BRAC Receives 2.7M from MOH&SW

first_imgAn international non-governmental organization (NGO), BRAC-Liberia, has received 2.7 million United States dollars from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for the implementation of health services around Liberia.The country Director of BRAC Liberia, Mr. Mohammed Adams Salam, said this was a new activity that will affect more than 539,000 people. It will create awareness related to improving health, while increasing knowledge of maternal mortality, and child health, through local health forums, meetings, and programs.He explained that since 2008, improvements in the delivery of health services in seven counties have positively affected many young people. An impressive reduction in maternal mortality, has been made as a result of BRAC’s intervention, we were told.He said that the US$2.7 million allotted by the Ministry of health and Social Welfare to improve health services in the country, will be used for the intended purposes.We have been working with many communities in ensuring that those areas received the education required about health.    Also speaking at the launch of the National Advocacy campaign, program manager Lugemwa E. Patrick, said the organization (BRAC) would use a community-based approach to addressing maternal and child health care in 15 targeted counties in Liberia, with 106,000 women and adolescent girls as its main beneficiaries.According to Patrick, the organization has targeted Lofa, Margibi, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Montserrado, Bong and Grand Cape Mount, within three years with the aim of improving basic health care services in those places.The manager also assured the public that 55,000 pregnant women within the targeted areas will received the right information before child-birth. He added that women and girls will be empowered to make choices about pregnancy and made knowledgeable about family planning.  He explained that BRAC has targeted 200,000 house members around the country through community awareness activities who stand to benefit directly and indirectly.Speaking on behalf of MOH&SW, Tolbert G. Nyenswah, Assistance Minister for Preventive Services, commended BRAC for their role over the years in improving health services around Liberia.Minister Nyenswah said that aspects of reproductive health as outlined by BRAC/Liberia and other health services are keys issues for citizens.He explained that young people must receive the necessary education about reproductive cases, newborn, and child health-care, that allow many young people to make informed decisions for their families and the future of Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ECOWAS to Support Liberia’s Post-Ebola Recovery Plan

first_imgThe special representative of the president of ECOWAS Commission to Liberia, Tunde O. Ajisomo, has disclosed his organization’s plan to work with member states and investors to assist in Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery agenda.Ambassador Ajisomo made the disclosure over the weekend at the Zumah Town sports stadium in Paynesville at the start of a football tournament, to mark the celebration of the 40th anniversary of ECOWAS.Mr. Ajisomo said ECOWAS will be working with many of its partners to support Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery plans, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and healthcare delivery which are cardinal to preventing any further outbreak in the country.  “We need to revive the country’s health sector with huge investments. We can see that the government is concerned about addressing the issue of health and infrastructure and all partners are concerned and working on that also,” he explained.He noted that Liberia is on the right path of ensuring that its development projects delayed by the epidemic are on the way to recommencing, adding that only a good leadership can begin looking at those issues that are cardinal to development. “I am gratified to see Liberia making history after the resilient efforts of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, citizens and the partners in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus that stopped many of the country’s development activities including road construction and agriculture.He said the government had done a very good job in putting together a program which will help to address the post-Ebola recovery issues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Champions berth on the line

first_imgCash On Corona was impressive in winning his division, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front and posting the fastest qualifying time of 19.60 seconds. His victory followed disappointing 10th- and eighth-place finishes in his previous two starts. Before that, the Oklahoma-bred Corona Cartel gelding had won five races in a row. Other contenders include Like Frankie And Me and Dicey Dee, second- and third-place finishers in back of Volcom. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Starting in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship, in position order, are Marshals Law (jockey Juan Andrade aboard), Dutch Schultz (Eddie Garcia), Dicey Dee (Rodrigo Vallejo), Volcom (Cody Jensen), Corona Crystal (Ramon Sanchez), Gulfstream Five (Raul Ramirez, Jr.), Jumpn Chic (Saul Ramirez, Jr.), Spike It And Fly (Alejandro Luna), Cash On Corona (Rodrigo Aceves) and Like Frankie And Me (J.R. Ramirez). center_img The first of 10 berths for the $600,000 Champion Of Champions to be run in December is on the line tonight at Los Alamitos Race Course when 10 4-year and older quarter horses clash in the grade 1 $235,800 Los Alamitos Winter Championship. Trainer Paul Jones has four entrants in the 400-yard event, with his best bets for a victory riding with Volcom and Spike It And Fly. The other two are Corona Crystal and Dutch Schultz. Both Volcom and Corona Crystal were winners of their divisions during the qualifying trials two weeks ago. last_img read more

