Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Delonte West Was Temporarily Homeless

Written by: Ben Maller

Jeremy Lin's sleeping on his brother's sofa doesn't sound nearly as bad after hearing about one veteran player's housing nightmare. Delonte West is quite possibly the first active NBA player to be without a home during a season. The Mavericks guard tells the Dallas Morning News that after arriving in the Lone Star State he couldn't find a place to stay, so he spent nights sleeping in the Mavs locker room and even in his car.
Let us explain.

West suffers from bipolar disorder, which causes extreme mood swings. In 2009, he was pulled over near his Maryland home on a three-wheeled Cam-Am Spyder motorcycle, and police found a 9mm Beretta pistol, .357 Magnum and a Remington 870 in a guitar case. West pleaded guilty to weapons and traffic charges, but was able to avoid jail; instead he got electronic monitoring and supervised probation and counseling.

Additionally, West was dealing with the end of his four-month marriage. He feels his mental disorder is at least partially responsible for both his personal and legal problems. "I've watched contracts go out the window, endorsements disappear, court fees, lawyer fees, divorce fees," he told the Morning News. "You watch the saving account just shoop ... shoop ... shoop ... shoop -- slowly disappear."
West had to sell vehicles, jewelry and "just about everything I own, except for my house and the clothes on my back," he told the Dallas Morning News.

After joining the Mavericks, the team gave him a hotel room during a very brief training camp. However, once the regular season got started, NBA salary cap rules blocked the team from providing housing for West. He said he tried to rent apartments around North Texas but failed, because they were either too expensive or he wasn't allowed because of his legal troubles.
So West would get a hotel room when the Mavericks were on the road, but when they came back to Dallas late after road trips, he had no place to stay. So rather than getting a hotel room for just a few hours, he would sleep in the American Airlines Center locker room area or park his truck in the arena players garage and rest.

West told the Morning News his outrageous living situation didn't last long after his boss found out about it. "Soon as Mr. Cuban heard about that, he made one phone call and everybody was lining up to rent me an apartment," West laughed. "They were calling back saying, 'Hey, we've got the penthouse suite for you.'"

The Mavericks are paying West $854,389 this season, while three therapists help him deal with his bipolar disorder.
West also wants to finally end vicious rumors that he had a sexual relationship with Cavs teammate LeBron James' mom, Gloria during the 2010 postseason. "It's affected me," West told the Morning News. "Everywhere I go, first question, 'Don't tell me you did that.'

"If we want to continue to grow as a human race, what are we teaching our kids if we try to make humor and fun out of stuff like that?” West said of the rumor. "Number one, something like that never happened. I don’t know where they got that from. For a strong black woman like that, for people to try to tear her down, that’s terrible. That’s terrible in so many ways."
On the court, West is averaging 8.3 points, 3.4 assists and 2.5 rebounds in 29 game for Dallas.

Chardon High School Shooting: Second Student Dies as Alleged Gunman Is Identified

An Ohio State highway patrol helicopter leaves the grounds of Chardon High School as students leave the area in Chardon

A second victim of the teenage student who allegedly opened fire at Chardon High School in Ohio has died.
Russell King, Jr., 17, was pronounced brain dead at 12:42 a.m. at Ohio's MetroHealth Medical Center, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.
The alleged shooter who killed two and wounding three others has been identified as T.J. Lane, according to a fellow student who witnessed the incident and ABC News' Cleveland affiliate WEWS.
The attack left "friends laying all over the place" in puddles of blood, one student told ABC News.
Nate Mueller, a junior at the school, was having breakfast with three friends when he heard a loud pop like a firecracker about 7:45 a.m., he told ABC News.
A friend yelled, "Duck" and Mueller told ABC News he turned to see fellow student Lane standing by his table. Mueller said Lane took a second shot and saw a friend get hit.
"He was over the table in a pool of blood," Mueller said, and another pal "was on the floor in a puddle of blood next to him."
A third friend "had not been hit yet as I jumped over him," Mueller said.
Mueller got on the floor and was trying to crawl away when a shot rang out and he felt a bullet graze his ear. He was not badly injured, he said, with just a small red mark left on his ear.
"It was terror. Everything had just gone tunnel vision, like, I need to get out of here," Mueller said. "You see glances of your friends laying all over the place. There's blood, there's people screaming, everybody's just running in different directions and you're just trying to get out. That's all you can do, get out of the school and not look back even though your friends are back there."
Two students were taken by ambulance to Hillcrest Hospital and three were taken by helicopter to MetroHealth Hospital, according to WEWS.
A student identified by MetroHealth Hospital as Daniel Parmertor died from the wounds Monday. His family released the following statement through the hospital:
"We are shocked by this senseless tragedy. Danny was a bright young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. The family is torn by this loss. We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Another students at MetroHealth Hospital is in critical condition, according to police.
Police have not officially identified Lane as the gunman, saying only that the shooter has not yet been charged and that he is a juvenile.
Mueller described Lane as "a quiet kid. Freshman year he got into a 'goth' phase and didn't talk to that many people anymore. He never egged anybody on. He just went about his business."
But Lane's family life had been disrupted by divorce and violence, WEWS reported. His parents divorced in 2002, and his father later served time in jail on assault and other charges, according to the station.
Classmates described Lane as a outcast who'd been bullied. In late December he posted a poem on his Facebook page that read: "He longed for only one thing, the world to bow at his feet," and ended ominously: "Die, all of you."
Lane allegedly opened fire with a handgun just before 8 a.m. in the school cafeteria where students were eating breakfast, authorities and witnesses said.
The shooter was chased out of the building by a teacher and later turned himself in to a passerby, authorities said.
The suspect is in custody at Geauga County Safety Center, according to WEWS.
"Our prayers go out to the five victims and their families," a choked up School Superintendent Joseph Bergant said at news conference. "It's a horrible tragedy."
In the wake of the shooting, perhaps in a sign of solidarity, many of Lane's classmates -- including many in the "friends" column on Lane's Facebook page -- had the Chardon High School "Hilltoppers" logo as their Facebook profile pictures.
Geauga County Sheriff Daniel McClelland praised the reaction to the shooting.
"A prompt entry was made into the school. They went into the school and located the victims. It became readily apparent that the shooter had fled already," McClelland said. "The individual was apprehended some distance from the school and had fled on foot."
The officer said police created a security perimeter to make sure the gunman could not return and a search, including a K-9 unit, was launched for the suspect.

