November 20

Rick Santorum pitched the government on a tiny, one-person company run by a political backer

first_imgSantorum later invested his own money in Zurlo’s struggling company, and it was Santorum who pitched the company to the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Santorum isn’t shy about acknowledging that he’ll be getting some coin, either, if government dollars happen to jump-start this tiny, unknown company headed by one of his prior funders.All of that is beginning to sound a bit familiar at this point. Prominent conservative TV voice pitches the administration on a new, unproven medical technology mirroring one of Donald Trump’s own most talked-about potential miracle cures. Though even a cursory look at the company shows that it barely exists, and though government scientists are themselves dubious as to its value, the government is eager to latch on. It turns out the conservative who pushed the product is himself an investor, and could profit enormously if the contracts go through.It’s not the My Pillow guy trying to sell Trump new anti-coronavirus nutritional supplements, mind you, but it’s still a bit sketchy looking, eh?- Advertisement – In this case, although the AP reports that HHS scientists were not particularly impressed with the company’s pitch, the government is “latching on” with $750,000 in funding for a proof of concept, with tens of millions for building a company facility from scratch if it works out. If it does, CNN talking head Santorum will see his sunk investment explode in value; if it doesn’t, the government will have devoted another nontrivial bit of COVID-19 management and brainpower to a miracle that wasn’t.Still, as far as future scandals go, this one is comfortably familiar. We can take solace in the fact that even if this does turn out to be another case of government money being handed out solely because an administration ally is pushing the effort, it’s a bit of old school American institutional corruption, not one of Trump’s own crazy new inventions like “extort the president of Ukraine” or “invite Russian assets to give you a private sales pitch on how to damage your election opponent.”Any other year, Santorum would be getting a hard side-eye on this one, but now? Right now the swamp is so full-up you can barely see his nose peeking up out of the water. The actions of Trump’s cabinet alone will take the combined attention of every last inspector general and federal investigator during any upcoming Biden term; they won’t have a moment to even think about such embarrassingly normal political sketchiness.- Advertisement – The blood plasma company in line to get $65 million, Plasma Technologies, does not have any physical facilities. It is registered at the South Carolina home address of “connected” Republican donor Eugene Zurlo, a man who has been attempting to sell his technology for some time with no success. It looks like it has never produced plasma.And, most curiously, the one-person shadow company appears to have gained the attention of the government solely due to the connections of its most prominent outside investor, ex-senator turned CNN pundit Rick Santorum. Santorum, it turns out, was one of the prime beneficiaries of Zurlo’s Republican donations, and Zurlo previously “entertained Santorum and his family” at his now-sold South Carolina mansion, reports AP.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

September 23

‘Ask Rose’ ready to help students with math and science homework

first_imgStatewide—Homework isn’t always easy. That’s why AskRose is here to help. It’s a free math and science tutoring service for students in grades 6-12. Tutors are Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology students who major in math, science or engineering – making them more than equipped to help with virtually any math or science homework problem.Student privacy is always protected and students are never asked for their last name or phone number. All AskRose services are available at no cost to students or parents through a Lilly Endowment Inc. grant and financial assistance from Rose-Hulman and are certified by the National Tutoring Association.Rose-Hulman students are available Sunday through Thursday from 7-10 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) during the school year to help youth in grades 6 through 12 review math and science concepts. Connections can be made at 877-ASK-ROSE (877-275-7673) or the AskRose website.AskRose Director Susan Smith Roads says, “Homework isn’t always easy. However, AskRose makes assistance easily available through a variety of different resources, including approximately 30 tutors each night.” She points out that rather than give students the answers, tutors guide students through homework problems to help them better understand math and science concepts. Student privacy is always protected, and students are never asked for their last name or telephone number.The service, certified by the National Tutoring Association, has conducted approximately 700,000 tutoring sessions since starting in 1991. AskRose.org also offers more than 500 resources available through videos and downloadable reference materials.last_img read more

