CONCORD, N.C. – When NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick exercises a final appeal at overturning a severe penalty to Jimmie Johnson, a familiar face will hear the plea.
After a three-member appeals panel unanimously upheld the punishment for failing a pre-Daytona 500 inspection to the five-time Sprint Cup champion’s team — the loss of 25 points for Johnson and the team and a six-race suspension and $100,000 fine to crew chief Chad Knaus — Hendrick said he would take the case to National Stock Car Racing chief appellate officer John Middlebrook, the final authority in NASCAR’s judicial system.
Dick Van Dyke has married a 40-year-old make-up artist.
The 86-year-old actor and Arlene Silver had a ‘spur of the moment’ wedding in Malibu, California, on February 29.
In a video interview with website RumorFix, Dick revealed: ‘I’m not a loner. I have to have a life partner and I found the perfect one.
‘I got married kind of on the spur of the moment, we decided Leap Day would be the best time to do it.’
NBC ‘Today’ Show Panel Rushes to Obama’s Defense After Santorum ‘Cheap Shot’
By Kyle Drennen | March 13, 2012 | 16:45
On Tuesday, following Rick Santorum’s call for politicians, like President Obama, to stop relying on Teleprompters for their public remarks, NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer allowed a liberal panel to rip into the Republican candidate for daring to criticize Obama.
Attorney Star Jones contemptuously proclaimed: “Doesn’t he have anything else to talk about?…You’re running for the presidency of the United States and you’re going to whine because he’s a better Teleprompter reader than you are? Oh, please.” Correspondent Savannah Guthrie chimed in: “It’s silly….It’s a cheap shot, it’s an easy laugh.”
Students seek to stop loan interest rate hike
WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of college students could be in for a shock this summer. The interest rate on a popular federally subsidized student loan doubles in July unless Congress acts.
College students on Tuesday are delivering 130,000 letters to congressional leaders asking them to stop rates from increasing from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. The rate hike affects new subsidized Stafford loans used by low and middle income undergraduates.
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to keep rates at the lower rate. His administration has said that would help 7.4 million borrowers save on average more than a thousand dollars over the life of the loan.
For Obama’s first three state dinners, honoring the leaders of India, Mexico and China, the White House released the name, year and appellation of wines — all-American — paired with each course.
Part of a tradition observed by previous presidents, including George W. Bush, that disclosure stopped after Obama’s dinner last year for Chinese President Hu Jintao. One of the wines served on Jan. 19, 2011, was a top-rated 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington state that originally sold for $115 a bottle and went for as much as $399 by the time of the dinner. The price the White House paid per bottle was not made public.
“They’re probably sensitive to displays of wealth at a time when the economy is not firing on all cylinders,” said Colman, whose blog had noted the absence of wines on the German state dinner menu the White House released.
Still, keeping the wine list under wraps undercuts promotion of U.S. winemakers at a time when markets in developing nations such as China have potential to be “really hot” for U.S. labels because of the rising middle- and upper- income classes, he said.
FreedomWorks, the influential Washington-based tea party group, is now waging an all-out war on a member of its own party: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), whose defeat would send a major statement to establishment Republicans that the tea party has staying power.
Federal records show that the group has virtually ignored incumbent Senate Democrats in its quest to take down the 35-year Senate veteran ahead of crucial statewide caucuses Thursday.
According to campaign finance filings, FreedomWorks has spent more than $615,000 to defeat Hatch — dumping cash to recruit volunteers, elect prospective convention delegates, send direct mail and launch TV and radio spots
NHTSA said it is has received 14 complaints from Taurus owners that said the engine revved as high as 4,000 RPMs after shifting into park or neutral.
Some complaints said owners had trouble stopping the vehicles – and one owner said the vehicle had traveled partially through a red light before it stopped. Some drivers had to shift into neutral or shut off the car to stop the vehicle.
Ford didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment. NHTSA didn’t identify any crashes or injuries related to the issue in its statement.
Michelle Obama Grilled By 11-Year-Old Reporter On ‘Let’s Move!’ Campaign
5:00 pm, March 12th | by Laura Donovan
Snagging an interview with the first lady is an accomplishment in itself, but asking tough questions is particularly impressive for a young, novice journalist. Especially when she hasn’t even taken her SATs yet.
