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West Virginia to Receive $43,710 and Participate in Consortium Project

The Gilmer Free Press

The U.S. Department of Labor announced awards totaling more than $87 million to improve state unemployment insurance programs. The funding, awarded to 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, will allow state agencies to implement program integrity and system improvement activities, as well as implement or expand reemployment and eligibility assessment programs.

West Virginia will receive a grant of $43,710.

“These grants will allow state agencies to upgrade and enhance their unemployment insurance programs by adopting new technologies, ensuring payments are given to those eligible to receive them and incorporating programs to ensure recipients of unemployment insurance are given the resources they need to find a new job quickly,“ said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez.

To qualify for program integrity funding, states must have implemented or committed to implement a set of required integrity activities.  These include the implementation and expansion of State Information Data Exchange System; an enhanced National Directory of New Hire cross-match strategy; Unemployment Compensation for Ex-servicemembers automation; SIDES Monetary and Potential Employer Charges Data Exchanges; as well as other optional strategies identified by the department.

Included in these awards are five state consortia grants totaling approximately $15.8 million for projects designed to improve overall program quality, performance, and integrity.  State consortia have also committed to implementing the full range of required integrity activities in order to qualify for UI information technology modernization funding. West Virginia will participate in a project with Maryland and Vermont that will receive a total of $4,500,000.  Maryland will be the lead state.

Finally, approximately $5 million is awarded to states for the reemployment and eligibility assessment program.  Six states are receiving grants to expand their use of REAs, and two states will implement new REA programs.

The REA program introduces claimants to the reemployment services that are available at the American Job Center, helps them to develop an individual reemployment plan, and includes a complete review of the claimant’s eligibility to assist in preventing UI improper payments.  In states that have REA programs, participants are referred to reemployment services that are appropriate for their needs.

G-Eye™: Blind Citizens Truncated Dome in Sidewalk on College Street-Glenville

The Gilmer Free Press

Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song,
and all about you will be beauty.
There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.
~~  Robert Motherwell ~~

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press

Meth Manufacturer Arrested in Lewis County

An undercover operation in Lewis County has led to the arrest of a man in possession of the precursors to making meth.

Tony Duane Boling, age 35, was detained by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department Thursday afternoon on Georgetown Road in Horner and was found to be in possession of cold packs, salt, a bottle, hose, coleman fuel, lithium batteries, pill crusher, muriatic acid, coffee filters, packaging material and a syringe.

The items are all utilized in the meth making process and were located within a black duffle bag.

Sheriff Adam Gissy said he was pleased the undercover officer was able to get the information and that he and several deputies were able to make an arrest.

“Methamphetamine is still a problem within our community,“ Gissy said. “People who manufacture, and, or use ‘meth’ historically display erratic behavior which can be quite dangerous to society. I am always well pleased when a ‘meth cooker’ is held accountable for their actions.“

Boling is charged with Possession of Substances to be Used as Precursors to Manufacture Methamphetamine, a felony punishable not less than two years nor more than ten years imprisonment.


Harrison SCAD Unit Arrests Two, Searching for Two Others for Drug Related Crimes

The Harrison County Street Crimes and Drug Unit has arrested two individuals and is seeking two others after undercover operations during the months of July and August.

Heath Knotts, age 29, of Broadway, and Taylor Washington, age 24, of Clarksburg, were brought in Thursday as a result of an undercover operation conducted by the SCAD Unit in which controlled drug buys were made from these individuals, according to Chief Deputy Jeff McAtee.

Knotts is charged with three counts of delivery of heroin and Washington is charged with one count of delivery of heroin and one count of petit larceny. The delivery charges are felonies while the petit larceny charge is a misdemeanor.

Both were arraigned by Harrison County Magistrate Warren Davis who set Knotts’ bond at $150,000 and Washington’s bond at $52,500. Neither posted bond and both were transported the North Central Regional Jail.

In addition to the two arrested, the SCAD Unit is searching for two more individuals for drug related offenses which occurred during the undercover operation.


No Boost Yet For Dems From Fight With Extremists

It’s a political rule of thumb that the public often rallies behind the president when the country faces peril from abroad. Sometimes, that can help candidates from his party in the next election.

So far, that doesn’t seem to have happened for President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats as he ramps up a U.S.-led military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Obama warned in a nationally broadcast speech last week that the militants present a menace to Americans in the Middle East and could pose “a growing threat” to the U.S. itself. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel amplified that theme Thursday, telling Congress that the group is capable of dispatching radicalized Americans back to the U.S. for attacks.

Yet with congressional elections less than seven weeks away, there’s no sign yet that the confrontation with the militants has improved Obama’s drab public approval ratings. Boosting his numbers could give Democrats an important lift as they battle to retain Senate control and limit potential House losses.

“I wish,“ Rep. Nick Rahall, D-WV, said Thursday when asked if he detected signs of burgeoning support for Obama that might rub off on his own candidacy.

All this can change by Election Day. But Rahall, who faces a tough re-election battle, was among several candidates from both parties who said this week that the fight against the Islamic State militants seldom comes up on the campaign trail.

Rep. Steve Daines, R-MT, favored to win his state’s open Senate seat, said voters are concerned about the Islamic State and “the lack of a strategy that will effectively deal with this serious threat.“ But he said he hears more from people talking about a need for jobs and complaining about federal regulations.

If anything, it’s Republicans who are starting to use the broader topic of national security as a campaign theme. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the House GOP’s campaign arm, has started running TV ads against four Democratic candidates in Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota and New York accusing them of being lax on terror.

“Foreign policy is popping up as a bigger issue, and I think it relates to a sense of insecurity people are feeling,“ said Rep. Greg Walden, R-OR, who chairs the committee. “It’s part of a bigger narrative that’s unfolding about things not working right.“

The ads drew criticism from Rep. Steve Israel, D-NY, who heads the House Democrats’ campaign organization and accused the GOP of politicizing the issue.

“Politics used to end at the water’s edge,“ he said in a written statement. “It is repugnant that Republicans would try to exploit this threat to divide Americans at a time when our nation should be united.“

Democrats say the battle against the Islamic State militants is too fresh and complicated an issue for Obama to have marshaled public support and improved his image, and for Democratic candidates to have possibly benefited. Only this summer has the group topped the news with its seizure of territory in Syria and Iraq and its atrocities — including beheadings of two American journalists.

Senator Richard Durbin, D-IL, said that when Obama delivers a speech on the subject to the United Nations General Assembly next week, “it’s going to start sinking in that it’s more than just a nighttime speech from the White House, that there’s a plan. And I think he will gain respect as a commander in chief leading our nation into a very challenging and difficult situation.“

“It’s difficult to navigate all the issues and players and permutations,“ Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-VA, said of the churning mix of warring factions in the Middle East. “And I don’t think the sense of existential threat is the same” as it was after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Polls show that solid majorities favor U.S. military action against the Islamic State’s fighters. But there’s no evidence of that improving the public’s view of Obama.

In a CBS News-New York Times poll conducted after Obama’s September 10 speech on his plan for battling the extremists, majorities said the president isn’t tough enough against the militants and lacks a clear plan to counter them. And for the first time, more disapproved than approved of how he’s dealing with terrorism. Nearly 6 in 10 disapproved of his handling of foreign policy.

That poll was among six major surveys this month showing that half or more of Americans disapprove of the overall job Obama is doing as president, compared to around 4 in 10 who approve. Those are dismal numbers that could make it harder on congressional Democrats in November.

Back in 2002 — the first election after 9/11 — President George W. Bush had a healthy 59 percent approval from a public jittery over terrorism, in polling by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

That was down from sky-high ratings exceeding 80 percent in the weeks following the terror strikes. Yet it was enough to help the GOP capture Senate control and gain a handful of House seats in the November 2002 voting.

“As a guy who ran in 2002, yeah, it helped,“ said Rep. Tom Cole, R-OK “Back then, we were putting George Bush in the commercials.“


Second Detroit Man Arrested in Huntington Bar Shooting

A second Michigan man was charged with opening fire inside a downtown bar last weekend.

The Gilmer Free Press


Two counts of wanton endangerment were filed against Timothy Luckett, age 21, of Detroit.

A man shot in the stomach at Whiskey Rocks on Saturday morning was still recovering Thursday.

The bar has been shut down for good.

Huntington police arrested 23-year-old Damon Bailes of Detroit earlier this week on charges of unlawful wounding, wanton endangerment and possession with intent to deliver.

Luckett was also charged in a drug bust earlier this week in Huntington.


WV Releases Plan To Eliminate Invasive Species

State natural resources officials have released a draft plan that aims to wipe out invasive species in West Virginia.

The state Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Section announced the plan in a news release Friday.

Curtis Taylor, section chief, said non-native invasive plants, animals and pathogens cost the state millions of dollars annually. They have no native predators and can hurt biodiversity.

Taylor says they reduce timber regeneration, lower mast production, degrade wildlife habitats and lower stream quality.

The plan includes a variety of prevention, education and management strategies and goals to address the problem. State and federal agencies and other organizations collaborated on it.

Comments by mail or email are due October 22.


Clay Center Gets Grant For Education Program

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston has been awarded a federal grant of nearly $139,000 over two years to help fund an education program for middle school students.

The grant was awarded Thursday by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Through the “emPowered Stories” program, students at least six schools are producing videos exploring energy issues in their communities. The schools are in Barbour, Boone, Gilmer and Jackson counties. The 10-minute videos will be displayed in a special exhibit at the Clay Center.

One of the project’s goals is to encourage students to take science and technology courses in high school.

Last year the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation awarded a $194,000 grant over two years for the project.


WV State Police, Special Prosecutor Reviewing Case Involving Barbour Prosecutor

West Virginia State police in Elkins say they contacted a special prosecutor appointed to review domestic battery allegations involving Barbour County prosecutor Leckta Poling.

State police Capt. D.P. Reider saif no charges have been filed in the case.

He sent a letter to Poling requesting an independent prosecutor be appointed to look at the allegations.

Poling recused herself and her office citing personal involvement.

Taylor County Circuit Judge Allan Moats approved Poling’s recusal and appointed Leslie Maze from Wirt County to the case.

The appointment of a special prosecutor would usually fall to the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney’s Institute, but its executive council decided it would be wrong to appoint one member to investigate another member.

“Every elected prosecutor in West Virginia is a member of the Institute by statute—WV Code 7-4-6—even where they don’t serve on any boards, etc. as is the case here,” wrote Phillip Morrision, executive director of the Institute, in an email. “The Institute’s Executive Council—who has veto power, if you will, over any appointment I would make—declined to appoint on the theory that any appointment of one member of the Institute to investigate another member of the Institute would erode public confidence in the fairness and impartiality of the criminal justice system because of the specter of impropriety that sort of arrangement raises.”

Reider declined to discuss details of the incident while the investigation is ongoing.


Animal Clinic Worker Arrested after Overdose

An employee of a Parkersburg Animal Clinic is facing a felony charge after drugs came up missing at that business.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said the staff at VCA Animal Clinic informed police Tuesday several drugs including Valium, Ketamine, Fentanyl, Hydromorphone and needles had been removed without permission.

Chief Martin said Bethany Watson, age 18, of St. Marys who works at the clinic, was arrested for entering without breaking in connection to the theft of the drugs. Police are also searching for Justin Wade Carmichael. He was rushed to the hospital earlier in the week when he overdosed. Investigators now believe the drugs involved were those stolen from the animal clinic. He is facing a felony as well.

Carmichael is homeless. Investigators are asking anyone with information on his whereabouts to call Parkersburg police.


Four Dead in Accident

Two women and two children were killed in a fiery crash on U.S. Highway 119 early Friday morning.

Deputies said the pickup truck carrying five people left the highway and hit and embankment before bursting into flames about 12:45 AM Friday.

“We actually had an officer who was the first on scene,” said Boone County Chief Deputy Chad Barker. “By the time he got there it was fully engulfed. There was nothing he could do.”

One male occupant of the truck who managed to escape was at the Charleston Area Medical Center in critical condition. Barker said two of the victims were small children, both under the age of five. The other two victims were women—one the mother of the children and the other a friend. The man who survived is the father to one of the children and boyfriend of the mother. The family was apparently headed home and lived in the local area.

Identifications on the victims are pending from the state Medical Examiner’s office.

Barker said because of the damage to the truck it was difficult to tell if the children were in child restraint seats. It’s not known who was driving the truck. He said it’s also unclear why the vehicle left the highway.

“The initial investigation has shown there are no skid marks and no steering evidence of over correcting or anything like that,” he said. “They just drove off the road.”

The trauma of the incident was overwhelming to first responders who spent much of the night removing bodies from the wreckage.

Said Barker. “The job really sucks today, you know.”

Movie Review: ‘The Drop’ - Dennis Lehane takes James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy to Brooklyn

“The Drop,” a taut, atmospheric, exceedingly well-written thriller adapted by Dennis Lehane from one of his short stories, commits one of the most egregious sins in fiction, introducing an adorable puppy early in the proceedings, only to trot it out at regular intervals to stoke the audience’s growing sense of impending doom. “That’s a good-looking dog,” goes a running line in the film. Its usual predicate — “it would be a shame if anything happened to it” — remains queasily implicit.

It’s a credit to Lehane’s screenplay, director Michael R. Roskam’s restraint and a superb cast led by the masterful Tom Hardy that “The Drop” earns every sad-eyed glance and heart-tugging whimper. Lehane — best known to moviegoers as the author of the Boston-set “Mystic River” and “Gone Baby Gone” — here brings his acute eye to Brooklyn, where he displays his usual command of local vernacular and tribal rituals, as well as unsentimental moral inquiry. “I felt bad about it,” says one character about committing a particularly heinous crime. “Does that count?”

The Gilmer Free Press


As Hardy’s character, a bartender named Bob Saginowski, explains in the film’s introduction, there are corners of his neighborhood “that no one ever thinks about.” He occupies one such corner, a tavern owned by his Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini in a fitting final role). Known as a “drop bar,” the neighborhood hangout is used by the local crime syndicate to transfer its cash in a seemingly endless loop of well-thumbed ill-gotten gains.

Bob, meanwhile, keeps his head down, buying rounds for his regulars while Marv scowls in the background — at one point he orders Bob to take down the Christmas decorations because it’s Dec. 27. But Bob’s watchful solitude is punctured one night when he encounters that irresistible little pit bull. With the help of a pretty neighbor named Nadia (Noomi Rapace), Bob begins to care for the dog, simultaneously becoming involved in a years-old crime investigation and perhaps running afoul of the Chechen gang with whom Cousin Marv has become entangled.

As he did so brilliantly in the one-man thriller “Locke” earlier this year, Hardy earns instant sympathy from the audience as a man who seems always to be two steps behind — until he displays startling acumen at the most unlikely (and startlingly grisly) moments. He moves through the wintry cityscape with a downcast, wary sense of foreboding: The viewer can feel him try to disappear as more people turn to him, either as savior, scapegoat or something entirely different.

Bartender Bob (Tom Hardy) latches on to an adorable pit bull puppy and a lovely lady (Noomi Rapace) in “The Drop.” (Barry Wetcher, SMPSP/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Like the Boston neighborhoods of Lehane’s best known novels, the Brooklyn of “The Drop” is a tightly self-contained place, its denizens barely aware of the wider world. One of the film’s many thoughtful subtexts has to do with the wages of insularity and a fatal loss of self-respect and identity, as characters either resort to brute violence or retreat into their childhood homes in order to protect themselves. “The Drop” is so convincingly conceived, so detailed and acutely observed, that each of those houses — including the one Cousin Marv shares with his sister, played by Ann Dowd — could be the setting for its own movie.

“Don’t forget to eat,” Marv’s sister calls out before leaving the house. That’s a common motif too: When a shadowy figure played by Matthias Schoenaerts tells Bob not to forget to feed the dog, it comes across less as a suggestion than a terrifying threat. As “The Drop” reaches its tense climax at the bar on Super Bowl Sunday, the sense of unease is palpable — but it’s also become obvious that Bob can handle his corner of the world not just through cultivating anonymity but by any other means necessary. By that time, there’s no question that we want Bob to triumph, along with his new pet — which, it’s true, really is a good-looking dog.

★ ★ ½

R. Contains some strong violence and pervasive profanity. 106 minutes.

Sports News

The Gilmer Free Press


The Gilmer Free Press

►   WVSSAC Week 4 Games - Results

Thursday

#3 St. Marys (4-0)  56  @  #13 Tyler Consolidated (2-2)  7


Friday

Sherman (1-2)  27   @  Gilmer County (1-2)  53

#15 Braxton County (2-2)  20   @  #13 Ritchie County (3-1)  55

Calhoun County (2-2)  48  @  Tygarts Valley (0-4)  21

#13 Doddridge County (2-1)  >>>  BYE WEEK

#10 Fairmont Senior - AA (2-2)  7   @  #13 Lewis County (3-1)  23

Roane County (1-3)  47  @  Webster County (2-2)  15

Oak Glen - AA (1-3)  12   @  #1 Williamstown (4-0)  34

#7 Valley - Fayette (3-1)  0   @  #13 Clay County - AA (3-1)  8

#10 Robert C. Byrd (2-2)  7   @  #7 Bridgeport (3-1)  31

South Harrison (1-2)  >>>  BYE WEEK

Parkersburg Catholic (2-2)  33  @  Wirt County (0-4)  10

#15 Liberty - Harrison (3-1)  42  @  Philip Barbour (0-4)  12

Lincoln (1-3)  21   @  East Fairmont (1-3)  31

Nicholas County (2-1)  >>>  BYE WEEK

Parkersburg (1-2)  20   @  #4 Capital (3-0)  56

Warren Local, Ohio (1-3)  7   @  #9 Parkersburg South (3-1)  49

North Marion (AA) (0-3)  7   @  Buckhannon-Upshur (2-1)  40


Saturday

Notre Dame (0-2)  @  #16 Bishop Donahue (2-1)



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Two Interceptions—That Is It Through Three Games For The WVU Defense, Which Has Yet To Force A Fumble

Contrary to conventional football wisdom, the winner in each of West Virginia’s first three games has been minus in the turnover margin.

And the fact West Virginia stands 2-1 despite creating only two takeaways (both on interceptions by suspended cornerback Daryl Worley) is surprising to the defensive coaches, who don’t think the trend can continue.

“We do a turnover period everyday and we emphasize it,” said defensive line coach Tom Bradley. “With turnovers, it’s been my experience that sometimes they come in bunches and other times nothing. You work on stripping the football and knocking down passes but the ball doesn’t quite bounce your way.”

The Mountaineers defense has yet to force a single fumble—much less recover one—this season, a drought spanning 200 plays.

Brown’s big moment: Reserve nose guard Christian Brown deserved an assist on Worley’s interception at Maryland by batting the ball at the line of scrimmage.

The most impressive part of the play, however, was what transpired before the tip. Terps center Sal Conaboy initially flattened Brown with a diving cut block, before the 285-pound defensive lineman sprang up and into C.J. Brown’s passing window.

“That’s a hustle play—a play most people don’t notice,” Bradley said.

Rose lobbies for stats: Grappling with double-teams in what Bradley calls the “combative zone,” nose guard Kyle Rose doesn’t have many opportunities to rack up tackles. So when he led a strong inside push to drop Maryland’s Kenny Goins on a late-game third-and-1 stop, Rose wanted some credit.

“He tried to wiggle me out—he thought he should get an assisted tackle,” Bradley said. “And I said, ‘Your finger might have touched the guy’s shoe.’ You’re not getting a point for contact with the ball carrier.

“He tried to work me and I said no. But it was a super push by Kyle. He really did a good job getting low and getting through (the gap).”

Jared Barber update: Though senior linebacker Jared Barber could be recovered enough from a torn ACL to play in two weeks, Dana Holgorsen said the plan remains to redshirt Barber and let him return for a full season in 2015.

“He wants to play in the worst way. I mean, it’s killing the guy not to be out there playing,” Holgorsen said on his Thursday night call-in show. But the coach said WVU’s linebacking depth means there’s no rush to reinstate Barber, a 13-game career starter who has been in defensive coordinator Tony Gibson’s hip pocket on the sideline this season.


►   Thompson Remains ‘Best Option’ At Punt Returner Despite Fumble vs. Terps

A muffed punt against Maryland won’t cost Jordan Thompson his job as West Virginia’s returner.

The junior, who was too nicked up to see reps at receiver, fumbled a fourth-quarter punt that led to a turnover at the WVU 8-yard line.

“He made a mistake, but with that said, he’s the best option we’ve got,” coach Dana Holgorsen said Thursday night on his radio show.

“The dude’s really reliable back there as far as fielding punts. I’ve got a bunch of confidence in him and he’s 100 percent (healthy) right now. ”

Holgorsen suggested fans don’t have a full appreciation for the difficulties involved with fielding punts in live-game conditions. He played receiver in the small-college ranks at Iowa Wesleyan and compiled more than 1,700 yards, but admitted punts gave him fits.

“I was a very, very average receiver, though I could catch a ball. But I could never catch a punt,” he said. “That’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen anybody do.”

Thompson was perceived as the safe choice at returner last year when Ronald Carswell fumbled and Mario Alford failed to show a knack for it. Bolstered by a 30-yard runback against Towson, Thompson ranks fifth among Big 12 punt returners at a 9.6-yard average.

“He’s going to be the guy back there,” Holgorsen said. “I fully expect him to field every punt and get yards after the catch as well.”

Coverage problems: After surrendering Will Likely’s 69-yard punt return for a touchdown last week, West Virginia slipped to ninth in the Big 12 in net punting at 34.2 yards.

“We missed three tackles,” said special teams coordinator Joe DeForest. “We’ve got to strain harder to get off blocks.”

Likely capitalized on a seam in the middle of the field to zip past gunner Ricky Rumph, linebackers Justin Arndt and Xavier Preston and fullback Cody Clay. Punter Nick O’Toole was the only defender to touch Likely on his way to the score.

“I didn’t see the guy hitting me—I got sideswiped a little bit,” said Clay. “It sucks, yeah. It was very unfortunate.”


►   WVU’s Trickett Gets Shot at #4 Sooners

West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett finally has his chance to face Oklahoma.

A year after watching from the sideline as the Mountaineers struggled against the Sooners, Trickett is on a roll and will lead West Virginia (2-1) into a showdown with No. 4 Oklahoma (3-0) in their Big 12 opener in Morgantown on Saturday night.

Trickett has shown remarkable improvement in seizing the leadership of the offense after the Mountaineers spent last season shuffling among three quarterbacks.

The senior ranks fourth in the nation with 408 passing yards per game.

That all could come to a grinding halt against an Oklahoma defense that is allowing an average of 11 points and 209 yards through the air.

“They are exactly what we think they are,“ Trickett said. “They are a traditional powerhouse. There is no such thing as an unbeatable team. We just have to find whatever weaknesses they have, if there are any, and try to exploit them.“

He’s been doing that on a weekly basis, something that didn’t seem possible considering how his 2013 season went.

Trickett was still learning West Virginia’s offense a year ago after transferring from Florida State when the Mountaineers lost at Oklahoma 16-7. He didn’t get his first start until the fifth game in late September, leading West Virginia to a win over then-No. 11 Oklahoma State.

The rest of the year was a bust — he struggled to make changes at the line of scrimmage in a high-tempo offense. He went 2-5 as a starter and finished with seven TD passes and seven interceptions before undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

“Everything was hard to grasp,“ Trickett said. “But now I think I got it.“

Trickett has thrown for at least 300 yards in four straight games. While there are some things left to improve on such as red-zone efficiency, the occasional missed read and turnovers that almost proved costly last week at Maryland, Trickett and the offense are light years ahead of where it was a year ago in moving the ball.

“We’re in a position where the timing is better,“ said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. “The rapport with Clint and these guys is a lot better. Our pass protection is night and day different. We’re just in a much, much better place, which is what our expectations are. “

Expectations that are similar to two years ago when Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey made opponents look silly.

The Mountaineers have surpassed 600 yards of offense in their last two games. Last week Trickett threw for a career-high 511 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-37 win at Maryland. The yards were second in school history to Smith’s 656 against Baylor in 2012.

Trickett is quick to shift credit to his receivers.

“I barely even did anything,“ Trickett said. “I just facilitated — those guys are the ones making the plays. I throw it two yards, and they run it 90.“

Kevin White, who had 35 receptions last year, already has 32 catches for 460 yards, ranking second nationally in both categories. Mario Alford has 21 catches after getting 27 the entire 2013 season. Defenses that double team those two might fall prey to West Virginia’s other receivers or the running game.

“You don’t know which one to guard,“ Trickett said. “I’m not complaining one bit. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. “

Still, there are tough challenges ahead as West Virginia tries to quash preseason predictions of finishing near the bottom of the Big 12.

And Trickett, whose father is Florida State offensive line coach Rick Trickett, said he’s not done figuring out new ways to win.

“You never stop learning,“ Clint Trickett said. “My dad’s been coaching 40 years now and he tells me every day he saw something he didn’t know.

“When you stop learning is when you need to stop playing.“


►   QB Knight, No. 4 Oklahoma Set for Showdown at WVU

Trevor Knight is ready to find out how Oklahoma handles the start of a long stretch of games away from home.

The sophomore quarterback will lead the fourth-ranked Sooners (3-0) into a hostile environment at West Virginia (2-1) on Saturday night in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

For the Sooners it will be the first of three consecutive games outside the state of Oklahoma. They don’t play at home again until October 18 against Kansas State.

This will be Oklahoma’s second-ever trip to Morgantown.

“Their fans will be rocking,“ Knight said. “But it’s important to use some of their crowd’s energy to get you going, to get that momentum going and really just use it. Going on the road is difficult, especially with a team like West Virginia who has been playing great. So we just have to find that energy within ourselves and play for one another and stay even-keeled through it.“

Knight is a big reason Oklahoma has won seven straight dating to last season that includes a Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. He’s not the same quarterback the Mountaineers saw a year ago when he threw for 119 yards, had a pair of third-quarter interceptions and was pulled after two more scoreless drives in a 16-7 win.

“You can tell that he’s making a ton of strides to get better,“ said West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen.

So have the Mountaineers, who have surpassed 600 yards of offense, mostly through the air, in two straight victories — their first winning streak since 2012.

Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez, who has interceptions in every game this season, figures the Sooners will be going at a frenetic pace on defense.

“They do a lot of quick stuff, a lot of quick smoke screens and things of that sort,“ he said. “The d-linemen have to get their hands up and deflect passes as much as they can. When they do complete them, we’ve got to rally to them. We’ve got to be quick to the ball.“

___

Here are some other things to ponder about the Sooners and Mountaineers:

OKLAHOMA RUNNERS: The Sooners will lean on sophomore Alex Ross and freshman Samaje Perine after leading rusher Keith Ford broke a non-weight bearing bone in his right leg against Tennessee. Ford, who leads the Big 12 with six touchdowns and has a team-high 194 rushing yards, will miss at least one game.

TRY TO KEEP UP: West Virginia is averaging 91 plays and 564 yards on offense per game. Northern Illinois and Western Kentucky are the only Bowl Subdivision teams to run more plays. When the Mountaineers faced Oklahoma in Morgantown in 2012, the teams combined for 1,400 yards of offense.

TRICKETT’S TEST: West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett will be tested by an Oklahoma defense allowing 11 points per game and 209 passing yards per game. Trickett is completing 75 percent of his throws and is averaging 408 yards per game. Last week he torched Maryland for 511 and four TDs. Trickett, who didn’t play against the Sooners last year, “has really made a big difference in how they’re playing,“ said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.

WHO CATCHES MORE?: The game features three of the top receivers in the Big 12. West Virginia’s Kevin White is second in the nation with 32 receptions for 460 yards and teammate Mario Alford has 21 grabs for 206 yards. Oklahoma’s Sterling Shepard has 17 catches for 335 yards and will go against a West Virginia secondary without cornerback Daryl Worley, who was suspended indefinitely after being charged with battery of a woman at a nightclub. The Mountaineers return Ishmael Banks, who served a three-game suspension imposed by the NCAA for an unspecified academic eligibility issue.

