Friday, May 31, 2013

Iron Horse Roundup For May 2013

CONNECTICUT- Rail service along the Northeast Corridor between New York City and New Haven after a May 17th derailment and collision that injured 72 people at the height of the evening rush hour.
National Transportation Safety Board officials are looking into a broken part of the rail that underwent repairs last month, but have not determined whether it was a pre-existing fracture or if it occurred as a result of the accident, according to NTSB spokesperson Earl Weener, who provided an update at a news conference on Saturday afternoon.

NTSB officials arrived on the scene on Saturday morning to begin investigating the cause of the train crash, injuries sustained by the commuters and operator performance.

The NTSB's investigation could take seven to 10 days but that does not mean that service shutdown will take that long, board spokesman Earl Weener said..

The eastbound Metro-North train derailed just after 6:00 p.m. and was hit between the Bridgeport and Fairfield stations, officials said.

"We came to a sudden halt. We were jerked. There was smoke," Alex Cohen, a Canadian passenger on the westbound train en route to New York, told NBC Connecticut.

"People were screaming; people were really nervous. We were pretty shaken up. They had to smash a window to get us out," he said.

St. Vincent Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn. said on Saturday that it saw a total of 46 patients, six of whom were admitted for treatment. All patients remained in the hospital and were reportedly in stable condition.

Bridgeport Hospital saw 26 patients and admitted three. Two of those patients were in critical condition a day after the accident, and one was in stable condition, according to The Associated Press.
The FBI has ruled out foul play early into the investigation while the NTSB is focusing their probe on a possible fractured rail that could have derailed the first train. The Northeast Corridor opened on a limited basis by Tuesday as the NTSB investigation continued.

Between commuter service and intercity passenger service, the Boston-New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington DC Northeast corridor is the busiest stretch of passenger track in the United States. The Connecticut derailment posed a massive bottleneck for the New York-Boston portion of the Northeast Corridor, with many trains cancelled and some being replaced by bus service for the duration of the closure.

MARYLAND- Suburban Baltimore was rocked by a massive explosion on Tuesday after a CSX freight train collided with a truck and derailed. The train was reportedly carrying sodium chlorate- a bleaching agent used in the papermaking process. A CSX spokesman confirmed that the train was carrying the sodium chlorate, but denied that it was in any of the derailed cars.

Reports indicate that the trucker- who also owned the waste hauling company- was hospitalized and in serious condition but there were no reports of injuries among the train crew or the public. The force of the blast damaged nearby warehouses, but Baltimore county fire officials reportedly had the blaze under control.

The NTSB and Maryland State Police are focusing on the safety record of the trash hauling truck involved in the collision.
As cleanup crews and investigators worked at the crash site in the eastern Baltimore suburbs, NTSB board member Robert Sumwalt gave what he said was the agency's last local news conference on the Tuesday derailment. He said the agency has looked at federal transportation department safety records for Alban Waste and found an above-average number of violations resulting in trucks being ordered off the road.

Records of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show the company that has three trucks was involved in two crashes with injuries in 2012 and 2013. The agency's website also shows the company's vehicles were inspected 43 times in the last two years, with trucks being ordered out of service in about 40 per cent of those cases. The national average is about half that.

The 45-car CSX train crashed into the trash truck driven by company owner John J. Alban Jr. Sumwalt had said investigators planned to interview Alban Jr., who remained in serious condition Thursday at a hospital. His was the only injury in the derailment, explosion and fire that sent a plume of black and grey smoke into the air that could be seen for miles.

A new video of the crash, captured by a nearby business's surveillance camera, shows Alban Jr.'s truck approaching the crossing before the train is in sight, driving away from his business. Without stopping, the truck heads across the tracks as the train approaches. The truck appears to get mostly across before the lead CSX locomotive slams into it. The impact wraps the truck's white cab and a portion of its trailer around the side of the train, and the train drags the wreckage forward. The video appeared first on the Baltimore News Journal website.

Sumwalt said the video was helpful to investigators.

He said the train was going 49 mph, just below the speed limit of 50 mph on that track section.

Other Motor Carrier Safety Administration records obtained by The Associated Press show Alban Waste failed a safety audit in November 2011 due to file-keeping problems regarding drivers' qualifications, a random drug and alcohol testing program and maintenance reports. The company notified the agency in March 2012 of its actions to correct those problems. Other federal records show violations over the last two years including brake and light problems to tire and seat belt violations.

Capt. Norman Dofflemyer, commander of the Maryland State Police Commercial Motor Vehicles Division, said the federal trucking regulatory agency has asked his office to help review the company's compliance with federal regulations. He said that even before the crash, "they were approaching a threshold that would have triggered a notice that we should start looking at the company through the compliance program."

The company is located a short distance from the crossing where the collision occurred. The road to the business crosses the railroad tracks, separating Alban Waste from the rest of an industrial neighbourhood off Interstate 95.

Alban Jr. was ticketed May 25 in Baltimore County for failing to properly secure a roll-on container to his truck and convicted earlier on the same charge. He is awaiting trial July 19 on a speeding ticket. His license was suspended for about a month on March 25 after he failed to either pay the fine or ask for a court date. When he requested a court date April 23, the suspension was lifted. Alban Jr. was convicted of using a hand-held cellphone while driving in June 2011 in the city of Baltimore.

Sumwalt said the NTSB will review cellphone records as a routine part of the investigation.
The collision is said to have caused an estimated $625,000 in damages and the road leading into Alban's company was blocked off by the train derailment.

MISSOURI- An highway overpass in southeastern Missouri was brought down this week after a collision between Union Pacific and BNSF freight trains.

Seven people were injured Saturday morning in a massive train collision in Scott County that took down an overpass.
Officials say that around 2:30 a.m. there was a train crash near County Road 210 and Highway M in the Rockview community. The Highway M overpass collapsed on impact.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says a Union Pacific train T-boned a BNSF Railway train that had just made it through the intersection.

The collision caused one of the trains to derail and hit a pillar under the overpass causing it to collapse. A dozen Union Pacific train cars derailed.

Trooper Clark Parrott with the Missouri Highway Patrol says two vehicles were not on the bridge when it collapsed. The cars came up on the bridge as it went down.

Three people in one vehicle, and two people in another vehicle, were taken to a nearby hospital.

One of the drivers, Christopher M. Cantrell, 22, of Benton, Missouri, received minor injuries.

Two 19-year-old passengers, Victoria L. Cantrell and Sarah R. Ishmael, both of Chaffee, Missouri, received moderate injuries in the crash.
The Union Pacific engineer and conductor were pulled from the wreckage and treated at a nearby hospital. According to the Union Pacific, the train was hauling automobiles between Illinois and Arlington, TX.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the highway overpass sees an average of more than 3000 vehicles daily while the span itself weighs more than 370 tons. Removal of the collapsed bridge is expected to cost nearly $3 million.

