75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North WhatsApp Google+ Previous articleDate scheduled for debate on North West transport infrastructureNext articleStrabane Courthouse to be retained admin Facebook Twitter £25million funding allocated for projects in Derry and Tyrone Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Twitter By admin – October 26, 2016 Facebook Google+ Pinterest Pinterest WhatsApp RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Homepage BannerNews 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Projects in Derry and Tyrone will benefit from an additional £25million funding allocation announced this week as part of the Executive’s first step stimulus package.The funding, which is intended to stimulate and support infrastructure development, was confirmed during the October Monitoring round, with an emphasis on road maintenance and public transport.In a statement, Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard says this £25million is a significant boost for the infrastructure sector, and will help secure jobs in the construction and transport industries.£15million has been set aside for roads, with a number of important projects being funded. Mr Hazzard says new drainage, reconstruction and resurfacing works will take place on around 150 kilometres of road. He says the funding will also allow him advance preparatory development on a number of very important projects including the A2 Buncrana Road in Derry, and the Enniskillen and Cookstown bypasses.He says improving the public transport network is a key element in the draft Programme for Government, and £10 million has been allocated for the purchase of 45 new buses for Ulsterbus, Goldline and Metro.Chris Hazzard says this will modernise the fleet, improve reliability and enhance what’s offered to customers. Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire
By Stephan SookramWITH the second instalment of the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC) Drag Racing championship, billed for later this month, Mohamed’s Enterprise has expressed its commitment to the sport.The company, which also owns and operates the Team Mohamed’s Enterprise racing camp, has been a platinum sponsor of motorsport here.Team owner Azruddin Mohamed, in an invited comment said, “We are committed to seeing motorsport grow in Guyana. I, personally have a love for the sport here.”The team, home to the local quarter-mile record holder, the Nissan GTR nicknamed Goliath, have made major contributions to the sport locally.Before round one earlier this year, the team had extended the drag strip from 1000ft to1320ft, an unheard-of feat prior to its announcement.“Yes, we have made several contributions but it’s in the interest of developing motorsport here. I hope that other entities, private persons and even companies can follow suit in this regard because our team alone cannot develop the sport to where it needs to be. I think it’s no secret that drag racing here is growing,” he added.Apart from the extension of the strip, the team has refurbished the entire strip fencing, to ensure spectator safety and crowd control.Add their unwavering support to the actual logistics of the event and their input in the newly constructed Launchpad and other accessories then one would realise the company’s commitment is no secret.Apart from Goliath, the team have acquired the former world record-holding Ekanoo racing/Mangus GTR which had mechanical issues at round one.The team is working to have it ready for round two.Meanwhile GMR&SC president Rameez Mohamed said, “We are really blessed to have guyslike Team Mohamed’s guys on board with us.”“Words cannot explain how fantastic these guys have been for motorsport locally. What they have done would have taken us a while to do.”But it is now for others to take note. Companies, sponsors and others need to stand up. What Team Mohamed’s have done is set the ball rolling and we need to keep it.”The second round of the GMR&SC Drag Racing championship is set for June 23.
That hard work he’s been putting in since he was a kid in high school is still paying off, and back then he wasn’t just learning that work ethic from his dad. Bell said he remembers watching his mom sit up at night or early in the morning writing her book on teaching and learning about diversity. Sometimes when the family would go on trips to other cities for his baseball tournaments, she would have to bring her laptop with her, but for the most part she sacrificed a little sleep so she could get her work done and then be with her family during the day. Those memories still stick with Bell many years later, and watching his mother work hard at her craft influenced how he’s always worked at his.“It’s just hard work pays off,” Bell said, “and I saw that from both of my parents.” Ask his mother or his high school baseball coach and it’s apparent pretty quickly that there isn’t one because there are actually so many that it gets hard to single one out. For his mother, Myrtle Bell, a college professor, there are not only the ones she saw when Bell was 5 years old at the field by their house outside Dallas, there are the ones in high school, the ones she doesn’t even remember — the ones former teammates or even former opponents come to tell her about.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNAsk Josh himself, and he practically shrugs off the Paul Bunyon-esque longball exploits of his youth.“I never really looked at myself as a power hitter,” Bell told SN. “I was always like, never strike out.”But mom remembers it differently.When he was just 5, she and her husband Earnest would take him to a nearby youth baseball diamond and throw to him. And he would launch the ball over the fence and over the street behind it. From both sides of the plate.