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Bud Shootout may be real fast – Florida Today

Based on Friday’s two practices for tonight’s Budweiser Shootout season-opening non-points race at Daytona International Speedway, the dance could go any of three ways.

The 75-lap race could resemble a mosh pit, a line dance or a tango on the new surface that is as smooth as, well, a dance floor.

And the driver who best figures things out will get to perform the most desired dance of all — the Victory Lane celebration where sponsor hat after sponsor hat is donned for photographs.

That’s something Kevin Harvick has done for the past two Shootouts. Tonight, he’ll seek to be the first driver ever to win three straight.

“The Bud Shootout this year, I think everybody is anticipating it just for the fact you have the all new fueling system,” Harvick told reporters. “I think there’s questions there how fast the fuel goes in and what you do for strategy and things like that.

“But, obviously, we’re not going to approach the Bud Shootout just because Budweiser is our sponsor any different than what we did in the past. We’re gonna come here and try to win the race and know that there’s no points on the line and do everything we can to win. Nothing has changed there.”

Things could get wild or be relatively mild, at least until the end when the $203,000 winner’s paycheck is in sight.

Friday’s incident-free first practice session, paced by Shootout pole-sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s fast lap of 199.862 mph, started out with one pack of cars drafting but soon broke down into the two-car draft that became the phenomenon after the 2006 repaving at Daytona’s sister track Talladega.

The second session was highlighted — or more correctly low-lighted — by the lights ringing the speedway from Turn 1 around the backstretch going out 24 minutes into the session with drivers on the track at speed doing what else but two-car drafts.

The lights came back on about nine minutes later and practice resumed. Joey Logano had the session’s best lap — 203.087 mph.

Dillon leads today’s ARCA field.

Ty Dillon, grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Richard Childress, won the pole for today’s ARCA racing series season opener at Daytona.

Dillon, 18, a series rookie making his Daytona debut and driving a Chevy prepared by his grandfather’s team, turned a top lap of 185.533 mph.

“Our car was not as good in practice as it showed up to be in qualifying, it kind of surprised me,” said Dillon whose older brother Austin races in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.

“I believe we can definitely win this race.”

The 80-lap, 200-mile race goes green at 4:30 p.m.

The pole was the second of Dillon’s career, the first coming in his series debut at Iowa Speedway last July. He will be making his fourth career start and shooting for his third consecutive series victory after winning last season’s final two races at Kansas and Rockingham.

Kyle Fowler, 18, also making his Daytona debut, starts second in his Venturini Motorsports Chevy thanks to a lap of 184.995. Fowler’s teammate, Steve Arpin, starts third thanks to his lap of 184.57.

Annett on probation.

NASCAR announced Friday it has placed Michael Annett, driver of the No. 62 car in the Nationwide Series, on probation until Dec. 31 for actions detrimental to stock car racing.

Annett was charged with driving while intoxicated following a Feb. 6 traffic accident in Mooresville, N.C.

Police said he was found to have a blood alcohol level of .32 or four times the legal limit.

In addition to the steps already under way by Annett’s Rusty Wallace Racing team, the driver will be evaluated by a certified substance abuse professional at NASCAR’s discretion and will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.

Continue reading here: Bud Shootout may be real fast – Florida Today

Sonali Bendre pantyless act denied by her – SamayLive

Sonali Bendre in a statement has clarified that the report about her pantyless act at Karan Johar’s party is mere rumour.

The statement has further said that such awful reports have disturbed Sonali and her family members.

According to the reports, Sonali was spotted pantyless at director Karan Johar’s party on Monday.

The reports claimed that Sonali Bendre, who had come along with her family friend Aishwarya Rai and her sister in law to the Johar’s party, was not wearing the essential piece of garment.

The reports had further said that Sonali was clicked by the photographers without her panty and she appeared unfazed over it.

Sonali Bendre is wife of Goldie Behl, who is a director and producer in Bollywood.

This model turned actress  started her film career with the Bollywood movie Aag.

