Governor Douglas appointed by President Obama to co-chair Council of Governors

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas has been appointed by President Obama to co-chair the Council of Governors, a bipartisan group of 10 governors who will work closely with the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, as well as other defense and national security officials to advise on matters related to the National Guard and civil support missions.“It is a great honor to be asked by the President to co-chair the Council,” said Governor Douglas.  “Ensuring that the state and federal governments are coordinated in response to domestic military operations and disasters is critical to the safety and security of our Vermont residents, and citizens across the country.”The National Guard Empowerment Act of 2007 directed the President to establish a bipartisan Council of Governors – five from each party – who will work with defense and homeland security officials on issues regarding the command structure for National Guard and active duty military forces operating within states in response to domestic disasters and emergencies.“Governors appreciate the opportunity to exchange ideas and views about military operations within their states,” said the Governor.  “This Council will provide a forum for the discussion of issues that might arise and ultimately lead to more effective responses to domestic disasters and emergencies.”  On January 11, President Obama issued an executive order to formally establish the Council.  Its membership includes:Ø Governor James H. Douglas, Co-ChairØ Governor Chris Gregoire, Co-ChairØ Governor Janice K. BrewerØ Governor Luis G. FortuñoØ Governor Brad Henry, MemberØ Governor Robert F. McDonnellØ Governor Jeremiah W. (Jay) NixonØ Governor Martin O’MalleyØ Governor Beverly Eaves PerdueØ Governor M. Michael RoundsØ Secretary of DefenseØ Secretary of Homeland SecurityØ Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and CounterterrorismØ Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public EngagementØ Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security AffairsØ Commander, U.S. Northern CommandØ Chief, National Guard BureauØ Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard Source: Governor Douglas’ office. 2.5.2010###last_img read more

Week 14 NFL picks against spread: Rams cover against Bears; Seahawks beat Vikings

