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AG Cooper challenges Progress rate increase in NC Supreme Court

A month after the N.C. Utilities Commission granted Duke Energy Progress a 7.5 percent residential rate increase, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper asked the N.C. Supreme Court to block it.

Cooper alleges that the Utilities Commission didn't take into account the higher rate's effect on Progress customers, many of whom are struggling in a weak economy.

Cooper noted that North Carolina has one of the highest jobless rates in the nation, which is particularly evident in rural areas that have experienced massive job losses in manufacturing and other trades.

"Many people are already hard pressed to pay their bills, and now isn't the time to ask them to pay more so utilities can make a bigger profit," Cooper said in a statement.

A look at Mason Plumlee's NBA Draft stock

With the June 27 NBA draft fast approaching, Mason Plumlee looks to be a solid bet to go in the middle of the first round, according to the mock drafts:

Quinn Cook says no to USA Basketball to spend more time on campus


Quinn Cook opted to spend the latter part of the summer with his Duke teammates. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Earlier this month, Quinn Cook was invited to try out for the USA Basketball Men's World University Games team.

He has declined the invitation in order to spend more time on campus with his Duke teammates. Duke sports information director Matt Plizga confirmed Cook's decision.

Reminder: Free Panda Express on Friday, June 21

This Friday night, Panda Express will once again be giving away free food to publicize its later summer hours.

Stop in after 9 p.m. on June 21 and pick up a free single-serving of Orange Chicken.

A closer look at Duke's returning running game

Jela Duncan leads Duke's quartet of returning running backs. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

A few ACC beat writers run offseason previews of the upcoming football opponents. I recently helped The Roanoke Times' Virginia Tech beat writer Andy Bitter with the Duke one. Sometime soon, my Duke preview for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Pitt beat writer, Sam Werner, will go live, too.

It's come to my attention that a further explanation of my comments on the running game might be helpful to some. I took the time to give a more detailed explanation in the preview I wrote for Sam, but, seeing as I'm on furlough next week, I'll post said explanation here.

Basically, my theory on Duke's running game is this: until proven otherwise, I’m not expecting a whole lot out of this group.

Now put down the pitchforks and read.

Duke basketball notebook: Rasheed Suliamon makes USA Basketball U19 team; UCLA game date set

Rasheed Sulaimon will suit up for Team USA in the Czech Republic. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

A few Duke basketball notes from the past few days...

••• There's an official date for the long-whispered matchup between Duke and UCLA in Madison Square Garden: Dec. 19. This continues the long-standing tradition of the Blue Devils playing a game in the city that's the most popular destination for recent graduates.

Duke will also be in New York for the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 27th and 29th, presuming the Blue Devils win their pod games first (according to The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk State, UNC Asheville, and East Carolina are in with the Blue Devils). Arizona, Alabama and Rutgers are the other pod hosts. The Virginian-Pilot is also reporting Duke hosts Norfolk State Nov. 17 in Cameron.

So, to review, here are the nonconference dates for Duke that have been confirmed:

1371595649 Duke basketball notebook: Rasheed Suliamon makes USA Basketball U19 team; UCLA game date set The News and Observer Copyright 2011 The News and Observer . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Miami booster makes gambling allegations in SI story

Convicted felon and former University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro claims he made more than $1 million when N.C. State upset Miami 19-16 in 2007, he recently told Sports Illustrated in a series of wide-ranging interviews from prison.

Shapiro, who was interviewed by SI at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakdale, La., before being moved to a facility in Butner, was convicted in a $930 million Ponzi scheme, and is at the heart of Miami’s troubles with the NCAA. Shapiro claims to have paid players and provided other improper benefits to primarily the football program for nearly a decade.

Mike Krzyzewski's Google+ hangout

Duke coach Mike Kzyzewski, a West Point grad, often speaks about his appreciation for the armed forces. Monday morning, he spent some time with a few army soldiers around the world in a Google+ hangout (#HeroesHangout). They touched on a variety of topics, army and sports-related and exchanged a few good-natured jabs (there was some debate some about the Chicago credits of one of the soldiers). At the end, Krzyzewski talks about what some of his greatest Duke players taught him. If you have a few minutes (or 25), check it out.

For all the latest Duke news, like Duke NOW on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski extended through 2018

John Danowski (center, sunglasses) will be at Duke at least through 2018. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

Duke has extended the contract of lacrosse head coach John Danowski through 2018, the school announced in a release Friday. Terms were not disclosed.

Epilogue: Does Grant Hill belong in the Hall of Fame?

Grant Hill threw the pass that led to Christian Laettner's famous shot against Kentucky. Credit: DUKE SPORTS INFORMATION

Grant Hill retires: His Duke coaches and teammates reflect

Epilogue: Does Grant Hill belong in the Hall of Fame?

Basketball’s Hall of Fame differs from that of other professional sports in that it honors amateurs and Olympic participants, in addition to professional accomplishments. So, in Hill’s case, it means his Duke career and 1996 Olympic gold medal factor into his candidacy.

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