Bay City on Top of Charts Going into Nationals

Heather Smith - Friday, March 16, 2012

2012 Division III National Tournament Seeding

Bay City Earns #1 Overall Seed


1. Bay City Thunder and Lightning

2. Music City Lightning

3. Carolina Tarwheels

4. Neuroworx Utah Wheelin Jazz

5. MAPVA Chargers

6. Wisconsin Thunder

7. Fayetteville Flyers

8. San Antonio Parasport Spurs

9. Tucson Lobos

10. NASSAU Kings

11. Columbia Predators

12. Shasta Lakers

13. Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers

14. Tampa Bay Strong Dogs

15. RIM Detroit Diehards

16. Connecticut Spokebenders

17. NRH Ambassadors

18. Miami Heat Wheels

19. Denver Nuggets

20. North Charleston Rolling Hurricanes

21. Seattle Slick

22. Tacoma Titans

23. RIC Hornets

24. Team St. Luke's Cyclones

Marching for a Cause

Heather Smith - Thursday, March 08, 2012

'Tony the Vet' marches through Somerset County on his way to New York to honor America's veterans

Anthony 'Tony the Vet' LoBue marched through the hometown of World War II hero Marine Sgt. John Basilone this afternoon, March 2, carrying an American flag and hoping to draw attention to the sacrifice - and needs - of veterans.

LoBue intends to end his 100-mile trek, from Allentown, Pa. to Grand Central Station in New York City next week to honor the arrival at the train station of a huge 9/11 memorial flag from the Curtis Armory in Allentown.

Born in Brooklyn, the 69-year-old man marched from San Diego, Calif. to Ground Zero in Manhattan last year, to honor the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

After passing through Dunellen today, the disabled Vietnam-era vet intends to spend a little extra time in Scotch Plains - where he grew up - then on to Union and Jersey City/Hoboken before arriving in New York City.

One-Armed Wonder Plays On!

Heather Smith - Thursday, March 08, 2012

“I wish I could go right, go right with my right arm,” Anderson concedes. But he adds, “I think I’m pretty good how I am, with what I have.”

Still, he made the varsity lineup in his freshman year.

“He gets the ball off the rim and is out and gone, running past people down the floor,” marvels Florida High coach Al Blizzard. “You’re not going to stop him in the open court, I don’t care what level you’re on.”

Anderson’s speed and quickness offset any perceived inability to go to his right and though he doesn’t have any scholarship offers yet, his coach believes Anderson’s overall talent is good enough to play in college. In addition to his scoring and rebounding, he averages 2.5 blocked shots and 2.9 steals a game. Anderson plans to play AAU basketball this spring to showcase his talents to college recruiters.

“A kid like Landus and his ability to play basketball, they come through every 20 or 30 years,” said Curtis Miller, a veteran AAU coach who had Anderson on his 16-and-under Team Florida Extreme that played 30 games across the southeast last summer. “He’s a talent. He can shoot outside, he can take it inside, he can overpower you skill wise, has basketball IQ. The sky is the limit.”

Anderson averaged 21.5 points and eight assists a game to lead Miller’s AAU team last summer that made it to the Final Four of the Team Nike AAU tournament last summer in Orlando.

“He’ll have no problem playing at the next level,” Miller said. “it’s hard work, dedication. This kid is the total package.”

Anderson and Florida High didn’t qualify for this week’s state basketball championships, but he was at his best against the best this season.

He scored 71 points in three games against Tallahassee Lincoln, a 7A school — the largest classification in Florida. He had a season-high 34 points in a win over 5A Wakulla. The Seminoles also defeated two of the schools that advanced to the state finals. Anderson had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 66-60 overtime loss to East Gadsden High School that ended the Seminoles (20-6) season.

Blizzard says Anderson’s outside shot and free throw shooting rivals that of his son Brett, who enjoyed a record-setting collegiate career at North Carolina-Wilmington a decade ago and now plays professionally in Italy.

But with one big difference: Anderson manages his shots with one hand, like he does with everything else.

