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Lawsuit Seeks Redrawing of Texas Senate Districts

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:33 am

thumb_Lady-JusticeAUSTIN (AP) — Two Texans backed by a conservative legal group have filed a federal lawsuit in Austin challenging how state Senate voting districts were drawn. The Austin American-Statesman reports the Project on Fair Representation wants a judge to cancel results of the March primaries, which used Senate boundaries drawn by the Legislature in 2013. The group wants Texas lawmakers to draw new districts. The plaintiffs are voters in two Senate districts — Tyler and Houston areas. The case filed Monday argues the way districts were drawn is unconstitutional for being based on total population. The suit says only eligible voters should be considered. The group’s director, Ed Blum, helped lead the Fisher vs. University of Texas affirmative action case challenging using race in university admissions heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Man Receives 10 Years in Prison on Child Porn Charges

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:32 am

ecreewynnmugTYLER — A Tyler man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday on 15 child pornography charges. KETK reports Ercee Wynn, 21, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of child porn possession and waived the right to a trial by jury. Wynn will not be made to pay a fine on the third-degree felony. He also waived his right to an appeal.

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Longview Man Arrested on Drug Charges

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 5:16 am

Juan Daniel IngramLONGVIEW – A Longview man has been arrested on a variety of drug charges. A search warrant was issued yesterday for the home of Juan Daniel Ingram, 37. County Drug Enforcement officers found four grams of PCP and several ounces of marijuana in the house in the 800 block of Clover Street. They also recovered a couple of firearms, a semi-automatic pistol and a short-barrel shotgun. Ingram has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm by a felon. Ingram is not a newcomer to the Gregg County Jail. County records show he has been booked into the jail nearly two dozen times since 1996.

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Family Dog Finds Human Skull in Van Zandt County

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 5:40 am

thumb_Van-Zandt-County-Sheriffs-DeptVAN ZANDT COUNTY — Family pets are known to bring home little presents for their owners. But KETK reports that over the weekend in Van Zandt County, one man’s dog brought him a gift that has authorities launching an investigation: a human skull. John Cooke and his family own about 100 acres in Van Zandt County. Cooke lets his dogs roam around on their land and said they usually bring him back unusual presents like rabbits, gophers, and cow bones. But this time, they brought him back something very, very different. “There was a section of backbone on my front porch,” said Cooke. But on Saturday, he couldn’t believe what Scooter found. “That is when I found the skull on my front porch. After really looking at it and confirming it was [a skull], this shock that I couldn’t believe they brought me that,” said Cooke. Read more …

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Sister of 1981 Slaying Victim Happy with Capture

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:29 am

Roy Eubanks HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/Staff) – The sister of a man whose suspected killer was arrested in East Texas 33 years after the slaying says she never gave up on the case. Valerie Waller said Tuesday that just last year, she had asked Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s mayor for help in capturing the killer of her brother, Thomas. Waller says the suspect, Joseph Lewis Miller, killed her brother in Harrisburg in 1981 after an argument. An arrest warrant was issued for Miller after he’d fled. U.S. marshals say Miller was found Monday living under an alias and serving as a church deacon in Mineola. Valerie Waller says she was in line to buy groceries when her nephew called to tell her about the capture. She says she broke down crying and told the concerned register clerk that they were “happy tears.”

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Council to Consider Authorizing West Cumberland Extension Project

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:29 am

thumb_tyler-city-hall-1TYLER — During the regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, the Tyler City Council will consider authorizing a construction contract with Longview Bridge and Road, Ltd. to complete the Cumberland extension project and the Cherryhill Drive extension. On August 22, 2012, the City Council authorized the city manager to execute a contract with C. T. Brannon Corporation for design, plans, and specifications for construction of West Cumberland Road from South Broadway Avenue to Old Jacksonville Highway. The length of this project is approximately 2.4 miles. “This is a wonderful project to increase the east-west connection in southern Tyler,” said Mayor Barbara Bass. ““This will give citizens better access to schools, retail, parks and new development. It will also enhance emergency response times and help ease traffic congestion.” Read more …

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UT Tyler to Purchase Village at the U Apartment Complex

