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Around & about

Graham honored twice

News staff reporter Tim Graham was the winner of two awards from the Pro Football Writers of America's annual writing contest.

Graham, who was working for ESPN.com at the time, took first place honors in the competition for best game story for his article entitled, "Whirl interrupted: Steve Johnson drops the ball." Graham also took home a third-place award for best blog.

The PFWA consists of about 300 of the nation's football writers.

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Moore wins medal

Michelle Moore of Tonawanda was part of a United States team that won a silver medal in the synchronized swimming team competition at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday. Canada won the gold medal, followed by the United States and Brazil.

Other members of the U.S. team are Morgan Fuller (Sunnyvale, Calif.), Megan Hansley (New Canaan, Conn.), Mary Killman (McKinney, Texas), Maria Koroleva (Concord, Calif.), team captain Leah Pinette (Bristol, Conn.), Lyssa Wallace (San Antonio, Texas), Katy Wiita (Vancouver, Wash.) and Alison Williams (Northridge, Calif.).

"It's been great. It's a dream come true for us to swim at the Pan Am Games, and I'm happy to see us finish on a good note," Pinette said. "We're improving in every competition, and our hard work is paying off."

The swimmers will now prepare for November's U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Greensboro, N.C., when a new national team will be selected. Canada secured an Olympic berth by winning the Pan Am gold, while the U.S. will have another qualifying opportunity in April.

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NBA seeks makeover

NBA owners have their priorities, and playing games isn't first on that list.

Instead, the league is looking beyond this month -- and maybe beyond this season, if that's what it takes -- to implement an extreme financial makeover after years of sizable losses. The goal, in the words of Spurs owner Peter Holt, "an opportunity to make a few bucks."

Owners are determined to reshape the league by creating a system like the NFL or NHL, where spending is capped and small-market teams truly can compete with the big boys. But reforming the NHL's financial structure required a lengthy lockout, wiping out the entire 2004-05 season. And the NFL is making money, not losing it.

After NBA labor talks broke down Thursday, Holt was asked if owners might be willing to sit out a year to get the changes they crave.

"The competitive issues and the economic issues, certainly we don't want to lose the season, I don't think the NHL did either. It ended up happening," said Holt, chairman of the owners' labor relations committee. "There are certain things that we feel we must have."

Compiled from News wire services.