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Broadway Makes Its Long-Anticipated Return, But How Does It Feel?

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Broadway Makes Its Long-Anticipated Return, But How Does It Feel?
Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Re-Opening of “Hamilton” on September 14, 2021 in New York City. Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

On Tuesday, September 14, a long-anticipated series of events unfolded on a perfectly balmy late summer evening: the return of Broadway theater, a staple of New York City entertainment that’s been unilaterally shut down since March of 2020. As one might expect, the New York Times is reporting that the mood was jubilant. Audiences packed beloved theaters to see productions like The Lion King, Wicked and Hamilton, and attendees were apparently crying with gratitude and engaging in multiple standing ovations. However, things are certainly not entirely back to normal.

Back in May, when since-departed Governor Cuomo announced that September 14 would be Broadway’s return date, specifications for performers and audience members had not yet been nailed down. It wasn’t yet certain whether masks or proof of vaccination would be required for attendees, but as of this month, both are a necessity; children under the age of 12 wishing to attend a show are required to offer negative coronavirus tests.

Even with these stipulations in place, and ambient fears about breakthrough cases and the Delta variant still in the air, it’s obvious from dispatches on social media that the overall sentiment is undeniably positive. Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hamilton scribe, could be found belting “New York, New York” into a megaphone outside the Richard Rodgers Theater on Tuesday, and original Wicked star Kristen Chenoweth made a surprise appearance, delighting audiences.

“Broadway, and all of the arts and culture of the city, express the life, the energy, the diversity, the spirit of New York City,” Mayor de Blasio said at a Tuesday news conference. “It’s in our heart and soul. It’s also so much of what people do to make a living in this town. And that makes us great. So, this is a big night for New York City’s comeback.”

Broadway Makes Its Long-Anticipated Return, But How Does It Feel?

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Schools without mask policy more likely to have coronavirus outbreaks, CDC studies find

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Schools without mask policy more likely to have coronavirus outbreaks, CDC studies find

Schools without a mask requirement could be 3.5 times more likely to have coronavirus outbreaks compared with schools that require masks, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies.

“These studies found that school districts without a universal masking policy in place were more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks. Nationwide, counties without masking requirements saw the number of pediatric COVID-19 cases increase nearly twice as quickly during this same period,” read a CDC press release.

The CDC on Friday released three new studies demonstrating the importance of masks in schools with one report from Arizona showing that schools in two of the state’s most populous counties were 3.5 times more likely to have virus outbreaks if they didn’t have a mask requirement at the start of the school year.

In that study, out of 191 school-associated coronavirus outbreaks that occurred, 113 were in schools that had no mask requirement and 62 were in schools that implemented masking a couple weeks after the school year began. Only 16 schools with an early mask policy had outbreaks.

Another study looked at COVID-19 cases in kids during the two weeks following the start of school.

The average change in case rates, about 16 cases per 100,000 people per day, was lower in counties with school mask mandates compared to schools without one, which was around 34 cases per 100,000 people per day, according to the data.

The third CDC report released Friday examined school closures caused by coronavirus.

There have been about 1,800 school closures nationwide so far this year, but 96% of public schools have been able to stay open for full in-person learning, which authors said highlights the importance of using several COVID prevention strategies.

The number of school closures was highest in the south. The CDC is currently recommending masking in schools among other measures such as vaccination, handwashing and proper ventilation.

In Massachusetts, all public school students and teachers are required to mask up inside until at least Oct. 1 when the policy could be extended, changed or discontinued.

The school year in the Bay State kicked off about two weeks ago, and nearly 4,000 positive cases have been reported among staff and students so far.

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CU Buffs fall to Arizona State in Pac-12 opener

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CU Buffs fall to Arizona State in Pac-12 opener

TEMPE, Ariz. – Colorado found some offense in the desert, but not nearly enough to snap its losing streak.

Arizona State pulled away in the second half to hand the Buffaloes a 35-13 defeat at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night.

The Buffs (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) have lost three in a row and dropped their conference opener for the first time since 2017. ASU (3-1, 1-0) rebounded from its first loss, led by quarterback Jayden Daniels, who accounted for 311 yards in total offense and two rushing touchdowns.

