PERTH, Australia (AP): Steve Smith and George Bailey scored centuries and shared a 242-run partnership as Australia beat India by five wickets in the series-opening limited-overs international yesterday, reaching the victory target of 310 with four balls to spare. After winning the toss and batting, the visitors posted 309-3 with Rohit Sharma scoring an unbeaten 171 from 163 balls and Virat Kohli contributing 91 to a 207-run second-wicket partnership, surpassing the record 199 for India against Australia held by Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman since 2001. The Indian top-order batsmen dominated an inexperienced Australian attack on the true WACA wicket, with James Faulkner’s 2-60 the pick of the bowling figures. The World Cup champions were in trouble at 2-21 in reply, with Barinda Sran (3-56) removing opener Aaron Finch (8) and David Warner (5) before Smith and Bailey set up the victory with the fourth-highest ODI partnership ever for Australia. Momentum swung after Bailey was given not out after appearing to glove a leg-side catch off Sran to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on his first ball. With no Decision Review System in play, India had nowhere else to appeal when umpire Richard Kellenborough ruled Bailey not out. STRONG INNINGS He went on to score 112 from 120 balls and was instrumental in helping Smith, who scored 149 from 135 balls before he was dismissed in the last over, take the ascendancy against India’s slow bowlers in the middle overs. The match was all but over when Smith chipped Sran to cover on the first ball of the last over. Mitch Marsh finished unbeaten on 12 and James Faulkner (1) hit the winning run as Australia reached 310-5. Smith, the Australia captain, won the Man of the Match award despite the strong innings from Sharma, who recorded the highest score by a visiting batsman against Australia in Australia.
Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ LATEST STORIES MOST READ Archers still seeking old form DAY6 is for everybody Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors jumps for a rebound with Paul Millsap #4 of the Atlanta Hawks during 2017 NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center on February 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — The NBA is scrapping the East vs. West format for its All-Star Game and will have captains pick teams this season.The league said Tuesday the two starters with the highest fan vote totals from each conference will choose teams from the pool of players who were voted as starters and reserves.ADVERTISEMENT The 10 starters will continue to be chosen by a combination of fan, player and media balloting, with the coaches from each conference then selecting the 14 reserves. The captains will then draft their teams at an undetermined time — making certain that those chosen starters are split up so they remain starters.The teams will play for charity. They will select either a Los Angeles-area or national organization for donations to go.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide The change will begin with this season’s game in Los Angeles on Feb. 18.Players and league officials have been eager to inject new interest in the often defense-absent game, and they decided to act after another dull affair last February in New Orleans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“I’m thrilled with what the players and the league have done to improve the All-Star Game, which has been a priority for all of us,” National Basketball Players Association president Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to putting on an entertaining show in LA.”The sides worked closely — with Charlotte owner Michael Jordan, chairman of the league’s Labor Relations Committee, heavily involved in the conversations — and chose a format that has been used by the NFL and NHL for what will be the first NBA All-Star Game that doesn’t pit the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed How to help the Taal evacuees View comments
Reports filtering into Nimba County suggest that the Liberia – America Mining Company formerly LAMCO is said to be coming back to take possession of Mount Nimba Concession from the world steel giant Arcelor Mittal which is currently in charge of the concession.According to some residents in Yekapa and some employees presently working with Mittal, the steel company is scaling down operations gradually owing to the news of LAMCO resurfacing to retake their old concession.Unconfirmed reports said that LAMCO and the Government of Liberia signed a concession agreement for 75 years beginning in the early 60s after the exploration of the mountain followed by mining and subsequent shipment of ore in 1965.The reports added that based on the concession agreement, there have been a series of meetings among former LAMCO investors in Europe who intend to return to Liberia and retake the concession.