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‘ Jersey Shore ‘ star Vinny Says Mike, ‘ The Situation ‘



' Jersey Shore ' star Vinny Says Mike, ' The Situation '

Vinny Guadagnino believes that another star from the Jersey Shore ought to follow in his footsteps and headline the Chippendales show… And it’s Mike Sorrentino “The Situation.”

We received Vinny in New York City and we wondered how Mike has been doing since his discharge. Vinny claims the whole “Jersey Shore” family is fantastic again, and Sitch looks shredded.
' Jersey Shore ' star Vinny Says Mike, ' The Situation '

Vinny is still dedicated to the keto diet and informs us that Mike has a fit. But this isn’t all they have in common… Vinny tells the history of Situation as a stripper, plus his rock hard abs, makes him the ideal candidate for Chippendales!!!

We have broken the tale… This summer, Vinny’s Chippendales run was such a box office draw, the male journal bringing him back for more.
' Jersey Shore ' star Vinny Says Mike, ' The Situation '

Vinny was in Vegas for a good moment… And he thinks that Mike’s going to be too.

Naturally, the situation has his hands complete since serving eight months behind tax evasion bars…. Run his booming apparel biz and get down with his wife— plus a few GTL.

But Vinny believes Sitch is ideal in the near future for Chippendales. And he tells in the manner of Mike there is only one thing standing.

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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Editorial: Democratic leaders dropped ball on evictions



Editorial: Democratic leaders dropped ball on evictions

Congress is entrusted by voters to do the people’s business.

Except when members of the party in power can’t get their act together in time to meet a deadline, nor gather enough votes to pass a particular measure in their favor.

Then the people’s business is outsourced.

It’s the Democratic way.

As The Hill reported, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would give the Department of Health and Human Services the unilateral power to impose a federal eviction moratorium in the interest of public health.

The usual progressive suspects were on hand, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Mondaire Jones (N.Y.), Jimmy Gomez (Calif.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.) as well as Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.).

“An eviction moratorium is the difference between life and death for all of us,” Bush said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

But Congress shouldn’t paint itself as the ones handing out life jackets. We’re here because the eviction moratorium was set to expire on July 31, and the House of Representatives adjourned for August recess without passing an extension.

That life or death legislature could apparently take a backseat to a beach rental.

July 31 was a Saturday, and on Friday, Democratic leaders scurried to find enough votes to extend the eviction ban, with no luck.

That July deadline wasn’t a surprise — it had been known for weeks — but for Democrats, it was a revelation.

“We only learned of this yesterday,” Pelosi told reporters that Friday after the failed vote.

Bush gained national attention for staying on the Capitol steps to demand that the moratorium be extended either by the Biden administration or Congress.

Congress had the chance to extend it — but they couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to a deadline or caucus the issue before leaving for vacation. This is on them.

The CDC on Aug. 3 extended the moratorium two months, until Oct. 3, but three weeks later the Supreme Court struck down the move.

So here we are, with Tuesday’s introduction of the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021.

Warren also spoke at the event: “We are in a COVID crisis. … This pandemic is not over. Families, millions of people across this country are worried about getting sick. They are worried about your next paycheck. They are worried about trying to catch up financially for weeks or months without a paycheck.”

That would have been a great speech back in mid July on the floor of Congress.

Last week, Bush introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance Program Improvement Act of 2021, which is aimed at bettering the systems used to disperse federal rental aid to struggling tenants and landlords.

This is an excellent move — particularly for landlords, who have long gotten short shrift in the rental crisis. They, especially small landlords, are also struggling to survive.

But the move to give the HHS the unilateral power to impose an eviction moratorium is a bad one.

That’s something for our elected leaders to address. Yes, doing the people’s business is hard, time-consuming, tedious. But that doesn’t mean you should pass some of the work on to government agencies.

Bush noted, “Today we are continuing our historic shift in the way that we conduct the people’s business in Washington, D.C.”

Not for the better.

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Maryland Ave. tobacco store owner sues the city of St. Paul over license denial



Maryland Ave. tobacco store owner sues the city of St. Paul over license denial

The owner of a Maryland Avenue convenience store that has been a magnet for police calls is suing the city of St. Paul for effectively zoning his tobacco shop out of existence.

