National Park Service(SANTA MONICA, Calif.) — National Park Service researchers in California discovered that a mountain lion they’ve been tracking since January has given birth to a little of four kittens.The kittens — who are all female — were found recently in Simi Hills, a small habitat wedged between the Santa Monica and Santa Susana mountain ranges, the Park Service said in a press release Tuesday.Researchers stumbled across the litter on June 11 when they visited the mother’s den while she was away. It is the first kitten den researchers have documented in Simi Hills, which is located near Los Angeles between the 101 and 118 freeways, according to the NPS. Scientists had suspected that the mother had given birth after noticing activity on her GPS collar that indicated she was denning.National Park Service“We are very interested to learn about how they will navigate the fragmented landscape and whether they will remain in the Simi Hills or eventually cross one or more freeways to the north or south,” said Jeff Sikich, a biologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.The nearly 5-week-old kittens have blue eyes and spots and weigh between four and five pounds, according to the NPS. Biologists have taken tissue samples, conducted a general health check and marked the kittens with ear tags.It was challenging for researchers to find the den, even with GPS information, because mountain lion mothers tend to choose difficult-to-find locations, the park service said. This is the 15th litter of kittens marked by NPS researchers at a den site.National Park ServiceThe National Park Service and its partners have been working to preserve and increase the wildlife between the Santa Monica mountains and other natural areas to the north, the organization said in the press release. It has been studying mountain lions in the area since 2002 to determine how they survive in an urbanized environment. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Agnes Stewart has been supplemented for the Dubai Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket on Friday and features in a strong Irish challenge for the Group One event. The Eddie Lynam-trained grey has won two of her three career starts, losing only to the smart Jack Naylor at Leopardstown, and she landed the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last time. A field of 10 is in prospect and they also include the Jim Bolger-trained Lucida, winner of the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in the Godolphin colours, and Aidan O’Brien’s pair Qualify and Together Forever. Richard Hannon’s Marsh Hawk was last seen winning a conditions event at Newbury in September and is another to have been added to the field by connections. Marsh Hawk forms part of a strong hand for Hannon, with Newmarket winner Osaila and May Hill third Shagah also in the frame. Saeed bin Suroor’s pair of Good Place and Winters Moon are others for Godolphin in the mix, while the list of contenders is completed by Ralph Beckett’s Forte. Press Association read more
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Take Dean Benson, the 47-year-old stage manager who sits in a folding chair near the Lakers’ bench, with often his main job to snag Bryant as he comes off the floor after a win for the post-game live TV interview.In his third season with the production, Benson was there at the Long Beach Pyramid when Bryant, after a workout for general manager Jerry West, sat down for one of his first local TV spots on Prime Ticket.“They’re telling me in my headset: ‘Take his hat off’,” said Benson. “I reach over, take it off, Kobe just looks up and smiles and rubs his head.”Shah, the Lakers’ lead game producer since 2003, was helping put together a preseasons special when Bryant arrived to join up with Shaquille O’Neal. For a show called “Showtime is Baq,” compiled during training camp in Hawaii, Shah said Lakers public relations VP John Black brought Bryant over, Bryant introduced himself, referred to him as “Mr. Shah,” shook his hand, said “Nice to meet you” and did an interview.“He was the kind of kid you’d want your daughter to go to the prom with,” said Shah, who grew up a Lakers fan in West L.A. and went to Cal State Northridge. “He already had a certain professionalism and knew how to deal with the media, which is something that’s very rare.”From there, Shah says he has been fascinated to watch Bryant work the media to his benefit.“The young guys today who are into social media to get their stuff out, that’s one thing. But Kobe knew how to talk to the media. He probably felt he had an ally with the home team broadcasters, which we are. He knew he could trust us. Over the years he’s been great to have on the telecasts because of the drama and excitement, but also for his access, his quotes, just everything about him.”Rusty Breslow, who crouches on the floor with a 20-pound camera on his right shoulder, has perhaps the unique perspective game in and out of Bryant’s career.Until recently, Breslow was at midcourt, opposite the scorer’s table. Lately he’s been moved to the baseline corner opposite the visiting bench. Making sure Bryant never tripped over him in the course of a game was always on Breslow’s mind.