The master of suspense

first_imgFoster’s Fairplay is frequently verbally attacked for what some deem to be a serious defect in telling its stories. The allegation is that this columnist, with disturbing regularity, leaves the audience high and dry. While accepting the criticism and providing there has not, to date, been any such complaint in activities elsewhere, the feeling is ‘mission accomplished’. The lead to whet the appetite of a reader, pending a full roll out at a later date, comes from early exposure to the cinema. It was a strategy used by the Hollywood film director and producer, Englishman Sir Alfred Hitchcock, and which earned him the title ‘The master of suspense’. With all that in mind, in addition to “cries for help” from Jamaica’s top performers in track and field, look out soon for the nation’s ‘best kept secret’ surrounding sporting activities. It could, and in due respect for support coming from elsewhere, turn a corner hitherto not even approached, much less negotiated. To refer to it as huge would be the understatement of the millennium. But, come the time, come the revelation. supremacy of black Jamaicans With all that roll out of excellent performances on a stage, previously limited to white Europeans and Americans of varied colour, there is a story never to be forgotten. It is a direct pointer to the supremacy of black Jamaicans, who have now interwoven themselves into the fabric of world track and field. Beijing 2015 was another extension of the five successive global event multi-medal scenario that has strutted with such elegance and Èlan across the frontiers of the sport. It had its genesis in the winning ways of Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Veronica Campbell-Brown at the 2008 Olympic Games, set in the same Chinese city. Now, the phenomenon has, for Jamaicans, scattered worldwide, caused pleasure, passion and the pride of belonging to something quite special. Next year, Rio de Janeiro and the XXXI Olympics beckon. It promises to be all that the extra special moment entails. The city remains the unquestionable mecca for a constantly migrating mass of magical footballers. That temporarily set aside, its people will take timeout from their single-minded focus on the beautiful game. They anxiously anticipate August 12 to 21, when the most prominent crowd-puller, athletics, will be hosted in the Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium. The fact that this most imposing site is named after an icon of world football adds to the stark truth – this is football country. Foster’s Fairplay, still mesmerised by Beijing 2015, is lustily singing the inspirational lyrics coming from the classic, Islands In The Stream. The song is written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and sung by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers in 1983. “The message is clear, this could be the year for the real thing.” All you continually amazing athletes, let it happen for Brand Jamaica. JA’s prominence on the global stage The recent IAAF World Championships was another wide awakener. At the 1948 London Olympics, Jamaica had kicked off what was soon to become its prominence on the global stage. Arthur Wint led the pack with gold (400m) and silver (800m). Herb McKenley had to be content (what a euphemism?) with a silver (400m), and the 4x400m relay team with George Rhoden and Leslie Laing added to that illustrious duo, faltered with a mid-race injury to Wint, seen later limping from the track in a whole lot more than mere physical pain. That quartet had set the stage for future glory and worldwide reverence, accorded our heroes. Quoting from the famous poem, Abou Ben Adhem by English essayist and poet, James Henry Leigh Hunt, “May their tribe increase.” Come Helsinki, four years later, there was more to be heard from the faltering foursome. Gold was their prize at a still well remembered Games. This was after Rhoden, running from the then-outside lane, number six, put it over an inspired McKenley to take gold over his chief rival’s repeat silver. The ‘Herb Mac’ upbeat had come from an ‘on the wire’ and highly disputed to this day – surprise silver that catapulted the winner, USA’s Lindy Remigino, into the pages of history. The legendary McKenley, even moreso later, as a coach, had only entered the shorter race to ‘stretch his legs’ for the 400m title assault.last_img read more

Three plead not guilty to theft ring

first_imgTwo former police officers and a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty Monday to charges linking them to a home invasion robbery ring led by an ex-LAPD Rampart Division officer. Former Long Beach police Officer Joseph Ferguson, 31, former Los Angeles Police Department Officer William Ferguson, 33, and former Deputy Rodrigo Duran, 35, entered their pleas before U.S. District Judge Gary Feess. The three men are charged in a federal indictment with taking part in ex-Officer Ruben Palomares’ ring. Feess set a tentative trial date of May 2, although the case likely won’t go to trial until later this year. Duran and the Fergusons, who are brothers, remain in custody, although Feess scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing to decide whether Joseph Ferguson – the younger brother – should be released on bond. Outside court, Joseph Ferguson’s defense attorney, Vicki Podberesky, said she and her client had been in discussions with prosecutors for six months before the indictment was returned last week. “We feel that once we’ve had a chance to review the case … that we will be able to demonstrate in court that Joseph Ferguson is innocent of the charges,” Podberesky said. Duran, a Tehachapi resident, left the Sheriff’s Department in 1999 and has worked for the California Department of Corrections since 1996. Federal prosecutors said he has been placed on leave from his prison job in light of the robbery investigation. LAPD Chief William Bratton told reporters when the indictment was made public Thursday that the law enforcement officers charged with participating in the ring, which targeted drug houses, are “traitors to the badge … traitors to their fellow officers, and most importantly, traitors to the public trust.” Members of the ring committed the robberies between 1999 and 2001 using uniforms and badges provided by Palomares, prosecutors allege. At the time, the officers were on active duty with their respective departments, according to court papers. The indictment alleges that the defendants “entered into a scheme to burglarize and steal property from residences and commercial buildings and to rob various individuals. “Various co-conspirators would approach the target locations and identify and represent themselves as law enforcement officers performing official duties in order to gain entry to the target locations and to persuade their victims to comply with their demands,” the indictment states. In one robbery in East Los Angeles, the ring allegedly took about 110 pounds of cocaine; in another in East Rancho Dominguez, about 600 pounds of marijuana was the prize. On yet another occasion, the ring allegedly stole televisions from a truck in Montebello. Often, prosecutors allege, the ring members would not find the drugs their surveillance had led them to believe were in the homes – in which case they would take whatever was of value. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more