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The chauffeur — George McCaskey — was sent to O’Hare for ‘Canandaigua.’ A day later, the Chicago Bears GM search ended with the hiring of Ryan Poles.



The chauffeur — George McCaskey — was sent to O’Hare for ‘Canandaigua.’ A day later, the Chicago Bears GM search ended with the hiring of Ryan Poles.

The video surfaced a little before 11 p.m. Monday. Undercover, of course. And shared on social media by Eric Bohn, whose Twitter bio identifies him as “your trusted resource for Chicago’s Northside and the North Shore residential real estate market.”

In this case, he was moonlighting as an impromptu P.I. — with his cellphone ready.

This, after all, is what we do in 2022. See, share, then open the floor to reaction.

Bohn’s covert video documentation showed what certainly appeared to be Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey strolling through O’Hare International Airport with a man who certainly appeared to be Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, a finalist for the Bears general manager job.

Finally! In the third week of the Bears’ hunt for a new GM and head coach, we had eyes on the process, evidence of McCaskey with boots on the ground, meeting Poles at the airport and leading this all-important search party into a new in-person stage.

From there, it turns out, everything escalated rather quickly. After Poles’ second interview with the team Tuesday — this time at Halas Hall in Lake Forest — he agreed to become the Bears general manager. The team announced the hiring Tuesday evening.

At 36, he will jump into a front-office position that, under the Bears structure, offers great latitude and freedom to carry out his vision. He will be responsible for jump-starting a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2010 season and finished 6-11 in 2021.

Poles’ first order of business is hiring a coach. He’ll do so, presumably, with a focus on how the new leader can implement a plan to lift quarterback Justin Fields to new heights.

Many around the league see the Bears’ turnaround efforts as a heavy lift. But in Poles, they have united with a leader who understands the climb and has seen what high-level NFL success looks like.

The Chiefs have gone to the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. This Sunday, they will play in the AFC championship game for the fourth consecutive January and are favored to reach the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season.

The arrival

Back to that airport encounter for a moment. By Tuesday morning, Bohn’s video of Poles and McCaskey heading out of O’Hare had more than 700 likes and close to 300 retweets. Many of the replies went as you’d expect.

There was predictable sarcasm. From @puttinonfoil: “Wow. George running an Uber now.”

There were jump-to-conclusions responses. From @Eric11Lackey: “Personally, I love this. Ryan Poles is our next GM as long as he accepts. George is adding that extra personal touch, him picking him up saying ‘you’re my guy, When you’re my guy, you’re family.’ This is a huge sign of respect to the candidate.”

And then, naturally, there were next-level social media sleuths who froze the video, zooming in and seeking clues to figure out something. About anything.

Wait … was that, in McCaskey’s right hand, a chauffeur sign that reads “Canandaigua”? Wasn’t Poles a football star once upon a time at Canandaigua Academy in the New York town of his birth? What a clever and clandestine way to welcome a prospective hire to Chicago! (Except McCaskey, in a pair of jeans and gym shoes, was also wearing a Bears mask and a Bears jacket. So much for a stealth operation.)

Still, McCaskey and the Bears did what they needed to do. After a lengthy round of virtual interviews with at least 14 other GM prospects, they zeroed in on a candidate they felt strongly about. And with the Minnesota Vikings also vying for Poles, the Bears left nothing to chance.

Fifteen days after firing Ryan Pace from the GM role, they tabbed Ryan Poles to take over.

A year ago, Poles was in the running for the same position with the Carolina Panthers. That process invigorated him, helping him crystallize his vision and articulate principles for how championship football teams should be built. During an interview last winter with the ABC affiliate in Rochester, N.Y., Poles expressed his appreciation for that experience.

“That whole process might have been one of the bigger events in my life,” he said. “And especially as a personnel man. Once you finally put out your philosophy on how you want to run your front office, how you want to build a team, what type of coaching you like, the type of players that you look for, you put that on paper. And you spend weeks and weeks and weeks doing that.

