West Midlands pensions chief Drever to retire
Chair of the WMPF pensions committee, councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “It has been a real pleasure to work with one of the industry’s best known individuals. We wish Geik well in her retirement – she is a great colleague who will be sorely missed.”Meanwhile, Fletcher is to leave WMPF after less than a year in order to lead the LGPS Central pool’s investment team. He joins Andrew Warwick-Thompson, LGPS Central’s CEO.Since joining in September last year, Fletcher has played an active role in setting up LGPS Central, co-operating with senior staff at fellow LGPS funds for Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire.He also led a groundbreaking review of WMPF’s asset management costs, using a template developed by Chris Sier and now being adopted across the LGPS in England and Wales.Fletcher joined WMPF after a 20-year career at the Universities Superannuation Scheme, where he was latterly deputy CIO. He has also worked at the British Airways Pension Fund.Fletcher said: “Since joining the West Midlands Pension Fund I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the other partner funds of LGPS Central. I am delighted to have been offered one of the most exciting challenges within the industry, and to have been given the opportunity to work with our partner funds to deliver their objectives.“There is a lot of hard work ahead and a very challenging timetable, but I am convinced that LGPS Central will be successful in its ambition of providing transparent, high quality, excellent value for money investment management services to its partner funds.”WMPF is actively recruiting for its senior management team, although investment strategy implementation will pass from WMPF’s internal team to LGPS Central from April 2018.Last week another LGPS pool – Brunel Pensions Partnership – announced the appointment of two staff from one of its founder members to its senior management team. Geik Drever, strategic director of pensions at the UK’s West Midlands Pension Fund (WMPF), is to retire at the end of September, the public sector scheme announced today.The £14.3bn (€16bn) local government pension scheme (LGPS) is also set to lose its chief investment officer, Jason Fletcher. He is to move to LGPS Central, the £40bn asset pool of which West Midlands is a founding member.Drever joined WMPF in 2012 after a 25-year career with Edinburgh council. In the Scottish capital Drever was the council’s chief accountant, before moving to run its pension scheme, the Lothian Pension Fund, in 2002.Rachel Brothwood, WMPF’s director of pensions, will take over from Drever from 1 October 2017, the scheme said in a statement. She joined the fund in 2015 and has since led reviews of its administration, funding, and investment strategies.
Back on track, Hurst races to national Late Model title
After seeing his 2017 season end prematurely, Jeremiah Hurst motored to his first national IMCA Late Model championship this season. He is pictured with Speedway Motors President Clay Smith at left and IMCA President Brett Root at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)DUBUQUE, Iowa – A driver who was just glad to be back on the track earned his career first IMCA Late Model national championship this year.Jeremiah Hurst won both starts on the final weekend of the IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season, then clinched the national title with a seventh place run in the Deery Brothers Summer Series finale in September.The conclusion of his 2018 campaign was a far cry from Hurst’s 2017 season, which came to an abrupt end after he suffered a heart attack in late July.“I wanted to go back and race the next night. I couldn’t wait to get back and race this year and the doctors said there was no reason not to,” the Dubuque, Iowa, driver explained. “I changed my lifestyle dramatically. I changed my diet and quit smoking. This is the best I’ve felt in years.”A contender for the 2017 national crown, Hurst ended up seventh in the points chase despite missing the final month-plus following his heart attack.Changes in track sanctions necessitated changes in his own travel plans. Driving for Ken Roberts, Hurst was a model of consistency but didn’t find victory lane until June 28 Deery Brothers Summer Series event at Benton County Speedway.“That was definitely the highlight of the season. It’s crazy that I won it because I told the guys to load the car up after hot laps,” he said. “By the time the feature came around, the track had changed, I started 11th and was in the lead before midway, and it became my first Deery win in 16 years.”Two more wins followed that weekend, at Marshalltown Speedway and Quad City Speedway.Hurst continued racing weekly with his closest competitors for the national crown, at Marshalltown with Todd Cooney and at Maquoketa Speedway and Quad City with Matt Ryan. He ended the year with seven wins and 38 top five finishes in 48 starts.Track championship bonus points – Hurst won at Maquoketa, Cooney at Marshalltown and Ryan at Quad City – ultimately put Hurst in the driver’s seat for the national crown.