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People Prince's death, Day 13: Latest news and tributes

ET: Larry Graham, the Sly and the Family Stone bassist who later became a member of Prince's band, discussed the late singer's spiritual life with the Associated Press Monday.They first met while they were both in Nashville playing separate shows in the mid-1990s and Prince, who was curious about Graham's faith,  eventually invited Graham to join him on tour and relocate to Minnesota.“He asked me questions every day, every week .

The latest on the investigation into the singer's death, his estate and tributes:

10:11 a.m. ET:  Singer Sinéad O'Connor, who scored her biggest hit with her cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U but who had a testy relationship with the singer, accused comedian and talk-show host Arsenio Hall of supplying him with drugs.

In a Facebook post on Monday night, she wrote, "Two words for the DEA investigating where Prince got his drugs over the decades: Arsenio Hall ... Anyone imagining prince was not a long time hard drug user is living in cloud cuckoo land." She added that she had already reported him to the Carver County Sheriff's Office and warned him, "You best get tidying your main cave."

Hall's rep, Traci Harper, issued a terse denial to People, calling O'Connor's statement "absolutely false, ridiculous and absurd."

O'Connor has been up front about her battle with depression over the years and has publicly pleaded on social media for help.

9:55 a.m. ET: Larry Graham, the Sly and the Family Stone bassist who later became a member of Prince's band, discussed the late singer's spiritual life with the Associated Press Monday.

They first met while they were both in Nashville playing separate shows in the mid-1990s and Prince, who was curious about Graham's faith,  eventually invited Graham to join him on tour and relocate to Minnesota.

“He asked me questions every day, every week ? sometimes we would bring up the sun talking about the Bible,” he said.

Graham recalled how the singer, who became a fellow Jehovah's Witness in 2001, found "real joy" in knocking on doors and talking about his faith with visitors at Paisley Park.

t was important to Prince, like many artists, to give his fans joy with his music, Graham said. But the most important thing to him was not just giving people a “temporary feeling” from a record or album but being able to share scripture, he said.

He says he saw Prince three days prior to his death and appeared "pretty normal" aside from the fact that he was recovering from a cold, adding that he never saw the singer use prescription drugs.

9:30 a.m. ET: It's well known that Prince was a basketball fan. Imagine finding out that you were his favorite player.

That's the position in which Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade found himself Monday after a fan made him aware of a radio interview in which the singer was asked to name his favorite player.

"I know I have fans and lots of supporters around the world but hearing Prince say those words was an ultimate compliment," an emotional Wade tweeted.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Sports 'King Claudio': Ranieri hailed as a hero at home in Italy

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ROME (AP) ? The Italian premier called it "insane." The country's national sports newspaper called him "King Claudio." Even the Vatican newspaper, l'Osservatore Romano, weighed in with a comparison to King Richard III.

Claudio Ranieri was hailed as a national hero in Italy after coaching Leicester to a highly improbable English Premier League title.

"King Claudio," read the headline on the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday, above a statuesque image of Ranieri as the Roman emperor Claudius.

Leicester secured its first top-flight title without playing on Monday after second-place Tottenham drew at Chelsea 2-2.

Leicester was playing in the second division only two years ago, came close to be relegated again last year, and started this season as a 5,000-1 outsider for the title.

Now, for the first time in its 132-year history, Leicester is champion of England.

"It's the greatest achievement in the history of English football, and it was led by an Italian," Matteo Renzi, the Italian premier, tweeted, adding a hashtag message of "insane" in Italian.

"There are moments in which fairytales simply come true," Renzi added in his weekly newsletter. "For those who followed Mr. Ranieri all season, saying every Sunday with less and less belief, 'It's impossible,' today is a day for the history books. ... Well done, extremely well done to the coach. There's a bit of Italy in this wonderful achievement."

Superstitious Leicester fans attributed the ability to avoid relegation last season to King Richard III since the upturn started directly after the medieval monarch's battle-scarred skeleton was given a dignified reburial in a grave in Leicester Cathedral 530 years after his violent death.

In an editorial, the Vatican newspaper recalled the king as "so violent and eager for power," whereas Ranieri was "so gentlemanly and restrained."

"As Ranieri teaches, hard work and competence can lead to a triumph in a league usually dominated by squads with billionaire budgets backed by sheiks and Russian oil tycoons," l'Osservatore added.

The 64-year-old Ranieri was known as a journeyman coach who never won any major titles in a career that saw him bounce from club to club, rarely staying more than a couple of seasons.

Before signing with Leicester, Ranieri had an embarrassingly short reign as the coach of Greece, and was fired following a loss at home to the Faeroe Islands.

"I always thought that sooner or later I would win a league title," Ranieri told Italian state TV Rai late Monday. "I'm the same man who was sent away by Greece.

"The only dedication I want to make to everyone is to tell them to believe and give things a try, not only in football but in every area of life."

The son of a butcher and raised in Rome's working-class neighborhood of Testaccio, where the slaughterhouses were, Ranieri played briefly for his hometown club of Roma before spending most of his career as a defender for southern club Catanzaro.

On Tuesday, Catanzaro Mayor Sergio Abramo announced that the city will bestow Ranieri with honorary citizenship during a ceremony next month.

