MORE: When do the NHL playoffs start? Key dates, schedule and more Oilers star Leon Draisaitl may have the strongest argument for the Hart Trophy after leading the league with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists), though the Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon is also a worthy candidate. Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck should win the Vezina Trophy, but the Bruins’ Tuukka Rask could steal a few votes.Perhaps the most interesting awards battle: Quinn Hughes vs. Cale Makar for the Calder Trophy. A case could easily be made for both defensemen, so don’t be surprised if the margin of victory is razor thin.Who will take home the hardware? Here are the finalists for the NHL’s most prestigious awards.Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)FinalistTeamLeon DraisaitlOilersNathan MacKinnonAvalancheArtemi PanarinRangersJames Norris Memorial Trophy (best defenseman)FinalistTeamJohn CarlsonCapitalsVictor HedmanLightningRoman JosiPredatorsFrank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward)FinalistTeamPatrice BergeronBruinsSean Couturier FlyersRyan O’ReillyBluesCalder Memorial Trophy (best rookie)FinalistTeamQuinn HughesCanucksDominik KubalikBlackhawksCale MakarAvalancheVezina Trophy (best goaltender)FinalistTeamConnor HellebuyckJetsTuukka RaskBruinsAndrei VasilevskiyLightningJack Adams Award (Coach of the Year)FinalistTeamBruce CassidyBruinsJohn TortorellaBlue JacketsAlain VigneaultFlyersTed Lindsay Award (MVP as voted by players)FinalistTeamLeon DraisaitlOilersNathan MacKinnonAvalancheArtemi PanarinRangersBill Masterton Memorial Trophy (for dedication to hockey)FinalistTeamStephen JohnsStarsOskar LindblomFlyersBobby RyanSenatorsLady Byng Memorial Trophy Winners (most gentlemanly player)FinalistTeamNathan MacKinnonAvalancheAuston MatthewsMaple LeafsRyan O’ReillyBlues The 2019-20 NHL regular season officially ended in March after the coronavirus (COVID-19) forced pro sports leagues around the world to suspend play. The NHL’s decision to head straight into the playoffs also marked the conclusion of a few intense races for its biggest individual honors.Ahead of hockey’s return to action in early August, the NHL has revealed finalists for top awards, and a few favorites have emerged from the crowd of candidates.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A committee has approved a bill that would amend the Iowa Constitution to declare there is no right to an abortion in Iowa, making it eligible for debate in the full Senate.All but three of the 32 Senate Republicans have signed onto the bill, which the committee approved Tuesday. No Democrats have signaled support of the measure.Republican Sen. Jake Chapman introduced it in January, just days after an Iowa judge overturned last year’s fetal heartbeat law, which banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.Chapman says his bill addresses what he considers judicial tyranny and overreach.Democratic Sen. Claire Celsi says she’s disgusted by Republican attempts to “spread misinformation and scare monger about women’s constitutional rights to make their own health care decisions.”She says the bill is a response to GOP frustrations over their lack of progress in the courts.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lobbyist who advised Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on agriculture and natural resources has been named the director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.Reynolds appointed Kayla Lyon on Wednesday to the post which has been vacant for about a year after the previous director retired.Lyon, who has represented farmers and agribusiness in previous government affairs jobs, begins July 8.She is the first woman to be named DNR director.The DNR carries out state and federal laws that protect air, land and water through technical assistance, permitting and compliance programs.The agency also manages fish, wildlife, forest and prairie programs and oversees state parks.It has the challenge of managing water quality in a heavily farmed state where control of cornfield fertilizer runoff and manure from hog farms has become an increasingly difficult problem.
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A new report released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says an April flood barrier breach in downtown Davenport was caused by pressure from the swollen Mississippi River shifting a barrier with slick plastic sheeting under it.The report, released Tuesday to Davenport city officials, says the sheeting became slick in the wet conditions, and a segment of the barrier overturned.City officials say the public works department will make changes to its flood plan based on the report, including making changes to plastic sheeting installation and double-stacking flood barriers when the river height is forecast to reach 20 feet or higher.Officials in the eastern Iowa city had already announced plans to build a bigger flood barrier in the wake of the April breach that sent floodwaters rushing into downtown streets.
