Derrick Williams kept the Minnesota Timberwolves from sweeping the events they were involved in during NBA All-Star weekend, but the rookie’s entry into the 2012 NBA Dunk Contest wasn’t all for naught. In fact, when watching highlight videos of Williams’ dunks in slow motion, it brings hope for him in future dunk competitions.With Crunch, Ricky Rubio and motorcycles all involved during Saturday night’s attempt to make the highlight reels, who knows what’s next for Williams? It wasn’t enough to beat Jeremy Evans, Chase Budinger or Paul George this year, but what about next season? And now, a couple of questions: What if Williams was unable to clear that motorcycle? Why was Kevin Love the only one to stand up for the 360 dunk off the backboard? Did they really need to include the final dunk and Derrick’s depressed face in the highlight video? Why not just show the part where he rides into the arena with the Wolves mascot on a motorcycle to keep things exciting as the video ends?For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check out Canis Hoopus. You can also check out professional basketball news from around the league over at SB Nation’s NBA page.
Katherine Jenkins SONGBIRD Katherine Jenkins is to don her dancing shoes and appear on Dancing with the Stars, the American version of Strictly Come Dancing, in a bid to crack America. The mezzo-soprano has long been a household name in the UK for her soaring voice and classic looks and has also had success in America. The Neath-born beauty will attempt to put the split from fiance Gethin Jones behind her when she appears alongside the likes of veteran Motown diva Gladys Knight, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw and tennis legend Martina Navratilova in the line-up for the 14th series of the US-version of Strictly Come Dancing, Dancing with the Stars. The 31-year-old has been paired up with hunky US dancer Mark Ballas – a passing resemblence of Jones – who was the professional partner of Kim Kardashian in her run on the show. Dancing with the Stars – which also previously featured hellraiser Kelly Osbourne, singer Nicole Scherzinger and racing driver Helio Castroneves – pulled in more than 19 million for last series’ final, with the latest shows kicking off on March 19 on American network ABC. Other celebrities signed up for the 12th series include Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert, Cuban-American actor William Levy, Jack Wagner of Melrose Place fame, The View host Sherri Shepherd and Jaleel White, known as Steve Urkel from Family Matters. Her publicist Dan Deacon said yesterday: “Katherine is very excited to be going on the show.” Her appearance marks another step in her recovery from her split with Jones just after Christmas. It’s not the singer’s first appearance on the show, having performed in April last year, although insisted that she “wasn’t looking for world domination” after completing a South African tour when she played sell-out gigs to around 3,500 fans over five nights. However she said she was still “working” at breaking the lucrative US market. “I’ve been going back and fore and chipping away at it,” she told the Western Mail. “It’s such a huge place and I’m not a pop artist. I get invited to go and sing at events and it’s going well. “I’ve just got to keep working at it. I knew [success] wouldn’t happen overnight. It’s starting to happen in other countries and the response to the last album has been brilliant.” PR guru Max Clifford last night predicted the show would be a “golden opportunity” for Jenkins to become a “massive star” Stateside. He told the Western Mail: “She has got the look and she’s got the voice. “Obviously the American market is very different from the British market, but I am sure she understands that now, because it is something she has been looking at in recent years. “This is a massive show that gives her the opportunity to really break in America. “The fact of the matter is that with her looks and voice there is a massive market waiting for her – and this may be the key that opens that door.” He said that Jenkins needed to be careful not to make her music material “too classical” to alienate some of the market. But he added that Jenkins needed the exposure that the series offered her, as she didn’t have the might of the Simon Cowell machine behind her. “If you look at others like Leona Lewis that are popular there, even Susan Boyle, they have had Simon Cowell behind them,” he said. “They already had a massive PR offensive that he brings to the table. This programme gives her a golden opportunity for that kind of exposure. If she takes off with that voice that she’s got, and her looks, she could be enormous, a major, major star over there. “She needs to be careful with the use of material, to make sure it’s not too classical so as to limit her range. “She needs something to show the quality of her voice, something like Barbara Streisand.” Read more: Katherine Jenkins follows in famous footsteps on Dancing With The Stars
