Indianapolis, In. — Legislation recently introduced by Indiana state senator Chip Perfect has unintentionally ignited a firestorm of negative coverage.Perfect, owner of Perfect North Slopes, employs about 400 minors, Holiday World employs about 600 minors. Because of this, they have invested a substantial amount of business capital to develop systems to ensure they pass state labor inspections. He says the cost of the investment is justified by properly employing minors and avoiding violations of the law.Perfect says, “We’re a citizen legislature that means we rely on the people that are the most “expert” in a particular subject to carry the legislation and carry it to the other members.”The goal of this legislation is to rewrite statutes codified in the 1930s up to date and make complying with labor laws for small businesses more manageable.Publications like the Indianapolis Star and Washington Post jumped on Perfect to point out a conflict of interest, despite exoneration from his colleagues. Curiously, just before the bill was heard in committee, members of the newspaper industry requested to be amended into a bill that would recognize their delivery personnel as independent contractors, similar designations given to people who participate in direct sales.The bill is likely headed to Summer Study.
It was a repeat of Iowa for Wisconsin’s softball team this weekend, after the Badgers lost two of the three game road series at Illinois.The team started off hot this time around, however, winning the first game Friday, but were unable to extend their momentum in the Saturday doubleheader, dropping two to the Illini on the road.Wisconsin (19-25, 4-12 Big Ten) and Illinois (21-22, 10-5 Big Ten) seemed to feel at home right away at the Friday night game.Wisconsin’s bats came alive, as the Badgers outslugged Illinois in an 11-7 victory.Freshman Kelsey Jenkins continued her hot hitting, going 3-of-5 at the plate with three RBIs, including an RBI double in the top of the first inning that put the Badgers on the board first. From that point on, Wisconsin never trailed.Junior Stefanni LaJeunesse also came up big for Wisconsin on Friday, driving in three runs in the top of the third inning that put the Badgers up three runs and in control of the game.Wisconsin was also happy to have their top starting pitcher, Taylor-Paige Stewart whom was rested in their previous series against Green Bay, back on the mound. Stewart pitched a complete game for the Badgers, giving up five earned runs on 14 hits to pick up the win.After scoring 11 runs Friday, Wisconsin’s bats cooled off in the first game of their doubleheader Saturday against the Illini. The Badgers allowed Illinois to bounce back and even the series with a 5-3 win.Despite the loss, the Badgers enjoyed a solid outing from freshman pitcher Mariah Watts, who held the Illini to five runs, three of them earned, and six hits in six innings of work.Jenkins remained red hot in game two going 3-of-3 with a solo home run in the final inning that brought Wisconsin within two runs before eventually losing the game 5-3.Following the loss in game one of the doubleheader Saturday, Wisconsin hit the ball well once again in game three, but it would not be enough to prevent Illinois from closing out the series with a 12-8 win.Stewart started once again for the Badgers, but ultimately struggled in her second start of the series. The Wisconsin ace surrendered 12 runs on 15 hits and walked five in six innings.However, the Badgers were able to pick up their pitcher with their hitting. After being down 5-1 after two innings, Wisconsin erupted for seven runs in the third to put them up 8-5.Unfortunately for Wisconsin, Illinois continued to tack on runs after surrendering seven in the third while the Badgers seemed to be out of juice.The Badgers were unable to score the rest of the game on their way to a 12-8 loss.In the loss, Jenkins continued her tear, homering for the second straight day. Sophomore Chloe Miller helped keep Wisconsin in the game as well, going 2-of-3 with two RBI on the day.With the two losses to Illinois this weekend, Wisconsin has now lost six of its last nine Big Ten games.The Badgers will look to bounce back at home Tuesday when they welcome Western Illinois for a non-conference doubleheader at Goodman Diamond. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 3 p.m.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisWhen it comes to fitness, mountain biking has good benefits that help with cardiovascular health, attitude and endurance. Harborside Cycle and Sport owner, Tommy Dowd showed us how to pick out the right bike, prepare for the trip, and guide us through Norway Ridge Bike Path during this week’s Fitness Friday.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: fitness friday, Mountain BikingContinue ReadingPrevious ACC Community Education Program Offering New Veggie Adventure ClassesNext Alpena County- Hopeful for a New Jail
