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Massachusetts coronavirus breakthrough cases rise 3,919 last week, down from the previous week




Nearly 4,000 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts tested positive for the coronavirus last week, a daily average of more than 550 people as the rate of breakthrough infections could finally be slowing amid the delta variant.
The count of 3,919 breakthrough cases was down from 4,415 breakthrough infections in the previous week. It’s the first time in several weeks that the count of weekly breakthrough infections did not surpass the prior week’s total amid the more highly contagious variant.

The rate of breakthrough infections week-over-week starting six weeks ago spiked 64%, then the following week rose 20%, the next week climbed 25%, the subsequent week ticked up 20%, the following week jumped 23%, and in the last week increased by 16%.

Breakthrough cases in Massachusetts are making up about 35% of the state’s overall cases. People who are unvaccinated are at a higher risk for infection and a severe case.

Overall, 27,777 fully vaxxed people have tested positive for the virus, according to new data from the state Department of Public Health on Tuesday. That’s 0.61% of the more than 4.5 million fully vaxxed people in Massachusetts.
The almost 28,000 overall cases is a jump of 3,919 breakthrough infections from last week — or a daily average of 560 fully vaccinated people testing positive.

Last Tuesday’s report showed an increase of 4,415 breakthrough cases, a daily average of 631 fully vaxxed people testing positive. It was the most breakthrough infections reported in one week as of now.
The week before that was a rise of 3,704 breakthrough cases, a daily average of 529 fully vaxxed people testing positive.

The previous week was a jump of 3,098 infections, a daily average of 443 fully vaxxed people.

The prior week was a jump of 2,672 infections, a daily average of 382 infections.

The week before that was a rise of 2,232 breakthroughs, a daily average of 319 infections.

Breakthrough hospitalizations account for about 27% of current COVID-19 hospitalizations. Those who are unvaccinated are at a much higher risk for a severe case and hospitalization.

There have been 823 hospitalizations among fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts, which is 0.02% of those who are fully vaxxed.

The 823 total patients is a one-week increase of 61 fully vaxxed patients. That’s down from the previous weekly increase of 111 fully vaxxed patients, and also a decline from two weeks ago when there were 80 patients.
The state has reported 194 breakthrough deaths, or 0.004% of those who are fully vaxxed. That’s a one-week increase of 32 deaths. The previous weekly increase was 18 deaths, and the week before that was 13 deaths.

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Residents fed up with monkey noises, racial slurs being played by neighboring home: ‘It’s disgusting’



Residents fed up with monkey noises, racial slurs being played by neighboring home: ‘It’s disgusting’

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Several residents in the Virginia Beach neighborhood of Salem Lakes are fed up with their neighbor after they say he’s taunted them from behind his front door for more than a year.

In the past, Jannique Martinez said her neighbor blasted banjo music so loudly that it would shake her home. And recently, after alerting the police about the music, Martinez said her neighbor has retaliated by playing racial slurs and monkey noises.

“Whenever we would step out of our house, the monkey noises would start,” explained Martinez. “And it’s so racist and it’s disgusting.”

Martinez, a veteran of the military, recorded some of the audio on her cell phone. She says the noises and slurs continue even when her school-age children are playing outside.

“My son is terrified of him. Terrified, terrified,” Martinez said about her child. “The N-word situation… They came to me and said, ‘Mom, what’s that?’ I didn’t subject my kids to that. I didn’t think they would ever have to learn what this means.”

Her family isn’t the only one feeling harassed by the neighbor’s antics. Other families in the cul-de-sac have songs played while they’re outside as well.

“He has played music to taunt the entire cul-de-sac,” said Martinez, who explained that her neighbors are antagonized with their own “specific song” as soon as they pull up in their driveways.

In addition to the sounds, neighbors are concerned about the home security cameras on his property.

“We are constantly under surveillance,” Martinez explained. “There are a total of eight cameras that we know of.”

