The Atlanta native was playing in the tournament for the third time in as many years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Though Zach Davies showed he’s a triple-threat, the starting pitcher’s best weapon was the one you’d least expect.
Travis Shaw, Eric Thames and Manny Pina homered, Davies tossed 7 2/3 innings and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Washington Nationals 8-0 on Tuesday night.
Shaw’s three-run blast highlighted a four-run fourth inning. Thames and Pina went back-to-back off Edwin Jackson (1-1) in the fifth for the NL Central-leading Brewers.
Milwaukee, which had lost six of seven to open its 10-game road trip, maintained a half-game lead over the Chicago Cubs.
Davies (12-4) allowed three hits and struck out seven against an offense leading the NL with a .278 batting average.
“Everything was working. Everything was in the zone,” said Davies, who won his fifth consecutive decision.
Asked how he’d rate the outing, Davies said, “From seeing the way the ball was moving and the way I controlled it, it was probably my best game of the year so far.”
Davies also drove in the Brewers’ first run when he bunted toward the mound with runners on first and third in the second inning and Pina raced home ahead of Jackson’s throw.
Yet for manager Craig Counsell, the pitcher’s work on the base paths in the decisive fourth inning changed the game.
After Orlando Arcia’s one-out single in the fourth, Davies pushed his sacrifice bunt toward first base and reached on Ryan Zimmerman’s wild throw. One out later, Daniel Murphy fielded Ryan Braun’s grounder behind second base, but a hustling Davies extended the inning by beating the throw to second.
Arcia scored on the play and Shaw promptly delivered his seventh three-run homer of the season for a 5-0 lead. All four runs in the inning were unearned.
“The base-running play (Davies) made was the biggest play of the game,” Counsell said. “You don’t see that that often from a pitcher.”
Bryce Harper’s eighth-inning double off Oliver Drake extended his hitting streak to a career-high 17 games. Harper is batting .426 (29 for 68) during his streak, but he struck out twice in three hitless at-bats against Davies despite a deep scouting report.
“I’ve known Davies ever since we were 10, 11 years old,” Harper said. “Grew up as a shortstop, got to the mound and he’s done his thing this year. Shoot, 12 wins, that’s big time.”
Jackson, who made 31 starts for Washington in 2012, began his second stint with the NL East leaders a week ago with seven solid innings in a win over the Angels. In his encore performance, Jackson allowed seven runs — three earned — in five innings.
“He didn’t have the command that he had last time,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of Jackson. “He was wild high and away. The home runs didn’t help. It was a rough night for Edwin tonight.”
Brewers: RHP Brandon Woodruff (hamstring) was reinstated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Woodruff allowed eight runs — four earned — and five hits in two-thirds of an inning Monday during a rehab start.
Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg, who left Sunday’s start after two innings with forearm pain, is expected to start Friday against the Colorado Rockies. The right-hander was diagnosed with a nerve impingement that is no longer a problem. “The doctor said he’s doing fine. Hoping he’ll progress enough to make the next start,” Baker said.
DROP DOWN, STEP UP
Thames’ 24th home run came while batting fifth. It marked the first time all season the slugger hit lower than third in the lineup. “Just something a little different. It may be a one-day thing,” Counsell said. “No matter where you hit you take your at-bat. There’s no manual for hitting fifth or manual for hitting second. It’s really just about splitting those left-handers up a little bit.”
Brewers: RHP Jimmy Nelson (8-5, 3.43 ERA) is 1-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three career starts against Washington.
Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (8-5, 2.83 ERA) has a 2.67 ERA in four July starts, but is 1-3 in those appearances.
Then, with a bunch of family members and friends packed in the stands, he stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded, hoping to do something really special in his home debut at Yankee Stadium.
Oh, he did.
Frazier had an unforgettable first at-bat wearing the pinstripes, grounding into a rare run-scoring triple play as the New York Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 Tuesday night.
“I might’ve set a record,” Frazier said. “Got to be a record.”
“Can laugh about it now. At the time, I was pretty upset,” he said. “It was just unbelievable. Hopefully, that doesn’t ever happen again.”
Rookie Jordan Montgomery took a no-hit try into the sixth inning, and Didi Gregorius hit his third homer in two games to boost the AL East contenders.
Last-place Cincinnati lost for the 10th time in 12 games. Billy Hamilton’s bid for a tying extra-base hit in the eighth was thwarted when pinch-hitter Zack Cozart, out of the starting lineup to rest his tender quadriceps, hobbled into third.
Cozart, an All-Star shortstop, was pulled as a precaution.
“I’ve kind of asked Zack to try and stay away from exacerbating some things,” Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Back in the Bronx for the first time since the All-Star break, the Yankees brought along Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle, all acquired last week in a trade with the Chicago White Sox.
Frazier made the two-hour drive from his hometown of Toms River near the Jersey shore, and the veteran third baseman had his own personal rooting section in tow.
With three on and none out in the second inning, Frazier hit a hard grounder up the middle that shortstop Jose Peraza gloved. Peraza quickly stepped on second and threw to first.
Gregorius, who had been on second base, held up when the ball was hit, in case it was caught. He was late to advance, and first baseman Joey Votto’s throw across the diamond caught him in a rundown. Gregorius was called out for running wide of baseline trying to avoid a tag.
“I just tried to get a double play,” Peraza said through a translator.
At least there was some consolation for Frazier — a run scored, rarely seen on a triple play, because Matt Holliday scampered home before Gregorius was trapped.
It was the Reds’ first triple play since 1995, and the first any team has turned against the Yankees since 2011. It was the first time a team scored on a triple play since Seattle against Minnesota in 2006.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi could only hang his head on the dugout railing at the bizarre sequence.
“A strange play,” he said.
Peraza started in place of Cozart. Peraza was part of a three-team trade involving Frazier in 2015.
Montgomery (7-5) held the Reds hitless until Scott Schebler broke an 0-for-20 slump with a leadoff double in the sixth. Montgomery gave up two hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Aroldis Chapman closed for his 12th save in 15 chances, giving the Yankees their fourth win in five games.
Rookie Luis Castillo (1-4) gave up three runs in five innings. Despite the loss, he left with a memory, thanks to Frazier’s ball.
“I will never forget that. Triple play, bases loaded, that’s amazing,” he said. “If double plays the best friend of a pitcher, what about a triple play?”
Yankees slugger Aaron Judge lined a foul ball that hit a fan sitting beyond the first-base dugout in the eighth inning. The ball left Judge’s bat at 105 mph, and EMTs attended to the man. After a few minutes, with a bloody bandage around his head, he walked to an exit with help.
Officially, the triple play went Peraza to Votto to third baseman Eugenio Suarez and back to Peraza. This was just the second 6-3-5-6 triple play in major league history, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. The other was on June 6, 1970, when Pittsburgh shortstop Gene Alley, first baseman Al Oliver and third baseman Richie Hebner did it on a ball hit by the Dodgers’ Wes Parker. … There have been 712 triple plays in the majors, 30 by the Reds.
Reds: Cozart grounded into a force play as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He recently came off the disabled list after a strained quadriceps.
Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks (oblique) and 1B Tyler Austin (hamstring) are ready to ramp up their hitting activity. No timetable yet for their return.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (2-4, 8.56 ERA) won his only previous start at Yankee Stadium in 2012.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (6-4, 3.21) has permitted one run in 14 innings over two starts since making the All-Star team.
