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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bloom Has 5 Endorsements In The Pa. House Of Rep. 195th Race by Tracey Walker tw1227@yahoo.com

Bloom Has 5 Endorsements In The Pa. House Of Rep. 195th Race by Tracey Walker tw1227@yahoo.com



Warren Bloom, West Philadelphian, announced early last summer that he would join in the race for Pennsylvania House of Representative 195th district as a democrat despite not having the local democratic party nomination, but he is trying to change destiny, in part, with an endorsement from National Independent American Party Pa Coordinators Dennis Gorgoglione and Joseph Ruggiero.

In fact, Warren Bloom, Sr has won the IAP nominee race. (See link) http://www.usiap.org/Candidates/CandidatesIndex.html

Philadelphia County and City Coordinator Van Stone (IAP-Phila.), chairman of the IAP Philadelphia City Committee, is also backing Bloom.

And Khalid Moffitt, vice chairman of IAP Philadelphia City Committee and Arrita Robinson, secretary of IAP Philadelphia City Committee, has backed Bloom, also.

The General Election for state rep. is less 8 months away, and who will be the primary leader in the race by then is "well everyone," according to how all party registrants see it. Bloom says, "Democrats, Republicans,and Third Parties are all undecided."

County Coordinator Stone, City Committee Vice Chair Moffitt, and City Committee Secretary Robinson are fresh faces in Philly local politics. But they are not new to being influential in the city of brotherly love.

Both Moffitt and Robinson see the importance of candidates in any local election as looking at who will call for reforms such as "education, economic opportunities, and fighting crime" and truly mean it.

Stone wants a working public servant in the West, North and University Philadelphia areas.

Bloom is doing his best to respond to a Public Record reporter's observation that Democratic candidate Michelle Brownlee was sort of a definite to be the Democratic nominee against the Republican nominee once the May 18th primary has ended and probably the favorite to become the next 195th district state rep.

Activist Julian Bond Visits Philadelphia with Plea for Ongoing Equality Effort

Activist Julian Bond Visits Philadelphia with Plea for Ongoing Equality Effort


by KYW's Karin Phillips

Activist, author, commentator, and onetime politician Julian Bond was in Philadelphia on Thursday morning to talk about race in America, in a Black History Month event that was postponed by a storm last month.

The co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and former chairman of the NAACP talked to employees at a PNC Bank branch in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia. He says race relations are a lot better now than in the '60s, but there's still a lot to do:

"We're now asked to believe that 200 years of being somebody else's property, followed by 100 years of oppression in the South and discrimination in the North, can be wiped away by 4½ decades of halfhearted remediation and one presidential election. The truth is is that Jim Crow may be dead but racism is alive and well."

For full story go to:

http://www.kyw1060.com/

Latest Alternative to Trash Fee is 12% Property Tax Hike

Latest Alternative to Trash Fee is 12% Property Tax Hike


by KYW's Mike Dunn

An alternative to Mayor Nutter's trash collection fee proposal was introduced on Thursday in City Council, but this idea may prove just as controversial. The measure calls for a 12-percent increase in property taxes.

The mayor (above) has been pushing for a $300-a-year trash collection fee to raise $107 million, which would cover more than two-thirds of the city's projected deficit.

But now, First District councilman Frank DiCicco (right) has formally introduced his alternative: a 12-percent property tax hike. He says Council could always roll it back:

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Pa. Sen. Anthony Williams Picks Up 2 Big Endorsements for Governor

Pa. Sen. Anthony Williams Picks Up 2 Big Endorsements for Governor

(Pa. state senator Anthony Williams is flanked by Rep. Dwight Evans, left, and Mayor Nutter.)

by KYW's Steve Tawa

He joined late in the race for governor in Pennsylvania, but state senator Anthony Williams is trying to make up for that, in part, with an endorsement from Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter.

State representative Dwight Evans (D-Phila.), chairman of the powerful state House Appropriations Commmittee, is also backing Williams.

The Democratic primary for governor is less than two months away, and the the big leader in the race is "I don't know," according to a recent survey. Williams notes:

"The latest Franklin and Marshall poll had 71 percent of Democrats polled as undecided."

But Williams insists he'll do well:

"We're competitive, we have a base, we have a message. People are paying attention to it."

Mayor Nutter and Williams go way back to their early days in politics when Williams father, the late Hardy Williams, was an influential state senator.

Nutter calls the 53-year-old Williams "an outside-the-box thinker" on education, economic opportunities, and fighting crime:

"A great public servant, a son of West Philadelphia, and a great friend to the City of Philadelphia."

Williams was quick to respond to a reporter's observation that Governor Rendell told a national interviewer that Tom Corbett was a "slam-dunk" to be the Republican nominee and "probably the favorite" to become the next governor.

Williams was asked how that analysis affects the quartet of Democratic candidates, when a Democratic governor has that view.

"Probably the same way it affected Hillary Clinton, when he picked her to be a slam-dunk. That's his opinion."

Clinton won the battle in the 2008 Pennsylvania primary, beating Barack Obama by 10 percentage points, but lost the primary war.

The other Democratic candidates in the May 18th primary are Montgomery County commissioner Joe Hoeffel, state auditor general Jack Wagner, and Allegheny County Executive Don Onorato.

Phila. School District ''Webinar'' Looks for Solutions to Flash Mobs

Phila. School District ''Webinar'' Looks for Solutions to Flash Mobs


by KYW's Michelle Durham

Students from 10 area high schools participated on Thursday in a special "webinar" -- a web-based seminar -- facilitated by officials of the School District of Philadelphia, to talk about social media, flash mobs, and how the phenomenon could be channeled into something positive.

About 350 students participated, along with a special panel that included Montgomery County assistant district attorney Todd Stevens and Eagles' fullback Leonard Weaver.

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

A look at the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament

A look at the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament

AP Photo
Kentucky's John Wall shoots during an NCAA men's East Regional college basketball practice in Syracuse, N.Y., on Wednesday, March 24, 2010.

The first two rounds of the NCAA tournament are supposed to give us enough upsets and feel-good stories to tide us over until next season.

The second weekend, the round of 16 and the regional finals, are supposed to be the time the teams from the power conferences remind us why the schools from those leagues dominate the Top 25 all season and fill the upper seed lines in the tournament bracket.

Not this weekend.

There is one of those pesky "mid-major" teams in each of the regionals.

Davidson had a shot in the air to beat Kansas and reach the Final Four in 2008. George Mason beat three former national champions on the way to the Final Four in 2006 as a No. 11 seed.

It can happen, and three No. 1 seeds and three No. 2s can only hope everything returns to form.

Thursday's Games

EAST REGIONAL

At Syracuse, N.Y.

No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Cornell

It would be tough to find a matchup of more different approaches to college basketball. Kentucky comes into the Carrier Dome with a roster full of future NBA players - including freshmen John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe. Coach John Calipari is seeking his third Final Four with as many schools and this group hasn't shown any signs of being too young to win a national championship.

Cornell starts three seniors and is a true team with a 7-foot defensive specialist (Jeff Foote), a dead-on 3-point shooter (Ryan Wittman) and a steady point guard (Louis Dale). Don't be misled thinking this team is an Ivy League throwback that uses most of the shot clock and waits until there is a backdoor open. The Big Red do that but they also averaged 82.5 points in winning their first two tournament games by an average of 15.5 points.

Look for talent to take over. Kentucky pulls away for an 87-71 victory.

No. 2 West Virginia vs. No. 11 Washington

All the talk around this game concerns West Virginia's ability to handle the loss of starting point guard Darryl "Truck" Bryant, who broke his foot in practice Tuesday. Still, the Mountaineers have Da'Sean Butler, who hit two game-winning shots in the Big East tournament title run. Joe Mazzula, a redshirt junior who averaged 2.2 points in 14.9 minutes this season, should get the ball but don't be surprised if coach Bob Huggins goes with a four-forward lineup.

