Posts Tagged ‘Mike Frandsen’

Best autism articles of 2012: Vaccines, environmental causes, social skills and play dates

January 6, 2013

Activities for play dates include books, sports equipment and games. Photo by Mike Frandsen.

Autism news in 2012 once again centered on the dramatic increase in autism rates. In March, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that one in 88 children has autism, up 78 percent from 2002.

Scientists increasingly learned through research that autism is largely caused by environmental and man-made factors, a departure from the view held years ago that autism’s causes were nearly all genetic.

Meanwhile, educational and therapeutic interventions continued to evolve, with a strong emphasis on play skills as a way to improve social and life skills for children on the spectrum.

Links and excerpts from 10 autism articles from 2012 are below.

Autism advocates, NIH, CDC testify to Congress about research, autism increase

Autism advocates and government officials testified in front of a congressional committee Thursday about the federal response to the dramatic increase in autism diagnoses in recent years.

One in every 88 babies born in the U.S. will develop autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control, a 23 percent increase since 2009 and a 78 percent increase since 2007. In the 1960s, autism was believed to affect one in 10,000 children in the U.S.

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee questioned representatives of the National Institutes of Health and CDC about research priorities and subsequent results. A second panel of autism advocates testified about concerns ranging from research to services for people with autism. See the video here.

Numerous congressmen on the committee harshly criticized the NIH and CDC for a lack of effective research results, while agency officials at times struggled to come up with answers. The safety of vaccines was discussed, an issue that NIH and CDC insists is not linked to the rise in autism. However, many parents still steadfastly believe vaccines are one of the causes of the disorder. Members of the House committee recounted instances in which parents told them of children developmentally regressing immediately after being subjected to vaccines.

To read excerpts from the articles on, click here.


Washington Nationals articles on CBS Local Washington by Mike Frandsen

October 30, 2012

I had a chance to cover the Washington Nationals during the NLDS playoffs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. Here are the articles:


Photo by Mike Frandsen.  

Top 25 Maryland Terrapin basketball players of modern era: Where does Vasquez rank?

March 28, 2010

Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez finished his career last Sunday as the second-leading scorer in Terrapins history and also ranks highly in several other categories.  Where does Vasquez rank among Maryland’s all-time greats?

Vasquez led Maryland to three NCAA tournament first round wins, but never made it to the Sweet 16.  He had some incredible clutch moments but was inconsistent at times.  Most of all, Vasquez was a great all-around player and leader who played with a lot of heart and left it all on the floor.

Here is a subjective look at the top 25 Maryland Terrapins basketball players since 1970, along with honorable mentions.  Why 1970? Maryland had many great players before ’70, most notably All-Americans Louis Berger in the 1930s and Gene Shue in the 1950s.  But when Coach Lefty Driesell arrived in 1969, he ushered in a new era, leading Maryland to national prominence.  Teams led by Tom McMillen, Len Elmore, and John Lucas in the early ‘70s were among the best in the country.