“We are hearing of LAMCO coming back so things are not so good now in Yekapa because Mittal is slowing down some activities,” said one Bigboy, a government security officer. It is not clear whether the news is true or false, but the movement of trains is said to be slowing down gradually according to citizens living along the railroad.But, a prominent son of Nimba who is also a former employee of LAMCO and now serves as County Inspector, Thomas Q. Suah, disputed the rumor saying, “I don’t think LAMCO will ever come back because LAMCO sold its share of the company to the Liberian Government for US$ 1 in 1989 and gave the government US$ 8million for any claims.”He said that upon turning over the concession to the government of Liberia, the company was called LIMCO or Liberia Mining Company.Suah added that LIMCO operated the company until the 16 year war erupted and everybody fled from the concession area in the early 1990sRegarding the slowing down of trains, one of the Mittal rail workers who asked not to be named, said the slowdown was due to lack of iron to be transported.He said production at the mine was slow owing to the breakdown of most of the machines that were operating in the mine.However, when contacted the Communications Manager of Mittal, Hesta Pearson Baker, described the report as false and misleading.Some observers believe that the reports emerged because of the company’s failure to rehabilitate the town of Yekapa almost 10 years after they took over.Mittal and the Government of Liberia reached a Mineral Development Agreement in the year 2005 and the company began shipment of ore in September 2011. But where the news started regarding the old concession company LAMCO coming back is yet to be established.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management and Alternate Governor at the African Development Bank, Augustus J. Flomo, in handshake with Deputy Finance Minister for Economic Management and Alternate Governor at the African Development Bank, Augustus J. Flomo on Monday, February 25, held a consultative meetings with the institution’s President, Akinwumi Adesina and senior management in Abidjan, where they took stock of the Bank’s accelerated engagement in the region.Minister Flomo said the meeting with the bank’s president was intended to look at a project that the bank could sponsor to enhance Liberia’s economic development efforts in line with the country’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.Among the possible areas of projects support, Minister Flomo discussed with the Bank’s President included infrastructure projects like roads and electricity, youth employment and support to TVET program that focuses on providing skills development for the country’s youth, as well as support to MSMEs to serve as a catalyst for private sector-led growth.Moreover, the discussions looked at the Bank’s support to commercial rice farming tied to the Staple Crop Processing Zone – linked to the Special Economic Zone.“Infrastructure is very critical. We hope the bank will continue to support and add value to our one government data platform,” Minister Flomo said.The 370 transformative Bank projects valued at US$11.3 billion between 2010-2017 in the region, are changing lives and making a different, the governors noted.These are the second annual consultative meetings, aimed at sharing views with the governors, after the first meetings in the history of the Bank were initiated by President Adesina in 2018.“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the Governors are much closer to the Bank, and that you are integrally involved in the wider vision and direction, particularly as it pertains to the challenges and needs of your respective regions,” Adesina said in his opening remarks.“Today, I am filled with hope. Hope because Africa is changing. Hope because across the continent, despite challenges, you can see a rising determination to turn things around,” he further noted.“But the needs in Africa are high and we still have a long way to go,” Adesina said, before recalling the Bank’s Board of Directors’ authorization to engage in discussions with its shareholders for a General Capital Increase. “Let’s think how much development we want to have in Africa and how much we are willing to pay for it… Not be too focused on how much it would cost. Let’s think how much development we want to have in Africa and how much we are willing to pay for it. It is not so much what we can afford: it is what Africa deserves. Under-development is more expensive,” he said.During the consultations, the Minister urged for greater focus on women to close the gender gap, address climate change, and increase attention to development in fragile states.Calling the Bank, the economic arm of the African Union, the governors also highlighted the need for it to be involved in global issues in order to influence and help shape the conversations around foreign investments.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Seawall shootingThe self-proclaimed eyewitness to the Kingston seawall killings of three suspected bandits – who according to Police was scheduled for an interview with a Senior Detective in the presence of his Attorney, Nigel Hughes, today (Tuesday) did not turn up.According to the Guyana Police Force’s Public Relations Department, “Mr Lyte’s Attorney-at-Law when contacted in relation to another matter informed the detective that his client needed another 24 hours. As his client has some issues to sort out.”The Police had said Lyte went to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on Monday around 16:45h and in the presence of his Attorney submitted “a copy of the statement, which he issued earlier to the Crime Chief, Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Williams.”Lyte during a press conference held at his Attorney’s office on Monday, read from the prepared statement