Washington is one of the hottest teams in the country, having won nine straight, a streak that has allowed the Huskies to change what many considered to be an unsuccessful season. Their NCAA wins were different as they rallied from 15 points down in the second half to beat Marquette and they led by as many as 23 in cruising past New Mexico. Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas need 20 points combined to become the highest-scoring duo in school history.

West Virginia might take a while to get used to not having Bryant, but the Mountaineers truck on to a 71-64 victory.

WEST REGIONAL

At Salt Lake City

No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 5 Butler

Syracuse wasn't affected at all in the first two rounds by the absence of center Arinze Onuaku, who hurt his knee in the Big East tournament, and he won't be there for the regional semifinal, either. Without Onuaku, the back of the 2-3 zone isn't as tough to navigate and the Orange will be down to a six-man rotation. Although the zone is what most people talk about, Syracuse is among the nation's best in scoring (81.6) and shooting percentage (51.7).

Butler was a mid-major that spent a good part of the season ranked just outside the top 10. The Bulldogs steamrolled through the Horizon League and then squeaked by Murray State to reach this round. Six-foot-9 sophomore guard Gordon Hayward will be the key man against the zone. He will have to make sure the ball goes inside to come back out and he will also have to find a way to get into the zone and hit the 12- to 15-foot jumper. An explosive scorer such as Shelvin Mack could be the zone breaker.

Even without Onuaku, the Orange will be able to keep up its offensive pace and get away with an 83-69 victory.

No. 2 Kansas St. vs. No. 6 Xavier

Kansas State has been a quiet No. 2 seed, just cruising along with easy wins to reach this round for the first time since 1988. The backcourt of Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente has attracted attention, but the frontcourt of Dominique Sutton, Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels has allowed the Wildcats to outrebound their opponents by almost six a game while holding them to an average of 67 points. Pullen's defense on BYU's Jimmer Fredette in the second round was one of the best individual efforts of the tournament.

Xavier is in the round of 16 for the third straight year, a feat only Michigan State can match. The Musketeers are definitely a major team, having lost the mid-major label many years ago. First-year coach Chris Mack has kept the system in place that has made the school so successful for so long. Jordan Crawford has become much more than the kid who dunked on LeBron James over the summer. The sophomore transfer from Indiana is averaging 20.2 points this season and has upped that to 27.5 in the tournament.

There doesn't have to be an upset in this round, but Xavier gets one here, 79-75 behind Crawford.

Friday's Games

MIDWEST REGIONAL

At St. Louis

No. 5 Michigan St. vs. No. 9 Northern Iowa

Michigan State heads into the round of 16 with several injuries. Kalin Lucas, the Big Ten player of the year in 2008-09, ruptured an Achilles' tendon during the second-round win over Maryland. Chris Allen, the team's best 3-point shooter, has been limited because of an injured right foot and forward Delvon Roe has been bothered by a bad right knee. The first of the replacements did just fine as Korie Lucious stepped in for Lucas and hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer against Maryland to send the Spartans on to this round for the third straight year. Coach Tom Izzo's .750 winning percentage in the tournament ranks third among active coaches.

Ali Farokhmanesh and Jordan Eglseder weren't known outside Northern Iowa until last week's wins over UNLV and overall top seed Kansas. Farokhmanesh hit the traditional game-winning 3-pointer in the first game and buried a 3 few would have taken to give the Panthers a four-point lead over the Jayhawks in the final minute. He was 9 of 19 from 3-point range in the first two rounds and averaged 16.5 points. The 7-foot Eglseder averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in the two games that have made Northern Iowa a team everybody knows.

Since Izzo had five days to find a way to convince his team the injuries won't affect their play on defense or how they rebound, look for the Spartans to shut down the Panthers' run, 67-58.

No. 2 Ohio St. vs. No. 6 Tennessee

Ohio State won its first game despite Evan Turner having an off game. The Buckeyes looked like a No. 2 seed when Turner returned to form with 24 points, nine rebounds and nine assists against Georgia Tech. They are more than just Turner, with sharpshooter Jon Diebler and veteran forward David Lighty both making big contributions in their nine-game winning streak.

Tennessee held off San Diego State in the opening round, then looked more like itself in taking care of Ohio University, the team that upset Georgetown. The Volunteers shot 56.7 percent from the field and outrebounded the Bobcats 41-33 with Wayne Chism and Brian Williams grabbing 12 each. The one thing Tennessee has to do is cut down on turnovers - it had 16 against Ohio.

The Buckeyes, and more specifically Turner, have found a way to handle what's thrown at them. That's what happens here in Ohio State's 78-76 victory.

SOUTH REGIONAL

At Houston

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 4 Purdue

While everyone has been concentrating on Duke's 3 Ss - Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith - the Blue Devils have been playing their best defense of the season. They have held 10 of their last 13 opponents - including the two in the NCAA tournament - to 61 points or less. They outrebound teams by six per game and are no longer just a perimeter team with no inside presence.

Purdue was supposed to be out of this tournament a couple of rounds ago. The Boilermakers weren't given much of a chance to advance without second-leading scorer and rebounder Robbie Hummel, who injured his knee and is out for the season. Everyone else has stepped up to fill the void, especially 6-3 Chris Kramer, the Big Ten's two-time defensive player of the year who has lived up to his mantle of emotional leader in Hummel's absence.

Duke is just too good on the defensive end. Blue Devils win 73-58.

No. 3 Baylor vs. No. 10 Saint Mary's

Baylor boasts one of the country's best backcourts in LaceDarius Dunn (19.4 points per game) and Tweety Carter (15.1), and the two are complemented by forward Ekpe Udoh, who almost averages a double-double (13.9 points, 9.7 rebounds). The Bears liked to score during the Big 12 season, but they have taken things down a notch in the NCAA tournament, mostly because of a combined 13-of-40 effort from 3-point range.

Omar Samhan has moved up the big man charts with a bullet since the start of the NCAA tournament. A solid player all season for Saint Mary's, the 6-11 Samhan has turned it on in the post against Richmond and Villanova, averaging 30.5 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting 75 percent (24 of 32) from the field. Samhan's presence inside has allowed the Gaels to shoot 41.1 percent from 3-point range, led by Mickey McConnell's 51.7 percent.

Samhan will muddle the middle and the Gaels are good enough around him to advance with a 75-68 victory.

Democrats near victorious end of health care fight

Democrats near victorious end of health care fight

AP Photo
President Barack Obama speaks about health care reform at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Thursday, March 25, 2010.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Capping an epic struggle, congressional Democrats applied the final touches Thursday to historic legislation enshrining health care as the right of every citizen. Republicans vowed to campaign for repeal in the fall election season, drawing a quick retort from President Barack Obama: "I welcome that fight."

The president spoke in Iowa as the Senate voted 56-43 for legislation making changes, including better benefits for seniors and lower- and middle-class families, to the bill he signed with a flourish at the White House on Tuesday. That cleared the way for a final, confirming vote in the House, which Democratic leaders hoped for by evening.

Passage of the two bills was the culmination of what Obama called "a year of debate and a century of trying" to ensure coverage for nearly all in a nation where millions lack it. Taken together, the two bills also aim to crack down on insurance industry abuses, and to reduce federal deficits by an estimated $143 billion over a decade. Most Americans would be required to buy insurance for the first time, and face penalties if they refused.

The second of the two bills also presented Obama with another victory, stripping banks and other private lenders of their ability to originate student loans in favor of a system of direct government lending.

Apart from their impact on nearly every American and an estimated one-sixth of the American economy, the week's events marked Obama's biggest political triumphs since he took office more than a year ago. A pending arms control agreement with Russia, announced on Wednesday, added to his resume, and White House officials said they hoped the momentum would translate into further political successes in the run-up to the midterm elections.

After a months-long battle in Congress, the political struggle was morphing into a new phase, where public debate was tinged with violence - and politicians accused one another of seeking to exploit it for their own advantage.

