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Sports Sports digest: Sore-armed Manziel done for preseason

Johnny Manziel's preseason is over, sacked by a stinging elbow. Thursday's draw filled the top-ranked Williams' quarter of the bracket with Americans, nine in all. Manziel hasn't thrown a pass this week, standing to the side as expected starter Josh McCown and backup Thad Lewis took snaps with Cleveland's offense. MiscellanyFresno State has suspended linebacker Michael Lazarus and running back Chris Moliga for its Sept.

Johnny Manziel's preseason is over, sacked by a stinging elbow.

Browns coach Mike Pettine said Thursday that Manziel, who has made strides in his second year in the NFL after a rough rookie season, will not play in Cleveland's last two exhibition games because of lingering soreness in his right elbow. The injury has bothered him for two weeks and is more serious than initially thought.

Pettine isn't sure when the 22-year-old will resume full participation in practice. Manziel hasn't thrown a pass this week, standing to the side as expected starter Josh McCown and backup Thad Lewis took snaps with Cleveland's offense.

Track and field

Usain Bolt blew past Justin Gatlin and everyone else in the 200 meters to win his 10th career gold medal at the world championships in Beijing. Bolt ran a season-best 19.55 seconds to beat Gatlin by .19.

Gatlin's silver added to gold medals won by two Americans -- Christian Taylor in the triple jump and Allyson Felix in the 400.

Tennis

Serena Williams could face Maria Sharapova for her second straight major semifinal as she seeks to complete the Grand Slam at the U.S. Open. Thursday's draw filled the top-ranked Williams' quarter of the bracket with Americans, nine in all.

Second-seeded Simona Halep and fourth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki are in the other half of the draw.

On the men's side, second-seeded Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Murray could meet in one semifinal, with No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 Kei Nishikori, last year's runner-up, in the other.

Miscellany

Fresno State has suspended linebacker Michael Lazarus and running back Chris Moliga for its Sept. 3 opener against Abilene Christian because of violations of athletic department policy. Lazarus is a sophomore from Berkeley.

San Jose Mercury News
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Dexter Lewis gets life sentence for Fero's Bar massacre

alert and screaming.Morales forcefully rejected the defense attorney's plea for mercy for Lewis. Dexter Lewis, who stabbed five people to death in 2012, will spend the rest of his life in prison. Lewis' father, a well-known member of the Crips, was shot and killed in a gang-related attack in early 1994.As a child, Lewis watched his stepfather at the time, Phillip Nash, beat his mother, Jones said. Pohl, 21; Kellene Fallon, 44; Ross Richter, 29; and Tereasa Beesley, 45, were killed in the attack on Oct.

WATCH: Jordan Steffen provides analysis as Dexter Lewis receives a life sentence for murdering five people in Fero's Bar & Grill

WATCH: Denver Chief Deputy District Attorneys react to the life sentence for Dexter Lewis

When a Denver jury on Thursday spared a convicted mass killer the death penalty, a confused silence enveloped the courtroom. Dexter Lewis, who stabbed five people to death in 2012, will spend the rest of his life in prison. But the complex wording on the verdict forms that the judge read initially caused quizzical looks instead of tears or smiles.

Attorneys sat stoically at their tables, the family of one of the victims quietly bowed their heads and Lewis stared down at his hands.

His family ran out into the hallway. The first thing to break the silence in the courtroom ? unclear whether it was joy or anger ? was the sound of their screams. Only after the judge thanked the jury for their service did the abrupt conclusion of the six-week trial become abundantly clear.

Almost three years after Lewis joined in on a robbery that spiraled into a gruesome massacre, the case came to a blunt and dazed ending.

After deliberating for less than three hours Thursday, at least one member of the jury of 10 women and two men found that the details of Lewis' life that suggested mercy ? including chronic abuse and neglect ? outweighed the heinous details of the crime that suggested death.

That finding means Denver District Judge John Madden IV will sentence Lewis, 25, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murders of five people at Fero's Bar & Grill.

Young Suk Fero, 63; Daria M. Pohl, 21; Kellene Fallon, 44; Ross Richter, 29; and Tereasa Beesley, 45, were killed in the attack on Oct. 17, 2012.

"Nobody is walking away a winner or loser today," chief deputy district attorney Joe Morales said after the verdict was read. "There are no winners in these cases."

Lewis' sentence is the final one handed down in connection to the attack.

Brothers Joseph and Lynell Hill planned the robbery before Lewis joined. The two were charged with similar counts and accepted plea agreements, agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors.

Joseph Hill, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole, violated his plea agreement and refused to testify during Lewis' trial. He previously had stated that he wants to withdraw his plea, but prosecutors do not appear willing to grant the request.

Lynell Hill, sentenced to 70 years in prison, was the first witness called and testified that Lewis fatally stabbed all five victims.

A fourth man connected to the crime, Demarea Harris, also testified during the trial. Harris was working as a confidential informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at the time of the attack and reported it to his handlers hours later. He was never charged or arrested in the case.

After the jury filed out of the courtroom Thursday, defense attorneys embraced and patted Lewis on the back. Morales spoke in hushed tones with family members of the victims.

He held one woman's hand as they spoke.

For the second time in the same month, a mass murderer was spared the death penalty in the state. No jury in Colorado has sentenced a defendant to death since 2009.

But unlike the Aurora theater shooting trial, which also ended in a life sentence for the gunman, jurors in this case stopped one step short of completing all three phases of the sentencing hearing.

Lewis was convicted Aug. 10 of first-degree murder for all five victims, launching the case into the sentencing hearing.

Jurors quickly completed the first phase of the hearing by finding that the details of the crime were so horrible they could warrant a death sentence. But during the past week, as part of the second phase, defense attorneys presented details of the abuse Lewis suffered even before his birth.

His mother, Tammesa Jones, drank heavily during her pregnancy and hit her stomach while she was pregnant with Dexter. Lewis' father, a well-known member of the Crips, was shot and killed in a gang-related attack in early 1994.

As a child, Lewis watched his stepfather at the time, Phillip Nash, beat his mother, Jones said. He listened as Jones was sexually assaulted in the next room.

Lewis' mother testified that she routinely hit her young son ? often with a closed fist.

During his closing arguments Thursday, defense attorney Christopher Baumann leaned heavily on testimony from Lewis' family about the abuse he experienced as a child, coupled with expert testimony about the long-term impacts of such abuse.

"Some may think that this is an excuse," Baumann said, "but which of these life stories would anyone take as their own?"

Baumann urged the jury to look at a photograph of a young Lewis smiling with other children at a summer barbecue. He asked them to look into the eyes of a young boy who, just hours after the photograph was taken, would be bloodied and beaten by his mother.

