Brooks named executive director of Lafayette Central Park Inc.

City-Parish President Joey Durel immediately supported the project, and championed negotiations with UL President Joseph Savoie to preserve the property. The board of directors for Lafayette Central Park Inc. has promoted Elizabeth "EB" Brooks  to serve as the organization’s executive director.  Brooks was one of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette students who spearheaded the grassroots campaign to “Save the Horse Farm” from commercial development 10 years ago in 2005."Obviously, everyone knows that the Horse Farm has been near and dear to my heart since the beginning,” said City-Parish President Joey Durel.  “I have enjoyed working with EB over that period of time, but have also enjoyed watching her as she matured from an idealistic student to now leading the organization, and dealing with the realities of what it takes to get this project done the right way for our community.  Her passion and commitment to the project make her the right person for this new role."In 2012, Lafayette Consolidated Government purchased the 100-acre property for $6.8 million from the University, and in 2013, Lafayette Central Park Inc. was formed as a new nonprofit to oversee the design, development and operation and maintenance of the park.  Brooks was first hired as the director of planning & design, and in 2014, moved up to serve as the director of administration & capital projects.Brooks is a UL graduate with bachelor’s degrees in community sustainability and Spanish, worked in Houston for Mayor Bill White as a City Hall fellow and later as planning and urban design project manager for nonprofit BetterHouston.  She earned dual master’s degrees in community & regional planning, and urban design, from the University of Texas at Austin.“I am honored and excited to serve in this new capacity for our organization," Brooks said. "It’s been an Continue Reading

Kimani Young, director of New Heights basketball program, to take assistant coaching position under new FIU coach Richard Pitino

Kimani Young thought he was on his way in the summer of 2008.   Then, the longtime athletic director of the New Heights AAU basketball program, took a job at St. John’s as the team's video coordinator and team manager for then-coach Norm Roberts. It was a significant moment for Young, a Brooklyn native whose rise included stints as an AAU coach and high school assistant.   But after just one season at St. John's, Young received a blow that would change his life and alter his career forever. His wife, Sharette Dixon, died of cardiac arrest on March 23, 2009 at the age of 38 following a bout with pneumonia. Suddenly, Young was a widower and facing the task of raising their three children, so he left his position at St. John’s, putting his basketball goals on hold.   More than three years later, Young has been given a second chance.   Young has agreed to join Richard Pitino's staff at Florida International as an assistant, Young told the Daily News on Monday.   A father of two young boys and a girl, Young plans to move his family down to the Miami area in August. He'll start his new job on July 1, when he will be “on the road recruiting,” he said. He will also be forced to relinquish his duties as the director of the New Heights program.   “I’m very excited,” Young said. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It’s the natural progression for someone like me that’s been in the business for sometime - a young, hungry coach. I’m just appreciative and excited about the opportunity.”   Young first met Richard Pitino, the son of legendary coach Rick Pitino, several years ago at a Florida team basketball camp where the younger Pitino was an assistant under Florida coach Billy Donovan. Young was friends with then Florida assistant Rob Lanier.   Richard Pitino was hired in April following the firing of former Knicks coach Isiah Thomas, who Continue Reading

Bridgegate: Kelly says she told Christie of plan

Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy to Gov. Chris Christie accused of choking access to the George Washington Bridge to punish a Democratic mayor, said Friday that she spoke with Christie twice about the 2013 lane closures — before and after she sent the infamous “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email.After nearly three years of silence — besides a brief news conference following her indictment — Kelly took the witness stand in her own criminal trial and told her long-anticipated side of the story regarding what happened before and during the week of gridlock. She described her role in the administration as a sort of stagehand, responsible for making sure the governor’s public events were properly organized and his social events were catered to his liking. And Kelly tearfully told the jury that she was scared of Christie after receiving profane put-downs and, in one instance, being hit by a water bottle he threw in a fit of pique.Kelly’s testimony came in the fifth week of the trial in which she and Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority, are charged with nine counts related to the lane closures. They are accused of working with Baroni’s deputy, David Wildstein, who has pleaded guilty, to reducing access lanes to the bridge to retaliate against Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, for not endorsing Christie’s re-election. MORE: Bridget Anne Kelly to have her say in courtThe involvement of those three associates in the lane closures has hounded Christie since he cruised to a second term and, he has acknowledged, played at least some part in dragging down his once-promising bid for the presidency. But Christie, who has not been charged, has steadfastly denied having knowledge of the lane closures before or in the several months after they happened.Christie’s office issued a denial Friday, saying the governor “had no role in Continue Reading

Knicks announce the hiring of veteran NBA executive Mark Warkentien as director of pro personnel

