, June 22 (Reuters) – The Massachusetts
Turnpike carves its way east from Boston through the upland
hills and small towns of western Massachusetts, an area hard-hit
by the recent recession. It is here that some of the biggest
names in casino gambling are laying down fortunes in hopes of
reaping big payoffs, while local supporters and antagonists gird
for a showdown.
Massachusetts is but the latest state to bet on gambling as
a salve for its wounded economy. Before the first blackjack is
dealt or the first patron craps out, the municipalities in which
the gaming companies hope to set up shop will have their say.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – LeRoy Neiman, whose distinctive, vibrantly colored paintings of sports figures and athletic events made him as famous as many of the athletes he drew, died on Wednesday at age 91.
Neiman, a showman known for his handlebar mustache, sometimes painted live on television during major events such as the Olympics and the Super Bowl, helping make him one of the world’s most commercially successful contemporary artists.
(Reuters) – The Maryland Racing Commission ruled on Tuesday that Secretariat set the Preakness Stakes record 39 years ago, meaning the 1973 Triple Crown winner now holds the record time at all three races in the trilogy.
“I didn’t know if it was appropriate to cheer but I couldn’t help myself,” Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery said in a statement released by the commission. “This is a big day.”
(Reuters) – Some 2,000 former NFL players sued the league on Thursday, alleging it deliberately and fraudulently concealed the risk of brain injury from players while marketing the ferocity and brutality of the game.
The master complaint joined more than 80 lawsuits previously filed by former players on a topic that has generated increasing concern following the suicides of former players such Junior Seau in May, Ray Easterling in April and Dave Duerson last year.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – DC Comics is introducing a gay version of the Green Lantern, showing him in a romantic kiss with his partner in civilian life before donning his skin-tight unitard typically associated with straight superheroes.
Alan Scott is the gay Green Lantern in the title “Earth 2″ that goes on sale this coming Wednesday, competing for attention with the Marvel comics character Northstar who is due to marry his boyfriend in an “Astonishing X-Men” issue due on comic book shelves on June 20.
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – Alabama tomato farmer Darryl Copeland looked out over his seedlings and fretted about this year’s harvest.
He was afraid his seasonal migrant workforce might not return for the summer picking season, opting to stay away rather than risk running afoul of Alabama’s stringent immigration law. The crew he awaits is picking the Florida harvest.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has filed a $1 million countersuit against the hotel maid who accused him of sexual assault, costing him his job and any chance of being elected president of France.
New York police arrested Strauss-Kahn a year ago when hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo accused him of forcible oral sex and trying to rape her in his luxury suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan. Prosecutors later dropped charges after losing confidence in Diallo’s credibility.
Some rejoiced in the U.S. president’s courage. Others predicted hellfire at the polls. One pastor said he would reflect on the matter in prayer.
(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department sued an Arizona sheriff on Thursday for civil rights violations, alleging he and his office intentionally denied Latinos their constitutional rights.
The lawsuit cited systemic racial profiling, sloppy and indifferent police work and a disregard for minority rights by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and county officials.
(Reuters) – Some rejoiced in the U.S. president’s courage. Others predicted hellfire at the polls. One pastor said he would reflect on the matter in prayer.
President Barack Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that he supported same-sex marriage stirred impassioned responses at places of worship across the United States, underscoring the risk he took in coming out in favor of such a controversial measure.