"Congratulations Claudio, king of England, Catanzaro awaits you," Abramo said, specifying that Ranieri's former teammates would take part in the celebration. "The new champion of the Premier League is an adoptive son of this city."

As a coach, Ranieri won an Italian Cup at Fiorentina, the French second division with Monaco, and some other minor titles, but had never claimed a major domestic championship.

A Gazzetta editorial defined Ranieri as "The Normal One," a reference to his nemesis Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed "Special One."

Before the title was clinched on Monday, Ranieri flew to Rome to have lunch with his 96-year-old mother.

"He's one of us, one of the best of us," the Gazzetta said.

Ranieri's success abroad follows that of Italian coaches Giovanni Trapattoni, Fabio Capello, Roberto Mancini, Roberto Di Matteo, Alberto Zaccheroni, and Carlo Ancelotti.

"It shows how much the Italian school of coaches is worth," said Massimiliano Allegri, the coach of Italian champion Juventus.

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Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sports USOC hires new director to focus on NCAA sports programs

“Sarah will be a key driver of increased collaboration between the USOC, NGB’s and all of the NCAA member institutions and conferences.”. Her understanding of the myriad levels of bureaucracy and personality types that comprise the NCAA and NGB worlds . With preparations for the 2016 Olympics heading into their final stages, the U.S.

With preparations for the 2016 Olympics heading into their final stages, the U.S. Olympic Committee has taken a step that it hopes will aid its program for many future Games: It has hired a college athletics administrator to organize help for financially threatened NCAA sports programs.

Sarah Wilhelmi, a member of the West Coast Conference’s staff since 2008, is becoming the USOC’s first director of collegiate partnerships, the organization will announce Tuesday.

Her job will be to bring full-time attention to long-discussed, but mostly scattershot, efforts at coordination among the USOC, national sports governing bodies and an array of college constituencies, including the NCAA’s executive staff, its member schools and conferences, and various coaches’ associations.

This comes at a time when the pipeline of athletes from NCAA Division I schools to U.S. Olympic teams could be threatened by the financial pressure many schools are experiencing as they try to stay as competitive as possible in the high-profile sports of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

Schools’ increasing spending on salaries for coaches, lavish facilities and cost-of-attendance-based scholarships has the USOC sufficiently concerned about a threat to Olympic sports teams that its November posting for this new position said it wanted the person selected to work with the NCAA and the national governing bodies “to develop actionable plans to reduce expenses associated with sponsoring sports” while maintaining quality experiences for athletes.

The posting also said the new hire would be asked to coordinate the engagement of national governing bodies “in all NCAA championships, including signage and sponsorship agreements” and to develop metrics and data to determine the impact of various initiatives “to better understand future direction and (return on investment) for the NGBs and the USOC.”

Wilhelmi, a distance runner while attending the University of Iowa, has been a USOC intern but has spent most of her career in college sports compliance and governance. Her understanding of the myriad levels of bureaucracy and personality types that comprise the NCAA and NGB worlds ? plus her own outlook on life -- make her well-suited for the new position, West Coast Conference commissioner Lynn Holzman told USA TODAY Sports.

“Sarah is a perpetually optimistic person, which is going to very helpful,” Holzman, who spent 16 years as a member of the NCAA’s national office staff, said with a knowing chuckle.

Holzman said that during the past two years, as a WCC associate commissioner, Wilhelmi has been heavily involved with the implementation of a conference strategic plan that has brought her into contact with university CEO’s, athletics directors, faculty representatives and coaches while making sure “everyone is executing against the plan. One of her greatest strengths is the way she engages with people. It may not sound like the most glamorous thing, but it’s vital for an organization to move forward.”

And after seeing multiple task forces, dating from the mid-1990’s, talk and write reports about the USOC’s interaction with college sports, USOC officials say they want forward motion.

“Collegiate sport is absolutely critical to the success of Team USA,” USOC chief of sport performance Alan Ashley said in a statement. “Sarah will be a key driver of increased collaboration between the USOC, NGB’s and all of the NCAA member institutions and conferences.”

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Pro wrestler Joel Maximo promoting Lucha Libre Extravaganza in Brooklyn 

She's sitting right there," the kid shot back as his mother smiled, nodding in agreement."Maximo and his promotion company Fighting Spirit Wrestling are promoting a Lucha Libre Extravaganza featuring Blue Demon Jr.
Wrestlers at the Ludus Wrestling Center.

Joel Maximo has lived the life many sports fans dream about but few of us have lived: He has traveled the world as a professional wrestler.

Maximo and his brother Jose were known as SAT, a tag team that appeared in several WWE shows and in bouts promoted by independent promoters such as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and Ring of Honor.

His Brooklyn wrestling school, Ludus Wrestling Center, was profiled in the Daily News in 2013:

"For the scores of hard-core fans who flock to Ludus shows, Maximo's school is a wrestling Valhalla that allows them to get so close to the action that they can rest their elbows on the ring. The fans are part of the show, high-fiving wrestlers they like, getting into nose-to-nose shouting matches with the ones they don't. When one wrestler told a young heckler that he sucked, and his mama did, too, the kid pointed to a pleasant-looking middle aged-woman on the other side of the ring.

"'She sure does! She's sitting right there," the kid shot back as his mother smiled, nodding in agreement."

