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A boycott's birth: How the Missouri race protests began

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — On the day he met with black players for the University of Missouri’s football team, graduate student Jonathan Butler hadn’t eaten for six days.

The players wanted to know why. Butler told them: The school’s president, Tim Wolfe, had repeatedly ignored concerns of black students. He’d rather starve than live with an alma mater that condoned racism.

Usually a world away from the center of campus at the athletic complex, the players were surprised and angry. They decided to launch a protest of their own: They wouldn’t practice or play until Wolfe resigned or was removed. Until the fellow student they had only just met could eat again.

Man journeys from living under a bridge to Boston Marathon

BOSTON (AP) — Whether solo, jogging in a crowd, or lost in the sensation of music thumping through his headphones, Danny Dwyer sees his thorny past, thankful present and unwritten future blend to form the perfect sanctuary.

This is how he trains for this year’s Boston Marathon.

Each step is one away from battles with drug addiction that began when he was 8 years old. It’s a struggle that’s swallowed up a coveted job with the Boston Police Department and an engagement. For four years, he lived under a bridge. Now, he’s rededicated his life to helping others who struggle with substance abuse.

“I can give you many low points. That’s the thing about addiction,” Dwyer says. “If you don’t do something about it, the low point you’ve reached — it’ll go lower.”

BC looks to avoid winless ACC year in football, basketball

BOSTON (AP) — Boston College is on the verge of doing something no major school has done in 40 years — lose every single conference football and basketball game in a season.

Heading into Saturday’s regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference finale against Clemson, the Eagles are flirting with a 0-18 conference finish.

Combined with an 0-8 finish in ACC football play in 2015, BC could become the first ACC program to go winless in league play in both sports during the same school year.

Not since

UCF players, coach differ over death

UCF football player Ereck Plancher showed signs of distress during an intense workout last month before he collapsed and later died, four of Plancher's teammates told the Orlando Sentinel.

Plancher, a 19-year-old receiver from Naples, was taken to a hospital March 18 and was pronounced dead about an hour after the workout, known as a "mat drill."

A preliminary autopsy was inconclusive. Further tests are under way to determine the cause of Plancher's death.

The UCF players, who asked for anonymity because they fear retribution from football coaches, said Plancher's final practice was more intense than the basic-conditioning workout described by UCF officials.

After acquittal, Zimmerman still in spotlight

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — Whether they think that he got away with murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin or that he was just a brave neighborhood watch volunteer "standing his ground," many Americans can't seem to get enough of George Zimmerman. And he can't seem to stop giving it to them.

So it's hardly surprising that everything Zimmerman does produces a Twitterverse explosion and spins out into heavy news coverage. Comedian Deon Cole nailed it during an appearance on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" a couple of days after the July 13 verdict. Merely being found not guilty, he said of Zimmerman, "doesn't mean that you're a free man."

Fla. town somberly absorbs Zimmerman verdict

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Nearly 70 years after Jackie Robinson was run out of town, Sanford is absorbing what some see as another blow to race relations: the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Some black residents of this community of almost 50,000 people where the shooting took place say that while relations between black and white have improved over the years, progress has been slow and the Martin case demonstrated that problems persist.

Zimmerman cleared in shooting of Trayvon Martin

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges late Saturday night in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager whose killing unleashed furious debate across the U.S. over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice.

Zimmerman, 29, blinked and smiled slightly when the verdict was announced. He could have been convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter. But the jury of six women, all but one of them white, reached a verdict of not guilty after deliberating more than 15 hours over the course of two days.

Martin's mother and father were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read; supporters of his family who had gathered outside yelled "No! No!" upon learning of the not-guilty verdict.

In Fla., home signs warn of presence of predators

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — Brian Speer thought he had completed all of his obligations when he registered in Bradford County as a convicted sex predator after serving an eight-year prison sentence for child molestation.

But now, in addition to submitting to a public registry for sex offenders, he has a permanent reminder of his crime posted right in his front yard: a bright red sign reading, “Brian Speer is a convicted Sexual Predator and lives at this location.”

The sign is one of 18 the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office erected in mid-April outside the homes of convicted sex predators.

The signs have been praised by many residents in the small rural county southwest of Jacksonville, but some question whether the new measure reaches too far and could be harassment against people who have served jail terms and already submit to the public registry. Neighboring Baker County started a similar program six years ago.

Fla. town bracing for decision on Trayvon Martin

SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Tensions are rising in Sanford as a special prosecutor nears a decision on whether to charge George Zimmerman with killing Trayvon Martin.

Someone shot up an unoccupied police car Monday night as it sat outside the neighborhood where Martin was killed. And a demonstration by college students closed the town's police station earlier in the day.

Some residents Tuesday said they worry there will be violence if prosecutor Angela Corey accepts Zimmerman's claim of self-defense

Vendors haggle with city over All-Star game fence

ORLANDO, Fla. — In two weeks Orlando will become the center of the basketball world when the NBA All-Star Weekend arrives with an estimated $100 million local economic impact, but some nearby businesses are unhappy over plans they say will put them outside a fence from the crowds.

Directly across the street from the $480 million Amway Center, which is being paid for partially by tourist tax dollars and state sales taxes, several businesses say they are considering legal action over a city-approved 8-foot fence the NBA is erecting for the duration of festivities.

Anthony trial: lack of evidence or good defense?

ORLANDO, Fla. — Prosecutors proved Casey Anthony was a liar, but convinced the jury of little else. The government failed to establish how 2-year-old Caylee Anthony died and they couldn't find her mother's DNA on the duct tape they said was used to suffocate her. There was conflicting testimony on whether the putrid smell inside the family's car was a decomposing body or simply trash, and it was never quite clear why chloroform was so important.

The lack of evidence and the doubt raised by the defense — that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family's pool — was enough to win an acquittal.

Casey Anthony acquitted of murdering daughter

Casey Anthony's eyes welled with tears and her lips trembled as the verdict was read once, twice and then a third time: "Not guilty" of killing her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Outside the courthouse, many in the crowd of 500 reacted with anger, chanting, "Justice for Caylee!" One man yelled, "Baby killer!"

In one of the most divisive verdicts since O.J. Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his wife, Anthony was cleared of murder, manslaughter and child-abuse charges after weeks of wall-

Fighting a good fight

In a quiet apartment far away from the crashes, chaos and uncertainty of war, UCF senior Robenson Jean sits on his couch, clicking buttons on his laptop and remembering.

He's dressed casually in flip-flops, jeans and a black T-shirt. He resembles any other college student relaxing after a day of classes, except for the worn camouflage jacket he wears.

His eyes scan across the galleries of photos on the screen. They reveal snapshots of desert, debris and guys -- himself included -- holding machine guns.

Recovering Focus: Former Braves minor leaguer Joe Winkelsas laments a career sabotaged before it began

When Joe Winkelsas meditates, he sees vivid visions of a forgettable past.

He can see himself coming home from another bar fight at 4 a.m. --- drunk, blood on his face. Bacon grease on the corner of his mouth from eating at a restaurant whose name he can't even remember.

Hair all messed up. Drool everywhere.
He remembers how he used to wake up on those mornings and amble toward the mirror for a look at the damage. He didn't just leave the mirror and put his shirt on. He'd always clean up first before facing another day.

These visions are the gift and curse for the former Greenville Braves relief pitcher.
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