Sonali has done several films like Sarfarosh, Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hain, Duplicate, Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega and many others.

She recenlty featured in the reality shows Indian Idol season 4 and India’s Got Talent as a judge.


Continue reading here: Sonali Bendre pantyless act denied by her – SamayLive

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TxDOT: Some roads, bridges may be closed until Saturday

The latest on what is happening across the Coastal Bend related to the winter storm.

8:30 A.M.: Banquete ISD, which planned to open at 11 a.m., will be closed today.

8:25 A.M.: Police looking to remove an abandoned vehicle on SPID eastbound near the West Point Road exit.

8:24 A.M.: Two-vehicle accident at Leopard and Tuloso Road, teenage boy injured with neck pain.

8:22 A.M.: AEP’s Andy Heines says there are relatively few problems in the immediate area, despite a few hundred people without power from weather related issues. All are being fixed now, and it would have to get a lot colder and wind would have to blow a lot harder before ice on lines would cause major outages, he said.

8:15 A.M.: Vehicle in the ditch at Ayers and Saratoga, no injuries.

8:10 A.M.: Gregory-Portland ISD will be closed today.

8:06 A.M.: Ingleside ISD will be closed today because of the weather. Checking on holdouts G-P and Banquete now.

8 A.M.: Police are asking that people stay home if possible, and if not absolutely stay off of the area’s elevated highways until barricades are removed and they are reopened.

There are presently four locations with vehicles from some of the more than 100 overnight accidents stranded on highways, because wreckers can’t reach them, said Senior Officer Julie Garcia.

There are at: Crosstown Expressway at Port Avenue, Horne Road and Agnes Street, and at the interchange between Padre Island Drive and Crosstown Expressway

The JFK Causeway is closed to Padre Island. And access from Flour Bluff to the Southside and Island is closed, both on State Highway 358 and the Oso Creek Bridge.

Harbor Bridge and Joe Fulton Corridor remain closed, and while Nueces Bay Causeway is accessible from Portland and Corpus Christi Beach police are warning that people stay off of it.

“It’s glazed with ice, with gravel on top,” said Lt. Arturo Trevino. “But it is very dangerous, and people should avoid putting themselves at risk.”

Police have made six arrests overnight, two for public intoxication, three for driving while intoxicated and one for family violence, Garcia said.

Police are also seeking an older model white Mercury Sable involved in a hit and run that injured two children about 7:30 p.m. in the 400 block of 16th Street. A 14-year-old girl is in intensive care at Christus Spohn Hospital Memorial, and an 11-year-old boy is at Driscoll Children’s Hospital.

The children were trying to cross after coming down a Crosstown Expressway embankment.

7:52 A.M.: Car hit a building on Leopard.

7:47 A.M.: On cue, police say Starr and Water streets downtown are icy.

7:45 A.M.: Reports from employees arrive at the Caller-Times say SPID frontage roads are passible, Ocean Drive is good for travel and Airline Road between SPID and Ocean is also clear. Worst of it was on downtown roads not Ocean or Shoreline … and our parking lot.

7:43 A.M.: Citgo West reports they will have some flaring this morning, so that’s where the smoke is coming from that you see in that area.

7:41 A.M.: The ice on the roadway at South Staples Street and Oso Parkway has been sanded. Police say the roadway remains open, but proceed with caution.

7:30 A.M.: Laredo man killed in George West accident last night.

7:24 A.M.: Corpus Christi officer just spotted a car in the ditch on the Airline Road curve near Yorktown. Officer going 5 mph to avoid doing the same. Two other cars are stopped and not going anywhere because they are concerned of going off the road.

7:17 A.M.: Yorktown Road west of Airline Road has ice on roadway. Corpus Christi police said traffic officers are headed that way.

7:15 A.M.: The Department of Motor Vehicles in Corpus Christi will open late at noon today.

7:10 A.M.: TxDOT is discouraging drivers from getting out on the roads unless travel is absolutely essential. Motorists can consult for current statewide and local roadway condition information and winter weather driving tips. Information on Texas and local roadway conditions is also available by calling the Texas Road Condition and Travel Information Line, 1-800-452-9292.

