Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thompson hits milestone in Storm's win - The Seattle Times

SEATTLE â€"

Tina Thompson scored 10 points to become the first WNBA player to reach the 7,000 for her career and help the Seattle Storm beat the Chicago Sky 75-60 on Tuesday night.

Ann Wauters scored 16 points, Katie Smith added 13 and Ewelina Kobryn had 12 for Seattle (14-18).

The Storm, who already have clinched a ninth consecutive playoff berth, snapped a four-game losing streak.

"I didn't know about it until today," Thompson said about the chance to break 7,000 points. "Winning is first and foremost for me. These things are great and it's something I'll probably relish in and enjoy after my career. But for me winning is always first so getting a win definitely makes it sweeter."

Epiphanny Prince had 21 points and Shay Murphy 12 to lead Chicago (13-19). The Sky remained one game behind New York for the fourth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth. The Sky have yet to make the playoffs since joining the league in 2006.

Thompson hit a 13-foot jumper off an assist from Tanisha Wright to break the milestone with 9:02 left in the first half. The 15-year veteran entered the game seven shy of the mark. She had all her points in the first half.

Seattle coach Brian Agler enjoyed the chance to see Thompson set the milestone.

"She's just a true professional," Agler said. "She comes to work every day and takes care of herself. She's got one of the nicest touches on the basketball that I've ever been around. She knows how to score. She's a good teammate and a proven winner.

"You watch her play and she makes winning basketball plays. She'll go down as one of the all-time greats."

Sue Bird, who had eight assists for Seattle after missing three games with a hip flexor, put some perspective on Thompson's achievement.

"It's very impressive and definitely speaks to her ability to score, her longevity and her consistency," Bird said. "You can't overlook those things. There's going to be a lot of players that come and go in this league and only a few are going to have those qualities and she's one of them."

Seattle, which led by as many as 21 points in the first half, scored the first eight points of the third quarter to lead 54-28 and were up 60-32 midway through the period.

"We never quite recovered from the first swing that Seattle threw," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "I think they shot 57 percent in the first half and we never quite recovered from that. I felt we had good looks, but they didn't go down."

Thompson scored 10 points and Smith had nine to help the Storm to a 46-28 halftime lead. The Storm shot 57 percent (16 of 28, including 6 of 10 from 3-point range, in the first half while Chicago shot 31.6 percent (12 of 38).

Storm center Lauren Jackson (strained hamstring) missed her third consecutive game. Jackson said after the game she will return on Friday against San Antonio.

Seattle, fourth in the Western Conference, will open the playoffs the latter part of next week against Minnesota.

Chicago center Syliva Fowles missed her fifth straight game with a lower leg injury.

Swin Cash had six points and seven rebounds in her first return to Seattle since being traded with Le'coe Willingham in the offseason to Chicago for the No. 2 draft pick, which the Storm used to select Shekinna Stricklen.

Orioles rally to tie it in ninth, then outlast Mariners in 18 innings, 4-2 - The Seattle Times

Originally published September 19, 2012 at 1:10 AM | Page modified September 19, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Erasmo Ramirez provided the final start to his season he'd been looking for, just not exactly the perfect ending to this game.

The Mariners discovered firsthand Tuesday night just why the pesky Baltimore Orioles are in a first-place battle in the American League East with two weeks to go.

Down to their final three outs, the Orioles rallied for two runs to tie it off Ramirez in the ninth, then finally scored two more in the 18th inning to hand the Mariners a 4-2 loss Tuesday night at Safeco Field in one of the longest games in their history.

Taylor Teagarten blooped a one-out single to right field off Lucas Luetge in the 18th to score Nate McLouth from second base with the go-ahead run. Another run scored when third baseman Chone Figgins bobbled a ground ball and had to settle for his team getting an out at third rather than throwing home.

Jim Johnson then closed it out for the Orioles, who extended their franchise record with a 14th consecutive extra-innings win. Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter tossed two scoreless frames for the victory.

The five-hour, 44-minute game was the fifth longest by time in Mariners history and tied for their fourth-longest by innings. Luetge was the seventh Seattle relief pitcher to work the game after Ramirez was charged with the two tying runs in the ninth.

