first_imgIn September, the district’s school board voted to continue with remote learning for most students through the end of the semester, citing health concerns, despite Ms. Felder’s recommendation to implement a combination of in-person and online classes.To help students connect, the district has distributed over 1,500 hot spots, often several to each family. Yellow buses outfitted with Wi-Fi regularly rumble outside apartment complexes and housing developments. And for weeks, shuttered school cafeterias, once redolent with the scent of chicken nuggets and quesadillas, functioned as internet hubs.But with no child care provided, few parents brought their children, prompting the district to close them last month.Today, many parents use a map of public Wi-Fi locations to help their children get online, and students can often be seen hunched over laptops in cars parked within the invisible range of wireless routers. “It just adds insult to injury when you’re forced to sit in a McDonald’s parking lot to learn,” Ms. Felder said.For months, Ms. Felder and other local officials have been lobbying the state for systemic solutions, rather than Band-Aid fixes like hot spots. “We need cell towers and broadband,” she said. “That’s something we cannot build ourselves. We need the government to step in and make this happen.” The challenge of closing the digital divide can be particularly daunting in states like North Carolina, home to the nation’s second-largest rural population and a geography that spans mountains, swamps and barrier islands.About 100,000 of the state’s 1.5 million K-12 students were unable to connect to online services in August, according to the Department of Information Technology. More than 75,300 cellular hot spots were provided to schools by late October, and the state is trying to connect other students with public Wi-Fi locations and community grants for broadband infrastructure.But politics has also hampered the state’s connectivity. In 2016, Republican state lawmakers won a legal battle to halt the spread of municipal broadband providers, which had increased competition by serving residents where commercial networks had been unwilling to go.In Orange County, which is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and just west of some of the state’s biggest cities, more than 5,200 households lack broadband internet access, including an estimated 1,100 students in the local school district, said Monique Felder, the superintendent.She noted with frustration that the district is just a few miles away from the state’s prominent Research Triangle Park, where IBM, Cisco and dozens of other information technology companies employ thousands of people. The strain is even more profound two hours’ drive south in Robeson County, where coronavirus test positivity rates have consistently been more than double the state’s 5 percent benchmark for reopening, leading the school board to extend remote learning through December, a district spokesman said. “It’s un-American,” said Ms. Felder, who pointed to unaffordable pricing and a lack of cell towers as having contributed to the problem. “I can’t wrap my head around the fact that we live in a place where you have all this technology, yet we have families who can’t access the internet in the comfort of their home.” The technology gap has prompted teachers to upload lessons on flash drives and send them home to dozens of students every other week. Some children spend school nights crashing at more-connected relatives’ homes so they can get online for classes the next day. “It’s not fair,” said Shekinah, 17, who, after weeks trying to stay connected to classes through her cellphone, was finally able to get online regularly again last month through a Wi-Fi hot spot provided by the school. “I don’t think just the people who live in the city should have internet. We need it in the country, too.”Millions of American students are grappling with the same challenges, learning remotely without adequate home internet service. Even as school districts like the one in Robeson County have scrambled to provide students with laptops, many who live in low-income and rural communities continue to have difficulty logging on.About six million K-12 students lived in households without adequate online connectivity in 2018, according to a study of federal data by Common Sense Media, an education nonprofit that tracks children’s media use.