A Virginia Beach police spokeswoman told WAVY that officers have responded to nine complaints about the neighbor’s activity. Seven of those calls were for nuisance complaints, and another three were in reference to parking or traffic complaints. So far, there have not been any criminal charges pressed against the neighbor in question.

Police tell WAVY the complaint would have to match certain criteria before the possibility of criminal charges is on the table.

Still, Martinez feels like nothing has been done to make her, or her neighbors, feel safe at their homes.

“I actually felt helpless a little bit. Because I’ve gone to the magistrate, I’ve gone to civil court, I’ve talked to a lawyer, she said. “I’ve done what I can to do it the right way.”

Neighbors were told there’s a fine line of when police can actually step in — and having a racial slur played over a recording may not meet that line.

According to the law, it’s just a statement or a phrase or he’s not doing enough or bodily harm or threats to my family, said Martinez.

“Why does it have to go that far before something that can be done? People shouldn’t have to live like this. I spent 11 years in the military. My husband is also in the military. We fought for this country, but yet there’s no one to fight for us.”

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Why the Monroe County Undersheriff won’t stop running



Why the Monroe County Undersheriff won’t stop running

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Undersheriff Korey Brown is running a 5K every day during the month of September to say thank you and help raise money for the C.U.R.E. Childhood Cancer Association.

“As many people know my grandson was diagnosed with cancer on two separate occasions before he was three years old,” Brown said. “C.U.R.E. Childhood Cancer Awareness just was so tremendously helpful. I tried to think of something I could do to give back.”

In September, along with nine other people who work for the Sheriff’s Office run a 5K every day Brown said and then post a picture of a child that day on Facebook and Twitter and ask for donations to C.U.R.E. for the families, they are sponsoring.

Kara Gielenfeldt is Brown’s Administrative Assistant at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. She’s hoping to make a difference too.

“I also work for a company called Usborne Books and More and they do a fundraiser where I can get funds and get a stuffed bear and a book combo to give kids going through cancer Gielenfeldt said.

Undersheriff Brown calls his grandson Joel a walking miracle Brown said when a child is diagnosed with cancer it’s a life-changing moment for everyone in that child’s life.

“If you’ve never gone through it, you don’t really comprehend how life-changing this event is when your child is diagnosed with cancer,” Brown said. “My daughter, I think, spent a total of 10 months living at the hospital.”

Brown says If one parent is living with one child at the hospital and the other parent is at home with the other children, they help with things like getting your grass cut or help with extra payments that you have to make because you’re missing employment, or just giving parking vouchers so when people come to visit you.

“They really fill that gap you don’t even realize exists until you’re there,” Brown said. “They’re coming by constantly just seeing what support you need and how they can point you in the right direction. They really are a light when you’re going through such a hard time.”

Gielenfeldt has witnessed the impact of C.U.R.E.’s kindness. “It’s just nice that they have a support system that’s there and helpful. They’re just really great. I have loved working with them with the Undersheriff because they’re just so helpful and kind people,” she said.

The fundraiser goes through the end of September. To donate visit Korey Brown’s Facebook page, his Twitter @usbrownmcso, or go to

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Temporary closure of South Lake Boat Launches and some campsites



Temporary closure of South Lake Boat Launches and some campsites

HERKIMER COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY/NEWS10) – On Monday, Sept. 27, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is temporarily closing the boat launch, parking area, and adjacent boat launch campsites.

The DEC said, South Lake Reservoir in the Black River Wild Forest, Ohio, NY, Herkimer County, will be temporarily closed in order for New York State Canal Corporation to perform necessary maintenance on South Lake Dam.

The temporary closure is in effect through Nov. 30.

Visiting canoers and kayakers may still launch boats off the shore alongside South Lake Road, but should not block the travel lanes, shoulders, or park in the vicinity of the construction area.

Alternative paddling opportunities can be found at nearby North Lake, two miles before reaching South Lake.