The Mariners went 0 for 17 with runners in scoring position, a big reason why things were even in extras after Ramirez dominated the Orioles while allowing only two hits through the first eight innings.

Seattle squandered a leadoff double by Kyle Seager in the 17th and a leadoff walk in the 16th by Miguel Olivo â€" his career-high third of the night â€" and failed to score over the game's final 14 frames.

Mariners rookie Ramirez was treated to warm applause by the 12,608 fans as he headed out for the ninth with his pitch count at 95. But leadoff singles by Robert Andino and McLouth put the tying run on base and brought closer Tom Wilhelmsen in to replace Ramirez.

After a bunt moved the runners up, Chris Davis tied it 2-2 with a single under the glove of diving second baseman Dustin Ackley.

Olivo had provided the Mariners with all of their offense back in the fourth inning. After a two-out walk drawn by Casper Wells, Olivo deposited a pitch from Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen over the left-field wall for a two-run homer.

Ramirez is making the most of the limited starting opportunities given him by the Mariners since being called back up from Class AAA this month. Unlike his teammate, Hector Noesi, who was pulled out of the rotation Tuesday after making just one abbreviated start out of a planned two, Ramirez has gone at least seven innings in both his efforts while allowing just two runs each time.

The Mariners do not have any more starts scheduled for Ramirez at this time, though he is expected to see some relief work. If this was his final start, it was an exclamation point on a so-so first big-league season dampened somewhat by an elbow injury mid-summer.

Last week in Toronto, he held the Blue Jays to two runs over seven innings to pick up his first career victory. But he turned things up a notch in this effort, retiring the first nine batters he faced before a leadoff single in the fourth by McLouth.

Ramirez didn't allow another hit after that until a sixth-inning double by McLouth that was almost caught in center by a diving Franklin Gutierrez. At first, Gutierrez appeared to be in pain after jamming his hand into the turf while breaking his fall. Mariners trainers began racing on to the field, but Gutierrez waved them off halfway and remained in the game.

The emergence of Ramirez as a possible rotation candidate for next season is good news for the Mariners. They know they have Felix Hernandez and Jason Vargas back for next season, but the status of pending free agents Kevin Millwood and Hisashi Iwakuma is still unclear.

There is a good chance Millwood will retire after the season, while Iwakuma's asking price is somewhat of a mystery and will be based off a half-season of performance. With minor league prospects Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker unlikely to break camp with the big club next spring, there will be a need for additional arms to fill in the rotation gaps.

Current starter Blake Beavan is one of those expected to be in the mix for a starting job. And now, based off the last two performances, Ramirez has to be considered as a potential candidate as well.

Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or gbaker@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @gbakermariners. Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners.

Unsolved homicides - The Seattle Times

Originally published September 18, 2012 at 7:50 PM | Page modified September 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Valentina Vega cried when she saw her brother's face on a billboard Tuesday morning near the corner of South Graham Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way South.

"It's very emotional for us," said Vega, the elder sister of Danny Vega, who was fatally beaten during a robbery in South Seattle in November. His killers have not been caught.

Though she said seeing the billboard "just brought back very sad memories," Valentina Vega and relatives of several other victims of unsolved homicides appealed to the community to call or text tips to help Seattle police arrest suspects.

The Seattle Police Department on Tuesday launched a first-of-its-kind campaign, unveiling billboards and bus ads which each feature the photos and names of three or four of the 18 homicide victims in Seattle since the beginning of 2010 whose slayings remain unsolved.

The billboards and bus ads â€" which are being placed in areas and along bus routes near where victims lived, hung out or died â€" ask "Who Killed Me?" and include an appeal for those with information to break their silence.

"We need closure, our families need closure. It's heart-wrenching to go through this," said Marcia Westbrook, who traveled from New Mexico to attend Tuesday's news conference. Her younger sister, 21-year-old Nicole Westbrook, was randomly gunned down in Pioneer Square in April, three weeks after moving here to attend culinary school.

"We're still hoping and praying someone will speak up," she said.

Marlo Williams broke down when she saw a photo of her son, Desmond Jackson, alongside photos of Vega and Westbrook on a temporary billboard unveiled outside the Filipino Community Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Jackson, 22, was fatally shot outside a Sodo nightclub in February.

