Mar 31

Tennessee falls short to Maryland 58-48 in regional final

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – The entirety of what this season had been approximately for Ariel Massengale hit as she dropped to her knees while Maryland celebrated around her. No trip to Tampa, Florida. No getting Tennessee back to the Final Four. No title for the final group of Lady Vols to have played for Pat Summitt. “Cierra (Budrick), (Isabelle Harrison) & I wanted to take this team back to the Final Four. And end this drought for this program, for ourselves, for Pat,” Massengale said. “We wanted it more than anything in the world. We felt we had a really satisfactory chance & just not being able to accomplish your ultimate goal, it hurts.” Lexie Brown scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, & Tennessee was held to one field goal over the final 5 minutes as top-seeded Maryland advanced to the Final Four with a 58-48 win over the Lady Vols in the Spokane Regional final on Monday. Tennessee (30-6) was knocked out of the NCAAs by Maryland for the second straight year & continued the Final Four drought for the Lady Vols program that is now at seven years. …

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Mar 31

Supreme Court Challenges North Carolina’s Sex Offender Law

Washington — A North Carolina program of monitoring sex offenders by GPS needs closer judicial scrutiny, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. In an unsigned & unanimous decision that could rattle a number of states, the court rejected North Carolina’s arguments & concluded the ankle-bracelet monitoring program amounts to a search. The decision means convicted felons like Torrey Dale Grady can now challenge the lifelong monitoring. “That conclusion, however, does not decide the ultimate question of the program’s constitutionality,” the court stated, noting that “the Fourth Amendment prohibits only unreasonable searches.” North Carolina judges must now re-examine the GPS monitoring program through a Fourth Amendment lens that’s adapting to new technologies. Whether it’s permitted, the high court explained Monday, depends on “the nature & purpose of the search & the extent to which the search intrudes upon reasonable privacy expectations.” Luke Everett, one of the Durham, N.C.-based defense attorneys who petitioned the Supreme Court on Grady’s behalf, said in an email Monday that the court’s decision could prove “very significant” beyond his specific case. “North Carolina & other states have basically taken the position that they can strap a GPS monitoring device to whomever they want to,” Everett said. “The court here is saying, no, that search has to be reasonable. In many cases, that’s going to be impossible to demonstrate.” Other states that can impose GPS monitoring requirements on released sexual offenders include California, where legislators likewise adopted a lifelong monitoring program in 2006. Florida & Kansas moreover require lifelong monitoring for some offenders. Grady was indicted in 2006 in New Hanover County, N.C., for statutory rape & taking indecent liberties with a child. …

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Mar 31

Maryland knocks off Tennessee 58-48 in regional final

<!– google_ad_section_start –> SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Maryland is going back to consecutive Final Fours & for the second straight year the Terrapins pushed aside Tennessee to obtain there.Lexie Brown scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, Brionna Jones added 14 points & nine rebounds & top-seeded Maryland advanced to its second straight Final Four with a 58-48 win over Tennessee on Monday in the Spokane Regional final.Brown hit three 3-pointers in the second half as the Terrapins (34-2) overcame their lowest-scoring first half of the season to knock out Tennessee from the NCAAs for the second straight year.It’s the fifth Final Four appearance for the Terrapins & third under coach Brenda Frese.Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 12 points for the Terrapins, who held Tennessee to one field goal over the final 5 minutes. Maryland has won 28 straight games.Ariel Massengale led Tennessee (30-6) with 16 points, yet the Lady Vols missed their chance at reaching the Final Four for the first time since 2008.Next up for the Terrapins: Connecticut in the national semifinals. The Terrapins lost to Notre Dame in last year’s national semis.Tennessee’s focus all season had been on getting back to the Final Four, which just so happened to be in Tampa, Florida this season, the site of the Lady Vols’ most recent Final Four appearance & most recent national title.That task became far more difficult when leading scorer Isabelle Harrison was lost for the season to a knee injury in February.Tennessee showed resiliency in the aftermath of Harrison’s injury & again in the Sweet 16, rallying from 17 down with less than 7 minutes remaining to beat hometown Gonzaga in overtime.But the Lady Vols’ run ended against the Terrapins. View gallery Tennessee’s Cierra Burdick (11) blocks a shot by Maryland’s Tierney Pfirman during the first … Maryland trailed by as many as five early in the second half, yet that deficit was gone immediately after Walker-Kimbrough scored in transition – Maryland’s first fast-break points – & followed with a 3-pointer.Brown added a 3 & Jones scored inside & Maryland’s lead was 39-34 with 10:50 left.Tennessee answered with 10 of the next 12 points behind 3s from Massengale & Cierra Burdick to go up 3. But Brown’s 3-pointer tied the game at 44 & started Maryland on a 17-4 run to close the game. Brown added a layup with 1:10 left for a 51-46 lead.Massengale answered for Tennessee & the Lady Vols’ press forced a turnover. But Burdick’s attempt at a tying 3-pointer was short & went out of bounds with 41.9 seconds left & Maryland hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute.TIP-INS:Tennessee: The 21-point first half for the Lady Vols was tied for the third fewest in any game this season. Tennessee was held to 18 against Arkansas. … …