  1. Len Bias, small forward/power forward, 1982-1986.  Bias could do it all.  It’s still hard to find a player today, college or pro, who compares favorably with Bias.  With otherworldly, supreme athleticism, he could take it to the basket, shoot jumpers, defend, rebound, block shots and pass.  Bias took over games with ruthless competitiveness…Improved every season, averaging 23.2 points in ‘86…Two-time ACC Player of the Year…Named ACC tournament MVP in ‘84…Consensus first-team All-American in ‘86…Played in four NCAA tournaments, reaching Sweet 16 twice…Second player picked in ‘86 NBA draft…Best and most exciting player in Maryland history.  Greatest player in ACC history (slightly ahead of Christian Laettner and Michael Jordan).
  2. Juan Dixon, shooting guard, ‘98-‘02.  Excelled at mid-range jumpers, three-pointers, defense, and steals and played with a lot of heart…Team leader brought Maryland to back to back Final Fours including its only national championship in ’02, and was named first-team All-American…Earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the ‘02 Final Four, averaging 25.8 points in NCAA tournament that year…Was Maryland’s all-time leader in scoring and three-pointers and second in steals…Averaged 20 points a game in ‘02…Led team to 109 wins in four seasons.
  3. John Lucas, point guard, ‘72-‘76.  Master at creating shots for himself and his teammates, running a Terp offense that averaged 90 points a game in ‘75, before the advent of the three-point shot…Three-time All-American led Maryland to the Elite Eight in ‘73 and ‘75 seasons…First freshman to play on the Maryland varsity…Averaged more than 19 points each of his last three seasons…Number one overall pick in the 1976 NBA draft.
  4. Walt Williams, shooting guard/small forward/point guard, ‘88-‘92.  It’s not an exaggeration to say the “Wizard” saved the Maryland program when he decided to stay after the Terps were put on NCAA probation from ’91-‘93…In ‘92, Williams averaged a school-record 26.8 points per game, and also had 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals…Named All-American senior year when he scored more than 30 points in seven straight ACC games.
  5. Tom McMillen, center, ‘71-‘74.  Rangy left-handed big man had a crafty scoring and rebounding touch and was an intelligent player who became a Rhodes Scholar…Three-time All-American averaged 20.5 points and 9.8 rebounds during his three-year career…Led Maryland to the Elite Eight in ’73 and season-ending #4 ranking in ‘74…Member of ‘72 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team.
  6. Buck Williams, center, ‘78-‘81.  The 6-8 Williams consistently outplayed Virginia’s 7-4 three-time College Player of the Year Ralph Sampson…Scored 15.5 points per game his final two years and averaged 10.9 rebounds for his career, leading the ACC in rebounding twice…Holds team record for best shooting percentage in a season (64.7% in ‘81)…Selected to the ‘80 USA Olympic basketball team.
  7. Joe Smith, center, ‘93-‘95.  Athletic center dominated the ACC his sophomore year…Won ‘95College Player of the Year award…Averaged more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for his two-year career…Terps made Sweet 16 in both his seasons after five-year NCAA drought…Drafted number one overall in ‘95 NBA draft.
  8. Albert King, small forward, ‘77-‘81.  King had a silky smooth jump shot and quick moves to the basket…Two-time All-American was named ACC Player of the Year in ‘80, averaging 21.7 points…Was Maryland’s fourth all-time leading scorer and best rebounder for a non-center/power forward.
  9. Len Elmore, power forward, ‘71-‘74.  Named first-team All-American in ‘74…Maryland’s all-time leading rebounder, averaged 14.7 rebounds in ‘74…Along with McMillen, led Maryland to 73-17 record in his three seasons…Cerebral player later earned law degree from Harvard.
  10. Keith Booth, power forward, ‘93-‘97.  Averaged 19.5 points as a senior, made more free throws than any player in Terp history and ranks sixth on Maryland’s all-time rebounding list despite being only 6-4 and playing power forward…Played a key role in Maryland’s resurgence to NCAA tournament after five-year absence…Decision to attend Maryland opened pipeline for other Baltimore players to play for the Terps.