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:28 am

thumb_uttylerTYLER — The University of Texas at Tyler is finalizing its purchase of the Village at the U Apartments, Jesse Acosta, vice president for business affairs, announced. Located across the street from the university at 3088 Old Omen Road, the property will become UT Tyler housing, designed to offer a unique campus living option for university upperclassmen, according to a UTT news release. The final purchase price is $20.3 million. “This purchase will enable UT Tyler to continue the vision to be the destination campus for students coming from outside the East Texas region by offering unique living and community-building experiences,” said President Rodney H. Mabry. UT Tyler plans to honor all current leases as it finalizes the university housing policies designed specifically for this facility, according to the release. Read more …

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First Texas Promise Program Begins at TJC

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:27 am

thumb_tjc-logoRUSK — The first group of Rusk TJC Citizens Promise Scholars is preparing to join the Fall 2014 freshman class at Tyler Junior College. Established in February, the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise is one of only 23 Promise programs in the United States and the first such initiative in Texas, according to a TJC news release. For each qualifying student who graduates in the top half of the class, the Rusk TJC Citizens Promise initiative covers $4,000 per year (for two years) at TJC. Read more …

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Governor Perry Appoints Student Regents

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:27 am

Stephen F. Austin UniversityAUSTIN — Governor Rick Perry has appointed 10 student regents to their respective university systems, and one student representative to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for terms effective June 1, 2014, and expiring May 31, 2015. Kelsey Brown was appointed a student regent at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Brown is pursuing a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in history.

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Tyler ISD High Schools Take Top Honors at UIL Competition

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:24 am

thumb_TISD_Logo_NewTYLER — John Tyler and Robert E. Lee High School orchestras recently earned top honors in University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition. The schools received superior marks in concert and sight reading events leading to overall Sweepstakes honors, the highest honor UIL awards in music competition. This is the first Sweepstakes award for the John Tyler Orchestra. For Robert E Lee, it marks the fifteenth consecutive year the orchestra has earned Sweepstakes status. Read more …

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Tyler Dubbed One of State’s Most Exciting Cities

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:18 am

thumb_Tyler-downtownSAN MATEO, Calif. — Tyler is tied with New Braunfels as the 8th most exciting city in Texas according to a new ranking from Movoto, a real estate research site. According to a Movoto news release, researchers looked at the 100 most populated places and then ranked them based on nightlife, music venues, restaurants, age of residents, etc. Read more …

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Feds: New laws, Oversight Needed after Texas Blast

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:17 am

West explosion2WEST (AP) — Federal investigators and experts say Texas and federal agencies have a long way to go to prevent another disaster like the catastrophic fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 people a year ago. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board held a hearing Tuesday night in West, Texas, where an explosion of ammonium nitrate one year ago also injured 200 people and leveled part of this tiny city. They spoke before a packed room of local officials and residents a few miles from where the plant once stood. Experts say the patchwork of federal, state and local regulations still needs to be improved. They say volunteer firefighters are still given conflicting guidance and not enough training on whether to fight a fire with ammonium nitrate and when to retreat.

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Cleanup from Texas Bay Spill Could End This Week

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:16 am

Seawolf ParkTEXAS CITY (AP) — The Coast Guard says the cleanup of last month’s oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel is almost finished. Seawolf Park and East Beach in Galveston reopened last week as well as the last two miles of the Texas City dike. All had been closed during the cleanup that continues south of Matagorda Island.

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Texas Gov. Perry Challenges Cuomo on Business

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:15 am

thumb_rick_perry-2ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Texas Governor Rick Perry is countering Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest initiative to lure businesses from out of state with a renewed bid to snag jobs from New York, a tactic he’s tried from coast to coast. Perry, a Republican, is slated to be in New York City on Wednesday to meet business owners to convince them to move their operations to Texas, where he says the business climate is friendlier. Perry would not detail how many business meetings he has or with whom. Cuomo’s Start-Up NY program, which allows businesses that locate near college campuses to operate tax-free for 10 years, has had commercials playing in Texas. Perry made a similar trip to New York last June.

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Port Arthur Man Convicted of Killing Wife in Waco

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:14 am

Carnell Petetan JrWACO (AP) — A Southeast Texas man who met his wife as a pen pal while he was in prison has been convicted of killing her in front of her child. Prosecutors in Waco are seeking the death penalty in the punishment phase that began Tuesday for Carnell Petetan Jr. of Port Arthur. Prosecutors say Petetan served nearly 20 years in prison for attempted murder. He met the victim as a pen pal and the couple wed in 2010. The September 2012 slaying happened several months after Petetan’s release.