“We knew we would have to win twice on the final weekend and we did,” said Hurst, also the Iowa State champion and third in Deery point standings. “What we’ve accomplished still hasn’t sunk in but I’m sure it will when we get to the national banquet and see everything with my name on it.”“I’d always wanted to race for the national title but never had the funding or the equipment. We had tried to go for it a couple years but it never worked out,” he added. “When I had the chance to race for Ken, I knew I had the equipment that would make it possible. I couldn’t be more grateful to him for giving me the opportunity.”Wins-7 Top Five Finishes-38 Starts-48HIS CREW: Father Rick, brother Ian, car owner Ken Roberts, Jeremy Roeth, Justin Tharp, Mike Torrey and Mike Arlen.HIS SPONSORS: Roberts Custom Software of East Moline, Ill.; Associated Realty and Preston Telephone Company, both of Preston; Capri College of Dubuque; JM Custom Wraps & Designs of Eldridge; A & E Freight of Lowden; DONE Right TV & Security Solutions and Roehmer Engineering, both of Davenport; Performance Bodies of Cedar Falls; Fast Shafts by Axle Exchange of Des Moines; Shepherd Engine Development of Solon; Dew Drop Inn of Moline, Ill.; Orion Tire & Repair of Orion, Ill.; QuickCar Racing Products of Lebanon, Tenn.; Black Diamond Race Cars of Shreveport, La.; BAM Lifters of Ormond Beach, Fla.; Swift Springs of Chino Hills, Calif.; and the UAW.
Hull hunting hitman Hernandez
The 24-year-old Uruguay international, who played for his country at the World Cup, has become a prime target for Tigers manager Steve Bruce, who has abandoned interest in Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes. Reports in Italy have suggested a deal worth around £9.5million for Hernandez is almost complete, however Bruce is looking at it from a more cautious perspective. Bruce said, according to the Daily Express: “It’s delicate, but if we can pull it off it will be a record for the club. “He’s a hell of a player, but there’s work to be done. It would be a huge one for us.” Hull sold Long to Southampton for £12million earlier this month, after which they were linked with Rhodes, but Bruce said on Wednesday that potential deal was “dead and buried”. Press Association Hull have turned to Palermo forward Abel Hernandez to plug the gap left by Shane Long’s move to Southampton.
Ewan sprints to Tour de France stage three victory
CALEB Ewan produced a dazzling sprint finish to win stage three of the Tour de France as Julian Alaphilippe held on to the yellow jersey.The Australian Lotto Soudal rider timed his sprint perfectly into a strong headwind in Sisteron to squeeze past Peter Sagan and snatch victory from Irishman Sam Bennett.It is his fourth Tour stage win after three victories on his debut last year.“The guys did a great job keeping me at the front,” said Ewan.“This is the biggest race in the world and I’m so happy to get another win and prove last year wasn’t a fluke. I hope to keep coming back and keep winning.”Ewan displayed excellent bike handling skills to navigate a chaotic finish, and avoid the headwind that penalised his rivals, until the last moment.The 26-year-old narrowly avoided Sagan’s back wheel and the right-hand side barrier to get onto Bennett’s wheel before he kicked clear with tremendous speed at 50m to go.“I was a bit too far forward in the final kilometre so I dropped back and gave myself a bit of a rest,” he added.“Coming from behind is a bit of a risk but I got through past the barrier and had the speed in the end.”European champion Giacomo Nizzolo finished third, with France’s Hugo Hofstetter taking fourth.Former three-time world champion Sagan faded to finish fifth but picked up enough points to replace stage one winner Alexander Kristoff in the green points jersey, which the Slovakian is aiming to win for a record-extending eighth time.It was a high-speed finish after a largely sedate day, with France’s Jerome Cousin spending 110km off the front alone before he was swept up by the peloton with 16km to go.Cousin had been in a breakaway with compatriots Benoit Cosnefroy and Anthony Perez, who were battling for king of the mountains points.Perez had taken the virtual lead off Cosnefroy in that classification but was then forced to abandon the race with a broken collarbone after he punctured on a descent and crashed into his Cofidis team car.Alaphilippe avoided trouble to retain the race lead, with Britain’s Adam Yates still second at four seconds back, while defending champion Egan Bernal has moved up two places to sixth overall.(BBC Sport).
