September 26, 2013
Paul George wanted to keep playing in Indiana. Larry Bird made sure he wasn't going anywhere.
The Pacers star forward agreed this week to a long-term contract, according to a person with knowledge of the deal who spoke on condition of anonymity because it won't be officially announced until Wednesday. Terms were not immediately available, but he is eligible for a five-year deal worth between $80 million to $90 million, depending on the salary cap.
George's rookie deal was set to expire after next season and the 23-year-old All-Star almost certainly would have been one of most attractive players on the free-agent market. There was speculation the Los Angeles area native might return to California and team up with Kobe Bryant to restore the luster to the Lakers proud franchise.
But publicly and behind the scenes, George repeatedly said his sole intention was to win a championship with the Pacers.
Bird was so determined to get the deal done before training camp opened Saturday that he left his golf clubs at home Monday instead of playing in the annual Pacers Foundation outing. Instead, he returned to the office to continue negotiating.
"It's always good to have the leverage, but the number has got to be the number we both like and that's what it's all about," Bird said then. "It's all about money. Yes, he wants to be here. He's told me that a million times. We want him here, so let's just find a number for both."
By Tuesday afternoon, everything fell into place and the Pacers get a cornerstone player for the future.
The 6-foot-8 forward has made dramatic improvement in each of his first three NBA seasons.
He was a key player off the bench as a rookie, then emerged as a solid starter in his second season and last year averaged career-highs of 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists. George's numbers actually increased during the playoffs as he led Indiana past Atlanta and New York and into the Eastern Conference finals. The Pacers pushed the defending champs to Game 7 before eventually losing at Miami.
He was a third-team All-NBA selection, a second-team all-defensive pick, was named the league's most improved player and earned a second straight trip to USA Basketball camp this summer. But all he really wanted to do keep was win a title with the team that brought him into the league and is convinced he's going to become one of the game's most complete stars.
"I think there's a tremendous amount of upside," coach Frank Vogel said Monday. "He's probably the best wing defender in the game already and he's only 23, and when you have the work ethic and drive he has, there's tremendous upside there."
Signing George also means the Pacers will keep their core group for at least three more years.
Last summer, center Roy Hibbert and point guard George Hill both signed lucrative, long-term deals. Power forward David West joined the club this summer when he agreed to a three-year, $36 million deal. Now George is locked up, too.
The contracts of two other key players - shooting guard Lance Stephenson and former NBA All-Star Danny Granger - are set to expire after next season. Stephenson will become a restricted free agent because he's still on his rookie deal.
But for a team that came within two games of taking out Miami in the 2012 playoffs and one win last year and now believes it significantly upgraded its bench, getting the George deal might be the last big piece to the championship puzzle.
"There's no doubt we've got a great core here," Vogel said. "Roy is going to be here, George (Hill) is going to be here, David West is going to be here, hopefully, Lance and Danny will be here for years to come. But when you have Paul as one of your core pieces, that's a pretty good place to start."
September 26, 2013
By Edward Rice, III
LAWT Contributing Writer
With more than 300,000 people expected to attend the Taste of Soul, the event offers a unique opportunity for corporate entities and community partners to connect up close and personal with the people they serve. Each year KTTV Fox 11 Los Angeles nightly news anchor, Christine Devine seizes that opportunity and has become one of the station’s most popular ambassadors at the Taste of Soul.
“I look forward to it every single year. Fox hosts a booth there where we get to mingle and meet everybody and have the food, you do know I’m there for the food,” said Devine with a chuckle. “I think it’s just a great way to bring everyone together for a good time. I mean I can’t believe the amount of people there. It’s just a really good time.”