In my last letter, I offered one solution for climate change — adapt the physical infrastructure.
Infrastructure is not just about roads and bridges but it is about the six essential elements of life: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. From those combinations, we have four basics of life we all understand and value: air, water, food and energy. Restrict any one of those basics and humanity, as we know it, will be very hard-pressed to exist.
There are many solutions to affect and adapt climate change and each has its advantages and disadvantages, and they all have their cost. The most popular energy solution today is to build wind turbines everywhere the wind blows. I am not a fan of those monsters, but without fresh water (the next major crisis) the farmers near Elida, New Mexico, have to do something for income, so they lease their land to the big wind companies and get their hefty stipend.
Is CO2 really the bad guy of climate change? CO2 is like Mother Nature’s thermostat and helps moderate the global temperature here on earth. If you increase the parts per million (PPM) in the atmosphere, the earth’s land and water temperatures will also increase. Conversely, if you decrease the PPM, the earth will cool and even ice over.
If you are convinced the temperature increase has been caused by anthropogenic sources (that’s us), particularly the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and we should spend billions or even trillions to try and halt the rising earth temperature, then you must take another look at nuclear energy.
You would think that when a coal power plant or nuclear power plant were shut down by the utility companies, they would be replaced by renewable energy sources; wind and solar. The hard reality is the most practical cost-effective replacement is natural gas generators and that is happening all around the world.
Will the earth’s CO2 PPM ever be stabilized or even decreased any time soon? Not likely, unless advance nuclear reactors are seriously considered and then still not likely.
What if we are looking at the wrong solutions? What if the solution is not in how we use energy but in how we use water? What if we adapt crops to saline farming to feed the world and coastal flood plains were transformed into valuable farmland? Well, it is already being adapted around the world.
As I see it, there are two sides to the $15 per hour minimum wage debate.
For a small business like myself, it is another payroll tax increase and could put many of us under. Unemployment would soar simply because small businesses cannot afford an additional tax increase. It certainly would not stimulate hiring increases.
We are already having to pay for government-imposed tax collection under threat of penalty, while large corporations enjoy huge tax breaks. Employers spend a great deal of time and expense training people for a job that may take a couple of years to show a return on that investment.
On the other hand, a $15 per hour minimum wage would put money back into the economy. People need things and could afford to buy more. Their quality of life would improve, money would circulate and the economy would grow. Communities would benefit from additional GRT revenues.
I think that government should find ways to subsidize 50 percent of that minimum wage, without all the bureaucracy, and avoid placing the burden on small businesses who are already squeezed to the limit.
One way would be to look at redirecting monies earmarked for programs that provide incentives for people not to work. Another would be to extend unemployment insurance during a training period for new hire, up to two years.
My fear is that our elected officials will do nothing to address this very real problem, only because it is an ideal political wedge issue, much like other wedge issues used to divide us into one camp or another.
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Dak Prescott climbed the stairs to the VIP tent that once served as Tony Romo’s perch for interviews at training camp, facing a phalanx of cameras similar to the one his predecessor and the longtime Dallas starter used to see.
It’s Prescott’s job now, and the second-year star quarterback has the attention to prove it.
“Last year I came in and I was just trying to figure everything out,” Prescott said on the opening morning of camp in California.
“Everything I do (now) they’re watching. Not just you guys but my teammates, the coaches as well. But that’s fun to me. That’s something that I embrace.”
An afterthought this time a year ago as a fourth-round pick and third-teamer behind Romo and Kellen Moore, Prescott’s outlook first changed when Moore broke an ankle in a training camp practice. Then Romo went down with a back injury in the third preseason game.
Prescott answered with one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history, leading the Cowboys to the top seed in the NFC at 13-3 before a divisional playoff loss to Green Bay.
Romo was relegated to the backup job when he was healthy again, and is now preparing for his debut in the TV booth as the lead analyst for CBS after Dallas released him. The Cowboys went 1-11 without an injured Romo in a last-place 4-12 season the year before Prescott arrived.
“A lot more comfortable than I ever thought I would be this time last year or beyond not having Romo,” said owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who gave Romo the first $100 million contract in franchise history four years ago. “So that has everything to do with the year that Dak had and more importantly the way Dak is approaching this year.”
Last year, Prescott bristled at the idea of “vanilla defenses” when he was coming off two strong preseason showings — the week before Romo got hurt. This year, he figures to hear the term “sophomore slump.” He’ll shrug at that, too.
Prescott won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors over backfield mate and NFL rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott because he led the Cowboys to a franchise-record 11 straight wins.
The former Mississippi State standout, the first drafted quarterback in seven years for Dallas, tied Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie record of 13 wins and set rookie marks in passer rating (104.9) and fewest interceptions (four, to go with 23 touchdowns).
“He’s got an insatiable appetite to want to be the best, to improve,” executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said. “I can assure you there are 16 teams on our schedule this year that have watched every play that Dak ran and they are going to have all sorts of things that are going to challenge him. He knows that.”
Receiver Dez Bryant, a 2014 All-Pro when Romo led the Cowboys to just their second playoff win since their most recent Super Bowl 22 years ago, is growing weary of Romo questions, declaring the Cowboys are “Dak’s team.”
Bryant raves about Prescott’s leadership skills, illustrated when he coaxed Bryant and Elliott into film rooms for extra study during the offseason at the team’s new practice facility in suburban Frisco.
“I just like the way he handles his business,” Bryant said. “That’s why he’s a great football player, just because of who he is as a person. The thing that he’s got, you can’t teach. We respect that. We’re going to follow that.”
Prescott’s busy offseason included cheering with unbridled joy when the Mississippi State women’s basketball team ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak at the Final Four in Dallas.
He signed several endorsement deals and headlined youth camps in his hometown of Haughton, Louisiana, and the Dallas area. But with off-field issues dominating headlines for the Cowboys, Prescott quietly wrapped up the offseason by working out in Florida.
“There’s a lot that went on in the offseason, but it means absolutely nothing,” he said. “The only thing that matters is what I do and this team does next.”
And it’s his team, not Romo’s.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen chose team over himself.
Olsen reported to training camp on time Tuesday, saying he didn’t want to hold out and be a distraction to an organization aiming to win its first Super Bowl.
The 32-year-old Olsen has two years left on his contract, but has outplayed his current deal, becoming the first tight end in NFL history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. He was voted second-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016.
Olsen contemplated holding out for more money, but ultimately decided against it.
“I just didn’t feel it was right for me to put my situation and my own personal interests above that of the team,” Olsen said as players checked into their dorm rooms at Wofford College. “If I don’t show up today and cause a big stink, what would have come of that was just not fair to everybody, from ownership to the last guy on the roster. It’s not something I wanted to be a part of when it came down to it. It’s not who I am.”
Olsen caught 80 passes for 1,073 yards and three touchdowns last season. He has 32 TD catches in six seasons with the Panthers.
“We feel very strongly about what we have been able to accomplish these last couple of years,” Olsen said.
It’s unclear when Olsen will get a new deal.