Maximo and his promotion company Fighting Spirit Wrestling are promoting a Lucha Libre Extravaganza featuring Blue Demon Jr. at the Floyd Bennett American Legion Post 1060 (5601 Ave. N in Brooklyn). Tickets are available at fightingspiritwrestling.com.

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Kate Upton engaged to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander 

Enlarge Greg Allen/AKM-GSI for New York Daily News/Greg Allen/AKM-GSI Kate Upton is off the market. Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Kate Upton debuted her newest accessory: a diamond ring.
Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Kate Upton debuted her newest accessory: a diamond ring.

Justin Verlander may not have a World Series ring ? but he did put a ring on Kate Upton.

The Sports Illustrated bikini model and the Detroit Tigers pitcher, 33, will be headed down the aisle soon, after dating on-off for roughly three years.

The 23-year-old blond beauty walked the red carpet Monday night at the Met Gala in a Topshop silver gown but it was her new sparker that truly shone.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ MAKES PUBLIC DEBUT WITH GIRLFRIEND ANNE WOJCICKI AT MET GALA

"I'm really excited, he asked me right before season started so we've been keeping it on the down low for quite a while,” Upton gushed to E! News. "So I'm excited to finally be able to share it with the world."

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for GQ Kate Upton and Justin Verlander are in no hurry to tie the knot. Enlarge Greg Allen/AKM-GSI for New York Daily News/Greg Allen/AKM-GSI Kate Upton is off the market. Enlarge Kate Upton and Justin Verlander are in no hurry to tie the knot. Upton said Verlander proposed to her before the start of the baseball season. 

The couple was first linked together in 2012 and rekindled their romance throughout 2013 and 2014.

The newly engaged pair is in no rush to tie the knot.

“We are enjoying the engagement,” Upton explained.

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Sports NBC and Golf Channel facing a busy summer of golf

The summer schedule for NBC and Golf Channel is not finalized, though this much is clear: There won't be another summer like this one from the number of big events to two premier tournaments that the networks have never broadcast."We're fortunate enough to have a deep, talented bench," said Mike McCarley, president of Golf for NBC Sports Group. Amateur Four-Ball at Olympic Club with Todd White.The 37-year-old Smith has never made it to the U.S.

The summer schedule for NBC and Golf Channel is not finalized, though this much is clear: There won't be another summer like this one from the number of big events to two premier tournaments that the networks have never broadcast.

"We're fortunate enough to have a deep, talented bench," said Mike McCarley, president of Golf for NBC Sports Group. "We've got a 12-week stretch of The Open Championship, the Olympics, the FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup. It will be the busiest time we've ever had."

It all gets started at Royal Troon in Scotland for the British Open, which NBC and Golf Channel acquired a year early from ESPN. Golf producer Tommy Roy and Golf Channel executive producer Molly Solomon began making trips to the Ayrshire Coast late last summer. Expect to see more graphics involving wind (the best defense of any links course) and a deeper sense of history of a championship that dates to 1860.

Three weeks later is golf's return to the Olympics in Rio after a 112-year absence ? the men one week, the women the next week.

Gill Capps is leading a research team, and considering countries are allowed only two players (up to four if they are in the top 15 in the world), much time already has been invested in finding out who some of them are. That includes Aditi Ashok of India, from the same town as Anirban Lahiri. The 18-year-old recently won Ladies European Tour qualifying school, the first Indian to do that on any tour. She is No. 58 in the Olympic ranking for 60 spots and still has work ahead of her.

"Her participation in the Olympics, for a lot of girls, would do wonders for the game of golf in her country," McCarley said. "All of a sudden you'd have young people in India who have a role model. And they identify with the Olympics in a way they don't identity in golf."

That's what is new for the networks. Then it gets plenty busy with three playoff events in a four-week stretch (New York, Indianapolis and Atlanta), with the Ryder Cup outside Minneapolis right after the Tour Championship (and FedEx Cup) ends.

McCarley said promotion from one audience to the next would be critical to this endless summer.

"The Olympics will bring in a broad audience," he said. "In a lot of countries, people will be exposed to golf in a way they haven't before."

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UNFORTUNATE 500: Being injured and being idle has sent Tiger Woods out of the top 500 in the world for the first time in his 20-year career as a pro.

It was only a matter of time. Woods hasn't played since the Wyndham Championship last August and he had played poorly (and sparingly because of injuries) the year before that. He fell nine spots to No. 508 this week.

The last time he was out of the top 500 was on July 14, 1996. The next week, he tied for 22nd in the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, where he felt he was ready to turn pro. The 20-year-old Woods went from No. 554 to No. 431 after the '96 British Open, and he began a swift climb when he turned pro a month later.

He still hasn't reached his low point in the ranking.

Woods was No. 875 on April 2, 1995, the week before he tied for 41st in his Masters debut as an amateur.

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THE TURNAROUND: Vaughn Taylor and Brian Stuard had such limited status this year on the PGA Tour that they shuffled between the big leagues and the Web.com Tour, and then were reminded how much one week can change everything.

Taylor was No. 447 in the world when he won at Pebble Beach. Stuard was No. 513 in the world when he won New Orleans.

The Masters invitation is off the charts (Taylor lives in Augusta, Stuard has never played the Masters), and the money should be ignored (each earned $1.26 million). But perhaps the greatest perk is having a job and knowing where they can play.