NEW UNIS: Oklahoma is debuting a version of its “Rough Rider” Nike uniforms. Players will wear crimson wood grain helmets, cream-colored jerseys and crimson pants. The jersey fronts have “Oklahoma” instead of the traditional “Sooners.“ The helmet has “Boomer” above the facemask.


►   Attorneys: Worley Defended Girlfriend During Bar Altercation

Defense attorneys for Daryl Worley claim the suspended West Virginia cornerback was defending his girlfriend when he grabbed another woman by the neck in a nightclub altercation last weekend.

Dave Jecklin and James Gianola, the Morgantown attorneys who are representing the player against a misdemeanor battery charge, released a statement Friday afternoon:

  “Some members of the media are making conclusions regarding the video of the incident involving our client, Daryl Worley. We ask everyone to please remember that everyone, including Daryl, is considered innocent until proven guilty.

  “Daryl’s version of events is corroborated not only by the video, but also by several eyewitness statements that we have obtained. In the video, Daryl defends his long-time girlfriend from an advancing female bar patron who had earlier that night threatened to fight his girlfriend. According to eyewitness statements, the advancing female grabs Daryl’s girlfriend’s leg immediately before the video shows him pushing the female away in a non-provoking manner.

  “When all the facts and circumstances are released, we are confident that it will demonstrate that there is more to this story than what is being reported.

  “We intend to discuss Daryl’s version of events, the video, the eyewitness statements and all the evidence with the prosecutor at the appropriate time. This matter will be resolved through the court system.”

Worley, 19, was suspended indefinitely on Monday by West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen. On Wednesday, MetroNews first reported the suspension stemmed from an altercation at the Lux Nightclub that occurred hours after the football team returned from a 40-37 win at Maryland.

The woman who filed a complaint with Morgantown police claimed Worley choked her and pushed her to the floor. Surveillance video at the bar and eyewitness accounts supported her allegation, according to police.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Akron Has Not Been A Friendly Venue for The Herd in Recent Years

Marshall has some less than fond memories in Akron over the years. In 2002, and injured Byron Leftwich was carried down the field by his linemen and nearly led Marshall to comeback victory, but ultimately lost to the Zips 34-20.

Then in 2004, a Charlie Frye led Zips team, derailed Marshall’s bid for a Mid-American Conference title in its final season in the league with a 31-28 win over the Herd.

Of course, those games were all played at the old Rubber Bowl, this year’s contest is in the five-year-old InfoCision Stadium, a new venue and a chance for Marshall to make some new memories in Akron.

The Zips offense is headed up by A.J. Milwee, 28, the second youngest coordinator in Division I. He actually started coaching under Bowden at North Alabama.

Junior quarterback Kyle Pohl is in his second year as a starter for the Zips. He started all 12 games last year throwing for 2,438 yards and 14 touchdowns. Holliday says is a dual threat quarterback.

“He’s a guy who can beat you with his feet. He can make all of the throws. He’s a returning starter who got hurt a little bit a year ago, but whenever he played they did extremely well,” said Holliday. “He can make all of the throws and get himself out of trouble. He’s a typical quarterback that we have seen over the last three weeks, who can beat you with his feet.”

Pohl is the leading rusher for Akron with 56 yards on 17 carries in two games. Akron is going to look to throw first and run second. The Zips are averaging 304 yards passing per game while gaining just 91 yards on the ground. Defensive Coordinator Chuck Heater says the Zips will look to spread the field.

Mykel Traylor-Bennett leads Akron with 111 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He and Pohl connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass and catch in the 41-0 season opening win over Howard.

Bennett also had a 28-yard touchdown catch in the win over Howard. L.T. Smith is also over 100 yards receiving on the season and Zach D’Orazio is not far behind with 98 yards receiving. Heater says part of the gameplan to defend the pass is getting pressure on Pohl.

Akron’s run game has been nearly non-existent through the first couple of games. Starting tailback Jawon Chisholm has just 16 carries and 55 yards on the year.

Marshall will be facings the most athletic defense it has seen so far this year in the Zips. Akron is led by defensive coordinator Chuck Amato and Herd Offensive Coordinator Bill Legg says Akron is just not going to let Marshall get the big plays like it racked up the last couple of weeks.

“In the games we used to scout them, against teams that are like us, in five games they’ve given up nine big plays and ten touchdowns,” said Legg. “There’s some complexity to the defense. They are not a standard defense.”

It starts up front, where the Zips are anchored by junior Cody Grice. He’s started every game of his collegiate career at nose tackle for Akron. Grice actually started as a fullback for Akron before switching to the nose. Tackle Se’Von Pittman is a transfer from Ohio State. Center Chris Jasperse says it’s a physical defensive front.

“They’ve got some big time guys who run around and play football but we do too,” said center Chris Jasperse.

Akron’s three best players are its three linebackers. Justin March, C.J. Mizell and Jatavis Brown. Legg says Brown is a converted wide receiver and can fly around the field.

“That sucker was outside the left hash and the quarterback broke contain to the right and the next thing I know he’s lighting him up on the right sideline. He’s a heat-seeking missile,” praised Legg.

Kickoff is set for 2:00 PM this afternoon.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Goodell Memo Outlines NFL’s Next Steps

The NFL will enter into long-term partnerships with two violence hotlines amid a spate of abuse cases that have rocked the nation’s most popular sports league.

The partnerships were outlined in a memo by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that was sent to all 32 teams Thursday night.

In the memo, a copy of which was obtained by SportsNetwork.com on Friday, Goodell says all league and team personnel will participate in education sessions on domestic violence and sexual assault starting in the next 30 days.

“Starting this season, we will dedicate significant resources to raise awareness on the subjects of domestic violence and sexual assault, including support for victims,“ Goodell says.

“These are by no means final steps. We will continue to work with experts to expand and develop long-term programs that raise awareness, educate, and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault both within the NFL and in our society in general.“

The memo follows Goodell’s letter to owners last month outlining a revamped domestic-violence policy that calls for a six-week suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban for a second and promises awareness programs.

Thursday’s memo says a partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline will yield “25 full-time advocates over the next few weeks that will result in an additional 750 calls a day being answered.“

Goodell says the NFL learned the recent string of abuse cases involving NFL stars had caused an 84-percent jump in calls over a an eight-day span ending September 15. The organization says more than half of the calls went unanswered due to lack of staff.

The NFL will also partner with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and will support Loveisrespect, a 24-hour text chat service aiding young adults affected by dating abuse.

Goodell announced earlier this week that he had named four women to oversee the NFL’s policy on domestic violence.

He said in his August letter that he “didn’t get it right” when he suspended Ray Rice for two games in July after the Baltimore Ravens running back was arrested on a domestic-violence assault charge in February.

Rice was later cut by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL over a video that showed him hitting his then-fiancee in the face—a case that has become a byword for similar situations around the league as more teams have been forced to make decisions over players accused of assault.

In the latest case, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday on charges he assaulted his wife and then placed on the non-football illness list by the team.

That news broke just hours after the Minnesota Vikings placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt list following his indictment last week in Texas on charges he abused his 4-year-old son with a tree branch.

And the Carolina Panthers said Wednesday that defensive end Greg Hardy chose to be placed on the exempt list while he awaits a jury trial after being convicted by a judge of assaulting and threatening to kill his girlfriend.


►   Hester Breaks Deion Sanders’ Return TD Record

Atlanta wide receiver Devin Hester passed Hall of Famer and former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders for most return touchdowns in NFL history during Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, Hester broke a tie with Sanders at 19 career touchdown returns. Hester now has the record all to himself with 20.

Hester paid tribute to Sanders with an extended high step into the end zone. Sanders, now a television analyst, was in attendance at the Georgia Dome.

“He was so happy,“ said Hester. “He said he almost pulled a hamstring sprinting toward the end zone with me. I love that guy, man. He was very emotional as well.“

Earlier in the game, Hester took an end around and went 20 yards for the first rushing touchdown of his career. A three-time Pro Bowler, Hester signed with the Falcons in the offseason. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Chicago Bears.

The Falcons won the game 56-14.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Nets Void Ndiaye’s Contract Over Failed Physical

The Brooklyn Nets voided the contract of center Hamady Ndiaye after he failed a physical.

The Nets made the announcement Friday, two days after signing the 7-footer as a free agent.

Ndiaye played for Senegal in the recent FIBA World Cup after appearing in 14 games for the Sacramento Kings last season. He appeared in 19 games for the Washington Wizards between 2010-12.


►   Nothin’ But Net: Irving Under A Microscope

Kyrie Irving should be glowing.

He’s not long removed from being named the Most Valuable Player of the FIBA World Cup, leading the United States to a gold medal. In what started as a crowded group of stud point guards for the American side, Irving grabbed the starting job and flourished.

“This is by far the biggest accomplishment of my life,“ Irving said. “This feels amazing. It’s one of the greatest feelings that I’ve ever felt. All the emotions haven’t come to me yet but I did it with a bunch of guys that I can call my brothers for the rest of my life.“

Irving’s experience in Spain may have been wonderful, but things intensify for him in just a few weeks.

When he heads to training camp with the Cleveland Cavaliers, everything will change. That’s because LeBron James returned home. Oh, and another top-10 player in the league, Kevin Love, also now toils in Cleveland.

The expectations are astronomical and warranted. This Cavaliers team is loaded and an easy favorite in the Eastern Conference, alongside the Chicago Bulls.

The weight of heavy expectations can be a burden. For James, who has been scorched by the spotlight since high school, it’s old hat. He’s been to five NBA Finals, winning two, and has dealt with being the overwhelming favorite. James put a bull’s-eye the size of South Beach on his back when he joined the Miami Heat.

Plus, the media scrutiny on James has always been immense. For example, this week, there was analysis of James’ former receding hairline. The power alleys on his head have been filled in by hair, so we discuss it.

Irving has never experienced anything like that, not anywhere close. In three seasons, Irving may have been to two All-Star games, but he’s never sniffed the postseason.

“For me it was about going out there and playing with other great players in the world. I’ve never gotten to experience that,“ Irving said after the World Cup.

He will get to experience it quickly. James and Love, who has also made as many postseason appearances as Irving, or your local butcher for that matter, are the elite of the elite. Where Irving fits in that pecking order is up for debate. If you think he’s the second option, that’s valid. He’ll have the ball in his hands more than Love. But Love is a superior offensive talent, who scores inside as well outside, and is the league’s most ferocious rebounder.

Playing with James can be tricky. Ego can be a funny thing, even when playing with someone is most likely going to be one of the top five in the history of the sport.

In Miami, James was caught on camera several times berating Mario Chalmers. Comparing Irving and Chalmers is like comparing a Rolex to a dependable Casio, but James can be tough on those around him.

It took Dwyane Wade almost a season and a half to come to grips with the fact that the Heat belonged to James. Irving and Love won’t be like that. Neither is a raging narcissist, but Irving will have a lot of adjusting ahead of him.

His Cavs teams have been dysfunctional at best and a heaping pile of mess at worst. Irving will play for his third coach in four years when David Blatt sits in the big chair this season. There were reports of locker room turmoil involving Irving and Dion Waiters, who is still around, by the way.

If the Cavs fail to win a title, or even get to the Finals, the ultimate responsibility will fall on James. He penned the essay anointing himself as the savior of Cleveland. That, and the fact that James is the best player in the world will make this James’ team.

But if Irving struggles adjusting to playing with James or Love, the backlash will be palpable. As the point guard, it’s his job to facilitate the offense and get James and Love their touches, all while staying an aggressive weapon himself.

It’s a juggling act, but his experience with Team USA should help.

“For me, playing with this team, like I said, you have so many pieces you can go to,“ Irving said. “It’s easy for me to take a backseat when Steph Curry is hot or when James Harden is hot or A.D. (Anthony Davis) is in the post and he’s killing it. It’s easy for me to do that. It’s not hard.“

It’s harder in Cleveland. James is more demanding than Harden, or Curry, or Davis. The U.S. played Serbia in the gold medal game. Serbia isn’t the Bulls, or the San Antonio Spurs, or Oklahoma City Thunder.

And Irving’s own personal expectations have been lofted, not just because of the MVP award at the World Cup.

He signed a five-year max contract extension at the start of the summer. That was the first domino for the Cavaliers in this amazing offseason. Irving is also one of the faces of the league in terms of national marketing. Remember Uncle Drew?

On the court, Irving has some warts to work through as well. He’s only played 181 of a possible 230 games battling through injuries, which also haunted him at Duke. His scoring and shooting numbers regressed some last season, and they’ll be sure to go down with James and Love in Ohio.

How Irving handles this whole situation is vital to the Cavs’ success. He will be counted on to stay as one of the league’s cream of the crop, while giving up some of his game.

“Going back to Cleveland everyone is going to have their assumptions of what’s going to happen,“ Irving said. “I don’t think anyone really knows what’s going to happen until you guys see us play.“

All true, but Irving will be under a larger microscope than ever before. The Cavs will need the World Cup MVP. Can he handle it?

RANDOM THOUGHTS

- The Rockets think they’re bolstering their bench with the acquisition of Jason Terry. But the Jet hasn’t been good in two years. It’s a low risk/high reward move, but I wonder what Terry has left in the tank.

- As for LeBron’s hair, as a bald man, it’s treason.

- My guess is that Danny Ferry does not return as Atlanta Hawks general manager. Aside from the fact that he shouldn’t because there’s no excuse defensible enough for his actions, no one survives scandal in this day and age.

- I get the argument that Coach K gets an advantage in recruiting by being the head men’s coach for USA Basketball, but what’s he supposed to do, turn down the job to be fair to other college coaches? Almost any other coach of that pedigree would take the USA job in a nanosecond. And, it’s not like Krzyzewski had a lot of trouble recruiting before the national job.

- Speaking of college coaching, Kentucky’s John Calipari is reportedly creating an exclusive scouting combine for NBA personnel prior to the start of the season. What a genius idea. First, that’s a recruiting tool unlike any other. He can tell kids they will get a personal combine and the other brilliant aspect is that Calipari plans to stage this event in mid-October. So, Calipari can get it over with, then get the kids committed to Kentucky basketball.

- Old sport second - There may not be another column prior to the Ryder Cup as anyone who followed me from golf to basketball knows the event is my favorite in the world. I like Europe, but I think it’ll be much closer than anticipated. Europe has holes in the form of Stephen Gallacher, Jamie Donaldson and Victor Dubuisson. They’re solid, but beatable. Plus, Ian Poulter is not playing well. He will because it’s the Ryder Cup, but his game is not in great shape. The U.S. will need huge production from everyone, but the American team is not that bad. I’ll take Europe, but it’s going to be close.

- Movie moment - Re-watched “The Social Network” the other day. What a great movie. Brilliantly written and great supporting work from Andrew Garfield and even Justin Timberlake. Calling the Winklevoss twins the Winklevii will always be one of my favorite jokes.

- TV moment - New shows this season that I will watch ... crickets.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Los Angeles 14, Chicago 5

Clayton Kershaw’s 20th win was his easiest of the season, but he was far away from having his best stuff. Good thing the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bats came out smoking hot. Matt Kemp smacked a three-run homer in a six-run Los Angeles first inning, Kershaw labored through five frames and the Dodgers routed the Chicago Cubs, 14-5, in the second test of a four-game set. The Dodgers clinched a playoff spot later Friday after Pittsburgh defeated Milwaukee. Kershaw (20-3), who is vying to become the first NL pitcher in 46 years to win the MVP award, allowed three first-inning runs and wiggled out of some tough jams en route to becoming MLB’s first 20- game winner. It’s the second 20-win campaign of his career.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 2

Russell Martin clubbed a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. The Brewers entered this three-game set looking to gain ground on Pittsburgh in the race for the NL’s second wild-card spot and got a gem from Yovani Gallardo, who continued his mastery of the Pirates and dominance at PNC Park. Unfortunately, Gallardo couldn’t pitch beyond the seventh. Jonathan Broxton (4-3) was tasked with protecting a 2-0 lead and surrendered hits to four of the five batters he faced, including Martin’s blast to right- center field. Mark Melancon tossed a perfect ninth to earn his 31st save and give the Pirates a 4 1/2-game lead over the Brewers.


Final Score: Washington 3, Miami 2

Adam LaRoche smacked a two-run homer and the Washington Nationals edged the Miami Marlins, 3-2, in the second test of a four-game set. Doug Fister (15-6) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings for Washington, which has won 10 of its last 13 games. Drew Storen fired a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save of the season. The Nationals clinched the NL East on Tuesday and are 1 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles for home-field advantage in the National League. Justin Bour cracked his first major league homer among his two RBI for the Marlins, who have dropped seven of their last 10 contests. Tom Koehler (9-10) surrendered three runs on six hits and four walks over five frames in defeat.


Final Score: New York 5, Atlanta 0

Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer to back six scoreless innings from Zack Wheeler as the New York Mets blanked the Atlanta Braves 5-0 at Turner Field. Wheeler (11-10) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out seven. The New York pitchers combined to retire the final 13 Braves batters in Friday’s win. Atlanta’s Julio Teheran (13-13) lost his fourth straight start despite a solid seven-inning effort. He gave up seven hits, with the Duda home run his lone hiccup.


Final Score: Colorado 15, Arizona 3

Michael Cuddyer powered the Colorado offense with a career-high seven RBI, leading the Rockies to a 15-3 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second of a four-game set on Friday. Cuddyer hit a grand slam and a three-run double and Wilin Rosario finished 3- for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored for the Rockies, who have won four straight games. Jordan Lyles (7-3) gave up two runs on nine hits over six innings to earn the win. Cody Ross and Mark Trumbo each drove in a run for Arizona, which had starter Chase Anderson (9-7) give up six runs on nine hits and two walks across five frames in the loss.


Final Score: St. Louis 2, Cincinnati 1

John Lackey hasn’t been at his best since a trade deadline deal brought him to St. Louis, but on Friday he helped the Cardinals pitching staff accomplish something it hadn’t done in 100 years. Lackey became the eighth straight starter to allow one earned run or less in five innings or more, as St. Louis topped the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1, in the opener of a three-game series. The streak began one night after Lackey was charged with two runs on four hits in just two innings in Cincinnati on Sept. 10. The Reds took three of four from St. Louis in that series. Since then, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller have each taken the hill twice and Marco Gonzales started once. The Cardinals have won six of seven after this victory.


Final Score: San Diego 5, San Francisco 0

Odrisamer Despaigne tossed a gem while Tim Hudson struggled yet again, as the San Diego Padres blanked the San Francisco Giants, 5-0, on Friday. Despaigne (4-7) spun seven scoreless innings for the Padres, allowing just a pair of hits while striking out six. In three starts against the Giants this season, the Cuban rookie has given up just one run on eight hits in 20 innings. Hudson, meanwhile, labored through yet another disappointing start for the playoff-hopeful Giants. Pitching through a hip injury, the veteran gave up five runs—four earned—in 4 1/3 innings six days after his shortest outing of the year. Last time out, Hudson (9-12) was rocked for six runs on eight hits in an inning against the Dodgers, who eventually won that game, 17-0. He hasn’t won since Aug. 22. San Francisco remains percentage points ahead of Pittsburgh for the top National League wild card spot, and 5 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee.


Final Score: Oakland 3, Philadelphia 1

Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings as the Oakland Athletics nabbed a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies to open a three-game set. With the win, the A’s went a half-game ahead of the Royals, who lost to Detroit on Friday, for the top wild card spot in the American League. Lester (16-10) allowed one run on five hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts to win his third straight start for the Athletics, who came into the contest having gotten swept over three games by Texas. Ryan Howard homered for the Phillies, who have lost five of their last six games. David Buchanan (6-8) gave up three runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings in the loss.


►   AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: New York 5, Toronto 3

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a two-run homer and knocked in three runs before leaving with a right hamstring strain, as the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3, in the second test of a four- game series. Brian McCann drove in a run for the Yankees, who have won three in a row on the heels of a three-game skid. Hiroki Kuroda (11-9) gave up three runs—two earned—on seven hits while striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings. Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays, who have lost six straight. Mark Buehrle (12-10) continued to struggle against the Yankees, allowing five runs on eight hits over six innings. The left- hander fell to 1-14 lifetime against New York, with 12 consecutive losing decisions.


Final Score: Boston 5, Baltimore 3 (10 innings)

David Ortiz’s two-run home run in the 10th inning lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 5-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game set. With Darren O’Day (5-2) on the mound, Xander Bogaerts reached base on a bad throw from Kelly Johnson, and Ortiz followed with his second home run of the game for a 5-3 advantage. Edward Mujica pitched a scoreless home 10th to secure his seventh save of the season. Ortiz finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI. Yoenis Cespedes also homered for the Red Sox, who had lost four of five coming in. Allen Webster started for Boston and allowed a run on seven hits in 5 2/3 frames. Junichi Tazawa (4-3) got the win for tossing a scoreless ninth. Nelson Cruz was 3-for-5 with an RBI for the AL-East champion Orioles, who had a four-game winning streak snapped. Kevin Gausman allowed three runs—two earned—on seven hits in five innings.


Final Score: Chicago 4, Tampa Bay 3

Avisail Garcia’s two-run double in a four-run fifth inning led the Chicago White Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a three-game set on Friday. Alexei Ramirez finished with three hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Jose Abreu brought in the other run for the White Sox, who had veteran first baseman Paul Konerko return to the lineup after a 14-game absence due to a broken hand. Jose Quintana (9-10) combated early adversity to win his third straight decision, allowing just three runs—one earned—on nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. Logan Forsythe drove in all three runs for Tampa Bay, which was eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. Jeremy Hellickson (1-4) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 frames.


Final Score: Detroit 10, Kansas City 1

Ian Kinsler homered and drove in three runs, and Justin Verlander pitched into the eighth inning in Detroit’s 10-1 rout of the Kansas City Royals in a key AL Central showdown. Eugenio Suarez knocked in two runs for the Tigers, who opened a 1 1/2-game lead on the Royals atop the division. J.D. Martinez continued to torch the Royals, as he went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Verlander (14-12) scattered seven hits and gave up a run over 7 1/3 innings in Detroit’s fifth victory in seven games. Jason Vargas (11-10) threw 30 pitches in the first inning and was charged with nine hits and five runs over 3 1/3 frames. Jayson Nix drove in the lone run for the Royals in the opener of this three-game set. Kansas City is in second place in the wild card standings, a half-game behind Oakland and a half-game in front of Seattle.


Final Score: Seattle 10, Houston 5

Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager hit three-run homers during a seven-run fourth inning, sending the Seattle Mariners to a 10-5 victory over the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series. Dustin Ackley added a pair of home runs for the Mariners, who sit a half-game behind Kansas City for second place in the AL wild card standings. Taijuan Walker (2-2) gave up two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Jonathan Villar and Dexter Fowler each knocked in two runs for the Astros, who have lost four in a row. Jose Altuve went 3-for-3 with a run scored to extend his Major League lead to 216 hits. In doing so he tied Magglio Ordonez (2007) for the most hits in a season by a Venezuelan-born player. Altuve also set a franchise record with his 24th three-hit game of the season, passing Craig Biggio (23 in 1998). Brad Peacock (4-9) allowed seven runs—two earned—on six hits with four walks over 3 1/3 innings. He pitched for the first time since Sept.8 due to soreness in his lower back.


Final Score: Minnesota 5, Cleveland 4 (10 innings)

Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single in the 10th inning gave the Minnesota Twins a 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a three-game set. With Kyle Crockett (4-1) on the mound, Danny Santana led off with a single, Brian Dozier then singled and Joe Mauer was issued an intentional walk. Kennys Vargas then struck out and Josh Tomlin took the mound. Plouffe greeted him with a liner that dropped in center for the win. Oswaldo Arcia went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Vargas also hit a solo home run for the Twins, who have won four of their last five. Phil Hughes went seven innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts, while Jared Burton (3-5) got the final two outs of the 10th for the win. Michael Brantley hit a solo home run for the Indians, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Trevor Bauer gave up three runs on four hits over six innings in the start.


Final Score: Texas 12, LA Angels of Anaheim 3

Rookie Ryan Rua had the first four-hit game of his career and the Texas Rangers got a two-run homer from Jake Smolinski in a 12-3 rout of the Angels. Adrian Beltre had a two-run single and Dan Robertson drove in two runs for the Rangers, who posted their season-high seventh straight win. Lisalverto Bonilla (2-0), in his second major league start, surrendered two hits and a pair of runs over five innings. Brennan Boesch belted a two-run homer for the AL West champions, who have lost two straight games. Hector Santiago (5-9) surrendered seven hits and seven runs—six earned—and was lifted with no outs in the second inning.


Final Score: Oakland 3, Philadelphia 1

Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings as the Oakland Athletics nabbed a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies to open a three-game set. With the win, the A’s went a half-game ahead of the Royals, who lost to Detroit on Friday, for the top wild card spot in the American League. Lester (16-10) allowed one run on five hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts to win his third straight start for the Athletics, who came into the contest having gotten swept over three games by Texas. Ryan Howard homered for the Phillies, who have lost five of their last six games. David Buchanan (6-8) gave up three runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings in the loss.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Keselowski Aiming For A Third Straight Win

Brad Keselowski enters this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as the points leader and the hottest driver in the Sprint Cup Series.

Two weeks ago, Keselowski won the series’ regular-season-finale at Richmond and earned the first seed in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by virtue of his four victories this season. The driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske then began the 10-race Chase last Sunday with a win at Chicagoland.

It’s the first time in his Sprint Cup career that he has scored back-to-back victories.

Keselowski’s win at Chicagoland assured him that he will advance into the second round of the Chase. He currently holds a seven-point lead over Jeff Gordon, who finished second in the Chase-opener.

“It felt good coming into the Chase as the top-seed, and it feels very good to know that we’ve advanced to the next round with two races to go,“ Keselowski said. “We have good momentum right now, and we know that we have to keep developing the car and pushing as a team, whether it’s on pit road, handling, spec or driver tactics. We’re just going to stay focused, keep working and see what happens.“

Any driver who’s in the 16-member Chase field that wins one of the three races in the opening round, known as the “Challenger Round,“ will automatically move on to the next round, referred to as the “Contender Round.“

The Challenger Round will conclude with the September 28 race at Dover, and the Contender Round, in which the Chase field is trimmed from 16 to 12, will begin with the October 5 event at Kansas, followed by Charlotte (October 11) and then Talladega (October 19).

“That second bracket, the Contender Round, I think should be called the ‘heartbreak round’,“ Keselowski said. “It’s going to break someone’s heart in the sense that a really good team will probably not make it through that bracket because of the random factor with Talladega and Kansas. That bracket is probably the most concerning to me.“

Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, has won a Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire and Dover as well as Kansas, Charlotte and Talladega within the last two and a half years.

In July, Keselowski won at New Hampshire for the first time, coming in his 10th start here. Can he become the first driver in a decade to score a season- sweep at this flat 1.058-mile oval?

“I think we’re definitely gonna have a lot of speed,“ he said. “I would be surprised if we didn’t, but winning here at New Hampshire isn’t all about speed. The strategy end always seems to come into play. I think more often than not this turns into a bit of a fuel mileage race for whatever reason. I’m not sure why. And that can really shake it up. It’s so difficult to pass that being the fastest car here is probably more so than most other places not always the strongest indicator of success.“

In 2003, Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win both races at New Hampshire in the same season. Kurt Busch accomplished the feat here in 2004, the same year he won the inaugural Chase championship.

There have been 13 different winners in the last 13 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire, which puts this track in a tie with Texas for the all-time record streak without a repeat winner.

When Keselowski won at New Hampshire two months ago, he led a race-high 138 laps, including the final 36.

“I like tracks we win at,“ he said. “Those are always my favorite. I tell people all the time when they ask what my favorite track is it’s always the last one that I won at. It seems like a cheesy answer, but as a driver, we’re very self-serving. Right now, my favorite race track is Chicago, and a few weeks ago before we won Richmond, I would have said Loudon (New Hampshire) was my favorite racetrack. So it’s time to make Loudon my new favorite racetrack again.“

Keselowski also has four top-five finishes and six top-10s as well as two poles at this track.