Shut out a week ago for the first time in five years, CU’s struggling offense finally found some success, at least relative to the past two weeks.

Alex Fontenot ran for 65 yards and a touchdown and the Buffs gained 183 rushing yards overall. That helped them avoid a third straight game with less than 10 points – something no CU team has done since 1963 – but there wasn’t enough firepower to threaten the Sun Devils in the second half.

Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis completed just 7-of-17 passes for 67 yards, his third consecutive game with less than 100 yards.

CU’s offense got off to a slow start, while ASU jumped to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run from Daniels.

ASU added an 11-yard touchdown run from Rachaad White for a 14-0 lead 9:28 to go in the second quarter.

Despite the 14-0 deficit, there were some signs of life by the CU offense in the second quarter.

Down 7-0, the Buffs drove to the ASU 28-yard line early in the second, but Cole Becker’s 46-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Then, down 14-0, the Buffs had their best drive in a while, going 58 yards in 10 plays to set up Becker for another field goal attempt. After a 0-for-3 start to his career, Becker hit this one, from 51 yards, to put the Buffs on the board with 13 seconds to play in the half.

Becker’s field goal snapped a scoreless streak of 137 minutes, 11 seconds for the Buffs, dating back to the first quarter of the Sept. 11 matchup against Texas A&M.

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At least 3 dead in Amtrak train derailment in Montana

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Sheriff’s office: At least 3 killed in Amtrak derailment

By AMY HANSON and TAREK HAMADA

JOPLIN, Mont. (AP) — At least three people were killed Saturday afternoon when an Amtrak train that runs between Seattle and Chicago derailed in north-central Montana, toppling several cars onto their sides, authorities said.

The westbound Empire Builder train derailed about 4 p.m. near Joplin, a town of about 200, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said in a statement. The accident scene is about 150 miles (241 kilometers) northeast of Helena and about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from the border with Canada.

Liberty County sheriff’s dispatcher Starr Tyler told The Associated Press that three people died in the derailment. She did not have more details. Amtrak said in a statement that there were multiple injuries.

The train had about 141 passengers and 16 crew members onboard, Amtrak spokesman Jason Abrams said. The train had two locomotives and 10 cars, eight of which derailed, he said.

“We are deeply saddened to learn local authorities are now confirming that three people have lost their lives as a result of this accident,” Abrams said.

Megan Vandervest, a passenger who was going to visit a friend in Seattle, told The New York Times that she was awakened by the derailment.

“My first thought was that we were derailing because, to be honest, I have anxiety and I had heard stories about trains derailing,” said Vandervest, who is from Minneapolis. “My second thought was that’s crazy. We wouldn’t be derailing. Like, that doesn’t happen.”

She told the Times that the car behind hers was tilted, the one behind that was tipped over, and the three cars behind that “had completely fallen off the tracks and were detached from the train.”

Speaking from the Liberty County Senior Center, where some passengers were being taken, Vandervest said it felt like “extreme turbulence on a plane.”

Residents of communities near the crash site quickly mobilized to help the passengers.

Chester Councilwoman Rachel Ghekiere said she and others helped about 50 to 60 passengers who were brought to a local school.

“I went to the school and assisted with water, food, wiping dirt off faces,” she said. “They appeared to be tired, shaken but happy that they were where they were. Some looked more disheveled than others, depending where they were on the train.”

A grocery store in Chester, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the derailment, and a nearby religious community provided food, she said.

The passengers were taken by buses to hotels in nearby Shelby, said Ghekiere, whose husband works for the local emergency services agency and was alerted to the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will send a 14-member team, including investigators and specialists in railroad signals and other disciplines, to investigate the crash, spokesman Eric Weiss said.

Weiss said the derailment occurred around 3:55 p.m. and no other trains or equipment were involved. The train was traveling on a BNSF Railway main track at the time, he said.

Photos posted to social media showed rail cars on their sides and passengers standing alongside the tracks, some carrying luggage. The images showed sunny skies, and it appeared the accident occurred along a straight section of tracks.