ANKENY — Ankeny-based Casey’s General Stores reported a 22 percent increase in earnings per share in the first quarter of this fiscal year compared to last year.Casey’s president Darren Rebelez reported earnings of $2.30 a share compared to one-dollar, 90 cents a share one year ago. Part of the increase is credited to gas sales. “We experienced a favorable fuel margin environment — combined with our ability to leverage the implementation of fuel advantage — which is our fuel prize optimization tool,” according to Rebelez. “These factors enable us to achieve an average fuel margin of 24-point-four cents per gallon. Up nearly 400 basis points from the same period last year.”The company’s gross profit on gas sales were up 22 percent — as total gallons for the quarter were up nearly three percent. Casey’s also saw an increase in take out food sales as it launched its app and new on-line system. “In the prepared food and fountain category — total sales were up five-point-three percent to 296 million dollars for the quarter. Same store sales were up one-point-six percent,” Rebelez says. “We anticipate acceleration in same store sales in the upcoming quarters as we gain traction from the launch of our new e-commerce platform and mobile app. As well as the upcoming launch of our loyalty program later this fiscal year.”The company saw a 62-point-two percent margin on the sale of its prepared foods. He says the new on-line site is designed to increase sales. “This platform provides an enhanced guest experience by streamlining the ordering and checkout process and allowing the guest to pay on-line. In addition, the system automatically engages cross-sale opportunities to the guest during every order,” Rebelez says.Rebelez says they have noticed an immediate impact from the mobile app on pizza purchases. “Currently over 28 percent of our pizza orders are transacted on-line — up from approximately 18 percent a year ago,” Rebelez says.Casey’s now has 2161 stores. That includes 15 newly constructed stores, four stores that were purchased, and six stores that closed.
London, United Kingdom | AFP | England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool from Arsenal on Thursday for a reported £35 million ($45.1 million, 37.9 million euros) dealing another early season blow to embattled manager Arsene Wenger.Here AFP Sports picks out five things on Liverpool’s newest recruit.All round sporting talentOxlade-Chamberlain is blessed with natural sporting talent. As a schoolboy he was offered a trial with rugby union side London Irish and also with English county championship side Hampshire but because of his commitments with Southampton’s Academy had to decline them both. “In his final year at the school he scored a half century in every game he played, his batting average was ridiculous,” said South East Hampshire cricket coach Tim Jacobs.Football in the bloodThe ‘Ox’s’ father Mark was an elegant winger who won eight England caps in the two years he played for Stoke. Chamberlain senior — whose brother Neville also played for Stoke — always believed he would make it when he came to his academy aged five despite his son being at the time smaller than his contemporaries. “All the advice I had was from my Dad. He was the person I trusted and listened to because he was very honest. He believed that when I grew and caught up with everyone else that I’d be at a better standard than the boys who at the time were in front of me in other people’s eyes,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told Complex UK in April this year. Share on: WhatsApp England callingHe has already won over three times the amount of caps his father won for England but it would be even more had not injuries cost him appearances both at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016. Then England boss Roy Hodgson gave the 18-year-old his debut in a warm-up match. Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted that when he first turned up for England duty his heart was in his mouth. “You struggle to eat your food,” he told The Daily Express in 2015. “Your stomach is churning. You start putting things on your plate you don’t even like eating just to make time to look around to assess the table plan, see where everybody is sitting and work out where is the best place to sit.”Relaxing pursuitsOff the pitch Oxlade-Chamberlain is an avid music listener, as well as a keen follower of US sports, with dance hall and Jamaican music his preferred sounds as he told Complex UK. “I listen to a lot of dancehall. A lot of Jamaican music, a lot of Popcaan and Alkaline,” he said in April. With regard to US sports his preferred players couldn’t be more of a contrast with NBA legend Lebron James and discarded NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.‘Ox’ wants to stay in the MixHis girlfriend is Perrie Edwards, the 24-year-old member of girl band Little Mix, and he plans to keep her as his partner for fear of the revenge that she could wreak if she was downgraded to ‘an ex’. She is reputed to have the Brit award winning ‘Shout Out to my Ex’ with regard to former fiance Zayn Malik. “I better watch out! I don’t want her to become an ex and sing about me,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told OK Magazine. “I better look after her.”
