Friday, May 4, 2012
Thursday, May 3, 2012
*We knew it was too good to last. Oh well.
Kentucky’s starting lineup of three freshmen and two sophomores did most everything together en route to the school’s eighth national title. Now, they will each go their separate ways in the NBA.
Freshmen Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, and sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb declared for the draft in a nationally televised news conference Tuesday night.“Let me just say that Anthony and Doron and Terrence have decided to put their names in the NBA draft, so they will do that,” coach John Calipari said, pausing for a dramatic effect. “And Michael and Marquis Teague have also decided to put their names in the draft.“I was trying to scare some coaches out there, that’s all I was doing.”The group, all clad in similar blue UK golf shirts, came into the season largely untested before ascending to No. 1, winning the Southeastern Conference in dominating fashion and capping an NCAA tournament run with a 67-59 victory over Kansas in the title game.The five join seniors Darius Miller and Eloy Vargas leaving the program.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
As we move later into the spring, the 2012 London Olympic Games are coming more and more into view. Olympic team trials are going to be an almost weekly occurrence from now until June, and this week the United States Olympic Committee will hold its “100 Days” countdown celebration in New York City. With the “100 Days” announcement will come the next stage of sponsor engagement with brands and athletes leading up to the games. One of those key Olympic sponsors is Citi, who launched their program last week in New York. Citi’s Every Step of The Way Program will donate up to $500,000 to the USOC, via the organizations that each of the Team Citi athletes have selected. Those organizations are hometown organizations that helped get the athletes to where they are today.
Fans through a very unique social program can direct social media points to the athlete of their choice to also help them reach their goal.
In addition to tennis stars Bob and Mike Bryan, 2008 Olympic bronze medalists, Doubles Tennis, former Olympian Dominique Dawes, marathoner Meb Keflezighi, and Paralympic gold medalist Amanda McGrory, the Citi team includes Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones. Jones, who almost drowned in a swimming accident at age five, is now leading the charge as an African American to raise the awareness on both the safety and health benefits of teaching young minorities to swim. A New York native, Jones won gold in Beijing and is gearing up for another big summer in London.
We talked to Cullen about the program and what lies ahead this summer.
Q: You were an Olympic veteran and have seen all kinds of sponsor programs, how is this one different for you?
A: I would definitely say that the Citi “Every Step of the Way” program is different because it’s helping an athlete like myself, and the other members of Team Citi, with an unique initiative to benefit a program that’s very close to my own heart. I’ve been working with “Make A Splash” for four years and for Citi to look at the work that I’ve been doing and find it credible enough and positive enough that they want to stand behind, that is remarkable. This program is truly helping the next generation of athletes – and it’s so easy to get involved, just check out www.citi.com/everystep.
Q: You grew up in New Jersey, what does it mean to be able to represent the Garden State again this summer in London?
A: You know, I am very excited. I like to say that I am from both New York and New Jersey – born in the Bronx and growing up most of my life in New Jersey, so I am happy to represent the tri-state and be a part of a great Olympic team. We all come from different walks of life and I look forward to it.
Q: Do you feel any more or less pressure competing in swimming as an African American?
A: I try not to think about it. I try to think of my own goals when it comes to my racing. I have high expectations for myself and me being African American – I am very proud of it. However, that is not what fuels me to swim and want to be faster.
Q: How much of a role model do you think you are for young people of color looking to compete?
A: I think that the word role, or the term role model, is a very important thing especially when it comes to wanting to succeed and wanting people to follow you. For me personally, I had a couple of role models, Michael Jordan being one of them, and watching him, he showed what it meant to be a true athlete. What it meant to win gracefully and also lose gracefully. And since I’ve become a role model in swimming, I like to try to hold myself to the same standards and want people to look at me in the same way that I looked at the people that were role models that I looked up to.
Q: How did you select your charity and are there any goals you would like to meet as far as dollars raised?
A: Any money that I definitely raise for “Make A Splash” is going directly towards the children to save lives through swimming lessons. Getting them water safety is the biggest thing I want to see, especially in my lifetime. I know that it is a large task, it’s not something that is not going to happen overnight but, but I’d like to see it in my lifetime.
Q: There is obviously a very high bar that has been set by American swimmers this summer; do you have any personal goals you want to reach?
A: I didn’t get to swim an individual event in 2008 and I know in 2012 that’s my big goal. I really want to swim 50 free and/or 100 free, and definitely qualify for some relays.
Q: In addition to training what other projects are you involved in these days?
A: I’ve been working on my public speaking and I’ve been able to go far and wide and talk to very, very interesting people and tell my story. I’ve been able to have a good time with it, so I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking, along with training, and raising awareness for water safety.
Q: What post-competition goals do you have? Speaking, broadcasting, other business?
A: I think I would enjoy doing some kind of commentating especially when it comes to swimming. I am not cancelling that out, but I think that my big goal is definitely to start my own clothing line, starting with jeans, but I don’t just want to kind of jump into that automatically. I just want to learn the business a little bit before I decide to make moves to start my own line.
Posted by Richelieu at 12:21 PM
Documents found in Osama bin Laden's compound detail a number of terrorist plots, including planned assassinations of President Obama and U.S. military commander David Petraeus.