Ali Alfureedy, owner of the Maryland Supermarket and Maryland Tobacco, filed his lawsuit against the city in Ramsey County District Court on Sept. 14. City staff initially approved his request for a tobacco store at 444 Maryland Ave., but later determined that the site — which has averaged more than one police call per day — needed to be rezoned to support a tobacco license.

The Planning Commission, the zoning committee and city staff supported Alfureedy’s rezoning application, but the city council voted 7-0 in June to deny his rezoning request.

City officials were alarmed at the time by a fatal shooting that took the life of 21-year-old Marquez Perry-Banks in May 2019, on top of dozens of other calls related to assaults, gunshots, public urination, litter and loitering. Alfureedy has maintained that he is being scapegoated for an uptick in crime in the neighborhood.

His 45-page civil complaint seeks a declaratory judgment determining that the city council’s denial of his rezoning application for T2, or traditional neighborhood zoning, was in error, and a separate judgment indicating that even if the denial was not in error, he could legally maintain a tobacco store under the existing B1, or business zoning.

Under the third count of his legal complaint, citing “equitable estoppel,” Alfureedy said he should be allowed to continue his tobacco sales because the city effectively forced him to spend $10,000 to build a wall between his convenience store and the tobacco counters. “There is no other reasonable alternative use for the property as divided, and significant construction and expense would be required to return the property to its prior condition,” reads the lawsuit, which calls for a temporary restraining order stopping the city from revoking his license.

Alfureedy is represented by Benjamin Loetscher and Ferdinand Peters. The city has yet to file its legal response.

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Border Patrol tactics against Haitians in Del Rio draw outrage, protests



Border Patrol tactics against Haitians in Del Rio draw outrage, protests

Photographer who took viral images says he “never saw agents” whip migrants

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Some photographs of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback facing off Haitian migrants near the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, are causing outrage. Even the White House is calling them “horrific.”

Many who’ve seen the images on social media say they appear to show the agents in cowboy hats whipping migrants of color. But the photographer who took the now-viral stills last Sunday says that’s not the case.

“Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses, and that’s when the whole thing happened,” said Paul Ratje, a Las Cruces, New Mexico-based photographer who took the images.

U.S. authorities restrict media access in areas where they conduct enforcement actions. Ratje, however, was standing on the Mexican side and had an unobstructed view of the events.

“I never (saw) them whip anyone. […] (The agent) was swinging (the reins) that to some it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the pictures,” Ratje told KTSM.

Nonetheless, the show of force on the banks of the Rio Grande that included agents swinging the reins a few feet from the migrants and spurring their horses toward them is prompting protests. Advocacy groups say the thousands of Haitians who crossed or are trying to cross the border should be treated as refugees, not criminals.

A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
1632344436 521 Border Patrol tactics against Haitians in Del Rio draw outrage
A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback uses the reins to try and stop a Haitian migrant from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
Some photographs of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback facing off Haitian migrants near the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, are causing outrage. Even the White House is calling them “horrific.” Many who’ve seen the images on social media say they appear to show the agents in cowboy hats whipping migrants of color. But the photographer who took the now-viral stills last Sunday says that’s not the case.
A United States Border Patrol agent on horseback uses the reins as he tries to stop Haitian migrants from entering an encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuna Del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

In El Paso, activists are organizing an 11:15 a.m. Thursday “March of Dignity” demanding accountability from U.S. immigration authorities. The demonstrators plan to walk from Downtown San Jacinto Plaza to the Paso del Norte International Bridge and then hold a press conference at the corner of Aoy and Stanton streets.

“The abuse we are witnessing against Haitian asylum-seekers in Del Rio is abhorrent,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights. “We demand that President Biden and Secretary (of Homeland Security) Mayorkas conduct an investigation into the events against Haitian immigrants and hold Border Patrol and all involved parties accountable.”

March organizers include Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA), Border Agricultural Workers Center and Proyecto Mujeres Fronterizas. Some El Paso City Council members and El Paso Catholic Diocese Bishop Mark J. Seitz are scheduled to participate.