Forty-three teams are on the entry list for the Sylvania 300.

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup. Date: Sunday, September 21. Race: Sylvania 300. Site: New Hampshire Speedway. Track: 1.058-mile oval. Start time: 2 PM ET. Laps: 300. Miles: 317.4. 2013 Winner: Matt Kenseth. Television: ESPN. Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.


►   This Week in Auto Racing September 20 - 21

New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts round 2 in the 10- race Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The Camping World Truck Series is also at New Hampshire, while the Nationwide Series is racing at Kentucky Speedway. Formula One returns to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix.

NASCAR

Sprint Cup Series

Sylvania 300 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, New Hampshire

Brad Keselowski enters this weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as the points leader and the hottest driver in the Sprint Cup Series.

Two weeks ago, Keselowski won the series’ regular-season-finale at Richmond and earned the first seed in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship by virtue of his four victories this season. The driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske then began the 10-race Chase last Sunday with a win at Chicagoland.

It’s the first time in his Sprint Cup career that he has scored back-to-back victories.

Keselowski’s win at Chicagoland assured him that he will advance into the second round of the Chase. He currently holds a seven-point lead over Jeff Gordon, who finished second in the Chase-opener.

“It felt good coming into the Chase as the top-seed, and it feels very good to know that we’ve advanced to the next round with two races to go,“ Keselowski said. “We have good momentum right now, and we know that we have to keep developing the car and pushing as a team, whether it’s on pit road, handling, spec or driver tactics. We’re just going to stay focused, keep working and see what happens.“

Any driver who’s in the 16-member Chase field that wins one of the three races in the opening round, known as the “Challenger Round,“ will automatically move on to the next round, referred to as the “Contender Round.“

The Challenger Round will conclude with the September 28 race at Dover, and the Contender Round, in which the Chase field is trimmed from 16 to 12, will begin with the October 5 event at Kansas, followed by Charlotte (October 11) and then Talladega (October 19).

“That second bracket, the Contender Round, I think should be called the ‘heartbreak round’,“ Keselowski said. “It’s going to break someone’s heart in the sense that a really good team will probably not make it through that bracket because of the random factor with Talladega and Kansas. That bracket is probably the most concerning to me.“

Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, has won a Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire and Dover as well as Kansas, Charlotte and Talladega within the last two and a half years.

In July, Keselowski won at New Hampshire for the first time, coming in his 10th start here. Can he become the first driver in a decade to score a season- sweep at this flat 1.058-mile oval?

“I think we’re definitely gonna have a lot of speed,“ he said. “I would be surprised if we didn’t, but winning here at New Hampshire isn’t all about speed. The strategy end always seems to come into play. I think more often than not this turns into a bit of a fuel mileage race for whatever reason. I’m not sure why. And that can really shake it up. It’s so difficult to pass that being the fastest car here is probably more so than most other places not always the strongest indicator of success.“

In 2003, Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win both races at New Hampshire in the same season. Kurt Busch accomplished the feat here in 2004, the same year he won the inaugural Chase championship.

There have been 13 different winners in the last 13 Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire, which puts this track in a tie with Texas for the all-time record streak without a repeat winner.

When Keselowski won at New Hampshire two months ago, he led a race-high 138 laps, including the final 36.

“I like tracks we win at,“ he said. “Those are always my favorite. I tell people all the time when they ask what my favorite track is it’s always the last one that I won at. It seems like a cheesy answer, but as a driver, we’re very self-serving. Right now, my favorite race track is Chicago, and a few weeks ago before we won Richmond, I would have said Loudon (New Hampshire) was my favorite racetrack. So it’s time to make Loudon my new favorite racetrack again.“

Keselowski also has four top-five finishes and six top-10s as well as two poles at this track.

Forty-three teams are on the entry list for the Sylvania 300.

Camping World Truck Series

UNOH 175 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, New Hampshire

After a two-year hiatus, the Camping World Truck Series has returned to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The series will run 175 laps around this flat 1.058-mile track on Saturday. Three practice sessions were held here on Friday. Cole Custer had the fastest lap overall at 133.226 mph. Matt Crafton, the defending series champion and current points leader, was fifth quickest on the charts at 132.347 mph.

Last Saturday, Crafton’s second-place finish coupled with a 14th-place run for Johnny Sauter at Chicagoland allowed Crafton to take a five-point lead over his ThorSport Racing teammate. Sauter held a seven-point advantage prior to Chicagoland.

With seven races to go, Crafton is trying to become the first driver in the 20-year history of the Truck Series to win back-to-back championships.

This will be the 17th time the series competes at New Hampshire. Crafton has 11 previous starts, which is more than any other driver entered in this race.

“It’s been two years since the trucks have raced (at New Hampshire), but I’ve had some good runs there in the past,“ Crafton said. “We got our first pole there in 2005. To me, the biggest challenge at Loudon is the track itself. It’s tough to run side-by-side because there is really only one preferred groove. The challenge is to stay patient and not get caught-up in a wreck trying to make something happen.“

Crafton’s best finish at New Hampshire is fourth, which occurred twice, most recently in 2010. Sauter has placed no worse than seventh in his first three truck races here (2009-11).

“New Hampshire is an awesome place to race,“ Sauter said. It’s short-track racing at its best, and I’m a short-track racing kind of guy…I’ve always run well there in the trucks, even Nationwide and Cup.

Ryan Blaney is presently 16 points behind Crafton, while Darrell Wallace Jr. trails by 35 points.

Kyle Busch won the three previous truck races at New Hampshire, but Busch, a Sprint Cup Series regular and member of the championship Chase, is not competing in this year’s event here.

Erik Jones will drive Busch’s No. 51 Toyota at this track. Jones, who is running a partial schedule for Kyle Busch Motorsports this season, won at Iowa, a 0.875-mile track, in July.

Busch scored his sixth victory of the season at Chicagoland.

Thirty teams are on the entry list for the UNOH 175.

Nationwide Series

VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 - Kentucky Speedway - Sparta, Kentucky

Saturday night’s 300-mile race at Kentucky Speedway will be the last “stand- alone” event for the Nationwide Series this season.

The Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series are racing at New Hampshire this weekend.

After Kentucky, Nationwide will join Sprint Cup at Dover, Kansas and Charlotte and then take two weeks off before it rejoins Cup at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

Of the final seven Nationwide races this season, five of them will be contested on 1.5-mile tracks, including Kentucky. Dover and Phoenix are both one mile in length.

Chase Elliott comes to Kentucky with an 18-point lead over second-place and JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. Last Saturday, Smith finished eighth while Elliott placed 10th at Chicagoland. Both drivers have scored top-10 finishes in each of the last five races.

When Nationwide last ran at Kentucky in June, Smith had his worst result of the season with a 28th-place finish. Several Sprint Cup regulars competed in that event, including winner Kevin Harvick. Landon Cassill, a Nationwide regular, is the only driver who is attempting the New Hampshire/Kentucky combo.

“Kentucky is our last non-companion race, so naturally it’s going to be a big opportunity for everybody to go out there and either gain a bunch of points or lose them,“ Smith said. “It’s so tough without somebody having a problem to make points up the way the structure is, and the way the races play out in the Nationwide Series. If you’re making up three or four points a week, that’s been a good day. And that’s the way you have to look at it.“

Elliott, a rookie in Nationwide this season, finished 12th in his first start at Kentucky earlier this year.

“I’ve been eyeing this date for a while because we had a terrible run the first time we raced at Kentucky this year,“ Elliott said. “I finished 12th after starting sixth and just never put it together to get the finish we could have. My team and I are looking to bounce back from that poor performance and improve as much as possible Saturday night.“

Ty Dillon, also a rookie this year, is third in the point standings (-40), followed by Elliott Sadler (-51) and Brian Scott (-56).

“I would say there is probably four or five of us that still have a shot at it (the Nationwide championship),“ Smith said. “Realistically, maybe a couple of those guys need some bad luck from cars ahead of them. If somebody rolls off three or four wins in a row, those bonus points are huge and you’re going to jump right back up into it pretty quickly.“

Forty-one teams are on the entry list for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.

FORMULA ONE

Singapore Grand Prix - Marina Bay Street Circuit - Singapore

Formula One has returned to Asia and is running under the lights this weekend in Singapore.

The 61-lap Singapore Grand Prix, which is contested on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, is considered one of the longest and toughest races on the F1 calendar.

With six races to go, Nico Rosberg holds a 22-point lead over his Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton. After Singapore, F1 will compete in Japan, Russia, United States, and Brazil before the season concludes in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this month, Hamilton bounced back from a poor start and then capitalized from a mistake made by Rosberg to win the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Hamilton started on the pole but had a sluggish start when he experienced a glitch with his power unit, dropping him to fourth.

Rosberg gave up the lead to Hamilton during the mid-stages when he out-braked in the first corner and had to use the escape road to recover. Hamilton went on to beat Rosberg at the finish by 3.1 seconds for his sixth victory of the season. He also gained seven points on his teammate.

“It was a good feeling to finally get back on the top step at Monza, especially after another tough start to the race,“ Hamilton said. “Obviously with Nico coming second, I haven’t been able to close the gap too much, but there’s still plenty of points to be won, and I’m glad to have taken a step forward.“

On Friday, Hamilton posted the fastest lap overall in practice, which came in the second session. He made a lap around this 3.259-mile (5.065-kilometer), 23-turn temporary street circuit in 1 minute, 47.490 seconds. Rosberg’s best lap in P2 was clocked at 1:49.075, placing him 13th on the charts.

In P1, Fernando Alonso from Ferrari had the quickest lap in 1:49.056, while Hamilton was just 0.122 seconds off the pace. Rosberg was 0.149 seconds behind in third.

“Today was a work in progress,“ Hamilton said. “We made some changes between P1 and P2, and whether it was those changes or the track itself, the balance didn’t feel right. It felt like we lost a bit of performance, but we’ll look into the details and see what it was.“

This will be the seventh time F1 has competed in Singapore. Four of the last five races here have been won from the pole position. Hamilton started on the pole and won this event in 2009 when he drove for McLaren.

“Pole here has always been very important,“ he said. “The right side of the grid, for example, always seems to get the better starts. Being up at the front will be crucial, and that’s obviously my target for qualifying (Saturday). Nico (Rosberg) looks very quick, as do the Ferraris (Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen) and the Red Bulls (Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo), but I’m feeling good this weekend and I’m focused on the job.“

Vettel has won the past three Singapore GPs. The four-time F1 world champion has yet to win this season.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Game On Dude Retired from Racing

Three-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude has been retired from competition. The decision was made Thursday.

Partly owned by Joe Torre, Game On Dude closes his stellar career with $6,498,893 and 16 wins in 34 starts.

Among the top handicap horses the last several years, Game On Dude registered wins in the 2012 and 2013 Hollywood Gold Cup, after being second in 2011, and last year’s Pacific Classic following a runner-up result in 2012.

The 7-year-old gelding began 2014 with a fifth-place finish in the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita on February 08 followed by his third victory of the Santa Anita Handicap, a race he won last year and in 2011.

After getting second in the Charles Town Classic, a stakes he won in 2013, he was fourth in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, an event that replaced the Hollywood Gold Cup. His final start was the Pacific Classic where he finished fourth behind Shared Belief.

In his one overseas venture, Game On Dude finished 12th in the 2012 Dubai World Cup.

The one major race Game On Dude was unable to capture was the Breeders’ Cup Classic. In 2011 he finished second to longshot Drosselmeyer followed one year later by a disappointing seventh behind Fort Larned and last year was ninth to Mucho Macho Man for his first defeat after six straight wins.


►   California Chrome Goes Schooling Ahead of PA Derby

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome had some schooling Friday morning at Parx Racing in preparation for Saturday’s $1 million, 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby.

The chestnut colt’s trainer Art Sherman made his way from Los Angeles and described the Friday session as he gets California Chrome ready for the first race since the Belmont Stakes on June 07.

“California Chrome looked great, galloped this morning was on the bit,“ Sherman said. “He stood in the gate, reluctant to go in at first, but then after he went in he was fine. He looks great.“

California Chrome will be ridden again by Victor Espinoza from the rail post, The colt has speed but will be placed behind the two speed horses, Bayern and C J’s Awesome. The top 3-year-old is headed for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on November 01.

The Gilmer Free Press


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014


Major League Baseball - National League
Los Angeles at Chicago Cubs, 1:05 PM - FOX
Arizona at Colorado, 4:10 PM - FS-Arizona, ROOT-Rocky Mountain, DSS
Milwaukee at Pittsburgh, 7:05 PM - FS-Wisconsin, ROOT-Pittsburgh, DSS
NY Mets at Atlanta, 7:10 PM - WPIX, FS-South, DSS
Washington at Miami, 7:10 PM - MASN, FS-Florida, DSS
Cincinnati at St. Louis, 7:15 PM - FS1
San Francisco at San Diego, 8:40 PM - CSN-Bay, FS-San Diego, DSS


American League
Detroit at Kansas City, 1:05 PM - FOX
Toronto at NY Yankees, 4:05 PM - MLB Network, YES, DSS
Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 PM - NESN, MASN, DSS
Chicago WSox at Tampa Bay, 7:10 PM - CSN-Chicago, DSS
Cleveland at Minnesota, 7:10 PM - SportsTime Ohio, FS-North, DSS
Seattle at Houston, 7:10 PM - ROOT-Northwest, CSN-Houston, DSS
Texas at LA Angels, 9:05 PM - FS-Southwest, West, DSS


Interleague
Philadelphia at Oakland, 4:05 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, California, DSS


Canadian Football League
Edmonton at Hamilton, 7:00 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com


College Football
Eastern Mich at Michigan State, 12:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Bowling Green at Wisconsin, 12:00 PM - ESPN 2
Southern Ill at Purdue, 12:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Western Ill at Northwestern, 12:00 PM - ESPNews
Troy at Georgia, 12:00 PM - SEC Network
Iowa at Pittsburgh, 12:00 PM - ESPN U
Old Dominion at Rice, 12:00 PM - FSN, MSG+, ROOT-Rocky Mountain
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, 12:00 PM - ESPN
Tulane at Duke, 12:30 PM - RSN, MSG, SportsTime Ohio, ROOT-Pittsburgh, DSS
Maryland at Syracuse, 12:30 PM - ACC Network, DSS
James Madison at Villanova, 12:30 PM - CSN-Balt, Chicago, NE, SNY, TCN-Phil
Maine at Boston College, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Delaware State at Temple, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Eastern Kentucky at UT Martin, 1:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Marshall at Akron, 2:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Hawaii at Colorado, 2:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
VMI at Samford, 3:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Eastern Washington at Montana State, 3:10 PM - ROOT-Northwest
Texas A&M at SMU, 3:30 PM - ABC (ESPN 2 mirror)
Utah at Michigan, 3:30 PM - ABC (ESPN 2 mirror)
Virginia at BYU, 3:30 PM - ESPN
Louisville at FIU, 3:30 PM - FS1
Nicholls at North Texas, 3:30 PM - Sinclair TV
North Carolina at East Carolina, 3:30 PM - ESPN U
Central Mich at Kansas, 3:30 PM - FSN, MSG+, SunSports
Florida at Alabama, 3:30 PM - CBS
Rutgers at Navy, 3:30 PM - CBSSN
Norfolk State at Buffalo, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Army at Wake Forest, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Montana at North Dakota State, 3:30 PM - Cowles Network, ESPN3.com, DSS
Howard vs. Morgan State, 3:30 PM - ESPN3.com
San Jose St at Minnesota, 4:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Massachusetts at Penn State, 4:00 PM - Big Ten Network
Fla Atlantic at Wyoming, 4:00 PM - Mountain West Network
Indiana at Missouri, 4:00 PM - SEC Network
Texas State at Illinois, 4:00 PM - ESPNews
New Hampshire at Richmond, 4:00 PM - CSN-Baltimore, Bay, New England, Cal, SNY
Incarnate Word at Abilene Christian, 4:05 PM - Altitude, ESPN3, Southland, DSS
Georgia State at Washington, 6:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
Bethune-Cookman at UCF, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Presbyterian at NC State, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Ave Maria at Mercer, 6:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Ball State at Toledo, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Appalachian St at Southern Miss, 7:00 PM - American Sports Network
Miami-Ohio at Cincinnati, 7:00 PM - CBSSN
Middle Tennessee at Memphis, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Murray State at Western Mich, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Miss State at LSU, 7:00 PM - ESPN
Northern Ill at Arkansas, 7:00 PM - ESPN U
Idaho at Ohio U, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Utah State at Arkansas State, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Charlotte at Elon, 7:00 PM - American Sports Network
Bryant at Liberty, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com, LFSN, DSS
Ga Southern at South Alabama, 7:30 PM - ESPN3.com
Oklahoma at West Virginia, 7:30 PM - FOX
So Carolina at Vanderbilt, 7:30 PM - SEC Network
Clemson at Florida State, 8:00 PM - ABC
UNLV at Houston, 8:00 PM - ESPN3.com
New Mexico at New Mexico St, 8:00 PM - AggieVision, ESPN3.com
Miami-Florida at Nebraska, 8:00 PM - ESPN 2
Southern Utah at Fresno State, 10:00 PM - Mountain West Network
California at Arizona, 10:00 PM - Pac-12 Network
San Diego St at Oregon State, 10:30 PM - FS1
Oregon at Washington St, 10:30 PM - ESPN
Louisiana at Boise State, 10:30 PM - CBSSN


Major League Soccer
Vancouver FC at Portland, 5:00 PM - TSN, RDS2, NBCSN
Houston at Philadelphia, 7:00 PM - CSN-Houston+, TCN-Philadelphia, DSS
New England at Columbus, 7:30 PM - CSN-New England, Time Warner-OH, DSS
San Jose at Montreal, 7:30 PM - CSN-Bay, California, TVA Sports, DSS
Seattle at Red Bull New York, 7:30 PM - NBCSN, RDS2
D.C. at Chicago, 8:30 PM - CSN-Baltimore, My50, DSS
FC Dallas at Los Angeles, 10:30 PM - TXA21, Time Warner, DSS


International Soccer
Watford FC vs. AFC Bournemouth, 7:10 AM - beIN Sport
QPR vs. Stoke, 7:40 AM - NBCSN
Deportivo La Coruna vs. Real Madrid CF, 9:55 AM - beIN Sport
Aston Villa vs. Arsenal, 9:55 AM - NBCSN
West Ham vs. Liverpool, 12:30 PM - NBC
AC Milan vs. Juventus FC, 2:40 PM - beIN Sport


Golf
EUROPEAN - Wales Open, 8:30 AM - Golf Channel
WEB.COM - Tour Championship, 2:00 PM - Golf Channel
LPGA - Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, 5:00 PM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Pacific Links Hawaii Championship, 7:30 PM - Golf Channel


Auto Racing
FORMULA ONE - Singapore Grand Prix qualifying, 9:00 AM - CNBC
SPRINT CUP - OSRAM Sylvania 300 practice, 9:00 AM - FS1
CAMPING WORLD - UNOH 175 qualifying, 10:00 AM - FS1
SPRINT CUP - OSRAM Sylvania 300 practice, 11:30 AM - FS1
CAMPING WORLD - UNOH 175, 1:00 PM - FS1
NATIONWIDE - Visitmyrtlebeach.com 300, 7:30 PM - ESPNews


Horse Racing
Pennsylvania Derby, 4:30 PM - CSN-Chicago, Northwest, TCN-Philadelphia

Gilmer County Unsed Drug Safe Disposal Day - 09.27.14

The Gilmer Free Press

LITTLE KANAWHA ASSOCIATION ABW MINISTRIES FALL RALLY - 09.25.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The LK Association ABW Ministries Fall Rally will be held Thursday, September 25, 2014 at Enon Baptist Church.

Registration / Refreshments : 5:30 -6:30 PM

Program : 6:30 PM

Silent Auction will be held during registration/refreshment time.. (5:30-6:30 PM).

So ladies bring an item to donate and plan to place a “ bid”.

Proceeds will benefit our Special Project.

All ladies are invited to attend.

Questions contact Jeane Fisher, President.

41st Annual Clay County Golden Delicious Festival – > 09.21.14

The Gilmer Free Press

The 41st Annual Clay County Golden Delicious Festival is set for Clay from Thursday, September 18, 2014 thru Sunday, September 21, 2014, in recognition of the famous Golden Delicious Apple.

There is a diverse selection of activities, many free, scheduled throughout the festival.

ISIS vs. ISIL vs. Islamic State: What Do They Mean – And Why Does It Matter?

The latest beheading of aid worker has highlighted once again the brutality of the extremists operating in the Middle East for a jihadist group that claims to have set up a caliphate called the “Islamic State”.

In the aftermath of the killing, the British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain must “drive back, dismantle and ultimately destroy ISIL and what it stands for”.

Similarly, President Obama has said the U.S. is preparing to “deal with a threat from ISIL”.

Others still refer to the group as “ISIS” - posing an issue for the various companies and brands around the world that already used the acronym or took it from the ancient Egyptian goddess of the same name.

The group itself declared in June that it wants to be known as the “Islamic State”. So what is the difference between the three different acronyms, and why does each of them carry such political resonance?

The militant group was established by the Jordanian national Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 1999 when it was initially known as Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad.

The Gilmer Free Press


It then became known as “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” after becoming part of Osama bin Laden’s network in October 2004.

Since then, the group has operated under numerous guises until its current leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, officially declared it had set up an Islamic State across parts of northern Iraq and Syria on 29 June 2014.

In Arabic, the group is known as Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

The term “al-Sham” refers to a region stretching from southern Turkey through Syria to Egypt (also including Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan).

The group’s stated goal is to restore an Islamic state, or caliphate, in this entire area.

The standard English term for this territory is “the Levant”, which is broadly why Obama and Cameron use the acronym “ISIL”.

Nonetheless, some in the U.S. media claim that the President is using “ISIL” to avoid using the word “Syria” which is what the “S” stands for in ISIS. They say that talking about “attacking Syria” is tricky for the U.S. government, after Obama refused to send troops into the country to intervene in the civil war against President Bashar al-Assad.

The Washington Post reports NBC News anchor, Chuck Todd, as saying: “Obviously we refer to it at NBC News as ISIS. The Obama administration, and the President, say the word ISIL. The last “S” stands for Syria, the last L they don’t want to have stand for Syria.”

In response, the Obama administration has said that it uses the acronym ISIL as it believes the word “Levant”, which is what the “L” stands for, to be a more accurate translation from the Arabic name.

In the UK, leading Muslims have written to Cameron calling for politicians to “refuse to legitimise” the militant group and its current name, instead asking they use an alternative form such as “the Un-Islamic State”.

And adding to the controversy is an American woman called ISIS Martinez, who has petitioned the American media to try and persuade them to avoid the use of her first name.


The Three Acronyms:


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

The original name for the group in Arabic was Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham.

The first three words translate to the Islamic State of Iraq while “al-Sham” refers to Syria or an undefined region around Syria.


The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)

The undefined region around Syria is historically referred to as the Levant; it includes Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, and Jordan.

This name shows that the militants want their area of control to go beyond Iraq.


Islamic State

The militant group announced in June that they were dropping the last two letters of their acronym and instead should be referred to as just Islamic State.

However, in reaction to this leading Muslims have called for the name to be altered to discourage people from joining it. “It is neither Islamic, nor is it a State.

The group has no standing with faithful Muslims, nor among the international community of nations” the letter signed by the Islamic Society of Britain and the Association of Muslim Lawyers, said.

Suckered Again?

The Gilmer Free Press

Why must vengefulness be the default strategy for humans—the very thing we dislike and fear most about our adversaries?  Mob rule is a temptation we assume we have grown beyond, but have we? The media hounds and the war lovers like Senators Graham and McCain bay for blood, putting enormous pressure on the President to get suckered into a third Middle East war. To avoid the label of wimp, Mr. Obama had to say what he said in his speech to the nation on his strategy against ISIS, but what he said was only a palatable version of the vengefulness paradigm.

The agony of loss the parents of Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff must feel is beyond comprehension. But is their pain any different from the universal pain of violence and war that has been felt by the parents of murdered children time out of mind?—the pain of Aleppo, the pain of mothers in Gaza, the pain of innocents in Baghdad who found themselves on the wrong end of Shock and Awe, the pain of wedding participants in Afghanistan blown up under the pitiless eye of US drones, the horror of people having to jump from the twin towers to avoid being burned alive.

When we refuse to get sucked into the vengeful mob mentality, we see the cycle of violence objectively, including our own role in it—as colonial powers that created arbitrary borders in the Middle East at the end of World War I, and more recently as equally ineffective neo-colonial occupiers with ambiguous motives.  We see the Hobbesian atomization of conflict that has overtaken the region: the U.S. and Iran support Iraq. Iran, Iraq, Russia and Shia militias support Assad. The U.S. and the Gulf States want to contain Iran and prevent it from going nuclear. The Gulf States, the U.S. and Sunni militants want to defeat Assad. The Kurds, Iran, the U.S. and Iraq want to defeat ISIS, even as the Kurds have benefited from the chaos created by ISIS. For the United States, never seen as a disinterested party, to intervene militarily in this stew is madness.

We do not know enough about the motives of ISIS to be sure what they wanted to accomplish with the beheadings. On the face of it, such abhorrent acts appear to be an ongoing response in an endless cycle of eye for eye and tooth for tooth—like 9-11 itself. The leader of ISIS was mistreated at Abu Ghraib. The U.S. dropped bombs on ISIS soldiers. And it is also possible that they assume strategic advantage might be found by luring in the U.S. and its allies—perhaps to unite fragmented factions against a common enemy—us, if we choose to get suckered once again.

What is more certain is that thought-systems of violent revenge can take on a bizarre life in an endless cycle of hate and fear, preventing us from thinking outside the constricting box of compulsive military reaction. However tired of war we may be, we feel insulted and helpless—and that leads us to assume we have no alternative but to try war again.

We know from hard experience we will end up spending much more to defeat ISIS by military means, assuming any so-called defeat does not create more enemies than it destroys. We have alternatives. Extrapolating from our feckless campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, imagine some arbitrary sum roughly equal to a quarter of what we spent on those wars becomes an available resource to do something outside the box of war. In this alternative paradigm, weapons sales, to any party, would be an automatic no. That only pours gasoline onto fire.

One alternative model is Rabbi Michael Lerner’s Global Marshall Plan, the preamble of which goes: “In the 21st century, our security and well being depends on the well being of everyone else on this planet as well as on the health of the planet itself. An important way to manifest this caring is through a Global Marshall Plan that would dedicate 1-2% of the U.S. annual Gross Domestic Product each year for the next twenty years to eliminate domestic and global poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, and inadequate health care and repair damage done to the environment . . . ”

Such common-sense generosity helps undercut the motives of ISIS to attack Western targets and isolates extremists by building relationships with a majority of people who would be grateful for genuine humanitarian help. It is past time for the U.S. to abandon its knee-jerk assumption that pouring in yet more raw military force can end, rather than intensify, the tribal enmities tearing apart the region. George W. Bush in 2002: “Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.” We’d better hope not.

~~  Winslow Myers ~~

Bon Appétit: Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut and Quinoa

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp root ginger, chopped finely
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp curry powder
0.5 tsp chilli flakes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1.5 cups dry lentils
1 cup dry quinoa
3 handfuls chopped spinach or kale
Black pepper and pink rock salt, to taste
Chopped fresh coriander to garnish


Directions:

In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil over a medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes.

Add the tomato paste, curry powder and chilli flakes, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, tomatoes and lentils. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer on a low heat for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Rinse the quinoa well and place it in a separate saucepan. Add a cup of water, cover and allow the quinoa to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the seeds have opened out. Remove the lid and stir the quinoa until the remainder of the water has evaporated.

Remove the lentil soup from the heat and stir in the kale/spinach and allow it to wilt. Add the quinoa to the soup and stir well.

