Sunday, June 29, 2008

Statement from Governor Sonny Perdue Concerning the Passing of The University of Georgia’s Mascot, Uga VI

Governor Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today concerning the passing of Uga VI, the beloved mascot of The University of Georgia:

"Uga VI was a tremendous ambassador for the University and the state, including his appearance just a couple of weeks ago at our inaugural economic development conference held in Savannah with officials from Canadian provinces and our neighboring Southeastern states. Though much of the Bulldogs' success in recent years has been attributed to Coach Mark Richt, most true Georgia fans know that his job will be much tougher now without the winningest Uga of all time stalking the sidelines, sitting on his trademark bag of ice and carefully eyeing any opposing mascot that dared to come close."

Fayette County Summer Lacrosse camp

Southside Lacrosse Camp (Boys and Girls 7-14)
Presented by Fayette County Parks and Recreation
4 DAY CAMP intended to promote the growth of youth lacrosse in the Fayette County area;

Session 1 designed for beginners that want to have fun learning the fastest growing sport in thecountry. A basic introduction to the sport of Lacrosse. (Equipment will be provided);

Session II designed for experienced players, athletes will focus on individual instruction and teamgames. (Players should plan on bringing all equipment that is needed, some extra equipment may be available);

Location: Multi-purpose field at McCurry Park
Dates: July 30 – Aug 2
Times: Session 1 (beginners) 8:00 am -10:00 am
Session 11 (experienced) 10:30am – 1:00 pm
$70 per session, per person
Applications available at:
980 Redwine Road
Fayetteville, Georgia 30215
Phone: 770-716-4320
Fax: 770-460-1931

Community News You Can Use

Saturday, June 28, 2008

USS Boxer Concludes Latin-American Humanitarian Mission

USS Boxer returned to port yesterday after a two-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission to Latin America.

During the deployment, Boxer visited Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru as part of the Pacific phase of Continuing Promise 2008.

"This mission is something that the Navy is starting to do more of," Navy Capt. Peter Dallman, commander of Amphibious Squadron 5, said in a conference call with online journalists and bloggers yesterday.

Dallman said the mission reflects the new national maritime strategy signed by the chief of naval operations, the commandant of the Marine Corps and the commandant of the Coast Guard.

"In that strategy, [it] basically outlines the idea that we want to get involved with this type of mission more, and we want to reach out to partner nations just like these three," he said.

He added that his crew benefits from these types of missions because it provides essential training that will benefit future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

The Boxer's most recent deployment to Latin America was shorter than the crew's previous missions, such as their last eight-and-a-half-month deployment to the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific.

On April 28, the Boxer crew left San Diego accompanied by medical professionals from 25 different commands from around the world. In addition to the augmented medical team, personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service and the nongovernmental organization Project Hope accompanied the crew on the two-month humanitarian mission.

Also accompanying the Boxer crew were 60 Seabees from Navy Seabee Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 303, who performed a variety of construction projects in the three countries. Their work included plumbing and electrical work, as well as roof repairs and upgrades. "We worked in 12 project locations; eight of them were schools," Dallman said.

The medical professionals aboard Boxer saw more than 14,000 patients, completed 127 surgeries, dispensed 40,000 medications and saw nearly 4,000 optometry patients, distributing about 3,500 pairs of eyeglasses. They also completed 14,000 dental procedures and 66 repairs to biomedical equipment in the various clinics and hospitals where they worked, the captain said.

A veterinarian team saw about 2,900 animals, he added.

The Boxer crew also provided valuable training, such as CPR, nutrition, basic sanitation techniques, and first aid to 18,000 students in 123 classes, and took time to educate patients standing in line for medical treatment.

"We did also provide training to people standing in line and in dedicated training sessions to medical professionals across a wide array of topics -- everything from how to brush your teeth to waste disposal to [obstetrics and gynecology] issues," Dallman said.

These kinds of deployments have a positive affect on sailors' attitudes toward having a career in the Navy, the captain noted.

"It certainly benefits our people to be more training on expeditionary-type missions like this, where we're going out into the field and working under conditions like this," he said.

Author, Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg works in the New Media Directorate of the Defense Media Activity.

Climbing Their Way to the Top

Two members of Team Reality, a youth rock climbing program out of Reality Indoor Rock Climbing Gym in Tyrone, Ga, are on their way to the USA SCS Youth National Championship in Sunnyvale, California.

On June 14th and 15th, six members of Reality’s Competitive Climbing Team attended the USA SCS Climbing Division 4 Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Division 4 Championship is a two day long, invitation only competition for the top 18 climbers in each gender related age group. Climbers from Reality competed in both the Difficulty and Speed Climbing Categories.

Difficulty climbing competitions are based on a particular route or path that climbers must complete without falling or sitting on the rope. Speed climbing competitions pit two climbers against each other in a literal ‘race to the top’ where the average time of two runs is computed. Climbers who place in the top 6 of their gender and age group categories at the Division 4 Championship for either Difficulty or Speed receive an invitation to the prestigious Youth National Championship.

The USA Sport Climbing Series Youth National Championship is the largest roped rock climbing competition in the world. It is a three-day difficulty and speed climbing competition in which the 300 of the best youth climbers in the Nation take their shot at a top National Ranking and the chance to be invited to the USA Climbing Team. This years’ event is being held in Sunnyvale, California from July 11-13 and Team Reality members, Billy Porter and Victoria White, will be there to represent at this very exciting event.

Billy and Victoria, both 9 years old and in the Youth D age category, are already ranked among the top 30 climbers in the Nation within their respective divisions for both Difficulty and Speed Climbing. They will use the next three weeks and extend their already 10 month long training and competition season in an effort to garner every last bit of knowledge and skill that they can take with them to this extremely challenging event.

Atlanta Hawks Host Youth Basketball Camp

The Atlanta Hawks Summer Basketball Camp for boys and girls (ages 8-17) was held at Philips Arena from June 23-25. An experienced staff, led by former Hawks guard Charlie Criss, instructed campers in all aspects of the game, including; shooting, passing, rebounding, defense, teamwork and more. Additionally, Hawks guards Acie Law IV and Mario West, along with Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins served as guest speakers.

This year’s camp was sponsored by Sprite and Philips Electronics, with Russell serving as the official apparel sponsor. Breakfast and lunch were provided each day courtesy of Chick-fil-A® at CNN Center and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Baseball Players' Alleged Steroid Use May Have Provided Performance Advantage

Offensive production among the accused steroid users increased by about 7 percent to 12 percent versus non-users. The analysis represents the first attempt to quantify the overall effect of PED abuse on offensive performance in baseball.

Did steroid use enhance the performance of the "Mitchell 89?" According to Emory University biostatisticians, the major league batters accused of doping appeared to have an advantage over their non-doping peers. The researcher's findings were presented today at the Society for American Baseball Research meeting in Cleveland.

Using information from the infamous 409-page Mitchell Report, Emory's Rollins School of Public Health faculty members Brian Schmotzer and Patrick Kilgo, in collaboration with graduate student Jeff Switchenko, created their own database that tracked the following:

• The names of the 89 former and current baseball players accused by U.S. Sen. George Mitchell of steroid use
• The kind(s) of steroids allegedly taken by players (anabolic steroids and/or Human Growth Hormone, or HGH)
• The seasons between 1995-2007 in which the accused were alleged to have taken performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs)

The team then modeled the effect of PED use on offensive performance among those mentioned in the Mitchell report compared to all other players from the steroid era, adjusting for the players' age.

What they found was a significant and substantial performance advantage for players who used performance-enhancing drugs, particularly steroids, during the study period. It's estimated that offensive production among the accused steroid users increased by about 7 percent to 12 percent versus non-users. The effect of HGH was found to be minimal.

"Previous studies have focused on particular players and whether or not they abused steroids," says Kilgo, senior associate in the biostatistics department at the Rollins School of Public Health. "This analysis looked at all players during the steroid era and arrived at an overall estimate of the advantage to batters."

The Emory team's analysis represents the first attempt to quantify the overall effect of PED abuse on offensive performance in baseball.
Community News You Can Use

Respiratory Illness, Dog Bites Among Top Concerns For Travelers to China Study Provides Insight to Help Olympics Travelers Prepare for Trip

Beijing-bound Olympic travelers should worry less about exotic diseases, and instead focus on preventing more mundane health problems like respiratory illness and dog bites. A new study by experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the GeoSentinel Surveillance
Network found that, during the past 10 years, dog bites were actually one of the more common health problems travelers face when visiting China. Other common ailments were respiratory infections, skin problems, injuries, and diarrhea.

With an estimated 600,000 foreign visitors and athletes, and as many as 2 million Chinese attendees, expected at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing in August, the study provides key information that can help people plan their visits and protect their health.

The paper, published online June 26, 2008, in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, used 1998-2007 data gathered by the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network and analyzed by GeoSentinel and CDC experts to assess illnesses among the 2,500 travelers to China that were in the database. The GeoSentinel Network was founded by the CDC and the International Society of Travel Medicine and is made up of 41 travel medicine clinics worldwide that provide traveler care and track travel-related health data.

"Many international travelers worry about exotic diseases. They probably don't think about injuries or dog bites, but the study found that travelers to China sought treatment for these ailments more often," said Dr. Nina Marano, chief of the CDC's Travelers' Health and Animal Importation Branch. "Travelers need to be cautious about dog bites, as China has the second highest rate of human rabies cases in the world."

Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and bronchitis, were the most common diagnoses for travelers seeking medical care while in China, and the primary cause of hospitalization for travelers in China. Acute diarrhea and dog bites were the most frequent ailments for travelers receiving post-travel medical care. Travelers also complained of injuries, like sprains and strains. Rates of tropical and parasitic disease were low: there were no reported cases of malaria or dengue fever among travelers in this study

"We hope travelers take this information and use it to prepare themselves for a healthy trip," said Dr. Marano. "Using common sense while in Beijing can also help keep you healthy. Wash your hands, watch your step, and don't pet stray dogs."