Carolina recently shook up its front office, firing general manager Dave Gettleman and replacing him with Marty Hurney on an interim basis. The decision was made, in part, because Gettleman didn’t grant contract extensions to Olsen and linebacker Thomas Davis, two of Carolina’s most popular players.
Olsen has a better working relationship with Hurney, who was responsible for bringing him to Carolina via trade in 2011 when he was the full-time GM.
Olsen said he met with Hurney after he was hired, that they had a “good talk” and understand each other’s positioning on contract negotiations. But despite the change in the front office Olsen said he’s been given “no promises” a deal will be worked out anytime soon.
With Olsen having two years left the Panthers may be more inclined to wait lest they set a precedent through which other players with multiple years remaining on their contracts begin asking for new deals.
Davis, who also reported to training camp on time, is more likely to get an extension because he has one year left on his contract. Davis was not immediately available for interviews.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said there was no doubt in his mind Olsen and Davis — both team captains — would show up for camp.
“Those guys are professionals and they know how to separate business aspect from the team aspect,” Rivera said. “I really believe in those guys. I think it’s something the organization is going to work through.”
Said Olsen: “What we tried to do was no different than what happens around the league,” Olsen said. “It’s very common business for players and management to go back and forth and try to find common ground. … We gave it a run, it didn’t work out and now I play out my contract and try to win a Super Bowl.”
Former Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher recently suggested on Instagram that some players in the locker room were responsible for Gettleman being fired, and warned that karma would come back to get them.
Olsen said he had a good relationship with Gettleman, although he added that they didn’t always see eye to eye.
“As far as any personal grudges or animosity that brewed from all of this was just not the case,” Olsen said.
The Panthers have added several veterans to their roster this offseason, including defensive end Julius Peppers, left tackle Matt Kalil, cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and safety Mike Adams. Carolina went to the Super Bowl after the 2015 season, but lost 24-10 to the Denver Broncos.
Injuries and some inconsistent play by quarterback Cam Newton contributed to a 6-10 record last year.
“Everybody has been working real hard,” said veteran safety Kurt Coleman. “Now it’s about staying healthy and building that chemistry.”
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry has delivered his share of success already to a franchise that desperately needed it. Now, he’s being paid for all he has done — and certainly will do.
Curry finalized his new contract Tuesday, signing a $201 million, five-year deal with the champion Golden State Warriors that initially was the richest ever, until James Harden topped it with a $228 million extension from the Rockets.
Considered overlooked and undersized when he arrived on the NBA scene after being drafted seventh overall out of Davidson College in 2009, Curry has silenced the doubters with every spot-on heave from half-court.
The two-time NBA MVP, who earned $12 million this season as one of the league’s biggest bargains, averaged 28.1 points in the playoffs while also contributing 6.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds. Now, he will earn $40 million per season.
“Just happy to be a leader on this team that can understand the goals that we set out for ourselves and try to get it done the best way we could,” Curry said immediately after the Game 5 title clincher in the NBA Finals last month.
NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant also signed his new contract worth approximately $53 million over the next two years as Golden State announced its deals with returning free agents.
Sure, Durant’s spectacular postseason may have shined brighter as he hoisted his MVP hardware, yet Curry did so much on the way to his second title in three years. From his dazzling dribbling, shot-making and the way he dishes off, Curry has been brilliant — but what he does for the Warriors as an ambassador in the community is as much a part of what makes him special as anything else.
He is the face of a franchise that has become the standard by which every other organization is measured.
When coach Steve Kerr was asked in early April about how Curry had taken on more of the load with Durant nursing a left knee injury, the 2016 Coach of the Year touched on his point guard’s unfailing ability to guide Golden State.
“I don’t think he’s been any different with KD out in terms of his leadership. He’s still just Steph,” Kerr said. “He’s humble and cocky at the same time, which is why we like him. He’s a very humble, modest human being, which the guys respect. And he’s an arrogant basketball player, which is what you need to be a superstar. He believes in himself and he goes out there looking to light it up every night. You take him off the floor you won’t find a kinder, gentler human being. It’s a pretty powerful force.”
Curry is getting paid for all of those things. He has led the turnaround of a franchise from longtime laughingstock to regular championship contender.
Now, he wants to build a dynasty with KD by his side. Durant accepted less money for the coming season so the Warriors’ core could remain intact.
From spending an off-day at an inner-city elementary school to donating three bed nets for every 3-pointer he makes to fight malaria through Nothing But Nets, Curry is as comfortable hanging with kids — hat on backward, of course — as he is intensely dueling Durant in 3-point shootouts on the practice floor or driving past LeBron James to score on the NBA’s biggest stage.
Curry never worried about his own production, the scrutiny of his diminished points or shooting percentages playing alongside fellow superstar Durant this season.
A year after breaking his own NBA record with 402 3-pointers, Curry rarely finished quarters with those jaw-dropping 3s that were so memorable from the previous season — and that was fine, because Golden State kept winning. The Warriors were sharing the ball in Kerr’s deep rotation, developing into a close-knit group with great chemistry despite all the new faces.
But it wasn’t until the Warriors blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter of a demoralizing 109-108 loss at Cleveland on Christmas Day that Curry reached the realization he must do more.
“I learned a lot about myself,” he said. “After that Christmas Day game I kind of understood that we have such high-IQ players that if I could be aggressive, do what I do and need to do every single night, everything will kind of flow from that.
“I think the proof is obviously in what we were able to accomplish from that point on in the regular season, being 16-1 in the playoffs, everybody being the best version of themselves and putting all the puzzle pieces together.”
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis says a New Orleans Pelicans are “tired of losing” and have the roster to do something about it.
That is, if they can find a new offensive scheme that suits their mixture of incumbent starters and recent acquisitions.
“We can’t wait for the season to come and try to make some noise here in the loaded West,” Davis said Tuesday afternoon while promoting a youth camp he’ll host in early August.
“We’re doing everything, whether it’s signing players, trading players … whatever it is to just try to make sure that we try to be a winning organization,” he added. “We have the tools right now to be successful. … Right now, I think we look good on paper. So we’ve just got to figure it out.”
The Pelicans will likely need the right scheme, good chemistry and good health to contend in the Western Conference, which features defending champion Golden State as well as Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.
Davis is optimistic that could happen. He’s been working out this offseason with fellow All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins, and he fully endorsed the recent signing of veteran point guard Rajon Rondo.
Davis said Rondo’s savvy play-making and defensive acumen will strengthen the New Orleans on both ends while also allowing Jrue Holiday to become more of a scoring threat from the shooting guard spot.
When the Pelicans re-signed Holiday to a five-year, $126 million contract to open free agency, general manager Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry mentioned the possibility of playing Holiday off the ball more, and the acquisition of Rondo should allow that, Davis said.
“When I first heard about Rondo, I thought it was a good situation for us,” Davis said. “He knows when to get guys involved, when to make that pass.”
Davis said Rondo and Holiday also will be a formidable defensive tandem along the perimeter, meaning the Pelicans’ All-Star big men should have more chances to protect the rim and rebound. He said Rondo’s long arms and big hands help him disrupt drives and passes as well as rebound.
“They’re going to give a lot of guards, this year, problems,” Davis said. “It’s always good when you can add a guy who knows how to play defense.”