Garnish with the chopped coriander and serve hot.

GFP - 09.20.2014
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Ask the Doctor: Exercise Should Be Legitimate

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DEAR DR. DONOHUE: You have written several times in the past about the formula used to determine the training zone for exercise.
It’s the one where you deduct your age from 220 and then take 60% to 75% of that number for obtaining the low and high heartbeat rate that puts you in the zone for benefiting from the exercise.
I am 45.
Following that rule, I have a lower heart rate of 105 and an upper heart rate of 140.
I don’t feel like I am exercising when my heart beats only 105 times a minute, and I am far from pushing myself when it beats 140.
I think that formula gives way too low numbers for most people. - J.M.

ANSWER: One of the elements of exercise is its intensity.
It has to tax the body enough to obtain healthful benefits, but it can’t be so strenuous that it’s a danger for people, especially older people.
That 220 rule might not tax you or the well-trained, but it is safe for everyone.
Since a rise in the heartbeat is a way to determine exercise intensity, pulse taken during exercise serves as a good guide for gauging whether the exercise is doing anything for you.
Other rules exist for checking how fast the heart must beat.
One is as follows: multiply your age by 0.8. For you, that is 36.
Subtract that number from 214; for you, that’s 178.
Take 85% of that number as your upper limit for heart rate, and take 70% as your lower heart rate limit.
Your training zone is 125 to 151 heartbeats (pulse) per minute.
For a fit person, that isn’t a dangerous zone.
For a beginner or older person, it might be.
All this math isn’t necessary.
A good rule to observe for things like walking and jogging is to do so at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation.
Or you can use perceived exertion, something I also have written about many times.
The exerciser determines if the exercise is too easy, moderate or too rigorous.
Keep exercise at an intensity you believe is moderate for you.

Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment

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The seed is life waiting to be awakened from dormancy to new expression—a beautiful blossoming of greenery and abundance.

Its full potential is encased in its tiny form. The seed is also understood as the word of God. Although sown in liberal quantities, only seeds that take root and receive care and a receptive place to grow will be productive.  Nurturing a seedling to maturity, or a child to adulthood, requires care, effort and patience over a long time. So too is the path of Christian life full of effort and challenge. When the vulnerability of our faith is tested, Lord, give us patience to care and be receptive to your Word.


1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49. I will walk in the presence of God, with the light of the living— Ps 55(56):10-14. Luke 8:4-15.

Vinton Ray Robinson

The Gilmer Free Press

Vinton Ray Robinson

Age 76, of Tanner, WV passed away on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at The Arbors of Marietta, with his loving family at his side.

Vinton was born April 10, 1938, the eldest son of the late Earl and Minnie (Lawson) Robinson.

On October 20, 1956, Vinton married his life-long sweetheart Mary Jane Ayers, who passed away earlier this year.

Vinton was a faithful Christian and active supporter of his church, Tanner Chapel.

He was a devoted father and grandfather who took pleasure in spending time with family.  He was involved in community organizations including Gilmer County Farm Bureau and Senior Citizens.

He and Mary Jane raised five children on their farm at Bullfork, and were honored as a past Conservation District Farm Family of the Year. Vinton especially enjoyed being outdoors, farming, gardening, and hunting. He was a skilled timber man who owned and operated a sawmill.  He also worked in the oil fields.

Survivors include his children: Debbie (Russ) Hern, Timmy (Bea Whipkey) Robinson, Tammy (late Mitchell) Stump, Terry (Tim) Hickman, and Brenda (Randy) Ball; ten grandchildren: Amanda (Matt) Deal, Hannah Hern, Tyler Hern, Joshua (Samantha) Hickman, Titus (Sarah) Robinson, Thomas (Annie) Robinson, Jonah (Britney) Stump, Kasey Stump, Caleb (Lindsey) Ball, and Chelsey (Matt) Robinson; and six great-grandchildren: Miley, Rilyn, and Jonah Jr Stump, Emeri Hickman, Stella Robinson, and Holly Deal. He is also survived by a brother Glen (Anne) Robinson, sisters Helen (Lloyd) Keith and Judy (Bill) Hardbarger, and many extended family and friends who will miss him dearly.

In addition to his wife of 57 years and his parents, Vinton was preceded in death by his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Bailey and Avis Ayers, brother Melvin Robinson and a son-in-law.

Funeral service will be 12:00 PM Monday, September 22, at Tanner Chapel, Tanner, WV.

Pastor Alfred Hickman, Rev. Tim Hickman and Rev. Matt Deal will conduct the service.

Burial will follow in the Smithville Cemetery.

Friends may visit the family from 5-8 PM Sunday, September 21 at the Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg, WV and at Tanner Chapel from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM prior to the funeral service Monday.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mr. Robinson may be made to: Tanner Chapel, c/o Brenda Lawson, 68 Sun Valley Lane, Glenville, WV 26351.

Richard J. Light

The Gilmer Free Press

Richard J. Light

Age 78, passed September 06, 2014, at home after a two and half year battle with lung cancer.

He was born July 06, 1936, a son of Isreal Ray Light and Margaret D. Light of Buckhannon.

He was a resident of Jane Lew, West Virginia.

Richard was a member of Broad Street United Methodist Church in Weston and a past member of Chapel Hill United Methodist in Buckhannon.

He married Janice M. Moore in 1962 and celebrated 50 years of marriage on January 20, 2012.

Richard was a veteran, serving in the West Virginia National Guard and the Army Reserve as a Staff Sgt., Trp H, 2nd Recon Squad, 150th Armed Cav. He was retired after 21 years with Extrusion Technologies as plant manager, a pipe production plant in Buckhannon, WV. He was employed by Aries Telecommunication as business manager for WGBA Television Station in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he became an avid Green Bay Packer fan.

He was a graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, attended West Virginia Wesleyan College and was a graduate of the Ben Franklin School of Accounting at George Washington University. Richard was a Rotarion and active in the Chamber of Commerce in Upshur County for many years.

He leaves behind a wife, Janice Moore Light; a son, Steven B. Light; a daughter-in-law, Teresa Light; and a long awaited and much loved granddaughter, Isabella Reyal Light.

His parents, a sister and a brother preceded him in death.

A Memorial Service was held at the Broad Street Methodist Church, Weston, on September 15, 2014, at 11 AM with 30-minute visitation and service following at 11:30 AM with Rev. Richard Justice officiating.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Broad Street United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund. More information on the scholarship fund can be had by contacting Debbie Shackelford at the Broad Street Church.

Comics

The Gilmer Free Press

Bastin Work Featured in GSC Fine Arts Gallery

The Gilmer Free Press

The photography of artist Ernie Bastin will be featured in an upcoming exhibit in the Glenville State College Spears Fine Arts Gallery.

The exhibit will be on display Monday, September 22 through Friday, October 17, 2014 with a reception to meet the artist on Monday, September 29, 2014 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

Bastin was born in Lackawanna, New York but moved to Clarksburg, West Virginia when he was only four months old. Upon graduating high school, his mother gave him a camera as a graduation present which sparked an interest in photography that remains to this day.

After high school, Bastin graduated from the Naval School of Music. Following his time in the Navy, he earned a bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Illinois. He went on to teach trumpet and jazz at Ohio University until his retirement after 41 years.

“With digital photography, the photographer as improviser gives the photograph an added personal dimension. In both music and photography this added dimension reveals something about the improviser. With the advent of high resolution digital photography, filtering possibilities available through computer software as well as traditional techniques, the photographer, as improviser, is free to enhance the photograph,” said Bastin.

For more information, contact GSC Associate Professor of Art and Gallery Director Liza Brenner at or 304.462.6346.

G-Biz™: Dent to Assume Management of Pioneer Grille

The Gilmer Free Press

The Pioneer Grille announces the addition of Dustin “Dusty” Dent as the manager, effective September 19, 2014.

Dent is a graduate of Gilmer County High School and Glenville State College, where he earned a Regent Bachelor of Arts degree in business management and marketing.

He returns to Glenville after serving as the Manager of multiple food service operations at Snowshoe Mountain Resort since June, 2013.

While there, his job included managerial functions at Brandi’s Restaurant and Pub, Pasta’s Restaurant and Wine Lounge and Cheat Mountain Pizza.

He is also the 2014 winner of the Snowshoe Mountain Top Chef Competition. 

Dent is married to Sam and has two sons, Keelan, 12 and Derek, 4.

He currently owns a home in Pocahontas County, but will be returning to Glenville to assume this position.

The Pioneer Grille feels his knowledge of the local area and customers, coupled with his recent experiences in food service establishments will allow him to provide the quality food and customer service the Pioneer Grille customers expect and deserve.

Everyone is invited to stop in and welcome Dusty back to Glenville and his new job!

For catering, special events and other questions, please contact Dusty at 304.462.8833. 

SJMH Cardiac Rehab Reunion Planned for Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Cardiac Rehab Department at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, is planning a Cardiac Rehab Reunion for Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM at the Lewis County EMS Building in Weston.

Members of the Rehab Department will provide blood pressure screenings and other important information for participants. It is suggested that people bring healthy covered dishes to the event.

The Gilmer Free Press


Dr. Rob Snuffer will be guest speaker for the evening.

Participants should make their reservations by calling Kristi Gannon at 304.269.8099 or emailing her at .

The Cardiac Department also encourages all Lewis Countians to wear red that day to encourage educating everyone about heart disease.  The Department will also help coordinate a Lewis County AED Awareness Day on the 23, from noon to 4:00 PM at the EMS Building. Interested residents can learn how to use an AED.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm of an unconscious person. If needed, it can send an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

SCA usually results in death if it is not treated within minutes. In fact, each minute of SCA leads to a 10 percent reduction in survival. Using an AED on a person with SCA may save the person’s life.

During the 2013-14 basketball season, Kristi Gannon and Dr. Snuffer were at a basketball game in Harrison County when the referee collapsed on the floor. Thanks to the quick thinking of the two medical professionals and the AED available in the gym, the man’s life was saved.

The Lewis County Heart Society has recently purchased AED’s for 4 local Fire Departments. The cost of an AED is approximately $1600.

There are several locations in Lewis County where an AED is located, and we want the community to be aware of how to use them.  Starting at 4pm will be the presentation of AED’s to the local Fire Departments.

G-Eye™: Cutting Trees at Glenville Golf Club on 90.17.14 (Dead Ones)

The Gilmer Free Press

May the countryside and the gliding valley streams content me.
Lost to fame, let me love river and woodland.
~~ Virgil ~~

G-Fin™: U.S. Jobless Claims Fall, Continuing Claims Lowest Since 2007

The Gilmer Free Press

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting that a sharp slowdown in job growth last month was probably an aberration.

While other data on Thursday showed housing starts declined in August, upward revisions for groundbreaking in July offered hope that the housing market was continuing to gradually improve.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000 for the week ended September 13, the lowest level since July, the Labor Department said.

Economists had forecast claims falling to only 305,000 last week. The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, slipped 4,750 to 299,500.

The data came a day after the Federal Reserve renewed a pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time,“ while hinting at a faster pace of rate hikes than the U.S. central bank was signaling a few months ago.

The dollar hit a more than six-year high against the yen, while U.S. Treasury price declines widened after the claims data. U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said housing starts fell 14.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual 956,000-unit pace last month. July’s starts were revised to show a 1.12-million unit rate, the highest level since November 2007, instead of the previously reported 1.09-million unit rate.

That helped to take some of the sting out of the report, which also showed permits fell 5.6% to a 998,000-unit pace in August.

Single-family starts in the South, where about half of the single-family construction takes place, increased last month to an eight-month high. Permits in the South hit their highest level since April 2008.

Housing is clawing back after suffering a setback following a spike in mortgage rates last year. It, however, remains constrained by a relatively high unemployment rate and stringent lending practices by financial institutions.

But with the labor market gaining traction, economists expect housing activity to accelerate next year.

Last week’s jobless claims data covered the period during which employers were surveyed for September’s non-farm payrolls. Claims fell 19,000 between the August and September survey periods.

That suggests payrolls growth rebounded from August’s eight-month low, which most economists dismissed as a fluke, noting that payroll gains tend to be smaller in August because of problems adjusting the data for seasonal fluctuations in hiring.

Employers added only 142,000 jobs to their payrolls in August, snapping six consecutive months of job increases above 200,000.

The jobless claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell 63,000 to 2.43 million in the week ended September 06. That was the lowest level since May 2007.

The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits fell to 1.8%, the lowest level since November 2006, from 1.9% in the prior week.

SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE WARNED OF TEXT BOOK SCAM

The Gilmer Free Press

Scammers are trying to take advantage of school districts
in the chaotic first few weeks of the academic year.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey today warned school districts in West Virginia to be on the lookout for invoices for text books that the school did not order.

“Our Office has received complaints and inquiries from several high schools and middle schools that they have been mailed invoices from Scholastic School Supply of Las Vegas, Nev., for textbooks they never ordered or received,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “These invoices are nothing more than an attempt by someone or a group of people to take advantage of schools during the chaotic first few weeks.”

The invoices (a redacted version is included here as an example) all list the same quantity and type of text books and the same price: 50 copies of “English-Language Arts Practice Book” for $647.50. Schools that contacted our Office each have said they never ordered the text books. When the schools have called the number on the invoice to question it, a message tells them the number is not in service.

“Unfortunately, this scam is not just impacting West Virginia schools,” Morrisey said. “The Better Business Bureau recently issued a warning about Scholastic School Supply sending invoices to school districts throughout the country. In every case, the invoice was for $647.50 and the textbooks allegedly purchased were English or math workbooks.”

The address provided on the invoice is for a retail plaza in Las Vegas. The phone number listed on the invoice is no longer in service, and the International Standard Book Number, or ISBN, listed on the invoice for the textbooks does not appear to be an active number.

School districts that have received the invoice are urged to not pay it. Instead, officials with the school district should file a report with the West Virginia Consumer Protection Division online at www.ago.wv.gov or call 800.368.8808.

If the invoice was received via U.S. Postal Service, school officials also should file a report with the local postal inspector and the Federal Trade Commission at 877.382.4357.

Cancer Support Group Available in The Area

The Gilmer Free Press

Janet Lockard, of Pricetown, WV has worked with the local cancer support group – the Chemosabies – for many years.

The purpose of the group is to help cancer survivors deal with the many, comples issues of the illness.

Janet said that their group helps the survivor deal with the issue in any way they can.

“We have had covered dishes for survivors; have helped them deal with their diagnosis; provided them with help from our own experiences,” said Janet.  “We actually have a lot of fun.”

For more information call Lockard at 304.269.5681.

Cogar Selected as Gilmer County Democrat of the Year

The Gilmer Free Press

The Gilmer County Democratic Executive Committee chose Mary Cogar as the 2014 Democrat of the Year.

Mary and husband Joe live on Rosedale Road of Gilmer County, WV.

They have one son, Kevin, who resides in Barboursville, WV with his wife, Tammy.

The Cogars have three grandchildren:  Madison, a freshman at Fairmont State University; Tristan, 15, sophomore at Cabell Midland and Baylee, 11, who attends Martha Elementary.

Mary has been a Gilmer County poll worker for more years than anyone can remember, and claims the only hobby she has is volunteering at the Senior Center and helping take care of her mother and anyone else who needs help.

She also plays a very active role in Gilmer County elections as she introduces candidates to the residents of her area.

The Committee chose Cogar for her many years of dedication and service to the Democratic Party in Gilmer County!

Mary will be honored on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at the Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner at the Civic Center, in Charleston, WV.

She will then be honored on Sunday, October 19, 2014 at the Gilmer County Meet Your Candidate dinner to be held at the Gilmer County Senior Center. 

G-Comm™: ‘Undermining Pell’

Hundreds of colleges charge low-income students tuition that is half or more of their household’s entire yearly income, according to a report released today by the New America Foundation that seeks to shed light on colleges’ aid practices and to prod Congress to change the structure of Pell Grants.

The purpose of Pell Grants, which help about 9 million low-income Americans attend college, is being undermined by many colleges that either are not admitting many Pell recipients or are doing little else to help needy students pay for college costs not covered by Pell, according to New America.

“Worse yet, there is compelling evidence to suggest that many schools are engaged in an elaborate shell game: using Pell Grants to supplant institutional aid they would have otherwise provided to financially needy students, and then shifting these funds to help recruit wealthier students,” according to the report, which was written by Stephen Burd, a senior policy analyst at the Washington think tank. “This is one reason why even after historic increases in Pell Grant funding, low-income students continue to take on heavier debt loads than ever before.”

Most private and some public colleges offer students huge discounts in the form of need-based aid for low-income students and “merit” aid for students from population groups they would like to enroll. Many higher ed observers, like Burd, are pointing to a shift away from need-based aid to “merit” aid.

The Gilmer Free Press

“Back in the day, [colleges] used to complement the government’s efforts to make college more accessible, and increasingly they are using their money to get the students they want,” he said in an interview.

In general, colleges doing that want two things: students whose test scores and other credentials will impress U.S. News & World Report— the magazine whose college ranking formula sets the agenda for administrators at scores of American colleges—or wealthy students. Colleges will lure wealthier students with modest merit scholarships and still make more off those students than they would off low-income students who received generous need-based scholarships.

“It’s sad,” said Nate Johnson, a higher ed consultant in Florida, “Some of the trends you’re seeing go away from supporting low-income students to going after prestige and revenue. I think it’s hard for some of the colleges to unilaterally disarm and not compete on the same basis as the others without more support from federal and state programs and more incentive to go after [low-income] students.”

Burd’s analysis is focused on the actual cost to students of colleges, known as the “net price,“ which is the cost of tuition, room and board after grants and scholarships. He found 61 private colleges charged tuitions of $25,000 or more to students from homes earning less than $30,000 a year. At least two of those – Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. – charged more than $30,000 a year to students from low-income households.

David Warren, the president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which represents private colleges, said there are “many complex factors that determine the amount of institutional aid given and the net price charged to students.“ 

“Every institution seeks a mix of students by income, interest, talent and background. Institutions have varying resources, academic profiles and even definitions of what is merit- and what is need-based aid,“ he said in a prepared statement. “We look forward to seeing how the report captures the complexities colleges and universities are navigating to provide aid packages for their students.“

Drawing on federal data from the 2011-2012 academic year, the New America report looked at 828 private nonprofit colleges and 598 public colleges, and charted four basic approaches to admitting low-income students. In higher ed policy circles, the number of students on Pell serves as proxy for the number of low-income students on a campus.

One approach is not to admit many low-income students, but to give those that are admitted a lot of institutional aid so they don’t have to take out loans. Harvard University is a perfect example: the lowest-income students at Harvard pay less than $3,000 a year to attend, but only 11% of Harvard students come from low-income families.

Other colleges admit a relatively high number of Pell recipients – 15% or more – and also manage to keep the prices low, which New American defined as under $10,000 per year.

Vassar College often comes up in conversations about prestigious private colleges that admit a relatively high number of low-income students – 22% of its students in fall 2011 – and keeps their annual expenses low, to less than $7,000.

New America’s target is the other two kinds of colleges: those that either don’t admit many Pell recipients or that admit a lot but don’t provide scholarships to help Pell students cover the full cost of college.

Washington University in St. Louis admits a surprisingly few number of low-income students: just 7% of its students were on Pell during the period covered by New America’s report.

That’s changing, though, said Provost Holden Thorp.

“It’s a product of decisions we’ve made in the past that we’re now changing course on and a big part of what I came here to work on,” said Thorp, who joined Washington University last summer.

This year, the number of Pell-eligible first-year students at Washington University rose to 8% from 6% the year before. Thorp said the goal is to get the%age of Pell recipients to be comparable to that of Washington Unviversity’s peers—in the 12- to 14-percent range.

New America also looked at colleges that admit a large number of Pell students but don’t do much to support them with college-funded scholarships.

These colleges tend have smaller endowments and to be dependent on tuition.

“Indeed, it is often the poorest schools that enroll the largest proportion of federal Pell Grant recipients and charge these students high net prices because of their own limited resources,” Burd said in his report.

Burd mostly focused on private colleges, but warned that more and more public universities – in the hunt for rankings prestige or wealthy students to help pay the bills – are also “undermining Pell.“

“State disinvestment and institutional status-seeking  are working together, hand in hand, to encourage an  increasing number of public institutions to adopt the  enrollment tactics of their private-college counterparts – often to the detriment of the low-income students they enroll,” he wrote.

New America’s whole report gets to the heart of an effort that New America has undertaken to get Congress to modify Pell as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-backed effort to “reimagine” federal aid policy.

In a proposal released last year, New America argued that Congress, which at some point in the near future is supposed to revise its massive bundle of higher education laws, needs to add more strings to Pell. First, New America recommends that colleges be required to match Pell Grants dollar for dollar if they enroll relatively few low-income students and charge a relatively high net price. Second, the think tank recommends that colleges get bonuses from the federal government for ensuring that 25% or more of their student population is made up of low-income Pell recipients.

Thorp, the Washington University provost, said he and provosts he meets with would not have a problem with such changes designed to increase the enrollment of Pell recipients.

“I don’t think people would be super concerned about incentives to push the number even higher,” he said.

At Washington University, the Pell Grant covers only a tenth of what the university spends to educate a student. Thorp said the actual money from Pell isn’t as important to the university as what Pell measures: whether or not it is providing opportunities for low-income Americans.

~~  Ry Rivard ~~

West Virginia News

The Gilmer Free Press

Mother In Jail For Growing Pot At Home That She Allegedly Allowed Son To Smoke

A Boone County woman is facing charges for cultivating marijuana at her home in Madison.

State Police discovered four plants growing at the home of Mary Messer after getting a tip.

State Police say they also learned in the investigation Messer’s teenage son was being allowed to smoke the same pot.

Messer, age 47, is jailed on a charge of child neglect creating risk of injury, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and conspiracy to commit a felony.


Dominion Pipeline Forum Draws Hundreds in Upshur County

Construction is not scheduled to begin until at least 2017, but work is underway on the proposed 550-mile pipeline that will carry 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily from Harrison County to Robeson County, NC.

Before Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources can begin building, they must obtain approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Part of this process is presenting public comments both for and against the project. Dominion is hosting open house meetings for residents along the path of the pipeline, especially landowners, to come meet with administration and employees working in each aspect of the project from land rights to engineering.

The first was held Wednesday night at West Virginia Wesleyan College, with hundreds attending throughout the night.

“It gives residents, elected officials, general public the opportunity to come find out what we’re doing, what we plan on doing and ask questions of industry experts,” said Bob Orndorff, managing director of state and local government affairs for Dominion. “We encourage dialogue that will continue throughout the evening.”

Among those on hand to answer questions was Brittany Moody, the project’s pipeline engineering director. She explained the proposed route for the pipeline is subject to change as results arrive from the preliminary survey.

“We’ll tweak it as we need to, avoiding conservation easements, issues in national forests, property owners, topography, making sure we’re following ridgelines,” she said.

Officials heard safety concerns about the 42-inch pipe, the largest constructed in West Virginia.

“There are 70-inch pipelines in Alaska. A 42-inch pipeline is large but it’s not the largest that’s ever been built,” Orndorff said. “It has been done before. They have been built. They have been built in the Rocky Mountains.”

Orndorff also wanted to dispel rumors of compressors stations every 10 miles along the proposed route and how many above-ground facilities will be required.

“What we’ve said and what we’re stating is three compressor stations. One in Lewis County, one in Virginia and one in North Carolina,” he said. “The above-ground structures depend on the class of the pipeline and we have yet to determine that.”

A group of people stood outside and handed out literature compiled by the Greenbrier River Watershed Association and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.

Among them was Tim Higgins, a resident of Upshur County and a member of the Surface Owners Rights Organization. His concerns included the landowner rights, the environmental impact of the pipeline proposed to run through two national parks and several major streams and a permit to export liquefied natural gas.

“[Dominion] has applied for an export permit where they say this [pipeline] is for domestic use. Why do they need an export permit?” he asked.

The company did apply for and receive an export permit from the DOE – Office of Fossil Energy in 2013 for a facility off the coast of Lusby, Maryland, which is located roughly 212 miles from the end of a proposed lateral pipeline near Chesapeake, Virginia that branches off the main pipeline. In the approval document, it stated “the opponents of the DCP Application have not demonstrated that the requested authorization will be inconsistent with the public interest and finds that the exports proposed in this Application are likely to yield net economic benefits to the United States.”

Energy companies are entertaining the idea of exporting natural gas from the United States to other markets where the demand and price is higher, like China.

In 2012, a study commissioned by the DOE conducted by NERA Economic Consulting found increased natural gas exports lead to increased natural gas prices, which added an increase to electricity bills depending on the different export levels.

A study conducted by Chmura Economics and Analytics determined the project will lead to “More stable electricity and home heating prices,” claiming “gas prices spiked more than 20-fold on the coldest days in the region due to pipeline constraints.”

Dominion has stated the pipeline is for domestic use only with no intention of exports from this project currently.

Another open house for the ACP is slated for September 24 at the Durbin Volunteer Fire Department from 5 to 6:30 PM for landowners within the proposed study corridor and from 6:30 to 8 PM for landowners and the general public.


Crash Closes I-77 Northbound in Jackson County

A Thursday morning crash closed a busy interstate in Jackson County.

Two semis were involved in the accident in the northbound lanes of I-77 just north of the Kenna exit just before 6 AM.

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The driver of one of the trucks was taken to the hospital.

The northbound lanes were blocked for several hours.

Traffic northbound detoured at Kenna.

The detour traveled Route 21 north and reenters the interstate at Fairplain.


City of Weston Publishes Quarterly Newsletter

Though the City of Weston has a Facebook page, website – cityofwestonwv.com, and stories on television, newspaper, and radio, there are still residents who do not receive all of the information they would like about the City.

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Mayor Julia Spelsberg was visiting a sister in Arizona and found that the town of Casa Grande had a monthly newsletter they provide citizens.  She brought back the idea and presented to the City.  It was well received.

Together with staff from the City and Weston Sanitary Board, a quarterly newsletter has been created and will be mailed with Weston Sanitary bills.  Residents will find their September issue of City Beats this week with their monthly bill.

“I think that we will find this to be a great way to communicate with residents,” said Weston City Manager Michelle Allen.  “We had information about the new rental ordinance and people were coming into the office this morning to find out more about the registration holding the newsletter.  So their questions were directly related to the new newsletter.”

Other information in the newsletter concerned the various organizations associated with the City including the Weston Arts Council, BAD Buildings Committee, Landmarks Commission, Planning Commission, and Fairs and Festivals Committee. 


$10,000 Reward Offer In Case Of Missing Greenbrier County Woman

Four agencies in Greenbrier County are offering a total of $10,000 for information leading to the location of Frankford resident Dee-Ann Keene.

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The 43-year-old Keene was last seen at a friend’s house in Renick February 28. State Police Cpl. H.F. Blevins said he’s hopeful the reward will lead to more tips and a significant break in the case.

“That it will kind of rejuvenate some people or somebody that does have some information, hopefully that will kind of help us out a little bit,” Blevins said.

Different aspects of the investigation lead troopers to believe that something bad happened to Keene.

“There’s been no word from her since the day of her disappearance. We feel through other things we’ve recovered in the investigation she might well be deceased,” Cpl. Blevins said.

Investigators also believe drugs may be involved in the disappearance and the reason why no one is coming forward. Cpl. Blevins said it’s important to find Keene to help bring closure to her family.

The $10,000 is a joint reward from State Police with assistance of the Greenbrier County Prosecutor’s Office, Greenbrier County Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department.

To collect the reward money, the information provided must lead to the location of Keene.

State Police can be contacted at 304.647.7600 or 304.256.6700.


WV Treasurer Hands Out $12,000 In Prepaid College Tuition

West Virginia state treasurer John Perdue handed out $12,000 worth of smart savings to 15 students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade as part of the annual When I Grow Up SMART529 contest.

More than 3,000 students from across the state wrote an essay about what they wanted to do when they graduated from college or trade school. From a dentist to a zookeeper, a robotic engineer to the owner of a teddy bear factory, they all have big dreams.