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Drilling Rig Accident in West Texas Leaves One Dead

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:13 am

RANKIN (AP) — Officials say an equipment-related drilling rig accident in West Texas has left an oilfield worker dead. The Upton County Sheriff’s Office on did not immediately release the name of the man who died. Investigators say the accident happened at a site about 25 miles north of Rankin. Chief Deputy Jason Hazlewood says nobody else was hurt. The victim was dead at the scene. Further details weren’t immediately available.

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Widow Wants Suburban Mayor’s Death Probe Reopened

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:12 am

William BohlkeSAN ANTONIO (AP) — The widow of a South Texas mayor whose death police blamed on an aggressive donkey wants his body exhumed and an inquest performed in his death. The Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office had said the death of Hollywood Park Mayor William “Bill” Bohlke was apparently accidental, blaming it on the 500-pound stud donkey. However, Toni Bohlke says she suspects her 65-year-old husband’s death was a homicide and wants an autopsy performed on his body. Bohlke was a retired Air Force pilot and was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Hospital. State District Judge Laura Salinas has agreed to order the exhumation, but an Atascosa County justice of the peace must still order an inquest before the body can be exhumed.

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Texan Arrested in Dog Fighting Probe

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:11 am

MONTGOMERY, ALA. (AP) — A Texas man is among four of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation who have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. DeMontt Allen of Houston, Texas, Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga., William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala., say they want to change their pleas to guilty. Another defendant, Irkis Forrest of Theodore, Ala., wants to plead guilty to one count. The defendants are accused of participating in or providing dogs for high-stakes fights in east Alabama.

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Jury Ponders Ex-Pitcher’s Police Brutality Suit

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:10 am

Brandon BackeHOUSTON (AP) — A jury is to continue deliberating a former Houston Astros pitcher’s multimillion-dollar brutality lawsuit against Galveston police officers who beat him in 2008. Deliberations continue today in the lawsuit filed by Brandon Backe, who contends the beating ended his baseball career. The federal jury deliberated several hours Tuesday in Houston before recessing. Backe seeks up to $15 million in damages for injuries he says left him with limited use his pitching arm. He says he and others were beaten during a wedding party at an outdoor bar. Police contend the allegations are exaggerated and that any force used was justified.

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Powers Critics Donate to 2 Hall Committee Members

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:09 am

Bill Powers2AUSTIN (AP) — Critics of University of Texas President Bill Powers (pictured) have made donations to the campaigns of two members of a legislative committee that’s investigating an anti-Powers UT System regent. The San Antonio Express-News reports campaign finance reports show campaign contributions from Powers critic Jeff Sandefer and Empower Texans PAC, a political action committee of Powers critic Michael Quinn Sullivan. The contributions went to state Reps. Charles Perry and Dan Flynn, two Republican members of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Operations. Flynn is co-chairman of the eight-member committee. The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday in Austin and is about to take up a report that accuses UT System regent Wallace Hall of possibly criminal misconduct in his campaign to depose Powers.

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Eminem, Outkast to Headline Austin City Limits

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 2:07 am

Austin City Limits Music FestivalNEW YORK (AP) — Eminem and Outkast are headlining another music festival. The rap acts will perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October in Austin, Texas. Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Beck and Lorde will also take the stage at the 13th annual festival in Zilker Park. Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris, Foster the People, Broken Bells, The Replacements, Iggy Azalea, the Avett Brothers and Zedd are also slated to perform. The three-day event will feature eight stages. It will take place over two weekends, kicking off October 3 and October 10. Three-day passes are $225. Single-day tickets will go on sale at a later date.

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Ducks: Stars’ physicality over line

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 12:30 am

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS — Physical play gets ratcheted up come playoff time, but the Anaheim Ducks thought things got a little out of hand with how the Dallas Stars poked, prodded and punched captain Ryan Getzlaf during Game 3 of the teams’ first-round series Monday.

Late in the second period, with the Stars up 2-0, there was a scrum behind the net and Stars winger Antoine Roussel flicked Getzlaf’s face mask and Getzlaf punched Roussel in the face. Roussel then hit Getzlaf in the face a few times as players from both teams jumped into the fray.