September 17

Temp rises on coaching hot seat

first_imgPhillip Fulmer, TennesseeStatus: Released this weekFulmer kept the Tennessee program at a consistently good, but rarely great, level throughout his career. Fulmer — who was named head coach in 1992 — won 150 games in 17 seasons and captured the national championship in 1998. The Volunteers have toyed with the idea of firing Fulmer for several years now, but a 10-4 mark and conference division title last season delayed the move for Tennessee’s Athletic Director Mike Hamilton. This season, however, the Vols have stumbled to a 3-6 record with only one win in the SEC, prompting Hamilton to pull the plug.To what end, though? Fulmer may not have been the top coach in the game, but his consistent winning kept Tennessee in the upper half of a football-crazy conference. Unless Tennessee has the next Nick Saban lined up, improvement from their current position remains unlikely.Hamilton’s knee-jerk reaction came too soon. Fulmer should have been given at least one more season to prove he still has what it takes.Bret Bielema, WisconsinStatus: Currently employedOn the surface, the reasons to fire Bielema appear sound. He has posted consecutively worse records each season since taking over for the legendary Barry Alvarez three years ago. He acts annoyingly chevalier after each loss and beats the “1-0” mantra to death.Most recently, Bielema cost UW a win with extremely boneheaded decisions during last Saturday’s loss to Michigan State. Clearly, Bielema is far from a perfect coach.Badger fans have grown greedy, however, and seem to think that UW should compete for the Big Ten title every year. Unfortunately, 10-win seasons have never been a consistent theme in Badger football history. In fact, now-Athletic Director Alvarez — who hand-picked Bielema as his successor –only won 10 games four times in his 16-year career.Badger fans need to cool down a bit. Bielema did win 12 games in his first season, and even though that was with Alvarez’s recruits, it was more games than Alvarez himself ever won in a single year. Bielema also has recruited playmakers David Gilreath and John Clay, so the cupboard is not bare.Wisconsin does not have the name recognition among recruits to change coaches so quickly. Bielema deserves another season and a little more patience from the fans.Tommy Bowden, ClemsonStatus: Released in mid-OctoberThis cord should have been cut three years ago. Not only was firing him the correct move, it was long overdue.Tommy Tuberville, AuburnStatus: Tenuously employedAuburn fans are crazy. Seriously. They are actually out of their minds.Tuberville delivered a perfect 13-0 season as recently as 2004, and holds a career .708 winning percentage at Auburn. Over the five previous seasons, the Tigers have averaged exactly 10 wins per year.Yet, because of a 4-5 record this season, it is a near certainty that Tuberville will lose his job. Tuberville, without a doubt, has made some mistakes this season. Trying to install the spread offense and then abandoning the attempt midway through the year made no sense. But what does a coach have to do to earn a little leeway?Furthermore, where is this fantastic coach who will magically restore the Auburn program? The SEC is an incredibly tough conference, and every program suffers through down years. Auburn can risk turning a down year into a down decade, or make the rational move and keep the proven Tuberville.Rich Rodriguez, MichiganStatus: Currently employedThe fact that Rodriguez even makes this list speaks to the desperateness of Michigan fans. The Wolverines knew exactly what they were getting when they hired Rodriguez, but the Michigan faithful disillusioned themselves into thinking an immediate turnaround was in sight.It is actually really simple. Rodriguez runs an offensive system that requires a certain type of athlete. Michigan had very few, if any of those athletes. Therefore, until Rodriguez can begin recruiting for his system, the system will not work.Every Michigan fan knew this coming into the season, yet they acted shocked when the team struggled. Michigan made a radical move when they hired the unconventional Rodriguez, and this move required time to pay dividends. Rodriguez can only help the program if he is given a few years, and firing him will only dig Michigan deeper into a hole. Two controversies dominate college football this time of year: the BCS rankings and coaches on the proverbial hot seat.With apologies to Texas Tech, Alabama and Penn State, the BCS can wait another week.The coaching carousel has been spinning steadily this year with Tommy Bowden, Tyrone Willingham and Phillip Fulmer already losing their jobs. Other coaches, such as Tommy Tuberville and Bret Bielema, have gone from hero to zero in less than two years.To be clear, this column is not condemning the quick hook that modern coaches receive. With the amount of money invested in football programs today, immediate results are required to appease the fan base, and more importantly, to keep the monetary boosters happy.The problem, though, is determining which coaches are simply suffering from an off year, and which coaches don’t have what it takes to succeed consistently at a high level. Furthermore, change doesn’t always mean improvement. Coaching college football is an extremely demanding position and truly successful head coaches are a rare breed. Despite what many fans seem to think, a coach ready to take a program to the next level is rarely waiting in the wings.With that in mind, here is a look at some coaches who have already lost their jobs or find their positions in immediate jeopardy.Important note: This is what should happen, not a prediction of what will happen.last_img read more