Pennsylvania Democrat Caught Using Multiple Aliases Online to Harass Constituents Who Support Natural Gas Drilling

A state representative from southwestern Pennsylvania has apologized for harassing constituents who had expressed support for natural gas drilling using online comments under a number of fake names on various websites.

The apology came hours after state representative Jesse White (D-Washington) denied using such tactics when he was questioned by a reporter from Pittsburgh TV station KDKA. In fact, White initially called the accusations a personal attack against him by "the propaganda wing of the natural gas industry" when a KDKA camera crew caught up with him.

Janice Gibbs- a Washington County grandmother who supported natural gas drilling- began posting her pro-drilling views online under the moniker Proud American. Almost immediately after posting her comments, White apparently revealed her identity and accused her of being a paid operative of natural gas companies [despite the fact that Gibbs has no lease on her land- NANESB!] . Other commenters called Gibbs "dumber than a box of rocks", an "uneducated yinzer" and "an embarrassment to the community"- she suspected that Rep White was behind a number of those comments himself, but didn't have any proof until somebody began posting anti-fracking comments under her name on the natural gas industry's Energy In Depth website.

The organization traced the comments from "Janice Gibbs" and "Janet Gibson" to a computer using Rep White's IP address. The domain name for an anti-fracking website called 'GasRoots PA' that routinely lauds White and refers to fracking supporters as 'whores' was also registered under White's name. White refused to comment when he was confronted with both facts by a KDKA reporter.

But while White stonewalled, Gibbs freely spoke.

“I kind of feel violated,” Gibbs said. “Yep, I feel violated that an elected official would go this far.”

White told Sheehan he has no connection to an anti-drilling website called, which chastises drilling supporters as “whores” and regularly praises White.

However, when Sheehan searched the domain name he found that it also was registered in White’s name.

Within an hour after the interview, GasRootsPA was re-registered under another name — Tony Stewart — another fictitious person.

But, the intrigue goes even deeper.

In the past two years, Internet sites have been littered with postings from people named Victoria Adams, Frank Reynolds, Cindy McPherson and others attacking pro-drilling advocates.

Sheehan couldn’t find any evidence that these people actually exist, but their language is strikingly similar to White’s own Facebook postings where he is fond of calling opponents “trolls.”

Cindy McPherson calls pro-gas supporters: “nameless trolls.” Victoria Adams calls another a “gas industry troll” and Frank Reynolds calls yet another an “energy industry troll.”

Farmer Don Roessler gets royalties from Marcellus Shale drilling. He suspects White — using the handle “Prouder American” — has told people to boycott his crops and has called him names too.

“He’s gone on insulting me, insulting my intelligence,” Roessler said.
Roessler and Gibbs aren't the only constituents who were reportedly harassed online by White. A pro-dilling township supervisor in Cecil, PA named Elizabeth Cowden said that somebody has been posting comments online using a similar name to make it appear as though she was calling herself a liar. Far from being a political opponent of White, Cowden said that she had donated regularly to White in the past but had stopped in the two years.

Two years ago, a Washington County jury also ruled that White's online comments- which were made under his own name- libeled and defamed Robinson Township Committee member named Raymond Bish- a fellow Democrat. White is also an attorney and fellow lawyer Charles Kurowski said the attacks on Bish were despicable and unprovoked.

The Marcellus Shale formation stretches form upstate New York to southwestern Virginia and contains massive reserves of natural gas that remain largely untapped. A process known as hydraulic fracture drilling- or hydrofracking- has been used to drill for gas in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. However, the natural gas industry faces well-financed and well-publicized opposition from environmentalists and New York City-based entertainers opposed to the fracking process, claiming it will irreversibly foul local groundwater- despite hydrofracking having been used elsewhere without such dire effects.

Most of the drilling in the Marcellus Shale is taking place in Pennsylvania so far, while New York State has placed an ongoing moratorium on hydrofracking.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Glass Half Phill Sports Chowdah Update- Red Sox Split Interleague Series With Phillies; Stanley Cup Runneth Over- Four Most Recent NHL Champions Advnace to Conference Finals

Matt Slocum/AP

RED SOX- The Red Sox jumped out to an early 4-0 lead over the Phillies on Thursday night thanks to a 2-RBI single from Mike Carp and 2-RBI double from Saltalamacchia.

The Phillies would respond in the bottom of the first by getting two back on a 2-run Delmon Young homer, but after cutting the Boston lead in half, that would be as close as Philadelphia would get. Johnny Gomes would belt a solo homer to make it a 5-2 Boston lead in the top of the 6th and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury would end up stealing a club record five bases on Thursday night as the Red Sox would continue adding to their lead. This included a Big Papi solo shot in the top of the 7th followed by three more runs in the top of the 9th thanks to an RBI Groundout from Steven Drew and RBI double from Saltalamacchia and Iglesias to make it 9-2 Boston.

Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Bailey would close out the 9-2 win for the Red Sox and Franklin Morales would win his first start of the season for Boston. Saltalamacchia would go 2-5 with 3 RBI and while Gomes and Ortiz both homered for the Red Sox, the real story of the night was Ellsbury who went 3-4 and basically ate Philly catcher Erik Kratz's lunch when he wasn't stealing five bases. Boston splits the series with Philadelphia 2-2 (the series was two games at Fenway and two games in Philadelphia), Boston's first interleague action of the 2013 season.

Since the game took place in a National League park, there was no DH slot- meaning Big Papi started at first base on Thursday night and was lifted late for Jackie Bradley Jr who had a single in his only at-bat. Bradley was called up from Pawtucket on Wednesday and is expected to remain with the team through the series against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Clay Buccholz, who was a late scratch from Monday's opener at Fenway against the Phillies is expected to re-join the team and start against the Yankees on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Yankees were swept by the struggling Mets in the interleague 'Subway Series' which includes two games in the Bronx and two games at Citi Field.

Nam Y Huh

NHL- Unlike the Eastern conference, where the Bruins and Penguins were able to wrap up their respective series in no more than five games, both the defending Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks needed seven games to advance to the Western Conference finals.

It looked touch and go for the Blackhawks on Wednesday, but the United Center erupted with thunderous applause and cheers when the 1-1 deadlock appeared to be broken late after a Niklas Hjalmarsson slapshot found its way to the back of the Detroit net, but the apparent game winning goal was waved off after two offsetting penalties were called by officials.

Instead, the Chicago crowd would have to wait a few more minutes when Brent Seabrook got his first tally of the playoffs, beating Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard 3:35 into OT and ending Detroit's season. The victory gives Chicago a matchup against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings, who bested San Jose by a 2-1 final on Tuesday night and won the series against the Sharks 4 games to 3.

Interestingly, the longest any of the four remaining teams has gone without winning a Stanley Cup? Try 2009....that was the year the Pittsburgh Penguins won it all. The Blackhawks won Lord Stanley's cup in 2010, the Boston Bruins won it in 7 games in 2011 and the Kings remain the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Massachusetts Lt. Governor, State Representative Announce Resignations

Two Massachusetts officials, both Democrats, announced their resignation from office earlier this month following accusations of wrongdoing and official misconduct in separate incidents.

