Suspected Colombian Heroin Trafficker Arrested

first_img The Colombian Police announced the arrest of Carlos Mario Agudelo, aka “Papi” on November 4, accused of participating in an international network that trafficked heroin to the United States, where the criminal will be extradited. The New York Southern District Court linked Agudelo with the transport of 500 kilos of heroin and money laundering of about $20 million, explained Eduardo Cárdenas deputy director of the Colombian National Police Antidrug Unit. The police considered the 35-year-old detainee as the main heroin supplier for “Los Rastrojos,” one of the largest Colombian criminal gangs. “Los Rastrojos” delivered the heroin to Agudelo in the town of Pereira (northwest Colombia), and then the detainee was in charge of finding people willing to transport small quantities of the drug illegally to the United States, explained the Police. The drug was mainly delivered to the New York and New Jersey areas, where Agudelo had contacts to sell the drugs and launder the money earned, which was later returned to Colombia. The DEA collaborated in the search operation against Agudelo, which lasted two years and ended with his arrest in Bogotá. By Dialogo November 06, 2012last_img read more

Ship with Cocaine Loaded in Venezuela, Seized off the Coast of Spain

first_imgBy Steven McLoud/Diálogo May 22, 2020 Spanish authorities announced on April 29 the seizure of 4 000 kilograms (4 metric tons) of cocaine aboard a ship off the coast of Vigo. Law enforcement officials say the ship originated in Venezuela, where the drugs were initially loaded.This seizure was the latest blow to Galician drug traffickers who operate in the Galicia region making it the main European entry point for cocaine from Latin America. Officials highlighted the multinational combined effort that lead to the seizure, which involved the Spanish Navy, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the British National Crime Agency, and the Colombian National Police.This latest haul also illustrated once again Venezuela’s role in drug trafficking, with the Nicolás Maduro regime facilitating the passage of drugs in and out of the country. In a March 26 indictment, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Maduro and a number of high-ranking colleagues (commonly known as the Cartel of the Suns) of narco-terrorism and other illicit activities, in partnership with former guerrilla group and now dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) for the past 20 years. DOJ officials also went on to state that by approximately 2004, the U.S. Department of State estimated that 250 or more metric tons of cocaine were transiting through Venezuela each year. There is now a $15 million reward for information leading to Maduro’s arrest.In that same indictment, U.S. officials provided examples of cartel members’ involvement in drug trafficking to Europe. In September 2013, Diosdado Cabello, the head of Venezuela’s illegitimate National Constituent Assembly, and former intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal, were alleged to have sent 1.3 metric tons of cocaine to France. In 2017, Spain seized 2,500 kg (2.5 metric tons) of cocaine on a ship coming from Venezuela. Carvajal is now currently in hiding in Spain after a Spanish court approved his extradition to the United States in November 2019.In an effort to deter and disrupt further drug trafficking in the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. announced a massive new counternarcotics operation in cooperation with 22 partner nations from the region. During a teleconference with reporters on April 17, U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of U.S. Southern Command, spoke about transnational criminal organizations (TCO) that deal in drugs, weapons, and people, making it a $90 billion-per-year illicit organization. Adm. Faller added that malign actors, like the Maduro regime, thrive on the instability created by these TCOs.“Maduro and his cronies have been indicted as drug traffickers, and they profit enormously from illicit trade — a 50 percent increase in the illicit drug trafficking into and out of Venezuela in recent years,” Adm. Faller said. “That makes the narcotraffickers who work in and out of Venezuela a target for our disruption, dismantlement, and defeat operations like any other transnational criminal organization.”Adm. Faller also said that the operation was not specifically geared toward Maduro, but more toward the destabilizing effects of transnational criminal organizations.“The goal of this operation is to enhance security to save lives, not militarize the Caribbean or the Pacific and destabilize it,” he added.last_img read more

