Afternoon Sports Report; Feb. 15, 2012

LINSANITY GRIPS NEW YORK, THE NATION

Jeremy Lin has had an historic few weeks for the New York Knicks – and “Linsanity” has surpassed Tim Tebowism in its national fervor.

My take: The NBA has to be absolutely LOVING this, especially coming off the strike. This reminds me of the MLB strike in 1994, when Cal Ripken Jr. brought many fans back to the game with his consecutive games streak. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s steroid-fueled home run derby helped MLB, too.

But this is a fascinating story in which you have to pull for this kid. I’m not exactly going to run out and buy his jersey (although A LOT of people are), but I’m looking forward to seeing him play this weekend on national TV.

FOUR FOOTBALL PLAYERS AMONG 17 TCU STUDENTS ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

Seventeen TCU students — including four football players — were arrested today for selling drugs.

My take: Frankly, I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often on college campuses; drugs are plentiful and kids want ‘em, creating the supply and demand I learned in 10th grade at North Wilkes High School.

The players’ names haven’t been released yet, but more arrests are coming. Interested to see who they’ll be.

EP2A SEMIFINALS TONIGHT AT KHS

One side of the semifinals of the Eastern Plains 2A basketball tournament are tonight at Kinston High School; the top-seeded Vikings girls face Wilson Beddingfield while the top-seeded boys take on Farmville Central.

As you prepare yourself for those games, check out this awesome story by Ryan Herman on Nakeil Williams and Andrew Lopez – whose fathers are serving or have served our country.

My take: Should be a pretty good atmosphere at Viking Gym tonight — and kudos to Nakeil and Andrew’s fathers for raising such great young men.

The iPod shuffle

Down And Out — Tantric

We Didn’t Start The Fire — Billy Joel

Pop Goes The Weasel — 3rd Bass

Hooked On A Feeling — B.J. Thomas

Synchronicity 2 — The Police

P.S.: Check out this excellent column by Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy on the DOJ decision. All I can say is: Amen. Outstanding observations.

Morning News Report; Feb. 13, 2012

NONPARTISAN VOTING COMING TO KINSTON

In a long and overdue decision, the U.S. Department of Justice finally came to its senses and awarded nonpartisan voting to the City of Kinston — three years after voters here made it known that’s what they wanted by a 2-1 margin.

My take: Here’s my Sunday column on the matter — and it pretty much tells you how I feel about the subject.

I’ll just reiterate this from my column — it’s racist for our government to tell black voters in Kinston that IT knows better than they do.

ADELE SWEEPS GRAMMY’S; WHITNEY HONORED

The 54th Grammys became all-Adele, all the time as the British singer walked off with awards in all six categories she was nominated, including the Big 3 of Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

The show also honored Whitney Houston, who died Saturday in what is now being described as a prescription pain killer and alcohol overdose.

My take: Admittedly, it was the first Grammys I’ve watched in several years — and it was pretty doggoned good. Adele — who I wasn’t very familiar with until this weekend — was simply wonderful; it’s good to see that someone who doesn’t fit the Brittney Spears/Ke$ha/Katy Perry mold can still be successful in 2012.

Jennifer Hudson’s version of Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” was FANTASTIC; it was a fitting and haunting tribute to one of the greatest singers of my generation.

Not sure what Nicki Minaj was doing there towards the end of the show with her exorcism bit, but it was pretty scary … and downright bad.

Myself, along with B.J. Davis, Justin “The Kid” Hill and others, were tweeting throughout the event. Check out our thoughts by jumping on our feeds.

APPLE SUES SAMSUNG

Apple has filed suit against Samsung on four patented items it alleges Samsung has stolen.

My take: As much as folks like to take shots at Apple, why wouldn’t it sue to protect its patents and products? The market is flooded with iPhone, iPad and iPod wannabes that look almost exactly like the originals. Good for Apple.

PREP HOOPS TOURNEYS TAKE PLACE THIS WEEK

While the Kinston boys and girls have first-round byes in this week’s Eastern Plains 2A conference tournament (along with Ayden-Grifton’s boys and Jones Senior’s girls in the Carolina 1A and the Coastal 1A, respectively), virtually every other public school in our area has to win their respective tournament to go to the state playoffs, which begin next week.

Kinston will host a doubleheader at home Wednesday night in the EP2A semifinals; for the rest of the schedule, click on the link.

My take: As much fun as Friday night’s games against North Pitt were at Viking Gym, here’s hoping there are replays this Friday in the EP2A championship games.