More than 10 lawmakers in the House said they had received threats or worse as a consequence of the health care debate, most of them Democrats who voted in favor of the legislation. There were reports of bricks through windows, a cut propane line to a grill and numerous obscene and threatening phone calls and faxes. An undisclosed number of lawmakers were under increased police protection.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the GOP leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, both denounced the threats and incidents of violence. But Democrats said Republicans had been too slow to respond, drawing an outraged response in return.

"By ratcheting up the rhetoric, some will only inflame these situations to dangerous levels," said Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. "Enough is enough. It has to stop."

An aide to Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, head of the Democratic 2010 campaign effort, responded: "This is straight out of the Republicans' political playbook of deflecting responsibility and distracting attention away from a serious issue."

"Repeal and Replace" was the new slogan for Republicans as they pivoted away from earlier attempts to kill the health care legislation. Officials said it was meant to appeal to tea party activists - who staged an occasionally unruly demonstration outside the Capitol over the weekend - as well as to independent voters eager for changes in the health care system but fearful the Democrats went too far.

"Republicans fought on behalf of the American people this week and will continue to fight until this bill is repealed and replaced with commonsense ideas that solve our problems without dismantling the health care system we have and without burying the American dream under a mountain of debt," said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Repeal was far-fetched in the extreme, since Republicans are now deep in the minority in both houses and would need a two-thirds majority to overcome a certain veto by Obama.

But Republicans circulated polls showing public backing for the overhaul at no better than 40 percent, despite months of Democratic efforts to rally support. Attacking the bill as a government takeover of health care paid for in higher taxes and Medicare cuts, they taunted House Democrats who voted for it, saying those lawmakers had cleared the way for their own defeat this fall.

Democrats said any unease was the result of months of Republican distractions - as far back as last summer's debunked charges of "death panels" - and predicted the public would warm to the new law once its first benefits take effect.

That was Obama's pitch in Iowa, where he touted a "set of reforms" that will take effect before the elections.

He said small businesses would be eligible for tax credits to help them cover the cost of insurance for employees, including a $250 rebate from the government for seniors with high prescription drug costs.

"This year, insurance companies will no longer be able to drop people's coverage when they get sick, or place lifetime limits or restrictive annual limits on the amount of care they can receive," he said.

"This is the reform that some folks in Washington are still hollering about. And now that it's passed, they're already promising to repeal it. ... Well, I say go for it," he said.

Senate passage of the follow-up measure was nearly along party lines. Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska joined 39 Republicans in opposing the legislation. Republican Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who is hospitalized, did not vote.

The day's events marked the final stages of a rescue mission that Obama and Democratic leaders mounted more than two months ago, after Republicans unexpectedly won a Massachusetts Senate seat, and with it, the ability to slow final action on health care legislation.

Under a revised strategy, the House agreed to approve a Senate-passed bill despite numerous objections, on the condition that both houses would follow quickly with a fix-it measure. The one finally brought to a vote on Thursday added more than $20 billion to subsidies for lower- and middle-income individuals and families who will be required to purchase insurance, and about $8 billion over a decade for states that already provide more generous than average Medicaid benefits.

The Senate vote took place with Vice President Joe Biden presiding, a symbolic gesture since his vote was not needed.

Moments before approving the legislation, the Senate paused for a moment of silence in memory of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who died last year after a career of more than 45 years in which he relentlessly pursued legislation to enact national health care.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Let the Healing Begin: Open Letter to First Lady Michelle Obama by Ari Merretazon merretazon@verizon.net

Let the Healing Begin: Open Letter to First Lady Michelle Obama by Ari Merretazon merretazon@verizon.net


Ari Merretazon

Dear Mrs. Obama:

It is with highest homage and admiration to you that I write this letter. I am the Northeast Regional Representative, and Board Member, for the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. The Reparations Movement, of which N’COBRA is a member, implores you to start a national dialogue on a reparations accord for Blacks in America. This national dialog must be firmly rooted in the historical context of the “trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the “holocaust” of African enslavement in the United States which is anchored in the destruction of life, culture, and human possibilities.

Our ancestors were terrorized by injustices codified in the Constitution of the United States by America’s founding fathers and carried out by religious organizations, corporations, and units of government. Left unchanged, This collaborative will continue in perpetuity impacting African-Americans’ capacity to develop all of their human possibilities if reparations are not paid for the damage done.

Chattel enslavement, and the de facto and de jure racism that have grown from it, was not that long ago as opponents of truth and justice would lead the voting public to believe. As a distinct people in America, African-Americans, with a pre-determined social, economic and political status, have been “free” for only 146 years (1863-2009). This also means that 102 years of our so-called freedom (1863-1965) were spent trying to repair ourselves and seeking recognition as humans.

Our ancestors were “freed” dead broke, without brick, bread, or thread, despite, the promises made, while the enslavers were compensated for the lost of their chattel. Still, today, 44 years later, even with the election of your husband as the President of the United States of America, African-Americans are still not fully recognized.

Therefore, a true national dialogue on a reparations accord for Blacks in America is appropriate within this founding context of America. Reparations are the cross-road solution to these historical injustices and our current undeveloped human capital. This past due debt, left unpaid, will forever contradict the U.S. Constitution you know so well, as well as the Holy Bible you held and where your husband placed his hand to take the Presidential Oath of Office.

Congress passed, and President Obama signed, a stimulus bill to save large financial institutions and corporate America, of which significant amounts were used to pay bonuses to the very corporate executives under whose watch the current economic crisis has deteriorated. Now is the time for Congress and the President to come up with a stimulus check to pay for the damage done to Blacks in America. There is no statute of limitations for this moral and economic debt owed.

I ask that you remind the President, in the ways only you can, that he has the wherewithal to make real the God-given words of our beloved servant-leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, spoken boldly in 1963, on the steps of our nation’s Capitol, in his “I Have a Dream” speech,

“So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Dr. King’s 1963 speech is indelible as truth is,

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”

So I write this letter openly to remind the First Family that a reparations accord would stimulate America’s economy and give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. And I close this letter with the reminder of the “fierce urgency of now.” Dr. King said it this way,

“This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism...Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.”

Thank you for your fidelity. It is with my fervent faith that I trust you will realize that God brought you to the White House, as First Lady, for such a time as this, to help with, amongst other things, the dialogue on a reparations accord and support for House Bill H.R. 40, sponsored by the Honorable Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

For our ancestors and our descendents,

Minister Ari S. Merretazon, M.S.CED

Northeast Regional Representative

Board Member, N’COBRA

Van Stone Youngphillypolitics.com Blooger’s Message To Dan Idiot by Author Van Stone, (610) 931-8810 vspfoundation@yahoo.com

Van Stone Youngphillypolitics.com Blooger’s Message To Dan Idiot by Author Van Stone, (610) 931-8810 vspfoundation@yahoo.com



Van Stone

On Friday, March 19, 2010, I went into my free Philadelphia political views/opinion blogger, you know the popular blogger online that was kind of created to support our U.S. Constitution, Youngphillypolitics.com and saw the bizarre message below.

“1) As it says in bold before you post, you may not post full articles.

2) This site has had enough Media courthouse stories, without any real ability to know if they are true. I don't know what is going on in Media, but I am uncomfortable with all this. Please start a Media Courthouse blog.

Dan”.

It was a bit late in the evening so, I drop a little line in the story posting box entitled This site had enough Media courthouse stories, without any real ability to know if they are true.

I wasn’t cutting this person, a coward, a break when I just gave him a last name, Idiot. I just had other important stuff to do. Oh, but I was going to get back to the person name Dan who dropped the message to me about my story being deleted.

From here on, Dan, you will be known to all of my readers as Dan Idiot.

Just so you know, last time I checked the constitution came about just for arrogant people like you.

I am going with my gut feeling that Youngphillypolitics.com don’t hire or accept volunteers who are completely against the constitution. So, Dan, whenever you are so bold to delete my stories at Youngphillypolitics.com or anyone else story for that matter at Youngphillypolitics.com you should at least give a, you need to go some where and wipe your ass, darn about who you are doing this against.


