11 villages benefit from SDF workshop

first_imgWith the aim of building sustainable village economies, 11 villages in Santa Rosa, Moruca Sub-District, Region One (Barima-Waini) are currently benefiting from a Village Improvement Plan (VIP) workshop which is being executed under the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF).The workshop, which was launched on Tuesday, in the company of the Minister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe; Chief of the Bear Clan (Canada’s First Peoples), Glenn Nolan and residents of the respectiveMinister Valerie Garrido-Lowe addressing the gathering at the launch of the workshopvillages will last for four days.During her address, Minister Garrido-Lowe noted that there has been a drought of sustainable plans for a number of years and in some instances where there were great ideas, there was a lack of skills to implement these ideas.She stated, “Many villages do not have plans for the future so we are going to help you strengthen your economies. We need to make plans that would last us for years to come.”Emphasis was also placed on the Coffee Project in Santa Rosa and the Cassava Flour Project in Kwebanna which will be executed soon, as well as the establishment of a bakery which will serve as a potential economic driver.Minister Garrido-Lowe highlighted the key areas that should be considered for inclusion in the respective VIPs; among them education, culture, health, governance, livelihood, nature and environment and economic diversification.Chief Nolan, who visited Guyana for the first time, stated that the area possess tremendous potential and it is necessary to educate the children of the region in areas that are relevant to the communities and moreover, the country.The VIP is among several innovative projects on stream in pursuit of the green agenda and was designed to support the Indigenous people by improving their well-being as Guyana pursues a green, diversified and resilient economic development path.last_img read more

Birmingham v QPR line-ups: Two changes for Rangers, Blues man passed fit

first_imgSandro makes his first start of the season and James Perch is recalled to the QPR side for the game at Birmingham.Sandro comes in for Daniel Tozser to partner Karl Henry in midfield. Tozser drops to the bench along with Gabriele Angella.Birmingham include Demarai Gray, who has recovered from a groin problem in time to play.QPR: Green; Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Konchesky; Henry, Sandro, Phillips, Fer, Chery; Emmanuel-Thomas.Subs: Smithies, Angella, Luongo, Doughty, Tozser, Faurlin, Polter.Birmingham: Kuszczak, Caddis, Morrison, Robinson, Grounds, Gleeson, Kieftenbeld, Davis, Maghoma, Gray, Donaldson.Subs: Legzdins, Solomon-Otabor, Toral, Shinnie, Spector, Lowry, Brock-Madsen.See also:Birmingham v QPR: six key battlesFollow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Things to know: Evander Kane responds to his move to Sharks third line

first_imgSAN JOSE — As Joe Thornton rehabilitated his surgically-repaired right knee during the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring, Evander Kane couldn’t help imagining what it would be like to skate alongside one of the greatest passers in NHL history.He’ll need to keep waiting to find out.When the Sharks open the 2018-19 season against the Anaheim Ducks at SAP Center on Wednesday, Kane won’t be skating on the top line with Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Instead, he’ll be joining Antti Suomela and Joonas …last_img read more

Why the A’s are the big losers in the Kyler Murray saga — even if he picks baseball over the NFL

first_imgKyler Murray has made his decision, and frankly, the Oakland A’s should have seen it coming months before it became official.The Heisman Trophy winner and the A’s first-round draft pick submitted his name for the NFL Draft on Monday. And while Murray still can pretend that he will pursue both sports professionally, the reality is that he can only choose one and he made that choice on Monday — he’s going to be a football player.The A’s thought they were clever when they selected Murray No. 9 …last_img read more