The Knicks, as has been expected for the last week, hired veteran NBA executive Mark Warkentien to be their director of pro personnel, the team announced Saturday.Warkentien is close with Knicks president Donnie Walsh, so this might be an indication that the Knicks plan to bring Walsh back for his fourth season next year. Garden chairman Jim Dolan has until April 30 to exercise the clause covering Walsh's fourth season.Warkentien most recently was VP of basketball operations for the Nuggets, where he spent five seasons. He also has also worked for Portland, Cleveland and Seattle. In a position created for Warkentien, he will assist Walsh on the draft, along with scouting assignments and other personnel moves."Mark is an excellent basketball operations executive and we are pleased to add him to our staff of highly accomplished executives and scouts," Walsh said.Warkentien was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2009 after Denver went to the Western Conference Finals. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Jets coaches’ salary cuts, opt-out of pension plan surprise director of NFL Coaches Association

Less than a month ago, Larry Kennan, the director of the NFL Coaches Association, praised the Jets for being one of the NFL teams "trying to do the right thing" for their coaches in the event of a lockout. So imagine his surprise when the Jets announced they were cutting the salaries of their coaches, along with those of everyone else in their football operation, by 25% before the lockout was even 24 hours old. "I was surprised by that," Kennan told the Daily News Wednesday. "They've been one of the teams that has done right by coaches over the last several years." That changed, though, when the Jets announced the salary cuts on Saturday. It also changed when, according to Kennan, they "very, very recently" became the 13th NFL team to opt out of the league's pension plan for assistant coaches. Not that the Jets are alone in their treatment of their coaching staff. According to Kennan, about a dozen teams have either already cut coaches' salaries 25-50% or are likely to do so within the month. If the lockout lasts 90 days, he said, almost all NFL coaches - even head coaches - will see their salaries cut. "It's a little frustrating because at this point in time nobody's losing money," Kennan said. "The players get paid during the season and the owners, I don't see where they're losing any money at this point. But they're taking our money to pay their bills. "We don't have anything to do with this lockout. The players are locked out, they can't work. Coaches are going to work, but they're going to get a cut in pay." The problem might be even worse than Kennan knows because while he is able to get information from NFL agents, many assistant coaches have been ordered not to tell anyone that their salaries are being slashed. "Some of them have been threatened with being fired," Kennan said. "That shows you (owners) know what they're doing is wrong and they don't want people to know it." There are some NFL teams protecting their Continue Reading

First images released of planned National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum at Ground Zero

These are the first dramatic images of the underground museum at Ground Zero that will memorialize the nearly 3,000 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. Nine years after the terrorists attacked Lower Manhattan, the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum Thursday released artists' renderings depicting the gut-wrenching planned exhibits. Millions of visitors from around the globe will be bombarded with thousands of poignant tales and multi-media images of loss and recovery as they walk amidst monumental artifacts of the day of terror. "The exhibitions will tell the story of the unthinkable 102 minutes of Sept. 11 and will also recount the stories of Sept. 12 and the days and weeks that followed," said Alice Greenwald, director of the 9/11 museum. In a presentation to the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board, Greenwald said tourists and locals would enter a gallery that asks the inevitable question: "Where were you on 9/11?" In the introductory exhibit, framed by a glowing map of the world, visitors would experience a choreographed soundscape of recordings of everyday people from the South Bronx to South Korea recounting their reactions on that fateful day. "One-third of the world's population watched it simultaneously, and they all have extraordinary stories to tell," Greenwald said. Avi Schick, chairman of the LMDC, said the museum would serve as a "a world class space that ensures that we never forget how the world was transformed that day." Design images and blueprints released Thursday show: * One of the the tridents found in the fallen towers' architecture will serve as a screen for photos of the recovery efforts.* Displays will recreate the vigils and gatherings with recordings that pose the question, "What did you do in the days that followed?"Museum officials say they plan to open the plaza on Sept. 11, 2011, and the museum will follow exactly one year later.  Join Continue Reading

DeMaurice Smith, new executive director of the NFLPA, might tackle Roger Goodell

ALBANY - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday that he would not tag a suspension onto Plaxico Burress' jail sentence, but he had the right to do so.And DeMaurice Smith, the new executive director of the NFL Players Association, might have a problem with that. After talking with Giants players Thursday during his stop here as part of his introductory tour of the league, Smith said he has issues with the way Goodell doles out suspensions and fines. He also plans to make that topic a part of the next collective bargaining session. "The disciplinary system is something that now that we're forced to come to the bargaining table, it'll be something that I'm interested in talking about," Smith said. "Because I have very strong feelings about the way the discipline system is now. And the players have equally strong feelings." Asked if those feelings were that the NFL's disciplinary system is unfair, Smith said "Just strong. They're just strong." Smith also sounded like a man gearing up for a fight over the next CBA, saying he knows the owners "have taken steps to prepare themselves for a lockout" in 2011. He vowed to "confront this fight" because "We know we're on the right side of right." TALK IT UP: DT Rocky Bernard continued to practice yesterday and ended his media blackout, too. He said his hamstring injury was only "a slight strain" he suffered while working out during the offseason in Texas. He also thinks he'll be back to full speed soon. "I don't feel like I'm too far behind," he said. "The main thing is getting in football shape. I definitely want to get out there and get some live action." HIP HOORAY: CB Corey Webster said his strained hip flexor is much better and he returned to practice, too, although he's not sure if he'll play in the Giants' preseason game in Chicago tomorrow night. He said the injury was a result of "overworking, doing a little too much ... but everything's good right now." ... S Kenny Phillips (knee), LB Antonio Pierce (foot), Continue Reading

