Dry October

first_imgAfter an extremely wet summer, Georgians saw the return of abnormally dry conditions in October. Some areas of the state saw less than 25 percent of their normal rainfall during October, and other areas saw only one day of measurable rainfall. The only exceptions were in the metro-Atlanta area and a small area near the coast, halfway between Savannah and Brunswick. The abnormally dry conditions prevented farmers from planting small grains and compounded damage to pastures that were stressed by heavy rain during the summer months. Conditions also stopped peanut harvest in some areas and delayed planting of winter pastures. Frosts and freezes ended the growing season across the northern region of the state and affected some areas in central Georgia as well. The dry conditions also resulted in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reducing outflows from their reservoirs along the Savannah River basin. While farmers worked around the dry conditions, they were still coping with the effects of the abnormally wet summer. The cool spring, followed by frequent rains, made pecans susceptible to scab and reduced the expected yield from 90 million pounds to 65 million pounds. Farmers noted that they had to spray about 20 times to keep the scab in check, compared to a typical eight to 10 times per season. October’s highest monthly total precipitation reported by National Weather Service stations was 2.57 inches in Atlanta (still .84 inches below normal). Savannah received the least amount of rain with only .23 inches (3.46 inches below normal); Augusta received .36 inches (2.91 below normal); Athens received 1.27 inches (2.28 below normal); Columbus received .45 inches (2.13 below normal); Alma received .72 inches (2.31 below normal); Brunswick received 1.17 inches (3.29 below normal); and Macon received .61 inches (2.18 below normal). Savannah experienced its eighth driest October in 143 years, and the driest October since 2001, when only .16 inches of rain were observed. Columbus experienced its tenth driest and tenth warmest October in 67 years of record. No extreme temperatures or daily precipitation records were broken. The highest single-day rainfall reported by Community Collaborative Rain, Snow and Hail Network observers was 3.24 inches near Dunwoody in DeKalb County on Oct. 7. Observers in Sandy Springs in Cobb County and Roswell in Fulton County received 3.17 inches and 3.07 inches, respectively. The highest monthly total rainfall was 4 inches, as reported by the Dunwoody observer, followed by 3.7 inches from the Sandy Springs observer. In Atlanta, the monthly average temperature was 64.4 degrees F (1.1 degrees above normal); in Athens it was 63.4 degrees (.4 above normal); in Columbus it was 68.4 degrees (1.9 above normal); in Macon it was 65.1 degrees (.2 above normal); in Savannah it was 69.4 degrees (1.5 above normal); in Brunswick it was 70 degrees (.2 below normal); in Alma it was 67.9 degrees (.5 below normal); and in Augusta it was 65.2 degrees (.8 above normal). There was no severe weather reported in October in Georgia.last_img read more

This week in esports: Gfinity, BBC, ESIC and the Overwatch League

first_imgThere’s been a substantial amount of big news this week across the esports industry. Gfinity has continued to make waves this week with two big announcements. First, the acquisition of CEVO for $2.7 million and next a deal which will see four hours of Elite Series action broadcast on the BBC each week. Elsewhere, ESIC released the results of its survey which has led to ESL amending the code of conduct and the previously banned match-fixers from iBuyPower to being allowed to compete in ESL competition once more. Finally, some more news from the Overwatch League; with Blizzard revealing more details of player remuneration and the roster management policy.Credit: GfinityGfinity Elite Series to be broadcast on BBC ThreeThe Gfinity Elite Series will be broadcast for four hours each week until its completion on BBC Three, in collaboration with BBC Sport.The deal will see tournament games and exclusive short-form video content from Gfinity’s Elite Series broadcast for the next six weeks, with live Elite Series coverage every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As per the Elite Series schedule, Street Fighter will be broadcast on Friday, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Saturday and Rocket League on Sunday.The partnership will also bring lifestyle segments and editorial, focusing on the Elite Series players and their stories.  BBC Three will show one hour of Street Fighter, two of Counter-Strike and one of Rocket League each week and will also provide a live blog around each broadcast. The announcement has been met with mixed reaction from the public — with some truly hilarious responses as we’ve come to expect when esports meets mainstream media.Read the full article here.Gfinity acquires CEVOIt’s most definitely not been a quiet week for London based Gfinity. The UK esports company announced its $2.7m (2.1m) purchase of the entire issued share capital of CEVO, a USA-based global provider of services and technology to the esports industry.The acquisition of CEVO includes technologies such as its tournament management system, its anti-cheat software – used by a number of major operators in the industry (including Gfinity) – and a range of esports broadcast products.CEVO has been involved with Gfinity in the past, such as for last year’s CEVO Gfinity Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro League and Gfinity Elite Series. In fact, CEVO has supplied technology to Gfinity for the last three years. With this acquisition, Gfinity have laid down a marker for their aims to continue to expand on an international scale, having already hosted events this year in the UK, Mexico, France and the USA.Read the full article here.ESIC releases results of survey, iBP players unbannedThe Esports Integrity Coalition (ESIC) has today released the responses on its survey focused on the appropriate sanctions for those caught cheating in esports. The survey saw 7,500 responses from those in the esports community at large. Quite notably, ESL, which is a member of ESIC, has changed its sanctions accordingly. ESL will also be lifting the indefinite ban on ex-IBUYPOWER players, and tournament rules for all events will differ from August 1st. You can read the full details of ESL’s statement on the matter here.  On the matter of IBUYPOWER (IBP), ESIC recommended that the banned players are unbanned and allowed to re-enter professional CS:GO from August 1st. ESL has confirmed that it concurs with this and the bans will be lifted. ESIC argued that “whilst the players are clearly culpable and should have known better, the rules surrounding this sort of activity were not clear at the time, no education had been provided to the players and the procedures used to sanction them were not transparent and did not comply with principles of natural justice”.Read the full article here.Overwatch League announces details of player remunerationCredit: BlizzardBlizzard’s Overwatch League has taken another leap with details of player remuneration policy as well as benefits that each player will be legally entitled to under league regulation. he release from Blizzard outlines a few key benefits that are included in the Overwatch League Player Agreement. They read as follows:Teams will sign players to one-year guaranteed contracts with the option to extend the contract for an additional year.The minimum salary for players is USD $50,000 per year.Teams will provide players with health insurance and a retirement savings plan.Teams will distribute at least 50% of their team performance bonuses (i.e. money from winning playoffs and other League events) to their players directly.The initial prize money or “team performance bonuses” available to teams will be $3.5 million for Season 1, with the winners receiving at least $1 million in performance related bonuses. Thus a minimum of $500,000 will be fed through to the players on the winning teams.Read the full article here.last_img read more

