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One dead in early-morning Arlington fire

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Boston Police subdue suspect near Northeastern University

An early-morning fire at a public-housing complex in Arlington for the elderly killed one woman and and sent another to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Arlington Fire Department.

The fire at Chestnut Manor, 54 Medford St., started sometime around 4 a.m. Sunday, according to Fire Chief Kevin Kelley, who was called in from his home at 4:25 a.m. The fire started on the third floor, according to an official statement Saturday afternoon.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s office confirmed that one person died in the fire. The cause and manner of the blaze are currently under investigation, according to spokeswoman Marcela Dwork.

“A State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation unit assigned to the state fire marshal’s office is jointly investigating the origin and cause of this morning’s fire with the Arlington Fire Department and the Middlesex District Attorney’s office,” said Jake Wark, spokesman for Massachusetts Department of Fire Services.

Chestnut Manor is “an elderly/disabled 100-unit highrise,” according to the website of Arlington Housing Authority, which manages the property. Kelley said that the fire was contained to the building and the residents were largely able to shelter in place in the building’s community room while firefighters did their work.

“I want to commend the women and men of the Arlington Fire for their swift response in suppressing the fire,” Kelley said in a Saturday afternoon statement. “We’re saddened by the loss of life. Our thoughts are with the family of the woman who died. We also want to thank Arlington Police Department, regional fire companies, and other organizations for their assistance.”

The Department of Health and Human Services has set up a fund to help residents impacted by the fire. The Chestnut Manor Relief Fund, coordinated by the Council on Aging, can be found at ArlingtonCommunityCenter.org/ChestnutManor.

With 15 active local firefighters on the scene and some mutual aid companies present, firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in around 20 minutes, Kelley said.

The responders worked through chilling temperatures, which National Weather Service data shows hovered at around 2 degrees with wind chill factored in. To keep responders warm in those conditions, a special “rehab unit” was at the scene, Wark said.

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Bad blood. A 20-5 defeat. 3 takeaways from the Chicago Cubs’ 4-game series split with the Cincinnati Reds.

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Bad blood. A 20-5 defeat. 3 takeaways from the Chicago Cubs’ 4-game series split with the Cincinnati Reds.

The Chicago Cubs might be wondering what could have been this week against the Cincinnati Reds.

Riding a three-game winning streak after taking the first two games of the four-game series, the Cubs couldn’t sustain momentum the rest of the week.

The Reds clobbered them 20-5 in the finale Thursday, piling up 20 hits for a series split. A 59-minute rain delay only prolonged the inevitable.

An eight-run third inning doomed the Cubs and ended Justin Steele’s outing. The game got so out of hand that infielder Andrelton Simmons pitched for the first time in his career in the eighth — and he gave up five runs on five hits and a walk.

Right fielder Seiya Suzuki exited the game in the fourth with a sprained left ring finger. He suffered the injury the previous inning when he jammed the finger sliding into second on a stolen base. Manager David Ross sounded optimistic Suzuki avoided a serious injury after he checked out OK, which included a negative X-ray.

The Cubs get an off day Friday to regroup before heading to the South Side for a quick weekend series against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Sox won both games at Wrigley Field in early May.

1. Bad blood still exists between the Cubs and Reds.

Javier Báez and Amir Garrett are no longer around to continue their feud, but heightened tensions between their former teams haven’t dissipated.

Cubs reliever Rowan Wick and Reds first baseman Joey Votto have taken over as the protagonists in the bad-blood drama between the sides. The brouhaha from late in Wednesday’s game carried over into Thursday’s series finale.

Willson Contreras, who homered in the fifth and admired his shot, was hit with the first pitch of his seventh-inning at-bat. Manager David Ross then was ejected for the second straight game and seventh time in his managerial career. Ross wasn’t interested in rehashing what prompted another conversation with the umpire crew.

“I’ll keep that between the umpires,” Ross said. “A lot of it just goes back to (Wednesday).”

Contreras then had words with Votto after Wick struck out the Reds slugger to end the seventh. The Cubs’ bullpen started to run onto the field but made it only halfway before returning to the pen as the situation dissipated.

It’s unlikely this will be the end of the animosity between the Cubs and Reds and, more specifically, Wick and Votto. The teams still play 15 times, including six consecutive games to end the season.

