Why is Rhode Island suing Curt Schilling?

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Why is Rhode Island suing Curt Schilling?

From Comcast SportsNetPROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island's economic development agency on Thursday sued former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and some of its former officials, saying they committed fraud and other acts that misled the state into approving a 75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company.The suit was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court four months after 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy following a spectacular collapse that has likely left the state on the hook for as much as 100 million.Among other things, the lawsuit claims that executives at 38 Studios, as well as former Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Keith Stokes and others, knew the company would run out of money by 2012, but concealed that from the EDC board, which made the final decision on whether to back the deal.The board in 2010 lured 38 Studios to Providence from Massachusetts with the loan guarantee.The lawsuit also alleges that Schilling, 38 Studios executives and others engaged in racketeering and conspiracy. The suit does not ask for a specific dollar amount but wants Schilling and others to repay the bonds and seeks triple damages.In addition to Schilling, who founded the company, and Stokes, the suit names Michael Saul, a former top official at the EDC; two law firms that worked with the agency; a financial adviser for the state; Wells Fargo Securities and Barclays Capital, investment banks hired by the EDC to assist in issuing bonds for the deal; and an insurance company for 38 Studios.Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the EDC board, of which he is the chairman, authorized the legal action in an attempt to recoup some of the state's money."My message to Rhode Islanders is this: I know that you work hard for your paychecks, and for your tax dollars to be squandered is unacceptable," Chafee said in a video statement. "The Board's legal action was taken to rectify a grave injustice put upon the people of Rhode Island."Chafee said he would not comment further.Messages left for Schilling, Stokes and Saul weren't immediately returned.38 Studios collapsed into bankruptcy in June. Rhode Island is likely responsible for about 100 million when interest is factored in on the bonds the state issued on the company's behalf.The suit says that EDC board members were not experts in "law, lending, video gaming or economic development" and relied on information from Stokes, Saul, Schilling and others at 38 Studios. The suit says the company failed because of risks that were not disclosed to the board "but were or should have been known" by the defendants.The suit also says the EDC board was misled about whether 38 Studios would have enough money to finish the video game, codenamed Copernicus, that was critical to its success. It says the company's own financial projections showed a shortfall of about 22 million of the estimated 75 million needed. The company got only about 50 million of the 75 million in bond funds because some was kept in reserve.The suit says the defendants should have known it was "likely that 38 Studios would run out of cash and go out of business by 2012."Schilling's firm tried to raise outside capital but was unable.The suit also says that an EDC analyst who raised questions about the loan guarantee -- and suggested he could not support it -- was later excluded from doing further work on it by Saul, who oversaw the agency's financing programs at the time. As a result, the agency's customary risk analysis of the deal was never completed or submitted to the board, according to the suit.The suit accuses Saul and attorney Robert Stolzman, who served as EDC secretary, of withholding from the board "negative" opinions about the proposed deal, including from two consultants who said they wouldn't invest 75 million in 38 Studios if they were in the EDC's position.In May, the company laid off its nearly 300 employees in Providence and more at a studio in Maryland it acquired in 2009.The suit says Wells Fargo also earned 473,000 in "hidden commissions" from 38 Studios that the state didn't know about -- and which ate into the total available to run the company.Dana Crothers Obrist, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, said the company does not believe the lawsuit has merit, and it is prepared to defend itself vigorously.A spokesman for Barclays had no comment.One of the law firms named in the suit, Adler Pollock & Sheehan, which had served as general counsel to the EDC, and employs Stoltzman, said the suit reflects a "misappreciation" of its role and that it would "vigorously" defend itself.Thomas Moses, president of Moses Afonso, which worked on the bond sale and was named in the suit, said he had not seen the suit as of Thursday afternoon. But he called any lawsuit involving his firm "frivolous and without merit."Separately, state law enforcement authorities in Rhode Island are investigating 38 Studios' finances. A federal probe resulted in no charges.