- Advertisement – Sherry Park, the principal of South Robeson Intermediate School, said about 60 of her 310 students live in cell service “dead zones.” Every two weeks, their parents come to the school to exchange drives filled with completed schoolwork for new ones, uploaded with lesson videos and assignments.Sharon Hunt works 12- to 14-hour days teaching eighth-grade math at the school. In a voice frayed by exhaustion, she described a grueling schedule: teaching online in an empty classroom from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., after which she returns home to spend several more hours compiling flash drive presentations before grading assignments.Most of her students live in rural areas, and half of the students in one of her classes have no internet access. One family has to walk to the nearest crossroad to get cellphone reception. Ms. Hunt said she tries to answer their questions over the phone, but both teacher and students know it’s not the same.“You can tell in their voice that they’re struggling, but once we’ve kind of talked through some things, they sound better,” she said. “That’s all I have to go on until I get their work.”The lack of internet access has reshaped the home lives of some students. Clarissa Breedan, an unemployed cosmetologist, lives with her parents and two children in a double-wide trailer home outside the small town of Roland. This fall, her four nieces have also stayed there during the week, so they can get online for classes, only going home to their parents on weekends. In Baltimore, where a recent study found that nearly 20,000 households with school-aged children lacked broadband internet or computers, the public school system is providing internet connectivity to an estimated 44,000 students, or 55 percent of the district’s total enrollment, officials said. Josie Hunt lives on the outskirts of Roland; the only internet access there is via satellite for $140 per month. But she canceled her subscription in September after a barrage of extra charges incurred from remote classes made the service unaffordable. And a broadband provider said laying a cable to her home would cost $12,000.“I’d rather not ever have internet if I have to pay that much,” said Ms. Hunt, who is disabled and whose husband works odd jobs.Without it, her son Nehemiah, 14, has been forced to rely on flash drives to do his school work, with devastating results. “In school I made all A’s and B’s,” he said. “Now I’m failing.”center_img All the companies gave the same answer: Service is not available in your area.The response is the same across broad stretches of Robeson County, N.C., a swath of small towns and rural places like Orrum dotted among soybean fields and hog farms on the South Carolina border. About 20,000 of the county’s homes, or 43 percent of all households, have no internet connection. – Advertisement – Before the coronavirus, that was mainly an obstacle for students doing homework, and it was an issue that state and federal officials struggled to address. But the pandemic turned the lack of internet connectivity into a nationwide emergency: Suddenly, millions of schoolchildren were cut off from digital learning, unable to maintain virtual “attendance” and marooned socially from their classmates. Some of the girls sleep in reclining chairs because there aren’t enough beds. “We have to do what we have to do,” Ms. Breedan said. – Advertisement – Shekinah and Orlandria Lennon were sitting at their kitchen table this fall, taking online classes, when video of their teachers and fellow students suddenly froze on their laptop screens. The wireless antenna on the roof had stopped working, and it couldn’t be fixed.Desperate for a solution, their mother called five broadband companies, trying to get connections for their home in Orrum, N.C., a rural community of fewer than 100 people with no grocery store or traffic lights.- Advertisement – The Trump administration has done little to expand broadband access for students, both before and during the pandemic, said James P. Steyer, the chief executive of Common Sense Media. “There was no federal strategy, and it was left to the individual states to come up with a patchwork of solutions,” he said.When Congress passed a coronavirus relief package in March, it provided billions of dollars for emergency education needs, but none specifically for closing the digital divide. Despite advocacy from groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Steyer said, Republican leaders in Congress blocked efforts to add such funds.“The tragedy is this is not a Democratic or Republican problem,” Mr. Steyer said. “It is simply not fair that a poor family in a rural area or a low-income urban area does not have the resources to send their kids to school in this pandemic.”Desperate for workarounds, schools across the country have scrambled to distribute mobile hot spots and internet-equipped iPads. Districts everywhere from Wisconsin to Kansas to Alabama have transformed idle school buses into roving Wi-Fi vehicles that park in neighborhoods so students can sit nearby and log in to classes.last_img read more

