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22-year-old Independence officer dies after being shot by suspect



22-year-old Independence officer dies after being shot by suspect

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Independence police say a 22-year-old officer shot by a suspect Wednesday has since died from his injuries.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce that this evening, Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans succumbed to his injuries and passed away,” the Independence Police Department said in a post on social media.

Madrid-Evans was shot by a suspect and critically injured during a call for service Wednesday. Police initially said he was critically injured.

The officer recently began his career with the department at the Kansas City Regional Police Academy on January 4 and graduated July 8.

After receiving his police commission, Madrid-Evans entered IPD’s Field Training Officer program, which he had been still in training.

Investigators said the shooting happened near E. 23rd Street and S. Northern Boulevard around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Sgt. Andy Bell with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Independence police received some type of tip that led them to a home in the neighborhood.

When the two officers arrived at the house, investigators said a man armed with a handgun met them. The man shot Madrid-Evans. The uninjured officer returned fire and hit the gunman.

The shooter, identified as 33-year-old Cody L. Harrison, of Gladstone, died from his injuries. The Missouri State Highway Patrol, lead investigators on the police shooting, won’t say yet what that man was wanted for, only that it’s part of the investigation.

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Boston Marathon bombing survivor on hope, pain and pot



Boston Marathon bombing survivor on hope, pain and pot

Thousands of spectators will line Boylston Street in Boston on Monday for the running of the Boston Marathon, just like I did on a sunny afternoon in 2013.

On that fateful day, my arm and leg were ripped wide open from flying shrapnel from a pressure cooker bomb that was detonated by terrorists at the finish line.

I was a victim of terror that day, but I also became a survivor. I survive every day. I survive through painful surgeries and debilitating anxiety. I survive in an effort to help others; people who are suffering like me.

I’ve forged friendships that were born in blood and smoke on Boylston Street, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and at the Bataclan in Paris.

I’ve traveled to these places that have been turned into war zones. I’ve looked into the eyes of those who have lost loved ones and parts of themselves to senseless violence.

Since the Boston Marathon bombings, I’ve been on a mission to share my experiences with others around the world, especially those who have faced the worst of human nature to show them there is still light, there is still hope.

But each heart-wrenching conversation creates additional stress for me, as I am forced to relive those terrifying moments when I thought I was going to die.

I take those thoughts to bed with me and I cannot sleep. That’s when the nightmares take over. I was prescribed several medications, which did not work, or left me feeling groggy and not myself.

I explored cannabis and it’s been truly life changing for me. It has finally allowed me to rest my body and my mind. I don’t feel like I’m underwater anymore. I wake up each morning with the knowledge that I am healing myself so that I can help others through the process. With a clear mind, I can take a morning run and think about how I’m going to tackle the day.

Cannabis has offered me healthy relaxation so that I can then focus on my mission, which is to pay it forward.

When I was hurt in the bombing, I had to rely on strangers who created makeshift tourniquets to stop my bleeding. For them, it was an instantaneous and humanitarian mission to save my life and others. Without them, I would not be here right now. That’s why I felt compelled to travel to France after the deadly terror attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French newspaper in January 2015 and again months later after the Bataclan tragedy to offer whatever help I could.

I hate how we have all met, but the fellow survivors that I have spent time with on this long and painful journey have become family to me.

As survivors, we communicate in a way that only we can understand.

During the pandemic, I have continued my outreach remotely. Whether it’s a phone call, over Zoom, by text or a simple card, I want each of them to know that they are not alone.

Next week, when I see those runners headed toward the finish line on television, and I hear those cheering crowds, I will be reminded of the day that changed my life and the lives of hundreds more.

I will no longer reach for prescription pills to alleviate my anxiety. Instead, I will be comforted in knowing that cannabis will get me the sleep I need to get me through the day in a more healthy way, so I can continue to spread a message of hope and understanding to others who have endured so much.

Michelle L’Heureux is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor and a spokesperson for Curaleaf’s I Cannabis campaign.

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Ask Amy: Distanced family visit causes heartache



Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: My wife and I recently visited our cross-border family for the first time since COVID struck. We insisted on no vaccine protocols for my wife’s family, even though the unvaccinated children are all in school.