Kobe Bryant’s 60 points only begins to tell the story of his farewell game

first_imgIt wasn’t the 60. That’s just a number. It will be connected with Kobe Bryant no matter where he goes or what he does, to the end of his days. It is not what needs to be taken from Staples Center Wednesday night.Kobe Bryant mounted up his wings, as eagles. He ran and did not faint. He also won, or at least made the Lakers win, their final game of the season and the goodbye game of a 20-year career that ended with the boldest crescendo in the basketball history of Staples Center.• Related: Kobe’s perfect Hollywood ending• Photos: See what Kobe’s final game looked like through our lens • Commemorative book: Kobe Bryant – Laker for LifeThe number that mattered here, if nowhere else, was the 101 the Lakers scored, as compared to Utah’s 96. Because what Bryant needed was an unconditional night. He needed to prevail on all levels, with the sweet words of pro basketball players and entertainers filtering through his ears. He talked about “responsibility” to those who lauded him, to the young heirs, not so apparent at times, who willingly stood in the wings and let him take encore after encore. He could not let this night go hollow.“I can’t believe this actually happened, to be honest,” Bryant said, and maybe he meant that. “I’m still in shock about this. But now I can go back and maybe watch all the videos and read what is written and try to take it all in.”Some will mock the 50 field-goal attempts that went into those 60 points, which were the most by any NBA player this season. They can do so, but Bryant was 8 for 16 in the fourth quarter, with no turnovers and 3 for 5 from the 3-point line.“He was exhausted with seven minutes to go,” Byron Scott said. Bryant played all but 4.1 seconds in that quarter, as Ryan Kelly came in for him when the game was over, and one final moment of delirium. Bryant hugged all his current teammates and also Shaquille O’Neal, who was sitting at courtside, watching the guy who used to anger him profusely, now as beatifically blown away as anyone else.It was Bryant’s 122nd 40-point game, 25th 50-point game and sixth 60-point game and he played all but 5:51 of it. • Lakers’ Kobe Bryant offers vintage performance in career finaleBut with 3:20 left the Lakers trailed by 10. Bryant then scored on a drive, hit two foul shots and erupted for seven points in a 53-second burst. That final 20-footer put the Lakers up by one, and they scored the last 15 points.It must be pointed out that his young teammates, who have finished their driving test and now get the wheel to themselves, also played championship basketball at the end. Utah missed 13 shots in that quarter and the Lakers rebounded all but one of those. They shot 60.9 percent in the fourth quarter and Jordan Clarkson streaked downcourt for the last bucket. The long pass he caught was from Bryant, who, in his very last contribution to a statistics sheet, put up an assist.“I knew coming in tonight. I just didn’t want to play bad,” Bryant said. “I had a little bit of nerves. I didn’t watch the news or anything because I didn’t want to get emotional.“The perfect ending would have been a championship. I just wanted to be able to put everything on my shoulders, one last time.”He also said he would work out Thursday because he’d seen other athletes who kept pushing back their post-career workouts and then couldn’t do it all. “I’ve been in a routine for a long time,” he said. “I need a new routine. I don’t want to lose my sense of purpose.“But the coolest thing is that my kids got to see me play the way I used to play. I told them, ‘I used to play like that quite often. So, YouTube it.’”• Heisler: Kobe Bryant now has a legacyThere were no This-Is-Your-Life moments for Bryant, mercifully. Magic Johnson was the official welcomer, calling Bryant the best player to “ever wear the purple and gold,” which was quite an admission and something that touched Bryant since he grew up fascinated by Magic. At every timeout there were more tributes on the video board, from NBA stars, old teammates, coaches, singers, actors, talk-show hosts and athletes across the spectrum, all the way to Alex Ovechkin and Novak Djokovic.Brian Shaw, Bryant’s best friend from the title years, smiled as he recounted the days that Bryant would ridicule him for using ice after games. Bryant said he’d never get old, never need that type of reconstruction. Bryant had to ice up his knees and ankles on Wednesday afternoon while he was gearing up for one more round.He went into the locker room and got a champagne shower and he was still wearing the gold uniform an hour later. No reason to ice now, he explained.“This whole thing was kind of like an inner struggle,” Bryant said when it was over. “But to appreciate it you have to know where you are. It was a constant dance between accepting the moment and trying to digest the moment.”A city and much of a country will take small bites of this moment, roll it around the palate, consume it as slowly as possible. Because there are no more moments, and the trick, for you and him, will be accepting that.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more