Lt Gov Tim Murray announced his resignation from office on May 6th. Murray is reportedly taking a higher paying job with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce in early June, after his last day in office. The move will leave the Commonwealth without a Lieutenant Governor until 2014- although this would not be the first time in recent history that the Bay State would be without a Lt Gov for an extended period of time.

In January, the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance made public a letter that Murray and his campaign likely broke the law by accepting donations from former Chelsea Housing Authority Director Michael McLaughlin, who pleaded guilty to falsely reporting his salary between 2008 and 2011 as part of a plea agreement earlier this year.

In addition to the donations from McLaughlin, Murray also changed his story several times following a November 2011 car wreck where investigators determined that Murray's vehicle was travelling at speeds in excess of 100 MPH on state route 190 in Sterling, MA.

Murray denies that the McLaughlin case or his solo car wreck factored into his decision to resign. According to some reports, Murray's new position with the Worcester Chamber of Commerce will pay an annual salary of more than $200,000- versus around $125,000 as Lt Governor.

Secretary of State William Galvin would serve as the next in line to Gov Deval Patrick- including acting governor when Patrick is out of the state.

Meanwhile, state representative John Fresolo- a Worcester Democrat who has been the target of a House Ethics Committee investigation- announced his resignation last week. Although neither Fresolo or any member of the state Ethics Committee would disclose the details behind the investigation and Fresolo's sudden resignation due to House rules, representatives on Beacon Hill say that the resignation was appropriate. Multiple sources told Boston's WCBV TV that the investigation into Fresolo's conduct was launched after a female State House employee had filed a complaint in March.

Unlike Murray's resignation, there will be a special election for the state House seat vacated by Fresolo's resignation, with a primary set for August 13 and the final special election set to take place on September 10th, 2013.

Previously, Massachusetts has held the dubious distinction of having their last three speakers of the State House convicted of a felony.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Today's Train of Thought- A Grave Endeavor, March 27th 2013

To this day, working railroads can be found running through a number of unlikely venues- such as the middle of a street or a golf course. Although some rail lines skirt the periphery of cemeteries and burial grounds, it's a little unusual for a line to run right through the middle of one.

One notable exception is the Nashville National Cemetery, however. The burial ground first opened up shortly after the Civil War just to the north-east of Tennessee's capitol. By 1879, nearly 19 additional acres had been conveyed to what is now the Nashville National Cemetery. Not surprisingly, much of this land was to accommodate soldiers from both the Confederacy and Union that were killed during the Civil War.

Yet to this day, the Nashville National Cemetery remains bisected by an operating rail line- an easement was granted to CSX predecessor line Louisville & Nashville in 1912 to operate the line 'in perpetuity'.

Here, contributor Doyle Massey caught a southbound CSX Q649 (Chicago to Birmingham, AL manifest freight) with C40-8 #7643 heading through the 64.5 acre burial ground in April 2009, more than halfway through her journey from the Windy City to the heart of Dixie. According to Massey, the Nashville National Cemetery was closed for burials by the late 1990s and was also added to the National Register of Historic Places around the same time.


National Medal of Honor Memorial at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, CA

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sports Chowdah Update: Bye Bye Blueshirts- Bruins Eliminate Rangers, Advance to Eastern Conference Finals; Tribe Tribe Again- Francona Makes Return to Fenway For First Time Since 2011

Charles Krupa- AP Photo
BOSTON BRUINS- Although the Bruins had a chance to close out the series against the New York Rangers with a sweep on Thursday night, the blueshirts came from behind twice to force an OT where the series and New York's season was kept alive on a Chris Kreider goal to give the Rangers a 4-3 win and force a Game 5 in Boston on Saturday.

And although a number of Boston fans confidently declared "Good- that means we can close out the series in front of the home crowd at the Garden", these were the same Rangers who would go on to advance past the Capitols after trailing in the series 2-0 and forcing 7 games.

For some of the doubters, plans were being made for a possible Game 6 as the Rangers would jump out to a 1-0 lead halfway through the first thanks to a power play goal from Dan Girardi.

But Boston would get on the board and tie the game up at 1-1 early in the second thanks to a power play goal from Providence callup Torey Krug. Gregory Campbell would give the Bruins their first lead of the day with an even strength goal at 13 minutes and 41 seconds into the 2nd period. But given the Rangers never-say-die attitude from Thursday night game, it appeared as though no lead was safe. Early in the third, Tukka Rask came up huge to keep the Bruins out in front.

The Bruins would not get any insurance whatsoever until the Rangers pulled Lundqvist late in the 3rd, at which point Campbell put the Bruins up by two with an empty-netter and giving them a 3-1 lead with less than a minute to go in regulation. The Rangers season comes to a close and the Boston Bruins advance to play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals thanks to the 3-1 win on Saturday. Tukka Rask did not allow another goal after giving up that power play tally to Girardi in the first, turning aside 28 of 29 shots faced while Lundqvist stopped 29 of 31 shots faced.
RED SOX- Thursday marked Terry Francona's return to Fenway for the first time since the 2011 season in which he was fired after Boston's late-season implosion- and to be sure, it started out as a triumphant one as his Cleveland Indians as they kicked off the 4-game series at Fenway with a 12-3 thumping of the Red Sox on Thursday night.

Friday night's contest saw Lackey get his third win of the season as the Red Sox jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and never looked back in their 8-1 win over the Tribe.

Jon Lester was given the start and struggled early on in Saturday's afternoon's contest, allowing 4 runs on 10 hits over seven innings. The Red Sox briefly managed to tie the contest up at 3-3 in the bottom of the 6th on a Jonny Gomes sac fly before former Red Sox Mike Aviles put Cleveland back on top coming home on a wild pitch in the top of the 7th. However, the Tribe bullpen imploded in the bottom of the 8th when reliever Vinnie Pestano gave up RBI doubles to Mike Carp and Dustin Pedroia followed by a 2-RBI single to Daniel Nava after intentionally walking Big Papi with two out.

Cleveland opened up the 9th with a leadoff single from Michael Bourn, but reliever Junichi Tazawa got the next three batters out to give the Red Sox the 7-4 win on a drizzly Saturday afternoon in Fenway.

The Red Sox will go for the series win on Sunday afternoon with Felix Doubront [3-2; 5.61 ERA] on the mound against Cleveland's Corey Kluber [3-3; 5.19 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 ET and the game will be televised on NESN. After the Cleveland series, the Red Sox will take part in their first interleague matchup of the season when the host Philadelphia on Monday.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Today's Train of Thought- Lone Star Classics, May 24th 2013.

Today's Train of Thought takes us to Texas for some vintage LaGrange-built horsepower [I'm not referring to ZZ Top's 'LaGrange', either- NANESB!].

