Evacuation intensifies, water level rising

first_img…relief supplies sent in, schools closed offBy Lakhram BhagiratPrime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan on Monday led a team from the Guyana Civil Defence Commission (CDC) to assess the level of flooding and offer relief to residents of affected communities in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).The Tabatinga CreekHowever, Guyana Times understands that water levels are rapidly rising since it continues to rain heavily in the South Rupununi and the Pakaraimas.Persistent heavy rainfall over the weekend forced the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to activate its Regional Disaster Management Plan and hold a meeting with the Guyana Police Force, the Guyana Defence Force and various regional departmental heads to address the issue of relief and evacuation of affected residents.The family from this house had to be evacuated since the water was rising rapidlySeveral communities within the Region were under water after the Takutu and Rupununi Rivers overtopped their banks and as a result, several creeks overtopped as well. Emergency shelters have been activated at the Arapaima Primary School, the Amerindian Hostel and the Culvert City Nursery School. Hotlines have been set up, and drivers and vehicles are on standby to evacuate affected persons to the shelters.Lethem Market areaOver 30 homes have been evacuated and more residents are moving to higher ground. This publication understands that in excess of 2000 persons have been affected; however, the CDC says an official count is still underway.The Regional Chairman, Brian Allicock, has stated that almost all the Toshaos and village captains in the Region have reported that their farms were under water and the villages of Karasabai, Parishara, Nappi and Hiowa were cut off from Lethem because the road was completely under water.The team, which travelled to the Region on Monday, included Deputy Director of the CDC, Major Kester Craig, who told this newspaper that the schools in the area have been ordered to remain closed until the end of the week. He added that the CDC has deployed its Preparedness and Response Manager to the Region, and was expected to work closely with the RDC’s Regional Emergency Operations Centre.“We are waiting on further assessment to get a better understanding on what’s happening at the other remote locations. In those locations, the water is a bit high and it is difficult to get to those locations, so we are waiting on the Toshaos to send in the information to us to get a better understanding of the overall situation,” Craig added.He said that they were also closely monitoring accessibility to communities in Southern Rupununi and the Pakaraimas, since most have been completely shut off and on account of the water levels, the team was unable to visit those communities.Craig also said that there were several farms that have been destroyed by the excess water.Guyana Times understands that the water levels are rapidly rising and up to press time, villagers in the Deep South are battling to save their crops despite the water levels.Meanwhile, Deputy Aishalton Toshao Dorothy James said that a woman almost drowned when the boat she was travelling in capsized while attempting to cross the Rupununi River. She added that they were constantly checking their farms trying to save the cassava and have already begun pulling some that were under water.There are reports that the village of Awaruwaunau in Deep South Rupununi has been under water for over a week, since the area has been experiencing heavy rainfall for more than two weeks. Some 35 farms are completely washed away, but the residents are battling to save the cassava plants.Since the beginning of the May-June rainy season, citizens were warned to expect higher than normal rainfall and to take the necessary precautions. However, since it began, several villages have experienced major flooding and some are still trying to rebuild after the floods. The hard-hit communities were mostly limited to Regions Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) as the water washed away houses, but fortunately, there were no casualties.One such village is Chenapau in Region Eight. Water levels in the Amerindian village rose to approximately 20 feet in some areas and the Potaro River remains flooded owing to the heavy rains the Region is currently experiencing.The residents there are fearful of rebuilding since the threat of another flood is looming on the horizon. Roadways and access to the other zones in the village remain flooded. Villagers are also accusing the Government of neglecting them since the water receded from their lands.They complained that following the initial relief supplies, the Government has yet to offer any additional supplies to the community as they are still battling to recuperate. Farms in the village were washed away and residents were finding it difficult to restart.Approximately two weeks ago, access to Aishalton, Region Nine was cut off when the Kabanawau Creek overtopped its banks and flooded the area. The bridge leading to Aishalton was flooded, cutting off access to the village for several hours.Just last weekend, several communities along the East Coast of Demerara and in Georgetown reported water levels over two feet in some areas. This was a result of heavy rainfall and poor drainage management/infrastructure in some areas.last_img read more