LALIGA Reaches Half-Way Mark
As Winter Champions Barcelona and Top Strikers Hit FormAlready confirmed as LaLiga’s ‘winter champions’ as the season reaches its half-way stage this weekend, Barcelona will look to stay ahead of a chasing pack which includes many of the league’s most in-form strikers.Wissam Ben Yedder – Sevilla FC.JPEGBarça host Eibar early on Sunday evening at the Camp Nou in a fixture which promises excitement, with the Catalans having won in each of the last four seasons with Lionel Messi getting four goals in last season’s fixture, but Eibar have often put up a fight and scared their opponents along the way.Second-placed Atletico de Madrid take on Levante at the Wanda Metropolitano in Sunday’s early game. Rojiblanco striker Antoine Griezmann has returned from the winter break looking particularly sharp, but the free-scoring visitors having worried Diego Simeone’s side home and away in recent seasons. Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona Sunday afternoon also sees a clash of two of LaLiga’s historic big sides with Athletic Club looking to continue a recent peak in form which has seen centre-forward Inaki Williams back on the scoresheet, although visitors Sevilla will be aiming to keep up a title challenge fuelled by forward Wissam Ben Yedder’s goal streak.Sunday’s late game promises to be dramatic as Real Madrid visit a dangerous but inconsistent Real Betis team who are capable of rolling over anybody on their day. But even though injury-hit, Real Madrid will be up for the fight, especially with Sergio Ramos and Dani Ceballos returning to their home city.The matchday action begins Friday evening in the Spanish capital, as Rayo Vallecano look for a third straight LaLiga victory to continue their climb up the table, against a RC Celta side who are still looking to kickstart their 2019.Iñaki Williams – Athletic ClubSaturday’s early game is also vital in the relegation battle, with 17th placed Leganes trusting in their impressive home form so far this season as they host bottom team Huesca, who will have been boosted by their long-awaited victory over Real Betis last time out.Valencia then host Real Valladolid, with Los Che looking for a third home win in four games at their Mestalla stadium, but Valladolid having surprised many with their clever tactical away performances so far this term.Alaves can confirm their fourth position at the half-way stage if they get the three points at Girona early Saturday evening, although the Catalans will be keen for a victory after three straight draws in front of their own fans at Montilivi.Saturday’s late game sees recently installed Villarreal coach Luis Garcia Plaza — who has drawn all three of his LaLiga Santander matches in the job charge so far — welcome his former club Getafe to the Estadio de la Ceramica.The final game of weekend comes Monday evening, when Real Sociedad’s new coach Imanol Alguacil’s team will aim to build on their fine victory at Madrid last weekend at home to an Espanyol side who also returned to form with a win in their first game of 2019.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Holt: Twins’ fate vs. Yankees’ money
Some things are just meant to be.I mean, how else do you explain how the Minnesota Twins, who were three games back with four to play, ended up in the playoffs? How else can you explain why umpire Randy Marsh missed what would be a run-scoring hit-by-pitch on Detroit’s Brandon Inge or how Matt Tolbert’s likely double-play ball snuck past Gold Glover Placido Polanco to score the tying run in the 10th?It was such an improbable sequence of events, not just those in the game but even those leading up to the epic play-in bout. Detroit’s historic choke job and the Twins’ luck resulted in this: a flawed, injury-plagued team that defied the odds to get to the playoffs.Good or bad, improbable is something Minnesota sports does well — maybe even too well. The 1998 Vikings went 15-1 with (at the time) the most prolific offense in NFL history. Of course, they lost in the NFC Championship game after an automatic Gary Anderson missed his first field goal of the season (Dammit!).In 2002, the Twins, along with the Montreal Expos, were slated to be contracted by the MLB. Instead of being eliminated as a franchise, Minnesota gave MLB the big middle finger by making it all the way to the ALCS.In 2003, the sixth-seeded Minnesota Wild became the only team in NHL history to come back from two 3-1 series deficits in the same playoffs. The 2005 Gophers had their game against the Badgers all but locked up — until UW blocked a punt in the last 30 seconds for a touchdown to keep the Axe. Earlier that year, Hopkins High School’s Blake Hoffarber made an ESPY-winning shot from his ass to send the state basketball championship into a second overtime. The 2006 Twins went 71-33 after June 9, yet still only won the division on the last day of the season.Just in the last decade, Minnesota sports teams have found a way to defy all expectations — for better or for