Archives for 2014
Missouri Tiger fans know we have a couple of special defensive ends in senior Markus Golden and junior Shane Ray, but the Minnesota Golden Gophers have an end who is pretty good himself. Had injuries not cut out a big portion of his schedule this year, he could have been one of the top defensive linemen in the Big Ten.
Alex Keith says ever since he was eight years old, until he just about finished up high school, he attended every Mizzou home game. The Columbia Hickman grad took his talents up north for Jerry Kill’s Gophers and he exploded on the scene in his first start in the season opener against Eastern Illinois.
Keith made his first career start against Eastern Illinois and recorded four tackles, recovered two fumbles, forced one fumble and notched one sack before leaving the game with an injury. He ended up playing in eight games with that one start. Keith says he’s healthy now and wants nothing more than to beat the Tigers come Thursday.
Alex Keith on facing his hometown Tigers (:30 sound clip below)
The Department of Agriculture is closer to selecting the entities who will grow hemp to make cannabidiol (CBD) oil, under a bill that became law earlier this year.
Cannabidiol oil is genetically modified to not include a high enough level of THC to get a user high, but has a high CBD level that offers a potential therapeutic effect.
The bill told the Department of Agriculture to create a process by which nonprofits could apply for a license to become a hemp production facility. The Department did, and has since received ten applications.
Senator Eric Schmitt, who sponsored that bill, said one or two licenses will be awarded.
“My hope is that in 2015 there will be some significant progress with those licenses being awarded, they’ll start to grow and then the product will be available for Missourians,” Schmitt told Missourinet.
Some had expressed frustration that the licensing process wasn’t moving faster, but Schmitt said he’s satisfied.
“The wheels of the bureaucratic channels don’t spin as quickly as I think all of us would like sometimes,” said Schmitt, “but I think they’re doing their best right now to get these applications approved, but we’ll be watching.”
The issue is a personal one for Schmitt. While sponsoring that bill in the Senate, he told his fellow lawmakers about his son Stephen, who suffers from tuberous sclerosis and epilepsy
“He’s doing OK. It’s an ever-changing journey,” Schmitt told Missourinet. “He … suffers from seizures every day and scary ones where he’s not breathing, and so we’re living with that still to this day. He’s tried a number of medications, all of which have not effectively controlled it. He’s a real blessing. It was a unique opportunity for me to share that story on the Senate floor so that people really had an understanding of what these families are dealing with every day.”
The Department of Health and Senior Services will oversee issuing hemp extract registration cards to epilepsy patients for whom a neurologist has said three or more other treatment options have been unsuccessful.
Schmitt said CBD oil also might not work for all patients, but the bill was about letting them try it.
“We have friends who’ve done this, and we know people, and people that we didn’t know before we took on this legislation that have reached out to us since that have packed up their entire families and moved to Colorado to access it, and people shouldn’t have to do that,” said Schmitt.
Martin Brodeur posted his first shutout as a member of the Blues in St. Louis’ 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
Brodeur, who spent his first 21 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, has tallied the most shutouts in NHL history over the course of his prolific career and made 16 saves to earn number 125.
Dmitrij Jaskin, Chris Butler and Vladimir Tarasenko all scored for the Blues, who ended a four-game skid with a solid defensive effort.
“I think he’s gotten more comfortable here,” Butler said of Brodeur. “I think tonight was an awesome performance by him.”
Semyon Varlamov allowed all three goals on 25 shots as Colorado’s three-game winning streak was snapped.
“It’s clear that we need to do things differently,” Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said.
Neither team was able to convert in the opening stanza as Colorado held an 8-5 shot margin after twenty minutes of play. [Read more…]
The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed free-agent right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez to a two-year contract with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Royals will announce a corresponding roster move at a later time.
Volquez, 31, enjoyed a career year in 2014 with Pittsburgh, going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA (65 ER in 192.2 IP), holding opposing hitters to a .235 batting average. His ERA ranked 15th among National League starting pitchers, while his 7.75 hits allowed per nine innings ranked eighth among the league’s starters. He ended the regular season by tossing a career-best 18.0 consecutive scoreless innings and posted the second-lowest ERA in the N.L. in September (1.08), behind only Chicago’s Jake Arietta (0.97). The righty was 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA after June 23, spanning his final 17 starts of the year.
