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Poestenkill men arrested for burglary after car gets flat tire

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Albany man arrested for drugs, stolen handgun

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man unexpectedly won the Quad Cities Marathon this weekend when the two Kenyan runners who had far outpaced him were disqualified after being diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist.

Tyler Pence crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds to become the first U.S. runner since 2001 to win the race through the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa. Pence, the head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, logged his fastest time ever with the win and took the first prize of $3,000.

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Working Strategies: Quitting your job Part 1: What to do at work

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Working Strategies: Quitting your job Part 1: What to do at work

Do you remember a few years ago when quitting out loud was all the rage? YouTube and social media were lit up with people topping each other with the most flamboyant ways to quit their jobs. Bands were hired, billboards were customized, singing telegrams were delivered … disgruntled workers could hardly wait to tell the world how they felt about their jobs.

Amy Lindgren

I wasn’t a fan of the trend, but I’m old-fashioned that way. I still favor giving a little notice, but if someone’s going to leave in a huff, a simple “I quit” will do. No need to be obnoxious about it.

Quitting is in the news again, although not for the spectacle of it. Now, the sheer number of job quitters is grabbing attention, with more people voluntarily leaving their positions than any other time in the past 30 years.

All I can say is we’ve come a long way. This may seem odd to millennials or even gen-xers, but it wasn’t long ago when people felt ashamed to be out of work. You could be rich and own five homes but if you weren’t going to work, something was wrong with you.

Those weren’t the good old days, in my view. For fear of cultural approbation, workers stuck with abusive bosses or low wages or unfulfilling positions. But if they left, new employers might decline to hire them, under the assumption that someone who quits without new employment is unreliable or a job hopper.

Overall, it’s a good thing that workers are feeling more freedom of movement. It’s better for the worker and, eventually, it will be better for the workplace when more jobs are held by people who want to be there, not by those who feel trapped into staying.

Unfortunately, not everyone who’s quitting right now is exercising some new-found sense of freedom. Lack of day care, fear of getting sick, and just plain burnout are driving a lot of the job departures that are filling up economists’ stat sheets.

Like everything else in our work lives, there are good and less-good ways to do things, including quitting a job. If you’re toying with the idea of leaving, whether from necessity or to fulfill a personal dream, you’re probably not lining up a brass band to give the announcement. That’s good, but what departure plans are you making instead?

Following are five things to do at your job before giving notice. Next week’s column will provide five more things to do in your personal life, with a final column on five things to do in your career before pulling the plug on your job.

1. Talk to your Boss. This may be the last thing you want to do, but think about it: If you’re going to quit anyway, what’s the harm? Set a meeting and explain that you’re thinking of leaving, then see what transpires. You might not change your mind, but then again, you might end up with a raise or a better schedule while you complete your plans.

2. Look for internal opportunities. Maybe you don’t need to quit so much as you need a change of pace. New committees, projects or a new job altogether might make it possible to stay longer with the same employer.

3. Prepare to leave. Just in case things go faster than you expect, start now to collect contact information for your co-workers or others you want to stay in touch with, as well as work samples for your portfolio. While you’re at it, clean out your computer, truck, locker, desk or work station so you can make a quicker exit when it’s time.

4. Upgrade your training. If you’re planning to stay a few months or more, look for company training you can access in the meantime. That could be software upgrades, management classes, license renewals, etc.

5. Check your timing. Does your company pay bonuses in March? Then don’t leave in February if you can help it. Do you get depressed in the winter? Then it might not be smart to be unemployed when the snow flies. Since you’re controlling this job departure, make sure the timing suits you as well.

What if you just want to leave — right now? If you’re too burned-out to make plans, take a sick day, breath deep and think once more just to be sure. Or wait for the next two columns to see what else you might want to do before flying the coop.

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Soucheray: Restore the expectation of punishment for a crime

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Soucheray: Leniency? Call it insanity instead

The night before the rampage at the Seventh Street Truck Park bar, Ramsey County Sherriff Bob Fletcher, filming his “Live on Patrol,” stopped in front of the place. He has noted an increase in the crowds. He has been parking in front of the Truck Park bar and other venues every Friday in the belief that it might at least be penny wise for large crowds to see a law enforcement vehicle.

“We haven’t had a shooting here,” Fletcher said during filming. But he had a vibe based on 40 or so years of watching crowds and who’s who and what’s what.

Fletcher didn’t want to be right.