“And when you present it in a good way to (team) ownership and another head coach, you gain confidence in yourself on how you want to do things. But you also get a different perspective on your own team and how you want to move forward in your own career.”

Making progress

When Tuesday morning began, it seemed as if the Bears were simply taking the next step in a long search.

Moving past the virtual phase of the interviewing process, Poles became the first known candidate for either of the open jobs to meet with the team at its headquarters in Lake Forest. According to league sources and multiple national reports, the Bears also were working to line up second interviews with GM candidates Eliot Wolf and Monti Ossenfort while trying to schedule in-person meetings with potential coaches Dan Quinn, Matt Eberflus and Jim Caldwell.

Poles’ Tuesday interview, however, ended with contract negotiations.

Poles was also scheduled to meet with the Vikings this week for a second time. That’s something McCaskey and the search committee remained aware of. In New York, meanwhile, the Giants coaching search has heated up quickly after they hired Joe Schoen as their new GM on Friday. (Schoen spoke with the Bears about their GM opening Jan. 16.)

Schoen has close ties to one head coaching candidate many Bears fans have been pining for most: Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, who appears to be emerging as a top target for the Giants.

It’s entirely possible Daboll will follow Schoen to the Giants. And while that hardly would register as a knockout punch for the Bears, Daboll landing a new gig anywhere outside Chicago will leave a chunk of the fan base feeling jilted.

At the same time

This is all simply part of the deal, the way searches often evolve and change. And on Tuesday, the Bears made good on one of McCaskey’s biggest vows. As he emphasized Jan. 10: “We prefer to hire the GM first.”

That strategy always made sense. Yet for more than two weeks, the Bears pushed through the first phase of virtual interviews for both jobs simultaneously, meeting with at least 10 coaching candidates and at least 13 GM prospects.

Bill Polian, who is assisting with the searches, presumably came in with a master plan on how to help the Bears smoothly handle the two hunts.

“With Bill’s guidance,” McCaskey noted, “we’re going to be able to find a partnership of GM and coach that will work.”

Still, some around the league have emphasized that if the Bears were promising that their next GM would have complete oversight of the football operation, that now means allowing Poles to conduct his own coaching search via his own methods with his own list of candidates.

That’s where the push to schedule second interviews with coaching candidates before hiring a GM has caused a bit of head scratching. At the very least, it’s something McCaskey and Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips will have to explain.

And when Poles has his opportunity to express his vision publicly and offer an update on the next steps of the coaching search, more light will be shed on the direction that will lead the Bears to their next GM-coach union.

‘Down the road’

For the last 13 years, Poles has climbed through the Chiefs organization, starting as a player personnel assistant and working through a series of college scouting roles on his way to executive director of player personnel. Poles has worked under three general managers: Scott Pioli, John Dorsey and Brett Veach. At each step, he has filed away experiences that can help him in his effort to build a championship contending team with the Bears.

As Poles became more established in the front office in Kansas City, he leaned on valuable advice he was given to think through every major the decision the Chiefs faced as if it was his own, writing down notes on what he would have done, whether that matched the team’s actions or not.

“(That way) you’re getting repetition as a lead man in the front office,” Poles told WHAM-13 in New York last year. “That experience has been great. It has given me a ton of confidence.”

Veach, Poles noted, also taught him a lot about staying aggressive and understanding the value of anticipation.

“It’s looking down the road and talking about the things that could happen,” he said. “What’s our Plan A, B, C and D and moving accordingly. It’s just thinking ahead and anticipating moves that are on the horizon. … And there are pros and cons of being aggressive in the front office. But it’s all about timing and where your roster is and what you’re going for.”

For the Bears, the timing felt right Tuesday to entrust Poles with massive responsibilities. It’s now the new GM’s duty to roll from here.


Tartan High senior chosen as ThreeSixty scholar for four-year scholarship to St. Thomas



Tartan High senior chosen as ThreeSixty scholar for four-year scholarship to St. Thomas

Gwynnevere Vang, a senior at Tartan High School in Oakdale, has been chosen as the ThreeSixty Journalism Scholar and will attend the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul on a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.