The South Lake Reservoir is located approximately 18 miles northeast of the village of Forestport, Oneida County. The lake is one of several Adirondack reservoirs and is managed jointly by DEC and NYS Canal Corporation.   

Contact DEC’s Herkimer office at 315-866-6330 or visit the DEC website for more information. DEC will announce when the boat launch and campsites are reopened.

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Defendant in University Hill riot gets probation as part of plea deal



Defendant in University Hill riot gets probation as part of plea deal

The first person to turn himself in to police after the University Hill riot in March also was the first to resolve his case, as he accepted a plea deal Friday and was sentenced to probation.

Henry Chardack, 21, pleaded guilty Friday in Boulder District Court to a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief and was sentenced to one year of probation as part of the plea deal.

Prosecutors dismissed the original charges, including three felony counts.

An estimated 500 to 800 college-age people gathered near Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street on March 6 in a large outdoor party that became destructive, with people flipping a car and damaging other vehicles and property.

A Boulder armored SWAT vehicle eventually arrived on scene to disperse the crowd, but the truck was damaged and three officers suffered minor injuries.

Chardack was the first to be arrested in the case after turning himself in the Monday after the riot. He told police he was near the car that was flipped, and then went into the car and grabbed a T-shirt.

Chardack’s attorney provided footage that showed him entering the flipped car.

“I recognize my conduct was wrong,” Chardack said. “I should have walked away.”

Chardack said while he did not help flip the car, he recently by chance ran into the owner of the car, who told him how much the incident impacted her.

“That put a lot of it in perspective,” Chardack told the court.

Boulder Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney Adam Kendall said that while the riot was a “frightening” event for the University Hill community, Chardack quickly “stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility” was the reason he was offered a misdemeanor plea deal.

“He came in, gave a full statement and took responsibility for his actions,” Kendall said.

Chardack’s attorney Lisa Wayne said Chardack was suspended by the school, but was hoping to return at some point to finish his degree.

“He recognizes he should have left and what he should have done in hindsight,” Wayne said.

Boulder District Judge Norma Sierra credited Chardack for taking responsibility as she imposed the stipulated sentence, and also said she hopes Chardack will get the opportunity to finish his time at CU Boulder and become a productive member of the community.

“Hopefully you will be permitted to return,” Sierra said.

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Walmart scrapping layaway, offering ‘buy now, pay later’ program instead



Walmart scrapping layaway, offering ‘buy now, pay later’ program instead

Walmart recently announced that the company is scrapping its layaway plan just before the holiday shopping season, and instead switching to a “buy now, pay later” program in partnership with lending company Affirm. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

(WJW) – Walmart recently announced that the company is scrapping its layaway plan just before the holiday shopping season, and instead of switching to a “buy now, pay later” program in partnership with lending company Affirm.

“We’ve learned a lot in the past year as our customers’ needs and shopping habits have changed,” a representative for Walmart said in a statement. “Last holiday season, we removed seasonal layaway from most of our stores with the exception of select jewelry items at select stores, and based on what we learned, we are confident that our payment options provide the right solutions for our customers.”

The company, which recorded total revenue of $559 billion in 2020, says this alternative to layaway allows customers to purchase products immediately and pay over time. 

Which items can customers purchase under this new plan?

Eligible categories include electronics, toys, and homes; ineligible items are alcohol, gasoline, and pet supplies. A complete list of categories eligible for financing is available at Walmart’s official site.

How long will customers have to pay it off?

Depending on what’s in the cart, shoppers can finance purchases for as little as 3 months or as long as 24 months.

  • For cart totals between $144–$799.99, customers may be able to finance purchases over 3, 6, or 12 months.
  • For carts between $800–$2,000, purchases can be paid over 12, 18, or 24 months.

All payment options are subject to eligibility.

How much is the annual percentage rate?