We only applied a protocol to my mother, who is unvaccinated, but also extremely insular (she is the guardian to three disabled children, and seldom leaves the house or receives anyone).

We said we would not meet with her indoors because of her vaccination status. We would see her only in the yard.

I told my wife that it hurt me that we would do this, and she expressed regret that it hurt me, but would not reconsider her choice.

I even showed her that the unvaccinated children on her side of the family likely presented much higher risk to us.

She was unmoved.

Now the visit is over but I’m swimming in a fog of guilt and depression about it. I’ve tried to tell her that this hurt me badly, and she doesn’t seem to care.

She reminds me that she bent “the rules” to see my mother at all, even though my wife also rides public transit daily, presumably with a number of unvaccinated people at any given moment.

Is vaccination status so sacrosanct for adults that family must be treated this way? Am I right to keep feeling hurt? Am I right to be alarmed that my hurt is worth so little to this woman?

— Pro-Vax-But-Feeling-Stunned

Dear Pro-Vax: You let your wife prohibit you from being in close proximity to your mother. Yes, it seems that she is making the rules for both of you, but altering those rules when it suits her.

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Lucas: Biden and Pelosi an odd couple



Lowry: Democrats serving lots of ‘zero cost’ baloney

It is only proper for President Biden to hold hands with Nancy Pelosi.

True, she is not Jill Biden, his wife.

Nor is she Kamala Harris, his vice president, who is never around anyway.

But Democrats Biden, 78, and Pelosi, 80, are peers and colleagues, both having served in Washington for a lifetime. And both are on the back nine.

Also, Pelosi as speaker of the House is third in line for the presidency if something should happen to Nos. 1 and 2.

Time is running out in more ways than one. Biden has dropped precariously in the polls and will become a lame duck in 2023 when as expected the Republicans take over the House and possibly the Senate as well.

So, it is only natural that the two walk holding hands and boost one another’s morale, even though it looked as though she were escorting a wobbly Biden toward the Early Bird Special instead of a hearing room. The next thing you know he’ll be sniffing her hair.

Pelosi was guiding Biden to a Friday private Capitol Hill meeting of House Democrats. The meeting was an attempt to cope with the division among Democrats over how best to bankrupt the United States.

The left-wing radicals of the Democrat Party want to do it right away while the moderates want to give it a couple of weeks.

Biden ran for president promising to unite the country.

It turns out he cannot even unite his party. Despite his plea, the radical progressives and the Squad, which includes Boston Rep. Ayanna Pressley, were able to stall House action on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill by insisting that the House first pass Biden’s controversial $3.5 trillion plan to socialize the country.

So, they ended up with nothing, at least for now. Pelosi, however, promised another go around by Halloween, which is an appropriate time to scare people.

Pressley called the non-passage of  the two bills “a great victory,” which is also scary. It is like Bill Belichick calling his loss to Tom Brady “a great win.”

The Biden $3.5 trillion, 2,400-page bill, called “The Come on, Man Plan” — which nobody in Congress read — includes such items as $3 billion for “tree equity,” which is designed to end discrimination in the planting of trees.

Everyone knows that rich people have more trees than poor people, unless, of course, you are homeless and live in the woods.

If you read the small print in the bill, though, you will probably find that a federal Tree Equity Commission would be set up to hold hearings before establishing rules and regulations regarding the kind of trees that can be planted.

Deep down in the smaller print you may also discover that people would have the right to file suit if the government does not plant an appropriate kind of tree in front of your house within 60 days of passage of the bill.

Before you know it, the progressives will demand creation of District Tree Courts to handle the many expected complaints over who got what kind of tree when. The trial court lawyers will love it more than a car crash.

It is obvious the government can’t give every household the same kind of tree even in the name of tree equity. Progressives know there must be tree diversity as well as tree equity.

Trees don’t discriminate, but people planting them might. That is why a “tree czar” will be needed to monitor compliance.

There will, of course be problems in the fair distribution and planting of the trees. For one thing, in order to maintain our healthy forests and fight climate change, Biden will probably sign an executive order banning forest harvesting in the U.S just the way he shut down the Keystone XL pipeline.

U.S. lumberjacks — if they still exist — will be out of work, like the thousands of Keystone pipeline workers. The tree jobs will go to Russia, just like the Keystone pipeline jobs did when Biden allowed Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be completed.