But Morales asked the jury to look at a different photograph.

He asked them to look at the autopsy photo of Daria Pohl. She and the rest of the victims died with their eyes open ? alert and screaming.

Morales forcefully rejected the defense attorney's plea for mercy for Lewis. He detailed the multiple stab wounds on each of the victims and the brutality of the crime.

"What could possibly mitigate that?" he asked the jury.

Morales ticked off what Lewis' family glowingly described as his many roles: artist, musician, church leader.

"He is also a killer of five innocent victims. He is Dexter Lewis," Morales said. "You can add up the stab wounds. You can add up the pints of blood."

Had the case reached the third and final phase of the sentencing, the victims' families would have testified about how the deaths of their loved ones changed their lives.

Many of those families were not at the courthouse when the decision was read. Pohl's family gathered at their home as the news came down. Her mother, Zinaida Pohl, declined to speak Thursday evening when reached by phone.

After the verdict was read, Morales said he still believes death was the appropriate sentence in this case.

"We have no regrets about what we've done in this case or what we sought in this case. There are cases that are going to come across our community where the death penalty is the appropriate penalty. It is one that needs to be sought," Morales said. "And if the jury does not decide unanimously that it is the right penalty, we respect that."

Morales and deputy district attorney Matt Wenig thanked the jurors for their service.

Eight of the jurors left in a group and were escorted out of the courthouse by three sheriff's deputies, and the jurors who left individually also had a deputy escort. All refused to speak to the media.

Defense attorneys also declined to comment Thursday.

A group of Lewis' family members came out of the courthouse together, and one woman gave a loud "whoop!" but did not stop to talk with reporters.

Attorneys and Lewis will return to the courthouse at 10 a.m. Friday to set a date for a formal sentencing hearing. On that date, the judge will formally impose the sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jordan Steffen: 303-954-1794, [email protected] or twitter.com/jsteffendp

Staff writers Jesse Paul, Kieran Nicholson and Noelle Phillips contributed to this report.

Ross Richter, 29, of Overland Park, Kan., had worked as a river ranger for the Bureau of Land Management since 2009. "You always smiled when you saw him, no matter what mood you were in," park ranger Teri Parvin said.

Kelline Fallon, 45, was known affectionately as "crazy Kelly" because she liked to make people laugh by acting silly. A regular patron at the bar, she stayed in a motel in the area and worked assorted jobs, friends said.

Tereasa Beesley, 45, grew up in the eastern Montana town of Sidney and recently had bought the Maxim Lounge, about 4 miles from Fero's. She left behind a daughter who was 15 and a son who was 20.

Young Suk Fero, 63, owned the bar. "Customers were her life. They were her friends ? people she knew and trusted," her estranged husband, Danny Duane Fero, said. "She didn't have a mean bone in her body."

Daria "Dasha" Pohl, 22, worked at the Holiday Inn near the bar. She was a sophomore at Metropolitan State University of Denver and planned to transfer to the University of Colorado Denver to pursue a business degree.

The Denver Post
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Subway franchise owner claims Jared Fogle told her about paid sex with minors; says complaints to company were ignored

The company has said it does not have a record of the complaints about Fogle by the former franchisee. Some of the complaints were previously reported by Business Insider.Beasley said Mills became comfortable about coming forward after Fogle agreed on Aug. John Parra/Getty Images for Subway Cindy Mills said that the Jared Fogle told her he had paid for sex with minors while he was on a trip to Thailand, and that he had sex with a 16-year-old he found on Craigslist.
John Parra/Getty Images for Subway Cindy Mills said that the Jared Fogle told her he had paid for sex with minors while he was on a trip to Thailand, and that he had sex with a 16-year-old he found on Craigslist.

The owner of several Subway franchises warned the fast food giant about pedophile pitchman Jared Fogle’s creepy comments regarding children back in 2008 ? but the company did nothing, according to her lawyer.

Cindy Mills said that the disgraced spokesman told her he had paid for sex with minors while he was on a trip to Thailand, and that he had sex with a 16-year-old he found on Craigslist, said Robert Beasley, a Florida lawyer.

Beasley said that Mills exchanged phone numbers with Fogle after they met at an event.

But when Fogle began sharing his sordid tales, Mills alerted a regional Subway contact in Florida where her stores were based. Her complaints went nowhere, Beasley said.

Later, Mills alerted Jeff Moody, who was in charge of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, which handled the company’s marketing.

Moody said he had dealt with similar comments, and reassured Mills that Fogle had met a woman who would get him on the right track, according to Beasley.

“To me, it was confirmation that they knew about it,” Beasley said.

Mills explored the idea of suing Subway, but that there is a “good bit of legal separation between Jared and Subway.”

Subway did not respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

James Monroe Adams IV for New York Daily News Mills alerted Jeff Moody, who was in charge of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, which handled the company’s marketing. Moody said he had dealt with similar comments, and reassured Mills that Fogle had met a woman who would get him on the right track.

The company has said it does not have a record of the complaints about Fogle by the former franchisee. Some of the complaints were previously reported by Business Insider.

Beasley said Mills became comfortable about coming forward after Fogle agreed on Aug. 19 to plead guilty to allegations that he paid for sex with girls as young as 16 and received child pornography.

Mills was not immediately available for comment Thursday evening.

Fogle faces a minimum federal jail term of five years in prison and five years of supervised release, although prosecutors will ask for a sentence of 151 months ? roughly 121/2 years.

The company has also said it’s investigating a second claim, made by a former journalist, that it was alerted to concerns about Fogle.

When prosecutors charged Fogle on Aug. 19, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven DeBrota said that there were no charges or allegations that anybody at Subway had known what Fogle was doing.

Fogle attorney Ron Elberger declined to comment.

With News Wire Services

Related Stories Jared Fogle a 'monster': ex-Florida journalist Jared Fogle confesses to pedophile crimes in sick downfall Jared Fogle was a Subway hero who found fame Jared Fogle asked to watch kids of FBI informant on camera Dog credited with finding thumb drive in Jared Fogle raid
Daily News
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18 Points
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Money San Bruno: PUC authorizes investigation into PG&E operations

"We still have problems at PG&E. This examination of a culture is not just a discussion of what people say about PG&E. It is a fundamental review of what people do and think at PG&E."The PUC voted 5-0 to undertake the probe.

SAN BRUNO -- State regulators approved Thursday a wide-ranging probe into PG&E's corporate culture and how it handles safety issues, amid concerns that linger nearly five years after a fatal explosion in San Bruno caused by the embattled utility.

The investigation by PG&E's principal regulator, the state Public Utilities Commission, will involve all aspects of PG&E's operations, including the company's safety culture and its corporate governance, as well as all aspects of its operations, which include gas and electricity service over a vast stretch of northern and central California, including the Bay Area.