The next night, Terry Lorenzo Brown Jr., 33, and Devondre Trevon Phillips, 29, started shooting each other over a dispute about domestic abuse. They shot wildly, hitting each other and 14 other people.

They killed the innocent Marquisha Wiley, 27, whose friends worked in the madness and chaos trying to keep her alive.

Brown has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and 11 counts of attempted intentional murder in the second degree. Phillips was charged with 12 counts of intentional attempted murder in the second degree. Bail has been set $10 million apiece for the two men.

Maybe now the public can be kept safe from these two.

Brown, for example, according to WCCO-TV and other news outlets, has an extensive criminal record, a 2018 felony conviction for violating a no-contact order in a domestic abuse case, a prior conviction for violating the same no-contact order in 2016 and two missed court dates on the 2018 charge. He received 180 days in the workhouse and five years of probation. In April 2018, he gave a false name to police. He was sentenced to 91 days in the Ramsey County jail and was released after 29 days. In September 2020, he was charged with DWI for driving twice over the legal limit at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s lower level with an open bottle of cognac.

And the sentence for that one? According to Crime Watch Minneapolis, Brown was convicted of a gross misdemeanor DWI and sentenced to a year in the workhouse but was released after 86 days and placed on another five-year probation.

On the night Brown and Phillips shot up the Seventh Street Truck Park, Brown, at least, should have been in jail.

Marquisha Wiley should be alive and 14 others should not be nursing wounds.

The criminal justice system just kept spinning Brown out the door. The system not only didn’t do Brown any favors, it placed the pubic at great risk. Your kid could have been at that bar last Sunday morning. Without knowing all the details, Brown was a risk to the public just waiting to happen.

“You don’t start out as a shooter,” Fletcher said, “you end up a shooter.”

By which Fletcher meant that with the commission of each juvenile crime, there is seemingly no serious consequence. There is no more Totem Town. There appear to be no measures in place to even introduce the notion of a consequence from the beginning. The criminality of youth grows into the criminality of the man. Finally, it comes to guns.

We absolutely need more police. Just as urgently, we need prosecutors and judges to do their jobs. Restore the expectation of punishment for a crime. Quit looking the other way.

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With COVID still lurking, other illnesses add to parent woes

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With COVID still lurking, other illnesses add to parent woes

By CATHARINE RICHERT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — It’s a busy morning in Mai Huynh and Christopher Birkholm’s Minneapolis home as they get their 18-month-old, Franny, and 3-year-old, Clinton, out the door.

“Both kids headed back to day care last week,” said Huyhn.

But it’s a precarious situation.

Since August, both Franny and Clinton have had to stay home about six times between the two of them with illnesses that mimic COVID-19. Pointing to Clinton and Franny, Birkholm explained that sometimes it’s a double, triple — even quadruple — whammy.

“He had RSV, but she had RSV, parainfluenza and rhinovirus — all at the same time,” said Birkholm.

And each time their kids get sick, Huynh said she and Birkholm have to scramble for COVID tests and child care, and figure out how to manage work at the same time, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“When the kids are sick, it’s just these conversations that we have have turned into negotiations over who has to take care of the kids,” said Huyhn, who works at an elementary school and has limited flexibility to stay home.

In a season when the sniffles can’t be ignored, the ensuing confusion can leave parents in a bind juggling some challenging logistics: Do they send their kids to school while sick even if they test negative for COVID-19? Who will take time off from work to watch the kids? And will yet another hour of TV to entertain them really ruin them for life?

A fourth wave of COVID-19 is colliding with an early start to RSV season, as well as other respiratory viruses that typically crop up this time of year, said Mayo Clinic pediatrician Dr. Angela Mattke.

It’s a pattern that may hold for months and that could further strain an already strapped health care system, she said.

“It’s going to make it extremely difficult in these winter months if we’re seeing COVID-19 peaks, if we’re seeing influenza, we’re seeing other circulating viruses like RSV, coronavirus,” Mattke said. “We’re going to see a large influx of sick kids to doctor’s office emergency room visits to hospitals.”

The state Health Department says it’s seeing 3,000 new COVID-19 cases a week in children under 12 — a high-water mark for the pandemic. And many hospitals are at capacity, including pediatric centers in part because of an unusual rise in other respiratory illnesses in kids.

Many kids, including Franny and Clinton Birkholm, weren’t in school or a day care setting until August of this year.

Mattke said because kids were isolated and masked for so long, they’re now getting exposed to viruses they probably would have encountered earlier — and it’s happening all at once.