NGO coalition calls for sustainable fisheries policies

first_imgSeveral nongovernmental organizations are joining forces to monitor the government’s policies on the fisheries sector and to make sure they would not harm the security and ecological sustainability of fish stocks and of the livelihoods of traditional fishermen.To strengthen their bargaining power, the organizations set up the NGO Coalition for Fisheries and Maritime Sustainability (Koral).The new coalition aims to push for fisheries governance that prioritizes national sovereignty and justice in fisheries and marine resources management, and upholds scientific-based recommendations, information disclosure and public participation, according to its statement. Topics : “The fisheries governance should also promote institutional effectiveness that supports the strengthening of independent management, people’s welfare and the preservation of coastal and marine ecosystems,” the coalition said.The coalition comprises the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), the People’s Coalition for Fisheries Justice (Kiara), Greenpeace Indonesia, the Indonesia Ocean Justice Initiative (IOJI), the EcoNusa Foundation, Pandu Laut Nusantara, Destructive Fishing Watch​, Yayasan Terangi and the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL).Among its programs, Koral would conduct studies and discussions, as well as provide policy recommendations to the government regarding issues in the fisheries sector to achieve sustainable and equitable maritime and fisheries governance.“We set up a coalition so that at least President Joko Widodo and [Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister] Edhy Prabowo will listen to us,” EcoNusa ocean program manager Wiro Wirandi said during a press conference on Tuesday.center_img In addition, IOJI’s enforcement support and stakeholder partnerships director, Fadilla Octaviani, highlighted the illegal fishing by foreign ships that still occurs in the country’s territory, citing the Chinese and Vietnamese fishing vessels that recently entered the North Natuna Sea.“This is a serious threat to our sovereign rights in our exclusive economic zone and our fish resources,” Fadilla said, adding that the government should strengthen law enforcement in the nation’s waters.The standoffs in the Natuna Sea have prompted the government to increase its presence in the area by assigning the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) to lead fisheries and security efforts with fishing associations.Fadilla also reminded the government to streamline its law enforcement authority over the seas because many agencies, aside from Bakamla, also patrol the oceans, namely the Transportation Ministry’s Coast and Sea Guard (KPLP), the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry’s sea patrol division, the Customs and Excise Agency and the National Police’s Water and Air Police, as well as many provincial administrations that conduct their own coast guard patrols. This often causes confusion because of overlapping operations.She also noted that the recent omnibus bill on job creation formulated by the government eliminated the National Commission of Fish Resources Assessment and she said she feared that fisheries management would no longer be based on the best scientific evidence and fish stock availability.The coalition raised concern over the ecological sustainability of the oceans, citing the government’s plan to export lobster seeds even though lobsters have been overexploited in all of the country’s fishing areas.Wiro noted the government’s plan to revise fisheries regulations and once again allow cantrang (seine nets) to be used, after having been banned by the previous maritime affairs and fisheries minister, Susi Pudjiastuti.Despite experts warning that the cantrang were harmful to coral reefs and seabed ecosystems, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said in January that his office and the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry was conducting a study to address the concerns.Moreover, Destructive Fishing Watch national coordinator Moh. Abdi Suhufan highlighted the dire condition of the coral reefs in Indonesia as Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) research showed that 36.18 percent of them, 386 of a total of 1067 coral reefs, were in bad condition.Additionally, the group urged the government to protect the livelihoods of small and traditional fishermen. Walhi campaign coordinator Edo Rahman said the government should ensure that extractive industries would not threaten the livelihoods of people living in coastal areas and on small islands. “We always push the government to ban extractive industries in the zero- to 4-nautical-mile radius, so that it would be allocated for traditional fishermen,” he said.Furthermore, Kiara secretary general Susan Herawati criticized the omnibus bill on job creation that would require small fishermen to have permits and allow foreign vessels to fish in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone. She added that port developments stipulated by the bill would only benefit large fishing vessels and leave the small ones behind.“Traditional fishermen represent Indonesia’s identity as a maritime country. If they cease to exist, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry might as well change our identity to ‘maritime country for foreign vessels’,” Susan said. (mfp)last_img read more

