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Car show and picnic this weekend in Pittsfield



Car show and picnic this weekend in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) — There will be a free community-wide car show and picnic on September 18 in Osceola Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a variety of vintage cars and trucks on display.

Trophies will be given out to the “Best in Show” vehicle and “Attendees Pick” vehicle. There will be raffles for various items. Bring your own food, drink, chairs for the picnic. Some canopy tents and tables will be set up.

This gathering will also be a celebration of the very first reunion of Osceola Park “alumni.” Several alumni and nearby residents of the park will be volunteering at the event.

Organizers are hoping that attendees will encourage the Pittsfield Parks Commission to proceed with needed upgrades and improvements at the park.

The rain date is September 19. No alcohol is allowed in the park.

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2021’s Best CBD Gummies For Anxiety & Depression



50 Colo. Time dealers, Wells are auto fame inductees

Nowadays, with anxiety gripping us by the throat every day, it can be suffocating to even be in your own skin.

People are looking for natural ways to ease their minds, and if you are one of those people, then this is the article for you. More and more people are turning to nature to solve their problems. Specifically, they are turning to CBD.

In the past decade, the popularity of CBD has skyrocketed. Now it is basically in everything from vapes to gummies. Gummies are particularly popular with people dealing with anxiety. They are a very convenient method of intake, which is why they are preferred over others. So in this article, we will sear for the very best CBD gummies for anxiety.

Best CBD Gummies For Anxiety [Full Reviews]

  1. BudPop – Best Overall CBD Gummies
  2. FabCBD – Top Rated CBD Gummy For Anxiety
  3. Cheef Botanicals – Best Value

#1. BudPop – Best Overall CBD Gummies

Brand overview

This is a brand that, even though it is new, has massive popularity, which is why it finds itself on the top of our list. They make sure that their products are sourced from organic hemp, as well as vegan and non-GMO.

BudPop tests its products through third-party labs, ensuring their quality and purity. Their mission is to help people with managing anxiety, pain, and other ailments with natural products. Instead of getting hooked on all kinds of pharmaceutical drugs that will do more harm than good.

For managing your anxiety, their Ashwagandha Gummies are great and will help you without a doubt. Ashwagandha is a natural herb that has been used for over 3000 years to help with stress and anxiety relief, so now BudPop has utilized it in the fight against anxiety. The gummies come in a bottle of 30. Each gummy contains 25 mg CBD and 150 mg Ashwagandha. It is recommended that you take two a day, be careful not to overindulge as there may be some unpleasant side effects.

Customer experience

Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive and the high quality of the products is definitely up to the customers’ standards. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee plus free shipping. For new customers, there is a 20% discount on their first purchase.

#2. FabCBD – Top Rated CBD Gummy For Anxiety

1633730686 39 2021s Best CBD Gummies For Anxiety Depression

Brand overview

FabCBD is another highly popular company among people suffering from anxiety. This is thanks to their team that has a combined 25 years of experience in the health industry. This experience has helped them to come up with a formula that helps people keep up with their wellness, manage their pain better, and have an overall better quality of life.

FabCBD grows its hemp organically under strict federal guidelines, and it uses the CO2 extraction method. This is considered to be the best way of extracting hemp. Also, their CBD products are third-party lab tested and are non-GMO. You can find their lab results on their website as they are very transparent about them.

They offer products like CBD oils, CBD gummies, CBD topicals, and CBD dog treats. If you need help with your anxiety, we recommend their CBD gummies. Each container of CBD gummies contains 30 gummies, and they are each with 25 mg of CBD isolate.

Customer experience

There are many positive customer reviews. They have an easy-to-navigate website that is very informative, and their customer support staff is incredibly helpful and kind. You get a 30-day money-back guarantee; however, shipping charges are non-refundable. On orders that are over $89, you get free shipping. Shipping within the US takes 5-7 days, while international shipping can take up to 4 weeks.

#3. Cheef Botanicals

Brand overview

This Los Angeles-based company is one of the top brands to offer its customers high-quality CBD products. It sources its hemp organically from Colorado farms, and they have a wide array of CBD products offered. Noteworthy are their CBD gummies, as they help with many ailments, particularly with anxiety, and they are also gluten-free and vegan. As a bonus, they are flavorful and of high quality.

They don’t use any kinds of artificial sweeteners, additives, or coloring in their products. They are all 100% natural.

They test their products through third-party labs and are very transparent about the results. You can find them on their website if you want to check them out for yourself.

Customer experience

They have a very informative website that is easy to navigate, and customers are also satisfied with their products. And if you have any issues with the product, Cheef Botanicals has a 30-day refund policy.

#4. Medterra CBD

Brand overview

Medterra manufactures all of its products in a certified Good Manufacturing Practices facility that has regular FDA audits. There is also a medical advisory board in the company composed of medical experts and veterinarians. So using their CBD gummies for your anxiety is advisable as experts approve them. The gummies will help you with easing the effects of your anxiety and help you to relax.

The gummies contain 25mg of CBD isolate per serving in packets with 30 gummies. The gummies are THC-free, non-GMO, and completely natural.

Medterra sends all of its CBD products to be tested by third-party labs to ensure their quality and purity.

Customer experience

There are many positive customer reviews on their website. Also, they have a 30-day refund policy if you are dissatisfied with your product. Their contact information is made very easy to access, and the overall website is straightforward to navigate.

#5. CBDistillery

Brand overview

This company is based in Colorado and is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to affordable, high-quality CBD gummies. Their gummies are made from organically sourced hemp, and they don’t contain any harmful chemicals or additives. They are focused on making their products suitable for people to use for their health, for dealing with anxiety.

So, you can be assured that their gummies are non-GMO, vegan-friendly, and gluten-free. Also, they test all the products through third-party labs. They come in bottles that have 30 gummies, and each gummy contains 30 mg of CBD isolate. Additionally, they are non-GMO, so there is no way you will get high and get your day disrupted.