During the pandemic, there was an almost complete reduction in viruses like RSV, Mattke said.

“Now we’ve seen relaxed social distancing measures, relaxation on masking, and so the viruses just are primed to spread because we have a lot of people that maybe have never been exposed to especially RSV virus,” she said. “And a lot of kids who haven’t been exposed to other viruses, and so that’s why we’re seeing such a large increase in the number of circulating respiratory viruses.”

In St. Cloud, nurse Breanna Olsen is in the midst of another round of child care struggles. Her youngest’s day care has been closed again after a case of COVID cropped up among students.

She doesn’t know how much longer her son will be home, as more kids from the same day care test positive.

For now, she and her husband, who is a teacher, are cobbling together care, calling on grandparents and taking time off, too. But it’s hard because both work in professions that can’t be done from home — and both industries are suffering staff shortages.

“My husband gets a set number of days off a year, which can roll over, so he has more than you know that for the year,” Olsen said. “And for me, you can only call in so many shifts, and then you don’t get your raise next year. So we’re always like, ‘OK, whose turn is it?’ ”

In Huynh and Birkholm’s house, Birkholm typically watches the kids because he already works remotely for an e-commerce company.

Birkholm said he loves having extra time with the kids.

“But eventually I have to do work and join meetings and it’s really hard to do when you got three days in a row of sick children at home,” he said.

Birkholm said that even finding a COVID test for his kids eats into his day. They have to call the doctor every time because their kids are too young to do saliva tests offered at community testing sites.

And then he has to take the kids to the doctor, wait for results — and even though COVID tests are free, those doctor’s visits often come with a charge.

While Birkholm has taken on much of the child care, Huynh said she feels stuck between two walls of what she describes as self-inflicted guilt: If she’s at work, she feels bad that she can’t take care of her sick kids. If she’s at home, she feels guilty because her school is already short-staffed.

“And so it’s just this constant feeling of letting people down,” she said.

Mattke said there’s no silver bullet for protecting kids this fall from COVID-19 and other illnesses. It will be months before COVID-19 vaccines are available to all kids under 12.

Testing kids for any symptoms — even if it’s just congestion — helps catch COVID cases early, and will go a long way in protecting others from catching the virus.

And Mattke says the single best way to protect kids from illness this fall is for anyone who is eligible to get a flu shot and COVID-19 shots.

Both, she said, offer powerful protection against illness.

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Union: 97 percent of SLPS members complied with vaccine mandate

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Union: 97 percent of SLPS members complied with vaccine mandate

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new state-of-the-art research building on the University of Missouri’s campus could bring patients from across the state to Columbia for health care. 

Missouri Chief Capitol Bureau Reporter Emily Manley is the only reporter who’s been inside the building before next week’s grand opening and spoke with health officials and building directors about the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building. 

Inside the 265,000 square foot building, there’s an MRI machine found nowhere else in the state. There are labs the size of football fields, a unit that allows researchers to conduct human trials and space to produce pharmaceutical drugs.

Researchers and those in charge of the building say this building puts Columbia and Mizzou on the map for health care. 

“The whole goal is to improve the health of Missourians,” executive director for the building Dr. Richard Barohn said. “This building is a game-changer for the University of Missouri. It really puts us in the heart of the conversation of how you can improve health.”

After breaking ground in 2019, Mizzou is ready to open the doors on its new $221 million dollar research building. 

“Science has evolved to the point where it’s different than just going to your typical health care provider 30 or 40 years ago,” Barohn said. “Now with the advent of precision health tools, we can really deliver a different type of health care.”

Barohn, a neurologist that specializes in muscle and nerve disease, says precision health research involves looking at genetic, behavioral, and imaging factors. 

Inside the new facility, researchers will be looking closely at things like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 

“It’s approximately a football field’s worth of open wet lab space where our teams of scientists that study similar disorders can work together,” associate director of the building Dr. Scott Rector said. Rector said the open space concept could lead to fast findings. 

“Traditionally it takes about 20 years to go from a discovery at the bench to getting that into a patient,” Rector said. “We hope that the philosophy in the building would be that we could expedite that process and get to that endpoint more quickly.”

In the basement, there’s an MRI machine found nowhere else in Missouri. 

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Great Loop travelers do good deeds while boat repairs keep them in St. Charles

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Great Loop travelers do good deeds while boat repairs keep them in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A couple who started sailing the Great Loop on June 24 from Rhode Island is now stuck in St. Charles, but they are spreading positivity in the local community as they wait to leave.

