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Luka Doncic puts in 30 points, 10 rebounds to lead Dallas Mavericks past Pistons, 127-117

DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Kristaps Porzingis added 19 points and seven boards and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 127-117 on Wednesday night to stop a four-game home losing streak.
Jalen Brunson scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half of a game that was supposed to be played Feb. 17 but was postponed because of severe winter weather in Texas.
“We’ve got to continue to stay positive,” said Brunson, who was 8 of 9 from the floor before halftime. “We have a strong finish to uphold. There’s going to be a lot of trying times. We’ve got to keep it together.”
Jerami Grant scored 26 points and Cory Joseph added 24 for the Pistons, who haven’t beaten a team with a winning record since a 108-102 win at Boston on Feb. 12. Mason Plumlee had 13 points and 16 rebounds.
Grant had 15 points in the first quarter, but foul trouble limited Detroit’s leading scorer to less than three minutes in the second and third quarters combined. The Pistons’ deficit was 16 points by the time Grant finally got back in the flow of the game early in the fourth quarter.

National Sports Uncategorized

Final Four set, a question left: Can anybody beat Gonzaga?

By JIM LITKE AP Sports Writer
It’s not easy to bury a team as good as USC, let alone in a half, no matter how easy Gonzaga made it look. Somehow, coach Mark Few called it in advance.
While everyone was fixating on the top-seeded Bulldogs’ make-it-rain offense, one reporter took the opposite tack. He asked Few the day before their game against the high-flying Trojans whether his defense was getting lost in the shuffle. He replied like he’d been waiting days for that question.
“I think,” Few said, “we’ve had some excellent, I mean, off-the-chart performances, and some terrific halves.”
Gonzaga’s defense dropped one of those like an anvil on No. 6 USC in Tuesday night’s Elite Eight contest. Michigan, the bracket’s other No. 1 seed in action, played decent defense against everyone in a UCLA jersey except No. 3, Johnny Juzang, and man, did he make them pay.
The Zags won’t make that mistake when they face the Bruins in one Final Four matchup come Saturday with the chance to extend their perfect (30-0) season. Baylor, the other top seed still standing and the likeliest giant-killer left, plays No. 2 Houston in the other.
Juzang scored 14 of UCLA’s first 16 points and finished with 28, more than half the total in a 51-49 win, He had five more than the Bruins’ four other starters combined and the bench wasn’t much help either. Five teammates took just three shots in 34 minutes and contributed zero points to the effort. Yet that proved enough after Michigan missed its last eight tries, including four in the final 11 seconds that would have put them ahead.
“There’s one or two possessions that can either help you or hurt you and for us,” as coach Juwaan Howard charitably put it, “we came up short.”
The Zags in full flight are something to behold. They were up 7-0 after just two minutes, 15-4 after five and 49-30 at the half. Barely two minutes past intermission, it was 56-34. The rest of the second half was more a formality than a competitive game. Final score: 85-66.
If you’re sensing a pattern here, you should be. Most of the traffic is going one way.
The Zags scored inside, in transition and from behind the 3-point line. They’re so easy on the eyes with the ball in their hands that it’s easy to overlook how often they got it back without a made USC basket. Unless, that is, you had an assistant coach charting turnovers (seven of their 10 total in the opening 12 minutes), steals, offensive rebounds and desperation shots that probably weren’t a good idea in the first place.
Trojans coach Andy Enfield had that breakdown within arm’s reach when he sat for the postgame press conference. USC shot just 39% from the field, 27% from behind the arc and grabbed a dozen less rebounds. He didn’t need to look.
“It was a little surprising,” he shrugged, “because we’d been playing great basketball.”
So has Baylor, which showed plenty of firepower and some of the same grit on the other end while de-fanging No. 3 Arkansas a night earlier. The Bears have forced plenty of turnovers against three previous tournament rivals — Wisconsin, Villanova and the aforementioned Razorbacks (15) — with a reputation for taking care of the ball.
Guard Davion Mitchell, a buzzsaw with the ball in his hands, often winds up drawing the toughest defensive assignment, too.
“Obviously, I think he’s the best defender in the country,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. He added: “We call him Off Night, because people tend to have off nights with him. But he’s a nightmare to bring the ball up against. And he sets the tone for our defense.”
Gonzaga and Baylor were scheduled to play in early December before the Zags program ran afoul of the sport’s COVID-19 protocol. Both were in a separate class from the rest of college basketball at the time. Then Baylor’s bout with the virus came late in the season, requiring a pause of three weeks plus.
After everything else fans weathered throughout this wacky season, a few more days might finally deliver a national championship game worth the wait.
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Juzang sends No. 11 seed UCLA past Michigan to Final Four

