West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has warned Andy Carroll to keep himself in shape.Striker Carroll has scored two goals in two games, including the crucial second in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Liverpool, since returning from his latest injury absence.The 26-year-old has been dogged by fitness problems since moving to Upton Park in 2013, while questions have been raised in the past about his lifestyle and how he looks after himself away from football.But Bilic now finally has his key forward fit and firing – and wants him to stay that way.“Now he looks fit to me,” said the Croatian boss.“Basically we are talking a lot about him; ‘Andy this, Andy that, Andy for England’, but now he is fit and it is all about him now.“Is he going to look after himself, work hard, train, rest, to maintain his fitness, or to even make it better? And then, and only then, he will become a great asset for us.“It is up to him. But I expect him to stick to what he was like recently. He would be very, very stupid to do otherwise.”Michail Antonio nodded West Ham in front after 10 minutes, and Carroll killed off his former club when he thumped home a header from Mark Noble’s cross 10 minutes after half-time.“That’s two back-to-back wins which is fantastic and two goals for me, which is obviously even better for me personally,” the big frontman told West Ham TV.“It’s nice that the manager was pleased with my performance. I put a shift in and so did all the lads and he’s just delighted with the three points, as is everyone.“I got another 90 minutes under my belt and it’s much better than training. You can only get match fitness through games and I’m feeling good.” 1
Steve Evans Leeds have made two written bids for players as they look to reinvest money received from the sale of Sam Byram.Byram, 22, was sold to Premier League side West Ham on Wednesday for an undisclosed fee, understood to be £3.7million, and head coach Steve Evans has revealed club president Massimo Cellino’s bid to strengthen is on-going.“We’ve made a couple of offers in writing,” Evans told the club’s official website.“We’ve had feedback on one of those (on Thursday) morning.“When the president comes out of his meetings he’ll be active on that. There’s another one we’re waiting to hear back from, but we’re actively pursuing another couple.“To supporters, it may look like ‘Sam goes out and nothing comes in’, but the reality is far from it.“The Sam Byram money is available right now, but we have to bring in the right players.“We’ve earmarked targets and, whether it be now or the summer, we will try and sign these players.“Two or three of the names have never been mentioned in the press, which is positive, and shows that the conversations have remained between me and the president.“There’s no doubt we want to add players who can make a difference but I can’t succumb to pressure from the outside.”Evans has extended midfielder Liam Bridcutt’s loan spell from Sunderland until the end of the season and drafted in Middlesbrough winger Mustapha Carayol on loan so far during the transfer window.LISTEN: Steve Evans on Drive – Leeds United boss on Sam Byram, transfers, his job and more 1
Texas Rep. Ron Paul will have the largest audience in his longshot bid for the Republican presidential nomination tonight when he joins Tom Cruise and the legendary punk rock band the Sex Pistols as guest on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Paul, the only Republican presidential candidate to oppose U.S. involvement in Iraq, will attend a $2,000 per person fundraising reception in the Hollywood Hills after the taping, a campaign aide said. Paul’s “Tonight Show” appearance comes a day after his campaign began airing television commercials in New Hampshire, site of the nation’s first primary. The Paul campaign raised $5 million from July through September, with 78 percent collected online, The New York Times reported. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s time to spend it,” Jesse Benton, a campaign spokesman, told The Times. In addition to his fundraising success, Paul is also rising in the polls. He was in a statistical tie for fifth with 5 percent in the then-nine- candidate Republican field in a Gallup Poll conducted Oct. 12-14. In New Hampshire, Paul was in a statistical tie for fourth with 7 percent in a survey conducted for The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. “Americans are ready for a change and his unifying message of freedom, peace and prosperity is bringing more people together every day,” said Kent Snyder, Paul’s campaign chairman. Paul, whose campaign bills him as “the leading advocate for freedom in our nation’s capital,” also supports cutting taxes and government spending; withdrawing from any organizations and trade deals “that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States,” and supporting the rights of parents to home-school their children. Paul has introduced bills that would define life as beginning at conception and a bill that would remove the ability of federal courts to overturn state legislation banning abortion, which would negate the effect of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which overturned state legislation barring abortion in the first three months. Paul has never voted for a congressional pay increase, taken a government-paid junket, does not participate in the congressional pension program and returns a portion of his congressional office budget to the U.S. Treasury each year, according to his campaign Web site, www.ronpaul2008.com. Born Aug. 20, 1935, in Green