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Federal judge blocks New York vaccine requirement for health care staff



Federal judge blocks New York vaccine requirement for health care staff

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state of New York from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated.

Judge David Hurd in Utica issued the order Tuesday after 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, anonymously claimed that their rights were violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed religious exemptions.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit say they are Christians who also oppose the use of the COVID-19 vaccine that may be connected to a line of fetal cell tissue. Additionally Catholic Church leaders have previously mentioned that the development of COVID-19 vaccine is “morally acceptable”

Melanie Franco, an Associate Attorney at Tully Rinckey says it is very specific when it comes to applying for religious exemptions.

“It can’t just be some sort of philosophical or moral objection. There has to be some sincere religious belief. So it means if you have genuine concerns, you should do your own research to figure out if you have a valid argument,” said Franco.  

The plaintiffs say they are not anti-vaxxers, but shouldn’t be forced to be vaccinated against their will.

“Plaintiffs can truly demonstrate that their religious beliefs are being violated and that their being prevented from freely practicing,” said Franco.

The plaintiffs did not want to reveal their identity in the lawsuit because of fears of loosing their jobs or receiving public backlash.

The judge gave New York state until September 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court in Utica. The state issued the order August 28, requiring at least a first shot for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes by September 27.

Reached for comment, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s press secretary, Hazel Crampton-Hays, said:

“Governor Hochul is doing everything in her power to protect New Yorkers and combat the Delta variant by increasing vaccine rates across the State. Requiring vaccination of health care workers is critical to this battle. This order does not suspend the vaccine mandate, but it temporarily bars the Department of Health from enforcing the mandate where individuals have claims for religious exemption. We are considering all of our legal options to keep our communities safe.”

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In Patrick Peterson, Vikings acquired ‘a born leader’



In Patrick Peterson, Vikings acquired ‘a born leader’

If looks could kill, Patrick Peterson’s piercing stare last week would have ended the life of a reporter at TCO Performance Center in Eagan. The 31-year-old cornerback fielded a bevy of questions at the podium, giving lengthy answers in return, before his leadership skills came up in conversation.

Asked how he’s adapting as a leader in his first season with the Vikings, Peterson switched up his cadence and looked directly into the reporter’s eyes, replying, “I’m a born leader.”

There were a few seconds of silence as Peterson let his point sink in. He then mercifully decided to elaborate on his answer.

“I didn’t come in here and do anything out of the ordinary,” he continued. “Guys see how I operate. Guys see how I come to work every day. Guys see how I take care of my body. That all comes with being a pro.”

That type of professionalism is exactly what coach Mike Zimmer was looking for this offseason, and it’s exactly what he has gotten in Peterson.

Not only has Peterson stepped up as the No. 1 cornerback on the outside — he was barely tested last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals — he has been a guiding light for some of the younger cornerbacks on the roster. Whether it’s giving words of encouragement to Bashaud Breeland last week after a rough couple of plays, or serving as a sounding board for Kris Boyd before and after practice, Peterson’s impact has been palpable.

His biggest piece of advice?

“You have to be on cruising altitude at all times,” Peterson said. “You can’t get too high. You can’t get too low. You just have to worry about moving onto the next play and staying focused on the task at hand.”

That might be easier said than done Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. After spending the past decade with the organization, Peterson will return to where it all began for a 3 p.m. kickoff in Glendale, Ariz.

“Obviously, it’s my old team,” Peterson said. “I’m treating it like another game on the schedule.”

When a reporter suggested to Peterson that it might be difficult to do when he actually hits the field State Farm Stadium, he quickly refuted that claim.

“Not at all, because in actuality it is another game,” he said. “I have to go out there and be at my best for my team. I have to go out there and be dialed in for 60 minutes.”

That matter-of-fact answer was another example of his leadership personified. It’s something his teammates have started to notice in different forms throughout a week of practice.

His teammates on the defensive side of the ball, for example, get to experience it firsthand on the field.

