Former MJC lineman to play for Lightning
Former Modesto Junior College lineman Daniel Almeida is one of five players signed by the Stockton Lightning arenafootball2 league team. Almeida was a two-time all-state player at Modesto before transferring to the NAIA's Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont. The rookie joins two-year Lightning veteran Tupo Tuupo (FB/LB) of Washington State, Roy Sims (OL/DL), Donva Louder (WR/DB) and Domingo Holmes (WR/DB).
Stockton laying off sports administrator
The Stockton Unified School District has decided to lay off a district athletics administrator who was suspended over a probe into his possible involvement in a high school football recruiting scandal. The district's board of trustees voted 7-0 to lay off Joe Martin along with four teachers after their positions were eliminated because of budget cuts, said district spokesman Rick Brewer. Martin was suspended with pay Nov. 1 in the aftermath of the scandal at Franklin High School, which was accused of illegally recruiting players from American Samoa. Martin has said he has done nothing wrong. His last official day is June 30.
Kings' Artest doing his part to help dogs
Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest is donating money and appearing in ads to urge dog owners to spay or neuter their pets. Artest is giving Sacramento's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter about $5,000 to spay and neuter more than 50 pit bulls. He has also been volunteering at the shelter, and he's appearing in an advertising campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, urging owners to spay or neuter pets. Artest's Great Dane, Socks, was seized last year by animal control officers who said the animal was underfed. Artest says Socks' food was eaten by a more aggressive dog while Artest was traveling with the Kings, and no criminal charges were filed.
Underdog horse will miss Kentucky Derby
Autism Awareness, the $1,000 yearling who won last week's El Camino Real Derby as a 62-to-1 underdog, has a knee injury that will keep him out of contention for the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Genaro Vallejo found a bone chip Tuesday in Autism Awareness' left front knee. He'll undergo surgery Friday at Golden Gate Fields, the track where Vallejo has his stable. "He'll stay in my barn after the surgery," Vallejo said. "He'll stay with me for three weeks, and then I'll send him out to the farm. He'll probably be out for four months. We'll give him all the time he needs, and hopefully he comes back better than ever."