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National

  • Santa Fe’s Rotich wins Boston Marathon

    BOSTON (AP) — Lelisa Desisa ran through the rain to earn a second Boston Marathon victory and his first chance to enjoy it.
    The 25-year-old Ethiopian broke the tape again on Boylston Street on Monday as the world’s most prestigious marathon tried to return to its routine two years after Desisa’s first Boston win was overshadowed by the twin explosions at the finish line.
    “Lelisa did not get to have the kind of victory celebration that a champion of the Boston Marathon should have,” Boston Athletic Association spokesman Jack Fleming said, interrupting the post-race news conference to place the champions’ trophy at Desisa’s side. “Lelisa, we want you to get your due today.”
    Desisa won the 2013 race just hours before two bombs killed three people and wounded 260 others, turning what should be the pinnacle of any distance runner’s career into an afterthought. On Monday, he finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 17 seconds to claim a golden olive wreath and $150,000.
    Kenya’s Caroline Rotich, who lives and trains in Santa Fe, won the women’s race, beating Mare Dibaba in a shoulder-to-shoulder sprint down Boylston to win by 4 seconds on a cold and rainy day that thinned the crowds but didn’t lessen their enthusiasm for the city’s signature sporting event.

  • NFL reinstates Adrian Peterson from suspension

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adrian Peterson has been cleared to return to the NFL. Now all that remains to be settled is where he will play next season.
    Commissioner Roger Goodell sent the Minnesota Vikings star a letter on Thursday advising him of his reinstatement. Peterson missed most of last season while facing child abuse charges in Texas.
    Goodell wrote that Peterson will have to fulfill all the obligations of his plea deal that reduced a felony charge to a misdemeanor.
    Goodell also told Peterson he would have to continue attending counseling while adhering to the league's new personal conduct policy to avoid further discipline.
    "Any further violation of the personal conduct policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL," the league said.
    Peterson's agent has said the star running back wants to play elsewhere next season. But the Vikings say they have no plans to trade him.
    "We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings," the team said in a statement issued after the announcement.

  • Tsarnaev guilty on all charges in Boston Marathon bombing

    BOSTON (AP) — Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all charges Wednesday in the Boston Marathon bombing by a jury that will now decide whether the 21-year-old should be executed or shown mercy for what his lawyer says was a crime masterminded by his big brother.
    The former college student stood with his hands folded, fidgeted and looked down at the defense table in federal court as he listened to the word "guilty" recited on all 30 counts against him, including conspiracy and deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction. Seventeen of those counts are punishable by death.
    The verdict, reached after a day and a half of deliberations, was practically a foregone conclusion, given his lawyer's startling admission at the trial's outset that Tsarnaev carried out the terror attack with his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan.
    The defense strategy is to try to save Tsarnaev's life in the upcoming penalty phase by arguing he fell under Tamerlan's evil influence.
    The two shrapnel-packed pressure-cooker bombs that exploded near the finish line on April 15, 2013, killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 other people, turning the traditionally celebratory home stretch of the world-famous race into a scene of carnage and putting the city on edge for days.

  • Steelers safety Troy Polamalu retires

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — His flowing locks bouncing off the top of his No. 43 jersey, Troy Polamalu spent more than a decade flying across football fields as the heady but humble backbone of a defense that fueled the Pittsburgh Steelers' return to the NFL's elite.

    Now, his singular career is a part of franchise lore. Move over Joe Greene, Jack Lambert and Mel Blount. You've got company.

    Polamalu, an eight-time Pro Bowler and 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is retiring after 12 seasons, telling the only team he's ever played for that it's time for the next phase of his life. Polamalu's retirement was first reported by the Uniontown (Pa.) Herald-Standard.

    "Troy is a shining example of a football man in the way he loved the game, the way he respected the game and the way he played the game," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. "It's a shining example of the window into who he is. He is a legendary Steeler and a legendary man."

  • In the NCAAs, time doesn't always fly when you're having fun

    The whistle sounds. The horn blows. And the madness grinds to a halt.
    Another stoppage in play. Another lengthy timeout. Another chance for folks at home to grab something from the fridge or be subjected to the 50th iteration of Samuel, Charles and Spike's geography fail across the U.S. on their way to the Final Four.
    If it seems like time stands still during the NCAA Tournament, maybe that's because it does.
    The television breaks are stretched to a seemingly interminable 2 minutes and 30 seconds, a good half-minute longer than the regular season. And that doesn't include the 20-minute halftimes — five minutes longer than usual — or the additional 15 seconds or so the guys in the TV truck occasionally request to fit in one more commercial that helps CBS recoup the billions the company invested to televise the magic of March.
    What you don't see at home? Coaches milling about talking among themselves. Players trying to stay focused. Benchwarmers taking in the band or the crowd when they're not serving as de facto student managers.
    Yeah, for nearly all involved, the tournament is the biggest moment of their athletic lives. And during those all-too-frequent lulls, it's kind of a drag.

