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Albany County COVID update, September 15

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Albany County COVID update, September 15

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The U.S. Department of Justice says Denise Mitchell, 57, and John Mitchell, 61, of Albany, were arraigned Wednesday and charged with Social Security fraud. The federal indictment charged them with knowingly concealing Denise Mitchell’s work history and making a false statement in order to deceive the Social Security Administration (SSA) into paying disability benefits to her when she was not entitled to them.

The indictment alleges that from at least June 2015 until June 2017, Denise Mitchell and her husband John Mitchell, who acted as her representative payee, knowingly failed to disclose that she was working in order to deceive SSA into continuing to pay disability benefits.

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Jennifer Carnahan was a victim of cancel culture, her husband, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, says

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Jennifer Carnahan was a victim of cancel culture, her husband, Rep. Jim Hagedorn, says

ROCHESTER, Minn. — As former head of Minnesota’s Republican Party, Jennifer Carnahan, weighs her options for her future, her husband, Congressman Jim Hagedorn, took to Facebook on Thursday, Sept. 16, to voice a full-throated defense of his wife.

Jim Hagedorn and Jennifer Carnahan (Courtesy of Forum News Service)

Hagedorn said his wife fell victim to “cancel culture,” a radical left tactic, engineered by a small clique devoted to her undoing. The result was “needless chaos within the party.”

“As the dust begins to settle,” he said, his wife will be vindicated and shown that the allegations against her were baseless.

“The antagonists offered no proof or factual evidence to back up their claims,” Hagedorn, a Republican representing Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, said in the post. “Instead, they littered the public square with innuendo, anonymous stories, absurd guilt by association and other nonsense.

“Then, working as a mob, they brutally forced Jennifer out without one minute of due process,” Hagedorn wrote.

Carnahan resigned Aug. 19 after her friend, GOP donor and activist Anton “Tony” Lazzaro, was indicted on federal sex trafficking charges. The news of his arrest triggered a wave of sexual harassment claims within the party and accusations that Carnahan presided over a toxic workplace environment.

In a recent interview, Carnahan said that she is mulling running for her old job or for public office. She also said she has engaged a public relations firm in a bid to repair her image and has taken down her social media accounts to maintain her emotional health.

The husband-and-wife team make one of the more unique, complex political partnerships in Minnesota state politics. Carnahan has been a key adviser in Hagedorn’s political career. He singled out her contributions when he won a second term as the representative of the 1st District. Their political fortunes are often entwined. When news broke of Lazzaro’s indictment, photos on social media showed Hagedorn, Carnahan and Lazzaro together.

At times sounding like an aggrieved husband, Hagedorn said no Republican officeholder should “ever be treated the way Jennifer was treated.”

Hagedorn said Carnahan did an “outstanding job” and “accomplished much” with the help of other Republicans during her 4 1/2 years as GOP chair. Hagedorn cited paying off the party’s debt, building up the party’s grassroots organizations, and winning back three congressional seats from Democrats — including the 1st, 7th and 8th — and helping keep the Minnesota Senate in GOP hands.

Hagedorn said his wife’s mistreatment was conducted by a “small but vocal Clique” in the party, but rank-and-file Republicans are “not happy with the way things went down.”

“Republicans must stand for due process, follow the facts and give people a fair chance,” Hagedorn said. “We must reject the societal cancer of WOKE political correctness, cancel-culture and judgment imposed by cyber mobsters.”

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Police: 18-year-old male arrested after a pistol was found during a home visit

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Police: 18-year-old male arrested after a pistol was found during a home visit

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two Albany men who displayed a handgun to steal a bottle of liquor while at a home in Pine Hills Thursday night have been arrested.

On Thursday, September 16, around 11:10 p.m., Police responded to an area of the Pine Hills, on the 400 block of Hudson Avenue between Quail and Ontario Streets, to discover an unconscious man on the sidewalk near a loaded 9mm handgun.

