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LOCAL



Published: Thu, February 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



LOCAL

Lowellville namesnew football coach

LOWELLVILLE -- The village school board voted unanimously this week to hire John Turco as the high school's new head football coach.

Turco, 62, has 26 years of head coaching experience at other high schools in the area.

A resident of Struthers, Turco currently teaches at The Rayen School in Youngstown.

He is replacing Cliff Jamison, who coached the Lowellville football team for two seasons, in which the Rockets won a total of eight games.

Turco said he was eager to begin work with his team.

"I met the kids today for the first time, and we talked a little bit about the team's goals," he said.

The team starts weight training next week. Summer conditioning begins in June.

Track coaches OK'd

MINERAL RIDGE -- The Weathersfield school board approved Wednesday the following supplemental contracts for the 2004-05 track season: Dan Miller, Mark Mollohan and Jennifer Stith, seventh- and eighth-grade track coaches, all at $1,266 annually.

Also approved were volunteer assistant track coaches Jeff Hoover and Tim Persin.

Div. III time changed

HANOVERTON -- The starting time for the Division III district final of the girls basketball tournament at United High on Feb. 26 has been changed to 2 p.m.

YSU

Cunningham namedathlete of the week

INDIANAPOLIS -- Youngstown State senior Jeanna Cunningham has been named the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week, the league announced Tuesday.

Cunningham broke two school records as part of an outstanding day on Saturday at the All-Ohio Championship. The Warren Harding High graduate placed second in the 400 meters in a school-record time of 55.82 seconds and anchored the 4x400-meter relay that set the school record with a time of 3:49.66. She added an eighth-place finish with a season-best time of 25.10 in the 200.

OHIO

O'Brien asks judgeto rule for him

COLUMBUS -- Former Ohio State men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien asked a court Wednesday to rule that the university violated the terms of his contract when it fired him last year and owes him $3.5 million.

"Awarding Coach O'Brien money may not be the popular thing to do in Columbus, but it comports with the law and the deal deliberately struck by the university," O'Brien's lawyer, Joseph F. Murray, said in documents filed with the Ohio Court of Claims. O'Brien is asking the court to rule in his favor without a trial.

O'Brien was fired in June after he acknowledged giving $6,000 to a recruit in 1999. In December, Ohio State imposed a one-year postseason tournament ban on the basketball team.

O'Brien has argued that the contract he signed after taking the Buckeyes to the Final Four in 1999 allowed the university to fire him without pay for only narrow circumstances. In this case, the contract required that Ohio State could not fire him without pay for alleged NCAA violations unless the NCAA started a major infraction investigation and sanctioned the school, the documents said.

O'Brien was fired before the NCAA opened a major infraction investigation, the documents said.

Ohio State athletic spokesman Steve Snapp declined to comment on Wednesday. When O'Brien sued in November, the university said it "operated well within its authority" in firing O'Brien.

O'Brien's firing came with five years left on his annual $864,000 contract.

James undecidedon All-Star dunk

CLEVELAND -- Usually the one with his feet off the floor, LeBron James has everyone else hanging.

With the NBA's All-Star dunk contest in Denver just a few days away, the Cleveland Cavaliers star forward hasn't decided whether he'll take part against the league's other premier leapers.

"It is a 'yes or no' answer," said James, who has been pressed about a decision nearly every day for the past few weeks. "I just haven't decided if I'll do it or not. You know me, I'm a last-minute person."

James skipped last year's dunk contest in Los Angeles, partially because he was upset at not being picked as a reserve for the Eastern Conference's All-Star team as a rookie. James, who recently missed a few games with a sprained ankle, may wait until Friday before he makes up his mind.

The league officially announced at least four participants for Saturday night's dunk contest, at one time the highlight of All-Star Weekend festivities. Atlanta rookie Josh Smith will compete along with J.R. Smith and Chris Andersen of New Orleans and Amare Stoudemire of Phoenix.

NATION

Bruschi hospitalizedwith headaches

BOSTON -- New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Wednesday after complaining of headaches.

"He is in good condition and will be held for further evaluations," the team said in a statement. "The Bruschi family appreciates everyone's concern, but requests that you respect their privacy at this time."

Bruschi was to spend the night at the hospital and more tests were scheduled for Thursday morning, team spokesman Stacey James said.

A spokeswoman for Massachusetts General Hospital would neither confirm nor deny that Bruschi had been admitted and referred all questions to the Patriots.

Vindicator staff/wire reports




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