The iPod shuffle

O Let’s Do It (Remix) — Waka Flocka Flame featuring Diddy, Rick Ross & Gucci Mane

Kinda Like A Big Deal — Clipse

Sad Songs (Say So Much) — Elton John

Bullet The Blue Sky (Live) — U2

Oh Yeah (Work) — Lil’ Scrappy featuring Sean P. & E-40

Podcast goodness just for YOU

You know you want to hear Jon Dawson’s voice. Or mine. Or Ryan Herman’s. Or even Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy’s or Greene Central football coach Kenneth Grantham’s. Well, here are your opportunities to do JUST THAT:

A quick heads-up on these podcasts — if you open them on your iPhone, you can listen to them on it. Sweet, right? Now, go buy an iPhone!

Morning News Report; April 9, 2010

MAYOR CHOOSES NOT TO JOIN NONPARTISAN LAW SUIT

After years of advocating for nonpartisan elections in Kinston — even using it as a platform in his campaign — Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy decided not to become a part of the historic lawsuit prepared by Stephen LaRoque and others that was announced Wednesday.

My take: As many know, my paper’s position on this issue is this — we support nonpartisan elections in Kinston. It’s ridiculous that only eight of 511 municipalities in North Carolina use this archaic system of election.

But what was even more ridiculous is that after 63.8 percent of Kinston — including 7 of 9 predominantly black precincts — decided partisan elections were also passe, one lone woman in the federal government could overturn the decision of thousands of voters.

While running for election last year, B.J. made this a central part of his campaign. I’d dare say there were dozens and maybe even hundreds of folks who voted for B.J. because of this issue … and now he’s backing away from it? If it’s a personality issue between B.J. and Stephen — and they are two Type A Alpha Dogs, to be certain — then it needs to be resolved between them to get B.J. back on this lawsuit (which he was originally scheduled to be).

Yes, it’s strong in its own merit with Stephen, et. al, on board, but imagine the weight it would’ve had to have had the current mayor of the town on the lawsuit?

TIGER WOODS’ NEW NIKE AD

With Tiger Woods returning to the PGA this week at the Masters, Nike has released a new ad, using the voice of his dead father:

My take: OK, I’ve watched it three times and it is still as bizarre as the first time I watched it. So what has Tiger learned? To be more secretive in his future affairs? To air all his dirty laundry?

You know what I think Tiger “owes” us? To get out there and kick ass on the golf course. His personal life is his personal life. If his infidelity pisses you off, don’t buy his stuff! Pull for another golfer! But he’s apologized enough; I’m glad he’s back.

Someone told me, you know, Michael Vick killed many dogs and did hard time in prison and has been welcomed back with open arms, for the most part. Alex Rodriguez and other baseball players got caught using steroids and are cheered every day in stadiums. Tiger Woods screwed a lot of skanks and is a public pariah. Geez.

BUTLER TIES UP COACH WITH 12-YEAR EXTENSION

Butler men’s basketball coach Brad Stevens signed a 12-year extension to keep him at the Indianapolis university through 2021-2022. His base salary is in the $750,000 range.

My take: And his salary befuddles me — Clemson, Wake Forest and Oregon, which all need a new basketball coach, could double and triple that number. Yeah, Butler is a good story, but do you REALLY think the Bulldogs will ever be as good as they were this year? Take the money, go to a traditional school and rebuild another program.

Speaking of Wake Forest firing Dino Gaudio, I accidentally didn’t post that story the other day. Like you, I was beyond shocked. How do you fire a third-year guy who has an overall winning record in the ACC and is doing things the right way? He’ll land on his feet somewhere, I’m sure.

Also, a tasty tidbit of gossip I received from a Carolina insider yesterday: evidently Ed Davis is not exactly popular in the locker room (poor work ethic, doesn’t get along with other Heels) and he’s being encouraged to leave Chapel Hill for the NBA. Again, take it for it is: a rumor from a pretty closely-connected Tar Heel.

The iPod shuffle

Love Song — Tesla

Something 2 Dance 2 — NWA

Rag Doll — Aerosmith

Spirits In The Material World — The Police

It’s About Time — Van Halen

Morning News Report; Nov. 17, 2009

KINSTON CITY COUNCIL WON’T APPEAL NONPARTISAN DECISION

In a 3-2 vote last night, the Kinston City Council voted against appealing the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision on nonpartisan voting in the city.

My take: Frankly, I am shocked.

