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Dana White says that Conor could fight Diaz or Masvidal in early 2020

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Dana White says that Conor could fight Diaz or Masvidal in early 2020
Dana White says that Conor could fight Diaz or Masvidal in early 2020

Dana White says that Conor could fight Diaz or Masvidal in early 2020

Conor McGregor’s approaching his return to UFC… Dana White says The Notorious will fight early next year, and Nate Diaz or Jorge Masvidal may be his adversary.
Since Khabib filed to UFC 229 in October 2018, McGregor has not battled… And many fans wondered if Conor was ever going to battle again.
The response to this issue is yes.
“Next year early.” Khabib rematch??? No, yet not… According to Dana, according to that.

“That’s too feasible down the way. I believe Conor would fight some other person before that.” That somebody else might be Diaz-Masvidal winner— who’s fighting in Madison Square Garden at UFC 244 on the 2nd of November.
Conor would be HUGE against either man. The first two battles of CM and Nate are some of the greatest in UFC history.
As regards Masvidal… He and McGregor were talkingin ‘ garbage and both said they want the struggle.
White said earlier that Masvidal, who fights at 170 pounds, is too large for Conor… But the boss appears to have changed his mind.

We also talked to Dana about the future of Khabib… And who’s going to battle the lightweight champion next.

“Tony Ferguson is the battle we need to battle. We have attempted to do it another 4 times, and hopefully, that’s what we can do this time. But that’s the battle which makes sense.” And he left the gate wide open when we questioned Whites about the Nurmagomedov-GSP battle.

“That can also happen. So we’ll see what’s going on with Tony. Tony had opportunities before he didn’t take, so if he didn’t, I would be keen to talk about GSP.”

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Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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Keeler: Brendon Lewis? Broken. Karl Dorrell’s coaching staff? Broken. Offensive line? Broken. Folsom Field? Broken. Time for CU Buffs to blow it up and start over.

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Keeler: Brendon Lewis? Broken. Karl Dorrell’s coaching staff? Broken. Offensive line? Broken. Folsom Field? Broken. Time for CU Buffs to blow it up and start over.

BOULDER — The loudest cheer from the student section came early into halftime, when a Buffs fan wearing gold-and-black overalls and not much else came charging out of the undergraduate throng and onto Folsom Field.

Skippy McOveralls ran untouched into the north end zone before security corralled him out of bounds.

It was the closest anybody wearing CU colors got to breaking the plane all stinking day.

“Offensively, we’re struggling in a number of areas,” Buffs coach Karl Dorrell said after his era hit a new nadir Saturday in a 30-0 loss to Minnesota, the program’s first shutout home loss in nearly 10 years.

“And it’s not just the quarterback. It’s protection, it’s the run game, it’s receivers, it’s backs, it’s everything. It’s one of those things right now (where) we’re going to have to wipe the slate clean and start all over and try to figure out how to do some semblance of offense and how to get some things back going.”

The defense is gassed. The passing game is painful. The Buffs’ leading rusher on Saturday was the backup quarterback, freshman Drew Carter. Nine yards. Two carries. If you want a stat to sum up the day, start there. The rest, cover your eyes.

The Buffs (1-2) play like strangers, which is what happens when your head coach doesn’t trust your offensive coordinator, your offensive coordinator doesn’t trust his quarterback, your wideouts don’t trust their quarterback, your quarterback no longer trusts his offensive line, and your linebackers can’t trust anybody. A two-score deficit feels like five right now.

“You’ve just got to look at yourself in the mirror, as a man,” junior defensive stopper Carson Wells said. “And you’ve got to physically come back (Sunday) with a better mindset and get ready to work again.”

CU’s offense? Whatever this is, it ain’t working.

Blow it up. Start over. The Gophers (2-1), buoyed by a breakfast pep talk by alum and former Broncos linebacker Karl Mecklenburg, are better than they looked at home against Miami of Ohio. Not this much better.

Ohio State shredded the Gophs for 495 yards in the Twin Cities in the opener for both programs. Miami’s RedHawks followed that up with 341 yards on Minny in Week 2, 237 through the air.