Anderson learned at an early age that he had to work twice to achieve success — even daily tasks like learning to tie his shoes didn’t come easy. He got those tough life lessons from his parents and his grandmother, Bernice Cummings.

“He has a determination that’s so unique,” said his mother Pamela Anderson, a Gadsden County deputy sheriff. “He’s not a complainer. He’s not a whiner. It wasn’t easy, but Landus made it easier.”

His condition is medically defined as Erb’s Palsy, a paralysis caused by injury to the upper group of the arm’s main nerves. Although range of motion is recovered in many children by their first birthday, individuals who have not healed by then rarely gain full function of the limb.

Anderson has no control of his fingers on the right hand and the arm is noticeably withered and virtually useless in competition.

“They can’t fix the damaged nerves, but at birth I had a muscle transfer in my bicep area,” said Anderson, show is almost a straight A student as well. “They could’ve done one down low, but my mother didn’t want them to experiment on me.”

His mother did want him in a school with a strong academic tradition. So she had her son apply to Florida High, the teaching high school of Florida State University, when he was an eighth grader.

“Even though I know he’s always loved basketball, we’ve always had to have a backup plan just in case,” Pamela Anderson said. “Once I realized his norm was no longer his peer’s norm, I knew we didn’t have any other option and failure is definitely not one.”

Although his parents divorced before Anderson began school, they’ve both stayed involved in his life. He lives with his mother during the week and spends time with his father on weekends.

Landus, who wears a size 13 shoe and doesn’t turn 17 until May, also has a good basketball lineage on his father’s side of the family. His dad, Lindsey Anderson, played at Florida A&M in the early 1970s and a raft of uncles and cousins have played college ball throughout the South.

“He has basketball in his blood,” said Lindsey Anderson, a state probation officer.

Blizzard, his high school coach, said it’s more than that.

“It’s easy when your best player is also your hardest worker,” Blizzard said. “That’s why he’s at where he’s at.”



Source:"News One." Breaking News for Black America. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.

Double Amputee Fashion Model Thrives

Heather Smith - Thursday, March 08, 2012

Double amputee fashion model Aimee Mullins says she has excelled on the catwalk because her prosthetic legs let her adjust her height at will.

The 36-year-old, who is in Australia for the Melbourne Fashion Festival as the new face of L’Oreal Paris, keeps 12 sets of prosthetic legs, which means she can adjust her height from 172cm to 185cm.

"I would never have been a runway model if I didn't have prosthetic legs," she told Nine News.

"So it's because of the thing that made me different — [the same thing] in my childhood years I wished I didn't have."

The American model, whose legs were amputated below the knees as a one-year-old after being born without fibula bones, first walked the runway in 1998 for designer Alexander McQueen's show.

Mullins wore a pair of hand-carved wooden legs made from solid ash.

She said Naomi Campbell approached her backstage at the time and wanted to try her wooden legs on, thinking they were boots.

"'You can't wear them, they're made for me. They're not boots, they're legs' and I showed her," Mullins said.

The former Paralympian said she never obsessed over body image the way same fashion models do.

"I think because I grew up wearing prosthetic legs and this idea of achieving perfection or this model body was never going to be a reality for me," she said.

Mullins' modeling career came after an equally remarkable career as an athlete.

She competed in the Paralympics in 1996 in the high jump and 100m sprint after competing with able bodied athletes while she was at university.

The 36-year-old has also begun acting in recent years, starring in Cremaster 3, In the Woods and Quid Pro Quo.


Source: "Amputee Model Credits Disability for Career." Australian and World News. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.

Top Ranked Disability Friendly Universities

Heather Smith - Thursday, March 08, 2012

At 10 years old, a seemingly healthy boy was diagnosed with a brain tumor requiring him to have two surgeries before he had even finished middle school. At 16, he found out another tumor had grown in his brain stem. After another visit to the operating table, Paul Velasquez would never be the same.

