English Town Mourns Victims of Suspected Terror Attack

first_imgLONDON (AP) — The English town of Reading mourned Monday for three people stabbed to death in what is being treated as a terror attack, gathering for a moment of silence as police questioned the suspected lone attacker.More than 100 students lit candles and laid flowers in memory of history teacher James Furlong, who was named as one of the victims. A flag in the courtyard of the Holt School, where he taught in nearby Wokingham, had been lowered to half-staff.“He was so passionate and enthusiastic about history and about learning, and anything that was boring, anything you didn’t find interesting, he would make it interesting,″ former student Molly Collins told the BBC. “He would spend time with you, he got to know people individually, and he just always went the extra mile for everyone.”Furlong’s friend, Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, was named by his family in Philadelphia as the second victim. The identity of the third victim has not been released.The stabbing rampage took place Saturday evening as groups of people relaxed in Forbury Gardens park in Reading, a town of 200,000 people 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of London. A 25-year-old man who is believed to be the lone attacker is in custody but officials said the motive for the carnage was unclear.Chief Constable John Campbell of Thames Valley Police said officers were called to reports of stabbings just before 7 p.m. and arrived to find a “horrific” scene. Unarmed officers detained a 25-year-old local man.Police have not identified the suspect, but Britain’s national news agency, Press Association, and other media outlets named him as Khairi Saadallah, a Libyan asylum-seeker living in Reading.The BBC reported that Saadallah was investigated by British security services last year over concerns he planned to travel abroad to join a jihadi group, but that he was not determined to be a major threat.The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted the father of Ritchie-Bennett as saying his son had moved to England from the U.S. around 15 years ago. His father, Robert Ritchie, said his son worked for a law firm in London before taking a job about 10 years ago at a Dutch pharmaceutical company that had its British headquarters in Reading.There was no immediate update on the conditions of the three people seriously wounded in the attack.Britain’s official terrorism threat level remains at “substantial” after the attack.last_img read more

