Here, AFP Sport picks five games that were key to the Catalans being crowned champions for the 26th time in their history.– Sets the tone –Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid, October 28Luis Suarez celebrates scoring against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou — he netted a hat-trick as Barca won 5-1 in October’s Clasico © AFP/File / Josep LAGOThe first Clasico in 11 years without Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo marked the end of an era while also bringing to a close Julen Lopetegui’s turbulent three months as Real Madrid coach.Lopetegui was sacked the following day after Luis Suarez had ran riot in the injured Messi’s absence, scoring a hat-trick at the Camp Nou that set the tone for the rest of the season. Madrid’s inferiority was laid bare and Barcelona would never look back.– Rhythm restored –Sevilla 2-4 Barcelona, February 23Lionel Messi scored his 50th career hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-2 win at Sevilla in February © AFP/File / JORGE GUERREROA rare wobble in February had given hope to the chasing pack while prompting concerns about the team’s form and Messi’s fitness. The Argentinian, after suffering a thigh strain, had scored only one goal in four games, with Barca managing just a single win in five.But both silenced the doubters at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where Messi scored his 50th career hat-trick in a mesmeric 4-2 victory that put Barca back on track, just in time for a double-header against Real Madrid.– In sight of the title –Real Madrid 0-1 Barcelona, March 2Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal as Ernesto Valverde’s team beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Bernabeu in early March © AFP/File / CURTO DE LA TORREA quirk of the calendar ensured that Spain’s greatest rivals would do battle twice in four days, once in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final and then again in the league.After knocking Madrid out of the Cup, Barca effectively eliminated them as challengers in La Liga too, Ivan Rakitic’s delightful chip widening the gap to 12 points.Santiago Solari lasted only 10 more days as Madrid coach while the Catalans had overcome one of the larger hurdles in their run-in. A six-game winning run put Barca in sight of the title.– Last hopes dashed –Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona, April 2Luis Suarez scored a last-gasp equaliser for Barcelona in a 4-4 draw at Villarreal © AFP/File / JOSE JORDANSome believed, optimistically, the title race could have life after Barcelona dropped two points away to Villarreal, allowing Atletico the chance to reduce the deficit to five if they could win at the Camp Nou four days later.But the feeling was not one of disappointment. Instead, Messi and Suarez had scored in the 91st and 93rd minutes at the Estadio de la Ceramica to complete a dramatic comeback, making the draw feel like a victory and sending Barca into their top-of-the-table clash with a spring in their step.– Only a matter of time –Barcelona 2-0 Atletico Madrid, April 6Suarez got a late breakthrogh against 10-man Atletico to kill the title hopes of Diego Simeone’s side © AFP/File / PAU BARRENADiego Simeone said his Atletico side had to win to have any hope but instead they were dealt a knock-out blow as Diego Costa was sent off early before Suarez and Messi, again, scored late.Costa’s dissent to referee Gil Manzano cost him an eight-match ban and his team dear, as Atleti were reduced to an hour of defending when they needed to attack. Victory sent Barca 11 points clear with seven games left, deeming their 26th La Liga triumph only a matter of time.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates celebrate. They have won La Liga for the fourth time in five seasons © AFP/File / PAU BARRENAMADRID, Spain, Apr 24 – Barcelona were confirmed as La Liga champions for the fourth time in five years on Saturday after defeating Levante 1-0.Barca have wrapped up the title with three games to play as they sit nine points ahead of Atletico Madrid, against whom they also own a superior head-to-head.
A facility that has lowered infant and mother morbidity rates in the Y-K Delta has a new home. Bethel’s Prematernal Home has moved to a new building along the Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway. The new Home is three times the size of the old one and has improved amenities for the region’s expectant mothers during the final stage of pregnancy.Download AudioWith her flowing black hair and a light blue dress that shows off her full, pregnant belly, the woman in the window art at the front door of Bethel’s new Prematernal Home, could be any of the hundreds who stay at the facility while they await the birth of their babies.“These are not stained glass but there’s three of them in the windows and they’re an acrylic paint that’s completely washable, so she’s pretty prominent here and she’s pretty special.”She’s even painted onto the barriers in the parking lot. That’s Doreen O’Brien, who’s run the Prematernal Home for 24 years. The Home is run by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. It houses pregnant women from the surrounding 58 villages that YKHC serves, during the last month of their pregnancy, so that they can more easily access care required and are closer to emergency services should there be a complication. The new home is a huge improvement over the old one says O’Brien.“The first and foremost thing that everybody notices is there’s more bathrooms, said O’Brien.The rooms where women stay are larger, and they have nearly double the number of beds of the old home, 45. There’s a movie and game room, a commercial kitchen, a laundry room and even a workout room. The home is spacious.“This place is 17-thousand square feet with 15 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, in their rooms. We have two public restrooms as well. And just the size; the old building was 5,000 square feet, this is 17,000 square feet, so it’s three times the size that we were in,” said O’Brien.The home started out as a stand-alone non-profit in the late sixties, after local health care workers realized that many Native women from surrounding villages who had been directed by health care providers to relocate to Bethel, had nowhere to go. Some were living in poor conditions, even outside.“In 1967 there was a lady found living under an under an overturned boat up by the old Indian Health Service hospital, about where the new Y-K building is now. And when the medical staff – somebody went out and found her out there and said what are you doing? She said, ‘Well they told me to come to Bethel to have my baby and be safe but I don’t have any place to stay.’ So that woke people up and realized that the women were coming in from the surrounding 58 villages but where were they staying?” said O’Brien.An ad-hoc committee got together and the Hoffman family donated a house. By 1971, the home had relocated to what is now the old pre-maternal home, a little pink building near the Lutheran church. YKHC took over in 2004. O’Brien says the old Maternal Home wasn’t ideal.“There was one time that I had 37 women in that prematernal home. We had a big storm come in in a January and every time a plane went to a village they’d throw the pregnant women on it an bring em to town and they’d be standing in the door and I says, I can’t just put you in the street. And there was no place else for em. We had ladies sleeping on the couches. I went into town, in Bethel, and bought every roll away bed that was known to man in Bethel and we put them up,” said O’Brien.Today each woman gets her own bed in a spacious dorm room with a shared bathroom. Back at the front entry, O’Brien gazes up at the design of the pregnant woman on the glass between the entry and the dining area and marvels at just how far the home for expectant mothers has come.“The first design of new maternal home back in ’96 or something and that was on the proposal booklet that was going out for grants, so there she is and she’s just kind of there, waiting,” said O’Brien.And now she, along with the hundreds of women who spend the final weeks of pregnancy at the home, will have a much nicer place to bide their time until baby arrives. Construction of the new Prematernal home was paid for through a state capital appropriation of 12.6 million dollars. The official grand opening is set for Tuesday, November 18th (4-6pm).