“We call on Congress to ensure these horrors at our border never happen again by enacting legislation on Border Patrol accountability to stop abuses and protect the rights of all migrants, regardless of race or country of origin,” Garcia said.

Other groups are going further.

The Defund Hate coalition is calling on President Biden to defund U.S. Customs and Border Protection – the Border Patrol’s parent agency – and its sister agency ICE.

“For years, Black and brown migrants have spoken out against the cruelties and physical abuse at the hands of ICE and CBP. The disturbing images that surfaced yesterday of Border Patrol agents on horseback brutalizing […] black migrants near Del Rio are a reminder that anti-Black, white supremacist violence is at the core of ICE and CBP’s mission,” the group said in a statement.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is also calling for accountability.

“The scenes of CBP officers on horses grabbing and corralling fleeing refugees are shameful and not the images of a country that historically has welcomed the world’s huddled masses. LULAC places the handling of this situation at the feet of the Biden Administration, and we must do better,” said LULAC National President Domingo Garcia. 

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FBI to post ads around town to encourage public to report hate crimes



FBI to post ads around town to encourage public to report hate crimes

ST. LOUIS– The FBI is launching a new campaign to encourage the public to report hate crimes. The FBI will be posting ads around the area to raise awareness.

Here is where you can see some of the ads:

  • Exterior of 16 Metro Buses
  • Interior of 100 Metro Buses
  • Digital billboards
  • Light Rail Shelters

The FBI says messaging will also be on the radio, social media, and even on digital displays at gas pumps.

The message the FBI is trying to get across is if you are a victim or witness to anybody who has been victimized by actions of violence and it is due to someone’s ethnicity, race, gender, gender orientation, religion, disability, or another protected group, please report the crime.

The FBI says it is trying to raise public awareness because timing is crucial. Officials say reporting hate crimes online or hotline is the most direct and anonymous way to make a report.

You can report a hate crime online at or at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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Q&A: Tony Khan ready for All Elite Wrestling to take New York, pro wrestling by storm



Q&A: Tony Khan ready for All Elite Wrestling to take New York, pro wrestling by storm

Tony Khan loved professional wrestling so much growing up, he mapped storylines and wrote scripts for his own imaginary company. He had wrestlers as friends and friends who worked in wrestling. Oh, and he had money, enthusiasm and entrepreneurism, too.

The son of a billionaire, Khan decided being a squared circle fan wasn’t enough — he wanted to shake up the culture and pair his modern spin with an old-school flavor and in 2019, All Elite Wrestling was born.

“If you’ve seen other wrestling and said, ‘This isn’t for me,’ give AEW a chance,” the 38-year-old Khan said. “It’s a lot less likely to insult your intelligence than other shows out there.”

Yes, that’s a direct shot at WWE, the longtime industry leader that essentially stood alone for almost two decades as the preeminent force in American wrestling.

Not anymore.

Like the challenger chasing the champion, AEW has turned from plucky upstart into the talk of the pro wrestling world. Khan said AEW’s “All Out” pay-per-view earlier this month had more than 200,000 buys, its weekly “ Dynamite ” TV show on TNT routinely tops 1 million viewers — and has defeated WWE’s flagship “Raw” in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic — and Bryan Danielson, CM Punk, Kenny Omega, Sting and a star-studded roster will set an AEW attendance record when more than 20,000 fans are expected Wednesday night to pack Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York for its “Grand Slam” card.

AEW has fans buzzing — who’s the next surprise superstar to debut!? — and put WWE on notice that it’s a major player for talent, bragging rights, ratings and revenue that countless other promotions have failed to capture. Khan runs it all behind the scenes, adding AEW to his other job titles with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, English soccer team Fulham FC and his business ventures. He writes and structures AEW programming — which includes four weekly shows and four pay-per-views each year — and those boyhood dreams of booking for a company have come true.

“I’ve found the company has gotten stronger the more I take on,” Khan said. “And I think the fans would agree with that. The really hardcore fans would actually really agree with that. The people who know, know the more hands-on I got about everything, the company has gotten a lot stronger.”

