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Up to 900 Afghan evacuees headed to Massachusetts

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Up to 900 Afghan evacuees headed to Massachusetts

Massachusetts could welcome as many as 900 Afghan evacuees — the Biden administration has revealed — but nonprofits aiding with resettlement say they are still “in the dark” on the details of where they’ll live and when they’ll arrive.

“Evacuees are currently living on military bases in the U.S. and we are a little bit in the dark about when they’ll arrive here. We’ve heard of a measles outbreak, they are being vetted and vaccinated, so it could be a few weeks to a month before we start seeing arrivals,” said Diane Shohet, spokeswoman for the International Institute of New England, one of five nonprofit organizations that will help resettle evacuees.

The Biden administration began notifying states how many evacuees to expect as part of the first group of nearly 37,000 arrivals to the U.S. this week. But Gov. Charlie Baker’s office said he is still awaiting further details from the federal government.

One likely landing place is Lowell, where the largest community of Afghan refugees in New England resides.

“Many evacuated Afghans will join family members already living in Lowell and nearby communities,” Shohet said in a statement.

The Greater Lowell Community Foundation has already fired up its fundraising engines in anticipation of an influx of evacuees who will be relying on public dollars and donations.

The foundation’s board of directors seeded a fundraising drive with $25,000 on Sept. 10 and is raising money to help Afghan nationals who resettle in the area cover expenses like housing, education, food and health care, said foundation President and CEO Jay Linnehan. Donations are being accepted online at glcfoundation.org.

“Lowell is a city that’s accustomed to doing these kinds of things. We have a long history opening doors to immigrants and refugees,” Linnehan said. “This is what good communities — we’re talking about a group of folks who helped this country and us standing up now and helping them is absolutely appropriate.”

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Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster out with shoulder injury in Broncos game

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Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster out with shoulder injury in Broncos game

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is done for the day after a shoulder injury in the second quarter against Denver.

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Reason behind widespread Southwest cancellations, delays remains unclear

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Reason behind widespread Southwest cancellations, delays remains unclear

CHICAGO (WGN) — Hundreds of Southwest Airlines customers were left stranded due to widespread cancellations across the country.

According to FlightAware, a website that provides real-time flight insights, Southwest has canceled over 1,000 flights on Sunday. That’s 27% of the airline’s scheduled flights on the nation’s largest domestic airline. 

Southwest said an air traffic management program put in place due to weather has caused significant delays.

The airline released the following statement: “We experienced significant impact in the Florida airports yesterday evening after an FAA-imposed air traffic management program was implemented due to weather and resulted in a large number of cancellations. We are working hard behind the scenes to minimize challenges and fully recover the operation as we take care of displaced Crews and Customers as quickly as possible.”

The FAA tweeted Sunday there were no staffing shortages affecting air traffic control and that “some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place.”

Passengers have said they have been given very little information from the airline, and were wondering if there was also an issue affecting Southwest’s staffing – not air traffic controllers.

“It’s only two employees, they only have two people checking you in for luggage and tickets,” customer Kasena Jackson said.

“When I got to the line they rescheduled me on a flight tonight at 9, but that one was just canceled too,” flyer Wendie Kaminski said Saturday.

Southwest Airlines became the latest U.S. airline Monday to require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Dallas-based company said its workers must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 in order to remain at the airline. Employees can seek approval to skip the shots due to medical or religious reasons.

Southwest said it has to mandate vaccines because of new rules from the Biden administration requiring companies with federal contracts to have vaccinated staffs. Southwest’s work for the government includes flying the military in emergencies and carrying mail for the U.S. Postal Service.

Rivals American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue have already told their staff they needed to be vaccinated

The Associated Press and NewsNation’s Jasmine Cooper contributed to this report.

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Missouri football coach after win over North Texas: ‘this ain’t Ted Lasso’

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Missouri football coach after win over North Texas: ‘this ain’t Ted Lasso’

Missouri head coach Eliah Drinkwitz watches his players warm up before the start of an NCAA college football game against North Texas Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Tyler Badie rushed for a career-high 217 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead Missouri to a 48-35 victory over North Texas. He ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help the Tigers build a 31-7 halftime lead.