By DAVE SKRETTA AP Basketball Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — UCLA has made more trips to the Final Four than any program but North Carolina.
None of the 19 was more surprising than this one.
After sneaking into the NCAA Tournament off four straight losses, and barely surviving Michigan State in their First Four game, the Bruins took down top-seeded Michigan on Tuesday night to continue a run for the ages.
Johnny Juzang poured in 28 points while playing most of the second half on a hurt ankle, and coach Mick Cronin’s bunch of stubborn overachievers survived a set of nail-biting misses by the Wolverines in the final seconds for a 51-49 victory that made the Bruins only the fifth No. 11 seed to reach the national semifinals.
“These guys get all the credit,” said Cronin, who had never been to the Elite Eight in 18 years as a college head coach, much less the Final Four. “Unbelievable heart, toughness. Nobody picked us. Nobody believed in us. That’s how we like it.”
They’ll be big underdogs again Saturday night: Overall No. 1 seed Gonzaga is up next.
“We know our next assignment is tough,” Cronin said, “but their resiliency is unbelievable.”
The Wolverines (23-5) missed their final eight shots, including a 3-pointer by Mike Smith with a couple seconds left and another by Franz Wagner at the buzzer, sending the Bruins (22-9) flying off the bench in a wild celebration.
They’re the second First Four team to make the Final Four after VCU a decade ago.
“This is something growing up you dream about,” said Juzang, the first player to score at least half of his team’s points in a regional final victory since Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson in 1960. “It’s just so wonderful. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful sharing this moment with your brothers.”
After dictating the pace all game, eschewing the slick style of Michigan in favor of a rock fight, it only seemed fitting that the underdog Bruins — having won two tourney games in overtime already — would take another to the buzzer.
They were clinging to a 50-49 lead when Michigan called a timeout with 19 seconds to go, intending to set up the game’s final shot. Wolverines coach Juwan Howard set up an open 3-point look for the cold-shooting Wagner, who missed almost everything, and Eli Brooks also missed a put-back before UCLA finally corralled the rebound.
It was merely the start of a chaotic finish.
The Wolverines quickly fouled and sent Juzang to the line, where he missed the second of his two free throws with 6.3 seconds left. Michigan grabbed the rebound and called another timeout. This time, Howard had Smith race up court and unload a good look from the wing that was halfway down before bouncing back out.
The buzzer sounded and UCLA began to celebrate, only for the officials to put a half-second back on the clock.
That was enough time for Michigan to inbound one last time to Wagner, who again let fly a 3-pointer that clanked off the iron — and finally gave the Bruins freedom to spring from their benches for their first Final Four trip since 2008.
“We got the look, got the shot we wanted,” Howard said. “There’s not much you can do with a point-five, but that shot, it was a nice little heave. Unfortunately it didn’t go in.”
Hunter Dickinson led the Wolverines (23-5) with 11 points, but nothing came easy for the Big Ten freshman of the year — or anyone else in maize and blue. They were 3 of 11 beyond the arc, shot 39% overall and couldn’t make one at the end.
“They played extremely hard. They earned that win,” Brooks said. “I’m not going to take anything away from them. They made everything challenging.”
The No. 1 seed in the East Region, the Wolverines had confidently strolled onto the court about 30 minutes before officials even rolled out balls for pregame warmups. They almost looked bored as they milled around, some listening to their music, others catching glimpses of the Southern California-Gonzaga game on the screens hanging over the court.
The Bulldogs won so easily it must have lulled them to sleep.
Instead of the crisp passing, unselfishness and eye-pleasing positionless basketball that carried Michigan to three easy wins in the tournament, there was sloppy ballhandling, off-balance jumpers and breakdowns on defense.
Then there was Juzang, who scored 14 of the Bruins’ first 16 points. Whether it was a step-back 3-pointer, floater in the lane or drive to the bucket, one of March’s breakout stars simply willed UCLA to a 27-23 halftime lead.
“Every point he got,” Howard said with a shake of his head, “he worked hard for.”
The Bruins stretched their lead to 34-25 before Juzang twisted his right ankle during a rebounding scrum, sending him to the bench to get it taped. He was only out a couple of minutes, but Michigan took advantage. Dickinson and Brooks each had back-to-back baskets, wiping out most of UCLA’s hard-earned lead.
Then, two programs quite familiar with college basketball’s biggest stage kept trading blows the rest of the way.
“It was a Big Ten battle royal game,” Cronin said. “Just an awesome, awesome effort by our kids. All credit goes to them.”
Gonzaga has won two of three against the Bruins, though they’ve split their two meetings in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA won a regional semifinal in 2006 and the Bulldogs returned the favor in the 2015 regional semifinals.
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Gonzaga’s bid for a perfect season moves on to Final Four

