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Tyler Police Looking for Mentally Challenged Teen

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Carlaina Nicole HopkinsTYLER — Tyler Police are currently asking for assistance in trying to locate a mentally challenged 15 year black female. Her name is Carlaina Nicole Hopkins. She was last seen yesterday afternoon at shortly after 3: 30 in the area of 1600 Rice Road. She was wearing a burgundy Dickey type school shirt and khaki capris pants. Her shoes are black with glitter. She is approximately 150 pounds and 5’03″ tall. She also has some medical conditions that require medicine. She is believed to be on foot and may be heading towards Gresham. If anyone knows of her location or sees her, please call 911 or the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000.

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Child Porn Judgment Has East Texas Link

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Supreme Court BuildingWASHINGTON (AP/Staff) – A major Supreme Court ruling Wednesday on child pornography restitution has an East Texas link. The court tossed out a judgment of nearly $3.4 million — money that was supposed to be paid to a woman by a man whose computer was found to contain two images of her as a child. The man is Doyle Randall Paroline of Brownsboro. Paroline was appealing the lower court order holding him responsible for the judgment associated with the ongoing Internet trade and viewing of images of the woman being raped by her uncle when she was 8 and 9 years old. The court says federal law limits how much money the victims of child porn can collect from people who viewed the material. Read more …

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Deputy Fired over Dog’s Fatal Shooting

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm

justiceforcandyfbEMORY — An East Texas deputy has been fired after shooting a family’s dog while responding to a burglary. The family is outraged after a necropsy shows their dog was shot dead while apparently moving away from law enforcement. KETK reports the family’s dog, Candy, was shot by a deputy responding to a burglary call at the home of Cole and Jayna Middleton on Farm to Market 514 in the Daughtery Community April 18. Officials with the Rains County Sheriff Office say Deputy Jerred Dooley responded to the call at 2:41 p.m., nearly two hours after the initial call for help. According to Rains County Communication Supervisor Patrick Wilson, the two-hour delay was investigated and the cause was found and corrected with administrative actions. Read more …

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Man Gets Life in Prison for Child Sex Assault

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm

belcherjasonupshurcoGILMER — A sex offender was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after a jury of 12 convicted him of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old child. KETK reports Jason Wayne Belcher, 35, was found guilty of sexually abusing the child in an Upshur County home when the mother was away at work. The crime took place in January 2012, said Criminal District Attorney Billy W. Byrd. The jury also heard additional evidence in which the suspect was accused of raping another child in Wood County. The victim made a teacher aware of the incidents, which had allegedly been ongoing for years, in February 2014. That investigation is ongoing. Read more …

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Murder Suspect Waives Right to Jury Trial

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Samantha Gonzales LaraLONGVIEW — The woman accused of shooting and killing a clerk at a Kilgore adult video store has waived her right to a jury trial. Samantha Gonzales Lara is charged with first-degree felony murder after police say she shot and killed Renee Garrett in January of 2011. Lara has been in the Gregg County Jail since her arrest in February of 2012. Kilgore police don’t believe she acted alone.

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Authorities Seek Burglars in Incident near Hideaway

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:45 pm

SMITH COUNTY — Smith County deputies are currently searching for two burglars following a Thursday incident in northwestern Smith County. According to KETK, the Smith County Sheriff’s Office reports that a woman was asleep in her home on CR 411 near Hideaway when she was awakened to an unknown man in her home shortly after 10:30 a.m. The burglar was startled by the homeowner and ran from the house without taking any items. The burglar jumped in a dark colored sedan with another man and possibly headed toward Highway 110. Both men were described as black males. Read more …

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Suspects Named in April 21 Burglary, Chase

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm

thumb_sheriff-smithcountyTYLER — The Smith County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspects in a burglary and chase which involved a young child in the getaway vehicle. At approximately 9:40 a.m. April 21, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call of a burglary of a habitation in progress in the 11000 block of Sycamore Street in western Smith County. While patrol deputies were en route, the homeowner returned home to find the suspects leaving her residence, according to officials. Authorities say the suspects fled in a black pickup truck and were pursued by the deputies. Read more …