“I never wanted to be ‘that guy,’ and thank God it never happened,” he said, “but there would be times when Kobe would take a jump shot from so far out (near center court) and he’d fall back, and then make this wide turn as he ran the other way and I’d have to lift my legs and curl up and yell, ‘Kobe! No!’ to get his attention and let him know I’m there.”Doug Freeman, who directed Lakers games for years at FSW and continues do Angels and Clippers for the company, once told Breslow that he had the best camera spot for a basketball broadcast. Breslow’s job is to capture what’s called the “hero shot” – a reaction after a play, often used in a slo-mo replay.There are subtle things Breslow can capture, like Bryant winking at a fan in a courtside seat, or patting an opponent on the backside after torching him with a long shot.“Those things have been magical,” said Breslow. “He’s the kind of guy you have to watch all the time. Sometimes, I look away from the viewfinder and the lens and I catch myself just watching him. Then something happens and I go, ‘What am I doing?’”To a man, everyone on the crew remembers trying to maintain their role while also getting engulfed in the Sunday night game 10 years ago when Bryant went off for 81 points at Staples Center against Toronto.“I called someone on my cell, a normal regular seat-holder who wasn’t there, and said, ‘I think he’s going to get 60 tonight’,” said Breslow.Benson said he was talking back to Freeman in the production truck in the second half. Freeman would watch Bryant release a shot and shout, “No way!” Benson, who could see the trajectory from his seat, said he would reply: “Way!”Jerry Weinstein, who produced home games on FSW for four seasons and has directed games for TWCSN since its launch, never tires of talking about that career highlight.“As the producer, I had to be careful about doing replays because I was afraid we’d miss a crowd reaction or anything else live,” said Weinstein. “We had to let it play out, and figure out a graphic that would show his points – 65, 67, 69 – drop down out of the Fox box at the top of the screen.“It was electric in the truck, but not really crazy. We were all in the flow and trying to stay out of the way, let the action speak for itself.”The actions of Breslow, Benson and all the others who have been on this ride speak to the quality of work that viewers have seen of Bryant’s performances over the years.“I’ve been fortunate to shoot Magic (Johnson), and (Wayne) Gretzky, they’d come out of the locker room and you could see they were in the zone right away,” said Breslow, who traveled for many years with the team. “Kobe always had that.”As part of Bryant’s pregame ritual, he often fist-bumps those sitting at the scorer’s table. Benson has been part of that going back to the Lakers’ games at the Forum before the move to Staples Center in 1999.“I get my headset on and get in there for the bump,” said Benson, a graduate of Taft High in Woodland Hills. “I’m superstitious.”Now, there’s another layer added it.“We saw him for so many years in this ‘Mamba’ mode, wanting to tear the heart out of an opponent,” said Shah. “You’d even see him in the hallway and you’d step aside. But this year, he’s smiling, hugging guys .. I almost wish we got to see that kind of person earlier. But I’m not sure he would have been the same player.”Benson says it’s been interesting to see Bryant enter an arena with security guys in front of him, and a documentary camera crew behind him.“And he’s always wearing the best suit,” said Benson. “He looks like James Bond – and to me, he has been James Bond, always wanting to take the last shot.“I’m getting very melancholy these days, as we get down to four, then three more games left. I think about how fortunate I’ve been to see him play, the passage of time, back when we were both still kids and we both had more hair.“I’m spoiled. So many great interviews. There’s that lull of 10 to 20 seconds I’ll stand next to him, waiting for the live shot after a game. Just great memories.”Benson then touched his head, and his heart.“It’s all here, and here,” he said.More media notes, as well as the start of the annual review of 30 baseball books during the 30 days of April, are at www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarthMEASURING MEDIA MOMENTUMWHAT SMOKES• TWC SportsNet has scheduled nearly some kind of Kobe Bryant special programing from now until the end of the season, involving updated interviews, greatest games, Top 10 lists and features with team photographer Andrew Bernstein. “Kobe has always been cooperative and working with us with so many demands on his time,” said Larry Meyers, the TWC Sports executive producer. “The personal experience has been nothing but positive.” Jared Stacy, the coordinating producer who has worked on the Lakers’ package since 2004, admits TWC SportsNet can do far more Bryant-related wrap-around shows as the stand-alone net for the Lakers. “We can’t take any of this time with him for granted,” said Stacy. “Sometimes you can get jaded and when you’re around it every day, but now is the time to celebrate all the good times and the championships and buzzer beaters. At the core we are all die-hard Lakers fans and these are dream jobs for us. The fans always come first.”WHAT CHOKES• You really didn’t expect the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. thing to be resolved by Opening Day 2016, did you? Then you aren’t disappointed. No matter what is leaked