Monday, October 31, 2011

Clemson, KSU tumble; top 5 stay same in AP ranking (AP)

NEW YORK ? Clemson and Kansas State tumbled in The Associated Press college football poll after losing for the first time this season, and the top five teams in the rankings held their ground heading into the showdown between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama.

Clemson slipped five spots after losing 31-17 at Georgia Tech and Kansas fell seven spots to No. 17 after getting thumped 58-17 by Oklahoma.

LSU received 47 first-place votes from the media panel, Alabama had 10 and No. 5 Boise State had one.

No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Stanford held on to their spots after victories, while the Broncos were idle.

Georgia Tech's upset pushed the Yellow Jackets back into the rankings at No. 22 and Auburn jumped back in at No. 25.

The losses by Clemson and Kansas State leave six undefeated teams in major college football ? the top five and No. 14 Houston.

The rest of the top had Oregon at No. 6, Oklahoma moving up four spots to No. 7, Arkansas at No. 8 and Nebraska and South Carolina right behind.

Clemson at 11th was followed by Atlantic Coast Conference rival Virginia Tech.

Michigan is No. 13, its best ranking since Nov. 4, 2007.

Michigan State is No. 15, followed By Penn State, Kansas State, Georgia, Wisconsin and Arizona State.

The final five were Southern California, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, West Virginia and Auburn.

The defending national champion Tigers have fallen out of the rankings three times this season, only to work their way back in.

Falling out after losses were two Big 12 teams.

Texas A&M (5-3) was upset at home 38-31 in overtime by Missouri and is unranked for the first time this season.

Texas Tech moved into the rankings last week for the first time this season by beating Oklahoma. The Red Raiders followed that up with a 41-7 loss at home to Iowa State and are unranked again.


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Tebow inspires phenomenon called 'Tebowing' (AP)

DENVER ? Tim Tebow inspired a phenomenon when he dropped to a knee and began praying as his teammates wildly celebrated around him after an improbable overtime victory in Miami last weekend.

That was simply Tebow "Tebowing," a phrase coined by a fan sitting in a bar in New York watching the popular yet polarizing quarterback rally the Denver Broncos.

Jared Kleinstein was mesmerized by Tebow's peaceful demeanor kneeling on the turf amid all the chaos that ensued. He launched a website in which fans could submit photos of themselves "Tebowing," which means getting down on a knee and praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.

The trend is picking up steam.

Kleinstein has received quite a collection of photos. There are fans striking the Tebow prayer pose next to statues, in bowling alleys, on boats and while waiting in line for tacos.

There are kids getting ready for ballet performing the pose, an airline pilot just before takeoff and a construction worker on a rooftop. Recently, Kleinstein even received a photo of a solider in Afghanistan emulating Tebow's pose.

"It's addictive to be a Tebow fan," said Kleinstein, who grew up in Denver before moving to New York.

Never did Kleinstein envision this venture taking off so quickly. Kleinstein started the website earlier this week after purchasing the domain name ? ? for $10.

Almost overnight, it caught on through social media. He went from an audience of 785 to nearly 390,000 in just a few days.

The amount of pictures he's receiving also is staggering. Just Friday alone, Kleinstein had to sort through more than 1,300 snapshots to post on the site.

But Kleinstein wanted to make one thing clear: The undertaking isn't meant to mock Tebow or poke fun at his religious beliefs, just show support.

On Friday after practice, Tebow said he appreciated the spirit of the website.

"Yeah, some people don't necessarily take it seriously but they're on their knee praying, so who knows what you're going to think about after that and how that can affect you?" Tebow said. "Hopefully, it's a good example for people."

His teammates have even taken part. Rookie linebacker Von Miller tweeted a photo of himself Thursday in a Tebow jersey and doing the pose.

"Tim Tebow's a celebrity and I'm on Team Tebow," Miller said. "I'm one of his biggest supporters and want to see him do it all.

"That's the way he prays. So what better way to capture that than to have a `Tebowing' thing like that?"

All it took was a small miracle to make it "Tebowing" time.

The former Heisman Trophy winner from Florida was abysmal for the opening 55 minutes in Miami. Then, Tebow turned electric as he brought the Broncos back from a 15-0 deficit in the final moments to force overtime, where the team pulled out an 18-15 win. It's the largest deficit overcome in a victory with less than 3 minutes since the 1970 NFL merger.

"When we won the game, the people in the bar were jumping around as if the Broncos had just won the Super Bowl, even though we had only beaten the last-place team in the league," Kleinstein recalled. "I just looked up at the screen ? the team is celebrating and he took a quick bow. I just said, `That's Tebowing. That's how we should pay tribute.'"

After the commotion quieted, Kleinstein and his friends went outside to take a group photo in Tebow's prayer formation. He posted it on Facebook just for fun and it spread quickly.

Soon after, he decided to launch the website.

Not only does Kleinstein post the photos, he also captions them. And they're quite hilarious.

For instance, there's a picture of a person with a bowling ball in a lane striking the pose with the explanation, "Tebowling." On another, there's a person perched on an exercise ball with the slogan "Tebow to the core" underneath. In yet another, a man in his office has a caption reading, "President and CEObowing."

"Tim praying, it's part of who he is," Kleinstein said. "It's not something that should be mocked or seen in any other way."

Tebow understands that. He recently received a tweet from a kid who's undergoing cancer treatment that melted his heart.

"It said, `I'm Tebowing while I'm Chemoing,'" Tebow recounted. "How cool is that? That's worth it right there. If that gives him any encouragement or puts a smile on his face or gives him encouragement to pray, that's really awesome. And that's completely worth it for me."

There are even other standouts in the Mile High City getting in on the act. Colorado Rapids forward Omar Cummings dropped to a knee and did the pose after scoring a goal in a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday night in an MLS wild-card soccer game.

"I think what's funny about it is how rapidly it's caught on and how much it's taken off," said Tebow, whose Broncos host the Detroit Lions on Sunday. "I had no idea, then Von texted me what he did. Goof ball.

"But then going back and looking back and seeing everything, it was like, `Wow this really took off.' That's what's really incredible about it."

Even if it might not be completely original.

After all, dropping to a knee and praying after a game has been around for, well, quite a while.

"I've taken a knee many times on late field goals or those types of things in my football career," Broncos coach John Fox said. "Not taking anything away from Tim and his outstanding popularity."




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Ravens survive Cards

Rice runs for 3 TDs, Cundiff boots game-winning FG as time expires in 30-27 win

Image: Ray RiceAP

Ravens running back Ray Rice celebrates one os his three touchdowns in a win against the Cardinals.


updated 6:02 p.m. ET Oct. 30, 2011

BALTIMORE - Before launching the biggest comeback victory in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco first had to withstand the indignity of being booed by his usually supportive hometown fans.