WWE isn’t going anywhere — not with billion-dollar TV contracts and a global reach that includes a roughly $50 million payout for a Saudi Arabia show — but some of its biggest stars are leaving for AEW and the promise of fat paychecks, a lighter work schedule and five-star matches without the “ entertainment ” aspects of performing.

Khan’s funding an AEW videogame, and Mike Tyson, Snoop Dogg, Rosario Dawson and Shaquille O’Neal are among the A-listers who have appeared or wrestled on TV.

And, Khan says, AEW has already turned a profit.

“Our TNT deal is very fair. I think we’ve performed at such a high level that we’ll justify a big increase on our next deal,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have their support. The timing of that deal was great, to get that in January 2020, that is a huge revenue stream for us.”

Khan talked with The Associated Press by phone about AEW’s future as the hottest wrestling promotion in the business. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

AP: Do you have WWE’s attention? Do you feel it might finally see AEW as true competition?

Khan: I’m a big wrestling fan and I would say, objectively, AEW is the hottest wrestling company right now. So many people who watch wrestling know that AEW’s gaining ground, AEW is hitting all-time highs. It’s helping us build new fans, it’s helping people want to take the leap and check the shows out. I’m sure other wrestling companies are paying attention to that. We have great relationships with a lot of wrestling companies that know what’s going on with AEW. I think if you work in the wrestling business, you’re following what we’re doing and the success we’re having. We’re catching a lot of eyeballs outside of the world of wrestling and mainstream attention, so you better believe in the world of wrestling people are paying very close attention to it.

AP: How did AEW come out of pandemic as a healthy company?

Khan: We made up a lot of market share in that time and really closed the gap between us and our competition. When we went back to packed arenas and got back to full capacity, and really now in recent months, have hit the stride we wanted to hit, we’re stronger than ever. Now all of a sudden we’re the ones who are the No. 1 wrestling show on cable. We went through nearly two years of “Dynamite,” we did 100 episodes and episode 101 was when we finally beat Raw. That was a big milestone for us. Just as important a milestone, was the number we hit, which was so strong, and just as important to us was to be No. 1 on cable for the third straight week.

AP: How can you keep such a loaded roster happy in the future?

Khan: I think that’s a good problem for any organization to have when you have a deep bench. We have a very deep bench right now. I try to rotate who wrestles on television and give TV time to different wrestlers so we have a lot of people with momentum and can switch out the matches and keep things fresh. I think that serves you well in sports, too, when you can rotate and rest people and give experience to young talent and develop people and also rest your veterans so they don’t have to go out and do it every single week.

AP: Have you been surprised by the star talent made available to AEW?

Khan: I had a lot of wrestlers that were very well-regarded in terms of the hardcore fans. But in terms of the very mainstream audience, not as many recognizable names, and I knew I’d have to really build that recognition. I didn’t expect somebody with so much recognition and as much experience wrestling on TV as Jon Moxley would become available so quickly. He has been such a great blessing for this company. He was a great champion through the pandemic. He’s still one of our most important stars today. I didn’t expect that at the time. Since then, absolutely. By making this a great home for wrestling and a place where wrestlers want to work, we’ve had so many people that want to come here, and have defected. It is more than I ever could have dreamed.

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A Suspect Has Been Linked to Van Gogh and Frans Hals Thefts with DNA Evidence



A Suspect Has Been Linked to Van Gogh and Frans Hals Thefts with DNA Evidence

“Two Laughing Boys Sharing a Mug of Beer” (1626) by Frans Hals. Jan van den Berg / YouTube

In April of this year, Dutch police apprehended a 58 year old man on suspicion of having carried out several prominent art thefts in the Netherlands within the previous year. Specifically, the man was accused of having stolen The Parsonage Garden by Vincent van Gogh and Two Laughing Boys by Frans Hals; the latter painting has been stolen a total of three times over the course of the last couple of decades. Now, the New York Times is reporting that crucial DNA evidence was utilized in order to pin down the thief in question, whose name is Nils M. (last name withheld due to Dutch privacy laws).