Travel health experts at CDC say that travelers can help reduce their risk of becoming ill or injured by taking the following precautions:

* Visit a travel medicine clinic four to six weeks prior to leaving to get travel advice.
* Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date.
* Wash hands or use hand sanitizers frequently to help prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal illness.
* Avoid all animals while in China. If bitten, wash all bite wounds promptly and seek reliable medical care immediately.
* Wear comfortable walking shoes and pay special attention when crossing the street and boarding public transportation to minimize injury risk.
* Eat only fully cooked food that is served hot or fruits and vegetables you can wash and peel yourself to decrease the risk of diarrhea.

For more CDC recommendations for Olympic travelers, athletes and health-care providers, please visit For general
recommendations for travel to China, see

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Braves Sign 18 of 51 Draft Selections

The Atlanta Braves today announced that they have signed 18 of their 51 draft selections from the 2008 first-year player draft. Included in the 18 signed draftees are six of Atlanta's top 10 selections and 10 of their top 15 picks. Of the 18 players, nine are pitchers (seven right-handed and two left-handed) and there are five infielders, three outfielders and one catcher.

Right-handed pitcher Ezekiel Spruill was Atlanta's second round pick (third overall) and is the highest drafted player to sign. Atlanta has also signed its fourth and fifth overall selections, right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel and catcher Braeden Schlehuber, respectively. In addition, the Braves inked two non-drafted players, first baseman Ryan Voelkel out of Green River Community College and outfielder Mike Elkerson from Abilene Christian University.

The 51 draftees include 31 pitchers (24 right-handers and seven left-handers), 11 infielders, six outfielders and three catchers. Brett DeVall, a left-handed pitcher from Niceville, Fla., was Atlanta's number one pick overall (40th overall). For the second consecutive year, the Braves selected a minimum 10 players from the state of Georgia (they selected eight in 2006), including eight from the Atlanta area. Of the 51 draft selections, 19 were chosen out of high school, including the first three picks, and the remaining 32 were collegiate players.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Atlanta Braves Celebrate Independence Day Weekend with a Salute to Our Troops and an "All American Fireworks Spectacular" on Friday, July 4th

Independence Day celebrations at Turner Field will honor members of the United States military and their families, and a post-game "Salute to America Fireworks Spectacular," presented by Publix Super Markets, will feature a dazzling display of pyrotechnics, choreographed to patriotic music, that will light up the Atlanta skyline in red, white and blue.

The Braves holiday-weekend festivities will continue with a free concert by two-time Grammy Award-winning group Arrested Development in Fan Plaza on Saturday, July 5th. Arrested Development will perform in Fan Plaza beginning at 5:30, and will make an encore appearance in Fan Plaza after the game.

Arrested Development's lead female vocalist, Tasha LaRae, will also perform the national anthem on Friday, July 4th. Operation Homefront Georgia will bring together volunteers from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and National Guard to carry the largest American flag ever displayed at Turner Field during pre-game ceremonies. More than 350 military families will join Operation Homefront at the game, including soldiers wounded in action from Fort Gordon, Georgia. Tributes on BravesVision from Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves will thank military men and women for their service and celebrate the history of our nation.

Serving as the Braves' Honorary Team Captain for the evening on July 4th will be Captain Joseph Anthony, of Richmond, Virginia, a 16 year veteran of the United States Army. Captain Anthony, a decorated soldier, is currently serving in Iraq, and will return home to the United States shortly before Independence Day. His awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Field Medical Badge, and the Air Assault Badge.

For games throughout the July 4 weekend and on September 11th, all Major League Baseball teams will wear "Stars & Stripes" caps that are available for sale to the public with a portion of the proceeds going to Welcome Back Veterans.

Braves Independence Day Weekend schedule:

Friday, July 4th:
7:10 p.m. - Pre-game ceremonies begin on field featuring Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and National Guard and the largest American flag ever displayed at Turner Field
7:20 p.m. - National Anthem performed by Arrested Development's lead female vocalist, Tasha LaRae
7:30 p.m. - Braves Honorary Team Captain, Captain Joseph Anthony, to exchange line up cards with game officials and coaches
7:35 p.m. - Atlanta Braves vs. Houston Astros first pitch
Post Game - "Salute to America Fireworks Spectacular," presented by Publix Super Markets

Saturday, July 5th:
5:30 p.m. - Arrested Development concert in Fan Plaza
7:05 p.m. - Braves vs. Houston Astros
Post Game - Arrested Development encore in Fan Plaza

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thrashers Select Zach Bogosian with Third Overall Pick in 2008 NHL Entry Draft

The Atlanta Thrashers have selected defenseman Zach Bogosian with their first-round choice, third overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

Bogosian, 17, was the second-ranked North American skater entering the draft and appeared in 60 games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last season. He ranked second among league defenseman with 50 assists and was the only defenseman to lead his team in points with 61 (11 goals, 50 assists). He added three assists in five post-season contests against Belleville.

The 6-2, 200-pound defenseman represented the Eastern Conference at the 2008 OHL All-Star Classic and also participated in the CHL Top Prospects Game. He is described by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service as a “franchise player for a National Hockey League team and is ready to make the jump to the NHL very quickly.”

The native of Massena, N.Y. has recorded 94 points (18 goals, 76 assists) and 135 penalty minutes in 127 career games over two seasons with Peterborough. He was selected by the Petes in the first round, 19th overall, of the 2006 OHL Priority Draft.

Prior to his time in Peterborough, Bogosian played two seasons at Cushing Academy (Mass.) from 2004-2006 where former NHL All-Star Ray Bourque was an assistant coach.

Little League Tournaments Start June 28 for Georgia District 4

District 4 Little League Tournaments will be played in Senoia at the LeRoy
Johnson Ballfields beginning June 28.

Twelve teams from the district will compete in the 9/10 Year Old Baseball
Tournament. The winner of the tournament will represent District 4 at the
State Tournament in Warner Robins beginning July 19. Warner Robins is the
home of the 2007 Little League World Series Champions.

Two teams will compete for the District Championship in the newest
tournament division, 10/11 Year Old Baseball. The winner will play in the
State Tournament at Murphey Candler Little League beginning July 12.

In the Little League Baseball division for 11 and 12 year olds, eight teams
will compete for the Championship. The winner will go on to compete at the
State Tournament hosted by Belvedere Little League, Flat Shoals Park in
Decatur, beginning July 19.

Junior League Baseball for 13/14 year olds and Senior League Baseball for
14/16 year olds will each have 5 teams. The Junior State Tournament will
begin July 12 in Hart County and the Senior State Tournament will begin July
19 in Oconee County.

Big League Baseball for 16/18 year olds will have teams representing
District 4 and West Point. The Champion will compete in West Point at the
State Tournament beginning July 12.

Senior League Softball for 13/16 year old girls will be played between
Senoia Area Little League and West Point Little League. The winner will
move on to the State Tournament in West Point beginning July 12.

Game schedules for all divisions of the District 4 Tournament may be viewed
at To view the tournament schedules and results for
the various State Tournaments, visit To see
the results of the various Regional and World Series tournaments, go to

Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thrashers Add Five Players in Day Two of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft

The Atlanta Thrashers selected five players on Day Two of this weekend’s 2008 NHL Entry Draft, held at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. Atlanta held seven selections in all over the two-day draft, including two first-round choices used on defenseman Zach Bogosian (third overall) and center Daultan Leveille (29th overall).

The Thrashers owned one choice each in Rounds 3-7 and selected right wing Danick Paquette (third round, 64th overall), right wing Vinny Saponari (fourth round, 94th overall), left wing Nicklas Lasu (fifth round, 124th overall), goaltender Chris Carrozzi (sixth round, 154th overall) and defenseman Zach Redmond (seventh round, 184th overall).

Daquette, 17, recorded 42 points (29 goals, 13 assists) in 63 games with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. The 6-0, 210-pound right wing finished third on his team with 29 goals and was second in the QMJHL with 213 penalty minutes. The Montreal, Quebec native has totaled 60 points (33 goals, 27 assists) and 325 penalty minutes in 126 games over two seasons in Lewiston.

Saponari, 18, spent the last two years in Ann Arbor, Mich. with the United States Development Program and tallied 33 points (13 goals, 20 assists) in 49 games with the Under-18 team during the 2007-08 season. The 6-0, 180-pound right wing appeared in 60 games with the USDP in 2006-07, including 39 games with the Under-17 team where he recorded 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) and 21 games with the Under-18 team, tallying seven points (four goals, three assists) in those games. The Atlanta, Ga. native is the first Georgia-born player to play for the USDP and will join his brother Victor at Boston University (Hockey East) next season. Prior to his time in Ann Arbor, Saponari played for Culver Military Academy (Ind.) in 2005-06 and led the team with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists).

Lasu, 18, recorded 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 41 games with Frolunda of the Swedish Jr. League during the 2007-08 campaign. The 5-11, 180-pound left wing also appeared in two games with Frolunda’s Swedish Elite League team. The Molndal, Sweden native was the ranked 31st among European Skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service.

Carrozzi, 18, appeared in 47 games with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last year, compiling a 25-18-2 record with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage, along with four shutouts. He started all four post-season contests for the Majors. The Ottawa, Ontario native has earned a 31-25-3-1 record with a 3.24 goals-against average, a .905 save percentage and four shutouts in 72 games over two seasons with the Majors. The 6-3, 185-pound goaltender was a member of the Gold Medal winning Team Canada at the 2008 Under-18 IIHF World Championships and won a Gold Medal with Team Ontario at the 2007 Canada Winter Games.