When Velasquez tried to get out of his hospital bed, he fell, realizing he had lost significant nerve sensory on the left side of his body as a result of surgery. Velasquez developed left-sided hemiparesis, which affects communication between his brain and muscles, and suffers from painful migraines and small seizures.

But unless he told you, you would never know it. On the outside, Velasquez appears to be like any other Ohio State student. He has been taking classes on and off at OSU since 1996, and is pursuing a degree in sexuality studies. As the president of the campus organization UNITY: An Alliance of Students With and Without Disabilities, Velasquez said that it is his intention to bring students together.

"I don't tell people I'm disabled, unless it's apparent that I need to," Velasquez said.

Velasquez said that attitude is common among people with non-visible disabilities.

"Some students don't want to be associated with disability," he said. "It's all about passing as normal."

L. Scott Lissner, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator at OSU, said there are about 1,660 employees and about 1,450 students registered as having disabilities on campus.

"Statistically if we look at national data, nine percent of the undergraduate population should have a disability," Lissner said. "We have about four percent registered, so we have two to three percent that may be on campus and aren't telling us they're here."

The Office for Disability Services is a resource available to disabled students on campus to help them adjust to the college environment. ODS provides accommodations for registered students, such as extended time on exams and alternative test formats, sign language, the availability of an interpreter, access to computer programs that accommodate their needs, counseling and note-taking assistance.

While these resources are available at OSU, some prospective college students report they don't really know what life will be like until they arrive on campus.

Such was the case for Tommy Tiedemann, a student with cerebral palsy who began his college search in 2003. He quickly realized there wasn't enough information about services available for students like him and turned his pursuit for answers into his senior project.

His mother, Chris Wise Tiedemann, expanded his research and wrote "College Success for Students with Physical Disabilities," a user guide detailing the accommodations for students like her son available at universities across the nation.

This user guide, published Feb. 1, is a resource that Lacy Compton, editor and promotions coordinator at Prufrock Press Inc., the book's publisher, said is long overdue.

"More and more students are going to college than ever before," Compton said. "As the population of students who are going to college grows, many will have to adjust to fit their needs."

Lissner said that of roughly 2,500 four-year colleges in existence nationwide, 177 were listed as going beyond the minimum regulations required by the ADA, which was enacted in 1990 and amended in 2008.

Five schools were listed as being full-service universities, the most accessible for students with physical disabilities. University of California at Berkeley, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, were all listed.

OSU was listed as an ADA-Plus college, defined as an institution that goes beyond the requirements of the Disabilities Act, providing student services that vary among colleges in this group.

Compton said colleges were evaluated based on accessible housing, accessible transportation, the availability of attendants, wheel-chair sports, extracurricular clubs or activities and other criteria.

While OSU was rated well, based on accommodations like the Campus Area Bus Services paratransit service available for students with disabilities, Velasquez said he thinks there is room for improvement.

"There should be better communication between faculty and students about things like what should be considered an excused absence," he said, going into detail about how his migraines often leave him unable to leave his bed some days.

Velasquez said he sometimes has difficulties getting the notes he needs for his classes. After the surgery that left him with nerve damage on his left side, the naturally left-handed student is unable to copy down notes quickly in class, forcing him to rely on student volunteer note-takers, who don't always attend class and can be delayed in forwarding their notes.

The university is working on improving accessibility for students on several aspects of campus life, including on-campus housing.

"All the South Campus residence halls will be accessible after the construction is complete," Lissner said.

Lissner said the university has also been working on reconstructing buildings to be more accessible, and assuring that new ones are. He said lot of work has been done in that area in the past decade.

"We've done a huge amount of construction since I came here. The average age of a building since renovation was 63 years when I was hired 12 years ago. Now it is 25 years," Lissner said.

Velasquez said he hopes to see the improvements continue.

"What we have is nice, but Ohio State prides itself on being great," he said. "We could be better with disability access and awareness."



Source: "OSU Disability Friendly, but Has Room for Improvement." The Lantern. Web. 08 Mar. 2012.