World Bank suggests firms ‘hibernate’ during COVID-19 pandemic

first_imgSander went on to say that the government could also provide cash transfers to micro and small businesses with a small number of employees or no bank loans to help them cover daily expenses and keep them from selling their assets.Aside from hibernating, businesses could also convert their production lines to produce other products necessary in the fight against the pandemic so they could keep economic activities going, he said.Numerous textile companies have shifted to the production of hazmat suits and washable masks, while several state-owned firms like weapons manufacturer PT Pindad, electronics manufacturer PT LEN and aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) plan to produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients.For the longer term, Sander suggested the government create a comprehensive recovery plan and economic stimulus to help businesses repay their debts and help banks improve their balance sheets once the crisis ends.“The government should identify sectors that are badly hit by the pandemic and devise a robust revenue plan to help the economy recover from the crisis,” he said, adding that such a revenue plan included increasing state tax revenue by widening the tax base and tax-to-GDP ratio.As the pandemic has yet to show signs of abating, Sander also called on the government to protect sectors essential during the pandemic.“Sectors like food production, medical equipment production and health should be protected to ensure their accessibility to raw materials amid the mobility restrictions,” he said.The Health Ministry has approved requests from ten cities and regencies across Indonesia to enforce large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the country.As of Tuesday afternoon, the disease has infected more than 4,800 people in Indonesia and killed at least 450, official data show.Topics : The World Bank recommends that the government let firms “hibernate” to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and allow workers to keep their jobs.Lead country economist for Indonesia Frederico Gil Sander said on Tuesday that the Indonesian government could help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and big corporations by temporarily relieving them of fix costs like utility bills, loan interest and rents.He also suggested allowing firms to cut employees’ wages while the government would cover the difference with cash transfers. “This hibernation could help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 economic crisis [avoid] closure and let workers keep their jobs,” said Sander during a webinar.Some 2.8 million people have lost their jobs as of Monday, according to data from the Manpower Ministry and the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan). More than half were furloughed and placed on paid or unpaid leave.A recent survey by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and SurveySensum found that business players expected the situation to normalize within five months, or around August. The survey further stated that the COVID-19 pandemic hit business revenue, with 76 percent of the respondents saying the pandemic had “severely disturbed daily business activities.”Read also: Red tape stymies social aidlast_img read more

Gold Coast property prices growing faster than those in Brisbane and Sydney

first_imgHarcourts Coastal director Dane Atherton said the Gold Coast was transforming into a “mature city”. Photo: Jerad WilliamsMore from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North6 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoHarcourts Coastal director Dane Atherton predicted the Gold Coast’s property growth to continue.“Generally speaking the Gold Coast’s sharp increase is levelling but we are still going at a better rate than Sydney and Melbourne,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to have as sharp growth as in last couple of years but I think we will still see single digits. It will be slow and steady and that’s a good thing, it’s what you want.”He said the Gold Coast was transforming into a “mature city”, which rising property prices reflected.“We’ve always had the numbers as we were predominantly a holiday destination but we are growing as a city in depth and size, and while our prices may not ever exceed a massive city, they will get closer,” he said. “I don’t think values will ever overtake Sydney or Melbourne but the gap will start to decrease.” Gold Coast property values are soaringGOLD Coast property values are climbing twice as fast as those in Brisbane and Sydney, new data reveals.CoreLogic data released yesterday shows the Gold Coast median house price rose a staggering 7.9 per cent in the 12 months to March to a record $615,000.Unit prices on the Glitter Strip are also up 5.5 per cent on the same period to $406,000.The figures tower Brisbane’s growth (3.5 per cent) and are almost double Sydney’s growth (4.1 per cent). Gold Coast median house price rose a staggering 7.9 per cent in the 12 months to March to a record $615,000.The only capital city in front of the Coast was Melbourne with an 8.3 per cent increase.CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said the Gold Coast was experiencing more rapid growth than Brisbane.“It seems as though much of the demand across these regions is coming from an acceleration in internal migration to Queensland, and where buyers from Sydney and Melbourne are using substantial equity earned to secure lifestyle properties in the state,” he said.Across the remainder of the state, growth was mild and some regions even experienced falling values.On the Gold Coast, the standout suburbs were Broadbeach Waters, Bilinga, Clear Island Waters and Currumbin Valley where median house prices jumped by more than 20 per cent over the past year.center_img MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE, CHANGE IN MEDIAN OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHSSource: CoreLogic, all data is to March, 2017*Gold Coast, $615,000, 7.9 per cent*Brisbane, $517,500, 3.5 per cent*Sydney, $929,000, 4.1 per cent*Melbourne, $650,000, 8.3 per cent*Adelaide, $442,000, 4 per cent*Perth, $519,500, -0.1 per centlast_img read more