MORE: The cases for and against the best fits for Manny MachadoOur first entry looks at two outstanding lefty starters, two oft-injured outfielders and the top two hot corner guys on the market. Patrick Corbin or Dallas KeuchelThe need-to-knows: Corbin and Keuchel are the top two left-handed starters on the market. Keuchel has the better track record, but Corbin had the better 2018 season. Corbin will be 29 on Opening Day; Keuchel will be 31. Both declined qualifying offers, which means the team that sign them will forfeit a draft pick. The case for Corbin: The lefty was an All-Star in 2013, but he missed the 2014 season (Tommy John surgery), made only 16 starts in his 2015 return and struggles landed him in the bullpen late in the 2016 campaign. He was solid in 2017 — 189 2/3 innings, 4.03 ERA/4.08 FIP, but with a 1.418 WHIP — but that was just a warm-up for what was in store for 2018. Corbin added a slow curve to his repertoire for 2018, and everything else fell into place. His strikeouts per nine innings jumped to 11.1, up from a career average of 7.9, and his K/9 ratio shot to 5.13, up from a career 2.92. Not surprisingly, he posted career bests in ERA (3.15) and FIP (2.47). I asked him at the All-Star media day what he attributed his success to.“Adding another breaking ball in the low 70s, backing that up with my harder slider, and changeup as well,” he told Sporting News. “Just keeping hitters off-balance, working ahead in the count, locating my fastball a lot better and being able to throw that pitch where I want to. It was never a plan to strike out more guys, but it just kind of worked out. I’m trying to get ahead of them, and when you get two strikes, you try to put them away or make a really tough pitch.”Will Corbin repeat his 2018 performance? That’s the question teams have to weigh this offseason, because a 29-year-old with a 2.45 FIP and 11.1 K/9 is worth significantly more than a 29-year-old with a 4.08 FIP and 8.4 K/9. You still want the second guy, but the first one is worth a premium contract. The case for Keuchel: There are a couple of ways to look at Keuchel’s 2018 season. On one hand, several stats jumped in the wrong way: ERA (from 2.90 in 2017 to 3.74), WHIP (1.119 to 1.314), H/9 (7.2 to 9.3) and K/9 (7.7 to 6.7). On the other hand, the lefty’s FIP actually dropped (3.79 to 3.69), his K/9 ratio was nearly identical (2.66 to 2.64) and his percentages of home runs and walks allowed both went in the right direction. His days as a Cy Young contender — he won the AL award in 2015 — might be in the past, but he has plenty of productive days ahead of him. His velocities stayed consistent through 2018 compared to career norms, and his four-seam velocity in September was the highest of the season, following a pattern of getting stronger that Keuchel’s had the past several years. His October track record is strong, too. In 10 career playoff games (nine starts), Keuchel has a 3.31 ERA, including two solid five-inning starts in the 2018 postseason. He would make a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy for a WS contender, or a great veteran leader addition near the top of the rotation for a team looking to take a jump into contention (think, loosely, about the Cubs signing Jon Lester before the 2015 season).Verdict: This new version of Corbin is worth the higher price, especially when factoring in age.MORE: The cases for and against the best fits for Bryce HarperMichael Brantley or A.J. PollockThe need-to-knows: Brantley and Pollock are All-Star caliber outfielders who have had issues staying healthy. Pollock turns 31 in a couple of weeks, and Brantley turns 32 in mid-May. Pollock turned down Arizona’s qualifying offer, so signing him comes with draft-pick compensation. Brantley was not given a QO (a bit surprising) by Cleveland. The case for Brantley: First, the injury issues. The left-handed hitter with the smooth swing finished third in the 2014 AL MVP race and followed that up with another solid season in 2015 (AL-best 45 doubles, 15 homers, 15 stolen bases), despite injuries that limited him to 137 games. But he played just 11 games in 2016 and 90 in 2017, knocked out by frustrating shoulder and ankle issues that clouded his future.Brantley was healthy, finally, for most of the 2018 season. He played 143 games, made the All-Star team for the third time and posted a 3.6 bWAR, .309 average, 123 OPS+, 36 doubles, 17 homers, 12 stolen bases and a .364 on-base percentage. In other words, exactly what you’d expect from Brantley when healthy. It’s worth noting, too, that Brantley is the kind of future-coach-veteran who makes a positive impact in the clubhouse even when he’s on the DL.The case for Pollock: His 2015 season was underrated by MVP voters; he finished 15th despite a 7.2 bWAR, 20 homers, 39 stolen bases, 111 runs scored, .315 average and .865 OPS. Unfortunately, Pollock fractured his elbow on a slide into home in an exhibition game two days before the start of the 2016 season and missed all but 11 games. In 2017, he played 112 games, missing a large chunk of time with a Grady 1 groin strain. In 2018, he played 113 games, with most of the games missed attributed to a fractured thumb. His per-162 games projections for the past two seasons check in at 26 homers and 24 stolen bases. But health is a real the thing teams have to consider. He’s been in the majors for six full seasons, and he’s played more than 113 games just twice. On the other hand, though, it’s not like he’s suffered from chronic-type issues, like back or shoulder trouble. His issues have been largely broken bones. Verdict: Teams will roll the injury dice to sign either guy. Pollock has the higher upside, but for a team that is loathe to part with any draft pick, Brantley might be the better bet. Josh Donaldson or Mike MoustakasThe need-to-knows: Donaldson and Moustakas are the top two free-agent third basemen on the market; Donaldson turns 33 in early December, and Moustakas turned 30 in September. Neither player was eligible for a QO, so neither is attached to draft-pick compensation.The case for Donaldson: From 2013-16, Donaldson posted an average 7.8 bWAR, finished in the top eight of the AL MVP voting four times — he won the 2015 award — sported a 144 OPS+ for Oakland and Toronto and averaged 157 games a season. And despite missing six weeks with a calf injury in 2017, he still popped 33 homers and had a 4.8 bWAR in 113 games. He was, without a doubt, one of MLB’s best players, not only because of his bat but because of his defense at the hot corner. The 2018 season, though, was an exercise in frustration. After a short disabled list stint for a shoulder issue, Donaldson spent more than three