Restriction of Access for Disabled

Heather Smith - Thursday, March 08, 2012

One week into Gov. Tom Corbett's administration's enforcement of a policy that restricts public access to certain areas of the Capitol was put into practice for a second time.

Able-bodied people had unfettered access to stairs and elevators that lead to Gov. Tom Corbett’s office on Wednesday. People in wheelchairs did not.

The Capitol police made no attempt at hiding the fact that they were instructed to restrict access to the Capitol’s upper floors for people in wheelchairs.

One was overheard telling Pam Auer of Swatara Twp., who gets around in a motorized wheelchair, “I’m not allowed to let you up.” “It’s hurtful,” said Auer of Swatara Twp., a representative of ADAPT, a disability rights group, who wanted to get to the governor’s office to schedule an appointment to discuss his proposed budget cuts and service changes for the disabled community.

But this is part of the state Department of General Services’ new practice of enforcing a section of state law that limits access to non-public areas of the Capitol to those with Capitol identification badges or those there to visit legislators.

The enforcement only kicks when groups with a history or an intention of causing a disruption, show up.

Department spokesman Troy Thompson insists it is not a policy that applies exclusively to people with disabilities.

“Every group isn’t the same, which is why we are enforcing it on a case by case basis,” Thompson said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with anyone’s physical capability. It has to do with the level of disruption that they may have caused in the past or plan to cause in the future.”

Many of the disability rights activists came to the Capitol to sit in on Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander's budget hearing before the House Appropriations Committee with no intention of causing a disturbance.

“I’ve never had any governor respond like this to actually discriminate against people in wheelchairs. It’s so blatant, “ said Linda Anthony of Pottsville, from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania.



Source: "Disability Activists Targeted in Enforcement of Pa. State Capitol's Restricted Access Policy." The Patriot-News. Web. 08 Mar. 2012. <>.

Detection in Minorities Not Found as Soon

Heather Smith - Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Early diagnosis is considered key for autism, but minority children tend to be diagnosed later than white children. Some new work is beginning to try to uncover the why and to raise awareness of the warning signs so more parents know they can seek help even for a toddler.

 “The biggest thing I want parents to know is we can do something about it to help your child,” says Dr. Rebecca Landa, autism director at Baltimore’s Kennedy Krieger Institute, who is exploring the barriers that different populations face in getting that help.

Her preliminary research suggests even when diagnosed in toddlerhood, minority youngsters have more severe developmental delays than their white counterparts. She says cultural differences in how parents view developmental milestones, and how they interact with doctors, may play a role.

Consider: Tots tend to point before they talk, but pointing is rude in some cultures and may not be missed by a new parent, Landa says. Or maybe mom’s worried that her son isn’t talking yet but the family matriarch, her grandmother, says don’t worry autism” Cousin Harry spoke late, too, and he’s fine. Or maybe the pediatrician dismissed the parents’ concern, and they were taught not to question doctors.

It’s possible to detect autism as early as 14 months of age, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that youngsters be screened for it starting at 18 months. While there’s no cure, behavioral and other therapies are thought to work best when started very young.

Yet on average, U.S. children aren’t diagnosed until they’re about 4½ years old, according to government statistics.

And troubling studies show that white kids may be diagnosed with autism as much as a year and a half earlier than black and other minority children, says University of Pennsylvania autism expert David Mandell, who led much of that work. Socioeconomics can play a role, if minority families have less access to health care or less education.

But Mandell says the full story is more complex. One of his own studies, for example, found that black children with autism were more likely than whites to get the wrong diagnosis during their first visit with a specialist.

At Kennedy Krieger, Landa leads a well-known toddler treatment program and decided to look more closely at those youngsters to begin examining the racial and ethnic disparity. She found something startling: Even when autism was detected early, minority children had more severe symptoms than their white counterparts.

By one measure of language development, the minority patients lagged four months behind the white autistic kids, Landa reported in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

It was a small study, with 84 participants, just 19 of whom were black, Asian or Hispanic. But the enrolled families all were middle class, Landa said, meaning socioeconomics couldn’t explain the difference.