A panel of judges chose 15 regional winners who were honored Thursday at the state Culture Center. Each was awarded $500 that will be deposited into a SMART529 direct account. A name was randomly drawn from the finalists and Brynne Hartung of Frankfort Intermediate in Mineral County received the grand prize of a $5,000 deposit into her account.

Given the cost of higher education these days, Perdue said those students will need every penny.

“We’ve got kids, dreaming at a very young age, that they want to go to college. They want to go to higher education or technical education. Competing in the economy today they’re going to have to get an advanced education. That’s what this program is about stressed Perdue.

SMART529 is a prepaid college tuition program that allows family and friends to make deposits into an account and start saving early on.

“The best gift you can give your kids and grandkids at Christmas time is put money in a college savings program,” Perdue said. “They may be a little upset about that, but down the road when they turn 18 and get ready to go to college, they’re going to thank grandma and grandpa and mom and dad for making a difference in their life.”

The treasurer spoke to all the winners and said he was impressed at how seriously even the youngest students are when it comes to squirreling away money.

“I had at least two kids tell me, ‘I’m putting money in my piggy bank to help with my 529.’”


Day Of Caring Draws Hundreds Of Volunteers

Hundreds of volunteers lent a hand to non-profit agencies Wednesday.

It was the United Way’s Day of Caring.

The United Way of Central West Virginia sponsored events in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Logan and Putnam counties.

One of the sites was the Sojourners Shelter for Homeless Women and Families on Charleston’s East End. A group of volunteers from Columbia Pipeline Group painted walls, halls and a fence.

Children staying at the shelter kept running to the door of their playroom to see how volunteers were coming along with the painting. The walls went from a boring blue to a sky colored, cheery space.

They seemed so excited to have their playroom painted.

Other volunteers across the five-county area pulled weeds, cleaned up trash, planted flowers and helped in any way they could.


Chevron Meets New, Voluntary Shale Drilling Rules

Chevron has become the first energy company to meet a new set of voluntary shale gas drilling standards that aim to go beyond existing state laws in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the Pittsburgh-based Center for Sustainable Shale announced Thursday.

The center is a partnership between major energy companies, environmental groups and charitable foundations. Its certification process consisted of an independent review of Chevron documents and 22 of its production sites in the three states.

The program is meant to work much like Underwriters Laboratories, which puts its familiar UL seal on electrical appliances. The review was conducted by Bureau Veritas, an international testing company that also handles the LEED review process for the U.S. Green Building Council.

Nigel Hearne, president of Chevron’s Appalachia operations, said that the 15 Sustainable Shale standards “will produce meaningful results” in reducing pollution and freshwater use, and that he hopes other energy companies join in the process. Chevron Corp. is based in San Ramon, California.

The Sierra Club and other some environmental groups have harshly criticized the Sustainable Shale program, saying voluntary efforts are no substitute for tougher state and federal regulations. But one environmental group that worked on the project welcomed Chevron’s announcement.

Chevron’s pledges to recycle drilling fluids, not use open waste pits and to reduce methane leaks address “very big” concerns for many people, said Davitt Woodwell, president of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Chevron also says it now discloses all of the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process in the region. Woodwell said his group hopes other drilling companies take similar actions.

The fracking process uses millions of gallons of high-pressure water mixed with sand and chemicals to break apart rock rich in oil and gas. That has led to a boom in production from the Appalachian Marcellus Shale formation and in other states, but also concerns about water and air pollution.

When the Sustainable Shale project was announced in early 2012, some energy companies said they realized they needed to do more to reassure the public about the safety of fracking. Some environmentalists said they joined the Sustainable Shale project after coming to the conclusion that hundreds of billions of dollars in oil and gas is going to be extracted one way or another and that working with the industry is the quickest path to making the process safer.

In addition to Chevron, other Sustainable Shale participants are Shell, EQT Corp., Consol Energy, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Clean Air Task Force. Paul O’Neill, former treasury secretary, and Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor and Environmental Protection Agency administrator, also serve on the board of directors.


Ex-WV Bus Driver Sentenced For Sex Abuse

A former Fayette County school bus driver has been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for having sex with a 14-year-old student who rode on his bus.

Media outlets report Steven “Rick” Malay was sentenced Thursday in Fayette County Circuit Court. Malay was convicted of sexual abuse by a person of trust.

According to court filings, the encounters occurred at the girl’s home while her parents were sleeping.

A judge last year dismissed six of the eight counts against Malay, ruling the juvenile wasn’t under Malay’s care when the encounters happened.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that decision should be left to a jury.


West Virginia Ranks Next-to-Last in National Report on Economic Development Strategies Based on Innovation & Technology

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a well-respected Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. The Foundation is at the cutting edge of designing innovation policies and documenting how advances in technology are creating new economic opportunities to boost economic growth and improve the quality of life in the United States.

One of the Foundation’s primary missions is to help state policymakers better understand the nature of the new innovation economy and the types of public policies needed to drive innovation, productivity and broad-based prosperity at the state level.

The annual report the Foundation provides a comprehensive evaluation of each state and how each state government encourages, promotes and uses innovation and technology as an economic strategy. The Foundation uses 25 indicators, divided into five categories that best capture what is new about the New Economy:

1. Knowledge Jobs: Indicators measure employment of IT professionals outside the IT industry; jobs held by managers, professionals, and technicians; the educational attainment of the entire workforce; immigration of knowledge workers; migration of domestic knowledge workers; worker productivity in the manufacturing sector; and employment in high-wage traded services.

2. Globalization: Indicators measure the export orientation of manufacturing and services and foreign direct investment.

3. Economic Dynamism: Indicators measure the degree of job churning (i.e., the%age of new business startups and existing business failures); the number of Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and Inc. 500 firms; the number and value of initial public stock offerings (IPOs) by companies; the number of entrepreneurs starting new businesses; and the number of individual inventor patents granted.

4. The Digital Economy: Indicators that measure the degree to which governments use information technology to deliver services; Internet and computer use by farmers; adoption rates and speed of broadband telecommunications; and use of information technology in the health care system.

5. Innovation Capacity: Indicators measure the number of jobs in high-tech industries such as electronics manufacturing, telecommunications, and biomedical industries; the number of scientists and engineers in the workforce; the number of patents granted; industry investment in research and development; non-industry investment in research and development; movement toward a clean energy economy; and venture capital investment.

West Virginia has to do a better job!

West Virginia needs legislative leadership that will create a renewed state emphasis on the use of technology and innovation as a means to grow our state’s economy.

As a state senator, I will be part of the legislative leadership!

Click H E R E for the Foundation’s 2014 Report 


Groups Oppose Oil, Gas Drilling Under Ohio River

Environmental and citizen groups are urging Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to rethink leasing land under the Ohio River for oil and natural gas drilling.

In a letter Wednesday, Ohio and West Virginia groups expressed concerns that the state won’t sufficiently safeguard against releases that could harm water supplies.

Groups said more than 5 million people use the Ohio for drinking water.

Until Sept. 25, the state is taking bids on the rights to the reserves below 22 miles of the river. The sections are in Pleasants, Marshall and Wetzel counties.

Eight groups signed the letter. Some include the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Concerned Citizens Ohio, West Virginia Sierra Club chapter and FreshWater Accountability Project.

The state will require a minimum 20% or one-fifth of oil and drilling royalties.


Feds Hosting Domestic Violence Discussion In WV

A federal prosecutor is holding a roundtable discussion on domestic violence and sexual assault.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld (EE-len-feld) will conduct the meeting at the YWCA of Wheeling on Thursday afternoon.

Others expected to be in attendance include county sheriffs and prosecutors and members of violence prevention programs.

Ihlenfeld’s office says the discussion about domestic violence and sexual assault in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle is one of several scheduled throughout the state this week in response to the case of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

A video surfaced last week showing Rice punching Janay Palmer, now his wife, in a casino elevator. Within hours, the Ravens released Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him indefinitely.


‘Learn and Earn Program’ Awards WV Grants

Five grants totaling nearly $300,000 are heading to a paid, on-the-job training program for students in technical programs.

The grants were announced Wednesday by the Community and Technical College System of West Virginia. They were awarded through the Learn and Earn Program.

The program provides training with pay for students seeking high-skill employment.

The funding was awarded to Gestamp and BridgeValley Community and Technical College, DuPont and West Virginia University at Parkersburg, and Advanced Technical Solutions and Mountwest Community and Technical College, among others.

The funding will support training in information technology, chemical polymer disciplines and machine tool technology.

G-Eye™: Glenville Utility Employees Working on Water Line 0n 09.18.14

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Movie Review: ‘Pay 2 Play’

Like the recent documentary “Citizen Koch,” “Pay 2 Play” aims to stir up outrage over influence peddling. Although billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch aren’t mentioned until midway through this film, they and their ilk — wealthy conservatives who push their agendas by pouring cash into the coffers of like- minded politicians — are clearly the villains here.

But director John Ennis is interested in doing more than getting people riled up. “How do we get past the pay-to-play system?” he asks in a voice-over narration. “Because I’m ready to be a board flipper.” That reference is to the Monopoly game and tossing all the pieces on the floor when you’re losing. Ennis uses the Hasbro game and its cartoon mascot, the mustachioed Uncle Pennybags, as a leitmotif throughout the film. In his view, the spirit of Monopoly — the player with the most money wins — is emblematic of what’s wrong with government today.

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The answer to Ennis’s question, which he provides himself, is not just to get mad, but to get active. He advocates doing whatever one can to protest the status quo, whether it’s as an individual street artist or blogger or as part of a larger collective such as the Occupy movement. Ennis is an optimist at heart, and his belief that one person can make a difference is infectious, if naive.

That belief is echoed in the film by Surya Yalamanchili, a former contestant on the television show “The Apprentice” who ran for Congress in 2010 on a platform of election reform. He lost, but still thinks that one person can change the world. That’s refreshing to hear, especially when many other man-on-the-street interviews in the movie suggest that things have been so corrupt for so long that they will probably never change. Among the film’s famous talking heads, “Pay 2 Play” features interviews with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, linguist and leftist firebrand Noam Chomsky and former labor secretary Robert Reich, each of whom contributes a pungent soundbite or two.

At times “Pay 2 Play” seems to lose focus, digressing about racism in campaigning — Yalamanchili’s Democrat primary opponent allegedly made fun of his name — and the scourge of gerrymandering. The film tends to ramble a little, spending what seems like an inordinate amount of time on Ohio politics as a case study for the nation.

“Pay 2 Play” makes no new revelations. It’s one of a bunch of documentaries of late that have that tried to raise awareness about what they call the evils of the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC , which ushered in an age of unfettered corporate electioneering.

The difference with this movie is that it actually means to inspire hope. Ennis, who has a young daughter, says he can’t very well drop everything and live in a tent encampment to protest. But what he can do — in fact, what he has done, with this film — is something else that matters.

★ ★ ½

Unrated. Contains some coarse language. 87 minutes.

Sports News

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►   Glenville State vs. Fairmont State – Game 3

The Pioneers will travel to rival Fairmont State University as they take on the Fighting Falcons in the Annual Battle for the Bit game. The rivalry dates all the way back to 1908 and this will be the 88th meeting between the two schools. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.

The Glenville State Pioneer football team comes into the matchup after suffering a tough loss to the West Liberty University Hilltoppers at home on Saturday afternoon in double overtime, 27-24. The Pioneers are 0-2 on the season and 0-2 in MEC play.

West Liberty would tie the game up at 24-24 as time expired on a desperation 46-yard hailmary toss as we headed to overtime. Each team missed field goal chances in the first overtime session.

In the second overtime West Liberty would take a 27-24 lead after Josh Wilson hit a 43 yard field goal. The Pioneer would have one last possession. Quarterback Sean Steele would hit Rahmann Lee for a 13 yard pass into the end zone however the refs ruled that Lee fumbled the ball into the end zone for a touchback there for game over as West Liberty would come away with a controversial win, 27-24.

Running back Tevin Drake rushed for 97 yards on 17 carries while Rahmann Lee rushed for 73 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Sean Steele completed 22 passes out of 32 for 362 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Steele’s favorite target was Rahmann Lee as he caught eight passes for 95 yards. For the Pioneer defense Devin Cain led all tacklers with nine tackles on the day while Gary Henderson finished with seven tackles and a sack.

Fairmont State comes into the matchup after suffering a big loss to Shepherd 56-0. Shepherd allowed just 67 yards of total offense in a dominant 56-0 win. The 67 yards given up is the fewest surrendered in the young history of the MEC. The Rams allowed only five first downs in the game.

After throwing for over 400 yards last week, Cooper Hibbs was limited to just 33 yards on 4-of-15 passing. The Falcons managed just 34 yards on 33 carries on the day. Fairmont State falls to 0-2 on the year and 0-2 in MEC play.

The Pioneers defeated Fairmont State last year, 31-14. GSC has also won the last four meetings between the schools.



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►   WVSSAC Week 4 Games in The Area

Thursday

#3 St. Marys (3-0)  @  #13 Tyler Consolidated (2-1)


Friday

Sherman (1-2)  @  Gilmer County (1-2)

#15 Braxton County (2-1)  @  #13 Ritchie County (2-1)

Calhoun County (1-2)  @  Tygarts Valley (0-3)

#13 Doddridge County (2-1)  >>>  BYE WEEK

#10 Fairmont Senior - AA (2-1)  @  #13 Lewis County (2-1)

Roane County (0-3)  @  Webster County (2-1)

Oak Glen - AA (1-2)  @  #1 Williamstown (3-0)

#7 Valley - Fayette (3-0)  @  #13 Clay County - AA (2-1)

#10 Robert C. Byrd (2-1)  @  #7 Bridgeport (2-1)

South Harrison (1-2)  >>>  BYE WEEK

Parkersburg Catholic (1-2)  @  Wirt County (0-3)

#15 Liberty - Harrison (2-1)  @  Philip Barbour (0-3)

Lincoln (1-2)  @  East Fairmont (0-3)

Nicholas County (2-1)  >>>  BYE WEEK

Parkersburg (1-1)  @  #4 Capital (2-0)

Warren Local, Ohio (1-2)  @  #9 Parkersburg South (2-1)

North Marion (AA) (0-2)  @  Buckhannon-Upshur (1-1)


Saturday

Notre Dame (0-2)  @  #16 Bishop Donahue (2-1)



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►   Seeking The Perfect Pass Every Time, West Virginia’s Trickett Is Harder On Himself Than He Is On Defenses

Was Clint Trickett seriously downplaying the carnage he inflicted in College Park? Had his humility gene mutated into malignancy?

After becoming only the second quarterback to hang a 500-yard passing day into the West Virginia hall of awesomeness, he seemed rather letdown about what many of us considered astonishing. The Walter Camp national player of the week—was this right?—sounded a tad embarrassed to be accepting commendations.

His ESPN quarterback rating—a sports analytics tool that accounts for play-by-play success based on down, distance, score and defensive strength—soared to 87.1, easily the best of his 12-game sample size at West Virginia. Yet, despite what we thought of his performance, Trickett thought the opposite:

“I watched the game and I really didn’t think I played worth a damn, honestly.”

More from the never-satisfied Big 12 player of the week:

“The stats looked good, but there were lots of thing I could have done better. I could’ve put some balls out there further and made it easier on our guys.”

Having sat through film sessions listening to Trickett nitpick himself to zoomed-in detail, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson figured his QB couldn’t be satisfied.

“Clint’s a perfectionist when it comes to certain things,” Dawson said. “Even if a throw gets to where you want to get it on time, but it’s slightly wobbly, he’s not happy. He wants to throw the perfect ball every time.”

Just like he wants the perfect delivery. So Trickett evaluates himself after every game on every play—a commitment he made beginning in high school—checking for flaws in his mechanics and better in-play decisions that eluded him.

“He watches his feet, his knees, his alignment, everything,” Dawson said. “It’s pretty impressive the breakdown he gives himself.”

On the meticulous Trickett grading scale, positive outcomes don’t override negative decisions. This 42-yard hookup with Kevin White lifted West Virginia out of a field-position hole, yet Trickett docked himself points for failing to notice safety Sean Davis (No. 21) coming to help cornerback Alvin Hill (No. 27). To hear Trickett score it, White’s leaping grab between double-coverage was a bail-out.


►   Holgorsen: Depth Could Limit Impact Of Worley’s Absence

Debilitating as it may seem, the indefinite suspension of top cornerback Daryl Worley isn’t creating panic within the West Virginia defense.

“Because our depth is so good, it’s no different than if any kind of injury that happens,” coach Dana Holgorsen said Tuesday. “It’s the next guy up. And the next guy needs to get in there and play at a high level.”

While the Mountaineers feel better about the cornerbacks rotation that includes Terrell Chestnut, Travis Bell and the previously suspended Icky Banks, the loss of Worley creates a ripple effect throughout the secondary as it gears to battle No.4 Oklahoma. Worley shadowed Alabama’s Amari Cooper in the opener and likely would have been assigned to the Sooners’ top receiver Sterling Shepard.

Asked if there was any possibility Worley could be reinstated in time to face the the Sooners, Holgorsen declined to clarify.

“Right now he’s just indefinitely suspended. We’re just going to leave it at that,” he said. “I don’t have any comments other than that.”

Banks back: While serving an academics-related suspension for the first three games, Banks repped with the scout-team defense, presumably keeping him in condition to jump back into the rotation against Oklahoma.

“His attitude’s been great,” Holgorsen said. “He’s been on our scout team for the last three weeks. He’s done everything that was supposed to have been done. He’s given our offense great looks on our scout-team defense.”

Banks started all 12 games in 2013, working opposite Worley the second half of the season.

Napoleon out for year: Reserve sophomore cornerback Brandon Napoleon is out for the year following knee surgery Tuesday.

“He has been rehabbing a knee and it hasn’t been getting any better, so we went ahead and cut in him,” Holgorsen said.

Napoleon previously utilized a redshirt season in 2012.

Two other injured cornerbacks—junior Keishawn Richardson and sophomore Nana Kyeremeh—were healthy enough to return to scout-team duties last week and would be available in a pinch against the Sooners.

Different offense: West Virginia piled up 387 yards in last season’s 16-7 loss at Oklahoma, only to be undone by four turnovers and a 3-of-13 conversion rate on third downs.

“We’re clearly better on offense than a year ago when we went to Norman, but they’re probably better on all three sides of the ball as well,” Holgorsen said.



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►   Jags WR Lee Won’t Play Sunday

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee won’t play Sunday against Indianapolis because of a hamstring injury.

Lee started the first two games of the season and is tied for the team lead with eight receptions. He was bothered by a hamstring issue last week and played against Washington, then was limited in practice Wednesday because of the injury.

“We want to make sure I’m 100% before I come back and try to do anything,“ said Lee on Wednesday.

Lee was selected by the Jaguars in the second round of May’s draft.

The Jaguars’ top two receiving threats will miss the club’s home opener on Sunday, as tight end Marcedes Lewis was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return earlier this week.

Lewis, who also has eight catches this season, is expected to be sidelined for the next 6-to-8 weeks with a high ankle sprain he sustained last week against the Redskins.


►   Unbeaten Panthers Shoot For Another Home Win Vs. Steelers

With the Greg Hardy issue in the rear-view mirror for now the unbeaten Carolina Panthers will get back to business on Sunday night as they shoot for their ninth straight regular-season home win in a matchup against AFC-foe Pittsburgh.

Hardy, the Panthers embattled defensive end, agreed to be placed on the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list on Wednesday until his domestic-abuse case is resolved.

This latest twist in Hardy’s saga came three days after the club changed course abruptly and deactivated him just prior to last Sunday’s 24-7 victory over the Detroit Lions.

“There is no rule book for this. Our overriding goal has always been to do the right thing,“ Panthers GM Dave Gettleman added.

Hardy played in Carolina’s season opener despite being found guilty by a judge on domestic violence charges in July and was expected to be in uniform again last week.

But while his appeal of the ruling was enough to avoid a suspension—he is currently awaiting a jury trial—the Ray Rice saga, Adrian Peterson mess and the NFL’s subsequent decision for a tougher policy against domestic violence apparently forced the Panthers to bench the defensive star.

According to a police report, Hardy assaulted girlfriend Nicole Holder and threatened to kill her during an altercation in May. Holder said Hardy choked her with both hands around her throat and threw her onto a couch covered with assault rifles and shotguns. She said Hardy told her all the weapons were loaded.

“Greg is hurt. It is a tough situation. He knows he put himself in it.“ Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “Greg is still part of this football team. We have done nothing but put him on a leave of absence. We’re worried about the wrong things ... trying to find out who to blame. I hope people understand we’re trying to get this right.“

Hardy tied a franchise record with 15 sacks in 2013.

On the field, Cam Newton led Carolina on two second-half touchdown drives last Sunday as the Panthers also used their stout defense to take the easy win over the Lions.

Newton had missed the season-opening win against Tampa Bay with injured ribs, but was good to go against Detroit and after shaking off some rust, passed for 281 yards on 22-of-34 attempts and a touchdown.

“It was fun to go out there and battle,“ said Newton. “It was frustrating early on, but we stayed at it. I have to put our team in a better position to win early on.“

Jason Avant had a touchdown catch, while Jonathan Stewart added a rushing score and Graham Gano hit three field goals for the 2-0 Panthers, who recovered two fumbles in the game and also had an interception despite missing Hardy.

Things derailed a bit for Pittsburgh in Week 2 as the Baltimore Ravens channeled their emotions during a turbulent week off the field for them en route to crushing the Steelers, 26-6, back on September 11.

The blowout win came three days after disturbing new video footage was released showing Rice punching his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger completed just 22-of-37 passes for 217 yards with an interception and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time since the final game of the 2011 season. Antonio Brown had seven receptions for 90 yards but Pittsburgh turned it over three times.

“It was a disappointing effort for us. A lot of self-inflicted wounds are going to prevent you from being in football games like that,“ Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said.

The Steelers and Panthers have met just five times previously with Pittsburgh dropping the first ever meeting and winning four straight from there.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Roethlisberger is 2-0 in his career versus the Panthers and comes in 313 passing yards shy of 35,000 for his career but things figure to be tough for him in this spot.

The Steelers have been a mess so far this season and are probably lucky to be 1-1. Pittsburgh is allowing 356 yards per game so far and has been outscored by a 50-9 margin since halftime of Game 1.

“It’s something that needs to be addressed and quickly rectified,“ Tomlin said. “We’re two games into this one. Hopefully by the time we’re able to compare this year to last or any year for that matter (and) have a better showing than we have to this point.“

With or without its star pass rusher, Carolina sports one of the best front sevens in all of football and has won eight straight regular-season home games The Panthers D has forced three turnovers in each game this year and has seven sacks, fourth-best in the NFL.

Meanwhile, offensively Carolina is one of four teams yet to turn the ball over while Tomlin’s stop unit is one of just three which hasn’t taken it away in 2014.

Second-year running back Le’Veon Bell has been the one consistent aspect for the Steelers this year, averaging 5.3 yards per rush and amassing 304 yards from scrimmage, second in the NFL.

DeAngelo Williams should be back in the Carolina backfield after a thigh injury kept him out last week and be ready to take advantage of a Pittsburgh defense surrendering 170 yards per game on the ground.

“Guys just aren’t making the tackles we need to make,“ Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier said. “A lot of times we get the guy stood up but don’t get him to the ground. There is a lot of yards after contact.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

The Panthers have won 13 of their last 14 regular-season games in the Tar Heel State as well as the eight straight in which they’ve won by an average of nearly 17 points per game. A 3-0 start looks a fail accompli here and the last time Carolina did that, it would up in the Super Bowl.

“I think we are headed in that direction,“ Rivera said. “We have a lot of guys that have been in the system for (several) seasons now. It’s starting to show.“

Predicted outcome: Panthers 20, Steelers 9


►   Broncos Want Revenge Against Seahawks

A little over seven months has done little to lessen the sting for the Denver Broncos.

Sunday could be a different story as the Broncos will get a chance to exorcise the demons of Super Bowl XLVIII when they travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on the NFL champion Seattle Seahawks.

It’s only the sixth time in NFL history in which the regular season will feature a rematch of the previous Super Bowl, a 43-8 Seahawks drubbing of Denver at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for,“ Broncos wide receiver Andre Caldwell said.

The Broncos will arrive in Seattle 2-0 after Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes in a 24-17 win over Kansas City a week ago.

Manning finished 21-of-26 for 242 yards against the Chiefs, while Emmanuel Sanders caught eight passes for 108 yards and Demaryius Thomas hauled in five receptions for 62 yards and a score for Denver, which also fended off the Indianapolis Colts, 31-24, in Week 1.

Manning has already thrown six touchdowns with no interceptions so far this season, a year after he threw a record 55 TD passes for the first offense in history to break the 600-point barrier.

Manning’s counterpart with the Seahawks, Russell Wilson, has four touchdowns without an interception in 2014 after a two TD, no turnover performance in the Super Bowl victory.

“This is going to be a challenging game facing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos,“ said Wilson, who has an 18-1 record as a starting QB in Seattle. “They’re a very good football team.“

The Seahawks come in after a rare loss, a 30-21 setback in San Diego. Wilson converted 17-of-25 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in that one as Seattle had a five-game winning streak snapped that dated back to last season and included the three-game run to win the Lombardi Trophy.

“They did a really good job on third downs. They just sustained drives and kept us off the field offensively,“ Wilson said of the Chargers.

Robert Turbin and Marshawn Lynch each caught touchdown passes from Wilson, while Percy Harvin rushed for 45 yards on two carries with a touchdown in the loss.

The Broncos already did extract a bit of revenge by winning the preseason opener for both teams back in August and they lead the all-time regular-season series between the two clubs by a 34-18 margin.

“I’m sure this is a really important game to them again. As it is to us,“ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I think there was something going on in the preseason. I think it was a big deal for them. I don’t blame them one bit.“

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Here’s what the Broncos are up against: Wilson is 18-1 as the Seahawks starter at CenturyLink Field and he has thrown 34 touchdowns against just seven interceptions in those games. The Seahawks defense, meanwhile, has allowed only 13.3 points per contest in those 19 games, allowing more than 20 on just two occasions.

Denver, meanwhile, hasn’t been quite as explosive offensively early this season, averaging 343.0 total yards per game after amassing nearly 460 per game in 2013. Part of the issue has been the absence of slot receiver Wes Welker, who was reinstated from suspension this week and practiced for the first time since September 01.

“There’s not a lot of 58-0 games in this league,“ Denver coach John Fox said. “(The lack of offense) is all a concern but when you look at the first quarter of our season, every team is a 10-win team. One’s the defending Super Bowl champs and we trot to their place this week.“

Welker’s return came sooner than expected after the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to a new performance-enhancing drugs policy, which cut the veteran’s suspension for amphetamine use in half.

Welker, who had 73 catches and a career-high 10 touchdowns last year, rejoins a receiving unit that boasts Pro-Bowler Thomas, Sanders, who leads the team with 14 catches for 185 yards, and tight end Julius Thomas, who has four TD receptions in two games.

Manning, meanwhile, leads the NFL with a 126.5 passer rating through the first two contests.

Of course defense beat offense in the big game back in January as Seattle’s stop unit smothered Manning and Co.

For the first time in a long time, though, the group looked human in San Diego last week, something which may not bode well for the Broncos.

“They’re quiet. They’re quiet and serious,“ said Carroll. “We don’t take these (losses) easily. There are very high expectations that we live with here and everybody knows that. The main thing is everybody took to heart the changes and adjustments and the things that we can fix.“

Even All-Pro Richard Sherman, regarded by most as the best cornerback in football, looked shaky in San Diego, struggling with the short-area quickness and route-running ability of Keenan Allen.

Manning needs to take his shots at Sherman unlike Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, who stayed away from the Stanford product in Week 1. By keeping Sherman honest, it should open the rest of the field for some of Denver’s weapons.

