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Hundreds of quilts, thousands of bolts of fabric, three stores, and seven children. If that’s not a Lancaster County business, what is? Lloyd Esh directs the operations of the family’s three shops Dutchland Quilt Patch in Ronks and its sister store at the Stagecoach Shops in Intercourse, and the more recently acquired Weaver’s Dry Goods just north of Lititz. But back in the 1970’s, running one of the county’s major quilting enterprises was the last thing Lloyd could have imagined he’d be doing.

When they got married, Lloyd’s wife, Mary Ellen, had been doing some quilting and putting the quilts on consignment at other shops. She had learned to quilt from her mother (who is still involved in the business). The question logically arose, “Why don’t we open a shop of our own?” But before that question could be answered, they both went on a mission trip to Haiti in 1979, and stayed there for about two and a half years. Just before their departure, they heard that some buildings beside Dutch Haven on Route 30 had become available.

Upon returning to the States, Lloyd went to look at the property. Even though it was run down, he felt it was a good location for a shop. Since he had some construction background, he decided it was best to tear everything down and built a new store himself. Thus, in 1993, their small shop of quilts and quilt related items opened in the Village of Dutch Delights in Ronks, just about a mile east of Rockvale Outlets and Route 896. Crafts and baskets were part of the mix from the beginning, and this expanded into an extensive collection of country decor and home interior decorating items to supplement the quilts.

Lloyd had originally considered making his living in construction, and was also pursuing a real estate license. However, it became evident that running the quilting business was becoming a full time job, rather than just a side business. That became even more apparent when they bought a second shop in 1995 on Main Street in Intercourse, part of the Stagecoach Shops complex on Route 340.

Because of all the quilts being made, they had lots of fabric around, and customers often wanted specific fabric to make something else to complement the quilt they had bought. And so, in 1997, the fabric section was opened on the second floor of the original store. As the fabric business grew, aided to no small degree by sales over their website, they decided to purchase Weaver’s Dry Goods in Lititz in 2002. And that’s how this business grew into a triple treat for quilt seekers and quilt makers.

Today, the whole family is involved in the operations. Lloyd’s wife goes to craft shows to pick items for sale, pursue new product, and see what colors and trends are coming along. The day I stopped by the Route 30 location, one of the seven children, Tyler, was behind the counter. Lloyd’s daughter, Annie, does some of the decorating. And Lloyd’s mother in law is still involved in the business, along with about 14 other employees at the three locations.

Lloyd points out that all of the quilts sold are made by Amish and Mennonite quilters. There may be as many as 80 women working on quilts for the shop. The basic stages of making a quilt are piecing, marking, quilting, and binding. Various women may be involved in the different stages, but Lloyd said it is important that one person do the actual quilting, or perhaps a mother and daughter, so that there is consistency. This allows these women to keep their tradition of working at home, while helping to support their families. Picking the right colors to match and blend is perhaps the most difficult task. The Esh family may suggest colors based on what they’ve seen at shows, but mostly women will piece a top and bring it in. It would then be sent out to be quilted.

Of course, the value of an American made quilt, as opposed to an import, will increase over time, if properly cared for. Prices range from $400 to $1,
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600, depending on size, amount of work, uniqueness, etc. In most cases, the quilting price is based largely on how many yards of thread are used. The person doing the piecing tries to judge the cost of her work based on the time involved. The binding is yet another expense. Lloyd noted they do have some one of a kind specialty quilts, which are therefore of more value.

If you want a cheap machine made quilt, you can go to one of the “box stores.” But to find a quilt that you will cherish and hand down as a family heirloom requires an investment of time and money. Some visitors enjoy buying a small wall hanging or baby quilt, rather than a full sized one. Lloyd said they are happy to personalize a baby quilt by embroidering the child’s name and birth date on an existing quilt in the shop.

As fashions change, so do the colors and patterns that are in demand. At craft shows, items they see in January will be in the stores by the fall. Since Lancaster is somewhat conservative, it may still take another year or so for the trend to catch on. Most visitors know that stars are currently popular, be they the metal stars hung on buildings, or the “star spin” or spinning star pattern in quilts. This pattern seems to bridge the gap between country and contemporary fashions.