While the SD45-2 never caught on as much as the slightly smaller SD40-2, there are surprisingly some examples of these 40+ year old 3600 HP behemoths still in service on a number of Class 1s and regionals. This would include carriers such as the BNSF, Norfolk Southern and Montana Rail Link [the Norfolk Southern units trace their lineage to the Erie Lackawana- NANESB!].

Here, contributor Brian P Bennett caught BNSF SD45-2 #6488 leading 87-car unit limestone train U-BWWPEA1 through Sealy, TX in January 2008. A pair of blue and yellow SD45-2s bracket are seen bracketing a repainted BNSF SD40-2 on each end. The Houston-area limestone trains regularly featured older power. If the Sealy name sounds somewhat familiar, that's because the Sealy Mattress Company was founded in the very same town in the late 19th century.

As of September 2012, the 6488 had undergone rebuilding at Progress Rail in Tacoma, WA along with another dozen or so SD45-2s. The rebuilds will reportedly include replacing the air conditioning, new anticlimbers, and most likely repainting into BNSF orange and black.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Islamists Murder British Soldier in Brazen Daylight London Machete Attack

A Royal Army soldier was murdered by two Nigerian islamists in broad daylight just 200 yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks just outside of London on Wednesday. The attackers had reportedly drove their vehicle up on the sidewalk and ran over a British soldier in civilian clothes before getting out of their car and stabbing him with machetes and meat cleavers to the horror of passers-by.\

A number of spectators began filming the grisly spectacle as well as a former teacher confronting the two attackers. As time passed, it became clear the two assailants weren't the least bit concerned about escaping as they demanded passers-by record their statements while the two still clenched knives and cleavers with blood-streaked hands.
Clutching a bloodied meat cleaver, the man suspected of executing a soldier on a crowded street declared: 'you and your kids will be next'.

In a chilling rant captured on camera, the knife-wielding man declared: 'The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.'

In the video obtained by ITV News he added: 'Remove your governments - they don't care about you. You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bursting our guns? You think politicians are going to die?

'No, it's going to be the average guy, like you, and your children. So get rid of them – tell them to bring our troops back so we can... so you can all live in peace.’
The two killers then waited 20 minutes for armed police to show up before closing in on them with machetes and a rusty revolver. One attacker was shot by a policewoman while the other blew off his thumb when the revolver misfired and was also shot by police. Both were taken to area hospitals are expected to survive their injuries. One of the murder suspects has been identified as Michael Adebolajo, a muslim convert from a Nigerian Christian family who was lived in the UK his entire life.

The soldier murdered in the machete attack has been identified as Lee Rigby, a veteran of Afghanistan who was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Rigby was described by fellow soldiers as a popular, witty, larger than life personality and lifelong Manchester United fan and was a drummer in the regimental band. Rigby leaves behind a wife of five years and a two year old daughter.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

At Least Two Dozen Killed As Massive Tornado Rips Through Oklahoma City Suburbs

Brenton Leete
Rescuers in the Sooner State were searching for survivors into Tuesday morning, less than a day after a massive tornado ripped through  suburban Oklahoma City, reportedly striking two schools and a hospital in its path.

Officials revised the death toll to 24- including 9 children- but warned that they expect to find more bodies as rescuers dig through the rubble in Moore, OK. The National Storm Prediction Center in nearby Norman, OK forecast more severe weather closing in on the region.

With winds of more than 200 MPH and more than two miles wide in some places, the tornado was estimated to be an F5- the highest possible rating on the Fujita-Pearson scale. The storm touched down as a category F0 tornado outside of Newcastle, OK- to the west of Moore- and quickly gained strength as it moved northeast. Monday's storm followed a similar track to the 1999 Bridge Creek-Moore F5, which killed at least 36 people.

The death toll was initially thought to be 51, but it appeared as though some of the casualties had been double-counted. However, local officials had warned that between bodies still in the rubble and relatives who took those killed to funeral homes instead of the morgue, the death toll will likely be higher than 24. Officials at local hospitals said they've treated more than 200 people after the tornado struck, including as many as 70 children. Urban search and rescue teams are also reportedly bringing in cadaver-sniffing dogs to search more collapsed buildings in the area- including Plaza Towers elementary school where seven of the nine children were killed on Monday.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Feeling Minnesota (and long overdue) Sports Chowdah Update- Target In Sight as Sox Sweep Minnesota; Ranger Danger- The Kids Are All Right As Bruins Jump Out to 2-0 Series Lead vs Blueshirts

Genevieve Ross- AP
BOSTON RED SOX- After a lackluster start to the month of May that included getting swept by Texas and dropping three out of four to the Minnesota Twins at Fenway, the Red Sox seemed to get some of their mojo back, winning five out of their last six games- including a 3-game sweep of Minnesota at Target Field over the weekend.

Boston came into the weekend series taking two out of three from the Tampa Bay Rays- including a dramatic rally in the bottom of the 9th when the Red Sox down to their last strike when Will Middlebrooks belted a walkoff bases clearing double to give the Sox a 4-3 win. Like the Twins/Red Sox series opener at Fenway, Friday night's game 1 of the weekend series at Target Field required extra innings, but Boston ultimately prevailed on a Johnny Gomes RBI sac fly in the top of the 10th and Uehara got all three Twins batters he faced out to close out a 3-2 win.

For Saturday night, the Red Sox jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to 3-run homer from former Twin Big Papi. Although starter Ryan Dempster didn't even make it the full five innings and the Twins would chip away at the Red Sox lead, Boston would go on to win by a 12-5 final.

On Sunday afternoon, the Twins were looking to avoid the sweep while Boston starter John Lackey was looking for just his second win of the season. Will Middlebrooks led off the scoring for Boston in the top of the second with a two out solo homer to right center. Another run came home with one away in the top of the third when Twins 3B David Plouffe threw away a Dustin Pedroia groundball with a pair of runners on base to make it 2-0 Red Sox. With storm clouds moving in over the Twin Cities, Pedroia and Big Papi each had one out singles before Napoli belted an RBI single to give Boston the 3-0 lead.

The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the 5th when Chris Parmalee came home on a Pedro Ciriaco throwing error in the bottom of the 5th. By the end of the 6th inning, the Target Field grounds crew put out the tarp as heavy rainstorms moved into the area. The rain delay of more than three hours was more than enough to show the 1993 movie The Sandlot in its entirety and since there had been enough innings played to make the game official, the dwindling crowd was left to wonder whether or not they'd try and get the complete game in. Since it was only a two run game before the delay, the Twins figured they had a shot at avoiding the sweep.

Instead, Catcher Joe Mauer struck out with the bases loaded to end a Minnesota threat in the bottom of the eighth. That's as close as the Twins would get as Dustin Pedroia hit a two run homer that clanged off of the wrist of Twins outfielder Josh Willmingham before clearing the fence in left field in the top of the 9th and after allowing back to back leadoff singles, Junichi Tazawa struck out the next two batters and got Chris Parmalee to ground out to second, ending the ballgame and completing the sweep of the weekend series.

