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Chrysler Dealerships Closing

Chrysler Dealerships ClosingChrysler Dealerships Closing In Connecticut.

Chrysler LLC's plan to cut 789 of its 3,200 U.S. dealerships includes at least one in Connecticut that's already closed — Holley Chrysler Dodge Jeep of Middletown went out of business on April 17, owner Robert G. Holley said today.

Holley was one of seven Connecticut Chrysler dealerships that the failing Detroit automaker said it would be closing, according to documents it filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York Thursday.

The others are in Newtown, Naugatuck, Woodbridge, Torrington, Enfield and New London.

Chrysler says its network of dealers has too many stores competing with each other.

Dealers can appeal the move. Chrysler has received $4 billion in federal loans and has been operating in bankruptcy protection since April 30. The company says many of the dealers' sales are too low. It says just over 50 percent of the dealers account for about 90 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

Holley, who owned the Middletown dealership since 1987, said he had previously hoped to stay in business as a used car dealer. But Chrysler wanted him to make an additional investment of $400,000 to qualify for further financing for the cars he would sell, he said.

"I don't have $400,000," he said.

He said he was retiring and that his son, his partner in the dealership, would find other work in the auto industry.

Holly said he formally gave up the franchise on April 17. He and all 25 of his employees lost their jobs.

"It's a horrible market out there," he said.

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Maria Verchenova

Maria VerchenovaIs Maria Verchenova the new (pretty) face of women's golf?


When's the last time you watched women's golf for any extended period of time that didn't include you falling asleep on the couch after watching the college basketball game that preceded it?

I'll go out on a limb and say it's been a while.

Maria Verchenova, a young Russian golfer may give dudes everywhere reason to tune in soon, as she attempts to become to golf what Maria Sharapova is to tennis.

She is not only proving herself a fine player in her own right, she is also paving the way for other young Russian girls - her sister Anna included.

Verchenova admits that tennis star Sharapova is a role model - but she is adamant about the reasons.

"I am looking at Maria, not because of the way she looks but because of the way she plays," Verchenova explains. "I think Russian women are strong mentally. They are trying really hard and they are achieving things."

Verchenova is the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour. She contended against golf heavyweight Anna Sorenstam at the 2008 Dubai Ladies Masters.

I'm not sure how good that makes her. It's been awhile since I watched golf.

Her favorite food is sushi, she likes watching Ellen Degeneres on television, and her favorite movie is "The Bodyguard."

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Ewings Sarcoma

Ewings SarcomaBC linebacker Herzlich fighting cancer.

Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year, revealed Thursday that he is battling cancer.

Herzlich, a senior, was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a cancer most often found in bone or soft tissue.

"Obviously, I was shocked. I had been extremely focused on preparing for my senior season at Boston College and for life beyond that. Now, I must channel all that energy into facing my toughest opponent yet, and that is exactly what I will do," Herzlich said in a statement released by the school.

Herzlich has returned to his native Pennsylvania to be near his family and undergo tests to determine a course of treatment.

Herzlich was a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, last season. He led the Eagles with 110 tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

"When people think of Mark Herzlich, they think of a fearless individual who is always ready to take on a tough opponent. His integrity, determination and focus are unmatched. I know he will face this challenge with that same attitude," Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said.

Herzlich said he was unsure what his illness meant for his football future.

"At this point, I do not know what this means for my football future, but I am determined to rid my body of this disease so that I can put that uniform back on," he said. "Thank you in advance for your prayers and concern. Together, we will fight this and win."

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