For the first time in it’s 30 year history, the NSWTA State Cup will have an all female event with the appointment of 3 Female Referee’s to officiate the Women’s Open A Grand Final.While the results and score lines have shown that the women’s game has advanced in skill and speed since last years tournament, the selection of an all female team to officiate a Grand Final is proof that the same is happening in the middle and on the sidelines with the female referees.The three are Karen Strachan, Sharon Foster and Sam Clark and with the Two Grand Final teams yet to be confirmed it should be a fantastic event and a first for the NSWTA State Cup.NSWTA Referees Director Ian Matthew explained that “Each of the 3 Referees had made significant progress individually throughout the tournament and their appointment to the Grand Final was a result of this. They have all Refereed Men’s A and Men’s 30’s over the last Two days and their performance in these games and throughout the tournament saw them selected to the Grand Final”. For full details including quarter and semi finals as well as the Grand Final results of the 30th NSWTA State Cup please click on the following link State Cup Website.
Michael Cavanagh scored in the corner with seconds left to give victory to the Kiwis in a thrilling Men’s Open spectacle. With Peter McIntyre’s Men putting ten touchdowns past the opposition in Game One, many observers were anticipating a tight encounter and bright future for the talented side.Spectators were also excited to witness one of the great spectacles in sport, the Haka. As the New Zealand contingent performed a rousing rendition of the Haka, hairs stood up on players and spectators alike as the scene was set for an epic Trans Tasman encounter.With the Australian – New Zealand rivalry taking centre stage, it was former Lebanese international Robert Nakhla on debut for Australia, scoring the opening touchdown in the corner.Ruamai Erueti hit right back for the Kiwis and with the game going end to end similar to Game One, it was not long before Drummayne Dayberg-Muir scored after a great ball from Steve Roberts.Captain Nazea Silberry scored for the Kiwis, saying to the Aussies anything they can do, he can do better.Chris Farrow continued his great form for the series with a touchdown but three quick touchdowns by New Zealand gave them a two touchdown lead. Cain Rangi scored, Tame Greensill did likewise after a wonderful long ball with the Kiwi cut-outs hitting the mark with Michael Cavangh also been found on the overlap.The Australians squared the ledger with Jason Stanton scoring and a rocket from long ball specialist, Joel Willoughby finding Matt Prowse.In a super quick half, it was level as the athletes grabbed a well deserve break.Brendon Stewart started the constant flow of touchdowns in the second half with Drummayne Dayberg-Muir, no stranger to the scoreline got another.Chris Farrow added to his tally but the Kiwis were making the Aussies work hard for every touchdown.Cavanagh scored another matched Chris Farrow and with Stewart scoring on the overlap, it was 8-8 with only minutes left to play.The game looked set to go to drop-off but with seconds to go, Michael Cavanagh scored in the corner to give the Kiwis a thrilling last minute victory.The crowd stood as one to congratulate the players on a thrilling match. The young Kiwi team stepped up to the mark on the games biggest stage much to the delight of their coach who had brought many over the players up through the ranks.It was a well deserved victory and with the series well and truly alive.
APTN National NewsQuestions continue to swirl around Ottawa about Labrador MP Peter Penashue’s spending habits during the last federal election.Opposition parties are accusing Penashue of over spending by $20,000. The Liberals have called for an investigation.NDP MP Charlie Angus joined APTN National News.