By the time Davis hosts his clinic for kids Aug. 7-8 at the University of New Orleans, he’ll have spent a considerable portion of the offseason working out with Cousins, who was acquired in a trade after last season’s All-Star game.
As the fellow All-Stars prepare to enter their first full season together, Davis said Cousins is trying to adapt and further develop his game. Coaches and teammates have complemented Cousins this summer on how he looks after committing to a conditioning program than has helped him shed some weight and improve his endurance.
“We know we’re going to be the big focal points on every team’s scouting report, so we just wanted to get together and work at it together and figure out the things we like to do,” Davis said. “He’s trying to adapt. He wants to win for sure and we didn’t have that much time last year. … He’s trying to do whatever the team asks him to do.”
Davis said he’s supposed to meet with new assistant coach Chris Finch soon to start discussing the offensive scheme he envisions when New Orleans’ top two front-court stars are playing together. Finch could be a good fit because of his recent experience on Denver’s staff helping versatile young big men Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic play effectively as teammates.
Davis said the Pelicans want to emulate “how they ran their offensive package with those two bigs who are very skilled.”
Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer has been traded to Orlando City for what could be a Major League Soccer-record $1.6 million.
Orlando traded $900,000 in guaranteed allocation money plus more based on performance in the deal for Dwyer, who recently got his first call-up for the U.S. national team after becoming a citizen.
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes praised Dwyer for his play on the field and for being a “tremendous ambassador” for the team.
“How do we replace Dom? I don’t know that we do. Go find another player maybe that gives you other strengths that you can work with. But tremendous player and a great guy for our club and that’s not going to be easy to replace,” Vermes said in a conference call Tuesday after the trade was announced.
Vermes added: “At the same time this is an incredible resource to help us navigate the salary cap over the next so many years.”
Dwyer was selected by Kansas City in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. He ranks second on the team with five goals this season, and he’s scored 57 goals over 128 games for his MLS career.
He scored in his national team debut against Ghana this month. He also scored against Panama in the opening game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
MLS says the previous record was Orlando’s trade of Kevin Molino to Minnesota United for $650,000 in allocation money.
“Our group has worked hard to find potential additions to the Club and we are thrilled to finalize this deal and add an important piece to the roster in Dom,” Orlando City CEO Alex Leitao said in a statement. “Dom is a fantastic player who recently gave us a glimpse of what he is capable of with the U.S. Men’s National Team and will keep doing so with the Club and at the MLS All-Star game next week.”
Dwyer, 26, is married to women’s national team forward Sydney Leroux, who plays for FC Kansas City of the National Women’s Soccer League. The couple lives with their infant son Cassius in the Kansas City area.
Dwyer and Leroux are the first husband-and-wife duo to each score for the U.S. national soccer team. They are just the fourth married couple to play for the United States, joining Jim Gabarra and Carin Jennings, Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan and Zach Loyd and Casey Nogueira. Egan’s only goal was in 1993, four years before she married Reyna.
Born in England, Dwyer came to the U.S. as a college student, playing at Tyler Junior College in Texas before transferring to South Florida for the 2011 season. He was the 16th overall pick for Sporting Kansas City in the 2012 draft and has 67 career goals across all competitions for Sporting KC.
He became a U.S. citizen in March, paving the way to a spot on the national team.
Vermes said he was confident that the incentives that bring the deal to $1.6 million would be met.
He said he could not comment specifically on reports that Sporting was trying to bring back striker Krisztian Nemeth, who reportedly wants to return to MLS. Kansas City would have to acquire the top allocation spot from the Columbus crew.
Vermes emphasized the roster is fluid and the team is always looking at players.
“The question is whether or not we’ll be able to get a deal done in short term or if it is going to be in the next window,” he said.
One week after his arrest in a corruption probe, Angel Maria Villar’s three-decade reign of the Spanish Football Federation came to an end on Tuesday when he was suspended from its presidency.
Villar, FIFA’s senior vice president, has been behind bars since police detained him, his son Gorka Villar, and two other football officials during police raids of the national federation headquarters and other properties.
Seeing no sign that Villar was willing to step down from the post he has held since 1988, Spain’s government decided to remove him in an attempt to limit the damage done to the national sport.
The country’s top sports authority, the Higher Council of Sport, met on Tuesday in Madrid and ruled to suspend Villar for one year pending the outcome of the investigation that has rocked Spanish soccer. Court documents indicate that besides misappropriated funds, Villar allegedly corrupted several regional federations by offering favors in exchange for votes.
Council president Jose Ramon Lete said the 14-member board voted unanimously to suspend Villar and federation vice president of economic affairs Juan Padron, also arrested in the Civil Guard’s “Operation Soule.” Lete said the one-year suspensions could be revised “depending on the facts that come out.”
The federation will hold a general assembly on Wednesday to determine how it will go forward without its longtime boss who oversaw Spain winning the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European Championships.
Lete also said the council decided it will request to take part in the case as an injured party, joining the Spanish league.
The scandal also has repercussions for football beyond Spain’s borders. Beside his important role at FIFA, Villar is also a UEFA vice president and has been at the heart of both governing bodies since the 1990s. He has worked closely with international soccer leaders who have since been indicted by the U.S. Justice Department, and was singled out for questionable conduct in the 2014 FIFA report on the World Cup bidding process.
Villar was denied bail last Thursday and transferred from a police jail to the Soto del Real prison after being questioned by National Court judge Santiago Pedraz, who cited flight risks after detailing how Villar allegedly misappropriated private and public funds “at least since 2009.”
In a 44-page ruling that included several quotes from phone taps carried out by police, Pedraz detailed why state prosecutors allege that Villar used his influence as federation president to funnel private and public funds into regional federations in exchange for votes to remain in power for eight consecutive terms.
The state prosecutor also suspects Villar used his control of the television rights for Spain’s friendly matches to secure economic benefits for his son Gorka, a sports lawyer who has worked for CONMEBOL under three presidents who were all implicated in corruption cases.
Also arrested last week was the secretary of the regional federation of Tenerife, Ramon Hernandez. Judge Pedraz denied bail to Gorka Villar and Padron, while setting bail for Hernandez at 100,000 euros ($116,000).
The 67-year-old Villar, a former Athletic Bilbao player, and the other three men are accused of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents.
Spain’s minister of education, culture and sport Inigo Mendez de Vigo said last week the government was prepared to take charge of the operations of the federation to ensure that competition was not affected. The government has yet to take that step.
The federation is in charge of the national men’s and women’s national teams, the Copa del Rey, setting the calendars of the club competitions, and the appointment of referees, among other areas. It does not run the top two divisions of the Spanish men’s league nor the women’s league, which are governed by La Liga.
SOUTHPORT, England (AP) — Three down, one to go for Jordan Spieth.
Only it’s not always that simple.
Spieth only has to wait three weeks until he gets his first crack at the career Grand Slam at the PGA Championship. He won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, and he added the British Open with his furious finish at Royal Birkdale.
Of the five players who have won the career Grand Slam, no one has ever completed it at the PGA Championship.
Gene Sarazen got the final leg at the 1935 Masters before anyone knew what the professional Grand Slam was. Ben Hogan might be the most impressive of the quintet — he won the only British Open he played. Gary Player completed the slam in the 1965 U.S. Open, while Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods got it at the British Open.
“It’s a life goal of mine,” Spieth said.
