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first_img Pinette starred as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray on Broadway and on tour. He was a funnyman known for joking about his size: “My cholesterol count has a comma!” Pinette was named Stand-Up Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards in 1999 and received a Gemini Award nomination for his television performance at the Montreal Comedy Festival in 2000. His numerous screen credits included Junior, Dear God, Duets, The Punisher, Vinnie & Bobby, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, High Tide and Seinfeld. View Comments Pinette was 50 years old.center_img Stage and screen star John Pinette was found dead in a Pittsburgh hotel room April 5. According to The Hollywood Reporter,  he died of natural causes.last_img read more

first_imgBy Gary WadeUniversity of GeorgiaPlant breeders have come a long way in developing new plants withseasonal characteristics that give them outstanding appeal in thelandscape. Volume XXXNumber 1Page 17 Two great examples these new shrubs are Rose Creek and CanyonCreek abelias. These exciting new shrubs come from the breedingprogram of Michael Dirr at the University of Georgia.Since their release in 2001 and 2002, respectively, these plantshave earned the admiration of nurserymen, landscapers andgardeners nationwide. They were chosen from a large field ofstrong contenders for a coveted Georgia Gold Medal Award in 2005.Rose Creek and Canyon Creek abelias are seedling selections ofChinese abelia (Abelia chinense). They wereopen-pollinated with other abelia cultivars, so their exactparentage is unknown.Rose CreekRose Creek was selected for its low mounding growth habit,crimson stem color, fragrant white flowers and exceptionally longbloom period (May to frost).The plant grows 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. It’s anexcellent choice for foundation plantings, containers orlow-growing hedges.Rose Creek has evergreen leaves that emerge with a pinkish cast,turn a lustrous, dark green in summer and then darken topurple-green in winter, giving the plant an ever-changingseasonal interest.It bears cluster after cluster of white, fragrant, tubularflowers, about a half-inch long, throughout the growing season.Below each flower are small, light pink, modified leaves, calledthe calyx, which remain on the plant after the flowers fade andprovide even more pizzazz to the floral display.Canyon CreekCanyon Creek abelia is larger than Rose Creek, growing 4 to 6feet tall and wide. It’s a great hedging plant and is idealchoice for a mixed perennial border. New leaves emerge with acoppery pink cast that mellows to a soft yellow, then green, thenrosy bronze in winter.Flowers are fragrant, tubular, light pink and are borne inclusters from May until frost. The flowers are surrounded attheir base by a star-shaped, reddish pink calyx that persistslong after the flowers drop, so the plant appears to have twoflower forms present at the same time all season.Both abelias are drought-tolerant, deer-resistant and hardy fromzones 6 to 9. They grow well in full sun to partial shade. Andpests seldom bother them. They’re highly attractive tobutterflies and bees, too.They may require some light pruning from time to time to removelanky shoots. Otherwise, both plants look their best when allowedto develop a natural, informal look.(Gary Wade is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis has urged the current South African team to take inspiration from England in a bid to revive their ODI performance following their early stage exit from the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales.Pakistan defeated South Africa by 49 runs at the Lord’s on Sunday to knock Faf du Plessis’ men out of the competition. Despite having world-class players like du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla in their squad, the Proteas’ journey in the ongoing tournament has been something which they would like to forget at the earliest.However, Kallis believes South Africa should take heart from the way England recovered after suffering an equally woeful first-round exit in the 2015 edition of the World Cup. England are currently ranked number one in the ODIs and are the tournament favourites in this edition of the showpiece event.“South Africa need to take inspiration from England as they rebuild their team for the next ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup,” wrote Kallis in his column for ICC.“Four years ago, England were perhaps one of the lowest ranked teams in the world after really struggling at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.“However, they used the disappointment of their performances in 2015 to rebuild their team and totally change their mentality and approach to one-day cricket.“England now play without fear and aren’t afraid to make mistakes. For me, South Africa have approached things too defensively at this tournament and they need to attack each match with much more positivity going forward,” he added. “England are proof how quickly things can change in four years, so long as you have the right approach.”The 43-year-old also advised the South African team management to not go for all-round changes in the squad.“You don’t need to make wholesale changes, England are still captained by Eoin Morgan, as they were four years ago,” said Kallis.“Some will demand everything is changed but a total clean out is just not the way ahead, we need to be more thoughtful,” he added. IANSAlso Read: England Take On Arch-Rivals Australia In Crucial World Cup Tielast_img read more