TORONTO – CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. is urging its shareholders to reject a hostile takeover bid by competitor Aurora Cannabis Inc., criticizing the value of the proposed deal and its effect on its share price.In a letter to shareholders released Wednesday, the Saskatoon-based medical marijuana producer said its shares are trading above Aurora’s offer of $24 and would likely be higher if it were not for the all-stock hostile bid.CanniMed said Aurora is offering shares that were worth only half as much just two weeks before its hostile bid was announced last fall and that it is inferior to its own proposed acquisition of Tragically Hip-backed Newstrike Resources Ltd. (TSXV:HIP).“The combination of CanniMed and Newstrike creates a major player across the Canadian recreational and global medical markets and will be valued as such,” CanniMed said in the letter to shareholders.“We see a clear path to $37 per CanniMed share — or more.”Aurora formally launched its hostile takeover bid for CanniMed in late November on the condition that CanniMed cancel its own planned acquisition and said its offer will remain on the table until March 9.Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Aurora, said in an emailed statement that he took issue with what he called “misleading” information attributed to him in the shareholder letter that he said was taken out of context.He later said in a telephone interview that CanniMed’s letter “just reeks of desperation.”Stock commentary website Citron Research said Wednesday that Aurora is “the weakest player in the space,” arguing that the company’s hostile bid for CanniMed shows that the company irresponsibly allocates capital. Citron said Aurora “is spending $600 million on the deal when the barriers to entry are deteriorating.”Citron also said Aurora’s stock should retrace 50 per cent, setting its short-term share target at $6.50.Battley said Aurora’s acquisitions have “benefited both our shareholders and their companies,” pointing to its investments in Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV:RTI), Hempco Food and Fiber (TSXV:HEMP) and Cann Group in Australia.“Our strategic investments with our partners have increased in value from $40 million to $180 million, or about a 350% growth since we made those investments,” he said.The acrimonious takeover battle between the two marijuana companies was in the regulatory spotlight last month at a joint hearing involving the Saskatchewan and Ontario securities commissions.The Ontario Securities Commission ruled on Dec. 22 that any securities issued by CanniMed as a defence against a hostile takeover by Aurora will be cease-traded. Aurora, for its part, will be required to amend its takeover bid circular and related press releases to include certain information that could affect CanniMed’s shareholders when they decide to accept or reject an offer.Shares of CanniMed (TSX:CMED) closed 7.25 per cent higher, at $26.13, while Aurora (TSX:ACB) closed up 20.3 per cent, at $14.18 at the end of trading Wednesday.
SAINT JOHN, N.B. – Many Canadian workplaces aren’t nearly ready for the fast-approaching legalization of marijuana, the World Cannabis Congress has been told.Jason Fleming, vice-president of human resources for Ontario marijuana producer MedReleaf, said there’s still a lack of definitive testing, and many employers have not educated staff on new policies.“Employers are having to write policies and have to prepare, but in many cases they are still using really outdated, anecdotal information,” he said Monday in Saint John, N.B.“Step one is to definitely get prepared, get educated and understand the differences between these products, and recreational versus medical products, and I think that absence of information can be difficult for a lot of employers,” he said.Urine and saliva tests can detect THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — but that doesn’t indicate active impairment, and it can take between 24 and 48 hours for THC to clear the system.A worker can test positive if they’ve been exposed to second-hand smoke in a poorly ventilated room, according to a recent study at the University of Calgary.There are currently no federal labour rules about drug and alcohol testing outside the military, and successive governments from the late 1980s have stayed away from the issue.The Canadian Union of Public Employees cautions employers from using legalization as an excuse to pursue a more aggressive policy around random drug testing, which is rarely permitted and requires a high legal bar to protect workers’ human rights.Fleming said companies that routinely throw liquor-fuelled holiday parties now have to grapple with recreational cannabis use.“The question is, will an employer allow for that? That is where we will definitely be dealing with holiday season 2018. Employers are going to have to make a call one way or another. That is going to be pretty polarizing,” he said.Patrick Oland, CFO of Moosehead Breweries, said at the congress that the key issue is safety. He said his company has a number of positions that require staff to sample beer on the job — but zero tolerance for anyone operating vehicles.“Cannabis is a whole new area and ultimately comes down to policy that can evaluate for impairment and discipline for it,” said Oland — adding the simpler that testing can be, the better.Fleming said writing a policy is half the battle. The other half is making sure it is properly administered.“So just having something written the week before there’s recreational cannabis for sale in Canada, to me is not sufficient,” he said.“I think you’re going to want to have had at least a month or more of time to properly communicate, to train, to sign off, and I think we’re underestimating that right now.”The World Cannabis Congress wraps up Tuesday.