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Dating app robberies prompt public safety alert in St. Louis City

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Dating app robberies prompt public safety alert in St. Louis City

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – This has been a strange year for severe weather across the country. Most of our severe weather came during the summer and not during the spring.

In most years, the Woods Basement Systems Storm Runner gets its heaviest workouts in the spring months of April, May, and June. We call that “Severe Weather Season” because it’s typically the time of year when the right elements in the atmosphere come together to produce damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes.

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Denver Metro’s real estate market may be changing with the seasons. But what does it mean for buyers and sellers?

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Denver Metro’s real estate market may be changing with the seasons. But what does it mean for buyers and sellers?

After a year of record-breaking buying and selling activity in Colorado, it appears as though the red-hot market is finally cooling off and settling back into its typical trends. As consumers turn their attention to getting their families back into a routine following the summer break, prepare for the upcoming holidays, and shift their focus to other priorities, real estate may not be their main concern. Despite this, the Denver Metro market is expected to remain strong and continue to provide opportunities for both homebuyers and sellers this season.

In Colorado’s capitol city and its surrounding neighborhoods, the number of homes sold at all price points dipped slightly by 9% through August compared to the same time frame in 2020, according to LIV Sotheby’s International Realty’s Monthly Market Report for Denver Metro. This small decrease is an expected trend that many markets across the state see on a seasonal basis and is also a positive indicator that the real estate market is returning to a healthy rhythm.

Although the number of homes sold decreased, sellers should not be discouraged as the odds of selling have increased, according to the Metro Denver Market Review, compiled by Megan Aller of First American Title. This metric measures the ratio of buyers and sellers in a given market. In August, the odds of selling for homes in Denver Metro increased by 2.9% from July to reach 77.8%. This illustrates that sellers still have a good position in the marketplace where they can feel confident about getting their home sold in a timely manner.

But creating a strategy for success is still important. With less buying activity taking place, accurately pricing and marketing homes will be crucial. Keep in mind that the average sold price for homes in Denver Metro was $607,003 through August of this year – an impressive 16% higher than the average sold price through the end of the summer last year. Using this information and local comps from an expert LIV Sotheby’s International Realty broker, sellers can achieve their financial goals.

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Chinese billionaire lost $27 billion amid Beijing’s crackdown on tech giants

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billionaire loses $27 billion

The Chinese government’s ongoing crackdown on private companies has reportedly resulted in a Chinese billionaire losing over $27 billion this year.

Thanos snapped: Colin Huang, founder of the Chinese e-commerce platform Pinduoduo Inc. (PDD), lost nearly half his wealth as Beijing continues to impose stricter restrictions on tech giants and U.S.-listed Chinese companies, according to Bloomberg.  

  • The new policies reportedly resulted in Pinduoduo’s American depositary receipts (ADR) falling 44% year-to-date. Pinduoduo’s market value fell to about $125 billion after reaching a peak of $178 billion.
  • Huang, who owns 28% of PDD, suffered the biggest loss among the 500 members of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and is now worth about $35 billion, when in February he was worth $70 billion. Huang’s loss is even bigger than the estimated $16 billion that China Evergrande Group Chairman Hui Ka Yan lost this year. 
  • Huang resigned as the company’s chief executive officer last year and quit his post as chairman in March.

Growth halted: Founded in 2015, the e-commerce giant was doing relatively well last year, even exceeding Alibaba’s  779 million users in its online marketplaces with 788 million users in December.

  • However, President Xi Jinping’s vision for “common prosperity” eventually forced tech companies to initiate efforts that would close China’s wealth gap, reported Time.
  • The previously untouchable tycoons are now being told to maintain a low profile, impose fair policies on workers, prioritize government initiatives and avoid criticizing the Chinese Communist Party in public.
  • Last year, Huang and PDD’s founding team donated $2.4 billion worth of company shares to a charitable trust. A month ago, PDD also pledged $1.5 billion to help in improving China’s agriculture sector.
  • Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s ADRs also fell by 33% while Tencent Holdings Ltd’s shares in Hong Kong dove this year by 20%.
  • Tencent’s Pony Ma lost over $10 billion while Alibaba founder Jack Ma lost $6.8 billion.