According to the Times, M. wasn’t crafty enough to disguise the fact that he’d left behind DNA evidence on a strap and picture frame within the museums he’d stolen from, which led investigators right to him. M. also has a history of committing art-related crimes: previously, the thief served five years in prison for stealing a silver 17th century church vessel from a museum in 2012. A panel of judges is anticipated to submit a ruling in the case of the more recent thefts on Friday of this week.

“Breaking into a museum and taking paintings by artists who are world famous, pieces that belong to our cultural heritage, that are irreplaceable,” is “totally unacceptable,” prosecutor Gabriëlle Hoppenbrouwers said in a statement. Several Dutch art thefts have taken place in recent years. The Singer Laren museum near Amsterdam was robbed of the Van Gogh in March of 2020.

Security camera footage showed a masked man very deliberately smashing the glass shielding the museum’s entrance and making away with the painting, leading many to suspect that the theft was a coordinated mission conducted by someone who knew exactly what they were doing.

A Suspect Has Been Linked to Van Gogh and Frans Hals Thefts with DNA Evidence

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Netflix series ‘Squid Game’ accused of plagiarizing parts of Japanese film ‘As the Gods Will’



Squid Game accused of plagiarism

South Korean survival drama show “Squid Game,” which premiered on Netflix on Sept. 17, is being accused of plagiarism by some online.

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead. 

About the series: Written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk (“The Fortress,” “Miss Granny”), the nine-episode series tells the story of a group of characters risking their lives to win 45.6 billion won ($38.5 million) in a mysterious survival game.

  • “Squid Game” stars actors Lee Jung-jae (“Il Mare,” “The Thieves”), Park Hae-soo (“Prison Playbook,” “Time to Hunt”) and model Jung Ho-yeon.
  • The show’s plot follows the “Deadly Game” theme, a common trope used in popular media involving characters being forced to compete in a dangerous contest, often resulting in death.
  • “Squid Game” has received positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, getting a collated 100% critics score and 89% audience score, as of this writing.   

Alleged “scene-stealer”: Some social media users have pointed out similarities between “Squid Game” and “As The Gods Will,” a popular 2014 Japanese film that also features deadly physical games.

  • One Twitter user pointed out that the first game in both titles had the same rules and punishments for players. “As The Gods Will” used the Japanese game of “daruma” while “Squid Game” used “Red Light, Green Light,” which is also a children’s game played in Korea called “Hibiscus Flowers Have Bloomed.”
  • In both games, one “seeker” faces the wall or a tree for a short period of time before suddenly turning around to catch any player that moves. In “Squid Game,” those caught moving were shot, while in “As The Gods Will” their heads exploded.
  • The user posted images of similar scenes from the two films, including close-up shots of the giant dolls, the countdown clock and the scene where a character dove at the last second.
  • Another game, which involved contestants hopping on glass tiles, was said to be inspired by the manga version of “As The Gods Will.”
Image via @ObviouslyNotSimon via Reddit

Response to criticism: During the press conference for “Squid Game,” Hwang addressed the alleged similarities, saying he wrote the script a couple of years before “As The Gods Will,” which was created in the early 2010s, reported NME

  • “It is true that [the first game is] similar, but after that, there aren’t any similarities,” he was quoted as saying. “I worked on [Squid Game in] 2008 and 2009, and at the time, the first game [had already been] fixed as ‘Red Light Green Light.’”
  • The filmmaker added that while claiming ownership of the story was something he was hesitant about, “If I had to say it, I would say I did it first.” 
  • In an interview with Korea Herald, he shared that he became fascinated with the survival genre after reading a lot of comics.  “With an attempt to create a Korean version, I started planning out the work in 2008 and finished the scenario in 2009.”
  • He revealed that he was forced to shelve the script due to lack of interest until it was picked up as a Netflix series about a decade later.

Featured Image via Fra77777777

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Gabby Petito victim of homicide, coroner rules; search for Brian Laundrie continues



Gabby Petito victim of homicide, coroner rules; search for Brian Laundrie continues

The grim news everyone feared hit Tuesday — Gabby Petito’s death was a homicide.

“Teton County Coroner Dr. Brent Blue confirmed the remains are those of Gabrielle Venora Petito, date of birth March 19, 1999,” the FBI field office in Denver announced on Twitter.

