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Boston mayoral candidates Michelle Wu, Annissa Essaibi-George clash over rent control, policing in first debate

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Be prepared for a weird series of electoral events in Boston

Mayoral candidates Annissa-Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu clashed in their first head-to-head debate over a range of topics from rent control to policing.

Despite periodic prodding by WBZ moderator Jon Keller to jab at each other, both candidates for the most part stuck to their normal scripts, answering each question about a big issue of the city — be it housing affordability, Mass and Cass, the coronavirus pandemic — by stating how they believed it was indeed an important topic and then declaring that “urgency” and “action” were needed.

Neither busted out any wild new claims or proposals, but Essaibi-George, the underdog in the race, did look to take a couple of shots at Wu. The first, on rent control, came about a quarter of the way in after Wu said that the city needs to partner with small landlords to prevent evictions.

“Michelle does not believe in the power of that small landlord,” Essaibi-George said of her fellow at-large city councilor, citing Wu’s support for rent control. On that topic she continued, “That will create further disinvestment in our city. That will keep rents high and push our city’s residents further and further away from community, from job centers, from schools and from future opportunity.”

Wu countered that rent control and similar big changes are what people want.

“We can’t be afraid and listen to scare tactics around what our residents need right now,” Wu said.

Essaibi-George came back at Wu by noting that rent control is not something that’s in the purview of the city — a criticism she has previously expanded to Wu’s other points about making the MBTA free. She said the city should focus on assistance to renters and that rent control, which was defeated by a referendum in the 1990s, is a “state effort.”

But Wu responded that the mayor needs to “fight for” any initiative they think works, including partnering with the state to do so.

Both stressed the need for more resources to help tenants and a desire to build more affordable housing.

Wu and Essaibi-George will face off in the general election Nov. 2.

Though both candidates have various policies that are in the Democrat mainstream, Wu’s seen as the big-picture progressive, a la her mentor U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, while Essaibi-George hews more toward the center.

The topic of policing did garner a couple of exchanges, after Essaibi-George said, “I believe in investing in public safety, not defunding our public safety agency.” She also claimed, “Michelle does not lead on the reforms that are necessary, especially as it relates to a mental health response for our Boston Police Department.”

Wu disagreed with that second assertion, saying that while she’d supported Essaibi-George’s initiative to add mental health workers to the police response, but, “going from two to 19 clinicians, when we have hundreds of thousands of residents across the city” is not enough of a far-reaching solution.

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Two in custody after police chase ends in East St. Louis Tuesday morning

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Two in custody after police chase ends in East St. Louis Tuesday morning

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Released after spending more than 40 years in prison, Kevin Strickland’s wrongful conviction case is bringing the topic of wrongful convictions to the forefront, not only locally, but also nationally.

Less than a week since Strickland was released from prison, activists and family members are hitting the streets and calling for justice in other wrongful conviction cases.

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Broncos Mailbag: Why has Courtland Sutton’s production declined over the last four games?

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Broncos Fifth Quarter: Offense unable — or unwilling — to stretch field against Eagles’ defense

Denver Post Broncos writer Ryan O’Halloran posts his Broncos Mailbag periodically during the season. Submit questions to Ryan here.

What is going on with Courtland Sutton? Is there a reason his activity is so low these past few games?

— Rich Berger, Idaho Springs

Rich is correct — Sutton’s production has dipped in the four games since Jerry Jeudy returned from injury. The totals against Washington, Dallas, Philadelphia and the Chargers:

  • Sutton — 12 targets, seven catches, 95 yards and no touchdowns.
  • Jeudy — 24 targets, 18 catches, 181 yards and no touchdowns.
  • Tim Patrick — 17 targets, 12 catches, 192 yards and one touchdown.

Coverage dictates where the football goes and the Broncos had only 25 pass attempts against the Chargers. Plus, they have gotten Jeudy involved with shorter passes. But if this offense wants to get more explosive, it starts by challenging teams more often downfield with Sutton.

What do you think it’s going to take to get our passing game booted up? General manager George Paton gave Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton nice extensions, but the two combined for just four catches for 43 yards. I feel like we should be throwing to them more.