His hope is that it doesn’t take a lifetime, and he only has to consider Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson.
Palmer captured the third leg when he won the British Open in 1961. He played the PGA Championship 34 more times without winning. He was a runner-up three times, trailing by one shot going into the final round in 1964 (won by Bobby Nichols) and two shots going into the final round in 1968 (won by Julius Boros).
Watson got the third leg in the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. He played 24 more times in the PGA Championship, two in a more ceremonial position as the Ryder Cup captain and had his best chance in 1993 at Inverness. He started the final round one shot behind Greg Norman but closed with a 72 and finished four shots behind.
His only runner-up finish was a lost opportunity that came back to haunt him. Watson led wire-to-wire at Oakmont in 1978 until closing with a 73 and losing in a playoff to John Mahaffey, who started the last day seven shots behind.
Spieth turns 24 on Thursday.
“He’s going to play in 30 more PGAs the rest of his life,” caddie Michael Greller said. “He’s just won a major. That’s what we talked about in ’15 when we won the Masters. There’s absolutely no pressure on him.”
Spieth already has one runner-up in the PGA Championship, two years ago at Whistling Straits, when he started two shots behind Jason Day and couldn’t catch up.
He is among three active players who are one major away from the career Grand Slam.
Phil Mickelson won his third at the British Open in 2013 at Muirfield, leaving him only the U.S. Open. Since then, Mickelson finished 15 shots out of the lead at Pinehurst No. 2, 18 shots out of the lead at Chambers Bay and he missed the cut at Oakmont. He didn’t play the U.S. Open this year.
Rory McIlroy won the third leg at the British Open in 2014, his second straight major. He has had three top 10s in the Masters, the major he lacks for the Grand Slam, though he has never seriously contended. McIlroy has finished six shots behind each of the last three years at Augusta National.
How will Spieth respond at Quail Hollow in North Carolina when the PGA Championship starts on Aug. 10? One consideration is how he viewed his four-shot lead at the Masters that he converted into a green jacket.
“A huge monkey off the back,” Spieth said a few weeks ago about getting his first major. “The longer you go without is making each one harder. Look at DJ (Dustin Johnson) before he won, or Sergio (Garcia). Recognizing I was so young, you don’t get opportunities like that.”
THE ROOKIE: Xander Schauffele’s fortunes sure have changed in the last month.
The PGA Tour rookie from San Diego had missed six cuts in 11 events this year and had not cracked the top 20. And then he earned the final qualifying spot for the U.S. Open in a playoff, and golf has never been more fun.
He tied for fifth in the U.S. Open, and that was just the start of his remarkable run. Mostly because of his victory in the Greenbrier Classic, he has gone over $2.3 million for the season and is No. 27 in the FedEx Cup. He is coming off a tie for 20th in the British Open after closing with a 65 and gets a week off before going to the Bridgestone Invitational for his first World Golf Championship.
“I guess I’m supposed to believe it because we put a lot of time into this — so has everyone else — but yeah, it’s hard to believe,” Schauffele said.
That thrusts him into a crowd field of candidates for rookie of the year. Usually a winner has the advantage, except that Schauffele is among five rookies to have won. That includes Grayson Murray, who won the Barbasol Championship held opposite the British Open.
“When you’re playing well, it’s more fun,” Schauffele said. “I also find fun in the dirty when you’re not playing so great. But I’d rather be hitting where I am now than where I was four weeks ago.”
FIRST TO THREE: Jordan Spieth, Jack Nicklaus and Gene Sarazen are the only players to win three majors at age 23 or younger. Sarazen won his third when he was 21.
Sarazen played his first U.S. Open when he was 18. Spieth joined the PGA Tour when he was 19.
The Masters was still 14 years away from being created when Sarazen turned pro in 1920, and he didn’t go to the British Open until 1924. With only two majors played, Sarazen reached three titles in his seventh major.
Nicklaus won his third major on his eighth try, while Tiger Woods picked up his third title in 13 majors.
Spieth is right behind with three victories in 18 majors, followed by Rory McIlroy, who earned his third major in 23 attempts as a pro.
DIVOTS: Henrik Stenson’s 63 in the final round at Royal Troon last year was 9.8 strokes better than the field average. Branden Grace’s 62 was 7.026 shots better than the average score in the third round at Royal Birkdale, while Li Haotong’s 63 in the final round was 7.13 shots lower than the field average. … The nine players who have won at Royal Birkdale have combined for 37 majors in their careers. All were multiple major champions except for Ian Baker-Finch, whose victory in 1991 was his only major. … Six players have gone over $1 million this year on the PGA Tour Championship. Four players have gone over $1 million on the LPGA Tour. The PGA Tour already had had 95 players go over $1 million this season. … Players in their 20s have won the last eight tournaments on the PGA Tour.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Amy Yang is the only player to finish in the top 10 at all three LPGA majors this year. She tied for eighth in the ANA Inspiration and U.S. Women’s Open, and she tied for fourth in the KPGA Women’s PGA Championship.
FINAL WORD: “I don’t know why I can’t make it a little more boring sometimes.” — British Open champion Jordan Spieth.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — There’s going to be a whole lot of Love at the Wyndham Championship.
Tournament director Mark Brazil said Tuesday that Dru Love received a sponsor’s exemption to next month’s event and will join his father — three-time winner Davis Love III — in the field.
The two Loves played The Greenbrier Classic and the Barbasol Championship together, and Davis Love III caddied for his son at the U.S. Open.
The Love family has strong ties to the Greensboro-based tournament. Davis Love Jr. played here four times from 1959-68 and Davis Love III counts victories here in 1992, 2006 and 2015 among his 21 career wins.
Dru Love is in his first year as a professional after playing college golf at Alabama.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Team Penske has locked up 2012 NASCAR Cup champion Brad Keselowski with a multiyear extension.
The 33-year-old Keselowski has driven for Penske throughout his 10-year career in NASCAR’s top series, notching 23 wins and the series title five years ago. His crew chief with the No. 2 Ford, Paul Wolfe, has also agreed to a multiyear extension with Penske. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed Tuesday.
“In the time that Brad has driven for Team Penske, he has risen to the top echelon of stars in NASCAR,” owner Roger Penske said Tuesday. “Brad and Paul have established a terrific, winning combination and they are both real leaders within our team.”
Keselowski has two Cup wins so far this season, at Atlanta and Martinsville, and is sixth in the points standings.
“We’ve made some great progress so far. Sure, it’s human nature to look around, and take a look at your neighbors’ houses. Maybe there are some with patches of grass that look better from a distance. Maybe there are others that look a little worse,” Keselowski wrote on his blog. “I like our house. I was very interested in just sticking around and watering my own grass.”
He also denied he talked with anyone at Hendrick Motorsports about taking over for the retired Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season in the No. 88.
“I never had any conversations or talks with anyone about it, but I always assumed that the possibility was there,” Keselowski wrote on his blog. “I could see how it would make sense to fans, too. I drove for Dale in the past, so there’s a relationship and a legacy that goes along with that. And the 88 car is an elite ride. There’s a deep connection that the 88 has had and is going to have with fans, and I think anyone would have been proud to extend that history in some small way.
“But at the end of the day, remaining loyal to Roger Penske was important to me, and the opportunity with Team Penske outweighed the opportunity to take over for Dale.”