Customer experience

Customers are overall satisfied with the products; they give a 60-day refund policy. And if you order through their website, they will cover any damages that can happen during delivery.

#6. CBDfx

Brand overview

CBDfx is a brand that sources its broad-spectrum hemp from farms in South California and Kentucky. If you are someone that suffers from anxiety, we recommend using their CBD gummies. They come in fruity and herbal flavors and are gluten-free and vegan. Also, they are non-GMO, without any pesticides or harmful additives, and are entirely natural, making them suitable for everyone. CBDfx tests its CBD products through third-party labs.

Customer experience

Customers are happy with the brand branching out and starting to offer other products besides vapes. CBDfx has a 30-day refund policy on unopened or damaged products, and they also offer free shipping all across the US.

#7. Charlotte’s Web

Brand overview

This is a brand dedicated to educating the public on the medicinal properties of CBD. As they are big on highlighting the medical potential of cannabis, they offer an array of CBD products, including oils, tinctures, capsules, and gummies. All their products are made from full-spectrum non-GMO hemp and tested by third-party labs.

Their lemon-lime gummies help with relaxation and easing the effects of anxiety. They suggest you take two gummies per serving.

Customer experience

Charlotte’s Web has a lot of positive customer reviews, and they also offer a discount for veterans to give back to the community. Their products come at a pretty affordable price.

#8. Premium Jane

Brand overview

Premium Jane focuses on producing Delta-8 products that are of the highest quality and sourced from organic hemp grown in the US. Premium Jane is considered to be one of the most reputable brands on the CBD market. This is due to their focus on employing high-quality processing techniques and strict agricultural regulations. Premium Jane’s Delta-8 Gummies contain 25 mg of Delta-8 THC per gummy and are perfect for helping you destress and relax.

Customer experience

The customer support staff is very friendly and helpful as well as fast in their service. If you aren’t satisfied with the product, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. But you will need to cover the cost of the return shipping.

#9. Joy Organics

Brand overview

This family-run company is on a mission to create high-quality CBD products for those dealing with anxiety, pain, and other ailments. Joy Organics offers a wide range of products containing broad-range CBD that are entirely organic.

Their CBD gummies come in two flavors, green apple, and strawberry lemonade, and they contain 10 mg CBD per gummy. They are also THC-free, gluten-free, and vegan.Joy organic tests all of its products through third-party labs.

Customer experience

The customer reviews for this brand are overwhelmingly positive, with helpful customer support staff that is very friendly. They have fast delivery and also a 30-day refund policy.

#10. CBDmd

Brand overview

If you are looking for affordable CBD gummies, then look no further, as this brand is one of the cheapest on the market. They source their organic hemp from farms across the US. And their CBD gummies are excellent for treating health-related issues like anxiety and stress.

The gummies contain 10 mg of CBD per gummy, and they come in different flavors like strawberry, orange, raspberry, and tropical fruit. They are also vegan-friendly as they are made from pectin instead of gelatin and are third-party lab tested

Customer experience

The customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive on their website, but they seem to be a bit mixed on third-party websites. Customers are offered a 60-day money-back guarantee. However, a refund request is subject to review.

#11. Palm Organix

Brand overview

Palm Organix is a company based in Colorado that manufactures CBD products from high-quality, broad-spectrum hemp. In 2019 they launched a new product, THC-free gummies, with 10mg CBD per gummy, wanting to make it the most effective gummy on the market.

Their CBD gummies are third-party lab tested and come in a pack of 20 pieces. They offer a multi-fruit assortment of lemon, orange, and grape flavors when it comes to the flavor.

They manufacture their products using the highest safety and quality standards. The gummies are also suitable for everyone as they are vegan, gluten-free, and kosher.

Customer experience

Customers are appreciative that the brand is family-owned and puts importance on trust and quality. Palm Organix offers its customers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

#12. Green roads

Brand overview

Green Roads is the biggest privately owned company in the US that is manufacturing and selling CBD products. It is owned by a pharmacist that wanted to help people remedy their ailments with natural products. They offer a wide range of CBD products that are third-party lab tested for quality and purity.

Their gummies, the CBD Rise N’ Shine, contain no THC and are gluten-free. They are made up of 25 mg broad-spectrum CBD and come in packs of two. They are great for people dealing with anxiety, as they will help you  relax and feel calm.

Customer experience

Customers are pretty impressed with the quality of the products offered. There is free shipping on products over $50. And there are various discounts offered on their website.

#13. Purekana

Brand overview

Purekana is a company based in Scottsdale, Arizona. They are considered to offer the best value products for the money. Their product range is by far one of the largest that we have seen on the market.

Their gummies come in a wide range of fruity and chewy flavors, allowing you to avoid the bitter taste of hemp. The gummies contain 25 mg of CBD per gummy. A single pack is filled with 20 gummies, meaning the overall potency is 500 mg, and they are also vegan-friendly.

Purekana sends all of its products to be tested by third-party labs for purity and quality.

Customer experience

Purekana offers free shipping if you are in the USA, but you will have to shell out some money for international shipping. They have a 30-day refund policy, but you will have to handle the return shipping charges.

#14. JustCBD gummies

Brand overview

JustCBD is a company based in Florida, and it is an incredibly popular brand for CBD products. They make edible CBD products with organic hemp sourced from Oregon farms.

JustCBD offers a wide range of products, including oils, gummies, tinctures, and topicals. The CBD gummies come in a jar of 100 colorful gummies, with each of them containing 10mg CBD isolate. However, they are not vegan friendly as they contain gelatin, but they are third-party lab tested for their quality.

Customer experience

Their customers leave excellent reviews on their website about the positive experiences they’ve had with the products. They rave about product efficacy and customer support. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but you will need to cover the shipping charges.

