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St. Louis plow companies prepare for first test from winter

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St. Louis plow companies prepare for first test from winter

St. Louis — With icy conditions in the forecast travel maybe isn’t the best option.

“No, not at all,” St. Macquell Smith said. “The weather is too bad.”

Smith and his friends were headed to Colorado Springs before the weather halted their travel plans.

“We heard there were storms out in Kansas City,” Smith said. “Honestly, if you’re inside, just stay inside.”

Wet conditions coupled with freezing temperatures have marked potentially dangerous conditions for those looking to travel. American Snow and Ice Director of Snow Operations Chris Richard and his crew are hoping to alleviate those conditions.

“Tonight, we’ll just be spreading chemicals, rock salt, and various de-icers,” Richard said. “By church time tomorrow I think everybody will be in the clear, but with that being said I don’t want anybody to get hurt. So, remember this is ice, not snow. So, be very cautious.”

Richard added these type of storms are typically harder to deal with when compared to your average snowstorm due to precipitation levels.

Smith and his friends plan to hold out for better conditions in their hotel. Hopefully, the cross-country travelers will be back on the road by tomorrow afternoon.

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7th Pay commission: Modi government can make a big announcement for the employees! Big increase in basic salary, know details 

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PM Kisan: Big News! Modi government made a big announcement, everyone will benefit

7th Pay commission: Modi government can make a big announcement for the employees! Big increase in basic salary, know details

In the cabinet meeting to be held on Wednesday, the Modi government can take a big decision related to the central employees. Which will have a direct impact on the basic salary received by the employees. If the decision of the Modi government goes in favor of the employees, then the basic salary they will get will increase.

New Delhi. Today the Modi government can give good news to the employees working under the central government. In fact, the employees working under the central government have been demanding to increase the fitment factor for a long time. A decision on this can be taken in the cabinet meeting to be held today. With the increase in the fitment factor, the basic salary of central employees will also increase.

Benefits of increasing the fitment factor

If the Modi government increases the fitment factor of the central government employees, then its direct effect will be seen on the basic salary they get. With the increase in fitment factor, the basic salary of central government employees will increase from Rs 18 thousand to 26 thousand. At present, central government employees get salary according to the fitment factor of 2.57 percent. It is proposed to increase it to 3.68 percent. If it increases, then the salary of central employees will increase by 8 thousand rupees.

What is fitment factor

While fixing the salary of any employee, many types of allowances are added. The money that is made on removing these allowances is the basic salary of the employee. According to the seventh pay commission, the basic salary of any employee is multiplied by 2.57. For example, if the basic salary of a central employee is Rs 18,000, then his salary excluding allowances will be Rs 46,260. This will come after multiplying the fitment factor in the basic salary by 2.57. The Union Cabinet had approved the Seventh Pay Commission in June 2017 with 34 amendments. In which the entry level basic pay was increased from Rs 7 thousand to Rs 18 thousand. Whereas the highest level was increased from 90 thousand to 2.5 lakh rupees.

7th Pay Commission: Big news! Salary will increase with the new formula in the next pay commission, know what it is

The post 7th Pay commission: Modi government can make a big announcement for the employees! Big increase in basic salary, know details  appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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Gunman kills 19 children, 2 adults in Texas school rampage

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Gunman kills 19 children, 2 adults in Texas school rampage

By ACACIA CORONADO and JIM VERTUNO

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults as he went from classroom to classroom at a Texas elementary school, officials said, adding to a gruesome, yearslong series of mass killings at churches, schools and stores.

The attacker was killed by a Border Patrol agent who rushed into the school without waiting for backup, according to a law enforcement official.

Tuesday’s assault at Robb Elementary School in the heavily Latino town of Uvalde was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. school since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012.

Hours after the attack, families were still awaiting word on their children. At the town civic center where some gathered, the silence was broken repeatedly by screams and wailing. “No! Please, no!” one man yelled as he embraced another man.

“My heart is broken today,” said Hal Harrell, the school district superintendent. “We’re a small community, and we’re going to need your prayers to get through this.”

Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two adults killed was a teacher.

Adolfo Cruz, a 69-year-old air conditioning repairman, was still outside the school as the sun set, seeking word on his 10-year-old great-granddaughter, Eliajha Cruz Torres.

