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Walz activates National Guard to assist with flooding in northeastern Minnesota

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Walz Activates National Guard To Assist With Flooding In Northeastern Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday activated the National Guard to help control record flooding in areas of northeastern Minnesota.

Emergency management officials in St. Louis and Koochiching counties requested the assistance to deal with high water caused by heavy spring rains and rapid snowmelt throughout the Rainy River basin.

Record high water has been measured on the Rainy River headwaters, including Lake Vermilion, and docks and boathouses have sustained damage on several lakes. Some residents are sandbagging to protect their homes, WDIO-TV reported.

More rain is forecast for the coming days, which will likely push many lake and river levels beyond their historic highs of 2014 and 1950, Walz said.

“I’ve seen firsthand the impact flooding is having on our farmers and communities, and we will ensure that our fellow Minnesotans continue to receive the support they need,” the governor said.

Many parts of the state have been hampered by weather woes. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar held a virtual roundtable Thursday with local officials in areas rocked by severe storms, wind and flooding. Klobuchar said she is working on federal disaster relief funding.



‘Rogue One’ returns to theaters, plus a preview of Andor’

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'Rogue One' Returns To Theaters, Plus A Preview Of Andor'

The Star Wars Rogue One prequel briefly returns to theaters with a preview of Andor.

Set just before the events of the original Star Wars film A New Hope, Rogue One was first released in December 2016 and grossed over $1 billion at the box office. Now, a digitally remastered version of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will return to 150 Imax screens across the United States and Canada for one week starting August 26.

Why is Rogue One returning to screens? Because the movie introduced Cassian Andor, a morally questionable rebel spy, played by Diego Luna. And it’s the star of next Star Wars series to hit Disney’s streaming service, which is set five years before Rogue One and follows the title character as he is recruited into the rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

The first three episodes will be released on Disney+ September 21. There are 12 episodes in the first season, followed by a confirmed 12-episode second season that will lead directly into the events of Rogue One.

You can buy tickets to see Rogue One at Imax now.

Read more: Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked


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WNBA 2022 playoff predictions and the biggest first-round questions

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Wnba 2022 Playoff Predictions And The Biggest First-Round Questions

After an exciting regular season and a direct fight for the final two playoff spots, the 2022 WNBA Playoffs kick off Wednesday when No. 7 seed New York Liberty visits the No. 2 seed and defending champion Chicago Sky (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2) and No. 8 seed Phoenix Mercury take on the No. 1 Las Vegas Aces (10 p.m. ET, ESPN). The first round continues Thursday with the No. 6 seed Dallas Wings taking on the No. 3 Connecticut Sun (8 p.m. ET, ESPNU/NBA TV) and the No. 4 Seattle Storm hosting the No. 5 Washington Mystics (10 p.m. HE, ESPN2).

This season’s playoffs feature a new format, scrapping knockout matches and best-team byes in favor of best-of-three first-round series and best-of-five battles for the semi-finals and semi-finals. WNBA Finals.

Even though the Aces established themselves as the best team in the regular season – thanks to their late effort to secure the No. 1 seed on the final day of games and winning the Commissioner’s Cup championship in July – the title race seems as wide open as ever. The Sky only improved after winning it all last season and have all the tools to become the first WNBA franchise to repeat in two decades. Both The Storm and Mystics know what it takes to be champions, while The Sun has been knocking on the door to hang a banner for three years. Then there are the lower seeds, like the Liberty and Wings, who have plenty of young talent to make sure they don’t go down without a fight.

ESPN’s MA Voepel, Kevin Pelton and Alexa Philippou answer the most relevant questions ahead of the first round of matches and make their predictions for which team will end up cutting the nets in September.

Mystics-Storm is unanimously considered by our staff as the most competitive first round match. What’s the best story you watch on the show?

Philippou: With a healthy Elena Delle Donne, the Storm-Mystics could be a semi-final or even a series of finals – in fact, it was the final match in 2018. Instead, we get a match of first round between many of the same plays that have combined to win three of the last four titles (Washington in 2019, booked by Seattle in 2018 and 2020). So many players have something to fight for or prove: Delle Donne is the same caliber of player she was before her onslaught of back problems; Tina Charles that she can win a WNBA title to cement her status as one of the W’s all-time greats; all the while, Sue Bird could add another feather to her cap and walk off into the sunset with a fifth WNBA title to her name.

Pelton: Can the Mystics find enough offense in this battle of two of the WNBA’s top three defenses by points allowed per 100 possessions? Washington has only had a 96 offensive rating once in the three head-to-head matchups, which is no coincidence with the Mystics’ lone win. Washington was 16-4 this season with an offensive rating of 100 or better and 6-10 when it didn’t reach that mark, so that could determine the outcome.