A Rat Race to Build Whiskered Robots

first_imgSome scientists at Bristol Robotics Lab are pretty proud of themselves for building a robot with whiskers.  It can seek out and identify objects using its whiskers, just like rats do.  But they should still take their hats off to their living model, because the rat’s technology is far superior.  Science Daily mentioned several facts about rats and their facial sensing devices that achieve some hard-to-duplicate functions:Rats are able to “accurately determine the position, shape and texture of objects using precise rhythmic sweeping movements of their whiskers,”they can “make rapid accurate decisions about objects,” and“then use the information to build environmental maps.”  This implies elaborate processing of the tactile information by the brain (see 01/20/2004, “How and Why Whiskers Whisk”).“Rats have the ability to operate with damaged whiskers,” when on robots, they would have to be replaced.The University of Bristol posted a short video on YouTube demonstrating the capability of the prototype, nicknamed SCRATCHbot, moving around and responding to touch with its scanning whiskers.  The design of the little robot bears a striking resemblance to the furry variety.    By trying to imitate this tactile sense that allows rats to gain useful information about their environment in the dark, the robot-makers are envisioning some exciting inventions as they improve on their bewhiskered robot.  Future robots using this technology might be able to rescue people in the dark.  Your vacuum cleaner may one day be able to adapt by touch for optimal cleaning.  Whiskered robots could perform tactile investigation of surfaces.  And the technology “has the potential for a number of further applications from using robots underground, under the sea, or in extremely dusty conditions, where vision is often seriously compromised.”    Even without inventions for humans, the exercise is helpful, the article said.  “By developing these biomimetic robots, we are not just designing novel touch-sensing devices, but also making a real contribution to understanding the biology of tactile sensing.”  If they can ever build one that can make copies of itself, they will really be onto something.The poor rat.  It has a name that just sounds disgusting.  Remember, though, the rat didn’t get to name itself.  That was humans’ fault.  We shouldn’t feel disgusted about something we named.  The movie Ratatouille helped its reputation a little.  If the rat could choose its own name, maybe it would call itself the Miniature Investigative Genius Harnessing Tactile Yields, Migrating Optimally Utilizing Sensory Excellence – or Mighty Mouse for short.    The lesson for us is that even the lowliest of beasts has a lot to teach proud man.  Consider how it alters this old joke for the better: “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still just a rat.”  Why, that should rather rate an honor, rationally. (Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Huge tourism opportunities in 2010

first_imgHowever, many emerging accommodation establishments were ungraded, presenting an urgent challenge in respect of the football tournament. Daniller said the survey found that many enterprises were viable and able to provide services and goods for 2010 and beyond, even though there were challenges to be surmounted. Encouragement Soweto The survey found that arts and crafts businesses were the least developed SMMEs in business terms. “However, crafters tend to be highly committed entrepreneurs, and add significant value to tourism products.” “Most emerging tourism SMMEs operate in urban centres and recognised tourism areas,” she said. “A large number of these SMMEs are B&Bs [bed and breakfasts], guest houses and businesses that manufacture and sell crafts. These emerging enterprises offer an impressive range of tourism goods and services.” “Many people had preconceived ideas of Germans. They were regarded as unfriendly and aloof. But when 2006 came, visitors were treated like royalty by the hospitality industry. The fan festivals also provided an excellent opportunity for ordinary Germans to extend their hand of friendship to visitors.” A word of encouragement came from Dr Nikolaus Eberl, author of The Hero’s Journey, who had some words of advice for emerging tourism entrepreneurs. He said Germany hosted a successful World Cup in 2006 because of that country’s excellent hospitality. The 2010 Fifa World Cup will present huge opportunities for businesses, especially emerging entrepreneurs, in South Africa’s tourism industry. “Accommodation establishments run by emerging enterprises in the 2010 World Cup host cities are generally modest in size, but contribute … more than 12 000 rooms, which is not insignificant. This complements the capacity of the established hospitality sector and could play an important role during the 2010 World Cup,” she said. Eberl said the 2010 event also provided an opportunity for South Africans to show the world what South Africa – and Africa as a whole – had to offer. The company also focuses on increasing these small enterprises’ business activities by providing greater market access. Delivering the report to scores of tourism businesses at Nasrec, in Soweto on Friday, Daniller said the aim of the survey was to gauge the readiness of tourism SMMEs to participate in the World Cup. 12 November 2008center_img “This provides a sound foundation for development. There are also gaps and shortages in the overall range of tourism products, providing significant opportunities for emerging SMMEs.” MATCH, the Fifa agency that manages accommodation and other services for 2010, required all establishments on its database to be graded, and the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) would not grade establishments run by informal – read unregistered – enterprises. This is according to Lindsay Daniller of the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP). Daniller was presenting a report entitled “Towards 2010 and beyond”, a result of a survey conducted among 5 000 emerging tourism entrepreneurs in World Cup host cities. “This means that all emerging accommodation enterprises that want to benefit from the formal 2010 booking and payments system have to be registered as business entities as well as graded,” said Daniller. The venue for the opening ceremony, and opening and final matches of the World Cup, Soccer City, is also located on the outskirts of Soweto, an opportunity for tourism businesses to tap into the thousands of international visitors expected to attend matches at the stadium. Townships like Soweto had the largest number of emerging tourism SMMEs, offering accommodation, arts and crafts, and food and beverages. Overall, the survey found that notwithstanding the challenges faced by most tourism SMMEs, emerging enterprises offered an impressive range of tourism goods and services. Source: City of Johannesburg With numerous B&Bs, restaurants, entertainment hotspots, and recognised tourist attractions, like the Hector Pieterson Museum and the Mandela Family Museum, Soweto is expected to be one of the main visitor attractions in 2010. Grading The TEP, a public-private partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Business Trust, was established in April 2008. It facilitates the growth and development of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the tourism sector. last_img read more

