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Ferguson-Florissant music teacher Missouri Teacher of the Year

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Ferguson-Florissant music teacher Missouri Teacher of the Year

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Long-term care facilities and nursing home staff will soon be required to be fully vaccinated under President Joe Biden’s announcement last but some health officials in the state say the mandate is a bad idea. 

The Missouri Health Care Association is telling lawmakers they support vaccination, but they don’t support a mandate for staff. 

“The vaccine hesitancy across the state, especially among the younger populations in our staff is something that we not been able to overcover,” executive director for the Missouri Health Care Association Nikki Strong said.

“We don’t believe a straightforward mandate is the appropriate way to achieve full vaccination in our facilities.”

The association represents more than 65% of 500 nursing care facilities in the state. Strong told members of House Subcommittee on Appropriations – Health, Mental Health, and Social Services Tuesday afternoon some staff is threatening to quit if the mandate is enforced. 

“She said to me, I will leave,” Strong said about an employee. “I love long-term care, but I will leave long-term care and I will go into another, a completely different sector.”

She said nursing facilities had extreme staff shortages before COVID and have worsened since the pandemic. 

“We have lost a tremendous amount of staff due to exhaustion levels, burnout, stress, anxiety or in some cases, people that can stay home and make more money staying home than they can in our facility,” Strong said.

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Two of three Christian schools resolve Jeffco mask mandate lawsuit

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Two of three Christian schools resolve Jeffco mask mandate lawsuit

Two of three Christian schools resolved a lawsuit with Jefferson County Public Health over their compliance with the county’s COVID-19 mask mandate Wednesday.

The cases against both Beth Eden Baptist School and Augustine Classical Academy were dismissed, court records show.

County health officials agreed to dismiss the case against Augustine Classical Academy after the school agreed to allow health inspectors to have access to its building.

Representatives for Beth Eden Baptist School did not immediately return requests for comment Wednesday and the details of that school’s resolution were not immediately clear.

District Judge Randall Arp signed off on Augustine’s agreement during the second day of a contentious court hearing in which Jefferson County Public Health sought a judge’s order to force the schools to follow mask mandates and allow health inspectors immediate access to classrooms.

The hearing will continue Thursday with the sole remaining defendant, Faith Christian Academy, as well as Golden View Classical Academy, which was allowed to intervene in the case.

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Dante Chen is the first Singaporean to ever wrestle in a WWE match

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Dante Chen is the first Singaporean WWE wrestler

Dante Chen, whose real name is Sean Tan, is the first Singaporean to wrestle in  a WWE match. 

A star is born: Tan, 25, made his WWE debut on Sept. 21 when he beat his opponent Trey Baxter, subsequently making him the first Singaporean wrestler to not only be a part of the WWE stable but also the first Singaporean to win a WWE match, according to Channel News Asia

  • Tan walked onto the stage wearing a silver mask and red robe, with the announcer exclaiming, “His [Baxter’s] opponent from Singapore, weighing in at 215 pounds, Dante Chen.” 
  • The match between Baxter and Tan lasted less than a minute, leaving Tan victorious.
  • He was one of 40 wrestlers that were invited to tryouts in Shanghai and was able to land a contract in July with WWE NXT, which is a program featuring the next generation of WWE stars. He started training in Orlando with two other Chinese athletes in the WWE Performance Center, Mothership reported. 
  • Before becoming “Dante Chen,” Tan was using the stage name “Trexxus” in Singapore. He started wrestling in 2012 and won the SPW Southeast Asian Championship in 2017. 

Representation: Social media users took to Twitter to express their pride in the first Singaporean competitor to be a part of the WWE. 

Featured Image via WWE

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Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

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TD Garden to require proof of Covid-19 vaccine or negative test

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TD Garden to require proof of Covid-19 vaccine or negative test

TD Garden, the Bruins and Celtics announced on Wednesday that all paying customers age 12 and over must present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a qualifying negative test to gain access to the Garden. The new protocols begin on Sept. 30 when the B’s play their first home preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Also, in accordance with the current City of Boston restrictions, all fans over the age of 2 must wear a mask, except while actively eating or drinking.

The requirements will remain effective until further notice.

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Council ‘disappointed’ as St. Paul is still negotiating vaccine mandate with labor unions

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Council ‘disappointed’ as St. Paul is still negotiating vaccine mandate with labor unions

Despite a unanimous city council vote in support of an employee vaccination requirement five weeks ago, St. Paul officials are still working on structuring how a COVID vaccine mandate would roll out for some 3,000 city employees. A vaccination deadline could still be more than a month away.