Voepel: How big of a streak will Seattle guard Jewell Loyd have? She is coming off a season-high 38 points against Las Vegas in the regular-season finale after scoring a single point against the Aces on Aug. 7. When Loyd scores well, it makes the Storm so much more dangerous. But she will face a particularly tough Mystics defense for opposing guards.

Chicago will become the first WNBA team to repeat since 2001-02 if…?

Pelton: The Sky are playing as they did in June and July, going 18-4 after a slow start with Kahleah Copper returning late from overseas. Things were more shaky in August, with Chicago going 3-3 to drop the No. 1 seed.

Voepel: The Sky’s biggest strengths are their attacking flow and depth, and they’re also a very good defensive team. If they play offensively to their ability, they have a good chance of repeating as champions.

Philippou: The identity of The Sky revolves around their fluid offense as Voepel mentioned, but it will be interesting to see how they fare in their defensive execution in a series against some high power teams like the Aces or even the storm given their attack. clicks lately (both of these clashes would be in the final). Note: In their playoffs last year, the Sky’s defensive rating of 94.2 was the best of any playoff team.

What is the hottest team entering the playoffs? And which team benefits the most from the new playoff format now that there are no more knockout games?

Philippou: It’s literally the Aces, who are riding a four-game playoff winning streak with victories over Storm (twice), Dream and Sky – all the more impressive given that they haven’t twice been sixth in the league. ‘year. Dearica Hamby most of this stretch.

I generally liked the idea of ​​including knockout games at the start of the playoffs, but the idea of this The Washington team must pass of them of them just to reach the semi-finals, where a smooth performance could have ended his season, is laughable; who knows if the Mystics will get past Seattle, but now they have a fairer chance of earning a spot in the semifinals.

Voepel: The Aces seemed to be on a mission and definitely seem locked in, so they’re probably the hottest team. The series format is overall the best for the league, and Seattle should be relieved that its season isn’t just one game against Washington.

Pelton: Compared to season performance, the Storm is the hottest. Yes, Seattle lost twice to Las Vegas in the final eight days of the season, but in between the two the Storm delivered two of their most impressive performances of the season to win in Chicago and blast Minnesota in a game. key for Lynx. Seattle’s defense has been solid all season; it wasn’t until the end of the year that the offense kept pace.

As for the biggest upside, I’ll say the Mystics, who reportedly considered hosting Phoenix and then flying across the country to take on the rested Storm in a knockout game.

Who could be the best player in the playoffs?

Pelton: Rebecca Gardner. If you’ve been waiting for the playoffs, you might not realize a 32-year-old rookie plays a key role for the defending champions. Gardner earned selection on both the All-Rookie and All-Defensive Teams, and the value of her length against smaller ballhandlers could mean a key role for her as we go deeper into the playoffs.

Philippou: For the record, I’m not convinced the Liberty can upset the Sky, but we could see some memorable performances from Sabrina Ionescu this post-season, especially as the Liberty have two guaranteed games instead of the single 2021 outing. And I also wouldn’t be shocked if French product Marine Johannes left with a crazy 3-point shot for New York.

Voepel: Dallas guard Marina Mabrey helped hold the Wings together while Arike Ogunbowale was injured. She had a career-high 31 points on August 8 when they clinched their playoff spot and averaged 20.9 points in Dallas’ seven games in August. The Wings will struggle to take down the Sun, but Mabrey could get a chance to show how important her shooting and passing skills have been for Dallas this season. She might only get one streak to do this, so maybe it’s not “busting”. But like compatriot Sophie Cunningham of Phoenix, chosen in the second round in 2019, Mabrey deserves credit for defying the odds and not only earning a place in an incredibly tough league, but also really contributing to the success. of his team.

Which top seed can least afford to lose Game 1?

Voepel: None of the top-ranked teams want to be in the position of having to win Game 3 on the road, but Seattle might find that particularly daunting in Washington D.C. The Storm would like nothing better than to dominate their first round and try to shut down any ideas the mystics have about taking over the show.

Philippou: Aside from the Seattle-Washington series, as Voepel mentioned – with Seattle’s league-leading attendance, the Storm won’t want to drop any game at the Climate Pledge Arena – the Sun will be looking to take care of home business. . The Wings are a tough game for them and Connecticut will be looking to keep the series from moving to Dallas. The Sun have the most regular season home wins since 2017 and will surely be looking to build on that record.

Pelton: The answer is surely storm since one of the other three top seeds would still be favored in the series despite having to win Game 3 on the road. Still, I think losing Game 1 at home would be a mental hurdle for the Sun given the team’s shorter-than-expected playoff history.

Which teams will meet in the WNBA Semi-Finals?