where he claimed that on the day Dextroy Cordis, also known as “Dutty”, of Grove, East Bank Demerara; Kwame Assanah, of Buxton, East Coast Demerara; and Errol Adams, also known as “Dynamite” were fatally shot, he was working on the roof of the Guyana Softball Association on Carifesta Avenue and would have witnessed the incident, which based on his account is vastly different from the statement issued by the Police.Hughes recapping what Lyte said, among other things, posited that “there were two vehicles, the black vehicle which had the now three deceased in the front which was being followed by the silver [Police] vehicle, he [eyewitness] hears banging looked West saw the road was blocked off by the Police, those two vehicles were driving East along the Seawall road, gunfire erupted… the car in front stopped, the driver of the silver car got out walked to him, put him [Assanah] on the ground, was actually assaulting him on the ground and then after that there was gunfire…at the time the gunfire erupted he (officer) was physically standing over the guy who was on the ground.”“In fact, the driver of the black car was on the ground being physically assaulted for more than 10 minutes before the gunfire erupted and three occupants, as you all know, were all dead…there was no motorcycle which disappeared with any pillion rider or any mysterious rider,” Hughes told media operatives. According to Hughes, the facts presented by Lyte seem to suggest that this was an execution.Additionally, the purported eyewitness related that the roads leading to the seawalls were blocked to vehicular traffic prior to the alleged shootout.However, Lyte said while he witnessed the event, he could not state whether shots were fired at the Police, nor if the three suspects were armed.Hours after the shooting to death of the three men, the Police in a statement related that the men were followed by an unmarked Police vehicle after they were seen trailing a customer who had left Scotia Bank on Robb Street, Georgetown.The Police claimed that in the vicinity of the seawalls, the men in the black Toyota car opened fire on them and in retaliation; they returned fire fatally wounding them.
Machinery Corporation of Guyana Limited (MACORP) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Public Telecommunications Ministry to improve linkages of the company’s Technicians for the Caribbean training course to youths across the country.Minister Cathy Hughes with CEO of MACORP, Guillermo Escarraga (third from left) and other stakeholders during the signing ceremonyThe training was launched in May through partnership with the Caterpillar brand, enabling persons to acquire a technician certificate that is internationally recognised. It is free of cost and can be accessed through any internet-connected device.Chief Executive Officer of MACORP, Guillermo Escarraga explained that they would have sought to include other stakeholders in the programme to which the Ministry indicated interest. This was after recognising its potential to create a skilled workforce.“The objective of the programme is to provide vocational opportunities to the youths and basically anyone who is eager to start a technical career. The programme is available online and is free of cost, becoming a great opportunity for development.Meanwhile, Public Telecommunications Minister, Cathy Hughes explained that persons can access this training via the Information Communication Technology (ICT) hubs that were established in various villages across the country. She also noted the importance of possessing a skill.“We’re encouraging individuals, especially young people who might be unemployed, to be able to use the facility and we have been pushing how important it is education is. We have made an important match between online learning, using technology to enhance educational opportunities and in turn, the value of an individual and their skills,” Hughes highlighted.Hughes acknowledged the possible job opportunities which exist after completing the course. This includes a chance to work for MACORP, an internationally-recognised industrial company.“After a period of a year of being on this programme, you also have an opportunity to be brought on to the internship and the work-study programme that MACORP offers. It has the possibility for you to join an exciting team.”Escarraga had pointed out during the launching that the organisation has physically trained some 400 technicians over the years. It has been some 25 years since MACORP established operations in Guyana, offering employment to scores of persons. With this online certification, one can obtain a job in any region of the world.“At the end of this programme, every single student will receive a certification of completion. This certification is valid throughout the world. If you have one of this certification, you can go anywhere in the world. Hopefully, those that complete this programme will stay in the region and in Guyana,” said Escarraga.He added, “Now is the time. We have been talking about Guyana developing and opportunity and potential but we have not materialised. This is the time. MACORP has played an integral role in the development of a skilled workforce.”The online training was the first of its kind in the world and can be completed in just a few months. There are different levels which can be pursued for further advancements in the technical field.