Redmond, 19, just completed his freshman season at Ferris State University (CCHA), where he recorded 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 37 games. The 6-1, 190-pound defenseman ranked second on the team among first-year players and sixth overall in points. Prior to beginning his collegiate career, the Traverse City, Mich. native played two seasons with the Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League (USHL), recording 50 points (12 goals, 38 assists) in 108 games from 2005-07.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thrashers Select Daultan Leveille with 29th Overall Pick in 2008 NHL Entry Draft

The Atlanta Thrashers have selected forward Daultan Leveille with their first-round choice, 29th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

Leveille, 17, appeared in 45 games for the St. Catherines Falcons of the Golden Horseshoe Junior Hockey League (GHL) last season. He led the team with 29 goals and ranked third with 56 points and 27 assists. Leveille paced the GHL with six shorthanded goals and recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in the 2008 GHL All-Star Game.

The 5-11, 165-pound center led the Falcons with 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) in 16 post-season contests. He tied for first in the league in goals (14), including three game-winning goals and eight multiple-point games during the playoff run. Leveille recorded at least one point in 15-out-of-16 playoff games, including a 10-game point streak from Feb. 29 – March 26, tallying 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in that span.

The St. Catherines, Ontario native has registered 101 points (48 goals, 53 assists) in 93 career games over two seasons with the Falcons. Leveille will attend Michigan State University in the fall of 2008.

Earlier tonight (June 20, 2008) the Thrashers selected defenseman Zach Bogosian with the third overall choice. Bogosian appeared in 60 games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League last season and was the only defenseman to lead his team in points with 61 (11 goals, 50 assists).

The native of Massena, N.Y. has recorded 94 points (18 goals, 76 assists) and 135 penalty minutes in 127 career games over two seasons with Peterborough. He represented the Eastern Conference at the 2008 OHL All-Star Classic and participated in the CHL Top Prospects Game.

Prior to his time in Peterborough, Bogosian played two seasons at Cushing Academy (Mass.) from 2004-2006 where former NHL All-Star Ray Bourque was an assistant coach.
The Thrashers own five additional choices in this year’s draft, beginning in the third round. The seven-round draft resumes Saturday with the second round starting at 10 a.m.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thrashers Name John Anderson Head Coach

The Atlanta Thrashers have named John Anderson the fourth head coach in team history, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.

Anderson, 51, has won five championships in 13 seasons as a head coach and most recently guided the Chicago Wolves to the American Hockey League’s 2008 Calder Cup Championship. He has 30 years of experience in professional hockey as a player and coach, including the past 11 years as head coach of the Wolves, the Thrashers primary minor-league affiliate since 2001. During his tenure with Chicago, he has earned a 506-283-99 regular-season record, a 105-60 post-season record and captured two Calder Cups (2008, 2002) and two Turner Cups (2000, 1998) when the team was a member of the International Hockey League. Anderson earned his first of five league titles as a head coach with the Quad City Mallards of the Colonial Hockey League in 1997.

“John has an impressive record of success as a head coach and we are excited to be adding him to our organization,” said Waddell. “He’s a proven winner whose leadership and experience behind the bench will play a vital role in the resurgence of our hockey club.”

Throughout his 13 seasons as a head coach, Anderson has made the playoffs on 12 occasions, including 10 of his 11 seasons with the Wolves. Overall, he has led his teams to the league finals eight times and has advanced to the conference finals 10 times. He has won 40-or-more games in a season 10 times, including 50-or-more wins on four occasions, and has reached the 100-point mark seven times. He is also the Wolves all-time leader in regular-season wins (506) and playoff wins (105).

Under his leadership, the Wolves have set several single-season team records, including 55 wins (1997-98); 114 points (1999-2000); 29 home wins (1997-98, 1998-99, 2007-08); 27 road wins (1999-2000, 2006-07); 331 goals (2006-07); and 208 goals-against (2003-04). Anderson collected his 500th career regular-season coaching victory with the Wolves on March 22, 2008 at San Antonio in the squad's 3-1 win. Since the team joined the AHL in 2001, Anderson has racked up 306 regular-season wins and has led the squad to a 16-4 series record in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He also led Canada to a 15-13 win in the 2003 AHL All-Star Classic.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago but I’m thrilled to now have the opportunity to take those achievements and advance my career in Atlanta with an exciting organization like the Thrashers,” said Anderson. “This team has some great talent, and I look forward to the challenge or maximizing our potential and returning to the playoffs.”

Prior to joining the Wolves, Anderson spent the 1996-97 season as head coach with Quad City (CoHL), leading them to a 51-20-3 record and the Colonial Cup Championship. The previous season (1995-96), he began his coaching career with the Winston-Salem Mammoths, leading them to the Southern Hockey League finals and a 30-23-7 regular-season record.

In July of 2007, Anderson made his international coaching debut when he led the United States squad to the Gold Medal in the World Jewish Cup in Metulla, Israel.

During his 12-year NHL playing career from 1977 to 1989, Anderson amassed 282 goals and 349 assists for 631 points in 814 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs (1977-1985), Quebec Nordiques (1985-86) and Hartford Whalers (1986-1989). He also notched nine goals and 27 points in 37 career Stanley Cup Playoff contests with Toronto and Hartford. Originally selected by the Maple Leafs in the first round, 11th overall, in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft, Anderson registered five 30-goal campaigns, including four straight from 1981 to 1985. His most productive season came in 1982-83, when he led Toronto with 80 points (31 goals, 49 assists) in 80 games.

Anderson played three years in the International Hockey League with the Fort Wayne Komets (1990-91) and San Diego Gulls (1992-1994). As a player/assistant coach with the Gulls, Anderson helped propel the club to an IHL-record 62 wins and a berth in the 1993 Turner Cup Finals. Two years earlier, he tallied 40 goals and 83 points in 63 games to help the Komets reach the 1991 Turner Cup Finals. Overall, Anderson compiled 115 goals and 211 points in 200 career IHL games. With the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks in 1991-92, Anderson became the oldest player to win the league's Most Valuable Player award at age 35. That season, he notched 41 goals and 95 points in 68 games, while capturing the league's Sportsmanship Award and earning a spot on the AHL First All-Star Team.

At the beginning of his professional career, the winger split the 1977-78 season between the Maple Leafs and the Dallas Blackhawks of the CHL, earning the Max McNab Trophy (CHL) as the league’s most valuable player.

A native of Toronto, he represented Canada in the World Championships in 1983 and 1985, recording seven goals and four assists for 11 points in 15 games over the two tournaments, while earning a Bronze Medal and Silver Medal, respectively. He also competed in the World Junior Championships in 1977, amassing 15 points (10 goals, five assists) in seven games, helping Canada to a Silver Medal.

During his four-year junior career, Anderson competed for the Toronto Marlboros and tallied 327 points (154 goals and 173 assists) in 211 games from 1973-77. He led his team to the Memorial Cup Championship in 1974-75 with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in four games.

Anderson, who played for Waddell (General Manager) with San Diego in 1992-93, will go behind the Thrashers bench in place of Waddell, who served as the team’s head coach after relieving Bob Hartley of his duties on Oct. 17, 2007.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Atlanta Braves Foundation Baseball and Softball Equipment Drive Set for June 21 - 22 at Turner Field

The Atlanta Braves Foundation will collect baseball and softball equipment to benefit the Atlanta Braves Baseball Academy's YMCA Junior Braves Youth Baseball League, on June 21 - 22 at Turner Field. The first 200 fans to donate new or used baseball or softball equipment (minimum of two items) or make a $20 cash donation will receive a Braves autographed photo (maximum two photos per family, while supplies last).

Fans can drop off their new and used baseball and softball equipment donations at the Turner Field Main Gates in the Monument Grove area on Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22, from the time gates open until the end of the 2nd inning.

More than 2000 youth play baseball and softball at the Atlanta Braves Baseball Academy. These facilities include four baseball fields, funded by Atlanta Braves players Chipper Jones, Brian Jordan, Mike Hampton, and John Smoltz each of whom contributed $75,000 to the Metro Atlanta YMCA, bringing an eight-acre signature youth sports complex to the heart of the redeveloped Carver community where more than 2000 youth play near Turner Field. Additionally, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, will award a $5,000 grant to The Villages of Carver Family YMCA, home to the Atlanta Braves Baseball Academy.

The Atlanta Braves Foundation is the non-profit arm of the Atlanta Braves that actively supports community organizations and their programs within the metro Atlanta area. Since its inception in 1992, the Atlanta Braves Foundation has provided support to thousands of metro Atlanta based organizations and has contributed more than 2.7 million dollars in financial assistance to the community. Through the generous support of Braves players, employees, sponsors and fans, the Atlanta Braves Foundation continuously strives to improve the quality of life for our youth.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jure Robic & Byggkjop/BMC Cycling Team Win Race Across America 2008

(PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- After 3,014 miles, RAAM defending champion Jure Robic of Slovenia has won the solo men's race in the 27th Race Across America (RAAM). Robic rode from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis in 8 days, 23 hours, and 33 minutes, averaging 13.98 miles per hour. This is Robic's fourth win, a new RAAM record as the only man ever to win four RAAM's.

The Norwegian-based 8-person Byggkjop/BMC Cycling Team won the team division, setting a new record. Beating the team record by 5 hours, 47 minutes set by Team Type 1 in 2007, the Byggkjop/BMC Cycling Team finished the race in 5 days, 9 hours, and 56 minutes, averaging 23.20 miles per hour. This was the first year Byggkjop/BMC Cycling Team competed in RAAM, and the first year the 8 riders of the team had participated in this coast-to-coast race.