The honor is awarded each year to one student enrolled in the nonprofit high school journalism program, which draws participants from across the metro area. There are currently four ThreeSixty Journalism Scholars enrolled at St. Thomas.

Housed at St. Thomas since 2001, ThreeSixty Journalism launched at the University of Minnesota in 1971 as the Urban Journalism Workshop, providing basic journalism training to Minnesota high school students, particularly low-income teens and teens of color. The program was part of a nationwide effort to increase the presence of people of color in newsrooms in order to better reflect and serve increasingly diverse communities. The Pioneer Press and Star Tribune are active partners.

Vang, in a written statement, said her career goal is to travel the country — if not the world — telling stories about the earth’s natural beauty and environmental movements. She joined ThreeSixty in summer 2020 and remained active with the program during the school year, completing a TV Broadcast Camp and high school journalism classes while contributing to her school’s online newspaper, the Plaid Press.

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Amber Heard’s sister, friend back her assault claims against Johnny Depp



Raquel Pennington testifies in a previously recorded video deposition, as a picture of actor Amber Heard is seen on screen in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Amber Heard’s sister testified Wednesday that she found herself in the middle of fights — literally and figuratively — between her sister and Johnny Depp during their troubled relationship.

Whitney Heard Henriquez is the first witness to testify at the five-week civil trial to say she personally witnessed Depp hitting Heard. Depp has testified he never struck Heard.

Henriquez testified the fight occurred in March 2015 — a month after Depp and Heard’s wedding — when Heard found evidence that Depp had already had an extramarital affair.

Henriquez recounted that an inebriated Depp blamed Heard for forcing him into the extramarital encounter.

At one point, she said, she was caught between Depp and Heard as he charged up a staircase to confront Heard. Henriquez said she was struck in the back, and Heard became enraged and “landed one” on Depp, with Henriquez stuck between the two.

One of Depp’s bodyguards intervened and broke up the fight but “by that time Johnny had already grabbed Amber by the hair with one hand and was whacking her repeatedly in the face with the other,” Henriquez said.

It was the only time, Henriquez said, that she personally witnessed a physical assault. But she said she saw the aftermath of other fights, including bruises on Heard.

She said she had the nickname “marriage counselor” for her frequent efforts to mediate arguments between Heard and Depp.

“Clearly not very well,” she said of her mediation efforts.

But she acknowledged on cross-examination that she sided with Depp at times in their disputes, and said she worked to keep the couple together even after she watched her sister be physically assaulted.

“If my sister said that she still wanted to be with Johnny and if I could help with that in any way I was going to support her. I was going to be there for her,” she said.

Henriquez admitted that once, she even joked in a text message that Depp should hit Heard, but she said she didn’t really understand what her sister was going through at the time.

Henriquez also told a story about Depp’s behavior at Heard’s 30th birthday party in April 2016, one of the final fights between the couple. She said people took turns sharing favorite memories of Heard. Depp, who arrived late and intoxicated to the party, decided to tell a story about when he first met Heard as she auditioned for a movie and “she sat on the couch and her perfect (posterior) left the perfect imprint on the couch.”

“We were all kind of embarrassed,” Henriquez said.

Depp is suing Heard for libel in Virginia’s Fairfax County Circuit Court over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post describing herself as “a public figure representing domestic abuse.” His lawyers say he was defamed by the article even though it never mentioned his name.

Also Wednesday, a friend of Heard testified she saw the bruises and cuts left in the aftermath of multiple incidents of abuse inflicted by Depp.

In a recorded deposition played for jurors, Raquel Pennington said she never personally witnessed Depp strike Heard. But she said she saw the injuries, and she took photos of Heard’s face in December 2015 after a fight in which Heard says Depp head-butted her and perhaps broke her nose.

The photo shows a swollen nose, a cut lip, and two moderately black eyes on Heard’s face.

She also took a photo of strands of hair that she said were ripped from Heard’s scalp.

Heard “often had to cover bruises and injuries on her face” with makeup, said Pennington, one of many witnesses whose testimony was previously recorded.