Berlin, Germany | AFP | Robert Lewandowski reached 17 goals for Bayern Munich this season after a brace that left the Bundesliga leaders six points clear with a 3-0 thumping of Augsburg on Saturday.Lewandowski underlined his status as the league’s top scorer by netting either side of the break in Munich to leave him with 13 goals in 12 league games this season.Bayern looked impressive with Lewandowski showing off his finishing skills after Arturo Vidal gave the hosts a deserved lead after 31 minutes at the Allianz Arena. – Leipzig held –Germany striker Timo Werner converted an early penalty, but the hosts equalised when Jamaica midfielder Leon Bailey got in behind the defence and fired home a minute before the break. Leipzig were furious as the equaliser came even as their midfielder Naby Keita was down injured.Emil Forsberg scored another spot-kick on 54 minutes to restore Leipzig’s lead after Benjamin Henrichs was sent off for using his hand to save a shot on the line.But a wonderful Kevin Volland volley with 16 minutes to go put Leverkusen level despite the numerical disadvantage. A draw was not the best result for Leipzig before Tuesday’s crucial Champions League match at Monaco. Striker Mark Uth rescued a point for fourth-placed Hoffenheim with a 91st-minute goal, converting a superb Serge Gnabry cross to seal a 1-1 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, who are sixth.Frankfurt had taken the lead when Kevin-Prince Boateng hit a super first-half solo effort, snapping up a stray pass and slamming home his shot from outside the area.Cologne remain rooted to the bottom after their 1-0 defeat at mid-table Mainz, who took the lead with a controversial penalty which was converted by Daniel Brosinski.Replays showed Mainz forward Pablo De Blasis had not been fouled, but the video assistant backed up the initial decision of referee Felix Brych.Mainz played the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Italian defender Giulio Donati was sent off.Wolfsburg extended their unbeaten run to nine games after a 3-1 win at home to Freiburg as Turkey midfielder Yunus Malli netted twice.Borussia Dortmund stayed third despite suffering a third straight defeat on Friday by crashing to a 2-1 loss at VfB Stuttgart.Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was suspended for disciplinary reasons and Stuttgart went ahead with five minutes gone when Chadrac Akolo scored after a mix up between Dortmund defender Marc Bartra and his goalkeeper Roman Burki.Maximilian Philipp equalised for Borussia, but Josip Brekalo’s shot through Burki’s legs sealed Stuttgart’s win, while Dortmund have dropped 14 points in just five league games.Share on: WhatsApp “In the first half, we didn’t really move well enough in attack, therefore we had very few clear chances,” said the Poland international, who has dyed his hair silver.“However, we stayed patient and after the first goal it got a bit easier for us.”Vidal struck after the ball ricocheted around Augsburg’s penalty area as Lewandowski and Mats Hummels failed to get shots away before the Chile midfielder hit the back of the net.Lewandowski grabbed his first by firing home Vidal’s pass just before the break, then grabbed his second on 49 minutes when he converted Joshua Kimmich’s pinpoint cross.The victory was a good warm-up for Wednesday’s Champions League match at Anderlecht and increased Bayern’s lead over second-placed RB Leipzig, who drew 2-2 at ten-man Bayer Leverkusen.
Messi still not fully fitMadrid, Spain | AFP | Barcelona threw on their stars of the present and the future on Saturday but neither Lionel Messi nor Ansu Fati could save them from a dismal 2-0 defeat away at Granada.Messi was still not deemed fit enough to start at Los Carmenes while Fati, the 16-year-old who has lit up La Liga in recent weeks, also began the game on the bench.But while both came on at half-time with Barca trailing to Ramon Azeez’s opener, it was Granada that scored again, Alvaro Vadillo converting a penalty after Arturo Vidal was found guilty of a handball.Barcelona have now won only two of their opening five league games and none away from Camp Nou, this their second loss already, just one fewer than the three they suffered during the entirety of last season.With seven points on the board, this is their worst start to a season since 1994.