first_imgIt’s no longer a matter of whether Jim Buss had to go — duh — and if Mitch Kupchak had to go with him.Buss was a playboy on a lark who was rarely in the office other than public appearances, if a benign one who fell in line behind Kupchak.Kupchak proved himself in better times, rebuilding the Lakers from the ruins after trading Shaquille O’Neal into a two-time champion, but was seen as joined at the hip to Jimbo … not that Mitch had any choice in the matter.It shouldn’t be a surprise that the organization just fired its first owner and its first GM. The 21st Century Lakers were a walking contradiction, combining slick function with comic dysfunction, doing so many big things right, it made up for Kobe Bryant feuding with Shaq and Phil Jackson… and Jeanie feuding with her brother while dating Phil, wierding out GM Jerry West who fled … after which the Jim-Jeanie split manifested itself in Phil and Jimbo exchanging jibes on talk radio … prompting Jerry Buss to let Phil walk in 2004 and 2011 when his contracts ran out. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Showing how fragile this transition is, Jackson might have assumed Magic’s role this summer if Phil and Jeanie didn’t break up. Jeanie. Instead of Phil who’s shy and insulated, the Lakers get the effervescent Magic, a genius at dealing with people.If it took a human sacrifice, as it does when times get bad enough and last long enough, Mitch and Jimbo at least started the painful turnaround. Three seasons ago, the Lakers had only one of today’s prospects–Jordan Clarkson — on the floor. From that perspective they’ve come a long way.Three years later, they have a lot of prospects and, finally, leaders they believe in enough to withstand the long way they have to go from Magic to Coach Luke Walton.GM-to-be Rob Pelinka is all but beside the point, even if it would have been good to hire someone with experience instead of still another beginner.Hiring agents as GMs is the new vogue with the success of Golden State’s Bob Myers, who was the Lakers’ first choice, prompting the Warriors to hurriedly extend him.Of course, Myers had Jerry West to consult when he was new in his job. If it would be good to invite West to consult for the Lakers, insiders see no sign that it will happen.It’s all about Magic who hit the ground running, announcing — wisely — it will take “three to five years to get them rolling again,” calling their young prospects “untouchable” and trading Lou Williams for a No. 1 pick.In other words, the Lakers are still on the Kupchak Plan:Slow and steady wins the race or, at least, gets you back into it because it’s all that’s possible now.Whatever Johnson lacks, he’s night and day as face of the franchise compared to the lowest-key Kupchak, even joining Friday’s telecast in Oklahoma City to ask for patience, heap praise on the young guys, note that first and foremost he wants competitors and extoll the effect of practice the day before as the team kept it close in the first half.The Thunder then blew the Lakers out in the second half of a 110-93 romp.The real question is Magic’s learning curve … and what his cachet will mean in free agency in which if it wasn’t for bad signings, they would barely have had any signings at all.We’ll get an idea in June with Paul George, the local native who’s a 2018 free agent — who’s reportedly leaning toward the Lakers if he decides the Pacers aren’t close enough to winning to sign an extension.It’s a brave new Laker world with all beginners in charge. Whether they should inspire hope or prayer, we’ll see soon enough.center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAmazingly, they won five titles in the process, by being as lucky as they were smart. There wouldn’t have been a Shaq-Kobe Era if the NBA hadn’t changed its rules in 1995, one year before Shaq’s rookie deal ran out, briefly doing away with restricted free agency.Instead of Orlando having the right to match any offer, Shaq became an unrestricted free agent, making it possible for the Lakers to grab him with both teams offering the same $118 million deal.All that ended in the current era, symbolized by Kupchak’s trade for New Orleans’ Chris Paul which David Stern spiked.What goes around comes around, even if it takes decades. The Lakers landed Shaq and Kobe in 1996 and won their fifth title of the era in 2010. After that they were old, slow and, worse, no longer the darlings of the basketball gods.Responsibility for going into their black hole was collective from Jerry Buss who was in charge through 2013 when they hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil, to Jimbo who hired Mike Brown in his failed audition to take an active role, to Jeanie who gave Kobe that $55 million extension, to Kupchak who was in the wrong place at the wrong time before the costly signings of Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng that doomed him.last_img read more


