Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Q&A: Cougars Hall of Famer Paul Sorensen on a huge Apple Cup matchup

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 12:25 PM

Three Washington State defenders surround Washington running back Sterling Hinds as Cougars safety Paul Sorensen (28) closes in on the play during the 1981 Apple Cup at Husky Stadium, won 23-10 by the UW. - WSU ATHLETICS
  • WSU Athletics
  • Three Washington State defenders surround Washington running back Sterling Hinds as Cougars safety Paul Sorensen (28) closes in on the play during the 1981 Apple Cup at Husky Stadium, won 23-10 by the UW.

When Paul Sorensen hit an opponent on the football field, he delivered a powerful blow.

A Cougar for just two seasons after transferring from 
Does it get any more Wazzu (in a good way) than Butch the Cougar and Paul Sorensen? - GREG DAVIS SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Greg Davis Sports Photography
  • Does it get any more Wazzu (in a good way) than Butch the Cougar and Paul Sorensen?
a Northern California junior college, he made an outsized impact as an All-America free safety who packed a wallop. A team leader and senior co-captain, Sorensen was far from one-dimensional; twice an All-Pac-10 All-Academic pick, he also intercepted four passes for a 1981 team that represented Washington State in a bowl game or the first time in a half-century, and only the third time ever.

Selected by the Cincinnati in the fifth round of the 1982 NFL draft (one of 10 players from that 1981 Cougars team to be drafted from 1982-86), he spent a season with the Bengals, another with the 49ers, and played in the USFL. You might know him better as the color commentator and analyst on Eastern Washington football radio broadcasts for the past 14 years, and as a color commentator on WSU radio broadcasts from 1985-98; during that 14-season span, he called some of the most memorable games in Cougars history.

In September, Sorensen was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame. He answered questions regarding his Apple Cup experiences ahead of Saturday's game in Seattle:


Q: This is the biggest Apple Cup of the Pac-12 era; arguably the biggest for Cougars fans in 15 years, since the 2002 game. What would a victory, with the prospect of a rematch with USC in the Pac-12 title game, mean to this football program?

A: The 2016 Apple Cup was for the Pac-12 North title and the Huskies won it in Pullman. The 1981 Apple Cup decided the conference championship outright; with either a win or tie by the Cougs, WSU would be conference champions for the first time since 1931. The Huskies won that game 23-10, then went on and won the Rose Bowl game over Iowa.

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Washington AG proposes solutions to the state's skyrocketing opioid crisis

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM


Opioids are killing people at a rate that is skyrocketing out of control — on average, two people per day in Washington state, according to a report released today by Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office.

COURTESY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S REPORT "REDUCING THE SUPPLY OF ILLEGAL OPIOIDS IN WASHINGTON STATE"
  • Courtesy of the Attorney General's report "Reducing the Supply of Illegal Opioids in Washington State"

The report, released in concert with Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste and Skagit County Prosecuting Attorney Rich Weyrich, lays out several policies to eradicate the drug's devastating impact.

The recommendations touch on public awareness, overprescribing by doctors, data collection, treatment and illegal sales.

Ferguson is also submitting three bills to the state legislature, one of which addresses the state's prescription-monitoring program that tracks when doctors prescribe drugs such as opioids.

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ENTRÉE: Getting ready for Turkey Day, and lots of leftovers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 10:12 AM


Hopefully you’ve at least gone to the grocery store by now, because there may not be any worse time to be braving the cart-congested aisles than the night before Thanksgiving. If not — or if you’re simply feeling anxious that you’ve missed planning something specific for Thursday’s big feast — we’ve rounded up some helpful features from around the foodie web.

Last-minute cooks can rejoice over 
Leftover turkey can be repurposed into many other meals, like this salad. - THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • The New York Times
  • Leftover turkey can be repurposed into many other meals, like this salad.
this handy resource from the culinary writers at the New York Times, which offers a guide to making your full meal, from the turkey to dessert, all at once over an 8-hour cooking marathon the morning before dinner.

The Times also offers up some tasty suggestions on taking full advantage of all those leftovers.

From the hive mind at Tasty, check out this overview of some easy and fast vegetable sides, like microwaved corn-on-the-cob, along with pan-fried broccoli and roasted carrots. All three take less than 20 minutes.

For a delicious use for all that leftover turkey, check out this recipe from Tasty for turkey skillet pot pie with buttermilk biscuits — yum!