The Buffs managed 7 net yards at the break. On 25 plays. They collected 56 more yards the rest of the way.

Over its last eight quarters, against a good defense (Texas A&M) and an OK defense (Minnesota), CU has run 108 plays for 323 yards — 2.99 yards per snap — and scored seven points.

“As the head coach, I have to look at everything,” Dorrell said.

Including the mirror. It’s not just them, Coach. It’s you. It’s all of you.

Freshman Brendon Lewis might be the quarterback of the future, but the present looks unsightly. His windup is slow and deliberate, his eyes usually locked and fixed on the target. It’s a credit to the kid that he’s only been picked off once through three games, but every snap feels like a giant roll of the dice.

And we’ve heard all the arguments, why this staff is hellbent on trying to turn a running quarterback into a passer. Brenden Rice, Dimitri Stanley and Daniel Arias are allegedly too good to waste as blockers or decoys? Maybe.

The Buffs are a Lewis hamstring pull away from trotting out Carter at quarterback against Power 5 defenses? That didn’t stop the coaching staff from chucking the teen into the mix after the score was 23-0.

And that’s where you feel the vacuum of JT Shrout’s shredded knee and Sam Noyer taking the transfer portal express to Oregon State. And again, we get it: The more you use Lewis’ best weapon, his legs, the more risk you take that one or both of those legs wind up mangled.

Mind you, that’s assuming this offensive line doesn’t get him flattened first.

“That was a complete beatdown,” Dorrell said. “In every phase.”

UNC was the warm-up. Texas A&M was the reach. Only the football gods handed the Buffs a gift at Empower Field, a backup quarterback who wasn’t remotely prepared for the circumstances. The Aggies escaped anyway.

But this one, against the Gophers, was supposed to be the first fair barometer for where this roster really was. A pair of bowl-hopeful middleweights trading punches for the lunchtime crowd.

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Sonia Chang-Diaz endorses Michelle Wu for mayor

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Sonia Chang-Diaz endorses Michelle Wu for mayor

Jamaica Plain State Sen. and gubernatorial hopeful Sonia Chang-Diaz endorsed Michelle Wu for the mayor of Boston during a rally in the South End on Saturday.

“I want vision and delivery in my candidate,” she said of her endorsement of Wu. “It is a status quo-preserving lie that we cannot have both, and that we have to choose between those two things. We’ve got both right here.”

Chang-Diaz was referencing Wu’s ideas that can be seen as too “pie-in-the-sky,” such as free public transportation and extensive public housing. “I know that Michelle will be able to work with all levels of government to get things done because she has already been doing it,” noting that Wu is often “in the trenches” in working toward these policies.

Wu will face off against fellow City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George in the November mayoral election after topping the vote count with 35,888 votes to Essaibi-George’s 24,186 votes. The two women knocked out Andrea Campbell, who came in third, Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who came in fourth, and John Barros, who came in fifth.

Chang-Diaz, who became the first Hispanic woman elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 2008, announced in late June that she would be running for governor.

Aside from Chang-Diaz, former state Sen. Ben Downing and Harvard professor Danielle Allen, all Democrats, have all announced gubernatorial runs. Former state Rep. Geoff Diehl has announced a run as a Republican. Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Attorney General Maura Healey, all potential candidates, have not yet announced their plans.

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Trailblazing tourist trip to orbit ends with splashdown

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Trailblazing tourist trip to orbit ends with splashdown

By MARCIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Four space tourists safely ended their trailblazing trip to orbit Saturday with a splashdown in the Atlantic off the Florida coast.

Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the ocean just before sunset, not far from where their chartered flight began three days earlier.

The all-amateur crew was the first to circle the world without a professional astronaut.

The billionaire who paid undisclosed millions for the trip and his three guests wanted to show that ordinary people could blast into orbit by themselves, and SpaceX founder Elon Musk took them on as the company’s first rocket-riding tourists.

“Your mission has shown the world that space is for all of us,” SpaceX Mission Control radioed.