Amtrak said that because of the derailment, the Sunday westbound Empire Builder will terminate in Minneapolis, and the Sunday eastbound Empire Builder train will originate in Minneapolis.

Other recent Amtrak derailments include:

— April 3, 2016: Two maintenance workers were struck and killed by an Amtrak train going more than 100 mph in Chester, Pennsylvania. The lead engine of the train derailed.

— March 14, 2016: An Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in southwest Kansas, sending five cars off the tracks and injuring at least 32 people. Investigators concluded that a cattle feed delivery truck hit the track and shifted it at least a foot before the derailment.

— Oct. 5, 2015: A passenger train headed from Vermont to Washington, D.C., derailed when it hit rocks that had fallen onto the track from a ledge. The locomotive and a passenger car spilled down an embankment, derailing three other cars and injuring seven people.

— May 12, 2015: Amtrak Train 188 was traveling at twice the 50 mph speed limit as it entered a sharp curve in Philadelphia and derailed. Eight people were killed and more than 200 were injured when the locomotive and four of the train’s seven passenger cars jumped the tracks. Several cars overturned and ripped apart.

____

Hamada reported from Phoenix. Associated Press Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.

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Howie Carr: Abolish the FBI? You heard it here first

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Howie Carr: Abolish the FBI? You heard it here first

I saw a headline this week in The Wall Street Journal that made my day: “Abolish the FBI.”

The reason I was so pleased was because above my column in this newspaper on Jan. 24, 2018, was this headline: “Scandal-ridden FBI must be abolished.”

Is there an echo in here?

All I can say is, what took everybody else so long to realize how rotten to the core the Famous But Incompetent G-men have become, and actually have been for more than half a century now?

As the Journal noted, the FBI’s last sustained good “run of publicity … came more than 50 years ago thanks to Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and his weekly show on ABC, “The FBI,” which went off the air in 1974.

Even by dismal modern FBI standards, though, the news just keeps getting worse and worse.

Last week, one of Hillary Clinton’s lawyers was indicted by Russian collusion hoax Special Counsel John Durham. The Democrat operative was charged with lying to a James Comey briefer about one of the largely forgotten lies in the Russian hoax — Alfa Bank’s “secret servers,” which of course didn’t exist except in the fevered imaginations of far-left Democrats and their stenographers in the media.

Durham has been taking his own sweet time bringing these corrupt Deep State bad actors to justice, but better late than never. He knows a lot about how deep the corruption runs. He first brought down Whitey’s FBI hitman, Zip Connolly.

This latest indictment came only days before the five-year statute of limitations ran out.

Five years! It took that long to bring a single one of these bent Democrats before the bar of justice. But then, in this case, as in so many others involving the FBI, the cops are the actual criminals.

The joke in this latest bust is that obviously the FBI knew that Hillary’s lawyer was lying when he told the agent that he was peddling his ludicrously false stories.

Maybe not, though. They’re not making special agents like Inspector Lew Erskine anymore.

Durham’s indictment happened the same week that a newly declassified court rulings showed that the FBI had 100% lied during its illegal investigation into Trump aide Carter Page.

In the FBI’s botched frame-up of Page, one FBI lawyer has already been convicted of obstructing justice, although his punishment scarcely rose to the level of a slap on the wrist.

And yet … and yet … the alt-left media, which spent more than two years running one fake story after another about Russia-Russia-Russia, yawns. Could it be because they gave themselves Pultizer Prizes for their “deeply sourced” stories about … stuff that never happened, that they swallowed credulously because … Orange Man Bad?

The perfectly coiffed preppie trust-funder now running the FBI is a Deep State lapdog named Christopher Wray. On Capitol Hill he’s known as Alibi Ike, because his only job seems to be providing both excuses and apologies for the feds’ latest scandal.

It’s a full-time job, trying to cover up his agents’ nationwide crime spree, almost all of which end in ignominy and scandal.

This week Wray absorbed his Congressional tongue-lashing from Sen. Rand Paul about the FBI’s use of the secret FISA courts while operating as the Democrat party’s secret police, an American Gestapo.