More N.Y. Yum franchises closed down

first_imgShares of Yum Brands slid 84 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $57.10 on the New York Stock Exchange. “We will not compromise on our food and restaurant quality,” Yum Brands executive Emil Brolick said in a written statement. ADF President Don Harty apologized to customers for the problems. “We are embarrassed by the situation and stress that certain restaurants did not meet the very high standards that we set for ourselves,” he said in a statement. The decade-old company owns more than 350 fast-food restaurants in several states and is among the nation’s largest operators of Pizza Huts. NEW YORK – A major owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell franchises saw a majority of its New York City restaurants shut down Thursday as the fallout continued from a video showing rats overrunning one of its Manhattan eateries. The city’s health department revealed that three more restaurants owned by the ADF Cos., of Fairfield, N.J., were closed by inspectors this week because of unsanitary conditions. Two, both in Queens, were found to be infested with mice. The new closures prompted swift action by fast-food giant Yum Brands Inc., parent of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains. Late Wednesday it announced the pre-emptive closing of 10 additional New York restaurants operated by ADF. It said they would remain shuttered until city inspectors gave them a clean bill of health. As of Thursday afternoon, eight of its 22 New York restaurants had passed an inspection and were allowed to remain open. ADF spokeswoman Marissa Smith said it was unclear how soon the others might reopen. City inspectors put the company in their cross hairs last week, when a TV cameraman peering through the windows of a KFC/Taco Bell in Greenwich Village at 2:30 a.m. recorded a nauseating number of rats skittering across the floor and climbing on tables and countertops. The video, which circulated on the Internet, also brought shame on the city for giving a passing grade to the eatery during an inspection just a day earlier. A follow-up inspection resulted in the restaurant’s immediate closure. Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said this week that the city’s failure to immediately shut the restaurant was unacceptable, and he removed the inspector who conducted the initial review from field duty. He also promised that other inspectors could expect a thorough analysis of their work. Several restaurant owners complained they had been given excessively punitive inspections in the scandal’s wake. “After what happened in Manhattan, now they are cracking down on every restaurant,” said Ted Vlamis, whose Vegas Diner in Brooklyn failed an inspection and was ordered closed by the Department of Health on Wednesday. In 25 years of operation, Vlamis said, the restaurant had never been judged so harshly. This week’s inspection, he said, resulted in seven times as many violation points as the diner received in its last evaluation a year ago – all for minor infractions. “Two weeks ago, we would have been fine,” Vlamis said. Health department spokeswoman Sara Markt denied that any special crackdown was ongoing. Currently, about 1 in 5 city restaurants fail their annual inspection. About 500 of the 60,000 restaurants score poorly enough for the city to order them closed at least temporarily. Some of the city’s most famous restaurants have flunked a recent inspection, from the iconic Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center, to the Hello Deli on 53rd Street, famous for the appearances of proprietor Rupert Jee on CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman.” Over the past two fiscal years, inspectors have fined restaurants $38 million for code violations.160Want 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