More than 400 North Jersey high school seniors and their parents got help Sunday with one of the most feared hurdles on the road to college – the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – a complicated electronic application form, along with a warning to ignore a letter mailed to New Jersey students from a company that charges to submit the form. Stacy Salinas, president of the New Jersey Association of School Financial Aid Administrators, said the association plans to notify New Jersey high schools Monday of the need to alert parents and students about a letter that was mailed to students telling them to go to a for-profit FAFSA application website to submit the forms. Parents and students who use the for-profit site fafsa.com — instead of the legitimate site, fafsa.ed.gov — are charged a fee, sometimes as much as $150. “That’s $150 that the student could have used to buy books,” or for tuition,” said Salinas, a financial aid administrator at Bloomfield College. “I’ve heard of parents who have spent all the way up to $1,000 for FAFSA help they could get for free.” On Sunday, students and parents who came to Passaic County Community College in Paterson got that help from financial aid experts like Salinas who volunteer their time as part of a nationwide effort to encourage more families to apply for financial aid. The effort, College Goal Sunday, was launched in 1989 in Indiana after research found that many students who were eligible for grants, loans or other types of tuition assistance never applied for it. It is designed primarily to help low-income students and first-generation college applicants, but financial aid experts at the Paterson event said the FAFSA form is tough for parents from all kinds of financial backgrounds. “I’ve had professional parents who tell their accountant to fill it out for them, and then I get calls from the accountant,” said Joseph Roberto of Glen Rock, another one of the FAFSA experts working with families Sunday. Roberto, a financial aid consultant and former financial aid administrator at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, Bergen Community College and Seton Hall University, said he does workshops on the FAFSA throughout Bergen County and that a recent financial aid workshop for parents in Ridgewood was packed. “Sometimes the parents who supposedly have a lot of money look harder for financial aid,” he said. “The lower- and middle-income parents tend to be afraid of the form. We tell them not to be afraid.” FAFSA help was offered at nine colleges in New Jersey on Sunday. Passaic County Community College usually draws the largest crowd in the state. “We want to make sure that students access all the money that is available to them,” said Betsy Marinace, executive director of enrollment management for Passaic County Community College. Families who arrive for College Goals Day with their tax returns and all the other information needed to fill out the FAFSA can leave with the form taken care of. “We tried doing it on our own, but this really helped,” said Michele Sadkin, 17, of Little Falls, a student at Passaic Valley High School, who is hoping to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University next year. Her mother, Nancy, said she and Michele had struggled with the form for what seemed like hours before coming to the College Goals event, and “here, we were done in 45 minutes.” Salinas, Roberto and other financial aid administrators at the event said that many of the parents reported they had received letters from a private company, Student Financial Aid Service Inc., reminding them of the FAFSA deadlines and directing them to the for-profit website.
She’s one of 14 taking part in the new series of ‘Dancing with the Stars’, along with Gladys Knight and Martina Navratilova.She was introduced this morning to ABC viewers, and on their website, as the ‘acclaimed opera star’ who has ‘sold four millon records’.There are two glaring flaws in this statement:1 Ms Jenkins has never sung an opera.2 No female opera singer has sold four million records.All told, little Jackie Evancho has more claim to call herself an opera star than our poor little Welsh girl.Martina, who knows a thing or two about art, might put her right.