Terry Zmrhal, Race Director for RAAM, said, "I want to congratulate both Jure Robic and the Byggkjop/BMC Cycling Team for their record-breaking wins this year. To see such outstanding races from a champion race veteran like Robic, and then the amazing win from the BMC rookie team makes this a spectacular year."

Samuel Zbogar, Slovenia's Ambassador to the United States, was on hand at the Annapolis finish to congratulate Robic, a member of the Slovenian Armed Forces.

Robic has completed this race five times now, winning it four, and taking second place his rookie year. In another attempt he was forced from the race course due to illness. Robic's domination of RAAM is both awe inspiring and remarkable.

Finishing the Race Across America is truly a monumental accomplishment. The RAAM organization congratulates all the athletes who participated in the races this year. More than 250 men and women from 17 countries took part in the Race Across America (RAAM), the world's premiere ultra-endurance transcontinental cycling event. The non-stop 3,000 mile bicycle race started in Oceanside, California, and the race route stretched through 15 states finishing in Annapolis, Maryland.

For 27 years RAAM has set the bar extremely high with their single-stage style race. Competitors must meet stringent qualifications, usually training 1-3 years to prepare themselves for the rigors of the challenge. The physical side of RAAM is only part of the difficulty; the mental fortitude required to complete this race is something usually training 1-3 years to prepare themselves for the rigors of the challenge. The physical side of RAAM is only part of the difficulty; the mental fortitude required to complete this race is something usually associated with more mature athletes. Robic is 43 years old, and all 8 members of the Byggkjop/BMC Cycling Team are over the age of 40.

The solo women's division leader is expected to finish the race June 19, with the other solo competitors and teams (2, 4, and 8 person) completing the race by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 20.

Face of Defense: Soldier Continues Family's Martial Arts Tradition

SSG Note: We know. Neither Arizona or New York are in close driving time to Georgia. We just felt this was a fun story. Martial arts is popular in our area, so enthusiasts will enjoy it.

While growing up in Phoenix, Army Staff Sgt. Dimas Estrada learned the sport of taekwondo from his father, a black belt.

Continuing the family tradition, Estrada is passing on the ancient martial arts technique to his own children.

Estrada earned his black belt in 2006 in Afghanistan. Prior to his deployment, Estrada, an air and missile defense operations sergeant, enrolled his children in classes in Watertown, N.Y., to keep them busy while he was gone.

Now Estrada uses taekwondo to keep himself and other soldiers busy, teaching classes in the sport five days a week at the Paul R. Smith Fitness Center here.

Practicing the sport here helps connect him to his kids back home, even though they are thousands of miles away, Estrada said.

"This sport really brings my family together," he said. "The taekwondo school where my kids attend is almost like a family readiness group. Most of the students there are military family members, and the instructor told me that my children [would] be in good hands."

He said the sport is a good way for his children or anyone else to make friends, increase their flexibility, relieve stress and stay in shape.

Estrada's children already are winners in the sport, having collected more than a dozen trophies. His 7-year-old son, Christian, is now a red belt, and his 6-year-old daughter, Christianna, recently earned a blue belt.

"I'm really proud of my children, not just because they are following in my footsteps, but because they really enjoy the sport," Estrada said. "Regardless of how many tournaments they compete in or how many trophies they win, I will always be proud of them."

Estrada understands first-hand the risks involved in the sport. He was unable to compete for several years due to injuries and a knee surgery.

"I was cautious at first of [my children] getting hurt, but now I have confidence in them," he said.

When he redeploys from Iraq, he said, another family member can help him train: His wife, Deanna, has recently taken up the sport.

Taekwondo, which uses only the hands and feet to strike, is regarded as the world's most popular form of martial arts, having the most practitioners.

By Army Spc. Sophia R. Lopez
Special to American Forces Press Service

Army Spc. Sophia R. Lopez serves in the Multinational Division Center Public Affairs Office.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thrashers to Host 2008 NHL Draft Party at Philips Arena on Friday, June 20

The Atlanta Thrashers will host their 2008 NHL Draft Party in Philips Experience at Philips Arena on Friday, June 20 from 6-9 p.m. to coincide with the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Many special events and activities are planned for the celebration, including a special appearance and autograph signing by Thrashers forward Eric Perrin.

The Thrashers own two first-round choices (third and 29th overall) and seven overall selections in this year’s seven-round Entry Draft, which will be held at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Friday, June 20 (Round 1), beginning at 7 p.m., and Saturday, June 21 (Rounds 2-7), beginning at 10 a.m.

The Thrashers 2008 NHL Draft Party, which is free and open to the public, will feature live coverage of the Entry Draft’s first round on VERSUS. Thrashers radio announcers Dan Kamal and Jeff Odgers will be on-hand to broadcast live on 680 the Fan to offer analysis and interviews.

Fans in attendance will also have the chance to test their skills in interactive games, meet Thrash and members of the Blue Crew and select seat locations for the Thrashers upcoming season. Philips Arena’s new Taco Mac restaurant, located adjacent to Philips Experience, will also be open for the event.

Thrashers 2008 NHL Entry Draft Selections (Scotiabank Place, Ottawa):

Friday, June 20 – 7 p.m.
1st Round/3rd Overall
1st Round/29th Overall (acquired from Pittsburgh)

Saturday, June 21 – 10 a.m.
3rd Round/64th Overall
4th Round/94th Overall
5th Round/124th Overall
6th Round/154th Overall
7th Round/184th Overall

Atlanta Thrashers Season Tickets start as low as $10 per game and are on sale now for the 2008-09 season by visiting or calling (866) 715-1500.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thrashers Re-Sign Goaltender Johan Hedberg

The Atlanta Thrashers have re-signed goaltender Johan Hedberg to a multi-year contract, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hedberg, 35, appeared in 36 games for the Thrashers in 2007-08, earning a 14-15-3 record, a 3.46 goals-against average, a .892 save percentage and one shutout. During a four-game span from Nov. 13-21, he collected four consecutive wins and posted a 1.49 GAA and a .942 save percentage. The native of Leksand, Sweden was voted by his teammates to receive the Thrashers Players’ Player Award for the second consecutive season, given annually to the Thrasher who best exemplifies what being a “team player” is all about.

The 6-0, 185-pound goaltender was signed by Atlanta as a free agent on July 1, 2006 and has earned a 23-19-5 record and a 3.26 GAA in 57 regular-season appearances for the Thrashers over two seasons. He also played in two playoff games during the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs, posting a 2.56 GAA and a 0-2 record against the N.Y. Rangers.

In seven NHL seasons, Hedberg has amassed an 89-86-20 record in 213 regular-season games with Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Dallas and Atlanta, recording a .899 save percentage, a 2.92 GAA and 11 shutouts. In 22 playoff appearances for Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Atlanta, he has collected a 10-12 record, including two shutouts, and a 2.33 GAA. He earned a 9-9 record in 18 contests during the 2001 post-season with the Penguins, leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Originally selected by Philadelphia in the ninth round, 218th overall, in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Hedberg made his North American debut in 1997-98, playing for Baton Rouge of the East Coast Hockey League, as well as Detroit and Manitoba of the International Hockey League. He has also spent seven seasons (1992-93 to 1996-97, 1998-99 and 2004-05) with Leksands IF in his native Sweden.

Hedberg has represented Sweden in several International competitions, including the 2002 Winter Olympics, where he earned a 1-0 record. He also appeared in the 1997, 1998 and 1999 IIHF World Championships for Sweden.

Atlanta Thrashers Season Tickets start as low as $10 per game and are on sale now for the 2008-09 season by visiting or calling (866) 715-1500.

Atlanta Motor Speedway Events


Pit Gates Open at 6pm.
Tech Opens at 6pm.
Practice Runs Start at 6:15pm.
Registration for Show-N-Shine Opens at 6:15pm.
Grandstand Gates Open at 7:00pm.
Show-N-Shine Parade at 8:15pm.
Show-N-Shine Awards at 8:55pm.
National Anthem at 9pm.
Drag Race Eliminations begin at 9:05pm.

Spectators - $7 (six and under FREE)
Drag Racing Entry - $20
Show-N-Shine Entry - $20
Both Drags and Show - $30
Infield Parking - $20 per car

This Friday is the season points opener for the Friday Night Drags presented by AC Delco. All classes will be competing for trophies and divisions awarding points will begin counting this weekend. Competitors winning the main event will be awarded three points and the runner-up will receive two points. All other drivers competing will receive one point for the night. The top drivers in each division will receive year-end awards along with the opportunity to race this October during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend (date and times to be determined).

The exciting news for Show-N-Shine participants is that all the first place award winners along with the President’s Choice award winners will be invited back in October for a special winner’s showcase along the front straightaway during the pre-race festivities for the Pep Boys Auto 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday, October 26. The entries will be lined up in front of the pre-race stage throughout the pre-race including the introductions of the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers.

This Friday night (June 20) drag race fans will have the opportunity to win tickets to the Kenny Chesney concert at Turner Field next month. There will also be chances to win an assortment of other prizes, enjoy the extra festivities for the kids, tour the garages checking out the Show-N-Shine vehicles, stand along the launch area and enjoy a night with a family and friends. Invite some friends, pack up a cooler (no glass) and make plans to be at the season points opener for Friday Night Drags presented by AC Delco.

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Friday, June 27

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and his staff will be joining the fun of Friday Night Drags presented by AC Delco on Friday, June 27. Perdue has invited his staff to celebrate the end of session, end of bill signings and the beginning of summer by enjoying a night of heads up drag racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He will be competing in a 2008 Chevrolet Impala SS Atlanta Motor Speedway pace car in the Domestic division. The Governor will also have at least one match race against AMS president and general manager Ed Clark.

