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Police say man in red stole from St. Paul church offering plate, then asked for money

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Police say man in red stole from St. Paul church offering plate, then asked for money

On the day after Christmas, a St. Paul church was robbed of hundreds of dollars by a thief who wandered in, helped himself to the offering plate, stole a purse and then asked parishioners for money because he was down on his luck, police said.

St. Paul police are looking for a black man in his early 20s, medium build, who was wearing all red when they say he entered the St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church at 550 West Seventh Avenue at about 10 a.m. Dec. 26.

According to the police report, the man roamed around during the service and stole several items. A 73-year-old woman said she had her purse sitting in a pew when the man grabbed it and walked off. It contained her cell phone, credit cards and car keys.

After the service, the man walked into the pastor’s office and told the 67-year-old church leader that he’d just been robbed and needed money to get back to Memphis. The pastor gave him $20.

Another witness, a 74-year-old man, told officers that he encountered the man in the church entryway. The suspect asked for money and the witness handed him $30 as a gesture of kindness.

As the parishioners began to realize that the man was a thief, two followed him out of the church and yelled for him to stop. The suspect jumped on a bus and rode off.

No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.

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CU Athletics launches Buffs NIL Exchange

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CU Athletics launches Buffs NIL Exchange

Colorado Athletics announced Thursday a partnership with INFLCR to launch the Buffs NIL Exchange.

The Exchange is a platform for businesses and individuals to connect with CU student-athletes on Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunities. The Buffs NIL Exchange is a part of CU’s Buffs With A Brand program in helping student-athletes profit from their NIL.

“I’m thrilled we can offer the Buffs NIL Exchange as our NIL platform for all Buff supporters and current student-athletes,” CU athletic director Rick George said in a press release. “This platform will tremendously increase the NIL opportunities for our student-athletes while supporting local and national businesses.  We are excited for our student-athletes to capitalize in this new landscape and look forward to having our supporters and businesses utilize this platform.”

BOULDER, CO – FEBRUARY 12, 2020: University of Colorado athletic director Rick George addresses the media after Mel Tucker announces he is leaving.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Through the Buffs NIL Exchange, individuals and businesses can register through an online portal to partner directly with CU athletes. The brand-focused partnership must meet legal requirements, per Colorado legislature, and follow University of Colorado NIL protocols. Registration will be approved by CU Athletics in advance.

Following registration in the online portal, NIL negotiations will be done directly between the student-athletes and the outside parties. The Buffs NIL Exchange is free for student-athletes and businesses.

INFLCR is one of the national leaders in athlete brand building. According to CU’s press release, through INFLCR, student-athletes will have access to third parties who provide NIL opportunities such as autographs, social media brand promotion, endorsements and more.

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Post-COVID ‘brain fog’ could be result of virus changing patients’ spinal fluid

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Post-COVID ‘brain fog’ could be result of virus changing patients’ spinal fluid

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (StudyFinds.org) – Cases of “brain fog” among COVID patients are becoming more and more common, even among people recovering from mild infections. Now, new research is finally providing some potential answers to why people have difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly, and completing easy daily tasks after battling COVID. A team from the University of California-San Francisco say brain fog may result from how the virus alters a person’s spinal fluid — just like other diseases which attack the brain.

Their study finds certain patients who develop cognitive symptoms following a mild case of COVID-19 display abnormalities in their cerebrospinal fluid, similar to the kinds which appear in patients with diseases like Alzheimer’s. While this is only a start, study authors are optimistic this work is an important first step toward understanding what exactly SARS-CoV-2 can do to the human brain.

“They manifest as problems remembering recent events, coming up with names or words, staying focused, and issues with holding onto and manipulating information, as well as slowed processing speed,” explains senior study author Joanna Hellmuth, MD, MHS, of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center, in a university release.

Post-COVID brain fog is likely much more common than most people realize. One recently released study focusing on a post-COVID clinic in New York found that a staggering 67 percent of 156 recovered COVID-19 patients experienced some form of brain fog.

Brain fog patients experience more brain inflammation

This latest research featured 32 adults. All participants had recovered from a COVID-19 infection but did not require hospitalization. Twenty-two exhibited genuine cognitive symptoms, while the rest served as a healthy control group.

Among the entire group, 17 (including 13 with brain fog symptoms) agreed to have their cerebrospinal fluid analyzed. Scientists extracted the fluids from the lower back, on average, about 10 months after each patient’s first COVID symptoms.

