Jordin Sparks, an amateur teen singer from Arizona, was crowned the new “American Idol” on Wednesday after the record-breaking TV talent contest came to a finale at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Sparks, 17, who auditioned for the sixth season of the show in Seattle, had no formal music training, and now gets a record contract and a place in the showbiz spotlight, joining five previous “Idols.” The daughter of former pro-football player Phillipi Sparks, Jordin outsung hip-hop-inspired runner-up Blake Lewis in the competition that drew a record 74 million votes. TV’s highest-rated show opened with Sparks and Lewis dueting on the Beatles song, “I Saw You Standing There.” It opens with the line “Well, she was just 17,” a nice fit for the 17-year-old champ. Kellogg, Pop-Tarts and Coca-Cola are major sponsors, and all the judges, hosts, and contestants are often seen drinking out of cups bearing the Coca-Cola logo. Wednesday’s extravaganza included guest shots from Motown star Smokey Robinson, “Idol” season one winner Kelly Clarkson, Gladys Knight, season five winner Taylor Hicks, Tony Bennett, season four winner Carrie Underwood, Bebe and Cece Winans, Bette Midler, and hip-hopper Doug E. Fresh. Green Day performed John Lennon’s acerbic “Working Class Hero,” a song whose message of anti-consumerism surely sailed over the heads of most in the audience. And in the most touching segment, four of the five previous “Idols” (third season winner Fantasia couldn’t make it because she’s appearing on Broadway in “The Color Purple”) did numbers from the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, released 40 years ago this summer. To help fill the two hours leading up to the big moment, host Ryan Seacrest introduced blooper reels of memorably failed auditions and joke bits. Sparks also performed the Motown chestnut “You’re All I Need to Get By” with second season winner Ruben Studdard, a segment that had Abdul dancing at the judges table. Even as “Idol” winner Sparks begins thinking about cutting her album, there are no guarantees millions will buy it. Record sales vary widely among winners. Last year’s winner, Hicks, hasn’t broken the 700,000 mark with his debut, while Chris Daughtry, last season’s fourth-place finisher, has the top-selling album of all season five contenders with 2.5 million albums sold. Fifth-season runner-up, Sherman Oaks’ own Katharine McPhee, sold around 322,000 copies of her debut disc, according to Nielsen SoundScan.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Earlier in the day, Hollywood Boulevard was packed with fans holding signs and cheering for their favorites as the stars floated down the red carpet. Across the street, around the pool of a trendy hotel, “Idol’s” British owners-producers Fremantle Media, which has aired local versions of “Idol” in 35 territories worldwide, celebrated with a private party where spirits were high and top-shelf liquor flowed. Some poolside chatter centered on judge Simon Cowell, who announced he would be leaving the show in four years once his contract was up after the 10th season. His fellow judges, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, had no comment. The consistently popular “American Idol,” a copy of a British series called “Pop Idol,” is a ratings and revenue bonanza. Athough its 25 million average weekly viewers declined in recent months, Fox won its third consecutive season among 18-49s when the season ended Wednesday. The network’s 4.0 rating and 11 share comes in 0.3 ratings points over CBS, giving it the biggest margin of victory for any network in five years, according to the trade publication Media Life. This year, a 30-second spot averaged more than $600,000, according to Advertising Age magazine. That makes it the highest priced regular season commercial buy, followed by ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” at a reported $394,000 per spot. Wednesday’s season-ender was expected to top the 29.4 million viewers that watched last season’s finale, and commercial spots for the finale reportedly went for $1.3 million.