– warns about sowing seed for another crisis in the futureFor each of the three years that the coalition Government has been in office, there were jailbreaks and riots at various prisons, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has noted.Addressing a recent press conference, the former Head of State said that this pointed to the incompetence of Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and, by extension, the Government.“Ramjattan’s incompetence knows no limit. So, we have had another fiasco at the prison. We warned about this … but he is impervious to criticism,” Jagdeo stated.The Opposition Leader believes that Ramjattan has underperformed in every single area of his responsibility, stating that crime was on a rampant increase and the Minister has made a mess of the prison system.He recalled that the then Opposition used to argue that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration was weak on law and order, which has now come back to haunt them.“Because almost three years you had some burning of the prison and loss of life … because of the incompetence … they created this moral hazard by their own acts,” he asserted.On Monday October 15, 2018, three inmates from the Lusignan penitentiary, one of whom has since been recaptured, scaled the fence of the Holding Bay area and escaped.Later that night, several inmates at the facility started a riot over the food they were served and in retaliation, ranks opened fire on them resulting in at least 10 of them being injured.At a press conference following these incidents, Ramjattan lamented that he did not know what else could be done to address the troubles within the prison system.“I don’t have any other suggestions … for their security, for the citizens’ security as to what we can do there … So, look, the thing gives me headache every night,” the Minister stated.He went on to disclose that the requests made to various international agencies for funding to address the state of affairs within the prison system have been rejected and now the only solution would be to await money Guyana will earn from oil production in two years’ time.Back in early July 2017, eight prisoners, a few of them high-profile criminals, escaped from the Camp Street Prison. There was a huge riot that led to a massive fire which destroyed a large section of the penitentiary. While most of them were recaptured, a few remain on the run.With the transfer of most of these prisoners to other prisons, 13 of them escaped from Lusignan Prison. Two escapees, Paul Goriah and Cobena Stephens, are still on the run. Another major riot erupted there, and there were calls for investigations based on the inhumane conditions of the facility.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoIn March 2016, the Camp Street Prison was destroyed when prisoners started rioting under similar circumstances. Seventeen inmates died because of burns, smoke inhalation and injuries received during the unrest. It was the worst prison riot in Guyana.Jagdeo said the coalition was warned about its actions after March 2016, as it related to the fact that after the prisoners set fire to the jail, they secured a meeting with a member of the executive.“They created a moral hazard there … where it ends?” he questioned, noting that prisoners have been given the impression that if they resorted to riotous actions, their demands would be met.He said, “In the long term, their actions will affect us … we have to be extremely cautious about our approach (with the release of prisoners and not sow the seed for another crisis in the future).”Minister of State Joseph Harmon said Friday that Ramjattan has met with a team of persons with expertise to discuss possible solutions to address the issues facing the Guyana Prisons Service (GPS). Ramjattan not disclose what was discussed or whom he had met with.The Private Sector Commission (PSC), in a letter to Minister Ramjattan, indicated its concern on a number of issues affecting the prisons in Guyana and, by virtue of this, public safety in the country.The Commission noted that in a recent meeting of the Management Board of the Prisons, it was highlighted that there was a general lack of adequate security at all of the prisons, a lack of fire prevention systems, the lack of transportation to enable movement of prisoners and food where necessary, and the inadequacy of the current complement of prisons to safely house the prison population.It further stated that while the Commission is concerned about the safety and security of the public, it is also disturbed by the less-than-humane conditions under which the inmate population at the Lusignan Prison is housed.
