‘Jeopardy!’ star James Holzhauer gives to cancer research in honor of Alex Trebek

ABC News(NEW YORK) — James Holzhauer may not be on “Jeopardy!” anymore, but host Alex Trebek, who is battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer, is still on his mind.

The 32-time “Jeopardy!” champ donated more than $1,000 to pancreatic cancer research in Trebek’s name.

Holzhauer gave $1,109.14 (his daughter’s birthday is Nov. 9, 2014) to a Chicago-area woman’s fundraiser and wrote on the donation website, “For Alex Trebek and all the other survivors.”

“I sent him an email saying that it’s been interesting to see paths cross in my life and I feel like it’s time for our paths to cross,” Ann Zediker, who lives in the same suburb as Holzhauer, told ABC station WLS in Chicago. “I told him that Trebek’s diagnosis rocked the world, and my heart sank to hear about how pancreatic cancer hit another beautiful soul and family. I shared with him how I lost my father from pancreatic cancer.”

Holzhauer won more than $2.4 million before his weeks-long reign on “Jeopardy!” ended June 3. During that episode, which was filmed shortly after Trebek learned of his diagnosis, the game show host thanked Holzhauer’s daughter for a get well card that she made for him.

More recently, Trebek said that his treatment has been going well and that he is “near remission.”

“It’s kind of mind-boggling,” Trebek told People. “The doctors said they hadn’t seen this kind of positive result in their memory.”

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Retired Red Sox legend David Ortiz was not the target of the shooting in Dominican Republic, police say

Sports News Retired Red Sox legend David Ortiz was not the target of the shooting in Dominican Republic, police say https://linewsradio.com/retired-red-sox-legend-david-ortiz-was-not-the-target-of-the-shooting-in-dominican-republic-police-say/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Boston Red Sox icon David Ortiz was not the intended target of the Dominican Republic shooting that left him fighting for his life earlier this month, police revealed on Wednesday.

The islands’s attorney general said Ortiz’s friend, Sixto David Fernandez, was the actual target in the nightclub shooting, but the gunman told police that he got confused. Fernandez and Ortiz were sitting at the same table and dressed similarly at the time of the shooting, police noted.

Ortiz previously told authorities that he didn’t know who would target him.

The retired Red Sox legend, affectionately known to fans as “Big Papi,” was shot in the back while at a nightclub in Santo Domingo on June 9. The bullet entered the former player’s back and exited through his abdomen, leaving him with life-threatening injuries. He was still recovering at a Boston hospital as of Wednesday evening.

At least 13 people have been named as suspects in the shooting. The masterminds were identified as Victor Hugo Gomez and Alberto Rodriguez Mota, who was sentenced to prison for drug trafficking in 2011 along with some of the other suspects.

Who ordered the hit and why?

Gomez, a convicted drug dealer who met many of the other suspects involved in the shooting while previously behind bars, ordered the hit on Fernandez, according to authorities.

Gomez was described as a “dangerous fugitive” who is wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and others for his alleged role within the feared Gulf drug cartel, officials said. Gomez was charged in connection to a drug trafficking sting in March 2019 in Houston called “Operation Wrecking Ball,” according to an indictment obtained by ABC News.

Gomez believed that Fernandez spoke to law enforcement and was responsible for causing Gomez to be incarcerated in the La Victoria prison in the Dominican Republic for years, officials said.

Fernandez previously identified Gomez as the one person who would want kill him, noting that he’d received threatening messages from him in the past, according to police.

Authorities said Gomez was last seen in the U.S. and they believed he planned the hit from there.

Details on the plan

The suspects began conducting surveillance on Fernandez a week before the shooting, including going to his home, authorities said.

Fernandez was known to reserve a table every Sunday at the nightclub, El Dial, where the shooting took place.

At 5:40 p.m. the day of the shooting, Alberto Miguel Rodriguez Mota, one of the suspects, arrives at the nightclub before Fernandez.

Ortiz arrives at the club at around 7:30 p.m. where he meets up with Fernandez.

At one point before the shooting, Mota gets up from his table and takes a picture of Fernandez, the intended target, and marks it with a circle and arrow showing who is supposed to be shot, officials said.

The photo is relayed to a number of the co-conspirators and is ultimately shown to the gunman minutes before he gets on a motorcycle and heads toward the nightclub, police said.

When police recovered images from the phones taken from the suspects, they saw photos of Ortiz and Fernandez together, wearing what appears based on the photos themselves to be very similar shirts.

The suspects soon realized they shot the wrong person, officials said.