Keselowski joined Penske near the end of the 2009 season and Wolfe joined him prior to the 2010 Xfinity Series season. They won the 2010 Xfinity drivers’ championship with six wins and a series-record 26 top-five finishes. Wolfe then joined Keselowski on the No. 2 and they have earned six trips to the NASCAR playoffs.
“There is no one I want helping make my racecars go fast more than Paul Wolfe,” Keselowski said. “We have a lot of continuity between the two of us, and really the entire No. 2 Ford team, which is so important in today’s NASCAR.”
Keselowski, a native of Rochester Hills, Michigan, is tied with Ricky Rudd for 33rd on the career wins list.
“Brad’s been a great teammate for the last four or so years for me,” Penske driver Joey Logano said. “He’s an outside-the box-thinker, which you’ve got to have a few of those in the mix.”
Penske signed Logano, the 2015 Daytona 500 champion, to an extension earlier this year that runs through 2023. With Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing also experiencing major lineup shifts the last few years, Penske has found stability in Logano and Keselowski.
“Any time you have a new teammate, it takes a year or so to get on track,” Logano said. “Having Brad sign on for some time is a good thing.”
Penske could be close to a decision on what to do with Ryan Blaney in 2018. Blaney is under contract to Penske and has been farmed out this season to race for The Wood Brothers. Blaney won his first career Cup race this year at Pocono and could return to the Penske fold next year.
“I’d be all right with it, obviously,” Logano said. “We already kind of feel like we have that (teammate) in a way, even though it is under The Wood Brothers name. It still feels very close in the way we’ve structured the deal.”
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. has long reigned as NASCAR’s most popular driver. But he thinks too many of his fans have started airing in 140-character bursts a most unpopular opinion — that crew chief Greg Ives should take the blame for the No. 88’s struggles this season.
Not so fast.
“We’ve had a difficult year and there’s just been a little rumbling in the background from fans,” Earnhardt said Tuesday. “They just love to target the crew chief. Our struggles are no one individual’s responsibility. I think me and my crew chief, we have such a very passionate fan base, very large fan base, it’s a challenging position for anybody. I’ve seen that, with all the guys that I’ve worked with. They’ve all had to deal with criticism.”
Ives, in his third season with Earnhardt, was criticized during the Brickyard 400 for his decision to send the No. 88 to the pits even though it was good on fuel before the end of the second stage. Had Earnhardt stayed out, he would have come off a restart inside the top five. Instead, he was 24th and soon wrecked out of the race when he connected with Trevor Bayne. Earnhardt’s crew also struggled with lug nuts on one pit stop that cost him several spots in the field.
Earnhardt, who is retiring after the season, shut down criticism of the team on Twitter, where he has 2.1 million followers, writing, “He never gave up on me. We’re a tight group and will finish together.”
“Maybe Twitter ain’t the place to be drawing attention to things like that,” Earnhardt said. “You just hear enough chatter over the course of a long period of time. It wasn’t something that just happened that particular weekend. Sometimes you feel like you’ve got to stand up for your guys. At least let Greg know, it’s not OK I guess, to be a fan, then dog the crew.”
Earnhardt’s final season at Hendrick Motorsports has been more dud than dominant, and Indy was the fifth time this season he has crashed out of a race. Earnhardt has just four top-10 finishes and is 22nd in the standings — his worst full-season performance since 2009. He’ll need to win one of the next six races to end his Cup career with any shot at racing in NASCAR’s postseason and winning his first championship.
Earnhardt says he’s healthy and isn’t focused on his shift into the NBC Sports broadcast booth next season. Earnhardt said negotiations began after he decided to leave racing and continued for several months before the two sides agreed to the deal in the past few days.
“I think that’s what they hired me for, was to be myself and give my point of view,” he said.
And his point of view this week? Fans — and the media — need to pump the breaks on pointing fingers in Earnhardt’s woeful season.
“We’ve had some pretty difficult results and had a lot of opportunity to be frustrated and miserable,” he said. “But I don’t want this season to be remembered by my crew chief, myself and my guys as a miserable, miserable time. The fans have an influence on that. They can definitely ease up a bit on Greg and realize that he’s extremely talented. He’s in that position for a reason.”
Earnhardt, who spoke at a Goodyear tire test at Dover International Speedway, is off this weekend to Pocono Raceway, where he swept two races in 2014. There’s little time to worry about the Brickyard.
“I’ve had a lot of bad finishes in my career,” he said. “But I can’t remember anything about those and I probably won’t remember much about this season, a couple years down the road. What happened in Indy will be long forgotten. I try not to dwell on it too much like I used to. I used to let it eat me alive until we got back to the track.”
Earnhardt, 42, is excited about his future at NBC. The agreement with NBCUniversal announced Monday will allow Earnhardt to pursue “a wide range of opportunities in the company’s media businesses, including movies, television, podcasts, and other areas” including football and perhaps even the Olympics.
Earnhardt said he might pattern part of his new job after broadcasters he admired, including greats Barney Hall, Ken Squier and Benny Parsons.
“I’m green as heck,” Earnhardt said.
He will watch next season with a headset as Ives tries to steer replacement Alex Bowman to better days in the 88. Asked if he had any second thoughts about retirement, Earnhardt was quick to say no.
“It’s easy to focus on the race. It’s hard to focus on the distractions,” he said. “There are responsibilities outside the car. There’s a lot more this year. It seems like they’ve always kind of escalated each year. It’s harder to focus on that stuff. That stuff does deserve some time and energy. It’s a little harder to do that and do it right because you want to make sure the racing is getting everything it needs.”
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Investigators believe a truck driver accused in the deaths of 10 people found inside a packed, sweltering tractor-trailer is just one member of a larger organization involved in human smuggling that they are looking to identify and dismantle, a U.S. immigration official said Tuesday.
Some of the 29 identified survivors have told authorities they hired smugglers who brought them across the U.S. border, loaded some of them onto trucks that took them to the tractor-trailer, and marked them with different colored tape to identify them to various smugglers who would be picking them up after the tractor-trailer reached its destination.
“We’re certainly not stopping at looking at the driver. We’re trying to investigate and identify the different cogs, the stash houses, the other members, where the money came from,” Shane Folden, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office in San Antonio, told The Associated Press.
The driver, James Matthew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Florida, is facing charges of illegally transporting immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death. Bradley could face the death penalty. Authorities allege he drove a trailer full of immigrants from South Texas that was discovered in the parking lot of a Walmart in San Antonio early Sunday morning.
Folden said charging Bradley is just the first step in the case as investigators work to find others involved in the scheme, including those responsible for facilitating money transfers and bringing the immigrants across the border.
“The ultimate goal is to dismantle the complete organization. You don’t get there by only focusing on one aspect. You have to look at potential targets and potential related locations, both north and south,” he said.
U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar from Texas said he was informed by law enforcement the tractor-trailer had cleared a Border Patrol checkpoint 29 miles north of the border on Interstate 35 near Laredo. Cuellar said he didn’t know whether the immigrants were loaded into the truck before or after it crossed the checkpoint.
U.S. authorities are still trying to determine how many people were inside the tractor-trailer because some fled before police arrived, Folden said.