"I have an 8-year-old son who walks in fear every day because of his brother's death," Williams said, her voice breaking. "If there's anybody â€" and I mean anybody â€" who has any information to help us solve Desmond's case, please, please come forward."

Dwight Guy, of Kent, didn't take the podium to address members of the media, later explaining that he and his wife always had been "publicity-avoidant people." But since the body of his wife, Greggette Guy, 51, was found in the water off Beach Drive Southwest in West Seattle in March, "it's part of my responsibility to do what I can to catch her murderer," he said.

Wednesday is the couple's 31st wedding anniversary, Guy said, his eyes turning misty. He says he frequently drives his wife's car because he finds it comforting.

The homicide detectives working the case have "been very professional and considerate," but have made it clear that "there's not a lot of evidence and they really need to rely on tips," Guy said.

The Rev. Harriett Walden, director of the Silent War Campaign which seeks to address black-on-black crime and one of three community members on a Police Department committee that planned the campaign, called for "a new agenda, a new normal" that encourages people to come forward with information.

"These billboards will remind our community that someone knows something. It's not OK to be at the grocery store or the bus stop" with a killer, Walden said.

To support the campaign, ClearChannel Outdoor is contributing free billboard space worth about $60,000 while Titan Outdoor, the company behind the ads that will run on Metro buses, donated approximately $11,000 worth of work. In addition, the Seattle Police Department spent $6,700 and the U.S. Department of Justice provided $5,600 for the effort.

Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz noted that detectives on Monday arrested a suspect in the nearly four-year-old killing of Quincy Coleman, a 15-year-old who was fatally shot outside Garfield High School on Halloween night 2008. He credited tips from the community for the arrest and said the case proved that no piece of information is too small in a homicide investigation.

"Somebody knows something," he said. "People are out there who have information, and we're asking you to take that next courageous step ... so justice will prevail."

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Off-duty Bellevue officers reportedly taunt and surround SPD officers after ... - The Seattle Times

Rowdy fans outside Seahawks games are hardly anything new to Seattle police.

But one officer's encounter Sunday with a reportedly unruly group has prompted an apology and an internal investigation by the Bellevue Police Department.

Bellevue police confirmed Tuesday the department has opened an investigation into an "altercation" involving three off-duty Bellevue officers who reportedly confronted a Seattle police officer outside CenturyLink Stadium before Sunday's game.

Seattle police Assistant Chief Jim Pugel said a uniformed female officer was on duty at the intersection of Third Avenue South and Royal Brougham Way when one member of a group walking past her threw litter on the ground. The officer approached them and asked that they pick up the discarded item â€" reported to be a beer cup â€" and put it in a trash can, Pugel said.

Pugel said the Seattle officer was not attempting to make an arrest or issue a ticket. Rather, he said, she merely had asked as a courtesy "that they not litter in our city."

Pugel said some members of the group turned and began to berate the officer. At least two "identified themselves as Bellevue police officers," he said.

"They called her names and surrounded her," Pugel said. None of the officers involved was identified.

According to a source familiar with the incident, who asked not to be named, another Seattle officer became so concerned that she called for backup. Additional officers, a sergeant and a lieutenant responded.

Pugel said the supervisors were also sworn at and taunted by members of the unruly group.

The source said the off-duty Bellevue officers and their companions appeared to be intoxicated and flashed their badges.

The Bellevue officers were allowed to go on their way with no arrests or citations, said Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. No reports were written about the incident "because no crime was committed," he said.

Pugel said he called Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo after the incident was reported to him by the female officer's commander.

Pillo, in a prepared statement released Tuesday, said she has ordered the department's Office of Professional Standards to investigate.

"I personally called the Seattle officer involved to offer my sincere apology on behalf of the department, and made it clear that if there was any unacceptable behavior by our officers, in NO WAY does this reflect who we are as an organization," the chief said in the statement. "This is a rare anomaly in our department and it is disappointing."

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com

Live game thread: Chicago at Seattle; the homecoming - The Seattle Times (blog)

HISTORY BROKEN: You wouldn't know it to look at her expression. But the crowd went crazy when Thompson nailed an open jumper with 9:02 remaining in the half for her 7,000 and 7,001st points in her 16-year career. The Storm is up 29-15.