The evening will also feature the General Lee Challenge as the speedway welcomes the 30th Anniversary of the 1970’s hit television show Dukes of Hazzard the following morning. Several 1969 Dodge Chargers are expected for this unique drag racing competition.

There will also be a full night of points racing for the Friday Night Drags competitors. A full awards night for the Show-N-Shine participants and a more fun for the fans in the stands.

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Friday, July 4

A special 4th of July sparktacular celebration is being planned for everyone affiliated with Friday Night Drags presented by AC Delco. There will be a race car parade through the city of Hampton, extended practice runs, special awards for the nightly winners and one of the largest fireworks displays in the history of Atlanta Motor Speedway. Everyone is encouraged to make plans to gather with family and friends at the speedway and experience some fun in the sun, drag racing on the eighth mile and fireworks above the speedway. Bring a grill, pack a cooler and plan for a fun time at Friday Night Drags presented by AC Delco.

The 4th of July celebration will begin early in the day with a drag racers parade through the city streets of Hampton (located one mile from the speedway). There is a city celebration planned with vendors, entertainment and kiddie rides. The organizers have invited drag racers to participate in the parade and then stay for a while before heading over to the speedway to begin dialing in for the night of racing. They will be shutting down their activities around 6pm and will be ending their city celebration at Friday Night Drags. Let’s show our support by giving them a great parade of drag racers and Show-N-Shine vehicles!

The pits will open early on the 4th of July, soon after the completion of the Hampton Parade. We will begin drag practice runs earlier and eliminations will begin around 7:30pm. The fireworks display will take place around dusk just prior to the semi-final rounds.

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Thursday Thunder - Military Night!!!
Amazing Afghan Al Quida Obliteration
June 19

Season Points Opener
Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine
June 20

Dukes Fest ’08 and Hazzard County Fair
June 28 and 29

Thursday, July 3 - Thursday Thunder
Friday, July 4 - Friday Night Drags

Pep Boys Auto 500 weekend
October 24, 25 and 26
Reserve your seats today!
Call 770-946-4211.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bill Curry Named Head Football Coach

Bill Curry, a name synonymous with class and integrity in the coaching profession, has accepted the challenge of building Georgia State University football as the program’s first head coach.

The Atlanta native and former head coach at Georgia Tech, Alabama and Kentucky was introduced by Georgia State President Carl Patton and Director of Athletics Mary McElroy in a Thursday afternoon press conference at the Georgia State Sports Arena, eight weeks after the football program was officially launched on April 17.

Curry, who agreed to a five-year contract, is charged with the task of developing and directing the football program in every area in preparation for Georgia State’s first season in the fall of 2010.

"Our mission is to educate young people on and off the field while building a first-class program that makes our University proud, and who better to instill those ideals into the fabric of Georgia State football than Bill Curry?" said McElroy.

"From the moment that we first spoke with Bill about Georgia State, you could see and feel how genuinely excited he was about this challenge. And make no mistake, it is quite a challenge to start a program from scratch, but we know we have the person who will do everything the right way while building a rock-solid foundation for Georgia State football."

Curry brings 17 years of experience as a head coach in the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference--including Coach of the Year awards in both leagues--as well as an All-Pro playing career in the National Football League, and, most recently, national notoriety as a college football analyst for ESPN.

In the NFL, he participated in three Super Bowls and two Pro Bowls as he played for two of the most highly-regarded coaches in professional sports history in Vince Lombardi and Don Shula, while his college coach, Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd, is an icon in Southern football annals.

After concluding his 10-year playing career as a center for the Green Bay Packers (1965-66), Baltimore Colts (1967-72), Houston Oilers (1973) and Los Angeles Rams (1974), Curry entered the coaching ranks as offensive line coach at Georgia Tech in 1976. He then spent three years as an NFL assistant with the Packers (1977-79) before returning to his alma mater as head coach in 1980.

Curry took over a Georgia Tech program in transition, moving from independent status to the Atlantic Coast Conference while badly in need of facilities upgrades. His first two seasons were highlighted by a stunning 3-3 tie against No. 1-ranked Notre Dame in 1980, in which the Yellow Jackets’ quarterback was a freshman walk-on named Ken Whisenhunt, who is now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, and a 24-21 victory at fourth-ranked Alabama the following year.

By recruiting talents such as all-America defensive end and future NFL star Pat Swilling, all-America offensive lineman John Davis, record-setting tailback Robert Lavette, and all-ACC linebacker Ted Roof, Curry’s teams also scored a pair of victories over nationally-ranked Georgia teams as well as a win over 13th-ranked Clemson that snapped a 20-game ACC winning streak.

Curry’s rebuilding efforts culminated in 1985, when he led Tech to a 9-2-1 season for the school’s highest win total in two decades and its first bowl victory in 13 years, defeating heavily-favored Michigan State in the All-American Bowl. For his efforts, he was named ACC Coach of the Year.

Curry compiled a record of 20-11-3 over his final three seasons at Georgia Tech before moving to Alabama in 1987. He posted a three-year record of 26-10 with the Crimson Tide, capped by the 1989 SEC title and Sugar Bowl berth.

In addition to being selected SEC Coach of the Year in 1989, Curry received the national coaching accolade named for his beloved mentor, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award.

Curry then spent seven seasons at Kentucky (1990-96), highlighted by a berth in the 1993 Peach Bowl. At the time, that marked the Wildcats’ fourth bowl berth in 40 years.

Through every stop, Curry has carried an indelible reputation for integrity and class, and he has been guided by the ideal that the education and well-being of the student-athlete is paramount. In 2007, he was recognized by the American Football Coaches Association with the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, which honors someone "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football."

His passion for mentoring young people is evident in his most recent position as the Director of Leadership Baylor at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tenn.

"I met Bill Curry several years ago and found out for myself that he was everything people said he was: thoughtful, analytical and honest," said Patton. "You can imagine how thrilled I am that the search committee brought his name forward out of a terrific group of candidates. With a stellar background in both college and pro football, Bill is the perfect person to launch football at Georgia State. I’m reserving my 50-yard line tickets for the kickoff in the Dome."

Dr. Rankin Cooter, chairman of the Georgia State Athletic Association Board of Trustees, added, "Coach Curry has a national reputation for integrity and excellence both on and off the field. He provides instant credibility and sends a statement to the Atlanta community, the State of Georgia, and the Colonial Athletic Association that we are serious about athletics and football at Georgia State University. Athletic Director Mary McElroy and President Carl Patton are to be commended for their vision, effort, leadership, and commitment to a quality Georgia State athletics program for our student body and our student-athletes."

Curry attended College Park High School in the Atlanta area before going on to Georgia Tech, where he earned his B.S. degree in Industrial Management in 1965. He is married to the former Carolyn Newton of Atlanta, a graduate of Agnes Scott College who earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Georgia State. Bill and Carolyn have two children and four grandchildren.

Curry will officially begin his duties July 1, at which time he will hire a partial staff of up to four assistant coaches, a director of football operations and an administrative assistant. The staff will begin recruiting immediately in order to sign Georgia State’s first recruiting class in February 2009.

Braves pitcher John Smoltz Undergoes Surgery on Right Shoulder

Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher John Smoltz underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder today (June 10, 2008). The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama. The most significant of the repairs was to the labrum in Smoltz's shoulder and it is unclear at this time when Smoltz might be able to return to major league competition. Smoltz is resting comfortably and will start a rehabilitation regimen within the next few days.

"The prognosis on John's shoulder is unclear based on the findings of today's surgery," Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. "We will know more as John starts to progress through his rehab."

Smoltz opened the 2008 season on the disabled list, then was disabled again from April 28 to June 2 with right biceps tendinitis. He went 3-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six games (five starts).

One of the best pitchers in Braves' history, Smoltz owns a career record of 210-147 (.588) with 154 saves and a 3.26 ERA. He has played each of his 20 Major League seasons with the Braves.

The 1996 National League Cy Young Award winner, Smoltz registered 157 wins as a starting pitcher before missing the entire 2000 season due to "Tommy John" surgery on his right elbow. He moved primarily to the bullpen in 2001 and became the Braves' all-time saves leader by recording 154 rescues in just three and a half seasons (2001-04).

Smoltz returned to the starting rotation in 2005 and went 47-26 with a 3.18 ERA in 105 starts before being placed on the disabled list on April 28. Last season he passed Phil Niekro as the franchise's all-time strikeout leader, and on April 22 he became the 16th member of the 3,000-strikeout club, fanning Washington's Felipe Lopez in the third inning.

Smoltz the only pitcher in baseball history to post at least 200 wins and 150 saves in his career. His 15 victories and 194 strikeouts in postseason play are both Major League records.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hotel Performance and NBA Champions

Should anyone really be surprised about this year’s old-school NBA finals matchup? Not if they’ve been tracking the health of the hotel industry. According to PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR), the nation’s leader in hospitality research and consulting, there is a strong relationship between hotel industry data and the NBA championship.

Hotel performance measures such as occupancy, room rates, and profits historically have proved to be accurate predictors of the NBA champions. In the years when the Celtics or Lakers have been champions, the performance of the U.S. hotel industry was surprisingly similar.

The 2007-2008 NBA season marks the 11th time that the Lakers and Celtics have met in the finals. These two historic franchises have combined to win 30 of the 61 NBA championships (soon to be 31 of 62). PKF-HR has been collecting data on hotels since 1930, or 17 years before the first professional basketball championship was played. Mark Woodworth, president of PKF-HR, explains, “Being a Celtics fan, I wanted to get a better handle on the likely outcome of the series.”

Woodworth noted that the correlation between PKF’s data and the NBA playoffs has significant historical precedence. When either the Celtics or Lakers have won the NBA championship, national hotel occupancy has historically decreased. In their most recent Hotel Horizonssm forecast report, PKF-HR reaffirmed their prediction of a national decline in hotel occupancy for the year end 2008. The reliability of PKF-HR’s hotel data does not end there.