Those tests showed 10 of the 13 participants with cognitive symptoms had anomalies within their cerebrospinal fluid. Importantly, the other four cerebrospinal fluid samples collected from people without brain fog showed no anomalies whatsoever. Participants experiencing cognitive issues tended to be older, with an average age of 48, while the control group’s average age was younger: 39 years-old.

All of the patients come from the Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC) study, which tracks and assesses adults recovering from SARS-CoV-2.

Further analyses performed on the cerebrospinal fluid samples showed higher-than-normal protein levels and the presence of some unexpected antibodies usually found in an activated immune system. Researchers say these observations suggest a high level of inflammation. Some of these antibodies were seen in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid, implying a systemic inflammatory response. Some antibodies, however, were unique to the cerebrospinal fluid, which hints at brain inflammation specifically.

Study authors don’t know the intended target of these antibodies yet, but theorize they may attack the body itself, like an autoimmune disease.

“It’s possible that the immune system, stimulated by the virus, may be functioning in an unintended pathological way,” explains Dr. Hellmuth, who is the principal investigator of the UCSF Coronavirus Neurocognitive Study. “This would be the case even though the individuals did not have the virus in their bodies.”

Pre-existing conditions raise the risk of COVID brain fog

Notably, patients dealing with brain fog symptoms had an average of 2.5 cognitive risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or a history of ADHD, in comparison to an average of less than one average risk factor for participants without brain fog symptoms.

These cognitive risk factors are relevant because they potentially raise an individual’s risk of stroke, mild cognitive impairment, vascular dementia, and generally make the mind more susceptible to executive functioning issues. Additional risk factors include drug use, learning disabilities, anxiety, and depression.

Additionally, all participants underwent a series of cognitive tests with a neuropsychologist modeled after the criteria used for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). To the research team’s surprise, 59 percent of patients dealing with brain fog met HAND criteria, while 70 percent of the control subjects did the same.

“Comparing cognitive performance to normative references may not identify true changes, particularly in those with a high pre-COVID baseline, who may have experienced a notable drop but still fall within normal limits,” Dr. Hellmuth concludes. “If people tell us they have new thinking and memory issues, I think we should believe them rather than require that they meet certain severity criteria.”

The study is published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

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Cole Bassett officially joins Dutch side Feyenoord on loan

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Cole Bassett officially joins Dutch side Feyenoord on loan

Cole Bassett has a new home. He’ll be living and playing in the Netherlands.

The Littleton native officially joined Feyenoord, one of the giants of Dutch soccer, on an 18-month loan Thursday. In addition, the Rapids announced Bassett had signed a three-year contract extension through the 2024 season. If Bassett were to be transferred in the future, the Rapids will retain a sell-on percentage fee.

Feyenoord even gave him a new nickname: Cool Kid Cole.

“We’re incredibly proud of Cole for having earned this opportunity to pursue his dream of playing in Europe,” Rapids general manager Pádraig Smith said in a club statement. “It’s a testament to his talent, his performances here with the Rapids and his dedication to continually improve as a player. This move also reflects our steadfast commitment to develop young players and provide a pathway to the highest levels of the game. We look forward to seeing Cole’s continued growth and wish him all the best as he takes this next step in his career.”

Bassett becomes the second American to ever play for the club and is the first since former Colorado Rapids defender Cory Gibbs played for the Rotterdam side from 2004-06. The move, first reported last week, was finalized earlier Thursday after Bassett passed his medical exam, where he has been in Rotterdam since Tuesday.

Bassett joined the Rapids Academy in 2017, after he spent his youth career playing for Colorado Rush. He made his Major League Soccer debut at the age of 17 back in 2018, while still a senior at Chatfield High School. He went on to make 72 appearances with the Rapids, producing 13 goals and 11 assists.

There was speculation he would move to Benfica of Portugal last summer, but he turned the deal down for one last run with the Rapids, who finished first in the Western Conference and reached the second round of the MLS Cup playoffs. After the season, rumors started to circulate again, and Feyenoord emerged the winner.

He becomes the second homegrown Rapids player to make the move overseas. Sam Vines, a defender from Colorado Springs, also made the jump to Europe last season and is now playing with Royal Antwerp F.C. in Belgium.

The two celebrated the occasion together with a photo, which Vines posted to Instagram, saying “Good to see you again my bro. Welcome to Europe”.

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