Offensively for Seattle, Wilson seems to have taken another step forward this season and has a stellar passer rating of 114.7. The addition of Harvin, who was injured for most of last season, as a multi-pronged threat is keeping opposing defenses on their toes.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Revenge is usually a strong motivational tool and if this game were in Denver, you would almost expect the Broncos to bring their A-Game and get at least a modicum of vengeance. The Seahawks just don’t lose in front of the 12th Man, however, and nothing changes this week.

“I don’t think anybody’s playing their best football of the year after Week 2,“ Fox said. “And I’d say it’s a fair assessment that we aren’t, either. That’s something that you try to do is improve every day and every week.“

Predicted outcome: Seahawks 31, Broncos 21


►   Cards Search For Statement Game Against Rival 49ers

Despite a 10-win season, the Arizona Cardinals did not make the playoffs in 2013, in part because of a loss to the San Francisco 49ers in their regular season finale.

The Cardinals hope for a better result this Sunday against the rival Niners as the two clubs open up division play at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Because of solid campaigns by San Francisco and the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, Arizona was unable to grab a wild card spot last year despite a five-win turnaround under head coach Bruce Arians.

The success has continued this year, with the Cardinals off to a 2-0 start to give them a victory in nine of their past 11 games dating back to last season.

It has been easy though, with Arizona having to come back twice in the fourth quarter. The Cards rallied to top San Diego 18-17 in Week 1 at home, then overcame a four-point deficit in the final quarter this past Sunday in New York to top the Giants 25-14.

Ted Ginn Jr. had the big play in the comeback, returning a punt 71 yards for a score. Arizona also forced three turnovers along with Ginn’s return in the fourth quarter.

“I commend my other 10 guys, first off,“ Ginn said of the return. “Without them, there’s no me. But you know, it was just that point of time where we needed a play, and I just went out and I just tried to make the best play that I can, and it turned out to be a touchdown.“

Drew Stanton, making his first appearance since 2010, managed the Cardinals offense on 14-of-29 passing for 167 yards. He played in place of Carson Palmer, who was listed as questionable throughout the week and missed the contest due to a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder.

Andre Ellington rushed for 91 yards and Jonathan Dwyer ran for a touchdown in the win, which made the Cardinals the first time since the Green Bay Packers in 1982 to start 2-0 after entering the fourth quarter down in both games and not allowing a single fourth-quarter point.

Now Arizona sets its sights on just its third 3-0 start in 41 years and first since 2012. The Cardinals do so against the rival 49ers, who will be looking to bounce back from a 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday night.

After opening the year with a win over Dallas, San Francisco took part in its first home game at the new Levi’s Stadium, but failed to hold a 17-0 lead as Colin Kaepernick was intercepted three times.

“I made the throws I wanted to, they made plays on the ball,“ said Kaepernick, who threw for 248 yards and a score while also rushing for 66 yards.

Michael Crabtree hauled in seven balls for 82 yards and a score for San Francisco, while Frank Gore ran for 63 yards on 13 carries and registered his first rushing touchdown of the season.

However, turnovers and penalties cost San Francisco the game despite the defense holding Chicago to just 216 net yards. That included just 46 on the ground.

San Francisco has won nine of its last 10 versus the Cardinals and four of the past five in Arizona. The Niners lead the all-time series 28-17.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The Cardinals waited as long as they could before deciding to go with Stanton, who had to overcome getting sacked four times but didn’t turn the ball over and made the plays he had to in the win.

Arians said that Palmer, who threw for over 400 yards the last time he faced San Francisco, will play if and when he is able, but it also sounds like the club doesn’t want to rush him back until he is ready.

“I think anytime you are dealing with nerves, there is concern,“ said Arians. “I saw what happened with Peyton (Manning) and how long it took with him, but his was after neck surgery. This is just a bruised nerve that’s being ornery.“

Arians is claiming to be confident in sticking with Stanton, who had to wait a while to win his third straight start. His previous win came on December 19, 2010.

“You’ve been hearing me talk about it, but you have to see it to believe it,“ Arians said of Stanton’s ability. “And, he can play much better. I think he was a little careful at times, threw some balls early because he was playing fast in his mind and the receivers weren’t quite there yet. He can play better, especially in the red zone.“

Stanton targeted Larry Fitzgerald 10 times versus the Giants, hooking up with the wideout six times for 51 yards. Fitzgerald has 12 catches and 230 yards in his past two versus the Niners.

While it is unknown if Palmer can play, the Cardinals are expected to get outside linebacker John Abraham back.

Abraham took a leave of absence from the club as he considered retirement following a concussion suffered in Week 1. However, he has in fact decided to return and is expected to start if he is medically cleared.

Abraham is the NFL’s active leader in sacks with 133 1/2 and led Arizona with 11 1/2 sacks last season.

Arizona did manage a pair of sacks of Eli Manning as well as two interceptions without Abraham on the field versus the Giants, with defensive end Calais Campbell and safety Rashad Johnson both getting to the quarterback.

Campbell has a sack in four of his past five versus the Niners.

Safety Tyrann Mathieu could also see his role expand this weekend after making his season debut last Sunday. He suffered a torn ACL and MCL last December, ending a promising rookie campaign.

The Niners are hoping to have tight end Vernon Davis in the lineup after he suffered an ankle injury and missed most of the fourth quarter versus the Bears. Davis has been a hassle for Arizona to cover in 16 previous meetings, with the tight end notching 54 catches for 811 yards and nine touchdowns.

San Francisco also got a scare when fellow tight end Vance McDonald suffered a knee injury—leaving Derek Carrier as next man up—but he is only day-to- day and could play this weekend.

Kaepernick has never lost to Arizona as a starter, going 3-0 with six touchdowns to one interception for a 106.4 passer rating.

Arizona fans will get a look at a former Cardinal in Anquan Boldin, who is in his second season with the rival Niners after spending time in Baltimore. He was a second-round pick by the Cards in 2003 and played for seven seasons in Arizona.

Boldin won Offensive Rookie of the Year after setting the NFL rookie record for receptions in a season with 101. He ended up with 586 catches for 7,520 yards and 44 touchdowns with the Cardinals, setting a club record for receptions that has since been passed by Fitzgerald.

Boldin’s first return to Arizona came last December and he had game highs of nine catches, 149 yards with a touchdown.

Despite the offense’s past success versus the Cardinals, the 49ers will need to clean things up with regards to penalties. They were flagged 16 times for 118 yards versus the Bears after taking 11 penalties versus Dallas.

“Yes, it’s a big factor and we have to, individually, players and coaches teaching and addressing it and coaching it. We’ll try to be better for it. That’s something we’ll work on,“ said Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith picked up his third sack of the season versus the Bears and one of his four career games of at least three sacks came against the Cardinals on January 2, 2011.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Arizona is off to a hot start, but has certainly played with fire by needing near-flawless fourth-quarter comebacks. That may be easier said than done against San Francisco, a talented defensive club even without linebackers Aldon Smith and NaVarro Bowman.

The Cardinals probably need a healthy Palmer to have a chance at winning this game as San Francisco has made it a habit of bouncing back strong from losses under Harbaugh.

That should continue this weekend.

Predicted outcome: 49ers 20, Cardinals 14


►   Colts And Jags Aim To Avoid 0-3 Starts

Call it the resistible force and the easily moved object.

The Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars will get together this Sunday in northeast Florida while each is looking for some sort of certainty when it comes to pass rush and pass protection, respectively.

The Colts are without incumbent 2013 league sack leader Robert Mathis thanks to a suspension and torn Achilles tendon, and they’ve gotten limited production thus far out of free-agent signee Arthur Jones, who’s hampered with a sprained right ankle. Meanwhile, the Jaguars were gashed for a franchise- record 10 sacks in a 31-point debacle against Washington last week and has shifted some of its bodies up front.

Jacksonville released right tackle Cam Bradfield, who’ll be replaced by Sam Young. And in the middle of the line, Luke Bowanko gets his first start at the center position.

Status quo will remain for at least the time being for the Jaguars when it comes to quarterback, where veteran Chad Henne gets his third straight start amid increasing calls to shift the operation to heir apparent No. 3 overall draft choice Blake Bortles.

Jacksonville managed 148 total yards against the Redskins in a 41-10 loss.

“It’s too early to push the panic button,“ running back Toby Gerhart said. “We’re 0-2, two games on the road. Starting off against two good defenses on the road. We’re looking forward to playing at home, right the ship and get rolling.“

Gerhart averaged barely a yard per carry - eight yards on seven attempts - in Week 2 and Henne will be without tight end Marcedes Lewis, who’s on the short- term injured list with an ankle problem. That said, both the No. 1 receiver from 2013, Cecil Shorts III, as well as offensive tackle Austin Pasztor might be back. Shorts is questionable with a hamstring issue, while Pasztor is probable with an injured hand.

Safety Jonathan Cyprien is probable, too, though he’s returning from a concussion.

Jacksonville has allowed 75 points and 869 total yards through two weeks, figures which place it 32nd and 29th, respectively, in a 32-team league. The Colts are barely better, though, after surrendering 61 points (30th) and 819 yards (28th) in close losses to Denver and Philadelphia.

Still, Indianapolis has had recent success in the series, winning three straight overall and two in a row in Jacksonville. The Colts haven’t won four in a row against the Jaguars since they won the first five all-time meetings between 1995 and 2003.

The season-opening losses are new experiences for quarterback Andrew Luck and coach Chuck Pagano, who’d not lost consecutive games since arriving in 2012. Twelve% of teams that have started 0-2 in the last 24 years have righted the ship to make the playoffs, and just five of 197 teams since 1970 have managed it with a 0-3 start - the last in 1998.

“You can point out every week if we did this, this and this we’d be 2-0,“ Pagano said. “We have 14 games left and the only that matters right now is Jacksonville and that’s the next one. The record is the record. We’re not going to sit there and dwell on anything other than Jacksonville.“

Indianapolis appeared on the road to 1-1 last week when it held a 20-6 lead halfway through the third quarter, but the Eagles rallied late and ultimately escaped with a 30-27 win.

Trent Richardson’s fumble in the third quarter led to a Philadelphia touchdown, and Luck threw an interception with less than six minutes to go in the game, turning a potential clinching field-goal drive into a possession that led to Eagles’ tying touchdown.

It’s the first time the team has been 0-2 since 2011, when it began 0-13 with Peyton Manning on the sidelines with a neck injury. The eventual 2-14 finish allowed the Colts to select Luck No. 1 overall in 2012.

“It appeared we had that game won and we let it slip away,“ Pagano said. “I’ll start with myself. I’ve got to do a better job. We’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to play better.“

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Holding Up Their Ends

When a line gives up double-digit sacks in a game, the microscope comes out. Thus, expect a good deal of focus on the matchups between offensive tackles Pasztor and Luke Joeckel and the Colts’ rushing linebacking duo of Bjoern Werner and Erik Walden. It’s not as if the Indianapolis pair has been setting the world ablaze through two weeks - they have one sack between them - so something has to give.

Coming from Both Sides

Luck, like Manning before him, is a quarterback who can make a star out of a previously anonymous tight end. He’s managed to turn Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen into household names in middle Indiana in just two seasons, and he’ll no doubt be looking toward those two again as they contend this week with Jacksonville linebacker Paul Posluszny and safety Josh Evans.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Close losses to the defending AFC champions and a popular pick for 2014 NFC supremacy - two teams that have started a combined 4-0 - is hardly a cause for widespread panic for the Colts, and the meeting with a scuffling Jaguars team probably couldn’t have occurred at a better time. Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley will have his team amped up for a home opener, but in terms of talent, it’s not enough yet.

Predicted outcome: Colts 27, Jaguars 10


►   Ravens Finish Up Key Divisional Stretch Against Browns

The Baltimore Ravens will wrap up a string of three straight divisional games to open the season on Sunday as they visit the Cleveland Browns and FirstEnergy Stadium.

To say it has been a trying start to the season for the Ravens would be an understatement. However, they have managed to split their first two games despite some big off-the-field distractions, bouncing back from a Week 1 loss to reigning AFC North champion Cincinnati to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6 last Thursday night.

The win over the rival Steelers came just three days after disturbing new video footage was released showing franchise running back Ray Rice punching his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

Rice had been already been suspended two games for the incident, but the graphic nature of the video led to his outright release and an indefinite suspension by the NFL.

On the field, Baltimore was able to move on as Joe Flacco threw a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Owen Daniels, Justin Ticker converted four field goal attempts and the Ravens defense forced three turnovers.

“It’s a big win for the city. This is always such a huge game against the Steelers,“ said Flacco. “On a short week after a loss, we had to come out and play well to put that behind us.“

Flacco played mistake-free and threw 71 of his 166 yards to Steve Smith, while Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett combined for 152 rushing yards.

Baltimore’s defense held Pittsburgh to just two field goals and picked off a pass while recovering a pair of Steelers fumbles.

“If you’re made of the right thing. I think adversity can bring you together, and our guys are made of the right stuff, and I’m proud of them for that,“ said Ravens coach John Harbaugh.

Baltimore will now play its first road game of the season and is opening its schedule with three straight division games for the first time since 2008. It went 2-1 in that span.

Once a seemingly guaranteed victory, the Ravens had an 11-game winning streak over the Browns halted with a 24-18 loss in Cleveland on November 3. It was the Browns’ first win in this series since November 18, 2007 in Baltimore, but they are still just 8-22 all-time in the regular-season series.

Cleveland has not won two in a row over Baltimore since 2007 and will try to change that luck under new head coach Mike Pettine. who began his NFL coaching career with the Ravens from 2002-08. The final four years of that span saw him serve as outside linebackers coach.

Pettine got his first win as Browns head coach last Sunday with a 26-24 stunner over the New Orleans Saints. Brian Hoyer led a late charge as he converted on 4th-and-6 before hitting wide receiver Andrew Hawkins for a big 28-yard completion three plays later to the Saints 11-yard line.

Following a timeout, Billy Cundiff—a former Raven—calmly kicked a 29- yard field goal with three seconds remaining to snap Cleveland’s eight-game losing streak dating back to last season.

“I feel like I was really locked in to the plays that were being called, and the process of the two-minute drive,“ Hoyer said.

Hoyer completed 24-of-40 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. Terrance West made his first career start and carried 19 times for 68 yards and a touchdown, and Johnny Manziel made his NFL debut under center, but his lone pass attempt fell incomplete.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The Ravens were in line to have Rice back for this game, but have now moved on completely from the former franchise back.

After Pierce found himself benched during Week 1’s loss, Harbaugh had to be happy to see the young back run for 96 yards on 22 carries versus the Steelers.

“Bernard bounced back. That shows you what he’s made of, that shows you his metal a little bit, and he finished it off in the fourth quarter pretty good, as did Justin,“ said Harbaugh.

Forsett ran for 56 yards on eight carries, the bulk of that coming on a 41- yard run, and he leads the NFL with 6.6 yards per attempt having amassed 126 yards on 19 attempts.

Flacco has looked his wait to Daniels and fellow tight end Dennis Pitta a lot through the first two games while also showing quick chemistry with Smith, who comes in one catch shy of 850 for his career.

Despite missing star tight end Jordan Cameron (shoulder) and running back Ben Tate (knee) last week, the Browns were able to get just enough offense to edge the Saints.

Hoyer is now 4-1 as a starter for the Browns and already has a pair of two- minute game-winning drives. Hoyer has thrown for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns in those five games with three interceptions, and has not been picked off in 132 straight pass attempts.

Under Hoyer, the Browns have not turned the ball over this season and has a plus-3 turnover ratio.

“To me, you can only go by what he’s put out there, and he’s shown to have that ability,“ said Pettine of Hoyer’s ability to win games late. “If you guys already talked to him I’m sure he told you today there were some plays that he left out there that he would want to do over. He didn’t play a perfect game, missed some throws, missed some reads, but made enough plays to win the game. That’s what the NFL is all about.“

Hoyer will be tested by a Ravens defense that has not allowed a touchdown in four red zone appearances by the opponent and is led by a pair of star linebackers in Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil.

Suggs has 15 sacks and seven forced fumbles in his career versus the Browns, while Dumervil has 10 sacks against them.

Baltimore will also keep an eye on Manziel to see if Cleveland tries to mix in the first-round pick a little more this week.

“We anticipate seeing Manziel, certainly,“ said Harbaugh. “Brian Hoyer played really well. Brian Hoyer had the go-ahead drive at the end to win the game. He played well throughout the whole game.“

Browns linebacker Paul Kruger has a sack in each of the first two games and gets another chance to face his former club. A second-round pick by Baltimore in 2009, Kruger led the Ravens in 2012 with nine sacks in the regular season and another 4 1/2 during the playoffs, getting two of those in the Super Bowl.

“Oh he’s awesome man, Paul is playing outta this world right now. I love every second of it I get to watch it firsthand up close in person,“ noted fellow linebacker Karlos Dansby.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

This week could have served as another big distraction for the Ravens had Rice been in line to return, and his actions will still loom over the club for some time, but they showed last week they have moved on.

Flacco has gone 11-1 in his career versus the Browns with 2,498 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions, and while Hoyer showed some clutch play last weekend, facing a talented Ravens defense will be a key test.

Cleveland made a big stride last weekend in its rebuild, but the reality of a long-term plan will return this Sunday.

Predicted outcome: Ravens 24, Browns 17


►   Bengals Reach For History Against Titans

The Cincinnati Bengals will try to post the longest home winning streak in franchise history on Sunday afternoon as they play host to the Tennessee Titans.

The Bengals are off to a 2-0 start, picking up a big Week 1 road win over rival Baltimore to begin the season before besting the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday in the home opener at Paul Brown Stadium. The 24-10 victory was Cincinnati’s 10th in a row at home during the regular season, matching the record set in 1988-89.

A first home loss since December 9, 2012 versus Dallas was never really threatened in Week 2 as Cincinnati led by seven points at the half and ripped off another 14 points in the third quarter. Andy Dalton threw for 252 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu.

Running backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill combined for 164 rushing yards and each scored a touchdown. Hill’s was the first of his career, while Bernard added 79 yards receiving on five catches.

“We got exactly what we needed to have,“ Dalton said. “I think the offense was really balanced. Once we got the lead, we could focus on running the ball and eating up the clock.“

The offense was balanced despite wide receiver A.J. Green exiting the game early due to an aggravated toe strain, limited to only five snaps.

Green’s status for this game is doubtful, so the Bengals may have to try for their first 3-0 start since 2006 without the star wideout.

The Titans have split their first two games of the season, following up a solid win over Kansas City with a 26-10 setback to the Dallas Cowboys last weekend.

Tennessee was trying to start 2-0 for the first time since 2008, but trailed 16-0 at halftime as it was held to just two first downs in the first half and did not convert on six third-down attempts.

Jake Locker connected on 18-of-34 passes for 234 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while tight end Delanie Walker caught 10 passes for a career- high 142 yards with a score.

“We have 14 games left,“ said Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt. “There are some things there—you look at the way we came back and cut it to six when we did absolutely nothing offensively in the first half and our defense held us in there. We have to learn from this game. That was my sense from our players in the locker room afterwards.

The Titans have won 10 of their past 14 versus the Bengals, including six of the last seven in Cincinnati, and lead the all-time series 39-32-1 in the regular season.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

The Bengals have yet to allow a sack or suffer a turnover, but Dalton will be tested again if Green can’t go. He also lost his second tight end this season when Alex Smith landed on injured reserve due to a biceps injury.

Cincinnati had placed tight end Tyler Eifert on short-term IR after Week 1, leaving Jermaine Gresham and H-back Ryan Hewitt as the lone healthy options before the club re-signed Kevin Brock this week.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones has yet to play this year due to a foot injury and the Bengals also lost guard Kevin Zeitler (calf) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (neck) to injury versus the Falcons. Zeitler was on crutches Monday, making it unlikely he’ll be able to play, while Burfict has now been hurt in each of the first two games, suffering a concussion in Week 1.

Key reserve Brandon Thompson also went down last week with a knee injury, so the Bengals are probably looking forward to their Week 4 bye.

“A number of guys played more snaps than they thought they would,“ said head coach Marvin Lewis, “and they did a good job. It was a good adjustment also by the coaches, but those guys are the ones who came in and played.“

Helping Dalton overcome the loss of Green and Jones has been the duo of Bernard and Hill. Bernard has 279 yards from scrimmage through two weeks and is averaging 108.6 yards from scrimmage in his past five at home.

“Having Jeremy enables us to have a little bit of a change of pace,“ noted Lewis. “We’ve got some offensive sets where they can both be on the field. They’re both great receivers. They both continue to do a good job in protection. To me, it allows Jeremy Hill to grow. He got to play a little bit more yesterday. I think he doubled his snaps from the first week, so that was good.“

Sanu is also a weapon all over the field as he completed a 50-yard pass versus the Falcons, making him the first player since David Patten in 2001 with a 75- yard TD catch and 50-yard completion in the same game. He has completed all three pass attempts of his career for 148 yards and a score.

Dalton threw for three touchdowns in the previous meeting between these clubs on November 6, 2011 in Tennessee. Defensive end Carlos Dunlap had two sacks in that game and has notched a sack in two straight overall.

The Titans have had their own success rushing the quarterback this year, notching an AFC high-tying eight sacks through two games. Four of those came versus the Cowboys and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey matched a career high with two sacks in the contest.

The eight total sacks are the most by the Titans defense in the season’s first two weeks since 2010.

However, Tennessee did allow Dallas to rush for 220 yards, with Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray notching 167 of those and one touchdown.

That could lead to the Bengals riding Bernard and Hill hard this weekend, especially with Green likely out.

“I won’t say it’s anything they did,“ Titans nose tackle Sammie Hall said of the Cowboys. “Although you can’t take anything away from Murray, it was us as a defensive line. We, and myself personally, have to stay in our gaps. Gap control and missed tackles. And I think that played a pretty big part.“

Tennessee will also try to get off to a better start this weekend, especially under center. Locker ended up having a big day connecting with Walker, who caught a 61-yard touchdown, but the early hole was too big to overcome.

The good news is that Locker has won three of his past four road starts, including Week 1 in Kansas City as he threw a pair of touchdown passes while posting a 111.4 passer rating.

He’ll try to mirror his second half from the Cowboys game and keep the run game involved. Tennessee ran for 82 yards on just 13 carries versus Dallas.

“He completed more passes. That was a difference,“ Whisenhunt said of Locker’s two halves. “There were a lot of factors that were involved. The quarterback gets the credit a lot of times, and he gets the blame a lot of times. There were some protection issues in the first half that led to some problems. It was a team effort. There were a lot of things that didn’t go the way we wanted to.“

OVERALL ANALYSIS

If the Bengals are going to have to play without Green, this is a good week to do so. The Titans have yielded 143.5 rushing yards per game so far, so the pressure will be off Cincinnati’s third-ranked pass attack this weekend.

The key for Cincinnati has been its plus-five turnover differential, and another clean sheet by the offense this week would be huge, especially if Dunlap, Geno Atkins and company can get to Locker.

The loss of Zeitler should mean Dalton will probably face more pressure than the first two weeks, but establishing a successful run game should be the main focus.

“They’re a good football team,“ Whisenhunt said of the Bengals. “I know that after having played against them a number of times. Going there to play them, they’re 2-0, it’s going to be a tough challenge, no question.“

It’s a challenge probably too much to overcome for the Titans.

Predicted outcome: Bengals 27, Titans 13


►   Scandal-Stained Vikings Visit 0-2 Saints

The week from hell for the scandal-stained Minnesota Vikings may ultimately seem like a picnic when they actually get to New Orleans to face a desperate 0-2 Saints team.

Despite their early-season struggles on the road, Sean Payton’s Saints club figures to remain a dominant force as the host, having gone 8-0 in the regular season at the Superdome in 2013.

It’s likely the Saints are champing at the bit to return to the cozy confines of the Bayou after dropping back-to-back road games to start the season, especially against a Vikings team reeling from the child-abuse scandal surrounding their best player, All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson.

Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf finally addressed the media regarding the Peterson allegations with a brief statement on Wednesday and the theme was consistent—the team wanted to correct its mistake, which resulted in the star being placed on the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list

“We made a mistake and we want to make this right,“ said Wilf. “We embrace our role in the community and the responsibility that comes with it.“

Peterson was deactivated for last Sunday’s loss against New England after being indicted the prior week in his native Texas on allegations of child abuse, but he was reinstated by the team on Monday.

However, after backlash from sponsors, fans and even the Minnesota governor, the team reversed course again and in essence placed Peterson on administrative leave until the legal process plays out.

Wilf delivered his statement, but still left co-owner/president and brother Mark Wilf, general manager Rick Spielman and EVP of legal affairs and chief administrative officer Kevin Warren to take heat and answer the questions.

This was the first time that Zygi and Mark Wilf were behind the microphone since the news broke.

“We value our partners, sponsors and fans,“ said Mark Wilf. “We wanted to get it right and that’s why we came to this decision.“

“I think our actions will go a long way,“ he added. “It’s never too late to get it right. It’s important for everyone to move forward.“

Peterson has been accused of using a wooden tree branch to hit his 4-year-old son as a disciplinary measure. He is said to be cooperating with police over the initial incident.

“People asked if we would cut him,“ said Spielman on Wednesday. “After reviewing everything we felt this was the best solution.“

Warren added that this decision was made by the Vikings organization and then spoke with the league about the best way to implement its decision.

“We came up with what we thought was the best resolution for everyone,“ said Spielman.

On the field the Vikings were waxed by the Patriots without Peterson, 30-7, as Matt Cassel was picked off four times with New England scoring 17 points off the interceptions.

Cassel threw for 202 yards, 75 coming on the game’s opening drive that ended in a touchdown pass to Matt Asiata, Peterson’s replacement.

“No, it didn’t affect the team. You know what affected the team? Throwing interceptions, getting a field goal blocked, not tackling well enough, having penalties on defense. That’s what affected the team,“ Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said when asked if Peterson and his issues were a distraction.

Meanwhile, the Saints’ latest road hiccup was in Cleveland last week when Billy Cundiff’s 29-yard field goal with three seconds remaining lifted the Browns to a stunning 26-24 upset win over New Orleans.

The Saints led for the bulk of the fourth quarter following Mark Ingram’s 1- yard touchdown less than three minutes into the period.

After a series of punts both ways, the Browns took over at their own 4-yard line with 2:46 to play. Brian Hoyer converted two third downs with his arm to Miles Austin, and he found Gary Barnidge for 10 yards on 4th-and-6.

The biggest pass of the game, however, came three plays later, when Hoyer looked up top for a wide open Andrew Hawkins, who hauled in a 28-yard completion down to the Saints 11. Following a timeout, Cundiff calmly kicked his second field goal of the day to make Cleveland winners.

Drew Brees finished 27-for-40 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for New Orleans, which also lost to the Falcons in overtime on a Matt Bryant field goal during Week 1. Jimmy Graham caught 10 passes for 118 yards and both touchdowns.

“Now is not the time to worry. The season is still early,“ Ingram said. “We just have to get a sense of urgency and continue to improve.“

The Vikings lead the all-time series by a 18-9 margin.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

For New Orleans to be a true Super Bowl contender like some think it is, the club is going to have to cure its road woes at some point but two setbacks by a total of five points doesn’t mean it’s time to jump off the bridge.

“Honestly, a loss is a loss,“ Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said. “I don’t care what the points are. I feel like we played terribly these last two weeks and it doesn’t feel like (the losses) have been by a combined five points.“

The Saints are playing the perfect team to get things going back in the right direction. It’s hard to imagine a focused Minnesota club with Peterson in tow putting up much of a struggle against the Saints because the matchups just don’t favor the Vikings.

The Saints have averaged 35.1 points in their last 10 home games and Brees had a mind-numbing 73.6% completion rate and a 126.3 passer rating at the Superdome last season. He also has completed 76- of-107 passes for 846 yards with nine TDs and no picks in his last three starts against Minny, although that was against the team’s old Tampa-2 philosophy.

Zimmer is a much more aggressive defensive mind but he has not been able to accrue the talent he needs yet to really amp things up. The Vikings don’t have a difference maker on the edge as a pass rusher and their linebackers struggle in coverage so expect another big day from Graham.