They are also happy to do custom quilts. I asked Lloyd for an example, and he said “T shirt quilts” are popular now. About five years ago, a lady came into the shop with a box of T shirts. Her husband had passed away, and she wanted each child to have a lap quilt made of pieces of the shirts. Another lady brought in lots of shirts with the logos of various sports teams and asked them to create a full sized quilt in a crazy quilt pattern. In this way, items that belonged to a family member and have significance can be turned into an heirloom, rather than be discarded or given away. So, as people come in with items they want to preserve, they talk over what they want to dominate the quilt, what pattern, etc. and thus create something of special, personal value for generations to come.

Many quilters who visit Lancaster County are sure to make a stop at the Route 30 and Lititz stores. At the Dutchland Quilt Patch on Route 30 is just a couple miles east of Route 896 and Rockvale Outlets. The fabric section upstairs has over 7,000 bolts of fabric. There is also a discount fabric area, as well as a large pattern selection. For more information, call Dutchland Quilt Patch (717) 687 0534.

At Weaver’s Dry Goods north of Lititz on West Brubaker Valley Road off Route 501, they have a shed bursting with thousands of bolts of discounted fabric, from $1.00 to $3.50 a yard on up. Fabrics by Moda are as low as $4.99 a yard, and Hoffman batiks go for as little as $5.25 a yard. Other fabrics include South Seas, Benartex, P RJR, Concord, and many more.

Weaver’s also has a tremendous selection of notions, “just about everything there is,” as well as what may be the largest selection of quilting and craft patterns of any store in the area. In addition, Weaver’s is in a lovely country setting with a very helpful staff to help you find what you are looking for. Lloyd summarized Weaver’s Fry Goods best when he said, “Quilters go crazy up there.” Indeed, during the days of the famous Quilters Heritage Celebration, Weaver’s will be busy with cars and buses filled with fabric seekers, and there are extended hours during the event days. For more information, call Weaver’s Dry Goods (717) 627 1724.

(NOTE: The Stagecoach Shop location in Intercourse is devoted to just quilts and crafts. Fabrics are available at the other two locations.)

But there is still more to this quilting operation. At that time, the website was brought in house. This keeps the fabrics available current, and permits quick updating for out of stock or discontinued items. While the website was originally started to sell fabric, hundreds of other products are now available. Log on and you’ll be amazed at the variety, from fabrics and quilt patterns, dolls and handbags, kitchen decor and baskets, to quilts and braided rugs. Customers are buying from literally all over the world, including Europe and Africa.

Whether you are in Lancaster looking for a quilt and fabrics, or far away surfing the internet for patterns and designs, the Lloyd Esh family welcomes you to explore a passion they grew up with and now share with the world the Dutchland Quilt Patch.
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Anton de Man is a man on a mission and nothing seems to deter him not even the elements.

“We have had a mixed bag of weather recently, but that hasn stopped the progress being made with the memorial,” said de Man, who is spearheading a project to honor Allied and Dutch military personnel buried in a cemetery in Strijen, The Netherlands, and other cemeteries in Holland. “We are determined to stay on schedule.”

Dedication of the memorial on June 6 will perpetuate the gratitude de Man and his countrymen have for the 87 Allied and Dutch military personnel who lost their lives in Holland while serving in Europe in World War II.

Among those to be honored is Flight Lt. Peter William Bickford, a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Bickford, who grew up at 431 Second St. in Monongahela, graduated from Monongahela High School in 1939 and worked as sports editor of The Daily Republican newspaper until he entered the service in April 1942. He was only 24 when his Lancaster Bomber LM93 crashed near Strijen on the night of Sept. 16, 1944, after a bombing mission over positions held by Nazi troops at Moerdijk in southern Holland, killing him and six other crew members. They are buried at the cemetery in Strijen.

Despite temperatures in the 30s, workmen recently poured concrete into the wood frame for the foundation of the memorial.

“We have to wait a few weeks to allow the concrete to settle before we can construct the base of the memorial,” de Man said. “It should be much warmer by then, although the workers of the Saboo construction company have been very diligent, no matter what the conditions might be.”

