A common theme emerges as coaches and players share thoughts on National Signing Day 2019

East Nashville high School Signees L-R Jalen Knight, Anthony Collier, Jason Watkins, Jaylun Davis, Stanley Cross, and Rondarius Gregory

One of the most exciting moments for a student-athlete and his or her family is receiving a verbal scholarship offer. Years of hard work have led to this moment. However, nothing is official until an athlete signs his or her National Letter of Intent (NLI.)

On Wednesday, February 6th, high schools in Metro Nashville Public Schools held the annual  National Signing Day. 

This is a day many athletes dream of becoming a reality.

While many athletes signed during the early period, MNPS had forty-four athletes sign their official National Letter of Intent. This first step is just the beginning, and was described by Coach Jamaal Stewart as “here the real work begins.”

Not every school uses the NLI—about 650 NCAA DI and DII schools—and it’s not mandatory to sign. Yet if an athlete has worked throughout high school and often longer the NLI have become a one of the first “graduation” moments high schools experience. It is often a celebration with cake and punch where athletes are surrounded by both family, team mates and friends.

Maplewood Signees L-R : Rashawn Dalton, Carl Birdsong, Clint Dowdy, and Travares Springer

What is National Signing Day?

The National Letter of Intent is not affiliated directly with the NCAA; it was created by the Collegiate Commissioners Association to protect both the college and student from either party backing out. Athletes are able to sign Letters of Intent  several different times through out the school year including an early signing period and the regular signing period. Typically the National Signing Day takes place on the first Wednesday of February.

Starting this school year (2018-19), significant updates to the process of signing changes with new rules that are intended to speed up the timeline for seniors.  “In the past, there was an early signing period (usually in November) followed by a break over the holidays (dead period) before signing NLIs resumed in the spring during the regular signing period.” (ncsasports.com).

Fall athletes in 2018 outside of football and men’s and women’s D1 basketball players can begin signing scholarships on November 14, 2018 and continue to sign anytime through August 1, 2019.

While much of the recruiting process happens long before November of your senior year, the fact that athletes will be ending their recruiting by signing NLIs earlier means recruiting in the lower divisions will likely speed up as well.

In the past, NCAA D2, D3 and NAIA schools would wait for D1 programs to complete their recruiting classes before ramping up their signings. Now that D1 schools will be completing their signings earlier, expect all other division levels to be busy over the holidays and early in 2019 instead of mid to late spring.

Hume Fogg Volleyball Signees: Ellie Buffler, volleyball, Trevecca
Kendall Bullock, volleyball, Tennessee State
Ava Smithing, volleyball, Stevens Institute of Technology

“Be grateful, be flexible and keep the excellent student attitude we as coaches have expected you to have  in the classroom and on the field” stated Head Coach Maurice Fitzgerald of Hillsboro High School in his speech to players and family members  at the afternoon signing. “Remember  that h attitude is everything when is comes to moving on to the next level. Attitude is everything and never forget that the word ‘student’ comes before the word ‘athlete’ when you decide to define yourself as a student-athlete. 

Fitzgerald further explained how few athletes have this opportunity to use a talent to further their education. ” Only 1% of high school students playing football in high school are able to sit at a table in front of family and friends” and sign a letter of intent to play for a post secondary school, be it Power 5 or a junior college.

This theme was echoed at every signing that happened through the day. Choosing a school as a recruit is harder than many may know. Cane Ridge High School’s Devon Starling was asked about how hard the process of making this decision can be during the recruiting process.  “Central Arkansas had interest in me but they wanted me too play defense and I feel in my heart that I am a running back. Memphis University kept telling me they were going to find a way to get me in school as a preferred walk on and at running back.”

The NSD event can be either solemn, casual or intimate with coaches sharing insider stories about their players. Clint Dowdy, of Stratford High School was more sure of his decision because the process came down to how the school listened to him and his parents. Choosing a school as a recruit is harder than many may know. “I knew from my first official visit at Tennessee State University that this is where I wanted to not only play football, but also attend classes. Coaches showed both me and my family a lot of love.”

Perhaps the most moving moments at NSD events comes when players are given an opportunity to share in front of their audiences. Players thank coaches, share their appreciation they have for all the coaches have done for them.