Ohio High School Student Arrested in School Shooting

Parent Teresa Hunt told WEWS that she was texting with her daughter during the lockdown and her daughter said she heard five shots fired in the cafeteria about 7:30 a.m. Her daughter texted that students were scared and that four people had been shot.
Chardon student Evan Erasmus told WEWS that a student had tweeted that he was going to bring a gun to school, but that no one took him seriously.
The Chardon Fire Department was called to the school at about 7:45 a.m. in response to a report of "several people shot," according to Inspector William Crowley of the Chardon Fire Department.
Multiple law enforcement agencies, including a SWAT team, rushed to the school.
The superintendent immediately canceled classes at all schools in the district. Students who were still on school buses were being dropped back off at their homes and parents were called to pick up their children that were already at school.
The Chardon School District sent a voicemail to parents that schools are closed and high school students are being moved to the middle school, according to WEWS.
Parents received the following message:
"As of 9:00 AM the alleged sole CHS gunman is in custody and Chardon High School students are being moved by safety forces to Maple Elementary. Parents or legal guardians can pick up their students up any time. Chardon Middle School students are also being released to parents."
Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted around 9:30 a.m., "Pls pray for wounded Chardon HS students, their families, and their community; appears things under control now."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has eight agents on their way to the scene and they are expected to trace the firearm.
Chardon is a village in Geauga County, about 35 miles east of Cleveland.

Monday, February 27, 2012

8 Signs You Should Look for a New Job

Provided by

U.S. News

by Alison Green

All too often, people miss the signs that their job might be in jeopardy or that it's time for them to move on to something else. Whether it's an impending layoff or simply your own increasing unhappiness, here are eight signs that you should consider looking for another job.

1. Your company or division is struggling financially. If your employer is having financial troubles, and especially if you're hearing rumblings about layoffs, it makes sense to begin looking at your options. Remember, job searches can take a while--so even if you ultimately choose to stay where you are, you'll have given yourself a head start in case your job does end up in jeopardy.

2. You notice that you're getting a lot more feedback in writing. If your boss used to give you feedback in person and now she's putting criticism in emails, she may be creating a paper trail to build a case for firing you. Many companies require written documentation of problems and warnings before an employee is let go.

3. You've been miserable, angry, or bitter for months. Everyone has days when they feel like they hate their job, their coworkers, or their boss. But if that goes on month after month, it's a good sign that nothing is going to change and you should start looking for somewhere where you'll be happier.

4. It feels like your boss is always hassling you about something. If your boss feels that way too, there's a problem. Some people receive chronic critical feedback--because their work had chronic serious problems--but somehow, all they focus on is how they find it annoying to be "hassled" so much. They're missing the bigger picture and the ultimate point, which is that there are serious problems with their performance.

5. Your aspirations for your job don't match up with the reality. If you keep thinking that your job would be great if only X were different, it may be time to accept that X will never change. X might be your boss, or the work itself, or even your commute. Whatever it is, make your decisions about your job based on the reality you're dealing with, not on how you wish things were.

6. You imply that you're looking at other jobs and your boss doesn't seem to care. Smart bosses will try to move heaven and earth to keep a great employee, but they won't object when an employee who they consider mediocre is thinking about leaving.

7. Your boss shows no interest in your problems. If you approach your manager with concerns about not having enough resources to tackle that new project or about butting heads with the department down the hall, you want him to care. If he's unmoved, he may be signaling, "I'm not willing to change anything for you. If you want to make a change, it should be to a new job."