Zero-percent APR is the promotional financing for only certain products, and for a limited time. For other items, the APR rate is between 10–30%, depending on customers’ credit. The rate will appear in the Affirm app upon checkout.

Payments can be made or scheduled at or in the Affirm app for iOS or Android.

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Keeler: Ed McCaffrey must have angels on his side in Greeley. Because his first home win with UNC Bears felt Heaven-sent.



Keeler: Ed McCaffrey must have angels on his side in Greeley. Because his first home win with UNC Bears felt Heaven-sent.

GREELEY — Maybe the angels had Ed McCaffrey’s back. The parents of former UNC assistant coach Zach Hoffpauir, who’d passed away in May 2020, were honored at Nottingham Field on Saturday before the Bears took on Northern Arizona in their Big Sky opener.

Maybe it was stardust. UFC lightweight title contender Justin Gaethje, a former Bears wrestler, was recognized at halftime along with his fellow athletic department Hall of Fame inductees.

Maybe it was karma. About a quarter of the UNC roster and coaching staff had been unavailable against Lamar the weekend before, a game the Bears went on to lose in overtime.

Mind you, Dylan McCaffrey has another theory for the way his dad’s first home victory as the football coach at UNC ended up:

Divine intervention.

“When I was on the ground and heard our crowd cheering, I saw that the ball kind of bounced off that defender,” the younger McCaffrey said of his game-winning touchdown pass in overtime, a tipped dart that clinched the Bears’ 17-10 victory.

“(I) heard our crowd cheering and I just thought, ‘Wow, thank you, God.’ That was in God’s hands. And I thank the Lord. He was on the side of the Bears (Saturday).”

Hey, somebody happened to be smiling on the McCaffreys. How else do you explain Dylan’s 25th completion of the day, on his 40th attempt?

On 2nd-and-10 in the extra period and his pocket collapsing at the 15-yard line, Dylan, the former Valor Christian quarterback, fired a laser to UNC wideout Dylan Thomas, who was cutting right from the left hashmark near the 10.

While the younger McCaffrey hit the turf, the rock appeared to scrape off Thomas’ hands as he tried to clasp the ball and kept traveling behind him. Only instead of being picked, it found its way into the waiting mitts of another Bears wideout, Jaren Mitchell, who happened to be cutting from right to left almost directly behind Thomas.

“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Mitchell, who snared four balls on the afternoon for 40 yards, said with a grin. “I’ll put it like that.”

Mitchell somehow caught the thing in stride, turned, and crossed the plane before being tackled in the end zone.

“That’s the type of (win) that our program absolutely needed,” said the elder McCaffrey, the former Broncos star who moved to 2-2, 1-0 in the Big Sky in his debut season at UNC. “We needed to find to find a way to turn the corner. And find a way to win close games.”

For Dylan, meanwhile, getting knocked on your backside never felt so good. The younger McCaffrey had contemplated not playing against NAU because of lingering pain from injuries suffered over the first two weeks of the season. He’d left the second half of the Bears’ win at Houston Baptist back on Sept. 11 and didn’t play against Lamar.

“We kind of went into (Saturday’s) game questionable, to be honest with you,” Dylan told The Post. “I’m really happy we made it, though.”

So were the UNC lifers. Folks such as Tom Barbour, a ’69 UNC grad who was the Bears’ sports information director from 1977-83.

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Colorado State football comes up short following courageous battle at No. 5 Iowa



Colorado State football comes up short following courageous battle at No. 5 Iowa

Colorado State’s preliminary wishful thinking suddenly constituted an achievable feat on Saturday afternoon.

A hard-fought first half from the upset-aspiring visitors caused restlessness amongst the Hawkeyes faithful as Kinnick Stadium’s 65,456 fans nervously exited their seats and traveled toward the concession stands at the contest’s midway point.

Sure, plenty of action remained. However, no one sporting black and gold –– nor the majority of the nationally televised audience for that matter –– expected CSU to boast a realistic chance at victory after 30 minutes.