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What would you say is Wellington’s biggest concern over the next four years?Wetta: If it doesn’t rain, water will be the biggest issue for all of south-central Kansas.  As the federal and state governments continue to cut, we will have serious decisions to make with less money and resources to continue to provide essential services. 2. What is the main reason why you are running for Wellington City Council?Wetta: With my life experiences and love for the city, I may be able to help with some issues.3. Losing businesses is an ongoing concern to the community of Wellington. What do you as a city council member believe you can do to stop the exodus and enhance business growth?Wetta: Support business entities whenever possible.  Communication and cooperation gets things done.4. The current Wellington City Council is studying ways to supply water to oil companies. What is your position on the matter?Wetta: We need to be very careful with water.  The drought could last longer.  If the state approves, we could sell gray water to the oil companies.5. Staying with water, because of the current drought, the water level is low at the Wellington City Lake. Do you favor other alternative water sourcing, or do you believe we should remain status quo on our water resources? Also, will you ever be in favor of water rationing?Wetta: If the city grows, we will need to consider all water sources.  Yes, if the drought continues and gets worse, we should consider restrictions.6. The total assessed valuation in Wellington went down in 2012, but may remain constant or improve with the inclusion of Wal-Mart on the tax roll in 2013. However, this may not be the case in the next four years. If Wellington has a lower assessed value as the previous year, how would you as a council member respond to the lack of tax revenue for the municipality?Wetta: Without seeing the numbers, it is hard to predict.  However, to provide the essential services, we need value.  Hopefully, the oil development will help.7. Many believe Wellington has trouble promoting itself to outsiders. Do you believe as a tax entity, the city should initiate various promotional programs and if so what would you think they should be?Wetta: Yes,  Wellington has always had a hard time promoting itself.  We need to be proud of who we are and let others know what we have to offer.8. Do you believe in tax incentives to lure in private business? If so or not, please explain.Wetta: We need to be very careful with incentives.  The long established businesses need to come first, and if new business can help without hurting existing business, we may be able to help.9. The Wellington utility rates continue to be a concern to many citizens, especially the fuel adjustment rates. Do you believe they are reasonable and in line with other communities? Should the city make a change in the way it handles utilities? Wetta: This is an issue that concerns me and everyone in town.  I don’t know enough about it yet to know what we can do.center_img by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Vince Wetta is a Wellington City Council challenger running for one of six “at large” positions on the newly restructured board.Registered voters within the Wellington city limits can vote in this race which will have 15 candidates on the ballot. The top three vote-getters will receive four-year terms. The second three will receive two-year terms.Voters can vote for up to six candidates. They can vote for one candidate, two candidates, three, four, five or six – but nothing more.The city/school election will be held on Tuesday, April 2. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. at the Raymond Frye Complex. People can also advance vote at the Sumner County Clerk’s office.The following is a list of questions submitted to Wetta.1. Tell us about yourself.Wetta: I graduated from Andale High School and Wichita State University with a B.A. in Political Science. Worked for the Santa Fe and BNSF Railroad for 41 years and then retired and got elected to the Kansas House six years ago. Marilyn and I have been married for 45 years and have three sons and eleven grandchildren.last_img read more


first_imgMASON CITY — It’s over five years behind bars for a Davenport man who pleaded guilty to leading authorities on a high-speed chase on the Avenue of the Saints near Mason City back in January. The Iowa State Patrol says shortly after 4:00 AM on the morning of January 27th a trooper attempted to stop 38-year-old Travis Coleman for speeding on the Avenue of the Saints south of Mason City. During the pursuit, the vehicle reached a high speed of 130 miles per hour. Coleman exited at the Mallard Avenue exit, made a bad pass on the shoulder, crossed the road and a struck a DOT barrier. Coleman attempted to keep driving but the trooper intentionally struck the vehicle to stop the pursuit. A bag of  marijuana was allegedly found in the front passenger seat. Coleman pleaded guilty to felony eluding, first-offense OWI and first-offense possession of marijuana. He was sentenced this week by Judge Karen Salic to five years in prison on the eluding charge and 30 days in jail on the OWI and drug charges. He was also fined a total of $2000.last_img read more