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FCC threatens net neutrality, Trump cozies up to Roy Moore, morning headlines

Posted By on Wed, Nov 22, 2017 at 9:27 AM


ON INLANDER.COM

NEWS:
With the intent of preventing teen suicide and the help of a generous donation, Daybreak Youth Services opens a new Spokane psychiatric evaluation and treatment center for girls under 18 in crisis.

SPORTS:
The Apple Cup is Saturday in Seattle; we've got a Q&A with Cougars Hall of Famer Paul Sorensen, who weighs in on WSU's fast and aggressive defense.

NEWS: The Federal Communications Commission announced plans to dismantle landmark net neutrality regulations ensuring equal access to the internet. The proposal by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai would be a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. (via New York Times)

NEWS: A security breach at the ride-hailing company Uber,  kept secret for the past year, put the personal data of more than 57 million people at risk. (via New York Times)


IN OTHER NEWS

Trump nearly endorses Roy Moore
President Trump threw embattled Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore a lifeline yesterday, breaking with prominent D.C. Republicans who've said they believe several women accusing the 70-year-old Moore, a former Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, of pursuing sexual relations with teenagers when he was in his 30s.
Unlike their elders, the New Yorker says that Alabama's young Republicans are wrestling with the allegations against Roy Moore. (New Yorker)
Moore was banned from a Gadsden, Alabama, mall in the 1980s for aggressive behavior that included making sexual advances to underage girls, reports the New Yorker.
Beyond teenage girls: Every other terrible thing about Roy Moore. (New York Times)

Navy plane crashes off coast of Japan

A U.S. Navy C2-A Greyhound propeller cargo plane carrying 11 crew members and passengers crashed today southeast of Okinawa, Japan, the fifth accident this year for the Seventh Fleet, the Navy’s largest overseas fleet. Eight people were rescued; U.S. and Japanese naval forces are searching for the other three. (New York Times)

House Democrats move against Conyers
Democratic leadership moved swiftly against the House’s longest-serving member, calling for the Ethics Committee to investigate sexual harassment charges against 88-year-old Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr., the Judiciary Committee's top Democrat. Conyers, first elected in 1964 from a Detroit district, confirmed settling a wrongful termination complaint from a staff member who had accused him of sexual harassment. (New York Times)
The unfolding Conyers scandal has jolted House Democrats. (Politico)

City council may extend "ban the box" policy

Monday night, Spokane's city council will consider an extension of the “ban the box” policy applying to private employers within city limits, after eliminating the question about prior criminal history from public employment applications in 2014. (Spokesman-Review)

Avista shareholders OK deal
Avist, founded 128 years as the Washington Water Power Company, announced that its shareholders have approved the Spokane-based utility company’s acquisition by the Ontario company Hydro One, a deal that would pay Avista $5.3 billion. (Spokane Public Radio)

Search continues for missing submarine
Ships and planes combed a wider area of the frigid South Atlantic in a fruitless hunt for signs of the ARA San Juan, a missing Argentine submarine with a crew of 44, adding to growing concerns about the sub not heard from in six days; it's believed to have only enough oxygen to last for seven days. (CBS News)
What we know about Argentina's missing submarine. (CNN)

Grows on the down low
Even in an age of legalization, marijuana grows deemed illegal by the state continue to proliferate in Washington; the latest numbers from the Washington State Patrol show that 89 illegal grow ops were shut down over the past year. (Spokane Public Radio)

RIP, David Cassidy
The actor/musician, best known for playing teen heartthrob Keith Partridge on the early-'70s music sitcom The Partridge Family, died at 67 of liver failure. (NPR)
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Aiming to prevent teen suicide, Daybreak opens new Spokane center for girls in crisis

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Daybreak CEO Annette Klinefelter, right, hugging Bev Coplin on Tuesday at the opening of the new psychiatric evaluation and treatment center for girls under 18 in downtown Spokane. - WILSON CRISCIONE PHOTO
  • Wilson Criscione photo
  • Daybreak CEO Annette Klinefelter, right, hugging Bev Coplin on Tuesday at the opening of the new psychiatric evaluation and treatment center for girls under 18 in downtown Spokane.

More than two years ago, Terry and Bev Coplin saw something they'll never forget. They were the sole witnesses when a 31-year-old, the same age as their son, committed suicide in Colorado.

Ever since, the Coplins have dedicated themselves to preventing suicide. It's why they gave a generous donation to Daybreak Youth Services that allowed Daybreak to open a new 13-bed psychiatric evaluation and treatment center for girls under 18, which opened today.

"This is a happy day here," Bev Coplin tells the Inlander. "This is a wonderful thing that's happening. We really feel like out of that tragedy has come something that is very positive and beautiful."

