RelatedCrime has Hindered Economic Progress – Bunting Crime has Hindered Economic Progress – Bunting National SecurityNovember 6, 2012 Advertisements RelatedCrime has Hindered Economic Progress – Bunting RelatedCrime has Hindered Economic Progress – Bunting FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail LONDON — Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has said that while the country’s crime rate is trending down, the high crime over the last 40 years has cost the country dearly, in terms of economic development. “Conservatively, if we had not had the crime rate that we have had over (the) last four decades, we would have three times the size economy we are at now, and perhaps, as much as 10 times the size economy that we are at now. That would put us on par with a first world country,” Mr. Bunting said. He was addressing Jamaicans in the United Kingdom (UK) at a community meeting held recently at the Jamaican High Commission in London. “Because we have had an above average violent crime rate for at least four decades, the estimates that some of our professors have done is that, cumulatively, it has cost us 60 to 90 percent of where we would, otherwise, have been in terms of our GDP and the size of our economy,” he stated. This, the National Security Minister said, is in addition to the pain, grief and suffering of the victims and their families. Stating that there has been a 30 per cent reduction in the country’s murder rate over the past two to three years, Mr. Bunting informed that the “big audacious goal” is to bring the murder rate down from the current 42 per 100,000 to 12 per 100,000 by the year 2016. This, he said, would represent an almost 75 percent reduction and would bring Jamaica on par with what obtains in a first world country. Minister Bunting noted, however, that in order to achieve the target, the country must address some challenges. These, he said, include reducing Jamaica’s attractiveness as a transhipment point for drugs into North America and Europe. In addition, he said, there needs to be greater respect for law and order in the society. “We have to challenge those dysfunctional elements of our culture that have developed over time and have made Jamaica a good place for criminals to do business” he stated. Minister Bunting cited the impact of the lotto scam, which he said is glamourised by some sections of the popular culture but seriously exploits vulnerable victims, poses a risk to the country’s call centre and tourist industries and is responsible for some 50 per cent of the murders committed in Montego Bay. The National Security Minister said a number of new initiatives have been introduced to counter the scam, including a new Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Unit (MOCA), which is being set up with support from the UK and the United States. In addition, legislative measures are being undertaken to target the crime kingpins, take the profit out of crime, make it easier to obtain DNA evidence, and to facilitate the use of video-link during court proceedings. He said emphasis is also being placed on social interventions, which involves going into the most volatile communities and targeting at risk-youths, who are being recruited by criminal gangs, diverting them back into the education system and job training. Minister Bunting said while the goal is to reduce the overall crime rate, efforts are also being made to address the use of force by the police. He said there have already been positive developments in this area.
MattGush/iStoc(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) –A church van from Louisiana was en route to Disney World when it became involved in a fiery, multi-car crash near Gainesville, Florida, leaving five children in the van dead, the church said.Besides the five children, two men driving two semi-trucks involved in the massive collision Thursday also died, the highway patrol said.Nine children and three women, including a pregnant woman, were in the van from United Pentecostal Church in Marksville, Louisiana, said Kevin Cox, Louisiana District Superintendent for the United Pentecostal Church.The pregnant woman survived and delivered her baby Thursday night, Cox said in a statement Friday.She was “pretty banged up” but “the baby is going to be OK,” Cox said, quoting a pastor who was with the woman in the hospital.One of the five children who died was the granddaughter of a pastor, the church said.The deaths are considered traffic homicides, a highway patrol spokesperson said.Six to eight people were injured, officials said. The four surviving children were all injured but will likely recover, according to Cox.The crash unfolded when a semi-truck was heading north and collided with a northbound passenger car, the highway patrol said.After the collision, both cars went through the guardrail, into the center median and then into the southbound lanes, the highway patrol said.Heading southbound at the time was a passenger van and another semi-truck. When the semi-truck crossed into the southbound lanes, it crashed with the van and the southbound semi-truck, officials said.The van flipped over and some people were ejected, the highway patrol said.Mandi Lamonda was driving north when she “noticed some white smoke on the south side of 75.”“Then all of a sudden I heard a big boom,” she told ABC News, “and then tons of black smoke.”Fifty gallons of diesel fuel spilled in the crash, Alachua County Fire Rescue said, and both semi-trucks caught on fire.Cox in his statement urged people to “pray for the healing of those physical injuries. And, perhaps even more so, pray for that church family that has been so massively affected by this tragedy.”Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said his heart goes out to all of the church members impacted by the tragedy.“I hope you will join your prayers to mine as these families face the difficult days ahead,” he wrote on Facebook.It is unclear if investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will head to the scene of the crash. Most employees there are furloughed as a result of the partial government shutdown.Officials with Florida Highway Patrol told ABC News it has shared information about the crash with the NTSB but no federal investigators have been involved in the probe.Before the shutdown, NTSB officials told ABC News that existing investigations would be put on hold and new investigations would not be launched until the shutdown ended. If an accident occurred with a significant amount of casualties and presented a substantial danger to the traveling public if not responded to immediately, an investigation may be launched.Disney is the parent company of ABC News.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
High school diploma or equivalent required; professionalcoursework or post-secondary education are a plusThree or more years of previous administrative professionalexperienceAbility to operate all office equipment, including personalcomputer and printer, photocopier, telephone, and faxHighly developed computer skills including experience usingMicrosoft Office Suite; Google Docs; email, web, and databaseapplications, as well as an interest in and ability to learn newcomputer programs with ease and in a self-guided mannerAttention to detail and accuracy are criticalAbility to handle confidential information with discretionExcellent interpersonal, communication, and organizationalskills with a high level of motivationWorking knowledge of business English, proofreading, andspelling skillsTalent to work collaboratively in a complex fast movingenvironment and to make an impact through work as a member of ateam and diverse communityMust be able to work independently, exercise judgment, andmanage projects with minimal supervision, as well as to adjust asnew projects are assigned KEY RELATIONSHIPS:This position has significant interaction with all members of theadmissions team, as well as faculty and staff across campus, highschool and college students, parents, vendors, visitors, and otherconstituents of the College.WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS :General open office and campus environment. Position involvessitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Occasionallifting is required. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wristmotion is also necessary.TO APPLY :Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the”Apply” button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letterof interest, resume, and the contact information of threeprofessional references. Materials should be addressed to:Administrative Assistant (Admissions and Financial Aid) – SearchCommitteeOffice of Human ResourcesColby College5500 Mayflower HillWaterville, ME 04901-8855 Job DescriptionDepartment:Admissions and Financial Aid OperationsPay Rate Type:HourlyEmployee Type:Job Summary:Office of Admissions and Financial AidFull-Time, Non-Exempt, Hourly, Staff AppointmentThe administrative assistant will provide administrative support tothe Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. This position will becross-trained to support a variety of functions within thedepartment. The ideal candidate will be experienced in handling awide range of administrative and support related tasks and will beable to work independently. We encourage inquiries from candidateswho will contribute to the diversity of our College, including itscultural and ethnic diversity.ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Provide welcoming customer service to students and familiesnavigating the college admissions processCorrespond with and assist students, families, schoolcounselors, and others via phone and emailMaintain familiarity with frequently asked Admissions/FinancialAid questions and identify the most effective point person for morenuanced inquiriesProcess incoming application and financial aid materials viamail and email and maintain application filesPerform routine database cleanup using queries (consolidateduplicate records, link school records to student records, addresscleanup, etc.)Perform significant data entry, record keeping, mail merging,filing, and proofing of student inquiry and applicantinformationSchedule phone calls and zoom meetings with high schoolcounselors and community based organizationsPrepare, proofread, and print letters, emails, and othercommunicationsAssist in mail processing as needed; creating, printing, andposting a wide range of mailingsCoordinate administrative operations to support a team of theadmissions and financial aid staffProvide general backup support for other Office of Admissionsand Financial Aid administrative assistants as appropriateProvide support for events and travel arrangements for internaland external constituencies including scheduling locations andcatering, setting up for events, budgeting, and contract and travelarrangementsReconcile travel receipts and documentation for weekly expensereportsTrain and assist student workersCover front desk as needed to greet and direct visitorsPerform additional duties as assigned; duties,responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with orwithout notice QUALIFICATIONS:
