NORMAN – The Oklahoma men’s tennis team closes out the fall season with the Norman Open, held at the Headington Family Tennis Center beginning Sunday. The men’s and women’s USTA Pro Circuit event is the first of its kind to be in the state of Oklahoma. The Headington Family Tennis Center played host to a women’s event in November 2017. All 10 Sooners are set to play in the event. The qualifying draw is set to run through Monday, with main draw action beginning Tuesday. OU last competed in the ITA Central Region Championships, where sophomore Jake Van Emburgh made a run to the singles quarterfinals and the Sooners picked up a total of 22 victories. Freshman Mason Beiler also had a successful campaign at the Regional, making a run to the round of 16. Over 200 players will convene in Norman for the event, including former Sooner and All-American Alex Ghilea, who will play in the main draw. For updates, follow @OU_MTennis on Twitter or like Oklahoma Men’s Tennis on Facebook.
During Trae Young's senior year at Norman North High School in Oklahoma, he went to an Oklahoma City Thunder game and chatted with Russell Westbrook. The young point guard explained to the NBA point guard that he had gone for 30 points, 10 assists and "only" six rebounds during a recent game. "Just do it all, man," Westbrook told Young, according to Rayford Young, Trae's father. Two years removed from that conversation and other conversations with Westbrook on the sidelines of Oklahoma football games, Young is now an NBA rookie with the Atlanta Hawks averaging 15.9 points, 7.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He will play his first professional game at Chesapeake Energy Arena against Westbrook and the Thunder on Friday night. The 6-foot-2 Young is back in Oklahoma, and his father said they've obtained tickets for more than 30 family, friends and Oklahoma University fans. Durant looked at the boy and said, "Keep working hard, man." Rayford has taken Trae to the last two NBA Finals so he could watch Durant play Games 1 and 2 with Golden State. He reached out to me after our games in Utah, just trying to be encouraging and giving me a lot of advice about different things – on how to handle the media, and just everything that goes into basketball.” Rayford said his son "has always been able to shoot [Durant] a text or give him a phone call just to get that advice." "You have to get good sleep, eat well, take care of the things that make you money, your hands and your feet," Durant told Young.
In the auto industry, business is booming for the undertaker. As we welcome back those vehicles, we’re waving goodbye to these: Ford Taurus This is not the first time Ford decided to end production of this large sedan. Despite a critically acclaimed redesign earlier this decade, it couldn’t overcome the sedan segment’s demise. Volkswagen Touareg Volkswagen will continue to sell this model in foreign markets but not in the U.S. Here, it’s now selling the Atlas large SUV and the Tiguan crossover, with plans to introduce more SUVs. Volkswagen Beetle This two-door car has one of the most iconic silhouettes in the auto industry. Honda CR-Z This compact hybrid had bad timing, entering the market just as hybrid sales were falling off a cliff. Luxury buyers with this much money to spend and a desire for space are buying SUVs. It couldn’t overcome the Cadillac brand’s struggles and the compact sedan segment’s implosion. The list, which does not include every discontinued vehicle, is based on research by IHS, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, USA TODAY and the Detroit Free Press.
Mr. Cowboy himself, Bob Lilly, was once again on-hand to honor a current member of the Dallas Cowboys with his namesake award. The Bob Lilly Award recognizes Vander Esch for his sportsmanship, leadership, and dedication. Following Sunday’s win, Vander Esch spoke to the media on what it means to win the award. “It is a great honor to receive an award like that especially it being my first year. “Being consistent every single week, putting my hardwork and effort in every single day knowing that they can count on me and my teammates can count on me, and my coaches can count on me. Being a guy that everyone can trust. The Cowboys 2018 first-round pick is having a phenomenal year. On the same day Vander Esch won Bob Lilly Award, the rookie linebacker recorded 15 tackles to help lead the Cowboys to its third division title in five years. –Corey Clark @WZIS_CoreyClark
With no deal in sight to keep the government funded, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will either not be returning to work after holiday vacations or will be back on the job, but without pay. "I can't tell you when the government's going to be open," the president said in a Christmas Day video conference with representatives of all five military branches stationed in Alaska, Bahrain, Guam and Qatar. "I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it," Trump said, suggesting that a change in semantics might allow for a breakthrough. "It's a disgrace what's happening in our country," Trump said in the Oval Office. "But other than that, I wish everybody a very Merry Christmas." The partial shutdown, which began Saturday, was triggered by a lapse in funding for a quarter of the government's departments and agencies. It affects some 800,000 government workers. He has blamed Democrats for the impasse, which came to a head over the weekend after lawmakers refused to agree to $5 billion in funding to begin building a border wall or fence, something the president has long championed. "Instead of bringing certainty into people's lives, he's continuing the Trump Shutdown just to please right-wing radio and TV hosts," Schumer said in a joint statement issued on Christmas Day along with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. As Politico reports, "While Trump has told allies he'd be willing to come down from his demand for $5 billion in border wall money, Democrats have stood firm on $1.3 billion for fencing, consistent with current spending levels.
KABUL, Afghanistan – The death toll from a Christmas Eve attack in the Afghan capital has climbed to 40, the Health Ministry said Tuesday, as police and rescue workers combed through the smoldering public welfare building where the gunmen held out for eight hours against security forces. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle outside the building Monday before at least three gunmen stormed in, rampaging through the office complex hunting for victims. Some employees managed to barricade themselves inside offices while police quickly evacuated more than 350 people. Health Ministry spokesman Wahid Majro says 40 people were killed and 29 were wounded. Abdul Jalil, an employee who spoke to reporters Tuesday from his hospital bed, was on the second floor when the gunmen entered. "They came in and they were shooting at everyone. They were shooting at the closed doors. If anyone was there they shot them," he said. Jalil said he jumped from a second-story window and broke his leg. "Even during the Taliban we were doing the same job," he said.
Visiting from out of town, Alan Corry said he wanted to check out Oklahoma City through the city's new streetcar. He and his wife took advantage of it being free on Christmas Eve to ride. "We stopped by the memorial, which we toured that last time we were here," Corry said. Corry said he and his family didn't have anywhere in particular they needed to be. "We're just riding it," Corry said. "We had a Christmas with the other side of the family yesterday so now it's just getting there and we'll do Christmas morning." King and her daughter were traveling to Phoenix. She's part of a group getting some cheer from traveling Christmas Eve. "Just from a tourist standpoint this is great," Corry said. The streetcar will run on Christmas until 7 p.m.
300,000 homes and businesses lost power. (Dec. 21) AP SAN FRANCISCO — A winter storm rolling east from California may vex holiday travelers later this week. The powerful Pacific storm prompted the National Weather Service to issue an advisory Monday warning of heavy rains and snow throughout the West that will roar across the central plains by midweek. "This (storm) will likely bring widespread travel impacts after Christmas with heavy rain, snow, ice, strong thunderstorms and strong winds," the advisory reads. Don't be so hard on yourself ► Dec. 19: Hoping for a white Christmas? Dream on ► Dec. 12: Early snow brings exceptional start to ski season If the downside to the wintry weather is potential travel headaches, the upside is a white Christmas in many pockets of the country. Because of the rain, the Washington Crossing Historic Park canceled its Christmas Day reenactment of George Washington crossing the Delaware River in 1776. Ceremonies and speeches still will occur in spite of the high river conditions, the website said. Who will get the most snow this Christmas? The Weather Channel says "at least 6 inches of snow is likely from parts of the central and northern Plains into the upper Midwest and northern Great Lakes" with more than a foot possible in areas getting the heaviest precipitation.