Flacco didn't care for the treatment, although he could appreciate the sentiment. And it didn't prevent him from carrying the Ravens past the Arizona Cardinals 30-27 Sunday.

Billy Cundiff kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired, Ray Rice scored a career-high three touchdowns, and Flacco fueled the comeback with a gritty display of leadership and precise passing.

"You can take a few boos every now and then," Flacco said, "especially when you come back and win the game."

Using a fumble by Flacco and an 82-yard punt return by Patrick Peterson, Arizona scored three touchdowns during a five-minute span of the second quarter to take a 24-3 lead.

That's when many in the sellout crowd of 71,022 voiced their displeasure.

"I don't go to a lot of football games, but I probably would have wanted to boo if I was in the stands, too," Flacco said. "We weren't looking too good. We weren't playing too well."

Baltimore (5-2) answered with a 24-point run and moved in front 27-24 when Rice scored his third touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter.

Arizona (1-6) pulled even with a 45-yard field goal by Jay Feely with 8:55 left, but the Ravens won it with a 37-yard, beat-the-clock drive in the final minute.

After the Cardinals were forced to punt from deep in their own territory, Baltimore took over at the Arizona 44 with 52 seconds left. A 36-yard completion from Flacco to rookie Torrey Smith moved the ball to the 5, setting the stage for Cundiff's game-winner.

The Ravens' previous biggest comeback was from 19 points down against Tennessee in 2006.

"We woke up, plain and simple," said former Arizona star Anquan Boldin, who caught seven passes for 145 yards and was a key contributor in the rally.

Flacco went 31 for 51 for 336 yards, and Rice ran for 63 yards on 18 carries. In a 12-7 loss to Jacksonville on Monday night, the 5-foot-8 running back was limited to 28 yards on eight carries.

Arizona has lost six straight. Four of those defeats have been by four points or fewer.

"It's hard right now. Our guys are very disappointed after today's game because it was an opportunity to do something nobody thought we could do," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "But our guys believe in what we're doing. If you look at what we did the first half, it shows that if we do it the right way, we can be a good football team."

Kevin Kolb threw for 153 yards and a touchdown, and Peterson became the eighth player in Cardinals history to have at least two punt returns for touchdowns in a single season. The last one to do it was Vai Sikahema in 1986.

The Ravens began the second half with an 80-yard drive in which Flacco went 5 for 5, including a 37-yarder to Boldin that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Rice to make it 24-13.

"I felt like the way we came out at halftime is what turned it around," Baltimore linebacker Jameel McClain.

Late in the third quarter, Boldin caught passes 21, 23, 27 and 9 yards during an 88-yard march that ended with another 1-yard TD run by Rice.


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Eagles right back in NFC East mix

PFT: This was the Philly team NFL onlookers expected to see before the season began. A nearly flawless half and a complete game? Impressive.

Eagles shrug off Cowboys ? |? ??Highlights

Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy had a career-best 185 yards rushing and two scores and the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Dallas Cowboys 34-7 Sunday night.


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mayor Booker leading from the front armed with his Blackberry

Written by: James Murray on October 29, 2011.

Mayor Cory BookerTHUNDER BAY ? Newark, New Jersey is struggling with the impact of a major early season snow storm today. Mayor Cory Booker is proving once again that modern progressive leadership means leading from the front-lines. Mayor Booker leading from the front armed with his Blackberry.

To the 1,103,371 people who follow Mayor Booker on Twitter, tonight they are receiving a steady stream of information, and help directly from this dynamic leader.

Using UberSocial for Blackberry, Booker is out in his community helping people in his community.!/CoryBooker allows this modern Mayor the opportunity to get out from behind his desk and get things done. As of the 2010 United States Census, Newark had a population of 277,140, maintaining its status as the largest municipality in New Jersey.

Think of the impact that Mayor Booker can have, his Twitter following is almost three times larger than the population of his community. Does open and constant communication make a difference?

The Mayor is sharing images, information, helping people all from his Tweets. Booker is even doing it with a sense of humour which is likely something needed in his city.

?Snow in Oct, Earthquake, Hurricane, I think New Jersey needs 2 appease the weather Gods & sacrifice the TV show Jersey Shore. Cancel it!? is a recent tweet during the height of the storm.

Booker made news when on December 31, 2010, a constituent used Twitter to ask the mayor to send someone to her father?s house to shovel his driveway because her father, who was 65 years old, was going to attempt to do it himself. Booker responded by tweeting; ?I will do it myself; where does he live?? Other people volunteered, including one person who offered his help on Twitter and 20 minutes later the mayor and some volunteers showed up and shoveled the man?s driveway.[40] In 2010, Samepoint released a study that measured the social media influence of mayors around the country, and ranking the top 100 most social mayors. San Francisco?s Mayor Gavin Newsom was named the Most Social Mayor in America according to the Samepoint study. Newark, New Jersey Cory Booker was the second most social mayor, according to the Samepoint study. (Source: Wikipedia)

Booker is dedicated to his city, and it shows.

?Stand in Newark and you see and feel the dynamic change, the power and potential, you see that the future of America is happening here. We are not the Big Apple or Atlanta?s Georgia Peach. We are America?s Brick City ? and this isn?t about our architecture. We?re Brick City because we?re tough, we?re resilient, we?re strong, we?re enduring and, most important, when we come together there?s nothing we can?t create,? stated the Mayor.

Booker was reportedly offered a role in the Obama Administration, but turned it down citing a dedication to Newark.

Tonight, as an early winter storm is trying to blow down Newark?s ?brick house? its Mayor is demonstrating how leadership can make a real difference.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer


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Michael Lohan denied bail after second arrest

The estranged father of actress Lindsay Lohan has been denied bail in Florida.

Hillsborough County jail records show Michael Lohan was being held Saturday without bond on four charges.

He was arrested on domestic violence charges Tuesday. His bail was set at $5,000 and a judge warned him not to make any contact with his on-and-off girlfriend, Kate Major. Two days later, he was accused of violating the terms of his release by making a harassing phone call to her.

Story: Michael Lohan faces charges in Florida court

Police went to arrest him and he tried to avoid them by jumping off a third-floor balcony at a Tampa hotel. He was injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

He was released from the hospital Friday and put back in jail.

In July, a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against Lohan stemming from a fight with Major was dismissed in Los Angeles after she failed to show up for the trial. Lohan's attorney said Major declined to cooperate to avoid a court spectacle.

Lohan has a history of arrests in New York over allegations of harassment from ex-girlfriends.

Story: Reader: How could Lohan not find morgue door?

Lohan appeared on season 5 of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew." He told police this week that he moved to Tampa to get away from the publicity surrounding his celebrity daughter Lindsay ? who has had numerous run-ins with the law herself in Los Angeles and is currently performing court-ordered community service in the L.A. County morgue for a probation violation.

