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   Suspended Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy says he's still not sure why the school board placed him on administrative leave.  McCoy spoke with the press and about 50 supporters at Shalom Church in Berkeley Tuesday afternoon.  

   McCoy says he learned from media reports, and not the school board that there was a concern about the reporting of attendance numbers in August of 2012.  

   He says someone four-levels below superintendent actually reports the attendance data.  "My expectation for my staff is to review the data and make it accurate," he said.  "That's my only involvement, my only conversations about it.  No conversations with the board, and no knowing of them even having an issue with it." 

   McCoy says both he and his attorney have asked for a meeting with the board.  But Board President Paul Morris issued a statement saying they've received no such requests since placing McCoy on leave November 6th. 

   The backlash over Dr. McCoy's suspension may not be fully felt until the next school board election.  

   Arthelda Busch, chairwoman of the district's Citizens' Taskforce on Excellence in Education stood by McCoy Tuesday afternoon as he spoke to the press and supporters in Berkeley.  

   McCoy told the crowd that he's never actually been told why the school board voted 6-1 November 6th to place him on administrative leave.  Busch says that's one reason she's calling on Board President Paul Morris to step down.

   "Mr. Morris' past affiliations with the district and the board's current decisions have created huge concerns and distrust among the community at large," Busch said.

   In his statement, Morris said an investigation into several accusations against McCoy is underway and he hopes to resolve the situation soon.

 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 15:25

Rams' linebacker suspended four games

The Rams will be without one of their starting linebackers to start the season.

Jo-Lonn Dubar was suspended without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. Dunbar had a career year with the Rams, tallying 91 tackles, 4-and-a-half sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions.

He will be eligible to return to the roster following the team's September 26 game against the San Francisco 49'ers.

Published in Sports

   CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate greeted by a standing boo-vation and blooped a single in his first at-bat of the season.

   Hours after Major League Baseball suspended the New York Yankees star through the 2014 season in the Biogenesis drug case, Chicago White Sox fans got their say Monday night.

   And, boy, did they let him hear it.

   They jeered him during pregame warmups and introductions, and they really tore into him when he walked to the batter's box leading off the second inning.

   On the third pitch, Rodriguez dunked a hit into shallow left field. He made it to third base with no outs, but was stranded.

   Rodriguez flied out in his next two at-bats and then took a called third strike in the eighth inning while fans chanted "Steroids! Steroids!" He also handled a few grounders at third base as Chicago snapped a 10-game losing streak with an 8-1 win over the struggling Yankees.

   At 38 and coming back from hip surgery, Rodriguez said he's fighting for his career.

   He did not deny using performance-enhancing drugs in a news conference at U.S. Cellular Field after the punishment came down, and he said he will talk about whether he used PEDs at another time when he is more free to speak.

   He did, however, dig in for a battle, saying no one else will defend him unless he stands up for himself. Then, he took to the field, batting fourth against the White Sox.

   "There's nothing about it that's been easy," Rodriguez said. "All of it has been challenging. I'm sure there's been mistakes made along the way. We're here now. I'm a human being. I've had two hip surgeries. I've had two knee surgeries. I'm fighting for my life. I have to defend myself. If I don't defend myself, no one else will. There's a process. I'm happy with the process. In due time, hopefully whatever happens, happens."

   The Yankees are hoping something good happens with him on the field. They're out of playoff position and desperate for power, especially their third basemen — the players they've had playing that spot this season had a combined 32 RBIs, fewest in the majors according to STATS, and were hitting .215 with four homers.

   Rodriguez, with 647 career home runs, arrived at the ballpark in a dark gray Cadillac around 3:10 p.m. CT and waved when a fan shouted "A-Rod!" on his way into the stadium.

   In the clubhouse, his locker was jammed with the usual clothing and equipment, and there was a scouting report on his chair.

   It all looked so ordinary, yet there was nothing ordinary about this day.

   The three-time MVP was one of 13 players disciplined on Monday, one of the biggest mass suspensions in the history of the game.

   All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games each. Rodriguez, however, got 211 games, due to start Thursday.

   He will appeal his suspension, and that means he will likely be able to play the rest of this season while his case winds through arbitration.

   Prior to his first game since last Oct. 18, Rodriguez signed autographs and drew a crowd — of both fans and photographers.

   Rodriguez said "a lot" went into his decision to appeal his case but added "I'm not going to get into any of that today."

   "What we've always fought for was for the process, and I think we have that and at some point we'll sit in front of an arbiter and give our case," he said. "And that's as much as I feel comfortable telling you right now."