“I just realized I ain’t ever played with nobody like Patrick, a corner on that side where they don’t even look his way,” Breeland said. “It really showed me I’ve got to buckle my chinstrap week-in and week-out.”

His teammates on the offensive side of the ball, meanwhile, feel it when they pick his brain off the field.

“Just asking him about the double moves I put on him that he doesn’t bite on,” receiver Justin Jefferson said. “What’s he looking for? What things am I doing that trigger him to not bite on the first move? I’m definitely picking his brain to learn from him and see what helps me going out against a top corner.”

Aside from his leadership, Peterson is still a darn good player, contrary to what some experts were saying this offseason before he signed with the Vikings. There was a particular play in practice that stood out to Zimmer a couple of weeks ago.

“He guessed on this route because of the release that he got and he got the wrong route — and it was actually a go route,” Zimmer said. “I saw his acceleration to the receiver. I have not seen any lack of athleticism.”

That’s something quarterback Kirk Cousins has noticed, as well.

“That is such a position of athleticism and confidence and he has those things in spades,” Cousins said. “He’s also a very strong player. I don’t think he gets beat up physically. I think if anything he can take the fight to someone in coverage. That is a great trait to have as a corner.”

There might be a drop off at some point but Peterson is always going to be a valuable player because of everything else he brings to the table. As he made abundantly clear last week, he’s a born leader.

“I’m the oldest of five kids,” Peterson said. “Our parents had us at a very young age, so I kind of had to step into that role early, and I embraced it. I believe that’s why it’s so easy for me to come in here and fit in and also lead by example each and every day, because I know I have siblings looking up to me each and every day.

“Just coming in here it was fairly easy,”  he added. “I love the game. I love to play football. I love to try to give any piece of advice I can to help make my teammates a better player. Not only a better player, a better person, as well. (It’s) just something that’s in me.”

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Pfizer releases side effects experienced after booster shots



Pfizer releases side effects experienced after booster shots

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – On Friday, September 17 the FDA will discuss Pfizer’s request for authorization for its booster.

In documents posted online, the FDA took note of conflicting data concerning boosters.

The FDA said in a briefing document, “Some observational studies have suggested declining efficacy of COMIRNATY over time against symptomatic infection or against the Delta variant, while others have not.”

Comirnaty, which refers to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, represents a combination of the terms COVID, mRNA, community and immunity.

Data submitted to the FDA by Pfizer break down side effects experienced after the boosters. Pfizer asked its trial participants to submits their symptoms using an electronic diary.

The company said injection site pain was the most common side effect.

Pfizer said most side effects lasted up to two days.

It said severe side effects were rarely reported but when they were, it was severe fatigue and muscle pain. Trial participants ages 18 to 55 were the most likely to report any side effects.

Injection site pain 83% 66.7%
Fatigue 63.8% 41.7%
Headache 48.4% 41.7

Other side effects felt less frequently were chills and new/worsened joint pain.

Several studies supporting boosters have been conducted in Israel, something the FDA also took note of saying US-based studies “may most accurately represent vaccine effectiveness in the US population.”

The FDA said data available to them showed the vaccines were still effective in preventing severe illness.

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Native American statue removed from Cherokee Street



Native American statue removed from Cherokee Street

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A prominent statue marking the Cherokee Street business district has been removed. The 21-foot-tall statue was dedicated in 1985 as a way for the district to distinguish itself. Now local businesses say that it, “does not appropriately honor the indigenous communities that have called this land home.” Its new home will be at the National Building Arts Center located in Sauget, Illinois.

Artist Bill Christman was commissioned to create the landmark. Originally there were several options, including a trolley, that business owners thought would increase visibility. But, the statue won the vote.

Christman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2007 that he worked closely with a Cherokee Indian group to make sure it was not a stereotype. But, he eventually soured on the design, saying that it is out of proportion and, “Just doesn’t work.”

A business moving into the building at the intersection of Jefferson and Cherokee Street shared this photo of the sidewalk without the statue.