New laws for 2008: car smoking ban, minimum wage hike and more

first_imgTwo other states – Arkansas and Louisiana – have laws that bar smoking in vehicles containing children. The Arkansas statute applies to children under age 6 or 60 pounds. The Louisiana law covers children under age 13. California’s ban would prohibit smoking in a vehicle containing anyone under 18, but the traffic stop would have to be made for another offense, such as speeding, before a vehicle’s occupant could be cited for smoking. The measure’s author, state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, agreed to that concession to assure its approval by the state Assembly, said her spokesman, Ray Sotero. Another change in law that will limit motorists’ activities – a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving – takes effect July 1. For drivers under the age of 18, the prohibition extends even to handsfree use of cell phones. The new year will bring a pay raise for the 1.4 million California workers who make minimum wage. Their hourly pay will increase by 50 cents to $8 on Jan. 1, making them the second highest paid minimum wage workers in the country along with workers in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts minimum wage also will reach $8 an hour on Jan. 1, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Washington state, which automatically adjusts its minimum wage each year to keep pace with inflation, will have the highest at $8.07 an hour. The California increase is part of a two-step adjustment approved by lawmakers in 2006. The wage jumped from $6.75 to $7.50 last Jan. 1. Here are some of the other laws that take effect with the start of the new year: LIGHTS, WATER – Legislation by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, gives the California Energy Commission until the end of 2008 to develop tougher efficiency standards for general purpose lights. Other Huffman bills authorize a $250 million subsidy program to encourage installation of solar water heaters and require the Energy Commission to establish water-efficiency standards for the design of new buildings. HOMELESS SHELTERS – A new law written by Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, is intended to remove roadblocks for homeless shelters by requiring cities and counties to designate areas where shelters can be located without obtaining a conditional use permit. IDENTIFICATION DEVICES – Legislation by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, prohibits an employer or anyone else from requiring a person to have a radio frequency identification device inserted under the skin. The devices, about the size of a rice grain, can be used to track and transmit personal information about the user. FLOOD CONTROL – Cities and counties could be forced to cover a share of the damage caused by flooding if they approve new development without considering flood risks, under legislation by Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento. A related bill by Sen. Mike Machado, D-Linden, will require cities and counties in the flood-prone Central Valley to follow new flood protection requirements in making land-use decisions. GANG PARENTING – Courts could require the parents or guardians of gang members to attend parenting classes under legislation by Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, that attempts to prevent first-time juvenile offenders from committing additional crimes. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS – Legislation by Assemblyman Charles Calderon, D-Whittier, prevents cities and counties from requiring landlords to serve as surrogate border patrol agents by obtaining and reporting the immigration status of their tenants. The measure also prohibits ordinances preventing landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. HIV TESTING – A law written by Assemblywoman Patty Berg, D-Eureka, makes it more likely that people will be routinely tested for HIV and AIDS. The measure drops a requirement that patients fill out a form to have the tests. They only would have to give a doctor verbal consent to add HIV to other conditions for which they are being tested. SPERM CLEANSING – Legislation by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, allows sperm from a man with HIV to be used to artificially inseminate a wife or partner who does not have the disease if the woman consents and the sperm is processed to minimize the possibility of infection. IRAN INVESTMENTS – The state’s two giant public pension funds, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, will be prohibited from investing in companies that have defense- or nuclear energy-related business with Iran. The bill is by Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-La Mesa. PHONY MUSIC – Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, is the author of a law that attempts to ensure that music fans who buy tickets to oldies concerts are not victims of deceptive advertising. The legislation requires performing groups to meet at least one of several standards to be able to legally use the name from the groups’ recording days. An example: The group must include at least one member who has the legal right to use the name. Bands also can avoid lawsuits by acknowledging they are a salute or tribute to the original recording group and had a name that did not confuse ticket buyers. GIFT CERTIFICATES – A law written by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, allows shoppers to cash in gift certificates that have less than $10 left in value. Consumer advocates say that will prevent stores from benefiting from an “undeserved bonanza” generated by unexhausted gift certificates that stores have refused to trade for cash. — On the Net: www.assembly.ca.gov and www.senate.ca.gov160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Lighting up behind the wheel will become an expensive habit in California if there are kids in the car. Starting Tuesday, motorists could be hit with fines of up to $100 for smoking in a vehicle containing a child. The ban is among hundreds of changes in state law that take effect with the new year. Others include the second increase in the minimum wage in 12 months and measures to require more efficient lights, promote solar water heaters and ease the way for more homeless shelters. The smoking ban is the latest attempt by the state to shield people from the health risks created by breathing secondhand smoke. California already prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces, including taverns and restaurants, and within 25 feet of a playground. last_img read more

