It was the Chester player’s third ranking title, all in China after winning the 2008 Shanghai Masters and 2012 Wuxi Classic. It capped a fine week for Walden, who hammered Robert Milkins 9-2 in his semi-final after previous wins over Lyu Chenwei, David Morris, Zhou Yuelong and giant-killers Joe Swail and Jamie Burnett, who had beaten Neil Robertson and Judd Trump respectively. Press Association Breaks of 59 and 64 helped him into a 3-1 lead at the interval in the first session but Allen levelled after a 113 break in frame six. The next four were shared, Allen with a 52 in frame nine, and though Walden moved two clear with the help of an 85 break in frame 12 Allen responded with 68 and 74 to leave the match poised at 7-7. The Englishman found another gear, though, with an 85 in frame 15 followed by a 103 to move within one frame of victory. And he clinched the frame in two visits, a 54 putting him on top before a 62 saw him capture the £125,000 first prize. Runner-up Allen collected £65,000 towards his world ranking. Walden said: “I couldn’t be happier. It was a tough first session today, and then I got better in the second session. “It’s a dream come true to win this event. All three of my titles have come in China and I love playing here.” He told worldsnooker.com: “I’ve not thought about the money. It was just so important for me to get my hands on the trophy. The money is just a bonus. My wife will find a good place for it.” For Allen, who overcame Mark Williams 9-8 in a thrilling semi-final, it was a third defeat in four ranking finals this season. He won the Paul Hunter Classic in Furth but was beaten at the Riga Open and Shanghai Masters. He said: “I didn’t come here to finish second. I’ll probably look back in a few months’ time and think I’ve had a great start to the season but I’ve lost three out of four finals and that’s not good enough. It’s something I have to work on. “I need to go back to the practice table and keep working. I’m obviously doing the right things as I have got to four finals. I just need to turn them into victories.” Ricky Walden continued his love affair with China as he won the International Championship in Chengdu, beating Mark Allen 10-7 in the final.
The city of Boca Raton has issued a stay-at-home emergency order effective Saturday.According city officials, the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order applies to everyone living within the city limits and takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.The city is asking residents to remain in their homes or on their own property, and to leave their residences only for “essential activities.”Click here to read the full order.
TAKING A BOW—Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress (80) bows after making a touchdown catch as Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (23) walks away on Dec. 30, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright) by Ulish Carter Courier Staff WriterWay back in 2003 the Steelers finished with a 6-10 record causing many fans to demand that Bill Cowher be run out of town and for the total overhauling of the team. According to the critics, the defense was too old and the offense was ineffective. But the Steelers, unlike chronic losers like Cleveland, Kansas City, Cincinnati and others didn’t panic, but chose to simply make a few changes which led to the best season in their history in 2004 with a 15-1 record, followed by a 12-4 season in 2005 culminating with a Super Bowl title. So what will the Steelers do after an 8-8 season which is the worst in Mike Tomlin’s six year career as head coach? The criticism this year is that the defense is too old, and the offense is too inconsistent. So what can be done to correct the problems?First of all the defense is just fine. With Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, Ike Taylor and LaMarr Woodley missing a large portion of the season, they still finished as the number one defense in the NFL. There has been talk about not bringing Harrison, Casey Hampton, Barry Foote and Keenan Lewis back. Hampton and Foote because of age; Harrison because of his big contract, and Lewis because after an outstanding season, he may be offered big bucks from other teams because his contract is up. Harrison has to be brought back because there’s no one on the Steelers or in the league who can replace him. He’s still one of the five best in the NFL, and without him teams can keep on stopping Woodley. But with the two healthy and Lawrence Timmons playing the best ball of his career, the Steelers would continue to have the best set of linebackers in the game. Foote can be replaced by one of the young reserves, but why mess with a good thing.If Hampton is not brought back it will be because the team feels that young second year player Steve McLendon is ready to start. He has looked very impressive with limited playing time. Even with Hampton back they will share