Tree, Pa., Paul graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine. He was a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist when he decided to enter politics in 1971, when President Richard M. Nixon ended the last remnants of the gold standard for the U.S. dollar. Paul is in his 10th term in the House. He was first elected in a 1976 special election, defeated for a full term later that year, then was elected again in 1978 for the first of three consecutive terms. He left Congress after losing a Republican Senate primary to then-fellow Rep. Phil Gramm in 1984. Paul was elected again in 1996. Paul was the Libertarian Party presidential nominee in 1988, receiving .47 percent of the vote. Paul has said that “the war in Iraq was sold to us with false information.” “This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded and hundreds of billions of dollars,” Paul said. “We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
POLITICS: Democrats agree in part with California governor’s proposal of care for all. By Laura Kurtzman The Associated Press SACRAMENTO – After months of refusing to budge on health- AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre care reform, Democratic leaders on Monday agreed to key elements of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plan, including a new mandate that all Californians have insurance. The move signals that Democrats may be willing to cross their allies in organized labor, who have steadfastly opposed the idea of mandatory insurance. But Democrats accepted the insurance mandate with the caveat that there would be an exemption for those who do not qualify for subsidies and cannot afford the minimum level of coverage required by law. Democrats also lowered the minimum amount employers must spend from their previous health reform bill, which Schwarzenegger vetoed. The new plan has a sliding scale for employers, with a maximum contribution of 6.5 percent of payroll. Other funding comes from a $2-a-pack increase in the tobacco tax and from a hospital tax similar to what the governor has proposed. The total cost is about $14 billion, the same as Schwarzenegger’s. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez said the changes satisfied two of the governor’s key health reform goals: universal coverage and mandatory insurance. “I think this is more than a gesture of goodwill,” said Nu ez, D-Los Angeles. “I think this is a sound proposal.” The governor’s office reacted cautiously. “This is clearly positive movement,” said Aaron McLear, Schwarzenegger’s press secretary. “We look forward to seeing details of the proposal but understand there are still issues to be resolved.” Among them is how much employers would have to pay and whether they will be forced to cover part-time workers, something the governor’s business allies strongly oppose. Under the Democratic plan, families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level – about $62,000 a year for a family of four – would be covered by free or very low-cost public programs. Those earning more would have to pay full freight, unless their employers covered them or joined a state-run insurance pool. Tax credits would be available to families in the pool earning less than 450 percent of poverty – about $93,000 for a family of four – so their health costs did not exceed 5 percent of their income. Art Pulaski, head of the California Labor Federation, said he had not had time to study the proposal and could not yet comment. But nurses, whose union supports a government-run single-payer system, signaled they would oppose any compromise that includes mandatory insurance. “While we have yet to see the full details, any deal that forces individuals to buy insurance is outrageous and disgraceful,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, head of the California Nurses Association. If the Democrats and Schwarz- enegger do strike a deal, they will have to go to the voters to fund their plan. Both sides hope to have a measure on the November 2008 ballot. Republican lawmakers have refused to endorse new taxes to fund health care, making it impossible to get the two-thirds vote needed to raise taxes legislatively. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIt turns out the original calculator had been slightly underestimating risk for black women 45 and older – and slightly overestimating risk for younger black women, NCI researchers reported Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Mitchell Gail and colleagues reexamined the records of 20,000 black women who were screened for a government study comparing cancer-protective drugs. To qualify, women had to have at least a 1.66 percent risk of breast cancer in the next five years. The NCI will have its online risk calculator – at http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/ – updated with the new statistics for black women by spring, Gail said. WASHINGTON – A widely used tool for predicting a woman’s risk of breast cancer is getting an update – to better reflect black women’s risk. At issue is the National Cancer Institute’s online risk calculator. Answer a few questions – such as current age, age when your first child was born, family history of breast cancer – and learn your odds of getting breast cancer in the next five years. But the calculator has a caveat: It was created using studies of breast cancer in white women. A warning flashes telling non-white women that the answer they’re about to get comes with some uncertainty. Now scientists are updating the calculations to reflect newer data on black women and cancer.