The average annual change in profits for the hotel industry in the 10 years that the Celtics and Lakers have met was 3.1 percent. PKF-HR forecasts that in 2008, profits will increase by 2.9 percent, leading the firm to suggest that these numbers are more than coincidence. “We really should not have been surprised to see the Celtics and Lakers back in the finals. Two plus two equals four as far as I know,” Woodworth said.

The real question on everyone’s mind is who will be this year’s champion.

“At the risk of offending our clients and colleagues in Los Angeles, all trends point towards Boston being this year’s NBA champion,” concludes Reed Woodworth, vice president of the PKF Consulting Boston office. “National hotel occupancy is expected to decline this year, and of the eight times Boston has beaten the Lakers, occupancy decreased in five of those years.

“To make Boston fans feel even more confident, we need look no further than the annual change in room rate,” Reed added. “In the years that Boston has beaten the Lakers, rates increased by 3.9 percent. When Boston has won an NBA championship against any team, the hotel industry reported a 4.0 percent increase in rates. This year PKF-HR is forecasting a 4.1 percent increase in room rates, almost an identical match. Sorry, Lakers fans.”

Bruce Baltin, senior vice president of the PKF Consulting office in Los Angeles, jokes, “I still expect the Lakers to win. But even if they lose, from a hotel owner’s perspective, I am happy to be in Los Angeles, where hotel revenue is projected to grow at twice the rate expected for Boston hotels in 2008.”

“Lest anyone think that I was able to influence how the data was interpreted, we had a Knicks fan, my colleague Robert Mandelbaum, check the numbers,” Woodworth added.

2008 Wimbledon Tickets Now on Sale at

24-7 - Sale of 2008 Wimbledon Championships tickets has recently been announced by online ticketing portal ( Accompanied by free shipping and lowest price guarantee options and backed by the broker's 100% customer satisfaction, genuine ticket and money back guarantees, Wimbledon tickets are available for all the scheduled matches. Tickets can be ordered by visiting Offering premium tickets to sports events, theater shows and concerts worldwide, is a recognized leader in the online ticketing business.

In addition to online, the 2008 Wimbledon Championships tickets can be ordered via telephone by calling the portal's call center at 1800-523-1515. Fans who decide to order tickets via telephone will be charged an additional 10% fees. "Our 2008 Wimbledon tickets are reasonably priced so that they fit the budget of all fans", says Mr. David A. Boitano, CEO of . "The best way to order tickets would be online as they are the most economical then. But we are open to telephone orders as well. Just order your tickets and sit back, we will deliver them right at your doorstep. Making things convenient for fans is our primary aim!", he adds.

The Wimbledon is the oldest major championship in tennis and is regarded by many to be the most prestigious tennis championship in the world. Held annually between late June and the beginning of July for two weeks, the tournament is the third Grand Slam event played each year, preceded by the Australian Open and the French Open and followed by the US Open.

The 2008 Wimbledon Championships will be played from June 23 to July 6. As always, the venue will be the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Roger Federer and Venus Williams will be the defending champions for the men's and women's championships respectively.

"Our Wimbledon tickets are, as always, individually priced and fans can order as many as they want", says Mr. Boitano, who takes pride in the fact that in 18 years of service, has never failed its customers. "We have always delivered what has been ordered in a timely and professional manner even when the event is sold out", he proudly proclaims.

Seating chart of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club can be viewed on the ticketing website and fans can pick their seats and order accordingly. Tickets to other tennis tournaments are also available at and can be viewed at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2008 US Open Golf Championship Tickets Now on Sale at

24/7 - Leading online tickets broker ( has announced the sale of 2008 US Open golf tournament tickets for all the scheduled matches to be played at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Individually priced and accompanied by free shipping and lowest price guarantee options, the 2008 US Open tickets can be ordered online by visiting or by calling the ticket reseller's customer service at 1800-523-1515.

In business since 1990, is one of Internet's foremost ticketing portals offering premium tickets to all sports events, theater shows and concerts. The US Open golf championship tickets are backed by 's 100% customer satisfaction, genuine ticket and money back guarantees and are priced for above face value and according to demand and supply. "The US Open of golf brings together tradition, excitement and competition and is one of the most watched sporting events. Tickets to this mega event are generally quiet expensive but our prices suit everyone. We have a ticket price to fit every pocket", informs Mr. David A Boitano, CEO of . 2008 US Open tickets by are priced between $15-$947, depending upon the seat. "Fans can decide which price suits them best and order accordingly", Mr. Boitano adds.

One of the four major championships in golf, the US Open is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. The 2008 US Open golf tournament, the 108th playing of the event, will be played from June 12 to June 15 at Torrey Pines. The event will be held at Torrey Pines for the first time and will take place on the South Course.

"Watching golf is my passion and nothing gives me greater pleasure than being on the greens while the pros play. This year, the US Open is being staged in my home city and I can't wait for the matches to begin! I have purchased tickets to all the rounds, thanks to 's easy policies. I have also saved up a bundle with the portal's free shipping and other cost cutting options. I am definitely recommending the site to everyone I know", says Brad, a delighted customer.

Fans who choose to order US Open golf tickets via telephone will be charged an extra 10% fees. "The best way to order tickets is online. If you are looking for prices which are even lower than the ones displayed on our website, you can always opt for our Run of House ticketing service. We have something for everyone", shares Mr. Boitano who takes pride in the fact that, in 18 years of service, has never failed to fulfill orders. "We always deliver what we promise", he says.

Chicago Wolves Capture 2008 Calder Cup Championship

Jason Krog's four-point night included his second hat trick of the postseason and propelled the Chicago Wolves to the American Hockey League's 2008 Calder Cup championship with a 5-2 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at Allstate Arena on Tuesday night.

The Wolves, top development team of the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers, defeated the Penguins four games to two to win their second AHL title and first since 2002.

Krog capped a magical season by winning the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2008 Calder Cup Playoffs, finishing with 12 goals and a league record-tying 26 assists for 38 points in 24 playoff games. Krog, who won his first championship after reaching the Calder Cup Finals with Bridgeport in 2002 and the Stanley Cup Finals with Anaheim in 2003, was also named the AHL MVP in the regular season after leading the league in goals (39), assists (73) and points (112) in 80 games played.

2007 AHL Rookie of the Year Brett Sterling and 2007 AHL All-Rookie defenseman Nathan Oystrick also scored for the Wolves in Game 6, and Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves to become the fourth goaltender in AHL history to win 16 games in a single postseason.

John Anderson becomes the 12th head coach to win more than one Calder Cup championship, leading Chicago to its second title in seven seasons since joining the AHL. The Wolves won the West Division with a record of 53-22-2-3 (111 points) during the regular season, then got past the Milwaukee Admirals (4-2), Rockford IceHogs (4-3) and Toronto Marlies (4-1) before defeating the Penguins in the Finals.

Chicago's victory brings the curtain down on the AHL's 72nd season. In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today's NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and this season marked the seventh consecutive year in which more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New CDC Study First to Present National Outdoor Recreational Injury Estimates

Nearly 213,000 treated in emergency departments annually-- more than
half of injuries among young people ages 10-24.

Almost 213,000 people were treated each year in emergency departments
for outdoor recreational injuries from 2004 to 2005, according to a
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study in the journal
Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. Of those injured, about 109,000
(51.5 percent) were young people between the ages of 10 and 24.

For both men and women of all ages, the most common injuries were
fractures (27.4 percent) and sprains (23.9 percent). Of these, most
injuries were to the arms or legs (52 percent) or to the head or neck
(23.3 percent). Overall, 6.5 percent of outdoor injuries treated were
diagnosed as traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Researchers found that snowboarding (25.5 percent), sledding (10.8
percent), and hiking (6.3 percent) were associated with the highest
percentage of injuries requiring emergency department visits.

"Participation in outdoor recreation is increasingly popular in the
United States," said Arlene Greenspan, Dr. PH and co-author of the
study. "The good news is that there are ways to help stay safe while
having healthy fun outdoors. For example, by wearing the appropriate
helmet for snowboarding, snowmobiling, sledding and rock climbing, you
can reduce your risk of having a head injury, which could become a
traumatic brain injury. Helmets are one piece of equipment that can
have a critical, positive impact."

The study points out that wilderness injury prevention begins with
planning, preparation, and problem anticipation. Outdoor adventurers
can help prevent injuries by:

* Maintaining their levels of fitness, knowing their skill levels
and experience, and not exceeding their limits.
* Checking and maintaining their equipment and replacing if
* Carrying a first-aid kit (and, if appropriate for the situation,
a two-way communication device.)
* Alerting others about where they are going.

"We encourage people of all ages to enjoy recreational activities to
stay healthy and fit," said Ileana Arias, Ph.D., director of the CDC
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "With proper planning
and preparation, you can anticipate potential problems and reduce
possible injuries and long-term consequences."

For more information about CDC's prevention efforts, please link to For a full copy of the study, please visit

Department of Health and Human Services

Reality Climbers Compete Again, and Again, as Season Climbs On

Reality Climbers competed in two local competitions recently. One was held in Atlanta and one in Charlotte, North Caroline. Sixteen Reality Climbers attended the Atlanta event, and a dozen made the trip to Charlotte. Both local comps were stepping stones to the Regional, Divisional, and National competitions to be held in May, June and July.

Local comps are conducted using the “redpoint” format, which allows climbers 5 attempts to complete each route. The Regional, Divisional, and National competitive events utilize the “on-site” format, where each climber is allowed only one attempt per route, and is scored based on highest hold on the wall they successfully have control of during their climb.