the nose tackle slot. Brett Keisel is old, but is playing as well as any defensive end in the game and Ziggy Hood is getting better each year.Even though Curtez Allen was impressive filling in for the injured Taylor, he’s still not as good as either Taylor or Lewis. Lewis, in his third season, is a Pro-Bowl caliber player who is desperately needed if the Steelers hope to be a Super Bowl contender. With him returning to the team with Taylor, Polamalu, and Ryan Clark, who also has developed into one of the 5 best safeties in the game, the Steelers defense would be second to none. Who cares about age? The teams battling for the top draft picks are generally the youngest teams in the league and perennial losers. Veterans win, because it takes time for teams to jell together.On the offensive side of the ball there has to be changes but not massive changes. They must come up with a way to score more points because they cannot beat Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or all these young guns at quarterback scoring 20 or less a game. Look for Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall to be gone, because Wallace is asking for superstar money when he’s a one dimensional player who has a long way to go before even being mentioned in the same breath with the top receivers in the league. Mendenhall has been injury prone, and has a big contract. Both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman have proven they can be effective, and Chris Rainey will also see more action next season. The Steelers problem is keeping a healthy offensive line and improving the deteriorating production from Ben Roethlisberger. It’s time he stop living off the past. What has he done in the past two years to put him among the elite quarterbacks in the league, especially with all these youngsters hitting the league? He has had a great career, but that don’t win games today. With rookies David DeCastro, Mike Adams and Kevin Beachum all getting critical playing time on the line this year because of injuries they will be much improved next year, and if Willie Colon can stay healthy he showed he can be one of the better run blocking guards in the league. He and Max Starks make a solid combo on the blind side and shouldn’t be tampered with. With Wallace gone, Antonio Brown and Heath Miller should have Pro-Bowl seasons, with Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress giving them one of the best groups of receivers in the league. Signing Burress is a key to the return of Roethlisberger to past years effectiveness because he gives him a big target, and maturity on the field. Hines Ward was missed dearly last season mostly because of his leadership. They also need to pick up a quarterback in the draft and sign a veteran quarterback to back up Ben. Even though Charlie Batch has performed well when given a chance, it’s clear the coaching staff doesn’t have the confidence in him, and Byron Leftwitch is injury prone. They need a veteran who can come in and win if Ben gets hurt, and a youngster who can be groomed to take over for Ben in the near future, instead of waiting until he becomes totally ineffective with age. No the Steelers don’t need a major overhaul, they just need a few tweaks here and there, starting at the quarterback position. In a league that has moved from the running game and hard nose defense to the high scoring passing game with guys like Manning, Brady, Aaron Rogers, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton, and Andrew Luck, to make it to the Super Bowl, which Pittsburghers expect, 20 or less points a game is not going to do it. And the buck stops at the quarterback whether we want to admit or not. After a humbling season, look for Ben and coach Mike Tomlin to get serious about improving the offense, which is still young. If the offensive production is improved look for the Steelers to once again be in the Super Bowl hunt next season. If it isn’t, look for changes at quarterback and the head coaching slot in the very near future.
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0The public is invited to view the final round of the jury process for public art for Fire Station 4 on Tuesday, January 24, at 6pm at the Main Fire Station Training Room, 100 Eastside St NE. In addition, the public is invited to provide comment to the jury for their deliberation after conclusion of the presentations that evening. The purpose of this jury, comprised of five members of the Olympia Arts Commission, is to make a final recommendation among the three proposals. Proposals will be made by public artists Judith & Daniel Caldwell, Peter Reiquam and Haiying Wu. The recommendation from this jury will go to the Olympia City Council on February 14 for final approval. Following Council approval, the selected art proposal will be fabricated and installed. For more information, please contact Stephanie Johnson, Arts & Events Manager, at 709-2678.