In line with the concrete work, de Man and longtime friend Jacob van der Hoek created and erected a sign to alert residents of the Oud Beijerland area about the dedication.

The sign reads: “On this place will come the war monument Hoekshe Waard. Date of unveiling June 6, 2015.”

“Jacob has been very helpful with our efforts to build this monument, especially with fundraising,” de Man said.

He also lauded Martens en van Oordt, the company constructing the memorial, and Barry Gorissen of that firm for donating his services.

“So many people are pitching in to make this dream become a reality,” de Man said. “There really aren enough words to express our gratitude.”

The June 6 ceremonies will have a distinct Mon Valley flavor with an American flag donated by Monongahela City Council being prominently displayed.

“It is most fitting that the American flag come from Monongahela, Peter W. Bickford hometown at the time of his tragic death,” de Man said.

Bickford was born in Bristol, England, in 1920 but moved to the United States as a child when his father obtained employment here.

“This is the time every year that we in Holland remember all people who gave their lives in World War II,” he said.

In providing the commemorative flag representing the United States, Monongahela will be part of an international touch at the Strijen and Oud Beijerland ceremonies, de Man said. He made a similar request of the family of Flight Officer Wilfred George Scanlan of Canada and they are sending a Canadian flag that has flown over the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Scanlan, a native of Westport, Ontario, was a bombardier on the ill fated LM693. He was only 22.

The same is being done by the family of Pilot Officer Peter Lawrence Dooley of England, who also was killed in the 1944 Lancaster crash. He was only 19. His descendants have donated an English flag. Army

His sister, Barbara Laura Bickford Myers, who lives in Bristol, also grew up in Monongahela. She graduated from Monongahela High School in 1947 and returned to England shortly thereafter with her parents, William Colston Spence Bickford and Elsie Chapman Bickford. Her father worked as a freight engineer with the Pittsburgh and West Virginia Railway Co.

Peter and Barbara Bickford brother, the late Barrie Spence Bickford, also attended Monongahela schools and would have graduated from high school in 1944. However, he left school to join his brother in the RCAF. Barrie wife Pat and their sons live in Bristol.

Other members of the ill fated crew who were killed in the Sept. 16, 1944, crash were Pilot Officer Peter Lawrence Dooley, 19; Flight Officer Arnold Ney Johnson, 22; Flight Sgt. Uriah Bernard Butters, 21, Pilot Officer Donald George Flood, 20, and Pilot Officer Douglas Dawson, 19.

Bickford nephews, Tony Myers, Barbara Myers son; Peter James Bickford, Paul Bickford, Mark Bickford and John Bickford, the sons of Barrie Bickford; their families and the Bickford brothers mother Pat will attend the June 6 ceremonies, as will descendants of Dooley and Scanlan. Also set to participate is Dr. Jack France, a dentist in Tampa, Florida. France is the son of the late Floyd M. France, longtime editor of The Daily Republican, who was Bickford boss at the newspaper.

“We are looking forward to meeting the families and friend of those men who gave their lives in freeing our country from the grip of the enemy during World War II,” de Man said. “We want to reaffirm how important it is that we continue to commemorate their valor and sacrifices and that they shall never be forgotten.”

Aart Jan Moerkerke, the mayor of Strijen, emphasized that gratitude recently when he made a personal visit to the Myers and Bickford families in Bristol.

“He is a very nice young man and his visit here was quiet meaningful to our families,” said Tony Myers.
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Microsoft is on the way of Project Green realization. Former Microsoft Great Plains, now Microsoft Dynamics GP version 9.0 is marching across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. Historically, however there is the whole cluster of former Great Plains Software customers in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Poland. With the acquisition of Navision Software, Denmark based software development company, Microsoft seems to be more active in promoting Navision in its traditional markets, such as Europe with its complex taxing system, payroll diversification and languages. Great Plains Dexterity (the engine of Microsoft Dynamics GP) is not that flexible in multi language support,
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plus being designed as database and computer graphical platform transferable ” Dexterity foundation in our opinion doesn TMt provide international environment flexibility, this is probably why Microsoft emphasizes Navision on emerging markets: Russia, Brazil, Eastern Europe, etc. It seems that Microsoft will have German, French (mainland France, Quebec will have Canadian French version supported) and Dutch Great Plains version translated later in 2006 and version 9.0 has all the chances to be the final version of Great Plains ” Microsoft Dynamics GP for these countries. We specialize in Great Plains remote support Worldwide with substantial cost optimization and we do serve European clientele with traditional experience in Great Plains, now supporting Navision and Axapta technically challenging projects. In this small article we will talk about the possibilities.

