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Here are the signing day capsules for Pac-12 Conference teams:___ARIZONATop 25 Class: No.Best in class: QB Khalil Tate. While the Wildcats put a lot of focus on defense, Tate has a chance to be the game-changer in this class. The native of Gardena, California, is one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks and could be the prototypical quarterback for Rodriguez's zone read offense.Best of...
Pac-12 football recruiting team capsules
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016Here are the signing day capsules for Pac-12 Conference teams: ___ ARIZONA Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: QB Khalil Tate. While the Wildcats put a lot of focus on defense, Tate has a chance to be the game-changer in this class. The native of Gardena, California, is one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks and could be the prototypical quarterback for Rodriguez's zone read offense. Best of the rest: OL Michael Eletise. The 4-star recruit from Hawaii is considered one of the best guards in the country. At 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, Eletise should give the Wildcats some much-needed depth on the offensive line. Late addition: WR Shawn Poindexter. Arizona got a last-second flip on this one. Poindexter, of Glendale Community College, committed to Marshall on Tuesday, but changed his mind a day later and signed with the Wildcats. One that got away: QB Victor Viramontes whittled his decision down to Arizona and California, ultimately signing with the Bears on Wednesday. How they'll fit in: Arizona has had one of the Pac-12's worst defenses over the past few years and the new recruits should help provide the Wildcats with some size and depth. The Wildcats also signed receiver Devaughn Cooper and running back J.J. Taylor, adding to their cache of offensive playmakers. ___ ARIZONA STATE Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: N'Keal Harry. Big and athletic, the 6-foot-4 200-pound Harry not only gives the Sun Devils a big-play threat, but is a local product who decided to stay in the Valley of the Sun. "I can't tell you how excited I am about this guy," coach Todd Graham said. Best of the rest: ATH Chase Lucas. Though thin for his frame — 6-foot, 170 pounds — Lucas can play safety or cornerback and could play slot receiver. He was a teammate of Harry's at Chandler High School. Late addition: none. One that got away: DB Byron Murphy. The Sun Devils made a big push to get the local product, but he signed with Washington on Wednesday. How they'll fit in: The Sun Devils have some holes to fill after a disappointing six-win season in 2015. Harry should have an immediate impact in ASU's high-octane offense and two JUCO transfers should solidify the O-line. Arizona State also took steps to shore up its pass rush and shaky secondary. ___ CALIFORNIA Top 25 Class: No Best in class: WR Melquise Stoval, California Best of the rest: CB Nygel Edmonds, Tennessee Late addition: RB Zion Echols, California. One that got away: Three-star offensive guard Francisco Perez had verbally committed to Cal before switching plans and instead signing with UCLA. How they'll fit in: Because he arrived on campus in September, three-star early enrollee Max Gilliam has a slight edge on the starting quarterback job but don't make too much of it just yet. Three-star signee Victor Viramontes is a 240-pound athlete who has a strong arm and is a capable runner, two traits that fit in well with coach Sonny Dykes' Bear Raid offense. There are three other quarterbacks on the roster, including Luke Rubenzer who was Jared Goff's backup in 2014 before switching to defense in 2015. ___ COLORADO Top 25 class: No Best in class: Beau Bisharat, RB, Sacramento, California. Best of the rest: WR Johnny Huntley III, Plantation, Florida; Anthony Julmisse, WR, Plantation, Florida; Ronnie Blackmon, DB, Atlanta; Drew Lewis, LB, Coffeyville; Juwann Winfree, WR, Coffeyville One that got away: Craig Watts, St. Petersburg, Florida. Signed with South Florida. How they'll fit in: Bisharat and Winfree could step in and start right away. A three-year starter in high school, Bisharat rushed for 4,130 yards along with 43 TDs. Winfree had 55 catches for 837 yards and seven touchdowns last season for Coffeyville. ___ OREGON Top 25 Class: Yes. No. 23. Best in class: Tristan Wallace, an athletic 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, hails from DeSoto, Texas. He could make an impact right away. Coach Mark Helfrich said Wallace wants to play at receiver, so the Ducks will go with that at the start, but he did not rule out moving him in the future. "I don't know what he is, but he's great," Helfrich said, adding that the position coaches will likely fight for him. Best of the rest: Dillon Mitchell, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver out of Memphis, Tennessee, was wooed by many elite programs, including Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee and Ohio State. Part of his appeal is that he also plays basketball, although it's not certain that he'll double up at the college level. He's already enrolled in classes. Late addition: Four-star linebacker Keith Simms of Maryland had offers from Stanford, Cal, Michigan State and Virginia Tech, among other schools, but over the weekend committed to the Ducks. One that got away: Running back Vavae Malepeai verbally committed to Oregon but signed with USC. Malepeai holds the career prep rushing record for the state of Hawaii. How they'll fit in: All eyes will be on the quarterback situation at Oregon and how it evolves over the next few years. But the Ducks got a solid recruiting class that included 17 high school players and a junior college transfer. While some fans grumbled that there were no five-star recruits and that most national class rankings put the Ducks in the 20s, Helfrich maintained the importance of signing players who will enroll at Oregon and play, as opposed to players who won't ultimately qualify. ___ OREGON STATE Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Shurod Thompson, a safety out of Brentwood, California, had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, California, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Washington State, among others. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, the speedy Thompson was considered among the top 10 players in the nation at his position. Best of the rest: Christian Wallace, a cornerback out of Sealy, Texas, was considered among the top 25 prospects out of Texas. He also rushed for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior and Andersen said he will also carry for the Beavers. Late addition: Defensive tackle David Fangupo, a 350-pound JC transfer from Cerritos College who signed with the Beavers after earlier committing to Utah. One that got away: Four-star offensive lineman Frederick Mauigoa, who decided to go to Washington State. How they'll fit in: Coach Gary Andersen addressed his needs on defense, but the Beavers remain short at quarterback after both Seth Collins and Nick Mitchell decided to transfer. Marcus McMaryion will return and Andersen announced Wednesday that Utah State transfer Darell Garrettson, who had to sit out last year under NCAA rules, had earned a scholarship. The only quarterback in the recruiting class is Mason Moran out of Arizona's Chandler High School, who was recruited as a defensive player by other schools. Andersen said that the Beavers may have to bring in a walk-on at the position. ___ SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Oluwole Betiku, DL, Gardena, California. The Trojans plugged a hole on their line with