#15. Five CBD

Brand overview

Five CBD is known for offering authentic CBD products. They may not have a wide range of products, but what they do offer is top quality. The CBD products they have are CBD oil, CBD gummies, and CBD capsules. They are all third-party lab tested and are natural.

Their CBD gummies are incredibly effective and will help you to feel calm and relaxed. The daily buzz gummies contain 50 mg of CBD per gummy.

Customer experience

Customers are absolutely satisfied with the high-quality of the products they receive. The customer support staff is friendly and helpful.

#16. CBD American Shaman

Brand overview

CBD American Shaman offers products made rich in terpene-hemp oil. Their gummies are incredibly good in flavor and are made from hemp grown in the US that is non-GMO.

Each one of the gummies is made with 10 mg CBD isolate, 300 mg per container. But they do use artificial coloring and flavoring alongside natural ones. So if you don’t mind that these are the gummies for you, they do test their products through third-party labs.

Customer experience

Customer reviews are mainly positive as this is among one of the most reputable CBD brands on the market. They do have a 30-day refund policy if there are issues with your product.

#17. Tommy Chong CBD

Brand overview

Yes, that is right, this brand is partnered with actor and comedian Tommy Chong. They use hemp that is 100% organic and grown in the US. Although they are famous for their Good vibes tinctures, CBD oils, and Nice Dreams oils. Here we are talking about their gummies, more specifically their CBD Sour gummies, that contain 25mg of CBD per serving and are delicious and great for those with anxiety. All products are tested through third-party labs for quality and purity.

Customer experience

Customers are delighted at the taste of the sour gummies and are satisfied with the effects. But the gummies are not suitable for vegans.

#18. Nuleaf Naturals

Brand overview

Because they launched on the market in 2014 before the boom on the market of new companies, Nuleaf has managed to establish itself. They have a small product line that is consistent in its high quality. They also source their organic hemp from farms in Colorado, employing the CO2 extraction method. And they also test their products for quality and purity through third-party labs.

If you are suffering from anxiety-related issues, consider using their CBD gummies, as they are made from high-quality ingredients and are entirely natural.

Customer experience

There are many positive customer reviews on their website raving about the effectiveness of the gummies. Nuleaf Naturals has a 30-day refund policy, but the packages must be unopened or damaged. Also, return shipping is not covered.

#19. Verma Farms

Brand overview

Verma Farm is a company founded in 2019 that is based in Hawaii. Their mission is to create high-quality CBD products, so they only use organic, non-GMO, pesticide-free hemp in their products’ manufacturing. Verma Farms offers four flavors of gummies, Wahoo Worms, Hawaiian Rainbows, Tropical Cherry, and Island apple. They come with 250 CBD isolate per tub. And each gummy contains 12.5mg per serving.

The products are vegan-friendly, as they only use organic ingredients in making them. Verma Farms send their products to be tested for quality and purity by third-party labs.

Customer experience

The customer service on their website has a relatively fast response time and they are very helpful. They offer free shipping no matter your order’s size, and they also have a 30-day refund policy, but only if the product is unopened.

#20. Royal CBD

Brand overview

Royal CBD takes great pride in its products. All of them are sourced from hemp that has been grown using organic practices, and its hemp is grown on American soil. They offer two types of gummies, one containing 10 mg CBD per gummy and the other 25 mg of CBD per gummy. Both types come in a bottle of 30 gummies. They are also vegan-friendly and third-party lab tested.

Because they contain no THC, they will help ease your anxiety without making you high and unable to function in your day-to-day life.

Customer experience

Currently, they only ship to the US. They do offer free shipping and a discount of 10% for new customers. Customer reviews are overall positive as people are satisfied with the potency and effects of the product they receive.

#21. Penguin

Brand overview

Penguin has been on the market for the past two years and has managed to build quite a reputation for itself in such a short amount of time as hemp is the most important thing when it comes to high-quality CBD products. Penguin sources its organic hemp from farms in Oregon using the CO2 extraction method.

Their gummies are considered to be one of the best on the market, and people especially love them because of how colorful and soft they are. And also the fact that they are made with pure CBD isolate. Each gummy contains 10 mg of CBD per serving, and also they go through third-party lab tests.

Customer experience

Penguin has a speedy and helpful support staff and many positive reviews. They offer free shipping on all orders, not just if you spend over a set amount. There is also a 30-day refund policy if you are dissatisfied with the product.

#22. R+R Medicinals

Brand overview

This company sources its organic hemp from the United States and makes its products with full-spectrum hemp. All of their products go through rigorous third-party lab testing. R+R Medicinals also employs the CO2 extraction method.

R+R Medicinal’s CBD gummies are a great way to relax and forget your anxieties. They come with 25 mg of full-spectrum CBD isolate per gummy, so the recommended daily serving is just one gummy. There is also less than 0.3%  THC.

Customer experience

Customer reviews are positive. Customers are satisfied with the product and the service provided by the customer support staff. They also have a 30-day money-back guarantee and also offer a military veteran discount.

#23. Cornbread CBD

Brand overview

Cornbread CBD works with farms in Kentucky in order to source the best organic hemp. They believe that the flower is the best part that offers the most when it comes to effects, so they make the most use of it.

Cornbread CBD’s gummies are full-spectrum and contain 300 mg CBD isolate per container or 10 mg of CBD per gummy. They are made from organic fruit without corn syrup, and as they are made with apple pectin instead of gelatin, they are vegan-friendly.

Customer experience

As this company is focused on education, on their website, you can find plenty of information about all there is to know about hemp products and their usage. They have thousands of positive customer reviews, and they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

#24. Pure Relief

Brand overview

Pure Relief was founded with the mission to create products that give people a natural solution to everyday stressors and anxieties, instead of using addictive pills, further feeding the opioid crisis. They use organically sourced hemp that has been grown in the US. They send their products to be tested by third-party labs.

