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QB Ford Childress not enrolled at West Virginia for spring semester

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

West Virginia QB Ford Childress, a redshirt freshman, has not enrolled at the University this spring, the Registrar's Office confirmed Tuesday.

The Daily Mail's Mike Casazza reported Saturday that Childress had been suspended for the semester and had chosen instead to not enroll. The West Virginia athletic department has declined comment on the situation.

Childress remains listed on the University's online directory and the team's roster.

Childress, the son of former Houston Oilers five-time Pro Bowl defense end Ray Childress, started two games last season before suffering a season-ending torn pectoral muscle in a 37-0 loss against Maryland. He completed 36 of 63 passes for 421 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

With QB Clint Trickett recovering from a shoulder surgery Monday and incoming freshman commit William Crest not enrolling until summer, the only quarterbacks remaining on the roster who would be ready for spring camp would be rising senior Paul Millard, redshirt freshman walk-on Gregory MacPherson and junior-college transfer Skyler Howard.


Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Geno Smith relives childhood in Jay-Z 'Where I'm From' film

Written by Stephen J. Nesbitt on .

New York Jets QB Geno Smith, a former Mountaineer, got the star treatment from Jay-Z's "Life+Times" series, as a video crew followed Smith around Miami and New York City this summer to piece together a "Where I'm From" video.

It's well worth the 24 minutes if you've got 'em, but here's a written synopsis with a few of the highlights.

The video starts in Miami and shows Smith going to several familiar childhood spots. There's his mother's current home, his high-school field, a pee-wee field, his grandmother's house and then his childhood home.

“Growing up in neighborhoods where crime rates were extremely high and drugs were a part of daily life," Smith said, "there’s just so much that you can witness at an early age. I’ve seen a number of people be murdered. It’s changed my life; I cherish life; I cherish people, because you’re not going to be here forever.

"You never know when you’re going to leave this earth.”

Miramar coach Damon Cogdell, hired just last week by West Virginia, invited Smith to speak at Miramar High School, his alma mater, to kids with the dream of following in his footsteps.

"In these neighborhoods down here, football is what kids see as their ticket out," Smith said. "They develop that hard-working mentality from just being in the neighborhoods and seeing the struggle. You try to use your gift as your vehicle."

You can't help but admire Smith's mother, Tracey Sellers, in this short film. She jokes that Smith doesn't like staying at home anymore, because she won't budge on her midnight curfew — set primarily for her two sons still at home. "Monkey see, monkey do," Sellers said.

Sellers had Smith at 17 and admits she was never too high on this whole football fame thing. Eventually, she grew to understand it.

"To see my mom's expression on her face the day I got drafted, for her it was almost like living in a dream," Smith said. "She knows how hard I worked at this and how badly I wanted to be in the NFL. ... She's my biggest fan, and she made a lot of sacrifices to put me in a position to even chase after this dream. To see all of it paying off and that her sacrifices didn't go in vain. To be able to make her smile again is a blessing." 

During high school, Sellers had to install a second phone line because recruiting calls were clogging up their primarily line.

She showed off a really neat drawing Smith drew in middle school, and the film later went on to show Smith at an art gallery — art is still important to him, even in the big city.

"In high school, I didn't really hang out with the people I was supposed to hang out with," Smith said. "I hung out with the so-called nerds, the not-so-cool kids. I found interest in them because we were into the same types of things. My football friends were like, 'Why do you hang out with those guys? They're this or they're that.' I was like, "I don't see it that way. I see it as we're all people, all humans here. They're interested in one thing, and we happen to have that in common. ... I learned how to interact with all people from all walks of life."

Sellers works in finance and helps her son manage his wealth.

Smith reminisced to his first football game. His uncle Atwan had told him to get cleats, so Smith told his mom they needed to find cleats. After a trip to Payless Shoes, Smith had himself a pair of soccer cleats. He wanted football cleats, though, and so he cut up a pair of school socks and pulled them up over his shoes.

He scored a handful of touchdowns that first game, so kids started pulling socks over their shoes, too.

Smith and his mother stopped by their grandmother's home. She passed away a year ago. Smith spent his summers and weekends there, and his first training was in her back yard.

At his childhood home, Smith demonstrated how he and his two younger brothers would climb on top of their mother's van to catch a glimpse of the jumbotron at SunLife Stadium, located a mile away.

The film ended with a New York City barber trying his darndest to get insider information out of Smith, who resorted to simple clichés and non-answers ... he quite obviously just wanted to grab a quick, fresh haircut and not discuss who his favorite receiver was or give a prediction for the Jets' 2013 record.

Here's the video in full: 

 


Stephen J. Nesbitt: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.

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Oscars will say hooray for heroes, show producers reveal

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

oscarprodellen
Some news from the producers of the Oscars:
 
 
OSCARS TO CELEBRATE MOVIE HEROES 
 
The 86th Academy Awards will be a celebration of movie heroes, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. 
 