Top news of the week September 2-7

first_imgLNG World News Staff Illustration purposes only (Image courtesy of McDermott) First Gen Corp picks JGC as Batangas LNG EPC contractorPhilippine utility First Gen Corporation said it has selected Japan’s JGC Corporation as its preferred EPC contractor for the Batangas LNG terminal project.Arctic LNG 2 partners make FIDArctic LNG 2 partners headed by the Russian largest independent natural gas producer Novatek have reached the final investment decision on the $21.3 billion project on the Gydan Peninsula.GasLog inks 10-year charter for LNG FSU conversionMonaco-based LNG shipper GasLog through one of its units has signed a 10-year time charter with Sinolam LNG Terminal for the provision of a liquefied natural gas floating storage unit (FSU) to a gas-fired power project being developed in Panama.PNG clears Papua LNG deal securing additional benefitsThe Papua New Guinea government has cleared Total and its Papua LNG project partners to go ahead with the project.Freeport LNG ships first commissioning cargoFreeport LNG has shipped the first LNG commissioning cargo for Train 1 from its liquefaction facility located on Quintana Island in Freeport, Texas.last_img read more

City hall job hire gunned down at birthday party

first_imgILOILO City – A job hire of the citygovernment was shot to death by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants whileattending a birthday party in Barangay Tacas, Jaro district. Siacon said that Argenal was tagged as a“high-value” drug target and was allegedly under the groups of Ernesto Bolivarand Richard Previndido. Siacon also said the victim was linked inthe killing of a provincial survey aide of the Department of AgrarianReform 6 last June 6 in Barangay Tagbak, Jaro district. Recovered from the crime scene werethree empty shells of a .45-caliber pistol. “He (Argenal) was our suspect in killingSalario through his tattoo on his left foot but the case was not filed becauseof lack of evidence and witnesses. He was also reportedly a gun-for-hiresuspect. We could not really ascertain the motive because of his involvementsin several criminal cases,” Siacon added. One of the suspects peppered Argenal withbullets. Argenal was attending a birthday partyin the house of Lino Londres and they were having a drinking session, Siacon added. “Argenal was also tagged as the suspectin the shooting of Noli Cayanan sometime in 2015, but the case was settled,” hesaid. center_img The 30-year-old Felix Argenal Jr. diedof gunshot wounds on the body and head. As of now, the police are stillgathering evidences and looking for the witnesses who were in the area when thevictim was killed. “We are trying to get the footage fromthe closed-circuit television in the vicinity and hopefully we can identifythem (suspects),” Siacon said./PN “Based on our investigation, two backriders were seen in the area. One of them shot the victim and told the peopleinside to drop while his accomplice served as lookout,” Siacon told Panay News. According to Siacon, four armed men,wearing helmets and face masks, alighted from their motorcycles in front of Londres’house. The two back riders then went inside. Jaro Police station chief CaptainEduardo Siacon said the shooting happened around 11 p.m. on Friday. last_img read more

