The joint security team, which is operating in the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the St. Catherine North Police Division, is imploring members of the public to cooperate with the soldiers and police personnel at the various checkpoints. Story Highlights Speaking with JIS News at a recent stakeholders meeting in Spanish Town, Acting Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Dahlia Garrick, outlined the procedures for civilians at the SOPE checkpoints. “When you are approaching the checkpoint, check your speed, roll down your windows, turn on your roof light (at night) and be compliant when asked questions,” she informed. The joint security team, which is operating in the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) in the St. Catherine North Police Division, is imploring members of the public to cooperate with the soldiers and police personnel at the various checkpoints.Speaking with JIS News at a recent stakeholders meeting in Spanish Town, Acting Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Dahlia Garrick, outlined the procedures for civilians at the SOPE checkpoints.“When you are approaching the checkpoint, check your speed, roll down your windows, turn on your roof light (at night) and be compliant when asked questions,” she informed.She said the police and the soldiers will do a quick scan to assess the situation, and “if you are required for a further search, more than just an observation, you are being urged to comply with the instructions given”.ASP Garrick said it is important to answer the questions promptly and comply with any instruction given by a member of the security forces, as that will help the process to go smoothly.She further instructed that persons should have a valid form of identification in their possession, because that will also help to speed up the process.ASP Garrick appealed for understanding as the security forces carry out their work, noting that everyone has a part to play in creating and maintaining safer communities. “All of this is intended to ensure the safety of the communities” she added.ASP Garrick explained that in a SOPE, it is the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) that takes the lead role.She noted that the joint team of JDF and Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) members have been working well together. “We know the objective of this operation, and the collaboration with the JDF has been tremendous,” she said.“We hold our members accountable to the highest level of professionalism, and, so far, the feedback has been that the security forces have operated with the highest level of courtesy and respect,” she added.Since the imposition of the SOPE in the St. Catherine North Division on March 18, 1,515 persons have been processed. Of that number, 1,431 have been released, 17 detained and 67 arrested. Of those arrested, 19 remain in custody and 48 have been released on bail.
Miami Dolphins’ Running Back and Smile Train Ambassador, Kenyan Drake recently hosted an event in Long Island on June 2 at Caumsett State Park to raise awareness and funds for Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft charity.Kenyan Drake attends Smile Train’s Second Annual Family Fun DayDuring the event, Kenyan led the warm-up and stretch activity, followed by a 2.4 mile walk (on a paved loop) with Smile Train’s supporters.Donations from the event are still coming in, but so far, the event has raised more than $20,000, which is enough to help 80 children receive 100%-free cleft repair surgery. This surgery will drastically improve these children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, and speak over time. For more information about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach, please visit smiletrain.org.
The San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich won his third NBA Coach of the Year Award on Tuesday. To an extent, these awards are about which coach most exceeds expectations: They’re the opposite of coach firings, which are better predicted by a coach’s performance relative to preseason Las Vegas over-under lines than by his win-loss record. Popovich’s Spurs won 62 games in the regular season — more than the 55.5 wins Vegas predicted. That’s reasonably impressive, but nothing as compared to the Phoenix Suns’ Jeff Hornacek, who finished second in the balloting after winning 27 more games than Vegas anticipated.What’s more amazing is how Popovich and the Spurs keep beating even consistently high expectations. From the 2006-07 through the 2013-14 seasons, the Spurs have outperformed their preseason over-under lines by a cumulative 35.5 games. That is the second-best total in the NBA, after the Suns, who were boosted by their extraordinary performance this year. It comes despite the fact that the Spurs have been projected to win an average of 53.2 games during this period, the highest figure in the league over this stretch. (These figures include the labor-shortened 2011-12 season, for which I’ve prorated totals to 82 games.)Popovich took over as coach of the Spurs early in the 1996-97 season. I wanted to evaluate his performance against the preseason over-under line further back, but I couldn’t find reliable numbers. However, there are records of how the Spurs performed against the point spread for individual games dating to the beginning of Popovich’s tenure. Popovich has done just as impressively