Nevertheless, with a $1.35 million check already in their back pocket for traveling to face No. 5 Iowa, the Rams glanced up at the scoreboard to see a 14-7 count in their favor upon entering the locker room with two halves remaining.

“Our team is a tough, resilient, competitive hard-fighting team,” coach Steve Addazio said. “I’m proud of our guys for the way they competed. We just have to stick together and keep competing. And they’re learning to do that. That’s evident.”

Before entering the hostile environment as 23-point underdogs, Addazio stressed the importance of constructing an all-around mistake-free game for his squad to create a legitimate opportunity to compete.

For the most part, such was the case over the initial two quarters as CSU posted zero turnovers and two penalties. Though it wasn’t as if the wheels fell off thereafter, miscues certainly surfaced during the final half of play.

Unfortunately, when battling a top-five juggernaut, seeing a potential win transpire as defeat only requires a few blips. Owning a drastically thin margin for error, the Rams couldn’t assemble perfection upon falling 24-14 against the Hawkeyes.

“We had a chance in this game,” Addazio said. “We made a couple of key mistakes along the way that were critical, and therein lies the game.”

The first of two costly, outcome-altering errors materialized early in the third quarter when CSU running back A’Jon Vivens failed to secure a handoff from quarterback Todd Centeio. The botched exchange resulted in an Iowa fumble recovery inside the Rams’ 20 while CSU clung to a 14-7 advantage.

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback Todd Centeio #7 of the Colorado State Rams runs on a keeper during the first half against of the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

From there, it didn’t take long for the Hawkeyes to make the green and gold pay for their only turnover via punching the pigskin across paydirt on the very next play.

Soon after, though CSU’s defense enjoyed an all-around compelling performance, the unit endured a detrimental sequence that allowed Iowa to grab a lead it would never relinquish.

Facing third-and-11 just outside of field-goal range, freshman defensive back Robert Floyd bailed the Hawkeyes out with a pass interference penalty. Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras found tight end Sam LaPorta on the very next snap for a 27-yard score amid blown coverage in CSU’s secondary.

Two miscues, 14 points for the hosts. That’s all 24th-year coach Kirk Ferentz’s group needed to avoid a shocking demise.

“That’s how these games go,” Addazio said. “We said to the team, turnovers would be the difference. That’s what happened, and that’s upsetting. When you’re on the road playing the No. 5 team in the country, you’ve got to squeeze out all the errors. We didn’t do that.”

While the heavily favored Hawkeyes cashed in gift-wrapped opportunities from the Rams, CSU struggled to muster any sort of late-game rally as Iowa’s defense proved stout in all facets.

Specifically, the Rams totaled 90 yards in the second half while converting just 2-of-10 third-down attempts –– following a first half where CSU’s third-down offense influenced the hot start significantly.

Speaking of the introductory half, Addazio’s troupe knotted the score at 7-7 when Centeio darted up the middle for a 10-yard touchdown on third-and-9 late in the first quarter. Headlining the early ability to avoid fourth downs, the game-tying drive also included a pair of third-and-11 conversions –– produced by a QB scramble and Trey McBride reception.

Granting the Rams notable momentum and a temporary lead, Floyd corralled a crucial second-quarter interception while the Hawkeyes threatened to jump ahead. The former walk-on proceeded to return the ball 62 yards to Iowa’s 23, setting up Gary Williams’ 3-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 24 seconds left in Saturday’s opening half.

Upon keeping CSU inside striking distance all game long, Addazio’s defense stifled the typically rush-friendly Hawkeyes to 54 yards on the ground. Led by their defensive front along the way, the Rams accrued eight tackles for loss.

The Rams didn’t travel to Iowa City in search of a moral victory. Still, they exit Big Ten territory owning reason to hold their heads high as nonconference play concludes.