A post to the Facebook page for the Cherokee Street Community Community Improvement District states:

The Cherokee Native statue at the corner of Cherokee Street and South Jefferson Avenue was removed this morning. With a majority vote of community members at the Cherokee Street Community Improvement District public meeting and the support of the artist, the statue will be donated to the National Building Arts Center.

The statue was commissioned in 1985 by the Cherokee Station Business Association to serve as a landmark for the street and its commercial district. However, the statue does not appropriately honor the indigenous communities that have called this land home.

Once uninstalled, the statue was moved to the National Building Arts Center. Based in Sauget, Ill., the National Building Arts Center houses the nation’s largest collection of building artifacts and represents the single largest effort toward understanding the American built environment and the historical process of its creation.

Cherokee Street Community Community Improvement District

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Tay Anderson censured by Denver school board



Tay Anderson censured by Denver school board

Denver Public Schools’ Board of Education voted to censure one of its members, Tay Anderson, on Friday following an investigation released this week that found he flirted online with a 16-year-old student before knowing her age and made coercive and intimidating social media posts.

But the six-month, third-party investigation initiated by the school board did not substantiate any of the anonymous claims of sexual assault levied against  Anderson.

Just before the board met to vote, Anderson shot back in a fiery news conference with an NAACP representative and local ministers, calling his treatment a “high-tech lynching,” a phrase used by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings 30 years ago.

He then delivered a passionate defense of his actions during the special meeting, reading from a statement he’d posted online that invoked white supremacy, lynching and vile threats made against him and his family since sexual assault allegations first surfaced this spring.

“On March 26, 2021, false allegations led to my life changing forever,” Anderson said during the meeting. “That was the day I became known as a rapist to our community. Does anyone listening know how that feels? To know you didn’t commit an act you’re being accused of, but having people believe it and call for your career, your freedom and your life to be over.”

Friday’s special meeting marked the first time school board members spoke publicly about the investigation and Anderson’s actions. One by one they denounced his conduct, voting 6-1 — Anderson cast the lone no vote — to censure, or publicly reprimand, their colleague for what they’ve called “behavior unbecoming of a board member.”

“To the young women who participated in this investigation, who are watching right now to see if your experiences and stories mattered to us: They do. And you do,” board member Rev. Bradley Laurvick said. “I hear you. I see you. I believe you.”

Board member Jennifer Bacon spoke in raw terms about being the only other Black school board member, and how she and Anderson are “inextricably linked” because of the color of their skin.

“White supremacy is real,” Bacon said. “But some of us can only take people so far. And we also need to recognize that personal actions need to be held accountable, too.”

Angela Cobián, another board member, said Anderson’s actions do not “merit a seat on this board,” adding that she hoped he “reconsiders his position as (the board’s) secretary.”

The 23-year-old vowed to remain on the school board.

“I will not resign,” Anderson said at the news conference before the vote. “Let me say that one more time — I will not resign.”

After Anderson concluded his remarks during the meeting, board member Barbara O’Brien said she “hoped this would be a bit more of an opportunity for introspection, but apparently it’s not going to be.”

At his pre-meeting news conference, Anderson gathered a collection of Black leaders who lambasted his treatment in explicitly racial terms.

Dr. Tony Bradley, representing the NAACP chapter for Colorado, Montana and Wyoming, said that the organization was “deeply troubled” by the censure vote and it opens up the school board to a civil rights inquiry.

Bishop Jerry Demmer, president of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

“… When you can’t find something to go your way, you come up with a lot of false allegations,” he said during the news conference.

As Anderson stepped to the podium Friday, he was met by a protester shouting through a megaphone, “Tay Anderson is not a victim,” and calling for his resignation.

Anderson has remained defiant in proclaiming his innocence in the face of the allegations that first surfaced in March that he had sexually assaulted an anonymous woman.

“My body has hung from a tree long enough,” he tweeted before Friday’s censure vote, “let’s get today over with.”

