Archive | February, 2011

Kobe Bryant Wins Fourth MVP

Posted on 28 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

Los Angeles, CA – February 21, 2011 – Bryant won his record-tying fourth All-Star MVP award Sunday night with 37 points and 14 rebounds in the West’s 148-143 win over the East. Bryant was well aware he had a chance to tie Bob Pettit’s mark – and so were his fellow All-Stars.

“He deserved it,” Durant said. “Thirty-seven and 14? That’s unbelievable numbers. I wanted him to get 40, but the old fella kind of tired out a little bit.”

LeBron James racked up a silky-smooth triple-double. Kevin Durant dropped 34 points in 30 minutes. Amare Stoudemire slammed and jammed his way through Staples Center for 29 points.

And the NBA’s younger stars still were thrilled when Kobe Bryant took home one more MVP trophy from the All-Star game Sunday night.

“Everyone wanted him to get the MVP,” said Miami’s Dwyane Wade, last season’s MVP. “He came out very aggressive, as aggressive as I’ve seen anybody in an All-Star game.”

Both All-Star teams seemingly deferred to Bryant for much of the night, finding him on fast breaks and clearing a path for his dunks – a rarity these days for Bryant, who prefers to conserve the bounce in his aching knees. Bryant even threw down a slam against James’ defense in the third quarter, following it up with a 3-pointer.

“I’ve been there, you know what I mean?” Bryant said. “It’s not about that for me at this point in my career. It’s very important for the game to continue to have young stars emerge. … It’s important for me to step aside. It’s about me coming out and performing and staying healthy, and doing the right things after 15 years.”

Although Bryant is just 32, the Philadelphia prep-to-pro star is in his 15th NBA season, and several current All-Stars – particularly young Los Angeles natives Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love – grew up watching his partnership with Shaquille O’Neal during the Lakers’ first three-peat. That reverence is reflected throughout the season, but was particularly obvious in this exhibition.

Bryant fell short of Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star record 42 points in 1962, but not for lack of trying by his teammates. He went scoreless in the final 6:48.

“I wish we could have,” New Orleans guard Chris Paul said. “But Kobe is one of those guys who has been in the league for 13 years, but it seems like he’s getting younger, so he’ll have another opportunity.”

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Crime and Justice (Print Version)

Posted on 28 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

Written by Julia N. Bowles

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Obituaries of the week of Feb. 26th – March 4th

Posted on 28 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

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Mother of 4 gets 10 years for selling $31.00 of Pot

Posted on 28 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

What formula is used when sentencing Black folks? What formula is used when sentencing a law enforcement officer who commits a criminal act, such as the killing of a suspect?

In December 2009, Patricia Spottedcrow and her 50-year-old mother sold a dime worth of weed to a police informant while at her mother’s house in Oklahoma for $11.00. The grandmother received cash from her 9-year-old grandson to make change for the buyer. Two weeks later, the same informant purchased $20 worth of weed while again at her mother’s house and while the children were present.

Both Spottedcrow and Starr were arrested. Because neither had ever been arrested, they would not accept an offered deal of two years for the small amount of marijuana.

Therefore, the judge gave Mrs. Starr a 30-year suspended sentence and no incarceration and five years of drug and alcohol assessments. But her daughter, Patricia, with no consideration for the children, the female judge said that selling weed was a way of life for her, even though she worked at a nursing home, and gave her ten years for distribution and two for possession. She will be eligible for parole in 2014.

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Wake Forest Baseball Coach Donates Kidney to Player

Posted on 12 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

ATLANTA — Outfielder Kevin Jordan focused his research on the opportunity for playing time when he was offered a scholarship at Wake Forest But, his father Keith had another set of priorities: Who is this coach, Tom Walter? Will he look out for my son? Oh, but that answere will come in due time.

Keith Jordan dug back to the coach’s previous tenure at the University of New Orleans. He discovered that, even though Hurricane Katrina had left Walter’s home in 12 feet of water, attention to his team’s needs never wavered.