Don’t get it twisted, I knew it wouldn’t be 5-0 in favor of an appeal; Councilman Joe Tyson has stood his ground the entire time — even with Fox News cameras in front of him — and I knew he wasn’t changing his mind. And although I disagree vehemently with Mr. Tyson, I respect his stance, because he has never wavered.

But Alice Tingle told me on Oct. 20: “I can truly say that it does not matter to me if we are partisan or nonpartisan; either way, I can live with it.”

And Robbie Swinson told NPR that he was surprised by the DOJ’s decision and he alluded to the fact that he’d vote for an appeal if it came up.

So what happened to Alice and Robbie last night? Who knows — but we’ll have something in the paper about this tomorrow.

Lastly — kudos to Will Barker and Jimmy Cousins for voting for an appeal. It’s good to see two councilman agree with 67 percent of the Kinston’s voters.

‘REMOTE CONTROL’ HOST DIES AT 52

This story will mean absolutely nothing to our younger bloggees, but once upon a time, MTV was just that: a music television network.

Then along came “Remote Control”, a hilarious game show that, frankly, has never had a peer since. Ken Ober was the host of the MTV show; he also helped introduce Adam Sandler, Denis Leary, Colin Quinn and many others in the show’s run.

Ober died Monday at the age of 52.

My take: And another icon of my youth is gone.

I LOVED “Remote Control”; I even had an RC T-shirt. It was funny, original and there will never be another one like it. RIP, Mr. Ober.

24 HOURS OF HOOPS ON ESPN

Not that the four-letter giant needs any more promotion, but for the second year, ESPN is televising 24 hours of live basketball on its platforms, including ESPN360.com. The games began at midnight today with UCLA facing Cal State Fullerton; Clemson is playing at Liberty right now.

My take: AWESOME. Got it on right now — and there needs to be more 24-hour days full of college hoops!

An interesting sidenote: Monmouth played at St. Peter’s LIVE at 4 a.m. today. You think those St. Peter’s players went to their 10 a.m. class?

Another interesting sidenote: I watched the Virginia-South Florida game on ESPN360.com last night, checking out that site. It’s awesome, too — and probably the only advantage Suddenlink has over Time Warner Cable, at least in the Triangle area (TWC doesn’t offer ESPN360.com).

The iPod shuffle

Rodeo — Garth Brooks

Say Now — Nelly

Drive Slow — Kanye West feat. Paul Wall & GLC

FM — Steely Dan

25 Or 6 To 4 — Chicago

P.S.: Congrats to BealeStBuc (Seth Jones) — he’s on the national leaderboard for ESPN’s Streak For The Cash monthly leaders. He has 49 (!) wins this month and is only seven games behind the national leader! Go Seth!

Morning News Report; Nov. 13, 2009

KINSTON DOJ DECISION, MURPHY’S WIN IN LATEST ‘WORLD’ MAGAZINE

The conservative “World” magazine has an article on Kinston Mayor-Elect B.J. Murphy and the Department of Justice decision in its latest issue.

My take: As much coverage as the DOJ decision has received — along with Murphy’s victory — this seems like only a percursory, surfacy-type story. But good for “World” for getting Kinston’s name out. Like I’ve stated many times before, maybe this will help change the City Council’s mind about appealing the decision.

PALIN TAKES MORE SHOTS AT MCCAIN’S STAFFERS IN NEW BOOK

Without taking direct aim at John McCain himself, former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin charges in her new book that his campaign staffers kept her bottled up and even charged her $50,000 for her vetting.

The book is already at the top of Amazon’s best sellers, even though it isn’t released until Tuesday.

My take: Not sure I want to read this, but heck, by the time she’s finished with Oprah, “Good Morning America” and every other show she’s going to be on in the next two weeks, you’re going to know everything that is in the book, anyway.

You think Tina Fey will play her in the movie based on the book?

THE WHO TO PLAY SUPER BOWL HALFTIME SHOW

One of the world’s best rock bands, The Who, will play halftime of Super Bowl XLIV in Miami on Feb. 7.

