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Senator wants Fox to pull plug on race

FORT WORTH — A U.S. senator from Connecticut has sent a letter to media mogul Rupert Murdoch asking the Fox network not to broadcast Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race sponsored by the National Rifle Association. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy wrote to the News Corp. chief that the race is taking place during Senate consideration of legislation to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn. Murphy says the race will give national attention “to an organization that has been the face of one side of this heated debate.” Fox officials declined comment Thursday. The race will be broadcast as scheduled.

Charges refiled on wrestler Chavez

A Metro Court judge dismissed battery and larceny charges against Rio Grande High state champion wrestler Nick Chavez on Thursday after the sheriff’s deputy, victim and witnesses failed to appear. The deputy, however, said he did not receive a subpoena to appear and will refile charges, according to BCSO Sgt. Aaron Williamson. Chavez won a Class 5A state championship at 195 pounds in February, and Rio Grande shared a team title (in part because of a scoring error) with Cleveland. Chavez had to get a court order just to be allowed to compete. He had been charged with slapping a student and taking his money, one day before the state tournament began.

LB going from Army to the Colts

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh McNary spent the past two years working with the real America’s team — the U.S. Army. This fall, he could be America’s favorite comeback story. On Thursday, the Indianapolis Colts signed the free-agent linebacker and Army lieutenant. He hasn’t played a down in two years while he fulfilled his military obligation, but was impressive enough at a regional combine in Texas that the Colts decided to take a chance on the pass-rushing specialist who turned 25 years old Wednesday. “I’ve got a lot of confidence after getting in shape and after seeing the progress I’ve made physically and knowing what I’m capable of, given my instincts on the field,” he said. SAINTS: New Orleans and free-agent offensive tackle Jason Smith have agreed to a one-year contract. HURD: Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to buy cocaine and marijuana to set up a drug-distribution network, leaving a once-promising career in tatters as he faces a prison sentence of at least 10 years.

Etc. …

SOCCER: Croatia made a big move to No. 4 in the FIFA rankings after two World Cup qualifying wins, while tournament host Brazil dropped to No. 19 on Thursday. The United States rose five places to No. 28. TENNIS: In Houston, top-seeded Nicolas Almagro overcame a slow start to beat Gael Monfils 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday in the second round of the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships. TRACK: Former Olympic hurdles champion Liu Xiang will miss the 2013 season because of his slow recovery from an Achilles injury. NCAA HOCKEY: In Pittsburgh, Andrew Miller scored 6:59 into overtime to lift Yale to a 3-2 victory over UMass Lowell in the men’s national semifinals Thursday night. The Bulldogs will play rival Quinnipiac, a 4-1 winner over Saint Cloud State, in the final Saturday. NHL: New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov was suspended for four games for elbowing Boston forward Brad Marchand in the head. — This article appeared on page D5 of the Albuquerque Journal

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