Four of the 13 beds at Daybreak's just-opened evaluation and treatment center. - WILSON CRISCIONE PHOTO
  • Wilson Criscione photo
  • Four of the 13 beds at Daybreak's just-opened evaluation and treatment center.
The evaluation and treatment center has 13 beds for girls in psychiatric crisis, including suicide attempts or ideations, severe depression, psychosis, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It's located in the girls-only Daybreak inpatient residential treatment facility in downtown Spokane, at 628 S. Cowley St. Annette Klinefelter, Daybreak CEO, says the gift from the Coplins allowed Daybreak to transform a residential wing to an area accommodating the 13 beds for the evaluation and treatment center.

Nowhere else in Spokane, she says, is there a similar facility with a continuum of care that allows girls to enter the evaluation and treatment center and then, if need be, transition into the residential treatment center for substance abuse and mental health.

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Q&A: Cougars Hall of Famer Paul Sorensen weighs in on WSU's defense

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 12:56 PM

Paul Sorensen returns an interception vs. San Jose State in his first WSU game at Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium in 1980.
  • Paul Sorensen returns an interception vs. San Jose State in his first WSU game at Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium in 1980.

When Paul Sorensen hit an opponent on the football field, he delivered a powerful blow.

A Cougar for just two seasons after transferring from a Northern California junior college, he made an outsized impact as an All-America free safety who packed a wallop. A team leader and senior co-captain, Sorensen was far from one-dimensional; twice an All-Pac-10 All-Academic pick, he also intercepted four passes for a 1981 team that represented Washington State in a bowl game or the first time in a half-century, and only the third time ever.

Selected by Cincinnati in the fifth round of the 1982 NFL Draft (one of 10 players from that 1981 Cougars team to be drafted from 1982-86), he spent a season with the Bengals, another with the 49ers, and played in the USFL. You might know him better as a color commentator and analyst on Eastern Washington football radio broadcasts for the past 14 years, and as a color commentator on WSU radio broadcasts from 1985-98; during that 14-season span, he called some of the most memorable games in Cougars history.

In September, Sorensen was inducted into the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame. He answered questions we had regarding this season's Cougars defense ahead of Saturday's Apple Cup:


Q: It's no surprise that Mike Leach's Air Raid offense has held up its end of the bargain this season; what's really set this team apart is its success on defense. As a former Cougars safety, what's responsible for WSU's defensive breakthrough?

A: WSU has recruited better athletes on the defensive side of the ball, and then done a great job coaching them up, led by third-year coordinator Alex Grinch, being mentioned in the same breath as (Clemson defensive coordinator) Brent Venables and (Miami defensive coordinator) Manny Diaz as one of the top three defensive coordinators in the land.

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Hawks lose a heartbreaker, Charlie Rose accused of sexual harassment, morning headlines

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 9:26 AM


ON INLANDER.COM


ARTS & CULTURE: Claudia Castro Luna of Seattle will succeed Spokane's Tod Marshall as Washington state poet laureate.


IN OTHER NEWS

We saw this coming
After costly mistakes in the first half put them in an early deficit, the Seahawks stormed back thanks to Russell Wilson and had a chance to send the Monday Night Football game against the Atlanta Falcons into overtime. All kicker Blair Walsh had to do was make a 52-yard field goal. But Walsh missed the field goal, and the Hawks lost 34-31 in a heartbreaker. (Seattle Times)

It's about time
A woman has been named assistant fire chief in the Spokane Fire Department for the first time. Trisha Wolford will help Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer with planning, coordinating and administering the SPD's activities; she begins Dec. 27. (Spokesman-Review)

Explicit photo drive in Medical Lake
Detectives are investigating after finding out that a 17-year-old Medical Lake High School student had been charging others for access to a Google Drive account that contained nude pictures of girls ages 14 to 17, many of whom attended Medical Lake High School. No arrests have been made. (KXLY)

Him too
Charlie Rose, longtime TV hot for CBS and PBS and a correspondent for 60 Minutes, has been accused by eight women of making unwanted sexual advances, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked and groping them. (Washington Post)

Media elite
The U.S. Justice Department has sued to block AT&T, one of the nation's largest internet and telephone providers, from merging with Time Warner. The merger would create a media and telecommunications behemoth, but the Justice Department argues it would weaken competition. (New York Times)
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Monday, November 20, 2017

Minus Kam and Sherm, Seahawks host Falcons on Monday Night Football

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 2:56 PM

Russell Wilson, Thomas Rawls and the rest of the Seahawks hope to have something to celebrate tonight in their only Monday Night Football appearance when they host the Falcons, who knocked them out of last season's NFC playoffs. - SEAHAWKS.COM
  • Seahawks.com
  • Russell Wilson, Thomas Rawls and the rest of the Seahawks hope to have something to celebrate tonight in their only Monday Night Football appearance when they host the Falcons, who knocked them out of last season's NFC playoffs.