Wray laughably said the use of the secret Star Chamber-like FISA court “protected Americans.”

Surely he meant to say it protected Democrats, especially corrupt Democrats, like the entire top brass of the FBI.

Paul pointed out to the preening Wray that when their fellow Democrats invented the preposterous Russian collusion hoax, “You guys took it hook, line and sinker.”

Of course they did. Because they were on the gag. Just like those Pulitzer Prize winners at the newspapers.

The week before, it was Wray in front of a different Senate committee, apologizing for the agency allowing Dr. Larry Nassar to molest hundreds of young female gymnasts. See, the G-men wanted to get jobs after their retirement. Sound familiar?

Wray said he was “profoundly sorry” and “especially sorry” because the FBI agents’ mishandling of the cases was “inexcusable.” It always is with these hacks, isn’t it?

The week before, it was the “kidnapping” plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that unraveled. The FBI broke that story a couple of weeks before the 2020 election to make it look like the dastardly deed was set up by Trump supporters.

It turns out there were more FBI agents than so-called militia in the “conspiracy.” The FBI picked up the tab for everything. The lead agent, whose social media was filled with vile anti-Trump ravings, was fired two weeks ago.

He’s charged with beating his wife after a wife-swapping party in Kalamazoo went bad. Again, does this all ring a bell? Remember the FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page?

The FBI needs mandatory vaccinations — against Trump Derangement Syndrome.

If you’ve been in Boston for a while, this grotesque combination of corruption and incompetence is nothing new. The framing of four innocent men for a murder they didn’t commit, the Tsaranevs, the Gary Sampson ball-drop, two G-men in prison for organized-crime hits, six agents on the Mob’s payroll …

Now the rot in Boston has gone nationwide. As the satirical Babylon Bee put it in a headline last week: “FBI Admits It’s Really Hard to Solve Crime They Didn’t Make Up Themselves.”

We’ve come a long way from ABC on Sunday nights in the 1960s with Inspector Lew Erskine chasing real bad guys and then driving home in his Ford Mustang convertible as the closing credits roll.

There’s only one solution to corruption and incompetence this pervasive. Abolish the FBI.

You read it here first.

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Governor’s Academy, St. Sebastian’s battle to the finish

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Duxbury hangs on to defeat Scituate

NEEDHAM — There was plenty of rust to knock off Saturday when the Governor’s Academy and St. Sebastian’s football teams took the field with the rest of the Independent School League for the first time since 2019. But what eventually emerged from underneath was a thriller.

The host Arrows won the turnover battle, but Governor’s won the turnover war, recovering a fumbled handoff with under two minutes to play and St. Sebastian’s on the verge of the go-ahead score at the 1-yard line, holding on for the 15-9 win.

“There was a void for two years,” said Governor’s coach Jim O’Leary. “Some of these guys were affected by it, some of them are new to the school, but just being out here playing football again is so nice.”

Senior quarterback Tristan Aboud, a Quebec native, did most of his work on the ground, carrying the load on both GA scoring drives in the second half. He finished with 107 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

“We were missing one of our offensive lineman and there was a lot of pressure coming so we had to switch up the gameplan,” said Aboud. “It felt good to be back. This was extremely special.”

Trailing 15-9, St. Sebastian’s converted a critical third-and-14 on the Governor’s 34 with 2:04 to play when Braeden Donovan split two defenders with a beautiful throw to Jack Boyle, setting up first-and-goal on the 10.

Andrew Hahn carried to the 1 and nearly got in, but was injured on the play. After a short delay, the Arrows tried an unsuccessful halfback option throw on second down, then couldn’t execute the handoff, with Cooper Haas jumping on the loose ball.

The teams were scoreless at halftime before heating up after the break. Aboud’s 8-yard keeper gave the Governors a 7-3 lead midday through the third but they turned the ball over for the third time in the game on their next possession and Donovan, who threw for 143 of his 164 yards in the second half, finally made them pay with a 59-yard strike to Aidan Maguire to grab the lead back for the Arrows at 9-7.