Independent American Party (IAP)

My name is Van Stone, nationally known writer. Columnist. Activist. And I am an award winner here in Philadelphia also. I only receive a honorable award from Councilwomen Jannie Blackwell which was signed by the honorable city of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

So, this must mean one thing. I am very qualified and good enough to write and post stories on the Youngphillypolitics.com. Even though again I had no clue some Dan Idiot guy was censoring every story that is posted on the free blog.

No Dan, I’m going to say this to you, just one time. I was a bit shocked to see you send this racist, bigot, hypocrite message to me at my personal free Youngphillypolitics.com blog. I mean, if you were personally tired of reading Media stories or there was a limited of Media stories you should have posted that in the comment box about the story just like the blog has set up for you to do.

So, please take the time out to google search autobiography Van Stone or Van Stone Philadelphia Daily News and you will find out what you need to know about me and what I stand for. It seems that the Philadelphia Inquirer and several great Philadelphians know who Van Stone is. I take it you had to know who I was before you sent me your stupid message about Media stories posted from my Youngphillypolitics.com.

Now Dan Idiot, I am known to have a renegade and rogue habit as a writer to not only tell the truth when no one else wants the whistle blown but pushing the issue -exposing those who are for racism, bigotry, or hypocrisy –people like you Dan Idiot.

I think you best google search what main stream hard copy newspaper I, Van Stone have started a boycott against before you send me another dumb message about what theYoungphillypolitics.com site has had enough of.

Because Dan Idiot, if I get another message from you, anything else but an apology, so help me we are going to have a real problem that you will not be able to stop.

I know folks like you Dan Idiot. You are the kind of person that has the perfect name, Dan Idiot because you are so angry at yourself for not liking how people have told you that they have had enough of you walking around them smelling like you haven’t wiped your asshole for a week. And Dan Idiot, they didn’t tell anyone that they had any real ability to know if they are saying is true. Sometimes, Dan Idiot, you can just smell a rat.

Sometimes Dan Idiot, you can just smell when something or someone stinks. So, I say to you again, don’t speak for the readers. If you want to know if anything that goes out on the Internet from my blog is true or not why don’t you do some research yourself?

And Finally, Dan Idiot, as one of the folks who live in the city of brotherly love, a native Philadelphian, who knows Media is well known for its racist, bigot, and hypocritical personality, we folks who write the news at Youngphillypolitics.com are modern minded folks who are “PHI People Having Independence”. Oh, Dan Idiot, “PHI People Having Independence” is a logo that has a copy write so don’t try to snatch it for your someone else or snatch it off of the Youngphillypolitics.com blog here just because you might had had enough of PHI already.

I have support from committee’s and groups known as Independent American Party IAP just in case you wasn’t sure about me, Dan Idiot.

So, if I get another message from you that I’m not happy with, you better be ready to send me a letter to Van Stone P.O. Box 395 E. Lansdowne, PA 19050. Or you can contact me at (610) 931-8810. Don’t forget to stop being a coward that you are -using the fictitious name Dan- because just like I’m also an honored Investigative Reporter in the eyes of many folks who live in both Media and Philly, it won’t be hard for me to figure out who you really are. I’m guessing you are someone connect to Media and the known alleged corruption there.

And if you really want to make something out this, just give Phila. Daily News writer Stu a call or run him an e-mail. That should get you a story in a real newspaper!

Sincerely,



Van Stone,

PHI/Committee Pres.

Philadelphia Prepares for High-Profile Lawsuit Against Oprah Winfrey

Philadelphia Prepares for High-Profile Lawsuit Against Oprah Winfrey


by KYW's Tony Hanson

Oprah is coming to Philadelphia!

The former headmistress of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, in South Africa, has filed a defamation suit against Winfrey, and the civil trial is scheduled to begin in federal court in Philadelphia on March 29th.

On Friday, even the pretrial motions were attracting worldwide attention.

Lerato Momvuyo Mzamane contends that the billionaire talk show host slandered her, falsely implicating her in misconduct at the school.

As the defense puts it, Winfrey "indicted" Mzamane for various acts, for which Mzamane has never been charged or implicated.

For full story go to:

http://www.kyw1060.com/

Phila. Taxicab Hearing Centers on Workers' Comp and Wheelchair Access

Phila. Taxicab Hearing Centers on Workers' Comp and Wheelchair Access


by KYW's Paul Kurtz

Pennsylvania lawmakers traveled to Philadelphia on Friday for a hearing on proposals to make dozens of city taxicabs wheelchair accessible and to provide workers' compensation to cab drivers.

Under the proposed measure, the Philadelphia Parking Authority would set up a lottery system for awarding 50 medallions to drivers. The winners would be required to have a wheelchair-accessible taxi ready to roll within 90 days.

But Parking Authority executive director Vince Fenerty has called on the state House Urban Affairs Committee to amend that provision:

"The amendment will permit the PPA to issue new medallions through a direct sale at fair market value as provided by existing law."

For full story go to:

http://www.kyw1060.com/

The 'Geator with the Heater' Celebrates 50 Years in the Biz

The 'Geator with the Heater' Celebrates 50 Years in the Biz


by KYW’s David Madden

One of Philadelphia’s entertainment mainstays is celebrating a milestone 50 years in the biz. And the “Geator” hasn’t lost a step.

Jerry Blavat was rapping long before it became an art form. And he still does it today at age 70.

According to the big tick tock and young teens turned grandparents still turn out for his dances because “The Geator with the Heater” plays his tunes his way. No excuses, no compromises:

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Jacksonville NCAA survivors have plenty in common

Jacksonville NCAA survivors have plenty in common

AP Photo
Cornell player Jon Jaques, right, hugs coach Steve Donahue as they celebrate after defeating Temple 78-65 in an NCAA first-round college basketball game in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, March 19, 2010.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Take your pick: Duke, California, Cornell or Wisconsin?

Any of the four teams remaining in Jacksonville could serve as a model for NCAA tournament success, with each boasting talented guards, several seniors and plenty of tournament experience. They also have extra motivation that comes from ending recent NCAA tournaments sooner than they wanted.

Those common threads helped propel them to wins in the opening round Friday.

The No. 1 seed Blue Devils, behind seniors Jon Scheyer and Lance Thomas, dominated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-44. California seniors Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson carried the eighth-seeded Golden Bears past Louisville 77-62.

No. 12 seed Cornell, the Ivy League champions who have eight seniors living in the same house, upset Temple 78-65. And fourth-seeded Wisconsin used 19 points and some big plays from senior guard Trevon Hughes to edge Wofford 53-49.

Cornell (28-4) and Wisconsin (24-8) advanced to the second round of the East Regional. Duke (30-5) and Cal (24-10) will meet in the South Regional.

"It's a great opportunity for us," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "I mean, everybody watches them, everybody is going to watch that game or be aware of the fact that Duke is playing, so it's a tremendous opportunity for us. ... I think it's just a great opportunity for us as much as anything else."

The Bears showed all sorts of resiliency in beating the Cardinals (20-13).

That disappointing loss in the Pac-10 tournament? Getting sent across the country to open the NCAA tournament? The suspension of a starter? The Golden Bears overcame all of them and didn't flinch when the Cardinals cut into double-digit leads twice.

"It's a new seasons for us," Christopher said. "Regardless of what's happened, we've put it in the past. ... The time to play well is now."

Randle and Robertson scored 21 points apiece, Christopher added 17 points and eight rebounds, and the Bears responded to everything Louisville could muster.

They jumped out to an 18-point lead, watched Louisville whittle it down to six, then pulled back out front by 14. They endured a few anxious moments as the cushion got cut to 62-58 with 6:55 remaining, then stepped on the gas for good. Cal closed it out with a 15-4 run.

"They were determined to come out ready to play," said Bears coach Mike Montgomery, whose team was eager to play better than it did in last year's first-round loss to Maryland.

Duke has similar feelings after failing to get beyond the first weekend twice in the last three years.

The Blue Devils led from start to finish against play-in winner Arkansas-Pine Bluff (18-16). Kyle Singler had 22 points and had 10 rebounds, and coach Mike Krzyzewski picked up his 11th 30-win season.