the commitment of a powerful prospect joining the pipeline of talent running a few miles north from Serra High School to USC. Best of the rest: Tyler Vaughns, WR, La Puente, California, and WR Michael Pittman Jr., Westlake Village, California. USC landed two of the top receiving prospects in the country to bolster their enviable depth at the skill positions for the next starting quarterback. Late addition: Jack Jones, WR/CB, Long Beach, California. The Trojans' next possible two-way star chose to stay close to home on decision day, announcing it with a video featuring fellow LBC denizen Snoop Dogg. "I thought it was absolutely awesome," coach Clay Helton said. "I'm amazed how creative it gets every year." One that got away: Jonathan Kongbo, DT, Arizona Western College. The junior college standout passed on a chance to contribute immediately for the Trojans, choosing Tennessee instead. How they'll fit in: USC has rarely hesitated to play freshmen during Helton's six seasons in the program, and this class should be no exception. The Trojans are flush with speedy juniors at their skill positions, but the new recruits will help out until it's their turn to shine in 2017. ___ STANFORD Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Curtis Robinson, OLB, Irvine, Calif. Best of the rest: K.J. Costello, QB, Coto de Caza, California; Clark Yarbrough, OT, Rumson, New Jersey; Kaden Smith, TE, Flower Mound, Texas; Scooter Harrington, TE, Riverside, Connecticut.; Andrew Pryts, S, Hermitage, Pennsylvania.; Treyjohn Butler, CB/S, Rancho Cucamonga, California; Obi Eboh, CB, Southlake, Texas; Richard McNitzky, LS, San Antonio. Late addition: Jet Toner, P/K, Honolulu One that got away: OLB Jeffrey McCulloch. How they'll fit in: The five offensive linemen signed Wednesday have termed themselves the 'Phat Five,' and several of them will have a chance to help remake the line in their first years. Outland Trophy winner Joshua Garnett was the last true freshman to start at Stanford. Cardinal coach David Shaw also stressed the importance of signing four defensive linemen. That was Stanford's most worrisome position after losing Harrison Phillips to a season-ending injury in the first game of the season and having to convert offensive players to fill in. Shaw also expects Costello to have an impact. Stanford will carry three scholarship quarterbacks next year, none of whom have ever started a game. ___ UCLA Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Mique Juarez, LB, Torrance, California. Juarez, who was previously committed to the Trojans, could replace Myles Jack as a versatile outside linebacker capable of defending slot receivers and tight ends. Best of the rest: Brandon Burton, DB, Gardena, California. Mora finally cracked the Serra-to-USC pipeline by landing Burton, a four-star prospect who could contribute on offense or defense. Making recruiting inroads into a high school that has produced Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and Adoree Jackson can help UCLA vault into college football's elite. Late addition: Boss Tagaloa, DL, Concord, California. UCLA struggled to stop the run even before standout lineman Kenny Clark declared for the NFL draft, so there will be opportunities for the 6-foot-1 300-pound Tagaloa to help shore up the middle of the Bruins defense. One that got away: Devin Asiasi, TE, Concord, California. New offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu plans to feature tight ends and fullbacks in a more physical scheme that could echo defending Pac-12 champion Stanford, but that wasn't enough to keep Tagaloa's high school teammate from signing with former Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. How they'll fit in: After losing four of the top five receivers from quarterback Josh Rosen's promising freshman season, UCLA will need immediate contributions from early enrollee Theo Howard and the other new receivers. Coach Jim Mora also identified tight end Jordan Wilson and the special teams battery of snapper Johnny Den Bleyker, punter Austin Kent and kicker JJ Molson among players who should see the field early. ___ UTAH Top 25 Class: No Best in class: Garett Bolles, OL, Snow College, Lehi, Utah Best of the rest: Troy Williams, QB, Santa Monica College, Carson, California Late addition: David Luafatasaga, LB, Arizona Western, Honolulu, Hawaii One that got away: Wayne Kirby, DT, Pocatello, Idaho How they'll fit in: All eyes are on the offensive side of the ball with quarterback Travis Wilson and running back Devontae Booker gone. As junior college transfers, both Williams and Bolles are expected to contribute immediately. But coach Kyle Whittingham is all about defense and the linebacker corps got an infusion with Luafatasaga, Davir Hamilton, Snow College transfer Kurtis Taufa and Donovan Thompson. Luafatasaga "is exceptional at rushing the passer," Whittingham said. "He can also play inside linebacker. His real strength is coming off the edge." ___ WASHINGTON Top 25 Class: On the bubble Best in class: Byron Murphy, DB, Scottsdale, Arizona. Rated a four-star cornerback, Murphy was the top-rated player in the state of Arizona and heavily recruited by Arizona State. He decided to leave the desert for the Pacific Northwest and a chance to contribute early in his career. Best of the rest: Outside linebacker Camilo Eifler was ranked as high as No. 6 in the country at his position coming out of Bishop O'Dowd High School in the Bay Area. Right behind Eifler is RB Sean McGrew from Torrance, California. McGrew was the Gatorade state player of the year for California after rushing for 5,762 yards and 76 touchdowns in his prep career despite being undersized at 5-foot-7 and 173 pounds. Late addition: Jordan Chin, WR, San Fernando, California. Chin was more of a track and field athlete in high school and ran the leadoff leg for the reigning state champions in the 4x100 meter relay. Washington is hoping that speed will translate to wide receiver. One that got away: Washington made a late run at QB Jacob Eason, the top player in the state of Washington, but Eason stuck by his verbal commitment to Georgia. How they'll fit in: The depth of Washington's class is in the secondary with Murphy, Kentrell Lowe, Isaiah Gilchrist and Taylor Rapp. They'll be joining an already talented secondary that returns three starters, but someone out of that group is likely to make contributions in 2016. ___ WASHINGTON STATE Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: Receiver Isaiah Johnson of Belle Glade, Florida, was rated a four-star prospect by ESPN.com, and among the top 20 receivers in the state. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound product of Dwyer High School caught 44 passes for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. Best of the rest: Running back Romello Harris rushed for 1,943 yards and 25 touchdowns in just nine games as a senior, and is rated the No. 57 running back prospect in the nation. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder totaled 7,311 rushing yards in his prep career at Tulare Union High in California. Late addition: Linebacker Suli Tamaivena of Kirkland, Washington. His father, Levi, was a national rugby star in Fiji. One that got away: Athlete Tayler Hawkins of Palm Springs, California, who chose San Diego State. How they'll fit in: Washington State has plenty of returning veterans from a nine-win season that was the best in more than a decade. The new players should have time to learn the system and earn playing time without being rushed into the breach. With three quarterbacks on the roster, the Cougars apparently did not feel the need to sign a top passer this year to run the Air Raid down the road.