On-fire Sterne wins SA Open

first_img274 – Richard Sterne 72 69 67 66 (won after playoff)274 – Gareth Maybin (NIR) 66 69 69 70 275 – Ernie Els 67 67 77 64275 – Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70 68 67 70275 – Lee Westwood (ENG) 66 68 68 73 276 – Richard Finch (ENG) 69 70 71 66276 – Branden Grace 69 67 73 67276 – Chris Wood (ENG) 68 69 71 68276 – Retief Goosen 70 66 69 71 277 – Trevor Immelman 69 71 70 67 278 – Rory Sabbatini 66 71 74 67278 – Michael Hoey (NIR) 70 66 73 69278 – Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 64 72 73 69 279 – David Frost 68 72 71 68 279 – Ake Nilsson (SWE) 66 72 72 69 279 – Ross McGowan (ENG) 66 70 71 72 279 – Damien McGrane (IRL) 70 64 72 73 279 – Michael Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 67 65 72 75 It also needed something special to win – what Sterne considered the best bunker shot of his life lifted him to the title on Sunday on the first playoff hole against Northern Ireland rookie Gareth Maybin. It was Sterne’s third victory of the year, following his success in the Joburg Open in January. Lee Westwood, the third round leader, carded a one-over-par 73 to also finish on 275. Sterne’s rewardsIt has been an impressive year for Sterne; his win last week in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek secured him the Sunshine Tour’s Order of Merit title and by topping the Order of Merit he has secured an invitation to participate in next year’s Nedbank Challenge at Sun City. ‘No one was running away with it’Sterne was somewhat surprised: “No one was running away with it, although obviously Ernie made a big move,” he said, after Els set the early pace with a blistering round of 64, which included a bogey and a three-putt on the 18th for par. In regulation play, Sterne pulled his approach slightly left and it landed in the bunker with very little green for him to work with. But Maybin couldn’t buy a birdie on the homeward nine. 23 December 2008 But it was a futile blast from the Big Easy, whose wretched 77 in the third round offset excellent rounds of 67, 67, and 64. Rory McIlroy, who secured a place in the world’s top 50 after finishing third, couldn’t quite get his game going and closed with a 70 to finish one shot behind Sterne and his compatriot Maybin on 275. It was all over right there, even though there was a flicker of hope for Maybin when he was lining up a putt for a birdie. With Sterne’s third shot having landed just a tap-in away from the cup, it was a last chance Maybin was unable to convert. Clubhouse leadThat shot helped him come away with a birdie and a total of 14-under-par 274 after his final round 66, which gave him the clubhouse lead and a chance at a second title in two weeks. LEADERBOARD PlayoffMaybin pushed his drive into a bunker on the right of the fairway, while Sterne was as long and as straight down the middle as he had been all week. “I don’t even remember hitting that bunker shot,” he said afterwards. “I was trying to hit it to 15 feet, to be honest, to give myself a chance there, and it just came out perfect. It came out to three feet, way better than I could have hoped.” Richard Sterne captured the South African Open after a playoff at Pearl Valley in the Western Cape on Sunday to win his second Sunshine-European Tour co-sanctioned event in succession, following his victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek the week before. He spent an anxious time in the players’ lounge, reading but not absorbing a newspaper, while the 28-year-old Maybin from Belfast went about his final round with the calm of a veteran rather than like someone about to play on his first year on the European Tour. After England’s Lee Westwood had held the third-round lead at 14-under, it seemed unlikely that it would also be the winning score. In addition, Sterne’s run of success has lifted into the top 50 of the world rankings, to a year-end ranking of 43, and that means he qualifies for the US Masters at Augusta. He set himself up for a tournament-winning birdie on the 18th, but the eight-footer lipped agonisingly out and the pair had to walk back down the fairway to do it all over again. “Going into the back nine, I thought if I could just get to 14‑ or 15‑under, you never know what can happen coming down the stretch,’ said Sterne. SAinfo reporter and Sunshine Tourlast_img read more