“It was a heck of a ride for us … just getting started,” replied trip sponsor Jared Isaacman, referring to the growing number of private flights on the horizon.

SpaceX’s fully automated Dragon capsule reached an unusually high altitude of 363 miles (585 kilometers) after Wednesday night’s liftoff. Surpassing the International Space Station by 100 miles (160 kilometers), the passengers savored views of Earth through a big bubble-shaped window added to the top of the capsule.

The four streaked back through the atmosphere early Saturday evening, the first space travelers to end their flight in the Atlantic since Apollo 9 in 1969. SpaceX’s two previous crew splashdowns — carrying astronauts for NASA — were in the Gulf of Mexico.

Within a few minutes, a pair of SpaceX boats pulled up alongside the bobbing capsule. When the hatch was opened on the recovery ship, health care worker Hayley Arceneaux was the first one out, flashing a big smile and thumbs up.

All appeared well and happy.

Next up: A helicopter ride back to shore for a reunion with their families at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, scene of their launch Wednesday night.

This time, NASA was little more than an encouraging bystander, its only tie being the Kennedy launch pad once used for the Apollo moonshots and shuttle crews, but now leased by SpaceX.

Isaacman, 38, an entrepreneur and accomplished pilot, aimed to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donating $100 million himself, he held a lottery for one of the four seats. He also held a competition for clients of his Allentown, Pennsylvania payment-processing business, Shift4 Payments.

Joining him on the flight were Arceneaux, 29, a St. Jude physician assistant who was treated at the Memphis, Tennessee hospital nearly two decades ago for bone cancer, and contest winners Chris Sembroski, 42, a data engineer in Everett, Washington, and Sian Proctor, 51, a community college educator, scientist and artist from Tempe, Arizona.

Strangers until March, they spent six months training and preparing for potential emergencies during the flight, dubbed Inspiration4. Most everything appeared to go well, leaving them time to chat with St. Jude patients, conduct medical tests on themselves, ring the closing bell for the New York Stock Exchange, and do some drawing and ukulele playing.

Arceneaux, the youngest American in space and the first with a prosthesis, assured her patients, “I was a little girl going through cancer treatment just like a lot of you, and if I can do this, you can do this.”

They also took calls from Tom Cruise, interested in his own SpaceX flight to the space station for filming, and the rock band U2′s Bono.

Even their space menu wasn’t typical: Cold pizza and sandwiches, but also pasta Bolognese and Mediterranean lamb.

Before beginning descent, Sembroski was so calm that he was seen in the capsule watching the 1987 Mel Brooks’ film “Spaceballs” on his tablet.

Aside from trouble with a toilet fan and a bad temperature sensor, the flight went exceedingly well, officials said

“A very clean mission from start to finish,” said Benji Reed, a SpaceX senior director.

Nearly 600 people have reached space — a scorecard that began 60 years ago and is expected to soon skyrocket as space tourism heats up.

Congratulations streamed in, including from the Association of Space Explorers to its four newest members.

Reed anticipates as many as six private flights a year for SpaceX, sandwiched between astronaut launches for NASA. Four SpaceX flights are already booked to carry paying customers to the space station, accompanied by former NASA astronauts. The first is targeted for early next year with three businessmen paying $55 million apiece. Russia also plans to take up an actor and film director for filming next month and a Japanese tycoon in December.

Customers interested in quick space trips are turning to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. The two rode their own rockets to the fringes of space in July to spur ticket sales; their flights lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Albany County coronavirus update, September 18

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102 new positive cases Albany County’s Sept. 17 COVID report

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Albany County

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County Executive Dan McCoy provided the latest report on the county’s progress on vaccinations and controlling the spread of the coronavirus. 

As of Friday, it is reported that 70.7% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 64.9% have been fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18+ population is now up to 81.7%. More information on vaccination rates can be found at the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker at the link here.

County Executive McCoy announced that the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Albany County is now at 27,875 to date, with 104 new positive cases identified since Friday. The county’s five-day average of new daily positive cases is now up to 87.4. Albany County’s most recent seven-day average of percent positive rates is still 4.6%, and the Capital Region’s average rate is now down to 4.2%.