Pure Relief offers a range of gummies for help with sleep, immunity defense, and the topic of this article is reducing signs of anxiety. The best gummies for anxiety-related issues are their Daytime Hemp Gummies. But as they contain 30 mg of CBD isolate, it is advised to be careful not to go overboard with consumption.

Customer experience

With Pure Relief, you can get plenty of discounts. They also offer additional discounts to veterans, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals. You can get more information about their offers on their website.

There are also plenty of positive reviews about all of the products they offer.

#25. Just Live CBD

Brand overview

Just Live CBD makes all of its products from the highest quality broad-spectrum hemp, intending to improve wellness, quality of sleep, and to provide pain relief. It will come as no surprise when we tell you that professional athletes founded this company with goals like previously mentioned.

They offer a wide range of products, but here we will keep to the gummies. They are made with zero traces of THC, and they contain 25mg of CBD isolate per gummy. The gummies are non-GMO, without pesticides, and are a great way to help you feel relaxed and calm. Just Live also sends its products to be tested by third-party labs for quality and purity.

Customer experience

Customer reviews are largely positive as they are satisfied with the results they get from the products. They offer all kinds of discounts on their website, and also, there is a discount for military veterans. Plus, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

How we chose the best CBD gummies for anxiety

In order to come up with our definitive list of the best of the best gummies on the market, there were a lot of factors to consider, b We are dealing with recommendations for people dealing with anxiety. We knew the importance of making the right choices, so our research had to be as thorough as possible. So to rest assured that everything was checked out and verified, we will tell you the steps we took to make this list.

Safety was our priority, and there are a lot of companies out there that will cut corners to save money and to produce results fast. More often than not, those are corners that absolutely can not be cut because they can have adverse effects on someone else’s health.

Here we looked at whether the brand we were researching has ever received a warning letter from the FDA, there are any ongoing lawsuits. These things really helped us identify the brands that set off red flags in our minds, so we removed them from our list.

Customer reviews, especially those of people suffering from anxiety, were unbelievably helpful in weeding out unwanted brands from our list. They pointed out which brands were not worth the money and which were. For this, we mainly used third-party sites for reviewing products, as on the brand’s website, they can edit them heavily to make it seem as if the brand is receiving only positive feedback.

  • Tested them out ourselves

And lastly, we made it a point to test them out ourselves; there are some among us that have anxiety issues and those that don’t. So after trying out the products, we compared notes to see whether they helped those with anxiety ease the symptoms. And also to see if they had any kind of effect on those using them just to relax. With this method, we were able to knock quite a few of the brands off our list.

After all that was said and done, we had our list of top choices ready to be given our full attention. Now below, you will find our reviews, and they will hopefully help you find the right choice for you.

What to look for when buying CBD gummies for anxiety

As we know, anxiety is no joke. It can often be debilitating for people suffering from it, and not everyone wants to use pharmaceuticals to deal with their issues.

There are many natural ways to ease the symptoms of your anxiety, as long as you stay safe and know what to look for. We have compiled a list for you of the most important things to look out for.


The brand you are considering buying from must have a good reputation among other CBD users. You can check this out by reading reviews of customers that have tried them out already. Though consider reading reviews on third-party sites, that way you can be sure of their authenticity. And that they are not just edited to make a brand look good in the public eye.


Ensure that the brand you are buying from tests all of their products through third-party labs and has the result readily available on their website. Also, make sure that the labs are ones that have been approved by the FDA and have a good reputation. Brands that won’t show you their results usually have something to hide, so avoid those.


Make sure that the product you are buying is made of natural ingredients and that there are no harmful chemicals or additives that can have a negative impact on your health, both physical and mental. Your doctor will be able to advise how to continue.

FAQs about Gummies Helping in Anxiety

Next, we will try to answer some of the most important questions about CBD gummies.

Q. How will CBD gummies affect me?

Well, first of all, you will get a delicious snack for yourself, and also, they are the most convenient way to get your daily CBD dose on the go. As most brands don’t even use THC in the manufacturing of gummies, you won’t even get high. Gummies are an excellent way for people with anxiety to relax and not constantly worry about things.

Q. Should I consult a doctor?

Because we are dealing with an issue like anxiety in this article, it is best to consult with your doctor first. We know that the products on this list are natural. However, there can always be some allergy you are unaware of or some other underlying condition that can cause you to experience some unpleasant side effects.


So there you have our top picks for the best CBD gummies for anxiety out there. All that is left for you is to choose one from our list, sit back, relax and reap the benefits of our research.

It is our pleasure to help you find the right brand for you, and hopefully, we have succeeded in it. And now you are enjoying yourself, and finally, all your worries are in the back of your head forgotten.

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

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NHL tracking pucks this season, opening up gambling options



NHL tracking pucks this season, opening up gambling options

DETROIT — The latest generation of NHL pucks have six circles on both sides covering tubes that allow infrared cameras to constantly connect the vulcanized rubber with a puck and player tracking system.

After a bumpy start last season with microchipped pucks that didn’t slide right, the latest versions have worked so well that at least one coach wasn’t sure if they were in play yet.

“I’m not aware that we have used those pucks yet this season,” Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “I wish we would so we could feel them.”

That seems to be a good sign. The NHL attempted to track pucks last January, but took them off the ice six days into the season.

“We went away from it because the puck didn’t glide right,” Blashill recalled. “It didn’t feel like a real puck. Obviously, that’s the trick. I think puck tracking is a great thing that will really help the analytics a lot.”

That is indeed the key: Data generated by the pucks and from sensors about the size of a thumb on the backs of players will be used by teams to develop their players and to scout opponents. Passing, puck possession, takeaways, giveaways and more can be accurately recorded without the potential subjectivity of a scoring crew in an arena.

