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Detroit sues wrong church over $170K electric bill

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 16 April 2015 | 20.49

DETROIT — The leader of a small church on Detroit's east side says the city mistakenly sued seeking $170,000 for an electric bill that's owed by a church with a similar name.

The Detroit Free Press reports the city mistakenly went after Total Life Christian Ministries, but later apologized and told Bishop Daryl Harris' lawyer the lawsuit would be dismissed. The newspaper says the church that actually owes the money hasn't been sued yet.

Harris says his reaction to learning about the lawsuit was "sheer disbelief."

The suit was brought as part of an effort to collect on unpaid Detroit Public Lighting Department bills by suing churches, schools and other organizations.

Detroit emerged from Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in December and the city has phased out its money-losing lighting department.

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Why transgender actress Laverne Cox posed naked

Laverne Cox is taking it all off.

Cox, who rose to fame in the hit Netflix show "Orange Is the New Black" as Sophia, poses nude in a sexy black and white photo for Allure magazine's "The Naked Truth" spread.

The 30-year-old actress, who became the first transgender actress to grace the cover of Time magazine as well as many others, says she wasn't keen on posing nude until she thought deeply about the message she would send.

"I said no initially, thought about it, and said no again," Cox, who admitted to having mac n' cheese the night before her big shoot, told the magazine.

"But I'm a black transgender woman. I felt this could be really powerful for communities that I represent. Black women are not often told that we're beautiful unless we align with certain standards. Trans women certainly are not told we're beautiful. Seeing a black transgender woman embracing and loving everything about her body might be inspiring for some folks. There's a beauty in the things we think are imperfect. It sounds very cliché, but it's true."

Allure's latest issue also features nude photo and stories about inner strength from Jordana Brewster, Nicole Beharie, Katheryn Winnick and Sandrine Holt.

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Giacometti sculpture expected to sell for auction-record $130M

A rare life-size sculpture by Alberto Giacometti could set a record at auction next month where it's expected to bring around $130 million.

Christie's is offering "Pointing Man" in New York on May 11.

The record for a sculpture at auction is $104.3 million for Giacometti's "Walking Man I."

The 5-foot-high bronze sculpture of a spindly figure with his arms extended has been in the same private collection for 45 years.

Giacometti made six casts of the work. Four are in museum collections, including in London's Tate Gallery and New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The Swiss artist died in 1966.

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Flatiron School looks to teens to ease computer coder shortage

There's a dire shortage of computer programmers in the US — and a New York-based firm is heading directly to the nation's high schools to change that.

The Flatiron School, a for-profit group that has been offering intensive courses in web and mobile development since 2012, has raised $9 million as it looks to aggressively expand its computer-coding education programs at high schools.

"There's no infrastructure for this," co-founder Adam Enbar said of high-school coding classes. "No teachers, no curriculum, no software, no after-school support. There's this huge demand in the market but nobody knows how to do this."

Flatiron School, which raised $5.5 million last year, will roll out intensive courses for high schoolers in eight cities this summer — a move that it expects will shift the majority of its business to the high-school level.

Participants this summer will include the Dalton School on the Upper East Side.

To date, Flatiron School has built its reputation with an adult-training program that boasts a 99-percent job-placement rate for its grads, who have started off with salaries averaging $74,000.

The course costs $15,000 and the acceptance rate is 6 percent, but scholarships are available for NYC students who lack four-year college degrees.

Backers in the latest funding round included Thrive Capital, the venture-capital firm headed by Joshua Kushner. Flatiron School also recently partnered with Kushner's supermodel girlfriend, Karlie Kloss, and DoSomething.org to offer scholarships for teens interested in coding.

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Robinson Cano made the bonehead play of season

To be fair, the Mariners aren't paying Robinson Cano for his baserunning prowess.

Still, the second baseman's brain lapse Wednesday against the Dodgers, jogging and then running himself into an out, must have given Brian Cashman a passing smile.

The ex-Yankee and $240 million man was on third base, Nelson Cruz on second and, notably, no one was on first before Los Angeles pitcher Paco Rodriguez walked Kyle Seager to load the bases, in a game the Mariners trailed 5-2.

Which is when Cano trotted home, believing the bases to have already been juiced and Seager's walk to have driven him in.

As Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal prepared to toss back to the pitcher, a suddenly animated Rodriguez signaled Cano's blunder, and Grandal started running up the line. Cano's epiphany came too late, and he was tagged out diving back to third base.

It was the second out of the inning, and the Mariners wouldn't be able to push across a run in that frame or any that followed, falling 5-2.

After the loss, Cano was honest about the brain freeze:

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Time is now for Phil Jackson to engineer Knicks’ turnaround

Mercifully, the gut-emptying disaster known as the 2014-15 Knicks season came to a close Wednesday at the Garden, as a basic replay of so many other games — the Knicks trailed by double-digits most of the night. And lost. For the 65th time.

Hey, as a stunningly successful coach turned impossibly calamitous team president noted recently, "S–t happens." And the 17-65 Knicks and their fans endured more dung than anyone in 2014-15.

"It was obviously a difficult season for us as a team," coach Derek Fisher said after the 112-90 defeat to the Pistons, "and we were forced to deal with some realities."

(Insert your own reality one-liner here)

So now comes the real start of Phil Jackson's regime. By his admission, his grand experiment fell flat on its face. Many of the moves he made appear ridiculously shortsighted. Start with trading Tyson Chandler, who became Dallas' defensive force, for basically a bag of gumballs. Advance to helping Cleveland rise to Eastern prominence by dealing J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert for a suspect return.

One out-of-division executive was asked to sum up the Knicks' season. He stressed he spoke only as an observer.

"To me their biggest mistake was they overrated players. They'll probably point to [Andrea] Bargnani getting hurt but he's not good enough. [Jose] Calderon did not have the year they anticipated," the exec said. "They're continuing to try to put the triangle in. How many of those guys are going to be back?"

Put it this way, if everybody is back, "s–t" will happen again. Fisher stressed a core of the current chain gang, although "completely outmanned and outnumbered" many nights, will return to ease the triangular approach. Fisher, speaking with pride and emotion, noted "unfortunately, they can't all be back."

So the Knicks will teach their system to a new class of pupils, along with Carmelo Anthony, presumably healthy, back for the second season of an extension that will pay $28 million when he is 34 in 2018-19.

But forget the past. Any adage works: You have to crawl before you walk; housecleaning was needed to change the culture; whatever. Now is when Jackson must start earning his five-year, $60 million contract — plus added perks likes $15,000 monthly for living ($10K) and travel ($5K) expenses.

There's the NBA draft lottery. Folks rage in a Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns debate. Even the team with the worst record, Minnesota (16-66), has just a 25 percent chance at No. 1 — or a 75 percent chance of picking lower. The Knicks now have a 19.9 shot. The debate over the top pick is idiocy until they have it. The Nets won 12 games in 2009-10, by far the worst in the NBA. They picked third.

Patrick Ewing fell into the Knicks' laps in the first lottery ever in 1985. Since, the Knicks hardly have found improvement through the lottery. In 1986, they wanted Chuck Person; they got Kenny Walker. In 1987, through a trade that got them Gerald Henderson, they also picked Mark Jackson out of the lottery. But the pick they originally owned was used on Scottie Pippen. In 2002, they drafted Nene, and traded him for a package that included Antonio McDyess.

In 2003, the Knicks didn't waste their pick on David West, not when Mike Sweetney was available. In 2005, they picked Channing Frye, who lasted two seasons. Because of one of the most disastrous trades ever — the 2005 Eddy Curry deal — they traded two future picks. They became LaMarcus Aldridge in 2006 and Joakim Noah in 2007.

Teams can't go consecutive years without a first-rounder, so in 2007 the Knicks picked Wilson Chandler 23rd. And they eventually traded him — along with 2008 lottery pick Danilo Gallinari — in the deal for Anthony. In 2009, they wanted Stephen Curry; they got Jordan Hill. Their 2010 lottery pick became Gordon Hayward for Utah. And their 2014 pick, also moved for Anthony, became Dario Saric for Orlando — and the Magic traded him for Elfrid Payton.

So if history is a guide, don't bank on the lottery to solve the Knicks issues.

There will be roughly $26 million with which to lure free agents. If a player, restricted or unrestricted, breathing or completely unresponsive to external stimuli, can become a free agent this summer, he has been linked to the Knicks.

One ex-Knick, recently assessing the roster, suggested his old team not pursue the top-shelf, Grade-A type but rather several second-tier types.