She also reportedly posed for Playboy this week.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Obama lost many donors from '08 presidential race

President Barack Obama has dinner with campaign donors and winners of the "Dinner with Barack" contest at The Liberty Tavern in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. From left to right: Ken Knight, U.S. postal worker from Chandler, Ariz.; Wendi Smith, artist and retired professor from Corydon, Ind.; Casey Helbling, enterpreneur from Minneapolis, Minn.; President Obama; Juanita Martinez, retired teacher from Brighton, Colo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama has dinner with campaign donors and winners of the "Dinner with Barack" contest at The Liberty Tavern in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011. From left to right: Ken Knight, U.S. postal worker from Chandler, Ariz.; Wendi Smith, artist and retired professor from Corydon, Ind.; Casey Helbling, enterpreneur from Minneapolis, Minn.; President Obama; Juanita Martinez, retired teacher from Brighton, Colo. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(AP) ? President Barack Obama has lost millions of dollars in support from former donors in Democratic strongholds and in districts that he won narrowly four years ago, according to an Associated Press analysis of the most recent federal campaign finance data.

Tens of thousands of supporters who gave him hundreds of dollars or more in the early stages of the 2008 campaign haven't offered him similar amounts of cash so far in this campaign. And in some cases, former Obama contributors gave to GOP candidates, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Obama's re-election effort is hardly hurting for cash: His campaign and the Democratic Party raised more than $70 million for Obama's re-election in the July-September period, outstripping all Republicans combined by tens of millions of dollars.

But the AP's analysis indicates that Obama, beleaguered by a struggling economy, has lost early support from some of his larger financial supporters and will have to work harder to win back party stalwarts and swing voters alike. Obama's approval ratings have slumped to 41 percent in a recent Gallup poll, as steadfast supporters have found themselves less able or less willing to open their wallets again.

"He was our state senator, and when I looked at the Republican side, I thought, 'We need some fresh blood in the campaign,'" said Janet Tavakoli, 58, a financial analyst from Chicago who gave $1,000 to the president in 2008. "But I was dead wrong about it," she said, and isn't supporting any candidate this time.

Obama faced then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2008. This time he is running unchallenged and has no primaries or caucuses looming, as the Republican candidates do, so potential Obama donors may not be feeling any sense of urgency. But typically early donors tend to give again, as money is a sign of enthusiasm ? something Obama had in spades four years ago.

For its analysis, the AP compared the names and addresses of Obama contributors who gave between $200 and $2,500 from April to September 2007 with those who gave amounts in the same range during the same period this year. The AP adjusted its analysis to compensate for contributors who might have moved and listed a new address, or whose name or address was listed slightly differently last time.

The Obama campaign said most of its contributors gave small donations this year; it is not required under federal law to provide names of donors who gave less than $200. About 40 percent of total fundraising came from amounts greater than $200 this year, not adjusting for inflation, compared with more than 75 percent during the same period in 2007.

Obama's missing contributors live across the country, mostly concentrated in the Northeast and the West Coast. Obama also missed support from early donors in parts of Texas, Illinois and Michigan ? areas he narrowly won in 2008. But he also picked up some new sources of cash in those places.

"I have little discretionary money, and I just have to take care of myself," said Roger Hodges, 45, an urban designer in Richmond, Calif. Hodges gave Obama $250 four years ago but doesn't plan on donating in this election. Hodges said friends in the liberal-leaning San Francisco Bay Area have become disappointed in Obama.

Romney, a leading GOP contender, has closed in financially in areas of the country that gave a solid stream of checks to Obama in the 2008 campaign, including Southern California, Florida and New England. Records show a handful of Obama contributors from 2008 donated to Romney this time; few, if any, appeared to give to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, another front-runner.

Lynda Marren, 48, of Hillsdale, Calif., usually supports Republican politicians, but she paid $500 to hear Obama speak four years ago.

"I wasn't persuaded then, and still am not," she said, and gave $1,000 to Romney this past June.

Many Obama supporters said they will vote for his re-election even if they don't write big checks. About 4 out of 5 of those who voted for the president in 2008 say they are likely to do so again, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

But Obama's contributions this recent fundraising quarter ? absent support from the Democratic National Committee ? are less than the combined cash given to all GOP candidates, hinting at an influx of money to whomever Republicans chose as their nominee. Observers have said this election likely will cost more than $1 billion.

The Obama campaign, for its part, said more than a million people have given to the president's 2012 re-election efforts, a mix of hundreds of thousands of new and returning donors that spokesman Ben LaBolt said points to "evidence of a growing organization." All told, Obama received donations from a wide swath of the United States from the Plains, the Midwest and parts of the South since April, the AP's analysis found.

Among those donors was Laurel Cappa of Washington, who gave $300 to the president four years ago and opened her wallet again this year.

"It was a birthday gift to myself," she said, having turned 70 this year, "and I expect to be giving more."

The campaign reports offer a complicated financial picture for Obama this election cycle. Recent reports show a mixed level of financial support from Wall Street, and an AP analysis earlier this month found Obama garnered continued donations from the nation's most economically hard-hit areas.

The campaign figures, however, didn't capture money raised by new, outside groups known as super political action committees, which can collect unlimited amounts of cash to influence elections. Obama and leading GOP candidates all have super PACs working in their favor, not counting groups like the GOP-leaning American Crossroads that have raised hundreds of millions ahead of the general election.


Follow Jack Gillum at

Associated Press


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Consumer spending up in September on savings (Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) ? Sluggish growth in U.S. consumer income in September led households to cut back on saving to increase their spending, casting doubts over the durability of the economy's third-quarter growth spurt.

The Commerce Department said on Friday consumer spending increased 0.6 percent, matching expectations, after a 0.2 percent gain in August. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

With income edging up 0.1 percent last month, spending was at the expense of saving, which dropped to an annual rate of $419.8 billion, the lowest level since August 2009, from $479.1 billion in August.

The saving rate, the percentage of disposable income socked away, fell to 3.6 percent, the slowest since December 2007, from 4.1 percent in August.

Income fell 0.1 percent in August and economists had expected a 0.3 percent increase in September.

"Very weak income, but very solid consumption even though consumer confidence is in recession. So that's good news for the economy," said Kurt Karl, chief U.S. economist at Swiss Re in New York. "(But) it's hard to sustain without more income growth."

A separate report from the Labor Department showed wages and salaries expanded 0.3 percent in the third quarter -- the smallest rise in a year -- after gaining 0.4 percent pace in the prior quarter.

U.S. Treasuries prices held steady at higher levels after the data. Stock index futures were lower after a big rally on Thursday, while the euro extended a decline against the dollar.

In September, inflation-adjusted disposable income slipped 0.1 percent, declining for a third straight month.