"We all recognize this is a necessarily large step," PUC president Michael Picker said. "We still have problems at PG&E. This examination of a culture is not just a discussion of what people say about PG&E. It is a fundamental review of what people do and think at PG&E."

The PUC voted 5-0 to undertake the probe. The state agency's safety and enforcement division will conduct the investigation.

'The safety and enforcement division is ordered to investigate PG&E's organizational culture, governance, safety culture," according to the orders that the PUC approved.

In addition, an independent consultant will be brought in to assist in the "fact finding investigation," the PUC stated. The agency is prepared to spend up to $2 million for the consultant.

"Change began at the top with Tony Earley joining the company as CEO in 2011," said Greg Snapper, a PG&E spokesman. "We restructured our gas operations business and hired the best natural gas experts in the country to run it."

San Francisco-based PG&E also noted that it has opened a new gas operations center in San Ramon and opened a new electricity operations center in Concord. The utility also has conducted extensive tests of its pipes, undertaken replacements or repairs of pipes and valves and is conducting infrared inspections of its power lines and other electricity equipment. PG&E also has replaced 800 miles of outmoded cast iron pipes.

Still, some skeptics are uncertain if PG&E is really changing its safety culture.

"PG&E does not put safety first," said Larry Chaset, an attorney with Friends of the Earth, which has raised concerns about PG&E's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in San Luis Obispo County. "We are pleased that the investigation promises to look at all of PG&E's operations."

The Utility Reform Network demanded that the outside consultant be truly independent. TURN also supported the idea of the PUC protecting whistleblowers.

"PG&E employees should be free to speak their minds without fear of consequences, hence confidentiality and whistleblower protections may be needed for some aspects of the investigation," said Mark Toney, TURN executive director "But urgent public concerns about PG&E, and the PUC's ability to rein it in, must be addressed in a transparent manner."

The probe is timely, said PUC Commissioner Michael Florio, noting that the fifth anniversary of the San Bruno explosion will arrive Sept. 9.

"This is different from the many investigations we have had into PG&E," Florio said. "Those were all backward looking. This is a current and forward looking investigation. This is a way to measure PG&E's progress."

PG&E is at least saying the right things, Florio conceded. But he added, that's not enough.

"This is a chance to find out whether the reality on the ground matches the rhetoric," Florio said. "At the end of the day, this is not about punishment. It's about improvement by PG&E and providing safe, quality, and affordable service to customers."

Yet the probe can also be a way to determine, at least indirectly, if the PUC can banish the lax and cozy approach it has employed for decades to regulate and oversee the state's three major utilities, PG&E, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, as well as big players such as AT&T.

"The PUC will use tools that we traditionally have not used," Picker said. "In some respects this investigation represents a change in our culture."

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.

San Jose Mercury News
Today
20 Points

Sports Golf: Spieth stumbles to 74 at The Barclays

"I wasn't thinking about a whole lot. I was just super committed to seeing my shots. It was so much fun." The 30-year-old Texan won the 2012 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Canada for her lone LPGA Tour title. LPGA Tour: Brittany Lang birdied five of the first seven holes in windy conditions and shot a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Prattville, Alabama. The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs brought out the worst score from Jordan Spieth in three months.

The start of the FedEx Cup playoffs brought out the worst score from Jordan Spieth in three months.

In his first tournament as No. 1 in the world, Spieth had two three-putt bogeys, hit a tee shot in the water, shot 40 on his back nine and wound up with a 4-over 74 in the opening round of The Barclays in Edison, New Jersey. It was his highest score since a 75 in The Players Championship, the last time he missed a cut.

"Just lost a little bit of focus," Spieth said. "All in all, I'm just going to take today as a fluke round. I still believe I'm playing well. It just happened to be an off day on a day where it counted."

Bubba Watson and Tony Finau powered their way around Plainfield Country Club, and each had a 5-under 65. They were in a four-way tie for the lead that included Spencer Levin and Camilo Villegas, players who are in dire need of a good week.

Villegas got into the top 125 to qualify for the playoffs only last week at the Wyndham Championship, with two shots to spare. That was pressure. Now he feels as though he has nothing to lose as he tries to get into the top 100 who advance to the second event next week at the TPC Boston.

"Last week was an important week," said Villegas, who is No. 123. "It hasn't been the best of years, and just to be able to sneak in here and give myself a chance ... I get off to a good start, and three more rounds to go and keep it going."

Levin secured his spot in the playoffs with a 63 in the final round at the Wyndham, moving up seven spots to No. 115.

Much like Villegas, he felt relieved to have made it to The Barclays, and everything else is gravy. He rolled in three early birdies and dropped only one shot on a mild, blustery day.

"This is a nice stress to have," he said. "I'm happy with where I am right now and who knows? Maybe I can keep it going."

Spieth has nothing to lose except the No. 1 ranking he has held for all of two weeks.

With two majors among his four wins, and nine top-three finishes this year, he is No. 1 in the FedEx Cup and virtually assured of getting to the finale at East Lake in Atlanta with a clear shot at the $10 million bonus.

Spieth could lose the No. 1 ranking to Rory McIlroy, who is not playing this week as a precaution coming off an ankle injury.

LPGA Tour: Brittany Lang birdied five of the first seven holes in windy conditions and shot a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Prattville, Alabama.

Added to the U.S. Solheim Cup team Monday as one of Juli Inkster's two captain's picks, Lang had a two-stroke lead over Tiffany Joh, Sydnee Michaels and Ryann O'Toole.

"It was just one of those days. It was so enjoyable," Lang said. "I wasn't thinking about a whole lot. I was just super committed to seeing my shots. It was so much fun."

The 30-year-old Texan won the 2012 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Canada for her lone LPGA Tour title. She was second this year in the Ontario event and has three other top-10 finishes.

"I'm in a really nice place right now," Lang said. "I had one of my better years ... and the Solheim pick's over with. I'm just in a really comfortable place, so I just felt really relaxed out there."

Lang birdied Nos. 1, 3-5 and 7 in her morning round on the Senator Course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Capitol Hill complex. She birdied Nos. 11-12, dropped strokes on Nos. 13-14 and rebounded with birdies on Nos. 16-17.

San Jose Mercury News
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6 Points
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Denver ethics board floats reforms aimed at boosting public confidence

Soliciting donations: Would add restrictions to the solicitation of donations for the city or outside charities or nonprofits by officials and employees, which is allowed. In the first six months, the hotline processed just a dozen tips.City Attorney Scott Martinez says officials also have addressed the issue in recent years by supporting strengthened protections for whistle-blowers.He is among administration officials whom Spano and ethics board executive director Michael Henry briefed this month.