By Jenna O’DonnellLITTLE SILVER – Plans to turn the borough’s dated Acme-anchored shopping center into a more modern and pedestrian-friendly downtown hub will soon be under way with a major makeover this summer.The busy plaza sees a steady stream of cars on a regular business day, but its meandering parking lot, subdued lighting and limited sidewalks aren’t currently optimal for pedestrians or cyclists looking to move between its shops. The parking lot is a key item that Ben Lucarelli hopes to change. Lucarelli is Fair Haven’s mayor, as well as a principle in Markham Prospect Associates, LLC, the company that owns the complex. He said the current look and layout had been largely unchanged since the shopping center was built in the late 1950s, and it shows.“We want to make the property more open and inviting for people to stay and congregate,” Lucarelli said. “We are really looking forward to turning this into a focal point for the community.”Plans for shopping center at 507 Prospect Ave. include updates to the façade of the buildings, a major reconfiguring of the parking lot, and landscaping work. The application seeks a number of variances to allow for a larger LED-illuminated sign to replace the current freestanding sign, and changes to the parking lot layout, as well as increasing the number of parking spaces from 169 to 195. The renovation plans incorporate both sides of Prospect Avenue with design elements intended to tie the two separate shopping areas together.Little Silver Acme’s outdated look and confusing parking lot will soon be a thing of the past. Photo courtesy of Jenna O’Donnell“What we’re shooting for has a Jersey Shore feel.” Lucarelli said. “We’ll soften up some of the hard spots and make more soft spaces.”Small business owners at the plaza said they were looking forward to the update.“I’m excited about the new look,” said John Sommers, owner of Olivia’s Trattoria & Artisan Pizza. He hoped that more pedestrians and cyclists at the shopping center would mean more hungry people stopping in for a slice or a sandwich. “I think it’s going to be good for my business,” he added.A few doors down, Craig Smith, who owns Pet’s General Store with his wife Kathleen, said he was happy with Lucarelli’s plans.“It definitely needs an update,” Smith said. “So we’re looking forward to it. It’ll be very nice when it’s done.”Little Silver Mayor Robert Neff said planners were supportive of the improvements being made in such a visible part of town.“We are really happy with the owners,” Neff said.Lucarelli presented plans to the Little Silver Planning Board in April and will seek final approval at the May 18 meeting. Once approved, Lucarelli said work should start within the next four weeks and be finished in time for Labor Day.“Hopefully on a nice, hot summer night kids will ride their bikes into town, get an ice cream or some dinner and then ride back home,” Lucarelli said. “The idea is to create a clean, inviting and well-lit place for people to congregate.”Correction: This story was updated on May 16. Under the proposal, the number of proposed parking spaces will increase, not decrease. Presently there are 169, and the applicant would like to create 195.
Beaver Valley opened the scoring in the first period when Bradley Ross beat Quinn Yeager in the Nelson nets 14 minutes into the frame.The visitors doubled the lead in the second when Aidan Browell scored less than two minutes into the period.Beaver Valley maintained its lead until Logan Wullum gave Nelson some life with a shorthanded tally early in the third period.Nelson pressed for the equalizer, out shooting Beaver Valley 8-6 in the period but was unable to score on 6’3” netminder Owen Sikkes in the Hawks net.Beaver Valley out shot Nelson 24-20 in the contest.Both teams return to the ice Saturday.Beaver Valley hosts Golden Rockets while Spokane Braves pay a visit to the NDCC Arena to face the Leafs.In other Murdoch action, Fernie travels to Castlegar and Kimberley is in Grand Forks to face the Bruins. It appears there’s not a lot to choose from between the Nelson Leafs and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks.The two Murdoch rivals played another tight contest Friday night in the Heritage City, this time Beaver Valley coming out on top with a 2-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory at the NDCC Arena.The two clubs opened the season with the Leafs escaping with a 1-0 win — both games were played in Nelson.The victory moves the Hawks to within two points of the Murdoch Division-leading Leafs, which saw an end to a four-game winning streak.Nelson, dropping its second game of the season, is currently tied for top spot with the Grand Fork Border Bruins.The Bruins scored three times in the third period to outlast Golden 7-4.