Houston Rockets sold for $2.2 billion

first_imgHotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies MOST READ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu BCDA: P13-B deal with Malaysia firm for New Clark City project aboveboard PLAY LIST 03:51BCDA: P13-B deal with Malaysia firm for New Clark City project aboveboard00:50Trending Articles03:12Elephants in Thailand ‘broken’ for lucrative animal tourism01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets,” Fertitta said in a release from the team.“This is a life-long dream come true. Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Alexander, 73, bought the franchise for just $85 million in 1993.Forbes had valued the franchise in February at $1.65 billion, making it the eighth most-valuable in the league, with revenues of $244 million. Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees “It’s been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years,” Alexander said in a statement.“I’ve had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans.”Fertitta, the head of Landry’s Inc, a company which includes restaurants, casinos and hotels in its portfolio, has dabbled in sports ownership before.He was forced to sell a stake in the Houston Texans NFL team when he completed a purchase of the Golden Nugget casinos in Las Vegas.Alexander, whose reign included NBA title triumphs in 1994 and 1995, said he planned to remain active in Houston.ADVERTISEMENT Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles View comments Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson LATEST STORIES Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Meralco seeks QF slot vs TNT This file photo taken on April 1, 2016, shows Tilman Fertitta attending the 2016 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day in California. Fertitta has bought the Houston Rockets in a record-breaking $2.2 billion deal, the highest amount ever paid for an NBA franchise, a statement said on September 5, 2017.  AFPHOUSTON, United States — The Houston Rockets have been bought by US restaurant tycoon Tilman Fertitta in a record-breaking $2.2 billion deal, the highest amount ever paid for an NBA franchise, a statement said Tuesday.Fertitta, a Houston-based billionaire, was one of several potential buyers circling the Rockets, who had been put up for sale by owner Leslie Alexander.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “The Houston community has been home to me,” Alexander said. “I will continue to support the charities I have made commitments to throughout the years. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the fans, partners, city officials and employees who care so deeply for this team.“I’ve made this decision after much deliberation with my family and friends, and do so knowing the franchise is in great shape with the players, coaches and management team in place,” added Alexander, who last week donated $4 million towards the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. CBBSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Shot teen waitress still to undergo surgery

first_imgAlmost one week after she was shot in the chin, 16-year-old waitress Onika Luke is still awaiting surgery at theOnika LukeWoodlands Hospital to have the bullet lodged in her throat removed, relatives have said.Luke, a student of St John’s College who works part-time as a waitress at the Lucky Star Chinese Restaurant, Better Hope, East Coast Demerara, was shot by a lone gunman while at work on Friday.According to the teenager’s brother, Rickford Ranjee, doctors have delayed the surgery until the young woman’s condition improves.Ranjee told Guyana Times that his sister was still a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital.He, however, complained that doctors have not been adequately updating his family about Luke’s condition apart from indicating that she would be cleared for surgery after the blood clotting had reduced.He said the delayed surgery was putting a significant financial burden on the family.“From Friday night to yesterday (Tuesday), we had to pay over $1 million for Onika’s treatment because we are still waiting for the surgery,” he disclosed.Luke is still unable to speak and the family has observed that she is having difficulties in moving around. Ranjee related when doctors were questioned about what might be the cause of her difficulties, no answers were provided.“She can’t talk or anything and they had to bore a hole in her throat and use a tube so that she can breathe. We think her spine was damaged too, but doctors can’t confirm it yet,” he related.In the meantime, the family is hoping that doctors operate quickly on the young lady so that she can begin her recovery.On the evening of May 27, about 22:45h, Luke was on duty when a lone customer entered the restaurant and ordered a half serving of vegetable fried rice.After paying for his order, the man allegedly held on to Luke’s hand, while pointing a firearm at her and demanding that she handed over the cash.Reports are that the teenager put up a fight and it was during this that the man discharged a round in her direction, hitting the St John’s College student in the chin.She was picked up and rushed to the hospital.At the hospital, the teenage girl provided a written description of her attacker who was said to be the same man who had threatened to kidnap her a few days earlier.She had noted that the man has a tattoo on his neck and frequented the restaurant.last_img read more