Youth teams hit the road

first_img admin Hancock County Court News Nov. 3 thorugh Dec. 11 – January 22, 2015 Bio VEAZIE — Two teams from Mount Desert Island, the MDI travel team and the MDI Junior Trojans, traveled to take part in the third-and-fourth-grade Orono-Veazie Hoop Classic over the weekend. One MDI team hit the road to play in the Old Town/Orono Bob Messier Classic tournament for fifth-and-sixth-grade girls.Chris Lilly of the MDI third/fourth grade travel basketball team drives into the paint against Ellsworth’s Downeast Family YMCA team at the Orono-Veazie Hoop Classic in Veazie on March 7.—JEFF WALLSAt the Hoop Classic, the MDI travel team, a privately funded island team, made it to the semifinals before falling to the eventual champions, Hermon, by a score of 39-33. To get to that level, MDI beat Ellsworth – coming from behind late in the game to get the 31-29 win. The team then faced Orrington in a game that wasn’t quite as close, getting the victory by a slightly larger margin of 35-23. In the last game of the prelim match-ups, MDI lost to the host Orono/Veazie team 28-24.The Junior Trojans, an MDI YMCA team, went 0-4 at the tournament, losing to Hermon, Coastal, Holbrook, and Orono-Veazie. But the team did have its shining moments, according to head coach Loren Hubbard. The Junior Trojan team consists of Brennan Hubbard, Marcus Parsons, Russell Kropff, Graham Good, Billy Kerley, Colby Lee, Spencer Michaud, Parker Madera, Finn McConomy and Hunter Dougherty.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textIn Old Town, the MDI YMCA girls’ fifth-and-sixth-grade team went 0-4 at the Bob Messier Invitational, taking hits from Glenburn, Brewer, Presque Isle and Houlton.Just across town, many of MDI’s athletes had already competed earlier in the day, in the water, not on the court. “We had some girls that were tired after the weekend because the tournament happened right in the middle of the swimming championships. It didn’t really hurt us but they were really tired,” said Coach Tapley. “We also had some girls that were out sick with the flu. We have been together about three weeks and these other teams have been together since basketball started. So we have a little catching up to do, but they did really well.”The MDI YMCA girls’ team is Julianna Cleaves, Kirsten DiMauro, Alexis Durgin, Gabrielle Link, Keeley McConomy, Eliza McGarr and Sierra Tapley.For complete story see the March 12, 2009 edition of the Mount Desert Islander. Latest posts by admin (see all)center_img Latest Posts State budget vs. job creation – January 22, 2015 House fire in Winter Harbor – October 27, 2014last_img read more

Alum helps homeless develop healthy habits

first_imgAt a time when Los Angeles has the largest chronically homeless population in the country, a USC alumnus has partnered with the USC Caruso Catholic center to combat the issue through an unconventional angle — cooking.Photo courtesy of Jack Lahey A helping hand · Jack Lahey, a USC alumnus, co-created Nourished to help the formerly homeless build lasting relationships with USC students through the shared experiences of cooking healthy food and eating it together.Nourished is a service organization that connects USC students with residents of supportive housing in the Los Angeles area. During weekly visits, volunteers and residents share the experience of cooking healthy recipes and eating together.For volunteers and residents alike, what starts as an opportunity to give and receive food becomes a chance to build new relationships and discover new perspectives.According to Jack Lahey, co-founder and project manager of Nourished and a recent masters in social work graduate from the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, the idea for the program arose from a brainstorming discussion during which he and his adviser Benjamin Henwood, a professor at the School of Social Work, evaluated the best way to tackle the issue of homelessness.Lahey said that they analyzed other non-profit organizations as case studies, and discovered that while some organizations work upstream to address the institutional forces and social constructions that give rise to inequalities, others try to aid as many individual people as possible.“What’s good about Nourished is we’re trying to meet in the middle,” Lahey said. “We’re meeting an immediate need, but we’re also addressing long-term concerns about health access, nutrition, preventative health, and alienation and loneliness for somebody who was on the street and now is housed.”Lahey said that he and Henwood took an analytical and research-driven approach to planning the Nourished program. For example, their emphasis on healthy eating arose from data they found on the rates of chronic disease among homeless people in the United States.“The health burden on this population is the highest health burden in terms of chronic diseases that any population sees in our country,” Lahey said. “Rates of diabetes [are] around 40 percent, high blood pressure [is] over 50 percent and life expectancy in terms of real years lost is around 10 years.”Given that many other potential problems accompany living without a stable home, eating healthy    food    regularly is one step toward correcting eating habits that could evolve into more serious health concerns later on.However, Lahey  said  that the program is about more than just providing people with healthy food each week, as it also aims to educate participants on how to prepare meals based on instructions from the weekly recipes.Since the recipes are designed to be budget-friendly, diabetic-friendly and low-sodium, residents can take their new knowledge of cooking to their daily lives. The result is an actual change in behavior where residents become more independent and understanding of healthy eating choices.After preparing the food each night, the volunteers and residents eat together. They chat, share stories and discuss current events.In the end, there is an exchange of life experiences that broadens perspectives and nurtures understanding.For Lahey, the work that Nourished is doing has academic and professional value to students because of the way  that it humanizes and connects individual people to the larger issue of homelessness in Los Angeles.“These experiences put a face to social issues you might write about or academically understand but don’t really have a real emotional, visceral connection to,” Lahey said.last_img read more