"This was a springboard for us. We were limiting them to one shot and rebounding well," Thomas said. "If we continue doing that we'll beat anybody in the tournament."

The Blue Devils have made 10 trips to the Final Four under Krzyzewski, though none since 2006. Duke survived a first-round scare against Belmont two years ago, and Krzyzewski and his players were determined to set the tone for what it hopes will be a strong run with a sharp performance.

"I thought we handled both halfs really well," Krzyzewski said. "It wasn't a sloppy game."

Wisconsin enjoyed an even cleaner game, finishing with just four turnovers against undersized Wofford (26-9). The Badgers, who have advanced past the second round just once in the last four years, relied on defense for this victory.

Jon Leuer followed a huge jump shot with an even more critical steal on the other end. He also hit two free throws to seal it.

Cornell secured its billing as the best team to come out of the Ivy League in more than a decade against Temple.

Down to their last chance to experience success on college basketball's biggest stage, seniors Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale and Jeff Foote paced the school to its first win in five NCAA appearances.

Temple (29-6) lost in the first round for the third straight year under coach Fran Dunphy.

Police: Arrest in NJ Walmart racial comment case

Police: Arrest in NJ Walmart racial comment case

AP Photo
A worker gathers shopping carts near a Wal-Mart store Wednesday, March 17, 2010, in Washington Township, N.J. Wal-Mart officials are reviewing security tapes after an announcement was made for "all black people" to leave the southern New Jersey store. Shortly before 7 p.m., Sunday, a male voice came over the public-address system at the Route 42 store in Washington Township and calmly announced: "Attention Wal-Mart customers: All black people leave the store now." Management later apologized.

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- An arrest has been made in the case of a racial comment being made over the public-address system at a Walmart store in southern New Jersey, police said.

The Washington Township Police Department said on its Web site early Saturday that an arrest has been made in a "bias incident" at the retail store. The posting said police and Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office will announce the arrest at a midday news conference.

Police and prosecutor's office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld declined to comment Saturday.

A male voice came over the Walmart public-address system Sunday evening and calmly announced: "Attention, Walmart customers: All black people, leave the store now."

Although a manager quickly apologized for the remark over the intercom, many customers expressed their anger to store management.

Officials for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said the announcement was "unacceptable." The company said in a statement Friday that it determined a customer may have been responsible for it; spokesman David Tovar declined further comment Saturday until after the news conference.

The company said it has already updated the store's intercom system to prevent a similar incident from happening again.

It was the latest in a series of problems the retailer has had in its dealings with minorities and women.

There have been several past instances of black customers claiming they were treated unfairly at Walmart stores, and the company faced lawsuits alleging that women were passed over in favor of men for pay raises and promotions.

In February 2009, the retailer paid $17.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in its hiring of truck drivers.

And the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the company in May 2009, claiming some Hispanic employees at a Sam's Club subsidiary in California were subjected to a hostile work environment. That suit alleges managers failed to stop repeated verbal harassment, including the use of derogatory words, against employees of Mexican descent.

However, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has said the company has worked hard in recent years to show it cares about diversity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Former Eagle Runyan Announces Run for U.S. Congress

Former Eagle Runyan Announces Run for U.S. Congress



by KYW's Pat Loeb

Former Eagles right tackle Jon Runyan has taken a new field. Runyan, pictured above with his family, announced on Thursday night that he's running for Congress in New Jersey's 3rd district.

Announcer: "Ladies and gentlemen, the next congressman from the 3rd district, Jon Runyan!"

Jon Runyan is running in the Republican primary, hoping for the chance to unseat incumbent Democrat John Adler. Runyan admitted his candidacy begs the question:

"What makes you qualified to be a congressman?"

Runyan says his answer is he doesn't think professional politicians have done a good job.

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Groundbreaking Consumer TV Reporter Herb Denenberg Dead at 81

Groundbreaking Consumer TV Reporter Herb Denenberg Dead at 81



by KYW's John McDevitt

Philadelphia's first-ever television consumer reporter has died.

Herb Denenberg passed away Thursday night at his home in Wayne, Pa. from an apparent heart attack. He was 81.

(Denenberg's voice in television promotional announcement:) "How you can protect yourself from cosmetics -- The Ugly Truth! Monday night at 6 and 11!"

Denenberg was consumer reporter for WCAU-TV for 25 years, until the mid-'90s.

Paul Gluck is an associate professor at Temple University's school of communication and theatre, and a veteran news manager who worked with Denenberg:

For full story go to:

http://www.kyw1060.com/

Once Again, Temple Falls in First Round of NCAA Tournament

Once Again, Temple Falls in First Round of NCAA Tournament


by KYW's David Madden

Temple University students gathered several hundred strong on Friday in Mitten Hall (above) to watch their team's first-round NCAA contest against Cornell on a giant-screen television.

Two hours later, they left disappointed. And for many, it’s a familiar feeling.

The last time the Owls got into the tournament’s second round was in 2001. And for those who have been at the school for a while, the trend is getting tiresome.

Junior Greg Mucchetti admits the team didn’t play well, but says there were other factors to consider:

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Hundreds of Criminal Cases Tossed Out in Camden

Hundreds of Criminal Cases Tossed Out in Camden



by KYW's Paul Kurtz

Officials in Camden, NJ say they have dropped criminal charges against 185 people because of an investigation of police misconduct.

Prosecutors say five city police officers were involved. Four were suspended late last year but have not been charged with any crimes. The fifth officer has pleaded guilty to malfeasance, admitting that he helped other officers concoct evidence against suspects under arrest.

Defense lawyers say the police planted drugs and weapons on suspects to try to coerce cooperation. While they have been talking about the case since January, details from authorities had been scant until now.

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Final health bill omits some of Obama's promises

Final health bill omits some of Obama's promises

AP Photo
President Barack Obama speaks about health care reform at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Friday, March 19, 2010.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was a bold response to skyrocketing health insurance premiums. President Barack Obama would give federal authorities the power to block unreasonable rate hikes.

Yet when Democrats unveiled the final, incarnation of their health care bill this week, the proposal was nowhere to be found.

Ditto with several Republican ideas that Obama had said he wanted to include after a televised bipartisan summit last month, including a plan by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to send investigators disguised as patients to hospitals in search of waste, fraud and abuse.

And those "special deals" that Obama railed against and said he wanted to eliminate? With the exception of two of the most notorious - extra Medicaid money for Nebraska and a carve-out for Florida seniors faced with losing certain extra Medicare benefits - they are all still there.

For the White House, these were the latest unfulfilled commitments related to Obama's health care proposal, starting with his campaign promise to let C-SPAN cameras film negotiations over the bill. Obama also backed down with little apparent regret on his support for a new government-run insurance plan as part of the legislation, a liberal priority.

But was it all the president's doing?

In the cases of the insurance rate authority, the Republican ideas and the special deals, it came down to Obama making promises that Congress didn't keep. He can propose whatever he wants, but it's up to Congress to enshrine it into law.

Arguably, the president could have foreseen that outcome, and was making a low-risk p.r. move by floating proposals - dismissed by critics as insubstantial anyway - whose demise he couldn't be blamed for.

While the White House worked hard to trumpet Obama's plans for the rate authority, his embrace of bipartisanship and his opposition to special deals, the administration hardly advertised the lack of follow-through. Understandable, certainly, but perhaps not the new way of doing business that Obama promised to bring to Washington.

Removing the special deals ran into opposition from powerful lawmakers including Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Max Baucus, D-Mont. The rate-limiting authority and the Republican ideas were left out of the legislation because the bill is going to be considered under special filibuster-proof Senate rules that prohibit provisions that don't have a budgetary impact, and those ideas don't fit in.

"There are a number of proposals that the president wanted to incorporate into the legislation including additional Republican proposals, but the parliamentarian ruled against allowing those proposals to be included," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin. "We would like to enact those proposals in separate legislation in the coming months. In the meantime, some important Republican measures remain."