2. More power would be a big boost to Nico Hoerner’s offensive profile.

Hoerner’s contact-oriented approach has been a welcomed part of the Cubs lineup that too often last season featured too much swing-and-miss.

The Cubs’ regular lineup this season features more contact hitters — to the determent of the long ball at times. Hoerner figures to play a big role for the Cubs going forward. Adding power to his offensive profile would be huge for Hoerner and the team.

There are some signs of that happening. Hoerner homered during the second inning Thursday in his first start off the injured list.

“Two weeks is not too bad,” Hoerner said this week of his IL stint. “I was able to be swinging pretty soon afterward. That wasn’t really a concern in the rehab side of it.”

The home run marked his third of the season, which tied his career high, doing so in 101 plate appearances. Hoerner’s career high came in 2019 (82 PAs). He hadn’t homered in 2020 or 2021, a stretch of 296 PAs.

Hoerner entered Thursday with the highest flyball rate (20.5%) and extra-base hit rate (7.0%) of his career. Getting more pop from Hoerner, combined with his contact rate and defensive performance at shortstop, would take his all-around game to the next level.

3. Top prospect Caleb Kilian’s Cubs debut will have to wait.

With two doubleheaders next week, the Cubs will gain a 27th player and need two additional starters.

One player who won’t be brought up to help: top pitching prospect Caleb Kilian. The right-hander is lined up to start Monday after starting Wednesday for Triple-A Iowa. Kilian wasn’t sharp in that outing.

However, Ross said before Thursday’s series finale that Kilian is not being discussed as an option for either of the doubleheaders Monday and Saturday. In nine starts with Triple-A Iowa, Kilian has posted a 2.06 ERA, 1.271 WHIP, 41 strikeouts and 15 walks in 39⅓ innings. It’s his first season pitching at that level.

“It just looks like real big-league stuff,” Ross said. “He’s having a great season and (his) stuff’s trending up. The velocities moving up. There’s just a lot of good things to like about him. … He’s having a great season, and I’m sure we’ll see him sooner rather than later.”

Kilian, acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the Kris Bryant trade, must be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. The Cubs will want to get a look at him sometime this season. Bringing him up for a doubleheader spot start would require putting him on the 40-man, and the Cubs likely want to maintain flexibility there as long as possible.

The organization is positioning to be major sellers at the trade deadline again, which would open spots for Kilian not only for the 40-man but in the rotation.

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Will hard-throwing Jhoan Duran be the Twins’ closer? Only sometimes

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Will hard-throwing Jhoan Duran be the Twins’ closer? Only sometimes

There was a time when a right-hander routinely throwing 100-plus mph would be a team’s closer, few, if any, questions asked. The Twins have one in Jhoan Duran, and he has four saves in 16 appearances this season.

Before Thursday night’s game against Kansas City at Target Field, Duran had an 0.00 earned-run average in his past seven appearances, with just three hits and a walk against 12 strikeouts in 8⅔ innings.

Just a rookie, Duran, 24, has thrown the fastest pitches in Twins history already this season, 103.3 and 103.1 mph in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to Cleveland on May 14, and his four-seam fastball has averaged an MLB-high 100.6 mph, according to baseballsavant.mlb.com.

Wouldn’t it be easy to see Duran sliding into the role as the Twins’ closer this season?

“No,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said this week. “He’s going to throw in a lot of different spots for us.”

Before Thursday’s game, the Twins’ 12 saves were split up between four pitchers: Emilio Pagan (6), Duran (4), Tyler Duffey (1) and Griffin Jax (1). Pagan’s past two appearances were high-leverage — he earned the victory with two scoreless innings of a 2-0 victory over Detroit on Tuesday — but not save situations.

“It’s just the way the game is played now. Very few teams have a set guy,” Pagan said. “There’s nothing wrong with having a deep ’pen of guys that can probably do the job.”

In his first major league experience, Duran has been scored on three times in 16 appearances. The Red Sox scored three runs on three hits, including a solo home run by Christian Vazquez, late in the Twins’ 8-4 victory on April 15, and Duran took the loss after surrendering two eighth-inning runs May 5 at Baltimore.

Overall, Duran, 24, has been sharp, 0-1 with four saves, four holds and a 2.53 ERA in 16⅔ innings pitched.