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Tyler Police Investigate an Aggravated Robbery

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm

TYLER — Tyler Police are investigating an aggravated robbery. It happened around 12:30 Thursday morning in the 1100 block of North Albertson. Officers said a 24-year-old Hispanic man said he and two friends were “jumped” by two other Hispanic men. The victim said he was struck in the back of the head with a gun when a struggle broke out. The suspects reportedly got away with the victim’s cellphone. He was treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

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City Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for Animal Care Facility

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

thumb_spcaTYLER — The City of Tyler has launched a campaign to raise funds toward the development of “get acquainted rooms” and “adoption display areas” at the new Animal Care Facility. The Crowdfunding source, Citizinvestor, will be used to make it easy for those who want to make donations of any size, according to a city news release. “This is a wonderful tool to allow everyone in the community to be a part of creating a space for animal adoption to take place,” said Mayor Barbara Bass. Read more …

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Former Bank Teller Pleads Guilty to Embezzling

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Federal Courthouse-ATYLER — A Longview bank teller has been found guilty of embezzling over $1.3 million over a 13 year period. Kerri Monroe Jones pleaded guilty last week in federal court in Tyler. Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider accepted her guilty plea. According to the Longview News-Journal, Jones worked at the Longview branch of Capitol One Bank as its lead teller from April 19, 2000, until September 16, 2013, and admitted to embezzling money throughout the entire 13 years, according to court documents. Jones waived her right to prosecution by indictment and consented to prosecution by information. She voluntarily surrendered herself and was arrested April 17. A sentencing date has not been set. She is facing up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

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2014 Labor Market Analysis

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Marilyn Young- U T TylerTYLER — Dr. Marilyn Young, Professor of Management, College of Business and Technology, University of Texas at Tyler, has completed the 2014 Labor Market Analysis. The report addresses characteristics of the labor force for businesses considering expanding or opening new facilities within the Tyler and Smith County area. Numerous aspects of the labor force, such as current status, availability, minimum wage requirements, and demographic characteristics were examined. Read more …

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Court Filing Claims Ship that Collided with Oil Barge Was Speeding

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

HOUSTON (AP) – A ship that collided with an oil barge in the Houston Ship Channel last month was speeding. That’s the claim in a federal court filing from the owner of the barge that spilled about 170,000 gallons of oil. The barge company is seeking $10 million from the ship owner, which says it has no responsibility for the accident.

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Amid Nevada Fight, Texas in Its Own Land Dispute

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

thumb_greg-abbott-3AUSTIN (AP) – A Texas land dispute has the outgoing governor and the Republican candidate favored to replace him decrying the same federal agency currently embroiled in an armed standoff in Nevada. Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday accused the Bureau of Land Management of trying “to take private property” in Texas. Attorney General Greg Abbott (pictured), now running for governor, has also expressed concern that federal authorities may eventually trample private property rights. At issue is territory along the Red River that the Bureau of Land Management says is public land. But the case is complicated by the fact that the agency is in an armed standoff in Nevada with states’ rights advocate Cliven Bundy. Perry and Abbott insist Bundy isn’t the issue. But they are decrying what they see as federal overreach.

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American Airlines Posts Record Earnings

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

thumb_american-airlines-tailDALLAS (AP) – American Airlines is making money again after its merger with US Airways. The company has posted record first-quarter earnings of $480 million. As separate airlines, American and US Airways lost $297 million a year earlier.

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Child, 10, among 3 Austin Burglary Suspects

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm

AUSTIN (AP) – An investigation into nearly a dozen attempted burglaries in Central Texas has led to the arrest of three youths, including a 10-year-old suspect. Travis County jail records show 17-year-old Erik Marciel was being held Thursday on two counts of attempted burglary of a habitation. Online jail records don’t list an attorney for Marciel, who was booked Wednesday with bond set at $7,500. He is being charged as an adult. Austin police say a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old have also been detained. Police declined to name the boys. Investigators say another suspect is being sought after reports of house break-ins on April 10. Police responded to reports of a neighbor seeing four people acting suspiciously near a home, including trying to open the windows.