Signing a contract is often thought to be the most important but these moments of honesty and gratitude inevitably moving and memorable.

Below are the players from Metro Nashville Public Schools who participated on National Signing Day class of 2019.

Antioch High School 

AJ Williams – Bethel University

Cane Ridge High School

Devon Starling– University of Memphis (Preferred Walk On)

Jacquez Norman– Tulane University

Joy Kabelu– Shorter University

Devon Turner – Grandview University

East Nashville High School

Anthony Collier, Miami University (OH)

Stanley Cross, Iowa Central Community College *^*

Jaylun Davis, Defiance College (OH)

Rondarius Gregory, Northern Illinois University (Preferred Walk-On)

Jalen Knight, San Diego Mesa CC (CA)

Jashon Watkins, University of Memphis

Hillsboro High School

Malachi Jackson – University of the Cumberlands*^*

Harold Jemison– Tennessee State University

Theronne Orr- Lindsey Wilson

Nate Ramirez-University of The Cumberlands

Darius Smith-Jireh Preparatory Academy

Chance Williams-University of the CumberlandsC

Hillwood High School 

Ellie Smith – Maryville College, Soccer

Eric Kinnard – Victor Valley College, Football

Hume Fogg High School (Hillwood HS team)

Avery Bass – Victor Valley College

Erie Lawrence – Victor Valley College

Ellie Buffler, volleyball, Trevecca

Kendall Bullock, volleyball, Tennessee State

Ava Smithing, volleyball, Stevens Institute of Technology

Maplewood High School

Carl Birdsong – University of the Cumberlands

Rashawn Dalton-Bethel University

Clint Dowty-TSU early Signee

Travares Springer-WKU early Signee

Pearl Cohn High School 

Jayden Harrison – Vanderbilt

Mayson Harris – Tennessee State University

Darian Jones – Bethal University

Darryl Rogan – Austin Peay State University

Xavier Sheppard – Kennesaw State University

Elijah Simmons – Tennessee

Darius Willis – Lindsey Wilson University

Stratford High School

Samuel Buckner – Victor Valley Community College

Calvin Farmer – Victor Valley Community College

Jaalon Gupton – Tennessee State University

Rod Reed – Eastern Kentucky University

Queen Robinson,  – North Dakota State College of Science

On’Terrius Smith  – Victor Valley Community College

Tomory Stephens- Cumberland University

Deairrus Waller  – Cumberland University

 

 

 

 




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Government Shutdown

The United States Federal Government just concluded a 36 day partial shutdown, the longest in U.S. history. It has been reported by Associated Press that 8 billion dollars in revenue was lost during the shutdown and nearly half of that will be unrecoverable. President Trump signed a temporary bill that halted the shutdown till February 15, 2019 in order to give the 800,000+ federal workers and opportunity to receive a paycheck.

This Friday, February 1, 2019 will be the first pay check workers will receive this year.

If Congress and the President do not come to agreements on border security and funding for Homeland Security, on February 15, the country will again face a shutdown. If this happens, it will be the fourth shutdown during the first term of presidency for Donald Trump.

What is a government shutdown?

Much of the federal government gets its funding from an annual budget appropriations law passed by Congress. When the government shut down, funding for wages for certain federal workers such as TSA agents, the FBI, the Coast Guard, the IRS and ironically the U.S. border patrol was suspended. Some employees whose jobs were deemed necessary, like the FBI, have been working without being paid. Others from agencies the FBI have been “off the clock” otherwise known as being furloughed.

In both cases, federal employees affected by the shutdown have not been paid as of this article.

The fiscal year began on Oct. 1, 2018 and Congress has passed just five out of 12 appropriations bills setting spending levels. On Dec. 21,2018 to enact legislation to fund the program covered by the remaining seven appropriations bills, but they allowed that funding to lapse.

The current shutdown began on December 21,2018. It began the longest shutdown in U.S history on January 12, 2019 when it surpassed the Clinton administration shutdown that lasted 22 days.

About 380,000 non- critical employees of nine major agencies were sent home without pay. On January 15, 2019 the Trump administration called 50,000 of them back to work without pay. As the shutdown continues, many are looking for part- time work to pay bills. Congress passed a bill to reimburse federal exempt employees for lost wages once the shutdown ends.