— Harold, Fort Collins

Four catches for 43 yards, but that represented 26.7% of the Broncos’ completions and 27.7% of their passing yards against the Chargers.

Sunday’s game was ideal from a Broncos’ offensive standpoint. They improved to 4-0 when they rush at least 30 times — they ran 33 times for 147 yards.

Sutton had only two catches for 17 yards, but he did draw a 15-yard pass interference penalty on the Chargers.

But you’re right, Harold. Starting Sunday night at Kansas City, finding ways to complete chunk passes to Sutton and Patrick (and Jeudy) will be required.

Being that Vic Fangio was a great defensive coach when calling plays from the booth, would it be beneficial to hire an offensive coordinator as a co-head coach and move Fangio back to the booth?

— Matthew Gomez, Pueblo

Well, I give Matthew an “A” for not just thinking outside the box, but outside the box that contains the box. As a defensive coordinator, Fangio did call games from upstairs, but the scenario presented has no chance of conspiring. If Fangio is sitting upstairs next year during a game, it’s because he’s the defensive coordinator for another NFL team.

Ryan, what the heck was Drew Lock thinking on that awful pass that was picked off by Derwin James? He’s done here in Denver.

— Mike, Denver

A question and a comment from Mike. Lock’s interception was a great catch by safety Derwin James, but an awful decision considering the score (14-0) and situation (late in the first half).

Lock was trying to make something happen and it backfired. At that point, Teddy Bridgewater was going to re-enter the game so long as he could protect himself. Lock will only play this year if Bridgewater is injured. Fangio said on Monday that Lock remains the No. 2 quarterback.

Teddy Bridgewater had a gutsy performance Sunday. Any chance he winds up being re-signed next year? I don’t know if we can land Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson next year, and with a draft pick that’ll probably be in the mid-to-late teens of the first round, we’re not getting a blue-chip quarterback to mold.

— Miles, Parker

My first choice would be Wilson. The Seahawks need the draft picks to start their re-load (I’m going to call it rebuild) and Wilson would help kick-start that effort and it would allow the Broncos to keep their skill-position core intact.

As for Bridgewater, who is a free agent in March, his best possible plan is to show the Broncos enough to re-sign and be the place-holder for a quarterback they will draft in the first two rounds.

I still believe the Broncos will go big-game searching this offseason to find quarterback stability.

I think the Broncos need to use draft picks and go get Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.

— Barri Hicks, Ogden, Utah

Broncos general manager George Paton was in Pittsburgh last month to watch Pickett play for the Panthers.

Pickett, 23, has helped Pitt to a 10-2 record this year and has 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The issue for Paton, if he bypasses trading/signing a veteran: How many draft assets is he willing to give up to move up? My lean is Broncos fans should want to see what Paton can do with a full stock of picks.

Should the Broncos need to find their future franchise quarterback in the draft, do you see one this year they can select based on where they will approximately pick or will they have to wait another year with a place-holder at the position?

— Yoann, Beine-Nauroy, France

The scenarios: 1. Trade for a current starter. 2. Sign a place-holding veteran. 3. Keep Bridgewater. 4. Draft a quarterback.

I think it would behoove the Broncos to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds even if they acquire Aaron Rodgers from Green Bay. It isn’t as crucial if they acquire Russell Wilson from Seattle.

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Sauget, Ill. police chase ends with crash in Creve Coeur, one in custody

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Sauget, Ill. police chase ends with crash in Creve Coeur, one in custody

ST. LOUIS – A police chase that started in Sauget, Illinois at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday weaved into St. Louis City and then into Creve Coeur where the driver finally crashed.

The crash happened at Olive Boulevard and Woodcrest Executive Drive at about 4 a.m. One man is in custody. Police are also questioning a woman who was in the car.

Officers were apparently attempting to stop the driver for unlawful use of a weapon.

When the driver crashed the car, a MoDOT sign was hit. MoDOT crews arrived at the scene to replace it.

FOX 2’s Nissan Rogue Runner reporter Jason Maxwell was at the scene.

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

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