By JOHN MARSHALL AP Basketball Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gonzaga’s countdown to perfection has ticked to two.
The Bulldogs are back in the Final Four, two wins from becoming the first undefeated team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.
And, after all those upsets, the March Madness apex in the Hoosier State will be a high-seeded affair.
Gonzaga is a No. 1 seed. So is Baylor. Houston, a 2. UCLA is an 11, but it’s also the all-time leader in national championships.
There also will be a trip down Southwest Conference memory lane.
But the Zags will be the team to beat.
Gonzaga (30-0) has been an offensive juggernaut rarely seen in college basketball. Fast moving and free flowing, the ultra-efficient Zags have steamrolled everyone in their way, winning a Division I-record 27 straight games by double digits.
An 85-56 dismantling of Southern California in the Elite Eight stretched their win streak to 34 games over two seasons and put them back in the Final Four for the second time in the past four NCAA Tournaments. Gonzaga came up short in a loss to North Carolina in the 2017 national title game, but has its sights set on finishing it off this time — and grabbing a piece of history.
“Everyone wants us to keep moving forward, but that’s not how we roll,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “This is a heck of an accomplishment. We’re going to take it and savor it for what it is. That doesn’t lessen our desire to win this game, the next game or win two more games.”
The next one won’t be easy. Mick Cronin will make sure of that.
The former Cincinnati coach has returned UCLA to relevance after a couple of mediocre seasons. In two years at Westwood, he’s added a level of toughness that’s helped them go from the First Four to the Final Four after losing their last four games entering the NCAA Tournament.
UCLA (22-9) has grinded out five wins in the NCAA tourney, including No. 2 seed Alabama and a 51-49 takedown of top-seeded Michigan in the Elite Eight. The Bruins are in the Final Four for the first time since 2008 and play the kind of game that might be able to slow the Gonzaga machine.
“Obviously, I knew the expectations. It’s pretty clear at UCLA,” Cronin said. “I understood it and I wanted it.”
The Texas half of the draw will have a Southwest feel.
Baylor and Houston were both members of the Southwest Conference, which splintered in 1996. The Bears were there when the league started, circa 1914. The Cougars made the move from independent to SWC status in 1975.
The latest versions of the two programs are nearly identical: long, athletic, quick, breath-squeezing defense.
Baylor went on a long rebuild to finally get here.
The Bears were embroiled in one of the darkest scandals in college basketball history, when Patrick Dennehy was murdered by teammate Carlton Dotson in 2003. Coach Dave Bliss then resigned after it was revealed he encouraged players to lie about Dennehy to cover up NCAA violations.
In stepped coach Scott Drew.
Drew took the Baylor job after serving a one-year stint succeeding his father, Homer, at Valparaiso, and he went through some extra-lean years early on in Waco.
He’s since molded the program into a national powerhouse.
The Bears (26-2) were unstoppable this season before a COVID-19 pause slowed their roll, but they’ve been back to their dominating ways in March.
After twice failing at the regional final under Drew, Baylor beat Arkansas in the Elite Eight to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1950 — when the bracket was eight teams and the City College of New York Beavers won the national championship.
“Once we got into the (first) season and you found out that most of your team were walk-ons and most of them weren’t over 6-foot-2, then you realized it might be tougher than you originally thought,” Drew said. “But obviously the goal was always to build a program that could consistently compete and have an opportunity to play in March.”
Kelvin Sampson has made a similar imprint on Houston.
The Cougars had lost the luster from the Phi Slama Jama days, reaching the NCAA Tournament once in 22 years before Sampson was hired in 2014.
Sampson gradually built Houston back up, taking it to the NCAA Tournament’s second round in 2018, the Sweet 16 the next year. The fleet-footed Cougars (28-3) were dominating this season and grinded down their first four NCAA Tournament opponents to reach their first Final Four since losing in the 1984 national championship game.
The run has intriguingly come in Indiana, home of the NCAA and where Sampson’s career nearly came to an end. He was forced out at Indiana in 2008 due to NCAA sanctions and now, 13 years later, has completed to circle back to the Hoosier State to compete for a national championship.
“We’ve taken a group of kids to get them to believe and they’ve accomplished something that no matter what happens this weekend, it’s something that nobody can take from them,” Sampson said. “They’ll always be known as a Final Four participant. They played in the Final Four.”
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Ball in their court: Justices take on NCAA restrictions

By JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The NCAA and former college athletes are getting ready to play ball at the Supreme Court.
With the March Madness basketball tournament ongoing, the high court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case about how colleges can reward athletes who play Division I basketball and football. The NCAA says if the former college students who brought the case win, it could erase the distinction between professional and college sports.
Under current NCAA rules, students can’t be paid, and the scholarship money colleges can offer is capped at the cost of attending the school. The NCAA defends its rules as necessary to preserving the amateur nature of college sports.
But if the Supreme Court sides with the former students, those caps on educational benefits could go away. If individual athletic conferences agree, schools could offer tens of thousands of dollars in education benefits for things such as postgraduate scholarships, tutoring, study abroad opportunities, vocational school payments. That could create a bidding war for the best players.
The former athletes who brought the case, including former West Virginia football player Shawne Alston, say the NCAA’s current rules deprive students of the ability to be rewarded for their athletic talents and hard work because most of them will never play professional sports. So far, the former players have won every round of the case. Lower courts agreed that the NCAA’s rules capping the education-related benefits schools can violate a federal antitrust law.
Whatever happens at the high court, how college athletes are compensated is already likely changing. The NCAA is in the process of trying to amend its longstanding rules to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likenesses. That would allow athletes to earn money for things like sponsorship deals, online endorsement and personal appearances. For some athletes, those amounts could dwarf any education-related benefits.
The former college athletes have some big-time supporters. The players associations of the NFL, NBA and WNBA are all urging the justices to side with the former athletes, as is the Biden administration.
The justices are hearing arguments by phone in the case as they have been doing for almost a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. They will almost certainly issue a decision in the case before they leave for their summer break at the end of June.
The NCAA wasn’t happy with the outcome the last time its rules were before the Supreme Court. In 1984, the high court rejected NCAA rules restricting the broadcast of college football. The justices’ ruling transformed college sports, helping it become the multibillion-dollar business it is today.