When to call an accountant: Know the signs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Brian E. RavencraftOutside help of any type can be hard for any business owner to weave into day-to-day operations. The thought of sharing business practices and financial information with outside service providers is an unsettling one to many. However, the day usually arrives when partnering with others to lighten your load is the right thing to do. In regards to accounting, the reasons to form a relationship with an accountant are varied. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that indicate you need to give this move serious consideration. 1.) Numbers are not your thing (no matter how hard you try)Many business owners try and handle the books by themselves, at least early on. Some succeed. For others, the frustration brought about by handling the accounting tasks is enough to make them think about throwing in the towel all together. The financial tasks associated with keeping afloat are many — from handling payroll and receivables, to closing the books and tax reporting. If and when you feel lost in a sea of numbers it is time call an accountant. Many wait until large mistakes are made or an important deadline is missed before making the call, which makes the work an accountant must do more costly for you in the long run. 2.) You shutter at the word “taxes”Taxes will always be a factor in your business and they are always changing. An accountant is your best ally in the fight to stay compliant with all regulations. Failing to do so will most likely result in penalties you will be made to pay. Plus, an accountant can keep you informed of and help you apply for tax credits you could be eligible for and bring to light deductions available to you. Don’t just guess what you will owe in taxes — let an accountant provide you with those number and file returns for you. Year-end tax planning is an essential consideration to minimize the tax impact. 3.) You must keep others informedYou have business partners, family members, investors, etc. and they all want to be kept informed of the financial state of your operation. Detailed reports and current business plans are key here. Let your accountant guide you through these elements so you can share your information with those who need to see if with the utmost confidence that it is accurate and up to date. 4.) Planning and monitoringAccountants can play an important role in developing an overall business plan and monitoring of the results. Farmers can achieve their objectives to the farm and family in a more organized manner with a business plan. Also, planning enables a careful examination of the existing resources and their best allocation. Accountants are uniquely prepared to assist farming businesses and find opportunities to improve farm efficiency and profitability. 5.) The numbers don’t add upSales are climbing, but profit isn’t following this upward trend. Now what? It is time to look at all of your business costs and re-evaluate in order to adjust operations in order to improve profit margins. An accountant will provide you with recommendations and forecast different scenario outcomes. 6.) The numbers do add up, but you can’t keep upThe business is growing quickly, money is coming in. Your head is spinning with thoughts of increasing production and staff. Expansion is right around the corner. A surge of growth presents the perfect opportunity to work with an accountant. Don’t let your good fortune bury you. An accountant can help you make smart choices that will lead to even more growth. 7.) What you offer is in demandYou find your expansion efforts include distributing in another state or even opening a new location across state lines. Alert an accountant of your plans and begin working with them on items such as payroll tax-reporting, regional sales and income tax and compliance. Different states have different laws. A good accountant knows them. 8.) You plan to buy or sellSelling even a portion of your business, let alone all of it, is a stressful endeavor. Navigating the choppy waters of this type of transaction without the help of an accountant isn’t advisable. Without their help, you could pay large amounts in taxes or miss important elements of the transaction. The same goes for buying or selling property. 8.) An audit has reared its headIf you become subject to an audit, you can count on working through it to cut into the time you spend working on your business. An accountant can work with the IRS on your behalf throughout the entire process. If you think you can go this alone, think again. An accountant will surely lessen your load throughout the audit period. 10.) Quality of lifeMost farm businesses are unique. The farm workplace and financial realities on the farm intertwine with relationships and the running of the household. Accountants are prepared to be your trusted family advisor. An accountant can help the family discuss quality of life issues, values, and goals. After assessing the overall family goals, an accountant can assist in setting and monitoring priorities. If even just one of the signs I touched on caught your attention, then now may be the time to research different accounting options. While you will have to pay an outside accountant for this assistance, they money they can save you in the long run and the ways they can set you on the right path to business growth and success makes the investment worthwhile. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners. Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves. You can reach Brian through www.HolbrookManter.com.last_img read more