1 day after criminal charges filedOne day after private criminal charges were filed against top Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials for conspiring to delay elections, President David Granger has asked the elections body to submit a work programme at the earliest time possible – with just seven days remaining before the constitutional deadline expires.President David GrangerIn a letter sent to Chairman of GECOM, Justice James Patterson, on Wednesday morning, the Head of State noted that last week’s consultation was intended to provide him with an understanding of the Commission’s work programme, which is expected to enable it to deliver credible elections within the shortest possible time.On this note, President Granger requested the elections body to submit its work programme in “the shortest possible time”.The Head of State emphasised in the missive that the work programme is essential to inform him of GECOM’s readiness to deliver credible elections in Guyana.“I urge you to present your plans, programmes and financial needs which will guide my proclamation of a suitable date for elections,” President Granger stated in the letter sent to the GECOM Chairman.The coalition Government has been facing mounting pressure to set a date for elections before the March 21 deadline as is constitutionally due. But President Granger has been insisting that he has to await guidance from GECOM before he executes his presidential responsibility.Last week, the GECOM Chairman and six Commissioners as well as Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield met with the President. The Opposition Commissioners had disclosed that during the meeting, the CEO had indicated that there was no work plan in place as yet when asked by the Head of State.Commission not SecretariatGECOM Chairman, Justice James PattersonHowever, when contacted on Wednesday, Lowenfield explained that the “work programme” the President is seeking is one from the Commission and not the Secretariat.He pointed out that the GECOM Secretariat, which he heads, had presented several work plans to the Commission back in January, outlining various options, including a claims and objections period coupled with continuous registration, on the way forward regarding the holding of elections. The Secretariat had indicated that it would need a minimum of 148 days to prepare for polls with the earliest possible date being in July.But the Commission had overlooked those options put forward by the Secretariat and decided to go ahead with house-to-house registration, which is expected to conclude sometime in November. This was voted for by the Government-nominated Commissioners supported by the Chairman.GECOM’s unpreparednessMeanwhile, the Opposition Commissioners at GECOM have been unsuccessfully pushing for the elections body to get ready for elections within the constitutional deadline. In fact, they presented a plan at last Friday’s meeting outlining how polls can be held before the current voters’ list expires on April 30, 2019.But that proposal was rejected by Government and the Commissioners on Tuesday walked out of the statutory meeting at GECOM after the issue of house-to-house registration was on the agenda instead of General and Regional Elections as mandated by the Constitution of Guyana.According to Lowenfield, the Commission will now have to come up with a consensus in order to submit the “work programme” to the Head of State. He added whatever that work programme is, the Secretariat will have to deliver on that.Since the passage of the No-confidence Motion on December 21, 2018, there has been much criticism about GECOM’s preparedness for the mandated General and Regional Elections, with many accusing the elections body of deliberately delaying the constitutionally mandated holding of polls.On Tuesday, private criminal charges were filed against Justice Patterson and Government-nominated Commissioners Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman for conspiracy to breach the Constitution of Guyana. The charges were brought by Marcel Gaskin, the brother of Business Minister Dominic Gaskin.Filed by Attorney Sanjeev Datadin, the charges allege that the defendants, during the period of December 22, 2018 and March 9, 2019 conspired to breach Article 106 of the Constitution of Guyana, which provided for the holding of General Elections in Guyana within three months from December 21, 2018. The case comes up for hearing before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan on Friday.According to Article 106, upon the passage of a no-confidence motion, the President and Cabinet have to resign and call elections within 90 days or at a later date approved by two-thirds of the National Assembly.However, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has since indicated that he would agree to extend the deadline for elections only if the President sets a date before April 30.BackpedallingImmediately after the No-confidence Motion was passed, both President David Granger and Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo had initially committed to following the provisions outlined in the Constitution, facilitating early elections and engaging in dialogue with the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo but have since changed their position.In just one week, the constitutional deadline for holding elections will expire, throwing the country into a constitutional crisis Guyana has never been in before. Some experienced political analysts, including distinguished lawyers, have predicted that the country will head into a constitutional crisis.Only recently, the Civil Society Forum – an organisation comprising several non-governmental organisations, as well as the Private Sector, trade unions and religious groups – argued that this position adopted by the Head of State was “unacceptable”.In a statement on Monday, the Group said: “Giving GECOM effective power to determine when elections will be held is a position for which no constitutional support exists.”It added that this “manoeuvre” revived the misgivings and insecurities generated by the controversial selection of the current Chair of GECOM, Justice Patterson, who now has the casting vote on when elections would be held.