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Man Gets Life Sentence in Drug Trafficking Case

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm

McALLEN (AP) – A South Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in a drug trafficking case. A federal judge on Thursday sentenced 38-year-old Daniel Nunez of Hidalgo. He had pleaded guilty in November 2012 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and conspiracy to transport and attempt to transport monetary instruments to Mexico to promote drug trafficking. Prosecutors say Nunez was involved in an organization that brought marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico. The marijuana would then be loaded onto tractor-trailers and taken to the Dallas area as well as spots in Florida and Alabama for distribution.

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Gas Prices across Texas Hold Steady at $3.49

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 4:17 pm

thumb_gaspumpsIRVING (AP) – Retail gasoline prices across Texas held steady this week at $3.49 per gallon. AAA Texas on Thursday reported that compares to the nationwide average price of $3.68 per gallon, up 2 cents from last week. Dallas has the most expensive gasoline statewide this week at $3.56 per gallon. The AAA survey found El Paso has the cheapest gasoline at $3.34 per gallon. Experts say refineries are required to start producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1 and often go offline during the same period for scheduled maintenance. The decrease in supply can cause prices in certain areas to rise, but AAA says fluctuations have been minimal so far this season.

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Seager’s 2 HRs give Seattle 5-3 win over Houston

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

With one swing, Kyle Seager hopes he ended his personal skid at the plate and the Seattle Mariners’ slide.

“Any time you see the ball hit the ground, it’s obviously a big confidence booster,” Seager said. “It has felt better the last couple of days and today it showed up. Thankfully.”

Seager hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth, his second of the game, and the Mariners rallied for a 5-3 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday to stop an eight-game losing streak.

With Seattle on the verge of getting swept for the second straight series, Seager hit a two-run homer in the seventh off starter Jarred Cosart. Then he capped the biggest hitting day of his big league career with his drive on the first pitch from closer Josh Fields (0-1) in the ninth.

It was the third multihomer game of Seager’s career, and the five RBIs were a career high. Seager had not homered since Sept. 3 of last season at Kansas City.

“He has a track record and I’ve said all along that he is going to hit,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Obviously, when you’re in a losing streak and the guys you expect to hit don’t hit, it’s a little frustrating but in that case you have one of two options: you can sit him or you can play him. I chose to play him and he didn’t disappoint.”

Seager had been one of Seattle’s few consistent hitters the past two seasons, establishing himself as a lock in the Mariners lineup. That made his struggles to start this season so surprising. Seager entered Wednesday hitting just .156 with two RBIs. He had more strikeouts (17) than hits (10) at the start of the day. Read more …

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Stars roar back, tie series with Ducks

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 12:08 am

Dallas Stars center Cody Eakin skated the length of the ice, got around a sliding defender, closed his eyes and shot just before his stick got ripped out of his hands.

The top-seeded Anaheim Ducks can clearly see they are in quite a fight now.

Eakin scored on Dallas’ first shot of the third period, Alex Goligoski scored on the next one 1:22 later and the Stars beat the Ducks 4-2 in Game 4 on Wednesday night to even the best-of-seven series.

“Once I came around that D-man … I saw a guy and there was a lane,” Eakin said. “So, I just closed my eyes and shot.”

Even without captain Ryan Getzlaf, a surprise late scratch with an upper-body injury, and healthy scratch Teemu Selanne, the Ducks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead.

“It’s not often we get outworked,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “But I thought after that, the last 40 was as hard as the boys could go. They emptied the tank.”

The Stars, who got physical at home after a pair of one-goal losses in Anaheim to start the series, are assured of playing another home game in their first playoff appearance since 2008.