Kristian Pothel had an answer, however. The freshman wide receiver had a huge return to kick-start a Governor’s drive then finished it on a third-and-goal from the 5, shedding a tackle behind the line of scrimmage on a jet sweep then powering through another at the goal line for the winning score with 5:32 remaining.

“Every game we play against St. Seb’s is a fistfight,” said O’Leary. “It’s been like that for years. It’s the last team that wants to get back up after they have been hit down wins the game.”

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Boston College moves to 4-0 with OT win over Missouri

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Boston College moves to 4-0 with OT win over Missouri

The Boston College offense and defense acted in unison when it mattered most.

Wide receiver Zay Flowers caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Dennis Grosel to put the Eagles up 41-34 on the first series of overtime against Missouri on Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

Then BC clinched the its biggest victory of the season when safety Brandon Sebastian intercepted Mizzou quarterback Connor Bazelak in the right corner of the end zone.

The Eagles improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2007 and were overwhelmed when their fans stormed the field in delirium. BC begins league play next Saturday night against reigning ACC champion Clemson at Memorial Stadium.

“I ran the wrong coverage, I ran the wrong thing,” said Sebastian. “I seen the man release and I seen the quarterback getting ready to throw long and I just snuck underneath it.”

The game became a frenzied spectacle in the final two possessions of regulation. Tailback Travis Levy put BC up 34-31 on a 5-yard run with 25 seconds in regulation. Missouri responded by going 36 yards on six plays and tied the game with a 56-yard field goal by Harrison Mevis with no time remaining.

“Our football team is one of the most resilient group of guys that truly love each other,” said BC coach Jeff Hafley. “They play for each other and they play fearless and they don’t flinch and that’s why I’m so proud to be their coach.”

BC rolled up 450 yards of total offense with 275 on the ground and 175 through the air.

Rugged sophomore tailback Par Garwo III rushed for a season high 175 yards on 25 carries behind an offense front that imposed its will on Mizzou’s defense. Garwo scored BC’s first touchdown on a 67-yard scamper with a splendid show of open field running

“They were a huge help and none of this would have happened without them,” said Garwo. “If you saw what they were doing to the other team they made running easy.”

Bazelak countered the Eagles ground game by completing 30-of-41 passes for 303 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Tigers rolled up 391 yards of total offense and converted on 8-of-12 first downs. Tailback Tyler Badie rushed for 72 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns and caught five passes for 70 yards.

“Credit to Missouri, they are very well coached and their offense is explosive just like we thought,” said Hafley. “They are big up front, their back is the most underrated in college football and their quarterback is one of the best in the country.”

Dennis the menace

On BC’s first play from scrimmage, Grosel’s long ball to Jaden Williams was intercepted by safety Shawn Robinson on the Mizzou 38. A miscue of that magnitude could have rattled a back-up QB making his second start, but Grosel recovered to complete 18-of-29 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran nine times for a net of 35 that included a pair of crucial first down runs.

“We knew there were going to be some ups and downs coming in and that wasn’t what I was hoping for on the first play of the game,” said Grosel. “It’s a long game and you have to keep going and I’m happy with that.”

‘IGM’ on-target

Mizzou got a first and goal on the seven in the second quarter when BC middle linebacker Isaiah “IGM” Graham-Mobley drew a late hit penalty on Tigers receiver Dominic Lovett. Graham-Mobley made up for the penalty with two spectacular solo tackles on Badie for a combined minus four yards. Missouri settled for a 28-yard field goal. Graham-Mobley finished with six solo tackles and one assist.

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UMass investigating reports of Black student groups receiving racist emails

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UMass investigating reports of Black student groups receiving racist emails

UMass Amherst is investigating after several Black student groups at UMass Amherst received what the school called “vile, blatantly racist, and violently offensive” emails earlier this month — one of several anti-Black incidents the university has acknowledged this year.

“These anti-Black racist acts run in stark contrast to who we strive to be, which is a campus where all students are welcomed and feel a strong sense of belonging,” Vice Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer Nefertiti Walker wrote in an email to students following the reports. “We condemn all acts of anti-Black racism and will work to diminish their intent to cause harm to Black students on campus.”