Uncategorized West Virginia Headlines

WVa to vaccinate 16 and over with medical conditions

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginians aged 16 and older with underlying medical conditions are now eligible for a coronavirus vaccine, along with all essential workers of any age, Gov. Jim Justice announced on Monday.
The list of eligible conditions include asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, intellectual disabilities, autoimmune disorders and more. Pregnant residents are also eligible and the caretakers of those with some diseases.
All residents 50 and over have already been eligible for a vaccine. Last week, Justice said the state “will absolutely step up” to meet President Joe Biden’s goal that all Americans be eligible for vaccinations by May 1. He and other governors though stressed the need for supply to increase.
The state administered first shots to a record of over 51,000 people last week, according to a review of state data. Nearly 22% of residents are partially vaccinated, while 13.7% are fully inoculated against the virus that has killed 2,531 people in West Virginia.
Hospitalizations continued their decline to 151 patients from a peak of 818 in early January. As of Friday, only two long-term care centers had outbreaks among residents.
Justice has urged mask-wearing, as a statewide mandate remains in effect, even as capacity limits on businesses have been lifted.


Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio host, has died

PALM BEACH (AP) — Rush Limbaugh, the talk radio host who ripped into liberals, foretold the rise of Donald Trump and laid waste to political correctness with a merry brand of malice that made him one of the most powerful voices on the American right, died Wednesday. He was 70.
Limbaugh, an outspoken lover of cigars, had been diagnosed with lung cancer. His death was announced on his website.
President Trump, during a State of the Union speech, awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Unflinchingly conservative, wildly partisan, bombastically self-promoting and larger than life, Limbaugh galvanized listeners for more than 30 years with his talent for vituperation and sarcasm.
He called himself an entertainer, but his rants during his three-hour weekday radio show broadcast on nearly 600 U.S. stations shaped the national political conversation, swaying ordinary Republicans and the direction of their party.
Blessed with a made-for-broadcasting voice, he delivered his opinions with such certainty that his followers, or “Ditto-heads,” as he dubbed them, took his words as sacred truth.
“In my heart and soul, I know I have become the intellectual engine of the conservative movement,” Limbaugh, with typical immodesty, told author Zev Chafets in the 2010 book “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.”
Forbes magazine estimated his 2018 income at $84 million, ranking him behind only Howard Stern among radio personalities.
Limbaugh took as a badge of honor the title “most dangerous man in America.” He said he was the “truth detector,” the “doctor of democracy,” a “lover of mankind,” a “harmless, lovable little fuzz ball” and an “all-around good guy.” He claimed he had “talent on loan from God.”
Long before Trump’s rise in politics, Limbaugh was pinning insulting names on his enemies and raging against the mainstream media, accusing it of feeding the public lies. He called Democrats and others on the left communists, wackos, feminazis, liberal extremists, faggots and radicals.
When actor Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, appeared in a Democratic campaign commercial, Limbaugh mocked his tremors. When a Washington advocate for the homeless killed himself, he cracked jokes. As the AIDS epidemic raged in the 1980s, he made the dying a punchline. He called 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton a dog.
He suggested that the Democrats’ stand on reproductive rights would have led to the abortion of Jesus Christ. When a woman accused Duke University lacrosse players of rape, he derided her as a “ho,” and when a Georgetown University law student supported expanded contraceptive coverage, he dismissed her as a “slut.” When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, Limbaugh said: “I hope he fails.”
He was frequently accused of bigotry and blatant racism for such antics as playing the song “Barack the Magic Negro” on his show. The lyrics, set to the tune of “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” describe Obama as someone who “makes guilty whites feel good” and is “black, but not authentically.”
Limbaugh often enunciated the Republican platform better and more entertainingly than any party leader, becoming a GOP kingmaker whose endorsement and friendship were sought. Polls consistently found he was regarded as the voice of the party.
His idol, Ronald Reagan, wrote a letter of praise that Limbaugh proudly read on the air in 1992: “You’ve become the number one voice for conservatism.” In 1994, Limbaugh was so widely credited with the first Republican takeover of Congress in 40 years that the GOP made him an honorary member of the new class.
During the 2016 presidential primaries, Limbaugh said he realized early on that Trump would be the nominee, and he likened the candidate’s deep connection with his supporters to his own. In a 2018 interview, he conceded Trump is rude but said that is because he is “fearless and willing to fight against the things that no Republican has been willing to fight against.”