Stock funds see 2.1 percent return

first_img“Investors are coming to the conclusion that small-caps are probably at their zenith right now,” Tjornehoj said. Large-cap stocks and the funds that invest in them are often regarded as defensive because such companies tend to have international operations that can perhaps better withstand economic changes and can get by on thinner profit margins. Investors did seek some defensive positions during the period. The quarter saw a broad sell-off on Feb. 27 that began with a drop of nearly 9 percent in the often-volatile Shanghai Composite Index. The global rush of sell orders that day shaved more than 3 percent off the major U.S. stock indexes. Though stocks eventually made up much of the lost ground, volatility returned after keeping a low profile for much of the second half of 2006 and into the first part of 2007. “Volatility reared its ugly head,” said Brett Hammond, managing director and chief investment strategist at TIAA-CREF, a financial services organization that managed more than $406 billion at the end of 2006. “We had quite a long period of relative calm. Some bumps and grinds around the world began to make people feel they needed to do some repricing of risk. “I don’t think it was a change in fundamentals. I think perceptions changed.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In any case, the pace of Wall Street’s advance slowed markedly from the fourth quarter, when diversified equity funds produced an average return of 12.9 percent. “Over all, it was a decent quarter,” said Lipper analyst Jeff Tjornehoj. “We certainly had a lot of momentum at the beginning of the year, and that dropped precipitously at the end of February with problems in China. Since then it’s been rather sideways,” he said. Investors who didn’t rush to perceived safety in large capitalization funds did better in midcap and small-cap funds. Multicap funds showed returns of about 4.3 percent to 4.4 percent, depending on whether they targeted faster-growing companies or those more established companies that might pay dividends. Small-cap funds saw gains of about 2.5 percent to 3 percent. But large-cap growth funds showed 1.02 percent return and large-cap value funds turned in 1.01 percent. In years past, small-cap funds had often showed stronger returns than large-cap and midcap funds. NEW YORK – Mutual fund investors who avoided panic when volatility strode back onto Wall Street in recent months managed decent if decidedly smaller returns for the first quarter. Returns from mutual funds concentrated in natural resources stocks and utilities far outpaced those in other areas, but most mutual fund classes showed gains for the quarter. Financial services funds and funds that bet stocks would fall, known as short-bias funds, were laggards. The 7,977 U.S. diversified stock funds tracked by Lipper Inc. showed an average preliminary return of 2.1 percent for the three months ended Thursday. The final trading session of the quarter was Friday, when major stock indexes were little changed. Collectively, the funds’ assets rose to $3.82 trillion from $3.74 trillion at the end of 2006. By comparison, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.18 percent during the first quarter. The S&P 500 total return index, a preferred measure by the industry because it includes dividend appreciation, was 0.64 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average, made up of 30 blue chip stocks, fell 0.87 percent for the quarter. last_img read more

Homeless swamp charity resources

first_img Rents on the rise From 1997 to 2005, the cost of renting a two-bedroom apartment rose by 72 percent. A decade ago, 59 percent of renters in the county could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment. But by 2005, only 33 percent of renters could because it required an income of more than $50,000 annually. The report comes when state and federal governments have cut health and welfare programs, including affordable-housing programs. City and county government have allocated $329 million to address the homeless crisis since March 2006, but analysts say the state and federal cuts are offsetting those increases. Helmut Anheier, director of the Center for Civil Society and a professor in the UCLA Department of Social Welfare, said local governments need to seriously coordinate their efforts with those of nonprofit groups to address the crisis. “Unless we have a long-term coalition between government and nonprofits in addressing issues like homelessness, we are not going to be able to solve it,” Anheier said. “We are always going to be winning a bit, losing a bit, and going up and down with the numbers. There has to be a sustained effort.” Frustration mounts More than a year after county officials introduced a $100 million plan to combat homelessness, many are frustrated that the city’s point person, Torie Osborn, and the county’s homeless coordinator, Assistant Administrative Officer Lari Sheehan, have been replaced. Leslie Wise took over as the city’s homeless coordinator. Garrison Smith replaced Sheehan in county government. “Right now, it’s so focused on fixing the problem in the short term,” Anheier said. “Even if you move the homeless off Skid Row,” he said, “other homeless people will replace them in a year or two. You have to break the cycle. Government can’t do it alone. Nonprofits can’t do it alone. They have to work together.” Elise Buik, president and chief executive officer of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, said she is encouraged by steps city and county officials have taken. “A lot of people have touted New York City’s effectiveness in getting people off the streets,” Buik said. “But they are spending $1.7 billion a year on their population, which is smaller than ours. We are spending $600 million a year, and our homeless population is larger.” In an attachment to the report, Osborn wrote that it will take city, county and nonprofit agencies working together to achieve the 15-20 percent reductions in homelessness that many cities around the nation have achieved in the last five years. troy.anderson@dailynews.com (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nonprofit groups face a mounting crisis as they find themselves increasingly responsible for caring for a growing regional homeless population, a new UCLA report says. Charities spent $30 million on services for the homeless in 2000 and $47 million just two years later – increasing the amount spent on each homeless person from $384 to $574. But by 2005, spending for each homeless person fell nearly $100 because of a 12 percent surge in the population, says the report by the Center for Civil Society at the University of California, Los Angeles. “At the local, state and national levels, elected officials have disproportionately walked away from addressing the crisis of homelessness, leaving it up to the incredibly overwhelmed nonprofit sector to try and address,” Bob Erlenbusch, executive director of the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness, said Monday. “The best we can do now is manage homelessness. We are not even close on the nonprofit side to ending or preventing it.” The report comes when soaring real-estate prices on the open market have ballooned the unmet demand for below-market-price housing provided by local, state and federal agencies. Of the 9.9 million residents of Los Angeles County, an estimated 90,000 are homeless – including 54,000 women and children. Nonprofit temporary housing and homeless shelters in the county increased by 50 percent from 22 to 33 from 2000 to 2003. One was added between 2003 and 2005. Each of these shelters served about 2,600 homeless people in 2005, up 4 percent from 2003. But even the increase in shelters has been unable to keep up with the growing numbers of homeless, including many forced onto the streets by rising rents. last_img read more

