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Kinston High School basketball playing for national championship

The Kinston High School basketball team is playing for a national championship … a virtual one, anyway. Despite only being the 2A champion, the Vikings were selected as the best champion among the four boys’ titlists. As a result, they are in a 64-team national championship tournament that USA Today and Massey Ratings are conducting.

Kinston was seeded 11th in the South bracket and have already pulled off an upset, defeating sixth-seeded Alpharetta, Ga. Milton, 78-69, in the first round. Next up for the Vikings is a familiar foe: Montverde (Fla.) Academy, a team Kinston defeated, 45-43, in the semifinals of the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational in December 2005.

Go check out the site — I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

By the by, thanks to our good friend Alan Wooten and a couple of you other yahoos for bringing this to my attention.

Hanks Blog Baseball League 2010: the details

OK, HBBL freaks, here are the details for tonight’s fantasy baseball draft:

  • It begins at 7 p.m. at The Free Press office. I’ll be wrapping up pages and such, but the draft can begin without me.
  • We’ll draw for draft position at the draft.
  • Here are the position requirements — Starters: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, OF, OF, OF, OF, two utility (any infield/outfield position), seven pitchers, four bench = 22 total players on your roster
  • Pitchers will have a 1,200 inning limit (seven pitchers multiplied by 162 games equals 1,134; decided to throw those other 66 innings in there because I’m a hell of a guy)
  • We’ll discuss the other rules at the draft
  • Here are the owners who will be at the draft — Hanks, Massey, BHatcher, Heelatious, Lee Wetherington, Spence; owners using chat (we can use Facebook or AOL; unfortunately, just found out my damned computer doesn’t have Skype capabilities!) — Flagan, The Kid; we’ll be drafting (using draft card) for Trey Kiger and David Pollock. That makes 10 of us

Hit me up here or at my e-mail for your pizza choices. I’m going Pizza Hut ’cause they rock and stuff, but let me know what you want.

Morning News Report; March 31, 2010

COUNTY REPUBLICANS, LIKE DEMOCRATS, WERE DISORGANIZED IN 2009

Remember last year, when I wrote about the Lenoir County Democratic Party being ”disorganized” in the eyes of the N.C. Democratic Party? Turns out the Dems’ county GOP counterparts were in the same boat.

My take: Wow. For an area to be so politically active — and interesting — there are a lot of people willing to let their parties flounder in the state’s eyes.

PRESIDENT TO ALLOW DRILLING FOR OIL OFF VIRGINIA’S COAST

This morning, President Obama will be reversing one of his political ideals by allowing off-shore drilling off Virginia’s coast. However, he will still not allow drilling in an area in Alaska.

My take: About time for the reversal of thought in Virginia. The main argument I’ve heard against off-shore drilling is that it’s not aesthetically pleasing to see rigs when you’re at a beach. If that’s the main reason against it — and I’ve not heard many more (for off-shore drilling), I wouldn’t mind seeing a rig if it means I’m paying $1.50 a gallon as opposed to $3 a gallon. But how the heck can you see a rig when it’s 50 miles off shore, anyway?

UNC IN NIT FINAL

North Carolina defeated Rhode Island, 68-67, in overtime last night to win a National Invitation Tournament semifinal game in New York City. The Heels will face Dayton today at 7 p.m. for the NIT championship.

My take: It took a curious no-call on a trip for UNC to win, but whatever — how sweet would it be for two ACC teams to win the NCAA and NIT titles?

The iPod shuffle

Sweet Hitch-Hiker — Creedence Clearwater Revival

Crucify — Tori Amos

Don’t Worry Baby — The Beach Boys

The River — Garth Brooks

It Takes Two — Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock

Morning News Report; March 30, 2010

HARRY EDWARDS REMOVES HIMSELF FROM COMMISSIONER’S RACE

Former Lenoir County Republican Party chief Harry Edwards, who oversaw some of the greatest prosperity in local GOP history, announced yesterday he is not going to run for Chris Humphrey’s open county commissioner seat. Edwards said that surrendering his insurance license a year ago was not the reason for his withdrawl.