September 17

Big East : West Virginia to join Big 12, take Missouri’s place

first_imgWest Virginia will leave the Big East to join the Big 12 conference. WVU has been approved by the Big 12 to replace Missouri when the Tigers move to the Southeastern Conference, according to the Associated Press on Tuesday.The report cites ‘a person with knowledge of the decision,’ who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it hadn’t been formally announced by the school or the Big 12 that its Board of Directors unanimously approved inviting West Virginia.The Big 12 plans to remain at 10 teams right now, and West Virginia would become the 10th member of the conference.The Mountaineers’ impending departure adds to the uncertainty already surrounding the future of the Big East, as the conference would be left with five football-playing members. WVU will be the fourth school to leave the Big East in the last six weeks. Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced their moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference on Sept. 18, and Texas Christian jumped to the Big 12 on Oct. 10 rather than joining the Big East next year as planned.West Virginia has been the Big East’s most successful football program since 2003, when Miami and Virginia Tech decided to leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Since 2004, the Mountaineers have won four Big East championships and had no fewer than eight wins in a season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA Big East spokesman said Tuesday afternoon that the conference was unaware of West Virginia’s plans to move to the Big 12. The spokesman said the conference is still pursuing a 12-team football model as announced previously. To reach that goal, the Big East would have to add seven schools without WVU.Calls and emails to West Virginia and the Big 12 were not immediately returned.Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and South Florida will be the only football members left in the conference. Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said in a teleconference Oct. 18 that all 14 schools were excited and endorsed the Big East’s expansion plan, which included West Virginia. The schools unanimously voted to double the exit fee to $10 million Oct. 17.When asked in the teleconference if the Big East would consider dissolving if it lost any more members, Marinatto said discussions on the possibility never came up. He also said the Big East was positioned well to adjust to any further movement.Missouri’s decision to apply to the SEC is considered inevitable, but the timetable is uncertain, according to the report. West Virginia’s move to the Big 12 depends on Missouri’s departure, so there is no timetable for WVU to receive a formal invitation, according to the report.But the report said the Mountaineers will accept an invitation when it is offered.When it does become official, the Mountaineers will have to pay the $5 million exit fee. The increased exit fee does not take effect until one school commits to join the Big East. WVU would also be forced to wait the 27 months required by Big East bylaws before beginning play in the Big [email protected] Published on October 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

September 16

Syracuse sat usual starter Hendrik Hilpert, but then his backup got hurt

first_img Published on September 3, 2017 at 11:09 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 Facebook Twitter Google+ UPDATED: Sept. 5, 2017 at 5:12 p.m.Syracuse senior goalkeeper Pat Castle made his first career appearance when he started in Syracuse’s 3-1 victory over Northwestern on Sunday night at SU Soccer Stadium.SU head coach Ian McIntyre said a decision was made “based on team rules” to sit usual starter Hendrik Hilpert. The switch up came just two days after Hilpert tied a career-high with six saves against Princeton. Prior to Sunday, Hilpert had started 39 straight games for SU.“We made this decision together with the team and coaching staff,” Hilpert said. “I support it 100 percent.”Hilpert entered the game following an injury to Castle in the 40th minute. Castle, a Schuylerville, New York, native appeared to hurt his leg while slipping on the wet field. He had no wrap or ice on following the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“He’s just got a bit of stiffness in there,” McIntyre said. He later added Castle is “day to day.”Neither Castle nor Hilpert made a save in the match. Castle did not face a shot on goal, and Hilpert allowed a Jake Roberge shot past him in the 64th minute for Northwestern’s lone goal of the game.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, SU head coach Ian McIntyre was misquoted. McIntyre said the decision to sit Hendrik Hilpert was “based on team rules,” not a “violation of team rules.” The Daily Orange regrets this error. Commentslast_img read more