Pelton: Las Vegas versus Seattle; Chicago vs Connecticut

Philippou: Las Vegas versus Seattle; Chicago vs Connecticut

Voepel: Las Vegas versus Seattle; Chicago vs Connecticut

Which teams will meet in the WNBA Finals?

Pelton: Las Vegas vs. Connecticut

Philippou: Las Vegas vs. Chicago

Voepel: Las Vegas vs. Chicago

Which team will win the 2022 WNBA Championship?

Pelton: Vegas

Philippou: Vegas

Voepel: Chicago

Who will be the WNBA Finals MVP?

Pelton: Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas

Philippou: A’ja Wilson, Las Vegas

Voepel: Candice ParkerChicago


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7 reasons that dinner tab has soared

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The Executive Chef Andy Alexander Inspects Orders Of Korean Beef With Crispy Rice, Scallion And Chojang, At Good Food On Montford In Charlotte, N.c., July 1, 2022. When The Check Hits The Table At Good Food, All The Headlines About Inflation Suddenly Add Up To A Hard Number. (Logan R. Cyrus/The New York Times)

When the check hits the table at Good Food on Montford, an upscale yet casual restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, all the headlines about inflation suddenly add up to a hard number — and serious sticker shock.

Charlotte is no New York when it comes to cost of living. But Good Food’s owner, Bruce Moffett, said his soaring expenses had forced him to charge “New York prices” — like $16 for a small plate that three years ago cost $12. A glass of wine that used to cost $16 is now $20.

At restaurants around the country, staff shortages, supply chain logjams, the war in Ukraine and other forces have driven up the price of nearly everything.

While some owners have imposed inflation surcharges or simply swallowed the added costs, Moffett has raised menu prices.

The check delivered at meal’s end shows those prices, but not the dozens of increased expenses that prompted them.

So we examined the complicated reality of running a single restaurant in 2022 and the sometimes-hidden costs and causes that have led it to charge more.


The executive chef Andy Alexander inspects orders of Korean beef with crispy rice, scallion and chojang, at Good Food on Montford in Charlotte, N.C., July 1, 2022.  (Logan R. Cyrus/The New York Times)

The menu at Good Food on Montford, one of three restaurants Moffett owns, centers on creative small plates, from spice-rubbed pork buns to green tomato focaccia. They call for a wide variety of ingredients, many from local purveyors like Boy & Girl Farm.

Prices have skyrocketed for the marquee proteins, like beef and pork, in the most popular dishes.

Moffett lays much of the blame on the pressing demand for workers: “There is a shortage of truck drivers. There is a shortage of people working in the factories. There is a shortage of people working in the fields.”

He has raised the price on the restaurant’s Korean beef with crispy rice to $16. In 2019, just before the pandemic, it cost about $12.

The price of scallops has risen 118% in that time. The chef, Andrew Alexander, said that to serve the shellfish, he would have to charge more than $30 for a small plate, which “is not realistic for this place.” So he came up with new dishes that showcase less expensive proteins, like quail.

More basic ingredients like cooking oil and flour can’t be swapped out. But those costs have shot up, too — canola oil alone by 159%.

David Ortega, a food economist who teaches at Michigan State University, traces those increases in large part to the war in Ukraine, which has disrupted trade and caused shortages, escalating wholesale wheat prices in the United States.

Russia and Ukraine also provide much of the world’s sunflower oil, he said, and as sunflower oil prices have climbed, so too have the prices of substitute oils.

Rising fuel and fertilizer costs, along with labor shortages, play a role in the surge of produce prices, Ortega said. He also cited climate change, which has led to droughts that limit agricultural output.

Moffett uses several imported products in his kitchens, like gochujang, whose price has risen 93% — a result, he said, of higher fuel prices and fewer workers to unload ships.

“We find out that items are sitting on ships for several weeks before they are taken off and brought to us,” he said.

As Moffett has raised menu prices, his chef has taken six of about 22 dishes off the menu. “I am worried about ordering in a bunch of food and sitting on a bunch of money,” Alexander said.

Some customers have complained about the more limited menu. One, Sarah Holshouser, said that some of the small plates she ordered didn’t include much food and that the bill was higher than she expected. “I feel like people are more reluctant to go out to eat at all,” she said, “because Charlotte restaurant prices have increased so much.”


Patrons Dine At Good Food On Montford In Charlotte, N.c., July 1, 2022. When The Check Hits The Table At Good Food, All The Headlines About Inflation Suddenly Add Up To A Hard Number. (Logan R. Cyrus/The New York Times)
Patrons dine at Good Food on Montford in Charlotte, N.C., July 1, 2022. (Logan R. Cyrus/The New York Times)

Labor costs vary but typically make up about one-fifth to one-third of a restaurant’s budget. Good Food employs 23 people, including an executive chef, a sous-chef, seven to eight line cooks and two dishwashers.