by this benchmark.The table below lists the Spurs’ win-loss record against the point spread since Popovich took over as coach. It includes regular-season and playoff games, although a handful of regular-season games from his earliest seasons are missing. In total, in the games for which we have data, Popovich has 843 wins, 728 losses and 32 pushes against the point spread. That’s a 53.7 percent winning percentage, ignoring pushes, a win rate that all but the best sports bettors in the world would have trouble sustaining.How plausible is it that Popovich has just gotten lucky? We can check this by means of a binomial distribution. If Popovich were just a .500 coach against the point spread, the probability that he’d achieve a 843-728 record or better against it is just 0.17 percent. In other words, this is an awful lot of games, and Pop has done awfully well. It’s likely that there’s something going on — something the betting public has been missing. (And it’s something that it has been missing continually; Popovich’s edge has not abated recently. The Spurs’ record against the point spread over the past five seasons is 54.5 percent.)I looked at a few theories. For instance, could the Spurs’ excellent record against the point spread reflect a bias against small-market teams, rather than anything about Popovich? This may represent a tiny part of it; there’s a modest inverse correlation between teams’ performance against the point spread and their market size (meaning that teams in smaller markets tend to do a bit better against the spread). But the effect is small; it’s enough to account for the Spurs winning 50.4 percent of their games against the point spread, but nothing like 53.7 percent.Another theory: Perhaps the Spurs tend to perform poorly early in the season — lowering bettors’ expectations — and then improve as Popovich determines the strengths of his roster and adjusts? That doesn’t quite pan out. Since the 1997-98 season, the Spurs are 53.5 percent against the point spread in the first 20 games of the regular season, about the same as their performance overall. (They have done somewhat better against the point spread — a 55.9 percent winning percentage — during the playoffs.)Maybe there’s something odd about the Spurs’ point distribution? If they took an unusual number of blowout losses for a good team — say, games when Popovich was resting his starters — that could artificially lower their average margin of victory and lead bettors to underrate them in other matchups.However, the Spurs’ point distribution appears to be relatively normal (both in the common-language and mathematical senses of the term) and relatively symmetrical about their average margin of victory. The Spurs have been somewhat less likely to win or lose games by exactly one point than the normal distribution would predict, but this is true of all NBA teams, largely as a result of late fouling. I don’t want to completely dismiss these explanations: How NBA teams manage endgame situations is something that can affect their scoring distribution and performance against the point spread quite a bit. But there’s nothing obvious that jumps out about the Spurs. Nor have they won more games than would be expected based on their overall scoring margin.Another tempting explanation is that the Spurs, under Popovich, have great “intangibles” that bettors underrate. Undoubtedly, Popovich (like Tim Duncan) is a great leader. But eventually those intangibles should manifest themselves in the form of the Spurs winning more games than they otherwise would, and bettors should see the results and adjust accordingly. Furthermore, Popovich and the Spurs have a reputation for strong coaching and veteran leadership that could be recognized by the betting market. For many years, Popovich has ranked at or near the top when NBA general managers were asked to rank the top coaches.In the absence of an explanation, I was curious about another data point. The coach I think of as being most Pop-like is Bill Belichick of the NFL’s New England Patriots. Like Popovich, Belichick seems to have a preternatural ability to make the most of his circumstances — he got 11 wins out of Matt Cassel! Like Popovich, Belichick has a reputation as a great and ruthless tactician.Also like Popovich, Belichick has done quite well against the point spread. He’s 179-144-9 against it lifetime (a 55.4 percent winning percentage, ignoring pushes), counting his time as coach of the Cleveland Browns. (He’s 138-106-6 against the point spread, a 56.6 percent winning percentage, as coach of the Patriots.)I’m aware of the risk of confirmation bias here. If you seek out coaches who have a reputation for exceeding expectations, you’re likely to find expectations exceeded in all sorts of data, including their performance against the point spread. Nevertheless, it’s worth asking whether there is something about coaches like Popovich and Belichick that leads them to outperform bettors’ expectations.I don’t have a sexy answer. Nor am I sure that there is a sexy answer. It may be that Popovich’s strong performance against the point spread reflects a little bit of luck, a little bit of small-market bias, a little bit of something funny about how the Spurs manage endgame situations — along with a healthy dose of selection bias in our decision to examine his record (and not that of other coaches) after the fact.But I have a romantic notion of