The Red Sox will head further down the I-94 on Monday to take on the Chicago White Sox on the south side Monday night. Jon Lester [6-0; 2.72 ERA] is slated to get the start against Chicago's Dylan Axelrod [1-3; 4.27 ERA]- first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET and the game will be televised on NESN.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

BOSTON BRUINS- After the Maple Leafs jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Boston in the 3rd period of Game 7, the Bruins would score four unanswered goals to give them the series win. Patrice Bergeron scored both the goal that forced OT with 51 seconds left in regulation and the game winner just over 6 minutes into OT.

The Bruins opened up their second round series against the New York Rangers with a 3-2 win over the blueshirts on Thursday and this time they had some company- defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug were called up from Providence. Interestingly, Providence is in a playoff contest of their own- they're currently playing the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Penguins, the AHL affiliate of Pittsburgh.

After the Bruins took game 1 against the Rangers, the recent callups from Providence made an immediate impact with Krug getting Boston on the board first on Sunday afternoon. Less than three minutes later, the Rangers would tie the game up on Ryan Callahan's unassisted tally. After the Bruins and Rangers swapped goals early in the second, Boston took the lead on a Johnny Boychuck goal with just under eight minutes to go in the second period. Early in the third, Brad Marchand wasted no time in padding the Bruins lead with a goal 26 seconds in. Milan Lucic added a goal of his own to give the Bruins a 5-2 lead.

Boston goes on to win by a 5-2 final- interestingly, neither team scored on the power play. The Bruins went 0-1 while the Rangers were 0-5 with the man adavantage.

The two teams will be back at it on Tuesday night from Madison Square Garden at 7:30 ET. The game will be televised on the NBC Sports network.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Belated National Train Day from Not Another New England Sports Blog!

Restored former Milwaukee Road ALCo 4-8-4 #261 seen chugging northbound on the BNSF Hinckley subdivision at Andover, MN with an excursion between Minneapolis and Duluth, MN on May 11, 2013- National Train Day.

Even though it shares the weekend with the much more time-honored holiday of Mother's Day, Saturday May 11th marks National Train Day.

While some holidays are dismissed as nothing more than mere creations of the greeting card cartels, Amtrak has a hand in promoting this much more recent holiday. The date is meant to coincide with the May 10th, 1869 ceremonial driving of the Golden Spike on the Transcontinental Railroad in Promontory Point, UT. Since Amtrak sponsors a number of Train Day events nationwide, its hardly surprising that the emphasis is primarily on passenger rail [although I thought this would be a good opportunity for freight railroads to promote themselves to the public- NANESB!].

Unsurprisingly, a number of railroad museums also participate in this holiday to either recruit new members, attract additional visitors and raise funds for ongoing restoration projects. These activities can include anything from static displays to guided tours of facilities to mainline steam excursions.

Perhaps the highlight of this year's National Train Day was Milwaukee Road #261's first excursion in more than four years, taking passengers up from the Twin Cities to Duluth in restored Milwaukee Road passenger cars. Other steam locomotives fired up for the occasion include Nickel Plate #765 which was scheduled to haul a Norfolk Southern employees special in northeastern Ohio and Spokane, Portland & Seattle #700 was on display at Portland Union Station in Portland, OR.

Of course, appreciation of trains doesn't have to be limited to early May- you can always find out more about the railroad heritage in your part of the country by finding your nearest railroad museum or National Railroad Historical Society (NRHS) chapter.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Hot For Teacher- Florida English Teacher Dismissed Over Swimsuit Photos

Officials in Martin County, FL reportedly pressured a high school English teacher into resigning her position last month once they learned she had modeled for some photo shoots in very skimpy swimwear.
Demo Photography Image
MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- A Martin County High School teacher who had planned to resign at the end of the school year said she was asked to leave a month early.

Olivia Sprauer taught English at Martin County High School.

Sprauer said she was called into the principal's office on April 29 and was shown a photo that had been sent to the principal.

Sprauer confirmed it was one of her modeling photos.

Sprauer said the principal asked for her resignation and was escorted off campus.

A statement released from the Martin County School District confirmed Sprauer no longer works for the district.
Martin County, which is situated to the south of Palm Beach County, is home to just over 125,000 people according to the most recent Census.

Sprauer, who modeled under the name Victoria Valentine James, still maintains an online portfolio of some of her work at the Model Mayhem website.

I gotta say that while I may have some misgivings if she were one of my kid's teachers, I also don't think this should've cost Sprauer her job- even if it meant firing her a month before she was supposed to leave anyway. My only thought might be that there was even more NSFW images out there that haven't been as widely circulated that the administration was made aware of.

Also, when attractive female teachers make headlines, it usually is because they've been discovered sleeping with one of their underage pupils. I suppose all involved should be glad that's not the case this time around.

This isn't the first controversy involving scantily clad teachers in the area. In 2008, high school teacher and divorced mother of three Tiffany Shepherd took on a job as a 'bikini mate' on a charter fishing boat in nearby St Lucie county. She was fired by the school district shortly after taking the bikini mate job, although school officials say the dismissal was from a long string of written reprimands and unexplained absences from Shepherd.

Within months of her dismissal by school officials, Shepherd said she had to take up appearing in adult films to help pay the bills. In 2010, Shepherd was arrested on misdemeanor charges of filing a false police report in nearby Okeechobee county.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Israel Launches Airstrikes Deep Within Syrian Territory

Syrian military facilities under the control of forces loyal to Syrian president Bashr Al Assad were struck by the Israeli air force in multiple raids over the weekend.

The first airstrike reportedly targeted Damascus International Airport where long-range missiles from Iran and reportedly destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon were targeted.

The second strike was considerably more dramatic.

On Sunday, Israeli warplanes struck Syria's Jamraya Military research center- where Western observers believe Assad's military develops unconventional weapons. The facility is also home to a Presidential Guard brigade said to be commanded by Bashr al-Assad's brother, Maher al-Assad.
Damascus was shaken by repeated explosions coming from the north-western suburbs.

Amateur video footage and eye witness testimony suggested rocket attacks had hit weapons dumps, triggering dramatic orange-flamed blasts.

The area houses numerous military facilities, including the Jamraya research centre, designated by Syria as a scientific research centre "in charge of raising our level of resistance and self-defence".

A state TV bulletin said: "The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups, which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army."

Damascus-based journalist Alaa Ebrahim told the BBC it was "the biggest explosion" the city had seen since the conflict began two years ago.

He said residents living near Jamraya reported feeling a "mild earthquake" just before the blast, indicating that the rockets may have hit an underground facility.

In addition to being located on the outskirts of Damascus, the Jamraya facility is located close to the Lebanese border, which makes facilitating the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah fairly easy.