Denver ethics watchers want to rein in the dollar value of free meals and tickets that elected city officials and employees can accept from single donors who have something to gain.

They also want to close a loophole that they worry will allow businesses to funnel payments for expensive trips through nonprofit groups and make it a violation for officials to direct contracts to some extended family members and in-laws.

Those are among several proposals coming together after a year of discussions by the Board of Ethics. Its members have solicited feedback from the mayor's office and plan to finalize in coming months the slate of proposed changes before asking the City Council to beef up Denver's 14-year-old Code of Ethics.

"The code has been with us for a number of years, and it is probably an opportune time to evaluate updating the code in light of the experiences the board has had the last few years," said Brian Spano, a Denver attorney and the board's chairman.

But off the table, for now, is a long-sought change ? allowing anonymous ethics complaints ? that supporters say would encourage more reporting of potential ethics violations by providing whistle-blowers with more protection. That's a hot button that some board members say they're not prepared to touch yet.

In part, the board, whose five members are appointed by the mayor and council, are reacting to recent cases ? including a trip by Mayor Michael Hancock, his mother and two staffers to the 2014 Super Bowl.

Metro Denver Sports Commission paid for the trip to watch the Denver Broncos in the championship game using money from donors that included Comcast and two other current or past city contractors. The board's opinion cleared Hancock of ethical wrongdoing, but the board said the arrangement creates a bad appearance ? and potential for abuse.

The board also is drafting changes based on what it sees as glaring omissions.

For example, officials and employees can accept up to four meals or event tickets a year from a single donor or business even when they are in a position to provide direct action benefiting the giver. But the code doesn't limit the value of those four meals or tickets. The board has discussed $250 total per donor as a starting point.

And the board also has discussed asking the council to put more teeth into the ethics code by giving itself the power to issue fines when an official or employee profits financially from an ethical violation. But it's unclear, officials say, whether the council has the authority to issue fines or enforce them.

The ethics board is venturing into terrain that always has been politically tricky.

Since the passage of the modern city ethics code in 2001, including the creation of the ethics board with a paid staff director, some suggestions to strengthen the code have landed with a thud or fizzled out.

Most recently, in 2012, Hancock and his advisers worked out a compromise that would have allowed anonymous complaints to be filed, with requirements aimed at discouraging frivolous ones. But a council committee threw it out.

That means complaints must be signed by the accuser. The board and ethics observers say that rule has a chilling effect, resulting in fewer ethics complaints than expected. Last year, the board handled 20 requests for advisory opinions and 15 ethics complaints, none of which were substantiated.

Spano and some board members are hesitant about asking for anonymous complaints this time, despite indications from council members Debbie Ortega and Paul Lopez that they are open to the idea. But in their cautious approach, board members say they're hopeful that the newly seated council, which includes seven new members and some holdovers who have been supportive of ethics reforms in the past, will be receptive to other substantive changes.

"I think we're asking for some changes that are meaningful ? but not inflammatory," board member Andrew Armatas said at a board meeting in July.

Lopez, who leads the Governance and Charter Review Committee, said "there is definitely room for discussion, and there is definitely room for action. I look forward to having (the proposals) in committee."

New ethics board member Jane Feldman, the former director of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, is among ethics advocates who would like to see the proposals go farther, including revisiting anonymous complaints.

Dozens of government ethics boards elsewhere allow them. In 2010, the Denver auditor's office recommended that the city follow suit as part of its audit of the citywide ethics program.

"We supported it a few years back and still do today," said Katie Dahl, associate director of the good-government group Colorado Common Cause. "The job market is still tough out there, and someone shouldn't have to risk their job to do the right thing and report unethical behavior."

Spano says he is waiting to see more results from the city's year-old financial-fraud hotline, which allows anonymous tips about misconduct, although it is targeted at a different area than ethics. In the first six months, the hotline processed just a dozen tips.

City Attorney Scott Martinez says officials also have addressed the issue in recent years by supporting strengthened protections for whistle-blowers.

He is among administration officials whom Spano and ethics board executive director Michael Henry briefed this month.

Martinez declined to talk specifics yet but said the officials have been analyzing the proposals before responding.

Main changes under consideration for ethics code

The Denver Board of Ethics is considering several major changes to propose for the Code of Ethics:

? Gifts: Would set a maximum annual value of $250 per donor or business for gifts of meals and event tickets to an official or employee who is in a position to take direct official action that benefits the donor. Currently, the limit is four meals or tickets, without a maximum dollar value.

? Closing loophole:Would add a restriction that a nonprofit group cannot cover costs for an official or employee's trip if more than 20 percent of its funding comes from for-profit organizations, to prevent it from funneling potentially barred gifts from businesses.

? Conflicts of interest: Would expand the definition of family members who can't benefit from contracts or official action that are directed by an official or employee, by adding in-laws through marriage, aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews.

? Soliciting donations: Would add restrictions to the solicitation of donations for the city or outside charities or nonprofits by officials and employees, which is allowed. The official or employee could not exercise direct official action over the solicitation target, and the target couldn't have a city contract or be anticipated to seek one.

The Denver Post
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16 Points
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Tech 1 billion used Facebook in a day: Zuckerberg

Facebook had 968 million daily active users in June.Overall, Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month. Those are the average number of daily users, counted over a 30-day period.

For the first time, a billion people used Facebook in a single day on Monday.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg marked the occasion with a post on his Facebook page, saying that one out of seven people on Earth logged in to the social network to connect with their friends and family.

The 1 billion figure is different from the daily user numbers Facebook discloses each quarter when it reports its financial results. Those are the average number of daily users, counted over a 30-day period. Facebook had 968 million daily active users in June.

Overall, Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month. It hit the 1 billion user milestone in October 2012. Most people on Facebook live outside the U.S. and Canada.

USA Today
Today
18 Points
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Daniel Murphy lifts Mets past Phillies in 13th for 9-5 win and four-game sweep 

Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Daniel Murphy roars after coming through with a clutch two-run double in the 13th inning.  METS 9, PHILLIES 5 (13)PHILADELPHIA . I wasn’t sure he was going to be there.“It might be just good fortune.” Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports David Wright loves the new and improved Mets as they slug their way to a four-game sweep of the Phillies. He did a great job.”Those 2.1 scoreless innings were what had Torres smiling afterward.
Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Daniel Murphy roars after coming through with a clutch two-run double in the 13th inning. 

METS 9, PHILLIES 5 (13)

PHILADELPHIA ? When Daniel Murphy and Carlos Torres teamed up for a put-out to end the 10th inning that was a little bit lucky and every bit sensational, Terry Collins knew everything was pointing in the Mets direction.