“All year we’ve been good at putting stuff behind us. Things haven’t been going well, we’ve been able to put periods behind us,” Goligoski said. “We just stuck with the plan, kept going, kept getting in their zone and it paid off.”

Game 5 is Friday night in Anaheim, and the series returns Sunday to the American Airlines Center for Game 6.

Stars captain Jaime Benn scored unassisted, his third goal of the series, off a faceoff 27 seconds into the second period. About 6 minutes later, Vernon Fiddler managed to get the puck in a small gap between the post and rookie goalie Frederick Andersen to tie it at 2. Read more …

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Nowitzki: Mavs might be better off on the road

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 11:55 pm

By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO – Dirk Nowitzki enjoyed the Mavericks’ first playoff victory since they clinched the 2011 championship for a few minutes before he started fretting about Game 3.

The Mavs seized home-court advantage in the series by routing the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 at the AT&T Center. However, Nowitzki doesn’t think the Mavs have much of a home-court advantage, as much as he appreciates the folks who fill the American Airlines Center.

“I’m a little worried,” Nowitzki said. “I’m a little worried going home. I’d rather play Game 3 here, I guess. We’ve got to figure it out at home. We can’t relax. That’s the thing.”

The Mavs tied for the league’s fourth-best road record (23-18) during the regular season, winning six of their last seven games away from the AAC. Their home record (26-15) was the worst of any of the West’s eight playoff teams, including a disappointing 4-4 homestand late in the season.

The Spurs had the league’s best road record at 30-11, so relaxing even a little bit would be a recipe for disaster for the Mavs.

That was the message Nowitzki made a point to deliver moments after Game 2.

“I like our intensity right now,” Nowitzki said. “It’s a little dangerous going home. We’ve been actually a decent road team all year, but at home, we haven’t figured it out yet. We’ve lost the big [home] games over the last couple of months.

“We can’t take the foot off the gas. We’ve got to keep competing the same way, and then I like our chances going home.”

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Cowboys to open season vs. 49ers

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 12:03 am

By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

The NFL released the 2014 schedule on Wednesday night.

Here is the Cowboys schedule with notes on every opponent (times CT).

Sept. 7 vs. San Francisco, 3:25 p.m. (FOX)
Sept. 14 at Tennessee, Noon (FOX)
Sept. 21 at St. Louis, Noon (FOX)
Sept. 28 vs. New Orleans, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)
Oct. 5 vs. Houston, Noon (CBS)
Oct. 12 at Seattle, 3:25 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 19 vs. New York Giants, 3:25 p.m. (FOX)
Oct. 27 vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Nov. 2 vs. Arizona, Noon, (FOX)
*Nov. 9 at Jacksonville, Noon, (FOX)
Nov. 23 at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)
Nov. 27 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m. (FOX)
Dec. 4 at Chicago, 7:25 p.m. (NFLN)
Dec. 14 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (NBC)
Dec. 21 vs. Indianapolis, 3:25 p.m. (CBS)
Dec. 28 at Washington, Noon (FOX)
*Game played in London Read more …

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Rangers Complete Sweep Of A’s

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 12:01 am

With the Texas rotation ravaged by injuries early in the season, Martin Perez has more than filled the void.

Perez pitched his second consecutive shutout to extend his scoreless innings streak to 26 and the Texas Rangers wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics with a 3-0 victory Wednesday.

“He’s been the glue,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s held it together. He’s the one guy in that rotation who’s been in it from last year who hasn’t had a blip yet.”

The Rangers have been without Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis already at times this season but still find themselves in first place thanks to some strong play from fill-ins and major improvement from Perez.

Perez (4-0) outpitched Sonny Gray (3-1) in a heralded matchup of emerging stars, allowing just three hits and two walks in his first start since throwing a three-hitter against the White Sox for his first career shutout.

“I don’t want to think too much about my ERA and the games that I’ve thrown before,” Perez said. “I’m going to focus on my game today. We had a great game.”