Update – Teenager missing in Grande Prairie

first_img  UPDATE – Grande Prairie RCMP would like to advise the public that 13 year old Cortney Antypovich who had been missing since the evening of Sunday August 28, 2011, has been located in Edmonton by Edmonton Police Service.- Advertisement -Police would like to thank the media and the public for their assistance in locating Antypovich. Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s help in locating a missing 13 year-old teenager.The RCMP is searching for Cortney Antypovich was last seen at her residence Sunday August 28, 2011.Antypovich is described as 5”7’, 135 lbs, blonde shoulder length hair, blue eyes, has pierced ears and wears braces.The RCMP believe she may be traveling in a 2002 blue Ford Windstar.Advertisementcenter_img If you know where Antypovich is or have any information in this regard, please contact the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700.last_img read more

LAUSD’s payroll fouled up

first_imgRoiled by glitches in a new $95 million computerized payroll system that have left thousands of employees without checks, Los Angeles school officials said Wednesday that they will review the contracting process that led to the deal and might consider taking legal action against the suppliers. Problems with the system have left more than 10,000 employees without paychecks for two weeks, and Los Angeles Unified School District officials expect similar problems next month. And questions have been raised on the district’s choice of SAP Public Services for the system despite a history of problems at other schools, a more-expensive software bid and a potential political connection to the LAUSD. The lobbying firm Rose & Kindel represents SAP and also has a contract with the district for consulting and lobbying in Sacramento. It lobbied in 2005 for state legislation that allowed the district to use a less-stringent bidding process for major technology purchases. “One of the things we always do when a system is rolled out is … look for lessons learned. We have to go back and look at the history of procurement, certainly. … We’ll do our due diligence to see if it was a good deal,” said Superintendent David Brewer III. District officials have defended the contract award and say instead that the suppliers may have failed to adequately prepare for implementation. But some also are questioning the timing of legislation that allowed the LAUSD to award the contract to SAP. More flexibility In October 2005, Rose & Kindel lobbied for legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Lloyd Levine on behalf of the district to provide more flexibility in selecting technology providers. SAP officials have said Rose & Kindel didn’t lobby for the legislation on behalf of SAP – and has not lobbied for SAP on anything before LAUSD officials because of the potential conflict. And LAUSD officials have said that because Rose & Kindel doesn’t lobby district officials on behalf of clients, there was no conflict between the firm’s lobbying for the district on the bill and having a Sacramento tie to SAP. The bill was signed into law Oct. 4, 2005. Later that day, SAP announced its contract with the LAUSD. “It certainly is strange in the sense that the reason for the legislation was we can’t go with the lowest bid because it wouldn’t perform as well as the highest bid,” said Bob Stern, director of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles. “And now it turns out the highest bid didn’t perform well at all.” Levine did not return a call for comment. So far, officials are aware of 10,000 LAUSD employees – out of more than 100,000 – who have been affected by the glitches, said Chuck Burbridge, district chief financial officer. Bus driver Benny Bernal, an 18-year LAUSD veteran and incoming vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 99, said his check was hundreds of dollars short. Bernal said other employees have told him the glitches have led to their accounts being overdrawn, rent checks delayed and mortgage payments missed. “I found this system was used in other states and has failed,” Bernal said. “Obviously they were aware of it, and I want an answer as to who made the final decision and what are we going to do to hold these people accountable,” he said. Prepared to pay The district has set up a service center for employees who have questions or need emergency funds. Officials are also contacting employees’ banks and expect district funds to pay any fees the glitches caused employees to incur, including overdraft and insufficient-fund charges. While district officials said they don’t yet have an estimate of how much it will cost, Bernal said redoing employees’ timecards in the transportation department takes three hours per driver and totals about $75,000 a day. Touted as a key to cutting inefficiencies, fraud and bureaucracy, the new payroll system is set to be completely operational by 2008. But it has been riddled with problems at other educational institutions. Last year, the faculty union sued the nine Los Angeles community colleges over delays and incorrect paychecks. College officials blamed their new SAP system. LAUSD school board member David Tokofsky said the board will consider whether to sue SAP and Deloitte Consulting, the company hired to implement the system. “When there’s a crash, often the responsibility is on all the parties, and we’ve heard a lot about L.A. Unified’s fault,” he said. “But what we haven’t seen in explicit terms yet is SAP and Deloitte’s responsibilities, contractually and institutionally.” Deloitte Consulting received an 18-month, $55 million contract – the largest chunk in the new system’s $95 million contract – because of the firm’s familiarity with SAP implementation, Tokofsky said. SAP Public Services did not return a call. Deloitte spokeswoman Christine Brodeur said in a written statement that Deloitte will continue to work with the district on the issue. Nationwide problems School board candidate Tamar Galatzan, who’s challenging incumbent Jon Lauritzen, said in a letter to Lauritzen on Tuesday that the system has had problems around the country, including San Bernardino City Unified and Minneapolis public schools. She called on the school board to ask the district’s inspector general to audit the contracts awarded for the new system. “Los Angeles Unified has a history of undertaking expensive projects only to abandon them, squandering taxpayer dollars,” she said. Burbridge said the LAUSD conducted a lengthy evaluation process in which more than 100 people reviewed the software and consultants before choosing SAP. “We thought we were aware of the challenges, and we were hopeful we’d have a better experience than these other school districts,” Burbridge said. “However, at the end of the day, there are only so many payroll systems that are large enough to accommodate 100,000 employees, and sometimes you have to hold your nose and say yes, there are challenges with this. We thought we chose the best one.” [email protected] (818) 713-3722 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Senegal ‘magicians’ hope to do Africa proud at World Cup