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Mar 31

North Carolina religious freedom bill questioned after controversy in Indiana

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Could a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in North Carolina donate a business owner the right to refuse service to someone who is Muslim, Buddhist or gay & justify it using the law? That’s the concern with the new law in Indiana that allows people to invoke the law against other people. Nineteen other states have laws that clearly define religious freedom applying to people versus the state not each other. “The idea that you should be able to use your religious beliefs to discriminate against someone is not something most people in this country agree with,” said Ryan Butler, with Equality NC. “Most people understand that you’re not being persecuted when you’re prevented from persecuting another person.” In North Carolina, the bill in its current form makes the distinction that the state cannot stand in the way of someone’s exercise of religion. That’s similar to the law that’s been in place since 1999 in South Carolina. Butler hopes that the passage of the individual rights law in Indiana is not something that becomes the norm as these laws continue to spread across the nation. “It would allow people to pick & select which laws they want to follow based on their religious beliefs,” said Butler. Butler said in Texas, the law has moreover been used as a criminal defense in deadly animal abuse cases with the defendant claiming religious freedom to sacrifice animals. …

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Mar 31

North Carolina Dental Board and the Reform of State-Sponsored Protectionism

Abstract The Supreme Court’s February 25, 2015, decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC has far-reaching ramifications for the reform of ill-conceived protectionist state regulations that limit entry into myriad professions & thereby harm consumers. In holding that a state regulatory board controlled by market participants in the industry being regulated cannot cloak its anticompetitive rules in “state action” antitrust immunity unless it is “actively supervised” by the state, the Court struck a significant blow against protectionist rent-seeking legislation & for economic liberty. The states may re-examine their licensing statutes in light of the Court’s decision, yet if they decline to revise their regulatory schemes to eliminate their unjustifiable exclusionary effect, there may well be yet another round of challenges to those programs—this time based on the federal Constitution. On February 25, 2015, in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC (North Carolina Dental Board),[1] the Supreme Court of the United States struck a blow for consumers & economic freedom. The case involved a North Carolina statute prohibiting non-dentists, including dental assistants, from whitening patients’ teeth & granting a board that included self-interested dentists the authority to supervise implementation of the statute. The immediate effect of the North Carolina law was to make state dentists into a state-authorized oligopoly over a practice that could be performed by non-dentists without posing any risk of harm to patients; the intermediate & long-term effect was to raise income for dentists at the expense of the public. By ruling that the state dental board was not immune from suit, the Supreme Court’s decision has far-reaching ramifications for the reform of ill-conceived protectionist state regulations that limit entry into myriad professions & thereby harm consumers. In holding that a state regulatory board controlled by market participants in the industry being regulated cannot cloak its anticompetitive rules in “state action” antitrust immunity unless it is “actively supervised” by the state,[2] the Court struck a significant blow against protectionist rent-seeking legislation & for economic liberty.[3] The Supreme Court left to the lower federal courts the responsibility of fleshing out the full details of the “active supervision” requirement in this context. …