My take: And it’s too bad, too, because the primary between Edwards and Eric Rouse was shaping up to be a good one.

Good luck to Harry in his future; I’ve enjoyed my interaction with him in the past two years or so. He’s a good family man and someone who deeply cares about this community.

RICKY MARTIN IS … GAY

Latin pop musician Ricky Martin announced yesterday that he is a homosexual.

My take: OK, did ANYONE not see this coming? In other news — water is wet, the sky is blue and Jager is a damned fine beverage.

And somewhere — probably in Bucklesberry, because he’s not feeling well today (irony, eh?) — Jon Dawson sheds a grateful tear. I know why he’s working from home today — so he can listen to his Ricky Martin Greatest Hits Collection. Sweet!

NTTAWWT.

SKINNER FIRED BY BC

Boston College head basketball coach Al Skinner has been fired.

My take: What surprised me about that news was that he was interviewing for the St. John’s job this weekend. Then I read that they fired him a week ago, but he asked them to keep it under wraps so he could interview for jobs. Shows that BC really respects him, I guess. Well, except for firing him and stuff.

The iPod shuffle

Foreplay Long Time — Boston

Amish Paradise — Weird Al Yankovic

My Favorite Mistake — Sheryl Crow

I Remember You — Skid Row

What’s Your Fantasy — Ludacris feat. Trina, Shawna and Foxy Brown

P.S.:I need to hear from Diamondheels, Jourbet and David Pollock in regards to the live fantasy draft tomorrow at 7 p.m. right here at The Free Press office. Quick lists:

At TFP: Hanks, Massey, BHatcher, Heelatious and Lee Wetherington

Skype, etc.: Flagan, The Kid

Pulled out: Trey Kiger, Jesterama

If those three are in, we have a 10-team league; are there any other players who want to get in who can live-draft with us at 7 p.m. tomorrow? Hit me up NOW. Later today, I’ll have a complete rundown of roster requirements, but I can tell you that it’ll be a 5X5 rotisserie league for scoring purposes. Hit me up one more final time about other rules you’d like to see and I’ll make a judgment today so you can prepare for the draft tomorrow. I know this: there’ll be a transaction limit (probably 50) and the league will have a 48 hours to protest trades. Anything else? Let me know.

P.P.S.S.: I have four tickets to today’s ECU-Elon baseball game. You know the drill — hit me up at bhanks@freedomenc.com and I’ll draw for them at about 2 p.m. today (sorry, have a ton of meetings today!).

Morning News Report; March 29, 2010

ABC GENERAL MANAGER IN TROUBLE

Lenoir County ABC GM Bruce Hill — who is also a Lenoir County Schools board member — has been accused by the state ABC board of having The Barn steakhouse owner change receipts to cover up an alcohol purchase at the restaurant.

My take: I’m going to be really interested to see how this one turns out — and not just from the local ABC board’s view. I think LCS Superintendent Dr. Terry Cline and the school board are going to have to address this issue, too.

This much is simple: Hill is likely to lose his local ABC board job, ’cause if he doesn’t, the state is likely to fire the entire board.

DUKE IN FINAL FOUR

The Duke men’s basketball team became the only top-seeded team to make it to the Final Four this year, defeating Baylor, 78-71, last night.

My take: Remember — just a week before the tournament began, everyone had Kentucky and Kansas as the locks for the Final Four, with Duke a possible 2-seed. Funny how things change. Congrats to my Dookie friends, including the HB.

‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON’ TOPS WEEKEND BOX OFFICE

The children’s movie, “How To Train Your Dragon” topped the weekend box office, taking in $43.3 million. It unseated “Alice In Wonderland” ($17.3 million), which had been No. 1 for three weeks. It was followed by “Hot Tub Time Machine” ($13.7 million), “Bounty Hunter” ($12.4 million) and “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” ($10 million).

My take: The HB and I saw “Hot Tub Time Machine” yesterday afternoon — and it was AWESOME. Of course, we’re both in our 40s and came of age in the 80s, so it appealed to us.