“Moral victories aren’t accepted around here,” defensive lineman Scott Patchan said. “At the end of the day, we didn’t get it done. But I’m not discouraged at all. If we take care of the penalties, the silly mistakes, we can go ahead and accomplish great things in this conference. We’ve shown that we’re a tough team. The writing’s on the wall. We were in a dog fight today. It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to leave with a ‘W’ because we fought hard enough.”

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Rockies retire Larry Walker’s No. 33 in emotional pregame ceremony at Coors Field



Rockies retire Larry Walker’s No. 33 in emotional pregame ceremony at Coors Field

When Larry Walker was traded to St. Louis in 2004, he wondered what legacy he was leaving behind in Colorado.

Saturday at Coors Field, Walker — enshrined Sept. 8 as the team’s first Hall of Famer — didn’t have anymore doubts about his place in Rockies lore. Colorado retired his No. 33 in an emotional pregame ceremony featuring a moving speech by the outfielder who played 10 seasons in LoDo.

“When I got traded I knew I was getting up in age (at 37), and I had a relatively larger contract at that time,” Walker said. “I understood the game and the moves they were trying to make, and there’s no hard feelings. But it was tough because this was my home, and I had a home here, I spent some winters here as well. It’s never a great thing to get traded and go to another city, because there’s always those great feelings you don’t want to leave behind and you don’t want to be forgotten.

“With my number being retired, now I know I haven’t been forgotten.”

Walker was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020 in his 10th and final year on the ballot, clearing the required 75% threshold by a mere six votes. But because of the pandemic, he waited 409 days to be officially enshrined in Cooperstown earlier this month. That, in turn, caused the Rockies to push back his number retirement, which was originally scheduled for April 19, 2020.

Former third baseman Vinny Castilla, original GM Bob Gebhard and owner Dick Monfort talked before Walker, who took the field to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” (his walk-up song) and a standing ovation. Just before he spoke, the Rockies played a video tribute and then Walker’s daughters pulled back a large purple sheet and fireworks went off as No. 33 was unveiled on the facade of the second deck in right-center.

The No. 33 display looks like Todd Helton’s No. 17 circle, with purple numbers and a pinstripe background, but Walker’s is encircled by gold and has “HOF” tagged at the bottom.

The 54-year-old spoke for about five minutes to the near-capacity crowd saturated in all arrays of Walker jerseys. Attendance was also buoyed by a Walker bobblehead giveaway. The bobblehead depicts Walker wearing the team’s “Turn Ahead The Clock” uniform and holding his bat up toward the sky after hitting a walk-off homer against the Braves on Aug. 18, 1999, against the Braves.

That homer was Walker’s second of that particular game — he also had an opposite-field shot in the first inning — and became one of the outfielder’s signature moments. But Walker said his favorite memory from his Colorado tenure is winning the wild card in his first season in Denver in 1995.

“You don’t come out here to gloat over personal numbers, you come out there to throw champagne on your teammates,” Walker said. “So nothing beats that playoff season in 1995.”

The Rockies clinched the wild card on the final day of the season at Coors Field, with a thrilling comeback 10-9 victory over the Giants. It made Colorado then the fastest expansion team to clinch a playoff berth (a mark later broken by the Diamondbacks) and Walker was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in the game.

Walker remembered running around the field with his teammates to celebrate in front of a sold-out crowd. And he fondly recounted later heading to the third level of the stadium, at the clocktower overlook at 20th and Blake, with Dante Bichette to continue the celebration with fans out in the street in front of the main gate.

“Dante and I went up there, just goofing off, and there were maybe 20 people down below (on the street),” Walker said. “We started hooting and hollering, and they hooted and hollered back, and then that crowd just grew and grew and grew and then there were maybe thousands of people down there.”

Though 1995 would end up being Walker’s lone playoff appearance with the club, he ended up getting two postseason appearances (and hit two World Series homers) in his two seasons in St. Louis. But what Walker lacked in team success he made up for with personal accolades.