Michigan State hands Wisconsin women’s basketball 5th-straight loss

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s basketball team has played the best teams in the Big Ten right to the wire throughout the season but have yet to come away with that signature victory. Thursday’s game provided the Badgers yet another chance to knock off an upper-echelon Big Ten team by way of No. 23 Michigan State. And much like they have all season, Wisconsin once again played tough but couldn’t overcome six Spartan’s who scored in double-figures and fell to Michigan State 76-66 at the Kohl Center.Throughout the game Wisconsin (10-16, 3-11 Big Ten) struggled to contain the inside presence of the Spartans’(18-8, 10-3) frontcourt that featured 6-foot-4 forward Becca Mills and 6-foot-3 forward Annalise Pickrel. Mills led the team in scoring with 15 points while Pickrel added 12.Another 6-foot-3 forward, Jasmine Hines, came off the bench and chipped in ten of her own points. The Michigan State bigs were instrumental in the Spartans dominating the rebounding total, 34-25, with 16 of those coming off the offensive glass.Guards, Branndais Agee and Tori Jankoska rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Spartans, adding ten and 14 points each.Badger head coach Bobbie Kelsey tried switching up defenses throughout the game to stop the Spartans scoring attack, deploying a series of zones and full-court presses. However, with Michigan State having so many players who can score, the changeup in defenses often went to no avail.“We tried to go with our zone for a little bit, but then one or two [players] got loose,” Kelsey said. “But you know they just have some great athletes over there. There’s a reason why they’re ranked in the country. But when you have big Hines and Mills in there; we don’t have that kind of punch to hold them off.”What the Badgers did have to throw at the Spartans to combat their size inside was redshirt junior forward Michala Johnson. Johnson entered the game as the Badgers’ leading scorer but was held to just four points in the first half. She finished the game with a team-high 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting.Johnson was joined in the scoring column with senior guard Taylor Wurtz who had 15 points and junior Jacki Gulczynski who had 11. Sophomore Nicole Bauman chipped in eight points and senior Morgan Paige finished with nine points.The Spartans weren’t going to let Johnson dominate like she did in their first meeting this season. Johnson scored 26 points on 12-of-16 shooting Jan. 30 in the Badgers’ first meeting with the Spartans this season.Michigan State used their guards to double-team Johnson, forcing turnovers and preventing her from scoring in the first half. The Spartans scored 21 points off of 14 Badger turnovers throughout the game.“It really just wasn’t their bigs that were stopping me from scoring,” Johnson said. “They were double-teaming me. They had a guard on the backside. In the first half maybe I was a little bit hesitant. I wasn’t getting the ball as much or wasn’t scoring as much. In the second half I just had to turn it up a notch.”Despite losing to their second ranked opponent in a row, the Badgers kept the game close throughout. They found themselves down by eight, 39-31 to start the second half, but rallied to cut the Michigan State lead to four, five times in the second half. Following two Johnson free throws, the Badgers were down just 70-66 with 1:53 remaining. But a couple of decisive offensive rebounds and free throws by the Spartans put to rest any hope of a comeback for Wisconsin.Although they haven’t been able to pull out these close games, Kelsey said she’s encouraged by the runs her team has put up in the second halves of games this season. She knows her players aren’t giving up anytime soon.“The good thing about these kids is that they don’t give, they don’t hang their head,” Kelsey said. “I’m sad for them because we’re trying everything but we’re just not getting the results. It’s not for a lack of effort or a lack of passion or want. For whatever reason, we can’t get that one little push. We just have to keep trying.”Much like Kelsey, Wurtz believes that these close games have given her and her teammates the confidence that they can play with anyone in the highly competitive Big Ten. They’ll need that confidence as Big Ten regular season play wraps up and they head to the Big Ten tournament.“We can play with any team in this conference,” Wurtz said. “We just have to figure out a way to close it. And like coach said, we just have to get back to practice, pay attention to details, like boxing out. It’s just those little things that we’re not executing. But we’ll figure it out. We have to get to practice and keep working hard.”last_img read more