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May 31, 2010

Scotland\’s Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500

Scotland’s Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Dario Franchitti.
Image: Manningmbd.

Scottish IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti won his second Indianapolis 500 in four years today after leading 155 laps, which is the fourth most in the 99-year history of the race. Franchitti, aged 37, also won a rain-shortened race in 2007, when the race was stopped after 166 laps due to the inclement weather and he was declared the winner.

The conditions at this race were far different, with the National Weather Service reporting temperatures of 88° F (31° C) at the track at race time. This temperature made the race the second hottest to the 1932 race, which reached 92° F.

After a failed attempt to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2008, Franchitti returned to the IndyCar series to race for Chip Ganassi Racing. With this victory, owner Chip Ganassi became the first team owner in racing history to have their drivers win both the Daytona 500 of the Sprint Cup (won by Jamie McMurray) and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year.

“The milk tastes just as good the second time around here,” said Franchitti, referring to the ceremonial winner’s milk drink following the race. “I just needed to know what the other guys were doing with fuel. There was a gap behind them and a lot of confusion. This means so much after coming back when I went away for a year in 2008 and to come back win a championship and win the Indianapolis 500,” he added in an interview in the winner’s circle.

Franchitti won the race on less than a tenth of a gallon of fuel, after he and his team decided to not pit during the final laps of the race. The race ended on a caution after a massive crash between drivers Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay, when Conway’s car got caught onto Hunter-Reay’s left outside wheel and was sent airborne. Conway’s car then hit the track’s retaining wall and landed on its front side. Medics took Conway out of the car, and he was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.

Finishing behind Franchitti in second place was British driver Dan Wheldon of Partner Racing. This was Wheldon’s second straight second place finish. In third place was Marco Andretti, who started in sixteenth position.

Results

Danica Partick, who finished in 6thplace.

Position Last First Car Number
1 Franchitti Dario 10
2 Wheldon Dan 4
3 Andretti Marco 22
4 Lloyd Alex 19
5 Dixon Scott 9
6 Patrick Danica 7
7 Wilson Justin 26
8 Power Will 12
9 Castroneves Helio 3
10 Tagliani Alex 77

See external links for a full list of results.

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May 28, 2010

NCAA Basketball: University of Connecticut cited for eight major rules violations

NCAA Basketball: University of Connecticut cited for eight major rules violations

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Jim Calhoun with player Rudy Gay

The men’s basketball program of the University of Connecticut has been cited by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for eight major violations of its recruiting policy. These allegations have resulted in the resignation of two of the team’s assistant coaches, Beau Archibald and Patrick Sellers. Head coach Jim Calhoun is also accused by the NCAA of not monitoring the activities of his assistant coaches closely enough, which they said lead to the rules violations.

These citations come after the NCAA’s 15-monthlong investigation relating to the team’s possible recruiting violations of Nate Miles, who was set to play for the team during the 2007-08 season until he was expelled from the school for a restraining order violation. Sellers and Archibald are accused of placing 160 unauthorized phone calls and sending 191 unauthorized text messages to recruits who had not yet committed to play for the team yet, which is a violation of NCAA rules because teams are only allowed to place a certain amount of phone calls to recruits.

“Coaching is my passion and something I have spent many years of enjoyment doing I want the record to reflect this and for the people to see the respect and integrity that I will show toward the process in the months ahead,” said Sellers in a statement, promising to cooperate with any further NCAA investigation.

Former coach Archibald also allegedly placed an unauthorized phone call that lasted approximately 29 minutes. However, the player’s name was kept anonymous and withheld from the report. The investigation also reports that the two accused assistant coaches gave improper and false information when NCAA investigators interviewed the two about the situation. Both Sellers and Archibald have resigned within the past 2 weeks.

It’s not exactly, certainly anywhere near the high point of my career, as a matter of fact it’s certainly one of the lowest points at any time that you are accused of doing something. It’s a very serious matter,” said Calhoun, who has been the coach for UConn for the past 28 years. Calhoun, 68, has already been enshrined in the College Basketball Hall of Fame and recently signed a $13 million contract extension with UConn. In the NCAA report, Calhoun, among other things, was criticised for not watching over “…the conduct and administration of the men’s basketball staff in the areas of: telephone records, representatives of the institution’s athletics interests; and, complimentary admissions or discretionary tickets,”

UConn has been scheduled to appear in front of NCAA investigators on October 18 for sanctioning and further investigation. It is likely that the basketball program could lose scholarships and receive probation.

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May 17, 2010

Seven-year-old girl killed in Detroit, Michigan police raid

Seven-year-old girl killed in Detroit, Michigan police raid

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Detroit Police Department patch.

