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Published: Sat, June 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



AREA

Morrow earnsOptimist berth

BOARDMAN -- Golfer Tim Morrow has qualified for the International Optimist Championships at the PGA Resort and Spa in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Morrow shot an even par 72 in the Ohio Optimist Championship at Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown. He finished tied for third among 120 golfers.

REGION

New arena roofmay not need replaced

PITTSBURGH -- The University of Pittsburgh may not need to replace the roof on its new basketball arena, according to an engineer hired by an architecture firm being sued by the school.

The university is planning to spend up to $5.6 million to replace the roof of the $119 million Petersen Events Center, which opened nearly three years ago. The university said the roof leaks and it intends to have it replaced by basketball season.

In a report presented to the university, a roofing engineer hired by architecture firm Apostolou Associates/Rosser International said that 70 to 80 percent of the roof is fine and that the university didn't consider less drastic measures.

In December, Pitt and the state sued architects Apostolou/Rosser and contractors. The suit claimed a shoddy design and construction has left the building with more than 200 holes in its roof, ventilation, sprinkler and communications systems.

The architecture firm countersued in January. Attorneys for the joint venture formed by Pittsburgh-based Apostolou and Atlanta-based Rosser said the problems resulted from "unattainable" demands.

NATION

Game 7 ishighest rated

NEW YORK -- San Antonio's Game 7 win over Detroit was the highest-rated of the NBA Finals, though the average for the series was down 29 percent from last year.

ABC got an 11.9 rating with a 22 share for the Spurs' title-clinching win Thursday night. It was the highest-rated show on television for the evening and was the second-highest rated clinching game since 2000.

Over the seven games, the network averaged an 8.2 with a 15 share. Last year's finals between the Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers averaged an 11.5 rating with a 20 share, including 13.8 with a 23 share for Detroit's series-ending win in Game 5. Last year's series was the highest-rated NBA Finals since 2001, 77 percent higher than the previous year (6.5) and 13 percent better than 2002 (10.2).

The rating is the percentage of all homes with TVs, whether or not they are in use. Share is the percentage of homes with TVs in use. Each rating point represents about 1.08 million households.

NHL, union to talk Monday

TORONTO -- The NHL and the players' association wrapped up five days of labor negotiations Friday, slowly moving toward an agreement that will end the lockout.

Talks are scheduled to resume Monday in New York.

"It was a very long week but I think both sides are working really hard to resolve and move the process forward," Bill Daly, the NHL's chief legal officer, said Friday. "We continued to make progress this week but there are still some issues that we need to talk about," he added. "We've made significant progress on most of the critical areas but that's all contingent on everything being resolved."

Daly would not say when he thought a deal could finally be done.

"There's a real sense of urgency of tying to get this behind us," Daly said.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman canceled the hockey season Feb. 16 because of the lockout, which started Sept. 16.

President Bush greets Nationals

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals got an unexpected visitor when they returned to RFK Stadium on Friday night after a nine-game road trip: President Bush.

Bush was joined in the stands by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, brother Marvin Bush and the president's nominee as U.S. ambassador to France, Craig Stapleton -- a Bush cousin by marriage. They appeared in the front row of an open, mezzanine-level box along the third-base line.

The president was spotted drinking bottled water as Nationals right-hander Esteban Loaiza retired the first three Toronto Blue Jays he faced.

Taylor gets trial date

MIAMI -- Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor would face a minimum prison sentence of three years if convicted on charges of pointing a gun during a dispute about an all-terrain vehicle.

A trial date was set for Sept. 12, the day after the Redskins open their season.

Staff/wire reports




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