In the aftermath of Richard Sherman's season-ending ruptured Achilles tendon, Seahawks fans could at least take comfort in the return of Earl Thomas, who plays Monday night after a two-game, three-week absence as the 5-4 Falcons, away from home for the fourth time in their past five games and looking nothing like the NFC champions they were just nine months ago, come calling.

But that was before the news that Kam Chancellor's season is almost certainly over as well, ended by a neck injury — first diagnosed as a stinger — he suffered in the Cardinals' final possession in the Hawks' costly 22-16 victory at Arizona on Nov. 9. The Hawks are likely to place the four-time Pro Bowl strong safety on injured reserve, ending his season early for the first time in his eight-year career.

What was likely Chancellor's final game of 2017 was also his best — nine of his team-high 10 tackles were solo stops; he knocked down a Drew Stanton pass; forced Adrian Peterson's fumble on the first play from scrimmage, setting the Hawks up at the Cardinals' 48; and tackled Peterson, like Chancellor a future Hall of Famer, in the end zone for a safety that gave the Hawks a 9-7 lead early in the second quarter.

As with fellow eight-year veteran Thomas, who has inserted himself into Comeback Player of the Year discussion — he broke the tibia in his left leg in Week 13, ending his 2016 season — Chancellor entered the season coming off surgery, in his case to remove bone spurs from both ankles.


In this case, the next man up is Bradley McDougald, signed away from the Buccaneers as a free agent to a one-year, $2 million deal in March, a little-noted transaction at the time that's proving to be a big deal in light of the Seahawks' suddenly injury-riddled secondary.

McDougald spent the past two games filling in for Thomas, a four-time Pro Bowl free safety who along with middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is the quarterback of Seattle's defense, responsible for diagnosing offensive formations and getting his teammates in the right position before the ball is snapped. Now he switches over to strong safety, tasked with replacing Chancellor, the defense's soul, a physical, intimidating enforcer and tone-setter.

At 6-1, 210, McDougald was a bigger option at free safety than the 5-10, 202-pound Thomas, but at strong safety is nowhere near Chancellor's chiseled 6-foot-3, 230-pound frame. In three-plus seasons in Tampa Bay, the fifth-year pro with strong ball skills — he was a two-way player (wide receiver/safety) his first two college seasons at Kansas — started 36 games at free safety, including 31 of 32 his final two years.

The cavalry has arrived in a besieged Seahawks secondary in the form of Byron Maxwell, who spent his first four seasons with Seattle, playing a meaningful role on two Super Bowl teams, but left in 2015 for a six-year, $63 million deal from the Eagles; he played just one season in Philadelphia before being dealt to Miami. The Hawks are fortunate to have another veteran corner in Jeremy Lane, who steps in for Sherman; the nickel back, sent to Houston in the Duane Brown trade three weeks ago, was returned by the Texans after failing his physical.

It will be the first time since January 2011 that the Seahawks take the field without Sherman's presence as a shutdown corner; since then, their defense has never been without two among the trio of Sherman, Thomas and Chancellor.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has had success against the Seahawks, even with all of their best defensive backs healthy, completing two-thirds of his passes and averaging 260 yards in six games in the Pete Carroll era, and throwing for three touchdowns in four of them, including a 36-20 victory in January in an NFC divisional playoff game in Atlanta.

Former Huskies and USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, regarded as an offensive savant of sorts at the college level and hired by then-Trojans coach Carroll in 2001, has been a bust in his first season as offensive coordinator in Atlanta, responsible for an offense that has scored just 197 points (a 21.9 average) through nine games; the Falcons racked up 540 points (a 33.8 average) last season under Kyle Shanahan, who left to coach the 49ers.


As long as Russell Wilson (290 yards, one touchdown, four fumbles; Seattle has recovered all of them) remains the Seahawks' leading rusher, they're going to have a tough time advancing in the playoffs — if they even get there. If the season ended right now, they'd be the NFC's sixth seed, with no possibility of a home playoff game. A loss to the Falcons would knock the Hawks down to a tie for seventh in the conference; a win would tie them with the Rams, who lost 24-7 at Minnesota on Sunday, for the NFC West lead.