My take: Talked to Jon Dawson this a.m., and he’s convinced they’ll play all their CSI songs, i.e., “Who Are You”, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Baba O’Riley”. Nothing wrong with that; I just hope they don’t try to play some new song that no one has ever heard…

The iPod shuffle

Sledgehammer — Peter Gabriel

Redneck Woman — Gretchen Wilson

Summer Love/Set The Mood Prelude — Justin Timberlake & Timbaland

Rock Of Ages — Def Leppard

I Feel Fine — Cream

Election prediction, nonpartisan reaction

As promised in my column Sunday, here are my predictions for today’s Kinston mayoral election:

If turnout is more than 25 percent — and it’s likely it will be, with nearly 1,100 early voters taking part in the process — I think Jimmy Cousins will win the election. As Cousins, Earl Harper and B.J. Murphy will tell you, East Kinston — which is overwhelmingly African-American and votes Democrat — will decide this election. With more folks voting from East Kinston, I think they’ll instinctively hit that straight ticket Democrat button, bringing Cousins the win.

If turnout is 17 to 25 percent, it’s Murphy. It could actually be 16 or 18 to 25 percent, but I think that would throw enough of a mix into the proceedings to help Murphy win.

If turnout is under 17 percent, it’s Harper. His supporters are mobilized, but they are limited to an older generation.

Kinston’s nonpartisan issue hit the national airwaves Friday when National Public Radio and Fox News’ Hannity program aired segments about it. Surprisingly, NPR’s broadcast was very balanced but didn’t do much more than just bring the facts to the surface. As expected, Hannity’s program took a right-wing (albeit, fair) view of the issue.

One thing I hope from all this is that all this attention helps the Kinston City Council change its collective mind and get behind an appeal effort. The people spoke a year ago — and we are still not respecting their wishes.

Nonpartisan issue all over the airwaves

The nation will hear about the Kinston nonpartisan issue in two venues today: at approximately 5:20 p.m., National Public Radio will have a piece on it, while Fox News Channel’s Hannity program will have it on at 9 p.m. today.

I’m going to try to listen to the NPR piece live and I’ll watch the Hannity show on DVR later tonight; I’ll provide my analysis of both tomorrow.

On your airwaves

If you just can’t get enough of my loveliness — and you happen to be driving through Clinton this afternoon — I am a guest on “Today’s World with Sammy O’Bannion” from 2:20 to 3 p.m. today. The show airs on WCLN-AM 1170; there’s not a Web link, so if you want to hear the show, drive to Clinton.

And yes, it’s the same Sammy O’Bannion of beach music fame; he’s also a political junkie who wants to talk about the Kinston nonpartisan issue on his show this afternoon.

Additionally, I’ll be on TACC-9 tonight at 7 on “The Reece Gardner Show”. Reece will be interviewing the three Kinston mayoral candidates and I will be on in his final segment providing analysis of the race and their performance on his show.

The cool thing about TACC-9 right now is that the station’s owner, Clark Tutt, has started “on demand” viewing at the Web site linked above — so you can watch it any time you want. Check it out.

Morning News Report; Oct. 26, 2009

FOX NEWS CHANNEL IN KINSTON FILMING FOR THURSDAY’S HANNITY

A reporter from Fox News’ Sean Hannity Show is in town all day today filming for a piece for his Thursday show about the Kinston nonpartisan issue. Mayoral candidates B.J. Murphy and Jimmy Cousins were interviewed this morning at Christopher’s Restaurant; the crew is presently (noon) at Stephen LaRoque’s home in Kinston and will spend the rest of the day around town.

My take: Maybe this is the type of heat needed on the City Council to make them change their mind and “un-table” their appeal of the ridiculous DOJ opinion. However, I’ve had several off-the-record conversations with some Dems who have said this does nothing but build their resolve.

We’ll see. When Kinston continues to get a black eye from this mess nationally, maybe they’ll change their minds.

HEMEYER BEGINS ROAD TO AN OSCAR

Our good friend, Chris Hemeyer — current Kinston Indians play-by-play announcer and formerly Brian North’s right-hand man at WCTI ABC-12 – is the star of a new Web series that premiered today on YouTube.

You can check it out by going to awakenpictures.com or by clicking on the YouTube link below…

My take: Not bad; I’m hoping they really flesh out his character in the next four weeks, but it certainly has promise. Check it out for yourself; it’s less than four minutes long.

YANKEES RETURN TO WORLD SERIES

For the first time in six years, the New York Yankees are back in the World Series.

My take: And why are we surprised? The team has had the highest payroll for the past 20 years and has a roster that is being paid nearly $200 million this year — shouldn’t it win?

With that said, I’ll go with my original prediction and have the Yanks beating the Phillies in 6.

The iPod shuffle

Feelin’ Satisfied — Boston

Hit It Run — Run DMC

Rhymin’ And Stealin’ — Beastie Boys

Son Of A Preacher Man — Dusty Springfield

No Sleep Till Brooklyn — Beastie Boys