“Obviously I am worried,” said coach Ernesto Valverde. “Because we are not getting good results and when that happens in two or three games, it means we are not playing well.”Instead, Granada go top of the table after capitalising on Atletico Madrid’s goalless draw at home to Celta Vigo a few hours before.They will stay there until Sunday, when Sevilla, Real Madrid or Athletic Bilbao could overtake them.Barcelona are sixth, grasping onto the consolation of Messi’s second substitute appearance in five days that now suggests he has finally recovered from the niggling calf injury sustained at the start of August.Their problems though are unlikely to be solved simply by their captain’s return.Junior Firpo’s error two minutes into his first start for the club gifted Granada their opening goal and set the tone for a chaotic night in defence.And up front, Antoine Griezmann was quiet again, with little in any of the combinations to suggest Ernesto Valverde has yet worked out who will form his best attacking trio and in what positions.“In the end, the coach is responsible and I feel responsible,” Valverde said. “I always think you can win or lose but at least you have to deserve to win when you lose, and today it hasn’t been like that.”Firpo’s mistake came early, as he shaped to play a long ball over the top back to his goalkeeper. Instead, the lively Roberto Soldado stole possession and slipped in Antonio Puertas. – Messi impact limited –With Firpo on the floor, Gerard Pique scrambled across but Puertas’ shot only looped up off the defender to the back post where Azeez headed in.Granada seemed hungrier than Barca and their dominance persuaded Valverde to make two changes at half-time, Messi and Fati replacing Carles Perez and Firpo.Messi won a free-kick 30 yards out but hit it straight at the wall while Marc-Andre ter Stegen fumbled a cross and had to react quickly to claw it back off his own line.Any hopes of a Barca comeback were dashed in the 66th minute as Vidal handballed at the end of a scramble in the box and Vadillo made no mistake with the spot-kick.One break saw Messi supply Fati but the teenager took too long and then Messi tried himself but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper. In the end, Granada were comfortable winners.Atletico could have returned to the top of La Liga but were frustrated by a determined Celta Vigo.After coming from two goals down to salvage a point against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday, Atletico failed to sustain the momentum in a match of few chances at the Wanda Metropolitano.Diego Simeone’s side won their opening three league games but are now two without a victory, following last weekend’s shock defeat away at Real Sociedad.This latest setback leaves Simeone with familiar questions to answer about his side’s attacking threat.Summer signing Joao Felix started before being replaced by Alvaro Morata in the second half, the Spanish striker available again after recovering from a knee injury.But neither Felix nor Morata, or their partner Diego Costa, could conjur up the decisive opening, with full-backs Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier by far the team’s most creative outlets.Share on: WhatsApp
Efrem says he is happy with the point his team got today because it has given them confidence of playing better to qualify to next round of the game. According to Efrem his players also struggled to adapt to the natural grass because they are used to playing on artificial turf back home.In the early Group A kick-off game Sudan humbled Djibouti 4-0. Algaber Ali Eljamri, Mohamed Abas Namir, Musab Kurdman Elsiddiq and Ammar Yaser Aboalgaseem netted the goals.The match was graced by the Paramount chief of Acholi Rwot David Onen Acana as the Chief Guest, Betty Aol Ochan the Leader of Opposition, FUFA president Moses Magogo among other dignitaries.*****URNShare on: WhatsApp Action in Gulu. PHOTO FUFA MEDIAGulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Hippos settled for one-all draw against a resurgent Eritrean side in a Cecafa U-20 Challenge Cup match on Saturday.Ivan Bogere gave Uganda an early lead before Michael Habte Gebremeskel equalized 17 minutes into the second half in a poorly attended match at Pece War Memorial Stadium in Gulu Town.The hippos dominated the game in the first half, but a resurgent Eritrean led by their Deyben Gbtsawi ensured they regained possession and control of the game in the second half.Morley Byekwaso, the Uganda Hippos head coach says his players failed to utilize the goal scoring chances they created despite creating nine of those.According Byekwaso, his boys were shy in front of goal and lost too many balls in the midfield. He adds that he is going to talk to his boys and correct the mistakes they made in the first game to keep their hopes of qualifying to the next round high.The Eritrean coach Alemseghed Efrem says his players were still fatigued after the long trip from Entebbe to Gulu without rest since they arrived on the same day.
