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Dispute over charter flights in U.S., Canada to be settled soon

Issue could have affected teams during the upcoming NHL and NBA seasons.

September 17, 2009|Lisa Dillman and Mark Medina and Helene Elliott | Staff And Wire Reports

The U.S. and Canada have a tentative deal to settle a dispute over charter flights that threatened to disrupt the upcoming professional hockey and basketball seasons, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday.

"We think we're very close to resolving that," Harper said after meeting with President Obama. He said officials were working to finish details.

The U.S. has insisted that Air Canada cancel all its season-long sports charters, which would make it difficult for Canadian teams to play back-to-back games in the United States. The U.S. contends the flights violate American law because they operate within the U.S. rather than between the two countries.

In a statement, Transportation Department spokesman Bill Mosley said the U.S. "will continue to enforce any violations," and that "we are close to resolving this matter."


Clippers re-sign forward Skinner

And so, the Brian Skinner era will continue in the NBA -- with the Clippers.

The Clippers, finishing off a few housekeeping duties before training camp starts later this month, re-signed the unrestricted free-agent forward. Skinner averaged 4.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 51 games last season. This will be his 12th season in the NBA.

-- Lisa Dillman

NBA referees have voted unanimously against the NBA's latest contract proposal, but remain hopeful a deal can be reached in time to avoid a lockout. The contract between the league and its officials expired Sept. 1.

Pittsburgh senior guard Jermaine Dixon has undergone bone graft surgery on his broken right foot and is expected to be out about two months. . . . Wisconsin freshman Jeremy Glover has been kicked off the men's team after being arrested last week on charges of burglary and possession of stolen property. . . . Deanna Nolan scored 25 points to rally the host Detroit Shock to a 94-89 victory over the Atlanta Dream in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round series.


Wrestler Angle cleared of charges

Professional wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle has been cleared of charges of harassment and possession of human growth hormone.

Angle was arrested last month in suburban Pittsburgh after his ex-girlfriend called police. Authorities alleged they found vials of human growth hormone in Angle's car. His ex-girlfriend, Trenesha Biggers, had obtained a protection order after the two had fought.


May-Treanor to team with Walsh

After an Achilles' tendon injury sidelined her for the first 15 events in Assn. of Volleyball Professionals' 2009 season, Misty May-Treanor will reunite with Kerri Walsh beginning Sept. 25 in the AVP Crocs Tour World Challenge in Glendale, Ariz.

The two won gold medals in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and lead the AVP Tour in career wins (105 for May-Treanor, 103 for Walsh). While Walsh returned earlier this month from maternity leave, she partnered with Rachel Wacholder.

-- Mark Medina

Bobby Ryan capped a two-goal game with another goal in the shootout as the Ducks opened exhibition play with a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes at the Honda Center. Joffrey Lupul also scored in the shootout, and Ducks goaltender Timo Pielmeier stopped both Phoenix shots. Ryan gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead at 1:08 of the third period, but the Coyotes tied it at 12:30 when Chad Kolarik pounced on a giveaway by Ducks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank.

-- Helene Elliott

Brazilian Rene Simoes will coach Costa Rica in its last two games of World Cup qualifying. Simoes was appointed a day after Rodrigo Kenton was fired following three straight losses. . . . Major League Soccer will take a two-week break during the group phase of the World Cup for the first time next summer. MLS announced that it will not play any games June 11-25.


Simon, Pacers owner, was 82

Melvin Simon, the son of a New York City tailor who started what is now the country's largest shopping mall company and owned the NBA's Indiana Pacers with his brother, has died. He was 82.

Dave Fuller, the winningest baseball coach in University of Florida history, has died. He was 94. Fuller guided the Florida baseball program from 1948 to 1975, compiling a 557-354-6 record.

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