Russia has vast forests, and the U.S. can begin importing trees from Russia, like it is now importing oil.

But there will be a tree in front of every American home.

It’s all crazy, of course, but no crazier than what the crazy progressives are doing to the country.

Peter Lucas is a veteran Massachusetts political reporter and columnist.

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David Schultz: Rent control produces winners, losers and consequences — intended and unintended



David Schultz: Rent control produces winners, losers and consequences — intended and unintended

St. Paul shares with Minneapolis and many Minnesota cities a housing affordability problem that extends to rental costs for apartments, making it difficult for all, but especially low-income households, to find a reasonably priced place to live. While a metro-wide solution may be needed, a rent control or stabilization proposition is on the St. Paul ballot this November. Is it a viable solution?

Thus far the debate on housing affordability and rent stabilization in St. Paul has taken place as if no other city in the country has been here. The reality is we have more than 180 cities and decades of experiences across the country regarding rent control.

What can we learn from those experiences? While there are many forms of rent stabilization, the simple answer is that it produces winners and losers, as well as intended and unintended effects, depending on the specific stabilization policies adopted.

In general, the case for rent control is simple: Freeze rents or limit increases for certain types of  buildings, often allowing for reasonable costs plus indexed inflation.

Most economists argue rent control is bad. Rental housing is a commodity. The only way to decrease the cost of rental  housing is to increase supply or decrease demand. Building more rental housing of any kind decreases costs.

Many economists will also argue that rent control does not work because it caps the rent that landlords can charge, and they will delay maintenance. It creates disincentives to build new units, since the profits will not be there. If apartments are unprofitable, owners will take them off the market, delay maintenance, convert units to condos or co-ops, or simply move new construction to another jurisdiction. Studies collected by the Brookings Institution on what happened in San Francisco, California, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, lend some evidence to these claims.

But that is not the full story.

Research by housing economists shows housing markets are segmented by geography and cost. The market for low-income housing is different from that of high-end units, and building one will not necessarily impact another. Similarly, for all who have heard the mantra that only three things matter in housing — location, location, and location — there is truth in that sentiment. Studies suggest building more housing units can lower rental costs, but not necessarily for low-income  units; the benefit may accrue more to the middle class.

Building more high-end units will not lower the costs for low-income units. They are separate markets. Developers will build units that yield the highest profit margin, and that is not necessarily middle-class or low-income rental housing. The best way to provide affordable  housing for the middle class and people with low income is building such units or providing incentives to do that.

The point here is that there is little evidence that simply building more apartments or freezing rents makes units more affordable if there is already a shortage of appropriate units.

Studies do substantiate that short-term rent control can stabilize rental costs, but the primary  benefit is to existing tenants, often those who are middle class. While it promotes stability in the sense of encouraging people to stay in their apartments, as a California study demonstrated, rent stabilization alone does not do this. It works more effectively when accompanied with vacancy control. This means then that existing tenants benefit and they have little incentive to leave. This is good in that it helps present occupants, bad in that it makes it hard for new renters to find affordable units. This is the experience in New York and San Francisco.

While short-term stabilization policies might work, longer term the Urban Institute’s examination of several studies suggests that they exacerbate gentrification as they encourage landlords to convert low-income or low-profit units to more profitable condos or townhomes. A study of 76 cities in New Jersey with rent control over a 30-year period finds little, longer-term evidence that they have produced more affordability than cities lacking rent control. Longer term, rent control policies, deployed alone without other policies to address overall rental unit shortages, tend to create fewer units that are on the market.  Rent control tends to work well when there is a surplus of units to prevent speculation. But as in the case of St. Paul, where there is already a shortage of units, limiting rent increases will not solve a pre-existing problem.

In most cities where rent control exists, the laws do not apply to owner-occupied dwellings, or buildings with less than a certain number of units, such as six in New York City. These may be owners or the types of buildings more sharply hurt by rent stabilization policies in the sense that they cannot absorb inflationary costs. There is often, as the Urban Institute points to, an appeal process for hardships or extenuating circumstances, often necessitating some administrative expenditures and processes to address rental cost disputes.