So does European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker think it was important to disclose details of a dinner with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May because some in Britain “underestimate the technical difficulties” of Brexit, as he told reporters in April? Or does the wily former prime minister of Luxembourg think it was a “grave mistake” that private discussions at the dinner made it into the press, as was reported this week?The answer is: yes.Juncker and his senior Brexit team, including chief of staff Martin Selmayr and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, took the decision that details of the dinner with May had to be disclosed because, as one official put it, the U.K. prime minister at times seemed to be “in a different galaxy.” But they also wish May hadn’t gotten so angry about it. At 7:30 on the morning after the dinner, Juncker personally telephoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prompting her to issue her own reality check to the U.K. in a speech later that day. Diplomats from the 27 EU countries received a similar briefing. The fallout from those disclosures was brutal: A furious May lashed out, accusing Brussels of meddling in the British election.If Juncker was feeling regret about hurting May’s feelings, he certainly didn’t show it in Florence late last week, where he delivered a speech in French after declaring that English is “losing importance” in Europe.At the same time, Juncker and his team never wanted the negotiations to be contentious, or at least not this contentious. And so there has been a concerted effort to dial down the tension by describing the “leaks” around the dinner as a mistake.What they regret aren’t the leaks themselves, rather that the disclosures were necessary in the first place. Juncker himself called the leaks a “grave mistake” only after Der Spiegel reporting some tsk-tsking over the disclosures by Merkel, attributed to unnamed officials in the chancellor’s office.One woman’s leaky breach of confidence, however, is another man’s transparency in government. And if there is a moral to the story for senior EU officials it is that their first instinct was the correct one: When it comes to Brexit, leak early and leak often and thereby control the narrative.Brussels wants full disclosure and transparency when it comes to the Brexit talks. This is not because the officials who run the European institutions have suddenly found new merit in openness. Brussels remains a place where official spokespersons — public servants paid high salaries by taxpayers to provide information — routinely refuse to be quoted by name and often act as if every morsel they provide to reporters is a grand gesture of personal charity. On the contrary, officials recognize that with every EU country keenly invested in the Brexit talks, trying to keep information confidential — as the U.K. has demanded — is an exercise in futility.The only way to control the message, in the view of EU officials, is to put information out on their own terms, accompanied by their own spin.This insight is from POLITICO‘s Brexit Files newsletter, a daily afternoon digest of the best coverage and analysis of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Read today’s edition or subscribe here. Also On POLITICO Jeremy Corbyn calls for ‘jobs first’ Brexit By Annabelle Dickson Jean-Claude Juncker: Brexit dinner leaks a ‘mistake’ By Cynthia Kroet
March 15, 2017 Letters LettersLegal Aid Economics The News and The Florida Bar Foundation would do well by taking an hour to read Bastiat’s The Law or slightly longer to peruse Hazlett’s Economics in One Lesson. There they would learn to not only anticipate the immediate observable results of conduct but also the secondary and unseen results of that conduct. There is simply no way that legal aid funding yields a seven-fold “return on investment” in terms of economic impact on society. The lion’s share of these purported returns was based on securing Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and veterans’ benefits. Yet, those very benefits are merely transfer programs from one group of citizen taxpayers to another group of citizen claimants over time. These alleged “returns” on legal aid funding are the equivalent of moving money from society’s left pocket to its right pocket. Leaving aside moral and policy judgments, aiding claimants to these programs is facilitating redistribution of wealth and nothing more. Moreover, the fact that studies from other states reached similar return on investment conclusions is of no moment if, as I suspect, the same faulty approach to return calculations was utilized. The Florida Bar Foundation is free to sponsor research that supports its charitable purpose. However, real economic returns on legal aid would have to be anchored in either the more efficient administration of justice (e.g. ADR) or the shifting of legal liability to the most effective (or least cost) avoider of future societal harm. This would be a far more complex calculation that would yield far lower returns than the eye-popping ones asserted by the Foundation’s study. James Lovely Lakeland Parental Leave Eighteen months ago, I proposed the parental leave continuance rule after speaking to a pregnant trial attorney who was denied a continuance and told to give the case to someone else in her office. Since that time, I have spoken to many women and men who have had similar experiences, several of which are recounted in the March 1 News. Of course, the problem with the status quo is that women attorneys are being unnecessarily required to give up cases when having a child, which can set back a career. After all, trials in most practice areas are few and far between. For solo practitioners, they may completely lose the client to another firm. And men often do not seek the continuance at all because of the stigma that is attached. The solution seemed simple; I would propose a rule of procedure that would correct the problem. I