He opened his remarks to the board Friday by referring to a DPS parent — who in May alleged before a state legislative committee that Anderson committed rape, sexual assault or sexual misconduct against 62 students — as “my Carolyn Bryant.” (Bryant admitted to lying about allegations she made against a 14-year-old Black boy named Emmett Till, whose horrific 1955 lynching in Mississippi helped spark the Civil Rights Movement.)

In his speech to the school board, Anderson said the censure “raises questions about the precedent being set for future DPS board actions and parameters around potential future investigations.”

“This is unprecedented and reeks of anti-Blackness and is rooted in systems that uphold white supremacy,” Anderson wrote in a blog post published Thursday.

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‘Man Behind the Monster’ Shows There Was More To Boris Karloff Than Halloween Scares



‘Man Behind the Monster’ Shows There Was More To Boris Karloff Than Halloween Scares
16th February 1965: Veteran horror actor Boris Karloff (1887 – 1969), famed for his role as the definitive monster in the 1931 version of ‘Frankenstein’. (Photo by Larry Ellis/Express/Getty Images)

On a happy but nervous day in 1969 I moved into my first serious home in one of New York’s most famous, historic, glamorous and coveted Victorian landmark buildings, The Dakota.  It would have been a big step under any circumstances for a fledgling novice, new in town, green as chlorophyll, and just beginning a hopefully successful writing career, but I was doubly excited because my new next door neighbor was the one and only Boris Karloff!

Unfortunately, my timing was lousy.  Because, you see, the crowning monarch of movie horror had just died at age 88, and although The Dakota was also home to John Lennon, Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Nureyev and other notables, Karloff was the one I wanted to know most.  I found a cache of his fan letters in a garbage can near the service elevator but was too respectful to rescue them for posterity (and possibly sell them on eBay).  So I would never meet the Frankenstein monster in person.  Glumly, I confided my disappointment to the doorman.  “I’ve always loved him and now I live so close and yet so far and I will never meet him,” I confessed.  Without missing a beat, the doorman soberly replied: “He’ll be back.”

(4/4 stars)
Directed by: Thomas Hamilton
Written by:Thomas Hamilton, Ron MacCloskey

Starring: Boris Karloff,
Running time: 1 hour, 39 mins.

And so he will—every year at Halloween, when a whole new generation discovers the art of his madness and mayhem all over again in an annual marathon of his greatest hits from The Black Cat to The Old Dark House and everything in-between.  Now he’s back to stay in a terrific documentary called Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster that sheds new light on the darkness that has shrouded him in mystery for nearly nine decades.  Fastidiously researched and directed by Thomas Hamilton, who co-wrote the screenplay with Ron MacCloskey, it unmasks the true identity of a soft-spoken British gentlemen born William Henry Platt but known throughout the civilized world as the most terrifying man alive and the father of the horror film industry.  Proceed at your own peril.

     With the aid of Karloff’s only daughter Sara, much of the film concentrates on his most celebrated role—the menacing monster made of nails, bolts and human organs in Frankenstein, James Whale’s 1931 classic adaption of Mary Shelley’s novel that turned an unknown actor into the stalking robotic freak of the title.  The movie made him a star, but the years of struggling to make ends meet, the accidental way he got the role, and the numerous problems encountered while making the film are catalogued with riveting detail.  A gentle man, he hated the scene where the monster throws the innocent child picking daisies into the black waters of the lake to drown.  He called it “wanton brutality” and managed to get it deleted, alienating the director and causing havoc.  He wasn’t even invited to the premiere.  But hidden behind hours of daily makeup without a word of dialogue, he became a phenomenal overnight sensation, and went on to play assorted vampires, mummies and even a Chinese sadist with realistic demonic powers that made audiences scream (and scream for more) without losing any of his own sense of humor. When an interviewer asks him if he spoke any Chinese on the controversial 1932 film The Mask of Fu Manchu, the real voice of Karloff laughs it off incredulously: “Good lord, no.  It was a shambles—simply ridiculous!