He thought the same thing when Torres led off the top of the 13th inning with an infield single ? his first hit of the season.

The manager was then convinced of it after Murphy slashed a double into the left field corner that scored Torres and Curtis Granderson that sent the Mets on their way to a 9-5 win at Citizens Bank Park.

“When (Torres) got the hit, we’re going to score here,” Collins said. “After kicking the ball to first the signs were pointing to we were going to win this game.”

The Mets (71-56) have now won seven straight games and return to Citi Field Friday after going 8-1 on the road trip. They maintained their 6.5-game lead over the Nationals in the National League East after winning their ninth straight game over the Phillies (50-78).

Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports Mets fans invade Citizens Bank Park and celebrate after Kelly Johnson ties the game at 5 with a home run.

Murphy ? who was at the center of teams’ quick-pitch controversy on Tuesday, jawing with Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa ? was all over the field Thursday. His one-out double that drove in Torres and Granderson ignited a four-run 13th-inning rally. Another run scored on an error and Michael Conforto drove in the other with a single.

Earlier in extra innings, Jeff Francoeur’s come-backer ricocheted off Torres’ foot into the hole between first and second. Murphy made a diving grab, rolled over and from a sitting position, lunged over to make a sidearm flip toward a racing Torres, who grabbed the ball at his knees and beat Francoeur to the bag by half a step.

“There is a reason he wears soccer shoes on the baseball field,” Collins said of Torres, who is considered perhaps the fastest player on the team and wears soccer cleats during pregame workouts.

“Carlos made a great play to even stay with it,” said Murphy who was 3-for-6 with two RBI. “He gets on banged right off his foot and continued running to get over. Great play. I wasn’t sure he was going to be there.

“It might be just good fortune.”

Eric Hartline/USA Today Sports David Wright loves the new and improved Mets as they slug their way to a four-game sweep of the Phillies.

These days fortune is smiling on the Mets.

Jon Niese only got through six innings Thursday. He gave up five runs on five hits, struck out five and also walked a season-high five. The lefty allowed all five runs in the third inning.

Francoeur drove in two with a single to right field. Aaron Altherr drove in one with his ground ball to third and Darin Ruf homered to right to bring in two more runs.

But the bullpen, shaky the night before, came up huge, giving the Mets seven scoreless innings.

Logan Verrett, in his first appearance out of the bullpen since a spot start Sunday, gave the Mets a perfect seventh, Hansel Robles worked around a one-out double to send the Mets into the top of the ninth tied before Sean Gilmartin pitched a perfect frame to send the game into extra innings.

Michael Perez/AP Jon Niese is roughed up as he gives up five runs over six innings.

“We had one inning from Logan and Gilly,” Collins said. “And then we needed to get multiple innings from Carlos. He did a great job.”

Those 2.1 scoreless innings were what had Torres smiling afterward. He had given up a run without recording an out the night before.

“My team needed me (Wednesday night) and I wasn’t able to come in and do the job,” Torres said. “I was glad I was able to do that tonight.”

The Mets used the long ball to climb out of the five-run hole Niese put them in. Travis d’Arnaud got it started in fourth with a two-run homer into right. Yoenis Cespedes hit his seventh home run in the last six games and eighth overall as a Met in the fifth, a two-run shot into the Phillies bullpen. Kelly Johnson followed with a solo in the fifth to tie the game. The three homers helped the Mets set a new club record with 43 in one calender month.

“We put some good at-bats together tonight,” Collins said. “The home runs helped a lot.”

Almost as much as Murphy and Torres did.  

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Sports Tough road between Serena Williams and U.S. Open final

8 and could meet Williams in the quarterfinals, as well.But there's a potential must-see matchup in the last eight: sister Venus. 4 seed and 2014 runner-up to Williams.Williamspotential path doesn’t just include the best of the best in the U.S. Agnieszka Radwanska, who Williams beat in the 2012 Wimbledon final, is another potential roadblock in the fourth round, while Belinda Bencic, the fast rising 18-year-old who beat her just two weeks ago, is a possible opponent in the quarterfinals.

NEW YORK ? To win the U.S. Open, Serena Williams will have to beat seemingly every other American challenger in the field. It is, after all, the U.S. Open.

The world No. 1 has a potential path that includes almost every female American tennis player of note: Sloane Stephens or CoCo Vandeweghe in the third round; Madison Keys in the fourth round; and sister Venus in the quarterfinals.

Serena Williams, chasing the calendar Grand Slam which hasn't been done in tennis since Steffi Graf won all four in 1988, was handed one of her toughest roads at a Slam in Thursday's draw. After a first-round encounter with world No. 86 Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, things only get harder, including a potential second-round opponent in hard-hitting Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Maria Sharapova, the No. 3 seed, landed on Williams’ half of the draw, as well, as No. 2 seed Simona Halep anchors the bottom half and is joined by Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 4 seed and 2014 runner-up to Williams.

Williamspotential path doesn’t just include the best of the best in the U.S. Agnieszka Radwanska, who Williams beat in the 2012 Wimbledon final, is another potential roadblock in the fourth round, while Belinda Bencic, the fast rising 18-year-old who beat her just two weeks ago, is a possible opponent in the quarterfinals. Karolina Pliskova, a Czech player recently into the top 10, is seeded No. 8 and could meet Williams in the quarterfinals, as well.

But there's a potential must-see matchup in the last eight: sister Venus. Venus would need wins over Bencic and Pliskova (potentially) to make another all-Williams affair a reality.

Serena Williams, for her part, said she doesn’t look at the draw. Thursday she appeared relaxed at the draw ceremony as well as her pre-tournament press conference, dressed in a black t-shirt, black leggings and speaking with a little bit of a raspy voice, perhaps owed to a karaoke event Wednesday night, where she sang a song from The Little Mermaid ? among other tunes.

“I don’t look at the draw,” Williams said. “I seem to play Sloane every tournament. It’s not anything simple or easy to deal with.”

Sharapova, on the top half with Serena, is drawn to meet Ana Ivanovic in the quarterfinals. On the bottom half, Wozniacki is seeded to play Petra Kvitova, while Halep could face Lucie Safarova, the French Open finalist.

First-rounders to watch

Sharapova has a dangerous opener in Daria Gavrilova, a petite and spunky Russian-turned-Australian who shocked Sharapova in the first round of Miami earlier this year.

Americans Vandeweghe and Stephens are drawn to meet right off the bat, both having had success in Grand Slams in the past. Vandeweghe was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon last month. Genie Bouchard, the breakthrough story of 2014, meets American Alison Riske to start, while Ivanovic, Sharapova’s potential quarterfinal opponent, has to contend with pesky Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, a 2014 Australian Open finalist who is coming back from Achilles surgery in February.