Concerns. Well ” if you have GP as your corporate accounting system with substantial amount of customization and reporting, tuned for French legislation ” your concern has all the rights for existence. It is typical situation when Navision partner has very limited knowledge in Great Plains and GP >NAV conversion might be a nightmare. Project Green should deemphasize application specifics and make all the application databases: GP, NAV, AX, SL, CRM be accessible through similar interface.

Dexterity Customizations. In our opinion, if you are in Europe ” you should analyze and rethink your customization strategy. You should probably move away from Dexterity toward web interfaces and even integrate your custom forms into MS Outlook (similar to Microsoft CRM and Microsoft Small Business Accounting)
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Several agencies returned to the scene on Monday. Police say 49 year old Ralph Riffle, Jr. of Rochester was part of a paving crew pouring concrete for the new Highway 62 in Chandler when a dump truck backed over him.Operations were shut down Monday in the area of Friday fatal accident while members of INDOT, OSHA, Motor Vehicle Enforcement, the coroner office and the Chandler Police Department each did their part to investigate just what happened.It was a difficult day for the E Paving crew working at their work site on Highway 62. One of their co workers isn there anymore.Assistant Chief Eric Morris describes, “It caused a lot of emotional pain here with the workers, and they having to deal with that. Yet, they are having to continue, eventually, once it okay to do so. “Ralph Riffle, Jr. had been employed by E since 1992. Police say Riffle was standing behind a dump truck, carrying concrete to the job site, when the truck accidentally backed over him.”Trying to get on the same page, make sure we do a complete, thorough investigation, it just a horrible incident,
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and it deserves every attention we have,” says Morris.Drug tests have been done, and vehicles, equipment and signage are all being checked as standard procedure to make sure everything was in compliance that day. Morris says it didn help that the accident occurred on a state holiday.He explains, “We had a little problem getting the right people here that we needed because they weren there. It was a holiday. It took a little bit to get them here, but first thing this [Monday] morning, when everything was back to normal, everybody was where they needed to be.”And it didn help that Morris was the only officer working for Chandler. With an already apparent shortage of police officers on the force, all of Chandler emergency calls have been transferred to the Warrick County Sheriff Department while Chandler only officer on duty continues to work the accident investigation.Morris says, “At that point and time Friday, when this happened, Chandler was uncovered because I stuck doing this. I had no choice but to be here.”The coroner office says preliminary results show Riffle died of multiple blunt trauma, but they are awaiting toxicology results before a final determination is made. That expected in about three weeks.The man killed was part of the crew pouring concrete for the new highway being built in Chandler.Police say he was standing behind a dump truck that was backing up, and the driver didn see him. The worker died at the scene.Chandler Assistant Police Chief Eric Morris says, “We had some minor accidents mostly on the highway, but nothing up here. We not had any reports of any incidents with these construction crews or with this construction at all.”As of now Chandler Police are calling this an accident,
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but the investigation is on going. The identity of the worker killed won be available until his family is notified.

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HomenewsHeadlinesDuluth in running for ship commissioningMan allegedly shot, killed girlfriend in St. PaulMinnesota high school teachers are having sex with older students legallyMcCuen Street repairs to shut down cross state traffic on Oliver BridgeSuperior, Maple mull sports co opsportsHeadlinesCounties meet to mull antlerless harvest quotasPrep Playoffs March 11New Johns Lake produces yet another trophy muskieBulldogs sweep their way to St. PaulPREP BOYS HOCKEY: Duluth East stymies favored Edina to reach title gameopinionHeadlinesHope for future needs investmentSmall measures, big savingsA failed budget proposalLet the sunshine in!New signs no improvement

DULUTH, Minn. The sound of shattering glass and loud, continuous bangs are music to Karrie Maloney’s ears.