8. Your boss tells you. If you hear words like, "I need to see significant improvement," take them at face value. Many people block out these messages and then are blindsided when they're let go later on. If your boss tells you you're not meeting expectations, he's not kidding.
If you're getting signals that you're in danger of being fired, consider taking control of the situation by talking to your boss--and meanwhile, start looking around for other jobs. The worst thing you can do is to stay in denial.

Terrell Owens scores three touchdowns in Indoor Football League debut

The last time Terrell Owens scored three touchdowns in a professional football game was five years ago in a nationally-televised game played in front of 63,000 fans at sold-out Texas Stadium. In his return to the sport on Saturday night, the former NFL star matched that scoring feat on a much smaller scale.

The Dallas Cowboys star on his helmet was replaced with a curly W. The opposing team wasn't the hated Washington Redskins, but the alliterative Wichita Wild. And when T.O. celebrated in the end zone three times, he did it in front of 5,700 fans and a few hundred empty seats at the Allen Events Center.

T.O. made his Indoor Football League debut for the Allen Wranglers this weekend, catching three passes, all for touchdowns, in his first professional arena game. Though he was a drawing card for the team -- the 5,711 fans in attendance were said to be more than the team had for their entire home schedule last year -- the lack of sell-out must have been disconcerting for a team that had hoped to make Owens the must-see
ticket in town.

Catching passes from a quarterback making $225 per game (and $25 more for a victory), Owens looked at ease on the small, indoor field. He didn't catch a pass in the second half, but the three first-half TDs were enough to earn him player of the game honors.

There's no volume in the highlight package below, so I recommend syncing up the audio from the infamous "that's my teammate, that's my quarterback" clip with the video of his three touchdowns. It's like a TO version of "Dark Side of The Rainbow."

The last time Terrell Owens scored three touchdowns in a professional football game was five years ago in a nationally-televised game played in front of 63,000 fans at sold-out Texas Stadium. In his return to the sport on Saturday night, the former NFL star matched that scoring feat on a much smaller scale.
The Dallas Cowboys star on his helmet was replaced with a curly W. The opposing team wasn't the hated Washington Redskins, but the alliterative Wichita Wild. And when T.O. celebrated in the end zone three times, he did it in front of 5,700 fans and a few hundred empty seats at the Allen Events Center.
T.O. made his Indoor Football League debut for the Allen Wranglers this weekend, catching three passes, all for touchdowns, in his first professional arena game. Though he was a drawing card for the team -- the 5,711 fans in attendance were said to be more than the team had for their entire home schedule last year -- the lack of sell-out must have been disconcerting for a team that had hoped to make Owens the must-see ticket in town.
Catching passes from a quarterback making $225 per game (and $25 more for a victory), Owens looked at ease on the small, indoor field. He didn't catch a pass in the second half, but the three first-half TDs were enough to earn him player of the game honors.

There's no volume in the highlight package below, so I recommend syncing up the audio from the infamous "that's my teammate, that's my quarterback" clip with the video of his three touchdowns. It's like a TO version of "Dark Side of The Rainbow."

Owens has a 50 percent ownership stake in the team. The roster is largely made up of former college players, some fairly well-known (quarterback Bryan Randell broke passing records at Virginia Tech) and some less so (Doug Pierce, who lead the Wild in receptions, starred at the NAIA's Friends University).
The 38-year-old missed the 2011 NFL season with an injury. He is hoping to play his way back into the league for the upcoming season. It may be a tall order.
Cowboys Stadium is only 42 miles from Allen, Tex., but as Terrell Owens is quickly learning, it's a world away.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pressure builds for civilian drone flights at home