out as the “sweetest” deal TWC is trying use to lure AT&T/DirecTV into ending this stalemate that started long before the 2014 season — and you may hear reports trickling out still– it continues to feel as if it will take a monumental shift in philosophy (and ego) from competing dish and cable companies to snuggle up to any SNLA agreement that doesn’t involve them having to explain a jump in their customer’s monthly bills. The Dodgers’ opener Monday at 4 p.m. in San Diego has both ESPN (Dan Shulman, Aaron Boone, Jessica Mendoza and Buster Olney) and SNLA (Vin Scully says he’ll be there).Meanwhile, both ESPN2 (Karl Ravech, Dallas Braden, Tim Kurkjian and uster Olney) and FSW (Victor Rojas, Mark Gubicza) have the Angels’ opener against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Monday at 7 p.m. And, yes, Olney at both the games is the plan. Mark Shah and Antony Hurd are on the record claiming to have defeated the future Basketball Hall of Famer.“He was so competitive, but you could tell maybe it was the first time he had really played,” said Shah, the Time Warner Cable SportsNet producer on Lakers’ games. “He’d play again and again, trying to figure out how to get better. He wanted to master this thing. We knew he was always competitive, but he was also motivating everyone else. It was a side of him we didn’t always get to see.”“I have a picture of me playing against him,” said Hurd, the TWCSN audio booth veteran. “And I did beat him. Maybe you can’t print that.”Whether it’s a fortunate moment spent with Bryant in an elevator or restaurant on the road, or working during historic games played out in front of them, those who have found their careers behind the scenes on the Lakers’ TV crew parallel Bryant’s 20-year run start are sharing their memories more these days before it winds down to the April 13 regular-season finale. Several did, in fact, prior to Wednesday’s Lakers-Miami Heat game.The TWC SportsNet partnership with the Lakers started in 2012, but well before that, there has been a core of producers, directors, cameramen and other production associates, going back to the original Prime Ticket, all the incarnations of Fox Sports West and KCAL-Channel 9. Some can recall vividly Bryant’s arrival in 1996 as a 17-year-old in his first training camp. There was that time a few years ago, at the Townsend Hotel near Detroit, when Kobe Bryant rallied everyone together for a Thanksgiving Day meal.All the TV guys included.The Lakers’ star wasn’t happy that the team decided against organizing a holiday party in the middle of a long road trip. This was an annual ritual, a time to be together, have a meal, hang out, and watch NFL games.This time, Bryant even kicked it up a notch by bringing some ping-pong tables into the ballroom. Then he started a tournament. read more
Coach Craig Brownlee stated that, “the season is long and adversity will come throughout, whether it be penalties, injuries, or general wear and tear. Yet teams that end seasons with success will see these early challenges as opportunities to grow and benchmarks to overcome.” QUESNEL, B.C. – The Fort St. John Northern Metalic Flyers were in Quesnel this past weekend, taking part in the Bantam Invitational Tournament at the Quesnel Twin Rinks.The Flyers started the tournament in a tough game against Prince George on Friday afternoon, and went up 1-0 halfway through the first period. After a scoreless second period, Fort St. John scored a pair of quick goals in the third to give the team a 3-0 lead. Though the teams traded a pair of goals late in the game, the Flyers prevailed 4-1.On Saturday the Flyers played a pair of games against Williams Lake and Vanderhoof. Game two against Bill’s Puddle was a chance for the Flyers to exorcise some demons, as they beat the Flyers in the gold medal game in Quesnel in 2015. After scoring to keep the game a 1-1 stalemate, both teams opened the taps in the third. The game was tied at three apiece before the Flyers managed to break through with a pair of goals in the final five minutes to secure a 5-3 victory.- Advertisement -In their final round robin game against Vanderhoof, it was once again the same script: the Flyers scored a pair of late goals to take a 7-5 win to earn the right to play Sunday.Coming out strong in the semi-finals against host Quesnel, the Flyers had a 3-1 lead thirty minutes into the game. Quesnel came back to even the score at 3. The Flyers took a 5 minute major for checking from behind, allowing Quesnel to score a pair of goals on that powerplay. A short-handed goal then saw Quesnel double up to a 6-3 lead late in the third period. The Flyers scored twice looking for the comeback before Quesnel caught a break to add an insurance goal for a 7-5 victory, sending the Flyers into a rematch with Prince George in the bronze medal game.The Flyers got a 1-goal lead before trading goals with Prince George back and forth until the two teams were tied 4-4 midway through the third. Prince George got the go ahead marker and added a late power play goal to lead 6-4 with less than 2 minutes remaining. Fort St. John battled back, pulling the goaltender and scoring with the extra attacker to make it 6-5. With 7 seconds left the Flyers tried to send the game into overtime, but Prince George held on to take bronze, leaving the Flyers with a 4th place finish.Advertisement read more