Walter supervised the players’ temporary relocation to the campus of New Mexico State. And he vowed to assist anyone weighing a transfer to another college. “A lot of coaches wouldn’t have done that,” Jordan said Wednesday.

Far fewer would do what Walter did this week: donate a kidney to a player. Among the many questions Jordan had posed about the coach, one had never occurred to him: Would he part with a vital organ if his son needed it?

“Any player on the team, past or present,” Walter said during a goodnews conference at Emory University Hospital, two days after surgeons transferred one of his kidneys into Kevin Jordan.

“I didn’t ask,” said Jordan, a freshman from Columbus, Ga., who was not a transplant match with family members. “He volunteered. I’m just really thankful.”

Walter enjoyed his college days at Georgetown so much that he said the thought of Jordan sitting in a dorm room tethered at least eight hours daily to a dialysis machine — as Jordan was last semester — was unacceptable.

“It just breaks your heart,” Walter said.

He said that his motivation in donating a kidney was not getting back Jordan as a player, but giving him “just a chance to be a college freshman.”

“I couldn’t believe what he had endured,” Walter said. “It was obvious to me this was the right thing to do from Day 1.”

That day arrived last fall, soon after Jordan, 19 was found to have ANCA vasculitis, a rare kidney disorder resulting from autoimmune swelling. The diagnosis took months to pin down.

In qualifying as a donor match, Walter, a father of a son and a daughter, beat odds of about 7 to 1, according to Dr. Kenneth Newell, who handled the first half of the transplant. Assured that he could resume a normal lifestyle — the original kidney donor in 1954, Newell said Wednesday, lived until last year — and aware that Jordan could languish on a national donor list for up to five years, Walter said he never thought twice about his pledge.

A recipient, Kirk said, “receives an extra 10 years of life” over a dialysis patient. “Kevin should live a life that is normal in activity and normal in length,” he said.

Their story has resonated across the country, nowhere more movingly than in Dallas. In 2007, in an action that received widespread publicity, the retired Cowboys cornerback Everson Walls donated a kidney to ex-teammate Ron Springs.

Walls said he was especially impressed that, unlike he and Springs, Walter and Jordan were members of different age and racial groups.

The transplant raised the inevitable question of whether Wake Forest violated an N.C.A.A. rule by providing an “extra benefit” to an athlete, defined as a special arrangement not made available to other university students. Wake Forest’s Wellman acknowledged that an extra benefit was indeed conferred.

“No doubt about that,” he said. “I dare anyone to challenge this benefit.”

Erik Christianson, director of public and media relations for the N.C.A.A., said: “We wish Coach Walter and Kevin Jordan all the best. This wonderful act of compassion and generosity is truly extraordinary, beyond the scope of any rule.”

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Crime and Justice (Print Version)

Posted on 12 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

Written by Julia N. Bowles

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Obituaries of the week of Feb. 12th – Feb. 18th

Posted on 12 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

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Michelle Dies of Murder, Larry Commits Suicide

Posted on 12 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

It started on January 10, 2011, when Michelle McCoy, left home and told her twin sister that she felt fear and requested she call her later. Her sister followed through but Michelle never answered her telephone.

The family stated, according to reports, that after a few days and not hearing from Michelle, they reported her missing. It was also learned that a witness said that on the night of January 10, he saw Michelle being forced into a silver or grey mini-van, and called 911. He also attempted to follow the van but lost contact. An officer from the Sheriff’s Office did come to investigate the caller’s report but did find, according to reports, information that made him feel she was actually not in danger since the family did not provide a name of the person she was going to meet, that caused her fear.