Sturdy consumer spending contributed to gross domestic product growing at a 2.5 percent annual pace in the third quarter, the fastest rate in a year, after an anemic 1.3 percent rate in the second quarter. Much of the spending data was included in Thursday's GDP report.

But given that income is not driving spending, the economy could lose some of its new found momentum. Consumer spending grew at a 2.4 percent pace in the last quarter, the fastest in nearly a year.

Stubbornly high unemployment, characterized by a jobless rate that has been stuck above 9 percent for five consecutive months, is restraining income growth. Last month, wages and salaries rose 0.3 percent after dipping 0.1 percent in August.

But subsiding inflation pressures should offer households some relief. A price index for personal spending rose at a 0.2 percent rate last month, slowing from August's 0.3 percent pace. In the 12 months through September, the PCE index was up 2.9 percent after rising by the same margin in August.

A core inflation measure, which strips out food and energy costs, was flat last month after increasing 0.2 percent in August. In the 12 months through September, core PCE rose 1.6 percent after increasing 1.7 percent in August.

The Federal Reserve would like this measure close to 2 percent.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani and Jason Lange; Editing by Neil Stempleman)


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

DeMarco: Sadly, this great series approaches end game

Only bad thing about this most unique World Series is that it's going to end

Image: FreeseReuters

It seems like it will be hard to top David Freese's heroics in Game 6, but with Game 7 looming on Friday, it's become wise to avoid predictions in a uniquely bizarre World Series.


By Tony DeMarco contributor

updated 4:14 a.m. ET Oct. 28, 2011

Tony DeMarco

ST. LOUIS - Nobody has seen anything like Game 6. And now, we have a must-see Game 7.

Twice, the Texas Rangers were within a strike of winning their first World Series in a 51-year franchise history. But as manager Ron Washington said afterward, "it's not that easy to win a World Series, as we found out tonight.''

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa twice was ready to make a postgame goodbye salute to the hometown fans that would have come after a season-ending loss. Now, he'll be managing the first World Series Game 7 in his Hall of Fame career.

"What happened today, you had to be here to believe it,'' La Russa said.

What happened was an instant-classic game that made up in drama, excitement and big hits what it lacked in execution.

There are so many potential heroes and story lines from Game 6 and in this series ? from record-setting offensive numbers to flip-flopping MVP candidates to record numbers of pitching changes ? it's hard to keep them all straight.

But we have a Game 7 mostly because of Cardinals third baseman David Freese, the hometown kid whose night mirrored the expansive range of emotions flowing through Game 6 on both sides.

Out of the six-hole in the Cardinals lineup, Freese has tied a record for the most RBI in a postseason with 19. They don't get any more clutch than his three RBIs in Game 6.

A leadoff blast over the center-field wall off Mark Lowe ended a mind-blowing 10-9 Cardinals victory in 11 innings that Freese himself extended two innings earlier with a two-out, two-strike, two-run, opposite-field triple off the right-field wall against Rangers closer Neftali Feliz.

Who does that ? not once, but twice?

"It's all about knowing that this is the same game as when you're 6 years old,'' Freese said. "It's just elevated on a stage, and everyone is watching. You have to keep reminding yourself you have a job to do, and you try to execute. Sometimes you don't, and sometimes you do.''

Two times, Freese did. He smashed a full-count change-up off Lowe, then watched the home run bounce onto the grass berm in center field, and "the usher trying to keep everybody off the grass, but that obviously didn't work.''

And the triple off Feliz to erase a 7-5 deficit? It came on a fastball ? the same pitch he had swung through previously.

"That's a home run in Texas for sure, and in 99 percent of the ballparks, that's a walk-off,'' Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman said. "(Freese) just went out and did it later.''

Berkman played no small part in things. His two-run homer gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead in the first inning, he scored three other runs, and with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 10th, Berkman flared a single to center for an RBI single that tied the game at nine ? and made the Cardinals the first team in World Series history to tie games with two-run rallies in both the ninth and 10th innings.

"I actually felt pretty good about it because I figured I was in a no-lose situation,'' Berkman said. "If you don't come through, it's over with, and they might talk about it for a couple days.

"If you come through, it's the greatest, and plus you've built a little bank account of being able to come through, so that if I don't come through tomorrow, I can be like, 'well, I came through in Game 6, what do you want from me?''

What everybody wants is this series to keep going. Can we extend it to a best-of-nine by any chance? We'll have to settle for the 37th time ? and the first since 2002 ? the series has gone seven games.

In case you're wondering, the home team has won only 19 of the previous 36 Game 7s. But holding up this series to past results and conventional wisdom is folly. This one has been uniquely bizarre.

Freese dropped a routine popup in the top of the fifth inning, and that runner ended up scoring. "I felt like I was part of a circus out there,'' he said. But he ended the night a hero.

Think about it: Josh Hamilton hit a dramatic two-run homer in the top of the 10th that you thought would be the game-winner ? and how great of a comeback story would that have been. But no.

And how about the back-to-back blasts by Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz in the seventh that broke a 5-5 tie? Just long footnotes now.

The Cardinals committed three errors ? their most in a series game since 1943. The Rangers made two of their own, bringing their series total to eight.

That's nothing compared to the pitching changes ? 71 in this postseason by the Cardinals and 65 by the Rangers ? the two highest number of changes by teams in postseason history.

La Russa made so many moves in Game 6, he ran out of position players in the 10th inning, but it didn't hurt him. He had starting pitcher Kyle Lohse pinch hit and execute a crucial sacrifice bunt that advanced runners to second and third.

Who pitches tonight? La Russa wasn't giving away whether he'll send ace Chris Carpenter back out there on three days rest, but it's being reported that he will.

Expect that report to be true, even if the Cardinals ace only has a few innings in him, as this will be a Johnny Wholestaff game ? all arms ready ? if there ever was one. The Rangers will start Matt Harrison, and ran out eight pitchers in Game 6, including Derek Holland for two innings.

Position players on both sides are hurting: Hamilton (sports hernia) and Mike Napoli (rolled ankle) will be in the lineup, while Cruz is questionable after straining a groin muscle and leaving Game 6. St. Louis' Matt Holliday severely bruised a finger as he got picked off third base in an inexcusable sixth-inning mistake.

And if you don't think the Rangers can recover from such a crushing defeat, remember this: It's been that way this entire series. After a 2-1 loss in Game 2, St. Louis went to Arlington and laid a 16-7 whooping on Texas. The Rangers turned it around with a 4-0 win the next night behind Holland. And the Cardinals Game 6 win came after La Russa's bullpen-phone gaffes and Albert Pujols' botched hit-and-run call.

It all will be over sometime late Friday ? we think. But as Berkman warned:

"By the way, when you're a little kid, and you're out there (in your backyard, imagining being a World Series hero), you don't have a bunch of reporters and fans ready to call you a choking dog if you don't come through.