“Hear that?” she said as a series of smashes emanated from behind closed doors. “I love that sound!”

Loud smashing is a typical sound at Healthy Expressions Rage Room, a new business co owned by Nicholas Truman and Karrie and Scott Maloney. The business at 1324 E. Fourth St. allows people to express their pent up emotions in a healthy and safe environment, and also serves as a party and play destination, with an arena for dodgeball and Nerf wars.

“We wanted to bring something that is not just for kids, but also not just for adults. It’s something that can incorporate anyone, from families to college kids to the working professional,” Karrie Maloney said.

The business opened its doors earlier this month.

A space to rage

The idea to open a “rage room” came to Truman a few years ago. He grew up in the country, where he helped disassemble equipment for recycling.

“So things like old equipment, you had to break up and the fastest way was by breaking it. You’d sit there and break stuff apart,” Truman said. “Then when I moved north to Duluth, you really just don’t get that type of freedom. When you feel the need to break things apart, people would get concerned about noise or just think that you’re crazy.”

By searching online, Truman found similar rage rooms advertised in larger cities. Inspired, he proposed the idea to the Maloneys. Truman is the general manager for the Maloneys’ other business, Trinity Cleaning.

“It was kind of as a joke, but also kind of serious at the same time,” Truman said. “But we thought about it for a couple of years and after a while, it just came together.”

Here’s how the Rage Room works: Individuals and two person groups can purchase packages based on what they’re looking to smash and how much time they want to do it.

Packages start with the “Quick, Healthy Expression” session at $25 for five minutes and 10 mixed, mostly glass items. The packages increase by the number of small, medium and large items and time.

The “Office Space” session is priced at $50 for 30 minutes with 12 small, 10 medium and two large items, including one printer.

On Jan. 3, it was the “Office Space” package on which yoga instructor and customer Hilary Buckwalter Kesti chose to unleash her pent up stress.

“I drove by last week and I saw the sign and I was curious,” she said. “I have a lot of stressful things going on in my life right now that are crisis level. So I Googled it yesterday and I thought, I need to go there and break some stuff.”

Before Buckwalter Kesti was allowed into the Rage Room, she first had to get fully dressed in the standard protective equipment. To prevent glass injuries, all Rage Room customers must wear coveralls, a chest plate, gloves and a paintball mask, and they must wear their own closed toe shoes.
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Darlene M. Cich, 72, passed away Friday Jan. 2, 2015 at Essentia Health, St. Mary’s, in Duluth.

She was born in Duluth on Nov. 1, 1942 to Frances and Clifford Podemski.

She was a 1960 graduate of Denfeld High School. Darlene was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, it’s Ladies Altar and Rosary Society, Funeral Lunch Servers and a member of AARP. She loved her family and friends, especially her Grand Babies Amanda and Isabella (Larson). She retired in 2003 as a Legal Secretary.

She is survived by husband Donald; daughter Dawnmarie (Kent) Larson; brother in law Dennis (Sandi) Cich; sister in law Charlene Podemski; step sister Joan Segel; her best friend for over 50 years, Pat Paszak; special friend Marcia Johnson, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the 7th Floor ICU Team at Essentia Health for the great care given; her doctors, especially Dr. Kathleen Monaghan and staff, Dr. Timothy Rich (Duluth Clinic), Dr. Kimberly Thompson (West Duluth Clinic) and Michelle Anderson at the Duluth Clinic. Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday in Holy Family Catholic Church, 2430 W. 3rd St., Duluth. Burial at Polish Catholic Cemetery. Memorials to Holy Family Catholic Church are preferred. Darlene was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, it’s Ladies Altar and Rosary Society, Funeral Lunch Servers and a member of AARP. She loved her family and friends, especially her Grand Babies Amanda and Isabella (Larson). She retired in 2003 as a Legal Secretary.
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Friday’s match between Oregon and Wisconsin had the makings to be something special. With the Pac 12 going up against the Big 10, the pair of power five conference schools are both coming off a second round appearance in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

The Ducks and Badgers delivered.