FRANKFURT — Germany’s economic growth eased to 1.5 per cent last year amid signs of a slowdown in Europe and the wider global economy.The growth figure announced Thursday by the government statistics agency was down from 2.2 per cent in 2017.German output fell in the third quarter by 0.2 per cent, but the dip was attributed to temporary factors such as bottlenecks registering cars under new emissions testing rules.Worsening economic data had raised fears that Germany may have turned in a subpar performance in the fourth quarter, for which figures will be reported Feb. 14. The statistics agency said there were “signs of a slight recovery” in the fourth quarter compared with the third.It was still the ninth straight year of annual economic growth in Germany.The Associated Press
K-9 residents joining the celebration at Centennial Park. Photo by John Luke Kieper.North Peace Pride Society Treasurer Don McMillan explained that he expected lots of residents to come to the event, but he never thought there would be that many.“I think we’ve done really well, were quite excited about it, and we hope to build from here.” McMillan said. “As for the City itself, I thinks its just an important component in the community we live in. It shows support for inclusion and diversity in Fort St. John.”A crowded Centennial Park after the Pride March. Photo by John Luke Kieper.Councillor Trevor Bolin was on hand representing the City of Fort St. John. Bolin spoke to the crowd about how important the march was to the city.Councillor Trevor Bolin motivating the audience. Photo by John Luke Kieper.“Its a very, very strong message from the city of Fort St. John that we are accepting, we are open to all different ideas of life, cultures, religions and beliefs.” said Bolin. “It doesn’t matter what you believe in, or where your from. Fort St. John is open, Fort St. John is welcome, and it’s a great place to have a family.”“This screams the fact that Fort St. John is not what it was 40 years ago, this is the new Fort St. John. Its the new way of the community celebrating people.”McMillan said the North Peace Pride Society doesn’t have any scheduled events coming up in Fort St. John, but that members may head to Dawson Creek in October to help the Mile ‘0’ City’s Pride Society with their Halloween Dance. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Pride Society held its third annual Pride Walk on Saturday afternoon.Residents marching the streets. Photo by John Luke Kieper.Urban Systems in Fort St. John said it counted 300 residents taking part in the event near their office on 100th St., while many more joined the celebration at Centennial Park afterwards. Saturday’s walk was the largest the Pride Society has hosted thus far, with residents from all walks of life joining the cause.
If there is any time to have complete focus on the mission that has been set for the No. 5 Ohio State (22-4, 14-1) women’s basketball team, it’s now, and the players are well aware.With the postseason in the near future, the Buckeyes continue to possess the “one game at a time” mentality that many teams live by, and they had Nebraska (17-9, 8-7) down to a science right from the jump, routing the Cornhuskers 96-70.Both the Buckeyes and the Huskers immediately sprung out to a fast-paced start, with Nebraska scoring within the first 15 seconds and OSU answering right after.Although the Scarlet and Gray controlled the pace of the game and showcased an abundance of energy, senior Ameryst Alston said they still believe they can do better in that realm.“In the first half, our intensity wasn’t quite there,” the guard said after the game. “We weren’t really in the right spots, but in the second half we made adjustments.”Nebraska’s first-half scoring attack was led by its freshman forward Jessica Shepard, who was nothing but smooth on the block, showing that she is one of the top post players in the Big Ten. She scored 12 points prior to the break.Shepard’s 6-foot-4 frame and ability to convert a close-range hook shot with both hands made it difficult for her to be stopped. The Buckeyes’ forwards were able to limit Shepard to 20 points by the end of the match thanks to the tempo that they initiated, forcing Shepard to limit her playing time due to fast-break style that the Buckeyes followed.When the Huskers were able to get the ball into Shepard, they had a lot more productivity within their offensive possessions. Having the basketball IQ of a veteran point guard, Shepard knew when it was appropriate to look for her own shot or to find an open teammate.“Jessica Shepard is so good, that if you are going to let them walk the ball down and pound it in to her, it’s going to be a long night for us,” OSU coach Kevin McGuff said.But as a result of OSU’s scheming to limit Shepard, the night ended up not being all that long.The Buckeyes followed the path of their most recent 2,000-point scorer, Alston, who went a perfect 3-of-3 in the first quarter, later ending the half with 12 points. Alston continued to orchestrate the OSU offense, finishing the game with 16 points and three assists.It was Hart’s 14th consecutive game in double-figure scoring. A Dec. 31 game against Michigan State was the last time she scored in single digits. Sophomore forward Alexa Hart remained an efficient shooter for McGuff’s team, going 8-of-10 from the field and maintaining her No. 3 rank in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (64.6 percent). Hart completed the evening with 18 points and nine rebounds.In the last 20 minutes of play, it was difficult for the Huskers to come back and make a run on the Buckeyes.The tenacious defense from OSU’s guards forced several Nebraska mistakes and made it difficult for any of the Husker ball-handlers to get the rock in Shepard’s hands.OSU sophomore guards Asia Doss and Kelsey Mitchell were the triggers to the Buckeye defensive energy, tipping and stealing a multitude of balls and creating havoc for Nebraska. Doss would finish the game with four steals, while her and Mitchell combined for a flurry of deflections, a statistic that goes unrecognized by the stat book.On the offensive end, Doss and Mitchell finished with 16 and 13 points, respectively.Besides limiting Nebraska’s Shepard to an average scoring night, the Buckeyes were able to shut down sophomore guard Natalie Romeo, who is No. 2 in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made with 86 on the season. Romeo went 1-of-6 from behind the arc, having to rush each one of her shots due to the limited space she received from the several Buckeyes who had the opportunity to guard her.