(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)SAN JOSE — The availability of Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Erik Karlsson for Game 6 of the Western Conference Final remains in question as Sharks coach Pete DeBoer did not provide injury updates on the three players Monday or divulge whether any of them would travel to St. Louis.The three players did not finish Game 5 against St. Louis, a 5-0 Sharks loss that put them on the brink of elimination, as the Blues …
Related LinksNTL Referee Upgrades Congratulations to the following referees on receiving upgrades at the 2016 National Touch League. Level 4 Nicole AlexanderLevel 5Tim Ah SeeJustin ApplebyPhil BalcombeJake DavisAlex FaulkerJustin HillDarryl LyonRobert MackayZan McCahonDean McDonaldAdam TurnerAlison WattersNicole WestBrendon WilsonAndy YonLouise FernanceJosh LittleAndrew WatkinsLevel 6Danielle NunnKathleen SpenceLevel 5 Senior Peter Cramp Nicole DicksonIvan GianmarcoDavid TewkesburyBruce CrosbyRod SawellPaul RichardsonLevel 6 SeniorJamie BanfieldAnthony CollinsRob CooperAmanda DraperPaul KhoudairChris ReynoldsNicole Teo
To coincide with the NRL Women’s Rugby League National Championship, female NRL Touch Football players who are interested in being part of the Women’s Rugby League are invited to apply to join one of two exclusive touch-player teams for an exhibition match in front of NRL Women’s Rugby League selectors on 1st June!Maddie Studdon will work in consultation with the NSW Touch Association, and Chelsea Baker with Queensland Touch Football, to select 12 Touch players for the ‘Studdon Stars’ team and 12 for the ‘Baker Breakers’ team.These Touch players will be given tackle coaching before they go up against each other in a game of 9-a-side rugby league.This Touch players initiative helps give NRL Touch Football a meaningful role separate from the open-to-the-public Talent ID, and elevates the position of Touch players over those from other sports. To support this, the NRL will be assisting the 24 selected Touch players with travel, accommodation, insurance, uniforms and other costs associated with this initiative. Touch women will also take part in the NRL Women’s Rugby League Talent ID the day before, 31st May.Details of the event include the following:Date: 31st May–1st June 2018Ground Location: Owen Park Southport, QueenslandAccommodation: Sea World ResortTo fill in the Expression of Interest form, click here.
MONTREAL – Endangered beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River already facing plenty of adversity now have an unlikely foe to contend with — the common house cat.A new study suggests the belugas are being increasingly infected with a parasite known as toxoplasma gondii, transmitted through the feces of cats.Stephane Lair, a professor of veterinary medicine at the Universite de Montreal and one of the study’s authors, said of 34 beluga whale carcasses examined between 2009 and 2012, 44 per cent were found to be infected with the parasite.“It doesn’t mean they died of this parasite. It means there was a presence either in their heart or their brain,” Lair said on Monday. “And we know that it’s a parasite that can kill belugas, so its presence can have an impact on their lives.”Toxoplasmosis — the disease caused by the parasite — is increasingly prevalent in a wide range of marine mammals. It is spread by wild and domesticated cats, which contract it by eating rodents. In marine mammals, it may cause neurological problems and behavioural change.“Marine animals in North America have been in contact with this parasite for thousands of years,” Lair said. In 2014, the cat parasite was found in Arctic belugas, likely spread by wild cats such as lynx, bobcat and cougars.“The big difference in the last few centuries is the introduction of domestic cats — a new definitive host for the parasite that probably has contributed to an increase in the amount of toxoplasma those mammals are exposed to,” the veterinarian said.Toxoplasmosis is associated with mortality in marine animals all over the world. Lair pointed to the example of the endangered monk seals of Hawaii, 11 of which have died from the disease since 2001.In the past 30 years, seven St. Lawrence beluga deaths have been linked to the parasite. But there are other effects that need further study.“In a lot of species, there’s a big question about the sub-lethal effect of that parasite — it means that it might not necessarily kill the animal … but when present, it can have a health impact that’s not always detectable,” Lair said.At last count, about 900 belugas lived in the St. Lawrence estuary.As for dealing with the problem, Lair said keeping domestic cats indoors prevents them from eating infected prey.Also, ensuring cat feces is not flushed down the toilet would reduce parasite levels in the water.“The parasite is quite resistant, it would survive all the different (sewage) treatments and end up in the estuary,” Lair said.The research was published in the journal Diseases of Aquatic Organisms last month.