months on the DL with calf issues, including a fair number of setbacks from the original timeline. The Blue Jays traded him to Cleveland, and he finally returned to action on Sept. 11 wearing his new uniform. Donaldson looked good at the plate in his small sample size, popping three homers and posting a .920 OPS in 16 games. The question is what type of contract Donaldson wants, and what type of contract teams are willing to give him. Does he want a one-year deal, betting that he’ll prove himself healthy in 2018 and test the market again next offseason at 34 years old, after a vintage Donaldson season? Or does he realize that players that age aren’t landing five- or six-year deals anymore and try to maximize what he can get this offseason? It’s not unreasonable to think enough teams are intoxicated by his talents that he could land a multiple-year deal packed with incentives (and/or options). The “this guy or that guy” debate is essential to any hot stove baseball discussion.We thought we’d nose our way into that conversation with a series of “would you rather have” pieces comparing the merits — and risks — of players on the free-agent market. You won’t see a Bryce-or-Manny debate here, though, because Harper and Machado play different positions (obviously). The case for Moustakas: The strangeness of last winter’s offseason impacted Moustakas as much (or more) than anyone. Coming off a 38-homer season with the Royals, he turned down the team’s qualifying offer (a no-brainer move) and waited for teams to woo him with lucrative long-term contract offers. That didn’t happen, of course, and he wound up taking a deal to return to K.C. in spring training. Unlike some of his fellow late signees, Moustakas had a solid 2018 season, posting 28 homers, 95 RBIs and a 2.5 bWAR split between the Royals and Brewers (he had eight homers and 33 RBIs in 54 games with Milwaukee).This year, with no draft-pick compensation attached, Moustakas figures to have more options. He is what he is — a solid defensive third baseman with good power (66 homers the past two years) and a World Series ring on his resume, but a low on-base percentage (.315 the past two years). He’s not an upgrade for every team, but he is for enough teams that he’ll get multiple-year offers. Verdict: Donaldson’s worth the risk, as long as the contract doesn’t have insane money/years guarantees.
Bottling companies in India have contested the findings of a research, which said that 90 per cent of bottled water from top brands globally, including India, contains microplastics. Indian bottling companies said on March 16 that they enforce stringent quality control.“Bisleri water undergoes a stringent 10-step purification process. All Bisleri production facilities have their own quality testing labs that ensure that every Bisleri product is made as per guidelines set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and WHO (World Health Organization),” Ramesh Chauhan, chairman and managing director, Bisleri International, said, IANS reported. He added that the safety of the consumers is of utmost importance to the brand and the issue is being investigated.The research, conducted by Orb Media, a non-profit journalism organization based in Washington DC, said a single bottle can hold dozens or possibly even thousands of microscopic plastic particles. Tests on more than 250 bottles from 11 brands sold in various countries like India, the United States, and Brazil revealed contamination with plastic, including polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate. Samples from India were gathered from Chennai , Mumbai and Delhi.“Bottled water evokes safety and convenience in a world full of real and perceived threats to personal and public health. Orb’s findings suggest that a person who drinks a liter of bottled water a day might be consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year,” the research said.The test of top bottled water brands from countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas was conducted at professor Sherri Mason’s lab at the State University of New York in Fredonia. The study said that Mason’s tests were able to record microplastic particles as small as 6.5 microns, or 0.0065 millimeters. The invisible plastic in bottled water hides in plain sight.The brands that were tested included Aqua, Aquafina, Bisleri, Dasani, and Nestle Pure Life. According to the research, Nestle tested six bottles from three locations after an inquiry from Orb Media. Nestle’s head of quality Frederic de Bruyne said that the tests showed between zero and five plastic particles per liter. None of the other bottlers agreed to make public the results of their tests for plastic contamination, the study said.“Aquafina maintains rigorous quality-control measures, sanitary manufacturing practices, filtration and other food safety mechanisms which yield a reliably safe product for enjoyment anywhere in the world,” PepsiCo India said in a statement on March 15.The statement added that the science of microplastics and microfibres is in its infancy. Microplastic particles are found across the environment, including soil, air and water.The research said that for microplastic debris around 100 microns in size, about the diameter of a human hair, bottled water samples contained nearly twice as many pieces of microplastic per liter (10.4) than tap water samples (4.45). “Bottled water is marketed as the very essence of purity. It’s the fastest-growing beverage market in the world, valued at US$147 billion per year,” said the study.According to the World Health Organization, packaged drinking water is a lifeline for many of the 2.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to safe tap water. Around 4,000 children die every day from water-borne diseases. Related ItemshygienePollution