A back and forth doubles point, energetic crowd and strong battles in singles contributed one of the more entertaining matches of the young spring season. It was the Ducks, though, that came away with the 5 2 victory to improve to 5 2 in the 2018 campaign.

thought the focus was really good starting in warmups, head coach Nils Schyllander said. carried over into doubles and into singles for the most part. and Wisconsin didn’t waste any time ramping up the intensity, with doubles action not for the faint hearted. The No. 37 pair of Simon Stevens and Ty Gentry took care of Daniel Soyfer and Jesper Freimuth swiftly with a 6 0 win to give the Ducks the early advantage.

Buckle up, though. As it turned out, this doubles party was just getting started. Immediately following the Stevens/Gentry sweep, what happened from then on was pure chaos.

With the Ducks needing at least one win in the two remaining matches, both games were tied at four. Soon after, both matches were tied at five.

And then you guessed it both matches were tied at six.

was exciting. I been doing this for so long, I seen a lot of exciting ones. But [Friday] is definitely up there, Schyllander said.

With both matches entering a tiebreaker simultaneously, Soemarno and Roberts had match point, but the Badgers duo of Oscar O’Hoisin and Josef Dodridge rallied for the 7(7) 6 win over the Ducks No. 1 pair.

While O’Hoisin and Dodridge pulled Wisconsin even, the veteran duo of Laurent and Clissold clawed its way back from match point multiple times to come away with the 7 6(6) win to give Oregon the doubles point.

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said Cormac Clissold. I think that was probably the thing that kept me and Thomas [Laurent] in the match. We were just staying relaxed and just playing our game. the teams or fans could have a chance to catch their breath, singles was underway at the Student Tennis Center.

In its first four home matches, the Ducks outscored their opponents 22 0. The perfect streak, though, came to an end on Friday.

Coming off his win in doubles, O’Hoisin kept it going into singles with a 6 1, 6 3, win over the Ducks’ Riki Oshima to tie the match at one.

Oregon quickly responded. Gentry, playing in the No. 6 spot, gave Oregon the 2 1 advantage with a convincing 6 2, 6 4 win over Freimuth. Clissold put Oregon within one point of the match win after a 6 3, 7 5 over the Badgers’ Chase Colton.

The Ducks didn’t blow the 3 1 lead, capping off the hard fought win with Stevens 7 6, 6 4 victory over Dodridge.

getting into the meat of the season here, some tough matches, Clissold said. important to step up and be more intense. Ducks came together to take down Wisconsin. They’ll be broken up next weekend however, with matches both at the ITA National Indoors in Seattle and in Las Vegas versus San Diego State and UNLV.
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The Oregon Ducks Acrobatics Tumbling team followed up a season opening win on the road at Concordia Wisconsin with a successful home debut, taking a 280.100 to 267.595 win over Hawaii Pacific Friday evening at Matthew Knight Arena.

definitely started out rough in the compulsory event, but we talked about it, leaving that in compulsories, and turning it around going into the next parts of the meet, said head coach Keenyn Won. think the girls had a ton of energy tonight, we really executed the things that we wanted to execute, and we worked on a lot of changes from our last meet on Monday going into this meet. I think the girls absolutely crushed everything they did tonight, so it was really exciting, really high energy from the fans and the team. high energy will be a necessary element in the immediate future as well with the Ducks next facing perennial rival and defending national champion Baylor next, in Waco. Oregon returns to Matthew Knight Arena to host Quinnipiac and Gannon in a three way meet on Sunday, March 11th, beginning at 2:00 pm.
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The Ducks are back in Eugene and back in the win column.

Following back to back losses to Stanford and Cal at the ITA Kick off Weekend, Oregon bounced back with a 4 0 win over Pepperdine.

With clear skies on Sunday, the Ducks were able to play their first match of the season on the outdoor courts. The result outdoors was the same as the first three matches indoors a clean sweep.

