With the first contests unfolding next year in South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire, small-town voters will play a critical role in choosing the next Democratic nominee.,Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lamented rural decline during an Iowa swing this weekend.,Several candidates plan to attend a March 30 rural issues forum at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa — population 10,600.,AP VoteCast, a national survey of more than 115,000 voters, found rural and small-town residents cast 35 percent of midterm ballots; 56 percent of those voted for Republican House candidates, compared to 41 percent for Democrats.,Sanders noted that many Vermonters, as in the rest of rural America, view guns differently than most big-city residents, but Clinton successfully used the issue against Sanders, particularly with black women.

The quest to bring a World Cup to Kansas City secured the alignment of prominent local sports and government figures.,Kansas City is one of 17 finalist cities in the United States to host 2026 World Cup matches.,The 11-person executive bid committee is Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt; Sporting KC principal owner Cliff Illig; Doug Bach, Unified Government and Kansas City, Kanas county administrator; Lynn Berling-Manuel, United Soccer Coaches CEO; Jason Fulvi, VisitKC president and CEO; Shane Hackett, Heartland Soccer Association executive director; Matt Kenny, Chiefs vice president of stadium services and events; Donna Maize, Kansas City, Missouri assistant city manager; Kathy Nelson, Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation president and CEO; Joe Reardon, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce president and CEO; and Jake Reid, Sporting KC president and CEO.,Ficklin spent 11 years as vice president of development for Sporting Kansas City, placed in charge of the construction of Children’s Mercy Park and Pinnacle, the club’s new training facility that opened last year.,“The Kansas City metropolitan area has built over $400 million in soccer facilities over the past decade, but more importantly, we have really been the thought leaders in innovative ways to grow the game of soccer,” Ficklin said in a news release.

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Tampering or not, Bryce Harper didn't back away from his comments about recruiting Mike Trout to the Philadelphia Phillies.,Harper, who signed a 13-year, $330 million deal last week, caused a stir Tuesday when he told a local Philadelphia radio show he would campaign for the two-time American League MVP if the Los Angeles Angels outfielder became a free agent after the 2020 season.,"If you don’t think I’m not gonna call Mike Trout in 2020 to have him come to Philly, you’re crazy,” said Harper.,Bryce Harper signed a $330 million deal with the Phillies last week.,When approached by media members Wednesday, Trout didn't have much to say about Harper's comment. read more

There are numerous factors in play ranging from the role of Connecticut’s agreements with a pair of federally recognized tribes, the role of sports leagues, and how the issue crosses paths with other efforts to expand casino gambling.,The state’s two tribes that operate Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, respectively, argue that their compacts with the state reign supreme over all discussions of sports betting.,The tribes provide payments to the state based on slot machine revenues, and a similar arrangement could be designed when it comes to sports betting.,“Across the country, sports wagering is considered a casino game, which means it falls under the exclusivity portion of our agreements with the state.”,It is still believed in the State Capitol that a similar arrangement would be passed by lawmakers, allowing for tribes, off-track betting operators, and possibly the Connecticut Lottery to be part of a sports wagering program.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There are plenty of travel sites describing great places to visit in the United States.,They claim to have found the “most boring” towns in every state.,FULL LIST: “Most Boring Towns In Every State”

Best Life Online based the rankings on factors like highest median ages, fewest things to do, and lowest population density.,In the Tri-State Area, they say Bayville, Long Island is the most boring town in New York.,Ocean City took the title in New Jersey. read more

Without McCoy, who transferred to Texas after he was enrolled in classes for less than three weeks, USC does not have a five-star in the fold for its recruiting class for the first time since 2000, when recruiting services began ranking the top high school players.,Over more recent years, the Trojans have faced more difficulty reeling in five-star talent, largely the prospects from outside California, at times leaving them over-reliant on top players from their own backyard.,The Trojans finished 5-7 last year, their first losing season since 2000, prompting calls from fans for Helton to be fired following his third full season before the embattled coach was retained by Athletic Director Lynn Swann.,But even in the initial seasons under Helton, while the Trojans made consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games, they were unable to pluck five-star recruits from other regions of the country and poach prospects from other blue-blood schools that have had a better recent track record of producing NFL draft picks, especially among offensive linemen.,Gorney and other analysts reasoned that the Trojans have had enough talent in recent seasons to contend for Pac-12 championships, and they won the conference crown in their second season under Helton in 2017.