first_imgMisbah ul Haq retired from international cricket in 2017.Misbah retired from ODIs after 2015 World Cup.Pakistan did not qualify for the 2019 World Cup knockouts. New Delhi: Pakistan cricket is currently under the midst of big structural changes following the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Under Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan failed to qualify for the knock-out stages as they finished fifth in the points table. The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed a five-member panel to interview prospective candidates for the team management positions had nearly concluded its work. According to sources within the Board, the panel headed by former captain Intikhab Alam and which also included PCB CEO Wasim Khan, had interviewed most candidates including Misbah ul Haq, Waqar Younis, Dean Jones, Johan Botha, Courtney Walsh, Yasir Arafat and some others in the last two days directly or on the video link.It has now emerged that Misbah ul Haq is the frontrunner for becoming the head coach of the Pakistan team while Waqar Younis could handle the bowling department. In addition, Mohsin Khan could become the chief selector. A PCB source said, “They will now have deliberations on finalizing their recommendations and it appears as if Misbah is a favourite to be named head coach with Waqar as the bowling coach. Mohsin who has remained a chief selector and interim head coach in the past was invited by the board to give an interview to the panel which indicates he will be given some major responsibility next week.”In an interview a couple of years ago on the sidelines of the Pakistan Super League in 2017, Misbah had revealed that he feared Pakistan would be losing passion and interest. Misbah felt the youth were no longer attracted by the sport. However, with the successful conduct of the ICC World XI series, Pakistan harbored hopes of Test cricket being played on home soil eventually and that would encourage youngsters to start thinking about making a career in cricket.“In the last couple of years, passion in Pakistan cricket was dying. Youngsters were playing cricket and trying to become international cricketers. I think once international cricket is here, you are just watching every game and Test matches with top stars in the world, live… that is something which obviously attracts youngsters to start thinking about cricket again,” Misbah said. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.center_img highlightslast_img read more

first_imgTHE 2017 Inter-Guiana Games (IGG), will be hosted in Paramaribo, Suriname. This is according to a Protocol signed between the Directors of Sport for Suriname (Luciano Memgmikrom) and Guyana (Christopher Jones) yesterday.Jones, along with Lavern Fraser-Thomas and James Bond, Commissioners of the National Sports Commission (NSC) were Guyana’s representatives in the Dutch-speaking country to discuss and put in place the protocol for the games which was the brainchild of former President Forbes Burnham, to help foster closer relations with Suriname through sports among student athletes.While the NSC is yet to make an official announcement, the signed protocol seen by Chronicle Sport states that this year the two countries will compete in the disciplines of track and field, football, volleyball, basketball, swimming and cycling.With the exception of basketball which will have only female participation, the other disciplines will feature both male and female athletes, born 1999.The aim of the Games, according to the protocol, is to create an opportunity for students to compete in different sport disciplines, focusing on better results and fostering better understanding of each other’s culture.last_img read more

first_imgBig East teams continue to push through high-contact, low-scoring games, and a logjam has formed at the top of the Big East standings. The top nine teams in the standings sit between 7-2 and 6-4 in conference play. All but two teams have a winning record overall.The regular season conference championship remains within reach for most Big East teams with roughly a month left in regular season conference play.“The only teams not playing well at the bottom have some injuries,” Louisville head coach Rick Pitino said in a Jan. 28 Pittsburgh athletics press release. “St. John’s and Rutgers are as good as every team at the top. It’s the Big East, that’s what it’s all about and, until two years come, we’re going to have a hell of a conference.”The NCAA Tournament selection committee sent out nine bids to Big East teams in 2012, and the conference may come close to matching that this season. Seven Big East programs are ranked in the AP’s top 25, more than any other conference.The rankings show how much parity exists in the conference, and as conference play has grown more competitive, the Big East elite is finding it harder to maintain dominance.