Chicago Tribune wins Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers

first_imgThe Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University has named the Chicago Tribune this year’s winner of the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers for its evenhanded and thorough investigation of improper influence peddling in the admissions process at the University of Illinois in “Clout Goes to College.”The Taylor Award and a $10,000 prize, established to encourage fairness in news coverage by America’s daily newspapers, will be presented at a ceremony on April 8 at the Nieman Foundation in Cambridge, Mass.In “Clout Goes to College,” the Chicago Tribune revealed that lawmakers and university trustees used their sway to help subpar applicants gain admission to the University of Illinois, at times over the objections of admissions officers. The paper exposed secret admissions clout lists and a corrupt admissions process and in doing so, paved the way for reforms including a new admissions system, a new university president and chancellor, and six new members of the university’s board of trustees.Over the course of five months, the paper published about 90 stories and developed two online databases that showed readers what role their local high schools and legislators played in the scandal. Reporters Robert Becker, Jodi Cohen, Tara Malone, and Stacy St. Clair worked with editor Tracy Van Moorlehem and graphic artist Keith Claxton to produce the series.Taylor Award judge Ames Alexander commented, “Fairness was both the means and the end of this investigation. The newspaper let University of Illinois officials speak for themselves at length, publishing e-mails that spoke volumes about the tainted admissions process. But while the Tribune pounded the power brokers and university officials who had corrupted the admissions system, it sought to protect ‘clouted’ students who weren’t demonstrably culpable. The staff’s dogged and conscientious efforts produced a remarkable result: An unjust student selection process was replaced with one based on merit.”Another judge, Monica Campbell, said, “The idea that political favoritism exists in the university admissions process is not new. But in a nuanced and comprehensive way, this series shows how a university system can allow for such corruption and drives that angle, rather than merely calling out the culprits, in a way that usefully shows how power and undue pressures wind their way through a university’s bureaucracy. Taken together, with informative graphics, reproduced e-mails and sidebars, the series offers a precise case study on deal-making at universities — not just at the University of Illinois, but what may likely exist at other institutions — and fairly portrays the culture that allows such problems to exist.”last_img read more

Shumlin names Brian Searles as Transportation Secretary and Sue Minter as Deputy Secretary

first_imgBurlington International Airport (BTV),Governor-elect Shumlin today announced his “transportation team.” Brian Searles will be the Agency of Transportation’s next Secretary; Sue Minter will serve as Deputy Secretary. Searles, former Transportation Secretary under Governor Dean, currently is director of Burlington International Airport. He has led the airport during several rounds of infrastructure improvements and increases in passenger boardings.Dick Mazza, Brian Searles, Governor-elect Shumlin and Sue Minter at the transition office in Montpelier Monday afternoon. Photo: VBM Vermont Business Magazine.‘Brian Searles has the experience, talent and leadership abilities necessary to rebuild our state’s aging infrastructure and revitalize our public transit system in a cost effective manner,’ said Governor-elect Shumlin. ‘His leadership on this critical issue will be instrumental to our mission of job creation. I am thrilled that Brian has agreed to join my administration and thank him for his willingness to serve.’Brian has worked in the public sector for more than 40 years as a police chief, city manager and airport director. He has 13 years experience in state government including Exec Dir of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, Commissioner of Personnel, Deputy Secretary of Administration and Secretary of Transportation. For the past five years he has been Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport. Brian Searles grew up in Essex Jct and received an M.S in Administration from St. Michael’s College. As Secretary of Transportation, Brian’s salary will be approximately $115,000.Searles will continue in his post at the airport until he is sworn in as secretary. The head of the airport is appointed by the mayor of Burlington, typically after a recommendation of the airport commission. The airport is part of the City of Burlington.Searles said that after 18 months in which air transport has suffered around the nation, and to some extent at BTV, passenger boardings in Burlington increased the last three months. He also said that Southwest Airlines buying AirTran could likely be a good thing for Burlington, as it would extend Southwest’s market to places like Burlington. AirTran had served Burlington from 2008 to 2009. ‘Sue Minter has incredible experience and an inspiring vision for the future of transportation in Vermont,’ said Governor-elect Shumlin. ‘Her understanding of the complex issues surrounding transportation make her uniquely qualified for this important role. I am grateful that Sue has agreed to take on this challenge.’As a member of the House Transportation Committee, Minter traveled around Vermont and was instrumental in drawing attention to the problem of Vermont’s deteriorating roads and bridges. For the last two years, she has served on the House Appropriations Committee, where she has overseen the budget of the Vermont Agency of Transportation. She has been widely respected in the Legislature for her ability to work across party lines to pass key transportation initiatives.Sue Minter received a BA from Harvard University, and a masters in Urban and Community Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As Deputy Secretary, Minter’s salary will be approximately $85,000. Also in attendance was Dick Mazza of Colchester, who is the longtime chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.With federal stimulus money drying up and the economy still sluggish, the administration and the Legislature will have fewer dollars with which to work. Shumlin stressed the need to “work smarter” with the limited resources available. He emphasized that maintenance of existing roads and bridges would be the priority over new, big ticket projects. As for the such big ticket items, he said he would not commit one way or the other to the Circumferential Highway in Chittenden County, but would gather interested parties to see what could be done. He said he did not want to be bogged down by a project that had frustrated every governor since Richard Snelling’s first term. The Circ was in the news last week following a negative report from the EPA over the Circ’s impact on local waterways. Another common theme during the press conference was the need to account for climate change, not only in the use of public transportation but also in the planning and development of downtowns.last_img read more