While Israel has seemed reluctant to involve itself in Syria's ongoing civil war, this weekend's strikes were meant to send a message to Bashr al-Assad and Hezbollah's main benefactor, Iran. The missiles that were reportedly destined for Hezbollah were Iranian-made Fateh 110 ground to ground missiles, which have a range of 200 miles.

Although the Assad regime and Syria's state-run media have claimed that Israel is acting in concert with the Free Syrian Army and other rebel groups, Israel actually stands to gain very little from the uncontrolled collapse of the Assad regime on their doorstep.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hangover Quicke Sports Chowdah Update- Home Ice is Nice, But B's Ruin Leafs Homecoming; Slumping Sox Snap Skid

Nathan Denette/Canadian Press
BOSTON BRUINS- After a very game Toronto evened up the series at 1-1 at the TD Garden over the weekend, the Bruins/Maple Leafs series headed to Toronto on Monday night. This would be the first playoff game for Toronto in more than nine years and in addition to a packed house of nearly 20,000 inside the Air Canada Centre, thousands more fans clad in blue and white jersets, jackets and facepaint gathered around outside the arena to watch the game on strategically placed big screen TVs.

The Bruins cut into the home crowd's celebratory mood by getting on the board first thanks to an Adam McQuaid goal about midway through the first to make it 1-0. The B's would add to that lead with a Rich Peverly tally just under 6 minutes into the second period before a Jake Gardnier power play goal would help the Leafs get on the board, cutting the Boston lead in half.

However, Boston answered back less than a minute later when Nathan Horton's shot not only beat Reimer but managed to embed itself where the goalie-cam was mounted. Two minutes later and with Toronto on the power play, Daniel Paille would snag the puck near center ice and beat Reimer on a breakaway to make it a 4-1 Boston lead.

The Leafs were still game and with the man advantage, they pressed their attack to start off the third, once again cutting into the Bruins lead- this time on a Phil Kessel [*BOOOO!*- NANESB!] power play goal to make it 4-2 less than a minute into the 3rd period. Despite the Bruins being outshot 18-6 in the third, that would be the only goal Tukka Rask would allow in the 3rd, and with less than two minutes to go in the first, the Bruins would get an empty-netter from David Krejci to make it 5-2. That would be the dagger as the Bruins take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Tukka Rask would allow two power play goals on the 47 shots he faced at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night while James Reimer stopped 33 out of 27 shots faced. In addition to the empty-netter, Krejci had two assists on the night while the veteran Jaromir Jagr also had an assist.

The Bruins deflated the home crowd in Toronto on Monday night and look to repeat the accomplishment on Wednesday night when the series resumes. The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:00 ET and the game will be televised on NESN, CBC and the NHL Network.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
BOSTON RED SOX- It was starting to look as though May wasn't going to be quite as good to the Red Sox as April had been. After tying the club record for number of wins in April, the Red Sox took two out of three from the Blue Jays to end the month of April and start May. However, the rest of the road trip was somewhat forgettable as the Texas Rangers swept the Sox in Arlington, including a come-from-behind win to break a 3-3 deadlock on Sunday.

The Sox looked like they weren't going to fare any better in Monday night's game against the struggling Twins when Minnesota got two runs off of Clay Buchholz out of the gate to start off Monday night's game at Fenway. The Twins would take a 3-0 lead on an RBI double from outfielder Aaron Hicks in the top of the 4th before the Red Sox would get on the board in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a Shane Victorino solo homer.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer would miss hitting a homer by a few feet to lead off the inning, getting a ground-rule double to the deepest part of right center instead. 1B Justin Morneau would bring Mauer home to make it 4-1 Twins before the top half of the inning was through.

The bottom of the 5th would be pretty eventful for Boston as Daniel Nava led off with a double. Saltalamacchia and Middlebrooks struck out, but SS Steven Drew singled to bring home Nava and cut the Twin's lead in half. Jacoby Ellsbury would then double, but Drew was cut down at home to end the inning. Although Victorino and Pedroia would lead off the bottom of the 6th with back to back singles, Big Papi hit into the shift, resulting in a double-play as Victorino advanced to third. With two away, Napoli drove in Victorino to make it a one run game before Saltalamacchia struck out to end the inning.

By now, the Red Sox bats looked like they were getting to the Twins bullpen as starter Vance Worley left the game with the lead. Sure enough, the Twins bullpen coughed up the tying run in the form of a Steven Drew solo homer in the bottom of the 7th and Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox the 5-4 lead with a solo homer of his own to lead off the bottom of the 8th.

However, it wasn't just the Twins relievers that were having trouble on Monday night. After coming on in the top of the 9th and getting Ryan Doumit to fly out to center field, Sox closer Joel Hanrhan gave up a solo homer to Brian Dozier to tie the game up at 5-5. After striking out Joe Mauer and walking Josh Willingham, Hanrahan was pulled for Clay Mortensen, who ended the inning by getting Justin Morneau to ground out.

With nothing resolved, the game headed into extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th, Twins reliever Jared Burton got the first two batters he faced out but would allow back to back singles off of Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia. That brought up Steven Drew, who already had three hits on the night. The younger brother of former Red Sox outfielder JD Drew then ended the game with an RBI single that clanged off the green monster to give the Red Sox the 5-4 win in the longest game for Boston in this young season.

Clay Mortensen pitched two and a thirds innings of relief to get the win while Steven Drew went 4-5 with 3 RBI and a home run for the Sox. Big Papi went 1-4 to extend his hitting streak to 25 games (going back to last season).

Ryan Dempster [2-2; 3.00 ERA] who was seen warming up in extras on Monday night is scheduled to start for Boston on Tuesday, going up against Twins starter Scott Diamond [2-2; 3.97 ERA]. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET and the game will be televised on NESN.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

It's Just Another Day Cinco De Mayo

Or as some have started calling it, "Drink-o de Mayo".

As stated here before, Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla in 1862 during the Napoleonic annexation of France. Some 4500 poorly trained and outnumbered Mexican troops managed to halt the advance of one of the world's most powerful armies while taking light casualties themselves.

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo isn't Mexico's independence Day- that date is actually in September. But the importers of Corona, Dos Equis, Tecate and Pacifico saw an opportunity to market their product, and to paraphrase the late Paul you know the rest of the story.

I'm not sure of the title or date of this piece, but the sweet senorita accompanied by the jumping beans and poncho-clad Chihuahua comes from none other than Vaughan Bass. There is relatively few vintage pin-up artwork depicting latina models (or Caucasian models in traditional garb) but similar pulp art from Mexican artists continues to adorn pulp novels sold at newsstands or bus stations throughout Mexico to this day.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Death Toll in Bangladesh Building Collapse Expected to Reach More Than 580

High temperatures outside the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka has hampered the grim recovery work in a building collapse that took place on April 24th and is now thought to have claimed nearly 600 lives.

The official death toll from the collapse reached 580 on Sunday, up from 547 a day earlier. It is expected to rise. The disaster is likely the worst garment-factory accident ever, and there have been few industrial accidents of any kind with a higher death toll.