Their boat is sitting at Port Charles Harbor as it waits for a part to come in for a much-needed repair.

Susan and Greg Costas chronicle their adventures in their boat, “Lucky Me,” on a Facebook page called Lucky Me Looping.

“Lucky Me” is a 2008 35-foot Tiara 3500 Sovran that was manufactured in Holland, Michigan. The Costas purchased her in 2017.

“We’re not rich, we have retired earlier than most,” Susan Costa said. “For three days or maybe a week, we’re in a community on our boat, learning about our community, talking to people and we want to do something to make a difference.”

“Lucky Me” boat repair saga

Their boat has now been sitting at the port located in St. Charles since Oct. 9. The Costas realized their boat was in need of repairs when they were leaving Peru, Illinois on Oct. 4 and their starboard transmission broke.

Susan wrote in a Facebook post that Lucky Me needs a new Volvo Integrated Propulsion System (IPS) pod drive and transmission.

Susan said the transmission is part of the IPS pod drive. The IPS joystick allows for precision docking in less than ideal weather or sea conditions, according to Susan, and she and Greg love this feature. This issue has thrown a wrench in the couple’s trip.

Susan said on Thursday that their new transmission had arrived and the new IPS drive has been shipped from Volvo’s factory in Sweden. At the time of her post, the IPS drive was in Denmark and awaiting the next steps in the shipping process.

Susan said the IPS drive will arrive in an 800-pound crate. Susan said she is unsure how quickly the large crate will get to St. Charles.

This weekend, the couple heads to the Looper Rendezvous at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama Saturday via a rental car.

They plan to be back in St. Charles on October 23. Susan seems hopeful that their boat will be ready to head south on the Mississippi River at the end of October or early November. They plan to go to their Florida home “for a couple of weeks till the boat is ready to continue the journey.”

Charity work along the Great Loop

During the Costas’ time in St. Charles, they have made multiple charitable donations to area organizations. Susan wrote in a Facebook post that she and Greg have dubbed these acts “Loopers Care.”

“At various stops along our Great Loop journey, we have a goal of doing something to make a difference,” Susan said in a Facebook post. “This can be volunteering, making a donation, or purchasing items a local nonprofit needs.”

They started this tradition during their first Great Loop trip that lasted from January 2019 to June 2020. During that trip, they made 30 charitable donations throughout their travels.

The Costas completed Loopers Care act 42 on Oct. 13. They purchased 180 pounds of cat food for Five Acres Animal Shelter. Their 43rd Loopers Care act was completed on Friday.

“It was very heart-touching to receive all this outpour from the community,” Costa said.

The Costas contacted Crisis Nursery in St. Charles and the staff told them they were in need of a baby swing. So the Costas showed up to the Crisis Nursery with two.

Susan said they even did a bonus Loopers Care act and “dropped off 4 ball & bat sets for the local “Toys For Tots” drive drop-off site at Wineology, 3767 New Town Blvd, St Charles.”

“There’s just an excitement, like, wow you’re 1,000 miles away from where you live and you’re going to help our community. It’s so amazing for us but it’s just fun the response we get back,” Costa said.

As they wait for a replacement for a piece of their boat, they now have more time to do one more act of charity. They hope to be out in the next two weeks but as they wait, they might be here even longer.

What is the Great Loop?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration run by the U.S. Department of Commerce said, “The Great Loop is a continuous waterway that recreational mariners can travel that includes part of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland.”

The loop is approximately 6,000 miles.

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Fort Zumwalt South honors fallen Marine with $32,000 for memorial fund

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Fort Zumwalt South honors fallen Marine with $32,000 for memorial fund

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new state-of-the-art research building on the University of Missouri’s campus could bring patients from across the state to Columbia for health care. 

Missouri Chief Capitol Bureau Reporter Emily Manley is the only reporter who’s been inside the building before next week’s grand opening and spoke with health officials and building directors about the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building. 

Inside the 265,000 square foot building, there’s an MRI machine found nowhere else in the state. There are labs the size of football fields, a unit that allows researchers to conduct human trials and space to produce pharmaceutical drugs.

Researchers and those in charge of the building say this building puts Columbia and Mizzou on the map for health care. 

“The whole goal is to improve the health of Missourians,” executive director for the building Dr. Richard Barohn said. “This building is a game-changer for the University of Missouri. It really puts us in the heart of the conversation of how you can improve health.”

After breaking ground in 2019, Mizzou is ready to open the doors on its new $221 million dollar research building. 