  11. Greivis Vasquez, shooting guard, ‘06-‘10.  Scored from inside and out, also an excellent passer and rebounder for his size…Only player in ACC history with 2,000 points, 700 assists, and 600 rebounds…Was voted ‘10 ACC Player of the Year…Maryland’s second all-time leading scorer…Only Terrapin basketball player to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists in a single season…Had triple double in win vs. eventual national champion North Carolina junior year…Scored 10 points in final two minutes of final college game, an NCAA second round loss to Michigan State.
  12. Steve Blake, point guard, ‘99-‘03.  Started on two Final Four teams including ‘02 championship winning squad…Played withgreat quickness, threading the needle on many fast break passes, and was a skilled three-point shooter…Became the firstACC player to record 1,000 points, 800 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals… Averaged seven assists per game over his career…Started Maryland record 136 games.
  13. Brad Davis, point guard, ‘74-‘77.  Elite point guard was an adept passer who was also a solid scorer…Led Terps to Elite Eight in ‘75 season…Led Maryland in assists three years in a row including ’75 and ’76 when he played with Lucas…Averaged 5.9
    assists in ’76…Two-time all-ACC selection.
  14. Ernest Graham, shooting guard/small forward, ‘77-‘81.  Third star alongside King and Buck Williams could drive to the hoop and hit the outside jumper…Still holds Terps record for most points in a game with 44 vs. N.C. State in ’78…Led Terps in assists junior and senior seasons.
  15. Adrian Branch, small forward, ‘81-‘85.  Led Maryland in scoring two seasons…One of the best pure shooters ever to play at Maryland…Fifth on Terps all-time scoring list and also led Terps in steals two seasons…Two-time all-ACC selection…In ’84, led Maryland to its first ACC tournament title in 26 years.
  16. Lonny Baxter, center, ‘98-‘02.  At 6-7, outplayed many bigger players…Along with Dixon and Blake, led Maryland to national championship win in ’02…Named first-team All-American in ‘02.  Ranks second on Maryland’s all-time rebounding list and seventh in scoring…Named all-conference three seasons.
  17. Steve Francis, shooting guard, ’98-‘99.  All-around player who could score, pass, and rebound and had unbelievable explosion to the basket…Named to All-American team…Led Terps to season-ending number five ranking.  Averaged 17 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.8 steals per game in his single season with Terps…Picked second overall in the ’99 NBA draft.
  18. Greg Manning, shooting guard, ‘77-‘81…Great pure shooter who could also penetrate to the basket for layups…Shot an unheard of (for a guard) 64.3% from the field in ’80 when he was named to the all-ACC team…Was also good at distributing to teammates.
  19. Keith Gatlin, point guard, ‘83-‘88.  Rangy point guard could pass and score with style…Ranks second all-time among Terps in assists and averaged 7.7 assists in NCAA tournament…Part of four NCAA tournament teams.
  20. Mo Howard, shooting guard ‘72-’76.  An excellent shooter who was part of teams that won 80% of their games (92-23)…Led Maryland in field goal percentage twice…Named all-ACC in ’75.
  21. Johnny Rhodes, shooting guard, ’92-’96.  Maryland’s all-time steals leader averaged an incredible 3.7 per game in ‘96 and led Terps in steals each of his four seasons…Best rebounder of all guards who played at Maryland… Part of teams that went to Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons after Terps missed NCAA tournament for five seasons…A defensive specialist, Rhodes still averaged 16.7 points in ‘97.
  22. Derrick Lewis, center, ‘84-‘88.  Phenomenal block shot artist who excelled on the defensive side of the ball…Once had 12 blocks in a game and still holds the Terps’ record for most blocks in a career…Averaged 4.4 blocks per game in ‘87 (younger brother Cedric averaged 5.5 in ‘91!)…Also led Terps in steals for three seasons.
  23. Steve Sheppard, small forward, ‘74-’77.  Led Terps in scoring in ’77, averaging more than 16 points per game…Played on gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic team in ’76…Shot 53% from the field for his career.
  24. Chris Wilcox, power forward, ’00-‘02.  Athletic power forward started on national championship team, outplaying Kansas’ Drew Gooden in Final Four and Indiana’s Jared Jeffries in final…Averaged 12 points and seven rebounds sophomore year.
  25. Larry Gibson, center, ’75-‘79.  Led Terps in rebounding and blocked shots three consecutive seasons, also was a solid scoring threat.