The race from Darke County to Rio: Former hog showman turns Olympian

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest He actually cringes a little when he talks about it.“I got reserve champion hog and I was showman of showmen multiple times at the county fair and I had the reserve champion carcass at the State Fair. The best pig I ever had was a Duroc. I won the class and went back for the re-weigh and was over by half a pound,” said Clayton Murphy. “I never had the champion.”That, however, has not been the case since Murphy switched his focus from showing hogs to running track and cross country. Just since 2015, 21-year-old Murphy stood atop the podium numerous times as the 800-meter gold medalist at the Pan American Games, 2016 NCAA Indoor 800-meter champion, and the 2016 NCAA Outdoor 1,500-meter champion. Then, on July 4, the unassuming University of Akron student made some waves when he won the 800-meter race at the U.S. Olympic Trials.Murphy was not the favorite in the Olympic Trials and most experts had him on the bubble for making the U.S.A. Track & Field Team. Halfway through the two-lap race, Murphy was near the back of the pack before making an explosive move on the outside rounding the last turn to shock his competitors and secure his place in the Rio Olympics in August. The top three finishers who run faster than the qualifying time of 1:46.00 make the team. Murphy’s first place 1:44.76 did the trick, making him a world-class runner and an Olympian.“I don’t think I was necessarily everyone’s favorite going into the race, but training was going really well leading up to it. The first two rounds were good for qualifying and doing what I needed to do. I was eight of nine at one point in the final and that wasn’t necessarily in the game plan. To win the race was cool, but the goal was to be in the top three. I think a lot of people were thinking I would be borderline for the top three,” Murphy said. “I have built my race around running the last 100 meters fast. That has become my thing. It is not easy because you have to time it just right. It comes from experience from knowing my body and knowing my training.”The dedication to his running has roots in the hog barn. When growing up in Darke County, Murphy knew that when his parents would leave for work on a hot summer day, they would never know if he did not walk his show pigs.“We learned a lot about responsibility waking up to take care of livestock, getting everything done in the barn and walking the pigs. We didn’t have to go walk the pigs every day, but if we didn’t do it, it would show up on show day,” Murphy said. “I feel like there are a lot of things many people don’t realize that go into showing pigs. If I don’t run, it is the same thing. We learned a lot of responsibility showing pigs and there are a lot of similarities, but I think I would have to be the only one on the U.S track team that used to show hogs.”While he is not showing hogs any more, the competitive fires initially fueled in the show ring (and the lessons he learned while preparing for it) have propelled Murphy to the international stage in his running career. His love of competition carried over into athletics and Murphy eventually settled on running as his sport of choice at Tri-Village High School.“I started cross-country and track in junior high because it was the thing to do with friends and it was fun. Every year my running took a leap in progression and my junior year I switched from pigs to a focus on running. Our Tri-Village home course in cross country was a cow pasture with two creeks running through it. You had to dodge cow patties and run through the creeks. It was true cross country,” he said. “We didn’t race a lot of big schools. We ran against other farm kids. I wasn’t running super fast times but I was competitive whether I was showing pigs, playing basketball or running. That small school competition let me thrive and really develop as a runner. To get started, you need to have fun and compete and that is why I was successful.”As it became more apparent that he was a gifted runner, Murphy pushed himself harder to excel.