"So when you're a kid, you don't realize what a big moment this is. I'm just going to caution all little kids out there, be careful what you wish for.''

? 2011 NBC Reprints


More news
How do you bounce back from this?

HBT: Sure, the Rangers are devastated after a dramatic Game 6 loss. But their ability to bounce back for tonight's Game 7 will have more to do with available players and execution than emotion.


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HISTPRES + Communications & Event Coordinator, Lynch's ...

Lynch?s Landing, Lynchburg?s leader for downtown revitalization, seeks a full-time Communications and Event Coordinator to assist in the development and implementation of events and marketing materials to position and promote downtown Lynchburg as a ?great place to live work and play?. The Coordinator will be an energetic resource for the long-term revitalization of downtown Lynchburg and will represent the Main Street program throughout the community. Responsibilities include coordinating, managing, and staffing special events sponsored by Lynch?s Landing (Friday Cheers, Holiday Traditions, Get!Downtown and others) and coordinating and managing volunteer teams to assist with the implementation of special events. The Coordinator will also work with community organizations sponsoring events in Downtown Lynchburg and monitor and support all efforts that bring customers into the community. Additionally, the successful candidate will work with the Executive Director to develop marketing and media relations campaigns, prepare marketing materials, and manage social media and online information for Lynch?s Landing.

Job Responsibilities

  • Produce high-quality financially profitable events that create a positive image for Lynch?s Landing and downtown Lynchburg
  • Negotiate sound/lighting/staging contracts, labor and vendors; anticipate potential needs and difficulties prior to event
  • Secure and coordinate entertainment, negotiate fees
  • Cultivate and manage sponsor relationships
  • Work within a limited budget, creatively
  • Develop collateral event promotional materials (brochures, ads, flyers, posters, promotional items)
  • Provide consulting services for groups interested in producing events downtown and create partnerships with other organizations to produce events downtown
  • Serve on the City of Lynchburg Special Events Committee
  • Prepare licensing and permit applications for all events
  • Recruit and direct the work of volunteers to ensure adequately planned and staffed events
  • Proactively manage Lynch?s Landing website and social media sites
  • Draft, edit and disseminate weekly e-newsletter
  • Assist in the research, planning, implementation and evaluation of public relations and marketing campaigns; write, edit, and publish informational brochures, information packets, and flyers
  • Assist with media relations efforts ranging from writing and editing media releases/media advisories/ fact sheets to maintaining media lists, cultivating relationships with journalists and pitching stories
  • Write and issue media insertion orders and ensure that space and material deadlines are met
  • Assist with committee projects as needed
  • Perform administrative work as needed to track and report event financial activity
  • Perform functions such as answering the telephone and provide information as needed to resolve questions about Lynch?s Landing activities
  • Other duties as assigned


A bachelor?s degree in a related field and at least three years experience in one or more of the following: marketing, public relations, sales, event planning and production, media, and experience working with volunteers and the general public. The Coordinator should be a self-starter, imaginative, and well-organized. Excellent written and verbal skills are required; public speaking experience is a plus. Must have general computer skills and be proficient in word processing and spreadsheet applications; proficiency in online/social media channels and website management a plus. Demonstrated creative problem solving skill and experience, including the ability to apply independent judgment, discretion and initiative to addressing problems and developing solutions, is required. Ability to work and prioritize in a fast paced, deadline driven environment and to communicate effectively with all levels of staff, volunteers, donors and community representatives is important. Attendance and participation at events and activities in downtown Lynchburg will be expected outside of normal office hours and on weekends.

How To Apply

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, salary requirements and three references to: Anna Bentson Executive Director, Lynch?s Landing 1023 Commerce Street Lynchburg, VA 24504 (No Phone Calls Please)

Additional Information

This position is currently not eligible for benefits.


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U.S. moves to sell attack helicopters to Turkey (Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) ? The Obama administration formally notified the Congress on Friday of an unusual proposal to take three AH-1W "SuperCobra" attack helicopters from the U.S. Marine Corps inventory and sell them to Turkey.

The deal, valued at up to $111 million, would boost Turkey's self-defense as well as regional security and its ability to operate with U.S. forces and other NATO members, a Pentagon notice to lawmakers said.

Ankara has been seeking the helicopters to replace those lost in its long struggle against separatist rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

Turkey last week launched air and ground assaults on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, vowing to exact "great revenge" after 24 Turkish troops were killed on October 19 in one of the deadliest Kurdish attacks in years.

Under the administration's plan, the Marines would get two new, late-model Textron Inc Bell AH-1Z SuperCobras in exchange for the three, twin-engine AH-1W aircraft that would be transferred to Ankara, a congressional official told Reuters.

The Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the sale's effect on U.S. Marine Corps "readiness" would be mitigated by using the proceeds for the Corps' SuperCobra upgrades program.

Such sales from the U.S. military's current inventory are extremely rare. The United States and Turkey have a long tradition of military cooperation, both bilaterally and inside the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Turkey already uses the AH-1W helicopter, the backbone of the U.S. Marine Corps attack helicopter fleet, having bought 10 of them in the 1990s. The proposed sale would enhance its ground defense capabilities, said the notice, which is required by law and does not mean a sale has been wrapped up.

Turkey also would get seven General Electric Co T700-GE-401 engines, six installed on the aircraft and one spare as part of the proposed deal, the security agency said.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)


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Friday, October 28, 2011

Hillary St. Pierre: Aging Happens, Having a Personality Helps

I know exactly when the heads stopped turning to stare at me, when men stopped tripping over themselves to open my door, or when I knew I wouldn't be carded, and absolutely would be paying for my own drink.

Life is different for beautiful women. I know: I was one. I was "fat free," five-foot-five with big brown eyes, high cheek bones and dimples on both sides. With these attributes, I was forgiven for being flaky or making social faux pas. I'd receive attention everywhere, and since I was smart, I worked it into molding the life I wanted. I'd have ego boosts from causing car accidents or having bouncers scurry to open velvet ropes, but the change from fresh and young to aging and overlooked came too quickly.

It always does. If you're one of the lucky ones, and I wasn't, maybe looks alone can hold open doors for you until 40 without intervention. If you're unlucky, you're robbed early of your external beauty through injury, burns, or disease like me.

The luckiest of all, however, realize early looks are a small, superficial portion of who you are, and true beauty is a dynamic that shines through even on the darkest days. This beauty is cultivated. It is your inner essence: the talents, quirks and conundrums that make you, well, "you."

Changing the focus from women as beauty objects to people with substantial talents and personalities is the final frontier of feminism. It is what our culture is lacking to make women truly equal.

How, with all the messages hurled at young girls through life that attractiveness will lead them to a rich lifestyle, does a parent instill the values of creativity, personality, knowledge, and a sense of humor?

Preparing them directly for aging in the future at the age of 5, 15, or even 18 probably won't be effective. Their brains are still maturing. Most are not seeing past the next five minutes. They're busy being self-conscious about their current bodies.