7:07 A.M.: Truck in the ditch at Highway 44 eastbound and McKinzie. No injuries, driver said he’ll pick up the truck later.

7:03 A.M.: This just in from Texas Department of Transportation: TxDOT is warning that roads in the Coastal Bend and surrounding areas are likely to remain closed Friday unless temperatures start to rise. State maintained roads, bridges and overpasses that have been closed since Thursday evening are anticipated to remain closed until possibly Saturday at noon.

State Highway 286, State Highway 358, State Highway 44, and Interstate 37 are all closed along with all bridges and overpasses.

6:34 A.M.: Still a dozen or so vehicles waiting for JFK Bridge to be reopened so they can return to Padre Island, Corpus Christi police said.

6:17 A.M.: National Weather Service reported they had a tenth of an inch of ice as of midnight. As of 6:15 a.m., there was 3/8 of an inch of ice at the Corpus Christi International Airport. Ice totals are expected to reach 1/4 inch in most areas and slightly more in some parts of the Coastal Bend.

6:13 A.M.: Wonder why Corpus Christi police and TxDOT made the call to close all the highways Thursday night? From 6:35 p.m. – the time of the first accident – to 11:30 p.m., there was a total of 94 traffic accidents.

6:07 A.M.: There is ice on roadway at South Staples Street and Oso Parkway. Officers are standing by for sand truck. Police advise drivers to take an alternate route.

6:04 A.M.: The National Weather Service is maintaining a winter storm warning until noon Friday for the Coastal Bend.

5:57 A.M.: If you parked outside, you will be greeted with a problem that is affecting the police now, icy windows. One office said he has been running his car for 30 minutes and still has ice on the window. A handful made a wise investment in ice scrapers.

5:52 A.M.: National Weather Service expects temperatures to remain below freezing until after noon Friday, likely keeping many roads icy until the sun breaks through the clouds. But the clear skies will make for a 4th straight below freezing start to the day on Saturday. Temperatures will range from the upper teens to mid 20s across South Texas.

5:41 A.M.: While the National Weather Service expects this to be an all rain event for the Coastal Bend, snow totals in Dallas are at 5 inches, according to WFAA-TV.

5:35 A.M.: After cleaning up from a previous rollover, police just had another rollover at Weber Road and Oso Creek. Driver not injured. Police likely to shut down the bridge as surface roads are getting dangerous as well.

5:15 A.M.: Harbor Bridge remains closed because of ice.

5:00 A.M.: Both North & South bound lanes of the Nueces River Bridge has been closed because of icy conditions, according to Corpus Christi police.

4:44 A.M.: While it was closed temporarily while TxDOT treated State Highway 361, ferry operation from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas resumed just before 11 p.m. and are continuing.

LAST NIGHT: Due to deteriorating road conditions, Texas Department of Transportation crews as of 8:45 p.m. detoured all traffic off major highways, bridges and overpasses. Affected highways are State Highway 286, State Highway 358, State Highway 44, and Interstate 37. TxDOT urges all motorists to stay off highways, bridges, and overpasses as roadways continue to ice over.

There was no word on when bridges and causeways closed by icy conditions would be reopened. But temperatures aren’t expected to be above freezing until about noon Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 9 p.m., additional closures have been announced for U.S. Highway 181, Nueces Bay Causeway and Farm-to-Market Road 70 from U.S. Highway 77 to State Highway 286.

Corpus Christi police set up patrol cars about 8 p.m. Thursday at the entrances to Interstate 37 and the Harbor Bridge in downtown Corpus Christi to prevent motorists from driving onto the icy roads as freezing rain and sleet blew into the Coastal Bend.

Continue reading here: TxDOT: Some roads, bridges may be closed until Saturday

Lexington mayor assigns officials to investigate city’s jail, E911 center – Lexington Herald Leader

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has reassigned two top city officials so they can assess “perpetual problems” at the Fayette County Detention Center and the city’s 911 call center, he said Thursday.