Some landlords will argue that rent control laws are unconstitutional in that they constitute a regulatory taking of property by limiting rents. Yet the Supreme Court in Block  v. Hirsch, as well as other courts, have upheld such laws. Although an argument can be made that strict rent controls without accounting for costs might be unconstitutional.

Finally there is evidence that rent control in New York, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and Massachusetts can benefit people of color since oftentimes they are more likely to live in such units. Yet there is also evidence that rent control aggravates racial segregation, fails to deconcentrate poverty, and augments gentrification.

Rent control alone is a crude solution to a serious problem. Rent control is a Band-Aid on a larger problem and, if implemented wrongly, it produces secondary effects that distort housing markets for decades. It produces winners, such as existing tenants and maybe people of color, but it also hurts developers and perhaps mom-and-pop landlords. There are short-term and long-term benefits that also affect various constituencies differently. Bottom line: Depending on the type of rent stabilization employed, it will have varying impacts on diverse interests

Used more carefully and in conjunction with other strategies, such as directly building more affordable units, rent stabilization may serve as a partial tool to addressing the problem that a free-market delivery of housing produces.

David Schultz is Hamline University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and has served both as a city director of planning, zoning, and code enforcement and as a housing and economic planner for a community action agency.

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Letters: People of all political stripes need to stop kidding themselves about climate



Letters: People of all political stripes need to stop kidding themselves about climate

Climate context

In his October 3 column about woodpeckers, columnist Joe Soucheray bemoans that climate change is an over-hyped, go-to “culprit” of the media. His aside that, “the climate has always changed” is a tired argument that climate deniers tried ages ago.

Soucheray thinks the media lack context — he himself might get some by reading the latest, devastating IPCC Report on Climate Change which establishes that only a narrow window remains to stop its worst effects from happening. The fear is not that global warming will continue gradually, but exponentially.

And his notion that birds are not at risk of extinction is sadly false. Not only are birds at risk — but up to 1 million species are currently at risk of extinction.

People of all political stripes need to stop kidding themselves: the very human race is also at risk of extinction if our government and others do not act now, urgently.

Nick Huelster, St. Paul



The following is a list of positions that a candidate for Saint Paul Mayor should have.

Respect for the police. Do not speak disparagingly about the police. Fully fund the Police Department. Bring the number of police officers back up to their fully staffed levels.

Recognize that the main purpose of streets and roads is to move vehicles as efficiently and safely as possible. Return the current citywide speed limit of “20 mile per hour unless posted otherwise” to 30 miles per hour. Stop narrowing reconstructed roads and vehicle lanes. Recognize there is a need for drivers to find parking spaces. Increase street maintenance.

Listen to constituents. Stop mandating from the mayor’s office. We are intelligent beings who do not need to be told how to live by a governmental agency.

Ron Schaaf, St. Paul

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Week 5 high school football preview: Abington, Rockland in a showdown



Week 5 high school football preview: Abington, Rockland in a showdown

Abington and Rockland could go into their annual football game winless and there would still be a buzz in the air.

The fact that both enter tonight’s contest with 4-0 records only adds to the excitement.

“You walk into the local Stop & Shop and everyone wants to talk about the Abington game.” said Rockland coach Nick Liquori. “I think a lot of it is the closeness of the two towns — you have a lot of friendships because of that. Another thing is that the schools always seem to be competitive in so many sports.”

Longtime Abington coaching icon Jim Kelliher can relate to the closeness as he has Rockland blood in his background.

“My father (Joseph) grew up in Rockland before moving to Abington,” Kelliher said. “He had an oil business and we were in Rockland a lot so we know a lot of people there.”

Friday’s game also carries adding historical significance for Kelliher. He will be coaching in his 500th game, making him just the third coach in state history to reach that milestone, the others being the late Bill Tighe (514) and Northbridge’s Ken LaChapelle (coaching in his 504th game tonight against Grafton).

“It’s pretty special to me,” Kelliher admitted. “To be able to teach in the same place for 36 years and coach there for 50 means a lot to me. I’m very happy that the school allowed me to do that.”

As for the game itself, Rockland comes into the game having allowed just three scores in its four previous triumphs. Liquori is pleasantly surprised with the way his younger players have responded to the challenges of varsity football.