"Sometimes you don't know until the Monday or Tuesday of the tournament week if you're going to get in," Stuard said after his playoff victory Monday. "I didn't play good enough last year, and that's the price you pay, I guess. But fortunately ... I don't know, this means a lot, just for that reason alone."

He is exempt through September 2018.

And yes, he gets in the Masters, PGA Championship, The Players Championship and several more than weren't on the agenda a week ago.

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HOMETOWN OPEN: Nathan Smith has played the Masters four times as the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. He has played in the Walker Cup three straight times and won the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Olympic Club with Todd White.

The 37-year-old Smith has never made it to the U.S. Open, and he would desperately like to play the next one. Smith lives in Pittsburgh, and the U.S. Open returns to Oakmont on June 16-19.

It hasn't been a lack of effort, with one story he told last week about the time he tried to qualify in 2007, the last time the U.S. Open was at Oakmont. He was an alternate out of local qualifying and received a call on Friday that there was a spot for him in the 36-hole sectional qualifying on Monday.

Smith was ready to play. But there was one catch. The sectional available was in England.

"I thought about it for a second and being that it was here, I just said the heck with it," Smith said.

He flew overnight with his father on Saturday. Smith walked one course at Sunningdale and his father walked the other.

"We put our heads together. You probably know how that turned out ? not great," Smith said. "We were a little jet-lagged, but it was a lot of fun. I've had a lot of close calls, but who knows, maybe this is the year."

Among his Walker Cup teammates are Rickie Fowler (2009), Jordan Spieth (2011) and Justin Thomas (2013).

"I think a few of those guys have a great chance maybe Sunday night of lifting the trophy here at Oakmont," Smith said Monday. "We'll see what happens with that. But some of them were texting me and asking about the course. They better bring their putter."

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DIVOTS: The USGA accepted 9,877 entries for the U.S. Open, the third-highest in history. The record is 10,127 entries to the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, followed by 9,882 entries for Chambers Bay last year. The U.S. Open is June 16-19 at Oakmont. ... Jack Nicklaus didn't play when technology measure swing speed, ball speed, smash factor or launch angle. Nicklaus said he was 58 when he was out at a test center in California that measure his swing speed at 118 mph. "They said only one other senior player did that, and it was Jim Dent at 118 mph," Nicklaus said. ... Tommy Bolt and Nancy Lopez are among those who will be inducted into the Oklahoma Golf Hall of Fame for 2016. The ceremony is Sept. 18 at Southern Hills, where Bolt won the U.S. Open in 1958. Lopez played college golf at Tulsa.

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STAT OF THE WEEK: Brian Stuard was 20-for-20 in getting up-and-down when he missed the green at New Orleans.

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FINAL WORD: "I'm just trying to get better each and every week. That's how I have to deal with being the best player in the world right now." ? Jason Day.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sports Calgary Flames fire coach Bob Hartley after four seasons

Bob Hartley’s tenure as the coach of the Calgary Flames ended Tuesday.The Flames announced that both Hartley and associate coach Jacques Cloutier were relieved of their coaching duties. The firing comes after the Flames (35-40-7) finished 12th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons under Hartley.Hartley won the Jack Adams Award for the NHL’s top coach last season after the team finished with 97 points and reached the second round of the playoffs.

Bob Hartley’s tenure as the coach of the Calgary Flames ended Tuesday.

The Flames announced that both Hartley and associate coach Jacques Cloutier were relieved of their coaching duties. The firing comes after the Flames (35-40-7) finished 12th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for the third time in four seasons under Hartley.

Hartley won the Jack Adams Award for the NHL’s top coach last season after the team finished with 97 points and reached the second round of the playoffs..

Hartley went 134-135-25 in his four seasons with the Flames. He won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

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Sports Gymnasts are good friends, competitors for spot in Rio

Foberg has yet to compete after tearing ligaments in her ankle in a competition late last season. “It’s nice to have her around because she’s just a chill kid, and she stays like that in competition.”Hernandez, meanwhile, describes herself as goofy. Once they go home, though, athletes like Simone Biles or Gabby Douglas find no peers in their gyms.For Laurie Hernandez and Jazmyn Foberg, the competition continues. to train on better equipment in a bigger space.She’s calm but disciplined.

USA TODAY Sports counts down the 100 days to the Rio Olympics with daily stories about athletes, teams and coaches preparing for the Summer Games. The opening ceremony is Aug. 5.

HAMILTON, N.J. ? Once a month, the best female gymnasts in the country convene at the Karolyi ranch in Texas to participate in camps that have helped fuel the Americans’ dominant run for more than decade. Once they go home, though, athletes like Simone Biles or Gabby Douglas find no peers in their gyms.

For Laurie Hernandez and Jazmyn Foberg, the competition continues. The two first-year seniors compete together for MG Elite, a team that thanks to their success has taken the past two U.S. junior titles.

With selection for the Rio Olympics only months away, coach Maggie Haney finds herself in the rare and enviable position of having two gymnasts in contention to make the five-woman team. Gone are the days when super gyms would contribute several athletes to the team, so Haney’s success is unique in a system that nurtures talent development around the country.

With Haney’s guidance, Hernandez and Foberg support each other in a way that has allowed them both to excel at the elite level.