CALGARY – Executives from the biggest oilsands companies in Canada say concerns about getting their products to market are starting to ease in the wake of the regulatory approval of Enbridge Inc.’s $9-billion Line 3 pipeline replacement project.The project to add about 375,000 barrels per day of export capacity into the United States cleared its last major regulatory hurdle at the end of June when it was conditionally endorsed by Minnesota state officials.Executives from Suncor Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Imperial Oil Ltd., Husky Energy Inc. and Cenovus Energy Inc. say the decision, especially when combined with a deal by the federal government to buy the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion project for $4.5 billion, could allow them to consider expansion projects again.However, they said while taking part in a panel at the TD Securities Calgary Energy Conference that such decisions also hinge on federal and provincial regulatory and tax certainty.Husky CEO Rob Peabody says the company expects to grow its overall oil and gas production by about five per cent per year going forward, adding it has excess pipeline capacity now but it will need more room for its growing Western Canada production by about 2023.Suncor chief operating officer Mark Little says his company has sufficient contracted pipeline space as production ramps up at its recently completed 194,000-barrel-per-day Fort Hills oilsands project, but it will hold off on adding major production projects until it’s satisfied that all market access, regulatory and fiscal issues are more clearly understood.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John for Liquefied Natural Gas (FSJ for LNG) has recently released a letter looking at a year in review.Founder and Chairman, Alan Yu, says in the letter that FSJ for LNG is thankful for 2018 but is hoping for a better 2019 in regards to the current status of the LNG project. He notes that the LNG project was not just good for Fort St. John but for the National and Global economy as well.“When North East B.C. received good news in late 2018, it wasn’t just a positive turn of events for Fort St. John and the Peace Region. The final investment decision to proceed with the LNG Canada project heralds a project of national and global significance. A flat year for LNG investment worldwide was lifted by the October announcement. As recognition travels far and wide of fully how transformational Canada’s largest-ever private investment will be, nevertheless there are strong signs that the NDP-Green alliance in Victoria can barely contain its contempt for anything to do with natural gas and LNG.” Yu hopes that, in 2019, the Horgan Government does the right thing and test its reckless LNG policy with the electorate by calling an early election.“For those who understand both the economy and the environment, there is only one realistic hope for 2019: that the Horgan government do the right thing and test its reckless LNG policy with the electorate by calling an early election. The same voters who rejected Horgan’s crooked proportional representation referendum are highly likely to react the same way to his anti-climate climate plan: by saying no.”In closing, Yu points out that there is still a lot of work that FSJ for LNG has to do even with the LNG project coming to Fort St. John.“For those asking if the job of FSJ for LNG is now over, I hope this answers the question. We still have quite a job to do in 2019 which include voting somebody out in the coming federal election.”The full letter can be viewed below.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 20, 2017 – Nassau – Long-awaited renovations are finally underway at the AIDS Foundation this month, in a bid to give the premises a much-needed facelift leading into the New Year.The renovations start with the instalment of a new kitchen, with help from a recent donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean. The kitchen is set to be installed between December 22nd and January 8th. “It won’t be in time for Christmas, because as long as the kids are here we need to use the kitchen. But we’re hoping it will be finished by the start of the new school term, a bit like a late Christmas present,” said Lady Camille Barnett, President of the AIDS Foundation.“We still do what we can to give the place a little ‘holiday spirit.’ The kids will have a Christmas party and exchange of gifts. They put up a Christmas tree last week and they’re very proud of it.“At our afterschool program, we have a part-time cook who prepares a meal for the kids – the idea being that once they have a meal at the end of the day they’ll be able to take their medication,” said Lady Barnett. “Our kitchen was in dire need of renovation. The buildings we’re in now were donated to us in the late 1990s, and not much work has ever been done to them because we’ve had to use our resources for other things. CIBC FirstCaribbean’s donation will go towards renovating the kitchen area, which is vital to the work that we do with young people.”Established in 1992, the AIDS Foundation engages in HIV/AIDS education, awareness, advocacy, support, treatment, and prevention. Their afterschool program caters to people of all ages, and has three components: academic, psycho-social, and medical.“On the academic side, we have trained educators who work with the kids from 4:00pm until 5:30pm on school assignments Monday through Thursday. The psycho-social component happens on Friday and it’s all the interaction we do to support them in terms of their health, especially those who are HIV positive. We teach them anything from self-esteem building, to making good choices and life skills. With the medical component we work very closely with the Ministry of Health, because they’re the healthcare providers for these young individuals. We are actively involved with making sure they get to clinic appointments and that they take their medication.“We also found that as some of these kids have grown up, they need help with job preparation and we’re doing that with them as well. So I like to call this the ‘holistic program,’ because we try to support them and meet all of the needs they have. Sometimes it involves housing – at one point our social worker actually housed three of the kids in her home because there was no place for them to go and no one for them to be with. We try to provide complete support for them and at the end of the day we want them to be healthy, productive, and independent young people – that’s the goal,” said Lady Barnett.Part of that process involves creating a “safe space” that is comfortable for program participants. “There’s still a stigma surrounding HIV, and you don’t want the children coming to a place that’s broken down because that’s not good for their self-esteem. You want the place to look nice. We’re receiving help to renovate our stairs soon, because they’re in pretty bad condition. So along with the donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean to renovate our kitchen – all of that is just giving it a little facelift. I think coming to a place that looks decent and not broken down enhances everybody’s self-esteem.”Photo captions: CIBC FirstCaribbean’s donation to the AIDS Foundation will help give the non-profit organisation a much-needed ‘facelift’ in time for the New Year. L-R: Lady Camille Barnett, President of the AIDS Foundation, and CIBC FirstCaribbean Marketing Director, Maya Nottage.Press Release: CIBCFCIB Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp