The Turk adds that Lionel Messi is the best player he played in his career. “It is not necessary to say anything else about Messi. He is the best player I have ever seen. I also admire Iniesta, for her field skills. In Atlético, Koke is a very important player. He has managed to be in the first team in Atlético and has become a leader. I was impressed with his growth, “he said.Arda Turan also praised Radamel Falcao, who was his partner in Atlético: “He is an exceptional striker. I said the same thing when I was injured. I talked to him a few times over the phone to sign for Galatasaray. Now he has to do what he has to do as a striker, scored goals and assists, he is one of the best in the world, I always help him. I invited him to my birthday with his family and we celebrated it together. I also helped Adriano when he was at Besiktas and Diego Ribas at Fenerbahce, “he said. Arda Turan has made statements about his future at the football level and emphasized the fact that he is still a player of FC Barcelona. “I am now a Barcelona player because of the contract. It was a mutual decision. I wanted to continue my contract with Barça. Probably I will continue playing in a foreign team next season, outside of Turkey but, if Galatasaray calls me, I’m ready to meet and without conditions. Galatasaray is the only club that I would not put conditions on, “he said.Arda Turan said that the league title with Atlético de Madrid is the most special trophy of his professional career. “Frankly it was an exceptional success for me. We won the league with Atlético against Real Madrid with Ronaldo and Barca with Messi. It was a fantastic season. We also got five or six drinks in Europe. I think that the beginning of this successful era is the Copa del Rey that we won at the Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid. It is special for me. It makes me proud as the victory against Islanda that we achieved with Turkey. The Copa del Rey is very special for me, “he said recalling his stage as a rojiblanco.From there he took Cholo Simeone, which Arda Turan considers very special. “Both Fatih Terim and Diego Pablo Simeone are very special technicians. Cholo never gives up. He is a leader and a person full of energy. He can convey his idea to his players in a very intense way. He is always able to motivate you. In my career, Terim and Simeone are the first. “
MUNICH (AP):Bayern Munich have defended coach Carlo Ancelotti for raising his middle finger to Hertha Berlin fans after supposedly being spat at following a dramatic 1-1 draw in the Bundesliga.Bayern says “basically, we find the human reaction of Carlo Ancelotti with the gesture to be emotionally understandable after the nasty spitting attack”.Robert Lewandowski’s injury-time equaliser for Bayern on Saturday prompted altercations between Bayern and Hertha players in a heated atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium.The German federation ended its investigation into the matter after Ancelotti agreed to pay €5,000 to its foundation for social work.In 2014, Norbert Duewel, then-coach of second-division club Union Berlin, was fined €3,500 for raising his middle finger in a 4-1 loss at home against 1860 Munich.
Of course, there will be those gullible apologists who point out the situations were impossible for Turner in those venues with meddling owners Daniel Snyder and Al Davis, which is of course true but still no excuse for Turner having such a lame ledger. The feeling here is that Norv Turner this time will win more games than he ever has before – how could he not with that powerful Charger roster? – but once again will turn out to be a bust. Turner is an affable fellow who smiles a lot, but his greatest attribute seems to be an affinity for landing head coaching positions despite a suspect head coaching resume. It’s always been one of my most hallowed theories that people for the most part don’t change – I doubt Norv Turner suddenly will morph into Vince Lombardi – and the perennially troubled and abundantly skilled cornerback for the Tennessee Titans, Adam (Pacman) Jones, certainly gives corroboration to it. While tranquilly ensconced in Nashville on the weekend of the NBA All-Star game, I went one evening to a popular establishment called Virago that was overflowing with humanity, including several members of the Titans. Spring is nearing, and the wind is once again singing sad old songs. The Spanos Clan of San Diego has reverted to its ancestral incompetence in the administration of the Chargers. Papa Alex might be out of the picture, but Son Dean is showing he possesses every bit as much football ignorance, firing a coach, Marty Schottenheimer, who had taken the team to a 14-2 regular season record, and replacing him with a gentleman, Norv Turner, who has proven without a reasonable doubt that he’s a lousy NFL head coach. Oh, I know Norville is a nice guy who has been an exceptional offensive coordinator in the league, and so was Paul Hackett and so was Dan Henning and so were a lot of guys who were terrific assistants and absolute duds when given the big job. Turner was a failure in Washington, a failure in Oakland and will be a failure in San Diego despite the talented personnel he will inherit because he is simply not a strong, dynamic leader able to inspire passion among the troops as evidenced by his 58-84-1 record with the Redskins and Raiders. When I asked one if Pacman was going to show up, the guy smiled and said, “Man, this isn’t a strip joint, nor is it a hip hop gangster joint. This is not Pacman’s kind of scene.” I had no idea that Pacman Jones, who the past season led the NFL in punt return average even ahead of Chicago’s Devin Hester with a 12.9 average and who had four interceptions, 62 tackles and 12 deflections, was partying in Las Vegas and that Sunday evening he and his large posse visited the Minxx Gentleman’s Club and Lounge. During the midst of this culturally uplifting experience, Pacman decided to start showering the many strippers on stage with hundreds of $1 bills out of a supposed cache of $81,000 that he hauled into the place. But when the nude ladies began scooping up the money, Pacman Jones apparently became enraged – he later would claim his antics were nothing more than a “visual effect” – and allegedly grabbed one by the hair and slammed her head against the stage just to show his displeasure. Now this was more like the Pacman Jones who was sentenced to a year in jail – naturally, it was suspended and he was placed on two years probation – when he was an undergraduate at West Virginia for allegedly beating another student with a pool stick. At least twice last year he restricted his mayhem to only spitting on women, which he was twice accused of doing in well-publicized cases. And there have been other numerous indiscretions he’s been involved in that resulted in police involvement. But the latest flap might turn out to be Pacman Jones’ undoing, since a terrible melee erupted in the wake of Jones roughing up the dancer, as the club’s security personnel mixed it up with Jones’ entourage. And then a few minutes later, a person who allegedly had been seated next to Jones came back with a gun and began firing it, hitting three people including former professional wrestler Tommy Urbanski, whose spine was severed by a bullet and who is now paralyzed below the waist and isn’t expected to walk again. The Las Vegas police still are investigating the matter with eventual arrests expected, and the NFL is awaiting results and figures to take strong action against Jones, which means he faces a lengthy suspension. The new Titan general manager, Mike Reinfeldt, has indicated the team probably will get rid of Jones, meaning his future destination is either the Oakland Raiders or prison. One wonders what the thought process is of such a person gifted with so much athletic ability and a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to pursue such a self-destructive course. While he didn’t do anything that invited scrutiny from law enforcement authorities or that would even faintly compare to Pacman Jones’ shenanigans, the Lakers’ Vladimir Radmanovic also had quite an adventurous NBA All-Star break, as he initially claimed that he took a terrible pratfall on a slippery street of sheet ice in Park City, Utah that resulted in his separating his shoulder. Such a misfortune is expected to sideline the 6-9 3-point shooting forward for seven weeks, and comes at a most inopportune time when the Lakers already are heavily plagued with injuries. But what makes Radmanovic’s accident even more difficult for the Lakers to accept is that a man they’re paying $5.25 million this season easily could have avoided it, since he admits he was fibbing about how it happened and that it came while he was snowboarding, an activity he should not have been doing since it’s banned in his contract. So Vladimir Radmanovic, who has been a disappointment to the Lakers this season, also turns out to be a big liar, which in light of the large amount of money he might have to forfeit was an understandable tack but one that certainly hasn’t boosted his image. I guess he was just joining the burgeoning crowd in the athletic landscape whose public images aren’t exactly glowing these hours, from the Spanos and their follies in San Diego to Pacman Jones and his latest in a ceaseless stream of unsavory incidents. Doug Krikorian can be reached at email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Special Section: Get the latest elections news and vote tallies Incumbents Marcella Calderon and David Vela easily were re-elected to seats on the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education. Calderon received 5,150 votes or 46 percent; and Vela, 4336 votes or 38 percent, while challenger David Manuel received 1,819 votes or 16 percent. The two incumbents, who defeated David Manuel, spent more than $53,000. Calderon raised $43,160, spent $42,834 and was loaned $4,000 from The Calderon Group, according to her financial statements filed with the county clerk’s office. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre David Vela raised $27,027, of which $11,798 was in cash – almost the total he spent in his attempt to unseat Calderon. One of the race’s main issues according to Calderon, Vela and David Manuel was the federal No Child Left Behind Act to make public schools accountable regarding student achievement. They said it needs to be revamped or taken off the books. The Montebello Teachers Association and California Teachers Association gave Vela and Calderon a total of $7,500. firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 email@example.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Confirmed team news:Sweden XI: Isaksson, Lindelof, Johansson, Granqvist, Olsson, Larsson, Ekdal, Kallstrom, Forsberg, Berg, IbrahimovicSubstitutes: Olsen, Lustig, Jansson, Hiljemark, Wernbloom, Augustinsson, Lewicki, Kujovic, Guidetti, Durmaz, Zengin, CarlgrenBelgium XI: Courtois, Meunier, Alderweireld, Vermaelen, Vertonghen, Nainggolan, Witsel, Carrasco, De Bruyne, Hazard, Romelu LukakuSubstitutes: Mignolet, Fellaini, Mertens, Denayer, Origi, Kabasele, Dembele, Benteke, Jordan Lukaku, Batshuayi, Ciman, Gillet Every Goal, Every Game, Every Day Sweden take on Belgium in the final round of fixtures in Group E with both side vying for a place in the last 16.Belgium only need a draw to secure second place in the group but could finish bottom if they lose and Republic of Ireland beat Italy in the evening’s other game.Sweden have yet to register a shot on target at the tournament so far and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic announcing his intention to retire from international football following Euro 2016, he will want to go out on a high.Italy have already guaranteed top spot in Group E having claimed maximum points from their opening two games but the difference between finishing second and third is huge for the rest of the sides.Whoever finishes as runners-up in the group will face the winners of Group F (could be any of Portugal, Hungary, Austria or Iceland) but will be in the half of the tournament, which avoids the likes of Germany, Italy, Spain, France and England.Third place could also be in that side of the draw and face Croatia, or they could face host nation France, depending on other results.LIVE on talkSPORT 2: Sweden v Belgium – click here for live commentary from the Stade de Nice at 8pm (BST) on June 22, 2016.Here’s how Group E stands: 2 2
A new survey by the National Standards Authority of Ireland has found that 63% of Irish businesses think that they will be harmed by a possible hard border. Of those surveyed 14% were unsure on whether a hard border would effect their business while 23% believed that their businesses would be unaffected.Also in the survey participants were asked how Brexit would affect their businesses of which 55% said that it would have a negative impact. Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce CEO Toni Forrester said that the border issue was high on the priority list for the Chamber of Commerce.“We are hopeful that the guarantees of a soft border are carried through” said Forrester, however she warned that businesses must prepare for the worst case scenario of a hard border.How will Donegal businesses cope with a possible hard border? was last modified: May 23rd, 2017 by Callum LaveryShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:hard borderToni Forrester
By Paddy Walsh, Donegal’s leading sports columnistThere was bitter disappointment for Donegal at O’Donnell Park as they lost their crucial league match to Monaghan.See that grass at O’Donnell Park? Great growth in it. Spent a good deal of time on Sunday studying it and I feel I know what I’m talking about.They have to be using some measure of growth agents on it to help. But it’s looking well. Apparently it’s all in the old metabolism. Interesting to see it maturing all the same. “Hard to watch this”, one man standing beside me remarked. Jeez, what grass was he watching?Ah, I see. The match. Division One of the Allianz Football League. Division Ten in terms of quality.Hard to watch indeed but not hard to hear the comments from fans who had paid ten euro to get in but would probably have paid treble that to get out again.“Only twenty minutes gone and it seems like an hour and a half,” another sideline observer declared. “FORWARD, FORWARD”, yet another frustrated supporter demanded. But the words were blown away in the wind as the Donegal line dancers continued to feed the ball from hand to hand across the field of play and another attack, if that’s what it could be called, eventually petered out into nothing.A couple of hours before the throw-in, I’d read yet another article from Joe Brolly hitting out at the boring football syndrome which he continues to claim is destroying the sport. He would have had a strong argument against his views if it simply related to the Cork/Kerry game even if the Rebels did run away with that one in the end.But you’d suspect it is matches such as last Sunday’s at O’Donnell Park that he has in mind when he launches those tirades against the modern game.I headed across to the standing area at the other side for the second half to see if the view was any better from there. It wasn’t. Michael Murphy’s typically taken goal was the sole highlight from a Donegal perspective – the lowlights were all too obvious. Not a point registered by the home side in that second half told a story in itself. And the opinions of all those watching echoed those of the stand-side.“The worst I’ve ever seen,” one supporter muttered as he headed for the exits a few minutes before the final whistle in the company of a trickle of head shaking fans. The rest of us stayed on believing that – by the law of averages – Donegal would grab a point or two and win the game. But it was Monaghan, appearing to be able to get the ball forward much quicker than their opponents, who snatched a brace of late scores to deservedly seal the deal.The stiffening breeze didn’t help either team’s cause but despite the fact they engineered a three point lead inside the opening stages, Donegal’s became a lost one as the players floundered to deceive. Difficult to score when you’re playing into the stand.Not much time to recover before they head southwards to the Kingdom this weekend. Not much time for Rory Gallagher to engineer a system that involves forward thinking in every sense of the term.He can’t allow the grass to grow under his feet on this one because the Championship will be on us before you can say ‘Hard to watch this.’ MARK OF A CHAMPION Mark EnglishWith 200 metres to go, the hopes that Mark English would build on his bronze medal from last summer’s European Athletics Championships, appeared to be fading fast.But fast is in the DNA of the Letterkenny man and as he ghosted past his rivals and caught Dutchman Thijmen Kupers before the finishing line, the silver medal from the 2015 European Indoors was his – and once again his county and his country can celebrate another outstanding achievement.He had run positively and confidently in his heat and in the semi-final but nevertheless, the nerves gripped hard as we watching the closing stages of the 800 metres.Mark spoke of feeling a “big well of energy” over the final 150 metres in the arena in Prague – an energy burst that took him to the line in second place but was never going to allow him overtake the gold medalist, Marcin Lewandowski of Poland who, well before, had just about confirmed his finishing position with the strongest of runs.Once again, Mark’s family, parents Joe and Brigid, and sisters, Joanne and Michelle, were present, as they were in Zurich last August, to watch son and brother claim another medal at a major championship. And a handful of local fans too including double Olympian, Danny McDaid, and his wife, Kathleen.And where next? Beijing and the World Championships next August, that’s where. Undoubtedly a step up with a lot more class athletes to contend with in the event. But, then, they too will know that there’s a potentially threatening Irishman with the ability to douse their hopes of podium places. And still only 21.LETTERKENNY LION ROARS TO VICTORYSean gets into the saddle for his cycle. Pic by Donegal Daily.He’s the man for whom we can now truly coin the word ‘SEANDURANCE’. After finishing second last year in what’s simply called ‘The Race’ but involves the most incredible feat of human strength and tenacity, Sean McFadden blew over the finishing line on Saturday night having completed 250km of sheer physical effort that took him through this county’s notorious terrain on bicycle and on foot within the specified twenty-four hours. Well within it. Fifteen hours, five minutes and thirty seconds within it to be precise.And among all the voices shouting encouragement at him as his miner’s headlight came into view at the Gartan Outdoor Pursuit Centre, one small one somehow brought a lump to the throat: “COME ON DADDY”, it said. And come on he did into the welcoming arms of his wife, Irene, and children and a whole host of supporters who had gathered at race’s end.How the Letterkenny man even managed to summon the strength to hoist his vest into the cool night air to wave to the cheerleaders is something us mere mortals can only wonder about. But wave it he did like a helicopter blade bringing him home.And just in case you thought he had earned a couple of days in the old leaba – he had – the man was up and about early on Sunday morning for a stroll around his home patch.On Saturday afternoon, I got a chance to see the participants battling high winds and driving rain on their bicycles close to the Derryveagh Mountains and, strange as this may sound, I didn’t envy them. Sean McFadden may have been the outright winner but every single individual who took to the starting line – sixty-four in all – earned the right to be hailed as conquerors, even the twenty-two who didn’t complete the course.Due to the conditions, the kayaking element of the event was postponed but that didn’t ease the pain.A lot of credit to Ulster Television who, apart from a special preview of ‘The Race’, also covered what presenter, Garth Wilkinson, described as the “edge of human endurance.”Sean revealed that he had been close to pulling out half way through as a tearful few moments threatened to bring him down. It took, apparently, the encouraging words of a friend, to persuade him to continue but as anyone who knows him, the likelihood is that he would still have found the strength himself to carry on.“You’d want to be mad”, the runner-up, Sean McLaughlin, cracked a grin after being asked what it had felt like.Mad? That’s one word for it. But try telling that to SEANDURANCE….HOME WITH THE HARPS Encouraging results for Finn Harps to open their competitive season even if one of them ended up in a defeat.They followed up that goal-less draw at Shelbourne – and a late chance from Damian McNulty could have sealed the full quota of points – with a 3-2 loss in Galway in the E.A. Sports League Cup on Monday night. Having trailed 0-2 at one stage, they fought back twice to within a goal and, again, had a late opportunity to bring the tie into extra-time.Not to be but the League’s the one Ollie Horgan is aiming for and this Friday they face new boys, Cabinteely F.C. who opened their campaign with a lone goal victory over Wexford Youths and then knocked U.C.D. out of the afore-mentioned Cup.But in front of a home crowd – and hopefully the fans will turn out in force – Harps can take the points and put their promotion campaign on track.Meanwhile, the ‘Irish Examiner’ compiled a list of their top 25 League of Ireland players of all time and one Brendan Bradley – and there was only one – finished on top of the pile. “Stats doesn’t always tell the story but in the case of Bradley, they roar it to the skies; he once scored all six for Harps in a game against Sligo and when he finally hung up his shooting boots in 1986, he did so having amassed 235 League of Ireland goals, a record which stands to this day,” the Examiner’s soccer correspondent, Liam Mackey, summed up the career of the big man.A couple of weeks back, R.T.E. did a special feature on that record which included an interview with Bradley and with the man who is twenty goals away from breaking it, Bray Wanderers striker, Jason Byrne.Some of us old nostalgics and Harps veterans will hope he never manages it, petty as that may sound.WARREN BEATY?Not alone do I want Ireland to deliver a thumping to Wales in Cardiff this Saturday – 58-0 would do just nicely – but I want to see Warren Gatland’s smirky face after it.It’s got that bad, that I was even cheering on England when they played, and won, at the Millennium.Nobody drops Brian O’Driscoll from the Lions in his final season before retirement and gets away with it.INDEPENDENT VIEWPOINTIf it hadn’t been for the photograph at the top of the page, you would have been hard pressed to notice any reference to Mark English’s semi-final race at the European Indoors in the Sunday Independent.Readers – and particularly those of us from Donegal with a vested interested – had to trawl through the paper’s sports supplement before we came upon the picture on the third last page. And there buried at the bottom of the same page in a column marked ‘Sports Briefs’ was a paltry couple of paragraphs on the Letterkenny man’s advance into the 800 metres Final, paragraphs which also managed to squeeze (and it was a squeeze) in details of the other Irish athletes and their performances.And next Sunday the same publication will have four or five pages dedicated to the multi-millionaires of the English Premiership. Something wrong somewhere.WRIST BANNEDThe G.A.A. has come in for some criticism – with a number of newspaper columnists leading the charge – over its refusal to allow referee David Gough to sport a rainbow wristband in support of the gay movement during Saturday night’s National League fixture at Croke Park between Dublin and Tyrone.The organisation viewed it as a political gesture and considered it particularly inappropriate in the months leading up to the referendum on gay marriage. “The GAA is not a vehicle for other people’s political messages. You leave your politics at the door,” a spokesman reacted.Some years back we might have scorned such a reaction given that the GAA did appear to run with a political football at times. But let’s be fair, the sporting body has come a long way since those days and indeed just last year, Croke Park stewards were ordered to remove Palestinian flags from Hill 16 during a match.And the criticism the authorities has received on its latest stance? It probably would have been a lot more forceful had the Association allowed a referee, or indeed a player, to wear a wristband opposing the gay movement.In any case, I believe the GAA was right to impose a ban on this occasion.VILLA PARK INVASIONSmashing Cup game at Villa Park at the weekend. I thought the big fat bloke with the ill-fitting tee-shirt did well while the fellow with tattoos running down his arm looked a decent prospect on the pitch and the young lad getting ready to lay out Chris Brunt is one for the future.However, that future won’t be at Villa Park as they’ll probably all be banned.CHELTENHAM TIPIf you’re looking for a sure bet for Cheltenham, look well beyond this column. But if you’re looking for a tip that might pocket you a cent or two, place a bit of your hard-earned on Carlingford Lough – 10/1 from Paddy Power the last I heard – in the Gold Cup.Apart from the fact that one Tony McCoy is riding him, I’m tipping him because his trainer, John Kiely, is talking up his chances and he has shown recent form including a brilliant win in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown.But mainly because Carlingford’s a nice place and I have a sister that lives there.GUNNERSIt’s at times like these that you discover that you know far and away – and the farther away the better – too many Arsenal supporters…GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE – IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: March 11th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Dailysports columnWalshy on Wednesday
The Humboldt State men’s team suffered a tough loss to Cal State San Bernardino (7-9, 5-7) 90-79 at home Saturday night, falling to 6-12 (3-9) on the year. San Bernardino jumped out to a double-digit lead early on in the game forcing Humboldt to play catch-up for much of the night. San Bernardino led by as much as 26 in the first half. Humboldt closed the gap to 18 during the closing minutes of the first half, due in part to a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Humboldt’s Will Taylor just …
South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices increased at an annualised rate of 4,7 percent in the third quarter as the economy continues to grow.According to Statistics SA, the economy grew from 4,4 (revised from 4,5) percent in the second quarters due largely to increase activity in the finance, real estate and business services industry, the wholesale, retail and motor trade, hotels and restaurants industry.The seasonally adjusted real annualised value added by the non-agricultural industries increased by 5,1 percent during the third quarter of 2007, following annualised increases of 5,1 percent (revised from 4,6) and 4,4 percent during the first and second quarters of 2007 respectively.The unadjusted real GDP at market prices for the first nine months of 2007 increased by 5,3 percent compared with the first nine months of 2006. Using the latest preliminary indicators, Statistics SA revised upward GDP for 2006 to 5,4 percent from 5,0 percent.“The main contributors to the increase in economic activity in 2006 were finance, real estate and business services industry, the wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants industry; manufacturing industry, the transport, storage and the communication industry and the general government service and the construction industry,” Statistician-General Pali Lehohla said in a statement.“The revised level of the GDP at current prices for the year 2004 is estimated at R1 395 billion, which is R3 billion or 0,2 percent lower than the previous estimate. The estimate for 2005 is R1 541 billion (revised upwards by R2 billion). The independent annual estimate for 2006 is revised by 0,8 percent to R1 741 billion,” Lehohla said.The GDP estimates are preliminary, and may routinely be revised on the basis of additional evidence that has become available by the time the subsequent quarter’s estimates are released. Useful linksStatistics SA: www.statssa.gov.za
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In early June, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) had to make the really difficult decision to cancel all live bird shows in the state in order to protect Ohio’s $2.3 billion poultry industry from the recent avian influenza epidemic. No Ohio cases have been discovered so far.In Paulding County, the home of the first Ohio county fair for the year, Fair Board members made a decision about the poultry show before the State did.“We needed to set a plan in place if there was going to be a ban on poultry shows in Ohio. We have Cooper Farms in our area and they create a large percentage of jobs for our county. We decided we didn’t want a large number of birds together in one building to give the disease more of a chance to spread. We made the decision as a board to cancel two weeks before the fair instead of waiting for the State to make their decision. We had the skillathon the following night, which was the last time we’d see the kids before the fair started and we told the exhibitors then that there would be no poultry show,” said Caleb Schlatter, Paulding County Senior Fair Board member and head of the poultry department. “When the ODA cancelled the shows it took a lot of pressure off. All these kids had all their birds and put in all of their work, but I feel like we did make the right decision.”Instead of a show, the fair hosted an event for the poultry exhibitors.“Cooper Farms put on a Jeopardy game with all poultry knowledge. They have three different classes: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level has harder questions testing their knowledge on poultry,” Schlatter said. “Cooper Farms also donated 75 pounds of turkey that they grilled here for all of the exhibitors and spectators at the show.”At the Pickaway County Fair, which will be held next week, poultry exhibitors get to participate in showmanship and the sale.“We are having an abbreviated showmanship show and an educational event. We have a judge coming,” said Bob Black, president of the Pickaway County Agricultural Society. “The sale committee decided to not let the exhibitors sell individually, but they can sign up and be in the ring. We were hoping to raise money for the kids who show up so they each get $50 or so. I heard from some buyers and they thought that was as fair as anything. We wanted to be fair to the kids with poultry, but we also still have many other kids who are going through the ring with other projects and we wanted to make sure they get good money for their project too. The kids need something, but nobody knew exactly what to do. I think this is a good solution.”The poultry show ban will likely be handled differently by fairs all season long. Hopefully it can be viewed as a good learning experience for the affected exhibitors at every cancelled event for the year.“This is educational because with livestock you never know what you are going to get,” Black said. “This is real life.”