first_img0Shares0000Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly was part of a Napoli side that finished runners-up to Juventus in Serie A this season © AFP / Emmanuel DUNANDSAMARA, Russian Federation, Jun 27 – Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly believes the fact his team represent Africa’s last World Cup hope should motivate the players rather than increase the pressure going into their final game in Group H against Colombia Thursday.It is just Senegal’s second appearance at the tournament, after reaching the quarter-finals on their debut in 2002, and they need a point to secure a place in the last 16 against Jose Pekerman’s side (1400 GMT kick-off). Aliou Cisse’s side will attempt to succeed where the rest of their continental rivals failed, with Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia all set to bow out after the group phase.“I think it should be more of a positive thing rather than pressure,” Napoli centre-back Koulibaly told reporters on Wednesday.“We know we have the whole continent behind us. They’re all going to support us and we know we can do it.”“We know we already have 15 million Senegalese behind us and now we have all the continent. It’s up to us to make them proud, to fly the flag for Senegal and Africa at this World Cup.”Senegal defeated Poland 2-1 in their opening game and twice led Japan before settling for a 2-2 draw that left both countries with four points.Colombia must win in Samara to guarantee a spot in the knockout rounds, with Jose Pekerman’s men impressing in a 3-0 victory over Poland last time out.“We know it’s a very strong Colombia team,” said Koulibaly. “But we have our own weapons and we’ll give our all to win and not concede.“If we do that we’ll qualify. We know in attack we have magicians who are capable of scoring at any moment.“We’re going to do our utmost to get to the last 16 and I think we have everything we need to do that.”The 42-year-old Cisse, who was captain of the Senegal side at the 2002 finals, said the brief for his players will be a straightforward one.“Tomorrow when we get onto the pitch, the instructions to the players will be to play to win,” said Cisse, with Senegal trailing group leaders Japan only on disciplinary record.“I think Colombia and Senegal have practically the same style of play. I think it’s to going to be a keenly disputed match, a very interesting match with two teams who could be in the last 16.”“I think Colombia could pose us some problems but we have a few tricks up our sleeves as well,” added Cisse, who said Mbaye Niang will be fit after limping off in the closing minutes against Japan.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Warriors HQ: Dubs ‘fell apart’ in final seconds of Game 2 vs. Clippers

first_img4:10: Warriors unveil … Beat writers Dieter Kurtenbach and Mark Medina review how the Warriors can “bounce back” from losing a stunning 31-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their first round NBA playoffs series on Monday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.Here’s what you’ll hear in their latest podcast:1:00: Warriors have “made a habit of taking their foot off the accelerator.”2:10: Dubs lose DeMarcus Cousins to an injury, and lost the game because “they just imploded.”last_img read more