3 persons arrested in sting op

first_imgBACOLOD City – Three persons werearrested in a drug sting in Barangay Villamonte. Suspected shabu weighing about 5 gramswas seized from Ryan Mabasa, Lowell Gealon and Edmund Torres, according to thePhilippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Western Visayas (PDEA-6). The suspects were nabbed after theysold suspected illegal drugs to an undercover officer around 1:35 p.m. on Dec.19, it added.    center_img They were detained and charged withviolation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of2002.(With a report from PDEA-6/PN)last_img

Test pitches in India are boring and Favour Batsmen: Michael Vaughan

first_imgNew Delhi: Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has slammed the cricket pitches in India, saying the tracks are “boring” and are more in favour of the batsmen. “Test match cricket pitches in India are boring…The first 3/4 days the contest is far too in favour of the bat…needs more action for the bowler…My thought of the day …,” Vaughan tweeted on Friday.His comments came during the ongoing second Test between India and South Africa being played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune where the Indian batters have dominated the proceedings. Skipper Virat Kohli and Mayank Agarwal scored brilliant hundreds and have taken the hosts to a commanding position.Even in the first Test, the Indian batsmen had a great time at the ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam. While Mayank scored a double hundred, Rohit Sharma — in his debut match as an opener in red-ball cricket — scored hundreds in both the innings in the game which India won by 203 runs. IANSAlso Read: Jasprit Bumrah shares motivational post on social mediaAlso Watch:All Assam Bengali Youth Students’ Federation in Biswanath demands error-free NRClast_img read more

Syracuse looking to prevent Clemson from ‘beating them twice’ against Western Michigan

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Dino Babers admitted that during his team’s 41-6 loss to Clemson, there were some exciting parts of Saturday’s game. And through three quarters, his team played well. There were too many parts of the game that weren’t so exciting for Syracuse (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast), however, that took the Orange out of the contest. Following a loss to the Tigers for the second-straight year, Babers’ message to his team is the same as 2018’s defeat.“It happened last year,” Babers said on Monday. “Clemson can beat you once, but don’t let Clemson beat you twice.”The fourth-year head coach was describing the Orange’s overtime loss to unranked Pittsburgh last season, in the game immediately following their 27-23 loss to the  Tigers. Syracuse lost to the Panthers because of a hangover of sorts following its heartbreaking loss to Clemson, Babers suggests.He’s hoping to prevent that sort of let down this season when Western Michigan (2-1) visits the Carrier Dome for the first time in program history on Saturday. The two teams faced off in last year’s season-opener in Kalamazoo, when an early SU lead turned into a high-scoring affair. Three rushing touchdowns by the Orange pushed them out to a 34-7 lead at halftime, but 21 unanswered points by the Broncos closed the gap to six points 10 minutes into the second half. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Two different halves, one half our way, one half their way,” Babers said of last year’s matchup with WMU. “I’m looking forward to playing them once again knowing that coach (Tim) Lester knows a lot about this place and there’s 4-5 guys left on this team that were here when he was here.”Lester served as SU’s quarterbacks coach in 2013 and its offensive coordinator from 2014-2015 on Scott Shafer’s coaching staff and has Western Michigan’s offense firing on all cylinders after a 57-10 win over Georgia State on Saturday. The victory featured a school-record seven rushing touchdowns by the Broncos, who are 25th in the country in scoring offense. That doesn’t bode well for the Orange defense, which is 10th-worst in the country in stopping the run. While SU did show signs of improvement defensively versus Clemson, its offense still struggled to move the ball consistently. Babers chalked the struggles up to too many inconsistencies and breakdowns at times when Syracuse could least afford them, but believes that the Orange’s offense is close to figuring it out. “I don’t think we’re that far off, once again,” Babers said. “The guys we were playing were really good…Our defense I thought did a nice job, our special teams did a nice job. We didn’t score enough points.”He suggested that the passing game’s issues so far this season have directly affected the play of the running backs, who combined for three touchdowns in Syracuse’s season opener against Liberty. Since the win over the Flames, the Orange have rushed for a combined 85 net rushing yards with a long run of 13 yards and no scores. Opposing teams are taking away SU’s running game because they don’t believe the passing game can beat them, and that’s proved to be a successful strategy versus Syracuse thus far. Against a Western Michigan team that will likely employ its same strategy from last year, nearly taking down the Orange last season, Babers is wary of the potential for an upset.“They proved last year that they’re capable of scoring points and they can get us into a shootout,” Babers said. “And they’re not afraid of us…we expect a very hungry opponent that can beat us, and we better come ready to go.”Injury notesBabers said that starting cornerback Ifeatu Melifonwu left Saturday’s game with an “owie” and hasn’t had an opportunity to find out the details of it, but hopes Melifonwu will be ready to go versus WMU.Center Sam Heckel, who started SU’s season-opener before getting injured and missing the next two games, will probably be in the same situation (a game-time decision) as he was versus Clemson.Babers was awaiting word later in the day on Monday on the status of defensive lineman McKinley Williams, who has missed all three games this season with a leg injury.center_img Published on September 16, 2019 at 3:54 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34last_img read more