I asked one of the government teachers at Hillsboro High School some questions regarding the shutdown.

How long do you think the government shutdown will last? ” Hopefully sometime this month, a lot of people are going without paying their bills and food. The news said that the people that are suffering from the shutdown can apply to be substitutes for MNPS.”

Now they want people to go back to work without pay, would you and why? ” Honestly, no what would be the point, I would try to find another job if I knew it was going to be a while before getting pay.”

How can congress avoid a shutdown in the future? “Maybe doing a better job at saving money so they have enough to spend for big projects. This is effecting a lot of people so its pretty selfish to cut peoples money for a wall that only he wants.”

 

 




Tennessee resolution praises King, denounces racism

Click Here to Read Full Text of Clemmons’s Resolution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A civil rights leader gave an impassioned speech in front of thousands as he urged Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee and others in attendance to not just love Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy but act.

The House State Government Subcommittee rejected House Joint Resolution 583 on Wednesday without any explanation. The vote, taken by voice,

The measure’s sponsor, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, says he was stunned.

“I’m going to take them at their word,” Clemmons told reporters late Wednesday afternoon, and said he had not been asked by Democratic leaders to back off his new resolution.”

Turning to directly address Lee and other elected officials, he said “it is time to put down the partisanship and do what is right.”

Among other issues, Barber called for universal health care and a living wage for the poor. Lee is against expanding Medicaid in Tennessee and raising the minimum wage.

A Lee spokesman says, “Freedom allows for different opinions, and that is what makes this country the special place it is.”

Looking Back…….

In 2018, Clemmons backed a similar resolution but it quickly died in the House after failing to secure a second motion in a subcommittee. A Republican lawmaker then introduced a slightly tweaked version, only for that proposal to also be killed shortly after.

Clemmons, who is running for Nashville mayor, has since said he  won’t push his resolution due to the House’s voice action.

File photo, Hillsboro Globe

“I’m going to take them at their word,” Clemmons told reporters late Wednesday afternoon, and said he had not been asked by Democratic leaders to back off his new resolution.

However, the Nashville lawmaker expressed regret the House took a voice vote over a roll call vote because it robbed the public from knowing who exactly supported the proposal.

Clemmons added that Republican lawmakers have resisted efforts to remove the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest — a Confederate general, slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader — currently on display in the Tennessee Capitol lobby between the House and Senate chambers.

Forrest was famous for his exploits as a Confederate cavalry general who had amassed a fortune as a plantation owner and slave trader in Memphis before the Civil War.

So far this session, there has been no legislation calling for the removal of the contentious bust.




Trump and the disputed border crisis

WASHINGTON — In his prime-time speech to the nation, President Donald Trump declared a border crisis. Following his speech, newly empowered Democrats offered a rebuttal to the claims that there is a national crisis along the Mexican-United States border. Excerpts from Presidents Trump’s speech Oval Office remarks last week.

Illegal drugs trafficking is a cause for concern

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.”

FILE – In this March 6, 2017 photo, a member of the Border Patrol’s Border Tunnel Entry Team enters a tunnel spanning the border between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, in San Diego. Since 1990, U.S. officials have discovered at least 230 tunnels, most of them running from Mexico into California and Arizona. It’s believed smugglers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build the more sophisticated ones with ventilation and lighting. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Hillsboro Globe verified fact: A wall can’t do much about that when drug trafficking is concentrated at land ports of entry, not remote stretches of the border.

Drug Enforcement Administration says “only a small percentage” of heroin seized by U.S. authorities comes across on territory between ports of entry. The same is true of drugs generally.

In a 2018 report , the agency said the most common trafficking technique by transnational criminal organizations is to hide drugs in passenger vehicles or tractor-trailers as they drive into the U.S. though entry ports, where they are stopped and subject to inspection.

They also employ buses, cargo trains and tunnels, the report says, citing other smuggling methods that also would not be choked off by a border wall.

DO WALLS WORK?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “This barrier is absolutely critical to border security.”

Hillsboro Globe verified fact:The evidence is inconclusive as to whether walls are “absolutely critical” or actually work in deterring illegal crossings.