On the bottom half of the draw, fan favorite Andrea Petkovic meets Caroline Garcia, the French youngster in a hard-hitting opener.

Who Can challenge Serena Williams?

Halep, namely. The No. 2 seed is safely on the opposite side of the draw, who has built a solid game and reputation from the baseline as both a scrapper and offensive attacker. Victoria Azarenka joins Halep in the bottom quarter, the former world No. 1 having lost to Williams at both the French Open and Wimbledon this year. The Belarusian will be happy to know that if she does play Serena, it will be in the final. She lost to Williams in the championship match in both 2012 and 2013 here, both three-set encounters.

Sharapova carries her 18-match losing streak into the tournament vs. Williams, dating back to 2005. Sharapova also hasn’t played a match since going out to Williams in the semifinals of Wimbledon, a leg injury putting her out in both Toronto and Cincinnati. The added Gavrilova challenge spells trouble for the Russian, the 2006 winner here.

Kvitova, normally factored in as a player to be watched, never excels in New York due to a dislike for the hot and humid conditions. The two-time Wimbledon champion also revealed this summer that she is suffering from a bout of mononucleosis.

Bencic, the Swiss player, could be the true dark horse here. She works off and on with Martina Hingis and Hingis’ mother, Melanie Molitor, and was a quarterfinalist here a year ago. Her win over Serena Williams a couple of weeks ago was partly due to a sore elbow for the American as her serve impeded in a three-set defeat. But Bencic believes she can beat the best, and her go-for-broke style coupled with a Hingis-like guile on court helps her on the big stage.

Hey, America

The top quarter is loaded with Americans, also including wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who is making her way back from injury. Venus, for her part, opens against Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, a baseliner she should overwhelm. Nicole Gibbs, Lauren Davis and Irina Falconi all have winnable first-rounders; another wild card, Louisa Chirico, will play a to-be-announced qualifier.

Christina McHale meets Petra Cetkovska while Jamie Loeb, the reigning NCAA champion, is tasked with Wozniacki to start. Varvara Lepchenko takes on Kirsten Flipkens, the Belgian.

History chased

The history books are open and ready for Serena to make edits in the next two weeks. She chases the Grand Slam here, but also a 22nd major, which would tie Graf’s Open era majors-won record, as well as a seventh U.S. Open title, something no man or woman has done before.

Karaoke, magazine covers, photo shoots and more, Williams said she’s rested and ready ? just like every other event. The champion is trying to take a no-frills approach.

“I’m really just here to do the best that I can,” Williams said of the pressure she’s facing in New York. “I want to defend my title.”

Serena is going to have a lot of pressure on her, and obviously a lot of it self-imposed,” said Patrick McEnroe, the ESPN commentator, after the draw was made. “If you’re one of those players [in her section], you have to go out there and think that she’s not unbeatable. I think that Serena has a lot of respect for Madison [Keys], who overpowered her for a set at the Australian Open. In a way, [this draw] could be good for Serena? She needs to be ready from the first ball.”

Follow Nick McCarvel on Twitter @NickMcCarvel.

WATCH: SERENA WILLIAMS' DRAMATIC IMPACT

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Sports Oklahoma LB's Evans, Shannon competing for starting spot

He's a different guy than Shannon remembers."When I come back I looked at him and I said, 'Dang, Jordan, how big are you?' He was like, '250.' What? We were about the same size when I came back," Shannon said. Some of his weight wasn't the good kind, but he's rounding his way back into shape.Evans said Shannon has looked ready in practice."Obviously, he's been out for a year and there is going to be some rust," he said. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) ? Oklahoma's defensive coaches have an enviable situation at middle linebacker.

Last season, while Frank Shannon was serving a suspension, Jordan Evans stepped in and finished second on the team with 93 tackles. Shannon, a dynamic player who started every game in 2013 and led the team with 92 tackles, is back.

Both are good enough to make Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops hesitant to name a starter heading into next Saturday's opener against Akron.

"Frank, he and Jordan are battling," Stoops said. "Both guys will play and play a significant amount of football. It's like all positions. The better depth you have, the more competition, the better the players play. That's what we're hoping for."

Evans welcomes the competition Shannon brings.

"Frank helps me and I help Frank," Evans said. "At the end of the day, we want the best player out there. If I'm making him the best and he's making me the best, that's just best for the team. That's how we see it."

Evans understands the game better now. He was Shannon's backup in 2013, then started every game last season and enters his junior season with a different attitude.

"It's the best camp he's ever had since he's been here," inside linebackers coach Tim Kish said. "This is the right time. It's his third year in. I expect him to step up and raise the bar every day. He's just becoming more familiar with his surroundings and has a better feel for the speed of the game. Fundamentals and technique have been his biggest improvements so far this camp."

Evans suffered from mononucleosis last year during camp and weighed about 220 pounds, but now, he's a stout 240. He's a different guy than Shannon remembers.

"When I come back I looked at him and I said, 'Dang, Jordan, how big are you?' He was like, '250.' What? We were about the same size when I came back," Shannon said. "I was like, 'God, dawg, you done caught up to me big time.' His growth surprised me the most when I came back."

Stoops said Evans has adjusted well to the added bulk.

"I think he feels comfortable, and he can move in it and play at the same speed he did when he was a little bit lighter," Stoops said. "It's not just having weight and size; you've got to be able to handle it and control it, and I think he finally feels comfortable controlling his body."

Shannon worked out at the University of North Texas in Dallas during his suspension. He also has bulked up, and weighs 238 pounds. Some of his weight wasn't the good kind, but he's rounding his way back into shape.

Evans said Shannon has looked ready in practice.

"Obviously, he's been out for a year and there is going to be some rust," he said. "But Frank is a player. He is a good player, and we all know that. It just took him a couple of days and he's back into it, full go."

Shannon didn't come back expecting a starting job to be handed to him.

"I figured it was going to take some work," he said. "I couldn't come back and just jump right in. I missed a lot of playing time and stuff. I knew I was going to have to come back and work hard and still show the coaches I could play and stuff."

___

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sports With 4 starters back, K-State to lean on offensive line

"He had been playing since his redshirt freshman year. He just knew the offensive very well, and that's what a center brings to the offensive line. He was a leader. It all started with him, and once B.J. made his calls it was a lot easier for us to do that. Now I've kind of stepped into that role."The experience of the offensive line is important for several reasons.Kansas State will be breaking in a new quarterback this season, regardless of who wins a four-way battle before the opener Sept.

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) ? Offensive lineman Cody Whitehair looks back on the way Kansas State ran the ball last year, especially in critical games late in the season, and can't help but feel accountable.