The Mean Green outgained Missouri 491-474 but were foiled by three turnovers, including a tipped interception that defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo returned 40 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The game was the first since Missouri Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz fired defensive line coach Jethro Franklin and replaced him with Al Davis following last week’s blowout loss to Tennessee. Drinkwitz scrapped a depth chart earlier in the week, signaling that jobs were there to be had. On Saturday, Chad Bailey started at linebacker in place of Blaze Alldredge.

When asked about the decision, Drinkwitz said, “You come to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday and whoever practices best is going to start. We’re going to evaluate the film, see where we’re at and open it up for competition. There’s no strategy, there’s no motivational ploy. There’s just reality. Whoever practices the best is going to play. Period. This program is going to be built on competition. That’s who we are at our core and that’s who we’re going to be. That’s no motivational tactic. Man, this ain’t Ted Lasso.” 

The Tigers host Texas A&M next Saturday at 11 am.

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Facebook unveils new controls for kids using its platforms

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Facebook unveils new controls for kids using its platforms

NEW YORK — Facebook, in the aftermath of damning testimony that its platforms harm children, will be introducing several features including prompting teens to take a break using its photo sharing app Instagram, and “nudging” teens if they are repeatedly looking at the same content that’s not conducive to their well-being.

The Menlo Park, California-based Facebook is also planning to introduce new controls for adults of teens on an optional basis so that parents or guardians can supervise what their teens are doing online. These initiatives come after Facebook announced late last month that it was pausing work on its Instagram for Kids project. But critics say the plan lacks details and they are skeptical that the new features would be effective.

The new controls were outlined on Sunday by Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president for global affairs, who made the rounds on various Sunday news shows including CNN’s “State of the Union” and ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” where he was grilled about Facebook’s use of algorithms as well as its role in spreading harmful misinformation ahead of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

“We are constantly iterating in order to improve our products,” Clegg told Dana Bash on “State of the Union” Sunday. “We cannot, with a wave of the wand, make everyone’s life perfect. What we can do is improve our products, so that our products are as safe and as enjoyable to use.”

Clegg said that Facebook has invested $13 billion over the past few years in making sure to keep the platform safe and that the company has 40,000 people working on these issues.

The flurry of interviews came after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist with Facebook, went before Congress last week to accuse the social media platform of failing to make changes to Instagram after internal research showed apparent harm to some teens and of being dishonest in its public fight against hate and misinformation. Haugen’s accusations were supported by tens of thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before leaving her job in the company’s civic integrity unit.

Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a watchdog for the children and media marketing industry, said that he doesn’t think introducing controls to help parents supervise teens would be effective since many teens set up secret accounts any way. He was also dubious about how effective nudging teens to take a break or move away from harmful content would be. He noted Facebook needs to show exactly how they would implement it and offer research that shows these tools are effective.

“There is tremendous reason to be skeptical,” he said. He added that regulators need to restrict what Facebook does with its algorithms.

He said he also believes that Facebook should cancel its Instagram project for kids.

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New initiative addresses mental health in black communities

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New initiative addresses mental health in black communities

DELLWOOD, Mo – The National Allegiance on Mental Illness reports 63% of black people believe mental health conditions is a sign of personal weakness. This idea, and lack of seeking treatment or services, has led to a mental health crisis in black communities. 

Tunnel Light, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2018 after the founder Sideny Stuckey’s brother committed suicide.

Passionate about addressing mental health, Tunnel Light launched an initiative that will provide mental health first aid training to local professionals in an effort to help residents better identify signs of depression, reverse the stigma on mental health, and begin rebuilding the health of black people overall. 

Saturday afternoon the organization hosted an open discussion at Eclectic Retail Gallery (E.R.G) in Dellwood. Singer, actress, and St. Louis native Truth Hurts served as the moderator and is endorsing the initiative. 

She said, “The more we start talking about it and dealing with it is the way that we handle it and really come up with some good remedies for mental health and start dealing with each other.”

The Tunnel Light Mental Health Awareness First Aid program is based upon a model out of Australia that has seen success. The organization has partnered with the University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL), Mental Health of America, and National Wellbeing of America to provide the training.

The training is a five-hour online course. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate, and board member Bishop Perry says after you receive your certificate, you become eligible to co-host other training sessions to earn money. 

