Mary Portas’ report into how to revitalise the high street has been delayed as the TV star wades through thousands of comments submitted to her website.The so-called Queen of Shops was due to submit her report to the Prime Minister in the autumn, but is now expected to finish her investigations “by the end of the year”, said a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).“There are an awful lot of issues to consider and the report is still being written,” he said.Portas has received nearly 2,000 comments on her website from members of the public and high street retailers since she was commissioned by the government to review the state of the UK high street and town centres, and come up with recommendations on how to improve them.The star has also been travelling the country, touring town centres to speak directly to shoppers, local authorities and business owners.Speaking during a visit to Rotherham in September, Portas said: “We have had a fantastic response to the review so far and received a huge number of ideas. I am actively encouraging everyone who cares about the future of the high street to have their say. I am working through all the ideas in the many contributions received and listening to key stakeholders, including big and small retailers.”The star of shows such as Mary Queen of Shops and Mary Queen of Frocks has been asked to advise government in issues such as how to address the problem of vacant shops, prevent the proliferation of ‘clone towns’, and increase the number of small and independent retailers doing business in local town centres.According to BIS, at the end of 2008, the average town centre vacancy was under 6%, but at the end of 2010 it was 14.5%. If the decline continues at this rate in two years’ time almost a third of UK high streets will be standing empty.
TYLER BAZE, ALL OUT BLITZ, SECOND: “He felt good going around there, I just wanted to make sure I got a jump on the closers. He (Cistron) was rolling and I was cruising. So when he went I thought I’d go with him, but he just pulled away.TRAINER QUOTESJOHN SADLER, CISTRON, WINNER: “This horse ran well on the dirt as a 3-year-old. He actually won a stake going a mile and a sixteenth ($150,000 Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 15, 2017). He’s been (running) on grass but trains well on dirt. I expected him to be in front. When we saw this race was coming up a little light and there wasn’t that much speed, we decided to supplement. It’s been great, Hronis racing is as good a brand as you’ll see in racing, the safety and welfare of the horses is paramount with them. We start from there when we go out and look for horses and hopefully we keep developing a lot of (them).“Gift Box worked sensational this morning he’ll be pointing toward the Gold Cup here in May, Catapult looks beautiful we are pointing toward the Shoemaker Mile in May, Nolo Contesto, we will probably drop him back to the Affirmed stakes here in June, so we have a lot of nice stock and were just going roll them out periodically.”OWNER QUOTESKOSTA HRONIS, PART OWNER, CISTRON: “He always works nice on the dirt and he seems to like this track. He’s a pretty versatile horse. I guess not having the hill available (hillside turf course) made it an easy choice to put him back on dirt. It seems to be his distance. If he gets a nice easy lead he’s usually pretty tough . . . It’s good to have Victor (Espinoza) back on board. He works well with John. They’re a good team.”NOTES: The winning owners are Kosta and Peter Hronis, Hronis Racing, LLC.Hronis Racing’s Cistron and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Grade II, $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes, Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA. © BENOIT PHOTO JOCKEY QUOTESVICTOR ESPINOZA, CISTRON, WINNER: “The important thing for me and the horse today was that he broke running. He was able to take control right away and at the sixteenth pole, I said ‘Where is everybody?’ He ran great all the way to the wire, John is an awesome trainer, he really got this horse ready for this race and he made my job a lot easier. It is the best feeling ever to be back and ride amazing horses and win amazing races, I’m just blessed to be here.”
Skamania County authorities are looking for a Stevenson woman and her son, and are concerned they may be endangered.Kelly Ann Hill, 34, and her five-week-old son, David Zachary Barresse, are missing from the Stevenson area, according to a sheriff’s news release issued Sunday evening.Family has set up a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FindKellyandDavid?sk=wallAnyone who has seen Hill or her son is asked to call Deputy Garique Clifford or Deputy Summer Scheyer at 509-427-9490 or e-mail [email protected]