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Boris Karloff as the monster sitting lakeside with little girl in a scene from the film ‘Frankenstein’, 1931. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Biographical details are sketchy, and I would prefer fewer references to film technology and juicier personal anecdotes.  But what’s there is mesmerizing.  His father was a diplomat in Bombay with seven children who brutalized his family and left them penniless.  His Anglo-Indian heritage subjected him to racist insults.  He had bow legs, a lisp and a stammer which never qualified him for stardom but he never bothered to correct them. He left home and ended up as a Hollywood extra in silent films in 1920, where his dark complexion and penetrating eyes made him a standout in ethnic and exotic roles.  Struggling through the Depression with no money and no work, he was instrumental in unionizing the studios, which won him admirers among fellow actors, but prosperity and fame came slowly. There were lean years and eight marriages, then Frankenstein changed everything.  Teaming up with his close friend Bela Lugosi in The Black Cat (1934) and speaking for the first time as the monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935) certified his status, but eventually he grew tired of type casting. Stuck in a rut, the way out was Broadway.  So he gambled with a comedy called Arsenic and Old Lace, playing a man “who looked like Boris Karloff”.  It ran for three years.

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At the Children’s Hospital, British actor Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt, 1887 – 1969) reads to a young patient as she drinks a glass of milk, Brooklyn, New York, New York, 1948. (Photo by Rae Russel/Getty Images) (Photo by Rae Russel/Getty Images)

But there was more to Karloff than “Boo!”  He played Captain Hook to Jean Arthur’s Peter Pan and in one of his most distinguished stage appearances he was nominated for a Tony award opposite Julie Harris’ Joan of Arc in Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of The Lark, which he repeated for NBC’s Hallmark Hall of Fame (an entire scene in the documentary is worth the price of admission alone).  In 1966, when he was retired and almost dead from severe emphysema, his career soared again with his recording How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and in 1968, one year before he died, he surfaced again, winning fresh raves as a retired horror film star whose life parallels the story of the mass murderer perched on top of the tower of the University of Texas in Austin.   Some of the rare footage from his late career includes Karloff spoofing his image by singing to a severed head on the Dinah Shore Show and discarding his wheelchair and oxygen mask to perfectly perform a musical number with Vincent Price and Red Skelton.  Not a wasted or superfluous moment anywhere.

  This movie honors both requirements of any documentary you can call memorable.  It educates and entertains at the same time.  I still live next door to the scariest man in the morgue.  But after Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster I now have another reason to smile every time I pass his front door after midnight.

Observer Reviews are regular assessments of new and noteworthy cinema.

‘Man Behind the Monster’ Shows There Was More To Boris Karloff Than Halloween Scares

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Actor Sung Kang revealed a huge detail about his ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ character



Sung Kang Star Wars

Actor Sung Kang let slip a big detail about his character in the upcoming Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi” while sharing a story about his childhood adoration for the “Star Wars” franchise.

Not a costume anymore: In an interview with Screen Rant, Kang, 49, said he dressed up as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader almost every day from the ages of 8 to 13. He also reminisced on how he and his friends would play pretend with lightsabers made out of cardboard toilet paper tubes.

  • The Korean American actor said, “…to be able to be on set and see Darth Vader and see the Star Wars Universe in front of me, I mean – just as a fan to be able to be part of that history is pretty amazing.” He added, “I kept pinching myself to go, ‘How did I end up here?’ and, my character has a lightsaber, to go, ‘What? This is.. It’s not a toy. It’s actually the real thing, right?’ so pretty cool.”
  • Kang’s revelation has raised some questions about his character in the show. Collider speculated he could be a Jedi who survived Emperor Palpatine’s Order 66, a scavenger who accidentally found a lightsaber lying around or even a Sith.

Just a little tease: Kang gave an interesting clue into his character’s personality during an interview in July, Movie Web reported.