"You need some tough kids that will fit well in New York," he said, specifically naming restricted guys Draymond Green and Reggie Jackson. "Tough kids. Because to play in this environment, you've got to be tough. You can't be weak at all. It'll eat you up."

Like this season's Knicks.

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New hitting approach paying big dividends for Lucas Duda

In the absence of David Wright, the Mets may have to adopt an all-hands-on-deck mantra to replace the offense provided by their injured captain.

Just don't tell Lucas Duda that. He has designs on carrying the Mets all by himself.

On Wednesday night, the Mets' first baseman continued his torrid start to 2015 with a solo homer, a double and two RBIs, helping the team to a 6-1 victory over the Phillies. It was the Mets' fourth straight win, tying their longest winning streak of last season.

"I'm seeing the ball pretty well, trying to get a pitch up I can handle," said Duda, who raised his batting average to .353 and now has seven RBIs, one behind Travis d'Arnaud for the team lead.

In the Mets' first game since learning Wright will miss at least two weeks with a mild hamstring strain, the team banged out 12 hits — four for extra bases. Duda was one of four Mets with at least two hits, along with d'Arnaud, Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer.

"He's doing an excellent job," Jon Niese said. "He's seeing the ball well. He's a special hitter."

The season is just nine games old, but for Duda it's already a far cry from 2014 when he hit .200 in the first 10 games.

With a new, confident, hit-to-all-fields approach, Duda is looking further and further removed from 2012 and 2013 — when he hit .239 and .223, respectively — and more like the hitter who hit 30 homers last season.

"I do believe Lucas' makeup has changed in the last couple of years," manager Terry Collins said. "He knows that he belongs here and he can hit [for] big numbers here. What we've got to get him to do is stay confident, stay upbeat and get some guys on ahead of him."

Duda also has made strides against left-handed pitching, as after hitting .180 in 111 at-bats against southpaws last season, he's 3-for-7 against southpaws in 2015.

"With Lucas, it's mainly just getting his direction," hitting coach Kevin Long told to The Post before the game. "I'm throwing a lot of [batting practice] to him, creating a lot of different angles, and I think at the end of the day he's more comfortable."

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Lundqvist’s most memorable Rangers save is one he has forgotten

When you have spent enough time around Henrik Lundqvist for 10 years, you think you know him pretty, pretty, pretty well.

So as I moseyed up to the goaltender's stall at the Rangers' practice rink following Wednesday's final prep for Game 1, Round 1 at the Garden on Thursday, I was pretty, pretty — all right, enough of that — sure that asking him about the all but miraculous save he made against Evgeni Malkin in the final minutes of last year's Game 7 in Pittsburgh would elicit the animated response I was seeking.

"The save on Malkin your favorite?" is how the leading question was phrased.

"Malkin? Which one was that?" Lundqvist said, a quizzical expression crossing his Don Draper-esque visage.

"You know … the scramble in front, you not having your stick…"

("You know," I wanted to say, "the one that I had been planning on writing this column about … that one, Hank!")

Ah, a flicker of recognition from the King.

"The favorite one of my career?" he said. "Uh, not really … I don't really think about that one."

Without that one, without the flurry of saves on that scramble in front with 5:15 to go and the Penguins pressing desperately to get the tying goal, there may not have been a Game 7 victory in Pittsburgh, there might not have been the conference finals victory over Montreal and there might not have been that ride to, and that defeat in, the Cup final that has informed so much of this season.

Lundqvist may not think about it, but suffice to say there isn't a Rangers fan extant who hasn't thought about it and cherished the memory. There was a stop on James Neal, a stop on Kris Letang, then Jussi Jokinen, Paul Martin was lurking, and there was Malkin.

"It was just a big scramble. It was chaos and react," Lundqvist recalled. "There was nothing really technical about it.

"When it comes to my best saves, I rather think about the ones that are technically [sound] combined with the importance," said the goaltender, who will make his 92nd straight playoff start for the Blueshirts on Thursday. "That one is not in my top three."

I hesitated for a moment before asking the obvious follow-up, girding myself for the same response that Willie Mays offered one time (or so legend has it) when asked whether a certain phenomenal catch in center field was his greatest.

"I don't rate 'em, I just catch 'em," Mays either said or is said to have said.

But no.

For Lundqvist was able to tick off his three favorite saves, or at least, "three, I remember," with only one of them coming while wearing a Rangers uniform.