The reason I bring that up is because my good friend — and 20-year-old — Jonathan Massey saw it with some of his friends and they thought it stunk. Guess they didn’t get all the references? Still, I laughed about 50 times, including one time in which the HB thought I was having a stroke.

NOMINATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR SPORTS HALL OF FAME

The Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame committee is accepting nominations for its 2010 class. You can send them to me at bhanks@freedomenc.com; the nomination needs to include all pertinent information. The deadline is this Sunday for nominations.

The iPod shuffle

Too Much — Elvis Presley

Miami — Will Smith

All Right Now — Free

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It — REM

I’m On A Boat — The Lonely Island (feat. T-Pain)

P.S.: I’ve settled on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. for the live fantasy draft at The Free Press office. I am going to provide the pizza and sodas, but I need a head count. If you can’t make it and want to do it online (or with a pre-loaded draft card), let me know ASAP.

Morning News Report; March 26, 2010

POPE KNEW OF PEDOPHILE PRIEST … AND DID NOTHING

Paperwork is revealing that Pope Benedict XVI knew of a German priest who had sexually abused children – but allowed the priest to go back to his church, where he continued to molest children!

My take: The Catholic Church is taking a beating — and for good reason. If this is true (and there isn’t any reason to think it isn’t), the pope should step down.

AN INTERESTING TAKE ON THE REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRATIC PARTIES

Our guest columnist today in The Free Press, Marvin Sparks, takes a look at the history of the Democratic and Republican parties and the misconceptions of each.

My take: A very good read … but to me — a Libertarian — the two major parties have become so similar it’s hard to distinguish between them.

However, the health care debate has shown some of the differences between the two. I’d love to see y’all’s take on Marvin’s column.

INSTANT CLASSIC IN NCAA TOURNEY

Kansas State battled — and I mean BATTLED — past Xavier in last night’s double-overtime NCAA tournament game.

My take: I started watching it with about 5 minutes left in regulation — and it was awesome. Until the final 30 seconds of the final OT, every time a big shot was taken, it connected. The best NCAA tourney game I’ve seen since Duke-Kentucky in 1991.

The iPod shuffle

Raw — T.I.

Coward Of The County — Kenny Rogers

We Will Rock You — Queen

Tonight, Tonight, Tonight — Genesis

Desire — U2

ECU-NCCU baseball tix

Thanks to a couple of e-mailers for reminding me: I have four ECU baseball tickets to each of this weekend’s three games against N.C. Central. Send me an e-mail with “ECU tickets” in the subject line along with how many tickets and a way to contact you in the body of the e-mail. I’ll draw for the tickets around 11 a.m. or so; you’ll need to come by the office to collect your winnings.

Morning News Report; March 25, 2010

LEGALIZED MARIJUANA ON CALIFORNIA BALLOT

California voters will be able to vote for the legalization of marijuana on November’s ballot. If passed, citizens will be able to possess up to an ounce of weed legally.

My take: It’s about time; maybe this is a first step towards repealing one of the most ridiculous laws on the books. 

MCNABB ON TRADING BLOCK

The Philadelphia Eagles are actively attempting to trade future Hall of Fame QB Donovan McNabb. The Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Buffalo Bills are the three teams most interested.

My take: Of those three, Arizona makes the most sense to me although the Cardinals have seriously decimated their team. Still, it’s going to be weird to see the Iggles and not have McNabb on the field.

DR. IZZY STEVENS LEAVING ‘GRAYS ANATOMY’

Katherine Heigl, who portrays Dr. Izzy Stevens on ABC’s “Gray’s Anatomy,” is leaving the show.

My take: Yes, I watch GA … let the jokes begin.

But I’m glad she’s gone. Yes, she’s serious eye candy:

032410-heigl.jpg  

… but she’s not much of an actress. Good riddance.

The iPod shuffle

My Love — Paul McCartney & Wings

Where Are We Running? — Lenny Kravitz

I Wanna Get High — Cypress Hill

Crazy For This Girl — Evan & Jaron

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