Devine, a 16 time Emmy winning journalist, has covered everything from the LA Riots, to elections and earthquakes. However, it’s her adoption segment Wednesday’s Child, which has captured the hearts of Taste of Soul regulars. “I find the people to be so loving and supportive, especially of Wednesday’s Child,” claimed Devine. “I can’t tell you how many hugs I get from people saying I love Wednesday’s Child. Just to get the support and love on that feels so good and I’m so appreciative.” Wednesday’s Child is a showcase of children in foster care who need to be adopted. Not all children in foster care do, according to Devine, but a small portion find themselves in that position. “It’s a very small percentage but it’s a ruling by the court that ties be severed between birth family and children when there is no hope for unification,” she explained. As fate would have it Wednesday’s Child started out as an assignment, but it was the perfect assignment given the fact that Devine’s family had fostered and adopted children growing up. “I felt like I really understood the kids and their journeys and the families too,” she stated.
It’s evident for Christine that serving the community she covers is more than passion. Her deep commitment to the communities of LA derives from something that was instilled in her as a child. “My mother was in the Peace Corp in Brazil and my step father was in Tanzania. It’s that kind of philosophy that they came home with and they became educators—award winning educators,” she said proudly. “When I came to LA I knew absolutely no one so being involved in the community was a way to learn about the cities I was reporting on.” Apparently during that time she learned a lot about the communities she’d eventually cover and thankfully was moved to action. In addition to her involvement in Wednesday’s Child, Christine is also actively involved in The Good News Foundation. The Good News Foundation is an organization she founded along with four other Los Angeles newswomen that aims to make a difference and leave a legacy in Los Angeles through efforts such as building computer labs, a park and a library.
For the Arizona native, Taste of Soul is another chance to come from behind the anchor’s desk and come together with the people of LA. “I think the more we can bring the community together on a positive note, on a supportive note, on a ‘we can do this together note’ the better,” she insists. “You know when you walk around people are laughing and smiling, enjoying the sun, enjoying the food, supporting the vendors and that’s what it’s all about, that’s what success is all about. So it’s a successful event by the people, for the people.” Christine added, “I think its proof that people can come together on a positive note and have a really good time together.”
September 19, 2013
Trials and tribulations are damaging this week only if you let them be. You are a master at living above day-to-day concerns. Enjoy looking at the big picture. Watch bright skies gathering above a distant horizon. Bring the future into the present and enjoy. Soul Affirmation: I enjoy the fruits of past labor. Lucky Numbers: 17, 19, 21
This week is a good week for remembering that without the help of your colleagues it would be impossible for you to expedite the tasks that need to be done. Cultivate relationships with those who can help you get important stuff done. Thank them graciously and celebrate with them. Soul Affirmation: I am everybody’s sweetheart. Lucky Numbers: 12, 41, 55
You can be very efficient this week if you set your will to the task. New ideas will occur to you as you are working steadily, so keep pencil and paper nearby to jot down your latest brilliance! Soul Affirmation: I will ask joy to marry me. Lucky Numbers: 1, 8, 14
The forces that disrupt your life this week are not as big as they seem while you are standing close to them. Move back. See what surrounds the problem area and you’ll notice how small it is on the landscape of your life. Enjoy looking at the goodness that is all around your problems. Soul Affirmation: I keep my attention on the highest and the best. Lucky Numbers: 22, 46, 52
This is a week when you can be a singular beacon. Shine for those around you. Go inside yourself and find those rays of sunshine that others need. Sure you’re a bit touchy yourself but that’s just the situation in which you can make yourself happy by creating happiness for others. Soul Affirmation: I avoid negative feelings, especially this week. Lucky Numbers: 7, 8, 21
Business as usual is good business. Energy is high. Others give back to you what you gave to them the past few weeks. We hope you were generous because what you get this week will be a multiple of what you bestowed. Soul Affirmation: I give happiness wherever I go. Lucky Numbers: 6, 13, 48