had experience with parental leave, having taken it on two occasions and having helped draft the policy for my previous government office. It did not prove so simple though. The initial proposal resulted in heated debate involving four separate committees of The Florida Bar. The rule that was forged through this debate and recommended by the special committee, however, is an excellent rule. It recognizes that parental leave constitutes good cause for a continuance, while preserving judicial discretion to protect against substantial prejudice. I would like to share three things I learned through this process. First, parental leave continuances appear to be denied more often than you might think, for both women and men, forcing an unnecessary choice between family and career. This may be in part because the need for parental leave is typically known well in advance of trial, which has resulted in attorneys being asked to find replacements for themselves. Of course, this is exactly the problem and hurts attorneys taking leave, along with their clients. This is why a rule is needed, as opposed to solely education, as some have suggested. Five years from now, this debate may no longer be remembered, but a rule of procedure can be cited in a motion and will lead to more parental leave continuances being granted from now on. Second, there are a number of judges who have expressed support to me for the proposed rule. The reason: It provides guidance that parental leave continuances should be granted unless there is substantial prejudice, and that the approximate time should be three months. This guidance is helpful to judges in ruling on contested motions, helping to ensure fairness. Third, it is important that men also take parental leave and be granted these continuances. Indeed, the more men take leave, the more any stigma is reduced and the easier it is for women to take leave without being placed into a non-partner track at a firm. I am happy to see that both candidates for Florida Bar president have formally indicated their support for the parental leave continuance rule in response to an inquiry from the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. I am hopeful that the rule will be recommended by the Board of Governors and approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Craig E. Leen Coral Gables March 15, 2017 Letters
CBRE announced the sale of an 8.24-acre site located at the southwest corner of Raintree Drive and 87th Street in Scottsdale, Ariz. The land commanded a sale price of $11.5 million.Barry Gabel, Chris Marchildon, Will Mast and Mitchell Stravitz of CBRE represented the seller, Liberty Property Trust, in the transaction. The buyer was Trammell Crow Company (TCC), one of the nation’s leading developers and investors in commercial real estate. Bryan Taute, also of CBRE, will be retained by TCC as the exclusive leasing agent for the future planned development. The infill site features a high-profile location within the Scottsdale Airpark submarket with over 1,000 square feet of frontage on Raintree Drive. The land is positioned adjacent to Vanguard’s regional headquarters and nearby to numerous corporate tenants, including Republic Services, Hartford Insurance, American Express, Choice Hotels, Morgan Stanley and Fender.“Trammell Crow Company’s acquisition of one of the last remaining fee-simple Scottsdale Airpark land sites presents a rare opportunity for new development and the ability to capture users seeking large blocks of space in north Scottsdale,” said CBRE’s Gabel.The property is easily accessible from the Loop 101 Freeway, via a full-diamond interchange with Raintree Drive. The area is also a leading retail destination with proximity to Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter and Scottsdale Promenade and features access to world-class resorts including the Westin Kierland, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and the JW Marriott Desert Ridge. Furthermore, Scottsdale Municipal Airport, one of the busiest single-runaway facilities in the nation, with over 168,000 take offs and landings per year, is located approximately five minutes away from the property.
Colton Dixon rose to fame on Season 11 of American Idol where he reached the Top 7.Following his time on the show, Colton has released four studio albums and established himself as a force in the Christian music market. Now signed to Atlantic Records, Colton has changed direction musically for his forthcoming self-titled EP, which is released on Friday 15th May 2020.I caught up with Colton to talk about the EP, discuss his doubts following the end of his American Idol deal, and to find out how he’s feeling about becoming a father later in the year…Your self-titled EP is released on Friday. Sonically it marks a big change in direction for you. Why did you decide to do that with these songs?Three years ago, the American Idol deal ended, which meant the label deal ended as well so it was an uncertain time for me in my career. A few months went by and I didn’t really know if music was still going to be in the future or not and then the Atlantic Records deal came to the table. I was signed to a Christian label and Atlantic, as we all know, is a mainstream record label. It just meant, right off the bat, a very different approach to what I do. With that said, I love Christian music, I grew up on it and still love it but I love the opportunity of stepping outside of the box for a second and exploring new things and new sounds and even new things to talk about. I think we came up with something really beautiful and authentic that still goes in line with what I believe and my morale but at the same time it opens the door for even more people to