ABROSIMOVA HURT?: Reserve G Svetlana Abrosimova appeared to injure her right shoulder or wrist while diving for a loose rebound. She eventually was able to jog off the court and is being treated. She was called for the foul.

SCOREBOARD: Thompson nailed two three-pointers in the first quarter for six points. She needs one more to reach 7,000. Seattle is up 26-13. Prince has seven for the Sky, but Thompson and Smith (six) are anchoring the Storm.

ANOTHER CHEER: Willingham checked in with 2:21 left in the quarter and was also cheered by the KeyArena faithful. Just as important, G Ticha Penicheiro returned to the lineup, missing the past five games. It is her 38th birthday. You gotta play on your birthday, right? Seattle's up 21-11.

BIRD TALES: Bird is her usual self, making the offense move with pinpoint shots and passes. She has four points and four assists early. Smith leads all scorers with six points off two three-pointers. Seattle is up 16-9 with 4:25 left in the first quarter.

TWO CHEERS: As expected, Vandersloot and Cash received rousing ovations during player introductions. Of Cash and WIllingham'r return, Agler said, "I root for them when we're not playing them. I want to see them do well. I know their aspirations for making multiple changes on the team this year were to be in the playoffs...So, sentimental? I guess so a little bit. It doesn't mean we're not going to try to win."

Chicago stars Courtney Vandersloot, Swin Cash and Le'coe Willingham are hoping a little "home" time will cultivate enough positive mojo to get a needed win. Vandersloot is a native of Covington and is making her second return as a WNBA player. Cash and Willingham helped the Storm win its 2010 championship.

After some shopping and dinner with familiar faces, the Sky needs to defeat the Storm in order to stay alive for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York lost 77-66 at San Antonio to keep the door open for Chicago (13-18) to qualify. It would be the Sky's first playoff appearance in seven years.

Seattle (13-18) will have PG Sue Bird back in the lineup after suffering a twinge in her left hip. Reserve Alysha Clark is also back after bout with the sniffles. But C Lauren Jackson remains out due to a sore right hamstring. Storm coach Brian Agler said he expects her to return to practice on Thursday and possibly play Friday for the home season-finale against the Silver Stars.

Prior to the game Storm F Camille Little was presented with Sunday's game ball after accumulating her 1,000th game ball. Teammate Tina Thompson needs seven points to record a record 7,000 in her WNBA career.

How will go home with their goal achieved? It starts with your opening lineups:

SKY
F Swin Cash
F Tamara Young
C Carolyn Swords
G Epiphanny Prince
G Courtney Vandersloot

STORM
F Katie Smith
F Camille Little
C Ann Wauters
G Tanisha Wright
G Sue Bird

Tonight's officials are Kurt Walker, Felicia Grinter, Tim Greene.

Husky men, women roll to opening wins | - The Seattle Times

The University of Washington golf teams can only hope they end their seasons as well as they started them.

The UW men opened with a nine-stroke victory Tuesday in the Kikkor Sports Husky Invitational at the Gold Mountain Olympic Course in Bremerton. The Husky women were every bit as impressive, finishing off a 25-shot victory in the Oregon State Invitational at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis, Ore.

The Washington men played three rounds at 2-under-par 862, led by sophomore Cheng-Tsung Pan, who won the event with a 5-under 211, four shots ahead of teammates Chris Williams, the world's top-ranked amateur, and Trevor Simsby.

"We were actually down a shot after the first nine (Tuesday), but we scorched the back nine," said UW men's coach Matt Thurmond. "It was such a great week with my team. We haven't started school yet, and we just had fun."

Pan, ranked No. 7 in the world, had a 76 Tuesday after opening with a 69 and 66 in Monday's rounds.

"Pan didn't play that well, but he still won by four shots, so that just shows how well he played on Monday," said Thurmond, who said Williams was battling mononucleosis.

Texas A&M was nine shots behind Washington in second place in the 15-team field. Washington State was tied for sixth at 35 over, Gonzaga was 13th at 58 over and Seattle U was last at 70 over.