Governor seeks info before he sics Guard

first_imgThe Oakland Democrat also created a committee that will examine the Guard’s potential use in policing the borders and the impact of diverting Guard personnel from the state’s other needs.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsOn Tuesday, he made public a letter he sent to Chertoff filled with pointed questions about how the Bush administration plans to use the Guard. Bush is asking governors to comply voluntarily with his plan by sending National Guard troops. But if a governor were to refuse, the president could federalize Guard units and send them himself. Also on Wednesday, Don Perata, the Democratic leader of the state Senate, pledged not to budget “one dime” of state money for Bush’s proposed Guard deployment until the state determines whether the plan would hurt California’s ability to respond to a disaster. “As a matter of moral principle and constitutional precedent, we will not be party to budgeting one dime to enable any role for the California National Guard in border monitoring until the Senate immediately and thoroughly reviews the implications of this use of state funds and personnel,” Perata wrote to Sen. Wesley Chesbro, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Perata said the state’s contribution to the National Guard instead should be spent on its primary function, ensuring that Guard units are prepared to respond to natural disasters and civil emergencies. SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has not decided whether to comply with President George W. Bush’s plan to put National Guard troops on the Mexican border and will only make his decision after he gets more information about what the White House has in mind, the governor’s office said Wednesday. Schwarzenegger aired his concerns in a telephone call with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday afternoon but was not satisfied with what he heard. “Following the 40-minute conversation, it was clear the administration didn’t have the answers,” said Schwarzenegger’s spokeswoman Margita Thompson. “It is evident there needs to be a continuing dialogue.” For a Republican governor, Schwarzenegger has been unusually vocal in his criticism of Bush’s plans to use the Guard on the borders. Schwarzenegger said he supports Bush’s goal of reducing illegal immigration but does not think using the Guard is the right way to do it. last_img read more