“Considering we came into the season with little varsity experience, we’re happy with their attitudes,” Liquori said. “They are like sponges, they absorb the things we are teaching them. They’re very competitive, they challenge each other every day at practice.”

The defense will certainly be challenged against an explosive Abington offense which has put up at least 27 points a game.

“They are very skilled,” Liquori said. “(Quarterback Eddie) Reilly does get a great job of getting the ball to his receivers and they have good running backs. They’re going to be tough, so our job will be to challenge everything they want to do and control the line of scrimmage.”

League play starts to kick into high gear tonight with several solid matchups. Undefeated Billerica travels to Tewksbury, Masconomet hosts Marblehead and Woburn visits Reading in a Middlesex Liberty battle of undefeated teams.

Mansfield looks to rebound after watching its 19-game winning streak come to an end, but the task won’t be easy as unbeaten Milford comes to town. Plymouth North puts its 4-0 on the line when it travels to Duxbury.

No. 1 Catholic Memorial headlines the Saturday slate as it hosts St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in a Catholic Conference opener. Two other solid matchups pit Natick at Wellesley and Manchester-Essex at KIPP.

In the Independent School League, a pair of 2-0 teams butt heads as Lawrence Academy hosts Milton Academy.

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‘No Time to Die’ starts with a blast, resorts to an old bag of tricks



‘No Time to Die’ starts with a blast, resorts to an old bag of tricks



Rated PG-13. At AMC Boston Common, Regal Fenway, AMC South Bay and suburban theaters.

Grade: B

Daniel Craig’s swansong “No Time to Die” is a blast getting out of the gate with a Billie Eilish theme, a tremendous bit of action in a ridiculously picturesque Italian town and Vesper Lynd appearing to bat Bond with a giant ghostly hand from beyond the grave.

But the film soon turns into a marathon, revisiting old themes, old loves and the old villains of Craig’s five-film run as Bond with composer Hans Zimmer furiously riffing on John Barry. I stopped counting after the sixth gratuitous chase scene.

Cary Joji Fukunaga (“Beasts of No Nation”), the first American to direct a Bond film (replacing Danny Boyle), just piles it on American-style, and the script of this superhero-sized (163 minute) Bond outing with a deranged super-villain plotting to destroy is borderline self parody.

As none other than Lyutsifer Safin, Academy Award-winner Rami Malek delivers a deathly complected performance and is intensely weird. But you will need subtitles to understand most of what Rami’s Lyutsifer is slow-muttering.

Romantic lead Lea Seydoux sleepwalks her way through the film as Bond’s rejected love and possible minion of imprisoned Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) Madeleine Swann. You will see the twist regarding her coming a mile away.

In a tricky femme fatale turn as Cuban trainee agent Paloma, all black-clad Ana de Armas is likable and impressive. She and Craig have more chemistry, too. For his part, Craig has ably taken author Ian Fleming’s James Bond to darker (and more violent in spite of those PG-13 ratings) spaces than his predecessors.

He has also been notably the most athletic Bond of all and that tradition continues here even in his 50s (note: Craig injured his ankle on set). The IMAX-lensed film was shot in England, Italy, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Scotland and Jamaica, and looks like it cost a fortune (How much to rent a Boeing C-17?).

COVID held up its release for a long time. Perhaps, suitably, there is a lot of talk about DNA, nanobots and a sinister laboratory, and the plot and action have been carefully woke-proofed, unless you count the spectacle of Armas kicking bad guys in the yarbles in that dress and those heels.

As Felix Leiter, Jeffrey Wright is once again worth his weight in gold. A vintage Aston Martin DB5 gets shot up in Italy. In London, Bond drives a newer model. He finds that he has been retired and replaced as 007 by boss M (Ralph Fiennes), whom Bond refers to as “darling” to annoy him, with a Black woman named Nomi (Lashana Lynch, who handles the quips and physical work well).

Bond is defunct. But he nevertheless goes after Safin, who has a “poison garden” at his home, along with captured Bond loved ones, on an island between Russia and Japan, where Safin built his super-villain stronghold from which he plans to unleash a … pandemic (Prophetic in retrospect or just, oy, not that again?).

The Bond movie plot mush — provided by writers Neal Purvis (“Spectre”), Robert Wade (“Spectre”), writer-director Fukunaga (“It”) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge of the award-winning “Fleabag” — takes the notion of “beats” to the super-nanobot level.