Fog harvesting in the E Cape

first_imgWe recently installed a Fog Harvesting system in the Alfred Nzo District Municipality at a place called Cabazana.The experience was mindblowing. Although at this stage fog occurances are low (seasonal), local residents who are to benefit from this and will for the first time be able to drink potable water when the fog starts rolling in (September – April).Congrats to the Mayor and his council for caring for the people even if it means using innovative methods.This country can only get better if all of us took as much care and cut out the RED TAPE and just made it happen.View full story Engineering News, Innovative ‘Fog Harvesting’ system installed in the Eastern Cape.Story submitted to SAinfo on 1 July 2008last_img read more

SA ‘redefining its message to the world’

first_img4 May 2011 As the 21st World Economic Forum on Africa kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa’s message to the world is moving beyond an emphasis on the country’s rich cultural diversity, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. “We are now highlighting our achievements in the fields of science, technological innovation, financial services and our recognition as a systemically important member of the international community,” Gordhan said on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the meeting. “In our hosting of WEF Africa, we will confidently say that South Africa is indeed responding to the new reality.” The three-day meeting, starting on Wednesday, will discuss how sub-Saharan Africa can sustain its growth path and become one of the pillars of global growth and demand. To be held under the theme, “Shaping Africa’s Role in the New Reality”, the meeting will take place against the backdrop of the increasing global recognition of Africa’s growth potential. Gordhan, South Africa’s lead minister for the WEF on Africa, said the country was ideally placed in the shifting poles of power and economic growth, not only as an emerging market, but also as a leading economy on a continent that has become an indispensible partner in the global economy and is home to approximately 15% of the world’s population. “We are strong promoters of inclusive growth, job creation, and the diversification of the economy,” the minister said. He added that South Africa was actively participating and contributing to positions formulated in global policy making. “We are also assuming an increasingly important position in the international arena. We are one of the non-permanent members on the United Nations Security Council, the only African country to be a member of the G20, and now most recently, we have taken a seat at the table of the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa forum (BRICS), which, with its population of over 3-billion people, serves as a major platform for global dialogue and cooperation.” Among issues to be discussed at the WEF Africa are how African economies can mitigate their exposure to the volatility in commodity prices, and how the continent can strengthen its voice in multilateral forums such as the G20 and the Seventeenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17). The COP 17 conference will take place in Durban in December. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Zuma’s promise to Eldorado Park