Congress’ main watchdog reported in 2017 that the government does not have a way to measure how well barriers work to deter immigrants crossing illegally from Mexico. Despite $2.3 billion spent by the government on such construction from 2007 to 2015, the Government Accountability Office found that authorities “cannot measure the contribution of fencing to border security operations along the southwest border because it has not developed metrics for this assessment.”

Few people dispute that fences contributed to a sharp drop in crossings in cities like San Diego and El Paso, Texas, where people can easily blend in once they enter the country.

Before fences were built in San Diego, crossers played soccer on U.S. soil as vendors hawked tamales, waiting until night fell to overwhelm agents. However, those barriers also pushed people into more remote and less-patrolled areas like in Arizona, where thousands of migrants have perished in extreme heat.

When barriers were built in the Border Patrol’s Yuma, Arizona, sector in the mid-2000s, arrests for illegal crossings plummeted 94 percent in three years to 8,363 from 138,438. When barriers were built in San Diego in the 1990s and early 2000s, arrests fell 80 percent over seven years from 524,231 in 1995 to 100,681 in 2002. But both areas also saw sharp increases in Border Patrol staffing during that time, making it difficult to pinpoint why illegal crossings fell so dramatically.

IMMIGRANT COSTS/BENEFITS

FILE- In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, file photo seen from a window outside the Oval Office, President Donald Trump gives a prime-time address about border security at the White House in Washington. With the standoff over paying for his long-promised border wall dragging on, the president’s Oval Office address and visit to the Texas border over the past week failed to break the logjam and left aides and allies fearful that the president has misjudged Democratic resolve and is running out of negotiating options. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: “America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation but all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.”

Hillsboro Globe verified fact: The U.S. is not experiencing “uncontrolled” illegal immigration. The debate is over whether the controls are strong enough.

As for the costs, a major academic study in 2016 by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found the job impacts of immigration, when measured over at least 10 years, are very small. It found immigration — legal and illegal — is an overall benefit to long-term economic growth.

Some evidence suggests that skilled immigrants boost wages. Native-born Americans without a high-school degree are most likely to suffer.

The academy study said estimating fiscal impacts of immigration is complex. Young and old immigrants tend to drain government resources while working-age immigrants contribute.

 

 




President Trump announces a more aggressive Missile Strategy as part of Space Force

WASHINGTON — Thursday the Trump administration will roll out a new strategy space program based a missile defense system.

The intent is to protect the United States against existing threats from North Korea and Iran and counter advanced weapon systems being developed by Russia and China.

The new review concludes that in order to adequately protect America, the Pentagon must expand defense technologies in space and use those systems to more quickly detect, track and ultimately defeat incoming missiles.

Associated Press reports that details about the administration’s Missile Defense Review — the first compiled since 2010 — are expected to be released during President Donald Trump’s visit to the Pentagon with top members of his administration.

“The Missile Defense Agency is the U.S. monitoring agency over BMDS. The Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) mission is to develop, test, and field an integrated, layered, ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) to defend the United States, its deployed forces, allies, and friends against all ranges of enemy ballistic missiles in all phases of flight. (MDA.mil.gov)

Recognizing the potential concerns surrounding any perceived weaponization of space, the strategy pushes for studies.

No testing is mandated, and no final decisions have been made.

Specifically, the U.S. is looking at putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles when they are launched, according to a senior administration official, who briefed reporters Wednesday.

The U.S. sees space as a critical area for advanced, next-generation capabilities to stay ahead of the threats, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the review before it was released.

The administration also plans to study the idea of basing interceptors in space, so the U.S. can strike incoming enemy missiles during the first minutes of flight when the booster engines are still burning.

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP File Photo
Missile Defense file photo

Congress, which ordered this review, already has directed the Pentagon to push harder on this “boost-phase” approach, but officials want to study the feasibility of the idea and explore ways it could be done.

“Developments in hypersonic propulsion will revolutionize warfare by providing the ability to strike targets more quickly, at greater distances, and with greater firepower,” Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told Congress last year. “China is also developing increasingly sophisticated ballistic missile warheads and hypersonic glide vehicles in an attempt to counter ballistic missile defense systems.”

Current U.S. missile defense weapons are based on land and aboard ships. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both emphasized space-based capabilities as the next step of missile defense.