These latest Bond films endlessly (and more expensively) recycle what we have seen before. This one is “Skyfall” meets “Dr. No” with, I think, bits of “The Spy Who Shagged Me.” Do the makers of the new “Suicide Squad” know that “No Time to Die” shares their story line? Who cares? It’s overlong, but mostly fun, and Craig is the second best Bond ever. It all ends aptly with the great Louis Armstrong singing “We Have All the Time in the World” from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (another Barry classic). Exit and adieu, the great craggy Craig.

(“No Time to Die” contains gun and physical violence, language, disturbing and suggestive images.)

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Editorial: House should temper voter-ease mania



Though poll shows support has grown, assisted suicide still divisive in Massachusetts

In advance of Senate deliberations on a bill providing multiple ballot-casting options, House Speaker Ronald Mariano said his chamber will “need another vote” on election reforms this session.

He’s right, because on Wednesday, senators overwhelmingly passed a “ground-breaking” package of voting reforms, including making mail-in voting permanent, expanding early voting access and introducing same-day registration.

Dubbed the “VOTES” Act, it’s described as a “massive step in the right direction” that builds upon progress in voter access expansion made amid the pandemic.

It introduces same-day registration for new voters looking to cast a ballot on Election Day or any early voting day.

The bill also spells out a plan to boost ballot access for eligible incarcerated voters and people with disabilities.

The House, which has shown a willingness to go along with some portions of the Senate bill, approved a supplemental budget amendment in June that would have permanently authorized mail-in voting and early voting before biennial elections.

However, a year earlier, representatives rejected an amendment to a COVID-era voting bill that would have allowed Election Day registration, on a 139-16 vote.

“Obviously, we’ll wait and see what comes over in the form of the bill that we’ll get from the Senate,” Mariano said. “We have taken a vote on the same-day amendment. We’ll see what happens when we begin the debate.”

Existing mail-in voting and expanded early voting provisions expire Dec. 15, absent action to extend or amend them. That could revert any special elections or spring contests back to pre-pandemic voting patterns.

The momentum behind these voting amenities apparently stems from the robust turnout in the state’s 2020 general election, which featured a hotly contested, ideologically divisive race for president.

A record 3,657,972 votes were cast in that election, after lawmakers and election officials implemented reforms designed to make voting safe and accessible during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 1.5 million citizens used the vote-by-mail option in 2020, and another 844,000 voters cast ballots in-person before Election Day, thus avoiding busy polling places.

The 76% turnout rate was only exceeded once before, when more than 84% of registered voters participated in the 1992 election, another presidential year.

But presidential elections, which historically attract a larger turnout, aren’t reliable indicators of voter participation in nonpresidential years, as the paltry roughly 25% turnout in Boston’s preliminary showed.

Also, incentives like early-voting periods usually don’t increase the overall turnout, just elongate the process.

But that didn’t stop Senate leadership and Secretary of State Bill Galvin from jumping on the election smorgasbord bandwagon.

Galvin also backed legislation that expands in-person, early voting and allows same-day voter registration, which means eligible voters who need to register or update their voting information could do so at the polls on Election Day before casting their ballot.

Currently, voters must be registered at least 20 days before Election Day in order to vote. Galvin also would let anyone who missed the deadline to register on Election Day at the polls, but not during the intervening period.

Hopefully, the confluence of a viral pandemic and a presidential election will never occur again, which would likely preclude the need for all these voting enticements.

Bottom line, legislators must consider whether under normal circumstances, the cost of all these ballot enablers justify the expense of implementing them.

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Plymouth South RB Casious Johnson determined to succeed



Plymouth South RB Casious Johnson determined to succeed

PLYMOUTH – Since he was very young, Casious Johnson has always strived for greatness.

Sometimes in the dead of night, you can catch the Plymouth South sophomore running sprints on the turf as late as 11 p.m. If not that, chances are he is working out at his home, solely focused on the next game at hand, and how he can improve.

After years of nonstop training, it would appear his hard work is beginning to pay off. In front of a packed house last week, Johnson put on quite a show, rushing 40 times for 339 yards and six touchdowns during a 42-35 victory over Patriot League rival Hanover. He also hauled in a pair of receptions for 58 yards, and completed two passes out of the wildcat formation for 10 more yards.

