Digest for 04-15-14


COMMUNITY

Babe Ruth World Series news conference today

The contract for the 2015 Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series awarded to Pine Bluff will be signed at noon today during a news conference at the Pine Bluff Convention Center lobby.

The conference is open to the public. Visitors are asked to use Entrance D.

AOA District 8 meeting Thursday

The Arkansas Officials Association District 8 will hold its spring business meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Star City High School auditorium.

Attendance is mandatory for all officials seeking to maintain or move up in classification and to be eligible to officiate state playoff games. For more information, call Billy Joe Hulse at 247-3295 or Chuck Givens at 766-8099.

Basketball doubleheader at Belair

Belair Middle School will host back-to-back basketball games between Walmart and the Pine Bluff Fire Department starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Admission is $2 each for adults and $1 each for students. A concession stand will be open with hot dogs, chips, drinks, candy bars and pickles.

LOCAL

4A meet moved to Heber Springs

For 4A state track and field championship hopefuls, the road to the title has taken a detour.

The Arkansas Activities Association on Monday announced the 4A state meet, scheduled for May 6, has been moved from Nashville to Heber Springs. Strong winds brought a 90-foot light pole at Nashville’s stadium to the ground, according to the AAA, prompting the change.

Although a structural engineer is scheduled to check on the remaining three poles that light Scrapper Stadium, it was decided for safety reasons that the meet be moved to another location.

REGIONAL

Trotz out as Predators coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville Predators will have a new coach next season, as the club on Monday announced that Barry Trotz will not return behind the bench.

Trotz is the only coach the Predators’ organization has ever known, leading the franchise since its inception in 1998. He was the NHL’s longest-tenured coach and the second-longest in North American major pro sports, behind only Gregg Popovich of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

The Predators were 38-32-12 this past season and finished three points behind Dallas for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Nashville missed the postseason for the second straight year after reaching the playoffs in six of the previous seven seasons.

Trotz had a record of 557-479-160 with the Predators and a mark of 19-31 in the playoffs. Nashville advanced past the first round of the playoffs just twice.

NATIONAL

Phelps returning to competition

Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps is returning to competition.

A report last May indicated that the 18-time gold medalist was planning a comeback with an eye toward the 2016 Olympics, but he quickly answered with a vague Twitter response that neither denied nor confirmed the news.

On Monday, USA Swimming said Phelps will be part of the field for next week’s Arena Grand Prix at Mesa in Arizona.

Phelps will join Ryan Lochte and Katie Ledecky as part of the nearly 50 United States athletes expected to compete next week.

It will be Phelps’ first competitive meet since winning six medals, including four gold, at the 2012 London Games.

Dumars resigns as Pistons president

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Joe Dumars has resigned as the president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons.

The move is effective immediately.

Dumars has spent 29 years with the Pistons, including 14 as a player and the last 15 in the front office. He was named president prior to the 2000-01 season and built a team that won the NBA title in 2004 and advanced to the NBA Finals the following season.

The Pistons are a disappointing 29-52 this season heading into Wednesday’s season finale at Oklahoma City. Detroit will miss the playoffs for a fifth straight season, the longest drought since a six-season dry spell from 1977-78 through 1982-83.