what could be going on.What you might say about Popovich is that he’s been uniquely able to stave off regression to the mean. He adopts tactics and strategies to suit his situation; he stays one step ahead of his opponents. Under Popovich, the Spurs have succeed as an old team and as a young team, and as a fast-paced team and a slow-paced team. There isn’t much gimmicky about Popovich.Perhaps in staying one step ahead of his opponents, he has stayed one step ahead of Las Vegas. The reason it’s hard to succeed in sports betting, or in any other market-based activity, is not just that markets are reasonably efficient to begin with. It’s also that when you’ve identified a historical tendency worth exploiting, other participants in the market may have found it as well. You may have an advantage for a while, but it will evaporate soon. Or, like in the game rock-paper-scissors, your opponents will exploit you for trying to exploit them.But what if your advantage is not in finding one particular loophole in the market, but in having the aptitude to continually come up with new advantages? Before your opponent has identified a counter to your tactic, you’re on to the next tactic. Great poker players have this skill: They have a sense for when a particular tactic in a particular situation has gone from being underutilized to overutilized in the poker “market.” They’ve adjusted a moment before everyone else.My romantic notion — my intuition — is that the way coaches like Popovich and Belichick exploit edges in their games is pretty similar to how sports bettors exploit edges in theirs. So the fact that opponents have never caught up with Popovich and Belichick may have something to do with why betting markets haven’t either. I do know that I wouldn’t bet against Popovich or Belichick. And I wouldn’t want to play poker against them.
Gas main break at the SD Zoo near the main entrance. SDFD has two crews and a battalion chief on scene and they are working with Zoo staff. Evacuations of the area taking place currently. Please avoid the area if possible. pic.twitter.com/v6Kpvgtvcs— SDFD (@SDFD) August 22, 2019 Posted: August 22, 2019 Gas leak near San Diego Zoo prompts evacuations, park shut down Jonathan Halvorson, SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A natural gas leak forced closures of the San Diego Zoo and several other Balboa Park attractions Thursday and prompted road closures in the busy tourist district.The hazardous fumes began wafting through the landmark city park north of downtown San Diego about 8 a.m., when a construction worker accidentally broke a 4-inch-diameter utility line in the 2900 block of Zoo Drive, fire department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.Authorities closed the main entrance to the zoo and its parking lot as a public safety precaution. Police, meanwhile, shut down traffic lanes around the site of the leak.No animals were taken out of the zoo, which had not yet opened to the public for the day, but employees were evacuated from the Wegeforth Bowl, Dickinson Center, gift shops, Reptile House, Tiger River and Treetops and the Benchley Building.Zoo officials soon decided to keep the world-renowned menagerie closed for the day.“All animals at the zoo are safe and secure,” San Diego Zoo Global, the nonprofit that operates the 113-year-old facility, stated in the late morning.Just south of the zoo, all buildings along El Prado — including the San Diego Museum of Man, Museum of Art and Natural History Museum — were closed until further notice, as was Spanish Village, according to park officials. The Air and Space Museum, however, remained open, city spokesman Tim Graham said.About 10:45 a.m., repair crews halted the leak, SDG&E spokeswoman Sara Prince said. It was unclear when natural gas service would be restored to the area.“We’re assessing the damage, and then we’ll repair it,” Prince said in the late morning. August 22, 2019 …from the area, and closed the Zoo for the remainder of the day. All animals at the Zoo are safe and secure. San Diego Fire, San Diego Police, and San Diego Gas & Electric are on site, and we will follow their guidance.— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) August 22, 2019The zoo is undergoing a redesign of the Children’s Zoo area of the park, located near the front entrance.SDG&E crews arrived at the scene around 8:30 a.m. and were working to cap the leak, Prince said. Updated: 5:19 PM Jonathan Halvorson Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
Darjeeling: Darjeeling lost a brave son in an IED explosion near the Line of Control at the Nowshera sector in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Friday. His mortal remains will arrive home on Sunday. Two explosions had taken place near Roopmati forward post in Pukkharni area at 4:35 pm and 6:10 pm respectively on Friday. The explosions killed Major S J Nair and Rifleman Jiwan Gurung. 24-year-old Rifleman Jiwan Gurung hails from Lamahatta in Darjeeling. He had joined the Indian Army a little more than four years ago. He is survived by his mother Poonam Gurung. His mortal remains will arrive at Bagdogra Airport on Sunday and will proceed to Lamahatta where his last rites will be performed amidst full military honours. Binay Tamang, Chairman of the GTA, extending condolences to the bereaved families stated: “Gorkhas have been sacrificing their lives protecting the borders of this nation.”