Freshman Charlotte Thomas from Singapore won the Oregon State Invitational with a 5-under-par 211, one shot better than Washington State's Lindsay Harmon.

Five Huskies were in the top 10, including SooBin Kim, who tied for third after leading entering the final round.

The Huskies finished at 11-under 853, while Washington State was second and Gonzaga third.

Notes

• Wellington Hills Golf Course in Woodinville, which offers some of the cheapest golf in the Seattle area, will close for good at the end of September.

The nine-hole course on a hillside offers some of the cheapest golf in the Seattle area â€" $12 for adults for nine holes and $20 for 18 holes on weekdays, and $13 and $21 on weekends.

Snohomish County has purchased property that includes the course for $9.7 million from the University of Washington and is expected to use it as a site for athletic fields.

The new park with the fields is part of a mitigation agreement in which Snohomish County is obligated to obtain park land to offset construction of the massive Brightwater sewer treatment facility about a mile from the course.

The UW bought Wellington Hills in 1990 as a potential site for a northern campus. The university later decided to put its branch campus in Bothell.

• With six events left in the web.com (formerly Nationwide) Tour, Olympia's Andres Gonzales is in seventh place on the money list and will certainly be among the top 25 who earn PGA Tour cards for next year. Michael Putnam of University Place is 32nd on the money list, Seattle's Jeff Gove is 63rd and former UW Husky Alex Prugh is 65th.

Former Husky Troy Kelly is 105th on the PGA Tour money list and looks to be in good shape to be among the top 125 who retain their cards. Another former Husky, Richard H. Lee, is 153rd.

Kyle Stanley of Gig Harbor is 30th on the PGA Tour money list; Puyallup's Ryan Moore is 45th.

• Bellevue's Tom Brandes and Mike Haack and Seattle's Sean Parker are representing the Washington State Golf Association in the USGA Men's State Team Championship at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, N.J. The event goes from Wednesday through Friday.

• It has been a second straight year of abundant aces at Bellevue Golf Course. The course, which used to average about 17 aces a year, recorded 31 in 2011 and 24 so far this year. None of the par-3's on the course have been shortened during this span.

Freelancer Craig Smith contributed to this report.

New DVDs | 'Chico & Rita,' 'The Cabin in the Woods,' 'Katy Perry' - The Seattle Times

New DVDs |

Tuesday's new releases swing toward adult fare, even the animated "Chico & Rita." Star ratings are by Seattle Times movie reviewers, freelancers or wire services. For full reviews, search the movie title at seattletimes.com.

3.5 stars "Chico & Rita" (not rated; in English and Spanish, with subtitles): This Oscar nominee for best animated feature (not for kids) is a romantic celebration of Cuban music and culture that focuses on the postwar affair between a piano player and a gifted singer.

3 stars"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (PG-13): John Madden's comedy/drama features an all-star team of British actors (including Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Maggie Smith) playing pensioners who relocate to a retirement hotel in India.

3 stars"The Cabin in the Woods" (R): Despite warnings, five young people head out to the titular cabin in the woods. Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's film "plays with our expectations of what a horror movie is and tries to upend them, and for the most part succeeds," says Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald.

3 stars"The Do-Deca Pentathlon" (R): Let the games for "better brother for all eternity" begin in Jay and Mark Duplass' dark comedy.

3 stars"Oslo, August 31st" (not rated; in Norwegian, with subtitles): Anders Danielsen Lie plays a recovering heroin addict on a day pass from rehab.

2.5 stars"Hysteria" (R): Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett star in this Victorian-era comedy about the invention of the vibrator.

2.5 stars"Salvation Boulevard" (R): A satire about the cover-up of a pastor's accidental crime, with Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear.

2 stars"Katy Perry: The Movie â€" Part of Me" (PG): Concert documentary on the pop star's 2011 tour.

1 stars "Battlefield America" (PG-13): Inner-city kids train for a dance competition.

TV and other releases

"Hawaii Five-O: The Second Season"

"Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures"

"The Mentalist: The Complete Fourth Season"

"Modern Family: The Complete Third Season"

"Steve Martin: The Television Stuff"

"Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season"

Compiled by Lori Taki Uno: luno@seattletimes.com