“I have always been able to keep our labor around 22, 24, 25%” of the restaurant’s monthly budget of roughly $125,000, said Elizabeth Tackett, the general manager. “We are absolutely pushing past 30%, with no end in sight.”

It’s a hard time to hire and keep employees in Charlotte, where the unemployment rate is 3.4%, slightly lower than the national rate. Many workers have left the industry because of poor pay and working conditions. Good Food has raised wages for its line cooks by about 36%.

Every time Tackett increases the hourly rate on a job listing to remain competitive, she raises the rate for current employees as well. “We are in a bidding war with all the other restaurants of our caliber,” she said.

She has placed job postings on the website Indeed since 2020, but the service is charging her growing amounts to ensure that her listings get the most visibility. She has paid more than $2,000 a month.

Even with the higher wages and the insurance benefits the restaurant offers, Moffett said the vast majority of people he calls in for interviews don’t show up. Some who are hired will leave midshift, overwhelmed by a workload shared by fewer workers.

Some employees who have stayed feel they have gained some clout. “There is definitely a little bit of a shift in power,” said Hank Ferguson, a line cook. Before the pandemic, he was making $12 an hour at another restaurant. He now makes $16, with benefits. But because his cost of living has risen, he doesn’t feel significantly better off.

Like many other restaurants, Good Food has adjusted to its smaller staff by cutting its opening hours. Some weeks, the restaurant is open five days instead of the usual six.

This dismays Moffett: “It is disheartening to have a vision for what your restaurant should be and not being able to execute it because you don’t have a reliable workforce.”


Some of the wines Moffett has relied on for years are suddenly not available, and pricing can be unpredictable. Imported wines are getting stuck at customs, while domestic producers have told him they’re dealing with inconsistent harvests because of climate change, water shortages and staffing challenges.

He hasn’t changed his markup — about 150%, standard for many restaurants. He has raised prices for wines by the glass.

North Carolina liquor stores are state-run, so Good Food can’t shop around for a lower price. Moffett said those stores are facing liquor shortages, so his employees will often have to visit three or four to fill an order. Moffett has raised cocktail prices by $1 or $2, to $11 to $15.


Flames From A Gas Range Are Seen In The Kitchen At Good Food On Montford In Charlotte, N.c., July 1, 2022. The Restaurant'S Bill For The Natural Gas That Fuels Its Ovens And Hot Water Heater Has Soared 85 Percent Since 2019. (Logan R. Cyrus/The New York Times)
Flames from a gas range are seen in the kitchen at Good Food on Montford in Charlotte, N.C., July 1, 2022. The restaurant’s bill for the natural gas that fuels its ovens and hot water heater has soared 85 percent since 2019. (Logan R. Cyrus/The New York Times)

The restaurant’s bill for the natural gas that fuels its ovens and water heater has soared 85% since 2019.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global gas production, said Nicholas Sly, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Cutting back gas isn’t an option at Good Food, Moffett said. “The more gas we use just means we are busier, and the busier we are, the better off we are.”

Even the restaurant’s water bill has grown. Moffett said the City of Charlotte is upgrading some of its water infrastructure and passing those costs to users like him.


Good Food runs through its fair share of serving equipment. Forks get caught in tablecloths and are tossed when they reach the laundry. Glassware breaks in cleaning.

Wineglasses are particularly fragile, and as many as five have broken in a single week. The price of replacing the high-quality ones Good Food uses to show off its wines has risen 47%.

That doesn’t include shipping costs, which have also surged, Moffett said. If a plate costs $35, he will pay at least 20% to 30% of that in shipping and handling alone.

“Shipping prices are up because of gas prices, but that’s not all of it,” said Sly, the Federal Reserve economist. There aren’t enough truck drivers; boxes and paper products are more expensive.


The pandemic forced many restaurants, including Good Food, to focus more on takeout than they had earlier.

Moffett tried working with third-party delivery services, but it became too complicated, so he handles everything internally. He pays for napkins, containers, paper bags, straws, cups and cutlery. He tries to be mindful of the environment and buy products made from sustainable materials.

Last year, when restaurants like Good Food were still heavily reliant on takeout orders, to-go boxes cost about $120 per case. “Some of that stuff has leveled back out a little bit,” Tackett said. But takeout materials are still more expensive than before the pandemic. The price of rubber gloves, which are used throughout the restaurant, has grown by 88%.


At least one major appliance at Good Food breaks down every month, requiring repairs or replacement. Moffett had to buy two new refrigerators at the start of the year, at a total cost of nearly $10,000. That’s nearly 80% more than if he had bought them three years ago. If a refrigerator fails, he often has to pay for a new evaporator or refrigerant; both are costlier now.