In contract negotiations, it isn’t difficult to envision a day when teams and agents point to data generated by the tracking system.

“Everything that could be used against you, it could also be used for you,” Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois said.

TV networks will continue to display and talk about some of the information on broadcasts and studio shows.

“We have to make sure the data is used in the right context,” said former NHL player Anson Carter, now an analyst for Turner Sports. “We all know (Colorado center) Nathan MacKinnon is fast and if the data says he’s going nearly 40 mph, I’d use it if it showed that two or three other players were perhaps 7 mph slower and integrate it into an analysis to hammer home a point.”

Fans who want to know how fast players skate, how hard they shoot and more will be able to choose options that will show the data on an overlay as they watch on a big, medium or small, hand-held screen. Some details were announced in February.

“We’re going to let fans decide how much or how little they want to incorporate it,” NHL vice president of business development and innovation Dave Lehanski said. “They will be able to create a personally customized viewing experience.”

Perhaps later this season, gamblers are expected to be able to wager on a new wave of bets. How far does the puck travel in a game? Who skates the fastest in the second period? Who has the hardest shot in the game?

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Mexico, U.S. draw up outlines of new security framework



Mexico, U.S. draw up outlines of new security framework

MEXICO CITY — High-level delegations from Mexico and the United States on Friday laid out the outlines of a new security framework between the nations that at least conceptually marked a departure from the mindset that steered their cooperation over the past decade.

The so-called U.S.-Mexico Bicentennial Framework for Security, Public Health and Safe Communities seeks to move beyond the 13-year-old Merida Initiative that focused on building Mexico’s crime-fighting capabilities and rule of law projects.

“It’s time for a comprehensive approach to our security cooperation, one that will see us as equal partners in defining our shared priorities, tackle the root drivers of these challenges like inequity, like corruption and focus not only on strengthening law enforcement, but also public health, the rule of law, inclusive economic opportunities,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday.

Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard put it more succinctly: “Goodbye Merida, welcome Bicentennial agreement.”

“The first substantive difference is that the Merida Initiative was, from the point of view of Mexico, focused on the thesis that the cartel capos had to be captured and that was sufficient,” Ebrard said. Now they see that wasn’t enough, that attention must be paid to expanding opportunities for youth and treating addiction, he said. “The success of this is going to be measured in fewer homicides in Mexico and less drug consumption.”

That shift in emphasis is in line with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s “hugs, not bullets” refrain and his stated uninterest in pursuing the leaders of Mexico’s cartels.

The two governments’ joint declaration devoted considerable space to treating drug addiction — especially opioids — and its societal effects in the public health context, a significant departure from Merida’s emphasis on the criminal justice system.

The U.S. pledged to devote more resources to identify and treat people affected by opioids and Mexico committed to working with the United Nations to launch a program to better manage shipping containers to limit the importation of chemical precursors for synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

Mexico seized an estimated 1.3 tons of the synthetic opioid last year. That same year, the U.S. recorded 93,000 drug overdose deaths.

The governments committed to targeting importers of chemical precursors for fentanyl and methamphetamine, their financial networks and secret labs.

They also said they would work together to reduce the trafficking of guns, a high priority for violence-wracked Mexico, and to provide more opportunities to youth to make it harder for criminal organizations to recruit them.

“We need to deal with the violence, dismantle the transnational criminal organizations and focus on prevention with the goal of creating the conditions for a culture of peace, while we work hand-in-hand to address the fundamental causes of crime,” the joint statement said.

Mexico’s Public Safety Secretary, Rosa Icela Rodríguez Velázquez said, “for many years, the issue of Mexico’s security has been addressed from the point of view that it’s only measured by the use of force, now we are combatting the causes that originate that violence with social programs, intelligence and coordination, listening to men and women in their towns, their municipalities and communities.”

Immigration is expected to be a key topic of the dialogue. López Obrador has been saying for months that Mexico cannot continue to simply detain migrants and try to contain them in the southern part of the country, far from the U.S. border.

He has asked the U.S. government to invest in two of his signature social programs to relieve some of the economic pressure people feel to migrate. The Biden administration needs Mexico’s continued cooperation to manage the flow of migrants to the U.S. border.

The U.S. also must find a way to re-instate the controversial Trump-era policy that made asylum seekers wait out their cases in Mexico. Under the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols, tens of thousands of asylum seekers waited in dangerous Mexican border cities for their cases to advance. Biden had made cancelling the policy one of his first orders of business upon taking office, but the Supreme Court ordered that it be implemented again. Ebrard said that issue was not discussed Friday.

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Biden won’t invoke executive privilege on Trump Jan. 6 documents



Biden won’t invoke executive privilege on Trump Jan. 6 documents

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will not block a tranche of documents sought by a House committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, setting up a showdown with former President Donald Trump, who has pledged to try to keep records from his time in the White House from being turned over to investigators.

In a letter to the Archivist of the United States, White House counsel Dana Remus writes that Biden has determined that invoking executive privilege “is not in the best interests of the United States.” This comes days after Trump lawyers sought to block the testimony of former Trump officials to the House committee citing executive privilege. On Friday, a lawyer for Steve Bannon said the former White House aide won’t comply with the House committee’s investigation because of Trump’s claim.

In August, the House committee investigating the January insurrection at the Capitol asked for a trove of records, including communication within the White House under Trump and information about planning and funding for rallies held in Washington. Among those events was a rally near the White House featuring remarks by Trump, who egged on a crowd of thousands before loyalists stormed the Capitol.

In the letter, Remus writes that the documents reviewed “shed light on events within the White House on and about January 6 and bear on the Select Committee’s need to understand the facts underlying the most serious attack on the operations of the Federal Government since the Civil War.”

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter Friday, which was first reported by NBC News.