“When they’re both healthy and both at their best physically and mentally, they definitely kind of in a nice way battle it out each day in the gym,” says Haney. “They’re always helping each other.”

Though they find themselves in a similar place now, they’ve taken different paths to the senior elite level. Hernandez, who turns 16 in June, has been with Haney since the beginning when Haney’s sister spotted Hernandez in a class and suggested Haney take her on.

Always an energetic kid who loved to dance, Hernandez quickly progressed through the levels. By the time Hernandez was 9, when she was one of the best gymnasts nationally in the TOPs program, Haney knew there was potential. She got Hernandez into developmental camps at the ranch when she was 10 and she’s been making the monthly trips to Houston since.

Foberg, meanwhile, came to MG Elite just three years ago. A level 10 gymnast, she felt she had maxed out at her gym but wanted to get to the elite level. Haney was skeptical.

“I came here, Maggie, she’s like, ‘We could try elite. I’m not sure if you’re going to make it,” says Foberg, who turned 16 in February.

Her form was sloppy, they agreed, and her dance was not good. Foberg lacked consistency, pretty much a holy tenet of the program national team coordinator Martha Karolyi has built.

“I didn’t really see the talent, to be honest,” Haney says. “But she has good legs. She’s very strong and powerful. She can swing bars naturally. She just kind of had to learn, so she is now a very good bar worker.

“She was just so hungry for it. She just worked circles around everyone.”

Both gymnasts credit Haney with their success. A former gymnast at N.C. State, Haney started coaching in 2000 shortly after college and started her own team, MG Elite, in 2007.

The team trains in Monmouth, N.J., but three days per week, Haney rents space at another gym an hour away to allow Hernandez, Foberg and Riley McCusker ? a University of Florida commit who recently reached the elite level ? to train on better equipment in a bigger space.

She’s calm but disciplined. Things done right don’t catch her eye as much as errors, but even those are handled with equal parts toughness and encouragement.

“Maggie always just knows what to do to put us in good spots, so I think that’s why we are where we are,” Hernandez says.

For all Haney can do to guide her two top gymnasts, though, it’s the competition and support from each other that pushes them.

During a practice in March, as Hernandez struggled, Foberg offered words of encouragement. As Foberg dealt for several months with torn ligaments in her ankle, Hernandez was there to support her.

“We always give each other little tips here and there,” says Foberg. “She’s like my best friend, so she’s fun to be around and we always hang out.”

Adds Hernandez, “I think we motivate each other every day.”

That comes despite their differing personalities. They describe Foberg as the more serious one. She’s mature and observant, says Haney, and persistently calm.

“She does not get frazzled,” Haney says. “It’s nice to have her around because she’s just a chill kid, and she stays like that in competition.”

Hernandez, meanwhile, describes herself as goofy. Haney says she can be hyperactive. And to watch her on floor exercise is to see her ooze charisma.

“She likes to perform and she loves when everybody’s watching her,” Haney says. “The bigger the crowd, probably the more sassiness she is going to have.”

Until the Olympics came on the immediate horizon this season, Haney only discussed them with Foberg. Knowing the path ahead worked better for her. With Hernandez, looking too far ahead was too much and she trusted her coach to manage the path there.

Despite their differences, they describe each other as best friends.

“They definitely feed off each other in a good way when they’re both at their best,” Haney says.

That has led them to become some of the best. After not qualifying for U.S. championships in 2013, Foberg competed in two meets in 2014 before winning the junior national title.

Hernandez was out with a dislocated knee cap and torn tendon, but returned in 2015 to win the competition. Foberg finished second.

“It was probably one of my best, most fun coaching days, for sure,” Haney says.

That success has propelled them into this season, their first as seniors. Foberg has yet to compete after tearing ligaments in her ankle in a competition late last season. She is expected to recover in time for nationals and trials this summer. She hopes her uneven bars and floor routines could help her contribute.

“She’s a pretty confident competitor, so I don’t really feel she needs much more competition experience,” said Haney.

Both have been consistent over the past year, but it’s a good start to the season that could put Hernandez in position to make the U.S. Olympic team.

She’s placed third in the all-around at the City of Jesolo Trophy in March and the Pacific Rim Championships last month. She didn’t make it to the podium in the latter because of the two-per-country rule, but Hernandez finished .1 points behind Fierce Fiver Aly Raisman.

The transition has come as she’s been competing alongside the likes of Biles, Douglas and Raisman, who are favored to make the team, in camps and competition.

With already high execution scores, Hernandez will look to upgrade the difficulty on her bars and beam routines.

U.S Trials are in July, and both will be 16. Trying for the next Olympics isn’t impossible, but, in a sport that favors youth, Hernandez and Foberg are trying to capitalize now.

“Right now, they’re still new and fresh and young and naïve and relatively not beat up, so I think that we have to go for it and put everything in and then see where we end up,” Haney says.

“It’s double the stress is all I can say right now.”

Haney can’t think through the scenarios of how selection could go. She knows Karolyi has been impressed with Hernandez and Foberg’s consistency, and she can only hope what they do over the next several months will put them in a position to make the team.

“I think you just have to prove yourself,” she says. “As we get to the home stretch, it’s really going to be your past competition experience that will matter, for sure, but I think what’s going to matter the most is who really looks good in the end.”