The new oven range Moffett bought early this year cost $4,000, 25% more than in 2019. “The price of stainless steel has gone up,” he said. “The price of cast iron has gone up. The price of all the things that are in the stove have gone up.”

When his water heater gave out in 2021, he replaced it. If he had to buy one today, it would cost 58% more than before the pandemic. “If you don’t have hot water,” he said, “the health inspector will shut you down.”

Moffett has booked a landscaper to do some work in the coming weeks. “I can’t get a quote for under $5,000,” he said. “A lot of contractors won’t get out of bed” for less.

The same forces making it hard for Moffett to find workers are at play for contractors, who are trying to meet higher demand in the pandemic.

“If an oven goes down and my oven repair person doesn’t have enough help to send anyone out for a week, I am down an oven for a week.”


Good Food has one advantage many restaurants don’t: a stabilized rent, now $7,623 a month, that increases by only 2.5% each year. But Moffett worries that if his other costs keep rising, customers may decide it’s not worth dining out. In online reviews, some have complained about the higher menu prices. “Americans want everything made in America,” he said, “but they don’t want to pay the costs for making things in America.”

The restaurant makes nearly $2 million a year in sales; Moffett estimates that his profit margin has fallen to about 8% to 10%, from roughly 15% to 20% before the pandemic. (The average pretax profit margin for the typical restaurant with annual sales of $900,000 has dropped to around 1% from about 5%, according to the National Restaurant Association.)

But Moffett sees an upside: He has become much more mindful of costs. “It is going to make us examine every penny, and where we can save a penny, and where we can spend a penny, and what we need to charge for every item,” he said. “I think it is going to make us much more nimble.”

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Donations needed for landfill search to find Zion Foster – CBS Detroit

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Donations Needed For Landfill Search To Find Zion Foster - Cbs Detroit

(CBS Detroit) – Multiple agencies across the state are working together to find missing teenager Zion Foster.

Detroit police said they believe the 17-year-old’s remains were transported from a dumpster in Detroit to the Pine Tree Acres landfill in Lenox Township.

READ MORE: Safety is the top priority as parents and students prepare for the upcoming school year

“Finding Zion’s remains is so important not only to bring relief to the family, but also to have plenty of evidence for this case,” said Detroit Public Safety Foundation Executive Director Patti Kukula.

The teenager was last seen in January with her cousin Jaylin Brazier, who reportedly confessed to dumping her body after she went unanswered.

The 23-year-old is currently serving a prison sentence for lying to police about her role in her disappearance.

“As long as no one is able to catch him in these lies, that’s what he’ll cling to because whoever proves otherwise,” Foster’s mother, Cierra Milton, said.

“You know and if we don’t prove otherwise, he’ll just be in a much more confident tone able to say, yeah, I didn’t, or maybe even retract some of his previous statements and to try to use it and say, you know, I was scared. You know, because he’s done that before too.

Police are extending the search which began on May 31.

Over 20 companies participated, totaling over $300,000 in in-kind donations for supplies, hazmat suits and equipment.

“The chief gave September 18 enough time for the researchers to get out,” Kukula said.

READ MORE: Businesses Make Changes to Keep Customers Safe Amid Southeast Michigan Boil Water Advisory

Investigators initially said the massive effort would take six to eight weeks to inspect a 100ft by 100ft area, but more donations are needed to extend the timeline by a month.

The Detroit Police Public Safety Foundation is now calling on the community to raise an additional $15,000.

“We received over $12,000 in cash from various people,” Kukula said.

“Donations as small as $5 to $1,000. And then we have our partnership with the Detroit Athletic Center, DAC Foundation, which donates $16,000, and then through our general account, we donate the rest of the funds for purchases that arise.

Zion’s mother, Cierra Milton, says she hopes the effort will lead investigators to her daughter’s remains to find out exactly how she died.

“I believe that would just solidify some things and by receiving that information, they would then be able to proceed to the fullest extent possible,” Milton said.

© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

NO MORE NEWS: Detroit police are looking for a suspect charged with carjacking


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Chicago Bears Q&A: What will get a deal done with Roquan Smith? What are the chances Teven Jenkins wins the right guard job?

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Ravens Q&Amp;A: Olb Daelin Hayes On Learning From A Frustrating Rookie Season, Reuniting With Kyle Hamilton, The Importance Of Community Service And More

The Chicago Bears are hitting the road for their second preseason game Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks.

But Brad Biggs’ weekly Bears mailbag leads off — again — with a player who won’t be in uniform, disgruntled linebacker Roquan Smith.