Trump, for his part, heaped praise on Limbaugh, and they golfed together. (The president’s Mar-a-Lago estate is eight miles down the same Palm Beach boulevard as Limbaugh’s $40 million beachfront expanse.) In honoring Limbaugh at the State of the Union, Trump called his friend “a special man beloved by millions.”
Limbaugh influenced the likes of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and countless other conservative commentators who pushed the boundaries of what passes as acceptable public discourse.
His brand of blunt, no-gray-area debate spread to cable TV, town hall meetings, political rallies and Congress itself, emerging during the battles over health care and the ascent of the tea party movement.
“What he did was to bring a paranoia and really mean, nasty rhetoric and hyperpartisanship into the mainstream,” said Martin Kaplan, a University of Southern California professor who is an expert on the intersection of politics and entertainment and a frequent critic of Limbaugh. “The kind of antagonism and vituperativeness that characterized him instantly became acceptable everywhere.”
In one breathless segment in 1991, he railed against the homeless, AIDS patients, criticism of Christopher Columbus, aid to the Soviet Union, condoms in schools, animal rights advocates, multiculturalism and the social safety net.
His foes accused him of trafficking in half-truths, bias and outright lies — the very tactics he decried in others. Al Franken, the comedian and one-time senator, came out with a book in 1996 called “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations.”
In 2003, Limbaugh admitted an addiction to painkillers and went into rehab. Authorities opened an investigation into alleged “doctor shopping,” saying he received up to 2,000 pills from four doctors over six months.
He ultimately reached a deal with prosecutors in which they agreed to drop the charge if he continued with drug treatment and paid $30,000 toward the cost of the investigation.
He lost his hearing around that time. He said it was from an autoimmune disorder, while his critics said hearing loss is a known side effect of painkiller abuse. He received cochlear implants, which restored his hearing and saved his career.
A portly, round-faced figure, Limbaugh was divorced three times, after marrying Roxy Maxine McNeely in 1977, Michelle Sixta in 1983 and Marta Fitzgerald in 1994. He married his fourth wife, Kathryn Rogers, in a lavish 2010 ceremony featuring Elton John. He had no children.
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III was born Jan. 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. His mother was the former Mildred Armstrong, and his father, Rush Limbaugh Jr., was a lawyer.
Rusty, as the younger Limbaugh was known, was chubby and shy, with little interest in school but a passion for broadcasting. He would turn down the radio during St. Louis Cardinals baseball games, offering play-by-play, and gave running commentary during the evening news. By high school, he had snagged a radio job.
Limbaugh dropped out of Southeast Missouri State University for a string of DJ gigs, from his hometown, to McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to Pittsburgh and then Kansas City. Known as Rusty Sharpe and then Jeff Christie on the air, he mostly spun Top 40 hits and sprinkled in glimpses of his wit and conservatism.
“One of the early reasons radio interested me was that I thought it would make me popular,” he once wrote.
But he didn’t gain the following he craved and gave up on radio for several years, beginning in 1979, becoming promotions director for baseball’s Kansas City Royals. He ultimately returned to broadcasting, again in Kansas City and then Sacramento, California.
It was there in the early 1980s that Limbaugh really garnered an audience, broadcasting shows dripping with sarcasm and bravado. The stage name was gone.
Limbaugh began broadcasting nationally in 1988 from WABC in New York. While his know-it-all commentary quickly gained traction, he was dismayed by his reception in the big city. He thought he would be welcomed by Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather.
“I came to New York,” he wrote, “and I immediately became a nothing, a zero.”
Ultimately, Limbaugh moved his radio show to Palm Beach and bought his massive estate. Talkers Magazine, which covers the industry, said Limbaugh had the nation’s largest audience in 2019, with 15 million unique listeners each week.
“When Rush wants to talk to America, all he has to do is grab his microphone. He attracts more listeners with just his voice than the rest of us could ever imagine,” Beck wrote in Time magazine in 2009. “He is simply on another level.”
Limbaugh expounded on his world view in the best-selling books “The Way Things Ought to Be” and “See, I Told You So.”
He had a late-night TV show in the 1990s that got decent ratings but lackluster advertising because of his divisive message. When he guest-hosted “The Pat Sajak Show” in 1990, audience members called him a Nazi and repeatedly shouted at him.
He was fired from a short-lived job as an NFL commentator on ESPN in 2003 after he said the media had made a star out of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb because it was “very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” His racial remarks also derailed a 2009 bid to become one of the owners of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.
“Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just think to yourself, ‘I am just full of hot gas?'” David Letterman asked him in 1993 on “The Late Show.”
“I am a servant of humanity,” Limbaugh replied. “I am in the relentless pursuit of the truth. I actually sit back and think that I’m just so fortunate to have this opportunity to tell people what’s really going on.”