August 12

Ireland crowned champions in Home Internationals

first_img16 Aug 2014 Ireland crowned champions in Home Internationals England’s disappointing performance in the Home Internationals continued when they were beaten 9½ – 5½ on the final day at Southerndown in Wales. That left them without a victory and in fourth and bottom place for the first time in many years as Ireland regained the Raymond Trophy. Having tied with Wales and been beaten by the Scots, England needed to finish with a flourish against the Irish but it wasn’t to be. The foursomes saw Ireland take a 3-2 lead with only the pairings of Tomasz Anderson and Ashley Chesters and Adam Chapman and Seb Crookall-Nixon emerging victorious. That required a fightback in the singles but it didn’t materialise. With Ryan Evans losing the top game 5 and 4 to Walker Cup man Gavin Moynihan and Chesters going down 6 and 4 to Jack Hume prospects looked bleak. That was European Amateur champion Chesters’ only defeat after he had won his previous five games. Anderson then completed his fifth win by beating Dermot McElroy by one hole but Brabazon Trophy winner Ben Stow completed a forgetable week for the Wiltshire golfer by losing by the same score to Chris Selfridge. Harry Casey produced England’s largest win with a 5 and 4 success over Robin Dawson, while new English champion Nick Marsh beat Colin Campbell 4 and 2. But the last three games went to the Irish, Chapman and Paul Kinnear each losing 2 and 1 to Cormac Sharvin and Paul Dunne respectively while Luke Johnson was defeated 5 and 4 by Gary Hurley. The other game saw Daniel Wasteney secure a half with John Ross Galbraith. For full and final scores visit the Golf Union of Wales website. Photo of Harry Casey copyright Leaderboard Phototgraphy.last_img read more