Use body image issues to start a conversation about self-worth. Impress on young women that they are more than their looks. Tell them they can be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or the President of the United States. Tell them by the time they join the workforce, the term "glass ceiling" will only be read in the history books.

Start this as young as possible. When people come around complimenting your little girl on how cute, dainty, or lady-like she is, thank them, but then say what a hysterical comedienne she is. Redirect superficial compliments with compliments about wonderful grades or what a good friend they are.

Keep sending positive messages consistently throughout their life that they are capable of being secure, independent individuals. Do not suggest automatically they defer to their father or brother to open the pickle jar; Show them how to tap the lid to loosen it themselves.
Create an environment where women have significant decision-making power, and do not castrate other women based on their decisions. Judging other women, whatever the reason, will only instill insecurity in their own womanhood, weaken their power, and direct girls to the path of least resistance: their looks.

Above all, model what it is like to be independent, charismatic and successful. Surround young women with role models that have achievements based on their talents: authors, teachers, business owners, even stay-at-home moms. What is important is that value is placed on how well they complete their duties, not how cute they look while doing them.

Having strength, goals, friends with similar values, and parents who support creativity over beauty will give young female leaders the courage to go against the grain and teach themselves how to rely on common sense and wit over sexy banter and bra size.

When I lost my beauty, I'd never been happier to have the personality I'd cultivated, the sense of humor, the wit, my writing, and my intellect to fall back on. Luckily, I worked hard while I was beautiful to cultivate my inner talents, things that I appreciated far more than beauty, things I knew wouldn't disappear with age, that could never be taken away from me, or that didn't need the opinions of others to be substantiated. This feminine strength will come through altering the messages we send as role models to our future female leaders telling them that beauty emanates from the inside out through knowledge, genuine caring, a sense of humor, or talent. Beauty is the energy shining through the eyes, not what you look like on the outside, and with that beauty we can shatter any glass ceiling, or mirror, holding us back.



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Obama announces help for student loan borrowers (AP)

DENVER ? President Barack Obama recalled his struggles with student loan debt as he unveiled a plan Wednesday that could give millions of young people some relief on their payments.

Speaking at the University of Colorado Denver, Obama said that he and his wife, Michelle, together owed more than $120,000 in law school debt that took nearly a decade to pay off. He said that sometimes he'd have to make monthly payments to multiple lenders, and the debt meant they were not only paying for their own degrees but saving for their daughters' college funds simultaneously.

"I've been in your shoes. We did not come from a wealthy family," Obama said to cheers.

Obama said it's never been more important to get a college education, but it's also never been more expensive. Obama said his plan will help not just individuals, but the nation, because graduates will have more money to spend on things like buying homes.

"Our economy needs it right now and your future could use a boost right now," Obama said.

Obama's plan will accelerate a measure passed by Congress that reduces the maximum required payment on student loans from 15 percent of discretionary income annually to 10 percent. He will put it into effect in 2012, instead of 2014. In addition, the White House says the remaining debt would be forgiven after 20 years, instead of 25. About 1.6 million borrowers could be affected.

He will also allow borrowers who have a loan from the Federal Family Education Loan Program and a direct loan from the government to consolidate them into one. The consolidated loan would carry an interest rate of up to a half percentage point less than before. This could affect 5.8 million borrowers.

Student loans are the No. 2 source of household debt. The president's announcement came on the same day as a new report on tuition costs from the College Board. It showed that average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose $631 this fall, or 8.3 percent, compared with a year ago. Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high.

Student loan debt is a common concern voiced by Occupy Wall Street protesters. Obama's plan could help him shore up re-election support among young voters, an important voting bloc in his 2008 election. But, it might not ease all their fears.

Anna Van Pelt, 24, a graduate student in public health at the University of Colorado Denver who attended the speech, estimates she'll graduate with $40,000 in loans. She called Obama's plan a "really big deal" for her, but said she still worries about how she'll make the payments.

"By the time I graduate, my interest rate is going to be astronomical, especially when you don't have a job," Van Pelt said. "So it's not just paying the loans back. It's paying the loans back without a job."

The White House said the changes will carry no additional costs to taxpayers.

Last year, Congress passed a law that lowered the repayment cap and moved student loans to direct lending by eliminating banks as the middlemen. Before that, borrowers could get loans directly from the government or from the Federal Family Education Loan Program; the latter were issued by private lenders but basically insured by the government. The law was passed along with the health care overhaul with the anticipation that it could save about $60 billion over a decade.

The change in the law was opposed by many Republicans. At a hearing Tuesday, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who chairs a subcommittee with oversight over higher education, said it had resulted in poorer customer service for borrowers. And Senate Republicans issued a news release with a compilation of headlines that showed thousands of workers in student lending, including those from Sallie Mae Inc., had been laid off because of the change.

Today, there are 23 million borrowers with $490 billion in loans under the Federal Family Education Loan Program. Last year, the Education Department made $102.2 billion in direct loans to 11.5 million recipients.


Hefling reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Kristen Wyatt contributed to this report.


Kimberly Hefling can be followed at


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Source: Ex-Gulf cartel boss' nephew arrested in US (Providence Journal)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Politics - Top Stories News, News Feeds and News via Feedzilla.


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Thursday, October 27, 2011

I've Been Waiting All My Life for This Kind of Advancement in Umbrella Technology [Genius]

There are some inventions—think umbrellas or nail clippers—that have been somewhat serviceable but hardly perfect. Why can't we find something more effective? Did we all just give up? Athanasia Leivaditou didn't. She wants to create a raincoat with an umbrella hoody. More »


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Video: Obama vs. McConnell

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Motorola?s Droid RAZR (Or Something Like It) Likely Headed For AT&T Soon

Razr ATTSorry, Verizon: looks like your exclusivity on the Motorola Droid RAZR might not last all that long. Based on the finer details of some docs pulled fresh from the good ol' FCC, it looks like AT&T might be getting a RAZR of their very own.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Yahoo Circus (Animation)

Yahoo circusThe latest rumors swirling around Yahoo is that Google might bankroll a private equity buyout?although why it might do so or how such a deal could ever get past U.S. antitrust regulators remains a mystery. But ever since Carol Bartz was fired, everyone from Alibaba to AOL (our parent company) seems to be floating trail balloons for some kind of deal to buy or merge Yahoo. Confused? The helpful animation above from Next Media Animation in Taiwan explains the situation. It's a circus, and Jerry Yang is the ringmaster. I love the part where he refuses the $44.6 billion gift from Microsoft. I bet Steve Ballmer finds that part funny also.


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Investing in an Elliptical Machine For the Home ? Baltic Sea Science ...