Topanga Sena, an 11-year-old reporter for Scholastic News in Florida, can knock both of the above off her bucket list. As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the middle school aged girl recently had the opportunity to speak with first lady Michelle Obama about her Let’s Move! campaign and whether it oversteps its boundaries.
“How do you respond to critics who say the government should not be telling people how to eat or to stay active?” Sena asked, reading from a sheet of paper.
Gov. Rick Snyder signs legislation that bars unionization of grad assistants
10:23 AM, March 13, 2012
LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder signed this morning legislation that bars the unionization of graduate assistants at Michigan’s public universities, a move prompted by an attempt to form a union by grad assistants at the University of Michigan.
Snyder said in a statement announcing the signing that “while graduate student research assistants provide valuable efforts for universities, they are students first and foremost. Considering them to be public employees with union representation would alter the nature of the critical relationship between students and teachers, and risk the educational mission of universities.”
The legislation was put on a fast track by Republicans in the Legislature – over the vehement opposition of Democrats and representatives of organized labor – as a state employee relations board was hearing the request by a group of pro-union grad assistants at U-M to be recognized as public employees.
Mayor of Small Italian Town Orders Residents Not To Die
Updated: Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012, 10:16 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 13 Mar 2012, 9:39 AM EDT
FALCIANO DEL MASSICO, Italy – The mayor of a small town in southern Italy has forbidden residents to die, because there is no cemetery for them to buried in.
Giulio Cesare Fava, the mayor of Falciano del Massico, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Naples, southern Italy, issued the order earlier this month stating, “it is forbidden for residents … to go beyond the boundaries of earthly life, to go into to the afterlife.”
So far only two residents have disobeyed the edict, La Stampa daily reported, with two recorded deaths since March 5.
3/13/2012 8:07:00 AM A bill that will limit free speech
To the Editor:
Certainly, it’s the duty of schools to ensure student safety and a bully-free environment conducive to learning.
Our district’s anti-bullying policy already includes prohibitions on cyber-bullying for students and employees, as do most. Should an incident occur, the complaint is referred to appropriate law enforcement agencies. Senate Bill 427, is an unnecessary and unwarranted trespass by the state into the authority of local school boards.
The requirement in SB427 of schools to prepare annual bullying reports only adds another layer of bureaucracy while increasing the paperwork burden through the tracking and compiling of this data – along with increased costs – so becomes another unfunded mandate.
Clearly, it’s a back-door attempt to abridge everyone’s right to free speech on the Internet. This unconstitutional bill was introduced by Wisconsin state senators Cullen, Coggs, Carpenter, Erpenbach, Taylor, King, Schultz, Risser, Kedzie and our own Jim Holperin. Co-sponsors are representatives Knilans, C. Taylor, Pocan, Turner, Staskunas, Ringhand, Loudenbeck, Pasch and Pope-Roberts.
By Owen B. Robinson Defending the castle
Presumption of intent must favor homeowner
There’s one thing we know for sure. Bo Morrison, a 20-year-old man from West Bend, is now dead. The circumstances of his death, however, leave many questions unanswered.
The reported account is that Mr. Morrison had been at a drinking party in Slinger last week. During the party, the police were alerted that there were people drinking at the party who were not of legal age to be drinking alcohol. The police arrived and were unable to find the alleged drinking party and went on their way.
At 2 a.m., shortly after the police were summoned to the alleged drinking party, Mr. Morrison was shot and killed by a homeowner. According to reports, Mr. Morrison was inside the enclosed porch of the homeowner. Presumably, Mr. Morrison was hiding from the police because he was drinking at the neighboring party and was not of legal age to be consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, only Mr. Morrison knows what his intentions were and he is no longer able to testify.
At the time of this writing, the Washington County district attorney is still deciding whether or not to charge the homeowner with a crime. Because the D.A. is still weighing the decision on charges, the statements taken the night of the killing and other evidence collected at the scene have not been made public. This leaves the rest of us to speculate on the events of the evening.