Perez, who also threw eight scoreless innings against Houston on April 13, is the first Rangers pitcher to have three straight scoreless starts since Kenny Rogers had four straight over 30 innings in 2005. Perez also joined Charlie Hough in 1983 as the only Texas pitchers to have three straight starts of at least eight scoreless innings. Read more …

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Mavs respond, rout Spurs in Game 2

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 12:07 am

Blowing their playoff opener turned out to be great therapy for the Dallas Mavericks.

Eighth-seeded Dallas rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece.

Dallas didn’t relent in Game 2 after watching a 10-point lead evaporate in the final eight minutes of the series opener Sunday.

“Game 1 actually helped a lot more than today,” Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “We were down after Game 1, but in this building to be up 10 with six or seven minutes left, I think that gave us a lot of confidence coming into this one. Just keep executing the game plan.”

It was Dallas’ first playoff victory since June 12, 2011, when it rebounded from an 0-2 deficit to defeat the Miami Heat for the NBA title.

If not for the final eight minutes of the series opener, the Mavericks would have a 2-0 lead entering Game 3 on Saturday.

“It feels great, but it’s nothing to celebrate,” Dallas point guard Jose Calderon said. “I think we have to keep doing what we’re doing. I think we played two really good games.”

In Game 2, the Mavericks used an aggressive offense and a brutal defensive effort that discombobulated the normally even-keeled Spurs, who finished the regular season with the league’s best record. Read more …

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Rangers dealing with injuries

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 11:57 pm

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The banged-up Texas Rangers continue to deal with injuries as they prepare for a weekend series in Seattle against the Mariners.

They received some encouraging news and some disappointing news on Thursday.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, last week’s AL player of the week, is headed back to Dallas to be evaluated by back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett. Kouzmanoff’s lower back was still sore on Thursday. The club has to make a roster decision before activating third baseman Adrian Beltre on Friday and they’d like to know the extent of Kouzmanoff’s injury and whether he needs to go on the disabled list.

Kouzmanoff has been one of the hottest hitters in the league the past two weeks, batting .362 (17-for-47) with eight extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in 13 games with Beltre on the DL with a mild quad strain.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo reported improvement in his sprained left ankle and general manager Jon Daniels believes the leadoff hitter can avoid the DL.

The club has not decided when he will return to the lineup. He has missed the last two games after injuring the ankle Monday in Oakland.

Left-handed reliever Pedro Figueroa, who was placed on the DL this week with elbow inflammation, has a torn UCL and damage to his flexor tendon and will probably have Tommy John surgery next week.

Former closer Neftali Feliz is on the minor league disabled list with soreness in his elbow, but does not have any structural damage. The club hopes he can start throwing again next week.

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Donaldson, Athletics blast Astros; Paul Clemens ejected

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 11:56 pm

Josh Donaldson hit a pair of two-run homers to help the Oakland Athletics cruise to a 10-1 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

It was the first career multihomer game for Donaldson, who connected in the first inning and pushed the lead to 10-1 with a second shot in the seventh. Alberto Callaspo added a two-run homer in the third and Jed Lowrie had three hits for the A’s, who improved to 24-5 against Houston, which joined the American League before the start of last season.

Scott Kazmir is off to a 3-0 start for the first time in his career after allowing five hits and a run with seven strikeouts in six innings. He lowered his ERA to 1.62.

The Athletics jumped on Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer (0-4) early and tagged him for a career-high six runs on and eight hits, which tied a career-high, in just 3 2/3 innings.

Houston’s only run came on a bases-loaded walk in the first inning and they had trouble stringing any hits together. They had a terrible night on defense, committing five errors after entering the night leading the majors with a .992 fielding percentage and just seven errors.

The Astros were swept by the A’s in a three-game series in Oakland last week and there still seemed to be some animosity between the teams from an 11-3 loss in the first game of that series. Read more …

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Rangers to honor Young in ceremony May 17

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The Texas Rangers will honor Michael Young in a pregame ceremony Saturday, May 17, before the Rangers face the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park.