first_imgMORE NFL PREDICTIONS:Week 14 NFL picks straight upWeek 14 NFL picks against the spread(All times ET)NFC Game of the Week: Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Chicago BearsSunday 8:20 p.m., NBCThis marquee game with NFC playoff seeding on the line will go to the team that’s better equipped to win in cold weather. That takes a mighty offensive line, an even mightier defensive line and a power back ready to get the tough yardage. The Rams can offer more black and blue with Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley, while the Bears’ pass-happy ways with either QB and ineffective Jordan Howard will burn them at home.PICK: Rams win 23-14 and cover the spread.NFC Game of the Week II: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-3)Monday 8:15 p.m., ESPNKirk Cousins struggled against the Patriots’ defense, but he will play a little better in Seattle because of more favorable matchups for Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Dalvin Cook in the passing game. Russell Wilson might need a little more volume passing in this game because the Vikings can play the run well, but he’s red-hot at home, and there is enough to exploit against zone coverage. Minnesota will keep it close, but Seattle will take more control of an NFC wild-card in the end.PICK: Seahawks win 27-24 in a push.NFC Game of the Week III: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5)Sunday 4:25 p.m., FoxThe Eagles are coming off an impressive, much-needed win over the Redskins, but now it’s a short week for a tough rematch against the Cowboys, who stay at home for a third straight week after a long week. Philadelphia hasn’t been in total rhythm, and that plays into Dallas’ hands with its good run defense. The Cowboys’ more streamlined approach with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott will help them hold serve to finish a sweep of the Eagles and add to their control of the NFC East.PICK: Cowboys win 27-23 and cover the spread.AFC Game of the Week: Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)Sunday 1 p.m., CBSLamar Jackson will likely get his chance to go 4-0 as a rookie starter with Joe Flacco hurting, and you can bet Baltimore will use his running, along with that of power back Gus Edwards, to try to play ball control and finish drives in the red zone to help limit the opportunities for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ offense. But the Ravens’ defense still has some key holes against slot receivers and tight ends, which will line up with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce using their speed and athleticism to break through. Kansas City will get a good lead at some point and tee off on Jackson.PICK: Chiefs win 34-20 and cover the spread.Lock of the Week: New Orleans Saints (-10) over Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Saints, before their offensive stumble in the loss to the Cowboys in Week 13, had previously only lost a Week 1 shootout at home to the Bucs. With the NFC South title still not clinched, they go into Tampa Bay with big revenge on their minds. Look for Drew Brees to do whatever he wants, and eventually, Jameis Winston will commit some key turnovers while trying to keep up.PICK: Saints win 45-21 and cover the spread.MORE: Updated NFL playoff pictureRest of the WeekAtlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers (-4)Sunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Packers will come out motivated for interim coach Joe Philbin, and the matchup is a great against a depleted defense for both Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones at home. But the Falcons, wanting to finish strong for Dan Quinn, will also feel good about what Matt Ryan and Julio Jones can do against an opponent and in a place where they have dominated. Both teams will be able to score big points, but Green Bay will win on a late field goal, unlike last week.PICK: Packers win 30-27 but fail to cover the spread.Carolina Panthers (-1) at Cleveland BrownsSunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Panthers’ defense got some help from Ron Rivera calling plays against the Buccaneers, but their turnovers were too much to overcome. The Browns’ defense is pretty tough at home, and the matchups are better for Baker Mayfield’s primary weapons than those of Cam Newton. It comes down to which dynamic back, Nick Chubb or Christian McCaffrey, can carry the day. Strangely, Carolina’s good run defense tends to turn awful on the road, while Cleveland’s bad run defense somehow is more respectable at home.PICK: Browns win 27-24.Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-4.5)Sunday 1 p.m., CBSTheir first matchup, when the Colts lost in overtime, ended up creating a spark for Indy. But its road losses to the Jets and Jaguars have curbed any enthusiasm about a surprise late run to an AFC wild card. The Texans can put the AFC South on lock here and will stick with running the ball effectively to set up comfortable shots for Deshaun Watson. Andrew Luck and the passing game were weirdly out of sync against the Jaguars and will fare better here, but it’s not enough against a surging defense that will get key pressures and takeaways.PICK: Texans win 30-23 and cover the spread.New England Patriots (-9) at Miami DolphinsSunday 1 p.m., CBSThe Patriots haven’t been great on the road this season, and the Dolphins have posed problems for Tom Brady in the past. But New England also knows it can run effectively against Miami’s defense with its full cadre of backs. The Dolphins are also giving up more big plays in the passing game, so they will be vulnerable to a few Brady deep shots off play-action.PICK: Patriots win 34-14 and cover the spread.New York Giants (-3.5) at Washington RedskinsSunday 1 p.m., FoxThe Giants are finally finding their identity with Pat Shurmur, making it clear they might really be only a quarterback away from being a playoff-race factor in 2019. The Redskins have no answers for Saquon Barkley or Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants’ defense has gained confidence of late under James Bettcher and will be ready to take down Mark Sanchez.PICK: Giants win 27-20 and cover the spread.New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-4.5)Sunday 1 p.m., CBSThe Jets are going veteran mode vs. seeing more of young players, a sign Todd Bowles knows he needs to get a couple wins. So that makes Sam Darnold iffy to return regardless of his foot injury, also given this is a brutal pass defense for a rookie to face on the road. The Bills are going the other way, showcasing Josh Allen as much as possible. The Jets will run the ball well to keep it close, but the Bills will smash whoever is playing QB late late in the game.PICK: Bills win 27-20 and cover the spread.Cincinnati Bengals at Los Angeles Chargers (-15.5)Sunday 4:05 p.m., CBSThe Chargers are road warriors, and for a change, they won’t need to worry about their home stadium being taken over by loud visitors. They also can be effective power-running without Melvin Gordon, and Philip Rivers can pick apart a pass defense that has holes in coverage. Cincinnati will not provide any of the same resistance as Pittsburgh did, and once LA gets a big lead, its pass rush will tee off on Jeff Driskel.PICK: Chargers win 38-14 and cover the spread.Denver Broncos (-3.5) at San Francisco 49ersSunday 4:05 p.m., CBSThe Broncos have rallied with three consecutive victories to get back in the AFC wild-card hunt. They’ll keep it going with plenty more of Phillip Lindsay running and high-percentage Case Keenum passing. The 49ers are scrappy with their offensive personnel under Kyle Shanahan even though it hardly resembles the projected Week 1 starters. San Francisco will grind at home, but Denver’s defense is too much in the end.PICK: Broncos win 20-16 and cover the spread.Detroit Lions (-3) at Arizona CardinalsSunday 4:25 p.m., FoxMatt Patricia and Steve Wilks have had their share of rookie coaching struggles, as both of their teams have been in transition schematically while also adjusting to a lot of younger personnel. The Cardinals simply have fewer weapons around the lesser quarterback in Josh Rosen vs. Matthew Stafford, and they also have the much worse run defense. The game lines up better with the Lions’ game plan.PICK: Lions win 23-20 in a push.Pittsburgh Steelers (-10) at Oakland RaidersSunday 4:25 p.m., FoxThe Steelers will not have James Conner for this game against a bad Raiders run defense, but they’ll have plenty of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster against a bad Raiders pass defense. Derek Carr will do some more things in garbage comeback mode to try to keep his gig for 2019, but Pittsburgh will pour it on as a get-well game before New England next week.PICK: Steelers win 41-24 and cover the spread.Game of the Midweek: Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-4.5)Thursday 8:20 p.m., FoxThe Jaguars’ pass defense came alive in a shutout of the high-powered Colts last week, and it can cool down Marcus Mariota enough. The Titans’ run defense has started to show major leaks in giving up chunk yardage plays, and Leonard Fournette comes in well rested for a big workload after his suspension. Jacksonville will settle for more spoiler work as Cody Kessler protects the ball better than Mariota. Last week was as rough and as unlucky as the number 13 might indicate. There were plenty of upsets with underdogs shaking things up one way or another.The only thing to do now is get back on the horse for another full slate of games in Week 14 and bring some more energy and success for the stretch run. There’s only one more month in the 2018 NFL regular season, so let’s show if we can’t win or place. Giddyap. (Game lines courtesy of Bovada.) PICK:  RESULT: Titans won 30-9.MORE: Updated NFL power rankingsLast week’s record straight up: 8-8Last week’s record against the spread: 7-9Season record straight up: 113-63Season record against the spread: 83-89last_img read more