Featured Image via Xinhua

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Guregian: Patriots’ pass rush needs to come alive against the Jets

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Guregian: Patriots’ pass rush needs to come alive against the Jets

FOXBORO — During training camp and the preseason, it was easy to hype the Patriots’ pass rush, with outside linebackers Matt Judon and Josh Uche primed and ready to harass opposing quarterbacks.

Given how terrific both players looked early on, they figured to provide a necessary spark for a remade defense, flying in off the edges.

Now add in Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower, Chase Winovich and Christian Barmore, and expectations soared for the front seven. Then came Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

All the Patriots could manage was two sacks and four quarterback hits. That wasn’t terrible, but still underwhelming given all of the buildup, not to mention all the money spent to rebuild the front seven.

The Dolphins also don’t boast a particularly good offensive line. With starting left tackle Austin Jackson out all week on the COVID-19 list, the Fins started rookie left guard Liam Eichenberg at tackle in his place. It was a makeshift line.

And yet, Tua Tagovailoa was often comfortable in the pocket, especially during critical drives.

With the Jets on tap, fielding an even worse offensive line than the Dolphins with left tackle Mekhi Becton sidelined, the Pats’ pass rush needs to come alive.

If the Patriots can’t get to rookie Zach Wilson, there’s something wrong. The Panthers sacked Wilson six times last week, swinging the door open for more impactful takedowns. How much more aggressive can the Patriots be this week?

“You don’t want to be passive about anybody you’re playing,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said during his press conference Thursday. “Obviously, you want to respect your opponent, but also at the same time, I feel we have a good defense … we have guys that can win one-on-one in the pass rush, and guys just in the front seven all around who can get pressure on the quarterback.

“Carolina did that very well throughout the game,” Hightower went on, referring to how the Panthers used Wilson as a tackling dummy. “So hopefully, we can do that and get pressure on him.”

During Sam Darnold’s run, the Jets gave up an average of 32.6 sacks the past three seasons. Having little to no protection is part of the reason why Darnold, now with Carolina, failed after being the third pick of the 2018 draft.

It’s also the reason Wilson is going to have trouble succeeding his first year, and the reason he’ll be vulnerable once again on Sunday. Against the Panthers, he didn’t handle the early pressure particularly well, going 0-for-7 under duress in the first half. He was also 0-for-4 on third down.

He was better in the second half dealing with the pass rush, finishing 20-for-37 with two TDs and a pick, but still got rocked by the Panthers at every turn.

It’s on the Patriots to take advantage.

If they don’t, the Jets rookie is likely to pick them apart, and the Pats will face more questions about the unit. Wilson has a decent group of weapons around him with former Titan Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, ex-Jaguar Keelan Cole, Denzel Mims and rookie Elijah Moore. So it behooves the Patriots to do what they usually do to rookie quarterbacks in New York — make them see ghosts.

“As far as getting him rattled and stuff, he’ll stay in the pocket. I think he’s comfortable there,” said Hightower. “He doesn’t mind getting hit, which is something we know a lot of young guys typically try to run away, or get outside the pocket, but he doesn’t mind staying in there and throwing, even if it’s on a scramble. We have to do a good job being on him, inside the pocket, outside the pocket, whatever he does.”

The Pats didn’t blitz Tagovailoa all that much on Sunday. They weren’t overly aggressive, perhaps due to not having Stephon Gilmore on the back end shutting down one side of the field.

Without Gilmore, Bill Belichick & Co. aren’t as inclined to take that many chances, sending linebackers or safeties on blitzes. The Dolphins have that luxury because they boast two Pro Bowl corners playing on the outside.