Among the new daily cases of COVID identified in the county, 32 reportedly had close contacts to positive cases, 64 did not have clear sources of infection at this time, five reported traveling out of state and seven are healthcare workers or residents of congregate living settings.

Health officials say there are now 555 active cases in the county, up from 498 Friday. The number of people under mandatory quarantine increased to 1170 from 977. So far 87,397 people have completed quarantine to date. Of those who completed quarantine, 27,320 of them had tested positive and recovered – an increase of 43 additional recoveries.

The County Executive reported that there were three new hospitalizations since Friday, and 35 county residents are now hospitalized with the virus. There are currently seven patients in ICU’s, unchanged from yesterday. There are no new COVID deaths to report, and the death toll for Albany County still stands at 400 since the outbreak began.

“We’ve reported triple digit increases in new positive cases for three days in a row and are hospitalizations for the last week have remained at our highest levels since March,” said County Executive McCoy. “Albany County continues to offer COVID-19 vaccination clinics at our health department and with partners at community events to get more people vaccinated and to help curb the spread. Getting a vaccine shot is your best protection against serious illness should you become infected with the virus in the future.”

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Trickle of protesters at DC rally outnumbered by media, police

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Trickle of protesters at DC rally outnumbered by media, police

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the shadow of a fortified Capitol, a few hundred demonstrators turned up Saturday for a rally to support those charged in January’s riot, but were vastly outnumbered by the media and a heavy police presence.

U.S. Capitol Police were taking no chances, with hundreds of officers brought into Washington in an effort to avoid a repeat of the pre-inauguration attack. The fence around the Capitol was put back up, the city police force was fully activated and Capitol Police requested assistance from the National Guard.

There were a few scuffles as the rally started and one person was arrested for carrying a knife, police said, but no major incidents were reported early on. Still, law enforcement officials remained on edge, concerned about the possibility of violent protesters and counterprotesters. Police were also preparing for the possibility that some demonstrators may arrive with weapons, though backpacks were allowed into the area and there were no checkpoints.

The rally was ringed by heavy dump trucks and took place in fields far from the Capitol building. Law enforcement officers geared up at a staging areas and metal barricades were placed around the streets. Inside the Capitol, police riot shields were placed near doors and windows, a stark difference from January, when officers inside were left without riot equipment and quickly overwhelmed as the crowd stormed inside.

Dozens of dump trucks form a barrier around an area where the rally attendees were expected to gather. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Persistent attempts to rewrite the narrative of the violence and panic of Jan. 6, and the increasing volatility behind the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, have made it impossible to predict what may happen this weekend. After all, law enforcement was only expecting a free speech protest the day Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said at a news conference Friday it was difficult to say whether threats of violence at the event were credible, but “chatter” online and elsewhere has been similar to intelligence that was missed in January.

The rally, organized by former Trump campaign staffer Matt Braynard, is aimed at supporting people who were detained after the Jan. 6 insurrection — about 63 people held behind bars out of the more than 600 charged in the deadly riot. It’s just the latest attempt to downplay and deny the January violence. In an MSNBC interview, he downplayed the low numbers in attendance, saying instead the media coverage of the event helped get the message out.

Intelligence collected before the rally suggested that extremist groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers will turn up. But some prominent members of the groups have sworn they aren’t going and have told others not to attend. Far-right online chatter has been generally tame, and Republican lawmakers are downplaying the event.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved a request for about 100 members of the D.C. National Guard to be stationed at a city armory near the Capitol, to be called if needed as backup. They’ll be without firearms, but will be equipped with batons and protective vests for self-defense.

Congress is out of session and no lawmakers were expected to be in the building Saturday. Biden was in Delaware for the weekend.

Many commenters on online platforms like Telegram that are popular with the far right disavowed the rally, saying they believed law enforcement was promoting the event to entrap Trump supporters. Some urged their followers not to attend an event they said was secretly organized by the FBI.