Report: Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Report: Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to ESPN's Cristian Moreno. Ventura was 25 years old.

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.


 

Patriots-Steelers game notes: Pats shooting for record ninth Super Bowl berth

Patriots-Steelers game notes: Pats shooting for record ninth Super Bowl berth

A quick look at the information you need to know about tonight's Patriots-Steelers game:

PATRIOTS-STEELERS PREGAME

TEAM RECORDS: Patriots 15-2, Steelers 13- 5

GAME TIME: 6:40 p.m. EST

TV: CBS

TV ANNOUNCERS: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Wolfson

NATIONAL RADIO NETWORKS: Westwood One

NATIONAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Kevin Harlan, Dan Fouts and Ross Tucker

LOCAL RADIO NETWORK: Anchored by WBZ-FM (98.5 The Sports Hub)

LOCAL RADIO ANNOUNCERS: Bob Socci and Scott Zolak

ALL-TIME SERIES BETWEEN THE TEAMS: Steelers lead, 15-14

LAST MEETING: Patriots 27, Steelers 16 on Oct. 23, 2016 at Heinz Field

* * * *
QUICK FACTS
-- Bill Belichick is coaching in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game. Tom Brady is playing in his NFL-record 11th conference championship game.

-- The Patriots are 8-4 in AFC Championship Games, including 5-1 in games played in Foxboro and 4-1 at Gillette Stadium.

-- The Patriots are 30-19 in postseason games, including 19-4 at home (3-1 at Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 16-3 at Gillette).

-- The Patriots' 30 postseason victories are tied with the 49ers for fourth-most in NFL history, behind the Cowboys (34), Steelers (34) and Packers (32).

-- The Patriots' .612 winning percentage in postseason games is third-best in NFL history, behind the Ravens (15-8, .652) and Packers (34-21, .618).

* * * *
MILESTONES
-- If the Patriots win today they will qualify for their ninth Super Bowl, most in NFL history. They are currently tied with the Cowboys, Broncos and Steelers at eight.

-- If the Patriots win today, Robert Kraft will set an NFL record for most conference championships by an owner (8) in the Super Bowl era. He is currently tied with the Denver Broncos' Pat Bowler at seven.

-- If the Patriots win today, Bill Belichick will move into a tie with Bill Walsh for third place on the NFL list of best postseason coaching winning percentage. Belichick (who would be 25-10 with a victory) and Walsh (10-4) would have .714 winning percentage. Belichick is currently in fifth place, two percentage points behind Joe Gibbs (17-7, .708). Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900) is in first place and Tom Flores (8-3. .727) is second.

-- If the Patriots win today, Belichick will advance to his seventh Super Bowl as a head coach, which would be most in NFL history. He is currently tied with Don Shula at six.

-- Tom Brady (8) needs one more playoff game with three or more touchdown passes to tie Joe Montana (9) for most three-plus TD playoff games since the 1970 NFL merger.

-- Stephen Gostkowski (142) needs 11 points to tie Gary Anderson for third place on the NFL's all-time list of kicking points in the postseason. Adam Vinatieri (234) is first and David Akers (175) is second.

-- Julian Edelman (76) needs nine receptions to tie Andre Reed (85) for sixth place on the NFL's all-time list of postseason receptions. Michael Irvin is fifth at 88, and Hines Ward and Wes Welker are tied for third at 88.

* * * *
TONIGHT'S OFFICIALS
-- REFEREE: Terry McAulay. UMPIRE: Rich Hall. HEAD LINESMAN: Wayne Mackie. LINE JUDGE: Mark Perlman. FIELD JUDGE: Scott Edwards. SIDE JUDGE: Boris Cheek. BACK JUDGE: Tony Steratore. ALTERNATES: John Parry, Mark Steinkerchner, Rich Martinez. REPLAY OFFICIAL: Mike Wimmer. SUPERVISOR: Gary Slaughter.