Trump pardons ex-strategist Steve Bannon, dozens of others

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of his White House term that benefited more than 140 people, including rap performers, ex-members of Congress and other allies of him and his family.
The last-minute clemency, announced Wednesday morning, follows separate waves of pardons over the past month for Trump associates convicted in the FBI’s Russia investigation as well as for the father of his son-in-law. Taken together, the actions underscore the president’s willingness, all the way through his four years in the White House, to flex his constitutional powers in ways that defy convention and explicitly aid his friends and supporters.
To be sure, the latest list was heavily populated by more conventional candidates whose cases had been championed by criminal justice activists. One man who has spent nearly 24 years in prison on drug and weapons charges but had shown exemplary behavior behind bars had his sentence commuted, as did a former Marine sentenced in 2000 in connection with a cocaine conviction.
But the names of prominent Trump allies nonetheless stood out.
Besides Bannon, other pardon recipients included Elliott Broidy, a Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty last fall in a scheme to lobby the Trump administration to drop an investigation into the looting of a Malaysian wealth fund, and Ken Kurson, a friend of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner who was charged last October with cyberstalking during a heated divorce.
Bannon’s pardon was especially notable given that the prosecution was still in its early stages and any trial was months away. Whereas pardon recipients are conventionally thought of as defendants who have faced justice, often by having served at least some prison time, the pardon nullifies the prosecution and effectively eliminates any prospect for punishment.
“Steve Bannon is getting a pardon from Trump after defrauding Trump’s own supporters into paying for a wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on Twitter. “And if that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Thank God we have only 12 more hours of this den of thieves.”
And while other presidents have issued controversial pardons at the ends of their administration, perhaps no commander in chief has so enjoyed using the clemency authority to benefit not only friends and acquaintances but also celebrity defendants and those championed by allies.
Wednesday’s list includes its share of high-profile defendants. Among them were rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black, both convicted in Florida on weapons charges. Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, has frequently expressed support for Trump and recently met with the president on criminal justice issues. Others on the list included Death Row Records co-founder Michael Harris and New York art dealer and collector Hillel Nahmad.
Other pardon recipients include former Rep. Rick Renzi, an Arizona Republican who served three years for corruption, money laundering and other charges, and former Rep. Duke Cunningham of California, who was convicted of accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors. Cunningham, who was released from prison in 2013, received a conditional pardon.
Trump also commuted the prison sentence of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served about seven years behind bars for a racketeering and bribery scheme.
Bannon has been charged with duping thousands of donors who believed their money would be used to fulfill Trump’s chief campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border. Instead, he allegedly diverted over a million dollars, paying a salary to one campaign official and personal expenses for himself.
Bannon did not respond to questions Tuesday.
Trump has already pardoned a slew of longtime associates and supporters, including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law; his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone; and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
A voice of nationalist, outsider conservatism, Bannon — who served in the Navy and worked at Goldman Sachs and as a Hollywood producer before turning to politics — led the conservative Breitbart News before being tapped to serve as chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 campaign in its critical final months.
He later served as chief strategist to the president during the turbulent early days of Trump’s administration and was at the forefront of many of its most contentious policies, including its travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries.
But Bannon, who clashed with other top advisers, was pushed out after less than a year. And his split with Trump deepened after he was quoted in a 2018 book making critical remarks about some of Trump’s adult children. Bannon apologized and soon stepped down as chairman of Breitbart. He and Trump have recently reconciled.
In August, he was pulled from a luxury yacht off the coast of Connecticut and brought before a judge in Manhattan, where he pleaded not guilty. When he emerged from the courthouse, Bannon tore off his mask, smiled and waved to news cameras. As he went to a waiting vehicle, he shouted, “This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall.”
The organizers of the “We Build The Wall” group portrayed themselves as eager to help the president build a “big beautiful” barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, as he promised during the 2016 campaign. They raised more than $25 million from thousands of donors and pledged that 100% of the money would be used for the project.
But according to the criminal charges, much of the money never made it to the wall. Instead, it was used to line the pockets of group members, including Bannon.