1632014238 594 Trickle of protesters at DC rally outnumbered by media police
There were a few scuffles as the rally started and one person was arrested for carrying a knife, police said, but no major incidents were reported early on. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

At the same time, however, some commenters continued to promote rallies planned in cities and state capitals across the country.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump was still using his platform as the most popular leader in the GOP to express sympathy for those who were arrested and continue spreading election misinformation, ratcheting up his attacks as the week wore on.

The Associated Press reviewed hundreds of court and jail records for the Capitol riot defendants to uncover how many were being detained and found roughly 63 held in federal custody awaiting trial or sentencing hearings. Federal officials are still looking for other suspects who could also wind up behind bars.

At least 30 are jailed in Washington. The rest are locked up in facilities across the country. They have said they are being treated unfairly, and one defendant said he was beaten.

Federal authorities have identified several of those detained as extremist group leaders, members or associates, including nine defendants linked to the Proud Boys and three connected to the antigovernment Oath Keepers. Dozens are charged with conspiring to mount coordinated attacks on the Capitol to block Congress from certifying the 2020 Electoral College vote, among the most serious of the charges.

Some jailed defendants are charged with assaulting police officers, others with making violent threats. A few were freed after their arrests but subsequently detained again, accused of violating release conditions.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has set standards for judges to apply in deciding whether to jail a Capitol riot defendant. A three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in March that rioters accused of assaulting officers, breaking through windows, doors and barricades, or playing leadership roles in the attack were in “a different category of dangerousness” than those who merely cheered on the violence or entered the building after it was breached.

But it’s unclear how the cases for the majority of those charged will end. On Friday, a California woman who joined the mob avoided a prison term when a federal judge sentenced her to probation, an outcome fitting an early pattern in the Jan. 6 riot prosecutions.

Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman, Mary Clare Jalonick, Jacques Billeaud, David Klepper, Lisa Mascaro, Jake Bleiberg, Amanda Seitz, Ashraf Khalil and Robert Burns contributed to this report.

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Northern Colorado football: UNC falls to Lamar, 17-10, in overtime

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Northern Colorado football: UNC falls to Lamar, 17-10, in overtime

The University of Northern Colorado football team (1-2) faced fellow FCS opponent Lamar (2-1) in its home opener on Saturday afternoon.

It was a defensive showdown at Nottingham Field with neither team able to get into an offensive rhythm and remained tied for more than half the game.

Despite a history-making field goal from junior kicker Ben Raybon in the fourth quarter to break the tie and take a 10-7 lead, the defense couldn’t hold the Cardinals from getting a field goal to send the game into overtime.

Lamar recorded a quick touchdown on its overtime attempt, retaking the lead. The offense, as it did all day, struggled to get anything going in its overtime effort and finished with two quarterback sacks.

Follow along with the Tribune’s scoring summary of the game, presented in reverse chronological order.

Overtime

Overtime: UNC 10 – Lamar 17 — The Cardinals retakes the lead after the UNC defense failed to stop runner Chaz Ward. Kicker Bailey Giffen makes the extra point to take a one touchdown lead.

Fourth Quarter

Fourth quarter (:06): UNC 10 – Lamar 10 — Giffen kicks a 26-yard field goal to tie things up again.

Fourth quarter (2:30): UNC 10 – Lamar 7 — Junior kicker Ben Raybon makes a 57-yard field goal to end the tie. Raybon’s kick was both a school and Nottingham Field record.

Third Quarter

Neither team scored in the third.

Second Quarter

Second quarter (9:30): UNC 7 – Lamar 7 — After freshman running back Gene Sledge Jr. helped UNC get into the red zone, junior quarterback Conner Martin passes to graduate wide receiver Dylan Thomas. Raybon makes the extra point to tie things up.

Second quarter (13:43): UNC 0 – Lamar 7 — Lamar gets on the board first with a 67-yard touchdown by wide receiver Marcellus Johnson. The Cardinals make the extra point.

First Quarter

Neither team scored in the first quarter.

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Cohan: The coronavirus booster shot plan has been a rollercoaster

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Cohan: The coronavirus booster shot plan has been a rollercoaster

The debate over coronavirus booster shots has heated up in recent weeks and is finally hitting a crescendo.