Petito was killed by another person, a coroner concluded while also confirming that the human remains found recently at a Wyoming national park were those of the 22-year-old woman who disappeared months after she set out on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend.

A cause of death was not divulged pending final autopsy results, officials said.

Her body was found Sunday near an undeveloped camping area in remote northern Wyoming along the border of Grand Teton National Park.

Meanwhile, authorities continue to search a swampy Florida preserve area near the home of Petito’s boyfriend. Police in North Port, Fla., said Tuesday morning that investigators have returned to the Carlton Reserve to look for Brian Laundrie, 23.

Investigators searched the 24,000-acre Florida nature preserve over the weekend without success. They focused on the area after Laundrie’s parents told police he may have gone there.

Authorities are using helicopters, drones, dogs and officers in all-terrain vehicles in their search for Laundrie. About 75% of the search area is underwater.

On Monday, the FBI went to Laundrie’s parents’ home in North Port and removed several boxes and towed away a car neighbors said Laundrie’s mother typically used.

Laundrie and Petito had been living with his parents at the North Port home before the road trip on which she died.

The young couple had set out in July in a converted van to visit national parks in the West. They got into a fight along the way, and Laundrie was alone when he returned in the van to his parents’ home Sept. 1, police said.

Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, but his whereabouts in recent days were unknown.

Petito’s father, Joseph, posted on social media an image of a broken heart above a picture of his daughter, with the message: “She touched the world.”

In an interview broadcast Monday on TV’s “Dr. Phil” show, Joseph Petito said Laundrie and his daughter had dated for 2 1/2 years, and Laundrie was “always respectful.” During the interview, which was recorded before his daughter’s body was found, Petito said the couple had taken a previous road trip to California in her car and there were no problems.

Joseph Petito said the family began worrying after several days without hearing from their daughter.

“We called Brian, we called the mom, we called the dad, we called the sister, we called every number that we could find,” Joseph Petito said. “No phone calls were picked up, no text messages were returned.”

Joseph Petito said he wants Laundrie to be held accountable for whatever part he played in his daughter’s disappearance, along with his family for protecting him.

“I hope they get what’s coming, and that includes his folks,” Joseph Petito said. “Because I’ll tell you, right now, they are just as complicit in my book.”

This Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, photo, shows a Suffolk County Police Department missing person poster for Gabby Petito posted in Jakson, Wyo. Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country trip in a converted camper van with her boyfriend. Authorities say a body discovered Sunday, Sept. 19 in Wyoming, is believed to be Petito. (AP Photo/Amber Baesler)
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Bloody and bruising, Gophers tight end Ko Kieft is the poster boy for ‘the attitude of this team’



Bloody and bruising, Gophers tight end Ko Kieft is the poster boy for ‘the attitude of this team’

Soon after Ko Kieft had eight knockdown blocks of Colorado defenders in the Gophers’ dominating 30-0 victory Saturday, the U tight end tweeted out a startling selfie. It showed blood dripping from his nose, running down his face and into his thick beard.

The photo was presumed to have been taken after a shower in the visiting locker room at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo., but it actually originated from a training camp practice in Minnesota in August. “It’s a picture, I think, all the guys kind of have and float around to each other, which is even better,” quarterback Tanner Morgan said.

For U players, that photo has become part inside joke, part homage to the way the sixth-year, primarily-blocking tight end goes about his business. “It’s just a mindset or a mentality kind of joke,” Morgan added. “This is the reality of who Ko is. The way that he plays the game of football, and over time you see it, it kind of makes you laugh. It’s who Ko is, but even in the practice when his nose was bleeding. He was still doing his thing, or in the game, when he gets a bloody nose or whatever it is. It’s no excuses. He is always going, playing … at 100 percent. Full tilt. It’s a pretty elite picture, I think.”

Gophers tight end Ko Kieft tweeted out a photo of his bloody nose after a preseason practice in August. (Courtesy of Ko Kieft)

Kieft has tallied 23 knockdown blocks through three games this season, according to the U. He had a season-high nine pancakes against Ohio State in the season opener, including one that got the attention of former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz.