The release of the strategy was postponed last year for unexplained reasons, though it came as Trump was trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

 




Questar to bid for new testing contract with Tennessee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The company that administers Tennessee’s problem-plagued student assessment testing program says it still plans on throwing its hat in the ring to secure a new state contract so they can continue overseeing the same service in the fall.

Officials with Questar Assessment Inc. confirmed this week their plans to participate in the bidding process. The announcement comes just a few weeks after both state auditors and top education officials largely pointed to the company as the key culprit for the longtime failures of the TNReady test.

“Questar Assessment is planning to bid for the TNReady contract,” said Questar Assessment Chief Operating Officer Brad Baumgartner, in a Thursday statement. “We believe we have the right people and processes in place to best serve the state of Tennessee.”

Questar added that it “does not agree with several of the Tennessee comptroller’s findings,” but the company says it appreciated being included in the audit process.

Last year, Gov. Bill Haslam said the state plans on contracting with a new vendor and is currently preparing the contracting process.

Shortly after, auditors released a lengthy report in December that held both the state and Questar accountable for failing to monitor and evaluate the testing program. However, the audit specifically pointed to Questar for failing to adequately staff customer support and the decision to switch its text-to-speech software which resulted in not only lengthy testing disruptions, but also led officials to briefly speculate the system was experiencing a cyberattack.

“We believe we have the right people and processes in place to best serve the state of Tennessee.” -Questar Assessment Chief Operating Officer Brad Baumgartner”

Baumgartner says Questar has since improved its “outbound” communication with state and school district staff and its customer support centers will continue to be properly staffed. The company says it also never indicated that a “cyberattack was certain.”

Additionally, fall testing that occurred late last year was deemed a success by both the state and Questar due to the lack of disruptions and technology challenges.

Tennessee Department of Education spokeswoman Sara Gast declined to comment to Questar’s response, saying the agency had already addressed the audit

At the time, Gast said “Questar’s performance was the root of the issues we experienced this spring.”

In 2016, the state cancelled its five-year $108 million contract with a testing company because of repeated failures, including the inability of students to get online to take the tests and later with problems getting paper assessments shipped to schools on time.

Then in 2017, state officials announced that nearly 10,000 of the tests were scored incorrectly. The following year, lawmakers scrambled during the final days of the legislative session to pass last-minute legislation ensuring no students, teachers or schools suffered as a result of repeated failures with the state assessment test.

That’s because state law says teachers must be evaluated partly based on the tests, as well as students and schools.


Questar Assessment Inc. Responds to TN Comptroller Report

Minneapolis, MN, January 3, 2019 — Questar Assessment Inc. is committed to serving Tennessee, its teachers, students, and parents. Following the 2018 Spring administration of TNReady, Questar Assessment hired an outside firm to perform a comprehensive review of its processes. Questar immediately implemented several recommendations and will continue to implement others prior to the 2019 Spring administration.

“We understand the frustration with TNReady testing last spring,” says Questar Assessment Chief Operating Officer Brad Baumgartner. “We have a long history of successfully serving our customers, and we look forward to continuing those partnerships in the future.”

While Questar does not agree with several of the Tennessee Comptroller’s findings, we appreciate the thorough nature of the audit and inclusion in the process.

“Questar has always held the position that the pattern of data discovered during Spring TNReady administration was consistent with what could have been an attack, but we did not at any time indicate that a cyberattack was certain,” Baumgartner says.

In response to the Comptroller’s finding that Questar Assessment was not adequately staffed during testing, Questar has implemented a process to improve outbound communication with state and district staff should an event of this nature occur in the future.

“Because we had never experienced an issue of this magnitude, we had not developed appropriate outbound communication channels that would have better informed state and district staff. These channels are now in place, thanks to the work of the Tennessee Department of Education and Questar. Our centers will continue to be properly staffed for any additional questions,” Baumgartner says.

Fall testing has been successfully completed, and Questar is focused on the production and distribution of reports. Students across Tennessee took more than 72,000 tests, and the Tennessee Department of Education reported a smooth testing experience across all districts.

“We are not standing still. Questar Assessment is committed to continually advancing our processes, technology, and security,” Baumgartner says. “We look forward to serving Tennessee teachers and students this spring with the best testing experience possible.”