But before getting into the many details of Friday’s FDA panel meeting, during which members voted to authorize booster shots for people 65-plus and high-risk patients, let’s take a step back to last month.

The Biden administration on Aug. 18 announced a plan to begin offering booster shots to all Americans starting on Sept. 20, and patients would become eligible eight months after their second shot.

While President Biden did acknowledge that plan was contingent upon U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers For Disease Control and Prevention approval, the announcement surprised some public health experts as being a bit premature, which it clearly was.

In addition, some health groups such as the World Health Organization had asked countries to pause booster rollout to be able to share vaccine doses with the countries that need it most.

The plan caused concern among members of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, a panel tasked with voting whether to clear vaccines for use in the public before the decision gets passed to a CDC committee.

Dr. Marion Gruber and Dr. Phil Krause, both VRBPAC members, wrote an opinion piece in the medical journal Lancet, saying, “Although the benefits of primary COVID-19 vaccination clearly outweigh the risks, there could be risks if boosters are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently.”

Krause and Gruber plan to step down from the FDA within the next two months, which Gruber acknowledged during Friday’s meeting. She said it would likely be her last advisory committee meeting as an FDA official and thanked committee members.

The booster issues continued to mount during the marathon meeting. Members were tasked to vote on whether to recommend approval of a Pfizer booster dose for everyone 16 and older at least six months after their second dose.

Key data that Pfizer reps relied on from Israel was picked apart by members, as they found out Israel uses a different definition of severe coronavirus than here in the U.S., and current data from the country might be skewed due to the recent high holidays. Israel has already rolled out booster shots.

Krause pointed out that much of the data presented was not peer-reviewed nor reviewed by the FDA.

Members noted how there is absolutely no data on boosters in kids 16 and 17 years old. The safety database of only 300 people was too small, some members said, and overall, the country’s top researchers asked for more data, which CDC officials said would become available soon, but not now.

With many questions left unanswered throughout the course of the nine hour meeting, members overwhelmingly voted against the measure.

VRBPAC member Dr. Melinda Wharton said, “Recommending a third dose for younger people is just not something I’d be comfortable with at this point.”

They went back to the drawing board though, and crafted a new policy question that asked about offering boosters to those 65-plus, high-risk patients and possibly health care workers under emergency use authorization, not full FDA approval.

The vote was a unanimous yes.

The system is clearly working well, and Americans should have confidence in that.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will debate the booster question this week before a plan is ultimately signed by the CDC director and boosters make their way into the public.

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Bonnie Blodgett: Is beauty not as essential to human happiness as nutrition?

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Bonnie Blodgett: Is beauty not as essential to human happiness as nutrition?

A guest of mine from Atlanta summers at her family’s cabin in the Brainerd area. She told me that for the first time in her memory (she’s about my age), it was hotter here in Minnesota this summer than it was in Georgia.

That’s pretty hot.

Bonnie Blodgett

One good thing is what with the steamy summer of 2021, ol’ man winter doesn’t look quite so bad. That’s partly because our new winters are just as unseasonably warm as summer is, but mostly because we are sick and tired of the heat.

From that perspective, fall nowadays no longer feels like the harbinger of doom but a welcome relief. Gardening is fun again. The combination of cooler weather and some rain means no more lugging around the garden hose when we’d rather be making bouquets and picking tomatoes.

Yesterday I mowed my lawn for the first time in weeks. The grass was actually green.

The hummingbirds are more active, too, and they are thoroughly enjoying the “Black and Bloom” salvia that’s finally blooming abundantly instead of falling over due to thirst.

I admit that during a drought my flowering plants get the short end of the garden hose (so to speak) and the veggies get the long one.

Most gardeners I know make the same decision. Some of us call it Sophie’s Choice. In the novel by William Styron turned film starring Meryl Streep, a mother sacrifices her daughter to save her son during the Holocaust, knowing that he is more valued by society, not because she loves her daughter less.