Author name: Wilber G.K. Toscani

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Okay people today, lets get to certainly it. As much even as we all really want for you to take a new wonder supplement and do away with that bodyweight that we?ve been putting about since you got betrothed? that supplement simply won?t exist. Also, there are generally some pills on the market that will likely make you lose fat, but they accompany lots of side-effects of which read as being a whose-who in dangerous illnesses.

Kidney difficulties, liver difficulties, pancreas and various organ problems are especially associated just read the simple so-called ?wonder drugs. ? Since it all starts back to what health care provider told anyone, there ?s no thinning plan better than past fashioned activity. Ten yrs ago, fitness promoters looked on to the treadmill among the best approaches to lose unwanted weight, and for some time the fitness treadmill was them. Five yrs ago, the elliptical machine arrived, and this debate began. Which a person?

Today, there?s an easy lot in ab fitness machine in the marketplace which remarks that concentrating on them can provide flat abdominal, much including the models marketing them. Having said that, it is mostly a indisputable fact that just directed at your washboard abs can just strengthen not to mention develop muscles groups, but they can reduce fat in the ab place. In order to get fat decline, ab exercises needs to be complemented by using cardio, main strengthening workout routines, lifting weights and then a balanced diet program. Some of the most useful ab fitness machine elliptical machine reviews is displayed as down the page.

Reebok Center Board Techniques ? Your core board is mostly a surface of which rotates not to mention moves laterally and leading to backside. It might be proven of which whenever exercise is completed on some sort of unstable outside, the workout is more preferable as the bodies cells works more demanding to strengthen and relocate accordingly. It?s a good model for concentrating on your main muscles.


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PFT: Bills put Merriman on injured reserve

Bud Light And Marcus Allen Launch NFL Fan CampGetty Images

Last week, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah explained to PFT the union?s ongoing concerns regarding the proposed HGH testing procedure, and he acknowledged that the NFLPA surely will be experiencing renewed pressure from Congress based on the union?s position that no agreement was reached on October 14 to commence the collection of blood samples.

The pressure from Congress has been renewed.

Three members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce have requested that public hearings be held on the issue.? Per Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the request came from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Cal.), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) in a letter sent to the committee?s chairman, Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

It?s the second House committee to show interest in the HGH testing issue.? The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform arranged the October 14 meeting, via Representatives Darrell Issa (D-Cal.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

?Committee hearings will allow us to learn about these issues, hearing from top scientists about the validity of HGH testing and from the NFL and the NFLPA about the extent of HGH use in the league and their plans for testing to eliminate such use,? Waxman, Butterfield, and Rush write.? ?We urge you to hold a hearing on this issue as soon as possible.?

The letter, the full text of which has been posted on the committee?s website, also questions the NFLPA?s stated reasons for refusing to proceed, citing former NFL quarterback and CBS analyst Boomer Esiason, who has said that the NFLPA is ducking the deal ??because they have players guilty of using this substance . . . [a]nd there are many who believe it is at least 20 percent in the league.??

The NFL thinks that a hearing isn?t necessary, because in the league?s opinion the NFLPA already has agreed to proceed.? ?We appreciate the committee?s commitment to this issue, but there should be no need for this hearing if the union would simply live up to its agreements,? NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email.? ?One was made in August as part of the new CBA to begin testing for HGH and another was reached with Congressmen Issa and Cummings on October 14.? The October 14 agreement was to begin collections immediately and then work out the remaining details of the HGH testing program promptly.? We stand ready to move forward.?

As we?ve explained several times in the past, the NFLPA?s primary concern is that the World Anti-Doping Agency developed the permissible threshold for naturally occurring HGH based on the testing of Olympics athletes, who may have a lower amount than football players.? This would result in players potentially generating false positives.

Then again, if players already are using HGH on a widespread basis (Bucs running back Earnest Graham once pegged the number at 30 percent of the league, and there are whispers that the number could be much higher than that, even though Browns linebacker Scott Fujita told NBC SportsTalk last month that the number is in the range of one percent), a population study including HGH users would potentially give NFL players a buffer zone, thanks to the inclusion in the group to be tested of men who are already using the substance.

?I applaud the members in their request for a hearing and look forward to fully discussing all of these issues as soon as possible,? NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, pictured with Commissioner Roger Goodell on the day the new CBA was signed, said in an email to the Associated Press.? ?We are sending letters to the teams immediately in order to assist Congress in its fact finding mission.?

Though it?s inevitable that HGH testing will be implemented, with each passing day the likelihood of testing during the 2011 season decreases.? And that meshes with the still-lingering theory that the strong resistance among the players to the idea of being stuck with a needle and tested for HGH will result in the players choosing not to re-hire Smith as their leader when his contract expires in March, if HGH testing is implemented before then.


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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Care about bootloaders and Ice Cream Sandwich updates on Motorola devices? Read this

Xoom bootloader

Heh. Hot on the heels of Motorola's 6-week Ice Cream Sandwich prediction on Twitter, the manufacturer has dropped a couple of websites to watch if you care about updates or unlocked bootloaders. They are:

Those pages, and Android Central, natch, are all you need, right?

Source: Motorola blog


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Hurricane Rina ramping up quickly in the Caribbean

Hurricane Rina is projected to become a major hurricane, with maximum sustained winds in excess of 110 miles an hour, within the next 48 hours. It reached hurricane status on Monday.

A late-season hurricane ? Rina ? burst onto the scene Monday afternoon, several days before forecasters had anticipated.

Skip to next paragraph

The quick intensification highlights a key challenge that hurricane forecasters face as they try to improve their forecasting efforts: predicting sudden changes in storm intensity. It's a top priority on the national hurricane-research agenda.

Rina's initial move into the meteorological limelight came on Sunday at 5 p.m., Eastern time, when it was "tropical depression 18." By 11 p.m., the storm system strengthened sufficiently to earn a name.

Early Monday morning, forecasters said they anticipated slow strengthening, with Rina becoming a hurricane by Friday. But by 2 p.m. Monday, Rina had spun up with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles an hour ? enough to reach hurricane status. Rina now is projected to become a major hurricane, with maximum sustained winds in excess of 110 miles an hour, within the next 48 hours.

The center of Rina currently is located some 207 miles east northeast of Trujillo, Honduras. Current track projections ? with large uncertainties at the end of the five-day forecast period ? have the center of the storm skirting the northern Yucat?n Peninsula on Thursday and Friday before hooking eastward toward the western tip of Cuba.

Two key factors in Rina's spin-up: very warm sea-surface temperatures and a general wind environment that changes little in speed or direction with rising altitude. Such changes, dubbed wind shear, appear to have weakened since early Monday morning, according to forecast discussions. Strong shear tends to stifle hurricane development.

"Rita is in a very good environment" for strengthening, says Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Rita is the sixth hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.