FROM MILFORD TO MALAGA: MY SPANISH ADVENTURE, BY KATE HALEY

first_imgKATE HALEY is a Transition Year student at Loreto Community School in Milford.Here she takes a light-hearted look at her recent trip to Spain to learn more about that country’s language and culture.And she passes on some great advice to other Co Donegal students planning to go abroad to brush up on their language skills this year in exchanges. My Spanish Adventure by Kate HaleyMy twin sister and I are in Transition Year and we both did Spanish for our Junior Cert. I want to do it for the Leaving so I decided that TY was a great year to start improving my language skills. We have family, a great uncle to be exact, in a town called Almuñecar, near Malaga.He knew a family who lived in the nearby town of Fuengirola, who were looking to do an exchange. So after a lot of calls and emails, it was all arranged and my sister and I were to go to Spain to live with a Spanish family and go to a Spanish school for three weeks. In July their son, Alvaro, is coming here to Donegal to try and learn some English. Though I don’t know how he’ll take to the good ol’ Donegal accents! So the big day arrived and my twin sister, my mother and I all drove down to Dublin to catch the 12.30pm flight to Malaga. It was an early start but once we got on the plane and I could start to look up Spanish phrases in my dictionary (unfortunately ‘What’s the craics?’ wasn’t there!) it was pretty exciting! We arrived in Malaga after a four hour flight. The sun was shining and things were looking good. My uncle collected us and we all drove to his holiday home in Almuñecar.We then stayed with my uncle for the first three days of our trip. Then it was time to say goodbye to our mum as she flew back to Ireland and head to Fuengirola where our new Spanish family were waiting. To be honest I was a little nervous at first and at the start it was hard to understand as the family only spoke Spanish to us but having someone you knew, i.e. my sister, there with you did help.The family were actually so unbelievably nice it was hard not to settle into things. I know you hear of some terrible exchanges where the kids were stuck with some strange family they hate but this was nothing like that at all. After the first few days things started to feel like home.We had school every week and we had arranged tennis lessons twice a week after school so the weekends were filled with family trips to different cites and other sight-seeing activities.We visited Granada and went to the Alhambra an amazingly beautiful Arabic palace. We went to Malaga to hear the Philharmonic Orchestra of Malaga play in a concert. We also visited Mijas a small town in the mountains where all the buildings are white. We even hit Marbella for a look around.  Yes, we certainly were immersed in Spanish culture!Apart from sight-seeing we also got to hang out with a few of our friends we’d met in school, we did a bit of shopping here and there and of course our family trips to the cinema to see movies in Spanish, which basically meant I’d sit there watching the pretty pictures on the big screen! So the weeks seemed to fly by and before long I was standing in Malaga airport saying goodbye. We really had become part of the family so leaving was really hard. We have promised to return this summer but even then neither my sister nor I wanted to go. Unfortunately we had a flight back to Dublin waiting so after a long and tearful goodbye only the thought of coming back this summer made us get on that plane.I have truly had one of the most amazing experiences of my life here in Spain and I do believe my Spanish has massively improved. So to anyone thinking of going on an exchange, I’d say you’d be mad not to!Surviving Spanish SchoolWe all know transition year has a lot to offer but a Spanish exchange?! We get a few tips from one TY student who’s experienced school in the sun! People are extremely friendly so don’t shy away from a crowd. On your first day, you will be bombarded by questions like ‘where are you from?’ and ‘why are you here?’ Hey, it’s a great place to start making friends!The fact that the Spanish kids speak English that is a thousand times better than your Spanish does make it, oh so tempting to speak in English. DON’T! Stick with Spanish and you’ll be thankful you did.It can be frustrating when all your friends are speaking rapidly in Spanish and all you can do is smile and add in the occasional ‘sí’ or ‘no’. Don’t worry about it, things can only get easier and you’ll start understanding the gist of things.When someone asks you a question and you don’t understand what they’ve said, ask them to slowly repeat and at a last resort say it in English. Be careful pretending you understand and answering ‘yes’ anyway. Seriously you don’t know what you could be agreeing to!Actual classes in school are the hardest to sit through, with the exception of English where you will be the star of the show. I’d advise you to bring some books you can use to improve your Spanish in class otherwise you’ll be sitting there with nothing to do and not a clue what’s going on.Don’t be afraid to speak Spanish in fear of saying something wrong, say it anyway! If you’ve messed up the chances are the person you’re speaking to will understand anyway and helpfully correct you. You’re there learn Spanish so don’t be afraid to speak it!Overall just have fun, enjoy yourself! The weather is better over there and the people are generally nice. Who knows maybe you’ll be invited back for a summer in the sun!FROM MILFORD TO MALAGA: MY SPANISH ADVENTURE, BY KATE HALEY was last modified: March 5th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegaldaily.comMY SPANISH ADVENTURE: BY KATE HALEYlast_img read more

Indian cricket team very happy with Ravi Shastri: Rajeev Shukla

first_imgTop BCCI official Rajeev Shukla said here on Thursday that the Indian cricket team is “very happy” with team director Ravi Shastri.”Basically the coach’s job is being done by Mr. Ravi Shastri and he has been advised to continue till the 2016 World Twenty20. The advisory committee will be taking a decision on what should be done,” Shukla said.The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) advisory committee comprises Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman.”Shastri has been entrusted with the job, players and others are very happy. He is doing a good job. He will continue,” added Shukla.Also read: BCCI extends Ravi Shastri’s tenure as team director till 2016 World T20 On the big question over the proposed India-Pakistan series in December, which at the moment looks to be in jeopardy, the Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman said that nothing can be said as of now.”Right now I cannot say anything because there are some issues which need to be sorted out. Once that is done then only we can think of it,” said Shukla.”From Day One we have taken a policy that bilateral matches should be played on each other’s side, so that is our focus. But I really cannot commit anything. For the series we also have to seek the permission of the government too. There is a security angle there also.”last_img read more