But an even bigger factor in making (or not making) the postseason has been a constant all season — the team most likely to beat the Seahawks is the Seahawks. It's not just the sheer volume of penalties — 94 for 780 yards, both league highs — it's their timing and the detrimental effect they've had on this team's momentum on offense, and lack of ability to blunt opponents' momentum on defense.

C.J. Prosise's sprained ankle vs. Arizona doesn't help matters, though Prosise, a second-year player from Notre Dame, has played in only five games, getting just 11 carries for a paltry 2.1 yards per. He's averaging a career-high 14.5 receiving yards, but on just six catches. Next man up is Mike Davis, a third-year pro signed off the practice squad who represents a far more conventional running back skill set than the speedy but fragile Prosise. Seattle lists left tackle Duane Brown (ankle) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring) as questionable. Also out are outside linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) and Luke Joeckel (knee), who has started every game at left guard and will be replaced by rookie Ethan Pocic.

The Seahawks, the most successful team in the history of Monday Night Football (23 victories in 34 games, 67.7 winning percentage) have won 11 consecutive Monday night games dating back to 2005, second only to the Raiders' 14 straight wins from 1975 to 1981.
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Claudia Castro Luna named Washington's fifth state poet laureate

She'll succeed Spokane's Tod Marshall

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 1:34 PM

Claudia Castro Luna will be the next Washington State Poet Laureate. - TIMOTHY AGUERO/COURTESY HUMANITIES WASHINGTON
  • Timothy Aguero/courtesy Humanities Washington
  • Claudia Castro Luna will be the next Washington State Poet Laureate.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tabbed Seattle's Claudia Castro Luna as the fifth state poet laureate. She'll start her two-year term on Feb. 1, 2018, taking the reins from current poet laureate and Spokane resident and Gonzaga professor Tod Marshall.

Castro Luna becomes the first immigrant and woman of color to fill the role; her family fled war-torn El Salvador for America when she was a teenager, back in 1981. Despite their hardship, her parents always pushed the importance of education, and she later earned an MFA in poetry and MA in urban planning. After working as a K-12 teacher, Castro Luna became Seattle's first Civic Poet.

"Claudia grew up knowing firsthand the importance of literature, particularly its power in trying times," said Karen Haren, executive director of the Washington State Arts Commission, in a statement accompanying the announcement of Castro Luna's selection. The poet laureate program is sponsored by Humanities Washington and ArtsWA. "This has given her the ability to connect with a range of people, and her experience as an immigrant will enable the program to reach new communities. She's also wonderfully inventive — it's clear she'll take this role to new and exciting places."

Like those who served in the role before her, Castro Luna is expected to travel far and wide in the state to advocate poetry's importance and power. Current Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall has crisscrossed the state numerous times, and created WA129, a collection of poetry by writers in the state, dedicated to voices of both established poets and novices.

On Wed., Nov. 29, Marshall and some of the poets from WA129 will read at Wolff Auditorium on the Gonzaga campus at 7:30 pm.

Castro Luna will take over the position at a "Passing of the Laurels" ceremony at the Seattle Public Library main branch on Jan. 31.
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Please don't feed the Zags; plus, new faces finding the Kennel a friendly home

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 12:27 PM

All hail Josh Perkins, Prince of Park Hill! - LIBBY KAMROWSKI
  • Libby Kamrowski
  • All hail Josh Perkins, Prince of Park Hill!

While a 3-0 record was expected for a team fresh off of a Final Four run, there were still plenty of questions regarding how this Gonzaga team was going to get it done. Here are some early storylines from the Zags' three-game homestand as they tooled up for their big non-conference slate.

The right wing and the wings
In this early season, Josh Perkins has shown an assertiveness that we hadn't seen from him in his first two full seasons. His three-point shot attempts have nearly doubled from last year (going from 4.2 to 8.0 per game) while improving to a 45.8 shooting percentage. Credit goes to him for hunting his shot, but also knowing where his bread gets buttered.

Perhaps two-thirds of Perkins' makes from beyond the arc come from the right wing, the spot he often finds the ball during some of the Zags' elite ball movement. It's been agreed upon that for the remainder of his time as Gonzaga's chief ballhandler, that the right wing be referred to as Park Hill, the domain of Josh Perkins, Prince of Park Hill.

Speaking of wings: boy, does Gonzaga all of a sudden have a lot of them. Since the "Decade of Excellence" has grown to become a double decade of excellence, the increase in caliber of recruits and player development has not gone unnoticed. While a fun bar-rail debate can be found in whether Gonzaga is a guard or big-man mill, it was safe to say that the wing position was never the program's forte.

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