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Mar 31

East Tennessee State hires Wichita State assistant Forbes

<!– google_ad_section_start –> JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — East Tennessee State has hired Wichita State assistant Steve Forbes as its next basketball coach.Forbes replaces Murry Bartow, who was fired March 13 after going 224-165 with three NCAA Tournament appearances in 12 seasons. ETSU earned the last of those NCAA invitations in 2010.In a release Monday announcing the move, ETSU athletic director Richard Sander said ”when you look at his accomplishments, it’s effortless to see that Steve Forbes & winning are synonymous.”The 50-year-old Forbes spent the last two seasons at Wichita State after going 61-6 in two seasons as the head coach at Northwest Florida State, a junior college in Niceville, Florida.Forbes has connections within the Volunteer State from his five years working as an assistant on Bruce Pearl’s Tennessee staff.Steve ForbesEast Tennessee StateWichita State<!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Mar 31

Reaction swift to possible Religious Freedom bill in North Carolina

RALEIGH (WTVD) — North Carolina is considering a similar bill to a new law in Indiana that has sparked outrage around the country.In North Carolina, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would let people & companies pick & select who they want to do business with based on their religious beliefs. Critics say that could allow employers to discriminate against just approximately anyone they don’t like.”Especially here with our legislation,” said Chris Sgro with Equality NC, “it doesn’t even include any qualifier that it has to be a ‘substantial burden’ on your religious freedom. So it really allows anybody to espouse their personal opinion that can be discriminatory & couch it as religion.””I think what you’re seeing across the country,” Sgro continued, “is an extremist minority backlash against marriage equality rulings that happened last year.”But another backlash has been focused on Indiana after Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a similar bill into law last week.”What you’ve seen in Indiana is that there are terrible unintended consequences that the business community is furious at,” Sgro said.What are those consequences — a wave of criticism from across the country & spectrum & the threat of boycotts from large companies, cities, & other states.With just days to go before the Final Four basketball tournament kicks off, Duke University put out this statement today: “Duke University stands alongside the LGBT community in seeking a more equal world & we deplore any effort to legislate bias & discrimination. We share the NCAA’s concern approximately the potential impact of the new law, & will be vigilant to ensure that our student-athletes, supporters, & indeed all citizens & visitors are treated fairly & with respect.”Indiana home teams including the Pacers & the Fever & the NCAA are moreover expressing concerns over fallout from the new law, as are companies including Apple & Angie’s list.Among those threatening to stop doing business with Indiana because of its new law are major cities like Seattle & San Francisco & even the state of Connecticut.The debate in Indiana moreover prompted questions from North Carolina’s top elected officials.Republican Sen. Richard Burr told ABC11: “Nobody in America should be discriminated against. Everybody in America has a right to do & to act in business how they feel or are led to do yet that can’t include discrimination of any American.”Governor Pat McCrory asked a Charlotte talk show host this morning, “What is the problem they’re trying to solve? I haven’t seen it up to this point in time.”However, one of the chief architects of North Carolina’s new bill, Rep. Paul Stam from Apex, is standing by the legislation. Stam denies that there would be any negative economic fallout.Sgro says Indiana’s experience suggests otherwise.”I think that when Apple & Yelp & Angie’s List & Eli Lilly & Uber & all these companies that are national yet often have significant investments in the state of North Carolina say ‘Hey, this is going to cause us real business harm, aside from whether it’s right or wrong, this is offensive business policy, people from both sides are going to stand up & listen.”Read Rep. …

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Mar 31

Grady Health System Rejoins Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Networks