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — After losing three of the offensive linemen who helped Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey to a record season, Stanford restocked by signing five high school seniors and adding a walk-on who turned down offers from elsewhere.The Cardinal added top-50 recruits Clark Yarbrough, Devery Hamilton, Henry Hattis, Nate Herbig and Dylan Powell after losing Outland Trophy...
Stanford signs 5 offensive linemen after losing 3
By RICK EYMER, Associated Press | Feb 3, 2016STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — After losing three of the offensive linemen who helped Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey to a record season, Stanford restocked by signing five high school seniors and adding a walk-on who turned down offers from elsewhere. The Cardinal added top-50 recruits Clark Yarbrough, Devery Hamilton, Henry Hattis, Nate Herbig and Dylan Powell after losing Outland Trophy winner Joshua Garnett, Kyle Murphy and Graham Schuler, who left football to pursue other opportunities. Matthew Gutwald, who attended high school in the Bay Area, turned down multiple offers to walk on at Stanford. Other things to know: Top 25 Class: Yes Best in class: Curtis Robinson, OLB, Irvine, Calif. Best of the rest: K.J. Costello, QB, Coto de Caza, California; Clark Yarbrough, OT, Rumson, New Jersey; Kaden Smith, TE, Flower Mound, Texas; Scooter Harrington, TE, Riverside, Connecticut.; Andrew Pryts, S, Hermitage, Pennsylvania.; Treyjohn Butler, CB/S, Rancho Cucamonga, California; Obi Eboh, CB, Southlake, Texas; Richard McNitzky, LS, San Antonio, Texas. Late addition: Jet Toner, P/K, Honolulu One that got away: OLB Jeffrey McCulloch. How they'll fit in: The offensive linemen have termed themselves the 'Phat Five,' and several of them will have a chance to help remake the line in their first years. Garnett was the last true freshman to start at Stanford. Cardinal coach David Shaw also stressed the importance of signing four defensive linemen. That was Stanford's most worrisome position after losing Harrison Phillips to a season-ending injury in the first game of the season and having to convert offensive players to fill in. Shaw also expects Costello to have an impact. Stanford will carry three scholarship quarterbacks next year, none of whom have ever started a game. ___ For the full list: http://www.gostanford.com
Louisiana defensive back teammates Chanse Sylvie and Rodarius Williams set to join opposite sides of Bedlam rivalryJan 23, 2016
Williams — a 5-foot-11 and 165-pound cornerback — verbally committed to Oklahoma State in April. Sylvie — a 6-foot and 186-pound safety — gave Oklahoma his pledge in July.
Louisiana defensive back teammates Chanse Sylvie and Rodarius Williams set to join opposite sides of Bedlam rivalry
By Kyle Fredrickson Staff Writer email@example.com | Jan 23, 2016Chanse Sylvie and Rodarius “Lee Lee” Williams patrolled the same defensive backfield at the same Louisiana high school, but not long ago, the pair was locked in a Pop Warner football rivalry. “We used to always play them in the championship,” Williams said. “It was a big game for us.” Said Sylvie: “He actually was my enemy.” The personal battle was short lived, though, after they enrolled at the same middle school where a friendship fast developed and continued through their final football season at Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport this past fall. However, a twist of fate has seemingly led them back to their roots. Williams — a 5-foot-11 and 165-pound cornerback — verbally committed to Oklahoma State in April. Sylvie — a 6-foot and 186-pound safety — gave Oklahoma his pledge in July. Call it Bedlam, Cajun style. “Oh yeah,” Williams said. “We trash talked as soon as I committed and I found out he was going to OU.” Said Sylvie: “Especially at the beginning of the year when we lost to Texas. But when we beat them in the Bedlam game, he hasn't said much since.” Cavalry Baptist head coach John Bachman Sr. gets a chuckle out of that banter these days. He remembers the practices before each player tallied double-digit scholarship offers from schools across every Power Five conference. “They actually came as young kids, sixth or seventh grade, so we got to watch them grow up through the program,” Bachman said. “You could see that they had athletic ability, but it doesn't always translate to Friday night football.” Each became an established top-level talent by their junior season, reaching their peak during the 2014 LHSAA Division III state semifinals against Riverside High School — an undefeated, spread offense juggernaut with several Division-I prospects. The Calvary Baptist defense allowed just 13 points and tallied three interceptions in the victory. “We had to show everybody we were the real deal,” Williams said. “We had to shut out their wide receivers.” The recruitment letters started piling up after college coaches recognized each player's differing skill set. Bachman provided a quick breakdown. On Williams: “He by far has the more advanced ball skills. When the ball is in the air if it's anywhere around Lee Lee, he's usually coming down with it.” On Syvlie: “He's a guy that brings the wood. He can hold up in coverage. But it's just his work habits along with what God blessed him.” Williams and Sylvie both received scholarship offers from OU and OSU, along with several other major programs. It spurred the idea of possibly remaining teammates at the next level. But each established relationships with their respective assistant coaching staffs on different sides of Bedlam and the culture of each school. Despite going separate ways, they'll still only be divided by 80 driving miles. “It really kind of worked out good,” Williams said. “I think we'll still see each other. After football season, we can still hangout and talk on the phone.” Bachman says most of his prized recruits over the years have landed in the SEC, but he's far from discouraged that Williams and Sylvie appear headed to Big 12 country. “The proof is in the pudding what both (OSU and OU) have done,” Bachman said. “They're always going to be mentioned in a shot at a championship, whether it be the Big 12 or the playoffs.”
Dec 1, 2015
WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — The seams of coal in some of Eddie Asbury's mines in McDowell County are so thin workers can barely squeeze down them. They enter on carts nearly flat on their backs, the roof of the mine coursing by just a few inches in front of their faces. They don't stand up all day.To keep his business operating with such a paltry amount of coal, Asbury has to do everything himself. He...