The 1997 NL MVP is still the only Colorado player to win the award, and he was a three-time National League batting champion. He hit 383 career homers, won seven Gold Gloves and was a five-time all-star. And over a 17-year career in which he slashed .313/.400/.565, Walker joined Barry Bonds as the only two players in MLB history with at least 300 homers, 200 steals and an OPS of at least .950.

But Walker played the role of humble superstar Saturday, and again emphasized why there was no doubt he was going into Cooperstown with a Colorado cap on his plaque.

The Maple Ridge, British Columbia, native who grew up with dreams of being an NHL goalie originally signed with the Expos in 1984 as an undrafted free agent. He spent most of 1985-89 in the minors before debuting in August of that year, and played six seasons in Montreal. With the Expos, he earned his first all-star nod and became a known commodity along the way.

But Denver is where his baseball heart is, Walker explained.

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Queensbury car vs. motorcycle crash, man ejected suffers serious injuries



Queensbury car vs. motorcycle crash, man ejected suffers serious injuries

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, around 10:55 a.m., Warren County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a serious car vs. motorcycle crash on Quaker Road, in the Town of Queensbury.

Travis Viault, 35, of Queensbury, was operating a 2017 Harley-Davidson motorcycle easterly on Quaker Rd., Police said, and was unable to stop in time for traffic that had come to a complete stop.

As a result, Police said, Viault struck the rear driver of a 2004 Honda, from Ocean View, N.J.

Viault was ejected from the Harley-Davidson in the collision Police said suffered serious injuries to his head and wrist.

Viault was airlifted to the Albany Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained in this crash Police said Although serious does not appear to be life-threatening.

Police said the incident remains under investigation, however, alcohol, drugs, and speed do not appear to be factored in this case.

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Montpelier City Council approves policy allowing encampments on public property



Montpelier City Council approves policy allowing encampments on public property

MONTPELIER Vt. (WFFF) On Wednesday, the Montpelier City Council voted unanimously to de-criminalize emergency camping on public property in the city.

The new policy acknowledges, because of a lack of affordable housing and shelter beds, some people simply have no choice but to camp outdoors.

The document also states that it’s not a long-term solution to homelessness, but a short-term measure to help the city navigate an immediate crisis of affordable housing.

Steve Whitaker a former member of the city’s Homelessness Task Force, said the new policy accomplishes the goal of letting people in emergency encampments know what they can expect. However, he said the policy is unfair to the city’s most at-risk residents.

“It creates this kind of Whack-A-Mole where the folks that are affected are unaware of the meaning, so it’s trial and error — get moved, get moved, get moved,” Whitaker said.

Montpelier city employees who find an encampment on public land must notify, via email, several city departments, including the police and City Manager Bill Fraser’s office, to determine how to respond. If a camp is in a high-sensitivity area, everyone will be asked to move within 24 hours and be connected with overnight shelters at no charge. After 24 hours, camps are subject to removal by city staff.

During a meeting Tuesday night, the Montpelier Parks Commission asked for some changes to the policy before council approval. Assistant City Manager Cameron Niedermayer said those requests included “making sure that we add the Parks Commission on the list of city staff and Conservation Commission, asking if they could weigh in on any decisions.”

The other councilors agreed, approving the policy with the changes the requested changes.

“The Parks Commission went from saying that camping shouldn’t be done in any park to offering these suggestions, which isn’t a full endorsement, but I think it’s a reasonable compromise,” Councilor Conor Casey said.

One man wondered if a piece of infrastructure at Burlington’s City Hall Park that serves vulnerable residents in the Queen City can be adapted to fit Montpelier.

“Burlington has constructed a public restroom facility with a water fountain, a hand-washing station and someone comes in and restocks it with toilet paper in the evenings,” Seth Collins said. “I don’t know if it’s possible here, but maybe something like that could be done.”

Mayor Anne Watson told him that Montpelier is working on developing a public restroom facility.

Check out the document here:

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