Five garment factories operated in the Rana Plaza building that collapsed, and many brand labels have been found in the wreckage, but only two retailers, Britain's Primark and Canada's Loblaw Inc., have acknowledged that their clothes were being made there at the time.

Government officials say substandard building materials, combined with the vibration of the heavy machines used by the five factories, led to the collapse.

The building developed cracks a day before the collapse and the owner Mohammed Sohel Rana called engineer Abdur Razzak Khan to inspect it. Khan appeared on television that night and said he told Rana the building should be evacuated.

Police also issued an evacuation order, but witnesses say that hours before the collapse, Rana told people that the building was safe and garment factory managers told their workers to go inside.

Rana has been arrested is expected to be charged with negligence, illegal construction and forcing workers to join work, crimes punishable by a maximum of seven years in jail. Authorities have not said if more serious crimes will be added.

Khan was arrested as well. Police said he worked as a consultant to Rana when three illegal floors were added to what was supposed to be a five-story building.
The building housed garment workshops for at least two dozen international retailers. permit for the collapsed building allowed for five stories, but owner Mohammed Sohel Rana decided to expand vertically and have three additional stories illegally added on to the building. Rana was arrested earlier this week as the tried to flee to India.

The collapse comes months after a deadly fire swept through another garment factory, killing 7 workers. Government officials were investigating claims from workers that emergency exits were blocked at the time of the blaze.

The garment industry accounts for about 80% of Bangladeshi exports and is worth an estimated $20 billion annually for the impoverished nation.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Today's Train of Thought- Everything Old is Newburg Again, May 3rd 2013

Today's Train of Thought takes us to the western corner of Oregon and a work train that has the outward appearance of being about 20 years out of place.

Eager to divest themselves of low volume lines in the Pacific Northwest, Southern Pacific sold off and leased hundreds of miles of track within the state or Oregon in the early 1990s. This included one of Genesee & Wyoming's first forays into the West Coast with the Portland and Western. Prior to the sale of lines to shortlines and regionals like the Central Oregon & Pacific, Port of Tillamook Bay, Albany & Eastern and Portland & Western, the lines in western Oregon were considered a holdout for the Southern Pacific's first generation diesels- high hood GP9s and SD9s that were referred to as Cadillacs.

Even with the change of ownership on many of the former Espee lines, there was still a place for the Cadillacs on some of the newly-formed shortlines and regionals, even though they could be considered museum pieces back in the 1990s.

Here, contributor Matt Adams caught SD9 #4433 and SD9 #4363 lead SD45R #3603 attacking Rex Hill outside of Newburg, OR with a work train on March 28, 2007. Despite the Southern Pacific painted units more than 11 years after the Espee ceased to exist and the fact that the two Cadillacs are on a Portland & Western train, the leading two units actually belong to Lavacot Locomotive Works- although apparently the ratty condition of the scarlet and grey Espee paint scheme on the two vintage diesels is very much in character for the Southern Pacific. Without the GWR orange and black paint, this picture could easily have been taken in the 1970s or 80s- the flatcars behind the lashup- which were being used to carry ties- aren't exactly out of place in timber country, either.

According to the photographer, the 1970-built SD45R experienced electrical problems on the way up Rex Hill and had to be shut down, meaning the two 1955-built SD9s were doing the lions share of the work tacking the grade.

Interestingly, the SD9's owners were well aware of their significance and the trailing unit was renumbered and repainted into the Southern Pacific's classic 'Black Widow' scheme a few months after this photo was taken. Renumbered #5399, she reportedly continues working for Oregon shortlines and regionals like the Portland & Western and Albany & Eastern.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Day Sports Chowdah Update- Sox Win Big With Bats and Feat of Clay; After Trailing Early Bruins Finish Game 1 Boston Strong; Back- But Not in Black, Celtics Showing Life in the Knick of Time

BOSTON BRUINS- After finishing the regular season seemingly with a whimper, the Bruins were set for their first round opponent- Northeast Division rival and fellow Original 6 member Toronto, who's fans had been waiting since 2004 for a playoff appearance. As the CBC points out, nobody had ever posted live updates about a Maple Leafs playoff game or live-tweeted one, since those social media platforms were still a few years away from being introduced.

Game one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals got underway Wednesday night at the TD Garden. James van Riemsdyk got the blue and white on the board early with a power play goal less than two minutes into the first, but Boston would tie it up with a Wade Redden tally with less than five minutes to go and then take the lead on this Nathan Horton power play goal with 11.7 seconds left in the first period:

Horton's tally would turn out the be the game-winner, but the Bruins added two more in the second with even strength goals by David Krejci and Johnny Boychuk in the second period as Toronto scrambled.

The Bruins would go on to win Game 1 by a 4-1 final and Tukka Rask stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced. Leafs goalie Jamie Reimer faced twice as many shots and allowed four goals in game one while David Krecji had a goal and a pair of assists Wednesday night.

Despite the lackluster finish to the regular season where they had lost seven out of their last nine, the Bruins are off to a good start in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Game two is set to take place on Saturday with the puck dropping at 7:00 ET. The contest will reportedly be televised on NESN, CBC and CNBC.

Nathan Denette- Canadian Press

RED SOX- Wednesday night's opening matchup of the Stanley Cup playoffs wasn't the only Boston vs Toronto matchup going on.

After Jon Lester was hung with his first L of the season in a high-scoring 9-7 loss to the Blue Jays, Clay Buchholz took to the mound on Wednesday night in Toronto.

Clay would get some run support early thanks to a two run home by Stephen Drew in the top of the second to give the Sox a 2-0 lead. As Buchholz was confounding the Toronto bats, allowing just two hits and three walks over seven innings worth of work, the Boston batters seemed to have Jays starter Mark Buehrle figured out as he gave up solo homers to Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava in the top of the 4th to make it a 4-0 Red Sox lead. With two away in the top of the 7th, Buehrle was pulled for Esmil Rogers who allowed Jonny Gomes to come home on a wild pitch to make it 5-0. With Dustin Pedroia on first base, the Jays decided to walk DH David Ortiz to get to Mike Napoli. That would prove to be a huge mistake as Napoli blasted a Rogers offering into the Sightlines Restaurant for a 3-run homer, breaking the game wide open with an 8-0 lead. Alex Wilson would come in in relief of Buchholz in the bottom of the 8th and give up a 1-out RBI triple to Brett Lawrie, but Boston would get out of the inning without any further damage and tack on two additional runs in the top of the 9th- including a Mike Carp solo homer to make it a 10-1 game.

The Red Sox would cruise to a 10-1 win thanks to the explosive bats and a strong seven innings by Buchholz, who is now 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA. Napoli would go 3-4 with two homers and 4 RBI while SS Stephen Drew would go 3-5 with a homer and two RBI.