EAST WHITTIER – Christmas trees, lights and candles are the hallmarks of a festive holiday season, but they’re also a major cause for concern for Charles Royce. As principal of the 1,000-student Granada Middle School, Royce is keenly aware of the fire dangers facing students and their families every winter – from dried-out pine trees and malfunctioning decorative lights to the increased use of electric space heaters to warm the home. So when school staffers met this fall to organize the annual Christmas food basket giveaway, Royce had just one request: Include at least one smoke detector for each family to install in the home. “Accidents happen, and the ones who seem to get hurt the most are the kids,” said Royce, 60. “Our priority is to have safety for the kids.” According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an annual average of about 210 house fires from 2002 to 2005 that began with Christmas trees. Holiday or decorative lights were involved in an average of 240 home structure fires per year in that same time period, NFPA figures showed. Kevin Holzworth, Lowe’s merchandising manager, worked with smoke detector manufacturer Kidde to coordinate the donation, as well as the handling and shipping. “Coming from a school, it was a very compelling request,” Holzworth said. “We wanted to be a part of that, and that’s why it’s nice to work for Lowe’s. We were glad to be in a position to help.” The school was able to give several detectors to each family that didn’t have one in the home, with instructions to follow up with Royce and let him know they had installed them. “He’s got a heart as big as Texas,” Edwards said. “He’s always considered our students as his kids, and this issue just weighs on him. He just wanted to make sure they had this fire protection. “And I’m going to be a Lowe’s customer until the day I die,” Edwards added. “I always liked them – but now I love them.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champHis suggestion led to a larger discussion about fire safety, which prompted teachers Steffanie Edwards and Boel Wille to survey students on how many had smoke detectors in their homes. About 75 didn’t, Edwards said – so she and her husband sent off a letter to Lowe’s in mid-November, asking the home-improvement company to donate one detector for every student that didn’t have one. By Thanksgiving, the detectors were in – except instead of donating 75, Lowe’s had sent them about 450. “They called and said one’s not enough – you have to count all the bedrooms, the living room, the upstairs rooms – so what we’re going to do is send 450,” Royce said. “And, I was just speechless at that point. “They understood the message we were trying to communicate, that we were concerned about the kids’ safety during the holiday season. And to have them understand that as strongly as they did was overwhelming.”
WALNUT CREEK – Think of the nation’s tax system as a financial smorgasbord. Tax year 2007 is no exception. Some items will stay on the menu, and others will go away. Although some tax breaks are making their final appearance this year, certain year-end tips can be part of a general tax strategy. For example, homeowners who make itemized deductions on their tax returns might want to make a January mortgage payment by the end of 2007. That would allow them to deduct the interest paid that month on their 2007 tax return. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonAnother strategy is to make the maximum contribution amount allowed during the year to a traditional 401(k) or other retirement account that is funded with pre-tax dollars. Contributions to IRA accounts can be made until the April 15 federal income tax filing deadline. One of the tax breaks that will go away after tax year 2007 is geared to people with large, traditional IRA accounts. Introduced in 2006, it lets taxpayers who are 70 years and older exclude as much as $100,000 of taxable income by transferring the funds directly to a charity. Distributions from IRA accounts are required to be taken once the account holder reaches age 70 . The tax break is meant to apply to high-net-worth individuals, said Debbie Pursey, an investment adviser in the Walnut Creek office of Financial Network Investment Corp. Such strategies, of course, apply in situations where the IRA account holder has other financial assets to live on. Another break making a final appearance in 2007 is a lifetime credit worth as much as $500 for making energy improvements in the home. The credit was first available in 2006. “So if you have not used it in 2006, you can use it (all) in 2007,” said Donna LeValley-Cocovinis, a contributing editor of “J.K. Lasser’s Your Income Tax 2008,” an 816-page guide for preparing 2007 tax returns. Taxpayers with a yearly adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less can deduct their mortgage insurance premiums from their 2007 federal income tax returns for homes purchased or refinanced this year. Taxpayers with yearly incomes of $100,000 to $109,000 are eligible for a reduced tax break. The mortgage insurance deduction does not apply to loans taken out in 2006 or earlier. Legislation is pending to extend the mortgage insurance tax break until 2014. If you bought a hybrid car in 2007, you may be eligible for a tax credit, according to LeValley-Cocovinis. The credit amount varies by the hybrid model and how much of a credit each manufacturer has remaining, she said. The hybrid credit – which can be worth as much as $3,400 for a qualified vehicle – expires on Dec. 31, 2010. The credit amount for buying qualified hybrids starts to phase out following the quarter in which the manufacturer sells 60,000 hybrids. A tax credit that benefits low-income taxpayers who fund retirement plans is now permanent. The credit applies to individuals whose yearly adjusted gross income is up to $26,000 (up to $39,000 for heads of households) and married couples filing jointly with incomes up to $52,000. Those who qualify can receive a tax credit worth as much as $1,000 (as much as $2,000 if filing jointly) for making eligible contributions to an IRA, 401(k) or other qualified retirement accounts.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Parking restrictions will be in effect today for the Hollywood Hills and other fire-prone areas with narrow winding roads because of dry and windy conditions that prompted the National Weather Service to issue a fire-weather watch. Just like on Christmas Eve, an inland high pressure system is moving into the region, bringing weather conditions conducive to wildfires on New Year’s Eve and the first day of 2008, according to the Weather Service. A “very strong area of high pressure is expected to build over Nevada and Utah beginning late (tonight), pushing dry air into Southern California Monday and Tuesday,” the Weather Service said in a statement. Wind gusts up to 60 mph are forecast for the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Clarita and other wind-prone areas early New Year’s Day. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonInland valleys such as the San Fernando and Santa Clara River valleys can expect winds topping 50 mph. Low humidity will increase the fire danger, according to the Weather Service. The winds are expected to be strongest in the mountains near Malibu and north and northeast of Los Angeles. San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties are not under a fire weather watch, but could have winds of 35 mph, with gusts up to 70 mph on New Year’s Day. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
— Staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Long Beach State men’s basketball team, five days before it opens the Big West Conference portion of its schedule, attempts to extend its winning streak to three when it plays host to the UC Davis Aggies at 7:30 tonight in the Walter Pyramid. The 49ers improved to 4-6 Friday night with their 79-65 win over Cornell. Coach Larry Reynolds’ team is on the road for its first two conference games, playing at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday and at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo a week from tonight. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “Davis is a lot like Cornell in that it runs its offense (deep into the shot clock) and does so very effectively,” Reynolds said Sunday afternoon. “They (the Aggies) are fundamentally sound and play an aggressive man-to-man defense most of the game.” Women at UC Davis The Long Beach State women’s basketball team will visit UC Davis for a nonconference game tonight at 7. The 49ers (7-4) are coming off a 58-55 win over South Dakota State on Friday and have won three games in a row. UC Davis is 5-7. Long Beach State beat the Aggies twice last season, 73-47 and 70-59. The Aggies will be full-fledged members of the Big West meaning, their games against fellow conference members will count in the conference standings a year from now. They will play the other eight Big West teams twice each this season. The 49ers play at UC Davis on Feb. 25. The 3-8 Aggies, in their third season under coach Gary Stewart, lost at home to Big West member Pacific on Thursday night, 84-51. Five of Stewart’s players are scoring in double figures, including freshman Kyle Brucculeri (10.2 points per game) from Los Alamitos High.