Lakers playing a different tune in Luke Walton’s practices

first_imgThe visual outside of his window usually told Mitch Kupchak some important aspects about his team. With his second-floor office overseeing the practice court, the Lakers’ general manager could see a few key details up close.He could evaluate how often and how hard players worked. Kupchak could also view how a coach organized practice. But as the Lakers continued informal summer workouts, Kupchak witnessed something he called “completely new.”“Sometimes I’m glad I’m in my office rather than on the court because it’s loud,” Kupchak said on Tuesday before training camp started at UC Santa Barbara. “Some of it has to be censored. So we have to be careful with who else is in the gym. I guess that’s part of the times. But it’s a little racy.”Yes, most NBA players love hip-hop music, a genre usually guaranteed to feature a parental advisory sticker on every album. But just as parents may shield children from loud instruments or offensive lyrics, Lakers coach Luke Walton wants to expose his players to their musical choices. The practice stems from a tradition Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr adopted during Walton’s past two years as an assistant for one specific reason. The routine fielded effective results. Told about Kupchak’s remarks about the music, Walton joked, “I enjoy pushing Mitch out of his comfort zone.”“For mine and the players, our viewpoint is the same in censoring the music,” Walton said. “It’s a nice mix we have going on.”The practice reflected Walton’s laid-back personality. How the Lakers conducted the playlist captured Walton’s collaborative style.Video coordinator Will Scott put together an unspecified playlist. Walton plans to shift those responsibilities to others depending on the day.“I leave that to the players. We’ll do something on players’ birthdays where they can make the playlist,” Walton said. “If it’s my birthday, maybe I’ll put together a playlist. But for the most part, it’ll be on whatever players we decided to make captains or whoever likes music the most.”Walton continued creating that light-hearted atmosphere on Tuesday in different ways.He cut out one pre-planned drill out of practice after believing it would be redundant. Walton also gave players the chance to end practice early if they made 15 out of 20 free throws. If that happened, Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw promised he would complete 20 pushups. So when Lakers center Timofey Mozgov sank the last foul shot, Lakers forward Julius Randle hovered over Shaw to make sure he paid his bet.“He wasn’t going all the way up,” Randle said. “I had to make sure he was getting all the way down.”Lakers longtime consultant Bill Bertka then told the 50-year-old Shaw, “you’re too old to workout!”“It’s a way for me to sneak in a workout,” Shaw said, laughing. “I have to get in shape.”Walton did not exactly have his players get in shape with conditioning-heavy drills like former coach Byron Scott did the previous two years. Then, Scott placed trash cans around the gym in case players needed to throw up. Scott usually opened and ended the practices with running drills. Hence, Russell described Walton’s practices as different “100 percent.”But just because Walton may reduce practice time even during poor efforts, his players hardly fooled around. After playing for two Hall of Fame coaches (Lute Olson, Phil Jackson), Walton focused most of his practice preaching fundamentals. So his players went through numerous shell drills that forced the Lakers to communicate together.“We’d like to play more but there’s more teaching,” Walton said. “So it’s kind of counter-productive to have music blaring when you’re trying to teach.”As the Lakers learned on Tuesday, however, it is productive to have music blaring when they’re trying to create a more joyful atmosphere receptive to that teaching. “I always loved playing basketball with music on,” said Walton, who played the majority of his 10-year NBA career with the Lakers (2004-2012). “With the players, you could see some bounce in their step when they had music going. That’s something I enjoyed as a player and I saw it work with the team.”Granted, the Warriors made two consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won one championship because they had consistent outside shooting (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson) and defensive consistency (Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green). Walton called Tuesday’s practice a “success” mostly because he spent the three—hour session going over team defensive concepts after the Lakers fared 26th out of 30 NBA teams last season in total points allowed (106.9).Yet, the Warriors maximized their talent partly because of the positive vibes stemmed from transforming some of practice into a jam session. The Lakers quickly felt in a good mood on Tuesday because of the music blaring through the loud speakers before practice began.“When I’m with a few of my teammates and we’re playing a certain type of music, the vibe is different,” Lakers second-year guard D’Angelo Russell said. “Then when you play that music that gets you excited, hyped and rowdy, the whole vibe changes.”The Lakers’ musical practices provided a window into Walton’s psyche.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more