   Asked if he denies using PEDs, Rodriguez said, "Like I said, we'll have a forum to discuss all of that and we'll talk about it then."

   If he hasn't used PEDs since then, why not say it?

   "There's a lot of things that have been thrown to the wall, and I think when the time is right, there will be an opportunity to do all of that," he said. "I don't think that time is right now. And I don't want to interfere or get in the way of anything that — with the process."

   On Friday, Rodriguez hinted that the Yankees did not want him back and were trying to avoid paying him the $94.5 million they still owe him through 2017.

   Union executive director Michael Weiner said those comments were probably out of frustration and that Rodriguez would probably agree they were "counterproductive."

   Weiner also said he and Rodriguez have talked since then — but not about those comments.

   "But I would guess that all things considered, and having thought about it a little bit, he's probably not very happy with those comments," Weiner added.

   Rodriguez, meanwhile, brushed off a question about his comment on Friday, saying "Today is another day, and I'm focused on what my job is and my responsibilities to the New York Yankees and to the fan base of New York."

   He thanked the fans, media, people from the Dominican Republic and Hispanics "all over the world" for the support.

   Whether he has the Yankees' support is another issue.

   "If I'm productive, I think they want me back," Rodriguez said.

   Rodriguez batted .120 (3 for 25) with no RBIs last postseason, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.

   "It's been a long time for me, and the last time I was on the field it wasn't pretty," he said. "I was horrific."

Published in National News

NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players in a drug case - the most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal nearly a century ago.

Ryan Braun's 65-game suspension last month and previous punishments bring to 18 the total number of players disciplined for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida accused of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.

The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball's highest-paid star. His suspension covers 211 games, starting Thursday, and he is expected to appeal.

The New York Yankees slugger admitted four years ago that he used performance-enhancing drugs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has repeatedly denied using them since.

 
Published in National News

   A person familiar with deliberations tells The Associated Press that Major League Baseball has informed the New York Yankees that Rodriguez will be suspended Monday but can play while he appeals the penalty. The person said the Yankees were not told the exact length of the suspension, but were left under the impression it will be through the 2014 season.

   The person also said Rodriguez could get a shorter penalty for violating baseball's drug agreement if he gives up the right to file a grievance and force the case before an arbitrator.

   Rodriguez said on Saturday that he planned to rejoin his teammates in time for Monday's series opener at Chicago. Manager Joe Girardi said he will pencil A-Rod into the lineup.

   A second source says MLB planned an announcement for noon EDT Monday.

   Thirteen other players faced discipline following baseball's probe of the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. All-Stars Nelson Cruz of Texas and Jhonny Peralta of Detroit are among those facing the stiffest penalties.

   Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal served suspensions after positive tests last year. They've been tied to this performance-enhancing drug case, but can't be disciplined again for the same offense.

 
Published in National News

The Illinois Racing Board handed down a suspension to one of the jockeys in a controversial race at Fairmount park last week.

The board determined jockey John Lejeune did not put forth his best effort when racing against Robert "Cowboy" Jones. Jones was the sentimental favorite to win the race--at 70-years-old he could have been the first jockey to win a race in seven decades.

Lejeune is suspended for 60 days.

Published in Local News

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge who resigned after being accused of federal gun and drug charges has agreed to have his law license suspended.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Illinois Supreme Court this month approved of the action against former St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook. He was involved in a scandal involving another judge's cocaine death.

The suspension order states Cook was charged with a crime involving moral turpitude. It says he signed an affidavit voluntarily giving up his law license on an interim basis.

Cook has pleaded not guilty to charges he possessed heroin and had a gun while illegally using controlled substances.

Investigators say Cook was at a western Illinois hunting lodge in March with prosecutor-turned-judge Joe Christ when Christ died from a cocaine overdose.

 

Published in Local News
Sunday, 31 March 2013 08:23

St. Louis judge suspended without pay

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has suspended a St. Louis judge who let a clerk handle hundreds of cases while she was on vacation.

<br><br>

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the unpaid six-month suspension of Associate Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles was ordered Friday. A one-page order says the court found Peebles "engaged in misconduct" but doesn't go into specifics.

<br><br>

Peebles has been suspended with pay since August, when a judicial disciplinary commission voted to recommend her removal. A report by the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline found Pebbles abdicated her duties to clerks, showed up late to work and tried to cover up the destruction or removal of a document.

<br><br>

Peebles had been fighting the dismissal recommendation. It's been 20 years since a Missouri judge was removed from office.

 

 

Published in Local News

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