Every year there is a group of All-Star caliber players who, for whatever reason, just cannot live up to expectations. Luckily for those players, 2011 is in the past and 2012 brings a clean slate, and a chance for redemption. The majority of these players are coming off seasons where performance was the main issue, while with others, injuries and off-field issues plagued what otherwise could have been fantastic seasons. Last year, White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn led that group. He fell far below his career average of 38 home runs and 95 runs batted in, batting a mere .159 with only 11 homers in 122 games. Some of the other "duds" from 2011 include Boston's own Carl Crawford, who failed to shine in front of the Green Monster; Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who fought off injury after injury in his 2011 campaign; and lastly, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, a name every Red Sox fan loves to hear in discussions that include the word "overrated." Another player that has something to prove this season, albeit in a different way, is the reigning MVP, and apparently not a steroid user, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. Braun has been battling critics ever since his "positive" drug test back in October, and until recently, Braun was getting ready to spend the first 50 games of the season riding the pine pony. Crawford may never live up to the massive contract that he inked before last season, but he has far too much talent to not be an effective player at Fenway Park. With the enormous expectations dialed back a bit, don't be surprised if Crawford returns to his pre-2011 levels of production. Injuries plagued Mauer in 2011, but keep in mind that this is a guy that is merely two years removed from winning the AL MVP. Playing fewer innings at catcher should take some of the stress off Mauer's body. The Minnesota Twins' attempts to recover from a terrible 2011 campaign start with Mauer. Rodriguez is getting up there in age (he turns 37 in July), but is still paid and expected to produce like a superstar. The Yankees may be able to make up for his lack of production by turning to the other sluggers in their lineup, but Rodriguez always seems to be the center of attention. A-Rod's 16 home runs and 62 RBIs in 2011 were his lowest totals in a season since 1995. So we are going to leave the decision up to you folks at home.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has officially reversed courseon all but one of the recommended closings of elementary schools inBucks County. Also Friday, officials signaled that Conwell-Egan Catholic HighSchool could remain open after the school received substantialdonations from unnamed benefactors. “These changes are occurring for a number of reasons,” said theRev. Michael Fitzgerald, auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. “Someschools have demonstrated that they are poised for long-termviability. The emotion and generosity shown is clear evidence ofthe pride people have in their Catholic schools.”The schools at St. Mark in Bristol, St. Michael the Archangel inTullytown, St. John the Baptist in Nockamixon, Holy Trinity inMorrisville, St. Ephrem in Bensalem and Our Lady of Grace inPenndel will remain open as parish schools.Yet, in an unexpected twist, the school at St. John theEvangelist in Lower Makefield will shut down.Under the original plan of restructuring, the school building ofSt. John the Evangelist would have served as a regional school,accepting students from Holy Trinity.However, during the review process, it became clear that St.John was “not in a position to remain viable,” said Mary Rochford,superintendent of Catholic schools.The school was operating at 56 percent capacity and itsprecarious position should have been common knowledge to anyinvolved parents, she said.“I believe that the parents should have known the state of theirparish,” Rochford said. “For St. John the Evangelist to stay open,we could have been looking at tuition in the range of $7,000.”Nadine Bontempo of Falls said she and other St. John’s schoolparents were “blindsided.” Families learned of the impendingclosing Thursday night during a hastily called meeting with thechurch pastor and school principal, Bontempo said.“People’s jaws were dropping,” she said. “I have invested a lotof time in that school. This was just a slap in the face.”Rochford declined further comment on the appeals made by theschools after the closings were recommended by an archdiocesan blueribbon commission and whether St. John the Evangelist campaigned toremain open independent of Holy Trinity. The archdiocese said itpromised confidentiality to those schools that entered the appealprocess.Monsignor Joseph Prior, pastor of Saint John the Evangelist,said he has asked God to give school families and teachers peaceand strength through the difficult transition.“Catholic school teachers don’t make a lot of money,” he said.“They teach in Catholic schools because they are dedicated to themission. I see their dedication each and every day.”St. John the Evangelist was founded in 1964. Annual tuition is$2,850 for parishioners and $4,369 for non-parishioners, accordingto the parish website. The archdiocese lists St. Ignatius inYardley and St. Andrew in Newtown as “nearby welcomingschools.”Bontempo, whose three children ages 6, 9 and 11 attend St. John,worries that the restructuring might result in each attending aseparate school. “What stinks now is that we are left to scrambleto find something,” she said.Parents of Our Lady of Grace in Penndel expressed relief thattheir school would not be merged, as planned, with St. Michael theArchangel.