“Science has evolved to the point where it’s different than just going to your typical health care provider 30 or 40 years ago,” Barohn said. “Now with the advent of precision health tools, we can really deliver a different type of health care.”

Barohn, a neurologist that specializes in muscle and nerve disease, says precision health research involves looking at genetic, behavioral, and imaging factors. 

Inside the new facility, researchers will be looking closely at things like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. 

“It’s approximately a football field’s worth of open wet lab space where our teams of scientists that study similar disorders can work together,” associate director of the building Dr. Scott Rector said. Rector said the open space concept could lead to fast findings. 

“Traditionally it takes about 20 years to go from a discovery at the bench to getting that into a patient,” Rector said. “We hope that the philosophy in the building would be that we could expedite that process and get to that endpoint more quickly.”

In the basement, there’s an MRI machine found nowhere else in Missouri. 

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Daylight saving time ends soon – here’s when we ‘fall back’

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Daylight saving time ends soon – here’s when we ‘fall back’

(KTVX) – We are less than a month away from gaining an hour of sleep as daylight saving time ends.

Daylight saving time started on Sunday, March 14, when we “sprung ahead” and lost an hour of sleep. Turning our clocks one hour ahead in spring is supposed to help us save energy and capitalize on the spring sunlight. When daylight saving starts, the sun rises and sets later.

Over 70 countries participate in daylight saving time each year, but the beginning and end dates vary from one to another. On Sunday, Nov. 7, daylight saving time will come to an end as Americans in observing states set their clocks back one hour. While the sun will rise a little earlier after we change our clocks, it will also set earlier, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

Not a fan of changing the clocks twice a year? You aren’t alone. As daylight saving time rolls around each year, so do questions about the practice and even proposals to do away with it.

In March of 2021, there was a bipartisan effort called the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” that proposed to make daylight saving time permanent, instead of falling back every November.

The legislation was introduced by Sens. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.); James Lankford, (R-Okla.); Roy Blunt, (R-Mo.); Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-RI); Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.); Cindy Hyde-Smith, (R-Miss.); Rick Scott, (R-Fla.); and Ed Markey, (D-Mass.).

The bill was ultimately referred to the subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce and has yet to pass in the House or Senate.

So for now, Americans who don’t live in Hawaii and Arizona, where they don’t observe the time changes – will still have to change their clocks twice a year, with the daylight saving time set to end on Nov. 7. After we fall behind then, we won’t have to spring our clocks forward again until Sunday, March 13.

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Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ No. 1 in AMC presales, beats ‘Shang-Chi’ and ‘Black Widow’ in early sales

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Marvel’s “Eternals” is dominating early ticket sales and has become No. 1 in AMC presales for the year.

Presale predictions: The latest upcoming film to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is estimated to have garnered $2.6 million in the first 24 hours of its advance sales, according to Deadline.

  • The movie surpassed “Shang-Chi” ($1.4 million) advance sales by +86% and “Black Widow” ($2 million) by +30%. It is also projected to fly by both films’ box office opening weekend sales on its release.
  • The current biggest opener of the year is Sony and Marvel’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” at $90 million, “Black Widow” in second with $80.3 million and “Shang-Chi” in third at $75.3 million. The latter currently holds the title as the highest-grossing movie in the 2021 domestic box office.

Celestial impact: Following the aftermath of “Avengers: Endgame,” the MCU will be joined by a new set of mighty heroes who’ve been protecting Earth in the shadows for thousands of years. 

  • Starring Gemma Chan as Sersi, Ma Dong-seok as Gilgamesh, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Barry Keoghan as Druig and Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, “Eternals” and Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao have received praise for its diverse and inclusive casting.
  • “Eternals” will be available in theaters on Nov. 5.
  • On Friday, Marvel released the first official clip of “Eternals” titled “Run!”

Featured Image via Marvel Entertainment
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‘Blackpink: The Movie’ is coming to Disney+

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Disney+ announcement

K-pop girl group Blackpink’s movie is coming to Disney+. 

Hallyu: On Nov. 12, streaming service Disney+ will be launching in South Korea, and along with the launch, “Blackpink: The Movie” will become available to stream. 