Copies of the documents responsive to the request were turned over to the Biden White House and Trump’s lawyers for review for potential executive privilege concerns in accordance with federal law and the executive order governing presidential records.

The committee’s 10-page request to the Archives seeks “All documents and communications within the White House on January 6, 2021,” related to Trump’s close advisers and family members, the rally at the nearby Ellipse and Trump’s Twitter feed. It asks for his specific movements on that day and communications, if any, from the White House Situation Room. Also sought are all documents related to claims of election fraud, as well as Supreme Court decisions on the topic.

Biden’s decision affects only the initial batch of documents reviewed by the White House. Press secretary Jen Psaki said subsequent determinations would be made on a case-by-case basis.

The incumbent president has the final say unless a court orders the Archives to take a different action. Trump has not formally sought to invoke executive privilege over the documents, though that action is expected soon.

Trump is expected to take legal action to block the release of the documents, which if granted, would mark a dramatic expansion of the unwritten executive power. Trump will have an uphill battle, as courts have traditionally left questions of executive privilege up to the current White House occupant — though the former president’s challenges could delay the committee’s investigation.

Two other witnesses subpoenaed by the panel, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Pentagon aide Kash Patel, are “engaging” with the committee, according to its Democratic chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, and Republican vice chairwoman, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Thompson and Cheney issued a statement Friday after a deadline for document production had passed.

“Though the Select Committee welcomes good faith engagement with witnesses seeking to cooperate with our investigation, we will not allow any witness to defy a lawful subpoena or attempt to run out the clock, and we will swiftly consider advancing a criminal contempt of Congress referral,” the two lawmakers said.

A spokesman for the panel declined to comment on the status of a fourth witness, former Trump communications aide Dan Scavino.

Bannon’s move sets the stage for a likely clash with House Democrats who are investigating the roles of Trump and his allies in the run-up to the riot, when a large mob of Trump supporters broke into the Capitol as Congress was certifying the results of the presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden. The committee is rapidly issuing subpoenas to individuals who are either connected to Trump or who helped plan the massive rally on the morning of Jan. 6 at which he told his supporters to “fight like hell.”

Bannon’s refusal to comply, and Trump’s vow to litigate the testimony, will mean certain delays in the panel’s probe. But members of the committee, several of whom worked as prosecutors on Trump’s two impeachments, were prepared for the possibility and have repeatedly threatened charging witnesses with contempt. Trump often successfully fought witness testimony during his presidency, but may find his legal standing shakier now that he is out of office.

A committee effort to charge witnesses with contempt would likely involve a vote of the full House and a referral to the Justice Department. It would then be up to Justice how to proceed with charges.

Bannon’s lawyer, Robert Costello, said in an Oct. 7 letter to the panel that until the issues over privilege are resolved, “we are unable to respond to your requests for documents and testimony.”

Costello wrote that Bannon, a former aide to Trump who had contact with him the week of the Capitol attack, is prepared to “comply with the directions of the courts” when and if they rule on the issue.

The letter includes excerpts from a separate letter sent to Bannon by Justin Clark, a lawyer for Trump. Clark says documents and testimony provided to the Jan. 6 panel could include information that is “potentially protected from disclosure by executive and other privileges, including among others the presidential communications, deliberative process and attorney client privileges.”

Clark wrote to Bannon that “President Trump is prepared to defend these fundamental privileges in court.”

Spokespeople for Trump have not returned messages seeking comment. Trump said in a statement last month that he would “fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our Country.”

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Two parents convicted in first trial of college bribery scandal



Two parents convicted in first trial of college bribery scandal

BOSTON — Two wealthy parents were convicted Friday of buying their kids’ way into school as athletic recruits in the first case to go to trial in the college admissions cheating scandal that embroiled prestigious universities across the country.

Gamal Abdelaziz, a former casino executive, and John Wilson, a former Staples Inc. executive, were found guilty after about 10 hours of deliberations in the case that exposed a scheme to get undeserving applicants into college by falsely portraying them as star athletes.

Abdelaziz, of Las Vegas, was charged with paying $300,000 to get his daughter into the University of Southern California as a basketball recruit even though she didn’t even make it onto her high school’s varsity team. Wilson, who heads a Massachusetts private equity firm, was accused of paying $220,000 to have his son designated as a USC water polo recruit and an additional $1 million to buy his twin daughters’ ways into Harvard and Stanford.

They are to be sentenced in February.

They are among nearly 60 people charged in the investigation dubbed by authorities as “Operation Varsity Blues” that also ensnared athletic coaches at such prestigious schools as Georgetown and Yale. Other parents were accused of paying hefty bribes to have people cheat on their kids’ entrance exams.

Thirty-three parents have pleaded guilty, including TV actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and Loughlin’s fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli. The parents have so far received punishments ranging from probation to nine months in prison. All told, nearly four dozen people have admitted to charges.

Lawyers for Abdelaziz and Wilson argued they believed their payments were legitimate donations and pointed the finger at the admissions consultant at the center of the scheme, Rick Singer. The parents insisted they had no idea that Singer was using their money as bribes and was falsifying or exaggerating athletic credentials on behalf of their kids.

At the center of the case were a series of secretly recorded phone calls between Singer and the parents that prosecutors said proved Abdelaziz and Wilson were in on the scheme. The FBI wiretapped Singer’s calls and then convinced the admissions consultant to begin cooperating with investigators in 2018 in the hopes of getting a lighter sentence. Singer has pleaded guilty to a slew of charges, including money laundering conspiracy, and has yet to be sentenced.

In one call, Wilson asked Singer which sports “would be best” for his twin daughters. Singer responded that it “doesn’t matter” and that he would “make them a sailor or something” because Wilson lives on Cape Cod.

Wilson laughed and asked: “Is there a two-for-one special? If you got twins?”