About Questar Assessment Inc.

Questar Assessment Inc. is a K–12 assessment solutions provider focused on building a bridge between learning and accountability. As a wholly-owned, independently-operated subsidiary of Educational Testing Service (ETS), Questar Assessment shares a belief that better measurement solutions can make a positive impact on education. Questar Assessment takes a fresh and innovative approach to design, delivery, scoring, analysis, and reporting. The company is reimagining how assessments can empower educators by giving them the insights they need to improve instruction and fully prepare students for college or career. The company’s high-quality, reliable assessment products and services are easily scaled and tailored to meet the specific needs of states and districts at an unprecedented valued. Educators trust Questar Assessment’s high-performing teams and dependable technology to minimize risks and ensure success for states, districts, schools, and students. Questar Assessment Inc. is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more at questarai.com.




China becomes the third nation to land on the moon, joining U.S. and former U.S.S.R.

BEIJING (AP) — China’s burgeoning space program achieved a first on Thursday: a landing on the so-called dark side of the moon that brings the country closer to its goal of becoming a space power.

FILE – In this Dec. 8, 2018, file photo, and released by Xinhua News Agency, the Chang’e 4 lunar probe launches from the the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China’s Sichuan province. The official China Central Television says Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, the lunar explorer Chang’e 4 had touched down at 10:26 a.m to make first-ever landing on the far side of the moon. (Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua via AP, File)

Three nations — the United States, the former Soviet Union and more recently China — have sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which faces Earth, but this landing is the first-ever on the far side.

The China National Space Administration said the 10:26 a.m. touchdown of the Chang’e 4 craft has “opened up a new chapter in human lunar exploration.”

A photo taken at 11:40 a.m. and sent back by Chang’e 4 shows a small crater and a barren surface that appears to be illuminated by a light from the lunar explorer. Its name comes from that of a Chinese goddess who, according to legend, has lived on the moon for millennia.

The landing highlights China’s growing ambitions to rival the U.S., Russia and Europe in space, and more broadly, to cement the nation’s position as a regional and global power.

“The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger,” President Xi Jinping said in 2013, shortly after becoming China’s leader.

In year-end wrap-ups, Chinese media and officials hailed the Dec. 8 launch of Chang’e 4 as one of the nation’s major achievements in 2018. The landing on Thursday was announced to the public by state broadcaster CCTV at the top of the noon news.

“On the whole, China’s space technology still lags behind the West, but with the landing on the far side of the moon, we have raced to the front” ”

— Hou Xiyun, a professor at Nanjing University's school of astronomy and space science

“On the whole, China’s space technology still lags behind the West, but with the landing on the far side of the moon, we have raced to the front,” said Hou Xiyun, a professor at Nanjing University’s school of astronomy and space science.

He added that China has Mars, Jupiter and asteroids in its sights: “There’s no doubt that our nation will go farther and farther.”

In 2013, Chang’e 3, the predecessor craft to the current mission, made the first moon landing since the former Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976. The United States is the only country that has successfully sent a person to the moon, though China is considering a crewed mission too.

For now, it plans to send a Chang’e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples — also not done since the Soviet mission in 1976.

This photo provided on Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency shows an image taken by China’s Chang’e-4 probe during its landing process. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang’e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast. (China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

The moon’s far side isn’t always dark but is sometimes called the dark side because it faces away from Earth and is relatively unknown. It has a different composition than the near side, where previous missions have landed.

Chang’e 4, a combined lander and rover, will make astronomical observations and probe the structure and mineral composition of the terrain above and below the surface.

“The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference from radio signals from Earth,” mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “This probe can fill the gap of low-frequency observation in radio astronomy and will provide important information for studying the origin of stars and nebula evolution.”

Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Associated Press AP
In this photo provided Jan. 3, 2019, by China National Space Administration via Xinhua News Agency, the first image of the moon’s far side taken by China’s Chang’e-4 probe. A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday, Jan. 3, made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said. The lunar explorer Chang’e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.(China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP)

One challenge of operating on the far side of the moon is communicating with Earth. China launched a relay satellite in May so that Chang’e 4 can send back information.

