Las Vegas

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-115.1364

No. 17 Texas heads to Las Vegas this weekend to compete in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters tournament.

Starting at 10 a.m. Friday, the Longhorns will be in Las Vegas, facing off against 11 of the top 20 ranked teams, including the top three teams: Alabama, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State.

Two other Texas teams, No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 50 Texas Tech, will also be contending in Las Vegas. Texas is coming off of a season-best finish at the Bayou City Intercollegiate Championship on Feb. 21-23, where four Longhorns broke into the top 10 to grasp a second place finish for the team. 

Texas looks to improve on last year’s 12th place outing, led by junior Kramer Hickok, who fired a 69 in the final round. 

"Last Vegas" is funny but unoriginal

“Last Vegas” could be seen as a milder, older-skewing remake of “The Hangover.” The film is funny, but it doesn’t try to do anything new or original. “Last Vegas” is aware that it won’t deliver much more than an onslaught of old-person gags. The film’s formula comes down to bringing together great, aging stars and throwing them into a variety of situations that have been covered in films and sitcoms before. There is a small, dramatic side plot, but the real focus is kept on the punch lines.

When Billy (Michael Douglas) is about to get hitched to a woman half his age, his three old friends Paddy (Robert De Niro), Sam (Kevin Kline) and Archie (Morgan Freeman) decide to throw him a bachelor party in Las Vegas. To no one’s surprise, hijinks ensue and the men must work to maintain friendships that have faded in the passage of time.

“Last Vegas” is all puns and gags about aging. Fortunately, most of them are actually pretty witty, but the comedy relies a bit too much on elderly jokes. The premise of the story is how old people react to a modern, hipper Las Vegas, but only stale and obvious jokes result from the plotline. 

Even though all four leads are Academy Award winning actors, they play these roles knowing that they won’t see any awards coming their way. But all four are having a good time and are refreshingly self-aware of their elderly status and are willing to poke fun at it. Freeman gives the liveliest performance of the lead quartet, acting out most of the physical comedy in the movie. Kline, who is the lesser known of the quartet, is also noticeably and hilariously witty. 

“Last Vegas” knows that it only serves to just make people laugh for a little bit. While it isn’t gut-bustingly funny, it packs some brilliant one-liners. It doesn’t try too hard to be anything new or noteworthy, but is content to entertain in its rehash of a well-worn narrative. Its distracting dramatic story diminishes its effect, but it packs in so many jokes that it hardly even matters. 

Longhorns Look to Continue Success in Las Vegas

Two weeks after capturing their second victory of the season, the Longhorns will take to the course once again this weekend in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas. Freshman Brandon Stone will also look to follow up his second win of the season with a strong performance.

Wednesday afternoon, Stone was named Big 12 Men’s Golfer of the Month for February. In the two tournaments in the month, Stone led the Longhorns with a 69.2 stroke average. At the time, Stone was ranked as the top men’s golf player in the Golfweek rankings; however, the latest rankings place him in second. As a team, the Longhorns are ranked in second as well, behind California.

Senior Cody Gribble is the next highest Longhorn in the rankings, currently sitting at 27th. Junior Toni Hakula is the final Longhorn ranked in the top 50 in 48th.

The Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters is considered as one of the best collegiate tournaments in the country. Along with Texas, top-ranked California, defending tournament champions UNLV and nine other top fifteen teams will compete for the title. Last year, the Longhorns finished in sixth place with a 27-over 891 in the tournament.

Two weeks after capturing their second victory of the season, the Longhorns will take to the course once again this weekend in the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas. Freshman Brandon Stone will also look to follow up his second win of the season with a strong performance.

On Wednesday afternoon, Stone was named Big 12 Men’s Golfer of the Month for February. In the two tournaments in the month, Stone led the Longhorns with a 69.2 stroke average. At the time, Stone was ranked as the top men’s golf player in the Golfweek rankings. However, the latest rankings place him at No. 2. As a team, the Longhorns are ranked No. 2 as well, behind California.

Senior Cody Gribble is the next highest Longhorn in the rankings, currently sitting at No. 27. Junior Toni Hakula is the final Longhorn ranked in the top 50 at No. 48.

The Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters is considered one of the best collegiate tournaments in the country. Along with Texas, top-ranked California, defending tournament champions UNLV and nine other top 15 teams will compete for the title. Last year, the Longhorns finished in sixth place with a 27-over 891 in the tournament.

WASHINGTON — The General Services Administration inspector general said Monday that he’s investigating possible bribery and kickbacks in the agency, as a central figure in a GSA spending scandal asserted his right to remain silent at a congressional hearing.

Inspector general Brian Miller, responding to a question at the hearing, said, “We do have other ongoing investigations, including all sorts of improprieties, including bribes, including possible kickbacks.”

Jeffrey Neely, who asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege before the committee, has been placed on leave as a regional executive in Western states.

Neely, summoned before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, could face a criminal investigation by the Justice Department — where his case was referred by the inspector general.

Neely was largely responsible for an $823,000 Las Vegas conference in 2010 that was the focus of Miller’s report. Three other congressional committees also are looking at the conference spending and a culture of waste at the agency in charge of federal buildings and supplies

“Mr. Chairman, on advice of counsel I decline to answer based on my constitutional privilege,” Neely said in response to questions from chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. The conference was the subject of a highly critical report by Miller issued on April 2. Taxpayers picked up the tab for a clown, a mind-reader, bicycles for a team-building exercise.

Martha Johnson, who resigned as chief of the agency after the inspector general’s report was issued this month, said the Western Regions Conference “had evolved into a raucous, extravagant, arrogant, self-congratulatory event.”

Johnson, whom lawmakers accused of sitting on the findings for 11 months after receiving an interim briefing from the inspector general, apologized “to the American people for the entire situation.

“As the head of the agency, I am responsible. I deeply regret that the exceedingly good work of GSA has been besmirched. I will mourn for the rest of my life the loss of my appointment.”

Previously, Neely had told inspector general investigators that a $2,700 party he threw in his Las Vegas hotel suite was an employee-awards event, according to a transcript of the interview.

“This is an award recognition ceremony ....” Neely insisted to an internal investigator. “That’s what this was. That’s...not a Neely party right. I actually...it was in a suite that wasn’t even mine.”

The investigator then confronted Neely with his email saying that he and his wife “are hosting a party in our loft room. There will be wine and beer and some munchies....” There was no mention of awards.When Neely insisted again it was an awards event, the skeptical investigator told him, “You realize how this looks?”

“I get it that it looks funny,” Neely said.

The inspector general has referred Neely to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation, according to a congressional committee official who was not authorized to be quoted by name on the subject.

It was not clear what the department was asked to investigate.

Neely, on leave as regional commissioner of the Public Buildings Service for the Pacific Rim, was largely responsible for the Las Vegas conference.

The Oversight Committees released internal memos that showed GSA officials debated last year whether to give Neely a bonus for his job performance. The officials were aware at the time that the inspector general was investigating the conference spending.

The now-resigned GSA administrator, Martha Johnson, granted Neely a $9,000 bonus over the objection of Deputy Administrator Susan Brita.

Brita wrote in a November 2011 email, that “based on what we know already” about the conference and a questionable awards program, “I would not recommend a bonus.”

Johnson wrote in an email, “yes on a bonus” in part because Neely had to serve in an acting capacity “forever and a day.”

Published on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 as: Ex-GSA chief pleads fifth on wasting money