  • Change to extra points likely in NFL

    The NFL’s dullest play, the extra point, appears to be headed for some changes, perhaps significant ones, for the 2015 season.
    While team owners didn’t vote on any extra-point proposals Wednesday, there was so much discussion and interest in potential changes that the issue will be a main focal point for the next set of league meetings in May.
    “There’s a clear movement to wanting to change and change it this year,” said Rich McKay, co-chairman of the competition committee and president of the Falcons.
    McKay’s committee will “develop alternatives and be ready for a potential vote” in two months in San Francisco.
    Among the possibilities are moving the line of scrimmage back for PAT kicks; placing the ball on the 1½-yard line for a 2-point conversion; eliminating the PAT kicks entirely, requiring teams to run a play from scrimmage; and allowing the defense to score, as in college football, if the ball is turned over on a 2-point try.
    McKay described the discussions as “lively, with lots of ideas ... it’s time to make this a football play.”
    “A couple coaches said they favor just lining up on the 2 and going for the 2-point play,” he said. “Or move the ball to the 1 1-2 for two points, or kick from the 15 for one, your choice.”

  • Minor League Baseball announces new pace of game regulations

    Minor League Baseball recemtly announced rules and procedures aimed at improving the pace of play in games at the Triple-A and Double-A levels.

    The procedures, created in partnership with Major League Baseball, will monitor the time taken between innings and pitches, and will limit the amount of time allowed during pitching changes. Umpires will continue to enforce rules prohibiting batters from leaving the batter’s box between pitches.

    Timers have been installed at all Triple-A and Double-A parks in plain view of umpires, players and fans to monitor the pace of play and determine when violations occur. The month of April will serve as a grace period, with players receiving warnings for infractions. Beginning May 1, rules will be enforced as written. The regulations and penalties for non-compliance are listed below.

    INNING BREAKS

    -Inning breaks will be two minutes, 25 seconds in duration. The first batter of an inning is encouraged to be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with 20 seconds left on the inning break timer. The pitcher must begin his wind-up or begin the motion to come to the set position at any point within the last 20 seconds of the 2:25 break.

  • Mushers embark on new Iditarod route

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Iditarod mushers began their 1,000-mile trek across Alaska along a new route Monday after poor trail conditions forced organizers to push the race’s start north, bypassing a mountain range.
    Canadian rookie Rob Cooke, who hails from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, was the first musher to leave Fairbanks as fans looked on from the starting gate and along the expressway.
    The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race usually kicks off 225 miles south in Willow. But because of a lack of snow this year, officials shifted the entire route around the Alaska Range and an area that left many mushers bruised and bloodied last year.
    This is only the second time Fairbanks has hosted the official start; similar low-snow conditions moved the Iditarod there in 2003.
    The finish line remains in Nome, on the state’s wind-whipped western coast.
    The route change eliminates mountainous terrain and a treacherous gorge. But the race now will be run on about 600 miles of river ice, and that can create a whole new set of obstacles.
    Some mushers have hinted the new path might benefit Pete Kaiser, a young musher who recently won an all-river ice sled dog race in southwest Alaska.
    Kaiser disputed that Monday.

  • USA's 'Miracle' has 35th anniversary

    LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — It’s been more than three decades since his landmark goal became the centerpiece of the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s Miracle on Ice. For 60-year-old Mike Eruzione, it still seems like only yesterday.
    “It was a long time ago, but for me it’s different,” said Eruzione, whose game-winning goal against the Soviet Union in the medal round at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics still sends chills down an awful lot of spines. “I deal with it so often it’s hard to believe it’s been 35 years. Every week I’m doing something or going somewhere that’s associated with 1980.”
    With his inimitable deft touch, Hall of Fame coach Herb Brooks guided Eruzione and his fuzzy-faced teammates, college kids matched up against one of the best teams in hockey history. On Feb. 22, they triumphed with an improbable comeback.
    The U.S. defeated the Soviets 4-3 on Eruzione’s 30-foot shot midway through the third period to deprive them of what likely would have been their sixth gold medal in seven Winter Olympics, then clinched the gold by rallying past Finland 4-2.

  • Stoudemire may be heading to Dallas

    DALLAS (AP) — Amare Stoudemire asked out of his contract with the New York Knicks because he wants to make a run at a championship.
    The veteran forward has apparently decided Dallas is the place to spend the rest of this season chasing his first title.
    A person with direct knowledge of the talks said Monday night that Stoudemire has agreed to sign with the Mavericks after taking a buyout from the Knicks.
    He can’t make his verbal commitment official until he clears waivers Wednesday.
    The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn’t official, told The Associated Press that Stoudemire could be available when Dallas returns from the All-Star break Thursday at Oklahoma City.
    The 32-year-old Stoudemire was waived Monday after requesting the Knicks buy out the remainder of his contract that was set to expire after this season. He’s likely to clear waivers.
    “I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to contribute positively on the court and in the community,” Stoudemire said. “Although I leave the Knicks with a heavy heart, I wish the organization the best of luck. Once a Knick always a Knick.”
    Dallas has needed frontcourt help since trading Brandan Wright in a deal that brought point guard Rajon Rondo from Boston.