“I was expecting a lot of people that I knew to be at the game, (some) that hadn’t seen me play before,” Johnson said. “I heard Hanover was going to be a tough team, so I went into the game running as hard as I could. Our team was hyped, the blocking was there, and (things broke my way).”

If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the name, you should probably start. Johnson burst onto the scene in the Fall II season as a freshman. During the abbreviated campaign, he would rush for 1,006 yards and 12 touchdowns, while propelling the Panthers to a Patriot Cup (Fisher Division) title. He was named a Boston Herald All-Scholastic for his efforts.

So just how historic was Johnson’s inaugural season?

“I think we’ve had two freshmen get significant varsity minutes in the last 20 years here at Plymouth South,” said Panthers coach Darren Fruzzetti. “One of them played at Brown – Derrick Doucette. The other one’s been Casious, so he’s in really good company, and when we start talking about all of these other players historically, he’s in the company of kids who have had their college paid for (from) football. So it’s a good conversation to have.”

However, Johnson has only improved in the few months since then. Through just four games this season, he has racked up 99 carries for 855 yards and 13 touchdowns. As the focal point of Plymouth South’s offensive scheme, the sophomore has started drawing comparisons to arguably the top running back in school history, Dylan Oxsen.

“I think he’s definitely the most talented sophomore I’ve ever coached,” Fruzzetti said. “When you start talking about players like Dylan Oxsen, I think Casious is right there with him. And with another two years to go after this season, I think he has a chance to be an even better player than Dylan, which is saying a lot… he’s the total package.”

Plymouth South (3-1) will face Pembroke Friday, but the road only becomes even more difficult with each passing week. From there, the Panthers will face Quincy, followed by North Quincy. Then, Plymouth South will close its regular season schedule against Scituate Oct. 29.

Johnson hopes to continue his career in the collegiate ranks, and aspires to one day accomplish his dream of playing in the NFL.

If recent trends continue, do not be surprised in the slightest if more doors begin to open for the rising star.

“It’s crazy, because a bunch of people come up to me in school,” said Johnson. “I remember not having any of that in middle school. I used to dream about this stuff, and now it’s finally happening. I’m proud.”

NAME: Casious Johnson

SCHOOL: Plymouth South

AGE: 15

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6’0, 205 lbs.

POSITION: Running Back

NICKNAME: Cashisholy

FAMILY (Father, mother, brothers and sisters): Father: Charles; Mother: Chanett; Brothers: Gio, Jamajesti, Charles; Sisters: Alexis, Jlee, Empress, Jheñe, Samiyah


FAVORITE PERSONAL MOMENT IN SPORTS: Rushing for six touchdowns vs. Hanover (10/1/21)








FAVORITE SMARTPHONE APP: Instagram or Snapchat


FAVORITE PRO TEAM: New Orleans Saints




CAREER AMBITIONS: Hopeful to play football in college, then the NFL

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Is Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers playing hurt? ‘Not everybody is 100% right now’



Is Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers playing hurt? ‘Not everybody is 100% right now’

What’s going on with Rafael Devers?

The Red Sox third baseman appeared to be playing through pain during Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Rays in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. On several swings throughout the night, most noticeably in his final at-bat, Devers looked to be experiencing discomfort in his right wrist and forearm.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that Devers suffered an arm injury in Tuesday’s Wild Card victory over the Yankees, though it’s unclear what may have caused it. On Thursday, Devers either fouled off or whiffed on eight fastballs, and there was some noticeable grimacing and favoring of his right arm after some of the swings. But Red Sox manager Alex Cora dismissed any injury concerns after the game, saying everyone is hurt to some degree at this point of the season.

“A few days ago everybody said he (was) setting up the pitcher whenever he drops the bat,” Cora said. “Today because he didn’t get a hit, he is hurt.

“You know, I mean, after 162 things that happen and you get treatment, and you grind, you know? Not everybody is 100% right now, and he is posting. Like I said a few days ago, you know, he was dropping the bat the same way, and nobody said anything. Actually, I heard that he was setting out pitchers with that.”

It’s certainly something to keep an eye on as the Red Sox head into a critical Game 2 on Friday night.

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