Thursday night's game will have Ryan Dempster [1-2; 3.30 ERA] going up against the Jay's JA Happ [2-1; 3.86 ERA]. Despite the 1-2 record [along with some no decisions thrown in along the way- NANESB!], Dempster has 43 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched so far this season. First pitch is at 7:07 ET and the game will be broadcast on NESN and Rogers Sports Net.

Jesse D. Garrabrant- Getty Images

BOSTON CELTICS- After Sunday's win in the Garden to keep the series against the NY Knicks alive and stave off the sweep, the Celtics received some bulletin board materiel from the Knicks Kenyon Martin before Wednesday's Game 5. Martin had told his teammates to 'wear black- funeral colors' in anticipation of burying the Celtics at Madison Square Garden.

For Game 5, the Knicks got off to a torrid start, scoring 11 unanswered points to start off the game, but the Celtics would cut into their lead before halftime, getting their first lead of the night with 5:45 remaining in the 2nd quarter, leading 45-39 at halftime. In the second half, they started to pull away thanks in large part to Paul Piece's 10 points in the 3rd quarter.

From there, the C's would cruise to a 92-86 win, stunning the home crowd at Madison Square Garden. This would be Boston's second playoff win in the post Big Three era. Apparently some harsh words were exchanged after the game after C's reserve player Jordan Crawford [who didn't see a second of action in Game 5- NANESB!] got into a shoving match with Carmello Anthony and Ray Felton- although it was pretty mild in comparison to January's much publicized ballyhoo between Anthony and Garnett.

The somewhat unheralded Jeff Green led Celtics scoring on Wednesday night with 18 points, including going 2-2 from 3 point range. The remaining duo from the Big Three- Pierce and Garnett- had 16 points each while Jason Terry was once again productive coming off the bench with 17 points.

With the win, the series heads back to Boston for a Game 6 on Friday night, which will get underway at 7:00 ET and will be broadcast on ESPN. Boston is trying to become the first NBA team to come back from an 0-4 series deficit in a playoff series.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- After trading off their first round pick to the Minnesota Vikings, the New England Patriots had two second round picks and selected Southern Mississippi LB Jamie Collins and Marshall WR Aaron Dobson (52nd and 59th overall). Rutgers figures prominently in the Patriot's 3rd round selection when they chose former Scarlet Knights CB Logan Ryan and SS Duron Harmon (83rd and 91st overall). New England only had one pick on the 4th round- TCU WR Josh Boyce- and didn't have another selection until the 7th round where they selected Illinois DE Michael Buchanan and Rutgers LB Steve Beauharnais.

OTHER PATRIOTS NEWS- Former Sooners and Patriots head coach Chuck Fairbanks passed away in his suburban Phoenix, AZ home last month. The 79 year old, who coached Heisman winner Steve Owens with the Oklahoma Sooners and was coach when the Patriots earned their first playoff berth since the AFL-NFL merger, had been battling brain cancer at the time.

Fairbanks came to New England from Oklahoma in 1973 and within three years the Patriots were in their first playoff game since the 1963 AFL Championship. While he drafted popular quarterback Steve Grogan out of Kansas State, Fairbanks was sued by the Patriots for breach of contract when he told then-owner Billy Sullivan he wanted out of the remainder of his contract in order to become head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes. Fairbanks had reportedly been recruiting for Colorado whole still New England's head coach in 1978. The dispute was resolved when a group of Colorado boosters bought out the remainder of Fairbanks' contract in October 1979.

After his coaching career- including a short lived stint in the USFL- Fairbanks dabbled in real estate and golf course development and consulted for NFL teams in training camp, including the Cowboys when former Pats and Giants head coach Bill Parcells was at the helm.

OTHER NFL NEWS- Former broadcaster and New York Giants kicker Pat Sumerall passed away at the age of 82 in Texas on April 16th.

Born and raised in Lake City, FL, Sumerall attended the University of Arkansas where he would play both tight end and placekicker for the Razorbacks between 1949 and 1951. Although drafted in the fourth round by the Detroit Lions, Summerall played for the New York Giants and put the first points on the board for the G-Men during the 1958 NFL Championship Game- dubbed 'The Greatest Game Ever' by some and considered by many to be the starting point of the NFL's ascendency [the Giants would go on to lose by a 23-17 final- NANESB!].

However, Sumerall is best known for calling NFL games in his smooth, calm voice. Initially that voice found a home on local stations in New York and then CBS Sports. However, by the early 1990s, upstart FOX sports surprised the broadcast industry by outbidding CBS for the rights to the NFC broadcast package [to this day, CBS maintains the rights to the AFC broadcasts- NANESB!]. At FOX, he was reunited with the loud and boisterous John Madden as his broadcast partner. The duo called three Super Bowls together, including their final game- the Patriot's surprise win over the heavily favored St Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans.

Sumerall's also did voiceover work for the NFL and lent his voice to appearences on The Simpsons and Family Guy as well as radio ads for True Value hardware and Dux Beds.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Three More Arrested in Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation

Three acquaintances of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested on Wednesday afternoon for lying to federal investigators and obstruction of justice after admitting to removing evidence from Tsarnaev's dorm room at UMass-Dartmouth after the Patriot's Day terrorist attack.
BOSTON (AP) — Three college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested and accused Wednesday of removing a backpack containing hollowed-out fireworks from Tsarnaev's dorm room three days after the attack to keep him from getting into trouble.

In court papers, the FBI said one of them threw the backpack in the garbage — it was later found in a landfill by law enforcement officers — after they concluded from news reports that Tsarnaev was one of the bombers.

Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, who are from Kazakhstan, were charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by concealing and destroying evidence. A third man, Robel Phillipos, was charged with lying to investigators about the visit to Tsarnaev's room.

At a court appearance in the afternoon, the Kazakh men did not request bail and will be held for another hearing May 14. Phillipos was held for a hearing on Monday. Their lawyers refused to comment ahead of the proceeding.
All three men charged had been attending UMass-Dartmouth around the same time as the younger Tsarnaev brother. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev were detained on charges they had violated their student visas last week. Not only was Tazhaykov allowed back into the USA from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan back in January, but Tsarnaev had reportedly bragged to the two Kazakhs that he knew how to make a bomb about a month before the Marathon bombings.

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev were reportedly in communication with Dzhokhar after the FBI press conference on April 18th where images of the two brothers pulled from surveillance cameras were released to the general public. The younger Tsarnaev communicated with the two Kazakhs via text message and reportedly removed a backpack, Vaseline and Dzhokhar's laptop computer from the dorm room and threw the items in the garbage. Police later recovered the items from a nearby landfill.

It was also reported on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia rejected Tamerlan Tsarnaev's visa application to make the pilgrimage to Mecca in 2011 although the Saudi ambassador to the USA denies that the kingdom sent written warnings about the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect to the Department of Homeland Security and officials in the UK.

There were also reports that a woman's DNA was found on one of the pressure cooker IEDs. Federal agents in Rhode Island collected a sample from Katherine Russell- Tamerlan Tsarnaev's American wife- for comparison.