Whicker: The helium hasn’t run out on Will Smith’s high ride

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Dodgers got a compensatory first-round pick because they lost Greinke. That player turned out to be Smith, the 32nd player and third Cardinal in that draft.Who would you rather have now? Greinke has pitched admirably and is now with Houston, but he turns 36 in October.This is why you don’t trade players reflexively before their contracts expire. The Dodgers invested a lot in Greinke and used every drop, just as Cleveland is getting every kilowatt from shortstop Francisco Lindor.Now you hear desk-bound experts say the Indians should trade Lindor because his deal runs out in two years. Repeat, two years. Two years of All-Star play and leadership and maybe two playoff years as well.You heard the same unfathomable logic before the Angels gave Mike Trout his contract for life. When a star gets to the end and signs elsewhere, you also hear people say, “What a shame. They got nothing for him.” It was Dec. 4, 2015, and a short, chilly sunset. As darkness fell, the Arizona Diamondbacks triumphantly signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206 million contract and threw the Dodgers into reverse.Meanwhile, Will Smith was hitting caged baseballs and blocking bad pitches at the University of Louisville facility.He was a great-field, mediocre-hit catcher, heading into his junior draft year, hoping to pick up the slipstream from all the future pros in his clubhouse.It’s amazing how we long-jump to conclusions, and miss the pit.center_img That’s not true. When Mark Teixeira left the Angels, they got a draft pick that became Trout, plus they picked up budget room. Early returns indicate that Smith will be throwing out runners and getting conclusive hits long after Greinke has joined someone’s front office.Smith has 26 RBIs and nine home runs in his first 23 major-league games, both franchise records, and has been an errorless catcher in 19 starts. He was not drafted in high school, even though he had an 0.78 ERA pitching for Kentucky Country Day in Louisville, and hit 11 home runs his senior year. He was an infielder then, and the story is that KCD coach Joe Maione wanted to save Smith from the catching wear-and-tear until college.“I liked throwing guys out,” Smith said. “At Louisville they had a couple of veteran catchers, but I still played 10-15 games my freshman year because they were trying to get me ready. The biggest adjustment was learning to block balls, and we had a catching instructor, and we had a 20 minute period every day where we worked on stuff like that.”Marty Lamb, the Dodgers area scout, did not see Smith in high school but visited Louisville often to see the likes of Corey Ray, Zack Burdi, Brandon McKay and Kyle Funkhouser. He noticed  that a .242-hitting sophomore had become a .382-hitting junior. He saw Smith’s long home run against Wake Forest in the ACC tournament.“It’s the old scouting saying,” Lamb said. “If you see a guy do it once, you know it’s in there. He could always catch. I remember him picking a pitch off the ground and throwing out a guy at second, from his knees. A lot of scouts went in there to see other players, but Will was making himself noticed.”“I just had to break some bad habits,” Smith said. “I had to learn how to time the fastball better, not miss it when I got a chance. I’d had some highs and lows, and the lows were lasting too long. But I still felt like I was a good hitter, with a good feel for the strike zone.”Smith said he heard he might go in the “10th to the 20th round” when the year started, then the fifth to 10th, then second to third, and finally better than that. They call it “draft helium.” Sometimes it’s not to be trusted. Sometimes it finds a new horizon.The parents, Mark and Julie, are on the same high ride. They were at Dodger Stadium when Smith’s homer caused a win over Philadelphia.As Rick Bozich of WDRB.com told it, Julie spent part of her visit in an L.A. laundromat, washing Will’s clothes. The Smiths also recalled Will’s diligence, and the day when he caught 299 consecutive balls off a pitch-back device. But he dropped No. 300. Which meant he went back to No. 1.“He’s just a mature guy,” Lamb said. “He was up briefly in 2018, just so he could see what the major leagues were like, and after a while Justin Turner went up to (manager) Dave Roberts and said, ‘This guy gets it.’’’Another thing about jumpy conclusions: They’re not always wrong.RELATED:Will Smith leads Dodgers’ home run barrage in MiamiHow Dodgers catcher Will Smith emerged as two-way player after offseason workWhy Dodgers rookie Will Smith walked up to the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ theme songlast_img read more