FILE PHOTO: Eliud Kipchoge becomes first person to run a marathon under 2 hoursParis, France | AFP | The action was spectacular, exciting and colourful for 12 months around the globe, but the thrilling and sometimes surprising images also caught the wider significance of modern sport.Megan RapinoeMegan Rapinoe lapped up the rapturous reception when the US women’s football team appeared in New York on July 2 two days after winning the World Cup. Rapinoe stood out on and off the field in France. She talked eloquently with her boots as she captained the United States and finished as the tournament’s joint top scorer. Off the field, Rapinoe, a campaigner for LGBT rights and gender equality, spoke out, attracting even wider attention as she stood up to President Donald Trump which did not diminish the reception she received when the team returned home.Siya KolisiSiya Kolisi stood tall as he showed off the Rugby World Cup trophy at a victory parade in Soweto on November 7. Kolisi, South Africa’s first black captain, had led the Springboks to victory five days earlier in Yokohama. Less than a month after Chester Williams, the sole non-white in South Africa’s first World Cup triumph in 1995 died at 49, Kolisi, prop Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira and wingers Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi were key members of the team.LiverpoolLiverpool did not walk alone as they won Europe’s top club competition for the sixth time. A tepid final in Madid was effectively settled by a controversial penalty award in the second minute. After that Tottenham were powerless against a defence martialed by the magisterial Virgil van Dijk. The most memorable moment came at home at Anfield in the semi-final on May 1 when the Reds, trailing 3-0 from the first leg deficit, beat mighty Barcelona 4-0. The Kop roared and their team responded.Lewis HamiltonLewis Hamilton had something to spare as he clinched his sixth Formula One driver’s title at the US Grand Prix with two races left in the season. Mercedes started strongly, winning the first six races, with Hamilton taking four of them. Even when the Ferraris were faster and their 21-year-old starlet Charles Leclerc collected four straight pole positions, Hamilton kept finding a way to win. He ended the season with 11 victories in the 21 races to collect a third straight title. He is now just one world title behind the all-time mark of Michael Schumacher.Eliud KipchogeEliud Kipchoge’s run on October 12 in a Vienna park might have been carefully stage managed, yet it was still a momentous and emblematic feat. The Kenyan became the first person to complete a timed run over the marathon distance in under two hours. After narrowly missing in 2017, he beat the symbolic mark by almost 20 seconds. He also bettered the world record by two minutes but did not break it. Because he ran behind a pace car, was escorted by a rotating phalanx of pace makers and had no competition, the official record remains a relatively leisurely 2:01:39, set by Kipchoge in Berlin 2018.Simone BilesSimone Biles sparkled again at the gymnastics world championships in Stuttgart in October. She won five more golds to take her tally to a record 25. Biles unveiled two fresh and complex elements, sparking debate after the international gymnastics federation assigned the moves relatively low values arguing that they did not want other gymnasts to endanger themselves imitating the American. The triumph came in a tough year which saw Biles speak about being abused by former US team doctor Larry Nassar. The 22-year-old American has suggested that she will retire after the Tokyo Olympics next year. Tiger WoodsTiger Woods showed he still has claws as he tore through the field on the final round at the Masters on April 14 to win his first major in 11 years. The 43-year-old Woods started the final day clad in his famous Sunday red and two shots behind Francesco Molinari. Over the last seven holes, five other men held or shared the lead. Only Woods held his nerve as he won his 15th major and fifth Masters. The rest of the season was more of the struggle, but Woods had proved he can still perform on the biggest SundaysBen StokesBen Stokes stooped to conquer. Returning to the England team after a ban following a brawl in 2017, he started the World Cup with runs, wickets and an astonishing catch to win man of the match. From there, his year just got better. In the final against New Zealand, he made 84 not out to earn England a tie, helped by a bizarre incident when he was hit by a fielder’s throw as he dived for a run, deflecting the ball for four overthrows. England won on tiebreak. Stokes was man of the match. In the Ashes, he clobbered an unbeaten 135, to claw England back from the brink in the third Test at Headingley.Steve SmithSteve Smith climbed off the canvas to eclipse even Stokes in the Ashes. The former Australian captain, also returning from a ban, was flattened by England fastest bowler Jofra Archer in the second Test and missed the third, the ‘Stokes Test’. But he still finished the series with 774 runs in four Tests — 333 more than the next highest scorer, Stokes — at an average of 110.57 as he ground down England’s bowlers and ensured Australia drew the series and retained the Ashes.Djokovic, Federer, WimbledonNovak Djokovic and Roger Federer pushed the limits as they fought out a dazzling heavyweight men’s final at Wimbledon. At 4 hours, 57 minutes it was the longest Wimbledon final. It only ended as soon as it did because of the first ever fifth-set tie-break in a Wimbledon final. Djokovic retained his title, 7–6, 1–6, 7–6, 4–6, 13–12, after saving two championship points. It was his 16th Grand Slam title. Only Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19) have more. Between them the three have now won the last 12 Grand Slams.JapanJapan were refreshing hosts at the World Cup. They brightened the competition with their high-energy running rugby, upsetting both Ireland and Scotland to reach the last eight for the first time before bowing out to eventual winners South Africa in the quarter-finals. Indeed, their bowing also attracted attention. Japanese teams and fans have acquired a reputation for tidying up after them selves when they play away. As hosts, they also set a good example, as other teams copied their habit of bowing to fans.Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn finished her career by collecting yet another medal. The American speed queen said her body was too battered to continue her pursuit of Ingemar Stenmark’s record of World Cup victories, but at the end of another injury-hit season she was still quick enough at 34 to claim an eighth World Championship medal in the downhill in Are, Sweden. She skied 19 seasons and won 82 World Cup races, both records for women. She won races in five disciplines and she always brought style and elan to events.Share on: WhatsApp