WASHINGTON (AP) — Heads up: Drones are going mainstream.
Civilian cousins of the unmanned military aircraft that have tracked and killed terrorists in the Middle East and Asia are in demand bypolice departments, border patrols, power companies, news organizations and others wanting a bird's-eye view that's too impractical or dangerous for conventional planes or helicopters to get.
Along with the enthusiasm, there are qualms.
Drones overhead could invade people's privacy. The government worries they could collide with passenger planes or come crashing down to the ground, concerns that have slowed more widespread adoption of the technology.
Despite that, pressure is building to give drones the same access as manned aircraft to the sky at home.
"It's going to be the next big revolution in aviation. It's coming," saysDan Elwell, the Aerospace Industries Association's vice president for civil aviation.
Some impetus comes from the military, which will bring home drones from Afghanistan and wants room to test and use them. In December, Congress gave the Federal Aviation Administration six months to pick half a dozen sites around the country where the military and others can fly unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of regular air traffic, with the aim of demonstrating they're safe.
The Defense Department says the demand for drones and their expanding missions requires routine and unfettered access to domestic airspace, including around airports and cities. In a report last October, the Pentagon called for flights first by small drones both solo and in groups, day and night, expanding over several years. Flights by large and medium-sized drones would follow in the latter half of this decade.
Other government agencies want to fly drones, too, but they've been hobbled by an FAA ban unless they first receive case-by-case permission. Fewer than 300 waivers were in use at the end of 2011, and they often include restrictions that severely limit the usefulness of the flights. Businesses that want to put drones to work are out of luck; waivers are only for government agencies.
But that's changing.
Congress has told the FAA that the agency must allow civilian and military drones to fly in civilian airspace by September 2015. This spring, the FAA is set to take a first step by proposing rules that would allow limited commercial use of small drones for the first time.
Until recently, agency officials were saying there were too many unresolved safety issues to give drones greater access. Even now FAA officials are cautious about describing their plans and they avoid discussion of deadlines.
"The thing we care about is doing that in an orderly and safe way and finding the appropriate ... balance of all the users in the system," Michael Huerta, FAA's acting administrator, told a recent industry luncheon in Washington. "Let's develop these six sites — and we will be doing that — where we can develop further data, further testing and more history on how these things actually operate."
Drones come in all sizes, from the high-flying Global Hawk with its 116-foot wingspan to a hummingbird-like drone that weighs less than an AA battery and can perch on a window ledge to record sound and video. Lockheed Martin has developed a fake maple leaf seed, or "whirly bird," equipped with imaging sensors, that weighs less than an ounce.
Potential civilian users are as varied as the drones themselves.
Power companies want them to monitor transmission lines. Farmers want to fly them over fields to detect which crops need water. Ranchers want them to count cows.
Journalists are exploring drones' newsgathering potential. The FAA is investigating whether The Daily, a digital publication of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., used drones without permission to capture aerial footage of floodwaters in North Dakota and Mississippi last year. At the University of Nebraska, journalism professor Matt Waite has started a lab for students to experiment with using a small, remote-controlled helicopter.
"Can you cover news with a drone? I think the answer is yes," Waite said.
The aerospace industry forecasts a worldwide deployment of almost 30,000 drones by 2018, with the United States accounting for half of them.
"The potential ... civil market for these systems could dwarf the military market in the coming years if we can get access to the airspace," said Ben Gielow, government relations manager for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry trade group.
The hungriest market is the nation's 19,000 law enforcement agencies.
Customs and Border Patrol has nine Predator drones mostly in use on the U.S.-Mexico border, and plans to expand to 24 by 2016. Officials say the unmanned aircraft have helped in the seizure of more than 20 tons of illegal drugs and the arrest of 7,500 people since border patrols began six years ago.
Several police departments are experimenting with smaller drones to photograph crime scenes, aid searches and scan the ground ahead of SWAT teams. The Justice Department has four drones it loans to police agencies.
"We look at this as a low-cost alternative to buying a helicopter or fixed-wing plane," said Michael O'Shea, the department's aviation technology program manager. A small drone can cost less than $50,000, about the price of a patrol car with standard police gear.
Like other agencies, police departments must get FAA waivers and follow much the same rules as model airplane hobbyists: Drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, stay below an altitude of 400 feet, keep away from airports and always stay within sight of the operator. The restrictions are meant to prevent collisions with manned aircraft.
Even a small drone can be "a huge threat" to a larger plane, said Dale Wright, head of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's safety and technology department. "If an airliner sucks it up in an engine, it's probably going to take the engine out," he said. "If it hits a small plane, it could bring it down."
Controllers want drone operators to be required to have instrument-rated pilot licenses — a step above a basic private pilot license. "We don't want the Microsoft pilot who has never really flown an airplane and doesn't know the rules of how to fly," Wright said.
Military drones designed for battlefields haven't had to meet the kind of rigorous safety standards required of commercial aircraft.
"If you are going to design these things to operate in the (civilian) airspace you need to start upping the ante," said Tom Haueter, director of the National Transportation Safety Board's aviation safety office. "It's one thing to operate down low. It's another thing to operate where other airplanes are, especially over populated areas."
Even with FAA restrictions, drones are proving useful in the field.
Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office in Colorado can launch a 2-pound Draganflyer X6 helicopter from the back of a patrol car. The drone's bird's-eye view cut the manpower needed for a search of a creek bed for a missing person from 10 people to two, said Ben Miller, who runs the drone program. The craft also enabled deputies to alert fire officials to a potential roof collapse in time for the evacuation of firefighters from the building, he said.
The drone could do more if it were not for the FAA's line-of-sight restriction, Miller said. "I don't think (the restriction) provides any extra safety," he said.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, north of Houston, used a Department of Homeland Security grant to buy a $300,000, 50-pound ShadowHawk helicopter drone for its SWAT team. The drone has a high-powered video camera and an infrared camera that can spot a person's thermal image in the dark.
"Public-safety agencies are beginning to see this as an invaluable tool for them, just as the car was an improvement over the horse and the single-shot pistol was improved upon by the six-shooter," said Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel, who runs the Montgomery drone program.
The ShadowHawk can be equipped with a 40 mm grenade launcher and a 12-guage shotgun, according to its maker, Vanguard Defense Industries of Conroe, Texas. The company doesn't sell the armed version in the United States, although "we have had interest from law-enforcement entities for deployment of nonlethal munitions from the aircraft," Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said.
The possibility of armed police drones someday patrolling the sky disturbs Terri Burke, executive director of the Texas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
"The Constitution is taking a back seat so that boys can play with their toys," Burke said. "It's kind of scary that they can use a laptop computer to zap people from the air."
A recent ACLU report said allowing drones greater access takes the country "a large step closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which focuses on civil liberties threats involving new technologies, sued the FAA recently, seeking disclosure of which agencies have been given permission to use drones. FAA officials declined to answer questions from The Associated Press about the lawsuit.
Industry officials said privacy concerns are overblown.
"Today anybody— the paparazzi, anybody — can hire a helicopter or a (small plane) to circle around something that they're interested in and shoot away with high-powered cameras all they want," said Elwell, the aerospace industry spokesman. "I don't understand all the comments about the Big Brother thing."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

