first_imgThe Convention will be taking place May 5-7th at Tropicana Evansville.  Libertarians from across the state as well as country will be in attendance to elect new officers, participate in campaign related workshops, and plan for the 2018 election cycle.  The business meeting in which officers will be elected is free and open to the public.  The workshops and speaking events are open to the public as well, but will require tickets that may be purchased online.  Additional information including ticket prices and a full schedule can be found at Libertarian Party is America’s third largest  and fastest growing political party.  The Party was founded in 1971 on a belief of liberty, enterprise, and personal responsibility.  The Party’s platform consists of a dedication to civil liberties, personal freedom, a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade. For additional information about the Libertarian Party visit LinkEmailShare Nebraska Senator Laura Ebke will give a keynote address with a message of  “All in for Liberty” at the convention banquet during the Indiana Libertarian Party State Convention on Saturday, May 6th at Tropicana Evansville.Sen. Ebke is the current head of the Nebraska Judicial Committee.  The Committee is responsible for hearing bills that deal with criminal and civil procedures, corrections issues, issues that touch on assorted civil liberties and constitutional rights.  Elected to the Nebraskan legislature in 2014 as a Republican, Sen. Ebke officially changed her party registration in 2016 to Libertarian after becoming disillusioned with the Republican Party.  Sen. Ebke felt  that most people wanted to be left alone to pursue their own interests, and that the Libertarian ideal moved in that direction.  In an open letter to her donors announcing the switch she stated “My view of conservatism has always been [based] on smaller government, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility, respect for constitutional rights.” During her time in office she has introduced and co-sponsored bills to legalize medical marijuana, partially repeal asset forfeiture, prohibit local governments from having more stringent requirements for gun possession than the state has.last_img read more