One issue for the Saints could be the absence of Ingram, who is out with a broken hand. The former Alabama star has 143 rushing yards and is averaging 6.0 yards a carry so far.

Cassel, Minnesota’s journeyman veteran QB, was exposed last week without Peterson in the backfield drawing attention and he must clean up his turnover issues and fast unless the pressure will mount to make the move to rookie Teddy Bridgewater, one of the team’s first-round picks back in May.

“I’m going to hold the quarterback position just like every position here to the same standard,“ Zimmer said. “I also said I wasn’t going to have a quick hook. Matt needs to play better. It’s pretty obvious he needs to play better.“

Peterson’s replacement, Asiata, is a solid player with a sound and patient running style but he just doesn’t have much explosiveness. If a play is blocked for six yards, Asiata will get you six yards while Peterson may have gotten you 60.

With that in mind Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner will try to get all-everything second-year star Cordarrelle Patterson, a wide receiver by trade, the ball in space as much as possible. Explosive rookie running back Jerick McKinnon will also have a bigger part in the game plan moving forward.

OVERALL ANALYSIS

Only five NFL teams have started 0-3 and rebounded to make the playoffs and nobody has done it since 1998. That means the Saints will hit the field with a sense of urgency and that should spell doom for a Vikings team engulfed in so much off-the-field nonsense.

Predicted outcome: Saints 41, Vikings 13


►   NFL SCORES Week 3

Final Score: Atlanta 56, Tampa Bay 14

The Atlanta Falcons made a statement with a 56-14 beatdown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night. It was a record-setting night for Atlanta wide receiver Devin Hester, who passed Hall of Famer and former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders for most return touchdowns in NFL history. With a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, Hester broke a tie with Sanders at 19 career touchdown returns. Hester now has the record all to himself with 20. Hester paid tribute to Sanders with an extended high step into the end zone. Sanders, now a television analyst, was in attendance at the Georgia Dome. Earlier in the game, Hester took an end around and went 20 yards for the first rushing touchdown of his career. A three-time Pro Bowler, Hester signed with the Falcons in the offseason. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Chicago Bears. Matt Ryan completed 21-of-24 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons (2-1), who bounced back from a 24-10 loss to the Bengals. Julio Jones caught nine passes for 161 yards and two scores.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Bulls Sign E’Twaun Moore

The Chicago Bulls have signed guard E’Twaun Moore to an undisclosed contract.

Moore spent the past two seasons with Orlando after playing his rookie campaign with Boston. He averaged 6.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 79 games, including three starts, for the Magic last season.

The Purdue product has started 24 of the 192 games he has played in the NBA, and owns career averages of 6.2 points, 1.8 assists and 1.8 rebounds.

Boston selected the East Chicago, Indiana native in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Pirates Hope to Pad Wild Card Edge on Brewers

The Pittsburgh Pirates will try to put some distance between themselves and Milwaukee in the playoff race as they open a three-game series with the Brewers on Friday evening.

The Pirates are still in the hunt for the National League Central title as they sit 2 1/2 games back of first-place St. Louis. Pittsburgh is also holding on to the second wild card spot in the NL, 3 1/2 games up on Milwaukee and six ahead of Atlanta.

With 10 games to play, the Pirates have a chance to take care of business as they visit the Braves for four games following this series.

However, the Brewers have won 11 of 16 versus the Pirates this season, including five of seven in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh certainly has helped its cause as of late by winning seven of its last eight, including a three-game sweep of Boston that culminated with a 3-2 win on Thursday. Gerrit Cole allowed two runs over seven-plus innings and Starling Marte homered.

The Pirates caught a break in the game as the Red Sox were threatening in the ninth with runners on the corners and nobody out. However, Mark Melancon got Will Middlebrooks to hit a chopper towards third that hit runner Jemile Weeks for the first out, then fanned Jackie Bradley Jr. before Christian Vazquez grounded out to end the game.

“I think sometimes you’re just meant to win games,“ said Bucs manager Clint Hurdle.

The Brewers had a chance to keep pace, but lost a heart-breaking 3-2 decision to the Cardinals in 13 innings. They led by two runs going into the eighth inning before St. Louis tied it and then won it on Tony Cruz’s walk-off single.

Milwaukee lost the final two games of the three-game set.

“We have to win (Friday),“ Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse said. “We put ourselves in this situation and we have to get ourselves out.“

Jonathan Lucroy hit his major league-leading 52nd double of the year, his 45th as a catcher. That matched Ivan Rodriguez’s single-season record at the position, set in 1996.

The Pirates are hoping Jeff Locke can rebound from a loss on Saturday when he takes the mound tonight.

Locke dropped a 6-4 decision to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, giving up three runs—all in the third inning—on six hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings.

“I just didn’t make pitches when I needed to in that (third) inning,“ Locke said. “It was the difference in the game.“

It did mark the fifth time in his last six starts that he allowed three runs or fewer, and he is 7-5 with a 3.66 earned run average on the year.

The left-hander is 2-2 with a 4.28 ERA in six career meetings versus the Brewers, including a win on Aug. 22 when he gave up just two runs over six innings despite walking six batters.

Locke beat Yovani Gallardo in that outing and faces off against the right- hander again tonight.

Gallardo has not won since Aug. 16 and lost his fourth straight decision on Saturday versus Cincinnati despite a solid outing in which he gave up two runs on four hits and a pair of walks over six innings of a 5-1 setback.

Gallardo is 8-10 with a 3.59 ERA this year and was charged with six runs—three earned—over five innings in the recent loss to the Pirates, who he is 1-1 against in five meetings this year with a 2.97 ERA.


►   Athletics Moving Triple-A Affiliation To Nashville

The Oakland Athletics have decided to move their Triple-A affiliation to Nashville of the Pacific Coast League.

Sacramento had been the home for Oakland’s Triple-A team for the past 15 years. The new four-year deal with Nashville runs through the 2018 season.

“The Oakland A’s are delighted to enter into this new association with Frank Ward and the Nashville Sounds,“ said Athletics general manager Billy Beane in a statement Thursday. “As we did our due diligence of available Triple-A markets, it became very clear that Nashville was the most attractive. It is a dynamic city and entertainment center with first-rate ownership, a long history of baseball, and a location that is convenient for player movement.“

The Sounds had served as the Triple-A affiliate for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2005-14. Oakland will be the seventh big league team to have an affiliation with Nashville since professional baseball returned to the city in 1978.

Prior to the venture with the Brewers, Nashville was also home for minor league clubs for the Cincinnati Reds (1978-79, 1987-92), New York Yankees (1980-84), Detroit Tigers (1985-86), Chicago White Sox (1993-97) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1998-2004).

The Sounds will move into a new ballpark for the 2015 season.

“We are thrilled to begin this new relationship with the A’s, who hold an exciting future on both the major league and minor league levels,“ said Sounds owner Frank Ward. “Oakland has an outstanding track record of success at the Triple-A level. We’re looking forward to watching their next tier of stars develop at our state-of-the-art First Tennessee Park.“

The Sacramento RiverCats won 11 division titles and four PCL championships during the 15-year stint with the Athletics.


►   Marital Infidelity Led To Washington’s Resignation

Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said marital infidelity led to his resignation earlier this month.

Washington resigned on September 5 and cited an “off-the-field personal matter” as his reason at the time. He held a news conference Thursday at a Dallas hotel to address the situation further.

“I was not true to my wife,“ said Washington. “After 42 years, I broke her trust. I’m here today to own that mistake and to apologize to her and to those I disappointed.“

The 62-year-old Washington did not discuss details during his apology. His wife, Gerry, was seated nearby.

“I’m sorry for breaking the trust that I had with my wife,“ Washington added. “And for disappointing my players, disappointing my coaches, disappointing Major League Baseball and disappointing the Texas Rangers.“

Washington had been the Rangers’ skipper since the start of the 2007 season and left with the club just 53-87, the worst mark in any of his seven-plus years at the helm.

The Rangers were 664-611 under Washington and won back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and ‘11.

Tim Bogar was named interim manager after Washington’s departure.


►   Torres Hopes More Pitchers Wear Skull Cap Next Season

Alex Torres, the San Diego Padres reliever who made history by becoming the first pitcher to wear a protective skull cap during a game this year, is hoping more pitchers will be proactive and make the move to the skull cap next season.

“I think more guys are going to think about it next year,“ said Torres during a conference call on Thursday, “I think you will see a couple more guys wearing the hat.“

Torres began wearing the cap, which is produced by isoBLOX, during a relief appearance on June 21 and the skull cap he wore in that game is now on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. It is part of the “This Year in Baseball” case of the “Today’s Game” exhibit.

He recalls that first game was a tough one, especially because of the size of the cap, which is basically an oversized baseball cap with a high-tech protective lining.

“At the beginning when I started using it, I didn’t feel really comfortable,“ said Torres. “A lot of people were laughing at me, but after a couple days I started feeling great because I am protecting myself, doing something for myself.“

Torres, who is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 68 appearances this season, took the right approach, thinking he could be the next pitcher hit in the head.

“You never know, It could be me,“ he said. “I don’t want to wait until somebody hits me in the head. Why not be safe.“

Fortunately for him, he wasn’t the next pitcher hit. Instead it was Florida reliever Dan Jennings, who was hit in the head on August 8. It was at that point, Torres spoke to his friend, Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez.

“I said, ‘Man, you got to wear that, you are in the game longer than me,‘“ said Torres. “I am in for only one, two hitters. I told him you should wear this.“

Torres, who says some of his teammates are thinking about using the skull cap, next season, adds he wants to pitch for a long time, so wearing the cap is important to him. He wants to stay healthy, but hopes that at least the pitchers who have been hit consider wearing the cap next season.

“That’s the idea,“ said Torres. “I hope a lot more pitchers start using it, especially the guys who have been hit in the head.“

Torres says that as a professional he’s had a number of “close calls,“ but recalls a time as a teenager when he was hit in the head as a batter as a factor to why he made the move to the cap.

“I was hit in the back of the head, right below the helmet,“ said Torres. “My eyes were open and everything was black. I don’t want that feeling again.“

For now, Torres is committed to his safety.

“I will wear the hat the rest of my career,“ he concluded.


►   NATIONAL LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Washington 6, Miami 2

Gio Gonzalez tossed seven strong innings and the Washington Nationals used a five-run fourth inning to defeat the Miami Marlins, 6-2, in the opener of a four-game set on Thursday. Gonzalez (9-10) surrendered just two runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts in the win. Bryce Harper finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, Kevin Frandsen had two hits and an RBI and Anthony Rendon scored twice for the Nationals, who have won five of their last six games. Jeff Baker had two hits, a run scored and an RBI for Miami, which had starter Brad Hand (3-8) give up six runs—five earned—on eight hits in five innings of work.


Final Score: Colorado 7, Arizona 6

Wilin Rosario smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Colorado Rockies to a 7-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Coors Field. The Rockies were down 6-1, but scored two runs in the sixth and eighth innings before Rosario capped off a 4-for-5 performance with his two-out, walk-off blast to deep left field off Addison Reed (1-7). Michael Cuddyer belted a solo homer among his three hits and scored three runs for Colorado in the opener of a four-game series. LaTroy Hawkins (4-3), who is closing in on 1,000 career appearances, worked the top of the ninth.


Final Score: St. Louis 3, Milwaukee 2 (13 innings)

Tony Cruz singled in the game-winning run in the 13th inning as the St. Louis Cardinals dealt the Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff hopes a painful blow with Thursday’s 3-2 marathon victory. St. Louis scored twice in the eighth to even things, and after the Brewers wasted several scoring chances in extras, Cruz came through to keep the Cardinals’ lead in the NL Central at 2 1/2 games over the Pirates. Rookie Jimmy Nelson (2-8) was put in a tough spot in the 13th with the Brewers having already used six relievers. Matt Holliday led off the inning with a single before Matt Adams beat out a potential double-play ball. Jhonny Peralta followed with a base hit under Aramis Ramirez’s glove at third, and Cruz punched one through the middle to plate the slow-moving Adams and send what was left of the Busch Stadium crowd home happy. The Brewers sit 3 1/2 games behind the Pirates in the wild card race heading into their crucial three-game series at Pittsburgh this weekend.


Final Score: Los Angeles 8, Chicago 4

Yasiel Puig finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and run scored as Los Angeles used a late rally to overcome Chicago, 8-4, in the opener of a four-game set from Wrigley Field. Dee Gordon added two hits, scored once and drove in a run for the Dodgers, who snapped a two-game slide and lead idle San Francisco by 2 1/2 games in the NL West. Matt Kemp, Juan Uribe, A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier and Justin Turner were also credited with an RBI apiece in the triumph. Paco Rodriguez (1-0) tossed a scoreless sixth inning to snag the win. Jorge Soler picked up a pair of hits and knocked in two for the Cubs, who were coming off a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds. Luis Valbuena and Mike Olt added an RBI apiece, with Javier Baez adding two hits and two runs scored. Neil Ramirez (2-3) was charged with five runs—though only one was earned—and recorded just two outs in the seventh inning which propelled the visitors to victory.


Final Score: San Diego 7, Philadelphia 3

Alexi Amarista went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI as the San Diego Padres capped a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 7-3 victory on Thursday. Will Venable hit a late three-run homer, while Seth Smith added two hits and an RBI behind Robbie Erlin (4-4), who held the Phillies to one run on five hits over six frames in his first start since May 17. Kyle Kendrick (9-13) lasted five innings and allowed six hits, five walks and three runs for Philadelphia.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2

Gerrit Cole worked into the eighth inning and Starling Marte homered as Pittsburgh edged Boston, 3-2, in the finale of a three-game interleague set. Ike Davis and Chris Stewart also knocked in a run each for the Pirates, who swept the series and maintained a healthy lead over Milwaukee for the NL’s second wild card spot. Cole (10-5) gave up six hits and two runs while striking out seven, Tony Watson completed the eighth and Mark Melancon turned in a scoreless ninth to notch his 30th save. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts drove in a run apiece for the Red Sox, who struggled after taking three of four on the road against playoff-hopeful Kansas City. Brandon Workman (1-10) lasted five full frames and was charged with seven hits and three runs—two earned—along with three walks.


►   AMERICAN LEAGUE SCORES

Final Score: Texas 7, Oakland 2

Tomas Telis drove in two runs as the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 7-2 victory on Thursday. Jake Smolinski finished with four hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Leonys Martin, Elvis Andrus and Ryan Rua each brought in a run for the Rangers, who extended their winning streak to a season-high six games. Nick Martinez (4-11) earned his first win in close to a month after giving up just two runs on three hits and three walks with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Sam Fuld hit a two-run triple for Oakland, which is now a half-game behind the idle Kansas City Royals for the top AL wild card spot. Starter Sonny Gray (13-9) was knocked around, giving up five runs—four earned—on eight hits and two walks over five innings.


Final Score: New York 3, Toronto 2

Antoan Richardson scored the winning run on an error in the ninth inning as the New York Yankees grabbed a 3-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays to open a four-game series on Thursday. With Aaron Sanchez (2-2) on the mound, Chris Young singled to start the ninth and was replaced on the basepaths by Richardson, who promptly stole second. A sac bunt from Brett Gardner moved Richardson to third and he easily scored when Chase Headley hit a grounder to first that Adam Lind misplayed. Stephen Drew drove in a run and Derek Jeter, playing in his last homestand in front of the New York faithful, hit a solo home run for the Yankees, who have won their past two. Shane Greene pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up three hits and two walks while striking out six. David Robertson (3-5) pitched a scoreless ninth to get the win.


Final Score: Cleveland 2, Houston 1 (13 innings)

Mike Aviles drove in the winning run in the 13th inning as the Cleveland Indians grabbed a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros to wrap up a four-game series. With the bases loaded and one out, Aviles smacked a liner to right that Jake Marisnick caught on the run, but his throw home was way offline and Jose Ramirez scored for a 2-1 lead. Cody Allen pitched a scoreless bottom of the 13th for his 22nd save of the season. Carlos Santana drove in the tying run in the ninth as Ramirez scored both runs for the Indians, who have won their past three games. Kyle Crockett (4-0) pitched a scoreless 12th inning for the win. Marisnick drove in the only run of the game for the Astros, who have lost five of seven. Samuel Deduno (2-6) absorbed the loss.


Final Score: Seattle 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 1

Logan Morrison hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to lift the Seattle Mariners over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-1, in the finale of a four-game series. Kevin Jepsen (0-2) recorded two quick outs to start the ninth. Kendrys Morales kept Seattle’s at-bat going with a single and was replaced on the basepaths by James Jones. After Kyle Seager was intentionally walked, Morrison smacked a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right. The Mariners sent Fernando Rodney to the mound in the bottom half. Hank Conger hit a solo homer to make it 3-1. Rodney ended up stranding a runner on third to record his 46th save of the season. Seattle sits one game behind Oakland for the AL’s second wild card spot. Angels manager Mike Scioscia gave his regulars the day off after clinching the AL West on Wednesday.


Final Score: Pittsburgh 3, Boston 2

Gerrit Cole worked into the eighth inning and Starling Marte homered as Pittsburgh edged Boston, 3-2, in the finale of a three-game interleague set. Ike Davis and Chris Stewart also knocked in a run each for the Pirates, who swept the series and maintained a healthy lead over Milwaukee for the NL’s second wild card spot. Cole (10-5) gave up six hits and two runs while striking out seven, Tony Watson completed the eighth and Mark Melancon turned in a scoreless ninth to notch his 30th save. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts drove in a run apiece for the Red Sox, who struggled after taking three of four on the road against playoff-hopeful Kansas City. Brandon Workman (1-10) lasted five full frames and was charged with seven hits and three runs—two earned—along with three walks. 



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Taurasi, Dupree Added As Finalists For U.S. Worlds Team

Diana Taurasi and Candice Dupree of the WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury were added to the list of finalists for the United States’ women’s world championship team.

The duo will join 13 other players competing for 12 spots on the squad that will play for Team USA at the 2014 World Championship in Turkey.

“Obviously you’ve got two players coming in that have a tremendous amount of confidence right now after the kind of season that they had and winning the WNBA Championship,“ said Team USA head coach Geno Auriemma in a statement Thursday. “You’ve got two of the best offensive players in the WNBA. Diana’s had so much international experience at world championships and Olympics, Candice was with us in the 2010 World Championship and played great. So, I think we have a great group and our group just got a lot better.“

The other finalists for the team include Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and WNBA MVP Maya Moore of Minnesota, Seattle’s Sue Bird, New York’s Tina Charles, Tulsa’s Skylar Diggins and Odyssey Sims, Washington’s Stefanie Dolson, Jantel Lavender and Nnemkadi Ogwumike of Los Angeles, San Antonio’s Kayla McBride, Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry and the University of Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart.

Brittney Griner of the Mercury is also under consideration for the team, but must first be cleared by her physician. The WNBA’s top defensive player underwent a procedure to correct a retinal issue earlier this month and missed the final game of the WNBA Finals against the Chicago Sky.

Chicago stars Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles are unable to compete because of injuries.

The FIBA World Championship will take place from September 27-October 05 in Ankara and Istanbul.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   U.S. To Meet Brits Again In Davis Cup opener

For a second consecutive year, the United States and Great Britain have been draw to face each other in the first round of the Davis Cup.

The two proud tennis nations met in the round of 16 earlier this year, with the Andy Murray-led Brits coming out on top, 3-1, in San Diego. The loss dropped the 32-time champion Americans into the World Group playoffs, where they crushed Slovakia 5-0 last week to re-join the World Group for next year.

In March, the nine-time winners from Great Britain will host team USA at a yet-to-be-determined site.

This year’s finalists, France and Switzerland, will both travel away to European opposition with the French opening their campaign against Germany and the Swiss heading to Belgium in 2015.

One of the stories of the draw on Thursday was the coupling of great South American rivals Brazil and Argentina. The best-of-five tie, which will be held in Argentina, will be the first meeting between the two nations since 1980. The two sides have never met in the World Group.

The third and fourth seeds, the Czech Republic and Serbia, will both begin their campaigns with home ties. The Czechs, drawn in the same half as France, will host Australia, while the Serbs will host neighboring Croatia.

Two other matchups will pit host Kazakhstan against Italy and Canada versus visiting Japan.

The 2014 France-Switzerland final will be held in France in November.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   California Chrome Gallops Over Track For PA Derby

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome galloped over the Parx Racing track Thursday morning as he prepares to face seven other 3-year-olds in the $1 million, 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby on Saturday

Trained by Art Sherman with son Alan, California Chrome galloped about 1 1/2 miles with exercise rider Willie Delgado. The colt schooled in the paddock and will be brought to the starting gate Friday morning.

“He was striding out nicely today. I thought he handled the track real well,“ Alan Sherman said. “He schooled great, looked around taking everything in. I thought yesterday when he jogged, he looked around a bit, but today I thought he was more focused. He’ll gallop again tomorrow and I think he’ll be even more focused tomorrow.“

California Chrome will be ridden again by Victor Espinoza from the rail post, a position that is not favored by his connections. Alan Sherman looks to have his 3-year-old race away from the inside, allowing other horses to set the pace.

“It looks like there will be a couple of speed horses. If he can be third, somehow get off the rail and not get trapped on the rail,“ Sherman noted about race strategy.

Haskell winner Bayern, the 7-2 second pick, is the definite speed in the race. The other likely speed horse is C J’s Awesome who is 12-1 in the program and will break from the outside post in the eight-horse field with Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado on the colt for the second straight start.


►   Up the Backstretch: This Is Big, Really Big

Ten years after the Pennsylvania Derby was going to host for the first time the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner in the form of local runner Smarty Jones, Parx Racing will finally get that honor on Saturday when California Chrome starts the 1 1/8-mile race.

This is big, really big for the little racetrack just over the city line from Northeast Philly.

Oh, there have been Triple Crown race winners who have competed at the track in the 40 years since it opened in 1974.

In the early days of the Pennsylvania Derby, horses used the race as a final prep for the Belmont Stakes. Temperance Hill won the 1980 “Test of the Champion” after failing to win the PA Derby as the favorite, but went on to become that year’s champion 3-year-old.

The following year, Summing became the only 3-year-old to win both the PA Derby and Belmont Stakes.

Just last year, Travers winner Will Take Charge outdistanced his rival Moreno at Parx Racing only weeks after a photo finish decided the Saratoga race.

Now California Chrome comes into Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on his way to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. He becomes the only reigning Kentucky Derby winner to start the event as he makes his return to the races following more than three months off since a dead heat for fourth in the Belmont Stakes.

The chestnut colt, trained by Art Sherman, was flown from California for the chance to collect $800,000 by winning the stakes, $200,000 coming from bonuses.

“He ships so good,“ assistant trainer Alan Sherman noted Wednesday. “He never turns a hair. He doesn’t mind the travel one bit. It’s given us the opportunity to take him wherever we want.“

Owned by Steve Coburn and Perry Martin, “Chrome” was installed as the even- money morning line favorite versus seven rivals and will be ridden again by Victor Espinoza from the inside post.

“Nobody wants the one hole, but there’s nothing you can do about it,“ Sherman said Tuesday after his colt arrived at Parx.

It won’t be an easy race for Chrome. The colt will have to contend with front-running Haskell winner Bayern, who is coming off a last-place finish in the Travers at Saratoga four weeks ago. The Bob Baffert-trained colt is the 7-2 second choice with Martin Garcia back to ride the 3-year-old from post 4.

“If there is any time to do it,“ Baffert assistant Jim Barnes said about facing the Derby and Preakness champ, “it’s probably now. He is coming off a layoff. He (California Chrome) has good works ... We’re ready to take him on.“

Bayern was ninth versus Chrome in the Preakness, 21 lengths behind. On the same program as the Belmont Stakes, Bayern won the Woody Stephens Stakes at seven furlongs by an eye-popping 7 1/2 lengths. Seven weeks later, the colt won the Haskell at Monmouth Park by 7 1/4 lengths.

Of the other six in the race, just Tapiture, at 5-1, is the lone entrant with single-digit odds. The colt, trained by Steve Asmussen, comes into Saturday’s start off consecutive wins in the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs and the West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park.

Rosie Napravnik again has the mount aboard Tapiture and the pair will break from post 7. The colt was 15th to Chrome in the Run for the Roses before posting his wins with the country’s leading female jockey in the saddle.

While a record crowd is expected for Saturday to watch the Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ race, don’t expect any carry over for continued large attendance at Parx Racing.



The Gilmer Free Press

►   Week 3 Player Fantasy Rankings - Quarterbacks

A number of interesting matchups in Week 3 will shake up the top-five this weekend.

Colts signal caller Andrew Luck tops our list this week. He’ll face a Jacksonville team in disarray. The Jaguars have given up a league-worst 75 points and with the problems Indianapolis has been having on defense, Luck is sure to throw the ball early and often.

Luck produced big numbers in Week 1 against Denver and even when he struggled versus Philadelphia Monday night, still rang up three passing touchdowns. Against Jacksonville fantasy owners should be expecting 325 yards and three touchdowns.

You know expectations are through the roof when you are averaging 285 ypg and fantasy owners are saying how disappointed they are in your production. Such is the world New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees lives in.

Brees should have fantasy owners smiling this Sunday as his Saints host Minnesota. Don’t pay attention to the Vikings defensive statistics because they are distorted by playing a bad St. Louis offense in Week 1 and a Patriots team that didn’t need to pass the ball with a big lead last Sunday.

Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers figure to put on an aerial display in their division matchup Sunday. Stafford has averaged 304.4 ypg in seven starts against Green Bay, though his team is just 1-6 in those games. Rodgers has a 9-1 record against the Lions, averaging 255.9 ypg and a 19-5 touchdown to interception ratio.

And for the first time in recent memory (OK at least I know it didn’t happen all last season) Peyton Manning is not anywhere in the top-five. He comes in at No. 6.

The Broncos quarterback will face an angry defending Super Bowl champions coming off a loss to San Diego, in Seattle where the crowd noise will be disruptive to Manning line calls and audibles. Manning will have another weapon at his disposal, Wes Welker, who has cleared his concussion tests and with the new NFLPA agreement is allowed to return to the field, but it’s not enough to keep him in the top-five.

Top-25 Quarterback Rankings

—————————————-

1) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis

2) Drew Brees, New Orleans

3) Matthew Stafford, Detroit

4) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

5) Matt Ryan, Atlanta

6) Peyton Manning, Denver

7) Nick Foles, Philadelphia

8) Tom Brady, New England

9) Tony Romo, Dallas

10) Kirk Cousins, Washington

11) Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco

12) Russell Wilson, Seattle

13) Jay Cutler, Chicago

14) Cam Newton, Carolina

15) Ryan Tannehill, Miami

16) Drew Stanton, Arizona

17) Andy Dalton, Cincinnati

18) Joe Flacco, Baltimore

19) Philip Rivers, San Diego

20) E.J. Manuel, Buffalo

21) Chad Henne, Jacksonville

22) Eli Manning, New York Giants

23) Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

24) Matt Cassel, Minnesota

25) Geno Smith, New York Jets


►   Week 3 Player Fantasy Rankings - Running Backs

After two weekends of action, we’re starting to get confident about running back usage and the division of labor in the many running-back-by-committee (RBBC) situations.

Dallas’ DeMarco Murray tops our Week 3 list. Fantasy owners have to love his 25.5 rushing attempts per game over the first two contests. His production has been top-of-the-line, with back-to-back 100-plus yard days. And he’s scored in each game.

Of course, that work level is a two-edged sword for the injury-prone running back. Fantasy owners, while enjoying Murray’s current output, have to worry whether he will survive a 16-game schedule and the extrapolated 408 rushing attempts. He’s never run more than 217 times in his first three NFL seasons and even at Oklahoma his heaviest workload was 282 rushing attempts and 353 touches (2010). In the meantime, enjoy him while you have him.

Marshawn Lynch didn’t see the ball much in the Seahawks’ 30-21 loss to San Diego. He ran it just six times and caught four balls. That’s simply not enough for the four-time Pro Bowler. Over the past three seasons he’s averaged 19.1 rushes per game and produced big numbers. Expect Seattle to get back to what they do best ... pound the football behind Lynch.