J.R. Smith’s Chinese team fined him more than $1 million dollars

By Eric Freeman | Ball Don't Lie – Thu, Feb 23, 2012 7:48 PM
J.R. Smith reads a children's book to his Chinese fans (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty).
With J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin already back in the NBA and Aaron Brooks and Wilson Chandler soon to return, four players' lockout-inspired China Basketball Association adventures are essentially over. What once seemed like a good way to make money and increase international star power during an NBA break turned out to be a bit of a mess. Foreign stars are expected to do a lot overseas, and the expectations for notable NBA players were even higher. That things didn't work out perfectly was mostly due to a lack of communication and the cultural divide.
Yet to say that these players didn't get along with their teams equally is entirely wrong, because Smith broke all sorts of records for team-player animosity during his season with Zhejiang Chouzhou. In November, Smith raised the ire of the team when he handled an apparent knee injury in poor form — they even thought he was faking it. And while things appeared to improve once Stephon Marbury played peacemaker — yes, that really happened — it turns out the relationship between Smith and Zhejiang was strained until he left a few weeks ago.
In fact, they ended up fining him more than $1 million over the course of his employment. From Jon Pastuszek at NIUBBALL.com (via SLAM):
According to a report published by NetEase, Smith had US $1.06 million deducted from his salaryover the course of the season for missing practices. Most of the missed practices came during pre-season while his team, Zhejiang Chouzhou, was getting ready for the start of the regular season. The sum was deducted from his salary, a final number that represented about one-third of his total salary.
Zhejiang Chouzhou general manager, Zhao Bing, said that the team was simply enforcing a clause in Smith's signed contract and that the team gave him ample warning throughout.
"This was the arrangement when he came to the team," said Zhao. "Every practice we let him know. If he expressed to us that he wasn't going to come to practice, we'd tell him that in accordance with our contract, we're deducting money from your salary. And he'd always get back to us with, 'Whatever. If you're going to take it, then just take it.'"
The article adds that Zhao Bing repeatedly told J.R. about the seriousness of the situation, but that he continued with the attitude that it was an unimportant issue for him.
We can only assume that Smith missed practices to spend time with his pet panda, named "Brad Garrett" in honor of his favorite actor on "Everybody Loves Raymond."
It's no great surprise to hear that Smith was checked out mentally, since he hasn't exactly been the most focused or authority-friendly player in the NBA, either. Still, it's a little bizarre to think that he voluntarily lost one-third of his salary in a job that seemed valuable primarily for the money involved; it's not as if J.R. really loved playing for Zhejiang or feels a special debt to Chinese basketball. This gig was a paycheck gig, and yet he wasn't that interested in maximizing his paycheck. Where's the sense there?
Let this be yet another reminder that J.R. Smith defies expectations and explanations as a rule. This is the kind of guy he is. It makes him fascinating and frustrating in equal measures.

Nike Foamposite Galaxy shoe release causes rioting at a Florida mall

By Dylan Stableford | The Sideshow – Fri, Feb 24, 2012
Not again. In a situation reminiscent of the craziness that broke out in December when Nike released its retro version of a popular Air Jordan basketball shoe, police were called in late Thursday to break up a crowd that had gathered at the Florida Mall near Orlando in anticipation of the release of a new limited edition, glow-in-the-dark Nike shoe.
More than 100 officers in riot gear were needed to disperse several hundred people who law enforcement officials said became unruly as they waited for the $220 Nike Galaxy Air Foamposite Ones to go on sale. There were no arrests or injuries reported. The launch of the shoes were timed to coincide with this weekend's NBA All-Star Game festivities in Orlando. The game is on Sunday night.
A similar scene played out at a Washington, D.C.-area mall early Friday where fans waited to get the coveted Nike Foamposite Galaxy shoes. Police in Hyattsville, Md., made one arrest, as the crowd there was estimated at over 100.
Early Friday, Foot Locker announced that it was canceling the shoe's release at certain malls and stores. "Our priority is the safety of the community," Foot Locker said in a statement.
But Gionvanni Mecado, a 14-year-old from Kissimmee, Florida, told the Orlando Sun-Sentinel he's not buying the cancellation drama.
"I don't even believe them," Mercado told the paper.
Nike has had problems with riotous crowds before. In December, Nike's retro Air Jordans releasecaused fights to break out at malls across the country. In Seattle, cops used pepper spray to subdue what they said were unruly sneaker-heads.
"Mobs are one thing," Stephen Douglas wrote on TheBigLead.com. "Sneaker mobs are another. Nike needs to start making enough sneakers for everyone and stop releasing them at midnight."
See video of the sneaker-triggered melee below:

Friday, February 24, 2012

2013 Ferrari 620GT first photo leaks ahead of Geneva Motor Show

One of the big surprises from the upcoming Geneva Motor Show became a little less surprising today when a GTSpirit reader sent in this shot of the new 2013 Ferrari 620GT, which with an expected 740 hp from its 12-cylinder engine would be the most powerful Ferrari ever built for road use. Sleek, sinister or subpar?
Along with the photos come new and specific rumors of the grand tourer's performance -- namely, a 0-to-60 mph time of three seconds dead, thanks to the 740 hp engine mated to a seven-speed transmission pushing the rear wheels (no Ferrari FF four-wheel-drive here). It's always iffy to judge vehicle styling based on a grainy, underlit photo; a few online critics are already picking nits for some Aston Martin-esque details, but we'll reserve judgment until Ferrari gets on stage in Geneva.

Whitney’s Designer Clothes, Jewels Sparks Grave Robbing Fears

After it was revealed that pop princess Whitney Houston was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Newark, N.J.,wearing more than $500,000 worth of clothing and jewels, round-the-clock armed security guards were hired to watch over Houston’s grave site to protect it from obsessed fans seeking memorabilia and potential grave robbers, reports the Daily Star.

News of Houston’s extravagant burial attire was publicized by the National Enquirer who also published a picture of the diva lying in her coffin.  The published photo drew wide criticism.

Reportedly, Houston’s burial attire was selected by daughter Bobbi Kristina along with famed cousin Dionne Warwick, who searched through the late-singer’s closet and selected a cherished purple dress for her to wear.  The women also decided upon a pair of glittery gold slippers and agreed on donning Houston with $500,000 worth of jewelry.  Houston also wore a diamond broach, a gold and ruby crucifix necklace, and a $200,000 pair of diamond earrings that she purchased for herself with the earnings she amassed from her role in “The Bodyguard.” Houston was placed in a gold-lined casket that was reportedly worth tens of thousands of dollars.
An unidentified source told the Daily Star:
“There is a very genuine fear that her coffin will be targeted by grave robbers.  It would be hard for them to actually dig her casket up, but that won’t stop psychotic fans or people who think it could make them money.  The fact she was buried with such valuable jewelry is just an invitation to sickos.  It’s ironic that Whitney, who was most famous for ‘The Bodyguard’ movie when she was alive, has to have bodyguards even in death.”
According to experts, grave robbing is typically done by lower income people who are usually able to sell the goods that they steal on the black market. Since Houston’s burial, there has been droves of curious onlookers who have caused such overwhelming congestion and traffic that the cemetary was forced to close its gates indefinitely.  The decision to close will not, however, affect those families who have relatives already buried at the site.

Whitney Houston, 48, died earlier this month at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. She was found submerged in a bathtub. Autopsy results are pending, but there is speculation that her death could have been attributed to a lethal mix of prescription drugs and alcohol.

Bobby Brown Cashing In On Whitney’s Death With Tell-All Book?

Whitney Houston‘s body was just laid to rest this past Sunday, yet her ex, R&B singer Bobby Brown, looks to be using this tragedy as an opportunity to re-shop his tell-all book about their life together, according to the Huffington Post.

Apparently four years ago, Brown tried to shop around a book about his 15-year marriage to the legendary songstress, but there were no takers.  At the time, Houston’s career was in limbo and interest in her had diminished.

Since the mega-performer passed away, though, there is a renewed fascination regarding all things Houston and a tell-all is sure to add fuel to the fire.  A major publisher reportedly told the Huffington Post:
“…Following her tragic death, the market has changed. Now is the time for a book that details an honest look into the life of Whitney.”
But not so fast, Bobby!

Brown signed a confidentiality clause, when he divorced Houston back in 2007, that could hamper any book dreams he may allegedly have.  There is also the matter of the couple’s only child, Bobbi Kristina, and how a book such as this could affect her emotional state.
Famed Atlanta attorney to the stars, “Atlanta Housewives” reality star, and Brown’s former legal counsel Phaedra Parks told the Huffington Post, “Bobby loves all his children.  He would do anything to protect all his children.”

There are those in Houston’s camp, though, who are not so sure that Brown would totally turn away an opportunity to cash in on the death of his former love.

“This is a man who left his ex-wife’s funeral because he didn’t like his seats and went to a paying gig that night,” a friend of Houston tells the Huffington Post. “He didn’t get on stage that night because he needed to sing his greatest hits or because Whitney would have wanted him to entertain his fans, he did it to get a paycheck — the same reason he now wants to write a tell-all book.”
Brown, who seems to be hustling to make a dollar these days, isn’t as financially stable as he once was and the prospect of a tell-all could mean mega bucks.  Will he trade in his nuptial secrets for a dollar?  Will he take into consideration the impact that the book could have on his daughter, who is reportedly in a frail state after her mother’s death?
Stay tuned….