Energy is higher than it has been for a while. You might feel like the sunshine inside yourself provides blinding light. Walk into it. There are no dangers. Put dark glasses on your soul and be cool. Smile and keep stepping. Soul Affirmation: My mental powers are my greatest assets this week. Lucky Numbers: 17, 29, 35
High physical energy means you may roar through the week. Others will have trouble keeping up so exercise your compassion muscles and be as patient as possible. Keep your best interests in mind because they serve the best for everyone around you right now. Soul Affirmation: I savor the flavor of the happiness I find in others. Lucky Numbers: 5, 51, 53
Charm is an extremely effective tool for you this week. Charisma works better than at any recent time especially at home. Shine brightly and let your glow work for you. Your self-image is your most effective tool. Soul Affirmation: Time is the greatest peacemaker of them all. Lucky Numbers: 3, 24, 43
This week make your special interest pay off in cash. Enough of goodness for goodness sake. You’ve got bills to pay. People expect generosity from a big hearted person like you. Ask them for something in return or they’ll drain you. Soul Affirmation: Intelligent information does not have to come from intelligent sources. Lucky Numbers: 6, 8, 14
During the next few weeks be ready for surprises that await you. Don’t make any solid plans with anyone except you lover. This week will bring forth a new dimension in a special relationship. You will come upon a sensational poem that illustrates the love the two you share. Soul Affirmation: The search for fun occupies my time this week. Lucky Numbers: 34, 46, 55
Stay steady in your pursuits. Temptations are all around you. Attractive pursuits abound but stay on course with what you planned to do with all the good energy that has arisen in your life. Soul Affirmation: I do not allow demands to be placed on me this week. Lucky Numbers: 17, 28, 31
City Wire Service
Always driving the trends, pushing the envelope and exploring new territories, Grammy-Award winning Rihanna launches her newest fragrance, Rogue by Rihanna. Rihanna created this adventurous scent for the woman who, like herself, radiates edginess and confidence but is also flirty and feminine. Rihanna exudes strength, femininity and mischief conveyed to her fans through music, unpredictable fashion choices, memorable unapologetic performances, and now through her new fragrance, Rogue.
Rihanna’s bold approach to life pushes the boundaries of convention, proving that Rogue is a state of mind. A perfect blend of powerful and playful, the fragrance encourages all women to live life on their own terms. Show your strength and beauty, go Rogue.
“People are always changing and evolving, and with Rogue, my new fragrance, I wanted to switch it up to reflect who I am today. It’s a personal fragrance that's more self-aware. It’s Rogue, it’s me,” says the songstress. “This scent embodies demure feminine qualities yet carries into an audacious new moment. I made it for all women, for every mood, because we all want to project our true selves.”
“We are thrilled to be introducing Rihanna’s Rogue to the world this fall. Every element of the fragrance reflects Rihanna’s dynamic spirit and relentless passion and strength. It is an amazing fragrance befitting this amazing talent” said Donald Loftus, President of Parlux, Ltd, the company producing all of Rihanna’s fragrances.
Perfumer Marypierre Julien said, “I was inspired to create a fragrance that is as spontaneous and direct as Rihanna is and emulates her bold approach to her life. She is not afraid to reveal her mischievous side, showing off her true powerful femininity.”
Rogue by Rihanna will be available beginning September 2013 at Macy’s (www.macys.com), Dillards (www.Dillards.com) and Belk (www.Belk.com).
Special to the NNPA from the St. Louis American
The Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter John Legend and his supermodel girlfriend Chrissy Teigen were married in an intimate wedding at Villa Pizzo in Lake Como, Italy on Saturday, Sept. 14,
A source told US Weekly two decided on the specific location because “they first fell in love” there. The two began dating in 2007 and were engaged in December 2011.
Family and friends, including Kanye West and Stevie Wonder, were among the guests.
Wonder performed with Legend as a special treat. Actress and model Brooklyn Decker was a bridesmaid and Biz Markie helped DJ the celebration.
Teigen, 27, wore three Vera Wang dresses for the big occasion, including an ivory strapless open back, V-neck ballgown for the ceremony, and an ivory strapless mermaid gown with a pleated bodice for the reception. She finished off her stunning looks with a crimson strapless mermaid gown with a hand-draped bodice and inverted flange skirt with crystal embroidery for the after party.
A source told US Weekly that the couple made the decision to say “I do” before Legend left to tour in October.
Information from US Weekly contributed to this report.
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