"There was one in Sweden in the semifinals of the playoffs, I don't remember the player, but it was a scorpion save on a breakaway," Lundqvist said. "It was late in the third period of a 0-0 game, we won 1-0 to win the series and go to the final, and then we won the championship."

That was in 2005, Lundqvist's final year playing for Frolunda before coming to New York.

"The second one, I made a save in the gold-medal game of the Olympics with about 30 seconds to go, when we were winning 1-0 against Finland," Lundqvist said. "It was against Olli Jokinen, he had it alone in front and I just dived across with my blocker."

That was in 2006, in the Turin Games, when Sweden and Lundqvist took gold.

"And the third was the one against Montreal last year in Game 6," Lundqvist said. "The one on [Thomas] Vanek."

The game at that time was scoreless with about 4:45 remaining in the second period when Vanek's shot from the left deflected high off Dan Girardi's stick and appeared headed for the top shelf before Lundqvist somehow spun acrobatically to bat the puck away with his blocker.

Dominic Moore scored less than three minutes later and the Rangers would win 1-0 to advance to the final. All three cited saves came in 1-0 games.

"That one just because how big that game was," Lundqvist said. "You know, that wasn't so technical. Now that I think of it, the other two weren't either.

"A lot of my saves, I don't really remember them as well," he said.

In other words, Lundqvist will make 'em and everyone else can just remember 'em.

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Look out Refsnyder: Yankees interested in Braves’ 2B prospect

BALTIMORE — The Yankees have let the Braves know they have an interest in Atlanta's second-base prospect Jose Peraza who is currently playing at Triple-A.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation the Yankees made contact with the Braves and sent scout Dennis Twombley to Gwinnett, Ga. recently to watch Peraza, who turns 22 on April 30.

Baseball America ranked the 6-foot, 165-pound native of Venezuela as the 54th best prospect in the minor leagues and MLB had him 39th.

In 349 minor league games Peraza started Wednesday night's action batting .303 with an on-base percentage of .349. He had 178 steals and was caught 42 times.

The Yankees' interest in Peraza could be a strong sign they don't believe Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela are long-term solutions at second base. Refsnyder's defensive struggles in spring training have carried over to the Triple-A season where he has made three errors in six games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Pirela is still on the road back from a spring-training concussion.

While the Yankees aren't likely to surrender top pitching prospect Luis Severino, they could put together a two-player package that might include catcher Gary Sanchez who has been passed in the organization's pecking order by John Ryan Murphy.

There is a chance Brett Gardner will spend part of Thursday's off undergoing an MRI exam in Tampa to make sure there is no structural damage in his right wrist.

"If it didn't progress in the two days like we thought it should we would do an MRI [exam] but I am hoping we won't have to,'' manager Joe Girardi said before Wednesday night's game. "He feels a lot better today than [Tuesday] so it would be more precautionary than anything.''

Gardner hasn't played since getting hit Monday night.

"I don't know if a MRI [exam] is still in the works,'' said Gardner, who said he will be at the Tampa complex to receive treatment Thursday. "The MRI would get a different look at it. I am not sure I will get one or not. It's much better today than [Tuesday] so I am encouraged by that.''

Following the loss Gardner said, "I am pleased how it feels and I expect to play Friday.''

Yankees minor league pitcher Wilking Rodriguez has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Furosemide, a performance-enhancing substance.

Rodriguez, who was in spring training with the Yankees, hadn't pitched this year for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre while appealing the suspension.

"He threw well in spring training, it's not what you want to see,'' Girardi said. "We tell our players to make sure [what they put in the body]. If there are any questions don't do it.''

Didi Gregorius , who went 1-for-3, is hitting .172 (5- for-29). He also had made two glaring baserunning mistakes in nine games, and committed an error Tuesday night.

"Let's not forget he is 25 and this is the first time he has been on an Opening Day roster,'' Girardi said of Derek Jeter's replacement. "It's been a week, that's why I don't make too much of it.''

Gregorius downplayed the slow start.

"I am a human being and everybody makes mistakes,'' he said.

Asked about Yankees fans chanting Jeter's name, Gregorius brushed it aside.

"I just laughed. What can I do? I can't control what comes out of their mouths,'' Gregorius said.

Right-hander Branden Pinder was promoted from SWB on Wednesday when right-handed reliever Joel De La Cruz was sent to Double-A Trenton.

