing a book about how to survive a strike. If you have two months worth of expenses saved up, it’s time to brush off your r sum and job hunt. Those with savings in between two months and two years should cut back with an eye to when there is only two months left. That’s about how long it takes a writer to find an acceptable job, Shelby said. Separate savings into two funds. Have a grapes of wrath emergency fund that runs deep and is at a separate bank so it’s hard to access. Shelby advises to constantly replenish what she calls a $1,000 “oy vey” fund. “Every month something happens,” Shelby said. “Oy vey my dental co-pay. Oy vey I need new car tires. That oy vey fund is constantly being attacked.” David and Julie Chambers, Hollywood writers from Sherman Oaks, learned these lessons over the years. When asked how they were managing through the strike, David Chambers said, “just the same way we are getting through everything else.” Often Guild work does not sustain the couple and their two daughters. Years ago the family downsized their home and sought out cheap restaurants. They teach at the University of Southern California and Julie Chambers substitutes a few times a week at Campbell Hall in North Hollywood, where one of their daughters is a student. “It’s not as much of an adjustment because you’ve already adjusted,” Chambers said. “If you’re working on a show and you’re used to getting a nice paycheck every week, it’s hard to just stop.” Emotional toll can be costly A financial crisis that can be brought on by a strike may also bring up emotional issues previously kept in check. Psychotherapist Dennis Palumbo of Sherman Oaks knows this well. Since the strike began the former “My Favorite Year” writer has been fielding more calls from former and new clients, on top of his regulars. Palumbo specializes in creative types like writers, directors, novelists and journalists. Dealing with newfound rejection is a common issue he sees among clients now. “We all know it intellectually,” Palumbo said, “but it can still be stunning when you find out at a psychological level that they would rather work without you.” The proliferation of reality shows is a case in point. Striking writers also have to deal with renewed pressure from parents and spouses about their field of choice. A common refrain may be that it’s time to get a straight job with a regular paycheck. Times like this it’s best to keep the lines of communication open. Consider going into other fields, but also consider the cost of not doing what you want. Understand the value of standing up for what you believe in and sticking it to the man, Palumbo said. He advises untangling issues that pre-date the strike from the picket lines and be wary of self-medicating with alcohol, sleep and food. 818-713-3735160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In their best year, Carolyn Shelby and her husband, Chris Ames, raked in $600,000 writing Hollywood scripts. In their worst, the couple made just $30,000 between the two of them. Making due with feast or famine paychecks is nothing new to movie and television writers. But the swift financial swings that are a hallmark of the industry can leave couples who both write even more vulnerable – a weakness that has come into sharp focus during the Writers Guild of America strike. The first negotiations since the 12,000 members of the Writers Guild launched a strike against movie studios and television networks on Nov. 5 resumed Monday. last_img read more

Boss is torn in ferry baby death trial

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThey couldn’t have predicted that she was giving birth to a baby girl in the cramped space and, according to prosecutors, disposing of the 6-pound body in the bathroom’s trash can. Castro, whose trial is under way this week in Long Beach Superior Court, has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of her newborn daughter. The Catalina woman maintains that she thought she passed a blood clot that night – Sept. 29, 2004 – and was stunned to find out that she had delivered a child. Prosecutors contend Castro was aware of the pregnancy but covered it up because the baby was conceived during an affair with another man – a man described in testimony Tuesday as “nasty” and “controlling.” They contend that the baby was born alive – and seemingly healthy – when Castro severed the umbilical cord and ended the infant’s life before the child could muster her first cry. Graphic photos of the naked, deceased baby were passed among jurors in Judge Gary Ferrari’s courtroom Tuesday, after a Los Angeles County coroner’s investigator, Denise Bertone, testified about the condition of the baby when her body was found by a janitor inside a trash bag at the Port of Long Beach on Sept. 30, 2004. Bertone testified that, in her opinion, the baby was born alive. A coroner’s pathologist has yet to testify about the cause of death, although a hearing held two years ago indicated head trauma and possible asphyxia were to blame. Mother is accused of slaying on Catalina crossing. No one seemed to know Leticia Castro was nine months pregnant. Not her boss, not her close friends, not even her live-in boyfriend – with whom she shared a 5-year-old daughter. So when the 26-year-old Castro disappeared into a bathroom of a Catalina Island express ferry after enjoying a chamber of commerce-sponsored dinner in September 