“It was comical,” Myrtle Bell said. Whichever of Bell’s many home runs capture the imagination and stick in the memory, the player we see today is doing what he’s doing because he has just the right combination of natural strength and athleticism, and he applies a strong work ethic to go with it.Both of those things are a testament to his parents. His father, a retired computer engineer who looks like he could bench press a Buick, didn’t play baseball himself, but when his son was very young he took some of his knowledge of the game and knew early that teaching Bell to switch hit would be wise.“He learned to investigate and troubleshoot and figure out what would be best,” Myrtle Bell said. “So he studied the game of baseball. … He studied and he read about switch-hitting, and he decided to make Josh a switch hitter.”Those childhood lessons took easily, and then as Bell got into youth baseball, his father would always have him play a level up against kids at least a year older than he was. And then as a high school player at Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, Bell would regularly stick around after practice to do more work. His dad would either be there with him or he would write down for Bell what he should do.“A half-mile of lunges after the game, or run backward for a half-mile after practices and whatnot,” Bell said of those days.No big deal, the way he describes it now. Occasionally a teammate would decide to stay after practice and try to do it with him, but Bell’s mother never saw any of them do it more than once. Some of them will approach her now to talk about the bombs they remember him hitting back in high school, like the one he hit out of the Baylor University ballpark and into the Brazos River in 2011 when he was a senior. “People joke that it’s still floating out there,” she said.The guys who played against Bell back then have their own stories too. In June when the Pirates were playing in Houston, a young lady approached Myrtle Bell in the stands to introduce herself because her boyfriend once pitched against Bell and Bell took him deep. Almost a decade later, he still remembers it well. But for Bell’s mother, it’s just one of many in her memory.And even the hits that didn’t go out of the park still stand out to the ones who watched him play in those days.MORE: Rays’ underdog attitude paving way for potential powerhouseBrian Jones, who came to coach Jesuit in 2009 for Bell’s junior year, still loves to talk about the time at a tournament in Austin that fall when Bell hit two home runs from the left side of the plate in his first two at-bats, and then when he came up for the third time, the other coach put in a left-handed pitcher, thinking they would avoid getting hurt a third time. So Bell moved to the right side of the plate. The other coaches were incredulous, Jones said, audibly questioning just who Bell thought he was.“So he proceeds to hit one into probably a 10-mph wind, a line drive straight to the center field wall,” Jones said. “The kid catches it, but when he hit that ball you could have heard a pin drop in that stadium.”Otherwise, Jones has trouble pinning down just one memorable homer from Bell’s high school career. There’s the Baylor home run, of course, but also one he hit during his senior year when the team was playing a game at the Ballpark at Arlington that hit the back wall of the Rangers’ bullpen. And even without the home runs, Jones could see that he had something special in Bell.“You could see things the way he ran the outfield, you could see things the way he ran the bases. You could see how he put in work. He was just a skinny 6-2 at that time. He really hadn’t formed body weight or anything along those lines,” Jones said. “But you could definitely see the potential was there.”These days, Bell is putting together the best season of his young career. An All-Star for the first time, Bell went into the break with 27 home runs and the most RBIs in baseball. He has a .992 OPS and if he somehow doesn’t hit another home run all season, he’ll still have more than his previous career-high of the 26 that he hit in 2017, his first full year in the majors.Bell attributes the growth he’s shown has a hitter this year mostly to better timing at the plate. “I just feel like I’m in a better place to hit,” Bell said. “More on time to hit fastballs and to react to balls out of the zone for the most part. Just a lot of hard work.”Bell said he feels like he’s in his “A swing” more often this year — what he described as essentially his default, natural swing — and as a result, he’s hitting better on the whole and going deep more often.“The less redirection in my swing, the farther the ball goes. So if I square the ball up and I’m not changing anything at all in my body, if it’s in my A swing path, that’s when the ball travels the farthest,” Bell said. He’s had more than a few titanic shots this year. Five of them have traveled more than 450 feet, two of those more than 470. And Bell isn’t just about displays of power. He’s been a better overall player in 2019. He’s hitting for the highest average of his career, his wRC+ of 150 is almost 40 points higher than he’s ever posted and he’s improved by eight defensive runs saved in the field from 2018. There’s usually that one home run. The one in Little League when the coach or the parents realize a kid’s got something extra. Or the one in high school that gets the first scout to write down his name. Or the one that locals talk about for years afterward.But for Josh Bell, there isn’t one.