6 great smartphones that won’t cost you one single penny

$0 buys you a whole lot more phone than it used to

Smartphones are here to stay, and it's no surprise why. They connect us to Facebook, help us find directions to the office, take pictures, and can even let us connect our laptops to the internet from the side of the road. But they're just so darned expensive... or so you think.

You don't need to spend $300 or more just to get a great phone. We've put together a list of six great free smartphone options — they won't cost you anything but your signature (and, of course, a new contract). These phones aren't one-day-only deals, and they aren't refurbished models that someone's already had their fingerprints all over. They're absolutely free, absolutely new phones.
You don't need to know somebody who knows somebody to get these phones for free, but you do need to buy these online. Most carriers have special, online-only pricing. And if you're upgrading an old phone, be careful. Some carriers will charge you an upgrade fee if you're still under an old contract. What fun is a free phone if you have to pay a fee to get it?
iPhone 3GS1. AT&T: iPhone 3GS
Buy itApple
Think an Apple iPhone costs a lot of money? Wrong — the iPhone 3GS can be yours from AT&T, absolutely free. Sure, you don't get all the features of the new $199 iPhone 4S or even the $99 iPhone 4, but you still get the iPhone essentials: access to the app store, wifi, a decent 3-megapixel camera that can record video, GPS, and 8GB worth of storage. You can even upgrade the phone to iOS 5, Apple's latest operating system.
The iPhone 3GS isn't the new kid on the Apple block anymore. But you still get a great phone for your money — which, in this case, is zero dollars and zero cents.
LG Phoenix2. AT&T: LG Phoenix
Buy itAT&T
At times, it seems like there are two different kinds of people in the world: those who love Apple products, and those who revile them. If you're in the latter category, then you're definitely going to be in the market for an Android-powered smartphone. And while we're not sure why you'd want to get an Android phone on the restrictive AT&T network (you might be trapped by your contract, or maybe your dad is president of the company), if you're dead set on it, check out the LG Phoenix.
This smartphone isn't perfect — it does lack the ability to access the high-speed 4G LTE network. But you get plenty of phone otherwise. Its OS is upgradable to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), you get access to the ever-growing Android market, the phone's 3.2-megapixel camera shoots video, it's wifi-capable, and it's bluetooth-ready. You can even add on the option to tether the phone to your laptop or other devices for anywhere internet access. Not bad.
Droid Pro3. Verizon: Droid Pro
Buy itVerizon
Most keyboards are virtual these days, and that's a shame, because there's something very satisfying about having to press real buttons. Verizon's Droid Pro features a prominent keypad on the front — a throwback to the era of phones when BlackBerry was king.
But the keyboard isn't all you get. Behind it hides a powerful — dated, but powerful — Android device that can be updated to run the Gingerbread OS. You get 3G mobile hotspot support, wifi, 2GB of internal memory plus 2GB of (expandable) preinstalled microSD memory, and all those great games and utilities in the Android Market. You even get a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, which is better hardware than you get with most free phones these days.
LG Enlighten4. Verizon: LG Enlighten
Buy itVerizon
So you've sold yourself on the idea of a phone with a physical keyboard. But what if you don't want those bulky keys getting in the way, getting mashed in your purse and taking up valuable phone real estate? Split the difference with the LG Enlighten, a sexy smartphone with a hidden, slide-out keyboard.
The LG Enlighten gives you most of what you get with the Droid Pro: a 3G mobile hotspot, spoken turn-by-turn GPS navigation from Google, and Android Gingerbread OS right out of the box. Plus, you get a full 3.2" capacitive touchscreen — one area where bigger most certainly is better.
The main downside to this phone is the lack of internal memory. The Enlighten doesn't offer a huge amount of built-in storage (only 150MB), and that may be a deal breaker. But you can easily expand the storage by adding your own microSD card.
LG Rumor Touch5. Sprint: LG Rumor Touch
Are you or someone you love a text-aholic? If so, you're the exact kind of customer LG had in mind when it created the Rumor Touch, a 3" touchscreen smartphone.
Like the Enlighten, the LG Rumor Touch features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard with big enough buttons to type with quick precision. The Rumor Touch even runs its own messaging-friendly operating system. And, of course, any phone built around messaging has to have Facebook and Twitter built in. The camera is weak at only 2 megapixels, but the Rumor assumes you'll probably be too busy texting to take any pictures.
Oh, and best of all? The Rumor Touch also doubles as a phone. Can you believe such a thing?
Nokia Lumia 7106. T-Mobile: Nokia Lumia 710
Buy it: Microsoft
If there's one thing that the previously mentioned phones have in common, it's that they're all good, solid 3G phones. But let's be honest — 3G is yesterday's technology. Blazing-fast 4G wireless is where it's at. And T-Mobile's Nokia Lumia 710 gives you access to luscious 4G speed without having to pay a single penny up front.
The Lumia uses the less popular Windows Phone 7 operating system, but don't let the numbers fool you. Windows Phone 7 is a solid, seamless OS, especially for beginners to the smartphone game.
The phone's hardware is great. You get a sharp, 3.7", 800 x 480 LCD screen, a 5-megapixel camera, a powerful 1.4GHz processor, and all that wifi and GPS goodness you'd expect. And you probably tuned all of that out because you were too busy thinking about how cool it is that this free phone has 4G. Completely understandable.
Note: Before you order one of these free phones, be sure to double check the pricing and make sure it's free. Carrier pricing can change with the wind, and for no good reason.