“Well, I mean I think it was pretty obvious out there,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked if the physical play crossed the line. “We’ve warned the refs about them. It’s just something that I guess you do anything to win, but it’s not something that I think our team would do. We’ll take them and be as physical and be as mean as they want, but obviously they know there’s something wrong with his jaw, so they’re going after it.”

Getzlaf’s jaw was injured in Game 1, when he was hit by a Tyler Seguin slap shot near the end of the game.

“You’ve got to stay as disciplined as you can, but you’ve got to protect yourself, too,” Getzlaf said. “That’s part of the game. Obviously, I never expected them to target my face that much, but that’s the way it goes I guess.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff seemed surprised by how upset the Ducks were about the physical play. Read more …

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Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 12:25 am

Michael Choice singled in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Josh Wilson doubled to drive in the tying run just ahead of Choice, who began his career with the A’s.

Alexi Ogando (1-1) recorded one out in the eighth to pick up the win. Joakim Soria pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Luke Gregerson (0-1) took the loss after blowing his third save opportunity. He gave up two runs on three hits. Gregerson appeared to have pitched out of trouble when he threw out pinch hitter Mitch Moreland at the plate on a safety squeeze by Leonys Martin for the second out.

Martin stole second and scored when Wilson, who cost the Rangers two runs with a fielding error in the fourth, doubled.

Donnie Murphy had two hits and drove in a run for the Rangers, who won their seventh in eight games.

Coco Crisp, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson and Eric Sogard drove in runs for the A’s, who lost their second straight for the first time this season. Josh Reddick had two hits.

A’s starter Tommy Milone allowed three runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out one.

Nick Martinez was recalled from Double-A to make the start for the Rangers. He lasted five innings, allowing four runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out one. Read more …

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Rangers’ Choo (sprained ankle) day to day

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 12:26 am

By Eric Gilmore | Special to ESPNDallas.com

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Texas Rangers finally got some good news on the injury front Tuesday.

An MRI revealed that left fielder Shin-Soo Choo has a sprained left ankle, but not the more serious high ankle sprain, Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said before Tuesday’s game against the Athletics.

Choo will not play Tuesday or Wednesday against the A’s, but he’s considered day to day and the Rangers have no plan at this point to put him on the team’s crowded disabled list. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister analyzed results from Choo’s MRI and delivered the good news to Levine.

“We view this as very positive news considering, as high ankle sprains from our past experience … are a little more of a lengthier time frame for recovery,” Levine said.

Choo was injured in the top of the seventh Monday night when he tried to beat out an infield hit and landed hard on the base with his left foot.

The Rangers have 10 players on the disabled list, and the results from past MRIs this season have usually revealed bad news.

“We’re hoping that this is an indication that we’re heading in the right direction from an injury standpoint,” Levine said. “We’re kind of long overdue for some positive news back from the training staff. This is certainly a silver lining to what was a concerning injury that we thought we had last night. We feel very optimistic that hopefully Choo is a vital part of this team and will be back on the field soon.” Read more …

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McHugh strikes out 12 as Astros beat Seattle 5-2

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 12:36 am

Collin McHugh struck out a career-high 12 in his season debut, and Jason Castro, Chris Carter and Matt Dominguez homered to lift the Houston Astros to a 5-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

McHugh (1-0), called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City for the start, struck out the first three batters of the game to set the tone for his first win in 10 career starts. The right-hander didn’t walk a batter, giving up three hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings.

Josh Fields pitched the ninth for his second save. The Astros have won six straight against the Mariners.

Justin Smoak provided Seattle’s only offense with a two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Mariners extended their losing streak to eight games.

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NFL to release sked Wednesday night

Posted/updated on: April 23, 2014 at 12:31 am

By John Clayton | ESPN

NFLThe 2014 NFL regular-season schedule will be released Wednesday, April 23, at 8 p.m. ET. Here is what we already know:

• Opponents for 2014 season
• Strength of schedule for 2014

The games will be unveiled during ESPN2′s schedule release show from 8 to 10 p.m. ET.

Annually, the release of the NFL schedule has become almost like a national holiday.

The Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks are expected to host the annual kickoff game on Thursday, Sept. 4.

The NFL’s three London games are already set — Miami at Oakland at 1 p.m. ET on Sept. 28, Detroit at Atlanta at 9:30 a.m. ET on Oct. 26 and Dallas at Jacksonville at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 9.