Appalachia grasps for hope as coal loses its grip
By JONATHAN FAHEY, Associated Press | Dec 1, 2015WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — The seams of coal in some of Eddie Asbury's mines in McDowell County are so thin workers can barely squeeze down them. They enter on carts nearly flat on their backs, the roof of the mine coursing by just a few inches in front of their faces. They don't stand up all day. To keep his business operating with such a paltry amount of coal, Asbury has to do everything himself. He has no use for the shiny, multimillion-dollar mining machines on display this fall at the biannual coal show nearby. His equipment is secondhand stuff that he repairs and refurbishes. The coal he and his workers scrape out of the mountain is washed and prepared for sale in a plant Asbury and a colleague built themselves. "It's how we survive," says Asbury, 66, a miner since 1971. Even coal is barely surviving in coal country — and coal is about the only thing that Central Appalachia has. West Virginia is the only state in the country where more than half of adults are not working, according to the Census Bureau. It is tied with Kentucky for the highest percentage of residents collecting disability payments from Social Security, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And the death rate among working-age adults is highest in the nation, 55 percent higher the national average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And now the one main source for decent-paying work, the brutal life of coal, seems to be drying up for good. The thick, easy, cheap coal is gone, global competition is fierce, and clean air and water regulations are increasing costs and cutting into demand. Central Appalachia's struggle is familiar to many rural regions across the U.S., where middle-class jobs are disappearing or gone and young people have no other choice than to leave to find opportunity. But the problems are amplified in coal country, where these difficult economic and social conditions have gripped the region for decades and where there is hardly any flat land to build anything. Every year since 1979, West Virginia has led the country in the percentage of people who are either not working or looking for work. But businesses are reluctant to come set up shop in Central Appalachia and take advantage of the available labor in part because education levels are so low. Forty-two percent of prime-age West Virginians have no more than a high-school degree, nearly double the national average. "We have a mismatch between the job skills that employers want and the job skills West Virginians have," says John Deskins, director of the Bureau for Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University. "It's a little bit grim. You can cut the data in multiple ways, and West Virginia still lags the nation." But this crisis — and the realization that there won't be another coal boom in these parts — is leading to a growing understanding that new approaches are needed to help Central Appalachia emerge from decades of deep poverty, under-education and poor health. Big federal and state programs and initiatives, some dating from the Lyndon Johnson administration, have failed to help the region diversify its economy much beyond digging or blasting coal out of mountains. If anything is going to help the people of Appalachia, poverty experts and residents of West Virginia now say, it's themselves: local entrepreneurs who know their communities and customers well, and are committed to them. "We need to have some urgency and look at other possibilities because coal may not be here," says Dr. Donovan "Dino" Beckett, CEO of the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, who also is supporting a range of programs to help boost health and entrepreneurship. "But that's a controversial subject here because coal is a way of life." Success, if it can come to coal country, will be the result of thousands of big risks taken by small-scale business people. It will be halting and arduous and it will come with failure. Many will have no choice but to leave, as tens of thousands already have in recent decades. And West Virginia may continue to lag the nation in social and economic demographics in the years to come. Central Appalachia is not out of ideas, though, and it has not given up. Grass-roots approaches like Dino Beckett's programs to improve health in Mingo County, an apprentice program in Wayne County designed to give high school kids a better chance at a good job, and even Eddie Asbury's small-but-determined coal operation in McDowell County show how Central Appalachia may slowly begin to remake itself. DARK TIMES FOR COAL For more than a century, the coal seams that run through Appalachia have made the steel used to build U.S. cities and the electric power to light them. As technology has improved, though, it has taken fewer and fewer workers to mine that coal. Coal employment and population in Appalachia were at their highest in the middle of the last century. West Virginia coal employment peaked at 130,000 miners in 1940 and is now under 20,000. The same trend played across the nation. There are fewer than 80,000 coal miners in the U.S. — less than half the number of new jobs the U.S. economy adds every month. That's one-tenth the number of coal workers in the 1920s, and those fewer workers now produce nearly twice as much coal. Most of those job losses happened long before coal's latest downturn. Mechanization began slashing the number of workers needed to mine coal in the 1960s, and then a collapse in the U.S. steel industry in 1980s further decimated miners' ranks. Now employment is falling further because the world is trying to turn away from coal in hopes of protecting the environment and human health. Coal is by far the biggest source of carbon dioxide and airborne pollutants among fuels used to make electricity. Coal will not go completely away anytime soon — it's the cheapest way to bring electricity to the 1.3 billion people who lack access to it, and even developed nations will still need to burn it as they transition to cleaner fuels. The carbon in coal will still be needed to mix with iron to make steel. But there is so much more coal than the world needs that only the cheapest global producers will survive. In the U.S., where natural gas has become a cheaper alternative to coal to generate electricity, miners are facing an especially difficult market: Four major U.S. coal companies have filed for bankruptcy protection in the last 18 months. Mining a thin seam of coal takes nearly as much labor, time and cost as mining a thick seam, but it yields a lot less coal. That makes the thin seams left in Central Appalachia too expensive to compete with cheaper coal being mined in places like Illinois, Wyoming, Australia and Indonesia. The industry will persist here, driven by small, determined operators like Asbury, but as a niche no longer able to support a region's economy. "There's a reluctant realization that this is different," says Keith Burdette, West Virginia's commerce secretary and head of the state's economic development office, of the latest coal bust. COAL COUNTRY About the only flat land to build anything among the jumble of mountains in Southern West Virginia is in the hollows traced by small rivers, and that land sits in dangerous flood plains. This unavoidable geography has hampered efforts to diversify the economy, despite decades of effort. There's one stoplight in all of McDowell County, and there isn't a four-lane highway to be found. John F. Kennedy stopped in Welch, McDowell's county seat, as a presidential candidate in May 1960 and railed against the "poverty and hunger, the destroyed health" of children there. The first food stamps were given out in McDowell County, and Congress launched the Appalachian Regional Commission in 1965 to help increase job opportunities and make the region economically competitive. Poverty experts say these efforts helped relieve the most acute conditions, but did little else. As coal employment declined, people fled because there was little else for them to do. McDowell County had a population of just under 100,000 in 1950. Since then, the county's population has fallen by four-fifths, to around 20,000. "All we've got is coal," says Randy Campbell, one of Asbury's mine superintendents. Even when land is found and developed, it can be hard to attract businesses. Tazewell County, across the border from McDowell in Virginia's coal country, built a 680-acre business and technology park and dangled incentives to try to entice companies to move in. It sits empty, five years after the county started