  • “Blackpink: The Movie” was released in South Korea Aug. 4 in order to celebrate the group’s fifth anniversary, which was Aug. 8.
  • The movie is a documentary film about the concerts that the girl group did such as “The Show” in 2021 and “In Your Area” in 2018, according to What’s On Disney Plus

  • The concert film is not the only South-Korean-created media that Disney+ will be including onto their platform. 
  • The media giant announced that they will be bringing 27 new projects onto their streaming platform that are from the Asia-Pacific region, Inside The Magic reported. 
  • Luke Kang, who is Disney’s Asia-Pacific president, said, “Today, we are making another commitment by combining the global resources of the company with the best content creators from Asia Pacific to develop and produce original stories on Disney+.” 
  • He added, “We believe that this is the right time for us to deepen our collaboration with the region’s best content creators to deliver unparalleled storytelling to global audiences.”
  • Some of the creations that are coming to Disney+ include a drama about divorce called “Min’s Family” and a period drama called “Delicacies Destiny.” 
  • K-pop singer Kang Daniel will also be a lead in an upcoming series to Disney+ called “Rookies.” 

Featured Image via BLACKPINK

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NASA’s asteroid hunter Lucy soars into sky with diamonds

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NASA’s asteroid hunter Lucy soars into sky with diamonds

By MARCIA DUNN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft named Lucy rocketed into the sky with diamonds Saturday morning on a 12-year quest to explore eight asteroids.

Seven of the mysterious space rocks are among swarms of asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit, thought to be the pristine leftovers of planetary formation.

An Atlas V rocket blasted off before dawn, sending Lucy on a roundabout journey spanning nearly 4 billion miles (6.3 billion kilometers). Researchers grew emotional describing the successful launch — lead scientist Hal Levison said it was like witnessing the birth of a child. “Go Lucy!” he urged.

Lucy is named after the 3.2 million-year-old skeletal remains of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia nearly a half-century ago. That discovery got its name from the 1967 Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” prompting NASA to send the spacecraft soaring with band members’ lyrics and other luminaries’ words of wisdom imprinted on a plaque. The spacecraft also carried a disc made of lab-grown diamonds for one of its science instruments.

In a prerecorded video for NASA, Beatles drummer Ringo Starr paid tribute to his late colleague John Lennon, credited for writing the song that inspired all this.

“I’m so excited — Lucy is going back in the sky with diamonds. Johnny will love that,” Starr said. “Anyway, if you meet anyone up there, Lucy, give them peace and love from me.”

The paleoanthropologist behind the fossil Lucy discovery, Donald Johanson, had goose bumps watching Lucy soar — “I will never look at Jupiter the same … absolutely mind-expanding.” He said he was filled with wonder about this “intersection of our past, our present and our future.”

“That a human ancestor who lived so long ago stimulated a mission which promises to add valuable information about the formation of our solar system is incredibly exciting,” said Johanson, of Arizona State University, who traveled to Cape Canaveral for his first rocket launch.

Lucy’s $981 million mission is the first to aim for Jupiter’s so-called Trojan entourage: thousands — if not millions — of asteroids that share the gas giant’s expansive orbit around the sun. Some of the Trojan asteroids precede Jupiter in its orbit, while others trail it.

Despite their orbits, the Trojans are far from the planet and mostly scattered far from each other. So there’s essentially zero chance of Lucy getting clobbered by one as it swoops past its targets, said Levison of Southwest Research Institute, the mission’s principal scientist.

Lucy will swing past Earth next October and again in 2024 to get enough gravitational oomph to make it all the way out to Jupiter’s orbit. On the way there, the spacecraft will zip past asteroid Donaldjohanson between Mars and Jupiter. The aptly named rock will serve as a 2025 warm-up act for the science instruments.

Drawing power from two huge circular solar wings, Lucy will chase down five asteroids in the leading pack of Trojans in the late 2020s. The spacecraft will then zoom back toward Earth for another gravity assist in 2030. That will send Lucy back out to the trailing Trojan cluster, where it will zip past the final two targets in 2033 for a record-setting eight asteroids visited in a single mission.

It’s a complicated, circuitous path that had NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, shaking his head at first. “You’ve got to be kidding. This is possible?” he recalled asking.

Lucy will pass within 600 miles (965 kilometers) of each target; the biggest one is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) across.

“Are there mountains? Valleys? Pits? Mesas? Who knows? I’m sure we’re going to be surprised,” said Johns Hopkins University’s Hal Weaver, who’s in charge of Lucy’s black-and-white camera. “But we can hardly wait to see what … images will reveal about these fossils from the formation of the solar system.”

NASA plans to launch another mission next month to test whether humans might be able to alter an asteroid’s orbit — practice in case Earth ever has a killer rock headed this way.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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