Simon Nott is author of:Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting RingCLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ROYAL ASCOT DAY ONE: Simon Nott is on course all week covering the action in the ring from the Star Sports pitch. It looked a bookmaker friendly opening day but did it pan out that way?2:30 Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1)Where did that year go? Time flies in racing but it didn’t take long for Royal Ascot to get into top gear. The office laid some chunks Recoletos £60,000- £10,000, Yoshida £70,000 – £5,000 and £42,000 – £12,000 Benbatl then the commission agents piled into us on course. They all wanted to be Rhododendron including £70,000 – £20,000 £52,000 – £15,000 each way, £35,000 – £10,000 each way and £33,000 – £10,000 each way. Ben couldn’t have written in a better result with 33/1 Accidental Agent winning and the bogie unplaced. Aye Aye – is it too early for that?3:05 Coventry Stakes (Group 2)The punters, this time cash, were in again almost as the lights went back on, with £2,500 on Calyx at 5/2 then another for £9,000 – £1,000 each-way Advertise, the trouble was, when we checked the money as we always do the cash was a monkey light. Unable to locate the punter, the Betting Ring Manager was called to verify and the bet was voided and put back in at £750 each way at the price.In the meantime Calyx had tumbled into 15/8. The office called to say they’d laid £40,000 – £20,000.On course the commission agents were hovering, but nothing done as they were going in the stalls then as the last couple were going in one did £20,000 at 10/3 Sergei Prokofiev. Then the office called again, they’d been hit too, at the off, in a matter of minutes Ryan Moore’s mount was a loser for over a quarter of a million across the firm.Rarely has a favourite been called home on the pitch but it was today. 2/1 jolly Calyx was first past the post with Advertise runner-up.3:40 King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1)The next was quieter on course, we took a cash bet of £2,500 at 2/1 Lady Aurelia but that was dwarfed by a bet of £150,000 – £80,000 in the office.At the off across the firm the jolly lost £180,000. Commentator David Fitzgerald called it beaten a lot earlier than deemed comfortable when you stood it for that much. He was right though, 6/1 Blue Point was an excellent result but a relatively small money race on course.4:20 St James’s Palace Stakes (Group 1)Betting started light again, but then a punter came in for US Navy Flag £90,000 – £20,000 each way and another £25,000 each way at the price. The office laid it too, the firm was stood on the precipice looking at what Ben called the biggest liability ever, £500,000 or half a million pounds.For the second time today the entire firm cheered home another favourite, when Without Parole got us out of jail free but in truth the bogie was beaten before the race got serious, getting it out of the frame gilded the result.5:00 Ascot Stakes (Handicap)As anticipated, the fiendishly tricky handicap didn’t attract any lumps as seen earlier in the day but we did lay a £9,000 – £1,000 White Desert which made it worst in a book peppered with losers in a race of steady betting. Ben departed to the Star Sports Box before the off, no doubt needing a lie down.10/1 winner Lagostovegas was a decent winner in the book so kept the great day going in a winning vein.5:35 Wolferton Stakes (Listed)The ‘lucky last’ or ‘getting out stakes’ depending on your situation was a similar story. The office took a £5,000 bet on a Morando in the morning but we didn’t expect or even see anything like it on course.Frankie Dettori at Ascot is always popular and never likely to do you any favours. His mount Monarchs Glen winning at 8/1 was a bad payout in the on-course book and a hefty loser in the office. The cherry was pinched from the top of the firm’s hitherto best ever winning Royal Ascot day. That said, we sail into Wednesday well in front with confidence high.