marketing it. To many, it is a massive failure of government at federal and local levels that a trend of declining employment, under-education and poor health has been allowed to continue for half a century without a comprehensive overhaul of development policy. For example, many states that rely on natural resource production have permanent funds created with taxes or royalties from resource production that can be tapped during downturns. West Virginia set one up only last year, and because of restrictions on when and how it can be funded, it is empty. "Our policy makers haven't grappled with the realities, and it's to the detriment of coal communities," says Ted Boettner, executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. "When the new economy started taking off, it left West Virginia behind." That may be starting to change. Burdette, the state's commerce secretary, says the state is considering approaches as radical as starting a homesteading program to attract people to the enormous number of abandoned buildings and empty lots. "This is going to force us to do some things that maybe we wouldn't do otherwise but we probably should," he says. "It's going to take some real creative thinking." JOBS AND LIFE SKILLS IN THE COALFIELDS After Josh Napier graduated from high school in Wayne County, West Virginia, in 2011 with a major in building construction, all he could find were jobs at fast food restaurants. After stints at Taco Bell and Long John Silver's, he was working at Wendy's in the spring of 2012, his first child on the way, when he heard about Brandon Dennison. "Every construction job I applied for required two years of experience," Napier says. "Brandon was the first person to give me the chance to actually work on a job." Dennison wants to reduce poverty in his home state, so he devised a business plan in graduate school that uses some of the state's disadvantages, like its abandoned buildings, to create jobs. His creation, Coalfield Development Corp., hires graduates of high school vocational programs to restore, repurpose or tear down old buildings, use old building materials to make furniture, or build new homes on reclaimed coalfield land. Employees also are also required to take six hours of community college courses a week and three hours of life skills classes that help them with things like money management and healthy eating. "If you don't have a job lined up, that 18-to-19 age becomes a cliff, and we see a lot of bad decisions," Dennison says. Napier got hands-on construction experience working on several types of projects, including installation of solar panels, a skill he'd like to pursue in the future. He also took classes in parenting and anger management that he says have made him a better father. The program is getting such a good response that Dennison plans to expand early next year to start similar businesses focused on agriculture, tourism and retail. "We're trying to change mindsets in coal country, from 'the world is out to get me' to 'the world is full of opportunity,'" he says. "A huge focus of the training we do is around entrepreneurship and how to start a business." Ron Haskins, a former White House and congressional adviser on welfare and poverty now at the Brookings Institution, says apprenticeship programs — especially ones that help workers pursue a degree — are desperately needed in rural regions nationwide. They are among the best ways to foster an economy, based on businesses created by local residents who know the area and are committed to stay. HEALTH, WELLNESS AND NEW BUSINESS A sign entering Williamson, West Virginia reads "Heart of the Billion Dollar Coal Field," but the state of the sign is evidence that the billions have long left Mingo County. It's faded, and the "Welcome to Williamson" part of the sign is broken. Residents still talk about how popular performers came through town in the 1920s and luxuries found only in a few places in the U.S. were sold in downtown shops. Dino Beckett's parents told him those stories, and he's determined to get some of that vibrancy back. It starts with improving the health of the residents. Fourteen percent of West Virginians in their prime working years have a disability that keeps them from working or limits what they can do, double the U.S. rate of 7 percent. And the state has by far the highest rate of death from drug overdoses in the nation, two and a half times the national rate, according to the CDC. Beckett, 46, runs the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, which is working to address many of these issues. But the center also functions as a downtown engine of hope for the county. "We wanted to start a clinic, but we wanted to be an economic driver for the area, too," he says. He started a free clinic under a federal program to encourage treatment of underserved populations to go along with his more traditional doctor's office, and a Diabetes Coalition to address the extremely high rates of diabetes patients in the county. Beckett also created a project called Sustainable Williamson that helped set up a farmer's market to provide access to healthier food and also runs programs to foster and support entrepreneurship. This summer, Sustainable Williamson opened a space for budding entrepreneurs in a converted old furniture store called The Hub, where people with ideas for businesses can get support and advice. They sponsor training sessions and contests that help people refine their business pitches and compete for start-up money. His groups try to get people to be more active by promoting and sponsoring daily lunchtime walks and monthly 5K runs. Among the most popular is the Coal Dust 5K, which took place for the third time in September. By the end of the race, it looks a little like Williamson is teeming with miners again because the runners are doused with "coal dust" along the route. Of course, the "coal dust," like a Williamson full of miners, isn't real. TRYING ANYTHING TO STAY HOME After years working as a contractor and temporary worker in the coal industry, Mark Muncy finally landed a permanent job, with benefits, working for a mine owned by Alpha Natural Resources in the fall of 2013 near his home in Welch. A year later, Alpha closed the mine and Muncy was out of work. Alpha, one of the country's biggest coal companies, is now in bankruptcy. Muncy didn't want to go back to working a long-haul truck driver, as he had done years before, because it kept him away from his family too much. His daughter Ashleigh loved to bake so he raised some money from a local acquaintance, got a government-backed economic development loan and opened the Riverside Cafe and Bakery in June. "I didn't know what else to do," he says. The plan was to run it with just his wife and four children. But the only salad bar in town proved too popular, and customers fell in love with Ashleigh's pizza rolls. By customer request, Muncy agreed to extend the restaurant's hours and stay open until midnight on nights when there's a local football game with hungry fans. The restaurant is bringing in three times what Muncy's loan officer predicted it would — and he's had to hire three people. Ashleigh's original plan was to keep her job at the local supermarket and bake on the side, but her baking just got too popular. Some of Ashleigh's biggest fans: the region's remaining miners, like those who work for Asbury, who come early in the morning and ask her to wrap the pizza rolls individually so they can eat them for lunch down in the mine. Miners like Asbury and his workers won't disappear completely from the Riverside Cafe or from coal country, despite the region's dark future. The coal they mine is high-quality stuff, used for making steel, not electricity. It may even be used to build the frames for solar panels that Napier has learned to install, and that could further reduce demand for coal used for electricity. Asbury is negotiating a lease for a new mine even now, in the depths of a bust. He also is trying to work with the state on a plan to build a surface mine that would flatten a stretch of mountains but also create enough space for a highway to connect McDowell County with the two interstates that meet in Beckley — and perhaps spur some economic development unrelated to coal, finally, in Central Appalachia. ________ AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman contributed to this story from Washington. Jonathan Fahey can be reached at http://twitter.com/JonathanFahey. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jonathan-fahey.
Oct 1, 2015
The Sooners will wear crimson helmets with a wood-grain look and an oversized OU logo, crimson jerseys and cream pants.