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Metro Denver's apartment rents up, vacancies down ? again

The average rent for an apartment in the metro area rose to $1,315.39 versus $1,291.89 in the fourth quarter and $1,203.87 in the first quarter of 2015.The report estimates 1,809 new units were completed and that an unusually high 4,663 units were absorbed in the first quarter. As those newer and more expensive units get filled, that pushes median rents higher.Vacancy rates remain highest in the areas where the most new apartment construction is happening.

After showing signs of leveling off late last year, metro Denver's apartment market started to tighten again in the first quarter, according the Apartment Association of Metro Denver.

"Rent going up again during a traditionally weak quarter is surprising. We know that new units are dragging up the prices here," said Ron Throupe, a University of Denver associate professor and co-author of the Metro Denver Vacancy & Rent Report.

The metro Denver apartment vacancy rate dropped to 6.1 percent in the first quarter, down from 6.8 percent in the fourth, and higher than the 4.9 percent rate seen a year earlier, according to a report released Monday.

The median apartment rent in metro Denver stood at $1,274.34 in the first quarter, up from $1,244.66 in the previous quarter and $1,158.26 in the same period a year earlier.

The quarter-over-quarter increase in median rents was 2 percent, while the year-over-year increase was 10 percent. The quarterly increase reversed a decline in rents measured between the fourth and third quarters.

The average rent for an apartment in the metro area rose to $1,315.39 versus $1,291.89 in the fourth quarter and $1,203.87 in the first quarter of 2015.

The report estimates 1,809 new units were completed and that an unusually high 4,663 units were absorbed in the first quarter.

Throupe said that anomaly could reflect landlords filling units in the fourth quarter, but not updating their status until the first quarter.

"It could have been some timing issues on when things went online," Throupe said.

Developers are expected to add 8,000 to 10,000 new apartments to the market in 2016, not counting buildings with fewer than 50 units. Construction labor shortages could push some of those new units into 2017, Throupe said.

To fill all those new units, landlords continue to boost concessions, such as offering the first month or two of rent free. As those newer and more expensive units get filled, that pushes median rents higher.

Vacancy rates remain highest in the areas where the most new apartment construction is happening. In northwest Denver, the vacancy rate was 14.4 percent, while outlying Boulder County is at 10.3 percent and downtown Denver at 7.5 percent.

But even in those areas, more tenants are moving into once-vacant units, causing vacancy rates to fall from where they were in the fourth quarter.

The submarkets with the tightest vacancy rates include north Aurora at 0.9 percent, Boulder's university neighborhood at 1.7 percent and Wheat Ridge at 2.3 percent.

Apartments were also in short supply in Denver's Washington Park and Lowry neighborhoods, which had vacancy rates of 2.5 percent and 3.2 percent, according to the report.

Mounting job cuts in the oil and gas industry could start weighing more on apartment markets, especially the northern suburbs, starting this summer, Throupe said.

But he expects the momentum to continue into the second quarter, normally a stronger time of the year for the apartment market.

" In-migration is the engine at this point. If people keep coming, we are OK," he said.

Aldo Svaldi: 303-954-1410, [email protected] or @aldosvaldi

The Denver Post
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Tupac's mother Afeni Shakur dies after authorities are called to Sausalito

Afeni Shakur, the mother of rapper Tupac Shakur, died after authorities were called to her Sausalito residence following reports of a cardiac arrest Monday night.The Marin County Sheriff's Office reported on Twitter that Shakur, 69, was transported to a hospital after a call at 9:34 p.m. She was pronounced dead less than an hour later.Shakur was a member of the Black Panthers protest group and served nearly a year in prison before Tupac's birth in 1971.

Afeni Shakur, the mother of rapper Tupac Shakur, died after authorities were called to her Sausalito residence following reports of a cardiac arrest Monday night.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office reported on Twitter that Shakur, 69, was transported to a hospital after a call at 9:34 p.m. She was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

Shakur was a member of the Black Panthers protest group and served nearly a year in prison before Tupac's birth in 1971. Born Alice Faye Williams, the music superstar's mother served as her own defense attorney and was acquitted multiple times.

One year after the shooting death of her son in 1996, she created the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation for youth in the arts.

The sheriff's department plans a briefing with the media at the completion of the investigation.

This story will be updated.

San Jose Mercury News
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People Stars blitz with glitz at Met Gala

The theme this year is "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." AKM-GSI May 2, 2016To License These Photos, Please Contact :Steve Ginsburg(310) 505-8447(323) [email protected]@akmgsi.comorMaria Buda(917) [email protected]@gmail.com Enlarge While Kardashian walked the carpet with West, Bey stunned alone. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic) Enlarge These stars did not stand out. Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Belle of the ball.
Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Belle of the ball.

These are not the droids we were looking for!

Costume Institute queen Anna Wintour worked her Jedi mind trick at Monday night’s Met Gala, convincing Hollywood glitterati to dress up ? and down ? in robot arms, LED lights and throwback ’90s toy tamagotchis.

The perennial party of the season was in support of the Metropolitan’s exhibit “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” and stars turned out in future shlock and Gorey neo-retro in equal measure.

Lowlights included fetish looks on Madonna in bottomless Givenchy and Nicki Minaj in multiple Moschino seat belts. And Katy Perry looked like she was angling for a cameo in the “Beetlejuice” reboot. The only thing subtle about her outfit was the kitschy toy she sported, matched by one on her partner, Orlando Bloom, who showed up separately.