"We were kind of embarrassed with our run game," Whitehair said. "We really took it to heart. Going back and looking at film, we have a lot of room to improve."

The Wildcats averaged 189 yards rushing over the first five games, but wound up eighth in the Big 12 at just over 134 per game. That's 44 yards fewer than the previous year, and the lowest production on the ground at Kansas State in six seasons.

But with the loss of dynamic playmakers on offense ? quarterback Jake Waters and wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton, foremost ? the Wildcats plan to lean on their ground game again this season. And that means leaning on an experienced offensive line, one that may have a little extra motivation after the way it performed late last season.

"We feel pressure," Whitehair said, "but we also have four guys returning, so we take a lot of pride in that as well. Hopefully we'll use that to our advantage."

Whitehair is joined by fellow seniors Boston Stiverson, Luke Hayes and Matt Kleinsorge up front. Together, the four of them have started 92 games in their college careers.

The only departure is B.J. Finney, a four-year starter now with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was the leader of the offensive line group, set a record with 52 consecutive starts, and is one of just three players in school history to earn all-conference honors all four years.

Reid Najvar and Dalton Risner are the leading candidates to take over for him.

"B.J. just had a lot of experience," Whitehair said. "He had been playing since his redshirt freshman year. He just knew the offensive very well, and that's what a center brings to the offensive line. He was a leader. It all started with him, and once B.J. made his calls it was a lot easier for us to do that. Now I've kind of stepped into that role."

The experience of the offensive line is important for several reasons.

Kansas State will be breaking in a new quarterback this season, regardless of who wins a four-way battle before the opener Sept. 5 against South Dakota State. The offense is also complex, with the quarterback run game mixed with elements of a pro-style attack in an unusual hybrid.

Offensive coordinator Dana Dimel said last year's struggle running the ball was not entirely the fault of the line, but rather the health of the quarterback. Waters was banged up in a win at Oklahoma on Oct. 18, and ran less the rest of the season to protect his ailing shoulder.

"That's a big part of what we do," Dimel said. "The other part is that we do so many different things in the run game that people really decided to pick their poison. It got to the point where (teams) were like, 'Play smart football and don't let K-State run the ball all the time. Make them throw it.'"

Coach Bill Snyder believes he has the pieces up front to get back to Kansas State's roots. He also believes his veterans can provide some leadership for the rest of the team.

"They have all played and all have the experience," Snyder said. "Cody is a captain. Luke Hayes during the course of the summer provided wonderful leadership for not being selected as a captain. He stepped up during the course of the summer and provided great leadership, and has continued to do so and I am pleased with him about that."

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sports A look at Serena Williams' possible path to true Grand Slam

Against Williams: 1-5.Also possible:Simona Halep, Romania. Coached by Lindsay Davenport, who was 4-10 as a player against Williams.Also possible:Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland. Against Williams: 2-18, with 17 consecutive losses, most recently in the Wimbledon semifinals.Also possible:Ana Ivanovic, Serbia. Two years ago, found herself in a brouhaha over less-than-flattering comments she made to a reporter about Williams.Also possible:Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States.

Shortly after the draw for the U.S. Open set up Serena Williams' path to completing a Grand Slam, she offered her own analysis.

"It's not anything simple or easy to go through," Williams said.

Actually, judging by her head-to-head records against many possible opponents, it might be.

Still, there are sure to be tests for Williams if she is going to win seven matches over two weeks once play begins in Flushing Meadows on Monday, a run that would make her 28-0 at major tournaments in 2015.

The enormity of the accomplishment, and the amount of attention, might be tough to take, let alone what problems other players may present.

"If I make it far, maybe I'll start to feel pressure," Williams said Thursday. "But as of now, I really don't feel any."

Here is a look at some opponents who could stand between her and tennis' first calendar-year Grand Slam since 1988:

FIRST ROUND

Vitalia Diatchenko, Russia. Ranked 86th. Grand Slam record of 2-6, including 0-2 at the U.S. Open. Never won a tour title. Against Williams: 0-0. Her WTA website bio says: "Admires Serena Williams for her fast and aggressive game." If she beats Williams, it would be one of the biggest surprises in tennis history.

SECOND ROUND

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, Croatia. Ranked 48th. Grand Slam highlight was 1999 Wimbledon semifinals; didn't reach a major's fourth round again until the 2014 U.S. Open. Against Williams: 0-2, but they last met in 1998.

THIRD ROUND

Sloane Stephens, United States. Seeded 29th. Got to 2013 Australian Open semifinals by beating ? yep, you guessed it ? Williams. Won first career title in August on hard courts in Washington. Against Williams: 1-5, 0-3 this year. Two years ago, found herself in a brouhaha over less-than-flattering comments she made to a reporter about Williams.

Also possible:

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, United States. Ranked 101st. Against Williams: 0-2.

CoCo Vandeweghe, United States. Ranked 43rd. Against Williams: 0-3.

FOURTH ROUND

Madison Keys, United States. Seeded 19th. Made Grand Slam semifinal debut at Australian Open in January, losing to Williams. Against Williams: 0-1. Coached by Lindsay Davenport, who was 4-10 as a player against Williams.

Also possible:

Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland. Seeded 15th. Wimbledon runner-up in 2012, losing to Williams. Against Williams: 0-8.

QUARTERFINALS

Venus Williams, United States. Seeded 23rd. Won seven Grand Slam singles titles. Against Serena: 11-15, including a loss in Wimbledon's fourth round in July. Asked about the prospect of facing her sibling in the quarterfinals in New York, Serena responded with a laugh: "It's better than the round of 16."

Also possible:

Belinda Bencic, Switzerland. Seeded 12th. Just 18; coached by Martina Hingis' mother. One of two players to beat Williams in 2015, this month on a hard court in Toronto. Against Williams: 1-1.

Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic. Seeded eighth. Against Williams: 0-1.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Russia. Seeded 31st. Against Williams: 0-5.

SEMIFINALS

Maria Sharapova, Russia. Seeded third. Five-time major champion, including at 2006 U.S. Open. Against Williams: 2-18, with 17 consecutive losses, most recently in the Wimbledon semifinals.

Also possible:

Ana Ivanovic, Serbia. Seeded seventh. Won 2008 French Open. Against Williams: 1-9.

Carla Suarez Navarro, Spain. Seeded 10th. Against Williams: 0-6.

Jelena Jankovic, Serbia. Seeded 21st. Against Williams: 4-10.

Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia. Seeded 30th. Won two major titles, including 2004 U.S. Open. Against Williams: 2-8.

FINAL

Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic. Seeded fifth. Two-time Wimbledon champion. Along with Bencic, one of two women to beat Williams this season, at Madrid on red clay in March. Against Williams: 1-5.