first_img15 May 2013President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by several Cabinet ministers, took time out on Tuesday to visit the people of Eldorado Park and surrounding Kliptown, south of Johannesburg, where drugs, high levels of crime and violence have resulted in residents living in fear.President Zuma’s visit was prompted by a letter by Eldorado Park resident Dereleen James, in which she documents her struggle to get her 17-year-old son off crystal meth, the drug known locally as “tik”.James’s son, who is now in rehab, will be taken to a place of safety when he comes out to prevent him relapsing.Community’s letter from the heartHis mother’s letter has since gone viral, with community members adding their own stories to it, detailing how a wave of drugs has taken over their lives, with many having lost their children to it.“The term ‘future generation’ is non-existent, meaningless to us,” the letter reads. “Sending our children to school is like sending them to the lion’s den. Drug peddlers parade and sell daily to our kids … Our children in turn sell for them to get a free ‘gage’ or two. Our community is flooded with ‘Lolli lounges’.”The community pleaded with Zuma to set up a special court for drug-related crimes, to help build a rehab centre, to dismiss all corrupt police officers, to have compulsory drug testing at schools, and to develop recreation centres to keep youngsters busy.Amid a heavy police presence, Zuma first held a meeting with the families who wrote the letter, then proceeded to meet with the community.“Mr President, we need your help,” said an emotional James, appealing for action to be taken.Local community leader and pastor Xavier Hendricks said he was afraid that if action were not taken fast, people would take matters into their own hands.Drug-fuelled crime spiralOfficials from a local drug rehabilitation centre told Zuma that a lack of funding complicated the challenge of saving the drug-ridden community.Recovering drug addict, 20-year-old Kelly-Anne, shared her life story about how she used to prostitute herself for a fix, her time in jail for possession of drugs, her struggle as a teenage mother and dropping out of school. She pleaded with the young girls in the crowd not to go down the same route she did.Many children, according to the community, are addicted to nyaope, dagga, cat, tik and alcohol, which are easily available even at schools.A “hit” of nyaope – a mixture of heroine, dagga, battery acid, rat poison, ARVs and other dangerous ingredients – costs about R30. As a result, crime has spiralled as desperate youngsters will do anything to feed their habit.A community member, who only introduced herself as Fatima, told SAnews that it would be a long road before the community won the war against drugs, as police operations only saw individuals getting arrested, and did not get the drugs off the streets.“We know these drug dens but it is difficult to stop them because they are working with the police. It is well known that the syndicates pay the police officers a ‘protection fee’, and that is why they never get arrested,” she alleged.Another visibly frustrated resident said the addicts went to extremes to finance their habit, from stealing metal sheets, taps, copper, electric cables and aluminium, which they exchanged for cash at scrapyards.“They can steal anything – from household items, clothes, food and tormenting their parents and grandparents in the process.”The impassioned man said young girls were mostly found at “Lolli lounges” – rooms where men traded sex with addicts.Most of the community members refused to be on record, saying the dealers had ears all over.‘I will drive the programme myself’Zuma told the residents, some of whom were carrying posters expressing their anger against drug lords, that when he read the letter, he was overcome with shock.“Having listened to your pleas, we understand the situation and we now have to decide what to do with it.”Zuma said the situation called for drastic measures to be taken swiftly. He committed to lead the turnaround strategy for the community himself.He told the crowd that over the next few days, the government would meet with community members to decide on the actions they needed to take.“We won’t make promises and not act. We will act. I will drive the programme myself,” he said, adding that time-frames for the turnaround strategy would be announced soon.He vowed to close down the Lolli lounges, which he referred to as “rotten houses” that were destroying children’s innocence. He said they would work with young people in the community and support initiatives to create employment in the area.“We will work together to stop this rot … Government won’t be acting alone. We will act with the community to save this community.”Zuma was accompanied on his visit by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Collins Chabane, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

South Africa’s population breaks 54-million

first_img1 August 2014Life expectancy in South Africa continues to rise as the country’s population breaks the 54-million mark, Statistics South Africa reported on Thursday.Releasing its latest mid-year population estimates report in Pretoria, Stats SA said the country’s population grew by an estimated 1.58% between July 2013 and July 2014, increasing by about 844 000 people to stand at just over 54-million in total.According to the report, South Africa’s life expectancy at birth now stands at 61 years, having increased from an estimated 52 years in 2005, thanks to a lower infant mortality rate and a decrease in the number of Aids-related deaths in the country.Stats SA said the decline in South Africa’s infant mortality rate – from an estimated 58 infant deaths per 1 000 live births in 2002 to 34 infant deaths per 1 000 live births in 2014 – pointed to an improvement in the general health and living standards of the population.Aids-related deaths, meanwhile, dropped from an estimated 363 910 deaths (51% of all deaths) in 2005 to 171 733 deaths (31% of all deaths) in 2014, as a direct result of the increased rollout of free antiretroviral therapy in the country.According to Stats SA, the overall number of deaths in the country decreased from an estimated 716 083 deaths (15 deaths per 1 000 people) in 2005 to an estimated 551 289 deaths (10 deaths per 1 000 people) in 2014.At the same time, the country’s birth rate has decreased, from 24 births per 1 000 people in 2002 to 22 births per 1 000 people in 2014.Stats SA said the dual transition from high to low birth and death rates had changed the age structure of South Africa’s population, resulting in both a high proportion (30%) of the population under the age of 15, as well as growing proportion of elderly people, with an estimated 4.5-million people aged 60 years or older.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more