The righty is 66-59 with a 4.44 career ERA, holding opponents to a .252 batting average. He was a National League All-Star and finished fourth in the league’s Rookie of the Year voting in 2008 with Cincinnati, posting a career high 17 wins, going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 196.0 innings. He was originally signed by Texas as an undrafted free agent in 2001. Along with the Rangers (2005-07) and Reds (2008-11),
Volquez has also pitched for San Diego (2012-13) and Pittsburgh (2014). He has also pitched in the World Baseball Classic twice for the Dominican Republic, helping them win the tournament in 2013. A native of Barahona, Dominican Republic, Volquez resides in Santo Domingo during the offseason with his wife, Roandy and twin daughters, Eylin and Aylin, who were born November 5, 2013. among qualifying National Major League season in 2015, after debuting for the Texas Rangers in 2005. [Read more…]
Governor Jay Nixon has granted pardons to nine people who have completed their sentences for non-violent offenses and that he says have become law-abiding citizens.
Those pardoned are:
- Alphonso Johnson is a union electrician and a minister who mentors troubled youth. In the late 1970s, he was convicted in St. Louis City of two misdemeanor stealing charges and served a 12-day sentence and a five-month sentence;
- Richard Owens served in the Missouri Army National Guard, the Georgia Army National Guard and the United States Army, and was decorated for service in Germany and Iraq before receiving a medical discharge. He joined the military after completing his probation for being convicted in Butler County of property damage and second-degree burglary for stealing a five-gallon water jug that was a quarter full of mixed change in 1993;
- Orlando Rivera was deployed five times with the U.S. Army to Iraq and Afghanistan, winning several medals, including the Bronze Star. He also has been awarded the Purple Heart four times. He was placed on probation in 2006 after being convicted in Webster County of possession of marijuana;
- Carol Shadden has been employed steadily in the restaurant industry, including in management positions, and has taken college courses. In 1987, she was convicted in Greene County of misdemeanor stealing for remaining on state assistance after she was no longer eligible and was given two years’ probation. She paid full restitution and successfully completed her probation;
- Joseph Frye received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has been active in his community, including by serving as an alderman for the village of Hunnewell. He was discharged early from his probationary period after being convicted in Montgomery County of stealing and second-degree burglary in 1991for the theft of two aluminum storm doors and other miscellaneous items. He paid all court-ordered restitution;
- Egial Hopkins is retired from the health care industry and has long been involved with volunteer work. In 1970, he was placed on two years’ probation after being convicted in Clay County of forgery for writing $74 in bad checks. Prior to sentencing, he paid restitution in full;
- Steven Lusher has earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Missouri S&T, and has been a senior research specialist for several years. In 1989, he was convicted in Cole County of possession of marijuana and placed on five years’ probation;
- Curtis Mullins has earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work, and his employment has included working as a teacher, a juvenile officer and as the executive director of an adoption agency. In 1969, he was placed on probation for one year after being convicted in St. Louis City of stealing a diamond ring; and
- Bobby Covey has worked in construction and maintenance. In 1988, he was placed on five years’ probation after being convicted in Ray County of two counts of selling marijuana.
“The executive power to grant clemency is one I take with a great deal of consideration and seriousness,” Governor Nixon said in a statement. “In each of the cases where I have granted a pardon, the individual has demonstrated the ability and willingness to turn his or her life around and become a contributing member of society, including two who served honorably in our nation’s military.”
Related story: New group seeks clemency for 14 women in Missouri prisons
At least one freshman Missouri state representative will be keeping a campaign promise next week. Representative-elect Randy Pietzman (R-Troy) will bring 14-year-old cancer survivor Maddie Olson of Elsberry to the Inaugural Ball as his guest.
Pietzman met Olson during his campaign after she saw one of his signs and reached out to him. In her battle with medulloblastoma, Maddie has undergone surgery to remove a tumor in her brain and chemotherapy to battle a tumor in the center of her spine, and has been cancer free for more than 200 days. Pietzman promised that if he won election he would take her to the 2015 ball at the State Capitol.
