Chris and Lou Williams loved renovating their Ashgrove property so much, they’ve decided to do another. Photo: Annette DewFriends told 31-year-old Chris Williams and his wife, Lou, 30, they were crazy, but the couple have loved renovating.“Everyone hates it, and we didn’t,” Mr Williams said.“People usually shake their heads and say, ‘Why are you doing it to yourselves?’”The pair spent 15 months and about $1 million creating their future family home at 54 Moulton St, Ashgrove, before deciding it was too hard to stop at just one venture. The home is a comfortable mix of contemporary and colonial.“It was never on the cards during the process that we’d sell it, it was just at the end of it we said, ‘Well that was really fun, we kind of want to do it again!’”Because they intended to settle in the house, Mr Williams said they didn’t skimp on the work which resulted in a stunning five-bedroom, three-bathroom design masterpiece.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor1 hour ago The outdoor entertaining space is inviting … and very hip.When asked about their favourite spaces, Chris said they love the central living areas, but have different spots for downtime.“My place is the media room downstairs where I can relax, have a beer and watch sport while Lou’s space is upstairs. She got a bedroom that she’s set up as a sewing room so she’s particularly drawn to that room.” No expense was spared in creating a beautiful family home.A look through the home reveals a tip of the hat to the original cottage, combined with contemporary finishes such as polished concrete, architectural timber walls and ceilings, a dark-and-light colour palette, video security system and ducted airconditioning. There’s high-end architectural features throughout.Mr Williams said, however, the greatest thing about the home was its livability.“It just flows,” he said.The renovation is sure to be a hit with viewers too when it appears on the new lifestyle show, “Ready, Set, Reno” on September 10, on 9 Life.54 Moulton St, Ashgrove, will be auctioned today at noon by Josh Brown of Ray White New Farm.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair or Facebook on Kieran Clair — journo
If the Badgers didn’t have any superstitious routines 10 games ago, they probably do now.The Wisconsin women’s softball team spent its Easter weekend in University Park, Penn., sweeping a three-game series with conference rival Penn State, stretching its winning streak to 10.Fresh off a series sweep against Bucknell University last Wednesday, Penn State (14-26, 5-10 Big Ten) kept its momentum going Friday afternoon. In the first couple of innings, the Badgers were kept at bay failing to put any numbers of its own up.In the top of the third inning, however, the Nittany Lions lost their hold on UW, turning the Badgers loose. After Katie Christner and Megan Tancill reached base on an error and a fielder’s choice, leadoff hitter Mary Massei homered over the center field fence for her eighth of the year, catapulting UW into the lead. As if a 3-run head start wasn’t enough, three batters later senior Stephanie Peace sent another one out of the park for her sixth homer of the season. That was followed directly by a double by freshman Chloe Miller who eventually found her way home on a single by teammate Ashley Van Zeeland, scoring the fifth run of the inning.The bottom of the fifth saw a small comeback by Penn State when leftfielder Alyssa Sovereign doubled to left center, and eventually went on to put her team on the scoreboard after a fielder’s choice allowed her to reach home.The ground made up by PSU, however, was taken away in the top of the next inning by the Badgers when Miller lead off the inning with another Wisconsin home run, putting UW five runs ahead again.The Nittany Lions put everything they had in the bottom of the final inning, playing a small-ball inning and scrapping together a couple last runs on a string of infield singles, fielder’s choices and walks, but in the end was unable to make up for the Badgers’ third inning as UW came away winners 6-3.Badgers Blank Nittany LionsThe two teams were back at it the next afternoon, but Penn State was unable to get any momentum going against Wisconsin, and was shut out 4-0.In the top of the fourth, UW centerfielder Marissa Mersch doubled to start things off, stole third when teammate Michelle Mueller lined out to the shortstop, and eventually scored on a passed ball, making the score 1-0.The next three runs by Wisconsin were all scored in the top of the sixth, when Mersch doubled again to get things going. Two batters later, Peace singled to left field, picking up her first RBI of the game as Mersch crossed home. Miller stepped into the batter’s box next, and picked up two more RBIs as she ripped another home run off Penn State pitcher Macy Jones for a final score of 4-0.Hailing from Bettendorf, Iowa, the freshman powerhouse has been having a successful first season at UW, currently batting .295 (fifth on the team) with a slugging percentage of .571 (third on team).UW secures the sweepThe second half of the double header started after a short break, and, similar to the last two games, took a few innings for both teams to get into the swing of things.The Badgers were once again the first to score, putting up three runs in the third inning, consisting mainly of errors and fielder’s choices on Penn State’s part.After reaching on a single of her own, Tancill advanced to third when Massei doubled to left field.After Mersch reached on an error, Mueller stepped up to bat with bases loaded, but ended up reaching first on a fielder’s choice when Penn State pitcher Marlaina Laubach threw home to prevent Tancill from scoring. After two errors in a row by PSU, UW plated three unearned runs as Mueller, Mersch and Massei all crossed home plate, jumping the score up to 3-0.But Wisconsin wasn’t finished. An