Senate confirms Leon Panetta as director of the CIA

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Leon Panetta as director of the CIA on Thursday, placing the nation’s top spy agency in the hands of a government veteran valued for his skills as a lawmaker and policy manager rather than an expert at intelligence-gathering and analysis.The Senate approved President Barack Obama’s choice on a voice vote. On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent Panetta’s nomination to the full chamber without opposition.During two days of confirmation hearings last week, Panetta told senators that the Obama administration would not prosecute CIA officers who participated in harsh interrogations even if they constituted torture as long as they did not go beyond their instructions. However, he would not say whether charges would be sought against those who authorized the treatment.Panetta also said that the Obama administration would continue to transfer foreign detainees to other countries for questioning but only if U.S. officials are confident that the prisoners will not be tortured. Some former prisoners have claimed that they were tortured after the Bush administration handed them over to other countries, a transfer process known as “extraordinary rendition.”“We can protect this country, we can get the information we need, we can provide for the security of the American people and we can abide by the law,” he told senators. “I’m absolutely convinced that we can do that.”Besides pledging not to interfere in the CIA’s day-to-day intelligence operations, Panetta said he would keep on Deputy Director Steven Kappes and three other top officials at the spy agency. He also said he would encourage differing opinions within the agency and would brief the full House and Senate intelligence committees as much as possible, not just their top members.“I anticipate focusing primarily on ensuring policy and procedure is handled correctly, rather than intervening Continue Reading

Ex-director of Bellevue Hospital charged with receiving bribes

A former executive director of a hospital has been indicted on charges of receiving bribes from a company owner who was trying to get a service contract with the medical facility. Carlos Perez, who worked at Bellevue Hospital, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Manhattan's state Supreme Court to two counts each of bribe receiving in the second and third degrees. He was released without bail and told to return to court April 16. If convicted on the second-degree bribe receiving charge, Perez, 56, would face up to 15 years in prison. Justice Ruth Pickholz ordered Perez, a U.S. citizen who is a native of the Dominican Republic, to relinquish his passport. The charges against Perez, who ran Bellevue from 1997 to 2005, stem from his efforts to help Professional Transcription Co., which transcribes and files medical records, get a hospital contract in 2000, prosecutors said. The company's owner, at Perez' suggestion, gave Perez' girlfriend a marketing job while trying to get the hospital contract, prosecutors said. Besides creating a two-page brochure and a two-page marketing plan for the company, prosecutors said, the girlfriend did no marketing work and was paid $25,000, $5,000 of it in cash. Bellevue soon opened competitive bidding for a medical transcription service. While Perez' subordinates were considering the bids, prosecutors said, Perez asked the company for two loans, one for $1,500 and another for $1,000, which he didn't repay. Professional Transcription Co. did not get the contract, prosecutors said. The investigation began as a result of a tip from a hospital employee. Perez' lawyer, Michael Berger, said after the arraignment that "whatever happened was not criminal."George Arzt issued a statement saying his client served the city "with distinction for 30 years" and is "absolutely innocent of these charges." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Drake names Mark Carroll new director of track and field and cross country

Mark Carroll was officially announced as Drake's director of track and field and cross country Tuesday afternoon."I am thrilled to welcome Mark Carroll to Drake University as our director of track & field and cross country," Drake athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb said in a release. "Mark has a tremendous record of success as both a coach and athlete at the collegiate and international level.""His plan and vision of success for Drake track & field and cross country and our student-athletes aligns perfectly with the mission of the Bulldog Way."Carroll joins Drake after spending eight years at Auburn as the head cross country coach and assistant track coach. He assumes the role after LaRon Bennett and Dan Hostager served as interim co-head coaches for the 2016-17 track season following Natasha Brown's departure for the University of Missouri in August 2016.During his time with the Tigers, he coached five All-Americans, six Southeastern Conference champions and 18 All-SEC athletes. Even more, seven of his cross-country runners reached the NCAA Championships.Carroll also brings with him some international experience. He previously served as the distance coach for the Irish Olympic team that competed at the London Olympics in 2012 and the European Championships in 2010."I want to thank Drake University director of athletics Sandy Hatfield Clubb for the tremendous opportunity to serve as the Drake University director of track & field and cross country," Carroll said in a release."Drake University has a historic and rich tradition in track & field and cross country and I am very excited to lead the program to future Drake Relays, Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA success. My wife, Amy, and I are looking forward to joining the Bulldog family."Prior to coaching, Carroll was a successful athlete himself. He competed in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic games in the 5,000-meter run, and qualified for World Championships six times. He also set Continue Reading