Honorable Mention:  Jeff Adkins (‘81-‘85), Lawrence Boston (’75-78), Owen Brown (‘72-‘75), Evers Burns (’89-93), Nik Caner-Medley (‘02-‘06), Ben Coleman (‘82-‘84), Obinna Ekezie (’95-‘99), Rodney Elliott (‘94-‘98), John Gilchrist (‘02-‘05), James Gist (‘04-‘08), Eric Hayes (‘06-‘10), Will Hetzel (1967-70), Exree Hipp (‘92-‘96), Tahj Holden (’99-03), Ekene Ibekwe (‘03-‘07), Sarunas Jasikevicius (‘94-‘98), Cedric Lewis (’87-91), Tony Massenburg (‘85-‘90), Kevin McLinton (’89-’93), Chris McCray (‘02-‘06), Dutch Morley (‘78-‘82), Terence Morris (‘97-‘01), Byron Mouton (‘00-‘02), Jerrod Mustaf (‘88-‘90), Drew Nicholas (‘99-‘03), Jim O’Brien (‘70-‘73), Laron Profit (‘95-’99), Duane Simpkins (‘94-‘98), Terrell Stokes (‘95-‘99),  D.J. Strawberry (‘03-‘07), Herman Veal (’80-84).

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WIZARDS FALL TO BULLS IN 2 OT, 121-119. Rose Leads Chicago with 37 and Game-Winning Shot.

January 16, 2010

By Mike Frandsen

The Wizards fell to the Chicago Bulls 121-119 last night in a double overtime classic in Chicago.  Antawn Jamison’s 34 points and 18 rebounds weren’t enough as Chicago’s Derrick Rose scored a career high 37, including the game-winner in the second overtime.  The game featured 29 ties and 23 lead changes.

Caron Butler scored 27 for the Wizards and Brendan Haywood had 16 points and a career high 20 rebounds for Washington. Wizards coach Flip Saunders relied heavily on his starters.  Butler played 56 minutes and Jamison played 55.

Earlier in the day, Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony gun charge.  The undermanned Wizards, playing without the suspended Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, had just 6 turnovers in a well-played game by both teams.  Wizards guard Randy Foye had 22 points and seven assists though he missed shots at the end of each overtime.

Rose made a short jumper from the left baseline to tie the game at 104 with 26 seconds left in regulation.  Kirk Hinrich stole the ball from Randy Foye with 5.1 seconds left in regulation.

Rose also made the game winner, a short jump hook in the lane with 5.4 seconds left in the second extra period.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bulls while the Wizards lost their fourth consecutive game.  Washington takes on the Sacramento Kings tonight at 7 at the Verizon Center.

Ohio Wesleyan University Transcript: 20 Years Later

September 27, 2009

I went back to the archives to pull out an article I wrote 20 years ago as the Sports Editor of the Transcript, the Ohio Wesleyan University student newspaper, the oldest independent student newspaper in the nation.

The article below was about an eventful soccer game, and after the paper came out, the OWU coach told me he appreciated the fact that I didn’t make the brawl the main focus of the game.

Here is the article, from 20 years ago.  The paragraphs seem short because the paper had columns that were about 1.5 inches wide.

Men’s Soccer Team Wins Brawl-Marred Game

By Mike Frandsen, Sports Editor

Charlie Blanchard scored a goal in the opening minutes of each half to lead the Ohio Wesleyan men’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Oakland (Michigan) in a physical battle Friday at Roy Rike Field.

“This was our best win of the year,” said Bishops coach Jay Martin.

Blanchard also scored a goal in a 2-1 loss at Wilmington Tuesday.

Bishops Still No. 1 in Nation

Oakland, last year’s Division II runner-up, came into the game off a win over Division I Cleveland State.

The Bishops, ranked No. 1 in the nation in Division III, improved their record to 14-3.

“They have a good team,” said Pioneer coach Gary Parsons.  “They played a good, high-pressure game.”

The game was marred by a bench-clearing brawl with just over a minute left in the game.  Blanchard and Domenic Romanelli of Ohio Wesleyan and Alan Stewart of Oakland were each issued red cards.  A red card is an automatic one-game suspension.