The family became more concern and placed flyers around the area and reported her missing on January 28. MAD DADS and other members of the community joined together to search for Michelle and on February 4, 2011, Michelle’s remains were found in an area that The Florida Star was told, belonged to members of the Thompson family. The Florida Star was also told that Michelle and Larry had a romantic relationship, despite the difference in age. In fact, Thompson family members advised The Star that Larry was very proud of his relationship with Michelle and told them that he was providing financial support to Michelle, and other members of her family, including her grandparents. They also stated that Michelle spent many nights at the home of Larry Thompson and his neighbors could confirm such. They said this should explain to many why she was not reported missing immediately. They said Thompson family members met Michelle more than a year ago, when she was 19 years of age, after they asked Larry if she was an adult, and that is when he told them that she was 19.

Thompson family members said that Larry did all that he could to take care of his beautiful young lady and members of her family. He would buy her whatever she wanted. He said that “they (her family members) like me very much.” He also said that he wanted to please Michelle because she made him feel better than he had ever felt in his life. Thompson family members said that they felt Michelle’s fear started when Larry was told that Michelle was showing interest in one of his nephews.

One of Larry Thompson’s family members said that another relative was arrested after Michelle’s disappearance and feel that it is possible that he is the person that gave JSO the leads and may have been with Larry on Michelle’s last day to be known to be alive.

Michelle McCoy died from blunt force trauma, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The relative that talked with The Star said that she spoke with Larry while the SWAT Team had him surrounded and he told her where he had placed the keys to a car and that he did not kill Michelle. He again said to them that he did not want to go to jail. He felt that no one would believe him. They begged him to give himself up and perhaps they could get him mental help as well as help to prove that he was not the one who did the actual killing of Michelle.

While on the telephone with The Florida Star, the relative heard it announced on the news that the SWAT team had entered the house and found Larry was deceased with a gun in his hand, in an apparent suicide. She then decided to cease the telephone call and join other family members. She said it bothers them that the news keep reporting that Larry abducted Michelle. “He was her ‘sugar daddy’.”

The family member did not wish her name published but did wish the community to know their side of the story.

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Jax Man Shot in Drive by 3rd Time in a Year

Posted on 07 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

A North Jacksonville man was shot early Monday night, the third time in the past year according to what his family told local police.

The 53-year-old man and his 47-year-old brother had been conversing as they stood outside in front of the home they shared. Just before 5:30 p.m. that evening, a man in a green Ford Explorer pulled up to the curb, leaned out of the window and sprayed the two men with bullets as they dove to the ground.

The older brother stood soon after the driver sped off and found that the younger man had been shot. Enraged, he ran to his car and pursued the Explorer, calling police on his cell phone with a description and license plate number.

Someone in the Explorer noticed his pursuit and fired at the man through the window, hitting him once in the shoulder. The man was unable to apprehend the assailant.

Both brothers were taken to Shands Jacksonville for medical treatment. As no arrests or warrants have been announced, all parties involved remain publicly unidentified.

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Crime and Justice (Print Version)

Posted on 07 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

Written by Julia N. Bowles

Please click to enlarge and view in the PDF format.

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NASCAR GRAND-AM 49th Running of the Rolex 24

Posted on 07 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

On January 30, 2011 Daytona Beach had their annual NASCAR Grand- Am 49th Running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona Beach International Speedway.

Bill Lester’s #88 team was running steadily in the top 10 after starting 28th. A suspension failure at 2:30 a.m. dropped them back. They recovered to finish 14th in GT and 20th overall.

It was Bill’s first race in a Camaro. “I’m coming – I’ll get there,” Lester said after the race. Bill Lester is the only African American to participate in the race.

Scott Pruett #01 wins fourth Rolex 24, helps car owner to victory in fourth major race at Daytona International Speedway.

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Found Remains belong to Michelle [UPDATE]

Posted on 07 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

[UPDATE]
Unfortunately, what was believed by her family was confirmed by police. The remains were positively identified by the Medical Examiner belonging to Michelle McCoy.

Larry Thompson (52) is wanted in connection to McCoy’s disappearance. He currently has a warrant for his arrest on charges of kidnapping.  Thompson has not been charged with McCoy’s murder and it is still uncertain what happened the night of her disappearance.