Perry said, “This training is set to give you resources and tools to use for someone who might be experiencing a mental health crisis or challenge.”

Though individual and collective awareness of the signs of depression and anxiety in yourself and others is a good first step, Tunnel Light ultimately wants to connect those struggling with mental health issues in silence to seek other resources, like therapy. 

“It just takes on person or one mission to interject in a person’s situation that might be depressive or unhappy,” said Perry, “and then they’re on their way to true happiness in their life.”

Stuckey knows mental health is hard for many people in the black community to discuss, but she says they hope to continue creating more safe spaces for open dialogue.

They encourage St. Louis City and County residents who are interested in helping their cause or in need of mental health services to contact them on their website or on their Facebook page. 

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Reign violates order to close by holding event Friday night

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Reign to close for year; city says it’s ‘a threat to public safety’

ST. LOUIS– A week after the city of St. Louis ordered Reign Restaurant to close for a year St. Louis officials say they had to shut down an event held there last night.

City officials say they were notified around 8 p.m. about the event and police on bike patrol responded quickly and shut it down without incident or arrest. The City is now exploring the next steps as it relates to the order violation.

“The City of St. Louis, along with business, community, and civic leaders on the Downtown Engagement and Public Safety Initiative, is dedicated to activating Downtown to create positive spaces for all and will continue to hold individuals and businesses accountable,” said Nick Dunne, Mayor Tishuara Jones’ Public Information Officer.

The St. Louis Department of Public Safety ordered Reign to close and be boarded up for a year citing that it is “a threat to public safety and welfare of the residents in this community.”

Once the nuisance order was posted, Reign has 30 days to vacate, according to city documents.

The decision came after a public nuisance abatement hearing held Sept. 20 where the police linked a series of shootings and assaults at Reign in August and early September.

In September, Reign’s liquor license was suspended after video evidence surfaced of a shootout that took place in December of last year.

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Paul McCartney: John Lennon responsible for Beatles breakup

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Paul McCartney: John Lennon responsible for Beatles breakup

LONDON — Paul McCartney has revisited the breakup of The Beatles, flatly disputing the suggestion that he was responsible for the group’s demise.

Speaking on an episode of BBC Radio 4’s “This Cultural Life’ that is scheduled to air on Oct. 23, McCartney said it was John Lennon who wanted to disband The Beatles.

“I didn’t instigate the split,” McCartney said. “That was our Johnny.”

The band’s fans have long debated who was responsible for the breakup, with many blaming McCartney. But McCartney said Lennon’s desire to “break lose” was the main driver behind the split.

Confusion about the breakup was allowed to fester because their manager asked the band members to keep quiet until he concluded a number of business deals, McCartney said.

The interview comes ahead Peter Jackson’s six-hour documentary chronicling the final months of the band. “The Beatles: Get Back,” set for release in November on Disney+, is certain to revisit the breakup of the legendary band. McCartney’s comments were first reported by The Observer.

When asked by interviewer John Wilson about the decision to strike out on his own, McCartney retorted: “Stop right there. I am not the person who instigated the split. Oh no, no, no. John walked into a room one day and said, ‘I am leaving The Beatles.’ Is that instigating the split, or not?”

McCartney expressed sadness over the breakup, saying the group was still making “pretty good stuff.”

“This was my band, this was my job, this was my life. So I wanted it to continue,” McCartney said.

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WATCH: Broncos’ Javonte Williams takes off for 49-yard run against Steelers

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WATCH: Broncos’ Javonte Williams takes off for 49-yard run against Steelers

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Business people: Sunday, Oct. 10

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High school football: Ninth-ranked Woodbury rolls past Eagan 48-15

ADVERTISING/PUBLIC RELATIONS

Solve, Minneapolis, announced the promotion of Ryan Murray to president of the independent ad agency, with current president and founder Corey Johnson becoming CEO and CEO and founder John Colasanti moving to chairman.

DESIGN

Max Allers of Max Marketing Communications, St. Paul, announced that he has received a national Graphic Design USA American Web Design Award, for new client website redesign.