“Good googly moogly Minnesota’s TE with an amazing pancake!!!!!!,” tweeted Schwartz, who played six years in the NFL, including 2012 with the Vikings. Schwartz included two wide-eyed emojis with a clip of Kieft driving a Buckeye backwards and sideways before throttling him into the turf.

Kieft, who is listed at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, has begun to turn heads in the NFL draft community. Ryan Roberts of tweeted: “Ko Kieft … might be the best blocking tight end in the 2022 NFL Draft class. Dude can overwhelm at the (point of attack).”

Kieft has a degree in kinesiology and is working on a masters in sports and exercise science, with a goal to be a strength coach someday. The last part might have to wait.

“I think he’s going to play in the NFL,” Fleck said on his KFAN radio show Tuesday. “People forget — you don’t have to go out there and catch 50 balls to do that. There is NFL teams looking for people that can do what he does. That’s literally put people on their backs over and over and over.”

Kieft has only six career receptions for 69 yards and one touchdown. His only catch this season came against the Buffaloes, a nifty 4-yard reception that went for a first down.

Kieft’s nosebleeds aren’t necessarily from contact on the field; he has a history of them due to his deviated septum. But they sure do look tough and fit in alongside his roommate, former U linebacker turned mixed martial arts fighter Bailey Schoenfelder, who is 2-0 in his nascent cage-fighting career.

Kieft feels rule and style changes have taken out some of the physical elements of the game, but he wants to keep that tough edge around. “(I) really try to bring that into my game, especially in run blocking,” he said. “It’s something that I enjoy, and it helps our offense a lot.”

The Gophers are 24th in the nation in rushing offense, averaging 218 yards per game. They have kept plugging along after losing Big Ten running back of the year Mo Ibrahim to injury during the season opener. Minnesota will use seven or eight offensive linemen on a play and have had a O-lineman line up at fullback for an even bigger jumbo rushing package.

“He is really the attitude of this team,” Fleck said. “That is what you want to be able to have, put the ball down and let’s go. Ko Kieft is somebody who directly reflects it.”

Kieft’s catch against the Buffaloes came on second and 4 in the third quarter, he caught a pass after three yards and cut it upfield for the first down. It’s part of Kieft’s goal to be more of a “complete tight end” this season.

“Way more difficult than it looks,” Morgan shared. And the grab gave Kieft confidence, with Fleck sharing Kieft’s response: “He said, ‘Keep throwing me the ball.’ ” That could happen more this season, but Kieft’s real value is his dominating run blocking.

Morgan described Kieft succinctly after the Ohio State game: “Violent. I mean, he’s violent. He’s a guy that loves to play football.”

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Albany County coronavirus update, September 22



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

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Albany County

ALBABY COUNTY, 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 Tuesday, it is reported that 71% of all Albany County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, and 65.1% have been fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for the county’s 18+ population is now up to 82%. 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 28,158 to date, with 79 new positive cases identified since Tuesday. The county’s five-day average of new daily positive cases is now down to 82. Albany County’s most recent seven-day average of percent positive rates remained at 4.5% and the Capital Region’s average rate is now up to 4.0%.

Among the new daily cases of COVID identified in the county, 12 reportedly had close contacts to positive cases, 61 did not have clear sources of infection at this time, one reported traveling out of state and five are healthcare workers or residents of congregate living settings.

Health officials say there are now 512 active cases in the county, down from 536 Tuesday. The number of people under mandatory quarantine decreased to 1,064 from 1,119. So far 88,374 people have completed quarantine to date. Of those who completed quarantine, 27,646 of them had tested positive and recovered – an increase of 94 additional recoveries.

The County Executive reported that there were six new hospitalizations since Tuesday, and 39 county residents are now hospitalized with the virus – a net decrease of one. There are currently ten patients in ICU’s, unchanged from Tuesday. There are no new COVID deaths to report, and the death toll for Albany County still stands at 400 since the outbreak began.

Upcoming Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics (all offering Pfizer vaccine):

  • Wednesday, September 22, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

DePaula Auto Group

1101 Central Ave, Albany, NY

  • Wednesday, September 22, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Shaker Middle School

475 Watervliet Shaker Road Latham, NY

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