Offering their first preview of the upcoming Oscar broadcast, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the producers said the show will honor big-screen real-life heroes, super heroes, popular heroes and animated heroes, both past and present, as well as the filmmakers who bring them to life. The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 2, on ABC. 
 
“We wanted to unify the show with an entertaining and emotional theme,” said Zadan and Meron.
 
“People around the world go to the movies to be inspired by the characters they see on the screen. By celebrating the gamut of heroes who have enriched our movie-going experience, we hope to create an evening of fun and joy. And that includes the filmmakers and actors who take risks and stimulate us with provocative subjects and daring characters. They are all heroes in the cinematic landscape.”
 
“Of course, there will be no shortage of comedy with Ellen DeGeneres as our host,” the producers added. “There may also be a few musical surprises along the way.”
 
To coincide with the Oscar telecast theme, the Academy will present “The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes,” an exhibition in the Grand Lobby Gallery of its Beverly Hills headquarters. 
 
On display Friday through March 5, the show will feature still photographs and posters from 70 titles spanning nine decades, as well as video montages comprised of excerpts from classic and contemporary films. 
 
The exhibit will include films centered on real-life heroes (“Gandhi,” “Silkwood”), super heroes (“Superman,” “The Dark Knight”), animated heroes (“Shrek,” “The Incredibles”), action heroes (“Seven Samurai,” “Gladiator”), literary heroes (“To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Grapes of Wrath”) and more.
 
The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 8:35 a.m.in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater by Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Chris Hemsworth. 
 
Photo of producers and host: ABC/Andrew Eccles

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Youth science education camps for kids at Phipps

Written by Doug Oster on .

Phipps Announces Line-Up of Winter/Spring Science Education Youth Camps

Registration now open for nature-based children’s programs at Pittsburgh’s premier public garden.
 
Pittsburgh, Pa. – This winter and spring, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardensis pleased to offer an exciting line-up of science education camps for children highlighting ecology, conservation, healthy living and art, including a Celebrate! Series for ages 4-9, Little Sprouts Single Servings and Multi-Day Camps for ages 2 & 3, Evening Ed-ventures for ages 6-9, and Move with Me programs for ages 3 & 4. Covering topics from gardening and cooking to plants and insects, all sessions immerse kids in nature.
   Offering a variety of fun hands-on activities, Conservatory exploration time, nutritious snacks and opportunities to create take-home arts and crafts, upcoming programs for February-May include:
·         Celebrate! SeriesOptions for these Saturday sessions celebrating seasonal events include Celebrate! Valentine’s Day on Feb.8 and Celebrate! the Earth on April 12. Times and age groups vary. $12 for Phipps members and $15 for nonmembers. Discounts available for groups of 5+.
·         Little Sprouts Single ServingsThese one-day camps held on Thursdays or Fridays from 10:30 a.m.-noon highlight plants, bugs and healthy foods, and include: Our Tropical Adventure on Feb. 20 or 21, My Favorite Flowers on March 20 or 21, We Heart Veggies on April 24 or 25, and Our Butterfly Friends on May 22 or 23. $12 for Phipps members and $15 for nonmembers. Adult accompaniment required. Note: Camps held within the same week have the same lesson.
·         Little Sprouts CampMy First Garden is a multi-day camp held from 10:30 a.m.-noon on March 10, 17, 24 and 31. $48 for members and $60 for nonmembers. Adult accompaniment required.
·         Evening Ed-venturesGiving parents a Friday night out from 6:30-9:30 p.m. while kids learn and have fun, options include: Conservation Investigation on Feb. 14Deserts and Healthy Desserts on March 14, and Creepy Night Crawlers on April 18. $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers; those enrolling more than one child receive 50% off additional registrations.
·         Move with Me: Youngsters can learn about the natural world through gentle movement exercises in these sessions held from 10:30 a.m.-noon on Feb. 11, March 11, April 8 and May 13. $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Adult accompaniment required.
   Those interested in learning more or registering a child may do so by visiting phipps.conservatory.org or calling 412/441-4442, ext. 3925. More about activities associated with Phipps’ science education program can be found at phippsscienceeducation.org and Facebook/phippseducationandresearch.

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SAG Awards presenters

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 
 
71st Annual Golden Globe Aw.674Ben Affleck, Sasha Alexander, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Garner, Clark Gregg, Tom Hanks, Jared Leto (shown at the Golden Globes), Matthew McConaughey, Kevin Spacey, Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey will be presenters at the 20th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards this weekend. 
 
The awards honor outstanding performances from 2013 in five film categories and eight television categories, including the distinctive ensemble awards. 
 
This year’s Actor recipients will be announced at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center during a live simulcast on TNT and TBS on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m. (ET). The show will repeat on TNT at 10 p.m. 
 
 
A live stream of the SAG Awards can also be viewed online on sagawards.tntdrama.com and tbs.com, as well as through the Watch TBS and Watch TNT apps for iOS or Android. (Viewers must sign in using their TV provider user name and password in order to view the live stream.)
 
Prior to the televised ceremony, recipients of the honors for television and film stunt ensembles will be announced from the red carpet.
 

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