Human Resources Director Toni Newborn told the city council on Wednesday that negotiating the details with the city’s labor unions has taken weeks, and there’s additional considerations regarding how to securely track vaccination status, which qualifies as private medical data.

The city’s Office of Technology and Communications has some tools, but they need “enhancements,” Newborn said, noting the state has some promising software templates that could help.

“There’s legal components that have to be taken into account. We’re still in the process of negotiating with our labor partners,” Newborn said. “We’re thinking on or around November, but that’s not a hard deadline.”

Members of the city council said they were not pleased. The council voted Aug. 18 to recommend an employee vaccination mandate, and until this week had received no communication from the mayor’s office, even as other government bodies have rolled out their own vaccine requirements.

“I am deeply disappointed we are talking about a November rollout,” said Council Member Jane Prince, noting employees have children or work with children who cannot yet be legally vaccinated. “It is children in our community who are most at risk — children under 12 years old.”

In mid-August, Hennepin County mandated that their employees provide proof of vaccination by early October or submit to weekly testing. A similar requirement takes effect for St. Paul Public School employees on Oct. 15. Ramsey County expects full vaccinations or weekly testing by Nov. 1. Gov. Tim Walz set an even earlier deadline of Sept. 8 for state employees.

Council Member Chris Tolbert said the city had little excuse for falling behind. “Instead of being a leader on this … it looks like we’re going to be one of the last (area) municipalities to implement a vaccine requirement,” he said.

Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, meaning they must get the first of their two Pfizer or Moderna doses by early-to-mid October. With the exception of one-shot Johnson and Johnson, the doses are given three or four weeks apart and take two weeks to take full effect.

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Student fights off would-be rapist near University of Rochester

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Student fights off would-be rapist near University of Rochester

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A suspect was taken into custody Saturday after an attempted rape near the University of Rochester campus. Police say the victim fought him off.

It happened near Genesee Valley Park around 12:35 a.m. Saturday. According to investigators, Courtney Barber, 31, approached a student from behind. The woman fought with Barber, who police say took her cell phone and ran away.

The woman was able to alert University of Rochester Public Safety officers, who found Barber still in the area. Rochester police took him to a hospital for evaluation. Barber is charged with attempted rape, robbery, grand larceny, stalking, and criminal mischief.

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River otter species returns to Missouri waterways

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River otter species returns to Missouri waterways

THE OZARKS, Mo. – The North American river otter, a species once on the brink of extirpation in Missouri, has returned to the state’s waterways.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, otters were nearly wiped out due to “unregulated harvest” a century ago. But starting the 1980s, state and federal conservationists reintroduced more than 800 river otters to the wild.

Thanks to decades of continued efforts to preserve the animal and its habitats, otters can once again be located in most waterways across Missouri.

A video from a park ranger with the National Parks Service shows a family of otters frolicking and doing general otter things in the Big Spring branch of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.

While otters don’t have a signicant effect on rivers, the MDC says they can cause problems smaller ecosystems such as ponds.

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Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold wanted private security due to threats. One state board said no.

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Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold wanted private security due to threats. One state board said no.

A political action committee chaired by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold wanted the state’s approval to pay for private security because she was getting more threats after the 2020 election. On Tuesday, the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission unanimously said no.

The commission, made up of current and former Colorado attorneys, said the request violated Article 29 of the Colorado Constitution, which is a code of ethics for government officials.

The proposal was officially filed by from the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State PAC, which urged the commission to not consider the payment of security as a gift, but rather a benefit to the state because of the increasing volume of threats. It also said the payment could be from the association itself, a different political organization, a nonprofit or an individual.

But commission members were concerned that the security would be used for Griswold’s official events — including her re-election campaign or other political events, as Colorado Politics first reported.

Elections officials across the country have reported an increase in threats over the past year, particularly related to unsubstantiated claims about rampant fraud in the 2020 election.

Griswold told The Post on Sept. 15 that female secretaries of state seem to the primary target, including herself, Michigan’s Jocelyn Benson and Arizona’s Katie Hobbs. This summer, the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI launched a task force to investigate physical threats against state and local elected officials.

“I think part of it is that we’ve been standing up for the right to vote, pushing back in a very public way against the voter suppression we’re seeing across the nation,” Griswold said.

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People are listing their Pokémon Oreos on eBay for as much as $15,000

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Mew gets sold for a high amount of money

Some people are attempting to cash in on Poké-fever by offering rare “Pokémon” Oreo cookies on eBay for ridiculous amounts of money — up to $15,000.