The club has moved the time of the first pitch to 7:15 p.m. so that they can have a ceremony starting 30 minutes before the game. There are no details for the ceremony at this time, but Young’s longtime friend Vernon Wells will be involved.

Young retired as a Ranger on Jan. 31, 2014 after a 13-year career. He played 12 seasons in Texas and made seven All-Star teams and hit .300 or better seven times, including six seasons with at least 200 hits. He won the AL batting title in 2005 and owns a gaggle of club records — he’s the all-time leader in games (1,823), hits (2,230) and extra-base hits (647). Young won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008.

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Dirk: I’d rather play Game 3 on the road

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO – Dirk Nowitzki enjoyed the Mavericks’ first playoff victory since they clinched the 2011 championship for a few minutes before he started fretting about Game 3.

The Mavs seized homecourt advantage in the series by routing the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 at the AT&T Center. However, Nowitzki doesn’t think the Mavs have much of a homecourt advantage, as much as he appreciates the folks who fill the American Airlines Center.

“I’m a little worried,” Nowitzki said. “I’m a little worried going home. I’d rather play Game 3 here, I guess. We’ve got to figure it out at home. We can’t relax. That’s the thing.”

The Mavs tied for the league’s fourth-best road record (23-18) during the regular season, winning six of their last seven games away from the AAC. Their home record (26-15) was the worst of any of the West’s eight playoff teams, including a disappointing 4-4 homestand late in the season.

The Spurs had the league’s best road record at 30-11, so relaxing even a little bit would be a recipe for disaster for the Mavs.

That was the message Nowitzki made a point to deliver moments after Game 2.

“I like our intensity right now,” Nowitzki said. “It’s a little dangerous going home. We’ve been actually a decent road team all year, but at home, we haven’t figured it out yet. We’ve lost the big [home] games over the last couple of months.

“We can’t take the foot off the gas. We’ve got to keep competing the same way, and then I like our chances going home.”

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Rangers dealing with injuries

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The banged-up Texas Rangers continue to deal with injuries as they prepare for a weekend series in Seattle against the Mariners.

They received some encouraging news and some disappointing news on Thursday.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, last week’s AL player of the week, is headed back to Dallas to be evaluated by back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett. Kouzmanoff’s lower back was still sore on Thursday. The club has to make a roster decision before activating third baseman Adrian Beltre on Friday and they’d like to know the extent of Kouzmanoff’s injury and whether he needs to go on the disabled list.

Kouzmanoff has been one of the hottest hitters in the league the past two weeks, batting .362 (17-for-47) with eight extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in 13 games with Beltre on the DL with a mild quad strain.

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo reported improvement in his sprained left ankle and general manager Jon Daniels believes the leadoff hitter can avoid the DL.

The club has not decided when he will return to the lineup. He has missed the last two games after injuring the ankle Monday in Oakland.

Left-handed reliever Pedro Figueroa, who was placed on the DL this week with elbow inflammation, has a torn UCL and damage to his flexor tendon and will probably have Tommy John surgery next week.

Former closer Neftali Feliz is on the minor league disabled list with soreness in his elbow, but does not have any structural damage. The club hopes he can start throwing again next week.

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Cuban: NBA has ‘taken huge strides’

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO — The NBA office has started providing teams detailed analysis of officiating after every game.

For several years, the detailed officiating analysis has been used internally by the league office. The decision was made to make the analysis available to the teams this season.

“For the teams, it gives them an idea of how we’re seeing the game, how it’s being graded,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn told ESPNDallas.com, adding that the analysis increases confidence around the league about the commitment to quality officiating. “It’s no longer a mystery, if you will.”

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who was the first to publicly mention the reports, has long lobbied for more transparency regarding referees.

Cuban describes the league as “far more proactive and far more transparent” since Adam Silver replaced the retired David Stern as the commissioner in February.

“I think they’ve taken huge strides,” Cuban said. “You can always improve, but you’ve got to take that first step before you can improve it.”