“(Limiting Romeo) was one of the goals,” Alston said. “She does a lot for her team hitting her threes.”With only three games left in the regular season, OSU will continue to have the same mentality: one game at a time.On deck, the Buckeyes will host Illinois (9-17, 2-13) at the Schottenstein Center on Sunday. The program will recognize seniors Alston and Cait Craft in the final regular-season home game of the year.The match between OSU and the Fighting Illini is set to tip off at 2 p.m. OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) is honored before a game against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor
Ohio State redshirt senior first baseman Zach Ratcliff at bat during the Scarlet and Gray World Series in October 2016. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsMidweek games are typically where Power Five teams thrive against smaller mid-major teams. But OSU has struggled to get anything going offensively across these past two midweek games, falling to Eastern Michigan 3-1 Wednesday, a day after losing to Cincinnati.A visibly frustrating loss for the Buckeyes, the team spent nearly 30 minutes in left field after the loss in the huddle with coach Greg Beals going over the game. “We’ve got to do better offensively. That’s where I’m willing to share with you,” Beals said when asked about what he discussed in the meeting.The first batter of the game reached first base on an error, setting the tone for a long inning for OSU redshirt junior Austin Woodby. The Buckeyes’ starting pitcher was able to strike out the next batter, but a double gave the Eagles a pair of runners in scoring position with only one away.Senior right fielder John Montgomery grounded a single through the right side of the infield, scoring both runners on base and capitalizing on the Buckeyes’ early mistake.OSU eventually found the scoreboard, however, in the bottom of the fourth inning. With runners on first and second and two out, junior designated hitter Conner Pohl lined a base hit over the right side of the infield, scoring the runner from second and giving OSU their first run of the evening.In the final inning, the Eagles tacked on a run off a solo home run from sophomore first baseman John Rensel Jr, bringing the score to 3-1.The team was coming off a pair of wins on Sunday against Big Ten rival Penn State, one win of the ninth-inning-comeback variety and another a blowout. Beals said he hoped his team would be able to carry that momentum through this week into their next conference matchup, but that a deflating loss like this can siphon off any energy they harvested over the weekend.“We had a comeback win and then we had an all-Buckeye win and it was a good day on Sunday,” Beals said. “I was hoping to be able to carry that momentum as opposed to build momentum, just maintain that momentum and help that confidence, that good feeling that we had on Sunday, keep that good feeling going.”The problem with the team right now is hitting, Beals said, coming off only two runs scored spread across two midweek games. And for his team to start clicking again, they will need to continue to mix some things up until they find a winning combination.“We’ve got to keep mixing up what we’re doing to find the right thing and it’s not necessarily as much from a personnel standpoint as much as it is what’s going to spark this team and sometimes there’s personnel decisions to help spark the team and other things that we do from a preparation standpoint to help spark the team,” Beals said.The Buckeyes will try and find a win against the second Michigan-based team they play this week when they travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to face Michigan State over the weekend. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins attempts a pass against Michigan on Nov. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins broke the Big Ten single-season passing touchdowns record Saturday against Michigan.Haskins threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill, his fourth of the game and 40th this season, to break former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees’ record set in 1998. Haskins and former Ohio State quarterbacks J.T. Barrett, Troy Smith and Bobby Hoying hold five of the Top 10 spots in conference history for most touchdown passes thrown in a single season.Haskins also broke former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter’s single-season passing yards record against the Wolverines on a 10-yard pass to redshirt sophomore tight end Luke Farrell, needing 300 yards going into the game to break the record.This season, Haskins already has broken the single season Ohio State record for most touchdowns (36) and passing yards (3,330) in a single season.The redshirt sophomore quarterback also broke the record for most completions (49), most pass attempts (73) and most passing yards (470) in a single game in Ohio State’s 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20. Haskins also threw six touchdowns on Oct. 6 against Indiana, tying Barrett and Kenny Guiton for the most by an Ohio State quarterback in a single game.Haskins also entered the game 300 yards away from breaking the Big Ten record for most passing yards in a single season, a record former Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter set in 2006.