inning later, Van Zeeland kept the hot streak going as she singled up the middle, and advanced to second on a sacrifice by teammate Maria Van Abel. Tancill later reached on an error, and advanced to second on an error, pushing Van Zeeland over to third. With two runners in scoring position, Massei was due up again, and came through for UW as she doubled to left field, sending both Van Zeeland and Tancill home.The bottom of the same inning, the Nittany Lions finally landed on the scoreboard. After Reina Furuya was hit by a pitch to start off the inning, back-to-back singles by Kasie Hatfield and Shelby Miller loaded the bases. After a teammate flew out to the UW shortstop, Karlie Habitz singled for Penn State’s first RBI of the game, and a batter later, Alicia Walker grounded out to the shortstop, allowing enough time for Hatfield to reach home.The remainder of the game brought no runs for either team, totaling out the final score at 5-2 in favor of the Badgers once again. Wisconsin pitcher Cassandra Darrah pitched the first and third games of the series, earning a total of 6 strikeouts and allowing ten hits. Sophomore Taylor-Paige Stewart pitched the middle game, averaging an impressive strikeout per inning and only allowing three hits.The Badgers will try and continue the winning streak next weekend in a home series when Purdue comes to Madison for a three-game series.
DES MOINES — The State Board of Education took the first step Wednesday in approving changes to the rules governing the use of seclusion rooms in Iowa schools.There were concerns about three main issues when changes were first proposed, and the board voted down the first version of the rules in August to allow time for more public input without having to start from scratch.Board of Education lawyer, Nicole Proesch, says one key point changes the language that tells teachers when they should act to put a student in a seclusion room. “People said you have to get rid of the term serious physical injury. When you look at criminal code and when you look at IDEA, the definition for serious physical injury was loss of use of body part, dismemberment, disfigurement or possible death,” Proesch says.Administrators told Proesch they were worried the language would keep teachers and staff from taking action. “Even when they should, because they’re going to say ‘I’m not sure if what that student is going to do is going to cause serious injury. I am going to bow out and I’m not going to step in,” Proesch says. She says they looked at several definitions and settled on using bodily injury.Proesch says they talked with administrators and education groups about the change. “And they felt more comfortable with that because they felt that it would give teachers more room to use their judgment,” Proesch says, “And not have to second-guess whether it was going to result in some serious injury causing death.”Nicole Proesch and David Tilley present the rule changes.The rule for notifying parents is changed from the current requirement that parents are notified within ten minutes to let them know within an hour after the incident is over. Ed Department deputy director, David Tilley says teachers felt that ten minute rule created some issues. “Now the time clock starts once the issue is resolved and under control,” Tilley says. “That eliminated a lot of the educators worry that you’re going to put me in a position between maintaining and helping this kid — versus going and notifying a parent.”Proesch says parents said they could not always be reached at work during the day and that created issues. The rule also says parents must be notified no later than the end of the school day. “The original rules as they currently sit are end of school day. So, if we don’t change anything it is the end of the day. Some administrators came to us and said to leave it as it is. We’ve actually up the ante by saying an hour after it has ended,” Proesch says.The last big change that was a point of concern in the public hearings and input was the size and type of rooms. Proesch says administrators felt two years currently given to make changes is not enough. “That’s why we extended that out, and then we also changed the room size a little bit, modified it down just so that A: it would make it a little bit easier for some schools that have rooms already. And we were also taking into consideration about some of the comments we received about how big it really needs to be and what works,” according to Proesch.The changes on room size were included to prevent the seclusion rooms from simply being a broom closet. “We’ve had incidents where that has occurred — and those ere the incidents that we are trying to prevent,” Proesch says. “When we look at the rules and we look at things in here that says it has to comply with heating, ventilation, lighting, accessibility, dimensions, it has to be habitable. It shouldn’t be a utility closet that has chemicals sitting on the floor.”Tilley says the hope is that they rooms never have to be used. “The goal of crisis intervention is de-escalation and the opportunity for kids to get themselves back together,” according to Tilley. “These should if they’re used therapeutically — should be used as little as possible, as short a time as possible.”Tilley says the total package of rules is intended to help ensure that happens in a safe manner. “Even those these were the three sticking points — it’s our perspective that there is a significant set of other changes that were made in these rules — about definitions, about training, about when seclusion and restraints should not be used,”Tilley says.The rules now go out for more comment with the first public hearing set for January 7th from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the board room of the Board of Education office in Des Moines.Here are the proposed rules: Seclusion Room Changes PDF