Ex-track coach's lawyers to question ex-top Texas officials

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 4:49 PM
Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 4:49 PM


            FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, left, with Texas president Bill Powers, right, formally announces his retirement during a news conference, in Austin, Texas. Dodds, Powers and former football coach Mack Brown all are scheduled to be questioned under oath next week in a sex and race discrimination lawsuit filed by former women's track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced out after the school learned she had a romantic relationship with one of her athletes a decade earlier. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds, left, with Texas president Bill Powers, right, formally announces his retirement during a news conference, in Austin, Texas. Dodds, Powers and former football coach Mack Brown all are scheduled to be questioned under oath next week in a sex and race discrimination lawsuit filed by former women's track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced out after the school learned she had a romantic relationship with one of her athletes a decade earlier. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

A former University of Texas president, former athletic director and former football coach Mack Brown all are scheduled to be questioned under oath next week in a sex and race discrimination lawsuit filed by former women's track coach Bev Kearney, who was forced out after the school learned she had a romantic relationship with one of her athletes a decade earlier.

Kearney's attorneys have identified former President Bill Powers and former athletic director DeLoss Dodds and Brown as key figures in how the school reacted to Kearney's relationship and how its disciplinary response differed from actions taken against former football assistant Major Applewhite, who was allowed to stay on the job and later promoted despite a relationship with a student trainer on a team bowl game trip after the 2008 season.

Kearney, who is black, was forced to resign in 2013 under threat of being fired. Applewhite, who is white, was ordered to undergo counseling, but was allowed to keep his job. He was later promoted and stayed on Brown's staff until Brown was forced out after the 2013 season. Applewhite, who also played quarterback at Texas, is now the head coach at Houston .

Kearney's lawyers have questioned why the school publicly announced Kearney's discipline, but Applewhite's incident, which school officials have called consensual, didn't surface until nearly five years later when the Daily Texan student newspaper filed a public records request for his personnel file. University regents said they didn't know about the Applewhite incident until 2013.

"Why did Texas sweep the misconduct of Applewhite, a white male, under the rug, but publicly punish Kearney, an African-American female? It's time for the decision makers to explain themselves," Kearney attorney Jody Mask told The Associated Press.

Dodds and Powers are scheduled to be deposed Monday and possibly into Tuesday. Brown's deposition is scheduled for Tuesday. All three are still on the Texas payroll and have been represented by school attorneys.

School officials have said Kearney "crossed the line" as a coach with her relationship with a student athlete.

"All actions taken by Texas were lawful and appropriate" the school said in a statement Friday. "We are continuing to respond to this lawsuit through the proper legal channels and will not discuss it through the media."

Applewhite didn't immediately respond to a request for comment made Friday through the University of Houston.

Kearney was one of the most successful women's track coaches in the country and was considered for a significant raise in 2012 until the 2002 relationship with one of her runners was reported to school officials. She now lives in California.

Kearney's lawyers are accelerating evidence gathering after a two-year delay. Witness interviews had been on hold while the university pursued appeals to block the lawsuit. Those moves began shortly after Kearney's lawyers first informed Texas they would seek depositions from Dodds, Powers, Brown and others, including women's athletic director Chris Plonsky. The Texas Supreme Court ruled in June the lawsuit could proceed.

Applewhite is the only person deposed so far. His interview and documents previously released to Kearney's lawyers were sealed by a court order, requested by the university on the grounds that it was needed to protect private student information. It is likely the school seeks to keep the latest round of depositions private as well. Kearney's lawyers have said they will ask the trial court to lift the protective order.

Kearney's lawyers have said they are willing to discuss settling the case. Texas has already spent about $500,000 to defend the lawsuit, according to financial records obtained by the AP.

Current track coach Mario Sategna took personal leave in 2016 and was later placed on administrative leave as the school conducted an ethics and conduct investigation.

The reason for the investigation was never made public. Sategna was allowed to return to work in January after the school said its concerns had been addressed. The state attorney general's office has ruled school officials can keep the results of that investigation secret.

New York woman shot by hunter who mistook her for deer

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 9:37 PM

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A New York woman is dead after she was shot by a hunter who mistook her for a deer while she was walking her dogs on Wednesday evening.

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Rosemary Billquist, 43, lived near the border of New York and Pennsylvania and was shot just before 5:30 p.m. The shooter, identified as 34-year-old Thomas Jadlowski, heard her scream and ran to her. He applied pressure to the wound and called 911, The Buffalo News reports. Billquist was shot roughly 100 yards from her home.

Authorities say that the shooting occurred after sunset, noting that it’s illegal to hunt at night in the state of Pennsylvania. Her husband, Jamie Billquist, told The Buffalo News that “they tried saving her [but] it was just too bad … It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.” He added, “She was always out to help somebody. She never wanted credit and was always quiet about it. She’s just an angel. An angel for sure.”

Officials say that Jadlowski is cooperating with their investigation and that no charges have been filed yet.