“It’s a tamagotchi from 1996,” Perry, who said she started getting ready yesterday, shouted at the Daily News.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Madonna attends the "Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) Enlarge Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Singer Katy Perry attends the "Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic) Enlarge These stars did not stand out.

There were some shiny, happy standouts.

Naomi Watts was stunning in a silver-paneled, seemingly simple Burberry frock.

“I need a robot to get out of this dress,” Watts quipped.

Kim Kardashian looked like she stepped out of “Metropolis” in a metallic Balmain, albeit on the arm of a bizarrely blue-eyed Kanye West. Supermodel Gigi Hadid clung to former One Direction singer and faux-bot for the night Zayn Malik, whose Versace tux included metal sleeves.

Greg Allen/AKM-GSI for New York Daily News/Greg Allen/AKM-GSI New York, NY - Kim Kardashian and Kanye West hit the red carpet at the "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology" 2016 Met Gala, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.AKM-GSI May 2, 2016To License These Photos, Please Contact :Steve Ginsburg(310) 505-8447(323) [email protected]@akmgsi.comorMaria Buda(917) [email protected]@gmail.com Enlarge Greg Allen/AKM-GSI for New York Daily News/Greg Allen/AKM-GSI New York, NY - Beyonce looks absolutely lovely in her pastel latex dress embellished with beads for the 2016 Met Gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The theme this year is "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology." AKM-GSI May 2, 2016To License These Photos, Please Contact :Steve Ginsburg(310) 505-8447(323) [email protected]@akmgsi.comorMaria Buda(917) [email protected]@gmail.com Enlarge While Kardashian walked the carpet with West, Bey stunned alone.

Queen Bey showed up fashionably late sans husband Jay Z. The future is hers and hers alone ? as if we didn’t know. Poured into a pink latex Givenchy with embroidered baubles, she noted, “It’s actually a lot easier than last year’s.”

Gala co-chair and futuristic gladiator Taylor Swift led a tech-savvy charge in a short metallic custom Louis Vuitton number.

Claire Danes lit up the carpet in a breathtaking, baby blue Zac Posen ball gown with a train laced LED lights.

Ageless Cindy Crawford looked like the life of the party in a strapless silver mirrored dress declaring: “I’m a disco ball tonight!” Hey, you said it.

Notably missing from the affair were Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Michael Strahan, still caught up in a TV war with small screen wife Kelly Ripa, who wasn’t on the guest list.

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Daily News
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Solar plane completes Bay Area-Phoenix trip

A solar-powered plane is crossing the Mojave Desert on its way from California to Arizona on the latest leg of its round-the-world journey. A solar-powered plane has landed in suburban Phoenix after a flight from the Bay Area on the latest leg of its round-the-world journey. A solar-powered airplane is preparing to leave California for Arizona to continue its journey around the world. Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg flew the plane, which began its globe-circling journey last year.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Latest on the flight of a solar-powered airplane from California to Arizona in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe (all times local):

9:00 p.m.

A solar-powered plane has landed in suburban Phoenix after a flight from the Bay Area on the latest leg of its round-the-world journey.

Solar Impulse 2 arrived in the suburb of Goodyear, which is just to the southwest of Phoenix, shortly before 9 p.m. PDT Monday.

The aircraft took off from Mountain View shortly after 5 a.m. Monday on the 16-hour flight to Phoenix.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg flew the plane, which began its globe-circling journey last year. Solar Impulse 2 flew from Hawaii to the Silicon Valley last week.

The wings of the plane are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries.

After Phoenix, the plane will make two more stops in the United States before crossing the Atlantic.

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1:30 p.m.

A solar-powered plane is crossing the Mojave Desert on its way from California to Arizona on the latest leg of its round-the-world journey.

Solar Impulse 2 took off from Mountain View shortly after 5 a.m. Monday for an expected 16-hour flight to Phoenix. By midday it was crossing desert northwest of Los Angeles at an altitude of around 23,000 feet.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg is flying the plane, which began its globe-circling journey last year. Solar Impulse 2 flew from Hawaii to the Silicon Valley last week.

The wings of the plane are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries.

After Phoenix, the plane will make two more stops in the United States before crossing the Atlantic.

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3 a.m.

A solar-powered airplane is preparing to leave California for Arizona to continue its journey around the world.

The Swiss-made Solar Impulse 2 will take off from Mountain View before dawn Monday for what should be a 16-hour flight to Phoenix.

Swiss pilot Andre Borschberg will be at the helm of the plane that began circumnavigation the globe last year using only energy from the sun.

Borschberg's co-pilot, Bertrand Piccard, also of Switzerland, made the three-day trip from Hawaii to the heart of Silicon Valley, where he landed last week.

The crew was forced to stay on Oahu for nine months after the plane's battery system sustained heat damage on its trip from Japan.

The aircraft began its voyage in March 2015 from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan.

San Jose Mercury News
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People Michelle Obama, Jill Biden appear on ‘The Voice’ to promote Joining Force cause

The biggest thing to sing about on Monday night’s “The Voice” was a guest appearance by Michelle Obama.The First Lady was joined by Dr. Jill Biden stopped by "The Voice" on Monday night. “Over the past five years, through Joining Forces, Jill and I have had the privilege of traveling around the country to meet our troops, the veterans, and military families.
Tyler Golden/AP Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden stopped by "The Voice" on Monday night.