relate and to appreciate what I do. That’s why it’s so different than things we’ve done in the past.You can still hear that base in faith in the lyrics, which links these songs to what you’ve done previously. Was it important to stay true to yourself even though musically this is new territory?Yeah, that was really important to me. It’s not like I’ve quit my faith or anything like that. I still believe the same way. We just saw an opportunity to include some more people. We want to include as many people as possible and and not everyone believes the way that I do and I’m cool with that. My goal with my music is to leave people better than they were when they came to listen to my music. That’s with anything in life, you want to leave it better than it was when you got it.Miracles is a big song and it demands to be played loud. Why did you choose to have that as the lead single for the EP?That one seems to play both markets well, both Christian and mainstream. I wrote the song with busbee and a guy named Michael Jade. Busbee started the production and after he passed his assistant finished out the song, so it obviously meant a lot to us. Having such a legend work on the song, it fits right in with everything else that I hear on pop radio. We just thought it met our needs well, as far as this is a really pivotal song and very important song to tell the world like what this (EP) is going to be. We’ve been working the song at Christian radio and it’s been doing really well and we’re hoping to use that momentum. When the EP drops on Friday, there’s actually a song on there called Can’t Quit You that Atlantic’s really excited about for the mainstream side. The more momentum we have going into this project the better and we felt that Miracles not only said what we want to say but also had the sonicness, I don’t know if it’s a word (laughs), to back it up.Given that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, Miracles seems so timely. It’s the kind of song that will give people hope during this difficult time and help them through…It’s so funny, even just the way the song was inspired was during that season of uncertainty not knowing if music was it in the future or if I needed to find a nine to five. Coming out of that place and just realising that even in the season where we’re kind of forced to slow down, there are so many things I consider to be the miracles that happen every day that I took for granted or overlooked because I was so busy, and now here we all are in basically the same season. It’s crazy but we’re really thankful to have a song like this just to give people some help, because it’s gonna be get better.It’s really surprising to hear that you ever thought that music might not be in your future. You just need to listen to your voice to know this is what you were born to do. How serious were you about stopping making music?Man, it’s really funny the last record I put out was called Identity and it’s basically about putting your identity in the right things versus the wrong things. When that label deal ended, I realised really quickly how much my identity was wrapped up in my career and music. I consider myself a creative in everything that I do, not just music, I love to express myself that way. It’s just an extension of who I am. It doesn’t define who I am. Having to actually live that out was challenging. It’s easier to write about than it is to live it out sometimes. It was probably a total of two weeks that I was just mopey. My wife was like, ‘alright, we need to think of this differently. I know this looks like a setback, but maybe this is just God’s way of setting you up for what’s next?’ and we started to stand on that and it changed the game for us. It was scary, I’m not gonna lie to you. It felt like I lost my job. I’m really thankful that it worked out but even if it didn’t, I think just knowing that having a record label or having a career in music, or not, doesn’t define who I am as a person. That was a big lesson learned regardless of the outcome.When you’re part of a juggernaut such as American Idol, I imagine your life wasn’t your own for some time afterwards. Did this moment of uncertainty allow you to really think about what you wanted to do?American Idol is amazing but if you don’t have a very clear vision, they will create that vision for you. That’s kind of their job to do that. I had a fairly clear vision of what I wanted to do in the beginning, doing Christian music is what I grew up with, so that was great. Even breaking outside of the Christian music bubble just for a second, it was a new opportunity, a new beginning, and fresh start. If I wanted to change anything, or if I wanted to tackle something in a different way, how would I do that? That season of those few months, I learned a lot about myself and grew a lot as a person, spiritually, musically and vocally. I just dove in, tried to write a few songs a week and work on them. It was really cool what came out because it was true to who I was as a believer and as a musician up until that point. I just felt like the limitations were off. There was no expectation.s I wasn’t writing these songs for anyone other than me and what I was going through so it was very genuine and raw. Miracles was one of the songs that was inspired by that season. It’s not certainly fun during the season but you look back and go, ‘man, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I grew a lot’.Having longevity after American Idol isn’t guaranteed. Past contestants and winners have disappeared quickly after the show has ended yet here you are 8 years later with a record deal and still making music. That’s pretty incredible really isn’t it?Man, I’m so thankful. I got some great advice from