Of the four main Republican ideas Obama endorsed, only one made it into the final bill - a proposal embraced by Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa to bump up payments to primary care physicians under Medicaid. A proposal to expand the use of health savings accounts was rejected out of hand by congressional Democrats, while a plan to increase funding for medical malpractice reform projects was also determined to be undoable under fast-track Senate rules.

Coburn's spokesman, John Hart, complained that Democrats "found time to buy votes with earmarks but couldn't include bipartisan ideas endorsed by President Obama." House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, had dismissed the GOP ideas Obama endorsed as "bread crumbs" sprinkled atop the health bill - and now even most of those bread crumbs are blown away.

At the same time, Baucus got to keep a provision to give Medicare benefits to asbestos-sickened residents of Libby, Mont., and Dodd still has one that could result in a new hospital being built at the University of Connecticut. Both senators argue their special deals aren't really special deals, because the Medicare provision could apply to other places where public health emergencies are declared, and other sites outside of Connecticut could be eligible for the hospital.

Most of the provisions of the health care bill don't kick in until 2014, so Obama still has time to make good on everything he promised - or try to get Congress to do so.

"To hold the president accountable for every single provision he advocates for is simply unreasonable," said Alec Vachon, a health policy consultant and former Republican Capitol Hill aide. "Some things aren't in there because the members of Congress who have the votes don't want it. Some things aren't in there because congressional rules which Republicans will be enforcing won't allow it. But Democrats will have three years to tinker with health reform before universal coverage goes live."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Villanova Wins a Tough First-Round Tournament Game Against Robt. Morris

Villanova Wins a Tough First-Round Tournament Game Against Robt. Morris

by KYW's Matt Leon

Villanova teetered on the edge of being the victim of one of the greatest upsets in NCAA tournament history on Thursday. But in the end they were able to survive, outlasting Robert Morris 73-70 in overtime after Robert Morris missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

The Wildcats trailed for most of regulation time, but once they got to overtime they led virtually throughout.

For full story go to:

http://www.kyw1060.com/


Asian Students at S. Phila. HS Unhappy with Judge's Report

Asian Students at S. Phila. HS Unhappy with Judge's Report


by KYW's Mike DeNardo

Asian students say a retired judge's report on violence at South Philadelphia high school downplayed the years of racial animosity that led up to the December third attacks.

The report by retired judge James Giles said gang influences can't be ruled out as motivation for the December racial attacks at South Philly High. Junior Duong-Nghe Ly told the School Reform Commission, yes they can:

"We were not attacked because we were in gangs. Obviously, we were attacked because of our race -- because we are Asian."

Commission chair Robert Archie said students should feel safer, with the school's new security cameras and multicultural programs:

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Area Law Enforcement Continues Fight Against Illegal Gun Purchases

Area Law Enforcement Continues Fight Against Illegal Gun Purchases


by KYW's Paul Kurtz

The Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force has made another round of arrests.

In each case the suspects face a host of charges including illegal gun trafficking and straw purchasing.

Pennsylvania attorney general Tom Corbett (above right) says the task force has now taken more than 400 people into custody in the three years of its existence -- many of whom were otherwise law abiding citizens:

"They're the girlfriends, children, their friends and neighbors -- people who are close to these violent criminals and can be easily manipulated into purchasing the guns."

For full story go to: http://www.kyw1060.com/

Philadelphia Plans to Open Every City Pool This Summer

Philadelphia Plans to Open Every City Pool This Summer


by KYW's Hadas Kuznits

The Philadelphia Department of Recreation says that this summer, all of the city's pools will be open.

Sue Slawson (right), the city's recreation department commissioner, made the announcement on Thursday in City Hall:

"I am excited -- I'm very excited! This is big for the young people, for parents, day camps -- they use our pools."

Last year there was only enough city funding to open 46 of the city's 69 pools. This year, Slawson says, they started early soliciting additional private and corporate funding to add to the money in the city budget:

For full story go to:

http://www.kyw1060.com/

NCAA: Kentucky rolling in 1st round

NCAA: Kentucky rolling in 1st round

AP Photo
Kentucky forward Patrick Patterson (54) shoots over East Tennessee State forward Isiah Brown (41) during an NCAA college basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 18, 2010.

Freshman John Wall had six points and four assists for Kentucky as top-seeded Wildcats took a 32-14 lead over East Tennessee State.

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Patrick Patterson had eight points in 13-0 run that gave Kentucky 21-10 lead and forced East Tennessee State to call a timeout. Patterson had 11 points 7 minutes into the game.

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UNLV scored eight straight points to take 20-12 lead over Northern Iowa.

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Tommy Freeman of Ohio outscored Austin Freeman of Georgetown 3-0 as the Bobcats took an early 8-2 lead over the third-seeded Hoyas.

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Eric Bledsoe, the third of Kentucky's trio of star freshmen, hits a 3 to give the Wildcats a 12-10 lead over East Tennessee State at the game's first media timeout.

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Shelvin Mack finishes strong, hitting a career-high seven 3-pointers and scoring 18 of his 25 points after halftime to lead fifth-seeded Butler to a 77-59 victory over UTEP.

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Facing Northern Iowa 7-footer Jordan Eglseder, 6-foot-10 forward Brice Massamaba reclaims starting spot in UNLV frontcourt. He has 15 starts this season, but 6-8 senior Darris Santee had been in the lineup the last seven games for the Runnin' Rebels.

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Butler's Gordon Hayward sends UTEP's Randy Culpepper to the floor in scary fall late in game but he's OK.

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Shelvin Mack was 6 of 8 from 3-point range and Butler held a 58-41 lead over UTEP with 8:14 to play. The Miners, who led 33-27 at halftime, were 2 of 12 from beyond the arc for the game.

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Shelvin Mack hit four 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes of the second half - one more than Butler had in the entire first half - and the Bulldogs opened a 47-37 lead over UTEP.

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UTEP center Derrick Caracter picked up two fouls in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half giving him three for the game. Butler erased a 33-27 halftime lead with a 15-4 run to start the second half.

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Shelvin Mack made two 3-pointers and Willie Veasley added another as Butler opened the second half on a 9-1 run to take a 36-34 lead over UTEP.

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Derrick Caracter had six points in UTEP's 9-3 run to close the half and the Miners held a 33-27 lead over fifth-seeded Butler, which entered the tournament on a 20-game winning streak.

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No. 10 seed Saint Mary's defeats Richmond 80-71 to advance to play No. 2 seed Villanova in the second round.

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Butler started the game 1 of 6 from the field, then made 8 of its next 14 shots and trailed UTEP 26-24 with 3:36 left in the first half.

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Omar Samhan returned after sitting out 6 minutes after picking up his fourth foul. Saint Mary's led 70-59 with 3:14 to play.

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Matt Howard's layup capped an 8-0 run that gave Butler a 19-17 lead over UTEP with 7:10 left in the first half.

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UTEP had a 14-10 lead over Butler midway through the first half. Butler entered the tournament on a national-best 20-game winning streak.

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Denis Clemente ended any thoughts of a big comeback by North Texas, scoring eight straight points to put Kansas State ahead 77-55 with 4 minutes left.

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North Texas went on a 15-3 run to get within 69-55 of second-seeded Kansas State with 5 1/2 minutes left. The run was enough to get Wildcats guard Jacob Pullen back in the game after he sat out for several minutes following a hard collision on the court.

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Saint Mary's goes on 6-0 run as soon as Omar Samhan leaves with his fourth foul to take a 65-50 lead over Richmond with 6:48 to play.

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Omar Samhan, who has been dominating inside against Richmond with 27 points and 11 rebounds, picked up his fourth foul with 9:13 to play and the Gaels leading 59-50.

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Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen went down hard after a collision. He limped off the court holding his left elbow and his hip seemed to be bothering him as well as he left for the locker room. The Wildcats had a 62-38 lead over North Texas.

