Hurricane Harvey: A week of hell in Houston and how you can help

first_imgIt is such a strange feeling, as you prepare for a Hurricane, hoping it will not be as strong as predicted, praying for everyone in the path of the Hurricane, getting supplies to help you survive if you lose power or sustain damage … and all the while worrying about friends and family in the forecast path.  It’s a little bit excitement, since it is so unusual, combined with anxiety about the impending disaster, while trying to calm and convince those you love that everything will be okay.Last minute checks with our son and his family to be sure they were prepared, only to learn that the first 4 gas stations he went to were completely sold out of gas, and after an hour of searching and waiting in line he was finally able to fill up his vehicle at the 5th gas station the day before Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, added to the feeling this might be bigger than we thought.Finally we gathered around the TV to watch as the storm approached Texas and were amazed at how strong it became, reaching category 4 hurricane status with 130 mph winds and 938 mb of pressure, indicating it was one of the 20 strongest hurricanes of all time.  As we watched the weather people being beaten by wind and rain, and saw coastal cities record wind speeds of 120 – 132 mph, an ominous feeling crept into our subconscious.  Our reactions to what we were seeing went from “Wow, look at that!” to “Oh my God, that is terrible.” continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Hornets coach: Blake Griffin among ‘best four’ players in NBA

first_imgThe Clippers have now won eight consecutive games, the last seven without leading scorer Blake Griffin. Crazy as it sounds, there are those out there who wonder if the Clippers are better without him. Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford said he did an interview Friday and was asked just that. He scoffed.“Well, I think they’ve done an unbelievable job (without Griffin),” Clifford said before his team was defeated 97-83 by the Clippers on Saturday afternoon at Staples Center. “And yet, somebody asked me … I did a thing yesterday, ‘Would they be better without (Griffin)?’ Absolutely not.”He explained his reasoning, and it made sense.“There is a big difference between playoff basketball and the regular season, and he possesses all of the traits that you have to have to win in the playoffs,” Clifford said of Griffin. “He’s a great player, great passer, obviously can score the ball. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I mean, he was having — up to the point where he got hurt — in my opinion he had to be in the conversation for best four, five players in the league.”Griffin is averaging 23.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He averaged 25.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 14 postseason games last season.The latest on Griffin, who suffered a partially torn left quad tendon on Christmas night playing against the Lakers, is that he will be seen by a doctor sometime over the coming week. He has been shooting and running on a treadmill.Jordan adjusting to new defensive roleWith the drama of the summer long removed, coach Doc Rivers was asked to assess the play of center DeAndre Jordan, who entered play Saturday averaging 11.6 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks.center_img “I thought he started out slowly, but I think since then he’s been terrific,” Rivers said. “He does what he does and over the last month, he’s really been good. He’s progressing, he’s been great. I think our defensive changes kind of affected him a little bit — and I don’t think in a positive way — early.“But I think as he went on, now he loves where he’s at and he’s doing it and he’s been great.”Rivers said Jordan previously was more active in pick-and-roll defense than he is now.“Screening, showing, trapping,” Rivers said. “Now we have him back a lot. Early on, he didn’t know how to handle that.”Jordan was hesitant, Rivers said, but now he is very aggressive.“It was an adjustment,” Rivers said. “Being back and dropping compared to showing is a big adjustment for a 5. Our philosophy was it kept him near the basket more. Watching film as a staff this summer, we just kept noticing guys were laying it in and DJ was still trying to recover to get back to the basket because he was showing.“Now he’s there. He’s had some big blocks in games and I think the difference is because he was there.”Jordan averaged 11.5 points, 15 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 2014-15. last_img read more

Wellington Police Notes: Tuesday, May 17, 2016

first_imgWellington Police notes by Tuesday, May 17, 2016•12:04 a.m. Douglas M. Taylor, 26, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for defective headlamp and driving while license is suspended in the 500 block E. 16th, Wellington.•8:43 a.m. Officers took a report of found bicycle in the 800 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.•9:51 a.m. Officers took a report of a domestic family dispute by known subject(s) in the 1300 block E. Harvey, Wellington.•11:52 a.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 1200 block N. Washington, Wellington.•1:19 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of medication in the 800 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.•1:30 p.m. Officers assisted an outside agency in the Wellington.•3:46 p.m. Justin W E Corter, 33, Wellington was arrested and confined on a Sumner County arrest and detain order for probation violation.•8:31 p.m. Carmen A. Acotto Jr, 45, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for seatbelt violation.•10:59 p.m. Officers investigated possession of stimulant, possession of depressant, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license is suspended and illegal registration in the 300  block E. 10th, Wellington by known suspect.•11:33 p.m. Joshua A. Bodner, 25, Wellington was arrested and charged and confined with possession of stimulant, possession of depressant, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license is suspended and illegal registration.last_img read more