That’s following an email, posted via screenshots to Facebook by multiple Black students, contained the subject line “Interested in joining,” and was sent under an apparent pseudonym of “Derek Vinn.”

The email, which was several paragraphs long, relied on racist stereotypes of Black Americans. It was signed by “UMass coalition for a better society,” which is not registered as an official student organization, and was not found online.

“I’m officially exhausted,” one student who posted the screenshots wrote on Facebook. “I don’t know if I’ll finish this last year. Just someone get me out of here.”

Another student who received the email wrote on Facebook that “this is the culture of UMass Amherst,” citing other racist incidents at the school. She added, “It is incredibly scary to go to school somewhere and know that there are people out there bold enough to not only say or think such things but to send it out.”

Walker’s email to students added that Black student groups’ “Contact Us” forms have received anti-Black hate messages. In another incident earlier this year, someone drove by a group of Black students, yelling “an anti-Black racist epithet” at them, per Walker.

In response to these incidents, the UMass Police Department is partnering with UMass IT to find the sender of the emails. As of Thursday, the investigation was still ongoing, the school says. Other measures the school has taken include outreach and support for the students who received the emails. Walker also shared the process for students to report hate and bias incidents.

This is not the first time the UMass Amherst campus has seen reports of racism on its campus in recent years. In 2014, someone wrote a racial slur and encouraged violence against Black students on the mirror in a single-stall bathroom in Melville Hall, a student dorm. Another similar incident occurred just weeks earlier.

In 2018, UMass Police officers questioned a Black staff member of the school whom a caller described to police as an “agitated Black male,” though the employee in question was walking to work.

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Patriots elevate LB Jahlani Tavai from practice squad to active roster

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Patriots elevate LB Jahlani Tavai from practice squad to active roster

The Patriots have elevated linebacker Jahlani Tavai from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Saints.

Tavai, 24, was signed to the Patriots practice squad earlier this month. He originally entered the NFL as a second-round draft pick (43rd overall) of Detroit out of Hawaii in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-2, 246-pound linebacker, who was released by the Lions in August, played in 31 games with 16 starts over the last two seasons with Detroit and registered 113 total tackles, two sacks, one interception, two passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Tavai joins the linebacking crew with Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Matthew Judon, Josh Uche and Ronnie Perkins.

Uche was listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game with the Saints due to back trouble. So Tavai provides some depth if needed there, and could also help on special teams.

In other Patriots news, center Jake Eldrenkamp was reportedly released from the practice squad.

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Twins no match for Robbie Ray as Blue Jays roll, 6-1

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Twins no match for Robbie Ray as Blue Jays roll, 6-1

On Friday, the Twins spoiled the return of former teammate Jose Berrios, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 with a strong pitching performance from Bailey Ober.

On Saturday, the Blue Jays returned the favor, winning 6-1 and playing spoiler on what was otherwise a celebratory night welcoming Justin Morneau into the Twins Hall of Fame.

The afternoon belonged to Morneau, the 34th and latest inductee to the Twins’ shrine. An announced crowd of 27,183 celebrated the MVP first baseman with a near hour-long pregame ceremony with the likes of Rod Carew, Tony Oliva and Torii Hunter on site to watch.

Former Minnesota Twins player Justin Morneau, left, sheds his jacket as former Twins great and Hall of Famer Rod Carew presents the new jacket after Morneau was inducted into the Twins’ Hall of Fame prior to a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

But the pomp and circumstance faded thanks in most part to Blue Jays starter Robbie Ray. He pitched six innings of three-hit ball, recovering from a shaky first inning to hold the Twins while striking out six.

“I think (Ray) had a lot of other starts that have been more dominating than this one. But ultimately when he needed to get some outs, he pulled it together, threw the ball where he wanted to and got it done,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

Ray’s only blemish came in the first. After Byron Buxton struck out to start the inning, Jorge Polanco singled and Josh Donaldson walked. With Mitch Garver up to bat, Polanco stole third, then made it home on a deep sacrifice fly to center field by Garver.