Liverpool Down Chelsea to Maintain Perfect Premier League Start

first_imgLondon: Trent Alexander-Arnold’s thunderous strike inspired Liverpool’s 2-1 win against Chelsea as the Premier League leaders moved five points clear at the top on Sunday.Jurgen Klopp’s side extended their perfect start to the title race as they became the first club to win their opening six games in consecutive top-flight seasons. Alexander-Arnold’s blistering free-kick opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge.Roberto Firmino increased Liverpool’s advantage before the interval and N’Golo Kante’s fine goal was not enough to give Chelsea tangible reward for a vibrant second half.After Manchester City thrashed Watford 8-0 on Saturday, this was the ideal response from Liverpool as they bid to win the title for the first time since 1990.Pipped to the trophy by City on the final day of last season, Liverpool are playing with a burning desire to end their rivals’ two-year reign as champions.In contrast to the Champions League holders’ scrappy midweek defeat at Napoli, this disciplined display showed the Premier League is Liverpool’s top priority this term.They are on a club-record run of 15 successive league wins and have lost just once in 45 top-flight matches, going unbeaten in the last 23.Significantly for their title prospects, Liverpool’s success at the Bridge was just their second win in 13 away league games against the other established top-six teams.Although they were hanging on by the end, if Liverpool take more points against the big guns, even City might struggle to keep them at bay.Frank Lampard’s raw side, 10 points behind the leaders, competed gamely to offer hope of a bright future.However, Chelsea are a work in progress — yet to keep a clean sheet in seven games and without a win in their opening four home games in all competitions.A frenetic start could have brought a Chelsea opener when Tammy Abraham stretched in a vain attempt to turn in Mason Mount’s teasing low cross.GIFTED PRODIGYThose two Chelsea youngsters have caught the eye at the start of Lampard’s reign.But it was Liverpool who took the lead in the 14th minute thanks their own gifted prodigy.Fabinho’s pass broke to Sadio Mane and the Liverpool winger was bundled over on the edge of the penalty area by Andreas Christensen’s clumsy challenge.Mohamed Salah back-heeled the free-kick into the path of Alexander-Arnold and the 20-year-old right-back smashed a sublime shot past Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner for his first goal since November 2018.Abraham has already scored seven Premier League goals, but the striker fluffed his lines when he beat the Liverpool offside trap to meet Christensen’s long pass.Clean through on goal, Abraham should have equalised but could only shoot straight at Liverpool keeper Adrian, who saved with his legs.Chelsea thought they had equalised in the 27th minute when Cesar Azpilicueta prodded home from close range after Willian’s cross deflected to the defender off Fabinho.But, in a huge momentum swing, the goal was disallowed after a VAR review showed Mount was offside in the build-up.Lampard wore a rueful smile on the touchline and, moments later, the Chelsea manager’s expression was misery personified as Liverpool doubled their lead in the 30th minute.Andrew Robertson curled over a free-kick from the left edge of the Chelsea area and Firmino, gifted far too much space by Christensen and Marcos Alonso, rose highest to head his third goal of the season.Kepa made a good save to stop Firmino putting Liverpool further ahead from Alexander-Arnold’s cross early in the second half.But Chelsea’s effort couldn’t be faulted and, having harried Liverpool onto the back foot, they reduced the deficit in the 71st minute.Kante turned away from Fabinho with a graceful glide and, with Liverpool sitting deep, the France midfielder curled a superb strike into the top corner.Michy Batshuayi was inches away from equalising in the final minutes, but Liverpool held on. chelseafootballliverpoolPremier League First Published: September 22, 2019, 11:33 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.last_img read more

Breakdown Hospitalizes Blatter

first_imgLAUSANNE, Switzerland — Sepp Blatter remains in a Swiss hospital after what his spokesman called a “small breakdown” related to stress.The 79-year-old suspended FIFA President expects to leave the hospital Nov. 16, Zurich-based spokesman Klaus Stoehlker told The Associated Press.“(Blatter) will be back officially in business on Tuesday next week,” Stoehlker said in a telephone interview. “The checkup is finished and he is recovering.”On Nov. 6, Blatter’s American lawyer told the AP that he was at a hospital. On Nov. 11, long-time Blatter aide Walter Gagg told the AP “he was always at the hospital.”Blatter is appealing against his 90-day provisional ban by the FIFA ethics committee over suspected financial misconduct.He still hopes to host the Ballon d’Or award ceremony in Zurich on Jan. 11, after the suspension expires, Gagg said on the sidelines of a meeting of Olympic sports.Blatter’s main goal is to host the FIFA election congress on Feb. 26, Gagg said.On that day in Zurich, FIFA will elect a successor to Blatter, ending his more than 40 years working for soccer’s governing body.Even if Blatter gets his interim ban lifted, by the FIFA appeal committee or Court of Arbitration for Sport, he then faces a full hearing before the ethics committee.Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini were banned in the wake of a Swiss criminal case investigating financial misconduct at FIFA. The criminal case centers on whether Blatter misused FIFA money by making a $2 million payment to Platini for backdated salary in 2011.(GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Pruitt, Rays Bullpen Combine to top Keuchel, Astros 3-0