“I had loops running around the big country blocks. You learned to avoid the busy state roads. It was nice to go run with no stoplights or stops signs and that helped. The country was a nice place to run,” he said. “Our part of Darke County is rolling and there was a large progressive hill not far from my house. There were enough rolling hills that I was able to do a lot of training up and down. I had to have the work ethic to do stuff on my own. My coach was good and we worked together to develop workouts, but he didn’t have experience with working with a state-caliber runner. I did a lot of work-outs on my own and that relationship with my coach really motivated me to push myself to do better.”His legs got faster and times got lower. Murphy broke the Division 3 state record in the 1600 Meter Run at the 2013 high school state track meet in Columbus with a time of 4:11.72.“I decided I wanted to go to college and run. I got a scholarship wanted to go to school for engineering and that was why I picked Akron,” he said.  “And it was 3.5 hours from home — close enough that if I need to go home I can and it is far enough away that Mom can’t just drop in for dinner.”His Mom (and other family members) will be making the trip to Rio to cheer him on. His parents have really enjoyed watching Clayton accomplish so much.“He has always been very competitive. He didn’t like to lose pig shows and he didn’t like to lose races in high school. It is OK to be competitive but it is also OK to lose. He was very good all the way through junior high and high school and the other kids watched how he reacted to winning and losing. Sportsmanship helps you handle the injuries and the losses,” said Melinda Murphy, Clayton’s mother and a grain originator for Trupointe Cooperative. “He is very much of a team player too. When he’d win a cross country meet he’d turn around and go to help the last few kids on the team back through the course. You can still see that now. He is very proud of what he does, but he is more proud to represent the United States and his teammates. He is very excited to be a part of that.”At the University of Akron, Murphy really blossomed and took his running to the next level.“I won NCAA indoor then won NCAA outdoor. I was progressing well and thought it was time to take the next step. I made the decision to forego my eligibility to turn pro after the NCAA race in June,” Murphy said. “You sign with an agent who negotiates contracts on your behalf. It is different than any other pro sport because you are still an amateur, but you are getting the endorsement. My agent negotiated contracts with shoe companies and Nike was the highest bidder and I felt like that was good fit. Now I run wearing Nike apparel. I may be in marketing campaigns and meet with people sometimes, but basically I wear Nike when I am running.”Murphy’s Olympic races are on Aug. 12 (preliminary), Aug. 13 (semi-finals) and the final is on Aug. 15. He is staying through the closing ceremonies on Aug. 21. He is considered a potential medalist.“I am focused on what I need to do but I will have to deal with some of the issues in Rio, like drinking bottled water and not wandering off into downtown Rio with friends and staying in the Olympic village. I just need to be smart and safe about things and everything will be fine,” he said. “I am just doing the 800 in this Olympics. I think I will likely eventually move up to the 1500 and stay between the 1500 and 800.”Then, after the Olympics, Murphy is headed to Europe for more races.“After the Olympics I go from Rio to race in Switzerland, Paris and Brussels,” Murphy said. “That is the plan as of now. After that I plan to focus on school and the last seven classes I need to graduate.”With school behind him, he will continue to focus on his running career.“A lot of middle distance runners retire around 32. Hopefully I can at least have a 10-year career,” he said.Moving forward, Murphy is proud to represent his country, his home state, Darke County and Ohio agriculture on the international stage.“I don’t know when it will really set in. I booked my flight and so I started to realize what I am doing. I am just trying to enjoy the experience right now,” he said. “Everything has been a roller coaster. I am not getting too stressed about things and I am trying to have fun with it. Obviously a goal is to run fast at the Olympics, but another goal is to really try to enjoy the whole experience.”last_img read more