In preparation for the upcoming Championship Climbing Season, Team Reality’s upper division climbers chose to challenge themselves and treat the two most recent local comps as if they were Championship events, only allowing themselves one try per route. Their results were very impressive and the team is not only looking forward to their next challenge, but ready for what it holds.

A suspense-filled climb-off between three climbers was the highlight of the Atlanta competition. Two of Reality’s climbers, MasAnne Fulmer and Victoria White (pictured), were part of a three-way tie which required the climb-off to be conducted. Holding everyone’s attention, both girls did a fabulous job representing Reality and securing top spots in the climb-off.

The highlight of the Charlotte competition was the outdoor location. The outdoor climb was held at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, an outdoor facility just west of Charlotte. In addition to the climbing competition, which attracted climbers from throughout the southeast, various Olympic kayakers were qualifying for the 2008 Olympic games. Reality Climbers performed very well, although the competition was cut short by inclement weather.

Climbers who have successfully competed in three local competitions look forward to and set their minds and prepare their bodies for the next step, Regional Competition, where the top 6 climbers in each age group category are invited to the Divisional Climbing Championship, which is in North Carolina in June. From the Regional Climbing Competition, top climbers are invited to the National Climbing Championship, which is held in Sunnyvale, California in July.
Reality Climbers climb and train at Reality Climbing, an indoor climbing facility on the border of Tyrone and Peachtree City.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hank Aaron Hits a Home Run for Youth

Legendary Baseball player Henry “Hank” Aaron joined Mayor Shirley Franklin at the kick off for the 11th Annual Mayors Cup Golf Tournament. More than 38 teams of private-public partners came out the Heritage Golf Club and have raised more than $100,000 for the Camp Best Friends and Mayor’s Youth Program Endowment Funds.

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – June 9, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton staved off elimination for the second straight game with a 5-1 win in Game Five of Calder Cup Finals on Saturday night. Chicago still holds a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series and will have a third chance to capture their second Calder Cup Championship at home on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Each of the remaining Calder Cup Finals games can be seen live on the NHL Network.

2008 Calder Cup Finals Finals (Best-of-Seven)
Gm. Date Location Result Series
1 5/29 Chicago 5-4 (CHI) 1-0 (CHI)
2 6/1 Chicago 4-2 (CHI) 2-0 (CHI)
3 6/4 W-B/S 6-1 (CHI) 3-0 (CHI)
4 6/6 W-B/S 3-2 (W-B/S) 3-1 (CHI)
5 6/7 W-B/S 5-1 (W-B/S) 3-2 (CHI)
6 6/10 Chicago
7* 6/12 Chicago

* if necessary

Game Five – June 7 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 5, Chicago 1

After a scoreless first period rookie center Bryan Little gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead midway through the second period with his eighth goal of the postseason. Chicago was unable to capitalize on the lead and surrendered five unanswered goals to the Penguins in a 5-1 defeat. Jordan LaVallee and Brett Sterling picked up the assists on Little’s goal. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec turned away 26 of 31 shots in the loss.

The 6TH Annual Invitational for the First Tee Golf Tournament Returns to Callaway Gardens® October 2008

The 6th annual Invitational for The First Tee golf tournament is returning to Callaway Gardens ( on October 12-14, 2008.

Event proceeds support chapters of The First Tee throughout the United States in its mission to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

“Callaway Gardens is renowned for its experience of hosting major golf events, including the PGA Tour’s Buick Challenge, for over a decade," said Edward Callaway, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation which owns Callaway Gardens. "Our 150-room Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens nicely complements both the Mountain View and Lake View golf courses, and October is a spectacular time to be here. We look forward to another great tournament and a long and rewarding relationship with the Invitational for The First Tee."

For more information on Callaway Gardens, please call 1-800-543-7121 or visit For information on tournament sponsorship opportunities and team entries, please contact Mr. Jim Thompson at 404-308-8231 or email at
Fayette Front Page
Community News You Can Use
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – June 7, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

The Wolves missed their first opportunity to capture the 2008 Calder Cup Championship on Friday night after suffering a 3-2 Game Four loss in Wilkes-Barre. Chicago will have another chance to close out the Penguins tonight at 7:35 p.m. Each of the remaining Calder Cup Finals games can be seen live on the NHL Network.

2008 Calder Cup Finals Finals (Best-of-Seven)
Gm. Date Location Result Series
1 5/29 Chicago 5-4 (CHI) 1-0 (CHI)
2 6/1 Chicago 4-2 (CHI) 2-0 (CHI)
3 6/4 W-B/S 6-1 (CHI) 3-0 (CHI)
4 6/6 W-B/S 3-2 (W-B/S) 3-1 (CHI)
5 6/7 W-B/S
6* 6/10 Chicago
7* 6/12 Chicago

* if necessary

Game Four – June 6 – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3, Chicago 2

Chicago found itself down 1-0 after one period of play for the second straight game on Friday night. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton opened up a 2-0 lead early in the middle frame, but two goals by Darren Haydar knotted the game at 2-2 heading into the third. The Penguins scored the game-winning goal at the 2:21 mark of the third period to push Chicago to a Game Five tonight. Haydar scored the only goals for the Wolves, while Jesse Schultz (two assists), Jason Krog (one assist) and Joel Kwiatkowski (one assist) all found their way onto the scoresheet. Rookie goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 20 saves on 23 shots in the defeat.

Five Kids On Top of the Sailing World

SSG Note: Super kudos to these youth! All of us who enjoy sailing in Georgia, whether it be on the coast or on one of our lovely lakes, will be cheering these young sailors on to victory.

BUSINESS WIRE--What were you doing when you were in your early teens? And what are teenagers doing now? Watching marathon TV? Hanging out at the mall, playing endless video games But, for five young sailors, ages 12-14, life has a decidedly more provocative twist. These five boys have reached the pinnacle of their Optimist sailing careers and are headed to Cesme, Turkey next month to represent the United States in the International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championship Regatta. Fairly heady stuff for kids not even old enough to drive! This is the U.S. World Team!

Duncan Williford will be 13 in July. He is from Fort Lauderdale and is the sailor who won Team Trials the qualifying regatta for the World Team. Pearson Potts is now from Sag Harbor, New York, but his roots are in New Orleans. Pearson is 15 and is a third-time World Team member. Christopher Craven just turned 14 and hails from Miami Shores, Florida. Axel Sly will be 14 this month and is a second-time World Team member from Weston, Florida; and Antoine Screve from San Francisco, California is also 14 and is making his second trip to the World Team.

These kids are among some 150,000 worldwide to sail the Optimist, a small pram sailboat just 76 long. From its humble beginnings in the late 1940s in Clearwater, Florida, when the Optimist was built as a soap-box racing car for the water, the Opti has grown to be the largest class of youth sailing boat in the world, represented in 110 countries.

While some might consider sailing an effortless pastime, they have not witnessed the rigorous training or intense competition involved in the sport. The dedicated few who make it to the World Championship sail all the time -- often to the detriment of their social lives. Sailing requires not only physical fortitude, but extraordinary mental focus as well. But what does sailing give these teens? It offers them life lessons and character-building experiences that form the foundation for motivated and successful people. They are tough, these kids, and they are devoted to the sport.

For these five that have made it to the top, it is indeed a rarefied atmosphere and a pivotal life experience. Perhaps, they are en route to the Olympics. 70% of Olympic medalists in sailing have begun their careers in the Optimist. But, they have arrived! To be competing in the world arena at their ages is nothing short of remarkable! One can imagine the impact on these kids futures no challenge will seem impossible; no obstacle intransigent. These five sailors have been on top of the world!

For more information, visit for U.S. information and for international information.

Callaway Gardens® Presents The First Divots® Fall Classic Pro-Am Golf Tournament

Divots Sportswear® and Callaway Gardens® ( announce the first ever Divots® Fall Classic Pro-Am golf tournament featuring a $50,000* purse on September 7-8, 2008, in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Divots and Callaway Gardens, the site of 12 PGA Tour™ events and 13 Club Pro Challenges, are teaming together for a fun, challenging and affordable event for golf professionals and team players with amenities and rewards built-in.

This three-day golf getaway is designed for club or teaching professionals (cannot be a member of any major or developmental tour during calendar year 2008). Take advantage of the beautiful Georgia setting at Callaway Gardens® and golf with the Pros.

Registration is only $3,300 per foursome and is all-inclusive, including lodging (double occupancy in two-bedroom/four bed cottage); Sunday through Tuesday meals and receptions; three rounds of golf including carts; daily use of Twin Oaks Golf Practice Facility with unlimited range balls; tee gifts; trophies and prizes.

Deadline for team registration with full payment is August 1, 2008, after deadline registration is $1,175 per person.

The event opens Sunday, September 7, with the Yamaha Golf Car Company Opening Reception at 6:00 p.m. The golf tournament will be played Monday and Tuesday on both the Dick Wilson designed Mountain View course and the J. B. McGovern designed Lake View course. The Divots Awards Presentation will take place on the clubhouse lawn at the tournament conclusion Tuesday afternoon.

To register your team for the Divots Fall Classic Pro-Am or to request more information, contact JT Thompson at 404-308-8231 or

*Based on a full field of 54 teams.

2008 Summer Track Series Presented by Peachtree City Running Club

For runners of all ages and abilities

Peachtree City Track and Riley Field adjacent to Peachtree City Elementary School on Wisdom Road.

Tuesday evenings on, June 3, 10, 17, 24 and July 8, Championship meet July 15 & 16.
Registration starts at 6PM. First event starts at 6:30PM.

Runners FREE. Spectators FREE.

Events: 50 yard dash (10 and under), 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash, 800 meter run, 1 Mile run, 3200 meter run, 5K run, 400 & 1600 meter relays. No field events.