The league has continued its policy of making statements to acknowledge when a critical call late in a game is made incorrectly, such as after the openers of the Golden State Warriors-Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers-Houston Rockets series. The reports sent to the teams, which cover all calls made throughout games, are confidential.

“I’m happy with what they’re doing,” Cuban said. “We’re not allowed to talk about any of the specifics of them, but I think we’ve made huge steps. What [Thorn and his staff] have done up there is phenomenal, because it’s not like we just gave them an extra 20 people. They’ve been able to really bust their asses and do some great things.”

The league office has fined Cuban at least $1.9 million during his 14-year ownership tenure, largely for criticizing officiating. He has not been fined since Silver became the commissioner.

At this point, Cuban suggests the league should take the transparency a step further by making public statements when referees get controversial, critical calls right.

“I’d also like to see the correct ones that are mentioned as well,” Cuban said. “With transparency, you get rid of all of the conspiracy theories. That’s the whole goal. You want to send the message that we get them right, too, because we do.”

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Rangers to honor Michael Young May 17

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The Texas Rangers will honor Michael Young in a pregame ceremony Saturday, May 17, before the Rangers face the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park.

The club has moved the time of the first pitch to 7:15 p.m. so that they can have a ceremony starting 30 minutes before the game. There are no details for the ceremony at this time, but Young’s longtime friend Vernon Wells will be involved.

Young retired as a Rangers on Jan. 31, 2014 after a 13-year career. He played 12 seasons in Texas and made seven All-Star teams and hit .300 or better seven times, including six seasons with at least 200 hits. He won the AL batting title in 2005 and owns a gaggle of club records — he’s the all-time leader in games (1,823), hits (2,230) and extra-base hits (647). Young won a Gold Glove at shortstop in 2008.

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Darren Oliver named special assistant to GM

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

The Texas Rangers have officially added retired pitcher Darren Oliver to their staff as a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.

Oliver joins an impressive list of former players who are now consultants, including Hall of Famer Greg Maddux, infielder Tony Fernandez and catcher Pudge Rodriguez.

Oliver, 43, retired after the 2013 season with 118 wins in a 20-year career as a starter and reliever. He started for the Rangers in the club’s first playoff series in 1996 and returned to the postseason in 2006 with the Mets and was on the Rangers’ 2010 and 2011 playoff teams.

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Physical Blair plays with fire vs. ex-team

Posted/updated on: April 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

SAN ANTONIO – Truth be told, there might have only been one member of the Dallas Mavericks who was happy to draw the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

That’s bench banger DeJuan Blair, who seeks some sort of redemption or revenge after riding San Antonio’s bench during the Spurs’ run to the Finals last season, his fourth and final year with the franchise.

“Yeah, but I’m not going to bring that up,” Blair said after the Mavs evened the series with a stunning rout in Game 2. “The Spurs are a great team, but we can play with the best of them. We showed that tonight, but we’ve just got to keep it up. It’s going to be a long series.”

It’s guaranteed to go at least five games now, in part due to Blair’s contributions Wednesday night after a quiet Game 1 against his former team.

Blair had eight points, seven rebounds and four steals in 14 minutes during the win. The Mavs outscored the Spurs by 13 points with Blair on the floor.

Those numbers can be found in the box score. There’s no telling how many bruises the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Blair left on old buddy Tim Duncan while battling his future Hall of Fame former teammate on the block and under the boards.

“He had a physical impact,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of Blair. “He was on the boards and was getting deflections. The only way we’re going to win a series against a team like this is to have guys playing at complete full capacity, and he did. He gave us a huge lift.”

The highlight of the night for Blair was stripping Manu Ginobili in the open court and rumbling for a one-man fast break that he finished with a spinning layup. That play was a bonus for the Mavs. Blair’s job is to throw his big body around.

“That’s my plan,” Blair said. “We don’t have anyone on this team to do that. I know if I can play, I can come in and bring that physicality and just do what I do.”

Blair didn’t get to do that much during last season’s playoffs, giving him a little extra motivation when he returned to San Antonio with the Mavs this postseason.

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