worse. Unfortunately for the ’09 Twins, improbability and fate can be trumped by something more concrete: cash.According to The Associated Press, the Yankees’ payroll at the beginning of the season was $201,449,289. The Twins had a much more modest $65 million payroll — less than one-third that of the Yankees’. Alex Rodriguez will make $32 million for the 2009 season — one of nine Yankees to make at least $12 million in ’09. Only Joe Nathan will make more than $11 million this season for the Twins.I know a high payroll does not necessarily translate to talent. Except that, in this case, it does.New York trotted out a former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher to start game one of the ALDS, while Minnesota started a rookie with nine career major league starts. The Yankees start a guy with a .320 average, 25 homers and 200-plus hits at second base and a three-time MVP at third. At those positions, Minnesota has Nick Punto and a guy who wishes he was as good as Nick Punto.I could keep going.See, no matter how spunky or lucky the Twins are, their fans will spend this series just hoping their team gets some hits and runs. The Yankees, with their star-studded lineup, don’t hope to win — they expect to. That’s the difference money can buy.There’s the argument that Minnesota should just be happy to be in the playoffs, but that’s a load of crap. Being content with just making the postseason is like when you were happy as a little kid just to be around your older brother and his friends; at some point, it’s just sad. No matter the odds, the hope is to win a World Series, not flame out in the first round.And as much as Bud Selig would like to think the lack of a salary cap doesn’t give rich teams a competitive advantage, that’s simply not true. Ten of the 19 MLB teams with payrolls over $100 million made the playoffs the past two years. Yes, the Twins and Rockies this year and the Rays last year prove you can make the postseason without Midas-financed payrolls, but here’s the thing with baseball: timing is everything.You can make a miracle run like Tampa Bay in ’08 or Colorado in ’07 and get to the World Series. But you sure as hell better win it there, because your window for victory will slam shut shortly afterward. In baseball, the mix of blossoming talent that you cultivate to make that postseason run will get picked clean by the Yankees and Red Sox as soon as that talent becomes eligible for free agency.Both the Rays and Rockies missed the playoffs the year after their World Series appearances. The 2008 Brewers made the playoffs for the first time since 1982, but squandered their chance to make a run and are watching the postseason from home right now. Their inability to sign CC Sabathia after the season left them with a 2009 rotation any Brewer fan can tell you rated anywhere from horrendous to embarrassing. And guess who signed him instead?It’s only been one game, but things don’t look good for the Twins or Rockies this year. But nothing’s over yet; the last time Minnesota had the worst record in the playoff field was when they won the World Series in 1987. The last time the Twins had four players with 25-plus home runs? 1987. I’m just saying.If teams are content to just make the playoffs, then I guess my argument is moot. But shouldn’t every team aspire to win it all? In that case, money is always going to be the dividing line in baseball between the teams that want a title and the teams that can actually win one. That’s why the Yankees and their $200 million club will probably come out on top while the little guys just never quite have enough.I guess some things are just meant to be.Adam is a junior majoring in journalism. GO TWINS! He can be reached at email@example.com.
No punishment for Madrid derby trio
Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal and Atletico Madrid’s Mario Suarez and Miranda will escape further sanction after Tuesday’s heated 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final, UEFA has confirmed.Carvajal appeared to hit out at Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic as the two clashed inside the Real box midway through the second-half.Both players also dismissed suggestions that the Spanish international full-back had bitten Mandzukic.Suarez and Miranda, meanwhile, criticised the performance of Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, claiming that an official from a “minor league” shouldn’t have been put in charge of such a high profile game.However, they will also not face any punishment for their comments, although Suarez is already suspended for the second leg after being booked on Tuesday.”No disciplinary action (will be taken) for these alleged incidents,” a UEFA spokesperson told AFP on Thursday. Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Atletico by European football’s governing body, though, for breaches of safety regulations as a supporter invaded the pitch at the full-time whistle.The case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on May 21.
