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Ravens place CB Kevon Seymour on reserve/COVID-19 list, release ex-Calvert Hall QB Kenji Bahar

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Ravens place CB Kevon Seymour on reserve/COVID-19 list, release ex-Calvert Hall QB Kenji Bahar

The Ravens on Monday placed newly signed cornerback Kevon Seymour on the reserve/COVID-19 list, threatening his availability for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Seymour played 17 special teams snaps in the Ravens’ 16-10 win Sunday night over the Cleveland Browns, his first game since being signed off the practice squad Saturday. He’s the first Raven to be added to the team’s coronavirus list since outside linebackers Jaylon Ferguson and Justin Houston and defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Justin Madubuike were designated in late September.

Coach John Harbaugh has said the Ravens’ vaccination rate is above 90%. Under NFL protocols, fully vaccinated players who test positive need to return two negative tests at least 24 hours apart to be cleared for team activities, as long as they’re asymptomatic. Vaccinated players will not be designated as high-risk close contacts but can be held to daily testing for five days. Unvaccinated players with infections must quarantine for at least 10 days, while unvaccinated players who are deemed high-risk close contacts must sit out at least five days and continue to test negative throughout.

“I know I don’t want to test positive, I can tell you that,” Harbaugh said Monday, in the wake of Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy’s reported infection. “Does anybody? I’m praying about it. Got my toes crossed. Fingers crossed, too, probably.”

The Ravens also made a practice squad move, releasing quarterback Kenji Bahar (Calvert Hall) and signing Chris Streveler in a corresponding move. The Arizona Cardinals released Streveler, 26, last week before signing Trace McSorley off the Ravens’ practice squad.

Bahar, a Baltimore native who spent time with the Ravens during rookie minicamp and in training camp, set school records at Monmouth, a Football Championship Subdivision program, for touchdown passes (70), passing yards (9,642) and 300-yard games (nine).

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Did judge forget to order my legal fees paid?

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There’s no winning when kids are in the middle

I just got my divorce judgment in the mail. We went to trial because my husband wanted to exclude his inheritance from our assets and refused to pay my legal fees. We settled everything else and had a limited trial. The judge put our vacation home, which came from his family, in the marital estate and gave me use of it every July — he got to keep the rest of his inheritance. The judge forgot to order him to pay my legal fees.  

I don’t want to appeal just to create more legal fees. Can I somehow remind the judge that she forgot to order fees?

Just because the judge did not order something you requested does not mean she forgot. That might have been her way of denying the requested relief. Based on the limited information I have from your question, I do not know why your husband would be ordered to pay your legal fees. If you think his pushing this to trial was his fault and he should pay your fees, you should look at the judgment. Clearly if the judge gave him the rest of his inheritance with your limited ability to use a vacation home for a month each year, there was some merit to his argument, in which case it would be unlikely for you to be awarded fees.

Generally, each party is responsible for their own legal fees in a divorce. If he had access to assets to pay legal fees as the case progressed but you did not, that is a different story. In such cases, judges often provide for an advance against the marital estate to the person who does not have the means to pay fees as the case goes along.

If you want to remind the judge about the legal fee issue as you put it, first read Massachusetts Rules of Domestic Relations Procedure Rule 59(e). That provides for a mechanism to ask the judge to change a provision in the judgment. But you need to do this very quickly. You only have 10 days from the date the judgment of divorce was entered on the docket to file your motion.

You also need to look at Probate and Family Court Standing Order 2-99 because that order tells you the proper procedure for filing a Rule 59(e) motion. There are technical pieces that, if not complied with, can result in a denial of your motion. Importantly, you need to clearly identify that judgment you are seeking to alter in the title of your motion including the name of the judge. You also need to attach a copy of the judgment to your motion. The motion must be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury and cannot be more than five pages long.

This is an administrative process so if the judge agrees that she forgot to rule on the request, you will get an amended judgment, if not, you can decide whether to appeal.


Email questions to [email protected]

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The Mayo Clinic answers your questions about at-home COVID tests

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The Mayo Clinic answers your questions about at-home COVID tests

With COVID-19 continuing to be a concern, should I stock up on at-home COVID-19 tests so I don’t have to wait in long lines to get tested elsewhere? What kind of tests are sold over the counter, and what should I know before purchasing them?

The emergence of the new omicron COVID-19 variant has increased the number of COVID-19 infections around the U.S. and heightened the public’s awareness of testing options. As a result, more people are now being tested for COVID-19 as access to over-the-counter tests has increased. But the number of testing options, as well as the different types of tests that are available, can cause confusion.

In the beginning of the pandemic, testing was primarily performed using a polymerase chain reaction test, also known as a PCR test. This test was only available through certain public health labs. Throughout the middle and latter parts of 2020, many clinical labs across the country brought in molecular testing for COVID-19, including PCR testing.

Now, at-home testing is becoming more common, as more options become available to the public. While many of the self-testing kits should be able to detect the new omicron variant, it is important to remember that these tests can give a false negative result for a person infected with COVID-19.

Two types of tests are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to diagnose COVID-19 infection: molecular tests and antigen tests. Both tests can be performed using a nasal swab specimen.

A PCR test looks for the virus’ RNA in a patient’s sample. A sample is collected by inserting a swab into a person’s nostril and taking cells from the back of the nose using a nasopharyngeal swab. While most PCR tests use a nasal swab, some allow for patients to spit into a tube to get a saliva sample.