One of the study’s participants, Marlo Lemon, ignored family and friends who told her not to worry that her son Matthew, then 14 months, wasn’t babbling. Boys are slower to talk than girls, they said.

“I just knew something was wrong,” recalls Lemon, of Randallstown, Md.

Her pediatrician listened and knew to send the family to a government “early intervention” program that, like in most states, provides free testing and treatment for young children’s developmental delays. Matthew was enrolled in developmental therapy by age 18 months, and was formally diagnosed with autism when he turned 2 and Lemon enrolled him in Kennedy Krieger’s toddler program as well. In many of his therapy classes, Lemon says, Matthew was the only African-American.

Now 7, Matthew still doesn’t speak but Lemon says he is making huge strides, learning letters by tracing them in shaving cream to tap his sensory side, for example, and using a computer-like tablet that “speaks” when he pushes the right buttons. But Lemon quit working full-time so she could shuttle Matthew from therapy to therapy every day.

“I want other minority families to get involved early, be relentless,” says Lemon, who now works part-time counseling families about how to find services early.

For a campaign called “Why wait and see?” Landa is developing videos that show typical and atypical behaviors and plans to ask Maryland pediatricians to show them to parents. Among early warning signs:

  • Not responding to their name by 12 months, or pointing to show interest by 14 months.
  • Avoiding eye contact, wanting to play alone, not smiling when smiled at.
  • Saying few words. Landa says between 18 and 26 months, kids should make short phrases like “my shoe” or “where’s mommy,” and should be adding to their vocabulary weekly.
  • Not following simple multi-step commands.
  • Not playing pretend.
    Behavioral problems such as flapping their hands or spinning in circles.

Meth Lab Fire in Nursing Home

Heather Smith - Tuesday, March 06, 2012

When it comes to your loved ones care where do you stand?  The following article is perhaps something that will make you question just that!


Authorities in northeast Ohio have identified a man who died after a methamphetamine lab in a nursing home resident's room caused a fire that injured six more people. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office says 31-year-old Shaun Warrens of Ashtabula died Monday. The fire broke out the Sunday night at Park Haven Nursing Home in Ashtabula, east of Cleveland. Three residents and two non-residents were hospitalized, including Warrens. It wasn't clear whether he had been staying at the nursing home. No updates were available Tuesday on the conditions of the others who were hospitalized. Two more people were treated at the scene. Police said charges were pending against two men who were burned, but they did not identify the men.




Bay CIty Thunder and Lightning Rounds out Regular Season!!!

Heather Smith - Monday, March 05, 2012

Bay City Finishes the Regular Season 28-3


This past weekend Bay City went 3-1 with a two point loss to the Kings. ALthough Bay City didn't make it to the championship because I tie breaker rule they finished out the regular season in style. 


Game 1:

Bay City 67 NRH 51


Game 2:

Kings 54 Bay City 52


Game 3:

NY Nets 24 Bay City 59


Game 4:

Bay State 33 Bay City 51


All and all a good season our three losses were by a combined total of 5 points.....


Congratulations for all your hard work! And good luck in the post season Bay City!

Wheelchair Basketball Top 25

Heather Smith - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WNBA Division III  Top 25


1. Bay City Thunder and Lightning

2. Music City Lightning

3. Turnstone Bandits

4. Carolina Tarwheels

5. Fayetteville Flyers

6. Neuroworx Utah Wheelin Jazz

7. Mobile Patriots

8. Wisconsin Thunder

9. San Antonio Parasport Spurs

10. Tucson Lobos

11. Maryland Ravens

12. Bulova Nets

13. Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers

14. Tampa Bay Strong Dogs

15. Jackson Generals

16. Port City Spokesmen

17. RIM Detroit Diehards

18. CRS Hotwheels

19. Connecticut Spokebenders

20. NRH Ambassadors

21. Cypress College Chargers

22. PossAbilities Rolling Bears

23. Miami Heat Wheels

24. Tulsa Rolling Roustabouts

25. Seattle Slick



Keep up all the great work guys!!!

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