He drove to the scene after receiving a terrifying call from his daughter shortly following the first reports of the shooting. He said other relatives were at the hospital and the civic center.

Waiting, he said, was the heaviest moment of his life.

“I hope she is alive,” Cruz said.

The attack was the latest grim moment for a country scarred by a string of massacres, coming just 10 days after a deadly, racist rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. And the prospects for any reform of the nation’s gun regulations seemed as dim, if not dimmer, than in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook deaths.

But President Joe Biden appeared ready for a fight, calling for new gun restrictions in an address to the nation hours after the attack.

“As a nation we have to ask, when in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God’s name are we going to do what has to be done?” Biden asked. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage?”

It was not immediately clear how many people in all were wounded, but Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo said there were “several injuries.”

Staff members in scrubs and devastated victims’ relatives could be seen weeping as they walked out of Uvalde Memorial Hospital, which said 13 children were taken there. Another hospital reported a 66-year-old woman was in critical condition.

Officials did not immediately reveal a motive, but they identified the assailant as Salvador Ramos, a resident of the community about 85 miles (135 kilometers) west of San Antonio. Law enforcement officials said he acted alone.

Uvalde, home to about 16,000 people, is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the border with Mexico. Robb Elementary, which has nearly 600 students in second, third and fourth grades, is in a mostly residential neighborhood of modest homes.

The attack came as the school was counting down to the last days of the school year with a series of themed days. Tuesday was to be “Footloose and Fancy,” with students wearing nice outfits.

Ramos had hinted on social media that an attack could be coming, according to state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who said he had been briefed by state police. He noted that the gunman “suggested the kids should watch out,” and that he had bought two “assault weapons” after turning 18.

Before heading to the school, Ramos shot his grandmother, Gutierrez said.

Other officials said that the grandmother survived and was being treated, though her condition was not known.

Investigators believe Ramos posted photos on Instagram of two guns he used in the shooting, and they were examining whether he made statements online in the hours before the assault, a law enforcement official said.

Law enforcement officers were serving multiple search warrants Tuesday night and gathering telephone and other records, the official said. Investigators were also attempting to contact Ramos’ relatives and were tracing the firearms.

The official could not discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The attack began about 11:30 a.m., when the gunman crashed his car outside the school and ran into the building, according to Travis Considine, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. A resident who heard the crash called 911, and two local police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter.

Both officers were shot. It was not immediately clear where on the campus that confrontation occurred or how much time elapsed before more authorities arrived on the scene.

One Border Patrol agent who was working nearby when the shooting began rushed into the school without waiting for backup and shot and killed the gunman, who was behind a barricade, according to a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about it.

The agent was wounded but able to walk out of the school, the law enforcement official said.

Meanwhile, teams of Border Patrol agents raced to the school, including 10 to 15 members of a SWAT-like tactical and counterterrorism unit, said Jason Owens, a top regional official with the Border Patrol.

He said some area agents have children at Robb Elementary.

“It hit home for everybody,” he said.

Condolences poured in from leaders around the world. Pope Francis pleaded that it was time say “‘enough’ to the indiscriminate trade of weapons!” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba of Ukraine, which is at war with Russia after Moscow invaded, said that his nation also knows “the pain of losing innocent young lives.”

The tragedy in Uvalde was the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, and it added to a grim tally in the state, which has been the site of some of the deadliest shootings in the U.S. over the past five years.

In 2018, a gunman fatally shot 10 people at Santa Fe High School in the Houston area. A year before that, a gunman at a Texas church killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service in the small town of Sutherland Springs. In 2019, another gunman at a Walmart in El Paso killed 23 people in a racist attack targeting Hispanics.

The shooting came days before the National Rifle Association annual convention was set to begin in Houston. Abbott and both of Texas’ U.S. senators were among elected Republican officials who were the scheduled speakers at a Friday leadership forum sponsored by the NRA’s lobbying arm.

In the years since Sandy Hook, the gun control debate in Congress has waxed and waned. Efforts by lawmakers to change U.S. gun policies in any significant way have consistently faced roadblocks from Republicans and the influence of outside groups such as the NRA.

A year after Sandy Hook, Sens. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, and Patrick J. Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, negotiated a bipartisan proposal to expand the nation’s background check system. But the measure failed in a Senate vote, without enough support to clear a 60-vote filibuster hurdle.