Also possible:

Simona Halep, Romania. Seeded second. French Open runner-up in 2014. Against Williams: 1-6.

Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark. Seeded fourth. Against Williams: 1-10, including a loss in last year's U.S. Open final.

Lucie Safarova, Czech Republic. Seeded sixth. Against Williams: 0-9.

Victoria Azarenka, Belarus. Seeded 20th. Against Williams; 3-17, including losses in the 2012 and 2013 U.S. Open finals.

Sam Stosur, Australia. Seeded 22nd. U.S. Open champion in 2011, beating Williams in final. Against Williams: 3-8.

Alize Cornet, France. Seeded 27th. The last woman to beat Williams at a Grand Slam tournament, in Wimbledon's third round in 2014. Against Williams: 3-3.

___

AP Sports Writer Rachel Cohen in New York contributed to this report.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sports Identifying zone-read plays makes it tough to protect QBs

"We don't run as much zone-read as everybody thinks we do."Bradford was not injured on the Suggs hit. didn't try to carry out a fake.The problem is that defensive players and referees cannot always identify the difference between a zone-read play and a handoff."Not every shotgun run is a zone-read play," Kelly said. If Chip Kelly, Pete Carroll and other NFL coaches want to run zone-read plays, their quarterbacks are fair game . This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) ? If Chip Kelly, Pete Carroll and other NFL coaches want to run zone-read plays, their quarterbacks are fair game ? even when they don't have the ball.

The league's competition committee has made it clear quarterbacks won't get special protection until they establish a passing posture. The rules aren't changing this year despite concerns that arose after Terrell Suggs was penalized for tackling Sam Bradford's knees on a handoff in a Ravens-Eagles game last Saturday.

Dean Blandino, the league's vice president of officiating, declared Suggs' hit was legal because Bradford was considered a runner until he clearly didn't have the football or positioned himself to pass.

On a zone-read play, the quarterback sticks the ball in a running back's stomach and either gives it to him or pulls it back and runs depending on the defense's reaction. Suggs was assigned the quarterback on the play, so he ignored ball carrier Darren Sproles and went straight for Bradford.

Kelly argued it was a simple handoff and shouldn't have been treated like an option play because Bradford ? playing in his first game after a knee injury last season ? didn't try to carry out a fake.

The problem is that defensive players and referees cannot always identify the difference between a zone-read play and a handoff.

"Not every shotgun run is a zone-read play," Kelly said. "We don't run as much zone-read as everybody thinks we do."

Bradford was not injured on the Suggs hit. He says there is a "gray area" when it comes to defining a zone-read play.

"We have a lot of plays in our offense where there are absolutely no reads for us, it's an automatic give," he said. "I think the league is probably just going have to clarify what a zone-read is."

But clarification isn't so easy.

"We have had discussions about these types of plays in our meetings over the past couple years as the zone-read has become more prevalent," said New York Giants co-owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee, which is in charge of rule changes. "As long as the quarterback is a threat as a runner with these plays, I don't know how you make the distinction between him being a runner or passer. And how is a defender supposed to distinguish between a zone-read and a regular handoff from the shotgun?"

Mike Pereira, who held Blandino's job before becoming a rules analyst at Fox Sports, doesn't get all the confusion.

"I don't think the refs are in a tough spot," he said. "(The quarterback) is either in a passing posture or he is not."

Carroll is monitoring the situation closely because the Seattle Seahawks run plenty of option plays with Russell Wilson.

"You can force this thing about they're a runner, when they don't have the ball in their hands, and the ball is already handed off and gone, guys need to make good decisions hopefully," Carroll said. "So we'll be very much a part of that discussion if things continue like it's going, because it's not right."

Pocket passers such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning aren't susceptible to the same hits as quarterbacks that run a lot of option plays, including Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins and rookie Marcus Mariota of the Titans.

"As a quarterback, you hate to see another guy get a shot taken at his knees like that literally just after he handed the ball off," Tannehill said. "You can see a guy like Peyton Manning doing the exact same handoff and no one is taking a shot at his knees."

Mariota ran plenty of zone-read plays at Oregon and understands that defensive players are in a tough spot.

"There are certain plays where it does look like a zone-read option, but it's not a zone read," he said. "That just kind of depends on your scheme. That's going to be up to the coaches to decide how much we use it. But I can see where, as a defensive player, it's tough."

Even defensive players on the Eagles agree that consistently hitting quarterbacks who run zone-read options is the main way to prevent teams from using that play.

"As a defender, my way of scaring you out of that run concept is hit your quarterback," Philadelphia safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "If I'm playing the Patriots, everybody knows that Tom Brady's not running the zone-read. So it'll get called different than an offense where 50 percent of our snaps are zone-read. So I think there's a little bit of discretion in there."

___

AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker and Sports Writers Steven Wine and Tom Canavan contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi

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Sports LEADING OFF: Orioles CF Jones gets checked, Kershaw starts

X-rays on his neck and wrist were negative.ROLLINGClayton Kershaw is set to pitch at Dodger Stadium when LA hosts the Cubs. Orioles star center fielder Adam Jones will get checked out before the game at Texas. A season ago, the closer made the All-Star team and posted a Seattle-record 48 saves.FRESH STARTErasmo Ramirez starts for the Rays at Tropicana Field as they look for a change of fortune against the AL Central-leading Royals.

A look at what's happening all around the major leagues today:

___

ARE YOU OK?

Orioles star center fielder Adam Jones will get checked out before the game at Texas. He ran into the wall chasing a fly ball in Kansas City on Thursday, and left the game soon after that with whiplash. X-rays on his neck and wrist were negative.

ROLLING

Clayton Kershaw is set to pitch at Dodger Stadium when LA hosts the Cubs. The lefty is 5-0 with an 0.90 ERA in his last nine starts. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner was 5-6 before his winning streak.

BANGED UP

The Yankees will see whether first baseman Mark Teixeira and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury are OK to play at Atlanta. Teixeira has been hobbling for a while, Ellsbury's hip is hurting and neither of them started New York's last game while recovering.

LATE HELP

Fernando Rodney is ready to join the contending Chicago Cubs after they got him in a trade with Seattle. The 38-year-old reliever was cut by the Mariners last weekend after going 5-5 with 16 saves in 22 chances and a 5.68 ERA. A season ago, the closer made the All-Star team and posted a Seattle-record 48 saves.

FRESH START

Erasmo Ramirez starts for the Rays at Tropicana Field as they look for a change of fortune against the AL Central-leading Royals. Tampa Bay is just 5-18 vs. KC in the last four seasons, and was swept at Kauffman Stadium in July, allowing 33 runs and 52 hits in four games.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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