Juventus run riot in Rome to win fourth consecutive Italian Cup

first_img0Shares0000Juventus trio Claudio Marchisio, Gonzalo Higuain (C) and double goalscorer Medhi Benatia (R) celebrate after winning the Italian Cup with a 4-0 win over AC Milan © AFP / TIZIANA FABIROME, Italy, May 10 – Juventus ran riot in Rome beating blundering AC Milan 4-0 on Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico to win a fourth consecutive Italian Cup.It was the 13th Cup win for Juventus, who are also poised to become the first Italian team to complete the double for four years in a row. Massimiliano Allegri’s side are one point away from claiming a seventh consecutive Serie A title with two games to play and could seal it this weekend against Roma in the Stadio Olimpico.“It’s not that Juve have to win, but I’m now unfortunately used to the idea that people take our victories for granted,” said Allegri, 50, after achieving his tenth coach as a coach between Juventus and former club AC Milan.“Nothing is to be taken for granted.“The lads had an extraordinary game and deserved this win. Now we have to ensure the Scudetto mathematically and enjoy this extraordinary season.”The Turin giants put their foot on the gas after a balanced first half with Gennaro Gattuso’s Milan crumbling with two goalkeeping errors from young ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and a Nikola Kalinic own goal gifting the title to Juventns.Mehdi Benatia opened the floodgates after 56 minutes for the first of a double on the night for the Moroccan with Douglas Costa also finding the net, before Kalinic’s blunder after 76 minutes.– ‘It hurts’ –AC Milan — sixth in Serie A — had been hoping for a win which would have guaranteed them a place in the Europa League group phase.“I think it hurts more that we took 40,000 fans here and gave them a result like this,” said coach Gennaro Gattuso, 40, who had been bidding to achieve his first coaching title after taking over at Milan last November.“Now we have two games against sides who are in better shape than us and must try to get into the Europa League with better performances than this.”The match had been dubbed a duel between Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon who at 40 is set to retire and Donnarumma, 19, his touted replacement in the Italian national team.But as Buffon kept his net clean Donnarumma finished the night in tears after a game to forget.Buffon made an early save off Patrick Cutrone minutes into the game with Costa and Paulo Dybala both testing Donnarumma.But there was controversy before the break when Hakan Calhanoglu was brought down only for the referee to blow the whistle for the break without letting Milan take the free kick.Gattuso ran onto the pitch to calm down his players.But after the interval defender Benatia turned goal scorer heading in off a Miralem Pjanic corner on 56 minutes, for the first goal conceded by Milan in the Italian Cup this season.Donnarumma then conceded two goals he should have saved — letting Costa slip through five minutes later and then failing to control a Mario Mandzukic header from a corner, allowing Benatia to tap in his second off the rebound.Three goals down, Milan were in disarray with Kalinic’s turning into his own net off a Pjanic corner, ending Milan’s hopes of a first major trophy since Allegri led them to the Serie A title in 2011.“Juve always do something special, it’s not the first time. We have a winning mentality,” said Benatia, who had come in for criticism after letting in Kalidou Koulibaly’s goal in a 1-0 defeat to Napoli two weeks ago.“After my error … everyone said I was useless. I felt bad for a few days, but fortunately the lads completed the job and I thank them for being close to me.”The team club be celebrating the Serie A title at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.“The Scudetto is the main target and I’ll be glad if we do it here, because I had an extraordinary campaign at Roma and it’s a special stadium for me,” added 31-year-old ex-Roma player Benatia.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Irresistible Djokovic schools Zverev to reach Shanghai final