2004, her companions felt no need to worry. Perhaps the most emotional testimony of the day came from Castro’s boss, Juan Luna, who is married to one of Castro’s cousins. At times, he appeared torn by his affection for Castro and what he had seen on the ferry. Luna testified that Castro was a good mother, a devoted worker and the breadwinner of her small family. He said he knew Castro was suffering from hyperthyroidism and worried about her health. Castro accompanied Luna and his family at a mixer hosted by the local chamber of commerce on Sept. 29, 2004. Before the dinner, he said, she took some Advil to alleviate what she described as a “pain in her waist.” On the boat from Avalon to Two Harbors and at the dinner, Castro seemed “fine,” Luna testified. But minutes into the return trip on the ferry, he said, Castro disappeared into the “starboard side” bathroom. Finally, after the ferry docked, Luna said, she staggered out. “She was sweating and she was bleeding,” he said. Then her body went “loose,” he said, and she fainted. Despite her protests that she wanted no medical attention, Luna said, paramedics delivered her to Avalon Municipal Hospital. A medical intern, Alisha Riggs, delivered Castro’s full-term placenta, indicating that she had given birth to a baby. Riggs indicated that it was entirely plausible that Castro’s friends and family knew nothing of the pregnancy, and even that Castro might have been unaware of the pregnancy herself. But she said she could not envision a scenario where Castro’s ignorance of her condition continued after the birth. “She could have not realized she was pregnant,” she said. “But once she delivered a baby, I think she would realize that she delivered a baby.” wendy.russell@presstelegram.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgUnitedHealth Group today celebrated the grand opening of its new 17,000-square-foot building at Business Park Road in Letterkenny with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.Senior executives of UnitedHealth Group based at the company’s Minnetonka, Minnesota, headquarters, led by Chief Financial Officer and President of UnitedHealth Group Operations David Wichmann attended the official opening.Speaking to invited guests Mr. Wichmann described today’s ceremony as a significant boost to UnitedHealth Group’s growth plans in Letterkenny. “The Letterkenny site garners much attention at our senior meetings in the United States.  The hard work and dedication of the teams here is reflected in the site’s growth since its establishment in 1999.  Back then it just had 30 staff.  Today it boasts 450 staff and growing.“A company such as UnitedHealth Group with 63 offices worldwide, and over 87,000 employees, requires people who lead from the front.  Over the past day and a half, I have personlly witnessed those traits, albeit, a quiet and highly effective leadership team.  I have been extremely impressed by the operations here and the value-add for us as a corporation.Site Director Padraig Monaghan congratulated the staff of UnitedHealth Group and commented on the high-end IT jobs to be filled in the coming months.“We are now the second biggest employer in Letterkenny and offer real opportunities for young graduates. From Letterkenny we service globally  Our strategic location allows us to give 24/7 support to all our clients. This new facility will come on stream in the coming weeks and  we will becontinung to recruti highly-trained and experienced IT and software teams that can grow with our company. “You may have heard me alude to our strong team here in Letterkenny before; but today I reiterate this point, we are a company that runs a world class business,” said Monaghan.Representing the Government, Donegal North East Deputy Joe McHugh described today’s official opening as a very positive news day for County Donegal.“The multi-national sector in Ireland is bucking the trend in terms of jobs growth and this is reflected right here in Letterkenny.  200 jobs represents a significant boost to the local economy, not only for the employees but indirectly it generates millions of euro for the local economy.“I would also like to pay tribute to Padraig Monaghan and his team for their hard work over the years in successfully growing UnitedHealth Group to where it is today. It joins successful companies like Pramerica, Zeus, SITA and Medisize as our success stories in Letterkenny and we salute the commitment of companies such as these to Donegal and the North West.” From Letterkenny UnitedHealth Group supports clients in Europe, the Middle-East, the USA and in Asia, and their strategic location allows them to undertake this support 24/7. The new facility opened today will be home to the company’s new IT teams who will be housed there in the coming weeks and months.During the three-day visit the US Executives also met with Letterkenny Institute of Technology officials and visited Woodlands National School to see a Junior Achievement Project, a programme supported by UnitedHealth Group.UnitedHealth Group’s Letterkenny site currently employs more than 450 people across Claims Operations, Transactions, Quality, Finance, Human resources and IT Functions.  It was established in July 1999 with just 30 employees. AMERICAN COMPANY OPENS NEW OFFICES WITH 200 NEW JOBS ON THE WAY was last modified: May 20th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more