A seven year-old girl was shot and killed Sunday during a police raid in Detroit, Michigan, United States when one of the officer’s guns was accidentally set off during an argument with the girl’s grandmother. Police were raiding the home in search of a 34 year-old male suspect accused of murdering teenager Jarean Blake near a local liquor store the previous night.

According to police reports, Mertilla Jones got into a verbal confrontation with a police officer, which quickly turned physical. The woman, according to the police, then came into contact with the officer which inadvertently set off the gun that he was carrying. The bullet then struck the girl, Aiyana Jones, in the neck while she was sleeping on the family’s couch.

The murder suspect was apprehended later that day. However, the family and public became outraged at the killing of seven year-old Aiyana. In response, the Detroit Police Department held a press conference.

“We cannot undo what occurred this morning […] All we can do is to pledge an open and full investigation and to support Aiyana’s family in whatever way they may be willing to accept from us at this time,” said Assistant Police Chief Goodbee speaking on behalf of the Police Chief, who was on vacation at the time of the shooting.

Meanwhile the girl’s father, Charles Jones, was outraged about the incident. “She had a lively, free spirit,” said Jones. “They came into my house with a flash grenade and a bullet […] They say my mother [Mertilla] resisted them, that she tried to take an officer’s gun. My mother had never been in handcuffs in her life. They killed my baby and I want someone to tell the truth,” he added.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Detroit Police Department. It is not known who fired the shot that killed the girl, or whether or not they will receive any disciplinary action from the department.

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May 16, 2010

Metal singer Ronnie James Dio dies aged 67

Metal singer Ronnie James Dio dies aged 67

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ronnie James Dio

Dio “throwing the horns”. Dio is known for introducing the hand sign into heavy metal culture.

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American metal singer Ronnie James Dio died today at the age of 67, as announced by his wife, Wendy. Dio passed at 07:45 (CST) (13:45 UTC) at the Mayo Clinic, an American disease treatment center, after a two-year fight with stomach cancer that caused him to stop singing while he received treatment. “Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all…Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever,” added his wife in a statement on Dio’s website.

Dio (born Ronnie James Padavona) was born in July 10, 1942 in the American city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was most noted for his high pitched vocals and lyrical tales involving battles and themes of good versus evil.

He performed with several hard rock and metal groups, but he was most notable for his first act, when he joined as singer of the British metal group Black Sabbath after lead singer and frontman Ozzy Osbourne left the band in 1979. Before Black Sabbath he performed with several less successful bands, including Rainbow, led by former Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, and Elf.

He also had a very successful solo career under the simple name “Dio”, and had recently reunited with former Black Sabbath band mates under the moniker Heaven and Hell. Some of Dio’s hit songs were “Holy Diver”, “Neon Knights”, and “The Last In Line”.

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May 10, 2010

Baseball: Oakland A\’s pitcher Dallas Braden throws perfect game

Baseball: Oakland A’s pitcher Dallas Braden throws perfect game

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Monday, May 10, 2010

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Dallas Braden.
Image: Gimpy56.

Dallas Braden, a left-handed pitcher for Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics in the United States, became one of only nineteen players in the history of the MLB to pitch a perfect game, in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Braden, aged 26, who retired all 27 batters consecutively on 109 pitches, also earned his first career complete game. In the process of throwing the perfect game, Braden also struck out six Tampa Bay hitters.

The perfect game was the second pitched in the Athletics’ franchise history, the other being thrown by Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter on May 8, 1968 against the Minnesota Twins. Braden, at 26, also became the youngest pitcher to throw a complete game since Anaheim Angels pitcher Mike Witt did so at age 24 in 1984.

The low crowd at the Oakland Coliseum, at only 12,228, was due to the Mother’s Day holiday occurring across the United States, Braden, along with every other Major League Baseball player, donned pink equipment for awareness of breast cancer, which has become a tradition for baseball players on Mother’s Day. Braden’s own mother died of skin cancer when he was a senior in high school, but his grandmother attended the game.

Braden recently drew controversy in the league after publicly criticizing New York Yankees all-star third baseman Alex Rodriguez for crossing the pitcher’s mound after a foul ball, which Braden claimed to be an “unwritten rule” in baseball. When asked about the no hitter, Rodriguez simply responded, “Good for him, he threw a perfect game. And even better, he beat the Rays,” he said, as the Rays lead the American League East division, the same division that Yankees play in.

“Mother’s Day hasn’t been a joyous day for me in a while. But to know that I still get to come out and compete and play a game on that day, that makes it a little better. With my grandma in the stands, that makes it a lot better. To be able to give her this today was perfect…,” said Braden in a post-game interview with MLB.com.

Stats

May 9, 2010
Oakland Athletics 4-0 Tampa Bay Rays Oakland Coliseum

WP: Braden (4-2)

LP: Shields (4-1)
HR: (none) Attendance:12,228
Game time: 2 hrs, 9 min.
Temperature: 59 degrees


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