first_imgTop seed Federer plays 13th seed Borna Coric of Croatia in the other semi-final.Djokovic will be up a place to second in the world — overtaking 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer — when the rankings are released on Monday.He is desperate to take injured Rafael Nadal’s number one spot before the year is out, and on this evidence, he will.The 31-year-old Serbian is in imperious form and this was his 17th ATP victory in a row, as he taught rising German star Zverev a harsh lesson.Djokovic, who had elbow surgery in February but recovered to win Wimbledon and then the US Open last month, said: “Being number two after this tournament is also a great achievement, considering the first four, five months of the year and considering I had the surgery.“And where I was about four months ago and where I am today is quite an extreme opposite.“I’m just cherishing that achievement and every moment spent on the court.”The 21-year-old Zverev made an iffy start, beginning his first service game with a double-fault.The world number five — who beat Djokovic in their only previous meeting, last year in the Rome Masters final — recovered his poise for a time.The first set went with serve, and some big serves at that, until Djokovic grabbed the break to go 4-2 up.Zverev threatened to unravel and conceded the set in barely 30 minutes after landing a routine smash into the net, to gasps from the arena.The fourth seed, who is yet to win a Grand Slam despite his undoubted talent, angrily threw his racquet at the start of the second set as Djokovic ramped up the pressure.An increasingly exasperated Zverev issued more punishment to his racquet at 3-1 down, earning a code violation and tossing the battered piece into the crowd.Zverev was dismissed brutally in exactly one hour.He called it a “weird” match and said he was never close to his best.But he had fulsome praise for Djokovic, saying: “He’s probably the best player in the world right now.“He’s definitely at the highest level he’s maybe ever been, or maybe equal to it.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Serbia’s Novak Djokovic will become number two in the world after beating Zverev in the Shanghai Masters Final © AFP / WANG ZHAOSHANGHAI, China, Oct 13 – Novak Djokovic will rise to number two in the world after he dismantled a shell-shocked Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday to surge into the Shanghai Masters final.Celebrating his 1,000 match in style, the 14-time Grand Slam winner was clinical as he lined up a potential title showdown on Sunday with reigning champion Roger Federer.last_img read more

South African soccer fans 9

first_imgClick on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.  Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com• Download high-resolution image {loadposition fifa}last_img

How to Hang Airtight Drywall

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log incenter_img Stopping air leaks is the single most important part of making a house more energy efficient. You can stop air on the outside with plywood, housewrap, and tape, but the best air barrier is a system that incorporates the whole wall or roof assembly.As it turns out, drywall is excellent at stopping air. If you doubt that, try to blow through it. The weak spots are the seams between sheets and the holes that you have to cut for windows, doors, electrical boxes, and can lights. The process for installing drywall as an air barrier is called the airtight-drywall approach (see “Energy-Smart Details” in FHB #214 and online at FineHomebuilding.com), and it relies on caulks, sealants, canned foam, and gaskets to seal the weak spots.The first step to airtight drywall is to identify what building scientists call the thermal boundary—insulation to us regular folks. The air barrier needs to be continuous along the thermal boundary. This is especially important where interior walls join exterior walls at rim joists or in places where chases are run for plumbing or electrical work.We decided to hang drywall in the garage shop in FHB’s Project House using the airtight approach, partly to show you how to do it and partly so that the editors could make me do their dirty work. The outside of the house eventually will be covered with housewrap and rigid-foam sheathing. The drywall, therefore, is not the primary air barrier but is the interior part of an air-barrier system. Materials you’ll need To seal up this garage shop, I used flexible caulk, construction adhesive, and cans of expanding foam. Various types of gaskets are also often used in airtight-drywall jobs. The most basic material, of course, is drywall. To… last_img read more