Pennington said she doesn’t really consider herself a current friend of Heard, and that the two grew apart in the last year.

The December 2015 fight is one of several disputed incidents. While jurors have seen the photos taken by Pennington documenting the injuries, they have also seen video of Heard’s appearance on a late-night talk show the next day in which those injuries aren’t visible.

Heard has said the injuries were just covered by makeup.

Raquel Pennington testifies in a previously recorded video deposition, as a picture of actor Amber Heard is seen on screen in the courtroom at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Va., Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool Photo via AP)

Pennington’s testimony came after Heard wrapped up her time on the witness stand Tuesday, including two grueling days of cross-examination in which Depp’s lawyers questioned Heard about the truthfulness of her allegations of physical and sexual abuse.

Pennington’s testimony provides corroborating evidence to several of the alleged assaults. In addition to the December 2015 incident, Pennington said she saw cuts on Heard’s feet when she returned from a trip to Australia in March 2015. Heard testified that Depp sexually assaulted Heard with a liquor bottle on that trip and that she cut her feet on broken glass from the attack.

And Pennington, who lived for a time in a suite of penthouses along with Depp and Heard, said she was the first person to see Heard during a final fight between the couple in May 2016 that precipitated the couple’s divorce.

Pennington said she interjected herself between the two and Depp knocked her hands away. She said she then covered Heard with her own body on the floor as Depp screamed at Heard to get up. She said she later saw Depp wielding a wine bottle to smash and knock things off the walls and counters.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Season 17 – When And Where To Watch It?



So You Think You Can Dance: Season 17 – When And Where To Watch It?

There are other dance competition reality shows in America. Still, SYTYCD has been on a completely different level. It has been nominated for the Emmys award 68 times, winning 17 of them, including the Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Choreography, and Amazing Costumes.

Each season offers a lot of dancers to prove their worth and step into the stardom of the dancer community all around the world. The Contestants will have to be versatile and diverse to get through the auditions, stay put to the show, and be one of them can be America’s best dancers. The last time it was aired was in 2019 for the 16th season, with Bailey Munoz as the winner.

What Happened Earlier?

So You Think You Can Dance is an American dance competition reality show. It was originally planned to be premiered in the summer of 2020, which was to be judged by series creator Nigel Lythgoe (on would be his 17th consecutive season as the judge), Mary Murphy, and Laurieann Gibson. But due to COVID-19, it was postponed.

Now, the roles for the judging panel have been completely changed and will be formed by Stephen “tWitch” Boss(a freestyle hip-hop dancer and season 4 runner-up of the same show), JoJo Siwa (he will be new to the judging panel, and he is a reality TV star), and Matthew Morrison(he will be the second and third judge during the auditions and live shows). They are to replace the previous judges.

1652905627 333 So You Think You Can Dance Season 17 – When


The auditions will be starting from March 2022 as it was postponed amid the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The eligibility for the auditions is just that the participants must be from 18 to 30 years of age. It will continue its auditions from where it was discontinued due to COVID-19.

Those originally registered in 2020 could be getting an extended age limit to 32. Production was rescheduled for March 2022, with the auditions to be held at the start.

When And Where To Watch

After a long wait for the most beloved show in America, it is finally making its comeback. The first episode will be aired on FOX on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at 9 pm ET/PT. It will also be available on several other platforms on-demand like fuboTV, FOX Now, Hulu, and On Demand, and there are other options too.

The first episode will be aired on May 18, 2022, and the following episode will follow after six days, one at a time.

Season 17 of So You Think You Can Dance will be hosted by presenter Cat Deeley, who has been hosting every season since season 2 in 2006, after replacing Lauren Sanchez for the same role.

The Contestants will be highly skilled in various dancing styles like contemporary, hip-hop, breakdancing, tap, classical, etc. They will have to prove themselves as the best of the best to be the winner of this season and will be crowned as ‘America’s favorite dancer.’

The post So You Think You Can Dance: Season 17 – When And Where To Watch It? appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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