first_imgSN: You had some legendary calls in your career. Two really stand out. The first one is when you told Hulk Hogan to ‘Go to hell’ at the end of the 1996 Bash of the Beach event when he turned heel. The other is when Goldberg defeated Hogan for the title in 1998. What do you remember about those nights?TS: I love the Goldberg call more because of the atmosphere that night. The one I remember the most is the Bash at the Beach only because it’s one fans talk to me about the most. They always tell me what a great call it was. They ask if was it planned, did WCW feed me the lines and how did that happen?No one fed me those lines. I didn’t think about what to say. I thought about it very quickly because when it was all going down the fans are throwing trash in the ring and we are ready to go off the air. I was thinking about what would the Hulkamaniacs be thinking? What would they say? Here you are talking about the biggest babyface in the world turning heel. While all of this is going on, he’s giving one of the greatest heel promos of all time. If you go back, listen and watch, it is better the second and third time around. Then I just said it in a spur of the moment thing. That’s the one event I remember more than any. When Schiavone returned to his roots, he became the voice of the company during the “Monday Night Wars” on Monday Night Nitro and Thunder. He remained in that position until WCW folded in March 2001 when the promotion was purchased by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.Currently, Schiavone works as a minor league baseball announcer for the Gwinnett Stripers, a morning sports anchor for both WDUN in Gainesville, Ga. and WSB-AM in Atlanta and the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network.After 16 years of being away from the pro wrestling, the 61-year-old returned to the wrestling business at the beginning of 2017 when he started the highly successful “What Happened When” podcast with Conrad Thompson, in which they recap certain events in his time with JCP and WCW. Then, in late 2017, Schiavone returned to the booth to be the play-by-play man in Major League Wrestling (MLW), a position he still holds today.In an interview with Sporting News, Schiavone talks about his event on Friday night with Thompson and former President of WCW Eric Bischoff at C2E2 in Chicago, reuniting with Bischoff and if there is any animosity, his podcast with Thompson and what he feels is his greatest pro wrestling call. MORE: Join DAZN and watch Canelo vs. Jacobs on May 4SPORTING NEWS: Conrad Thompson told us that you and Eric haven’t sent each other cards or messages throughout the years. When is the last time you did anything with Eric?TONY SCHIAVONE: I guess you would have to go back to an episode of Monday Nitro when we were backstage. I can’t remember the last time we were in front of the camera or even next to each other for anything and talk about something. It had to be an angle with the NWO when I was announcing for WCW. You’re talking 20-25 years.SN: What does Friday’s event with Conrad and Eric mean to you considering you haven’t seen Eric in a long time?TS: First of all, it means a lot because I get to reconnect with him. I’m not the type of person who likes to get into confrontations or likes to air out dirty laundry in public. I’ve never been that way. I’m concerned that is going to happen. We had a great relationship. But there were a lot of things that happened behind the scenes that I got blamed for unfairly. So that concerns me that we are going to go down that road.SN: Conrad seemed legitimately concerned in talking with us that something could happen. How do you keep everything professional on Friday?TS: I think what you do is tell the truth. When it all went down and WCW closed, we had no communication at all. I went cold turkey from the wrestling business with the exception of doing some things with the XWF. I taped some shows with Jerry Lawler. I had no communication with Eric. I didn’t call him or see how he was doing. I don’t know how he feels. I haven’t sat with him. I haven’t asked if he thinks any of this was my fault or what were feelings towards me when everything went down with WCW. I know that he was working for the WWE. I remember one time my phone rang and the person on the other line said standby for a call from Eric Bischoff. I waited and waited and eventually hung up. I thought maybe someone was drunk dialing me. I went another way and didn’t seek out how he was doing or anything like that.We didn’t part ways on bad terms. I just didn’t give a damn. I didn’t care how he was. I hate to say it that way, but I didn’t.SN: I’ve listened to the podcast you do with Conrad. You talk about stepping away from wrestling after WWE bought out WCW and not looking back.TS: I did look and try to go back to WWE. They didn’t want me. It didn’t long for me to discover that WWE didn’t want me. I didn’t want