<!– google_ad_section_start –> ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–<!– –> Grady Health System & Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) have agreed to a new contract, effective April 1, 2015, which restores full in-network access to the clinical services of Grady Health System. “We are pleased to announce that we have reached a fair & sustainable agreement,” said Morgan Kendrick, President, BCBSGa. “Historically BCBSGa & Grady have worked together to provide access to quality medical care. We look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.” “We are pleased we have successfully & mutually reached a new agreement with the largest health insurer in Georgia,” said John M. Haupert, President & CEO of Grady Health System. “This new agreement means that Blue Cross members once again have access to the unparalleled skill & experience that Grady provides area residents.” About Grady Health System Grady Health System is one of the largest safety net health systems in the United States. Grady consists of the 953-bed Grady Memorial Hospital, six neighborhood health centers, Crestview Health & Rehabilitation Center, & Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding, which is operated as a Children’s affiliate. <!– –> With its nationally acclaimed emergency medical services, Grady has the premier level I trauma center in the Metro Atlanta region & serves as the 911 ambulance provider for the city of Atlanta. Grady’s American Burn Association/American College of Surgeons verified Burn Center is one of only two in the state. And the Marcus Stroke & Neuroscience Center is a Joint Commission designated Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. …

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Mar 31

Social worker: Former Georgia Tech star, wife should lose 10 kids

A state social worker repeated her contentions Monday that a former Georgia Tech star needed to lose custody of all 10 of their children because the kids are in danger.But social worker Angel Jackson admitted in Gwinnett Juvenile Court that she didn’t listen to all the police interviews of the children of Recardo & Therian Wimbush before concluding they were at risk.“I don’t know how it would have changed the recommendation,” she testified, according to Channel 2 Action News. Kent D. JohnsonRecardo Wimbush leaves court during a break in a bond hearing before Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers Tuesday, August 5, 2014. The former Georgia Tech football star & his wife were denied bond. They are accused of locking their 13 year old son in the basement for months. KENT D. JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COMJackson’s testimony was a continuation of the custody hearing that began almost two weeks ago & it bolstered earlier testimony from a psychologist who evaluates children for the state Division of Family & Children Services.DFCS is seeking to terminate the parental rights of former Georgia Tech football standout Recardo Wimbush & his wife, Therian, who have been in jail since last June after being arrested on child abuse charges. They were arrested after police learned their eldest child allegedly had been imprisoned in the basement of their home for stealing, lying & other offenses.Earlier this month, psychologist Priscilla Faulkner said she assessed both Wimbushes at significant risk for future child abuse or neglect because they had not sought therapy for the eldest child for his offenses & because of the child’s basement exile. Her testing showed Therian might even become violent or overly aggressive, even though the behavior had not been exhibited in the past.But, on cross examination, Faulkner was forced to admit she violated psychological protocols in giving the written tests. She admitted she failed to monitor the test taking, which could invalidate the results.Both Faulkner & Jackson testified that they based their conclusions on the Wimbushes’ refusal to acknowledge the discipline as wrong, & because the Wimbushes had quit vaccinating their children & the kids apparently were not taken to regular medical checkups. One of the children was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after the kids were brought into state custody.The couple married while Recardo Wimbush, now 33, was a growing athletic star at Georgia Tech, & Therian Wimbush, 37, was pursuing an advanced engineering degree & tutoring athletes. …

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Mar 30

Why Tennessee can't be taken seriously yet as SEC contender

Updated MAR 30, 2015 2:54p ET More from Athlon Sports: Top 20 WRs on the rise in 2015 / Alabama is ready for another title run / Florida could win SEC East in 2015 / Can WVU take advantage of wide open Big 12? / North Carolina’s D must step up in 2015 *** Expectations are starting to soar in Knoxville for a reason. Butch Jones has quickly rebuilt the Tennessee depth chart with two incredibly talented recruiting classes. The results on the field were tangible as well, as the Vols received back to the postseason & were extremely impressive against quality competition like Georgia, South Carolina, Florida & Iowa. However, there are major strides this program still needs to take before it can become an SEC title contender. Here are five storylines to follow for the Vols this spring. 1. Handle the training room Butch Jones has implemented a unique day-on, day-off strategy for spring practice due in large part to his lack of healthy starters. There are big-time names on both sides of the ball — like Jalen Hurd, Curt Maggitt & Derek Barnett, for example — who will not be going through much contact this spring, if at all. With nine players off the depth chart this spring, Tennessee needs to win in the rehab room as much as it does on the field. …

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