Parker’s layup completes Sparks sweep of Mercury; Finals rematch set

first_imgFire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Parker, a two-time league Most Valuable Player, finished with 21 points and 11 assists.The Mercury’s Brittney Griner missed a shot as time expired and the Sparks celebrated with shouts and embraces in front of their bench.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“In Sparks fashion, we made things interesting down the stretch,” Parker said. “They jumped, and I just saw the lane and took it to the basket.”Odyssey Sims scored 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, tying a playoff career high. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Taurasi asked Brondello how she felt about the Mercury shooting only three free throws in the last three quarters at home.“I wish I could tell you the answer to that one,” Brondello said. “I know BG (Griner) got beaten up a lot. It is what it is. We’re not going to look back now.”NOT REALLY HER DAYOgwumike, the 2016 league MVP and the Sparks’ second-highest scorer in the series, was saddled with foul trouble early and finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.PARKER MOVES UPParker moved into ninth place all-time on the WNBA playoffs scoring list, and fifth all-time in playoff rebounds. Her 11 assists was a career high.TIP-INSPhoenix Suns big man Alan Williams, who purchased 300 tickets for fans to attend the game, sat courtside with his family. … Suns guard Devin Booker also attended. … The Sparks won their first playoff series against Phoenix since 2000.UP NEXTGame 1 of the WNBA Finals is next Sunday in Minnesota, where the Sparks will face the Lynx in Game 1. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “Tough day for me,” she said. “We kept getting good looks, I just wasn’t finishing them.”Leilani Mitchell’s steal and layup with 1:21 left brought the crowd to its feet and cut the Sparks’ lead to 85-82. Then Camille Little, who scored 18 points, stole an inbounds pass and drove for a layup to make the score 85-84 with 18.6 seconds to go.Sims sank a pair of free throws with 14.1 seconds left before Taurasi’s shot tied it.The Sparks won all six meetings regular season and postseason, with the Mercury.“Look, they’re defending champs for a reason,” Taurasi said. “They make you pay anytime you make a mistake. That’s the quality of players they have on that team right now.”The Sparks trailed by as many as 11 points in the first quarter after Little’s 3 with 3:43 left, part of her 12 points in the opening 10 minutes.The Mercury’s 30-21 lead in the second quarter disappeared with a pair of Parker steals, two free throws and a nifty assist to Sims for a layup, and Los Angeles took its largest lead of the half, 43-35, on Alana Beard’s jumper 36.3 seconds before halftime.“I just take what the defense gives us,” Sims said. “Every game we executed a little bit more.”MERCURY FALLINGThe Mercury’s top two players, Taurasi and Griner, combined to make only 3 of 19 shots in the first half as Phoenix scored only 13 second-quarter points.Griner, at one point late in the third quarter, grabbed Parker in frustration for what she thought was a foul, and Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello was given technical. Taurasi was whistled for a technical seconds later. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Chelsea Gray added 14 points for the defending champion Sparks, who advanced to their second straight WNBA Finals and fifth overall. They will face Minnesota in a rematch of last year’s championship, after the Lynx completed a sweep of Washington earlier Sunday.“We know that there’s a lot of good teams in this league, so to be one of the final two standing, we feel like we’re worthy of that, but we also feel fortunate to have the opportunity to go play,” Sparks coach Brian Agler said.Diana Taurasi had tied the game at 87 with a 3-pointer from the wing with 10.8 seconds left.After a timeout, Parker scored the go-ahead basket.Taurasi’s 22 points led the Mercury while Griner added 18. Griner made just 7 of 23 shots for the game.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, middle, tries to get off a pass as Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker (3) and Alana Beard (0) defend during the first half of Game 3 of a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)PHOENIX — Candace Parker hobbled into the postgame press conference with ice bags over both knees and slung over her left shoulder. But soreness was a small price to pay for a return trip to the WNBA Finals.Parker drove for a layup with 2.9 seconds to play, giving the Los Angeles Sparks an 89-87 win and three-game sweep of the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA semifinals Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Elite complete quarterfinals cast Robredo accepts Duterte’s drug czar post appointment PLAY LIST 04:11Robredo accepts Duterte’s drug czar post appointment04:11Robredo accepts Duterte’s drug czar post appointment00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more