to go the independent route because you hear all the stories about shady promoters. It wasn’t until afterward that I made the decision to step away. I had enough of it. My wife told me that at the end of WCW that I wanted out of the business. I was miserable. She said I wouldn’t get out because the money and the benefits were too good. She told me I needed to do something else. And so I did.SN: What led to you and Conrad doing the podcast?TS: He had sent an email asking if I was interested in doing a podcast. But it wasn’t just that in the email. It was a very long and detailed email with a business plan for this podcast. He showed what we can do, how much time it would take, here’s where it will be and we could sell merchandise for it. It was well thought out and written. I read it and talked to my wife about it. She said if you can make some money because our daughter was getting married in about 14 months and we could use the money to pay for the wedding. So I got back to him and said let’s do it.SN: I re-listened to your first podcast with Conrad. You could tell right away you guys had great chemistry. It was like two guys just hanging out.TS: It’s two things. One, we both love wrestling. I was a big fan before I even got into it. Conrad and I also have the same sense of humor. We hit it off right away. We can bust each other’s chops and know it’s all in good fun. It amazes me when fans think we are really getting on each other. It also has to do with the fact we are two rednecks from the south.SN: Is the podcast everything you have expected from what Conrad laid out to you?TS: It has completely shocked me. I thought that no one cared about what I have to say. When I started with Jim Crockett Promotions, it was very much pressed upon me that I was here to enhance the guys, help forward the stories, put them over and we were no focus of the show. I always saw my job as that. So by saying my job was that, I thought I never mattered to the fans. It didn’t matter who I was. It mattered what Ric Flair was doing or what I was saying about Ric Flair. I was completely shocked when the podcast started having success. I was just absolutely overwhelmed. I’m floored by it every day.SN: You started doing commentating for MLW last year. How do you view the wrestling product today compared to when you left in 2001?TS: The fan response is completely different due to social media. The matches you see today are so acrobatic, so high flying in what I call high spot intensive. The product is a completely different thing than I remember. Conrad and I were watching Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat from 1989 in one of their matches from Chicago.I asked Conrad the question of regardless of how much we love Flair vs. Steamboat and the matches they had, would this match play as well today? Would today’s wrestling fan say this is a hell of a match? He thought yes because it stands the test of time. I don’t think it would. Today’s fan wants to see high spots. People want to see wrestlers going through tables and getting hit with a chair. I told Conrad the ECW brand of wrestling is the wrestling that stood the test of time along what the luchadores brought from Mexico. They wouldn’t like the old Harley Race and Dory Funk matches. They would say it’s boring as hell.SN: You worked with Vince Russo for a bit when he came to WCW. Right or wrong, he gets a lot of flack from wrestling fans. How was your time with Vince Russo?TS: He was great. He really liked me, used me and thought I was important. I felt comfortable with whatever he wanted to do. When he came in, he started running production meetings like I remember Vince McMahon running production meetings in my one year in WWE. The meetings were very organized and very orchestrated. He knew what he wanted and was very formatted. I really enjoyed working with him. For those who say he was the reason WCW went down that isn’t the case. It was a collaborative reason. It was everybody’s fault. You can’t blame one person.SN: How would you compare working with Russo to Bischoff?TS: Wow, that’s a good question. (Long pause) Eric was a little more difficult to work because he was really demanding. I think I got along a little bit better with Vince because he worked with me more than Eric did. When Vince and Eric were going to work together when Eric came back, I thought it was going to work out great. I thought we had two guys who were great at what they did. But their relationship went south quickly. Eric was more difficult to work with, but I could work for anybody really.SN: Why do you think it didn’t work between the two considering their past successes? There’s no reason why it should have failed.TS: You had two guys who definitely had different ideas of the business. They were too stubborn to not let go of it. I’m sure the problems that Vince had with Hulk Hogan did not help that relationship at all. When you think of pro wrestling broadcasters, Tony Schiavone is one of the first names to come to mind. Schiavone began his wrestling career in 1985 in calling matches for Jim Crockett Promotions. He left the organization in 1989 for a one-year stint in WWE and then returned to what was now known as World Championship Wrestling in 1990. last_img read more