“The school has a good reputation on its own,” said parentMartina Cakir during the 3 p.m. school dismissal Friday.St. Mark school parent Michael Myer said during the entireappeal process he remained positive and prayed.“You have to stay positive,” he said. “No good comes out ofnegative thoughts. Now, here we are. The school is stayingopen.”At St. Michael the Archangel, the Rev. Michael DiIorio, thechurch pastor, said, “The challenge remains for us to befinancially solvent. Therefore, increased enrollment and financialsolvency are goals we must achieve and maintain in the future. WithGod’s help and the work of the entire parish family, we willachieve our goals.”Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput was not present forFriday’s press conference in Philadelphia where the news wasannounced. In a released statement, he urged parents, teachers andstudents to remain patient for an official decision on the fourarchdiocesan high schools slated for closing in the blue ribboncommission report.“I want to see this resolved too, but this decision is tooimportant to be made without considering absolutely every fact andall serious, substantive proposals even if they don’t fit the timeframe originally set,” Chaput said.Conwell-Egan and the other targeted high schools could find outtheir fate next week, said Fitzgerald. “There have been severalbenefactors that have come forward at the eleventh hour,” hesaid.Fitzgerald described the benefactors as a group independent fromthe church. The group sought information about all four highschools slated to close. The archdiocese declined to discuss thesize of the donation.The Association of the Catholic School Teachers President RitaSchwartz said she was told by church “insiders” of $10 million indonations offered to support all archdiocesan high schools.An unconfirmed report from Conwell-Egan sources indicates theschool has secured $3 million to assure the school can stay open.In January, the high school’s administration was told byarchdiocesan officials that Conwell-Egan needed $2.7 million tocover the possible debt of the next five years.“To me, at this point, the blue ribbon commission report was notworth the paper it was printed on,” said Schwartz, who described anintensely stressful period for both students and teachers.“I know myself and many of the teachers are feeling much bettertoday,” she added. “It sounds like (Chaput) has got the money,clearly. Also, we’re getting to a point of no return here with theend of the school year.”Across the five-county archdiocese, the church has granted 18 ofthe 24 appeals sought by schools. Assumption BVM in LowerSouthampton chose not to appeal plans to merge with St. Bede theVenerable in Northampton, officials said. Students will be sent tothe school building at St. Bede, which is to be renamed St.Katharine Drexel Regional School.There are 156 elementary schools in the archdiocese. The blueribbon commission recommended closing 45. Now, that number is downto 33, according to the archdiocese.The original plan would have affected some 20,000 students and1,500 teachers, said Rochford. The current plan would impact about13,000 students and 1,100 teachers, she estimated. In total, some68,000 students attend archdiocese schools. James McGinnis: 215-949-3248;email: ;Twitter @James_McGinnisJoan Hellyer: 215-949-4048;email: ;Twitter @BCCTintheknowGema Maria Duarte: 215-949-4195; email:;Twitter: @deadlineduarte © 2012 phillyBurbs.com . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Good Saturday evening and thanks for checking the Weather Watch 12 Blog!Well it is safe to say that winter came back in a hurry.Two to a little more than three inches of snow greeted the area with a snow-burst Friday morning and afternoon, and the cold front responsible for the snow happened to be an Arctic front.Not too many true Arctic fronts have passed through this winter.In fact, this winter has been a really timid winter when it comes to cold weather, and so…I decided to do some geeky-weather factoid-nugget hunting.Saturday brought teens for highs across all of southeast Wisconsin, officially nudging 18º for a brief time at Mitchell Field.What is amazing, at least to me, is that this is technically only the second time when air temps failed to climb out of the teens this whole winter!The other time was on January 20th.The graphic below makes these facts even more impressive.So yes, perhaps we have become soft when it comes to intense winter weather…and least intense cold.Anyone remember the “when I was young…” story about prolong bitter subzero cold in our Wisconsin winters past?We will only have to contend with single digits lows for Saturday night, highs on Sunday will get to the mid/upper 20s again…and LOTS of sunshine.Speaking of winter and cold, Friday brought a staggering 1.9″ of snow to Milwaukee.A total of 17.4″ of snow has fallen through the entire season!Impressively low snow totals considering we typically see about 50″.That means we could get the February 