Some fantasy owners are concerned about Darren Sproles taking away from LeSean McCoy’s statistics. We’re not among them. On the other hand, we already had factored that in when we ranked McCoy No. 5 among running backs in our preseason projections while many other sites had him at No. 1. McCoy is averaging 20.5 attempts per game to date, which is well above his career average (15.7) and even above last season’s numbers (19.6). We’d like to see him with more than just the one rushing touchdown, but otherwise McCoy’s running well and will get his fantasy points, particularly this Sunday if the defense keys on Sproles.

In Week 2, Washington running back Alfred Morris posted his best game since midseason last year and he’s ready to put together another big game Sunday. Coach Jay Gruden will want to keep the ball away from the high-volumn Eagles offense and the best way is to keep them on the sidelines. The Philadelphia run defense gave up 79 yards Monday night to Trent Richardson ... yes I did say Trent Richardson, so facing Morris on a short work week should easily allow him to crack the 100-yard mark. He comes in at No. 5 this week.

Jamaal Charles may not be in the Chiefs’ lineup, but we’re very impressed with backup Knile Davis and have him ranked in the top-10. He’s made one career start, in Week 17 last season, and rushed for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Last Sunday was almost like a start as Charles went down early in the first quarter and he totaled 100 yards from scrimmage and another pair of touchdowns. That’s a pretty good scoring average. Coach Andy Reid says he’ll run the same offense he runs with Charles in the lineup and we like that strategy.

Top-50 Running Back Rankings

——————————————

1) DeMarco Murray, Dallas

2) Marshawn Lynch, Seattle

3) LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia

4) Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati

5) Alfred Morris, Washington

6) Matt Forte, Chicago

7) Knile Davis, Kansas City

8) Arian Foster, Houston

9) Zac Stacy, St. Louis

10) Eddie Lacy, Green Bay

11) Shane Vereen, New England

12) Rashad Jennings, New York Giants

13) C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

14) Andre Ellington, Arizona

15) Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh

16) Terrance West, Cleveland

17) Stevan Ridley, New England

18) Pierre Thomas, New Orleans

19) Darren Sproles, Philadelphia

20) Joique Bell, Detroit

21) Trent Richardson, Indianapolis

22) Montee Ball, Denver

23) Chris Johnson, New York Jets

24) Khiry Robinson, New Orleans

25) Reggie Bush, Detroit

26) Frank Gore, San Francisco

27) Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville

28) Steven Jackson, Atlanta

29) Lamar Miller, Miami

30) Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis

31) Chris Ivory, New York Jets

32) Shonn Greene, Tennessee

33) Danny Woodhead, San Diego

34) Bernard Pierce, Baltimore

35) Jonathan Stewart, Carolina

36) Doug Martin, Tampa Bay

37) Donald Brown, San Diego

38) Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland

39) LeGarrette Blount, Pittsburgh

40) Alfred Blue, Houston

41) Jonathan Dwyer, Arizona

42) Fred Jackson, Buffalo

43) Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati

44) Darren McFadden, Oakland

45) Damien Williams, Miami

46) C.J. Anderson, Denver

47) James Starks, Green Bay

48) Carlos Hyde, San Francisco

49) Maurice Jones-Drew, Oakland

50) Bishop Sankey, Tennessee


►   Week 3 Player Fantasy Rankings - Wide Receivers

Injuries have hit the fantasy receiver position almost as hard as running backs.

In this weekend’s ranking list, you will not find Bengals star wideout A.J. Green or Jets’ No. 1 wideout Eric Decker. Others, like DeSean Jackson, Roddy White and newcomer Allen Hurns are still to be determined.

As is frequently the case, Detroit star wideout Calvin Johnson is at the top of the chart. When your quarterback (Matthew Stafford) averages over 300 yards per game against Green Bay over his career and Megatron is his primary weapon, a big day should be in the works.

Although on the injury report for an ankle issue, Falcons wideout Julio Jones has practiced every day, and we have no doubts he’ll be ready to roll for the Thursday matchup with Tampa Bay. Atlanta is more concerned with Roddy White’s availability, he’s listed as questionable, and if White isn’t out there, that’s more work for Mr. Jones.

Dez Bryant was relatively quiet in Week 1, but against Tennessee came alive with a 103-yard, one-touchdown effort. The Cowboys face a Rams’ team which has been hurt on both sides of the ball by injury and their secondary has been inconsistent. Tony Romo should have plenty of time to seek out his most talented receiver.

The return of Denver wideout Wes Welker from his suspension/concussion should open up some room for Demaryius Thomas, who to date, as been unimpressive. We expect a better showing from Peyton Manning & Co. than we saw last February.

Top-50 Wide Receiver Rankings

——————————————-

1) Calvin Johnson, Detroit

2) Julio Jones, Atlanta

3) Dez Bryant, Dallas

4) Demaryius Thomas, Denver

5) Jordy Nelson, Green Bay

6) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh

7) Brandon Marshall, Chicago

8) Randall Cobb, Green Bay

9) Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota

10) Mike Wallace, Miami

11) Andre Johnson, Houston

12) Sammy Watkins, Buffalo

13) Alshon Jeffery, Chicago

14) Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

15) Julian Edelman, New England

16) Michael Crabtree, San Francisco

17) Wes Welker, Denver

18) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis

19) Keenan Allen, San Diego

20) Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

21) Victor Cruz, New York Giants

22) Michael Floyd, Arizona

23) Kendall Wright, Tennessee

24) Pierre Garcon, Washington

25) Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia

26) DeSean Jackson, Washington

27) Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville

28) Percy Harvin, Seattle

29) Marques Colston, New Orleans

30) Steve Smith, Baltimore

31) Torrey Smith, Baltimore

32) Emmanuel Sanders, Denver

33) James Jones, Oakland

34) Golden Tate, Detroit

35) Miles Austin, Cleveland

36) Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati

37) Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland

38) Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City

39) Roddy White, Atlanta

40) Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis

41) Danny Amendola, New England

42) Greg Jennings, Minnesota

43) Anquan Boldin, San Francisco

44) Terrance Williams, Dallas

45) Doug Baldwin, Seattle

46) Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis

47) Allen Hurns, Jacksonville

48) Brian Quick, St. Louis

49) Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh

50) Harry Douglas, Atlanta


►   Week 3 Player Fantasy Rankings - Tight Ends

It is extremely rare to start a player with confidence against the Seahawks defense. Denver’s Julius Thomas is also an extremely rare tight end.

With the performance Antonio Gates had against Seattle, Thomas owners should not hesitate plugging the Broncos tight end into the lineup. Even in the blowout last February, Denver passed for 280 yards, so even if it turns lopsided again, the way Thomas is rolling right now, he should accumulate the targets and yardage.

Carolina tight end Greg Olson has quietly become a strong TE1 even in smaller leagues. Olson is one of only three tight ends with at least six receptions and 70 yards in each of the first two weeks this year (Jimmy Graham and Gates the others).

The Steelers, the Panthers Week 3 opponent, have allowed the seventh-most receiving yards to opposing tight ends so far and yielded two touchdowns to backup Ravens tight end Owen Daniels in Week 2.

St. Louis tight end Jared Cook also has a very friendly matchup against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed the second-most yards to opposing tight ends in the first two games. Cook might even be available on the waiver wire this week.

Other top tight ends, Vernon Davis, Jordan Cameron and Jordan Reed, have been hindered with injuries. Their positions on our rankings for Week 3 assume they each will be in the lineup. Keep in mind, however, that even if they play, the tight ends will likely not be 100%.

In Reed’s case, it would probably be a better idea just to roll with backup Niles Paul, who had eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown last week in Washington’s victory over Jacksonville.

Top-25 Tight End Rankings

————————————-

1) Jimmy Graham, New Orleans

2) Julius Thomas, Denver

3) Rob Gronkowski, New England

4) Greg Olson, Carolina

5) Zach Ertz, Philadelphia

6) Vernon Davis, San Francisco

7) Antonio Gates, San Diego

8) Jared Cook, St. Louis

9) Charles Clay, Miami

10) Dennis Pitta, Baltimore

11) Jason Witten, Dallas

12) Delanie Walker, Tennessee

13) Jordan Cameron, Cleveland

14) Zach Randolph, Minnesota

15) Martellus Bennett, Chicago

16) Niles Paul, Washington

17) Zach Miller, Seattle

18) Travis Kelce, Kansas City

19) Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati

20) Eric Ebron, Detroit

21) Richard Rodgers, Green Bay

22) Heath Miller, Pittsburgh

23) Jace Amaro, New York

24) Clay Harbor, Jacksonville

25) Jordan Reed, Washington


►   Week 3 Player Fantasy Rankings - Defense

When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Last week, we told owners to go against the Oakland Raiders, and the Houston Texans rewarded those who followed that piece of advice with two interceptions, two fumbles and 14 points allowed on the road.

This week, the Raiders travel to New England, and that makes the Patriots the top defense for Week 3. The Patriots are fresh off their own defensive domination over the Vikings. New England forced four interceptions, six sacks, blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown in Week 2.

Those owners worried they wasted a pick on the Seattle Seahawks need to settle down a little bit. The Seattle offensive was out-of-whack in hot San Diego, which resulted in the defense on the field for over 42 minutes on Sunday. The Seahawks return to the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field in a Super Bowl rematch against the Broncos. Seattle’s defense will be ready.

So far, Buffalo has been the biggest surprise among defenses this year. They forced Jay Cutler to throw two interceptions and caused a fumble against the Bears and then had an interception, fumble and returned a kickoff for a touchdown against the Dolphins. The Bills also have six sacks in the first two games.

Even with as well as San Diego played against Seattle, Buffalo is a strong play at home in Week 2.

Indianapolis is the boom-or-bust defense of the week. The Colts play in Jacksonville, who have scored 10 points in the last six quarters. It is still a slightly risky play though because the Indianapolis defense has yet to score out of the negatives in the first two weeks of the year.

Week 1 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

——————————————————-

1) New England Patriots

2) Carolina Panthers

3) Cincinnati Bengals

4) Seattle Seahawks

5) Houston Texans

6) San Francisco 49ers

7) Arizona Cardinals

8) St. Louis Rams

9) Chicago Bears

10) Buffalo Bills

11) New York Jets

12) Indianapolis Colts

13) Miami Dolphins

14) Dallas Cowboys

15) San Diego Chargers

16) Philadelphia Eagles

17) Kansas City Chiefs

18) New Orleans Saints

19) Baltimore Ravens

20) New York Giants

21) Denver Broncos

22) Cleveland Browns

23) Pittsburgh Steelers

24) Atlanta Falcons

25) Washington Redskins


►   Week 3 Player Fantasy Rankings - Kickers

You always seem to get what you pay for.

Kansas City chose rookie kicker Cairo Santos over veteran Ryan Succop at the end of preseason. The cheaper option has missed half his kicks to start 2014 and did not make our top 25 rankings for Week 3.

Although it might be harder to accuse Detroit for going with a cheaper option because David Akers did not have a great season last year, their rookie kicker, Nate Freese, is just 2-for-5 to start his career. Freese is helped by the fact the Lions will likely be in a shootout with the Packers this week, so he comes in at No. 15.

That’s if he keeps his job.

The top kickers for Week 3 are all of the familiar faces. New England’s Stephen Gostkowski has the second most points among kickers so far, and the Patriots welcome the Raiders to town on Sunday. The kickers ranked second through eighth for Week 3 kick for elite offenses and/or their teams have very friendly matchups.

Denver’s Brandon McManus goes from kicking in mile high to sea level in Seattle and thus dipped in the rankings.

Surprisingly, the only kicker with more points than Gostkowski through two weeks is Buffalo’s Dan Carpenter. Against Miami in Week 2, he went 5-for-6 and made both extra points. He might be a hot commodity right now, but keep in mind, the kicking conditions in Buffalo will only get worse as the season goes.

Top-25 Kicker Rankings

———————————

1) Stephen Gostkowski, New England

2) Matt Bryant, Atlanta

3) Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis

4) Mason Crosby, Green Bay

5) Cody Parker, Philadelphia

6) Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers

7) Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks

8) Shayne Graham, New Orleans Saints

9) Dan Carpenter, Buffalo Bills

10) Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers

11) Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams

12) Brandon McManus, Denver

13) Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings

14) Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals

15) Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers

16) Nate Freese, Detroit Lions

17) Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

18) Nick Folk, New York Jets

19) Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins

20) Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

21) Randy Bullock, Houston Texans

22) Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins

23) Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers

24) Ryan Succop, Tennessee Titans

25) Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears

The Gilmer Free Press


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014


Major League Baseball - National League
Los Angeles at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 PM - SportsNet LA, WGN (America), DSS
Milwaukee at Pittsburgh, 7:05 PM - FS-Wisconsin, ROOT-Pittsburgh, DSS
Washington at Miami, 7:10 PM - MASN2, FS-Florida, DSS
NY Mets at Atlanta, 7:35 PM - SNY, FS-South, DSS
Arizona at Colorado, 8:10 PM - FS-Arizona, ROOT-Rocky Mountain, DSS
Cincinnati at St. Louis, 8:15 PM - FS-Ohio, Midwest, DSS
San Francisco at San Diego, 10:10 PM - CSN-Bay, FS-San Diego, DSS


American League
Boston at Baltimore, 7:05 PM - NESN, MASN, DSS
Toronto at NY Yankees, 7:05 PM - SNET, YES, DSS
Chicago WSox at Tampa Bay, 7:10 PM - CSN-Chicago, SunSports, DSS
Detroit at Kansas City, 8:10 PM - FS-Detroit, Kansas City, ESPN2, DSS
Cleveland at Minnesota, 8:10 PM - SportsTime Ohio, FS-North, DSS
Seattle at Houston, 8:10 PM - ROOT-Northwest, CSN-Houston, DSS
Texas at LA Angels, 10:05 PM - TXA21, FS-West, DSS


Interleague
Philadelphia at Oakland, 9:35 PM - CSN-Philadelphia, California, DSS


Canadian Football League
Toronto at British Columbia, 10:00 PM - TSN, ESPN3.com


College Football
Holy Cross at Harvard, 7:00 PM - ESPN3.com
Connecticut at South Florida, 8:00 PM - ESPN


Major League Soccer
Colorado at Real Salt Lake, 10:00 PM - NBCSN


Golf
EUROPEAN - Wales Open, 5:30 AM - Golf Channel
EUROPEAN - Wales Open, 10:00 AM - Golf Channel
WEB.COM - Tour Championship, 2:00 PM - Golf Channel
LPGA - Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, 5:00 PM - Golf Channel
CHAMPIONS - Pacific Links Hawaii Championship, 7:30 PM - Golf Channel


Auto Racing
FORMULA ONE - Singapore Grand Prix practice, 9:30 AM - NBCSN
SPRINT CUP - OSRAM Sylvania 300 practice, 12:00 PM - FS1
CAMPING WORLD - UNOH 175 practice, 1:30 PM - FS1
CAMPING WORLD - UNOH 175 practice, 3:00 PM - FS1
SPRINT CUP - OSRAM Sylvania 300 qualifying, 4:30 PM - FS1
NATIONWIDE - VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 practice, 6:30 PM - FS1

High School Cross Country 2014: Doddridge Invitational - Girls

The Gilmer Free Press
Doddridge Invitational
Doddridge County Park
09.16.14
Girls Results

 
Girls 5k Run CC Varsity
=======================================================================          
    Name                    Year School                  Finals  Points          
=======================================================================          
  1 Kierra Hodge               9 Philip Barbour        21:39.08    1             
  2 Alicia Parsons            10 Grafton               22:01.04    2             
  3 Amanda Reynolds            9 Tyler Consol          22:10.58    3             
  4 Hannah Ramirez            11 Liberty High School   22:19.02                  
  5 Olga Hawranick             9 East Fairmont HS      22:24.07    4             
  6 Kasey McNamara             9 Williamstown          22:35.90    5             
  7 Taylor Trowbridge         10 North Marion          22:42.61    6             
  8 Felicity Nolder           12 Oak Glen Hig          22:55.27    7             
  9 Kate Golinsky             11 Braxton Coun          22:56.47    8             
 10 Jessica Melvin             9 Philip Barbour        22:58.70    9             
 11 Brianna Williams          10 Philip Barbour        22:59.21   10             
 12 Bailey Baker              10 East Fairmont HS      23:13.62   11             
 13 Jennifer Herron           12 Lincoln High School   23:26.00                  
 14 Emma Eickleberry           9 North Marion          23:29.91   12             
 15 Madison Mullenax          11 Tucker Co. High       23:30.25                  
 16 Hallie Williams           11 Buckhannon-U          23:31.04   13             
 17 Alex Gorrell              12 St. Marys High        23:32.35   14             
 18 Cara Kirk                 10 Philip Barbour        23:32.92   15             
 19 Kayla Hizer               12 Paden City H          23:33.21                  
 20 Tiara Hunter              11 Braxton Coun          23:42.60   16             
 21 Amber Watson              11 Tyler Consol          23:43.16   17             
 22 Bethany McPherson          9 East Fairmont HS      23:44.31   18             
 23 Abby Charles              10 Doddridge Co          23:49.65   19             
 24 Allie Robinson            12 Williamstown          23:51.95   20             
 25 Logan Frame               12 Braxton Coun          23:58.32   21             
 26 Hannah Louzy               9 Grafton               24:10.62   22             
 27 Megan Carder              10 Doddridge Co          24:12.32   23             
 28 Abigail Griffin            9 Lincoln High School   24:14.58                  
 29 Courtney King             11 Webster Coun          24:24.73                  
 30 Gracie James               9 Doddridge Co          24:29.99   24             
 31 Hayley Barr                9 Clay-Battelle         24:33.14                  
 32 Alexis Leggett            10 Doddridge Co          24:36.55   25             
 33 Leah Michael               9 North Marion          24:36.91   26             
 34 Rachel Rogers             11 Notre Dame H          24:40.01                  
 35 Madison Riley             10 Liberty High School   24:41.75                  
 36 Megan Russell             12 Buckhannon-U          24:43.05   27             
 37 Kelsie Drennen             9 Fairmont Sen          24:50.25                  
 38 Sarah Settle              12 Williamstown          24:50.94   28             
 39 Abby Cowher               10 Weir High School      24:53.73   29             
 40 Olivia Arneault            9 Oak Glen Hig          24:54.01   30             
 41 Emmy Severs                9 Oak Glen Hig          24:54.28   31             
 42 McKenzie Newton            9 Doddridge Co          24:55.42   32             
 43 Madison Reall             10 Tucker Co. High       24:58.91                  
 44 Taylor Mace               12 Ritchie Coun          25:01.56                  
 45 Savanah Ferguson          10 Doddridge Co          25:04.43   33             
 46 Emily Hayhurst            12 Lincoln High School   25:04.81                  
 47 Laura Dean                11 Buckhannon-U          25:13.01   34             
 48 Hannah Coulson             9 East Fairmont HS      25:16.84   35             
 49 Kylie Woodford            11 Grafton               25:17.15   36             
 50 Sierra King               10 Webster Coun          25:18.90                  
 51 Toni Powell               11 Oak Glen Hig          25:26.01   37             
 52 Caitlyn McCurdy            9 Cameron High School   25:37.06   38             
 53 Charlotte Gray            12 Williamstown          25:43.09   39             
 54 Ryan Wilson                9 St. Marys High        25:46.76   40             
 55 Sophia Cox                 9 Williamstown          25:48.83   41             
 56 Haley Truman              12 Philip Barbour        25:50.99   42             
 57 Marisa Gogan              12 Tyler Consol          25:51.32   43             
 58 Gillian Ross              12 Buckhannon-U          26:02.10   44             
 59 Allyssa Kern              11 Williamstown          26:02.50   45             
 60 Courtney Walker            9 Cameron High School   26:02.87   46             
 61 Bethany McPherson         12 Fairmont Sen          26:09.19                  
 62 Jensen James              11 Cameron High School   26:12.03   47             
 63 Kaitlin Swick              9 Philip Barbour        26:12.77   48             
 64 Emily Maddow              10 North Marion          26:13.98   49             
 65 Haley Stephenson          11 Doddridge Co          26:14.34   50             
 66 Emily Meeks                9 St. Marys High        26:14.67   51             
 67 Hannah Pride              10 East Fairmont HS      26:18.65   52             
 68 Rena Reid                 11 Cameron High School   26:23.24   53             
 69 Michelle Spears           11 Clay-Battelle         26:23.66                  
 70 Tristen Furby             10 Philip Barbour        26:24.01   54             
 71 Orwig Katie                9 Buckhannon-U          26:31.59   55             
 72 Sydney Wise                9 East Fairmont HS      26:49.20   56             
 73 Victoria Anderson         12 Paden City H          26:50.17                  
 74 Lizzy Floyd               11 Buckhannon-U          27:05.66   57             
 75 Kylee Buzzard             10 St. Marys High        27:08.14   58             
 76 Jenna White               10 Tucker Co. High       27:13.91                  
 77 Taylor Hammond            11 Ritchie Coun          27:16.31                  
 78 Julia Cutright            10 Buckhannon-U          27:27.68   59             
 79 Tylyn Asterino             9 East Fairmont HS      27:29.83   60             
 80 Tori Fryer                11 Oak Glen Hig          27:31.79   61             
 81 Kendra Garvin             10 Doddridge Co          27:36.22                  
 82 Tristen Brown             10 Braxton Coun          27:37.15   62             
 83 Hannah Kopshina            9 Ritchie Coun          27:37.70                  
 84 Sydney Sponaugle           9 North Marion          27:43.36   63             
 85 Allison McAllister         9 Liberty High School   27:47.24                  
 86 Janessa Adams             12 Ritchie Coun          27:50.71                  
 87 Monica Miller             12 Grafton               27:51.99   64             
 88 Nicoletta Bonazzo         10 Braxton Coun          27:59.83   65             
 89 Brianna Logston           12 Oak Glen Hig          28:03.24   66             
 90 Jenna Burnett             11 Philip Barbour        28:15.89                  
 91 Mackenzie Bosley          12 Buckhannon-U          28:31.40                  
 92 Caroline Lestitian         9 Wheeling Cen          28:37.65   67             
 93 Mariah Stansberry         10 Williamstown          28:46.31   68             
 94 Kaley Strauss             10 Williamstown          28:53.42                  
 95 Loren Fulks                9 Williamstown          28:57.00                  
 96 Erikka Davis              11 Cameron High School   29:05.78   69             
 97 Samantha Calhoun          12 Weir High School      29:14.23   70             
 98 Samantha LaBelle          11 Wheeling Cen          29:21.59   71             
 99 Mikayla Wilson            10 Weir High School      29:23.94   72             
100 Kaylee Hulin               9 Tyler Consol          29:24.65   73             
101 Madison Loughridge        10 Webster Coun          29:31.57                  
102 Emily Smith                9 Grafton               29:37.63   74             
103 Alyson Snow               12 Oak Glen Hig          29:46.21   75             
104 Haley Freeze               9 Grafton               29:54.42   76             
105 Haley Mancino             10 Philip Barbour        29:55.27                  
106 Lauryn Jarvis              9 Braxton Coun          30:06.04   77             
107 Renee Fisher              12 Roane County High     30:14.59                  
108 Margaret Budik            12 Weir High School      30:22.09   78             
109 Cheyenne Bolden           10 Liberty High School   30:23.16                  
110 Hayley Miller             10 Philip Barbour        30:31.09                  
111 Asharay Smith             11 Weir High School      30:34.52   79             
112 Alyssa Hopkins             9 East Fairmont HS      30:40.89                  
113 Brittany Casto            10 Buckhannon-U          30:42.84                  
114 Katelyn Shaffer           11 North Marion          30:48.26   80             
115 Megan Sole                 9 Tyler Consol          30:48.64   81             
116 Claire Dieffenbaugher      9 Wheeling Cen          30:51.84   82             
117 Sinead Tobin              10 Fairmont Sen          30:54.50                  
118 Mista Smarr                9 Doddridge Co          31:01.57                  
119 Giovanna Pennesi          10 Roane County High     31:29.06                  
120 Marissa Saltis            12 Grafton               31:44.76   83             
121 Miranda Koch               9 Fairmont Sen          31:47.12                  
122 Shelby Gatian             10 Paden City H          32:06.85                  
123 Megan Keener              11 North Marion          32:26.31   84             
124 Madi Sandridge            11 Philip Barbour        32:37.58                  
125 Mara Eisenbarth            9 St. Marys High        33:20.90   85             
126 Mikayla Toney              9 Calhoun High          33:36.86                  
127 Kelcie Metz               10 Roane County High     34:13.31                  
128 Kaylee Coble              11 Oak Glen Hig          34:18.16                  
129 Abby Crago                11 Weir High School      34:25.56   86             
130 Mackenzie Mayhew           9 Oak Glen Hig          34:37.77                  
131 Erica Anderson             9 South Harrison High   34:51.51                  
132 Erin Huffman               9 Lincoln High School   34:56.69                  
133 Madison Taylor            11 Wheeling Cen          35:27.21   87             
134 Sydney Eddy                9 East Fairmont HS      35:28.92                  
135 Damara Winfrey            11 Tyler Consol          35:34.87   88             
136 Jocie Humpe               12 Wheeling Cen          35:42.19   89             
137 Chelsea Dennis            11 Paden City H          36:14.03                  
138 Kat Wilson                11 Buckhannon-U          36:42.28                  
139 Kashmir Vancharese        11 Weir High School      37:48.69   90             
140 Kathern Keith             11 Gilmer Count          39:24.39                  
141 Samantha Maidens          10 St. Marys High        46:40.71   91             
142 Shawna Frazier            11 Webster Coun          54:47.27                  
                                                                                 
                                   Team Scores                                   
=================================================================================
Rank Team                      Total    1    2    3    4    5   *6   *7   *8   *9
=================================================================================
   1 Philip Barbour               77    1    9   10   15   42   48   54          
      Total Time:  1:57:00.90                                                    
         Average:    23:24.18                                                    
   2 East Fairmont HS            120    4   11   18   35   52   56   60          
      Total Time:  2:00:57.49                                                    
         Average:    24:11.50                                                    
   3 Doddridge County High Sch   123   19   23   24   25   32   33   50          
      Total Time:  2:02:03.93                                                    
         Average:    24:24.79                                                    
   4 Williamstown High School    133    5   20   28   39   41   45   68          
      Total Time:  2:02:50.71                                                    
         Average:    24:34.15                                                    
   5 North Marion High School    156    6   12   26   49   63   80   84          
      Total Time:  2:04:46.77                                                    
         Average:    24:57.36                                                    
   6 Oak Glen High School        166    7   30   31   37   61   66   75          
      Total Time:  2:05:41.36                                                    
         Average:    25:08.28                                                    
   7 Braxton County High Schoo   172    8   16   21   62   65   77               
      Total Time:  2:06:14.37                                                    
         Average:    25:14.88                                                    
   8 Buckhannon-Upshur High Sc   173   13   27   34   44   55   57   59          
      Total Time:  2:06:00.79                                                    
         Average:    25:12.16                                                    
   9 Grafton                     198    2   22   36   64   74   76   83          
      Total Time:  2:08:58.43                                                    
         Average:    25:47.69                                                    
  10 Tyler Consolidated High/M   217    3   17   43   73   81   88               
      Total Time:  2:11:58.35                                                    
         Average:    26:23.67                                                    
  11 St. Marys High              248   14   40   51   58   85   91               
      Total Time:  2:16:02.82                                                    
         Average:    27:12.57                                                    
  12 Cameron High School         253   38   46   47   53   69                    
      Total Time:  2:13:20.98                                                    
         Average:    26:40.20                                                    
  13 Weir High School            328   29   70   72   78   79   86   90          
      Total Time:  2:24:28.51                                                    
         Average:    28:53.71                                                    
  14 Wheeling Central Catholic   396   67   71   82   87   89                    
      Total Time:  2:40:00.48                                                    
         Average:    32:00.10                                                    

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