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Omar Samhan, despite missing 6 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, had 24 points and 12 rebounds to give Saint Mary's a 45-42 lead over Richmond with 15:10 to play. The Gaels held a 19-8 rebound advantage and had outscored the Spiders 13-2 in second-chance points.

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No. 3 seed Baylor advances, beating Sam Houston State 68-59 in New Orleans in the Bears' first NCAA tournament win since 1950.

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Baylor scored eight straight points to break the game's 14th tie and give the Bears a 63-55 lead over Sam Houston State with 1:04 to play.

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Kansas State hit its first three shots and first three free throws to open second half and give the Wildcats a 50-31 lead over North Texas.

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Omar Samhan was 7 of 10 for Saint Mary's in the first half and Mickey McConnell was 4 of 7. The rest of their teammates went 3 of 11 as the Gaels managed a 36-36 halftime tie with Richmond.

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Danero Thomas hit a 12-foot jumper at the buzzer to give Murray State a 66-65 victory over Vanderbilt, the second straight year the Commodores have been beaten in the first round as a No. 4 seed.

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Jermaine Beal made two free throws with 12.7 seconds left in regulation to give Vanderbilt a 65-64 lead over Murray State.

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Murray State turnover with 30 seconds left gave Vanderbilt the ball and the Commodores called a timeout with 21.1. seconds left, trailing 64-63.

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A.J. Ogilvy's layup with one minute to play brought fourth-seeded Vanderbilt within 64-63 of Murray State.

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Corey Almond, Sam Houston State's No. 2 scorer with a 15.9 average, had 10 points in the first 9 minutes of the second half after being held scoreless over the first 20 minutes. The Bearkats were tied at 46 with Baylor.

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Jacob Pullen scored 11 points - including three layups - in a 9-minute span and Denis Clemente hit consecutive 3-pointers late to give Kansas State a 41-25 halftime lead over North Texas, which was 5 of 24 from the field. ---

B.J. Jenkins hit a 3-pointer with 2:28 left to give Murray State a 62-60 lead over Vanderbilt. He has scored 14 points, one more than John Jenkins of the Commodores.

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Omar Samhan of Saint Mary's had 17 points and seven rebounds but picked up his third foul with 6:31 left in the first half but the Gaels trailed Richmond 25-22.

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Jacob Pullen started to heat up after slow start, scoring all 11 of his points over the past 9 minutes as Kansas State took a 35-21 lead over North Texas late in the first half.

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Murray State missed seven of its first 15 free throws and was still tied 52-52 with fourth-seeded Vanderbilt.

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Omar Samhan, who came into the tournament averaging 20.2 points per game, had 16 in the first 7 1/2 minutes and Saint Mary's trailed Richmond 24-21.

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New Orleans native Tweety Carter finally scored on a fast break layup as Baylor opened the second half with a 7-0 run for a 37-31 lead over Sam Houston State. Fellow New Orleans native Ashton Mitchell answered on the next possession with his first points, a 3 that made it 37-34 with 17:12 left in the second half.

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Kansas State outscored North Texas 18-4 in the paint in taking a 26-14 lead over the Mean Green, who used three timeouts in the game's first 13 minutes.

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North Texas within 18-13 of Kansas State midway through the first half by beating the Wildcats at their own game: seven offensive rebounds in the first 10 minutes.

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Omar Samhan had all of Saint's Mary's points - and five rebounds - as the Gaels took a 10-9 lead over Richmond.

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Vanderbilt's A.J. Ogilvy picked up his third foul with 13:33 to go and Murray State holding a 59-54 lead.

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"Come on, Vandy, we got 20 minutes left!" one player hollered as the team returned to the court after halftime.

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Sam Houston State, which came into the tournament shooting 37.8 percent from 3-point rangae, started 1 of 13 from beyond the arc and was shooting just 28 percent overall from the field. The Bearkats were in a 23-23 tie because Baylor has turned it over nine times in the opening 16 1/2 minutes.

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Oklahoma City is about halfway between Manhattan, Kan., and Denton, Texas, but Kansas State brought a much larger contingent of fans than North Texas, filling up about three-fourths of the Ford Center.

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At the half:

No. 13 seed Murray State knocked down 4 of 8 first-half 3-pointers on the way to a 36-32 lead over fourth-seeded Vanderbilt at the break. The Commordores are trying to avoid their same fate from two years ago, when they were a first-round upset victim of Siena when also seeded fourth.

Murray State, back in the NCAAs for the first time since 2006 and trying for the school's first tournament win since 1988, also crashed the offensive glass to create second chances - getting nine offensive boards.

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Danero Thomas of Murray State had seven points, three steals and three blocks to lead the Racers to a 36-32 halftime lead over fourth-seeded Vanderbilt.

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Sam Houston State started the game 1 of 10 from 3-point range and was still within 20-18 of third-seeded Baylor.

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Scottie Reynolds' two free throws with 9.1 seconds left in overtime gave Villanova a 73-70 lead over Robert Morris. And that was enough for the win.

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With 35.5 seconds to play, Robert Morris trails 68-67 to Villanova.

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Scottie Reynolds hit his first 3-pointer in eight attempts to give Villanova a 67-61 lead over Robert Morris with about a minute to play in overtime.

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LaceDerius Dunn, Baylor's leading scorer, picked up his second foul 3:07 into the game with Sam Houston State and the Bears trailing 10-3.

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BYU outlasts Florida, wins 99-92 in double overtime.

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Villanova scores first six points of overtime to take a 64-58 lead over Robert Morris.

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Jimmer Fredette's two free throws in second overtime gives him 36 points for the game and BYU a 99-90 lead with less than a minute to play.

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Corey Fisher scores first basket of overtime to give Villanova its first lead over Robert Morris since the Wildcats led 9-8.

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Villanova was unable to convert an inbounds lob pass with less than a second play in regulation and the second-seeded Wildcats and No. 15 Robert Morris went to overtime tied at 58.

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Mouphtaou Yarou's layup brings second-seeded Villanova into a 58-58 tie with Robert Morris with less than a minute left in regulation.

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Florida freshman Kenny Boynton, who led the Gators back from 13 points down in the second half, fouled out with 27 points when he fouled BYU's Jimmer Fredette on a drive with 3:57 left in the second overtime.

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Scottie Reynolds missed 12 of his first 13 shots from the field but the senior was 12 of 12 from the free throw line, that last two bringing Villanova into a 55-55 tie with Robert Morris with 1:48 to play. It was the game's first tie since 2-2.

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Robert Morris led 55-49 over Villanova with 3:06 to play, trying to become the fifth 15 seed to win a first-round game and the first since Hampton beat Iowa State 58-57 in 2001.

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Michael Loyd Jr. kept BYU alive in overtime against Florida going 4 of 4 from the free throw line and getting a basket off a broken play. The Cougars and Gators went to a second overtime tied at 81.

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Robert Morris' Velton Jones became the first Colonial to foul out, but the 15th seed still led Villanova 55-47 with 3:57 to play.

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Florida's Chandler Parsons, who made a couple of buzzer-beaters this season, missed a jumper with 2 seconds left and the Gators and BYU were tied at 75 headed to overtime.

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Carleton Scott's 3-pointer rattled around and out, and 11th-seeded Old Dominion held off sixth-seeded Notre Dame 51-50. Trailing by three, the Fighting Irish rushed the ball up the court, but Scott's attempt to tie the game wouldn't fall, and Luke Harangody's layup at the buzzer wasn't enough. Old Dominion (27-8) was led by Frank Hassell, who scored 15 points.

Harangody scored only four points for Notre Dame (23-12) and was held scoreless until the final minute. Ben Hansbrough led the Irish with 17.

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BYU is trying to snap a seven-game losing streak in the first round dating to a 1993 win over Southern Methodist.

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BYU, the nation's top free-throw shooting team, missed its first two of the game then made 12 in a row. Jimmer Fredette is 4 of 4 and has made 37 in a row. Teammate Tyler Haws hit his only two free throws earlier in the game to break Fredette's school record of 39 straight.