Blanchard Scores Two

Blanchard scored just four minutes into the game on a penalty kick after teammate Bob Barnes was tripped by an Oakland defender in the penalty box.

The rest of the half went back and forth with each team having chances to score.

Ohio Wesleyan went into the locker room at halftime with a 1-0 lead.

Blanchard scored another quick goal to open the second half, this time less than two minutes after the intermission.  Romanelli assisted on Blanchard’s 18th goal of the year.  With 20 minutes left in the game Earl Parris had a breakaway for Oakland. Bishop defender Basil Levy tripped Parris and was called for a foul.

Kaplan guessed wrong on the penalty kick and broke to his right as John Stewart put the ball in the other side of the net.

Oakland’s best chance to tie the game came two minutes later when Paul Phillips outran two Bishop defenders.  But Kaplan grabbed the ball and made one of his 11 saves for the game.

Bench Clearing Brawl

The bench-clearing brawl occurred with 1:25 remaining in the contest.

Romanelli was dribbling the ball in Oakland territory in front of the Bishop bench.  Alan Stewart of the Pioneers kicked Romanelli in the leg right after Romanelli kicked the ball away.  Romanelli turned around and shoved Stewart, and Stewart shoved Romanelli back.

Then, all hell broke loose.

Several Ohio Wesleyan players left the bench and ran after Stewart. Immediately, every player on both teams ran from the field or the bench and an all-out brawl ensued.  Martin tried to break up the fight as did the referees but the melee lasted for several minutes.

At least five different fights were in progress at the same time near the sideline.

Coaches Upset

Parsons was furious after the game.  “I don’t approve of the fact that their (Ohio Wesleyan’s) bench unloaded on a player on the field.  That is not a class act.”

Martin agreed.  “I am mad about it too.  It was 100 percent wrong.”

Blanchard said, “They just went out to protect Domenic.”

Bishop midfielder Eric Warn said Martin had mixed emotions in the locker room after the game.

“He said he feels great and at the same time feels terrible because we came together as a team but the fight is not something he likes to happen,” Warn said.

Referees Criticized

Parsons said the referees let the game get out of hand by not calling enough fouls on both teams.

“The referees allowed the players to foul from behind,” he said.  Parsons said most of the non-calls should have gone against the Bishops.

Martin pointed out that the referees called 19 fouls against the Bishops and only eight against the Pioneers.  Martin added that the referees did lose control of the game.

Martin said that the Oakland game, which followed a 2-1 loss to Wilmington Tuesday, might have been a turning point for the Bishops.

“If we didn’t play well we would have been in trouble the rest of the season,” Martin said.

Ohio Wesleyan will end its NCAC schedule against Denison Saturday in Granville.

Martin said the Bishops need to beat either Kenyon or Denison to receive an NCAA tournament bid.


May 17, 2009

(I was the first to publish this news, about 12 hours before ESPN formally made the announcement).

By Mike Frandsen

Monday Night Football color commentator Tony Kornheiser was fired yesterday and will be replaced by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John Gruden for the upcoming 2009 season, an unnamed source told shortly after midnight this morning. Gruden joins Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski on ESPN’s team.

Kornheiser will reportedly receive a severance package of one million dollars.  Kornheiser, a former sportswriter for the Washington Post, co-hosts “Pardon the Interruption,” a popular nightly sports show on ESPN with Michael Wilbon.

John A. Walsh, Senior VP and Executive Editor of ESPN, reportedly agonized over letting his good friend go.

In my opinion, it’s a good move. While Kornheiser used humor and targeted the casual fan, the switch to Gruden should please most football fans because of his candor and knowledge of the game. Kornheiser too often stated the obvious, and talked to listeners as if they were in kindergarten.

After the 2006 season, color commentator Joe Theismann was replaced in the Monday Night booth by Ron Jaworski.  Rumors circulated that Kornheiser preferred Jaworski.  While Jaworski does an excellent job, Theismann was even better, and here’s hoping that ESPN considers bringing Theismann back to the booth.

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