China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, becoming only the third country to do so after Russia and the U.S. It has put a pair of space stations into orbit and plans to launch a Mars rover in the mid-2020s. Its space program suffered a rare setback last year with the failed launch of its Long March 5 rocket.

Wu Weiren, the chief designer of the China Lunar Exploration Project, called the landing a trailblazing milestone.

“Building a space power is a dream that we persistently pursue,” he said in an interview with CCTV at the Beijing Aerospace Flight and Control Center. “And we’re gradually realizing it.”

As an Associated Press newspaper, the Hillsboro Globe regularly publishes AP articles on international news.




Trispot Darter fish found in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia is to be named to Endangered Species List

ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) — Federal officials are putting a fish whose habitat is threatened by development in southern states on the endangered species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is adding the trispot darter fish to the list.

The trispot darter can be found in the Coosa River watershed in northern Alabama, northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee. It also survives in the Conasauga River watershed, above the confluence with the Coosawattee River in Georgia and Tennessee, according to the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity.

Development along the Coosa River in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia threatens the fish’s water quality due to storm water runoff, Al.com reported .

The fish was believed to be extinct in Alabama for more than 50 years until it was discovered in Little Canoe Creek in 2008, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

Being placed on the endangered species list makes it illegal for the freshwater fish to be caught or sold.

“Protecting the trispot darter under the Endangered Species Act will safeguard this colorful little fish for future generations and help protect water quality for nearby communities,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the center.

The wildlife service proposed a rule to put the trispot darter on the endangered species list in October 2017. The fish was first identified as needing federal protection in 1982, and the center sued the agency in 2015 to get a legally binding date for such protection.




Iconic Nashville hot chicken restaurant closed due to fire

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A famous Nashville hot chicken restaurant is closed “indefinitely” after a hit-and-run driver crashed into a strip mall, starting a fire that damaged several businesses.
News outlets report that the main location of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville is closed because of the Friday morning fire. No one was reportedly injured in the crash.

Semone Jeffries, whose mother has owned Prince’s for 38 years, said the popular restaurant that draws locals and tourists hopes to re-open as soon as possible. She says officials need to evaluate the structural integrity of the building. The restaurant also sustained smoke and water damage.
Jeffries says Prince’s fans can visit the restaurant’s second location in Nashville.




The Music City Bowl sets more records in the 19th edition of Nashville’s New Year’s Eve tradition.

MCB Box Score Link

Photo Galleries Link

 

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  – Auburn won the coin toss, elected to receive and never looked back in a 63-14 win over Purdue at the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl on Friday.

The Tigers outgunned the Boilermakers 586-263 in total offense and . punted only once the entire game. They scored their first eight possessions of the game. “I’m real proud of our team,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said after the game.

“They practiced extremely hard when we were at Auburn. When we got the bowl site, it was a business approach. That carried over. We talked about playing our best game of the year and we did that today.” The Tigers finished with their first postseason victory since the 2015 Birmingham Bowl against Memphis and accrued a set of records that is impressive by any college game standard.

Auburn finished its inconsistent season sending its seniors out the right way.This is the third year in a row that records have been set or broken at the Franklin American Music City Bowl.

Crazy stats takeaways the are not typos

#1: Auburn (8-5) needed only 63 seconds to set the tone for the MCB, with Stidham finding JaTarvious Whitlow for a 66-yard TD pass. Whitlow also added a pair of short TD runs as Auburn led 28-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Jarrett Stidham is presented Most Valuable Player trophy at the 2018 Franklin America Music City Bowl, December 28, 2018. Rights Reserved-Hillsboro Globe; Photo by Ashja Murchison.

Jarrett Stidham threw for a career-high 373 yards and five touchdowns in his final college game , and Auburn pounded Purdue 63-14 on Friday.

Stidham was voted by attending media as the MVP of the 2018 Music City Bowl.

#2: JaTarvious Whitlow scored touchdowns on his first three touches of the game. He has the 66 yard pass TD, a 2 yard TD and a 1 yard TD finishing with 10 rushing yards, seven carries and three TDs.