PCR tests are highly accurate, and these tests can pick up low levels of the virus in a patient’s nasal swab sample. However, PCR tests are most commonly performed in a lab, so it may take a day or two to report the results.

In contrast, antigen tests — the tests used at home — detect a viral protein in the patient’s specimen. Using a nasal swab, antigen tests can produce results in 15-20 minutes. These tests are faster and less expensive than molecular tests, but the chance of a false-negative result increases. Antigen tests have been shown to perform better in patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Understanding the differences between PCR and antigen tests is important as the new omicron variant increases in prevalence. Although most antigen tests should be able to pick up the omicron variant, some at-home tests may miss the virus, especially early after infection. This is because antigen tests only look for one viral protein, and some of the mutations present in the omicron variant could affect the performance of some antigen tests.

In contrast, PCR tests typically look for multiple parts of the viral genome. Because of this, these tests are less likely to be affected by mutations. In addition, PCR tests are more sensitive, so they’re able to provide a broader window of infection because they can detect lower amounts of the virus. This means they are better able to detect an infection earlier.

While at-home tests are an important tool in the fight against COVID-19, it’s important to understand their limitations, and know how and when to use them.

Due to the lower sensitivity of antigen tests, they should be used in closer proximity to a gathering. For example, using an antigen test the day of a family or work gathering would reduce the chance of a person with high amounts of the virus attending the event.

At-home tests shouldn’t be used as the sole way to mitigate risk. In other words, a negative antigen test shouldn’t be interpreted as a free pass to do whatever you want. If you are planning to gather with a group, use testing in combination with masking and distancing, if possible.

Symptoms and exposures should guide your testing strategy. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as a runny nose, cough, fever or fatigue, it’s important to be tested with a sensitive and highly accurate test, like a PCR test. It’s also important to remember that influenza is circulating in many parts of the country, and the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can be similar. So being tested for both viruses is a good idea.

If you have symptoms and use an at-home test, a positive result is generally reliable, but it’s still a good idea to connect with your health care provider to see if he or she recommends any treatment. If you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, a PCR test can be performed three to four days after the last exposure to see if you’ve been infected. If you use an at-home antigen test following an exposure, a single negative result doesn’t always rule out infection, so performing a second antigen test in one to two days is recommended.

The emergence of the omicron variant continues to reinforce the importance of a few protective and precautionary measures that have been followed for 20 months. First and foremost, get vaccinated for COVID-19. And those who have completed their initial vaccination series should get a booster vaccination. These steps will significantly reduce the chance of becoming infected and having severe disease. Finally, it continues to be important to wear a mask when in public, social distance when possible and stay home if you’re sick. Each step is important in reducing the transmission of COVID-19.


Dr. Matthew Binnicker, who works in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., contributed to this story. This column was provided by Tribune News Network.

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Greszler: Ease filing delays – don’t pay IRS employees for union work

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Greszler: Ease filing delays – don’t pay IRS employees for union work

With a massive backlog of unprocessed returns, staffing struggles and added work from extended pandemic programs, the IRS has warned taxpayers of impending delays in processing their returns.

There’s at least one simple way to help reduce these delays: Stop paying IRS employees to work for their unions in lieu of doing the jobs they were hired to perform.

Each year, taxpayers are forced to pay thousands of federal employees for work they don’t actually do. This sounds crazy for private-sector workers, but for federal employees, it’s known as “official time,” or taxpayer-funded union time.

The Treasury Department, which houses the IRS, utilizes taxpayer-funded union time at twice the rate of the rest of the government (6.81 hours per Treasury employee vs. 2.97 across the federal government).

In 2016, Treasury employees spent 481,500 hours working for their union on taxpayers’ dime, costing taxpayers an estimated $22.4 million. (2016 is a better reference for current figures because executive orders from the Trump administration reduced official time, and President Joe Biden removed those limits).

Considering that federal employees work about 1,800 hours per year after paid holidays, vacation and sick leave, that translates into 268 full-time Treasury employees who were not available to do the things they were hired to do — like process tax returns in a timely manner.

A legislative proposal to address this already exists. In June 2021, Sens. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) introduced the IRS Customer Service Improvement Act to prohibit IRS employees from abandoning their posts to claim “official time” during the busy tax-filing season. This bill is just one of many proposals introduced by Braun and others to improve the integrity and effectiveness of the IRS.

Ensuring that IRS employees spend tax-filing season doing their jobs rather than working for their union is a common-sense step in the right direction.

There is nothing wrong with private-sector workers freely choosing to belong to unions and paying the fees to support those unions’ activities or volunteering their free time. But that is not what is happening here.

Taxpayers are not only footing the bill for public-sector union activities (unlike in the private sector, where workers’ dues support union activities), they lack a seat at the negotiation table (the way employers do in the private sector).

This is why President Franklin D. Roosevelt warned of the “insurmountable limitations” of public-sector unionization. As he pointed out, “The employer is the whole people (of the United States).” But without those people having a say in federal employee negotiations, federal unions can negotiate things that are neither efficient nor effective.

Roosevelt would probably be appalled that the American people are now also forced to pay federal workers for the time they spend not performing their jobs and instead negotiating for policies that restrict Americans’ access to the federal services they are forced to pay for.

Ensuring that IRS employees spend tax-filing season doing their jobs rather than working for their union is just common sense.

Ultimately, public-sector unions should not exist, but so long as they do, public unions should be financed exclusively by the employees they serve, not the taxpayers against whom they negotiate.


Rachel Greszler is a research fellow in economics at The Heritage Foundation. This column was provided by Tribune News Service.

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