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Sparty shocker: Mich St beats Wisc on last play

Michigan State's Keith Nichol, center, and B.J. Cunningham celebrate following a 37-31 win over Wisconsin in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in East Lansing, Mich. Nichol caught the game-winning pass on the final play. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Michigan State's Keith Nichol, center, and B.J. Cunningham celebrate following a 37-31 win over Wisconsin in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in East Lansing, Mich. Nichol caught the game-winning pass on the final play. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

The ball goes up for grabs and into the arms of Michigan State's Keith Nichol, right, after being tipped on a pass on the final play of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in East Lansing, Mich. Also seen are Wisconsin's Marcus Cromartie (14), Aaron Henry (7) and Jared Abbrederis (4) and Michigan State's Dion Sims (80) and B.J. Cunningham, left rear. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates the team's 37-31 win over Wisconsin during an NCAA college football game in East Lansing, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Wisconsin's Philip Welch (18), Kyle French (94) and Jeff Duckworth (15) walk off the field after the team's 37-31 loss to Michigan State in an NCAA college football game in East Lansing, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Michigan State wide receiver Keith Nichol (7), defended by Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis (4), crosses the goal line for a touchdown on the final play of an NCAA college football game in East Lansing, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. Michigan State won 37-31. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(AP) ? A heave. A carom. A desperate struggle for the last few inches.

And after further review, another extraordinary final play by Michigan State.

The team that shook up the 2010 season with an overtime fake field goal came up with another astonishing way to win Saturday night. Keith Nichol caught a 44-yard pass from Kirk Cousins on the game's last snap for a tiebreaking touchdown, giving the 15th-ranked Spartans a 37-31 victory against No. 4 Wisconsin.

"We knew we had a chance," Cousins said. "There's always a chance."

Nichol scored into the same side of the same end zone as Michigan State's winning touchdown against Notre Dame last year, which came on that fake kick in overtime in another memorable night game at Spartan Stadium.

That play was called Little Giants. This one was Rocket ? and the Spartans were sky high when it actually worked.

With 4 seconds left, Cousins rolled out to his right and threw the ball about as far as he could. It went into the end zone but caromed off Michigan State receiver B.J. Cunningham's facemask back to Nichol, who caught it just outside the end zone, then fought two Wisconsin defenders and just barely broke the goal line.

The former backup quarterback was initially ruled short of the end zone, but officials overturned the call after a review, giving the Spartans (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) the win and knocking the Badgers (6-1, 2-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.

"It was just a feeling that I went across the line for a second. I had the ball in my upfield shoulder, and there was no way I felt I could've been denied," Nichol said. "I don't think anybody coming out of high school when they're a quarterback envisions winning the game as a wide receiver."

Russell Wilson had led the Badgers from 14 points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 1:26 left on a 2-yard touchdown pass to Montee Ball.

The wild game ? in which both teams blew two-touchdown leads ? featured an even more memorable finish. Wisconsin trailed 31-17 in the fourth quarter before Wilson ran 22 yards for a touchdown and made several spectacular throws on the move to set up the TD pass to Ball to tie it at 31.

Michigan State then survived a harrowing moment when Cousins fumbled deep in his own territory. Offensive lineman Dan France fell on the ball with 42 seconds left.

At that point, Wisconsin was eager to use timeouts, trying to get the ball back, but on second-and-20 from his own 24, Cousins found Cunningham for a 12-yard gain. The Spartans then picked up a first down on an 11-yard shovel pass to Keshawn Martin.

"If we get the ball back with less than 30 seconds we were going to go for a block (punt)," Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. "We were going for the win."

Michigan State's last drive appeared to stall at the Wisconsin 44, but the Spartans had time for one more play ? one that will go down in Michigan State history, right next to Little Giants.

Cousins was able to buy enough time for receivers to get down the field. Wisconsin's 6-foot-2 receiver Jared Abbrederis was in on the last play to try to defend against the miracle play, but he jumped a beat too soon and the pass sailed over his outstretched arms.

"It's a play that everybody practices," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "You never know when it's going to come to fruition."

Cunningham was in the end zone, and the ball bounced off his helmet and into Nichol's arms. After Nichol caught the pass, Michigan State players immediately started spilling onto the field, even though officials ruled that Abbrederis and linebacker Mike Taylor had stopped him short. When the call was reversed and a touchdown was awarded, the celebration began again.

"I kept saying, 'Focus!'" Dantonio said. "But the guys upstairs were saying, 'He's in! He's in!'"

Dantonio had a mild heart attack after last year's thrilling Notre Dame game and ended up having to miss Michigan State's win over Wisconsin two games later. He was on the sideline for this one.

"My heart's racing," Dantonio said after another amazing finish.

Wisconsin had won its first six games of the season, all by at least 31 points. The Badgers entered the game leading the nation in scoring offense, and Michigan State was ranked second in total defense.

Michigan State handed Wisconsin its only loss of the regular season last year, but the Badgers went to the Rose Bowl anyway, emerging from a three-way tiebreaker with the Spartans and Ohio State atop the Big Ten.

Michigan State looked overmatched early on Saturday, allowing a pair of first-quarter touchdowns and struggling to hold off Wisconsin's powerful offensive line. The Spartans turned the game around in the second quarter with some impressive work on special teams.

Mike Sadler's nice punt pinned Wisconsin back at its own 5-yard line, and two plays later, Wilson threw the ball away under pressure in the end zone for an intentional grounding call and a safety that made it 14-2.

Michigan State scored its first touchdown on a slow-developing reverse. Martin avoided a tackler in the backfield and found room to the outside for a 34-yard scoring run.

Wisconsin responded with an impressive drive but ended up settling for a 30-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-1. Darqueze Dennard blocked it, and the Spartans capitalized with an 80-yard scoring drive. Cousins found Cunningham over the middle on fourth-and-2, and the senior receiver turned the catch into a 35-yard touchdown, giving Michigan State a 16-14 lead with 1:20 left in the half.

The Spartans weren't done. They used timeouts to stop the clock and forced a punt, which Kyler Elsworth blocked. The ball bounced back to the end zone, where Michigan State's Bennie Fowler was credited with the recovery amid a pile of bodies with 37 seconds to play.

After a Wisconsin field goal in the third quarter, Michigan State made it 31-17 when Cousins threw over the middle to Martin, who outran the defense to the sideline and turned up the field to the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown. Cousins then threw to Cunningham for a 2-point conversion.

Wisconsin missed a chance for a big play when Wilson's deep pass was dropped by Abbrederis, but the Badgers later scored when Wilson scrambled to his right, faked out safety Isaiah Lewis with a pump fake and ran up the sideline for a touchdown that made it 31-24.

Michigan State won despite playing without defensive lineman William Gholston, who was suspended for a game after he was shown on video taking a swing at a Michigan player last weekend. The Spartans managed to sack Wilson three times ? he'd been sacked only five times in the first six games.

Associated Press


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