1-2, 2011 blizzard again, and still be over a half a foot down, provided we did not get any more snow the rest of the season.We do have some snow in the forecast to arrive Monday afternoon.At this point it is not looking like much, with indications of 1-2″ of new snowfall likely.Of course we will updating and making any tweaks to the forecast through the rest of the weekend.The last topic I want to talk about is a weather phenomenon created by aircraft…and NO I am not going down the airplanes are spreading chemicals in our atmosphere claim…well sort of.Like any combustion engine, the exhaust is primarily composed of carbon monoxide and steam or water vapor.Enter Friday afternoon, and the snow event that was ongoing.It turns out the radar imagery was indicating a very unique donut-like radar return just to the northwest of O’Hare field near Chicago.Here’s what the Doppler 12 Radar Network detected at about 3:39pm Friday.Now with some crafty icon placement…So now back to the exhaust…the theory is O’Hare had to divert some air traffic into a holding pattern circle while trying for free up some runways.The moisture in the exhaust, if in enough quantity will act like water vapor any other time in the atmosphere.The water vapor will cool and condense when lifted…forming the intial beginnings of clouds and even tiny little ice crystals, which are then detected by our awesome weather tools we have at our disposal!Perhaps giving another reason, NOT to eat the snow…at least in Chicago’s northwest suburbs.So what do you think!?Be sure to share your comments and as always stay tuned to Weather Watch 12 for the latest on our changing weather conditions.I am back on the air at 10pm Saturday, and Jeremy Nelson is back with you early risers on 12 News This Morning, starting at 5am Sunday!Have a great night!Luke
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Star couple Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have welcomed their third child, a baby boy, People magazine said on Tuesday, without giving further details. Garner, who made her name in the television drama Alias, wed actor and producer Affleck in June 2005 at a private ceremony in Turks and Caicos, in the Caribbean. They welcomed their first daughter, Violet, in December 2005, and second daughter Seraphina in 2009. The couple, both 39, announced they were expecting their third child in August last year and while they did not reveal the baby’s sex, Garner told chat show host Jay Leno in January this year that they knew. ‘It would be so weird to have a boy,’ Garner was quoted as having told Ellen DeGeneres. She also said it would be ‘cool and different.’ Garner will next appear in the comedy The Odd Life of Timothy Green later this year. Affleck, who won a Best Screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote with Matt Damon, next stars in and directs the thriller Argo. He will also appear in an untitled Terrence Malick project with Jessica Chastain, Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz.
A whole new celebrity cast is putting on their dancing shoes and preparing to take the ballroom by storm on Season 14 of ABC's “Dancing With the Stars.” Actor Jack Wagner of “Melrose Place” fame, TV star Melissa Gilbert, who became a household name as Laura Ingalls on “Little House on the Prairie,” “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd, and Jaleel White, best known as Steve Urkel from “Family Matters,” are among this season's headliners. Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, TV host Maria Menounos, Motown great Gladys Knight, opera singer Katherine Jenkins, Disney star Roshon Fegan, NFL champ Donald Driver, singer Gavin DeGraw and Telenovela actor William Levy round out the celebrity line-up. The new cast and their professional partners make their official debut today on “Good Morning America.” Hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet joined “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles for the live announcement. The stars also met their professional partners, who they will begin training with right away ahead of the March 19 two-hour season premiere. Defending pro-champion Karina Smirnoff, who won her first mirror ball trophy last season with celeb J.R. Martinez, is partnered up this time with singer Gavin DeGraw. Pro Cheryl Burke, who sambaed with Rob Kardashian into the finals during season 13, will team up with William Levy this round, and three-time champ Derek Hough will dance with Maria Menounos. Fan favorite pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy will teach Melissa Gilbert the ropes and his brother, “DWTS” newcomer Val Chmerkovskiy, is matched up with Sherri Shepherd. Nancy Grace's former partner, Tristan McManus, returns this season to dance with Gladys Knight. Two-time champ Mark Ballas will tango with Katherine Jenkins. Read more about the cast in their edited bios and tell us who's your favorite. Which celebrity are you most excited to see hit the dance floor? Which pro pairing is your favorite? The new season of “Dancing With the Stars” premieres in a live two-hour event on Monday, March 19 at 8/7c on ABC.
The U.S. Marine Corps has taken delivery of the first MV-22Osprey produced with the new Block C suite of design upgrades. Theprogram is a strategic alliance between The Boeing Company and BellHelicopter.