Rosemary Billquist was rushed to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania where personnel were unable to save her. Jamie was watching TV when an ambulance pulled into his driveway and a paramedic that he knew told him “we’ve got a gunshot wound,” and they ran to the field. Her husband rode with her to the hospital.

Jamie recalled his wife as an avid athlete with a zest for life, estimating that she ran over 60 marathons. He says that he knows the Jadlowski family but said simply, “It’s a two-second decision that he’ll regret for the rest of his life.”

If authorities do decide to press charges, Jadlowski will likely face involuntary manslaughter, which is defined in the Pennsylvania Penal Code as follows:

A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person.

Involuntary manslaughter is a first-degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Macy's credit card machines go down on Black Friday

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23:  People shop at Macy's department store on
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: People shop at Macy's department store on "Black Friday" on November 23, 2017 in New York City. Black Friday starts earlier in the season on Thanksgiving Day instead of the Friday after. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

When the credit card machines went down at Macy’s on Black Friday, chaos was inevitable. In recent years, the day after Thanksgiving has become known not for the deals, but for the fights that ensue when shoppers rush for those deals.

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The machines seemed to be down all over the nation, and angry shoppers flooded Twitter with their complaints as Macy’s worked to get its systems running again.

It’s a particularly tough break for Macy’s, which is almost the unofficial retail sponsor of the holidays. It’s Thanksgiving Day parade has been a staple for generations, and every American of a certain age remembers watching “Miracle on 34th Street” in which Kris Kringle fills in for a drunken Santa at a Macy’s in Manhattan.

In a statement to NBC, the company said, “It is taking longer than usual to process some credit and gift cards in our stores, but we had added additional associates to the floor who are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.” The news outlet reported problems in Washington, D.C.; Reno, Nevada; Chicago; New York City, Richmond, Virginia; San Diego; and across New Jersey.

The company eventually took to social media in hopes of calming the tempers of some customers, asking them to send direct messages.

CNN Money notes that Macy’s stock could have really used the boost from a blockbuster Black Friday; their revenue dropped 6.1 percent in the last quarter, which marks the 11th straight quarter in which they’ve experienced declines. A lot of that decline is probably due to customers moving online for shopping, but unreliable credit card machines definitely won’t help their image.

This Black Friday has been no less eventful than those in previous years. Early in the morning, a brawl broke out in an Alabama store that caused the entire mall to shut down. Even more absurdly, four grown men were caught on video fighting over a toy car at Walmart.

But, like always, the holiday has been a success for retailers, with TechCrunch reporting $640 million in sales at 7 a.m. on the West Coast. Unsurprisingly, a lot of that money changed hands online, and a large portion of transactions even occurred via mobile devices. Which means that while shoppers may have hit the brick-and-mortar stores, they were still buying on the web. Early estimates showed that sales were up over 18 percent from 2016, so with any luck, retailers made out big -- even though a few Macy’s locations are probably very, very disappointed.

Thanksgiving dinner mix-up now a tradition with grandma who accidentally invited teen

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 7:26 PM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 7:26 PM

Thanksgiving - By the Numbers

Phoenix teenager Jamal Hinton and grandmother Wanda Hence have turned their internet fame from 2016 into a tradition.

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Last year, Hence thought she was texting her grandson to invite him to dinner in a group text, but she was actually texting Jamal Hinton, 17.

Hinton asked who was texting him and was told it was his grandmother.

“I really thought it was my grandma, so I had to ask for a picture to make sure,” Hinton told BuzzFeed.

The result was a selfie exchange from Hence to which Hinton replied, "You're not my grandma!"

(Getty file photo)(Tetra Images/Getty Images/Tetra images RF)

But Hinton asked if he could still get a plate of food despite the mistake. Hence replied, “Of course you can. That's what grandmas do ... feed everyone."

KNXV reported that Hinton joined Hence’s family for dinner and is now her "honorary grandson."

When Hinton arrived and shook Hence’s hand, the two soon embraced for a hug.

"I'd never seen her before and she welcomed me into her home," Hinton told KNXV. "That shows me how great of a person she is. I'm thankful for people like that."

"He always has an open invite to our house for Thanksgiving," Hence told WVEC Friday.

  

Troopers: Naked couple crashes car while having sex; baby was in back seat

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 1:25 AM

Washington State Patrol.
David Ryder/Getty Images
Washington State Patrol.(David Ryder/Getty Images)

A naked couple, having sex in their car while their baby was in the back seat, crashed while driving, the Washington State Patrol said.

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The man was driving on Highway 7 near La Grande in Pierce County, naked and having sex with a woman who also was naked, when he missed a curve, went off the road and struck a tree, State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke Bova said.

The crash occurred Wednesday at 6 p.m. troopers said.

Witnesses told troopers both the man and woman were naked when they got out of the car, The Everett Herald reported. Troopers said they were also both impaired.

The woman wasn't wearing a seat belt. She was taken to the hospital with several broken bones. The 3-month-old child in the back seat was not injured.

The man was arrested and booked into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, vehicular assault and child endangerment, the Herald reported.

Troopers said the man has three prior DUI convictions.