Still wanted

Three suspects are still wanted in connection to the shooting, police said.

Luis Alfredo Rivas-Clase, whose nickname is “The Surgeon,” Victor Hugo Gomez, the alleged mastermind and Alberto Miguel Rodrigez Mota, who took the photo of Fernandez at the nightclub, are all wanted by authorities.

The police chief said they have requested help from U.S. authorities including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Office.

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Posted On 19 Jun 2019

U.S. death rates from suicides, alcohol and drug overdoses reach all-time high

stevanovicigor/iStockBY: EDEN DAVID

(NEW YORK) — Premature deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug overdose have reached an all-time high, and U.S. states are losing ground on key measures related to life expectancy, according to a report by the Commonwealth Fund, a healthcare advocacy group.

The report offers a state “scorecard” based on 47 different metrics, including death rates, healthcare access, quality of care, obesity and smoking.

“What we found is that each of these causes is affecting states very differently,” David Radley, a senior scientist with the Commonwealth Fund and the lead author of the report, told ABC News.

Although the report has pinpointed regional differences, Radley said, “we don’t know exactly why in some parts of the country people are more susceptible” to one form of deadly behavior over another.

Deaths associated with alcohol abuse and suicide disproportionately affect Western states, while New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Southeast states report more deaths from drug overdose, he said. Opioid abuse, as well as the rise of lethal synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, has fueled this crisis.

West Virginia has been hit the hardest, “as it had the highest rate of death from drug overdoses in 2017 and the steepest increase between 2005 and 2017, both in deaths from drug overdose and from alcohol abuse,” Susan Hayes, co-author of the report, said in an interview with ABC News.

In 2017, the average U.S. life expectancy fell about 0.1 from the previous year, to 78.6 years, according to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drop was largely driven by a steady increase in deaths from drug overdoses and suicides.

U.S. overdose deaths linked to opioids like fentanyl increased more than 45 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the CDC, and, between 1999 and 2017, there were more than 702,000 deaths from drug overdoses, 10% of which occurred in 2017.

Separately, suicide rates have increased by about 2 percent per year between 2006 and 2017, according to the CDC’s data.

Meanwhile, the progress of many states in expanding health care coverage and access, following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, has stalled and in some states access has even worsened. As Radley explained, having health insurance “creates a channel” through which people can gain access to care, and “reduces the financial burden to get care when you need it.”

States ranked lowest on the Scorecard also reported the highest rates of uninsured people.

According to the report, a major cause in the decreased expansion of health insurance coverage and access is cost, especially in the context of slow income growth. Rising private health plan costs and high deductibles are linked to fewer people with insurance coverage.

These healthcare costs are also affecting those who do have insurance, “particularly for people who have health insurance through their employers,” noted Radley. As outlined in the report, families are paying more but getting less.

“The bottom line is that health insurance is the foundation for many of the services that are needed to combat the crisis, including access to the opioid reversal medication, naloxone, substance use disorder treatment, and mental health services,” says Hayes. Radley adds, “Health care access is the foundation for a high performing health care system.”

The report concludes that states must assume responsibility and partner with federal authorities in order to implement effective long-term solutions.

Eden David is a rising senior at Columbia University majoring in neuroscience, matriculating into medical school in 2020 and working for ABC News’ Medical Unit.

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103-year-old nicknamed the ‘Hurricane’ wins yet another gold in 100-meter dash

Sports News 103-year-old nicknamed the 'Hurricane' wins yet another gold in 100-meter dash https://linewsradio.com/103-year-old-nicknamed-the-hurricane-wins-yet-another-gold-in-100-meter-dash/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Brit Huckabay/NSGA(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) — At 103, Julia Hawkins might have fallen short of the record-setting 100-meter dash she completed two years ago, but she is still living up to her nickname the “Hurricane.”

At the 2019 Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Hawkins won gold medals in both the 50-meter dash and the 100-meter dash in the women’s 100-plus division.

At the 2017 games, Hawkins, of Louisiana, set a world record with her 100-meter dash. She finished slightly slower at the race on Tuesday.

“I’m thrilled I did as well as I did but I didn’t do as well as I have done,” Hawkins told “Good Morning America.” “I don’t know if it’s because I’m older, or maybe it was the atmosphere.”

Hawkins is a mother of four, grandmother of three and great-grandmother of three who picked up competitive cycling later in life, winning multiple national titles.

She turned to running at age 100 when biking on mountainous courses became too challenging.

She is the oldest woman to compete on an American track, according to the National Senior Games Association, the non-profit organization that runs the Senior Games.