Oregon took the doubles point to get out to a 1 0 lead. Playing in the No. 1 position, Armando Soemarno and Charles Roberts defeated Dennis Uspensky and Nicholas Baez by a score of 6 1. Simon Stevens and Ty Gentry secured the doubles point from the No.3 spot with a 6 2 victory over Yusef Khamis and Max Mendelsohn.

Stevens got the best of Khamis again, this time in singles, winning 6 2,
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6 3 to give Oregon a 2 0 lead.

No. 6 Thomas Laurent topped No. 100 Uspensky in straight sets, 6 3,6 4 to put the Ducks up 3 0 and within one point of the victory. Freshman Riki Oshima sealed the deal with a 6 4, 6 3 victory playing in the No. 5 spot.

So far, so good for the Ducks when playing at home. Oregon has outscored its opponents 19 0 in Eugene. They look to continue that streak on Friday, when they welcome Wisconsin.
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Trading in his snowboard for turntables and a computer turned out to be a good decision for the Kelowna raised producer/DJ known as Datsik.

The DJ, whose real name is Troy Beetles, used to enjoy himself riding the powder on his board in the Okanagan hills, thinking at one time that would be the lifestyle he’d pursue. But instead, as one of the leading proponents of the music known as dubstep, he’s been playing to enthusiastic fans at packed festivals and clubs all over the world. and elsewhere and hasn’t looked back since. But the transition wasn’t necessarily that easy for Beetles.

“I’ve always been a bedroom producer, sitting in my boxers writing music,” he said. “And then all of a sudden I had to learn how to DJ in a bigger club setting.

“I had to learn pretty quickly.”

The day he was interviewed for this story, he was in the middle of house hunting in his adopted home of Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Sharra Duggan. She also hails from Kelowna and helps out running Firepower Records, the company Beetles started to release his and others’ various projects.

But although he speaks fondly of his hometown, the move to California some 18 months ago was as much out of necessity as any desire to be in a bigger centre.

“To get in and out of Kelowna airport, I’d have to do a lot of connections because I’d be playing three shows a weekend,” he said. “I’d end up travelling for 12 or 13 hours and play the shows. And then at the end of the weekend, I’d have to travel back as well.

“I just wanted to get away from that. It’s definitely been crazy, but I’m finally getting comfortable here.”

Since breaking on the international dance music scene, Datsik has been keeping up a continent hopping schedule that will bring him to the celebrated Shambhala Festival in the Salmo area Aug. 6 11 for a headlining set.

He’ll also be sharing the bill with a slew of other top DJs, including one he considers a major inspiration, fellow Kelownian Excision (aka Jeff Abel). It will be Beetles fourth time playing Shambhala and the seventh time he’s been to the festival.

Since it emerged in the late ’90s in London, England clubs, dubstep’s heavy sound has found plenty of followers at festivals and in clubs. With it’s mix of influences, from hip hop to electronic dance music, garage sounds and drum and bass, dubstep and it’s proponents, like Excision and Datsik, have made it into a predominant style with it’s own distinct bass heavy sound.

Born in Vancouver, Beetles moved to Kelowna with his family at the age of four and attended Glenmore Elementary, Dr. Knox and and Kelowna Secondary schools. It was during his time at KSS that he also began his first forays into the world of being a DJ and producer.

“I came from more the hip hop side of things,” he said. “I have two older brothers and I used to sneak into their room and steal all their CDs and play by myself.

“I got a copy of (music mixing software) Fruity Loops when I was 13 or 14 years old and started just noodling around on the computer. I never thought it would turn into anything.”

Starting out playing live at private house parties, Beetles went on to study audio engineering at the Centre for Arts and Technology here in Kelowna, with DJ Sticky Buds (aka Tyler Martens) as one of his instructors.

In 2012, Datsik released his debut full length effort, the 12 song Vitamin D. It also featured appearances from luminaries like Downlink, Z Trip, Infected Mushroom, Snak the Ripper, and Korn’s Davis.

“It’s crazy to travel as much as I’ve been,” he said. “I try to take in as much as I can, but the reality is, sometimes I’ll be in Hungary, say, for a day, and then Belgium for just a day. But it’s just the lifestyle.”
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