In another call, Singer told Abdelaziz that Donna Heinel, former senior associate athletic director at USC, told him Abdelaziz’s daughter’s fake athletic profile was so well done that she wanted him to use that profile going forward for “anybody who isn’t a real basketball player that’s a female.”

“I love it,” Abdelaziz responded.

The defense sought to poke holes in the government’s case by questioning why they chose not to call Singer to the stand. Abdelaziz and Wilson’s lawyers portrayed Singer as a con man who manipulated the parents and assured them his so-called side-door scheme was legitimate and endorsed by the schools.

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Biden restores Bears Ears, other monuments cut by Trump



Biden restores Bears Ears, other monuments cut by Trump

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday restored two sprawling national monuments in Utah, reversing a decision by President Donald Trump that opened for mining and other development hundreds of thousands of acres of rugged lands sacred to Native Americans and home to ancient cliff dwellings and petroglyphs.

The Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in southern Utah encompass more than 3.2 million acres — an area nearly the size of Connecticut — and were created by Democratic administrations under a century-old law that allows presidents to protect sites considered historic, geographically or culturally important.

“This may be the easiest thing I’ve ever done so far as president — I mean it,” a smiling Biden said at a White House ceremony attended by Democratic lawmakers, tribal leaders and environmentalists.

Restoring the monuments’ boundaries and protections restores their integrity, upholds efforts to honor the federal trust responsibility to tribal nations and conserves the lands and waters for future generations, Biden said.

Bears Ears in particular was an important site to protect, Biden said, noting that the 1.3-million acre site is the first national monument to be established at the request of federally recognized tribes. It is “a place of healing … a place of reverence and a sacred homeland to hundreds of generations of native peoples,” Biden said.

Biden called Grand Staircase-Escalante “a place of unique and extraordinary geology” and noted that the 1.9-million acre site had been protected by presidential order for 21 years before Trump’s 2017 order slashed the monument nearly in half. Trump cut Bears Ears by 85%, to just over 200,000 acres.

In a separate action, Biden also restored protections at a marine conservation area off the New England coast that has been used for commercial fishing under an order by Trump. A rules change approved by Trump allowed commercial fishing at the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, a nearly 5,000-square-mile area southeast of Cape Cod. Trump’s action was heralded by fishing groups but derided by environmentalists who pushed Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to restore protections against fishing.

“There’s nothing like it in the world,” Biden said of the marine monument, citing its “unique biodiversity” and “waters teeming with life, with underwater canyons as deep as parts of the Grand Canyon (and) underwater mountains as tall as the Appalachians. Marine scientists believe that this is a key to understanding life under the sea.”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and other Republicans expressed disappointment in Biden’s decision to restore the Utah monuments, where red rocks reveal petroglyphs and cliff dwellings and distinctive buttes bulge from a grassy valley. Trump invoked the century-old Antiquities Act to cut 2 million acres from the two monuments. Restrictions on mining and other energy production were a “massive land grab” that “should never have happened,” Trump said in revoking the protections.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Biden had “squandered the opportunity to build consensus” and find a permanent solution for the monuments. “Yet again, Utah’s national monuments are being used as a political football between administrations,” Romney said.

Haaland, the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary, said Biden’s action were not just about national monuments.

“It’s about this administration centering the voices of Indigenous people and affirming the shared stewardship of this landscape with tribal nations,” she said at the White House. “The president’s action today writes a new chapter that embraces Indigenous knowledge, ensures tribal leadership has a seat at the table, and demonstrates that by working together we can build a brighter future for all of us.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Biden’s restoration of the monuments shows his dedication to “conserving our public lands and respecting the voices of Indigenous Peoples.”

“It’s time to put Trump’s cynical actions in the rear-view mirror,” Grijalva said.

Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group, said she hopes Biden’s actions mark an initial step toward his goal of conserving at least 30% of U.S. lands and ocean by 2030.

Trump’s cuts attracted widespread news coverage and increased national attention to Bears Ears, Rokala and others said. They called on the federal government to boost funding to manage the landscape and handle growing crowds at the two sites.

“In some ways the hard work is ahead of us now, as we turn our attention to planning, co-management and public education,” said Joe Neuhof, executive director of Friends of Cedar Mesa, a Utah conservation group.

Haaland, who visited Bears Ears in April, said Indian tribes have long “sung and spoken in unison to protect” Bears Ears, which she called a “sacred place” and “a living landscape.”

Bears Ears “is a place where you can stand in the doorway of a home where a family who lived thousands of years ago left behind a legacy of love and conservation for a place that sustained them for countless generations,” she said. “Stories of existence, celebration, survival and reverence are etched into the sandstone canyon walls. Sacred sites are dotted across the desert mesas.”

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Congress members have ‘grave concerns’ over DOJ’s investigation into school board threats



Congress members have ‘grave concerns’ over DOJ’s investigation into  school board threats

ST. LOUIS– More than 60 members of Congress have sent a letter saying they have ‘grave concerns’ with the U.S. Attorney General’s recent announcement to investigate ‘criminal conduct’ occurring at school board meetings across the country.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed federal authorities to hold strategy sessions in the next 30 days with law enforcement to address the increasing threats targeting school board members, teachers, and other employees nationwide.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, and U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis are among the Congress members requesting answers to five questions in order to gain more clarity on the Department of Justice’s intentions. They want a response by Nov. 15.

The letter to the Attorney General says, “While some of these meetings may get heated, most of the parents who have been attending these meetings have simply voiced their passions and concerns for the children and their futures.”

The letter also says, “While we agree with you that any threat of violence against these government officials should be condemned and investigated, no government official has the right to claim that a citizen may not peacefully speak out against government policies.”