Thirteen people who rode in the trailer remained hospitalized Tuesday in San Antonio, said ICE spokesman Greg Palmore. He declined to say how many were critical or in life-threatening condition. Officials say at least 29 people survived the smuggling attempt.
Delmin Darío López Colomo, 23, a Guatemalan survivor who remains hospitalized, said the migrants in the tractor-trailer were delivered by various different smugglers, according to Cristy Andrino, the consul of Guatemala in McAllen, Texas.
Adan Lara Vega, 27, a migrant from Mexico who survived the smuggling attempt, told the AP on Monday that they boarded the truck on a Laredo street Saturday night for the two-hour trip to San Antonio. He said the trailer was already full of people, but it was so dark he couldn’t tell how many.
At least some of the survivors are likely to become witnesses and receive consideration to remain in the United States to testify, Folden said.
It’s likely that most if not all of the survivors will be allowed to stay in the country to help authorities in their investigation, said Jeff Vaden, a former federal prosecutor who helped oversee the prosecution of a 2003 smuggling attempt in Victoria, Texas, in which 19 people died.
Many of the more than 50 immigrants who survived that attempt “were able to identify the people who harbored them or transported them or to whom they paid or spoke. That’s what enabled the government to put together the larger smuggling case above just the driver. Just like in any crime, the victims are critical witnesses,” said Vaden, who now is a partner at the Houston law firm of Bracewell LLP.
Jacob Monty, an immigration lawyer in Houston, said the help the survivors give to authorities could “lead to permanent residency.”
The driver, Bradley, remained jailed on Tuesday. He had his commercial driving privileges for a truck driver suspended by Florida three months before Sunday’s deadly smuggling attempt, officials said Tuesday.
Court records show that Bradley had been cited repeatedly for violating federal motor carrier safety regulations in Iowa dating back to 1995. At least two of the tickets were for logging more hours than allowed.
Federal regulators said they are also conducting an investigation into an Iowa trucking company whose name was on the trailer. Brian Pyle, owner of Pyle Transportation, said the trailer had been sold on May 10 to an individual in Mexico and Bradley was working as an independent contractor to drive it to Brownsville, Texas, to carry out the sale.
It’s unclear what will happen to one of the migrants who died, identified as 19-year-old Frank Guisseppe Fuentes.
His parents, who live in Maryland and are in the U.S. illegally, haven’t yet told Guatemalan officials what they want done with his body, and may fear agents could come after them if they claim their son, Andrino said.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Inmates at a Kansas prison housing some of the state’s most dangerous criminals twice took control of the prison yard for hours in recent months, setting a fire, trying to create barricades and breaking into a security office, in mass disturbances not previously disclosed by corrections officials, according to prison guards who spoke to The Associated Press.
Two corrections officers and a third person who could see the emergency logs as the disturbances unfolded spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they fear reprisals from their employer. They said low staffing, work shifts of up to 16 hours, and prison overcrowding have created dangerous conditions for guards at the El Dorado (Dor-AY-doh) Correctional Facility.
The two previously undisclosed uprisings were during the week of May 8 and on June 24 — the second incident just days before a third disturbance on June 29 became public because inmates accessed a working cellphone while it unfolded and called relatives, the officers said. The Kansas Department of Corrections has downplayed the third disturbance as nonviolent with minimal damage.
But a corrections officer who was at the facility on June 29 told AP that inmates tore out security cameras, smashed windows, broke lockers and monitors for cameras. They also stole personal items belonging to guards. The disturbance involved between 60 and 80 offenders, and included two separate fights among inmates.
In response to an open records request from AP, the department said Tuesday that 11 discipline reports on inmates were written with alleged violations on June 29.
“The incident that happened on June 29 was actually started a couple months prior to that,” said Robert Choromanski, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, the union that represents prison employees, “There’ve been disturbances that have not been reported to the media before that date because the administration was very good at keeping everything hush-hush,” he said.
Kansas law requires an investigation and report to the Legislature on any inmate death and annual reports to lawmakers on serious crimes committed by offenders in the department’s custody.
In May, inmates took control of the prison yard for about six hours in an uprising after jail officials unsuccessfully tried to lock down the prison following an assault during which an inmate “sucker punched” a guard, the officers said. The inmates dragged weightlifting equipment to barricade the gate into the yard, but caused no significant damage.
On June 24, inmates again took control of the prison yard for hours and lit a plastic trash can on fire, the guards said. Inmates also broke into a security office where they took ballistic vests and empty mace cans.
That June 24 disturbance led prison administrators to make changes in the daily schedule, including not allowing inmates to take showers after their recreation time — the catalyst that set off the subsequent June 29 uprising, the officers said.
The two officers, one now employed at the prison and the other who has since left, said conditions have been deteriorating since Kansas officials began earlier this year transferring maximum-security inmates previously housed in segregation at the state’s oldest prison in Lansing to El Dorado, where guards have neither the training nor adequate facilities to handle them.
“The inmates are getting very restless and taking advantage of short staffing,” Choromanski said.
Corrections department spokesman Todd Fertig said in a short statement that the department has “balanced” its population of maximum-security inmates among its three largest prisons in Lansing in the Kansas City area, Hutchinson, northwest of Wichita, and El Dorado, 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Wichita.
Even before then, El Dorado housed inmates sentenced to die for multiple murders. The prison opened in 1991 and can house 1,511 inmates without double-bunking some cells. The prison housed 1,897 during the June 29 disturbance, or 25 percent above capacity. The number of inmates declined to 1,759 inmates by Friday.
Corrections Secretary Joe Norwood said in an emailed statement that the department has “the utmost concern for the health and wellbeing of both staff and offenders at all its facilities.”
But the guards told AP that the situation is so dangerous at El Dorado there has been an exodus of experienced staff quitting or taking early retirement. One-in-five of the 360 uniformed officer positions at El Dorado are vacant, the corrections department said.
To alleviate staff shortages at El Dorado, the department recently emptied a cell house and relocated those inmates to other prisons, Fertig said, freeing up 14 staff.
Fertig also said the department will have a couple of new classes of prison guards soon.
The department advertises corrections officer jobs as starting at $13.95 an hour, with 18-year-olds welcome to apply. The state workers’ union filed a grievance in mid-July saying that some El Dorado officers were being required to work 16-hour shifts — after the prison moved from 8-hour to 12-hour shifts.
Corrections department data shows an 82 percent surge in disciplinary cases at the El Dorado prison between March and June to 550 cases. That compares with an average of 207 disciplinary cases a month in 2016 and an average of 362 a month for 2017 through June.
The average number of cases per month also has risen at three other Kansas prisons, but by nowhere near as much as El Dorado. And the average has fallen at five other prisons.
Rep. Russ Jennings, the Republican chairman of the state House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, said that if the corrections department wants the Legislature to help deal with the mounting problems at prisons, “you’re going to have to be pretty open and honest about what’s going on.”
“It raises an eyebrow as to how open are you really being with what’s going on,” said Jennings, who led the Juvenile Justice Authority for four years.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mayor Betsy Hodges had barely begun explaining why she demanded the resignation of the Minneapolis police chief following another fatal officer-involved shooting when some of the protesters who backed her decision interrupted the news conference with an ominous warning.
“Bye bye, Betsy,” they chanted while waving signs that read, “You are next.”