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Freshman Karon Abraham made a four-point play to give Robert Morris a 42-34 lead over second-seeded Villanova with 12 minutes to play.

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Jimmer Fredette of BYU hit a 3 when Florida had closed within 63-60 but freshman Kenny Boynton answered with his fourth 3-pointer of the game to keep the Gators within one possession.

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Notre Dame led Old Dominion 43-30 with 7 minutes to play despite leading scorer Luke Harangody being held without a point.

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BYU went on a 10-0 run over 3 1/2 minutes to take a 59-46 lead over Florida with just under 9 minutes to play.

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Scottie Reynolds of Villanova went 0 of 5 from the field and had four points in the first half against Robert Morris after not starting the game over "a minor teaching point." He hit his first shot of the second half, the time of the game he has been known to take over for the Wildcats.

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Florida had seven turnovers in first 8 minutes of second half, matching its total from the first half. The Gators trailed BYU 51-46.

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Jimmer Fredette, BYU's leading scorer and the only player to break the 40 mark twice this season, had eight points in the first half against Florida, then matched that number in the first 6 minutes of the second half as the Cougars took a 47-42 lead.

---

Old Dominion opened the second half with a 9-2 run to go ahead 31-30, holding Notre Dame to 1-of-6 shooting over the first 6 minutes.

---

There was some Big East synergy early in the tournament with both its teams playing in the first wave of games finishing with a halftime score of 28-22. The only problem for the conference with a record-tying eight teams in the field was that Notre Dame was leading Old Dominion by the score, but Villanova was behind Robert Morris.

---

Villanova struggled to a 2-of-13 effort from 3-point range in the first half against Robert Morris with Taylor King, the one Wildcat who had struggled the most from behind the arc, making both 3s in the half. Robert Morris could have some foul trouble facing it as five players had two fouls at halftime.

---

Robert Morris held Villanova to seven field goals in the first half, the second straight solid 20-minute defensive effort by the Colonials. They held Quinnipiac to six field goals in the second half of the Northeast Conference championship game.

---

Villanova, which entered the tournament third in the nation in scoring at 85.2 points per game, trailed Robert Morris 24-16 with 4 minutes left in the first half after managing just one field over an 8 1/2-minute stretch while getting outrebounded 17-5.

---

Second-seeded Villanova's early 17-11 deficit to 15th-seeded Robert Morris shouldn't be a total surprise. Last year, the Wildcats, playing as a No. 3 seed, started their run to the Final Four by rallying from a 14-point deficit to beat American University 80-67.

---

Michael Loyd, Jr., who came in averaging 4.4 points per game, went 4 of 4 from the field and had all the points in BYU's 10-0 run that gave the Cougars a 31-28 lead over Florida.

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Freshman Karon Abraham hit his first three 3-point attempts as Robert Morris opened a 13-9 lead over Villanova.

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Notre Dame had the first extended run of the tournament, scoring 10 straight points to take a 15-6 lead over Old Dominion.

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BYU came into the tournament leading the country in free throw shooting at 78.6 percent. Brandon Davies missed the first two the Cougars took against Florida.

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Corey Fisher, the other Villanova starter benched for the beginning of the game against Robert Morris, came in at the first media timeout with the Wildcats' leading 9-5.

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Ben Hansbrough hit a 3-pointer to give Notre Dame a 10-6 lead over Old Dominion, the first points scored in an NCAA tournament game by a member of his family since his brother Tyler Hansbrough led North Carolina to the national championship last season.

---

Scottie Reynolds, Villanova's leading scorer, was in the game with just over 16 minutes left in the first half after not starting as a "minor teaching point."

---

Notre Dame's Luke Harangody, who missed five games with a bruised knee, entered the game at the first media timeout. It's nice to bring a guy who averages 24.1 points per game off the bench.

---

BYU freshman guard Tyler Haws, team's third-leading scorer, returns to starting lineup after missing last game with eye injury. He scored first basket of the tournament.

---

NCAA March Madness has begun with BYU and Florida starting things off in Oklahoma City.

---

Villanova guards Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher weren't in the starting lineup against Robert Morris. Coach Jay Wright said it was a "minor teaching point" and they would both play.

---

Morgan State forward Anthony Anderson, who was diagnosed with leukemia after the Bears' first practice this season, may be healthy enough to travel to Buffalo for the team's first round game against West Virginia on Friday. Anderson, who has missed the entire season, is currently in a weakened state after having chemo treatment this week at John's Hopkins.

New Dem lawmakers feeling heat on health care

New Dem lawmakers feeling heat on health care

AP Photo
Stephanie Spivey protests in favor of health care reform during a rally outside the district office of Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Granger, in downtown South Bend, Ind., Thursday, March 18, 2010. Groups on both sides of the debate on the federal health care overhaul are keeping up the pressure on three Indiana Democratic congressmen who say they haven't decided how they'll vote.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus is getting it from all sides on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The Ohio Democrat opened his local newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, on Wednesday to find a giant ad urging him to vote against the bill - featuring a photo of him with his two young daughters. Tea party protesters stormed his office and berated his staff.

On the other hand, he was heading to the White House Thursday to be wooed by Obama. And there was talk of Catholic nuns in his district organizing a candlelight vigil supporting the bill.

Of the few dozen House Democrats who could cast the deciding votes on health care, none are getting more pressure than the first- and second-term moderates like Driehaus who gave the Democratic Party control of Congress in the past two elections - and whose fate in November could decide who's in charge next year.

While many of these lawmakers are the young, rising stars in the party, they also are often the most vulnerable. They lack the name recognition and political identity that long-term incumbency affords, and many represent swing districts that could easily shift to the right on Election Day.

Until now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has given them a long leash to vote in their own best interests, and many opposed the health care bill last November. But as Democrats scramble for votes - and advocacy groups unleash furious lobbying campaigns - the newcomers are coming under a spotlight like they've never seen.

Supporters of the bill are streaming into their offices one day, then tea party protesters the next. Their phone lines are jammed with calls. They've sat in the Oval Office and taken calls with Obama, or been locked in conversation with Pelosi on the House floor for long chunks of time.

In Pennsylvania, second-term Democrat Jason Altmire had airplanes flying over his district with banners urging him to vote against the bill. One district over, freshman Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper said she was outraged with an anti-overhaul television ad in her district that questioned her commitment to fighting cancer, even after she lost both her parents to the disease in the past month. The ad, run by a group called Americans for Prosperity, features a breast cancer survivor and suggests that she might not be alive under the new health care bill.

Others like freshman Rep. Mike McMahon, D-N.Y., have had local labor leaders relay the not-so-subtle hint that another vote against health care would cut them off from any election help this fall.

Driehaus, who is facing a tough re-election, said he was stunned when he saw the negative newspaper ad showing him with his two young girls. The Committee to Rethink Reform, the Washington advocacy group behind the ad, has since apologized, calling the photo a mistake.

Driehaus said the ad was indicative of hostility he's experienced on the issue, from angry town hall meetings to protesters yelling at his staffers.

"I just think the use of members' children is out of bounds," he said. "I just don't understand how they believe that's of benefit to their cause."

Driehaus says he's made his position clear to anyone who will listen, including fellow Democrats: He'll support the bill only if it includes a stronger prohibition on federal money being used to pay for abortion.

He's "happy to have a conversation" with the president, he said. But like others, he insists he won't be swayed by arm-twisting.

"I pay no attention to that," said Rep. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, a two-term Democrat now running for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh. "People sent me up here to study it 'til you bleed, read it 'til you bleed and then make the best decision based on what you learn up here."

Ellsworth said he's been getting plenty of calls, including one from Obama last week but still has reservations, including on abortion funding.

"I have to be able to put my head on the pillow at night and say I did it in good faith, and that this the best way to go," he said.

In an interview with ABC News Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden expressed sympathy with the position some lawmakers are in because of what he said were "misrepresentations" about the proposal.

He said his response to wavering moderates is that the "proof of the pudding is in the eating," suggesting that many fears about the bill would go away after it's enacted.

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