Gasparyan wins Baku Cup BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP): Margarita Gasparyan of Russia won her first WTA title yesterday by beating Patricia Maria Tig of Romania 6-3, 5-7, 6-0 in the Baku Cup final. Gasparyan served for the match when up 5-4 in the second set but was broken back at love. However, she dominated the final set to wrap up the win in 21/2 hours. Gasparyan had never won a main-draw match at the WTA level before this tournament, while Tig – a qualifier – was also playing in her first tour final. The 112th-ranked Gasparyan said “it’s been an amazing tournament for me.” South Sudan gains Olympic status KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP): With an Olympic flag draped around his neck, the official from South Sudan couldn’t contain his emotion. Moments after his war-torn country was officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday, Tong Chor Malke Deran wiped tears from his eyes and later broke down when talking about the plight of his nation’s athletes. The decision means the world’s newest nation will be able to have its competitors enter the stadium in Rio de Janeiro next year behind their own flag. More importantly, the country’s near non-existent sporting infrastructure and athletes will receive funding assistance from the IOC. South Sudan, which split from Sudan and became independent in 2011, has been hit by civil war for the past two years. Three straight for Isner ATLANTA (AP): John Isner won the Atlanta Open for the third straight year, beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-3 yesterday at Atlantic Station. The top-seeded former University of Georgia star has reached the finals in Atlanta in five of the past six years and is 20-3 in the event. He has 10 ATP Tour titles. Baghdatis, who appeared to suffer a right-leg injury late in the first set of his 12th ATP final and first since 2011, scored just two points against 18 Isner serves in the second set. The 6-foot-10 Isner ripped 13 aces to push his four-match total to 90. He won 27 of 28 points on his first serves and nine of 11 points on his second serves. Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles final for their record 107th title, beating Gilles Muller and Colin Fleming 4-6, 7-6 (2), 10-3.
St. Vincent de Paul general manager Dan Austin looks out onto the land where the new senior housing facility will be built. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)Juneau nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul and partner agency Seattle-based GMD Development have been awarded $9 million in tax credit financing from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation. The award will allow the agencies to build 41 units of affordable housing in the capital city for low income seniors.Download AudioThomas Smith is 70 years old and lives in St. Vincent de Paul’s transitional housing for people getting out of homelessness. He’s excited about the new senior living facility.“Because that means within two years, I can move out of this room and move into my own apartment with a kitchen,” Smith says. “I’m really a good cook and I love my kitchen but I don’t have that here. I have to use a communal kitchen across the way.”Smith has Parkinson’s disease and other medical conditions that necessitate a wheelchair. He takes eight daily medications. Between social security, senior benefits and general assistance, Smith makes about $1,100 a month. He can’t afford Juneau’s housing prices.“The rents are so high. I would have to give up eating in order to move into, say, an apartment that cost $750 a month,” he says. “The bills I need to pay for and the medications I have to buy that Medicare will not pay for – it’s very difficult to get by from month to month.”Dan Austin is general manager of St. Vincent de Paul. He says Smith would be one of the first people to move into the new facility. Austin says some people spend up to four years on the waiting list for the organization’s current 24-unit senior housing.“The only turnovers here are when somebody goes to the nursing home or somebody passes away,” Austin says.The percentage of Juneau’s population age 65 and older has doubled in the last 10 years. Seniors now make up 10 percent of the city’s overall population. A recent Juneau Senior Housing and Services Market Demand Study found that in next two decades, seniors will make up 20 percent of the city’s population.Austin sees that growth reflected in St. Vincent de Paul’s shelter.“Over the last five and 10 years, we’ve seen the percentage of seniors who are homeless looking for some place to live increase exponentially,” he says.The new facility will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with commercial space on the ground floor. The retail space will house the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store. The complex will be built on a lot adjacent to the nonprofit’s current property near the airport.The target population is low to moderate income seniors. Austin has been working on the project for 10 years and is happy to see it come into fruition. He hopes to break ground late next summer.“Having worked here for 20 years and watching this organization grow from 10 units of homeless apartments for homeless families to an organization that now owns and manages 124 units throughout this town, what that means to me is, it’s not 124 units, it’s a 124 families that have a decent place to live,” Austin says.St. Vincent de Paul also plans to renovate two existing housing facilities in Juneau and one in Haines. Once those projects and the senior facility are done, the organization will own and manage about 200 units in the capital city.Norton Gregory says every unit and every house built in Juneau is a step in the right direction. Gregory sits on the Juneau Affordable Housing Commission. He says the 41 units will target a population the commission sees as one of the most vulnerable.“We have a lot more seniors that are aging out of the workforce and unfortunately they may not be able to afford to live in our community without these subsidized rental units, so to give them more options is definitely going to make an impact on our community,” Gregory says.St. Vincent de Paul’s new senior housing facility is expected to be complete by fall of 2016. The project was named the Home Run by a board of directors member who said to Austin, “‘If we get this, man, we hit the home run.’ So that’s what it is. For St. Vincent, it’s a home run.”Austin says Juneau needs many more home runs.