Regular Weekly Meets: Events will be run in various heats based on # of runners.

Championship Series: Events will be run in heats based on age groups and sex.

Awards: Presented for Championship Series Meets Only.

For more information: Bill Werling at (770) 460-1425 or Mark Ward (770) 631-8775

Order of Events - Regular Weekly Meets

6:00 PM Registration Opens
6:30 PM 800 Meter Run
6:45 PM 50 Yard Dash (10 and under)
100 Meter Dash on June 3, 17, & July 8: 200 Meter Dash on June 10 & 24
7:00 PM 1 Mile Run
7:30 PM 400 Meter Dash (run in lanes)
8:00 PM 3200 Meter Run on June 3, 17, and July 8; 5K Run on June 10 & 24
8:30 PM 4 x 100 Relay on June 3, 17, & July 8; 4 x 400 Relay on June 10 & 24.
8:45 PM Pizza at Partners!

Championship Series

Tuesday, July 15th Wednesday, July 16th

6:00 PM Registration Opens 6:00 PM Registration Opens
6:30 PM 100 Meter Dash 6:30 PM 1 Mile Run
7:00 PM 800 Meter Run 7:15 PM 50 Yard Dash (10 & under)
7:45 PM 200 Meter Dash 7:45 PM 400 Meter Dash (run in lanes)
8:15 PM 5K Run 8:15 PM 3200 meter run

NOTE: Rain date for the Championship Series Meet will be Thursday, July 17th.

Above schedule is approximate. We will attempt to start all events early except for the 800 meter run. All competition weekly meets will be run in heat. All heats will stress safety and quick times by being limited in number. Track surface is rubberized and soft. All timing is done by electronic equipment

Wyland to Announce End of 30-year Project, June 25

At 10am on Wednesday, June 25, renowned marine-life artist Wyland will announce details of his 100th and final Whaling Wall, bringing an end to his almost 30-year labor of love. The announcement will take place where it all began, at the site of the very first marine-themed mural in Laguna Beach. As a fitting tribute to Wyland’s international reach and commitment, the final mural will be painted in Beijing next month, in the lead-up to the Olympic Games. With the help of thousands of children from around the globe, Wyland will create a “Great Wall of China” canvas, spanning more than four miles with 50 and 100-foot segments representing 191 nations.

The idea behind the Whaling Wall project has always been to teach people about environmental conservation by simply showing them what they are conserving. This is the largest and longest ongoing arts in public places program dedicated to environmental awareness. The murals have set world records for the largest paintings by one person and are seen by an estimated one billion people each year.

For more information on the Whaling Wall project, go to the Wyland Foundation website at

Friday, June 6, 2008

Big Brown Seeks Triple Crown Victory Despite Injury

24-7 - Big Brown has cruised through the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes to become the heavy favorite in tomorrow's Belmont Stakes as he vies to become the first Triple Crown winner, since Affirmed in 1978, despite being plagued by a "quarter crack" hoof injury (a split in the hoof wall, traveling down from the hairline).

Big Brown suffered the ailment to his left front hoof, but the 3-year old spirited runner is showing remarkable signs of progress during the recovery phase. This particular hoof injury can take anywhere from just a few days to several months to heal completely; however, these types of injuries are very common and the nominal insult to Big Brown's hoof is not nearly as severe as those he has suffered in the past. He was sidelined for about six weeks when he developed an abscess in his hoof; a short while later, he formed a second abscess in another hoof and was out of commission for another 45 days. This current affliction appears to be minor and hoof specialist Ian McKinlay is taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure that he will heal in time for the big race.

Big Brown is appearing to run better and the horse is showing consistent signs of improvement day after day, so it looks like the Belmont Stakes will be on in full force for this potential Triple Crown winner. According to McKinlay, the injury appears to be healing very well on its own. Iodine and alcohol have been used to treat the injury and the thoroughbred is apparently experiencing little to no pain. The Belmont Stakes is geared to take place June 7th and trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. is extremely confident in Big Brown's ability to take the Belmont Stakes in Triple Crown honor. Dutrow claims, "Everything is right on target. He is by far the best horse in the race."

The crack in Big Brown's hoof is expected to be sealed with an acrylic and fiberglass patch, but the colt may have more to contend with than just an injured hoof, as Japanese trained horse, Casino Drive, winner of the May 10th Grade II Peter Pan Stakes, is considered the biggest competitor to possibly stop Big Brown from achieving his ultimate goal. Casino Drive is the half brother of the past two Belmont Stakes winners, Jazil and Rags to Riches.

Undeterred, Dutrow is extremely confident that his horse will come out on top. When asked about Casino Drive, Dutrow stated, "I don't have a good fix on that horse, but I know that the horse is not at the top of his game. There's no way. I've seen this horse. My friends around the stables have seen this horse. There's just no way this horse can beat Big Brown in a horse race. That's impossible." Nonetheless, the question on everyone's mind remains: will this injury, no matter how "minor," affect Big Brown's performance at Belmont?

While many bettors will be choosing Big Brown to win the race, the most difficult aspect will be calculating the other top finishers in the race. Scores of horse racing enthusiasts turn to professional handicapping services to assist them with their race analysis. "There are many horses in the field that have an opportunity to hit the board," says James Morrison, President of Operations for the online handicapping website, "it should be an interesting race, particularly since there is a potential Triple Crown winner."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Chicago Wolves Playoffs Update – June 5, 2008

Chicago Wolves – American Hockey League

After a decisive 6-1 Game Three victory on Wednesday night, the Wolves hold a 3-0 series lead and can wrap up the Calder Cup Championship with one more win. Game Four will be played in Wilkes-Barre on Friday, June 6 at 7:35 p.m. Each of the remaining Calder Cup Finals games can be seen live on the NHL Network.

2008 Calder Cup Finals Finals (Best-of-Seven)
Gm. Date Location Result Series
1 5/29 Chicago 5-4 (CHI) 1-0 (CHI)
2 6/1 Chicago 4-2 (CHI) 2-0 (CHI)
3 6/4 W-B/S 6-1 (CHI) 3-0 (CHI)
4 6/6 W-B/S
5* 6/7 W-B/S
6* 6/10 Chicago
7* 6/12 Chicago

* if necessary

Game Three – June 4 – Chicago 6, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1

After a sluggish first period which left Chicago down 1-0 and outshot 12-5, the Wolves rallied for a team-record five-goal second period en route to a 6-1 victory and a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals. Jesse Schultz led the Wolves with two goals, while Joel Kwiatkowski, Jordan LaVallee, Matt Anderson and Mike Hamilton each chipped in a goal apiece. Joey Crabb led the team with two assists in the win. Jason Krog and Darren Haydar each earned one assist to extend their point streaks to 12 and 11 games respectively. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec backstopped the Wolves with 24 saves on 25 shots.

For the First Time, Women’s Pro Softball Fans Can Catch the Chicago Bandits’ Season Live and Online

BUSINESS WIRE--The Chicago Bandits will be the first womens pro softball team to broadcast their 2008 home season online, starting with the kickoff game this Friday, June 6, 2008. Partnering with online broadcasting company Network Foundation Technologies (NFT), the Chicago Bandits is the first team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league to break away from the Pay-Per-View model and offer fans FREE-For-View content programming that is live and free of charge.

The teams strong roster boasts Olympic Champion Jennie Finch, who won the Team USA Softball Gold in 2004 and is on her way to compete in the Beijing Olympics with the 2008 National team. Finch will not be playing the 2008 season due to her Olympics commitment, but will rejoin her team after Beijing. However, popular and fellow 2004 Gold medalist Amanda Freed will be playing this season. Freed and Finch shine as marquee players in the fast-growing popularity of womens softball, and the Chicago Bandits online broadcasts will help the sport continue cultivating and reaching its vast fan base.

NFTs unique video broadcasting solution incorporates a customizable, downloadable player that broadcasts content directly to the viewers computer desktop. Fans can go to and download the teams official TV player to gain access to the Bandits TV network, which will play all home games and content for the 2008 season.

With the ability to reach large, geographically diverse audiences at a fraction of the bandwidth cost of other online broadcasting technologies, NFTs platform is a viable solution for many content providers who want to deliver high quality, live television-style programming that is free of charge to viewers. The Chicago Bandits are on the cutting edge of womens sports. We pride ourselves on being the leader in setting trends for womens pro softball. Our attendance numbers are the largest in the league, and our games have received the most televised coverage. We recognize that streaming media is the new frontier that will offer significant exposure for our team and sponsors, said Bill Conroy, owner and general manager of the Chicago Bandits. We are excited for the opportunity to work with Network Foundation Technologies and to make this happen.

NFT is proud to further activate the Chicago Bandits brand and bring womens pro softball to fans worldwide. The Chicago Bandits are the first NPF team to step away from Pay-Per-View and embrace our innovative technology. The sports fan base has steadily increased, and we are excited to be able to offer this content to fans all over the world and participate in the booming growth and recognition of womens sports, said Marcus Morton, President of NFT.

NFTs distributed broadcast model avoids the pitfalls inherent in peer-to-peer file sharing systems by enabling the distribution of live content, eliminating the need to store data on each viewers hard drive, and limiting use of Internet connections to only those time periods when the viewer is actively tuned to a program. This patented technology builds and maintains a highly stable broadcast network by using the turnover inherent in distributed networks to drive the most reliable active connections to the most critical regions of the network, ensuring that quality of service remains high. By never requiring any computer in the network to retransmit more than two copies of the broadcast stream, the network can continue expanding while keeping bandwidth costs low and controlled.

NFTs emerging presence in the world of sports and events is strong. The company has ongoing partnerships with top sports leagues such as arenafootball2, USA Weightlifting, USA Judo and the Central Hockey League.