TWIN FALLS — Kendra Reeves’ introduction into boxing was a simple one — she just wanted to lose weight.
But after only a year of boxing, she’s ranked ninth in the country in her weight class and on her way to the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
It’s the first time ever that Golden Gloves has sanctioned a national women’s competition.
Reeves took first place in the Rocky Mountain Golden Gloves Regional Tournament on April 7.
She carries herself with a bubbly enthusiasm and is visibly excited when she talks about boxing. Training has become a way of life for her: She often works out three times a day.
“She wakes herself up at one in the morning to get a work out in,” her fiancé, Jason Samargis said.
Samargis, who also coaches Reeves, suggested she take up boxing as a way to get in better shape. He’s has been boxing since he was 8 years old and said he mainly sticks to the basics for training, but he adapts for each fighter he coaches and works with their strengths.
The partnership between an athlete and a coach is one of motivating each other, Samargis said. The real key to success is that the athlete has to want to succeed, he said.
“I was insecure,” Reeves said. “I wasn’t sure where I was going in life. But boxing has changed my life.”
The couple enjoys boxing so much that in September they opened up the Family Boxing and Fitness gym in Twin Falls.
The Golden Gloves are a series of amateur boxing tournaments that started in 1928. To fight at the national tournament, a boxer must win at regionals, and to go there, they have to win State Golden Gloves.
The National Golden Gloves is in Omaha, Neb., from May 14 to May 19. Steven Pelster, the Franchise Delegate of the Midwest Golden Gloves, said he put in a bid two years ago to host the National tournament.
“If you win national, it means that you are top four in the country,” he said.
Deseree Jamison, ranked third in the nation, said that her April 6 fight with Reeves in Utah was a war. Jamison said Reeves was bleeding a lot, so much that Jamison could taste the blood.
Jamison felt she won the fight that night, but politics gave Reeves the win.
“I wish her the best of luck, and I’m sure that I will see her again,” Jamison said. “And this time when I see blood and taste it, I’m going for the kill.”
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his use of the phrase "Mission Accomplished" to describe a U.S.-led missile attack on Syria's chemical weapons program, even as his aides stressed continuing U.S. troop involvement and plans for new economic sanctions against Russia for enabling the government of Bashar Assad.
Stepping up the pressure on Syria's president, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley indicated the sanctions, to be announced today, would be aimed at sending a message to Russia, which she said has blocked six attempts by the U.N. Security Council to make it easier to investigate the use of chemical weapons.
"Everyone is going to feel it at this point," Haley said, warning of consequences for Assad's foreign allies.
"The international community will not allow chemical weapons to come back into our everyday life," she said. "The fact he was making this more normal and that Russia was covering this up, all that has got to stop."
Trump tweeted Sunday that the strike was "perfectly carried out" and that "the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term 'Mission Accomplished.'" He added that he knew the media would "seize" on the phrase, but said it should be used often. "It is such a great Military term, it should be brought back," he wrote.
Trump tweeted "Mission Accomplished" on Saturday after U.S., French and British warplanes and ships launched more than 100 missiles nearly unopposed by Syrian air defenses. While he declared success, the Pentagon said the pummeling of three chemical-related facilities left enough others intact to enable the Assad government to use banned weapons against civilians if it chooses.
His choice of words recalled a similar claim associated with President George W. Bush following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Bush addressed sailors aboard a Navy ship in May 2003 alongside a "Mission Accomplished" banner, just weeks before it became apparent that Iraqis had organized an insurgency that would tie down U.S. forces for years.
Later Sunday, Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders informing them in writing of his decision to order the strike. Under the War Powers Resolution, the president must keep Congress informed of such actions.
Haley made clear the United States won't be pulling troops out of Syria right away, saying U.S. involvement there "is not done."
Haley said the three U.S. goals for accomplishing its mission are making sure chemical weapons are not used in a way that could harm U.S. national interests, defeating the Islamic State group and having a good vantage point to watch what Iran is doing.
"We're not going to leave until we know we've accomplished those things," she said.
Haley said the joint military strike "put a heavy blow into their chemical weapons program, setting them back years" and reiterated that if Assad uses poison gas again, "the United States is locked and loaded."
French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that France wants to launch a diplomatic initiative over Syria that would include Western powers, Russia and Turkey. Speaking on French television BFM and online site Mediapart, Macron stressed that the French diplomacy is able to talk with Iran, Russia and Turkey on one side and to the United States on the other side.