Is it time to panic? No, but showing they can get to the quarterback will ultimately help the secondary.

“We just did not execute and didn’t perform the way we needed to perform,” Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo said Tuesday. “Obviously, it’s something that we need to get fixed going forward.”

If they don’t, there will be even more trouble ahead.

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Vikings DE Everson Griffen out Sunday after being injured in car accident

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Vikings DE Everson Griffen out Sunday after being injured in car accident

The fact that Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen wound up on Thursday’s injury report was surprising considering he was a full participant in Wednesday’s practice.

Now he’s officially been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals with a concussion, and coach Mike Zimmer confirmed the injury occurred earlier this week when the 33-year-old lineman got into a car accident

Asked if it happened away from the facility, Zimmer said, “Yes. He swerved to miss a deer.”

This is the latest injury blow for the Vikings, who will also be without linebacker Anthony Barr (knee), cornerback Harrison Hand (hamstring) and left tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin) this weekend. Meanwhile, linebacker Eric Kendricks is questionable because of a quad injury.

Asked specifically about Kendricks’ injury, Zimmer quipped, “He’s just got a tweak.”

That, of course, is a reference to last season when Zimmer said defensive end Danielle Hunter had “a tweak” in training camp. He ended up missing the whole season after surgery to his neck.

“He’s all right,” Zimmer added. “We are just being cautious.”

It sounds as if Kendricks is trending in he right direction heading into this weekend.

“These other linebackers that we have dressed will have to play,” Zimmer said. “But I think he’s going to be OK. He went pretty good today.”

VIGIL IMPRESSES

Now that Barr has been ruled out, linebacker Nick Vigil will once again play an important role in the defensive game plan. With Barr out last week at Cincinnati, he played 100 percent of the defensive snaps, finishing with 10 combined tackles and a sack.

“Like I said before, he kind of reminds me of (Chad Greenway),” Zimmer said. “Nothing really bothers him. He can make adjustments real easy. I’m glad we have him. He’s done a nice job.”

POWER OUTAGE

After a powerful storm rolled through Eagan overnight, the Vikings were left without power for Friday’s walkthrough.

“We had no electricity in the building, so we moved practice,” Zimmer said. “We had meetings like the old school with the chalkboards and the whiteboards. We took care of that and we will catch up the film tomorrow morning when we get back from meetings.”

Asked whether there was an emergency generator of some sort TCO Performance Center, Zimmer joked, ““No. I had to take a shower in the dark.”

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Father sues for $1M after Michigan teacher cuts 7-year-old daughter’s hair

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Father sues for $1M after Michigan teacher cuts 7-year-old daughter’s hair

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (NEXSTAR) — The father of a 7-year-old Michigan girl whose hair was cut by a teacher without her parents’ permission has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the school district, a librarian and a teacher’s assistant.

MLive.com reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday, September 14 in federal court in Grand Rapids against Mount Pleasant Public Schools.

It alleges that the biracial girl’s constitutional rights were violated, racial discrimination, ethnic intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault and battery.

Jimmy Hoffmeyer, who is Black and white, said in March that a classmate used scissors to cut one side of his daughter’s hair.

He told the Associated Press that he filed a complaint with the principal and then had to take his daughter to a salon where they styled Jurnee’s hair with an asymmetrical cut to hide what her classmate had done.

Two days later, Hoffmeyer said his daughter came home with the other side of her hair cut short.

“She was crying,” Hoffmeyer recalled in an April interview. “She was afraid of getting in trouble for getting her hair cut.”

“I asked what happened and said ‘I thought I told you no child should ever cut your hair,’” he continued. “She said ‘but dad, it was the teacher.’ The teacher cut her hair to even it out.”

Hoffmeyer says the classmate and the teacher are white. Jurnee’s mother is white.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Sex workers shot in St. Louis City; public safety alert issued

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Sex workers shot in St. Louis City; public safety alert issued

ST. LOUIS – It’s the first weekend that there will be a higher police presence in downtown St. Louis since the city launched its new initiative to combat crime.