  • I can tell you, since I am playing it, that there is a sexual deliciousness to the character,” he said.
  • Kang will also be working with Hayden Christensen, who played Anakin and Darth Vader in the prequel films from the 1990s. 

The series is expected to be released sometime in 2022. 

Featured Image The Fast Saga (left), G (right)

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Week 2 football preview: Early showdown coming between Central Catholic, St. John’s Prep



Week 2 football preview: Early showdown coming between Central Catholic, St. John’s Prep

Rarely does a football team allow more than 40 points in a game and wind up with the win.

No. 3 Central Catholic and No. 4 St. John’s Prep managed to pull it off.

These two teams meet Saturday (1 p.m.) and it’s reasonable to predict if one of these talented teams allow 40 points, they aren’t going to leave the field undefeated. St. John’s Prep enters the game having beaten Central Catholic four straight times, twice in the postseason.

Central Catholic gave up 52 points, but managed to drop 67 on Springfield Central. If there is any solace, the Raiders were far better on defense in the second half, allowing just a pair of touchdowns, while forcing three turnovers.

“I liked our team character in the second half,” CC coach Chuck Adamopoulos said. “Everyone knows that Ayden Pereira had a great game, but we had a lot of different guys step up, people like Justice McGrail and Mathias Latham.

“We’re going to have to better because St. John’s Prep is very explosive on offense. They can run the ball on one series, then open it up on the next one.”

St. John’s Prep required a little more drama to defeat Marshfield. Leading the entire game, the Eagles watched as Marshfield took a 42-41 lead with 35 seconds left. The visitors proceeded to drive 73 yards with Jack Perry capping off the winning drive by connecting with Jesse Ofurie on a 26-yard TD with five seconds left to give them a pulsating 47-42 win.

“I give our guys a lot of credit for keeping their poise,” St. John’s Prep coach Brian St. Pierre said. “We work on a lot of those scenarios in practice, two-minute drill, one-minute drill, going without timeouts. It was nice to see them take what we worked on in practice and do it in the game.”

Not surprisingly, both coaches feel the game will come down to which side can neutralize the other more.

“We struggled on defense last week, but I think we will be better this week,” St. Pierre said. “Central Catholic has a big-play offense and their quarterback will have to be our focus – he’s a very good player.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Wellesley and Milford come off solid opening-week wins and will meet in Wellesley.

The Friday schedule is loaded with terrific matchups. A juicy Patriot League crossover game pits No. 13 Scituate at No. 9 Duxbury. The Dragons haven’t lost to a PL opponent since Hingham defeated them in 2007.

The Catholic Conference will be in the limelight as No. 1 Catholic Memorial hosts LaSalle (RI), No. 5 Xaverian travels to Bridgewater-Raynham, while BC High hosts a talented Springfield Central squad. In Central Mass., St. John’s (Shrewsbury) looks to get back on the winning track when it takes on rival Shrewsbury.

A trio of terrific nonleague matchups headline the Middlesex League slate. No. 10 Barnstable takes the long road trip to Reading to meet the 12th-ranked Rockets, No. 6 Lincoln-Sudbury visits Melrose and St. Bernard’s heads to Stoneham.

An old school Bay State Conference rival is on tap as Walpole travels to No. 14 Natick. East Boston and Brighton meet in an early-season battle for bragging rights in the city, while Nantucket and Mashpee is the premier matchup on the Cape.

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Gophers receivers have a motto. It’s found on a can of root beer



Gophers receivers have a motto. It’s found on a can of root beer

Gophers receivers coach Matt Simon has an unopened, room-temperature can of A&W Root Beer sitting on his desk inside the Larson Football Performance Center. It’s a prop, not a thirst-quencher.

Riffing off head coach P.J. Fleck’s array of slogans and acronyms, Simon came up with “actions over words” formula for what he wants from his position group during the 2021 season. He gave each receiver a can of A&W to serve as a reminder.