He said, "Ten days ago, President Trump wanted to withdraw from Syria. We convinced him to remain."
Asked about Macron's comments, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders stressed that Trump's plans for the region have not changed. In a statement, she said: "The U.S. mission has not changed — the President has been clear that he wants U.S. forces to come home as quickly as possible."
The nighttime assault on Syria was carefully limited to minimize civilian casualties and avoid direct conflict with Russia, but confusion arose over the extent to which Washington warned Moscow in advance. The Pentagon said it gave no explicit warning. The U.S. ambassador in Moscow, John Huntsman, said in a video, "Before we took action, the United States communicated with" Russia to "reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties."
Russia has military forces, including air defenses, in several areas of Syria to support Assad in his long war against anti-government rebels.
Russia and Iran called the use of force by the United States and its French and British allies a "military crime" and "act of aggression." The U.N. Security Council rejected a Russian resolution calling for condemnation of the "aggression" by the three Western allies.
Assad denies he has used chemical weapons, and the Trump administration has yet to present hard evidence of what it says precipitated the allied missiles attack: a chlorine gas attack on civilians April 7 in Douma. The U.S. says it suspects that sarin gas also was used.
"Good souls will not be humiliated," Assad tweeted while hundreds of Syrians gathered in Damascus, the capital, where they flashed victory signs and waved flags in scenes of defiance after the early morning barrage.
The strikes "successfully hit every target," said Dana W. White, the chief Pentagon spokeswoman. The military said there were three targets: the Barzah chemical weapons research and development site in the Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility near Homs and a chemical weapons "bunker" a few miles from the second target.
Meanwhile, The leaders of Russia, Iran and the Hezbollah group in Lebanon said Sunday that Western airstrikes on their ally, Syria, have complicated prospects for a political settlement to the country's seven-year conflict.
A day after the U.S., Britain and France bombarded sites they said were linked to a chemical weapons program, Assad appeared briefly on state TV, seemingly unfazed by the military action — and even reportedly in high spirits.
Assad told a group of visiting Russian lawmakers that the strikes were accompanied by a campaign of "lies and misinformation" against Syria and Russia in the U.N. Security Council.
Moscow and Damascus are waging the same "battles" against terrorism and "to protect international law based on respect of the sovereignty of countries and the wills of people," Assad said in comments carried by state media, an apparent jab at the three Western allies.
TWIN FALLS — The City Council will be asked Monday to eliminate the parking pass requirement for all-day parking downtown, and to create more short-term customer parking.
The city owns seven parking lots downtown. After it got rid of downtown parking meters and leased parking in 2012, many of the stalls in these lots have been reserved for all-day parking with a parking pass. The rest have been available for business customers and other downtown visitors for up to three hours of free parking.
But last year, because of the Main Avenue reconstruction, the pass program was temporarily suspended, allowing people to park anywhere in these lots.
Having discussed parking needs with downtown businesses, Urban Renewal Agency Executive Director Nathan Murray is coming before City Council to ask the city to get rid of the program. He’d like the city to re-stripe the lots and allow for some free daylong parking as well as short-term parking.
“I think the most we’ve ever collected was about $9,000,” Murray said about the parking pass program.
According to city records, about 51 people had parking passes for the downtown lots. But there are far more stalls that require parking passes than there are people who bought them. A parking pass cost $2 per day, $8 for a week, $20 for a month and $220 for a year.
The passes were mostly intended for business employees, Murray said.
Some of these all-day parking pass spots were also taking up prime customer parking close to downtown businesses, he said.
While the parking pass program has been suspended, the city has continued to enforce the three-hour parking rule for parking downtown. City staff patrol the area to keep tabs on vehicles, and issue a warning the first time someone has been caught parking for longer than three hours without a pass.
“If they have (previously) received a warning, they will receive a parking ticket,” Code Enforcement Coordinator Sean Standley said. “We try education before enforcement.”
In 2017, 158 people received a warning and 77 tickets were issued. A ticket costs $35, Standley said, but if it isn’t paid within three business days that increases to $50. After 30 days, the ticket goes to a collection agency and increases to $75.
If Murray’s request is approved, the city may reduce the number of long-term parking spots in order to promote more customer parking and turnover. The free all-day parking would probably be farther away from businesses, and there would be more handicapped spaces near businesses.