Sophie’s grief over her “choice” drove her insane. I am not so tortured by my gardening choices, not that they are any less draconian from the perspective of my victims, in this case plants that are beautiful but not, alas, edible.

But don’t we need beauty too?

That is a fascinating question. I think it was peer pressure that made me throw the ornamentals under the bus. I live alone and don’t really enjoy cooking for one or eating alone either. That’s why I give most of my produce away.

Plus, I can buy fresh organic veggies at my local co-op, better tasting than what I grow myself. I can’t buy plants as pretty as my homegrown garden beauties, at least not to my eye and definitely not for the same low price as I can a fresh cucumber.

I’m only just now asking this ornamental-versus-edible question, after a lifetime of not thinking about it.

And that speaks volumes about the question as well as the answer. Most gardeners I know speak with great pride of their vegetable gardens but are loath to brag about their beauty queens. When the latter do come in for a compliment, it’s the service they perform for pollinators that’s mentioned.

Some gardeners (including myself) describe their roses as “my guilty pleasure.”

Another trick is to pretend that we grow flowers for the pleasure of passersby. Heaven forbid that we should enjoy our plants’ beauty! That would be selfish.

This instinct to play down the spiritual nourishment we derive from beautiful plants is one reason why I was willing to admit that I’d won a Blooming St. Paul award a few years back. This award goes to a front-yard garden, one that is planted to beautify the city. It’s a public service, in other words.

Oh, really?

And were it genuine, would such a selfless attitude even be rational? Is beauty not as essential to human happiness as nutrition? Is it not food for the soul, like music, literature and all those other artful trifles we need to get us through the dreariness of life?

What would we be without our souls?

There was a time when I might have answered, mere animals.

Nowadays I know that there is no hierarchy in nature. If there is a Supreme Being, he (or she) regards the tiniest microbe as just as valuable to the harmony of the whole as the tallest redwood, and plants and animals also of equal value. And humans, being animals, of critical importance to a healthy planet too.

The truth of this is on display in my garden as I write. The salvias are finally blooming and able to attract the usual bumper crop of hummingbirds.

Just how they do this is still unclear.

Is it the flower’s color or scent or shape? No one knows. Maybe all three.

I read recently that hummingbirds have a powerful sense of smell and can nose out a threat from a considerable distance — yes, literally through their long proboscis.

A study that was designed to test this magical species’ response to various scents succeeded in identifying odors that trigger fear in hummingbirds.

I know hummers are jumpy — just by walking out the back door, I can scare them away — but I guess I always assumed it was seeing me, not smelling me, that set off the alarm bells.

Speaking of natural wonders, a friend arranged for me to tour the garden of a friend of hers, Leslie Pilgrim, who lives in Mendota Heights and has long been an active member of Wild Ones. Leslie is also the founder of Neighborhood Greening, one of whose projects was planting natives along the roadsides in her own suburban neighborhood.

As we approached Leslie’s cul de sac, my friend asked me to guess which of the ‘60s vintage ramblers belonged to Leslie.

This was like asking me if I could spell my own name.

I pointed to the house directly in front of us. Its wood siding wasn’t painted. Instead, it had been stained to bring out the wood’s natural grain and golden-brown color. Also, it had solar panels on the roof.

But these weren’t the dead giveaways. What told me who lived here were the plants. They were all native.

Leslie’s yard is shady. I would call it “woodland prairie.”  This is owing to the presence of several white pines.

She did not begin with a plan so much as a wish list. On that list were natives of all species … from groundcovers to trees.

She is especially drawn to white pines. None of hers is more than 20 years old. That’s because she planted them.

They create just enough shade to provide the sort of dappled light that is the prettiest garden light of all, in my opinion, and just enough for sun-loving natives like rudbeckia, monarda, liatris, goldenrod, coneflower and Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum).

Such plants need at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Since the sun is usually coming at an angle, not straight down, and since pine trees are not solid like houses but composed of limbs that move about, the plants do fine.

The garden floor is a thick bed of pine needles that lead from the street through the large side yard to a private back garden. A large deck runs along the house. There is a tinkling fountain. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the many bees and butterflies Leslie’s native plants attract.