Let’s cut through the drama of the Roquan Smith situation. What really matters right now and how will a deal to keep him with the Bears be done? — Frank, Pittsburgh

What fun would cutting through the drama be? We need the knife of a master chef to slice our way through this. When you boil down this situation, the Bears hold the most leverage and the leverage that really counts. They have Smith under contract this season and also have the franchise tag available for 2023. Smith’s only recourse once the season begins is to withhold his services, and that’s when he would start losing money. He’s not missing out on paychecks now and I doubt the Bears are issuing any fines because that wouldn’t be a productive way to get a deal done with their star linebacker.

If deadlines spur action, the season opener on Sept. 11 is the date to watch. Obviously Smith needs to be on the practice field before then to show the coaches he’s ready to roll. Coach Matt Eberflus indicated that Smith will travel with the team to Seattle for Thursday’s preseason game and that Smith remains “engaged.” That’s a positive sign amid some head-scratching developments, such as a non-NFLPA-certified representative trying to gauge trade interest with other teams on Smith’s behalf. We’ll see which direction this heads, but I believe the Bears hold the upper hand in this negotiation.

Is Teven Jenkins going to wind up winning the right guard job? — Chris V., Palos Heights

The door is open for Jenkins to push for the job. He lined up with the first team at right guard in practice Tuesday, which indicates there’s a good chance he starts Thursday night in Seattle. Jenkins had a rough go in one-on-one pass-rush drills from my vantage point, but it’s a new position and he has to settle in. Action happens much quicker on the inside, so it might take some time for him to adjust.

Michael Schofield was signed before training camp to a one-year contract for the minimum, so it makes sense for the Bears to evaluate a younger player with the ability to improve. I don’t know if the Bears did Jenkins any favors by waiting this long to slide him inside, but he needs to prove he’s a good fit as the team searches for its best five linemen.

I’ve heard the Bears only get a second-round pick for Roquan Smith. Why not force his hand this year by saying no, just go play, but we’ll let you walk out the door next year? Then the Bears get a compensatory pick anyway. Is anyone saying that in the media? Isn’t that how it would work? — Ned R.

I assume you’re saying the Bears might get only a second-round pick in return if they were to trade Smith. You’re probably not far off. I don’t think a team would surrender a first-round pick for a linebacker, especially one it would have to give a big contract in order to keep. So my guess is they might get a second-round pick and perhaps be able to haggle for a little more — if they explored trading him.

Smith would factor into the equation for 2024 compensatory draft picks, but keep in mind that formula measures a team’s net gains and losses in free agency. So if the Bears signed a bunch of free agents — and signed one to a huge contract — it’s not a given general manager Ryan Poles would add a plum third-round compensatory pick when all was said and done. I don’t think the Bears are examining the Smith situation in terms of a future compensatory pick.

If they’re playing the what-if game looking far down the road, maybe they would use the franchise tag on him after this season and then try to trade him. That might be a better way of getting better value for Smith if contract talks fall apart and they opt to keep him for the 2022 season.

Have you seen that the “HITS” mentality applies to not only players but coaches and personnel? For example, I get the impression that all coaches are expected to pay close attention to details and provide immediate feedback. No “loafing” there either? — @bearingdowngirl

No loafing when the coaches have to grade practice film each day. Matt Eberflus has talked at length about his system to grade everything, so that means the coaches are doing homework to produce those grades on a daily basis. It’s a little more labor-intensive than a teacher who has to grade maybe a couple of quizzes and one test a month — and I’m not saying teachers don’t have an overabundance of work too.

Does Lamar Jackson have a shot to be the outside cornerback across from Jaylon Johnson strictly due to him being healthy unlike Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley? — @dabears12316244

Vildor returned to practice this week, a good sign for him as he has a chance to impress this coaching staff. I don’t see Jackson as a viable starting option in Week 1 unless more injuries hit the secondary. However, he has taken advantage of chances to be the “next man up” throughout training camp, and that might give him a shot to make the 53-man roster. He has good size at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, and he got a little experience in 2020 with the New York Jets. The thing to keep an eye on here is the health of other players such as Shelley, Tavon Young, Thomas Graham Jr. and other cornerbacks who have been dinged up.

Any clues from the club on how much the starters will play against the Seahawks on Thursday night? — @jazz_trpt

My advice is to be settled in for the 7 p.m. kickoff because if you’re late, you might miss them. Matt Eberflus said the plan is for most starters to play only six to 10 snaps or perhaps two series. He said the concern is the five-day turnaround between games, and he wants to keep his players healthy and fresh.

The five-day turnaround isn’t unprecedented in the preseason for the Bears. They had a couple of recent instances (2017 and 2018) with five days between the third and fourth preseason games. That wasn’t such a big deal as teams weren’t playing any starters in the final preseason game. However, in 2012 the Bears had a home preseason game against Washington on Aug. 22 followed by a road game against the New York Giants on Aug. 27, then one more in Cleveland on Sept. 1. That was three games in 11 days.