Each lot would get new signs and be repainted with green stripes to indicate three-hour parking and white stripes to indicate all-day parking.
“We want to clean up the parking lots,” Standley said. “We want to get rid of the bumper blocks.”
The cleaner layout will help the city have better access for snow removal and cleanup of the lots.
Currently, some lots have up to 50 percent pass-only parking, and only a couple of handicapped-accessible spaces. Along Main Avenue, parking is limited to two hours.
Parking needs have changed particularly between Shoshone and Gooding streets, where newer restaurants and businesses attract a steady stream of customers. It’s possible the city could decide to eliminate all-day parking in the lot behind the Orpheum Theatre.
The URA in 2016 purchased some land along Second Avenue North between Gooding and Fairfield streets and turned it into a free all-day parking lot.
The City Council meets at 5 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers inside City Hall, 203 Main Ave. E.
During the meeting, a public hearing is also scheduled to take place no earlier than 6 p.m. regarding a code change for animal permits.
The “chicken ordinance” would ban all rooster chickens within the city limits, and allow residents to own up to four hen chickens without an approved animal permit. The proposed changes are coming before City Council after one resident complained about the tedious nature of the permit process and argued that four hens are less disruptive than four dogs — yet they are more heavily regulated.
City code currently prohibits “pigs and hogs,” but not roosters.
Also at the meeting, the Council will consider:
HOUSTON — Former first lady Barbara Bush is in “failing health” and won’t seek additional medical treatment, a Bush family spokesman said Sunday.
“Following a recent series of hospitalizations, and after consulting her family and doctors, Mrs. Bush, now age 92, has decided not to seek additional medical treatment and will instead focus on comfort care,” spokesman Jim McGrath said in a news release.
McGrath did not elaborate as to the nature of Bush’s health problems. She has been treated for decades for Graves’ disease, which is a thyroid condition, had heart surgery in 2009 for a severe narrowing of her main heart valve and was hospitalized a year before that for surgery on a perforated ulcer.
“It will not surprise those who know her that Barbara Bush has been a rock in the face of her failing health, worrying not for herself — thanks to her abiding faith — but for others,” McGrath said. “She is surrounded by a family she adores, and appreciates the many kind messages and especially the prayers she is receiving.”
Bush, who is at home in Houston, is one of only two first ladies who also was the mother of a president. The other was Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the nation’s second president, and mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth president.
Bush married George H.W. Bush on Jan. 6, 1945. They had six children and have been married longer than any presidential couple in American history.
Eight years after she and her husband left the White House, Mrs. Bush stood with her husband as their son George W. was sworn in as the 43rd president.
President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement Sunday evening that “the President’s and first lady’s prayers are with all of the Bush family during this time.”
Bush is known for her white hair and her triple-strand fake pearl necklace.
Her brown hair began to gray in the 1950s, while her 3-year-old daughter Pauline, known to her family as Robin, underwent treatment for leukemia and eventually died in October 1953. She later said dyed hair didn’t look good on her and credited the color to the public’s perception of her as “everybody’s grandmother.”
Her pearls sparked a national fashion trend when she wore them to her husband’s inauguration in 1989. The pearls became synonymous with Bush, who later said she selected them to hide the wrinkles in her neck. The candid admission only bolstered her common sense and down-to-earth public image.
Her 93-year-old husband, the nation’s 41st president who served from 1989 to 1993, also has had health issues in recent years. In April 2017, he was hospitalized in Houston for two weeks for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. He was hospitalized months earlier, also for pneumonia. He has a form of Parkinson’s disease and uses a motorized scooter or a wheelchair for mobility.
Before being president, he served as a congressman, CIA director and Ronald Reagan’s vice president.
Barbara Pierce Bush was born June 8, 1925, in Rye, New York. Her father was the publisher of McCall’s and Redbook magazines. She and George H.W. Bush married when she was 19 and while he was a young naval aviator. After World War II, the Bushes moved to Texas where he went into the oil business.
Along with her memoirs, she’s the author of “C. Fred’s Story” and “Millie’s Book,” based on the lives of her dogs. Proceeds from the books benefited adult and family literacy programs. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began during her White House years with the goal of improving the lives of disadvantaged Americans by boosting literacy among parents and their children. The foundation partners with local programs and has awarded more than $40 million to create or expand more than 1,500 literacy programs nationwide.