How Gabriela Knutson worked to become a top singles player

first_imgOn Oct. 3, 2017, SU’s Gabriela Knutson split the first eight games with Texas Tech’s then-No. 8 Gabriela Talaba. But in the deciding points of both sets, Knutson dropped serve and missed an opportunity to lead. Knutson had flown across the country to Palm Desert, California, only to lose in the first round of a national tournament.On her flight back to Syracuse, Knutson thought deeply about the loss. She had always recognized fatigue sometimes set her back – those close to her had told her as much in the past. But this time, Knutson had let herself down. And she knew how to improve.So on that flight home, she set out to find out the missing link to her game: fitness.Starting in the fall, the Czech Republic native intensified her training regime. She shed pounds to be quicker, Knutson said, and the results soon followed. The junior has posted a 17-3 record this season and has peaked at No. 4 in the national rankings. Of her three loses, two of them came to opponents currently ranked above her.“I just wanted to compete in bigger situations for longer,” Knutson said, “and in the process I grew up and took on a new mindset.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn high pressure moments, Knutson can sometimes get in her own head, she said. Her mother, Ilona, said her daughter has “choked matches away” since she was little. Despite immense potential at a young age, Knutson didn’t always have the right mindset going into close tennis matches, Ilona said. Knutson had all of the physical tools to be a top junior player in her country, Ilona said, but she would frustrate herself and ended up “blowing matches” occasionally.When she was 16, Knutson and her family drove 14 hours so she could compete against some of the best talent in Europe. Her family arrived in Switzerland the evening before the tournament. Upon arrival, Knutson trained for two hours in preparation. After it got dark, they slept in their four-door Volkswagen Passat instead of a hotel to save expenses. With only a few hours of rest, Knutson had a 9 a.m. match against a tennis prodigy from Australia.She stepped onto the court confidently and led early before falling apart. The match went into a third set tiebreak. In the deciding points, Knutson faltered and dropped the match. 28 hours of driving round trip led to a few hours of tennis and a first round singles defeat.Knutson shrugged it off. Her mother showed the frustration her daughter wouldn’t. Ilona told Knutson to make up an injury and forfeit her doubles match that was scheduled for later that afternoon. They immediately left the country and Ilona ripped into her daughter.“I was saying things that maybe I shouldn’t have said looking back,” Ilona said, “and Gabby kept saying she was sorry that she lost. We were both quite upset.”Knutson called the drive home “one of the worst feelings” she’s ever felt. During the ride, she thought about the time, money and effort she threw away.“Thinking back, I’m so ashamed,” Knutson said, “I didn’t work hard enough and I should have won. I still think about it a lot. ”Once at SU, the people surrounding Knutson still sought more from her. SU assistant athletics director for athletic performance, Will Hicks, remembered Knutson being the one of the first tennis players to introduce herself to him. She wanted perfection, Hicks said, but she wasn’t fully committed.The two didn’t spend much time together in Knutson’s first two seasons, until she developed soreness in her knees. The injury limited her movement on the court, so she turned to Hicks, the former strength and conditioning coach of SU football. Knutson has an “inside linebacker mentality,” Hicks said, because she brings a lot of power, energy and aggression to the court. She just didn’t always love the process.Kai Nguyen | Photo EditorKnutson recalled being a “middle of the pack” tennis player on SU in terms of conditioning last spring. During one team run, Knutson struggled to keep up with other players. After the outing, Hicks pulled the then-sophomore aside.“You need to be the number one,” Hicks said to Knutson, “If somebody random came in Manley (Field House) and watched you train, they should be like ‘Her, she’s the number one player on this team.’”During that same season, Knutson regressed from 17 singles wins as a freshman to 11. She started to question her game. In the summer, Knutson met up with her mother in California and began a period of time she called the “intense athletic mode” part of her life.Instead of playing three straight hours on courts, Knutson diversified her workouts. Between June and December 2017, she emphasized running, biking, and schoolwork with limited tennis action. Every time Knutson ran, she thought about her interaction with Hicks and how she wanted to lead her team.Still, the work hadn’t been enough. Her trip in October to the ITA National Fall Championships led to another first round exit. The loss motivated Knutson to rely on Hicks more. Instead of Hicks coming to Knutson, the latter initiated more frequent workouts. It led to more sprints and an improved overall fitness for Knutson.When she returned to playing tennis in January, something had changed.“I was getting to balls I would never get before,” Knutson said, “The first two weeks, it took me time to adjust. I was like ‘Why am I so quick on the court?’”Knutson opened this season with five consecutive wins, which led her to a No. 19 national ranking at the time. Against Brown on Feb. 24, Knutson hit a wall. Facing an unranked opponent, the junior dropped the first set, 2-6, and was down a break in the second. Down 4-5, Knutson faced match point twice.She won two deciding points and forced a second set tiebreaker. Despite being in a hole early, the SU junior won the tiebreak and forced a third set. While her opponent breathed heavily, Knutson remained calm and barely broke a sweat, she said. In past matches, the third set was always the hardest for her. This time, it was her best and led to the comeback victory.“A younger version of (Knutson) probably would have lost that match,” SU head coach Younes Limam said, “(That match) was when I saw that she did a lot of growing.”In just under seven months, Knutson has revamped her entire career. She’s now ranked 17 spots higher than Texas Tech’s Talaba. And her goals are starting to match the effort she exerts.“One part of me still fully doesn’t believe I’m top-five in the nation,” Knutson said, “and another part of me wonders why I’m not the (best).”Going into ACC and NCAA Championships, Knutson said she hasn’t hit her ceiling yet.  She wants more. And now, she knows how to get there. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm Contact KJ: [email protected] | @KJEdelmanlast_img read more

Duke star Zion Williamson on ending college career after injury: ‘Thanks, but no thanks’

first_img Zion Williamson injury update: Duke star to play Thursday against Syracuse “I love playing basketball. I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to work the hardest.”Williamson originally injured his knee less than 40 seconds into Duke’s first matchup against North Carolina on Feb. 20. The Blue Devils have gone 3-3 in his absence, including a pair of losses to the Tar Heels. March Madness 2019: 3 takeaways from Indiana’s bubble-bursting loss to Ohio State Williamson has been one of the best players in college basketball this season and is projected by many to be selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft. He’s averaging 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 68.3 percent from the field in 2018-19.“Playing for (Duke) has made me a better player because I’m just surrounded by great players,” Williamson said. “I’m enjoying my college experience and I’m just trying to go for that national championship. That’s the end goal in college. You’ll never be forgotten if you win a national championship.”center_img Zion Williamson always planned to play for Duke again.The freshman star, who has been dealing with a sprained knee, is set to make his return to the court Thursday when the Blue Devils face Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. Many suggested Williamson should end his collegiate career and focus on preparing for the NBA after he suffered the injury. But the future top draft choice said that was never an option.“For the people that think I should stop playing in college and just focus on the NBA: Thanks, but no thanks,” Williamson said during an interview with “I’m not really worried about that. I’m just trying to be Zion and play the game I love.” Related Newslast_img read more