SAN JOSE – Each of the San Jose Sharks’ third-period scoring chances died in Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove or deflected harmlessly off his pads. Teemu Selanne got the Anaheim Ducks’ only chance in the entire final frame – and as Sharks fans have known for years, the Finnish Flash rarely wastes them. The Ducks survived nearly four minutes of short-handed play early in the third, including a two-man disadvantage for 17seconds. San Jose had several additional chances in the final minutes, including an unobstructed look by captain Patrick Marleau – but it hit Bryzgalov squarely in the chest. “It’s one game, but it’s like in baseball: You ask a pitcher to go in and get you one, and the goaltender went in and got us one,” Carlyle said. And after San Jose missed several scoring chances in a flurry, Anaheim scored with a blistering counterattack. Chris Kunitz and Selanne traded the puck on an end-to-end rush before Selanne barely tucked home his 38th goal of the season with 11:41 left. Selanne, a San Jose favorite during his 2 seasons in teal, scored his 82nd point in 54career games against the Sharks with his fast-break goal. “They were dominating most of the time,” Selanne said. “In the third, they had all the chances. We were lucky to get this one at all. You always begin to think there’s a chance that you’re going to get a chance to score. You just wait for that opportunity.” The clubs, which meet again Friday at Honda Center, have split the first six meetings of this burgeoning rivalry. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Anaheim was tired after beating Colorado on Sunday night, but managed to hold off the Sharks by a whisker. “The only chance those guys had in the last two periods, and they score,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said, shaking his head. “We played really well. Their goaltender played great, and that’s the difference in the hockey game. To outshoot a team like that and dominate territorial play, and then we make a mistake, and it ends up in the net – I don’t know what to say.” Anaheim had plenty to say about Bryzgalov’s heroics in his first victory since Jan. 11. Jean-Sebastien Giguere started the Ducks’ past eight games, but Bryzgalov thrived in the surprise assignment from coach Randy Carlyle. “It was the best game I’ve played all year,” Bryzgalov said. “I was playing and laughing out there. I wasn’t nervous. They kept trying to come down and pressure me, but we were able to defend it.” Dustin Penner scored twogoals in the first period for Anaheim, and Milan Michalek replied with two goals in the second period for San Jose. Selanne scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, and the Ducks padded their Pacific Division lead with a 3-2 victory over the frustrated Sharks on Monday night. Bryzgalov made 40 saves in his first start since Feb. 7 for the Ducks, who moved seven points ahead of San Jose and Dallas by surviving the Sharks, who had a prodigious 42-19 shot advantage – including 18-2 in the third period – and committed just one penalty all night.
A house of one’s own. Outhouse and plumbing extra. A great deal of assembly required. Flori’s worship of these houses has been known to propel her right up the porch steps of people she’s never met to proclaim they have history in their joists and it’s their civic duty to preserve it. Sometimes the folks at home are intrigued. Sometimes they have no idea what she’s going on about, and couldn’t care less. At all times, this stout, mile-a-minute talker is a woman obsessed: By houses that during a 32-year span could be sent away for and ordered on credit. Houses that arrived with precut lumber and numbered for easy assembly, with 750 pounds of nails and enough paint for two coats. She is not alone in this self-appointed mission. Across the country, otherwise ordinary people have been transformed by obsession into identifying and preserving “kit houses” from Sears. They drive through unfamiliar neighborhoods armed with flashlights and fervor, searching for a telling detail of a specific model – the gabled roof of the Warrenton, the dormer windows of the Medford. They pound the doors of strangers, seeking admittance to their basements, searching for exposed beams with telltale Sears assembly numbers. They proselytize preservation with the fervor of Jehovah’s Witnesses shoving copies of the Watchtower through a cracked screen door. Yet they are as similar and dissimilar as the 447 floor plans that Sears delivered. “It’s like King Tut and the Titanic,” said Marilyn Raschka, who used to cover the bedlam of Beirut as a foreign correspondent and now lives in Hartford, Wis. “It’s utterly fascinating.” “It’s history,” said Rebecca Hunter, a historian who lectures on preservation and lives in Elgin, Ill. “It’s part of our heritage. And we have to do it ourselves because apparently Sears threw out everything.” Flori, true to her nature, is a little more blunt. “The only way I can explain it,” she says, and falls into laughter, “is that it’s like a cult.” All are fighting to identify and preserve whatever is left of the estimated 100,000 houses sold by Sears. It is not easy. No one knows where all of them are because Sears, over the years, destroyed most of its sales records. So people like Raschka and Hunter and Flori rely on their wits to seek out houses and authenticate them. Other companies offered catalog homes – Montgomery Ward, for example, and the Michigan-based Aladdin Co. But it is Sears – because of name recognition – that gets the most attention. The city of Carlinville is a special case. It encompasses nine blocks of nothing but Sears houses, the largest concentration in the country. The homes constituted a $1 million order placed by Standard Oil of Indiana in 1918. The fuel