Among the other highlight games is a Super Bowl rematch, with the Denver Broncos at Seattle, along with San Francisco at Denver, New England at Green Bay, and Philadelphia at Indianapolis. Read more …

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Charlie Strong: No title in 2014

Posted/updated on: April 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

ESPN.com news services

New coach Charlie Strong isn’t telling Texas fans what they want to hear. Instead, he’s dishing up a heaping helping of realism for supporters as he heads into his first season as Longhorns coach.

“We have everything available, and I don’t know why we can’t be successful,” Strong told fans in Fort Worth during the first stop on his bus tour, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “There’s no reason for us not to be. Now, I can’t tell you how soon it’s going to be. Don’t hold me to that. Don’t say, ‘Ooh, coach said next year we’ll be in the national …’ We will not be in the national championship game.”

Strong was hired in January from Louisville to replace Mack Brown, who registered 158 wins in 16 seasons at Texas. Strong told UT supporters that the culture will have to change after four consecutive seasons with at least four losses, including an 8-5 mark last year.

“A lot of our guys, they feel entitled and they get a little complacent because of where we are,” Strong said. “So then as a coaching staff, that’s why we have to be so conscious of when the guys feel they are a little better than what they are. It’s all about building their confidence, and I tell them each and every day: ‘You are a good football player. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not.’”

But worthy of contending for the national championship, especially with questions at quarterback entering the 2014 season? No, Strong said.

“He’s not going to go around kissing babies,” former UT coach David McWilliams told the American-Statesman of Strong. “And that’s good. I know when coach [Darrell] Royal came in, all those guys after the first meeting said, ‘Things are going to change around here.’ And you’re seeing the same thing.”

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Ducks say Stars crossed the line

Posted/updated on: April 22, 2014 at 11:15 am

By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS — Physical play gets ratcheted up come playoff time, but the Anaheim Ducks thought things got a little out of hand with how the Dallas Stars poked, prodded and punched captain Ryan Getzlaf in Game 3 on Monday night.

Late in the second period, with the Stars up 2-0, there was a scrum behind the net and Stars winger Antoine Roussel flicked Getzlaf’s face mask and Getzlaf punched Roussel in the face. Roussel then hit Getzlaf in the face a few times as players from both teams jumped into the fray.

“Well, I mean I think it was pretty obvious out there,” Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said when asked if the physical play crossed the line. “We’ve warned the refs about them. It’s just something that I guess you do anything to win, but it’s not something that I think our team would do. We’ll take them and be as physical and be as mean as they want, but obviously they know there’s something wrong with his jaw, so they’re going after it.”

Getzlaf injured the jaw in Game 1 when Tyler Seguin ripped a slap shot into his face near the end of the game.

“You’ve got to stay as disciplined as you can, but you’ve got to protect yourself, too,” Getzlaf said. “That’s part of the game. Obviously, I never expected them to target my face that much, but that’s the way it goes I guess.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff seemed surprised by how upset the Ducks were about the physical play.

“I don’t really know what the Ducks thought, but we tried to play hard,” Ruff said. “We tried to play the man. There were a couple of scrums that I’m pretty sure if you watch the scrums our guys got punched in the face a few times in those scrums.

“When you’re getting punched in the face, eventually you are going to punch back. Talk to the team, playoff hockey is emotional. For us, we’ve got a good skating team and I think we can frustrate, and part of being physical is you have to get there. I thought our legs were going and I thought there were times they were strong down low and I thought there was a little bit of trade off in that. I don’t think either team really crossed the line, I just thought it was playoff hockey.”

Roussel felt things heated up after Getzlaf punched him, catching him a little off guard.

“He’s a character guy,” Rouseel said. “He’s such a great player and he gets some aggressiveness, some character that he has. He kinds of stands up for himself when it’s time, too. I was surprised and not surprised at the same time.”

Anaheim leads the first-round series 2-1. Game 4 is on Wednesday.

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Today in History for 22nd April 2014

Historical Events 1823 - Baltic Club (Exchange) forms in London 1905 - Operations begin uniting conservatory of Nature monument Amsterdam 1926 - Persia, Turkey and Afghanistan sign treaties of security 1955 - KC Athletic's 1st game, beat Tigers 6-2 1962 - Pirates tie then record of 10 straight wins to start season 1983 - Stern mag announces major h... Read more on HistoryOrb.com

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