#3: Auburn scored the most points by an SEC team in a bowl, topping Alabama’s 61-6 win over Syracuse in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1953. The Tigers had a chance to match the most points ever in a bowl at 70, most recently by Army in the Armed Forces Bowl last week, but took a knee at the Purdue 1 after a replay review overturned a very late TD run by Joey Gatewood.

#4: Auburn scored TDs on its first eight possessions tying the the Music City Bowl record for most points and TDs set by West Virginia in 2000 — with 5:36 left in the first half.

#5: By halftime, Auburn led 56-7 with the most points scored in any half in program history after holding the ball for only 11 minutes.

Javarius Davis with his record setting touchdown in the first half of the Music City Bowl played at Nissan Stadium. Auburn beat Purdue 63-14. Photo by Terrianna Carter; Rights Reserved – Hillsboro Globe

#6: It was the most points by one team in a half in any bowl.

#7: Darius Slayton set a bowl record with TD catches of 74 , 52 and 34 yards and finished with 160 yards receiving.

Javaris Davis had a sack and an interception in the first quarter for Auburn, and Big Kat Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for a 45-7 lead with 12:29 left in the first half.

#8: Up 42–7 in the second quarter, the Tigers were determined to keep scoring on the Boilermakers. Auburn went for it on fourth-and-three at Purdue’s 38-yard line to gain the first down with Stidham’s 16-yard pass to Sal Cannella.

After moving the ball down the field, Auburn went for it on fourth-and-one, as Whitlow gained the first down with a four-yard run. The Tigers would go on to score on Anthony Schwartz’s six-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal.

#9: The possession time had huge gaps. Purdue had the ball for 19 minutes compared to only 11 minutes for Auburn in the first half, who scored too quickly to keep the ball. By the game’s end, Auburn held onto the ball for 33:41 minutes, while Purdue’s possessions tallied to 25:49 minutes.

#10: Stidham ditched the trend of players who will be entering the draft opting not to play in bowl game. Stidham said he had to play as a competitor. He was 13 of 18 for 335 yards and four TDs at halftime and nearly had a TD run only to be ruled just short. “In my two short years here, I’ve grown so close to these guys I could never imagine not finishing the season with them,” Stidham said.

Bonus: Only five other teams have scored more in a bowl game, and the Tigers set a school record for total yards in a bowl.

Of Note…..Purdue: Brohm has a lot to replace with a senior class of 29 counting walk-ons. The departing Boilermakers include quarterback David Blough and top running backs in D.J. Knox and Markell Jones. …….Auburn: The search for Stidham’s replacement began with sophomore Malik Willis who played a scarce 1:33.




Funeral set for Lebanon High grad adds to 2018 Wilson County teen shooting deaths

Services are scheduled Friday for a 2018 Lebanon High School graduate and member of College Hills Church of Christ who died after he was shot on Sunday, according to police.

Cameron Sean Luke Griffith, 19, is the most recent teenager killed in Wilson County from suspected gunfire in recent months. Griffith was driven to a Discount Tobacco store on North Cumberland Street, confronted by multiple people and then shot, according to statements made to police.

Mt. Juliet High School student JayShawn Taylor, 16, died after he was shot on Nov. 15, around the 200 block NW Clearview Drive in Wilson County, according to police. A 15-year-old was arrested in the case.

Jacob Ethan Doughten, 19, and a 15-year-old boy were both killed from gunfire on April 15, at a Pilot gas station on Murfreesboro Road in Lebanon, which investigators believe occurred during a robbery attempt as multiple people met for a drug transaction.

Griffith wanted to enlist in the Navy this spring, according to his older brother Brantly Cox, 30. Music, video games and the Dallas Cowboys were all interests for Griffith, his brother said.

“He had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known,” Cox said. “He’d always help me with stuff, whether it was something small like putting a bed together for one of my kids … He was easygoing, laid back. He’d help anyone, he had the best heart.”

Lebanon police have not released further information on Griffith’s death or announced any suspects.

A $1,000 reward is offered to anyone with information that leads to the conviction of anyone involved in the shooting, according to the department’s Facebook page.

Visitation for Griffith will be 2-7 p.m., Friday at the Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home, 241 W. Main Street, Lebanon. The funeral service is scheduled immediately after at 7 p.m., also at the Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home.

A private interment will be at Cedar Grove Cemetery.

Three suspects are charged in the case.