Last year, the House passed two bills to expand background checks on firearms purchases. One bill would have closed a loophole for private and online sales. The other would have extended the background check review period. Both languished in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats need at least 10 Republican votes to overcome objections from a filibuster.

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This story was first published on May 24, 2022. It was corrected to reflect that state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said the gunman shot his grandmother before going to the school; he did not say the gunman killed his grandmother. It was also updated to correct the spelling of the name of the 10-year-old great-granddaughter.

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Eugene Garcia and Dario Lopez-Mills in Uvalde, Jake Bleiberg in Dallas, Ben Fox, Michael Balsamo and Eric Tucker in Washington, Paul J. Weber in Austin, Juan Lozano in Houston, Gene Johnson in Seattle and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

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‘A winner behind the plate’: With chest bumps and confidence, Adley Rutschman bringing energy to Orioles pitchers

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‘A winner behind the plate’: With chest bumps and confidence, Adley Rutschman bringing energy to Orioles pitchers

Before Sunday, Adley Rutschman had never caught Cionel Pérez. The Orioles’ top prospect made a strong first impression.

At the end of innings, Rutschman has been known to meet pitchers near the foul line, offering kudos after a strong inning or needed support after a poor one. Sunday, after Pérez escaped from a two-on, no-out situation in the 10th inning to keep the game tied, Rutschman greeted him with a chest bump and excited yells. Pérez, a left-hander who has brought swagger to the mound in each of his outings for Baltimore, was just as fired up as Rutschman.

“I’ve never had that experience with any other catcher,” Pérez said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “Just having that energy, that excitement around that game was something I’ve never experienced before.”

Pérez said the game, an eventual victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in which Rutschman again celebrated with him after a scoreless top of the 11th then scored the winning run in the bottom half, was “one of the most emotional, exciting games of my entire career,” dating to his time as a teenager pitching in Cuba’s national league.

Rutschman played a large role in that. As he climbed the minors, there was wonder whether his greeting of pitchers would work with major leaguers. Tuesday against the New York Yankees, he met starter Bruce Zimmermann with a pat on the back after he gave up a home run to Jose Trevino in the third inning and a fist bump when Zimmermann struck him out to end the fifth. Thus far, reviews have been positive.

“He’s a great young player with a lot of potential, and seeing him with that energy was just great,” Pérez said of his outing with Rutschman. “He looked like a catcher with a lot of experience. He caught with a lot of confidence.”

He’s endeared himself to the Orioles’ clubhouse by also showing the opposite. With Rutschman’s arrival over the weekend, veteran catcher Robinson Chirinos has moved into a backup role, though he figures to still be behind the plate plenty as the Orioles manage Rutschman’s workload with time at designated hitter. Signed to a major league contract this offseason, Chirinos, 37, said he was aware this arrangement was coming. Described by manager Brandon Hyde as “an ultimate team guy,” he’s understanding of it.

Chirinos said what stands out about Rutschman is “just how humble he is,” saying he doesn’t act like a player who carries the status of being the top prospect in baseball.

“He’s wanting to get better, and he’s asking questions,” Chirinos said before Tuesday’s game. “He came to me today asking me how we attacked them in the past. He wants to learn, so that’s the only thing you ask for a young player in the league, be willing to listen to people that have been here, that have done it before, and he’s doing that.

“He makes this team better, so just trying to do the best I can to guide him and lead him and help him get better here.”

Rutschman is trying to do the same thing for the Orioles’ pitchers. Right-hander Kyle Bradish, who was on the mound for Rutschman’s debut Saturday, worked with him plenty at Orioles’ alternate site in 2020 and in both Double-A and Triple-A last season. He’s said he’s received those pumped-up Rutschman meetings like Pérez did, but he’s also had the catcher just come up to him with a joke after the inning.

“You know that he’s gonna be back there grinding, just like you are,” Bradish said.

Rutschman has brought that reputation up with him through the minors, just like the meetings near the foul line.

“He’s a leader on the field,” Hyde said before Rutschman’s debut. “He’s fully invested in the pitching, whoever’s on the mound. Like our other guys, it matters to him about putting a zero up every inning. He’s going to try to grind, get guys through innings, and he’s obviously got tools to where he’s big, strong, can block, receives well, throws well. So I think he’s also got the intangibles to be a winner behind the plate, and that’s something you can’t measure.”

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