Why did the Bears run such a vanilla offense in the preseason game against the Chiefs? The usual explanation is that teams keep most of their offense under lock and key to limit other teams from putting together a defensive game plan during the regular season. But it is ridiculous to think other teams won’t game plan for Justin Fields to move around the pocket or run plays from a pistol formation. More importantly, the Bears need to open up the playbook during preseason to work out problems and see what works. Thoughts? — Jim A., Plymouth, Minn.

For starters, we’re talking about a really limited sample size. The offensive starters were in the game for three series and 18 snaps. What you saw is some core stuff in the offense. The offensive linemen need to practice some of the bread-and-butter run plays that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will be calling. We saw Fields identify a pressure on the nice throw to the outside to wide receiver Tajae Sharpe.

Hate to break it to you, but it doesn’t sound like you’ll see much action from the starters Thursday night in Seattle. Matt Eberflus is concerned about overworking the players in a short week with a trip across the country, so starters might be on the field for 10 snaps or fewer. The preseason is an opportunity to work on core plays the Bears will be using, basic stuff in the playbook. It’s hard to “open up the playbook” when you have only 18 snaps and a handful are deep in your own end.

How many offensive linemen do the Bears carry on the roster into the regular season given Lucas Patrick might not be ready until Week 1? — @thevenerablev

Typically teams carry nine offensive linemen on the 53-man roster, and usually only seven are active on game days. The problem with carrying more than nine linemen is they don’t provide any value or flexibility for the special teams coordinator. Barring another injury on the offensive line, I figure the Bears will have nine. That would leave perhaps four slots on the practice squad for offensive linemen.

In your opinion, who do you think the Bears choose to become WR2 and WR3 behind Darnell Mooney? — @carolinabearfan

I would have put Byron Pringle in that mix before he was sidelined with a quadriceps injury. That’s based on the investment in him and his experience in the league. He still probably falls in that category, and based on usage in training camp, you have to think Equanimeous St. Brown has a good chance to get a lot of reps at the start of the season. Figure rookie Velus Jones works his way into the mix as well.

Deandre Houston-Carson has survived three Bears coaching staffs and a series of one-year contracts. Does he make the roster? — @stephenclapp1

I would be stunned if Houston-Carson isn’t on the 53-man roster. He’s the most experienced and best special teams player on the roster. If the Bears assign captains by unit, he has to be the leading candidate to have that designation for special teams. Houston-Carson also can fill in at safety or nickel back on defense. He signed for a guaranteed $1.77 million this season. The new staff was wise to bring him back.

Any updates on the new director of pro personnel and director of college scouting? — @georgeschimmel

It appears the Bears won’t have anyone with those titles after beefing up the front office under new general manager Ryan Poles. They hired Ian Cunningham as assistant GM, a title they haven’t handed out in some time. Instead of having a director of pro personnel, they have co-directors of player personnel in Jeff King and Trey Koziol. That makes it look like Cunningham, King and Koziol will divide and conquer when it comes to overseeing both pro and college scouting. Chris White has the title of assistant director of pro scouting and Breck Ackley is the assistant director of college scouting, so the Bears have forgone the director titles over those two silos in order to have co-directors of player personnel.

Who are the cornerbacks who have stood out to you? Who has disappointed? And which do you predict to make the roster? — @bearsfan1235

Jaylon Johnson has stood out since training camp opened, and that should surprise no one. Rookie Kyler Gordon has flashed when he has been on the field, and it will be interesting to see how he looks Thursday night in Seattle. Players worth attention in the preseason based on how much time they have had on the field in training camp include Lamar Jackson and undrafted rookie Jaylon Jones, who has been one of the few consistently healthy bodies at the nickel position. It’s disappointing that veteran Tavon Young has been injured for most of camp, but that sort of defines his NFL career. He has had trouble staying on the field. We should see more preseason action before we start predicting who makes it.

After watching one preseason game, am I seeing things through rose-colored glasses when I say the Bears look like a team that hustles, tackles, calls smart offensive plays and has five more wins in them than last year’s team? — @huskies714

Rose-colored? Those might be the finest navy-and-orange-tinted glasses you can find. Five more victories would make this an 11-6 team. If you have that much conviction, you should scoot over to the sportsbook and make a tidy wager because I’m sure the odds on such a season would have a handsome payoff.

I expect the Bears to be in the bottom quarter of the league on offense and, if everything goes well, maybe the middle of the pack on defense. Hustle, sure tackling and smart offensive play calling are hallmarks of good teams, and the Bears may be better in each category this season. I don’t think I’m being pessimistic by saying I don’t see them being five games better than they were in 2021.