The biggest thing to sing about on Monday night’s “The Voice” was a guest appearance by Michelle Obama.

The First Lady was joined by Dr. Jill Biden ? wife of Vice President Joe Biden ? as they promoted the Joining Forces cause for military families on the singing competition.

The high profile political women joined an audience filled with retired and active service members as they marked Military Appreciation Month and commemorated the fifth anniversary of the campaign.

“We are so excited to be kicking off this anniversary with all of you at ‘The Voice,” Obama began.

NBC Dr. Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama promoted the cause Joining Forces.

“Over the past five years, through Joining Forces, Jill and I have had the privilege of traveling around the country to meet our troops, the veterans, and military families. We are just in awe of them,” she continued.

Biden explained they were on the show to express “how much we appreciate their service through real action."

The duo then introduced the season’s top ten contestants, with Obama proclaiming “What talents!”

Tyler Golden/AP Obama will continues her TV appearances on Tuesday on "NCIS."

The special television cameos continue throughout the week for Mrs. Obama.

On Tuesday night, she will guest star in an episode of “NCIS” and will top the week off with an appearance at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.

In the hit CBS show, Obama will play herself as she invites Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) to the White House for  a roundtable discussion on Joining Forces with military spouses.

The extras who appear in the scene are real-life military spouses, CBS reported.

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Defense Secretary: ISIL killed U.S. serviceman in Iraq

Some of the militants were killed after the raid, while others may have managed to escape back to militant-controlled areas, the U.S. It was not clear if any Kurdish forces, called Peshmerga, where killed battling the militants.Kurdish forces continued to secure the area following the raid by the militants, and several firefights between the two forces broke out Tuesday. European Command here.The serviceman was killed by direct fire while visiting a Kurdish position that came under attack, the U.S.

STUTTGART, Germany ? Islamic State militants killed a U.S. serviceman in northern Iraq on Tuesday after they penetrated Kurdish defensive lines and launched an attack with small arms and car bombs.

It was the third American combat death in Iraq since the U.S. military deployed advisers and other personnel there in 2014 to support the war against the Islamic State.

The serviceman was a member of the U.S. military's advise and assist team and was more than a mile behind Kurdish lines when militants penetrated the defenses, according to a senior U.S. military official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter described the fatality as a "combat death" that highlights the dangers American troops face in Iraq, even though they are not engaged in direct fighting with the Islamic State. The name of the serviceman was not released.

"It shows you it's a serious fight that we have to wage in Iraq," said Carter, who is in Germany to attend a ceremony at the headquarters of U.S. European Command here.

The serviceman was killed by direct fire while visiting a Kurdish position that came under attack, the U.S. official said. The attack occurred about 20 miles north of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. Mosul is under Islamic State control, and Iraqi forces have begun preliminary operations to retake it.

The coalition unleashed 23 airstrikes with F-15 fighters and drones after the militants penetrated the lines, the official said. It was not clear if any Kurdish forces, called Peshmerga, where killed battling the militants.

Kurdish forces continued to secure the area following the raid by the militants, and several firefights between the two forces broke out Tuesday. Some of the militants were killed after the raid, while others may have managed to escape back to militant-controlled areas, the U.S. official said.

It is not clear how the militants managed to infiltrate the frontlines, which are a series of outposts that mark a line between enemy and friendly forces in the Kurdish region. That line is not secured by trenches or barriers.

The Obama administration recently announced that it would send an additional 217 military advisers and support personnel to Iraq, raising the authorized level from 3,870 to 4,087. The Pentagon acknowledged the number may rise even more when servicemembers are deployed on temporary assignments.

The administration has said the U.S. military presence is limited to advisers and trainers to support Iraqi forces, which have been leading the ground operations against the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL. It has also deployed a special operations unit capable of small raids against targeted leaders of the extremist group.

President Obama has drawn a distinction between that approach and sending thousands of conventional forces back to Iraq to directly confront the Islamic State, a move he said he opposes. Obama withdrew conventional ground forces from Iraq in 2011 after eight years of war.

Tuesday's death highlights the dangers that advisers face even if they are not engaged in direct combat with the militants.

In announcing the latest deployment of 217 U.S. troops, the Pentagon said it was loosening the restrictions it had placed on the advisers, a change that could put them closer to the battlefield. Under the new rules, advisers can be embedded with the Iraqi battalion headquarters. Before, they were limited to remain at higher brigade or division headquarters, which generally are farther away from the fighting.

The new rules were needed to help Iraqi forces as they embark on a major offensive to retake Mosul, the Pentagon said. Iraqi combat units will be farther away from large military bases, requiring advisers to go greater distances into the field to work with battlefield commanders.

Tuesday's fatality was the second U.S. combat death in Iraq this year. A U.S. Marine was killed by rocket fire in March in northern Iraq, where his unit was establishing an artillery position to support Iraqi forces when the outpost came under militant fire.

Last year, a U.S. serviceman died while supporting Kurdish forces during a raid on an Islamic State prison that freed a number of captives.

Contributing: Tom Vanden Brook in Washington

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