Renault Scala launched in both petrol, diesel variants

first_imgCarmaker Renault India launched sedan ‘Scala’ in both petrol and diesel variants, priced between Rs 6.99 lakh and Rs 9.57 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Scala is powered by 1.5 litre petrol and diesel engines and has 5-speed manual transmission. It has 80-85 percent local content in parts.The company has already launched small car Pulse, premium sedan Fluence and sports utility vehicles Koleos and Duster.Speaking to mediapersons on Friday, Renault India Managing Director Marc Nassif said: “Scala will consolidate what Renault has brought to India. It will enter a very competitive segment. With the launch of this car, we are completing the first cycle of introducing five products in India.” Talking about the company’s overall sales, Nassif said: “We expect this year to sell 30,000-35,000 units. In 2013, we will try to sell one lakh units.”The company will start export of Duster to the UK by the end of this year, he added.When asked about new products at the lower end, Nassif said: “We have many many things. We will definitely look at the segment below Pulse in future.”Renault India will, however, not launch any new car next year, but only refreshes and variants of the existing models will be introduced, he added.The company is currently selling 600-1,000 units of Pulse every month.Earlier, Renault India has announced the launch five new vehicles in the next 18 monthsthe new Scala is fifth in the lineup.Scala comes after Renault’s serial launch of four vehiclesthe premium saloon car Fluence, luxury SUV Koleos, premium hatchback Pulse & the SUV Duster.According to the company Renault Scala, a premium A3 segment sedan, is a logical progression for Renault India to further strengthen Renault product portfolio in the Indian car market. The car has been placed to compete with the likes of Nissan Sunny.The diesel variant will reportedly use the reliable and fuel efficient 1.5 K9K dCi diesel engine delivering a powerful performance of 86PS@3750rpm as maximum power with a peak torque of 200Nm@2000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with a fuel efficiency of 21.64kmpl.While, the petrol variant uses the 1.5 XH2 engine with a displacement of 1.5 litre. It produces a maximum power of 99PS@6000rpm with a peak torque 134Nm@4000rpm. The petrol engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with a fuel efficiency of 16.95kmpl, the report added.With Agency inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

Sloane Stephens to face Elena Vesnina in Charleston WTA final

first_imgAustralian Open champion Angelique Kerber, ranked No. 2 in the world, retired because of a viral illness during her semifinal match Saturday at the Volvo Car Open, sending American Sloane Stephens to the final.Stephens will face Elena Vesnina, the Russian qualifier who upset fifth-seeded Sara Errani of Italy 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the other semifinal.Vesnina, who reached the final in Charleston five years ago before losing to Caroline Wozniacki, is first qualifier to make the finals in the 44-year history of the tournament that started on Hilton Head Island.Stephens won the first set 6-1 and was leading 3-0 in the second when Kerber, the top seed in the tournament, retired. A trainer came to court to examine Kerber after the second game of the set. She returned to the court, but won only one point in the third game before retiring.It’s the first Charleston final for Stephens, who is making her sixth appearance in the tournament. She is also seeking her third title of the year after victories at Auckland and Acapulco.Kerber said she wasn’t feeling well while warming up but that once the match started, “I was thinking the energy will come back and I will be feeling OK.” But the German player found that during the first few games of the match she wasn’t feeling any better.Kerber, last year’s winner in Charleston, was hoping to defend a tournament title for the first time in her career. She has won eight titles but has never repeated.advertisementStephens said she didn’t know when the match started that Kerber was ill.”I just thought it was going to be a battle,” she said. “It’s understandable. It happens. I wish her well.”Stephens said she came into this week’s tournament with a different approach.”I think I just came in thinking I have nothing to lose and I always play like garbage here. I just need to figure that out,” she said. “So this year I just decided I was going to come out and do the best I possibly could and if that meant I lost in the first round, then, OK, whatever.”Vesnina, who made this year’s finals by winning seven straight matches, said she has great memories of appearing in the championship five years ago.”I knew that I could do that again. But, of course, I knew it was going to be very difficult coming from the qualifying,” she said. It was the first time in her career she made a final as a qualifier.It took her two hours and 20 minutes to notch the victory over Errani.Saturday’s matches were played under bright sun but in a blustery wind that from time to time sent bits of clay swirling around the edge of the court. The wind was about 25 mph with gusts up to 35.”I’m used to playing in the wind, but the problem is today it was changing the direction – like every five minutes it was blowing different ways,” Vesnina said. As for the finals, “I hope it’s not going to be that windy like today. Let’s hope.”last_img read more