Lakers vs. Clippers: Live updates from Staples Center in Los Angeles
Anthony Davis scored 30 points, LeBron James had 28 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds and Avery Bradley had six 3-pointers on his way to 24 points as the Lakers beat the Clippers 112-103 Sunday at Staples Center.More to come on Sunday’s game soon from SCNG’s team of reporters.[scribble src=”/livescoreboard/13981″ /]PreviousClippers guard Lou Williams, left, shoots as Lakers center Dwight Howard defends during the first half of an NBA game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles forward Kawhi Leonard, right, dunks as Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Los Angeles forward Kawhi Leonard defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots as Los Angeles guard Paul George defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles guard Paul George, left, yells as he scores while forward Montrezl Harrell watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles guard Lou Williams, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles center Ivica Zubac, left, and Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard reach for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 08: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers guards Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on March 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 08: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket on Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers during the first half at Staples Center on March 08, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Clippers guard Lou Williams, left, shoots as Lakers center Dwight Howard defends during the first half of an NBA game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles forward Kawhi Leonard, right, dunks as Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 9Los Angeles forward Kawhi Leonard, right, dunks as Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandViewing on a mobile device? Click here for live updates.[scribble src=”/event/2925024″ /] Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
BiH Karate Player Meris Muhovic brilliant at the European Championship
BiH karate player Meris Muhovic won the silver medal at the European Championships in karate for seniors, which took place in French Montpellier.Turkish national team member Ugur Aktas was the only one who managed to stop Muhovic on his way to gold. After a few years of break, this is the first European medal in BiH brought by senior karate players.“Meris will be dominant competitor in the future,” said the president of the Karate Club “Champion”, Mensur Agovic.“This is a result of all of us in BiH,” he added.It is interesting that Muhovic was brilliant on the European festival karate players in France, although he just recovered from the injury.(Source: nap.ba)
Hearing set for Thursday on last week’s car 2-county chase and collision pursuit
By Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” A hearing has been set for Thursday at 9 a.m. at Sumner County District Court for four Sedgwick County Latino men each charged with at least seven felonies in relationship to a two-county car chase and collision pursuit which occurred Wednesday, Feb. 6.The four men â€” Juan Castillo-Lopez, 18, Wichita; Domingo Olivas-Castillo, 41, Haysville; Albertico Castillo-Olivas, 24, Wichita; and Victor Lopez-Gomez, 28, Wichita â€” are each facing two counts of kidnapping; two counts of aggravated assault; conspiracy to commit aggravated assault; criminal damage to property; and aggravated endangering a child – all felonies.Â Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer filed the complaints this week stemming from a four-car incident that started after an alleged altercation in Sedgwick County, which ended peacefully in Wellington at 2:46 p.m. in the Orsheln’s Store parking lot in west Wellington at 1203 W. Eighth.Spencer said the chase started over a debt collection dispute that involved Curtis Everhart, who lives in Sumner County. Spencer did not specify what the dispute was over, but he said an ensuing chase occurred in which Everhart, driving a black Lincoln LS, was being pursued by three vehicles that involved the four suspects. Everhart had a friend, Destiny Lovan, and a 1-year-old girl in the car with him.According to the complaint, Everhart’s vehicle was being boxed in by three vehicles: Domingo Olivas-Castillo, who was driving a F150 pickup; Victor Lopez-Gomez, who was driving a Lincoln; and Albertico Castillo-Olivas, who was driving a F-350 truck. Allegedly, Albertico hit Everhart’s Lincoln back windshield with either a pole or tire iron. Another alleged conspirator was involved with the breaking out window attempt.Domingo Olivas-Castillo allegedly crashed his car into Everhart’s car during the pursuit that went from Sedgwick County to Wellington to Mayfield and back to Wellington. All acted under the direction of Juan Castillo-Lopez the complaint said. No one was injured in the incident.Spencer said this will be a first appearance hearing to determine if the men need representation. He anticipated that two of the men will not need court-appointed attorneys because of their apparent financial status, Spencer said.Suspects arrested shortly after the two-county pursuit by Sumner County Sheriff deputies.