“Our actions are going to be way more important than our words,” Simon said in an training-camp interview with the Pioneer Press. “Yes, people are going to talk about us as a group and … try to put labels on us, on how young we are or what we maybe haven’t accomplished. We can say we’ve changed, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t (do it).”

Through two games, there have been more words than actions when it comes to the U’s receivers. Minnesota abandoned the passing game in the second half of the 31-26 win over Miami (Ohio) last Saturday; they had six third-quarter passes fall incomplete and didn’t attempt a throw in the fourth.

The Gophers have run the ball on nearly 70 percent of offensive plays this season and will likely need more balance against Pac-12 Conference foe Colorado (1-1) at noon Saturday at Folsom Field in Boulder.

Minnesota lost only one offensive starter from last season, and it was a big one: first-round NFL pick Rashod Bateman. They had Tyler Jonson go to the league after 2019 and current top target, Chris Autman-Bell, went down with an ankle injury in camp. It has kept “CrAB” sidelined for the first two games.

This has meant veteran quarterback Tanner Morgan has had to find new or lesser-known targets, and they’ve gotten off to a slow start.

Texas A&M transfer Dylan Wright has had 15 targets, eight catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns in two games. But in the third quarter against Miami, Wright slipped on a route and Morgan’s pass fell incomplete. Wright received medical attention and was held out of the game, but it wasn’t so much a physical injury as a mental hurdle.

“I think we have to continue to build … that mental toughness,” Fleck said on the topic postgame. “We were really good in 2019 mentally, but if you go back to 2018 and 2017, with Tyler and Rashod, we had a lot of drops and a lot of different (issues with) inconsistent play.”

Wright is expected to return Saturday, while Autman-Bell appears likely to make his season debut. It could be a boost for a passing offense that is outside the top 100 in the nation in yards per game (158), completion percentage (52.4) and total attempts (42).

While the body of work hasn’t been complete, there have been successes. Wright, who’s first name is pronounced Day-lynn, had an impressive leaping touchdown catch in tight coverage against Ohio State in a season opening, 45-31 loss. It was the first TD catch of his career.

Daniel Jackson, a four-star recruit and second-year player from Kansas, has seven receptions for 88 yards on 12 targets. He scored his first collegiate touchdown against Miami and afterward, Morgan had a message for him in the end zone: “It’s the first of many.”

“It’s a cool moment to celebrate it,” said Morgan, who’s next TD pass will be the 50th of his career. “But at the same time, it’s a part of the game. You have to keep going.”

On Tuesday, Fleck clarified his “mental toughness” postgame quote.

“I’m talking about just overcoming adversity, next-play mentality, being able to not flush the last play and forget about it, learn from it immediately and then move on,” the coach said. “I’m not about ignoring what happened, never been about that. … The minute that play is over, ‘What did I learn? What did I gather? Boom, got it, next play, let’s go.’

“That’s with young players in general. The faster they can get better at that, the better they’re going to be.”

Morgan has been working to stay positive with the receivers, knowing he wasn’t an all-Big Ten caliber quarterback when he got his first action in 2018.

Compared to January, Fleck has been impressed with how quickly Wright, listed at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, has improved since joining the program. While he was a four-star recruit out of Texas and went to the SEC, he was raw in the eyes of Fleck.

“There was no way when that kid came on campus in January I thought he would ever play this year,” Fleck said on his KFAN radio show. “That is a credit to Matt Simon, Mike Sanford for the development of him to where he is now. I think he’s one of the better ones we’ve had.”

Autman-Bell is on track to be the Gophers’ next star receiver and has shown good chemistry with Morgan. Hel has caught at least one pass in 32 career games, with a grab in 27 straight. He should be the go-to possession receiver once he comes back.

Before the Miami game, Autman-Bell warmed up as if he would play but returned to the locker room before kickoff to change into street clothes. Since Saturday, he has been participating in practice, Fleck said.

The Buffaloes, who held No. 7 Texas A&M until a late touchdown in a 10-7 loss in Denver last week, will likely force Minnesota to pass. If they can can air it out successfully, Simon might mention a certain root beer brand postgame.