The temporary appointments comprise the first hands-on step in reviewing issues that have affected the performance of both divisions, Gray said.

Deputy Chief David Boggs, a veteran with the Lexington Division of Police, will lead a management review at the jail; Glenn Brown, former jail director and senior adviser to the mayor for special projects, will investigate the Division of Enhanced 911.

The appointments did not affect any jobs at the jail or E911, city spokeswoman Susan Straub said. No concrete deadline was given for completions of the reviews.

“It’s all about assigning experienced problem solvers — good managers — with boots on the ground to go in and get their arms around the problems and offer solutions,” Gray said.

David Lucas, director of E911, said he welcomed the management review.

“Fresh eyes never hurt,” he said.

Lucas said the review did not come as a surprise. Investigations into E911 and the jail were part of the mayor’s Fresh Start Program, which Gray spoke about even before being elected last year.

On Thursday, Gray said overtime spending for dispatchers and call-takers is one of the issues that will be examined.

Lucas has said mandatory overtime is used to combat a staffing shortage.

E911 has an annual budget of $6.5 million, Lucas said. The division employs 69 people, including telecommunicators, supervisors and assistants, though that number has varied over the years. Lucas said in an interview last year that ideally he would have a staff of 76.

According to budget records obtained by the Herald-Leader through an open records request, E911 paid civilian employees $394,987 for more than 13,991 hours of overtime in fiscal year 2009 (July 2008 to June 2009), the most recent data available. Thousands more was paid to nine firefighters who filled in as dispatchers during that period, records say.

Several employees recorded nearly $20,000 in overtime, according to records. Some individuals worked more than 600 extra hours during fiscal year 2009.

In fiscal year 2008, E911 paid $322,558 for 11,471 hours of overtime. In fiscal year 2007, the amount totaled $326,596 for 12,009 overtime hours.

In addition to overtime, staffing levels, productivity and employee morale will be assessed during the E911 investigation, Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason said. Both E911 and the jail fall under the city’s Department of Public Safety.

Brown said the E911 investigation would take as long as it takes.

“If it takes six weeks, it takes six weeks,” he said. “If it takes two, it takes two.”

Once changes have been made, additional time will be taken to assess their effectiveness, Brown added.

“We want to make sure that the changes work,” he said.

Mason said officials had set aside about three months for Boggs’ review of the jail, but that could change depending on findings.

Problems at the jail — including numerous discrimination lawsuits against the jail — were highlighted last month in a Public Safety Transition Team report. Also, the jail is currently the subject of two investigations, Gray said.

One of those investigations is the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department’s annual inspection of the jail’s performance. Sheriff Kathy Witt began that inspection Jan. 11 and is scheduled to report to the Urban County Council on Feb. 25.

The Kentucky Human Rights Commission also has been investigating allegations of a sexually hostile work environment at the jail, which has faced at least three lawsuits alleging sexual harassment, sexual discrimination or retaliation by male corrections officers.

Last month, Kevin Michael Lawson, a former corrections officer, was charged with sexual abuse and indecent exposure after allegedly exposing himself to an inmate. According to court records, Lawson was on duty when he was filmed on jail surveillance video following a female inmate into a bathroom, where they remained for about five minutes. The inmate told officers Lawson exposed himself to her, records say.

During Teresa Isaac’s term as mayor from 2003 to 2007, the FBI began investigating the facility after receiving reports that jail staff members were assaulting inmates and writing false reports to cover up the abuse.

Five jail employees faced federal charges for the abuse in 2008. Three pleaded guilty, and the two who went to trial were sentenced to prison in June.

A spokesperson for the jail could not immediately be reached.

Gray declined to discuss specific problems that would be examined at the jail. Boggs said the review of the jail is in the planning stages.

“There have been sufficient symptoms to illustrate we need to give a lot of attention and the best management that we can,” Gray said.

Continue reading here: Lexington mayor assigns officials to investigate city’s jail, E911 center – Lexington Herald Leader