Ex-players sue NFL over use of painkillers

first_imgIn this Oct. 7, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama, left, looks towards quarterback Jim McMahon, wearing headband, as he honors the 1985 Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears football team during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. A group of retired NFL players, including McMahon, says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 20, 2014, that the league illegally supplied them with risky painkillers that numbed their injuries and led to medical complications. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening another legal attack on the NFL over the long-term health of its athletes, a group of retired players accused the league in a lawsuit Tuesday of cynically supplying them with powerful painkillers and other drugs that kept them in the game but led to serious complications later in life.The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages on behalf of more than 500 ex-athletes, charges the NFL with putting profits ahead of players’ health.To speed injured athletes’ return to the field, team doctors and trainers dispensed drugs illegally, without obtaining prescriptions or warning of the possible side effects, the plaintiffs contend.Some football players said they were never told they had broken bones and were instead fed pills to mask the pain. One said that instead of surgery, he was given anti-inflammatory drugs and excused from practices so he could play in games. Others said that after years of free pills from the NFL, they retired addicted to painkillers.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in Atlanta for the league’s spring meetings, said, “Our attorneys have not seen the lawsuit and obviously I have been in meetings all day.”The case comes less than a year after the NFL agreed to pay $765 million to settle lawsuits from thousands of retired players who accused it of concealing the risks of concussions. A federal judge has yet to approve the settlement, expressing concern the amount is too small.The athletes in the concussion case blamed dementia and other health problems on the bone-crushing hits that helped lift pro football to new heights of popularity.The new lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco and names eight players as plaintiffs, including three members of the NFL champion 1985 Chicago Bears: quarterback Jim McMahon, Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent and offensive lineman Keith Van Horne.More than 500 other former players have signed on, according to lawyers, who are seeking class-action status for the case. Six of the plaintiffs also took part in the concussion-related litigation, including McMahon and Van Horne.“The NFL knew of the debilitating effects of these drugs on all of its players and callously ignored the players’ long-term health in its obsession to return them to play,” said Steven Silverman, an attorney for the players.As a result of masking their pain with drugs, players developed heart, lung and nerve ailments; kidney failure; and chronic injuries to muscles, bones and ligaments, the lawsuit alleges.According to the lawsuit, players were routinely given drugs that included narcotic painkillers Percodan, Percocet and Vicodin, anti-inflammatories such as Toradol, and sleep aids such as Ambien.Toradol, which can be injected, was described as “the current game-day drug of choice of the NFL.” The medication may raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure or intestinal bleeding.After receiving numbing injections and pills before kickoff, players got more drugs and sleep aids after games, “to be washed down by beer,” the lawsuit says.Kyle Turley, who played for three teams in his eight-year career, said drugs were “handed out to us like candy.”“There was a room set up near the locker room and you got in line,” Turley said. “Obviously, we were grown adults and we had a choice. But when a team doctor is saying this will take the pain away, you trust them.”McMahon said he suffered a broken neck and ankle during his career, but instead of sitting out, he received medication and was pushed back onto the field. Team doctors and trainers never told him about the injuries, according to the lawsuit.McMahon also became addicted to painkillers, at one point taking more than 100 Percocet pills per month, even in the offseason, the lawsuit says.Van Horne played an entire season on a broken leg and wasn’t told about the injury for five years, “during which time he was fed a constant diet of pills to deal with the pain,” according to the lawsuit.Former offensive lineman Jeremy Newberry retired in 2009 and said that because of the drugs he took while playing, he suffers from kidney failure, high blood pressure and violent headaches.On game days, Newberry said, he and up to 25 of his San Francisco 49ers teammates would retreat to the locker room to receive Toradol injections in the buttocks 10 minutes before kickoff. The drug numbed the pain almost instantaneously.“The stuff works. It works like crazy. It really does. There were whole seasons when I was in a walking boot and crutches,” Newberry said in an interview. “I would literally crutch into the facility and sprint out of the tunnel to go play.”Newberry said he never considered not taking the drugs because he knew he’d be out of a job if he didn’t play hurt, and the only side effect he was warned about was bruising. He said he could tell which players on the opposing team had used Toradol because of the bloodstains on their pants.After he retired, Newberry said, he saw a specialist who reviewed his medical records and found that for years, the protein levels in his urine had been elevated, a precursor to kidney problems. Newberry said he got blood work during a team-sponsored physical every year but was never told about any problems.“They said, ‘You’re good to go, you passed another one. You’re cleared to play,’” Newberry said.___Associated Press sports writers Barry Wilner in Atlanta and Larry Lage in Detroit contributed to this report.___Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at read more