“I’ve told Rocco I very much enjoy the ninth inning,” Pagan said this week, “but I also consider myself a pretty good teammate. So, if I don’t throw the ninth, I’m not going to be upset – especially when you’ve got a guy like Duran who’s a human cheat code. … As long as we’re winning, I don’t care.”

“I do understand that the young guy is doing a fantastic job,” Baldelli said. “When Duran goes out there, and the radar gun starts saying 102 (mph) and all that, I get excited. So, I’m sure everyone else that’s watching at home is getting really excited. But we don’t have to put any undue titles on the guy or anything like that. He’s going to throw in the seventh inning for us, possibly, in his next outing, or the ninth. Who knows?”

LUCKY 14

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association agreed on Thursday to extend a moratorium on a new rule requiring teams to include no more than 13 pitchers on their 26-man active roster.

That was good news for the Twins’ Rocco Baldelli, and likely the other 29 major league managers.

“I consider it a holiday,” he said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

The rule, added this season as an attempt to shorten games, has yet to go into effect. After the lockout shortened spring training, MLB allowed teams to carry 14 pitchers for the first month. That was extended again through May 29, and on Thursday it was extended until June 19.

The Twins were at 13 pitchers before Thursday night’s game against Kansas City at Target Field but have a handful on injured reserve — such as right-handers Joe Ryan (COVID), Josh Winder (shoulder) and Jorge Alcala (elbow) and lefty Danny Coulombe (hip) — that will be activated when healthy.

“We know this might not last forever, and we don’t know what’s to come, but I would say it’s going to be helpful to us and all the players out there,” Baldelli said.

BRIEFLY

Alcala, on the IL since April 12 because of inflammation in his right elbow, threw a bullpen session on Wednesday and is scheduled to throw live batting practice on Saturday. … Coulombe, on the IL with a left hip impingement, appears close to returning. “I think we could see him back in the next day or two,” Baldelli said. … Jorge Polanco (right ankle) received treatment and missed his third straight game.

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Will Vali-Hi Drive-In open for another season? Movie fans are on the edge of their seats.

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Will Vali-Hi Drive-In open for another season? Movie fans are on the edge of their seats.

Fans of the Vali-Hi Drive-In in Lake Elmo are fretting about the future of the last drive-in theater in the metro area.

A hiring event for the theater, located off Interstate 94 at 11260 Hudson Blvd. N., was recently canceled, and it appears as if the theater’s phone has been disconnected. The Vali-Hi’s website was still up on Thursday, but no current movie showings are listed.

Concerned fans have been calling Lake Elmo City Hall to ask about the future of the business, which is owned by Bob O’Neil.

“We’ve been getting a lot of calls from people who are wondering what is going on,” said City Administrator Kristina Handt. “We have not heard anything definitive from the property owner.”

Members of the Vali-Hi Drive-In Fan Page on Facebook on Thursday were lamenting a possible closure.

“We have always gone on Memorial Day weekend, and the website doesn’t show any films,” one fan wrote. “The phone number is also disconnected.”

“It seems that four years ago they opened later than usual with a similar lack of information on their website,” wrote another. “So, hopefully, that is the case this year, too. I’d hate to see them permanently close.”

One member of the Facebook page, which has more than 9,300 members, wrote that they would volunteer to work the ticket counter if it meant the drive in would open.

Vali-Hi is located in an area of Lake Elmo where a moratorium has been placed on new plats because of concerns about the city’s water supply. The one-year moratorium, enacted by the Lake Elmo City Council last month, puts a halt on new plats — for both residential and commercial developments — in the area of the city located between Keats Avenue, Manning Avenue, Interstate 94 and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in the city’s Old Village area.

As long as the moratorium is in place, the city could not entertain any application for development at the site until April 2023, Handt said.

Developers are building a 30-acre business park next to the Vali-Hi. The Launch Crossroads development, which includes two light-industrial buildings with a total of 298,000 square feet, roughly equal to six football fields, was approved last year and is under construction. The developers got plat approval before the moratorium was adopted, so they are able to proceed despite being in the area of the moratorium, Handt said.

The area’s other drive-in theater, Cottage View Drive-in in Cottage Grove, closed in 2012. It is now a Walmart.

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