Firefighter’s widow denied funds

first_imgToday, Groff’s widow, Christine Wells-Groff of Santa Rosa, is expected to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court in her quest to receive the death benefits her husband had assumed would be provided. So far, one federal court judge ruled that she was entitled to the federal Public Safety Officer Benefits that survivors of government employees receive. But an appellate judge later overturned that decision. At issue is whether thousands of contract employees who undertake dangerous duty on behalf of California taxpayers should be entitled to the same benefits as government employees. “Everyone else has given up after their first denial, but I feel very strongly about this as an issue,” said Wells-Groff. “I’ve already spent more than anything I would receive back. I’ve mortgaged my house to pay for attorneys in this six-year, six-figure battle. This is for the others now.” Groff was flying a state-operated air tanker that day and even wearing a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection uniform. Nonetheless, he was a contract employee, and legal experts say there’s only a slim chance the high court will even review the case, much less reverse the appellate court. The benefits program, started by Congress in 1976 to help recruit and retain public-safety workers, includes a lump-sum payoff to survivors of federal, state or local government employees killed in the line of duty, as well as ongoing benefits in some cases. Wells-Groff’s suit has been filed against the federal government since it administers the program and, in this case, denied the claim for benefits. U.S. Justice Department attorneys have sought to clearly label survivor benefits as being only for direct government employees, citing multimillion-dollar costs of making any broader definition. Why, they argue, should taxpayers finance benefits for employees working under contract to the government? But Michael Brook, Wells-Groff’s Santa Rosa attorney, argues otherwise. “When Congress enacted this, it was seen to help with morale and recruitment and was a small token of public appreciation for the risks these people face,” he said. “Contract employees face the same dangers as they protect the public.” But if they die, they are covered only by the contract companies’ life-insurance programs, which pay far less. Wells-Groff, 49, got a life insurance award of $50,000 through her husband’s employer, San Joaquin Helicopters, but no ongoing benefits. Public-safety officers’ benefits would have entitled her to a lump sum of about $250,000, plus ongoing benefits. Contractors’ death benefits are limited, government and union officials contend, because the firms are trying to squeeze as much profit as possible out of government pacts. Contractors who were contacted about the matter declined to comment. Associated Airtanker Pilots, a group that represents the tanker pilots, says that since 1958 more than 160 aerial firefighters have been killed while on duty. After Groff’s death, the state Legislature approved providing death benefits comparable to those received by government-paid firefighters and public safety workers for pilots working under contract with the CDF. But that law came too late to help Groff’s family. And despite the pleas, congressional proposals to extend government-worker survivor benefits to contract pilots have been opposed by the U.S. Forest Service. The thin line between being a government employee and a contract employee doing government work seemed to be especially important to a federal claims court judge, Lynn Bush, who handed Wells-Groff her initial victory back in July 2006. “Groff was officially recognized as being functionally within the California Department of Forestry,” the judge wrote, and was “serving a public agency in an official capacity.” She also noted that “survivors of some nongovernmental employees were awarded (government death) benefits during the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.” But in July of this year, a federal appellate court overturned her decision, saying Congress essentially remained silent on whether contract employees would be included in survivor benefits. The Justice Department has interpreted that to mean they are not. Now it may be the Supreme Court’s turn to weigh in – and possibly Wells-Groff’s last chance. “There are so many kids out there fighting fire on contract for the U.S. Forest Service,” she said. “My court case is really for them, as well as the pilots. It’s pretty damn sad, what our government does to its own people – hiring contractors to hire kids so they don’t have to pay benefits.” [email protected] (916) 447-9302 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Larry Groff roared out of Ukiah in state Air Tanker 87 on Aug. 27, 2001, doing what he loved – flying and fighting wildfires. Like thousands of contract firefighters hired by the government, Groff figured that if anything ever happened to him, his private employers or the government would take care of his wife and six children. That day, Groff was killed in a midair collision while maneuvering above a North Coast wildfire ignited by a a meth-lab explosion. The two who started the fire were convicted of murder and sent to prison, but a courthouse battle continues. last_img read more