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Edina-based business accounting firm Abdo, Eick & Meyers announced the following promotions: to senior manager: Erin Enstad, Thomas Kueber, Justin Nilson, Jake Ouradnik, Bonnie Schwieger; to manager: Katie Ganfield, Megan Schwanz, Tyler See; administrative supervisors: Tomi McDonald, Christi Spencer; Marketing & Design Specialist: Elly Ohnstad; to senior associate: Jeff Hines, Landon Holmquist, Jason Krogfus, Nick Lawson, Sara Maslakow,  Erik Wagner and Joe Wallis. … St. Paul-based Securian Financial and its subsidiary, Securian Asset Management, announced that they have signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, committed to including environmental, social and governance factors in their investment decision making and ownership. … Rally Ventures, a Minneapolis-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage business technology, announced that Jessi Howard has joined the firm as chief people officer. … Think Bank, Rochester, Minn., announced that Steve Epp has been named vice president of insurance.

HONORS

Hawkins, a Roseville-based specialty chemical and ingredients company, announced it has been included as one of the 2021 Fortune Best Workplaces for Manufacturing and Production list. … TopLine Federal Credit Union, Maple Grove, announced that it has been named Twin Cities Business 2021 Best of Business Reader’s Choice Poll finalist in three categories: Credit Union, Mortgage Lender and Small Business Lender. … Donaldson Co. Inc., a Bloomington-based global manufacturer of filtration products and services for industry, announced it has been named a Yellow Ribbon Company by the Minnesota Department of Military Affairs’ Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program, for the company’s support of service members, veterans and military families.

LAW

Dorsey & Whitney, Minneapolis, announced that for the fourth year in a row it has achieved Mansfield Rule Certification Plus, indicating that in addition to meeting or exceeding the baseline requirements, the firm has successfully reached at least 30 percent diverse lawyer representation in a notable number of leadership roles.

MANUFACTURING

Evolve Additive Solutions, a Minnetonka-based provider of process-innovating technology and services to manufacturers, announced the appointment of Hugh Evans and Joe Allison of 3D Ventures Group to its board of directors.

MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

Makana Therapeutics, a newly acquired subsidiary of Eagan-based Recombinetics, announced it has received a $650,000 KidneyX Artificial Kidney Prize for their work to increase the supply of kidney donor organs through pig-to-human xenotransplants, or the process of transplanting organs or tissues between members of different species into humans. … Predictive Oncology, an Eagan-based developer of artificial intelligence applications to personalized medicine and drug discovery, announced that Raymond F. Vennare was elected to the board of directors; Vennare is a medical industry entrepreneur who was appointed CEO and chairman of Cvergenx Inc. in 2015.

ORGANIZATIONS

WomenVenture, a Minneapolis-based support organization for women small-business entrepreneurs, announced that LeeAnn Rasachak has been named chief executive officer.

SERVICES

PatchMaster, a New Jersey-based franchiser of drywall repair services for residences, announced that Aaron Sandvig has become a franchise owner for Central Minnesota, based in Minnetonka. Sandvig is a U.S. Army veteran and private attorney. Sandvig’s franchise territory runs from Minnetonka to Alexandria, including the Northwest Minneapolis metropolitan area and St. Cloud. … Dakota Supply Group, a distributor of HVAC supplies and services to business, has announced plans to open a new branch at 250 River Ridge Circle North in Burnsville. It’s the company’s 13th Minnesota location.

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Cora: Text from Belichick, ‘like the highlight of the year’

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Cora: Text from Belichick, ‘like the highlight of the year’

BOSTON (AP) — The sure sign for Red Sox manager Alex Cora that things are getting serious in the baseball playoffs: He got a text from Patriots coach Bill Belichick wishing him luck.

“That’s like the highlight of the year,” Cora gushed before Game 3 of the AL Division Series against Tampa Bay on Sunday. “I got the text from this random area code. That’s cool, to be honest with you, for somebody of his status to wish us luck.”

Cora said Belichick reached out before Tuesday’s wild-card victory over the New York Yankees, and texted again after. Although the two have met several times, including when the 2018 World Series champions were honored before a Patriots game, “This is more personal,” Cora said.

The genial Red Sox manager said he saw a different side of Belichick than the one the dour coach shows through the media. Cora, who has one World Series ring as a Red Sox player and another as the manager, wondered aloud to reporters whether he might go all Belichickian if he wins a few more.

“I won’t promise you,” he said, “but I don’t think I will change.”

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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