OU football notebook: Sooners to wear alternate uniforms vs. West Virginia
By Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey, Staff Writer | Oct 1, 2015Oklahoma will break out its “Bring the Wood” alternate uniforms for the first time this season Saturday when they host West Virginia (11 a.m., Fox Sports 1). The decision was officially announced through Bob Stoops' Twitter account. The Sooners will wear crimson helmets with a wood-grain look and an oversized OU logo, crimson jerseys and cream pants. The uniforms were debuted last season in a 45-33 win at West Virginia when the Sooners wore the dark helmets, cream jerseys and crimson pants. Oklahoma also wore the alternate uniform package later in the season in a home loss to Baylor. In that game, the Sooners wore cream helmets with the home crimson alternate jersey and cream pants. DARLINGTON CALLS ON OU FANS TO GET LOUD Sooners center Ty Darlington understands any frustration fans might feel with the recent string of 11 a.m. home starts. “I can't say I am,” Darlington said when asked if he was looking forward to another morning kick. “I don't think anybody is.” Darlington said it was important to have a loud crowd Saturday against the No. 23 Mountaineers. “It's hard for everyone to wake up early for that 11 a.m. kick and get going,” Darlington said. “It's hard for us as players waking up at 6 a.m. or 6:30. I know it's hard for fans. We've seen it in the past. When we go have our walk in the stadium, there's a lot less people around, there's a lot less excited of an atmosphere. “This is a game we need it. For the fans, we need them loud. I think we experienced at Tennessee what a crowd can do to a game and how the crowd can affect a game.” OU is asking fans to stripe the stadium Saturday, with fans in odd numbered sections asked to wear white and even numbered sections asked to wear read. Student sections — 26 through 30 — will all be red. OU'S MAYFIELD, WVU'S HOWARD SIMILAR Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and West Virginia's Skyler Howard have both had good starts, going 3-0 with strong performances. The similarities go far beyond that though. “They are similar type players,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “They are both a little undersized. Neither one of them was recruited very hard out of what is pretty good Texas high school football. They both play with a chip on their shoulder, and they are very mobile. They have good arms, and they are accurate. They like to play the game. Both are exciting.” Both started out as walk-ons, with Mayfield walking on first at Texas Tech, where he became the first freshman walk-on to start a season opener at quarterback for a Power Five program. Howard, a Fort Worth native, walked on at Stephen F. Austin before transferring to Riverside City College in California in 2013 before arriving at West Virginia last season. QUOTABLE “If there was magic to it everybody would do it. It can be complicated, but it still gets down to better players. The better players with about anything you do, the better you look. It gives you some versatility and it can be flexible with only three guys down, but it still gets back to how well you're playing it too.” Stoops on West Virginia's 3-3-5 defense.
Sep 16, 2015
Most college football fans know Trevone Boykin, the record-setting dual-threat Heisman Trophy hopeful for third-ranked TCU.So this is an introduction to the other Big 12 quarterbacks, including four players who rank ahead of Boykin in the conference in total offense and passing.OK, it's only two games into the season and Boykin barely played into the second half of a blowout victory last week....
An introduction to Big 12 QBs other than TCU's Boykin
By STEPHEN HAWKINS, Associated Press | Sep 16, 2015Most college football fans know Trevone Boykin, the record-setting dual-threat Heisman Trophy hopeful for third-ranked TCU. So this is an introduction to the other Big 12 quarterbacks, including four players who rank ahead of Boykin in the conference in total offense and passing. OK, it's only two games into the season and Boykin barely played into the second half of a blowout victory last week. But Patrick Mahomes, Seth Russell, Skyler Howard and Mason Rudolph are in the same position as Boykin was this time a year ago, before he almost got the Horned Frogs into the first College Football Playoff and finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. That quartet went into the season as full-time starters — their team's No. 1 — for the first time. A look at them and other Big 12 quarterbacks: —Mahomes is the latest in a long line of big-passing quarterbacks at Texas Tech. He started four games as a freshman last season, and won the job this year over Davis Webb, who also started multiple games in 2014. Mahomes is the Big 12's leading passer at 393 yards per game, with eight touchdowns and only one interception. He has also run for two scores. He set a Big 12 freshman record with 598 yards against Baylor last year, along with six TDs in that game. —Russell had to wait his turn to run fifth-ranked Baylor's big-play offense. In his only start before this season, he threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns — in only one half filling in for injured Bryce Petty. With Petty now with the New York Jets, Russell has an FBS-best nine TDs this season, but also five turnovers (four interceptions, one lost fumble). The Bears' 785 total yards last week was the second-highest total in school history. —Statistically, West Virginia junior Skyler Howard is the conference's most efficient passer (622 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions). Coach Dana Holgorsen said Howard, a Texas high school player who went to Riverside City College, is playing with confidence and wanting to prove people wrong. "He just wasn't a recruited kid, always been told too slow, too short, and not strong enough to be able to play the game at this level," Holgorsen said. Howard started the Liberty Bowl for injured Clint Trickett, throwing for 346 yards passing and three TDs in a 45-37 loss to Texas A&M. —Mason Rudolph became Oklahoma State's starter the final three games last season as a freshman. After a loss at Baylor, Rudolph led a comeback victory at Oklahoma and then threw for 299 yards and two TDs against Washington to win the Cactus Bowl. In his first home game for the Cowboys on Saturday, he threw for 401 yards with 23 completions (to 11 receivers) in a 32-8 win over Central Arkansas. —Former Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield is now at Oklahoma and earned the No. 1 job over returning starter Trevor Knight. Mayfield started seven games for the Red Raiders a freshman before having to sit out a season. Mayfield has thrown for six TDs and is tied with Boykin for fifth in the Big 12 with 314.5 total yards per game. —Kansas State junior Joe Hubener hadn't started a game at quarterback since junior high before last week's win at Texas-San Antonio. He was a receiver and defensive back in high school before walking on at Kansas State. Jesse Ertz emerged from the quarterback competition as the starter, but hurt his knee on his first play. —After starting five games for Kansas State last season, Montell Cozart was benched for Michael Cummings, who likely would have started this season had he not torn up his knee in the spring game. Cozart could get replaced again after an open date since junior college transfer Deondre Ford finished the last game. —Iowa State's Sam Richardson is the only senior starting quarterback in the league other than Boykin. The only freshman is redshirt Jerrod Heard, who threw two long TDs and ran for 96 yards in his first career start last Saturday in a win over Rice. ___ AP Sports Writers Dave Skretta, Cliff Brunt and John Raby, and AP Writer Betsy Blaney contributed to this report. ___ Online: http://collegefootball.ap.org ___ This version corrects to West Virginia losing Liberty Bowl.