first_imgHOUSTON (AP) — Rookie Austin Pruitt knew he had a couple hundred friends and family at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday night to watch him pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays in the city where he grew up.But the right-hander refused to even look for them before his work was done.Then after he completed the bulk of what would be a combined five-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Houston Astros, the stoic Pruitt cracked a smiled and fixed his eyes on where his personal cheering section was assembled.“Whenever I got pulled I tried to look at everybody and kind of show everybody a little bit of love,” he said.It was the first loss of the season for Houston ace Dallas Keuchel, who was still trying to regain his form in his second start after missing almost two months with a pinched nerve in his neck.“He wasn’t locating his pitches. He wasn’t sharp,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “From start to start, you look back at how much time he missed and then the rehab starts and this being his second start, this was a step in the right direction, but his command wasn’t sharp.”Logan Morrison hit a two-run homer. He also connected Tuesday night, snapping his season-long 12-game homerless streak.The AL West-leading Astros, whose powerful offense has taken a hit with All-Stars Carlos Correa and George Springer on the disabled list, went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and were shut out for the second time in a week.Pruitt (6-2), who grew up in suburban Houston and attended the University of Houston, allowed five hits in a career-high 6 1/3 innings.“Austin Pruitt was awesome … I knew he was excited to pitch here and all the talk about it, but to go out and perform like that had to be pretty special for him,” manager Kevin Cash said.Steve Cishek walked one in 1 1/3 innings and Dan Jennings got the last out of the eighth before Alex Colome walked one in the ninth in getting his 32nd save.Keuchel (9-1) gave up Trevor Plouffe’s one-out single in the first and Morrison launched his 28th home run with two outs.Keuchel allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings.The lefty ace was better than he was in his previous start, when he lasted just three innings and gave up three runs at Detroit. But he was far from the dominant pitcher he was before his second trip to the disabled list, when he was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 11 starts.Keuchel had a lot of traffic on the bases early. Consecutive singles by Mallex Smith and Corey Dickerson loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning.TRAINER’S ROOMRays: OF Steven Souza Jr. was a late scratch from the lineup for the second straight game because of a bruised left foot. Souza was injured on Monday night when he fouled a ball off his foot. Cash said he was undergoing more tests to determine if the injury was worse than they initially thought.Astros: Springer (left quadriceps strain) ran sprints and took batting practice before Wednesday’s game, but the team doesn’t have a timetable for his return. Springer hasn’t played since July 24 because of the injury.JOINING INAfter warming up in the outfield before the game, Smith joined a local Baptist church children’s choir on the field to help perform the national anthem. The kids looked surprised when they noticed Smith was standing right behind them crooning along as they sang with a huge smile on his face.Smith said it was an impromptu decision to join the group.“I’d been playing catch and I needed to stand next to somebody so I wouldn’t be lonely,” he said. “So I thought let me just join this national anthem and represent with the kids out there today.”Smith wouldn’t call himself a singer, but that didn’t stop him from having a little fun.“I don’t know if I’d get a recording contract, but I like to sing still,” he said.THEY SAID ITKeuchel on his progress since returning from the disabled list: “I feel better, so that’s all that really matters. Command wise is a little iffy, so that needs to get a lot better.”UP NEXTRays: Blake Snell (0-6, 4.87 ERA) will start for Tampa Bay in the series finale on Thursday night. Snell looks to snap a 14-start winless streak and get his first win since Sept. 22. He allowed six hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 5-4 loss to the Yankees in his last start.Astros: Collin McHugh (0-0, 4.22) is scheduled to make his third start of the season for Houston on Thursday. McHugh allowed four hits and one run in six innings of a 5-3 loss to the Tigers in his last start.By KRISTIE RIEKENTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more