another contestant on the show, Chris Daughtry. He told me, ‘man, nothing’s guaranteed. The real work starts after the show so as soon as you can start writing songs. It’s all about the song’. I’m so glad he told me that because when you’re on the show, it feels like a lot of work and it is but it’s the fun work. You’re in the spotlight and it’s 15 minutes of fame for some people. I remember as soon as I got voted off the show, I wrote 13 songs in two weeks, which was the most songs I’ve ever written in that amount of time. It was just crazy. Some of my first singles that I ever had came from that period of time so I’m glad he told me that. I’m one of the fortunate ones.Like you said earlier, it’s so important to know who you are before going onto a show like that because the public can see through facades. That’s the key to your longevity I think and your voice is incredible. I couldn’t imagine having a voice like yours and ever doubting that music was for me…Oh, man, that’s very kind. It’s a scary thing. My parents own an airbrush face painting company. I know that’s so random and kind of odd but they paint faces at big sporting events. That’s the only job I’ve ever had apart from music. It was a scary time. Music is what I love to do. It’s my favourite thing to do. It can be a scary thing when you put your identity in something and it goes away for a time.You’ll be having a big change in your personal life later this year when you and your wife welcome twins. I imagine you never thought you’d be doing that in the middle of a pandemic so how are you preparing for it and coping with it?We obviously hate what’s going on in the world right now and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been directly affected by it. It’s actually been a really sweet season for my wife and I. She’s just now six months pregnant. We have two identical twin girls coming mid-August so it’s a very exciting time in our house right now, but it’s also just been great for her and I. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been home for this amount of time. It’s been so nice just to cook dinner, or Annie cooks dinner while I’m in the studio, and then we go to bed in our bed and we wake up in our bed, seven days a week. It’s really nice and it’s definitely something that I’m going to miss doing when touring finally becomes a thing again. It’s actually been a really sweet season for us, despite everything that’s happening outside.You get to experience this whole journey with her. I imagine that is incredibly special and something you’ll be able to look back on in the future?I’m so thankful that she’s not here on her own. As we’re getting ready for bed, I have in the back of my mind that I’m going to get up out of bed and get her at least one thing, a glass of water or something. I’m so glad that I get to be here to do that. If everything was normal, I’d be on the road right now so it’s a very special time.Is your new EP a pre-cursor to a new album or are you going to put it out and see how it does before making any more decisions?You know, that’s a great question. We don’t really know yet. We haven’t fully had the album discussion. We wrote between 60 and 70 songs for this EP so there are songs to make up two or three albums that I would love to put out. There’s a lot of great material to choose from this project but we picked the five that stood out to us as being ready and timely. I think these five were the right move for right now. We’re going to see how it does. The market right now is different. Last time I put out a record, records were slowly phasing out. It’s become a singles market, people want to hear your latest song and then they move on to whoever else’s new song. Most people don’t sit and listen through an entire record anymore. This kind of fills both sides a little bit. For the people who just want to hear the newest stuff, it’s only five songs, but the people who love to listen to stuff as well have more than just a couple songs to listen to. We’re going to try this and see how it does. I would love to put out more music. I don’t have a timeline on it yet, but we definitely have some songs to choose from.When you’re able to get back out on the road, will you be making plans to come over to the UK?Man I would love to. We had a layover in London. My wife and I took a cruise late last year to Italy and it was my first time to Europe. It was fantastic. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get a chance to explore London so I would love to go over to the UK and play some shows. It’s always fun for me going to new places, especially with music because different regions respond to music differently. I feel like America is so saturated. I’m not sure about the UK because I’ve never been there but I would love to go.Colton Dixon’s self-titled EP is released on Friday 15th May through Atlantic Records and it’s available to pre-order now at https://coltondixon.lnk.to/EPPR. Watch the music video for Miracles below:
BATON ROUGE – The first time I ever heard Dale Brown speak, I wanted to go out and play basketball.It was a Saturday afternoon – January 3, 1976. And Brown was interviewed by analyst Joe Dean before a game televised by TVS from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers were about to play Auburn. You would have thought, LSU was on its way to a national championship and not a 102-86 loss and a 12-14 season – Brown’s third straight losing campaign in his fourth season as LSU’s basketball coach.He was so buoyant, positive and inspiring that I immediately went out and got pinned in my wrestling match for Rummel High in Metairie that day and would go on to have a 1-11 career record. Not even Brown could always motivate those void of talent.Brown was more than just a motivator, though. He could recruit with the best of them and, when he decided to, strategize with the smartest of them. That is why Brown was inducted into the college basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City last week along with one of his very best recruits – Shaquille O’Neal.My mother, Carmen Guilbeau, was the librarian at Rummel when she first heard Brown speak at a teachers’ convention in the Louisiana Superdome in early 1981. She was a former guard at Fenton High School near Lake Charles, but she was and is not much of a sports fan. She became an instant Dale Brown fan for life on that day.A few months later, Brown literally skipped off the floor at that same Superdome when his fourth-ranked and very talented Tigers improved to 31-3 on the season with a 96-85 victory over Wichita State in the NCAA Midwest Regional final to reach LSU’s first Final Four since 1953.They had previously won the SEC at 17-1 with the only loss by 73-71 at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, where Coach Joe B. Hall had the Wildcats’ band seated right behind LSU. No one won the SEC with more wins than LSU that season until Florida went 18-0 last spring.It was Brown’s second SEC regular season championship in three years with LSU’s last SEC Tournament title in between. No SEC school other than Kentucky had that many unshared regular season titles at that time since Mississippi State won back-to-back championships in 1961 and ’62. Before that two-point loss in front of the Kentucky drums and tubas, Brown had slayed the dragon of college basketball in six of the previous eight games. LSU has never – before or since – been 6-2 against Kentucky.“We’ve heard the same stories from him over and over,” then fifth-year senior forward Greg Cook said after the win over Wichita State. “But that guy can still get you fired up to play.” The late Cook was the best center LSU had until Shaq.When LSU left for that 1981 Final Four in Philadelphia, Brown was 98-24 overall for a .803 winning percentage and 57-15 in the SEC for a .791 winning percentage in four seasons. There were few hotter coaches in college basketball at the time, especially when one considers he inherited a program that was 10-16 and 6-12 in 1971-72.Brown was an unknown, 36-year-old assistant coach at Washington State when LSU athletic director Carl Maddox hired him in the spring of 1972. He bought a house in a relatively new subdivision off Jefferson Highway and Drusilla in Baton Rouge and lived there until the 1990s.I live three doors down from that Hall of Fame home now. Some of Brown’s neighbors remain and still talk about how he gave money to his next door neighbors, whose home burned down on a Thanksgiving Day in the mid-1970s. Brown also gave money and rental cars to complete strangers in need after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The examples of his unpublished philanthropy and charity are too numerous too mention.LSU lost, 67-49, to Indiana and Coach Bobby Knight in the national semifinals in the 1981 Final Four, but Brown would be back. He brought a less talented team to the 1986 Final Four in Dallas and came within two free throws of beating Indiana in the NCAA Midwest Regional final in Cincinnati for what could have been a second straight Final Four, and that one was in New Orleans. But Knight had as much if not more talent, more luck, a call or two and should have been ejected for smashing a phone.There would be 10 straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1984 through 1993, which is as impressive as his two Final Fours in six years, if not more.LSU has been to but one Final Four since Brown retired after the 1996-97 season. The longest string of NCAA Tournaments post Brown has been but two. At the moment, LSU has gone five straight seasons without an NCAA Tournament berth.Nearly 18 years after his retirement from coaching, Brown is still No. 2 all-time among coaches in SEC regular season wins with a 238-200 record. Only Kentucky’s Adoph Rupp at 397-75 is ahead. Brown is third all-time in the SEC in overall wins at 448-301 behind Rupp (875-190) and current Florida coach Billy Donovan (454-172).O’Neal won three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat, but he never got close to a Final Four at LSU as he was 2-3 in three NCAA Tournaments from 1990-92. But he was part of Brown’s fourth and last SEC championship team in 1991. Only Rupp, Hall and Tubby Smith of Kentucky and Donovan have more than four in SEC history.Serendipity, a word I first heard from Brown, brought O’Neal to Brown and LSU. Brown was touring the world – as he often did and still does at a robust 79 – in the summer of 1985.He was putting on a coaching clinic in Wildflecken, West Germany, when the 13-year-old O’Neal approached Brown and asked to be taught some exercises to help his game. Brown assumed O’Neal was already in college as he was 6-foot-8. O’Neal told him that his stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, was stationed on the U.S. Army base in Wildflecken and that he was only 13. And there, his recruitment unofficially began.“Take me to your father,” Brown told O’Neal, and the rest was tall history.O’Neal became part of the magic that was Dale Brown beyond the records and NCAA Tournaments. More than at any time in LSU sports history other than the “Pistol” Pete Maravich days from 1966-70, Brown, O’Neal and company produced Showtime in the Maravich Assembly Center, aka The Forum South, in the roaring early 1990s.Congratulations Daddy Dale and Shaq.Now, LSU should do its duty and build statues of Dale Brown and fellow Hall members Pete Maravich and Bob Pettit at the Maravich Assembly Center to go with Shaq’s.