giant purchased nearly 200 dwellings to house an influx of miners and managers for 400-foot-shafts it was sinking in southern Illinois. They called this new neighborhood the Standard Addition. They built a park and schools nearby. The city extended its limits so water and sewer lines could greet new homeowners. Young Carlinville was in love. Here were symbols of prosperity and security for a small town in southern Illinois. Here was the promise of better times ahead. In brand new homes, courtesy of the Sears catalog – whose copies traveled their own journey, in-house to outhouse. — The American dream arrived in a box – in scores and scores of boxes, crammed with doorknobs and oak doors, manhandled into box cars, then pulled by steam engine across ribbons of railroad track pushing West. In that place and time, what arrived from afar inspired hosannahs. Mystery deliveries came from big cities. Creature comforts were unwrapped in new, raw land. Hope came packaged in pretty paper. And Sears was selling the biggest consumer good of all. The price was cheap. The materials were not. Cypress shingles, bronze door hinges, glazed windows, granite bathtubs. They came in styles and shapes and sizes befitting a wealthy farm owner. They also came in smaller sizes, at prices affordable to even an immigrant coal miner. They carried evocative names such as The Montrose, a seven-room, one-bath Eastern colonial with green shutters, flower boxes and a hooded gable entrance. “Justly considered a beautiful home in any community, no matter how exclusive,” said the catalog. They were sold from 1926 to 1929, at prices ranging from $2,923 to $3,324. Sears estimated its prices were 30 percent to 40 percent lower than market rates. Then there was Modern Home No. 55MP22, priced at about $400. It was a three-room cottage too small to qualify as even a shotgun shack. Sears boasted the house could be raised in eight hours, from floorboards to window shades, and offered photographic proof. Blurred black-and-white catalog photos from the turn of the 20th century showed four stages of assembly with a big clock in the foreground of each frame. At 7:45 a.m., the lumber lies in piles. At 9:30 a.m. three side walls are up, as are some interior partitions. At 4:30 p.m., the entire house is done, complete with a very modest front porch. Sears offered its own mortgages. Over time, it would offer mortgages for land as well, even though it was purchased separately. Regional lumber mills went up near transportation hubs to keep up with demand. But then came the Great Depression, and there went the houses-by-mail boom. Working-class Americans defaulted on their Sears mortgages. Families went even farther West, to California, where it was said there were jobs picking crops. So in 1940, Sears got out of the business of making life-size dollhouses. And despite all of the adoration from people like Flori, the place of Sears homes in architectural history is decidedly modest, just like the houses. Their blueprints were hybrids of what was popular at the time – Craftsman-style bungalows, Dutch colonials, mansard roofs. Sears was “marketing something to the broad population,” said Paul Lusignan, spokesman for the National Register of Historic Places. “It was very common.” Sears architects never aspired to the heights of Greene & Greene or Frank Lloyd Wright. Simply put, they mostly designed common houses for common people. — Standard Oil bought nine models for Carlinville’s Standard Addition, all of them two-story homes of five to six rooms, plus a lavatory. If one preferred an outhouse, such accommodations were available for an additional $41. Carlinville construction began in 1918, after a special spur of the Chicago & Alton Railroad was laid to accommodate the new homes. One house usually occupied two boxcars, and home deliveries were staggered, designed to deliver supplies as they were needed. First came building paper, lumber, nails, and framing. The final shipment brought millwork and a bathtub. A horse or a mule dragged wagon load after wagon load to large lots averaging 47 feet by 144 feet. At extra cost, Sears also provided contractors and building supervisors; “Hercules Heating Systems”; built-in bookcases with leaded glass doors, and electrical appliances (a 1920s Sears home catalog illustration shows a woman in heels, delirious at the helm of an upright vacuum). — Today, the self-appointed curator of Carlinville is sometimes an annoyance. “With some of the people, I’m not popular and I don’t care,” she says. “When they die, what are they going to say? I can say I really tried.” To Flori, “trying” means that she has snapped pictures of Addition homes she considers “trashy,” printed copies, and distributed the photographs like wanted posters to the City Council in hopes its members would make the residents step to. “What she wants if for all the houses to look as nice as when they were first built,” said Mayor Robert Schwab, who answers his own phone in City Hall. “But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CARLINVILLE, Ill. – She speaks with the fervor of a woman possessed. In the cadence of a grange hall auctioneer, Laurie Flori jabs a finger at each house on her street, every one ordered from Sears, Roebuck and Co. “That’s a Carlin,” she pronounces. “That’s a Whitehall. That’s a Warrenton. That’s a Lebanon.” Starting nearly a century ago, these stately names were bestowed upon a modest line of homes that could be purchased by mail. To Flori, they are verses in a hymn to working-class America, to a time when things were built better and cost less, when everything in the Sears catalog looked bigger and better than ordinary life. For a while, the American dream shimmered on those pages, just as obtainable as a pair of work boots or dungarees.