The traditional signing day Wednesday merely padded Oregon's already stellar recruiting class, the best in school history.,GETTING DEFENSIVE: Washington capped its recruiting class by landing two of the top defensive players on the West Coast.,Washington had seemed to be the favorite for Heimuli for most of the recruiting period, but his Menlo-Atherton team advancing to the state title game in California impacted his ability to make a decision in time for the December signing period.,The abrupt departure of new offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury after 34 days shook up the Trojans' recruiting class and led to the departure of receiver commit Bru McCoy, who spurned USC for Texas.,The day had an international flavor with the Utes bringing in 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni, a native of London who played last year for Garden City Community College in Kansas, and fellow 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Luke Felix-Fualalo, a former rugby player in Australia who played last year for prep powerhouse Mater Dei in California.

Earlier that month, San Francisco Mayor Elmer E. Robinson had lost a bet to Chicago Mayor Martin H. Kennelly, after wagering that Cal would defeat Northwestern in that year’s Rose Bowl.,A week before the first-ever AFL-NFL World Championship Game in 1967 (known later as Super Bowl I), Donald A. Tilleman, the mayor of Green Bay, Wis., sent a telegram to his counterpart in Kansas City, Mo., betting him a block of Wisconsin cheese that the Packers would win, and proposing that prime steaks would make for a good prize.,After the Packers lost in the NFC championship game to the Giants, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg received a special delivery that contained 10 pounds of cheese spread, 20 aged strip steaks and three pounds of chocolate — plus a pair of cheese-wedge sunglasses for good measure.,Thus began the era of mayors wearing rival teams' jerseys, flying the winner’s flag above city hall or singing the national anthem at their next game.,In April 1997, more than two months after the Packers defeated the Patriots in that year’s Super Bowl, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that Mayor Paul Jadin still hadn’t collected the winnings from his bet with the mayor of Providence, R.I., Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., who would later be sent to federal prison on racketeering charges.

This past weekend, victory tasted like Togarashi brown sugar as the bar sent out two teams to compete in two separate out-of-state wing competitions.,See also: Patch Picks: The Best Wings In Norwalk [PHOTOS]

Though the Rhino boasts a number of popular and inventive wing flavors (Patch wrote about them extensively here), such as Mango Habenero and Maple Chipotle Lime, they only entered their Togarashi Brown Sugar Dry Rub wings in the Atlantic City competition.,The Blind Rhino was the first out-of-state competitor invited to the Wing Wars in the competition's three-year history.,Meanwhile in New York, a second team of Rhino wing specialists brought out some of their strongest players to compete in Poughkeepsie: Spicy Buffalo, Garlic Parmesan and of course the Togarashi Brown Sugar Dry Rub.,After battling it out with some tough local competition consisting of almost 30 other bars and restaurants, the team still managed to walk away with some hardware, placing second in the Best Buffalo category and third in Best Dry Rub. read more

The future is taking shape in the concrete pillars and sloped canopy roof of a transformative new stadium that will serve as home to the Super Bowl-bound Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers when the world’s most expensive sports complex opens in 2020.,[Rams-Patriots Super Bowl guide] Moreover, after decades in which taxpayers shouldered much of the cost of new sports arenas, the privately funded stadium is being closely watched as a potential new model for first-rate NFL venues built without public subsidies.,It is the vision of Rams owner E. Stanley Kroenke, a Missouri-born billionaire developer and sports mogul, who took to heart NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s insistence that any new stadium built for pro football’s return to Los Angeles must be iconic and serve as home to two teams.,(Allison Zaucha/For The Washington Post) NFL's most expensive stadium Though the Kroenke organization won’t confirm the cost or provide details of its privately funded financing plan, NFL owners in March agreed to raise their debt waiver to accommodate the Los Angeles project.,[Sally Jenkins: Gifting Daniel Snyder any money or land for a new Redskins stadium would be absolute madness] Just a decade ago, it seemed the Dallas Cowboys had set a spending mark that wouldn’t be topped when they opened ATT Stadium at a cost of $1.3 billion, with the city of Arlington helping team owner Jerry Jones finance the project with tax hikes and bonds.