The Blue Jays answered immediately. Teoscar Hernandez hit his 31st home run to lead off the second inning, and Toronto added another run as a Randal Grichuk double got away from Brent Rooker, resulting in an error and a run.

With a 2-1 lead, Ray settled in. The Twins were able to put a runner on base in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth. But Ray let just one batter advance to second base.

That opportunity came in the sixth. A Donaldson double opened the inning, and two batters later Miguel Sano walked to put the go-ahead run at the plate. However, Ray forced a pair of fly balls to end the inning and his outing. The performance lowered his American League-leading earned-run average to 2.68.

“When you’re facing a guy like this, you definitely have to capitalize every opportunity you can, because you’re only going to get so many,” Baldelli said.

Toronto added runs in the sixth and seventh innings, first on a sixth-inning Marcus Semien solo home run, his 43th of the season. Then in the seventh, George Springer broke an 0-16 streak, hitting a two-run home run to left field. Catcher Danny Jansen drove in the sixth and final run with a single in the eighth.

In his first appearance since returning from the 10-day injured list, John Gant started the scheduled bullpen game for the Twins. Gant pitched three innings, allowing one earned run.

Jovani Moran took over in the fourth and threw two no-hit innings while striking out four. It was a noticeable improvement from Moran’s most recent two appearances when he allowed six runs.

Baldelli called it Moran’s “best outing” of the season.

“What I was really impressed with today, was not necessarily the first inning that he went there … but that he sat down, he came back out there, focused on what he needed to do, made good pitches just like he did in the first inning,” Baldelli said. “I think he looked very strong.”

Luke Farrell and Kyle Barraclough each pitched an inning before Danny Coulombe closed the final two innings. Each allowed one run.

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Country duo Dan + Shay perform high energy evening of hits at a sold-out Target Center

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Country duo Dan + Shay perform high energy evening of hits at a sold-out Target Center

A big takeaway from Dan + Shay’s sold out Saturday night concert at Minneapolis’ Target Center is that they’re thrilled to be back on the road.

At several points during the evening, Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney stopped the action to thank the crowd, reminisce about past local shows at Mill City Nights and the Armory, thank the crowd more and give each other seemingly spontaneous hugs.

When the country shut down in March 2020, the duo had just released one of the biggest hits of their career, “10,000 Hours,” and played a mere three shows on their first-ever arena tour, which went on to be postponed twice.

While the tour finally restarted earlier this month, Saturday’s show surged with pent-up energy, both on stage and in the crowd.

Dan + Shay have found huge success on country radio, but they’re really more of a straight-up pop group, sort of like a modern Hall and Oates with the slightest hint of a twang. And the aforementioned “10,000 Hours” is a collaboration with pop superstar Justin Bieber.

Various non-Nashville elements inform their songs like “What Keeps You Up at Night” (soulful rocker), “Make or Break” (boy band smash), “Keeping Score” (power ballad), “Steal My Love” (reggae) and “Lying” (elements of hip-hop).

The pair opened the show on a small plus sign-shaped stage at the back of the fenced-off, general admission pit. They opened with “10,000 Hours,” “Alone Together” and “All to Myself” and made their way up to the main stage, which featured the backing band on two platforms and a massive screen behind them.

After tearing through seven hits, they returned to the second stage for a quick cover of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” and “Lying.” Then they went back to the main stage for a few more songs before taking a 10-minute intermission (a rarity for most arena tours).

The second half of the show opened with Dan + Shay back on the small stage, this time with a piano and acoustic guitar. They played a handful of stripped-down versions of “Give in to You,” “Glad You Exist” and “My Side of the Fence.” (Smyers changed into a Vikings T-shirt and told the crowd he’s a big fan, in part because Jared Allen is his neighbor in Nashville.)

The main set wrapped with “I Should Probably Go to Bed” followed by a three-song encore of “Speechless,” “19 You + Me” and “Tequila.” While some of the duo’s songs are a bit suspect, Mooney’s got a big, impressive voice and they both proved they have the energy and charisma to headline arenas.

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