Rowing Signs Eight Student-Athletes For 2016-17

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University rowing team has signed Audrey Baumeister (Chicago, Ill.), Madison Coffman (Phoenix, Ariz.), Melanie Dahlstrom (Shorewood, Minn.), Taylor Haaraoja (Ada, Mich.), Olivia Kielt (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), Ingrid McNeely (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), Daniele Nitkowski (Baltimore, Md.) and Molly Packer (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) to National Letters of Intent for the 2016-17 season, head coach Charlie DiSilvestro announced Thursday, Dec. 10. “We’re so excited to have this group of eight young women join our rowing family next year,” said DiSilvestro. “Each of them brings something unique to our team. Throughout our recruiting of these young women it became clear what a great fit they will be with our team. Each one of them understands that academics are the most important part of their life while attending Drake University and that rowing comes second. They also understand that great student-athletes can excel in both.” Baumeister is a team captain for Loyola Academy’s women’s rowing team. She is a four-year member of the Ramblers team, who has helped lead multiple boats to top-four finishes at the Midwest Scholastic Rowing Championships in each of the previous three springs. “Audrey comes to us from Loyola Academy  and is a special recruit for me because before coming to Drake, I was the head coach at Loyola and Audrey is the first Rambler to row for me. Her head coach Matt Baldino was a cox for me while I coached at Loyola so I’m very proud of him for giving back to our sport and leading Loyola to such great success. After I watched Audrey row I knew we needed her work ethic, leadership skills and power,” DiSilvestro said. Coffman from Phoenix, Ariz. is a member of the Tempe Town Lake Rowing Club. A two-year member with Tempe Town, she has helped several women’s junior 4+ boats in the club record top finishes, including a first place showing at the 2015 Okie O’Connor Hot Head Regatta 5K. “Madison comes to us from the Tempe Town Lake Rowing Club. I knew Madison would be a great fit for us as soon as she got her for her visit. Her personality, leadership and technical skills really impressed the team and coaches. Having been a team captain she’ll bring fresh ideas that will benefit our team right away,” DiSilvestro said. Dahlstrom is from Shorewood, Minn., where she is a member of the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club. She was a member of the club’s first varsity 8+ boat that placed first at the Head of Mississippi Regatta this past October. Dahlstrom was also a member of the club’s novice 4+ boat that took first at the 2014 Head of the Des Moines Regatta. “Melanie rows for the Twin Cities Youth Rowing Club and I was fortunate enough to see her row a couple of times during her junior and senior years. What stood out to me was how hard she pulls. You could tell that by the end of the races she had given everything she had. Another thing that impressed me about Melanie is how much she loves our sport. You can tell rowing is in her blood,” DiSilvestro said. Haaraoja is a multi-sport athlete from Ada, Mich., where she is a member of Forest Hills Central High School’s rowing and swimming and diving teams. A four-year letterwinner in swimming and diving, she helped the team win back-to-back conference champions her first two seasons. Haaraoja earned her first rowing varsity letter as a junior. “Taylor comes to us from Grand Rapids, Mich., where she rows for her high school Forest Hills Central. Taylor was the first rower to verbally commit to us this fall. I knew from the first time I met Taylor and her family that I wanted her on our team. She has an amazing energy about her. That positive energy is going to have a great effect on our team for years to come,” DiSilvestro said. Kielt from Grosse Pointe, Mich., is a member of the Detroit Boat Club. She helped the women’s intermediate lightweight 2 boat place third at the 2015 USRowing Club Nationals. “Olivia was the first of our two Detroit Boat Club rowers to commit. Not only is Olivia a great sculler and sweep rower, she has an incredible work ethic. I spent some time in Detroit watching her workout and getting to know her coaches and I was amazed at how hard they work their athletes at the Detroit Boat Club. Olivia will have no problem making the switch from high school rowing to college,” DiSilvestro said. McNeely is another multi-sport athlete in the class, who is from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She attends Convent of the Visitation School, where she is a member of the school’s alpine skiing and swimming teams. McNeely is a member of the Minneapolis Rowing Club, and was selected as a team captain each of the previous two years. “Ingrid rows for the Minneapolis Rowing Club coached by Vicki Larson. I have known coach Larson for over 20 years and have always been impressed at how she coaches her rowers. She doesn’t just teach them the rowing stroke, she teaches them to be leaders. Ingrid is a perfect example of the quality of rower that comes from the Minneapolis Rowing Club. Ingrid is a team captain and stroke of her 8 boat this past fall. I was able to see her stroke the MRC 8 at the Head of the Mississippi and could tell the energy she put into her own stroke was passed all the way up to bow seat,” DiSilvestro said. Nitkowski comes to Drake from Baltimore, Md., where she attends Notre Dame Preparatory and is a member of the Baltimore Rowing Club. “Daniele comes to us from the Baltimore Rowing Club. Daniele was someone I could tell would fit right into our team from day one. Besides an amazing work ethic and love for rowing, she got along great with our team on her official visit. We talk about being a rowing family a lot and Daniele will be a great addition to our Bulldog family. Daniele really impressed me when on her visit she told me she’s looking for a “supportive yet competitive” environment to train in,” DiSilvestro said. The final member of the 2016-17 signing class is Packer who like Kielt is from Gross Pointe, Mich. She is teammates with Kielt on the Detroit Rowing Club, and has earned two rowing varsity letters. Kielt and Packer were in the Detroit Rowing Club’s junior 8+ boat that placed 18th out of 85 boats at the Head of the Charles, the club’s best finish at the event in over a decade. “Molly is our second Detroit Boat Club rower to commit this fall. Along with Olivia she helped her Detroit youth 8 finish 18th out of 85 boats at this past years Head of the Charles. It was the highest finish for their club in over a decade. Molly is someone who’s going to excel not only on the water but in the classroom. I was always impressed with Molly’s questions about balancing athletics and class work,” DiSilvestro said. Comments from each student-athlete on what helped them choose Drake:”I choose Drake for the fabulous academics and the friendly community that makes everyone feel welcome.”~Audrey Baumeister “I really like the atmosphere at Drake.  They emphasize the importance of academics and character along with athletic performance.  The campus is beautiful and the environment is friendly.”~Madison Coffman “I chose Drake because the school just seemed right. The rowing team was great, the emphasis on education, and the class size/campus size is perfect for me. When I walked on campus, I could really see myself attending this school.”~Melanie Dahlstrom “I chose Drake because I love the campus and its excellent academics. The rowing program seems like a great fit for me and I could tell the coaches were dedicated and share the same passion that I have for rowing. When I first stepped on campus, I knew that Drake was the place for me.”~Taylor Haaraoja “I chose Drake because I fell in love with it as soon as I visited and it is a school that I can grow with. The campus is beautiful, the classes are a perfect size for me and the rowing team has a competitive edge with a tightly knit team.”~Olivia Kielt “It offers an amazing university with courses I love and a team and coaching staff that feel like a perfect fit.”       ~Ingrid McNeely “I chose Drake because it had everything I was looking for in a college. It has such a friendly atmosphere and I immediately felt right at home when I stepped on campus.”~Daniele Nitkowski “I wanted a small school but not so small that I would know everyone, a campus that is small but still a good walk. This is why Drake is the perfect fit. Another reason I chose Drake was because of the freedom in the academics. They want you to graduate with a well-rounded degree. I will not have to take classes that I will be bored in. I can take classes that will interest me. Finally, the main reason I chose Drake was because of the rowing. I wanted a team that was small and felt like a family. I wanted not to be a number, but to be a real person that my coach knows. When I visited I got these feelings from talking to the team members. This is why I chose Drake University.”~Molly Packer Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more