The initiative includes a new task force that will include civic business and community leaders. They will meet every week to discuss how to improve downtown St. Louis, which is part of the new effort that included a greater police presence for the next six weeks.

Angela Pearson, special projects manager for the Mayor’s Office Downtown Engagement and Public Safety Initiative, said there will be 30 more officers in the downtown area this weekend.

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Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul drone strike an error

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Pentagon reverses itself, calls deadly Kabul drone strike an error

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon retreated from its defense of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday that a review revealed that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed.

“The strike was a tragic mistake,” Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, told a Pentagon news conference.

McKenzie apologized for the error and said the United States is considering making reparation payments to the family of the victims. He said the decision to strike a white Toyota Corolla sedan, after having tracked it for about eight hours, was made in an “earnest belief” — based on a standard of “reasonable certainty” — that it posed an imminent threat to American forces at Kabul airport. The car was believed to have been carrying explosives in its trunk, he said.

For days after the Aug. 29 strike, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, despite 10 civilians being killed, including seven children. News organizations later raised doubts about that version of events, reporting that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organization and citing an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon’s assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.

The airstrike was the last of a U.S. war that ended as it had begun in 2001 — with the Taliban in power in Kabul. The speed with which the Taliban overran the country took the U.S. government by surprise and forced it to send several thousand troops to the Kabul airport for a hurried evacuation of Americans, Afghans and others. The evacuation, which began Aug. 14, unfolded under a near-constant threat of attack by the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

McKenzie, who oversaw U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, including a final evacuation of U.S. forces and more than 120,000 civilians from Kabul airport, expressed his condolences to the family and friends of those killed.

“I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” McKenzie said. “Moreover, we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or were a direct threat to U.S. forces,” he added, referring to the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate.

Prior to the strike, U.S. intelligence had indicated a likelihood that a white Toyota Corolla would be used in an attack against U.S. forces, McKenzie said. On the morning of Aug. 29, such a vehicle was detected at a compound in Kabul that U.S. intelligence in the preceding 48 hours had determined was used by the Islamic State group to plan and facilitate attacks. The vehicle was tracked by U.S. drone aircraft from that compound to numerous other locations in the city before the decision was made to attack it at a point just a couple of miles from Kabul airport, McKenzie said.

“Clearly our intelligence was wrong on this particular white Toyota Corolla,” he said.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in a written statement, apologized for what he called “a horrible mistake.”

“We now know that there was no connection” between the driver of the vehicle and the Islamic State group, and that the driver’s activities that day were “completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced,” Austin said.

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters two days after the attack that it appeared to have been a “righteous” strike and that at least one of the people killed was a “facilitator” for the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, which had killed 169 Afghan civilians and 13 American service members in a suicide bombing on Aug. 26 at the Kabul airport.

After McKenzie’s remarks on Friday, Milley expressed regret.

“This is a horrible tragedy of war and it’s heart wrenching,” Milley told reporters traveling with him in Europe. “We are committed to being fully transparent about this incident.”

“In a dynamic high-threat environment, the commanders on the ground had appropriate authority and had reasonable certainty that the target was valid, but after deeper post-strike analysis our conclusion is that innocent civilians were killed,” Milley added.

Accounts from the family of the victims, documents from colleagues seen by The Associated Press, and the scene at the family home — where Zemerai Ahmadi’s car was struck by a Hellfire missile just as he pulled into the driveway — all painted a picture of a family that had worked for Americans and were trying to gain visas to the United States, fearing for their lives under the Taliban.

The family said that when the 37-year-old Zemerai, alone in his car, pulled up to the house, he honked his horn. His 11-year-old son ran out and Zemerai let the boy get in and drive the car into the driveway. The other kids ran out to watch, and the Hellfire missile incinerated the car, killing seven children and an adult son and nephew of Zemerai.

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