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Baseball auction offers ticket to 1867 convention PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVID SHARP, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:40

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — A piece of sports history dating back to the 1867 meeting that institutionalized racial segregation in professional baseball is heading to the auction block.

Among the items up for sale by Saco River Auction Co. is a ticket to the Philadelphia baseball convention, which marked the drawing of a color line that wasn't eradicated for good until 80 years later by Jackie Robinson.

During the convention, the National Association of Base-Ball Players' nominating committee responded to a black team's request for membership by banning teams with black players.

The convention ticket, along with an 1870 Philadelphia Athletics season ticket and a painting of Cy Young in a Boston uniform believed to date to the early 1900s, will be sold Wednesday during an auction at Saco River's offices in Biddeford.

The convention ticket is the only one known to be in existence, said John Thorn, official historian for Major League Baseball.

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Vegas tourism expected to have a record month PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:37

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A slew of sporting events, conventions and other events are expected to make March a record month for tourism in Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority.

In addition to St. Patrick's Day parties, the city is hosting a major construction industry convention and Major League Baseball's Big League Weekend, featuring the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets at Cashman Field.

Several college basketball tournaments, including the Pac-12 and Mountain West Conference, are happening in the area, too.

Frank Mercogliano, an assistant athletic director for the University of New Mexico, said his university's team brought their fan base this weekend to Vegas and the South Point Hotel and Casino, where they're staying.

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16 killed in stampedes for jobs in Nigeria PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BASHIR ADIGUN, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:38

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — At least 16 people were killed in stampedes for government jobs in Nigeria when hundreds of thousands were invited to apply for fewer than 5,000 positions, officials and activists said Sunday.

Interior Minister Abba Moro held the applicants responsible, saying they "lost their lives through their impatience." Activists blamed his ministry and called for him to be fired. Emergency officials said the death toll could rise.

Nigerians are desperate for work, with official statistics putting the number of unemployed at nearly 41 million of the 170 million population. Unemployment among young people aged under-24 is even higher — 38 percent according to official statistics and nearer 80 percent, according to the World Bank.

Moro was quoted as saying by the official News Agency of Nigeria that many of the applicants "jumped through the fences of affected centers and did not conduct themselves in an orderly manner ... This caused stampedes and made the environment unsecured."

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Jack Daniel's opposes changing Tenn. whiskey law PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by BRUCE SCHREINER, Associated Press ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — If it isn't fermented in Tennessee from mash of at least 51 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels, filtered through maple charcoal and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof, it isn't Tennessee whiskey. So says a year-old law that resembles almost to the letter the process used to make Jack Daniel's, the world's best-known Tennessee whiskey.

Now state lawmakers are considering dialing back some of those requirements that they say make it too difficult for craft distilleries to market their spirits as Tennessee whiskey, a distinctive and popular draw in the booming American liquor business.

But the people behind Jack Daniel's see the hand of a bigger competitor at work — Diageo PLC, the British conglomerate that owns George Dickel, another Tennessee whiskey made about 15 miles up the road.

"It's really more to weaken a title on a label that we've worked very hard for," said Jeff Arnett, the master distiller at the Jack Daniel's distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. "As a state, I don't think Tennessee should be bashful about being protective of Tennessee whiskey over say bourbon or scotch or any of the other products that we compete with."

Republican state Rep. Bill Sanderson emphasized that his bill wouldn't do away with last year's law enacted largely on the behest of Jack Daniel's corporate parent, Louisville, Ky.,-based Brown-Forman Corp. The principal change would be to allow Tennessee whiskey makers to reuse barrels, which he said would present considerable savings over new ones that can cost $600 each.

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