Is this for real?: The “Pokémon” x Oreo collaboration was available for pre-order on Sept. 8 for $3.88, but to prevent hoarding, the company only allowed up to three boxes per customer, according to Dexerto.

  • A week later, people began posting listings on eBay to sell the rarest Pokémon Oreo cookie, which features the character Mew. Prices vary for Mew listings on the e-commerce site, which go from as low as $5.50 and up to $15,000.
Image via eBay
  • A Twitter user, who goes by the handle name @effnaaron, decided to place a listing on eBay for his Mew Pokémon Oreo cookie as a joke. However, he was later surprised to see someone had placed a $51 bid on his auction. The final bid was $5,000.

Limited edition: The cookies come in 16 different designs that feature iconic “Pokémon” characters such as Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. Those who would like to collect them all will have to buy multiple packages as the cookies were packed randomly.

Featured Image eBay (left), Oreo Cookie (right)

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

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MIAA: Power rankings still a concern

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MIAA: Power rankings still a concern

Reporting is essential.

That was the message from MIAA Associate Director Sherry Bryant at Tuesday’s MIAA Field Hockey Committee meeting.

Bryant urged schools to input their scores in a timely manner so the MIAA can accurately roll out its initial power rankings. Bryant said the rankings would be posted at some point in the week of Sept. 27.

Despite pessimism that schools would report scores adequately, Bryant said in discussions with other states using power rankings that if schools aren’t holding up their end of the bargain, it’s going to be obvious when the rankings go public.

The meeting began with Mary Ryan being re-elected as the chairperson of the committee, with Katherine Hennessy of Marlboro nominated to serve as vice chairperson.

One concern affecting the commonwealth on a daily basis is a transportation shortfall. Gov. Charlie Baker activated the National Guard to help with the shortage of drivers, but many sub-varsity events are being called off for that very reason.

The majority of postseason field hockey games have a 2:30 p.m. faceoff. Several committee members expressed the need to be flexible with inviolable start times.

As the meeting wound down, committee member Patti Rowe spoke about the recent death of Janice Bruce. In Rowe’s word, Bruce was an essential member of the field hockey community and was a key cog in getting the state tournament started in 1975.

The MIAA Ice Hockey Committee held its meeting and discussed several of the same topics that came up in the field hockey meeting, namely power rankings and the necessity to input scores in a timely manner.

What was discussed was the length of time in a regular season hockey game. Leagues have the option to play 17-minute periods, though many are planning on remaining with 15-minute periods. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, then there will be a five-minute overtime in which both teams play 4-on-4.

In a regular season tournament, should teams play a scoreless overtime and require a shootout to determine a winner, the game would go into the MIAA record book as a tie for record purposes.

Ice Hockey Committee vice chairman David Lezenski, the athletic director at Lowell, said that 42 schools appealed their placement in the new statewide realignment and all but one were approved.

Speaking of Lowell, Lezenski said the school is looking for another team to compete in a season-opening hockey tournament being played at the Tsongas Arena Dec. 11-12. Those interested can contact coach Brian Akashian at [email protected]

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Other voices: Biden must investigate Kabul drone strike that killed family

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Other voices: Biden must investigate Kabul drone strike that killed family

The suicide bombings that ripped through Kabul’s airport in late August and killed 13 U.S. troops and more than 160 Afghans upped the ante for the U.S. to thwart more terrorist attacks in the final days of its withdrawal.

The Biden administration said it prevented another suicide bombing a few days later with a drone strike that officials said killed a suspected Islamic State group driver and an associate near the airport. U.S. officials told reporters that the target had been under surveillance for hours and that people were seen loading explosives into the trunk of his car.

But two separate investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post cast doubt on that narrative. These news reports must elicit a fuller explanation than what the Biden administration has offered so far.

Relatives and co-workers of the target, engineer Zemari Ahmadi, told journalists that he was an aid worker with a California-based nonprofit in Afghanistan. Video obtained by The Times shows Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring to his family on the day he was killed.

Ahmadi’s family members said 10 people were killed, including seven children. The relatives showed reporters photos of burned bodies belonging to children, and neighbors confirmed that children’s bodies were removed from the site.

The Biden administration must conduct a thorough investigation.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that the administration is looking at the matter “very, very, very carefully.” However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that while officials are investigating, he’s not aware of a plan to put investigators on the ground in Kabul. If two American newspapers can check out information on the ground, why can’t the U.S. government?

We hope the Biden administration follows through on its word to be transparent about its findings. Without troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. will have to rely even more on drone technology to hit terrorists. A strike on the family of an aid worker who may not have done anything wrong should prompt our military to seriously examine its drone policies and decisions.

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