NBC News reported that the Navy SEALS who carried out last year's mission against bin Laden recovered "five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices -- DVDs, discs and thumb drives -- that included between 10,000 and 15,000 documents and between 15,000 to 25,000 videos, including a large number of duplicate files."
Counterterrorism officials have briefed NBC on the materials, with some of the conclusions to be included in the Discovery Channel documentary Inside bin Laden's Lair to air tonight. It airs at 10 p.m. ET.
President Obama announced bin Laden's death one year ago tonight; the raid that killed him took place in the early morning hours of May 2, 2011, Pakistan time.
Michael Leiter, a counterterrorism official during the Obama and George W. Bush presidencies, told NBC's Today show that bin Laden also dreamed about another major, 9/11-style attack on the United States.
Leiter noted that, because of diminishing resources, bin Laden's plans -- including an assassination of Obama -- were more of a "wish list.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A woman found guilty in the death of her 4-year-old son when she jaywalked on a busy Cobb County street appealed her conviction Tuesday.
Vino Wong, email@example.comRaquel Nelson, the Cobb County mom charged with vehicular homicide and crossing outside a crosswalk for the April 2010 death of her four-year-old son is appealing the charges. She leans over and confer with her attorney Steve Sadow, moments beginning oral arguments on the appeal at the Georgia Court of Appeals in downtown Atlanta.
Vino Wong, firstname.lastname@example.orgRaquel Nelson, the Cobb County mom charged with vehicular homicide and crossing outside a crosswalk for the April 2010 death of her four-year-old son is appealing the charges. She speaks to members of the media with her attorney Steve Sadow, after oral arguments on the appeal at the Georgia Court of Appeals in downtown Atlanta.
Raquel Nelson was granted a retrial last fall after a Cobb County jury found her guilty of vehicular homicide in the 2010 death of her son, A.J. Newman.
Tuesday morning her attorney, Steve Sadow, told the Court of Appeals of Georgia that the Cobb County Solicitor’s office presented insufficient evidence to prove that Nelson was criminally responsible for her son’s death, or to prove that the death wasn’t accidental.
“Had she not been [crossing the street] there, there would be no accident,” Sadow told the three appellate judges during his oral argument. “But legally, she was not the cause of the child’s death.”
He said the jury in the original case was never directed by Cobb State Court Judge Katherine Tankersly to prove Nelson’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
“The trial judge did not charge on affirmative burden of proof,” Sadow said in the state appeals courtroom.
Nelson sat quietly on a bench at the rear of the courtroom as her attorney spoke.
She remains charged with vehicular homicide and with crossing a roadway outside a crosswalk, and faces up to three years in jail.
Nelson’s son was struck and killed by an admitted drunk driver – Jerry L. Guy – on the night of April 10, 2010, as she returned home on the bus after a day out with A.J. and her two daughters.
They crossed Austell Road’s northbound lanes to the median rather than walking roughly a half mile in either direction to crosswalks.
A.J. pulled away from his mother and darted into the path of Guy’s oncoming van, trying to follow his older sister, who had already made it safely to the other side.
Nelson and her toddler, whom she was holding while trying to save A.J., were also hit but were not seriously injured.
Guy served six months in jail, while Nelson faces a jail sentence of up to three years.
The Cobb Solicitor General’s office did not provide an oral argument. But in a 29-page brief acquired from the Court of Appeals by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cobb Solicitor General Barry E. Morgan questioned Tankersly’s decision to grant an appeal while defending the evidence used in Nelson’s initial conviction.
“After the trial, the trial court … without providing its rationale, granted appellant a new trial,” the brief said. “The State contends that a jury of [the] Appellant’s peers had ample evidence to support its verdict, and urges this court to deny [the] Appellant’s appeal.”
Morgan’s brief identified two points to support denying the appeal:
1. “The meaning of the term ‘roadway’ in [Georgia’s statute for crossing a road outside a crosswalk] is unambiguous,” and Nelson “was charged with violating this statute because she crossed Austell Road … when it was unsafe to do so.”
2. “To adopt [the] Appellant’s assertion – that a pedestrian has the right of way across all lanes of traffic on a divided highway when she sets foot in the first lane of travel – would create chaos and danger for both drivers and pedestrians. When a pedestrian chooses to cross a divided highway … outside the protection of a crosswalk, she risks her own safety [as] well as the safety of those with her.”
But Sadow argued that the incident was an accident and shifted the blame to Guy’s impaired driving, saying that motorists can’t expect to never have obstructions in their way.
“Testimony from [witness Yolanda] Williams was that she had sufficient time to stop,” Sadow said. “The driver of a motor vehicle has no right to assume that the road ahead of him is clear.”
After his arguments, Sadow said further prosecution of the case was pointless.
“It serves no valid legal or judicial purpose,” Sadow said.
The Court of Appeals has two terms, or up to six months, in which to make a decision. Until then, Nelson’s retrial, which had been scheduled to begin last November, is on hold.
Nelson acknowledged that it was difficult to sit by and watch, powerless, as her fate was decided.
“It’s hard, but all I can do now is wait,” she said.