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New billboard asking Kings to stay has familiar look

SACRAMENTO, CA - It was back in 2001 and there were rumblings that one of the star players for the Sacramento Kings was thinking of leaving the team.

Then up popped a billboard along Interstate 80 outside of Roseville: The billboard showed Joe Maloof aboard a riding lawn mower and the slogan: "Chris, if you stay, Joe will mow your lawn - Gavin."

Now, a billboard along Business 80 in Sacramento shows a similar scene, but features the Rise Guys (the Phantom, Mark Kreidler and Whitey Gleason) from sports radio KHTK. Only this time, the offer is to mow the Maloofs' lawn if the Kings stay in town.

"Some listeners actually suggested you guys should make a billboard just like the one they did for Webber when it looked like he was going to leave," Gleason said. "We thought that's just about the greatest idea ever!"

The billboard has been a hit.

Bird strikes up at Sacramento Int'l, other U.S. airports

SACRAMENTO, CA - The number of bird strikes at U.S. airports continues to increase, even as the total number of flights has trended down.

In January 2009, a flock of geese caused the crash of a U.S. Airways jet into New York's Hudson River. Pilot "Sully" Sullenberger managed to safely ditch the plane. Some passengers were injured, but no one was killed.

Since then, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, the number of bird strikes on planes has gone up significantly.

At Sacramento International Airport, for example, spokeswoman Gina Swankie said the number of bird strikes in 2009 was 186 compared with 112 two years before. In 2010, there were 196 bird strikes at the airport.

Swankie said most damaging bird strikes happen well above the airport operations area and out of the reach of wildlife hazard management tools.

Deaf college basketball player from Dixon hopes to go pro

SACRAMENTO, CA - At 6 feet 7 inches tall, Michael Lizarraga is an imposing figure on the basketball court.

Michael's Cal State Northridge Matadors played the UC Davis Aggies Thursday night.

SLIDESHOW: Michael at the game

During the game, Michael could be seen, not looking at the point guard for plays, but at his interpreter, relaying messages to him from his teammates.

Michael is profoundly deaf.

His parents found out when he was 15 months old.

"When we found out he was deaf, at first it was a big shock, and you know, a blow," Michael's dad Tavo Lizarraga said. "That maybe lasted, maybe a week."

Tavo used to be a basketball coach when Michael was younger.

"I took a basketball and rolled it to the other end of the court and that's when it started," Tavo said.

Adelman saddened by Kings departure reports

SACRAMENTO, CA - Former Sacramento Kings Head Coach Rick Adelman returned to the arena he called home Monday and admitted he is saddened to hear the reports the Kings may be moving to Anaheim.

"It's very sad for me because we had some great years here," said Adelman, who coached the Kings in their glory years from 1998-2006.

"Good memories and I hate to see the fans here and the people in Sacramento lose this team," he continued. 

Adelman's Houston Rockets defeated the Kings on Monday night 123-101.

By Bryan May, BMay@News10.net

Mayor presses ahead for new sports-entertainment complex

SACRAMENTO, CA - Mayor Kevin Johnson said the owners of the Sacramento Kings are working to "make a deal happen in Anaheim," and admitted there's not much Sacramento can do as a community to keep the team in town.

"We cannot control the decision the Maloofs will make," Johnson said at his weekly news conference Tuesday.

MORE KINGS NEWS: Sacramento Kings at a Crossroads

Johnson said his "end game" changed when he learned the Maloofs were in serious discussions to move the Kings to Anaheim. The mayor's plan now is building a new sports and entertainment complex in Sacramento, with or without the Kings.

The mayor's comments echoed the stance announced last week by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, and the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Good things come in little packages -- and they are free!

Good things come in little packages -- and they are free!

Starbucks is celebrating its 40 birthday with some sweet petites -- and for three days only, they will be free.

What are Starbucks Petites? They're super-delicious Cake Pops, Mini-Cupcakes, Sweet Squares and a Red Velvet Whoopie Pie And at just $1.50 and less than 200 calories each they're a deliciously well-deserved afternoon treat.

Try one free during Starbucks Tribute Days**
Come into a participating store between 2-5 p.m., March 10-12, purchase any handcrafted beverage and enjoy a Starbucks Petite treat for FREE!

NOTE: **Offer good 3/10/11 through 3/12/11 from 2-5 p.m. at participating stores. One offer per beverage so you don't think you can be greedy. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. While supplies last.

State of Natomas Luncheon March 14

State of Natomas Luncheon March 14

NATOMAS - The 7th Annual State of Natomas Luncheon, hosted by the Natomas Chamber of Commerce, will take place on March 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton at 4900 Duckhorn Drive, off of Del Paso Road.

Featured speakers who will address the current state of Natomas will include Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, County Supervisor Phil Serna and District One Councilwoman Angelique Ashby. The event is open to the public.

For more information and to purchase tickets online at www.natomaschamber.com.

Sacramento Lions cheerleading squad holding auditions March 12

Sacramento Lions cheerleading squad holding auditions March 12

SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League are seeking dancers to take part in auditions for the team’s 2011 cheerleading squad. The cheerleading team, the Lady Lions, will perform at all four Mountain Lion home games this fall and will serve as ambassadors for the organization throughout the season.

The second of two preliminary auditions will be held on Saturday, March 12 at the Sacramento Youth Football Training Center, 5845 Dry Creek Road in Rio Linda. Registration is at 11 a.m. and auditions begin at noon. Participants should come in dance attire of briefs or boy shorts and a half top, and dance shoes or non-marking soled athletic shoes. They are required to attend all phases of the audition. Saturday’s audition will be closed to the public.

Pre-registration is recommended and encouraged and there is an audition fee of $25.

Kings' decision could delay arena study

SACRAMENTO, CA - It's not surprising news, but the Taylor/ICON group has announced it will not complete its arena feasibility study until the Maloof brothers make a decision on whether they are keeping the Sacramento Kings in town or moving to Anaheim.

In early February, developer David Taylor and the ICON Group were tasked by the Sacramento City Council to perform the study; they were given 90 days to do it.

Taylor/ICON spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said Saturday since the group isn't getting paid for the study, it cannot dedicate time and resources to two studies, one that involves the Kings and one that does not, which may push back that 90-day deadline.

"Creating what is called a feasibility analysis, or a financing plan, is a lot of work and takes a lot of time," Mendelsohn said. "So creating
two plans isn't realistic."

Sacramento non-profits would be "devastated" if Kings left

SACRAMENTO - If Sacramento Kings' owners Joe and Gavin Maloof decide to move the team to Anaheim, the economic impact is well known - the loss of about 1,200 jobs and a big blow to businesses surrounding Power Balance Pavilion.

However, the team leaving would also be a big blow to non-profits and local charities that the team and its owners have supported for years.

In Rocklin, the team runs a youth basketball program with camps, clinics, tournaments and more. It's so popular it had to turn away dozens of children. The Kings announced the camp last year, and if the team goes, so does the camp

"It would be sad to see all that go, especially because we're just starting to build," said camp director Dave Taylor.

The team and its owners also support dozens of non-profits.