Pinder is on the 40-man roster and Wednesday was the first day a player optioned before the big league season opened was eligible to join the big leagues.

He pitched a scoreless seventh inning in his major league debut.

With Esmil Rogers available out of the pen after throwing 4 ²/₃ innings last Friday, the Yankees had a full complement of relief arms.

Pinder appeared in two games for SWB and tossed three scoreless innings.

Chris Capuano (quadriceps) will throw batting practice Thursday at the Yankees' minor league complex. Ivan Nova (elbow) will play catch to prepare for his second batting practice session Friday. Andrew Bailey (coming back from shoulder surgery) pitched for Single-A Tampa Tuesday and threw batting practice Wednesday in the first step in getting the Wagner College product to throw in back-to-back games for the first time this year.

— Additional reporting by Joel Sherman

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Pacquiao to Mayweather: I’m not a ‘reckless’ fighter, it’s called boxing

LOS ANGELES — Manny Pacquiao intends to put on a show when he faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2¹/₂ weeks.

He really hopes Mayweather is also coming to fight, for the fans' sake — and maybe for his own strategic purposes as well.

Pacquiao radiated confidence and excitement Wednesday at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood before his latest workout in preparation for their bout May 2 in Las Vegas.

With the most anticipated fight in recent years looming ever closer, both boxers kept their public comments civil and mostly respectful this week. But Pacquiao laughed when told that the defense-minded Mayweather had called him "a very reckless fighter" on Tuesday.

"Reckless fighter? That's how people like me and love me, because they like an exciting fight," Pacquiao said. "We call this boxing, [and] boxing is more punching. We talk about punching."

Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) rarely has skimped on excitement during his remarkable career as an eight-division champion, but the Filipino congressman realizes he is facing the greatest defensive fighter of their era. Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) has been nearly unhittable for most of his opponents during his perfect career.

But Pacquiao said he hopes Money realizes the best way to get paid is to put on a fight worth seeing. After all, they're counting on fans to pay a record $99.95 for the pay-per-view, a figure described by no less than Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum as "ostentatious consumerism" if a fan bought it to watch all by himself.

If Pacquiao is trying a bit of psychological trickery, it isn't very subtle: He didn't even try to hide the fact that a brawl would be his best chance to win.

"If he [does] that, that's good for me," Pacquiao said. "I like that. We'll see. That's what I want, and that's definitely what the fans want — action."

Unlike Mayweather, Pacquiao knows what it's like to be knocked out and to get back up. Pacquiao lost both of his bouts in 2012 and ended his fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez face-down on the canvas in the sixth round.

Pacquiao took time off after that bout, but returned to the ring and won three more fights before Mayweather finally agreed to get in the ring with him, five years after fans first called for the matchup.

Yet the former knockout machine hasn't stopped an opponent since November 2009, when he finished Miguel Cotto in arguably the greatest performance of his career.

This fight has captured the full attention of Pacquiao, who has found time to actually study film of Mayweather during his chaotic life among his entourage, his large family and his congressional duties.

Trainer Freddie Roach hasn't seen Pacquiao watching film of his opponents in years, yet Pacquiao came to him with ideas and plans for the fight. Pacquiao is clearly a student of Mayweather's techniques, even doing a serviceable impersonation of Mayweather's famed shoulder roll to entertain Roach.

"I haven't really seen him have this much speed and power in a long time," Roach said. "My chest hurts really bad right now. You can see how much it means to him. He lives for these huge moments, and he knows what this fight means. Floyd is in trouble."

Pacquiao confirmed his eagerness to make the fight happen, pointing out that he agreed to every term proposed by Mayweather over the past several years of intermittent negotiations. Pacquiao also agreed to a 60-40 split of the proceeds.

"If my concern is myself alone, I don't [think of] the fans," Pacquiao said. "Then the fight, it's hard to make happen. Because of course, I don't want to take 60-40, a disadvantage and everything. I agreed with that for the sake of the fans. I agreed to make the fight happen."

Pacquiao also said he felt a virtual duty to make a possible nine-figure payday resulting from this bout to further his charitable work in the Philippines, where he plans to give away a significant portion of his cut.

"I cannot see them being hungry and not helping them," Pacquiao said. "I'm not materialistic. … I have to use it for the glory of the Lord, and also for my family and for helping people."

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