In a press release, Pietzman said, “there were many long, difficult days during the campaign when that promise was what motivated me to keep working. I am so excited to be able to make good on my promise by giving her this special day that I know means the world to her.”
Pietzman said Maddie and her family plan to make the trip to Jefferson City the morning of Wednesday, January 7. The day will begin with the swearing-in of Pietzman and the other members of the House at noon in the House Chamber. There will then be events throughout the day ending with the Inaugural Ball that evening.
Follow Maddie on her Facebook page.
The Mizzou Tigers have one more practice scheduled for Tuesday morning in Orlando, Florida before they go into 48-hour game mode against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Temperatures were in the mid 70’s again and the humidity made it feel like the team was practicing back in August.
“It was pretty good. We were warm. This was warmer than some of our August days – it was so mild in Columbia this year during August,” said head coach Gary Pinkel after Sunday’s practice. “But this was good – players are good. It’s not going to any hotter than this so we were fine. A little monkey off the back so we were fine with that.”
With the exception of senior wide receiver Jimmie Hunt, the rest of the team should be healed up and ready to go for the game on Thursday.
One Tiger who could be playing his final collegiate game is junior defensive end Shane Ray. Pinkel called Ray one of the top five players, he’s ever coached.
“I think maturing as a player and I think he is very, very driven. Being a great player is not a normal thing. Everyone says ‘I want to be great,’ but how hard are you going to work to be great? Do you have the ability to be great? Do you have the mindset? I think he decided that he wanted to be as great as I can be no matter what it is,” said Pinkel. “I don’t say this too often – I have been around – my top five competitors that I have ever coached, he’s one of them. Those guys are different-level competitive people. They compete on the field in a different zone than other people. That’s what he was like this year. I am really proud of him. There is nothing easy about becoming a great player.”
Practice was closed on Monday to the media as will the final practice on Tuesday. However, I’ll have videos and interviews from offensive coordinator Josh Henson, as well as defensive coordinator Dave Steckel. Both coaches will be at Buffalo Wild Wings (the title sponsor of the Citrus Bowl) Tuesday afternoon. Joining the coaches will be Maty Mauk and Ray.
Under pressure all day, the San Diego Chargers quarterback spent too much time on the ground to lead his team back into the playoffs.
The Kansas City Chiefs and their sack-hungry defense wouldn’t let that happen for a second year in a row.
The Chiefs sacked Rivers seven times in a 19-7 win on Sunday that eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season.
It came almost a year to the day that San Diego clinched a berth with an overtime win against Kansas City at home and some help from the rest of the league.
It was simple this year: The Chargers (9-7) controlled their own fate after a comeback win over San Francisco in overtime last Saturday.
Needing only a win, they never even had a lead, their only points coming on Branden Oliver’s 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to get them within 10-7.
“Shoot,” said Rivers, “it’s a tough league. Last Saturday night, we were as fired up as you can imagine and then even more fired up Sunday when Baltimore lost knowing we control our own (fate) coming to Arrowhead, a great place to play, great fans, a good team, and we win and get in. [Read more…]
The NFC playoffs will run through the Pacific Northwest for a second consecutive season.
The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks used their patented defense, behind their rowdy crowd, to stifle the St. Louis Rams in a 20-6 win and wrap up the NFC West division in the process.
The Seahawks (12-4), who ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, clinched a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs by winning their seventh NFC West title in team history.
Seattle has taken nine of its last 10 games overall since a loss at St. Louis (6-10) in Week 7, a game that the Rams returned a punt for a touchdown and also converted a gutsy fourth-down play in the closing minutes with punter Johnny Hekker.
“We surely witnessed how difficult the NFC West is the last month and a half,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “It just shows you how difficult it is. It was a very tough game today. They played great on defense.”
Russell Wilson threw for 239 yards with an interception and Marshawn Lynch rushed for a touchdown in the win.
Rams quarterback Shaun Hill committed a costly interception on the first play of the fourth quarter in Seattle territory. [Read more…]