ACLU's suit over Super Bowl 'clean zone' settled

ACLU's suit over Super Bowl 'clean zone' settled

NEW ORLEANS (AP) An agreement Monday has resolved a lawsuit over plans by the city of New Orleans to enforce a ``clean zone'' where the use of banners, signs and flags would be restricted during Super Bowl week.

The agreement, which must be approved by a federal judge, would allow the city to enforce some limits on commercial activity in the French Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods. The filing says the city can prohibit ``off-site and mobile advertising,'' such as signs attached to a vehicle or worn by a person.

However, American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana's Executive Director Marjorie Esman said the city has agreed not to restrict other forms of commercial or non-commercial speech in the ``clean zone.'' She said local businesses, for instance, will be free to hang signs advertising their wares.

The ACLU sued the city last Thursday on behalf of an activist and a street preacher. They claimed the ``clean zone'' limits, spelled out in a new city ordinance and a code enforcement guide, would trample on their free speech rights and limit their activities leading up to the title game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

``The city has essentially eliminated all of the problems with the original drafting'' of the ordinance and guide, Esman said of the settlement Monday.

Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt issued a temporary restraining order that said the city can only enforce the limits in an area near the Superdome, where the game will be played Feb. 3. The ACLU and city on Monday asked the judge to dissolve that order.

Esman says other Super Bowl host cities have enforced similar rules in recent years at the NFL's request, but they had never been challenged in court before.

The new measures took effect Monday and are scheduled to end on the evening of Feb. 5. The city said the settlement clarifies that the ``clean zone'' is not intended to affect non-commercial speech.

``The clean zone addresses issues such as certain types of signage, outdoor vending and erecting structures and tents that the city already permits,'' the city said in statement. ``It is an additional temporary designation that seeks to protect the quality of life for residents and assists businesses in thriving during the Super Bowl.''

The ordinance, passed last month, said that the content of any temporary signs approved by the city must consist of at least 60 percent Super Bowl or NFL branding. But the settlement bars the city from enforcing that provision.

The city, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas were named as defendants in the suit. The plaintiffs are Tara Jill Ciccarone, an Occupy NOLA member, and Troy Bohn, pastor of a religious congregation that regularly preaches on Bourbon Street.

No. 16 UMBC shocks No. 1 Virginia to make NCAA history

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No. 16 UMBC shocks No. 1 Virginia to make NCAA history

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Senior guard Jairus Lyles scored 28 points, and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County pulled off the most shocking upset in NCAA Tournament history, defeating Virginia 75-54 on Friday night to become the first No. 16 seed ever to beat a No. 1 seed.

Virginia entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after going 31-2 this season, including 20-1 in ACC competition.

But the Cavaliers couldn't get anything generated on offense and the nation's top-ranked defense couldn't contain American East Conference champions.

The 74 points were the most Virginia had allowed this year.

Lyles was the catalyst.

He diced up Virginia's defense in the second half, getting the hole easily on six different occasions and making easy layups. He also knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as UMBC built a 16-point lead.

Lyles finished with 23 of his points in the second half and Joe Sherburne finished with 14 points.

The game was tied at halftime, but the Retrievers came out confident and motivated in the second half and built a double-digit lead that Virginia could never erase.

Sherburne scored on an and-one drive and then knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key after a behind-the-back pass from KJ Maura. After Virginia made a foul shot, the shifty 5-foot-8, 140-pound Maura drove the lane for uncontested layup.

A Tony Bennett timeout couldn't stop the bleeding, as Lyles hit two more 3's and Sherburne hit one to extend UMBC's lead to 14 with 14:57 left in the game. Lyles was fouled on a 3-point shot and suddenly the Retrievers led by 16.

A corner 3-pointer and a layups off a fastbreak by Arkel Lamer gave UMBC its biggest lead at 67-48. From there, the party was on as chants of "UMBC" rang through the arena.

It was yet another early exit for the Cavaliers in a season that seemed to hold so much promise.


UMBC: Despite being undersized and unknown, they shocked the world and made history with an epic game.

Virginia: This isn't the first time Virginia has struggled as the No. 1 seed. The Cavaliers trailed by five at halftime in 2014 to Coastal Carolina but went on to win 70-59.


UMBC: Will face No. 9 seed Kansas State on Sunday in the second round.

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Kuznetsov to be evaluated Saturday after leaving Islanders game with "upper body" issue

Kuznetsov to be evaluated Saturday after leaving Islanders game with "upper body" issue

The Capitals may have won the game Friday against the New York Islanders, but now they will wait to see if they also suffered a significant loss.

Kuznetsov left the game in the third period after taking a slash from Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey which sent him sliding head-first into the boards. The team labeled the issue as “upper body” when it was announced he would not return to the game.

Head coach Barry Trotz was tight-lipped afterward on Kuznetsov’s status.

“They're going to re-evaluate him tomorrow and we'll have some clarity hopefully tomorrow,” he said.


You can see the play here:

When Kuznetsov is first slashed he immediately reacts. His feet then catch the stick of goalie Jaroslav Halak which sends him tripping and sliding hard into the boards. He sat on the ice for several minutes afterward and was looked at by the trainer before getting to his feet and slowly making his way to the locker room.

When asked after the game what he felt about the slash, Trotz said only, “Hockey play.”

One of the Capitals’ biggest strengths as a team is their depth down the middle. Any injury to a center, considering it is arguably the most important skating position on the ice, would be significant. An injury to the team’s top-line center would be even more costly.

Kuznetsov leads the team with 28 assists and ranks second in both goals (21) and points (69).