August 4

‘Patriot Church’ Celebrates Long History of Service to the Community

first_imgBy John BurtonMIDDLETOWN – Imagine what life was like 325 years ago in the area that is now Middletown.It’s a wilderness with a few small pockets of settlers, looking to carve out a life in the New Word. In that frontier setting there is a communal center to the area, the church. It’s a church that still exists today, continuing its mission to offer spiritual and community support.Elaine Lent, church moderator and historian, and Board of Trustees Chairman Peter Ahern, stand in front of the historic Old First Church, Middletown’s oldest church, as they prepare for the Baptist church’s 325th anniversary on Oct. 6.Old First Church, 69 Kings Highway, is celebrating its 325th anniversary Sunday, Oct. 6, with programs, including costumed tours of the historic site, a morning worship service with the church’s pastor, the Rev. Joyce A. Phipps, and a 7 p.m. candlelit community concert of music by early American composers. The musical program will be performed by Glenn May from the Mon­mouth County Historical Association, who will be wearing 18th-century dress and playing the church’s 700-pipe Fritszche organ.The program also will offer some historical notes about the lives of early county residents.A point of pride for the church is its long history of patriotic fervor shown by its members. That is especially true of some of its earliest congregants, including clergy members, who were quick to support the call of liberty and revolution in the 18th century, said Elaine Lent, the church’s moderator – the lay leader – who also serves as the church historian.Middletown’s Old First Church’s cemetery, decorated in American flags for its 325thanniversary, contains the remains of many church members going back to its earliest years.In honor of the church’s participation in the nation’s history, members have placed 400 small American flags around the church buildings and along the outline of its 150-plot cemetery, which contains the graves of some of its original members.Founded in 1688, it was the first church and meeting house in the Middletown area, though personal diaries and records show worshippers had met in each other’s homes as early as 1668, according to Lent.The founders were early settlers arriving here from Massachusetts and what is now the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, N.Y. They landed in the area of what is now Atlantic Highlands and made their way inland.Old First Church, on Kings Highway in Middletown, is decorated with 400 American flags in preparation of the church’s 325th anniversary on Oct. 6.Like many of those who traveled to the Colonies, the earliest church members were seeking freedom from the religious intolerance they found elsewhere. The Baptist sect was relatively new at that time. “So new that there was a number of schisms,” within, Lent said. Being new and often misunderstood, the church was dismissed or derided by other denominations. One of the church’s early clergy members, Obadiah Holmes, was horsewhipped in Boston for his beliefs, Lent said.Even though it is a Baptist denomination, the church attracted those of other faiths, including Episcopal­ian and Quakers.“It was what I would say were a bunch of free thinkers,” who saw the church’s mission as one dedicated to freedom of conscious, soul liberty and respect for diversity, beliefs that still hold true today, Lent said.By the time of Revolu­tionary War, the church had become known as the “Patriot Church” under its pastor, Abel Morgan, who served there until his death in 1785. Morgan was “a very charismatic, intelligent minster,” known for his debating skills, having traveled as far away as Oyster Bay, Long Island, and Staten Island, N.Y., to preach.“He took this very divided congregation and united it,” Lent said.Morgan’s writings show he was an early supporter of the Colonists, looking to break away from England, Lent said.There was certainly a division between the British and the Anglican Church and the relatively upstart Baptist denomination with Anglicans and their Tory supporters having little regard for other faiths, she said.Joseph Murray, a church member, who owned a Middletown farm, was killed fighting the British in 1780, and is buried in the church’s graveyard.Pictured is a drawing of Abel Morgan, Old First Church’s pastor at the time of the American Revolution, with a pair of his eyeglasses and pocket Bible.Around the time of the Battle of Monmouth in Freehold in June 1778, British troops took control of the church, using it either as a field hospital or to house soldiers, according to Lent, who said the information on that is somewhat vague.Morgan was unable to preach there, his services relegated to his farm’s barn, located about a mile away.Following that period “the church just grew like mad,” with its congregation swelling to its high point of about 500 members in the late 1880s, Lent said.Since then, the church has seen some of its members leave and start other Baptist churches in the area, including in Matawan, Holm­del and Atlantic Highlands. About 14 area churches were formed directly from Old First Church, Lent said.The church that sits at the Kings Highway location is the congregation’s third. The first burned down in 1734 and was rebuilt immediately. The existing structure was built in 1832 by members who volunteer their time, funds, lumber and equipment for the task.Over the years there have been expansions and renovations, including moving the former Middletown Women’s Christian Temper­ance Union Hall to the property in 1921, where it is still used as a social hall.After all these years, Old First Church continues to be a center of community involvement and a source of spiritual guidance for its congregants, Lent said.Pictured is a tree showing the numerous area churches that spun off of Old First Church, Middletown’s oldest church.In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy last October, Old First Church, like a great many houses of worship, remained open and available, allowing the public to come and use the gas-operated stoves to cook meals, and its hot water to wash clothes and themselves when so many were without power for so long.“Churches are some of the few places to handle things like that, because of their size,” making them oftentimes ideal community focal points, Lent said.This summer the church hosted 39 youth and disaster assistance workers from Upstate New York who spent time in Monmouth County working to restore homes for families still recovering from Sandy’s effects.That’s a role the church has always played and continues to take pride in, Lent noted.“As a community church it is dedicated to community efforts,” and continues to host organizations, conduct its own programs and work with the efforts of other community groups.Old First Church now has a diverse membership of about 40 to 50 families. “We have people from all over Monmouth County,” who attend services and participate in programs, said Peter Ahern, chairman of the board of trustees.But some things don’t change with time.“Community was always the heart of this church,” Lent said. “It still is.”last_img read more