Ripley County, Ind.— The Indiana Department of Transportation has awarded a $808,000 contract for drainage improvements on U.S. 50 and U.S. 421 Ripley County, work is expected to begin this fall.Aurora-based Paul H. Rohe Company will replace a three-sided concrete box culvert under U.S. 50 under Caesar Creek east of County Road 525 South. Motorists can expect single lane traffic controlled by a traffic signal at either end of the construction area. That section of U.S. 50 reportedly handles about 6,200 per day.Next spring, the same contractor will replace a concrete culvert on U.S. 421 about 14 miles north of State Road 250. The project will be done one lane at a time as well. Officials estimate 3,700 vehicles per day use that section of the highway.
Norman Whiteside, Pat Jennings and Sammy McIlroy were some of the last Northern Irishmen to feature in a finals competition at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, but O’Neill’s current crop could end that long hiatus as early as Monday. Victories over the Faroe Islands and Hungary, coupled with the latter dropping points against Group F leaders Romania on Friday, would assure Northern Ireland of a place in France next summer. Northern Ireland are on the cusp of qualifying for a major tournament for the first time in 30 years, and boss Michael O’Neill believes the country “needs” to be in France for Euro 2016 next summer. And O’Neill has issued a rallying cry to his squad ahead of the crunch double header in their qualifying campaign, urging them to deliver an historic moment for their nation. “If we were to manage to maintain our form and secure qualification, I think it would be the first time in history that a pot-five team has qualified,” O’Neill said. “That gives you an indication of where this team has come to. “The motivation is there because Northern Ireland needs it. Simple as that. Nothing else. “We need it as a country and as a group of players, as a group of supporters. We’re not hiding behind that, and we want to deliver it. We need this and I think the players recognise they have the capability to deliver it.” O’Neill can speak from personal experience, too, having played during the 30-year wilderness before taking the helm in 2011. He and a raft of other Northern Irishmen never came close to experiencing a summer tournament against Europe or the world’s elite, and O’Neill thinks his current squad recognise they can make an indelible mark on their own careers. “Obviously the prize is huge and you do think both about the significance of qualification and, if it didn’t go our way, the significance of that also,” he said. “But within this group of players there’s a hard core of players who recognise that there’s a real opportunity for them to have their international careers significantly remembered. “There are lot of players who have played down the years for Northern Ireland and not had the chance to go to a major finals, a lot of really good players. “This is a group of players who have given themselves this opportunity with what they’ve done to date, so I don’t worry that mentally they’ll not be able to handle the situation or the games that lie ahead. They recognise the prize that lies ahead for them and I’ve every confidence. “The likes of Steven (Davis), Aaron Hughes, Chris Baird, just to name three players alone, have served Northern Ireland now for the best part of 10, 15 years. It would be their reward to get to the finals. It’s that type of player and other senior players around them that have put themselves in this position.” Press Association
“He’s a great manager, a great personality and he’s a big loss to the league. You want foreign players to be coming into this country and you want the best foreign managers to be coming into this country. It makes it the best league in the world. “When I have met him and spoken to him he has got a great sense of humour. He is a different person than the person you know when the cameras are rolling. “There’s a lot of people who talk a good game and get away with underachieving but he has always achieved and over achieved. He is one of the great managers. “The quality he has and the record he has, it won’t be too long before he is in work again. If he wants to be in work quickly.” West Ham boss Bilic admitted he expected Chelsea to give Mourinho more time to arrest the club’s poor form. Mourinho accused several of his players of betraying him after Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Leicester, but Bilic insisted he has never seen top-level players purposely underachieving. “Betrayal? I don’t know,” said Bilic. “It is a difficult word. Those players were the same players that were doing the job for him and for the club and for themselves, that was one of the biggest qualities of Chelsea. Not only the skill of the players but the way there were doing that. “I don’t believe that any player would deliberately have bad training let alone a bad game, they are all professional, top class players, so I don’t believe in that story. Especially not with him, when it is really well known that he is great with man-management.” Tottenham boss Pochettino claimed the Premier League will be all the poorer without Mourinho. “I was very surprised and sad – it is a big loss for the Premier League. I have a very good relationship with him and it is a difficult moment for him,” said Pochettino. “It is difficult for me to give my opinion about a different club, I can only say I am very sad and shocked because it was a big shock for me and I think for all.” “I was surprised and disappointed,” said Howe. “I always says when anyone loses their job it is a sad occasion, and especially for the Premier League because he has to be regarded as one of the greatest managers of his generation. “I think it is a loss to the league that he is no longer part of it at this present moment.” Mourinho guided Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, but nine defeats in 16 matches this term forced the 52-year-old out of the club. West Brom’s Tony Pulis, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino all echoed Howe’s state of shock at Mourinho’s exit. Pulis claimed Mourinho will not be out of work for long, with many managers looking on nervously now the decorated Portuguese is available. “I was surprised and disappointed in some ways,” said Pulis. “He is and has been one of the top managers in the world without question. Press Association Bournemouth boss Howe encapsulated the collective shock among Mourinho’s peers, with rival managers all admitting sadness at the colourful Portuguese’s exit from English football. Bournemouth’s 1-0 win at Chelsea on December 5 proved the penultimate clash of Mourinho’s second Stamford Bridge spell, but Howe insisted managers cannot dwell on victories that do damage to rivals. Eddie Howe was “surprised and disappointed” at Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea exit despite inflicting one of the defeats which triggered his Stamford Bridge demise.