[ORIGINAL STORY]
The community joined in the search for Michelle McCoy, who was reported missing by her family, and finally by JSO, two weeks later. JSO made decision to report Michelle’s disappearance after it was reported by someone that she was seen being forced into a silver minivan in the 8900 block of Washington Avenue, near her home. According to the witness, a shoe, rope and other evidence led him to believe Michelle was being kidnapped at the time he made the observation.

Michelle’s twin sister advised that Michelle had reservations about meeting a man she knew and asked her to call her later, on the day that she disappeared. She did so, but Michelle did not answer her phone.

The man who suspected a kidnapping, called 911 but investigators said they were not able to locate the described vehicle. The man making the report, kept the items he found at the scene and gave them to JSO later.

Sheriff Rutherford said, based upon reports to them, they have been searching the Ribault River Lane area, off Winton Drive. A second tip led them to the area where the body of a female, believed to be Michelle was found.

Sheriff Rutherford, during his press conference said that he could not release details about why they believe the remains found are believed to be Michelle. He did advise that the public fear of a loose kidnapper can be eliminated since based on evidence so far, Michelle was the target of her killer. Both Donald Foy and Linda Dayson held prayer vigils and searches for Michelle with their organizations.

The Sheriff’s Department have stated that they will investigate the manner in which the officer who took the report of Michelle’s possible kidnapping and her missing report was handled. No suspect had been listed at the time of this report.

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Mercedes Enters Family Dollar in Brunswick

Posted on 02 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

On Friday, shoppers and employees at Family Dollar, located at 2014 Norwich Street, scattered as a Mercedes crashed into the store, injuring three employees while smashing and scattering products and shelves.

The 75-year-old driver of the Mercedes Benz said that she was attempting to park and shop. She is convinced that she mashed down on the brakes but instead of the car stopping, it went straight into the store.

One of the employees said she suffered leg injuries and the other two did sustain cuts.

The police was called to the scene and the vehicle was removed from the building.

According to the report, the brakes on the car were functional.

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Mike Tomlin – Another Coaching Legend?

Posted on 01 February 2011 by The Florida Star Online

“I don’t care whose players I use,”

Tomlin said No one dealt with more controversy and adversity this season than Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin.  According to Critics, Tomlin shouldn’t get credit for the Super Bowl XL victory, because he did it with “Bill Cowher’s players.” After Cowher retured as the Steelers coach, Tomlin, who was the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, was hired to replace him. In a pre-game interview before his Steelers sent the New York Jets packing, Tomlin responded the only way he knew how to respond: “I don’t care whose players I use,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers coach could have added several things his critics seem to have missed. Coaches now considered legends won championships with other coaches’ players.

Vincent Thomas Lombardi was the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants before taking over as head coach of the Green Bay Packers team in 1959. Lombardi got his squad to the NFL championship game in 1960, where they lost a close one to the Philadelphia Eagles. Lombardi’s teams then won NFL championships in 1961, 1962 and 1965-1967. The Packers under Lombardi also won the first two Super Bowls.

Many players like Bart Starr, Jerry Kramer, Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor were on the team before Lombardi took over as head coach. When Lombardi led his Packers to that first NFL championship – a 37-0 thumping of the New York Giants – there was not one criticism that he’d won his title using the previous coach’s players. Don Shula, another NFL coaching legend, took over as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 1970. Again, after the Dolphins went 17-0 in the 1972 season, there was no criticism of Shula for doing it with his predecessor’s players.

Who knows what motivates the criticism of Tomlin. (There might be a racist motive behind it.) Whatever the motive, Tomlin’s critics overlook his other achievements such as him being the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl; In only four seasons, he has led his team to two Super Bowl appearances; He is one of the few to win a championship in only his second year as a head coach.

Is the criticism of Tomlin valid or just racist driven? You be the judge.

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