Aug 17, 2015
Parents and kids sometimes struggle to find the sweet spot between adequate activities and engagement and simply drowning in extracurricular obligations. Balance is possible, though, experts say.
For kids, overbooked can mean overwhelmed
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News | Aug 17, 2015The girl was good at everything, problematic because time for her many passions overlapped. She'd scramble to fit it all in, leaving church choir practice early to get to diving, where the coach was mad because she was three minutes late. Finally, she had to decide what activities to embrace and what to let go. As Ann Neary tells the story of one daughter's crazy extracurricular schedule, the Riverside, Connecticut, mom and high school teacher said their lives got hectic. It helped that the kids were spread out agewise. The youngest — twins who just graduated from high school — are now 18, the oldest 32. No two kids — or their schedules — were alike. One daughter was quiet and not a joiner by nature, but discovered she loved rock climbing, which became an activity mother and daughter enjoyed together. Some kids were more athletic than others. For a family that valued down time and dinner together every night, it was a juggling act, Neary said. Outside activities that enrich and nourish children, introduce them to new skills and people and open doors to future success are a valuable part of growing up. But many families struggle to find the sweet spot between adequate engagement and simply drowning in extracurricular obligations. Experts say balance is both possible and important. There's a serious downside to consistent over-scheduling, they add. At its worst, "it sets the tone for perfectionism, anxiety and other disorders, including eating and sometimes drugs, particularly stimulants, negative self-talk and feeling as though one can't be good if they can't participate in all the over-booking," said Lisa Bahar, marriage and family therapist in Dana Point, California. Parents need to be aware of how much they're allowing children to commit to and the burden they may be placing on kids, she said. Pressured, with high hopes Parents joke that children who want to attend prestigious schools must have near-perfect grades and have started a nonprofit foundation by the time they are 12. It's jest founded in the pressure that both children and their parents feel to perform well in relationship to their peers. "I see a lot of people over-scheduled and what that stems from is fear kids are going to be left behind other kids," said Ann DeWitt, licensed marriage and family therapist and certified parent advocate in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She described a "pipeline effect" where kids and parents fear they'll be shut out of playing high school soccer unless they start in grade school. It's done with good intentions, she noted. "The idea is you want your kids to have lots of options and not close down any avenues they might be interested in later. But committing to all those activities, you feel kind of crazy running from one thing to another and one thing lost is resilience — cushioning your schedule so something running over won't knock down a house of cards." Over-scheduling can even weaken family bonds. When kids are not connected to their families because of so many distractions, their orientation turns toward their peers, she warned. Kids may overestimate what they can do, but when parents help over-schedule kids, it often reflects their own anxiety, said Don MacMannis, psychologist and clinical director of the Family Therapy Institute of Santa Barbara, California, who co-wrote "How's Your Family Really Doing?" "Stress levels parents experience translate into expectations of their kids." It's hard to quantify how much over-scheduling burdens kids. Child development experts say kids need extracurricular, enriching activities. But the American Psychological Association said there's no question kids are under pressure. Its 2013 Stress in America poll found teens have stress levels and symptoms comparable to that of adults. Many report feeling fatigued, anxious, irritable or emotional. And more than a third expect stress to grow. DeWitt said kids can shut down if they're overbooked. Some become anxious. And fear-based decision-making isn't good. Everyone needs balance. Recognizing overload With too much going on, "kids will become agitated, short-tempered — more than typical teenage behavior — and most likely slipping in one or more subjects," said Bahar. "Sometimes it comes out in lack of eating, lack of sleep, difficulty concentrating and anxiety symptoms of perfectionist language," such as self-deprecating statements like "I'm not good enough." It's sometimes hard to recognize overload because it shares symptoms with other things that should also be considered, MacMannis said. Physical symptoms of overload may include headaches or stomach aches or new sleep problems, for example. At the emotional end, anxiety, depression and difficulty concentrating may be signs of too much stress. Irritability is a social/interpersonal red flag. A child who suddenly has problems with peers, siblings or parents may need to rein in some of the extracurriculars. He counsels moderation. A balanced life includes the activities a child most enjoys and what might be most beneficial to him. MacMannis also warns that parents are prone to over-schedule kids who are introverted and don't necessarily thrive being with other children constantly. Such a child likely needs extra down time. While some kids thrive with all the extra activities, some don't. If a child can't wait to play football, that's one thing. If he doesn't want to go, listen, said Dee Ray, distinguished teaching professor in the counseling program and director of the Child and Family Resource Clinic at the University of North Texas in Denton. DeWitt said one of the biggest signs things are badly out of balance is being unable to find time to sit down and discuss it. That an activity was good last year does not mean it must be on the schedule this year. Families need to weigh positives, negatives, what children gained from an activity and what it cost, including time. As MacMannis said, "To find balance, you talk it out and talk it out and talk it out. It's not an easy thing, but a matter of negotiation and trial and error." Sometimes kids who are overbooked don't want to let anything go, just as kids who are under-booked may not want to step it up. MacMannis suggests "limited choice," choosing between what's acceptable. Parents who fear a child is too sedentary, for instance, offer a choice of sports, without the choice to just sit around. "One of the biggest things is not making decisions out of fear — fear down the line of the future. … There has to be joy in the doing, out of love and not out of fear," said DeWitt. Ages and stages Parents who want to help their children succeed sometimes can't figure out when it's just too much, said Ray, who describes neighborhoods where kids who aren't in peewee sports or gymnastics seem to lag. "They're doing it from a really good place," she said of parental nudges. "It's such a conundrum to try to figure out," said Ann Neary. "When my kids were small, they were allowed one after-school activity. They almost always took a sport, though sometimes one chose an art." As much as possible, she let the children drive their own activity choices, she said. She's "a big believer in imagination," so her children were not allowed television during the week. Instead, they had creative time. Ray said organized activities are more helpful for older children; youngsters who are 4-6 need free-play time, because that's where they learn skills and behaviors. Children in free play discover what they like and want to pursue. At that stage, one activity — or no activity at all — is probably best, she said. At 10 or 11, kids start to know what they really like. Having a couple of activities in addition to school is just fine, Ray said. It's important to prioritize and that's fodder for family discussion. "Let's keep activities that make us happiest and nurture us," she said, "and put the others on the back burner. But I do think kids need to be in activities. On the other side, with no scheduled activities, they're just playing video games and that's not good." Older kids, who can handle more activities and structure, still need downtime, she said. Without free time and with too much pressure, they "start looking like little stressed adults." Children typically start driving the schedule around middle school, expressing interest — or not — in activities. At that age, kids are usually hard to push if they don't want an activity, but parents must be aware of burnout. Activities also must balance with school requirements. A tough school schedule means less time for other things, Ray warned. Even older kids need social time and rest, as well as breaks from electronic gadgets. Parents should be available. "Allow the child to be there with you without anything else going on. In the car running from thing to thing, making a quick meal, no devices in interactions, just available," she said. At 16 or 17, she added, "they really start the process of sorting out what is working for them. You can be a consultant on 'Is this too much? Is this really the college you want to get into?'" It sometimes seems colleges want kids in 20 activities and already changing the world, she said. Families must weigh what's worth it. Some children want to do that, some don't. Both will become successful adults.
Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana and Mississippi. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jack Elliott Jr. is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org.A reminder this information is not for publication or...
AP-LA-MS--Louisiana-Mississippi News Digest 1:30 pm, LA
Associated Press | May 9, 2015Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Louisiana and Mississippi. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-New Orleans bureau at 504-523-3931 or email@example.com. Jack Elliott Jr. is on the desk. AP-Deep South Editor Jim Van Anglen can be reached at 404-653-8460 or JVanAnglen@ap.org. A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central. Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates. TOP STORIES DEAD ZONE LAWSUIT NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge who ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take action to regulate farm runoff and other pollution blamed for the Gulf of Mexico's annual oxygen-depleted "dead zone" must take a second crack at his ruling. An appeals court has ordered U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey to reassess his 2013 order telling the EPA to set federal limits on the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous, which feed huge algae blooms that contribute to loss of oxygen in part of the Gulf of Mexico every summer, killing or chasing away marine life. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 678 words. MISSISSIPPI-CONGRESS JACKSON —Thirteen candidates are competing in a special congressional election in north Mississippi. With so many on Tuesday's ballot, the race is expected to go to a June 2 runoff between the top two. The winner will serve the final year and a half of a two-year term started by Republican Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who died of brain cancer in February. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 330 words, photos. With: BC-Mississippi-Congress-Glance. By Emily Wagster Pettus. PLAYER ELIGIBLE CHALLENGE OLIVE BRANCH — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a high school athlete can challenge a decision that barred him from playing football for Olive Branch High School. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the family of Ross Trail. The case now returns to DeSoto County Chancery Court. SENT: 411 words. (Eds: Also filed to sports lines) IN BRIEF VICKSBURG BAR SHOOTING — A Louisiana man will stand trial Nov. 30 on charges in a fatal shooting at a Vicksburg nightclub in February. SENT: 130 words. OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING — A Jefferson Parish deputy fatally shot a Harvey man Friday night after the man reportedly threatened officers with a gun. The victim was identified Saturday as 48-year-old Dedrick Marshall. SENT: 165 words. LAFAYETTE-VA FACILITY — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says it has identified a location for a clinic in Lake Charles. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson says in a letter than a lease for a temporary clinic in Lake Charles could be awarded by the end of the summer. SENT: 130 words. DOUBLE SLAYING-METAIRIE — A Jefferson Parish jury has convicted a New Orleans for his role in a 2013 double slaying in Metairie. Jason Thomas faces a mandatory life sentence in the deaths of Demektric Anderson and Tacara Williams-Moss, both of Memphis, Tennessee. SENT: 125 words. COACH-SEX-SENTENCE — The former coach of the Moss Point High School boys' basketball team has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for having sex with a student. SENT: 128 words. CARJACKING CONVICTION — A Jackson man convicted on two counts each of armed robbery and armed carjacking and one count of receiving stolen property will be sentenced May 18. SENT: 129 words. BROOKHAVEN SLAYING — A Brookhaven man has pleaded guilty to charges involving a 2013 fatal shooting in Brookhaven. SENT: 126 words. FBI MEMORIAL — A memorial service is set in New Orleans for FBI agents who have died in the line of duty. The FBI says Monday's service will be held at the New Orleans Museum of Art at City Park. SENT: 80 words. CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE — Former East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile Judge Kathleen Stewart Richey has landed a position heading a statewide children's advocacy association. SENT: 109 words. MEMBER EXCHANGE EXCHANGE-FEMALE-OFFENDERS SOUTHAVEN — The road to a new life for Crystal Dye and her young son is a long, narrow one, lined with years of group sessions for her addiction, after-care and counseling for 3-year-old Evan, visits to state drug court and random drug screenings. By Henry Bailey, The Commercial Appeal. EXCHANGE-WATER QUALITY PROJECT DIAMONDHEAD — Over the past year, while many peers were shopping for formal dresses, Rutherford spent time collecting water samples from the Bay of St. Louis and Mississippi Sound as part of an expanding science project she started in sixth grade. By Justin Mitchell, The Sun Herald. EXCHANGE-LOUJISIANA TRIBES HOUMA — For local Indian tribes seeking federal recognition, congressional pushback is disappointing, but nothing new. U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is demanding the Obama administration hold off on new rules that could make it easier for Indian groups to win federal recognition as tribes. By Jacob Batte, The Courier. EXCHANGE-FARM TO TABLE LAFAYETTE — The growing farm-to-table movement seems like it would be a win-win for Louisiana. Farmers get to sell and spotlight their products on local restaurant menus. Chefs get to work with the freshest local ingredients. Customers get to support and learn more about local agriculture. But the movement hasn't given Louisiana farmers the financial backing they'd like. By Megan Wyatt, The Advertiser. GUAM HOSPITAL CHIEF HAGATNA, Guam —Theodore "Ted" Lewis said he's no stranger to managing struggling stateside hospitals. So when the chance came up to be the next chief executive officer for financially strapped Guam Memorial Hospital, he saw an opportunity that others might run away from. Lewis has more than 25 years of experience in the hospital industry including, senior leadership positions at Riverside Medical Center in Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Medical Center. By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, Pacific Daily News. SPORTS PLAYER ELIGIBLE CHALLENGE OLIVE BRANCH — The Mississippi Supreme Court has ruled a high school athlete can challenge a decision that barred him from playing football for Olive Branch High School. The ruling came Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the family of Ross Trail. The case now returns to DeSoto County Chancery Court. SENT: 411 words. ___ If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at email@example.com or 877-836-9477. MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Louisiana, Mississippi and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.