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Hochul welcomes Afghan refugees in NY with 100 coming to Albany



Hochul welcomes Afghan refugees in NY with 100 coming to Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Kathy Hochul welcomed the Afghans who will be resettling in New York communities. Local agencies including in Albany are stepping up to help these families rebuild.

The Afghans, including some that have already arrived, are expected to be placed in their new communities between now and March 31. This is expected to include up to 100 in Albany, 335 in Buffalo, 240 in the New York City area, 200 in Rochester, 248 in Syracuse, and 20 in Utica.

Those arriving in New York will be assisted by agencies funded by the Bureau of Refugee Services, which is located within the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. “We have a strong desire to welcome as many families as want to relocate here to the city of Albany,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.

Hochul pledged to offer the refugees assistance via state-supported resettlement agencies as they rebuild their lives. They will be offering free support to find a job, learn English and help with legal assistance.

Sheehan says they want to get them back on their feet. “We want to help them find housing, get a job, become news employees, and get their children enrolled in our schools,” she said.

RISSE is a non-profit organization in Albany that serves refugees and immigrants. They are dedicated to helping refugee families build sustainable lives through teaching English, job assistance, and so much more. Operations Director Francis Sengabo says they are here to equip refugees with life skills and help them adapt to U.S. culture.

“Yesterday, we helped two families get a job through RISSE. So we are ready to help them with whatever they need,” said Sengabo.

Mayor Sheehan says one challenge may be finding housing for refugees. The city of Albany is looking into temporary options. “Whether that be in partnership with some of our hotels that still are seeing pretty big occupancy availability,” Sheehan said.

RISSE says they are always looking for volunteers. The Office for New Americans also has a hotline that can connect immigrants and refugees to free services across the state. The hotline can be reached at (800) 566-7636 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, with assistance available in more than 200 languages.

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Enterprise Center requiring vaccination proof or negative test to Blues games, other events



Enterprise Center requiring vaccination proof or negative test to Blues games, other events

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According to J&J, the booster dose of the vaccine “generated a rapid and robust increase in spike-binding antibodies” 28 days after the primary single-dose shot in participants between the ages of 18 and 55 and in those 65 years and older. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)

ST. LOUIS– The St. Louis Blues will require proof of vaccination or negative tests results within 72 hours for fans at Enterprise Center starting on Oct. 15.

The St. Louis Blues says the policy is also in effect for other events at the Enterprise Center and the Stifel Theater.

The policy applies to fans ages 12 and older. The measure is intended to protect the health and wellness of fans, guests, sponsors, staff, players, and others.

The policy will take effect ahead of the Blues’ regular-season home opener on Saturday, Oct. 23, vs. the Los Angeles Kings.

The Blues are the 16th team in the National Hockey League to introduce a policy requiring fans to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result to attend games.

“We all want the same thing – Blues hockey as it was meant to be,” Chris Zimmerman, President and CEO of Business Operations of the St. Louis Blues. “We want everyone getting back together as one, with players and fans alike feeding off the energy as we remember it not that long ago. The same holds true for a concert or performance. The experience of enjoying a headlining act is something we’ve missed, and we look forward to again hosting the biggest artists and tours at Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre this fall and beyond.

Key information related to the policy includes:

  • Fans and guests ages 12 and older will be required to show printed or digital proof of full COVID‑19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test administered by a healthcare professional within 72 hours prior to the event. The test results must include the ticketholder’s name and the date of the test.
  • Fans and guests 11 and younger will be permitted to enter Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre without proof of vaccination or a negative test result, provided they wear a mask at all times while inside the venue.
  • The Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre policy at all times will be subject to health and safety guidelines or policies as determined by the City of St. Louis and the NHL. As an example, the City of St. Louis continues to require all to wear facial coverings when indoors and within enclosed public buildings and spaces.
  • COVID-19 tests will not be made available at Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre on the dates of games or events.

You can get more information about fans and guests by visiting

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