The Congress members want answers to the following questions:

  1. What specific cases are you referencing in. your memorandum that rise to the level of “criminal conduct?”
  2. What criteria/behavior is the Department of Justice considering “criminal conduct?”
  3. What federal statutes do you plan to cite in your prosecution of these parents?
  4. WHo will be conductin the investiation into these cases? Please provide details on the roles of the FBI, United States Attorneys, State and local law enforcement, and any other entities that will be involved.
  5. Will you be looking into other cases of alleged intimidation of school board members who have attempted to end COVID-era policies?

In a memorandum, Garland said there has been “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”

To address the rising problem, Garland said the FBI would work with U.S. attorneys and federal, state, local, territorial and tribal authorities in each district to develop strategies against the threats.

The letter also states, “While government officials should never be subjected to threats, they are not above criticism or disagreement from the citizens who elected them. If we are to live in a free society, it is your job as Attorney General of the United States to defend the rights of all citizens.”

The action is in response to an urgent request last week from the National School Boards Association. The group, which represents school board members around the country, asked President Joe Biden for federal assistance to investigate and stop threats made over policies including mask mandates, likening the vitriol to a form of domestic terrorism.

U.S. Rep Mike Bost posted the letter on social media this morning saying, “Threats of violence against public officials are never acceptable and should be investigated. But parents have the right to peacefully and passionately express their concerns about their children’s education.”

Associated Press contributed content to this story.

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Police search for driver responsible for death of 75-year-old pedestrian



Police search for driver responsible for death of 75-year-old pedestrian

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Police are looking for a driver that left the scene of a deadly hit and run Thursday morning.

Investigators say a 75-year-old man was struck and killed on Gravois near McNair in south St. Louis.

The car is believed to be a silver Chevrolet Impala. Police said the driver stopped, made a U-turn, and then drove away.

FOX 2 will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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Colorado’s COVID hospitalizations “trend back up in the wrong direction” as new cases stop falling



Colorado’s COVID hospitalizations “trend back up in the wrong direction” as new cases stop falling

Colorado public health officials raised concerns Friday that the number of new COVID-19 cases across the state has stopped falling, while hospitalizations of people with the virus rose over the past week following a steady decline that began in mid-September.

For the past few months, Colorado’s rate of new coronavirus infections was lower than the national rate, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said during a news briefing. Now, though, as cases fall more rapidly nationwide than in Colorado, the state and national rates are about the same: a 7-day average of around 200 per 100,000 people.

New cases are falling across most age groups, but have risen among children aged 12 to 17 in recent days, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“About a week ago… we were seeing a clear declining trend in cases here in Colorado, but in the last week or so, that trend has reversed a little bit,” Herlihy said. “We’re not seeing a clear increase, but it does look like more of a plateau than we were hoping to be seeing at this point.”

Likewise, state health officials said, the statewide positivity rate — the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive — has risen in recent days and is now at 7.22%. That rate, and whether it exceeds the 5% threshold, is considered a leading indicator of the virus’s trajectory.

“It is concerning to me that we have seen a rise in this percent positivity value in the last week or so,” Herlihy said.

Scott Bookman, Colorado’s COVID-19 incident commander, said hospitalizations of people with the virus across the state are beginning to “trend back up in the wrong direction.”

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the state hit a recent peak of 1,021 on Sept. 14, then started falling to a low point of 907 on Oct. 2. Since then, however, that figure has been going back up, reaching 990 confirmed and suspected cases on Thursday.

The state’s intensive-care units were at about 86% capacity on Friday, said Bookman, who stressed that people who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 are eight times less likely to end up hospitalized with the virus in Colorado.

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Denver may ease magic mushrooms laws further two years after decriminalization



Denver may ease magic mushrooms laws further two years after decriminalization

Further easing of laws relating to psychedelic mushrooms, possibly using the drug for mental health therapy and training Denver’s first responders to better react to a psychedelic crisis are just three of several recommendations issued in a new report by the Denver Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel.

The panel that includes District Attorney Beth McCann, law enforcement officers and psilocybin advocate Kevin Matthews was formed after 2019, when Denver voters were the first in the U.S. to effectively decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms by declaring them the “lowest law-enforcement priority.”

“The panel unanimously agreed that decriminalizing psilocybin mushrooms in Denver has not since presented any significant public health or safety risk in the city,” it said in its report after a year of meeting and observing data. The report, first reported on by Westword, will be presented to a Denver City Council committee in November.

“This report to the best of our ability clearly demonstrates decriminalizing has not resulted in any significant public health or safety issues,” Matthews told The Denver Post. ” Because of that, Denver can now feel a little more comfortable with psilocybin decriminalization and really start to potentially embrace psilocybin as a therapeutic tool in addition to expanding civil liberties for personal possession.”

The report’s recommendations are as follows:

  • Train City and County of Denver first responders to recognize and safely respond to people undergoing psychedelic crisis;
  • Produce educational public service announcements to inform the public about safety, responsible use and available risk reduction services;
  • Create a data collection reporting system for any interactions involving psilocybin for ongoing public safety monitoring;
  • Make sharing and gifting of psilocybin without purchase among the lowest law enforcement priority;
  • Make the communal use of psilocybin among the lowest law enforcement priority;
  • Expand voting panel members to be more representative of Denver’s diversity;
  • Determine how psilocybin therapy can be applied to address mental health issues in Denver.

According to data from the Denver District Attorney’s office, there have been only 47 cases related to psilocybin in Denver since decriminalization was adopted in May 2019 (compared to 44 cases in 2018 alone), the report said.

Thirty-two percent of the cases since decriminalization were dismissed by the district attorney, 6% went to sentencing, 11% have warrants issued and 51% remain open, the report said.

Eleven percent of arrests were for psilocybin or psilocin only, while the rest included additional illicit substances, the report said. Of the five arrests involving psilocybin or psilocin only, 60% were arrests for amounts greater than for personal use.

Matthews hopes to see public education campaigns about safe use of psychedelic mushrooms in the form of billboards, mailers or television advertisements, he said.

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