Buy itSprint

Chris Brown possibly facing up to 5 years in Prison for robbery of I Phone

MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – There’s more legal trouble facing R&B singer Chris Brown who is facing a robbery accusation on Miami Beach.

According to the Miami Beach police incident report, Chris Brown and rapper Tyga were leaving the Cameo nightclub on Miami Beach on Feb. 19th when a fan followed him outside to his car.
When Brown got into his Black Bentley, Christal Shanae Spann pulled out her iPhone and took a picture of him sitting in the car. Spann told police Brown got angry, reached through his car window and snatched the phone from her hands.

The singer then told her, “Bitch, you ain’t going to put that on no website,” according to the report. Brown then rolled up his window and drove away with her iPhone.

Brown is accused of one count of Robbery by Sudden Snatching.
Late Thursday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released this statement:

“My prosecutors are currently speaking with witnesses and reviewing all of the materials supplied by Miami Beach Police. Only after these reviews have been completed would any type of action be considered or taken. This is the basic process that every criminal case in Miami-Dade County undergoes.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grandmother & Stepmother charged in death of Alabama girl forced to "Run" for punishment

ATTALLA, Ala. (AP) — Roger Simpson said he looked down the road and saw a little girl running outside her home but didn't give it another thought. Police, however, said the man witnessed a murder in progress.

Authorities say 9-year-old Savannah Hardin died after being forced to run for three hours as punishment for having lied to her grandmother about eating candy bars. Severely dehydrated, the girl had a seizure and died days later. Now, her grandmother and stepmother who police say meted out the punishment were taken to jail Wednesday and face murder charges.

Witnesses told deputies Savannah was told to run and not allowed to stop for three hours on Friday, an Etowah County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said. The girl's stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, called police at 6:45 p.m., telling them Savannah was having a seizure and was unresponsive.
Simpson said he saw a little girl running at around 4 p.m., but didn't see anybody chasing or coercing her.
"I saw her running down there, that's what I told the detectives," Simpson said from his home on a hill overlooking the Hardins. "But I don't see how that would kill her."

Authorities are still trying to determine whether Savannah was forced to run by physical coercion or by verbal commands. Deputies were told the girl was made to run after lying to her grandmother, 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard, about having eaten the candy, sheriff's office spokeswoman Natalie Barton said.
Savannah Hardin died Monday at Children's Hospital in Birmingham, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. The sheriff's release said an autopsy report showed the girl was extremely dehydrated and had a very low sodium level. A state pathologist ruled it a homicide.

The sheriff's office received calls from concerned citizens who witnessed the girl running. No other details were released, but an official with the local volunteer fire department said rescuers thought something seemed odd when they responded to a call about the child.

"One of the ones who were down there said he didn't feel like everything was right," said Ruby Ward, vice president of the Mountainboro Volunteer Fire Department.

Gail Denny and her husband Phil, live just up a dirt road from the home. They've known the family since they moved to the area in northeastern Alabama seven years ago.

The couple said they were used to seeing Savannah and other neighborhood children out waiting on the school bus in the morning. Gail Denny said her grandson had a crush on Savannah.

"My grandson asked her to be his girlfriend on Valentine's Day, and she said 'yes,'" she said before dissolving into tears. She left a candle and stuffed animal outside the girl's home Wednesday night, saying a prayer as she paused beside the road.

The trailer where Savannah lived was surrounded by a wooden fence, playground equipment and toys. Neighbors say they never saw children playing in the yard.

They told The Associated Press that Garrard owned a lot of property along the road and much of her family lived in homes on that property.

"It seems like a very happy extended family around here," Denny said. "There are mothers, grandmothers, kids. It sounds like a punishment that got out of hand."
Garrard and Jessica Mae Hardin are being held in the Etowah County Detention Center, each on a $500,000 cash bond.

Court records show that Robert Hardin filed for divorce in August of 2010. In his complaint, he asserted his wife was bi-polar and had alcoholic tendencies. He accused her previously of having run off with the couple's own child. In her response, Jessica denied all of Robert's allegations.

Five months after filing for divorce, the two asked a judge to dismiss their case.
Savannah Hardin was a third-grader at Carlisle Elementary School. Superintendent Alan Cosby said her desk had been turned into a makeshift memorial where her classmates could leave notes and mementos. He said counselors and social workers were made available for students.

"This is obviously a very tragic, devastating, heartbreaking situation," Cosby said. "Nothing like this has ever happened before."