“I just keep busy. I keep moving,” Hawkins said of her longevity. “I don’t do any exercises particularly. I used to, but I don’t think I need to anymore.”

“I’ve always been careful how I eat, eat healthy and keep my weight at a certain point,” she added.

Hawkins gets most of her activity working in her garden at her home in Louisiana. Inside her home are all the gold medals she’s accumulated over the years.

“[I keep them] here and there. I’ve got a good many,” she said of her medals. “My husband made a box for me to keep them.”

When it comes to planning ahead for her next race, Hawkins said, “You never know.”

“When you’re 103, every day is a miracle,” she said. “I just keep getting up and I’m here again.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 19 Jun 2019

Zion Williamson eager to end long wait for NBA draft: ‘I just want to hoop’

Sports News Zion Williamson eager to end long wait for NBA draft: 'I just want to hoop' https://linewsradio.com/zion-williamson-eager-to-end-long-wait-for-nba-draft-i-just-want-to-hoop/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

Lou Rocco/ABC News(NEW YORK) — Zion Williamson knows he’s likely to be the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft. But for now, the equation is simple.

“I just want to hoop,” he said.

Williamson, who will turn 19 a week after the draft, spent the 2018-19 collegiate season blowing people’s minds as a 6-foot-7, 280-pound athlete at Duke University. He wore a warm smile, already immortalized as a meme during his college career, and a sense of anxious anticipation as he sat down with Robin Roberts for an interview airing Wednesday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

“It’s crazy, honestly, you know, I never saw myself as being a top-3, top-4 pick and for people to think that I could go [No.] 1, it means a lot to me,” he said. “It’s showing that my hard work is paying off, but I just want to get drafted period.”

The New Orleans Pelicans hold the top pick when the draft gets underway just after 7 p.m. at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

No one expects any name other than Williamson’s to be called first.

“I don’t play basketball for the money; it was the last thing I thought of when I was a little kid,” Williamson said. “When I was a little kid, I looked at my mom, stepdad, said, ‘I want to be an NBA player,’ just because I love to play the game of basketball like 24/7.”

The power forward averaged 22.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game as a freshman on his way to be named Associated Press national player of the year. His family has said he never seriously considered returning to the school.

Sitting with him backstage on Thursday will be his family.

“They were the first ones to see something in me, that I didn’t even see in myself, so I’m glad I can have my family with me along this journey,” Williamson said.

The forward has already earned one-name status, like LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, who he could join as fellow No. 1 overall picks.

“Those are big shoes to fill, but I’m not looking to fill those, I’m just looking to be the best Zion I could be,” Williamson said.

Ironically, the only hiccup in Williamson’s sterling career came as a result of shoes. The star’s Nike basketball shoes couldn’t hold up to the nearly 300-pound athlete, literally tearing apart during a game against rival North Carolina in February. He missed the final six games of the regular season with a resulting knee sprain, but returned in the conference tournament and looked like his dominant self in three NCAA tournament games.

He readily admits that there will be nerves as he’s sitting in the green room, despite his almost certain pick as the top overall player.

“I’m probably going to be super nervous. Hopefully I don’t trip and fall when I walk across the stage,” Williamson joked. “I think it’s going to be a lot of emotions, especially if my name gets called, I don’t how I’m going to feel. I don’t know if I’m going to cry, just smile, I guess I’ll see Thursday.”

But there is one thing Williamson can be content knowing he’ll be able to say for certain after first dreaming about it as a 5-year-old playing on a miniature hoop.

“I will be excited to finally say that I’m an NBA player,” he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 19 Jun 2019

Scoreboard roundup — 6/18/19

Sports News Scoreboard roundup -- 6/18/19 https://linewsradio.com/scoreboard-roundup-6-18-19/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/sports-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Tuesday’s sports events:


Detroit 5, Pittsburgh 4
Cincinnati 4, Houston 3
Chi White Sox 3, Chi Cubs 1

NY Yankees 6, Tampa Bay 3
LA Angels 3, Toronto 1
Cleveland 10, Texas 3
Oakland 16, Baltimore 2
Kansas City 9, Seattle 0
Minnesota 4, Boston 3, 17 Innings

NY Mets 10, Atlanta 2
Miami 6, St. Louis 0
Colorado 8, Arizona 1
San Diego 4, Milwaukee 1
LA Dodgers 9, San Francisco 0
Philadelphia at Washington 7:05 p.m., postponed

Washington 81, L.A. Sparks 52

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Posted On 19 Jun 2019