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLouisville and Syracuse, the clear conference favorites at the beginning of the season, firmly held control of the league until recently. Louisville lost three straight games after a 16-1 start and a brief stint as the No. 1 team in the country.Syracuse, meanwhile, lost two straight games Jan. 26 and Saturday after an 18-1 start before bouncing back with a win against No. 25 Notre Dame on Monday.The streaks are a result of the strength of the conference. Every team plays quality competition day in and day out. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim had high praise for sleeper Pittsburgh (7-4 Big East) after the Panthers beat the Orange on Saturday.“They’re the best team we’ve played, without any question,” Boeheim said Saturday. “It’s not even close.”Syracuse still sits at the top of the Big East standings at 7-2, while Louisville has fallen into a tie for third place with a 6-3 mark. As Syracuse and Louisville have faltered, other Big East teams have surged.Marquette sits at 6-2 in the Big East, its most recent loss coming Sunday at No. 12 Louisville. Cincinnati and Georgetown both hold 6-3 records in the Big East. The Hoyas have gone 6-1 in the conference since Jan. 12, their first game after suspending second-leading scorer Greg Whittington.St. John’s has gone 5-2 in the conference since that point, with its only losses coming at the hands of Georgetown. The two up-and-coming teams know the stakes of each game as they vie for position down the stretch.“In this league, there’s such a small margin for error,” St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin said Saturday after the Red Storm’s loss to Georgetown. “And if you have a couple of lapses in play or you have a half where you don’t play at a high level, then you’re going to end up with a loss.”With preseason favorites showing signs of weakness and teams in the middle of the pack making strides, the race for the Big East conference championship is wide open once again this season.Teams in the conference are trying to stay hungry and healthy down the home stretch of conference play. While teams may experience peaks and valleys during this time, Big East players and coaches know that peaking at the right time is critical.“We know we’re judged in March,” Pitino said after a Jan. 26 loss to Georgetown. “We don’t like losing, and we’re fighting hard, but all college basketball is judged in March.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 6, 2013 at 1:12 am Contact Jacob: jspramuk@syr.edulast_img read more

first_imgDamir Dzumhur and Lukas Mugevicius will open the meeting of the last round of the Second group of Euro-African zone of the Davis Cup between Lithuania and BiH, as decided today by lot in the Siemens Arena in Vilnius.The first singles matches will be played on Friday, and after a meeting of Dzumhur and Mugevicius, Laurynas Grigelis and Mirza Basic will play.On Saturday are scheduled doubles Tadas Babelis/Tomas Vaise – Mirza Basic/Tomislav Brkic, and the other two singles on Sunday: Laurynas Grigelis- Damir Dzumhur and Lukas Mugevicius – Mirza Basic.Winner of the match Lithuania – BiH will qualify for the first group of Euro-African zone.(Source: read more

first_imgWellington Police notes: Tuesday, February 9, 2016•12:13 a.m. Deborah S. Fantastic,  43, Garden Plain, was arrested and confined on a Sumner County Warrant for theft and identity theft.•5:24 a.m. Officers investigated possession of stolen property in the 400 block N. Jefferson, Wellington. The vehicle was recovered.•5:39 a.m. Officers assisted an outside agency with the recovery of stolen property in the 400 block N. Jefferson, Wellington. The vehicle was recovered.•6:30 a.m. Gregory A. Lowe, 40, Milan, was arrested, charged and confined with possession of stolen property.•8:30 a.m. Officers investigated a domestic battery in the 100 block W. Lincoln, Wellington by a known suspect(s) which occurred February 7, 2016.•10:50 a.m. Officers investigated criminal use of a financial card in the 1400 block E. 16th, Wellington by a known suspect.•10:50 a.m. Officers investigated criminal use of a financial card in the 2000 block E. 16th, Wellington by known suspect.•12:55 p.m. Officers took a report of a found cell phone in the 800 block Homestead Drive, Wellington.•1:30 p.m. Officers conducted a courtesy motor vehicle accident report in the 500 block N. Washington, Wellington involving an occupied vehicle owned by Joseph L. Rivera, 35, Mulvane, and a parked and unoccupied vehicle owned by Rick E. Chitwood, Mayfield.•3:20 p.m. Officers took a report of a child in need of vare in the 600 block E. 9th, Wellington.•8:37 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 1300 block E. Harvey, Wellington.last_img read more