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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fast Break: Lions expect to have deal done

NFL

Lions expect to have deal done

Lions general manager Martin Mayhew (above) said the chances are good that Detroit will have a deal done with the No. 1 pick before the NFL draft begins Saturday.

Mayhew declined to say much else during a news conference Tuesday.

“I hope nobody expects me to say anything earth- shattering,” Mayhew said in his opening comments.

Mayhew said the list of candidates to take first overall has narrowed, but he wouldn’t talk about specific players when he was asked about Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Detroit is expected to draft Stafford, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry or Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith with the No. 1 pick.

Mayhew said there has been some “moderate interest” from other teams, seeking a trade for the No. 1 pick.

Polo

Criminal probe in horse deaths

Investigators have opened a criminal probe into whether someone poisoned 21 polo horses that died during preparations for a match in the sport’s top championship in Florida, officials said.

The horses from a Venezuelan-owned team began collapsing Sunday as they were unloaded from trailers at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, with some dying at the scene and others hours later at stables or clinics. State investigators believe the horses died from an adverse drug reaction, toxins in their food or supplements, or a combination of the two.

While state veterinarians run tests to determine what caused the deaths, law enforcement officers are looking into whether criminal negligence, or perhaps something more sinister, could have been involved, said a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Officials at the club hosting the U.S. Open tournament and several independent veterinarians have said the deaths appeared to be accidental, and investigators haven’t identified suspects or foul play.

Basketball

Hoopfest deadline May 4

The sign-up deadline for a guaranteed spot in the 2009 Hoopfest 3-on-3 tournament in the streets of downtown Spokane is May 4.

Billed as the largest 3-on-3 tournament in the world, Hoopfest draws more than 6,400 teams and 25,000 participants. The event, in its 20th year, takes place June 27 and 28.

Participants can find entry forms at all Bruchi’s and Yoke’s Fresh Market locations. They can also register online at www.spokanehoopfest.net.

Hoopfest is also looking for volunteers, including 550 court monitors. All full-time court monitors receive free Nike gear. See the Web site for more information on volunteering.

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