Rainbow Wahine return from long layoff, fall to CS Bakersfield 64-57

The Maui News

Playing for the first time in nearly a month, the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team came up short against Cal State Bakersfield 64-57 on Friday in Bakersfield, Calif.

The Rainbow Wahine (1-2), who hadn’t played since Dec. 20 after having four games canceled due to COVID-19 issues with their opponents and then within the UH program, were playing their Big West Conference opener. The teams play again today.

Bakersfield jumped out to a 10-0 lead and eventually led by 20 points in the second quarter. The Roadrunners led 35-18 at halftime.

Hawaii still trailed by 14 points a couple minutes into the fourth quarter before going on a 12-2 run to close to 54-50 with 3:55 remaining. But a pair of 3-pointers by Lexus Green helped Bakersfield (3-4, 1-0 Big West) pull away.

Jadynn Alexander scored 12 points and Daejah Phillips added 11 for the Rainbow Wahine. Green finished with five 3-pointers and 19 points.


Minnesota high school bans Steinbeck, Watson novellas

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota high school has ordered instructors to stop teaching students about two novellas in the wake of complaints that their content is racist and anti-Native American.
Administrators at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights have ordered staff to stop teaching John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Larry Watson’s “Montana 1948,” the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday.
They said families and staff had complained about racist stereotypes and slurs in “Of Mice and Men,” which was first published in 1937. The novella last made the American Library Association’s most-challenged books list in 2004.
“Montana 1948” was first published in 1993. Sibley administrators said the Native American community is upset with the book because the protagonist’s uncle sexually assaults and murders a Sioux housekeeper. The book has been censored elsewhere.
The two books have been part of the school’s curriculum for several years. Students have been reassigned a series of short stories to replace the books.
The school district’s spokeswoman, Carrie Ardito, said the complaints have highlighted a need for a policy that reconsiders instructional materials.
Watson, who grew up in North Dakota, told the newspaper by email on Monday that any attempt to defend “Montana 1948” would seem self-serving. He didn’t have adolescents in mind when he wrote the book and never thought many people would read it, let alone use it in classrooms.
The school district voted earlier this month to drop Henry Sibley from the high school’s name following complaints that he mistreated Minnesota’s Dakota people.
Sibley commanded troops in the U.S.-Dakota War and established the military commission that in 1862 sentenced 303 Dakota men to death. Thirty-eight of them were victims of a mass hanging.