Minneapolis was among several major cities where progressive politics were clashing with policing, even before the death of 40-year-old Justine Damond of Australia. The brighter spotlight on the city comes at an awkward time for Hodges, who is up for re-election in November against challengers charting more drastic responses to recent fatal police shootings.
“Politics are the last thing on my mind at a time when we have this tragedy,” Hodges said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, stressing that she’s working to improve police-community relations.
Damond was shot as she approached a squad car responding to her 911 call about a possible assault. Before she was asked to resign, police Chief Janee Harteau defended the training of Mohamed Noor, the Somali-American officer who fired the fatal shot.
Soft-spoken and deliberate, Hodges has approached the job as head of Minnesota’s most liberal city differently than her popular, crowd-surfing predecessor R.T. Rybak. A Bryn Mawr graduate with a knack for digesting big numbers and cranking out budgets, Hodges parlayed eight years on the city council to win the mayor’s office in 2013 after campaigning largely on reducing the city’s racial inequities.
Despite overseeing the creation of a new sick and family leave policy and a recently passed $15 minimum wage hike, much of her tenure has been defined by tension with the police department — including public clashes with Harteau and her ongoing efforts to improve it.
“The conversation about city leadership this year has already been about policing and … and public safety,” Hodges said. “That remains true and will remain true.”
A simple photo of Hodges and a black man pointing at each other consumed local politics for weeks in 2014 after a top-ranking police official suggested the pair were flashing gang signs and endangering officers; Hodges later blocked the promotion of that police lieutenant.
Those tensions exploded the following year when a Minneapolis officer shot and killed 24-year-old Jamar Clark, who was black, after what onlookers described as a struggle. Protesters surrounded the area’s police precinct for 18 days.
Hodges weathered critiques from all sides that she both oversaw a heavy-handed police response that swept the encampment away and allowed a lawless protest to fester for more than half a month. She’s been accused by community organizations of being unwilling to challenge law enforcement, and by the police themselves of handing the city’s reins off to advocacy groups who would rather dismantle the department altogether.
“This was about resurrecting a failing re-election campaign. That was the politics of the chief’s resignation,” said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.
The aftermath of fatal police shootings has spilled into politics in other cities.
Outrage over the 2014 shooting death of Chicago teenager Laquan McDonald powered Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s defeat last year and put mayor Rahm Emmanuel on defense. After heavy criticism for her handling of protests prompted by the 2015 death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake decided not to seek another term.
Hodges was spurred into politics by police violence. She cites the Los Angeles riots after a jury acquitted the officers charged with beating Rodney King in 1992 as her motivation. Since taking office, she’s pushed the Minneapolis police department to adopt new use-of-force guidelines that train officers to exhaust all other options before pulling a trigger. She spearheaded a body camera pilot project as a city councilor and oversaw its department-wide implementation last fall as mayor.
“There isn’t another mayor who has done more or invested more in changing policing in the 21st century than I have done,” she said.
She faced election pressures well before Damond’s death — much of it from more liberal factions. Among her challengers is the area’s former NAACP president who led weeks of anti-police violence protests after Clark’s death and a state lawmaker who responded to Damond’s shooting by calling to “disarm officers.”
University of Minnesota political science professor Larry Jacobs said Hodges’ challenge is less about her track record than her ability to promote it. He believes her when she says she’s not thinking about re-election – but he thinks that could wind up hurting her.
“She’s an inside player at a time when outside political skills are necessary. I’ve been looking for the political side to Betsy Hodges for months,” he said.
Local union president and ardent Hodges supporter Javier Morillo said Damond’s death, along with Clark’s in November 2015, is testing Hodges after she has raised what he called “the question of our time: How do police engage with community?
“We could have had a mayor who did not run on racial equity, did not run on body cams,” he said. “She raised the bar that she’s being judged by.”
ALGODONES, N.M. (AP) — Gunfire between an armed robbery suspect and New Mexico law enforcement officers Tuesday on Interstate 25 left a stolen truck and police vehicles shot up with bullet holes but no one was injured, a New Mexico State Police spokeswoman said.
Lt. Elizabeth Armijo said at least one State Police officer and at least one Santa Fe County sheriff’s deputy returned fire when the suspect shot at pursuing police vehicles on southbound I-25 north of Albuquerque.
The suspect was taken into custody after stopping on the freeway in Algodones, which is 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Albuquerque, she said.
The pursuit began just south of Santa Fe when a sheriff’s deputy spotted a pickup stolen earlier Tuesday morning during an armed robbery at a business in southern San Miguel County, Armijo said.
The pursuing officers returned fire because the suspect’s gunfire was putting their lives and the public in danger and needed to be taken into custody, Armijo said.
“It was a very threatening situation. The officers felt threatened. Their lives were in danger,” she said. “We are thankful we were able to take him into custody without any injuries.”
State police investigating the armed robbery had put out a bulletin alerting other law enforcement officers to look for the stolen truck, which was spotted about 90 minutes after the holdup, Armijo said.
Armijo told reporters at the scene the suspect was Lane Reed, a Texan in his mid- 20s. She did not immediately respond to a request for information on his hometown and possible criminal charges.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Many high schools in New Mexico’s four largest cities continue to struggle with upper-level math and reading tests, according to new results released this week.
An analysis by The Associated Press of test score data showed a majority of high school students in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe combined didn’t score proficient or better in math and reading in 2017.
While some high schools in the four cities have proficiency rates above the state average, others have meager rates.
At Highland High School in Albuquerque, for example, only 20 percent of 11th graders tested proficient in reading. About 33 percent of students in the same grade tested proficient or better in reading at West Mesa High School on Albuquerque’s Westside.
Rio Rancho high schools had some of the best 11th-grade reading scores in the state with nearly 70 percent of 11th graders testing proficient. But around 75 percent still didn’t test proficient in Geometry and Algebra II.
Statewide, 43 percent of 11th graders tested proficient or better in reading. Around 16 percent were proficient in geometry and 15 percent were proficient in Algebra II.
This week, state officials unveiled results from assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC. The results showed small gains statewide in reading but a tiny drop in math. Still less than a third of all New Mexico students are proficient.
The tests, administered by New Mexico and other states, are designed to show how well schools helped students from grades 3 to 11 meet Common Core standards.
New Mexico Education Secretary Christopher Ruszkowski said he was concerned about the test scores in Albuquerque Public Schools, especially since it is the largest district in the state and influences overall state numbers.
Ruszkowski said the school district has not taken up an offer by state officials to help the district’s struggling schools by pairing up teachers and principals from schools with higher test scores. He said state education officials will extend the offer again next month during a scheduled meeting.
“It’s up to the leadership of APS,” Ruszkowski said.
Albuquerque Public Schools Superintendent Raquel Reedy called the PARCC scores “perplexing.”
“Whether in the unique urban school district of Albuquerque Public Schools or the smaller towns of New Mexico, too many students aren’t testing at levels we want to see,” Reedy said. “We all need to work on improving.”
The PARCC exams have come under criticism from teachers unions since they are used as part of New Mexico’s teacher evaluations.
Betty Patterson, National Education Association New Mexico president, said the tests are based on a narrowly prescribed curriculum and linked to specific grade levels. She said they are not a good way to judge student or teacher success.