Any chance linebacker Jack Sanborn makes the 53-man roster? How impressed were you with his performance on Saturday? — @just_acy

The undrafted rookie from Wisconsin maximized his opportunities in the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs when he made five tackles, one for a loss, and had an interception, a fumble recovery and two tackles on special teams. Plenty of roster predictions have turned out very wrong based on one preseason game, but Sanborn certainly caught everyone’s attention. If he continues to be in the right place at the right time, he has a chance to make this team as a reserve with an eye toward special teams.

What is the trade value of Roquan Smith? If the Bears get a high second-round pick, I’m taking it. How about you? — @themaxconnor1

It’s hard to say what Smith’s value on the trade market would be because this isn’t the ideal time of year to be dealing a high-priced player. It’s much easier to make moves like this in March or April. I have one problem with the idea of getting a “high” second-round pick. I don’t see a team that expects to struggle in 2022 — and therefore would be picking near the top of Round 2 — trading for an off-ball linebacker. Why would a team that isn’t going to have a great season fork over a valuable draft pick and presumably then pay Smith what he wants when it knows it has many missing pieces on the roster?

The Bears would have a better chance, if Ryan Poles decides to try to trade Smith, of finding a team that believes it is a contender. That would mean potentially getting a low second-round pick in return. That’s why I’ve said I could see the Bears dealing Smith for a second-rounder and then haggling over another, later-round draft pick. Of course, that’s only if the Bears head down that path. We’re being a little premature because, at least publicly, Poles has shown no desire to consider a trade.

One of the more important but underrated components of Justin Fields’ development this year will be how quickly on average he gets rid of the ball. That was a knock on him coming out of college and was also true last year. He has a longer windup than average and if he’s not decisive with his reads, that can lead to sacks. Though he had a couple really nice throws in the first preseason game, his average was 3.4 seconds, which was similar to last year. Have you seen improvement in practice thus far and is this a point of emphasis with Luke Getsy? — Nick V., Glenview

It’s a big point of emphasis for the Bears, no question about it. They want Fields to operate more efficiently in the pocket and have the ball come out on time. That being said, I want to point out one thing. Fields’ rare athletic ability and movement skills will naturally lead to having more time to throw. He can extend plays with his legs better than the vast majority of quarterbacks by eluding defenders and at times fleeing the pocket. So you have to keep in mind that his time always will be skewed by what is actually a positive in his game.

To take major steps forward, he has to be able to read plays quicker in the pocket and deliver the ball on time, and we’ve seen him scramble more in training camp than I believe the coaching staff would like. Pulling the ball down and escaping the pocket can lead to some huge off-schedule plays. It also can result in him missing opportunities in the coverage.

“It’s just part of who we are and part of our makeup as an offense that we have our progression, we have our footwork and then we have the expectation of the play,” quarterbacks coach Andrew Janocko said. “So what are we trying to get out of this play? What is the timing? What is everything around us? What’s this telling us, what’s that telling us? Going through your progression, going through your footwork, it’s just something we’re always emphasizing. That’s a constant emphasis.”

It’s also an emphasis for the other 10 players on offense. For a well-timed throw to happen, the protection has to be on point and the receiver has to be where he is supposed to be — and when — with hopefully a window for Fields to complete a throw.


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Naperville City Council passes ban on commercial sale of assault rifles – NBC Chicago

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Naperville City Council Passes Ban On Commercial Sale Of Assault Rifles - Nbc Chicago

Just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning — after several hours of heated discussion — Naperville City Council, by an 8-to-1 margin, passed an ordinance banning the commercial sale of high-capacity assault rifles and magazines in city ​​limits.

Residents and business owners thronged City Hall in the western suburbs from Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning, with more than 130 people from both sides of the issue registering to speak.

“This common sense ordinance represents an important step in helping us live in peace and without fear,” said a woman who registered to speak, supporting the proposal.

But not everyone shared his view.

“This order will not allow me and other women access to the tools needed to defend our families in our own homes,” another resident said.

The order comes about six weeks after a suspected shooter killed seven people and injured more than 40 others with an assault rifle during a July 4 parade in Highland Park – which also has a municipal firearms ban. assault – about 45 miles away from Naperville.

The suspect, who has pleaded not guilty to more than 100 charges against him, legally bought the gun in 2020 after obtaining a gun owner’s identification card in 2019 with the help of sponsorship from his dad.

While dozens of people said the order was a step in the right direction, Robert Bevis, the owner of one of Naperville’s two gun stores, opposed it.

“It will bankrupt me – no doubt,” Bevis said. “Just losing the AR-15 – as a product we sell – would put me out of business.”

“It’s a program, its theatre, its smoke and its mirrors,” Bevis continued. “It’s not a way to stop crime or prevent a bad guy from getting a gun.”

Bevis, owner of Law Weapons and Supply, said he plans to take legal action against the city of Naperville.

NBC Chicago

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