(She does not encourage honeybees, as they have lately been found to be out-competing some native bees, she tells me.)

The abundant shade in Leslie’s garden does mask such “flaws” as are the hallmark of prairie gardens. Some call them “coarse.” I call them an acquired taste.

Natives have been spared such manmade esthetic judgments as that coneflowers are prettier if they have daisy-like petals instead of the sloping ones the species was born with, which make them resemble badminton birdies.

This is a delightful feature, to my eye. I also happen to think coneflowers are prettiest in pink, the deep purplish pink the sloping petals come in, surrounding the large russet- colored center.

Of course, all good fashionistas know that variety is the spice of life.  We humans do love to change things up.

I just prefer my coneflowers the way nature designed them, and so do the pollinators.

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Brian Laundrie missing as search for his fiancé Gabby Petito continues

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Brian Laundrie missing as search for his fiancé Gabby Petito continues

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – The man who police identified as a person of interest in the disappearance of Gabby Petito is now missing himself, according to an attorney for his family.

A family attorney confirmed Friday night that Brian Laundrie’s location is currently unknown. Laundrie is engaged to Petito, who was reported missing after police say Laundrie returned home alone from a cross-country road trip they went on together.

“The FBI is currently at the Laundrie residence removing property to assist in locating Brian. As of now, the FBI is now looking for both Gabby and Brian,” the attorney said in a statement.

North Port Police Public Information Officer Josh Taylor confirmed on WFLA Now that they don’t know where Laundrie is.

“His family attorney contacted us [Friday] evening saying family wanted to speak with us for the first time and wanted to tell us they were concerned they have not seen Brian,” Taylor said.

Brian is described as a white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes, and trimmed facial hair. He was last seen wearing a hiking bag with a waist strap.

It is important to note that while Brian is a person of interest in Gabby’s disappearance, he is not wanted for a crime, and police are now working multiple missing person investigations.

Several members of the North Port Police Department spent a little more than two hours at the Laundrie family home Friday night. Chief Todd Garrison posted just before 9 p.m. that the conversation was complete, and a statement would be made once the agency had all the details.

Police spent about two hours at the Laundrie home before leaving. WFLA’s Allyson Henning, who was live at the scene, saw officers come out of the home and look inside a vehicle outside.

In addition to police presence, a large crowd gathered outside the Laundrie home and spent hours chanting and holding posters in support of Gabby Petito. Shortly after 8 p.m., an officer addressed the crowd. He said he understood why the crowd was there and had no problem but asked them to remain calm.

“The yelling, the profanities…is not helping. Please have respect for the neighborhood.”

Petito has been missing officially since Sept. 11, but her last known contact with family members was at the end of August when she was on a cross-country road trip with Laundrie.

Laundrie, now a person of interest, returned home alone with the van the couple had been traveling with on Sept. 1 and has retained a lawyer, according to police. Petito’s family publicly called on Laundrie’s family this week to release any information they may have on Gabby Petito’s location.

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St. Louis City police to enforce curfew violations for juveniles

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St. Louis City police to enforce curfew violations for juveniles

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is enforcing curfew violations for juveniles.

Curfew hours are 11:59 p.m. until 5 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. on weekdays.

The enforcement comes after an increase of juveniles being downtown in the early morning hours on weekends, according to a public notice statement by the police department.

“While we want everyone to have a safe and fun experience downtown, disorderly conduct and criminal activity will not be tolerated,” the public notice says.

“Parents should respond to pick up their child within 45 minutes of being notified by police regarding curfew violations.”

It also states that parents who do not respond are subject to citations for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.”

“We will continue to work with the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families to find alternative ways for juveniles to socialize in a safe and orderly manner,” the public notice says.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones launched the Downtown Engagement and Public Safety Initiative to improve public safety.

The initiative includes having 30 police officers in downtown areas on weekends, as well as a task force made up of civic, business, and community leaders who will meet weekly on how to improve downtown.

There also will be an enforcement on park curfews, parking rules, and other issues.

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