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Police: Former Raiders Marshawn Lynch was asleep, car damaged before arrest

9 min 55 sec ago

By KEN RITTER | The Associated Press 

LAS VEGAS — Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch was asleep and smelled of alcohol when Las Vegas police found him in his damaged sports car and arrested him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to an arrest report made public Thursday.

Lynch’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, responded in a statement that Lynch’s car “was safely parked and not in operation” when police arrived early Tuesday and a driving while intoxicated charge won’t stick.

“Marshawn was not pulled over for a DUI,” the statement said. “We are confident that when all evidence is presented, this will not be a DUI under Nevada law.”

The arresting officer, Kevin Barker, reported that Lynch’s black 2020 Shelby GT500 was “undriveable,” with one missing front wheel and the rear driver’s side and front passenger wheels badly damaged.

The arrest report said investigators found markings suggesting the vehicle “hit sidewalk areas” before stopping in an industrial section of downtown Las Vegas not far from Main Street.

“The driver was asleep behind the wheel with the driver’s door open leaning back in the seat,” the report said, “with bloodshot, watery eyes and had one shoe on and one shoe off.”

The 7:30 a.m. Tuesday arrest came the morning after the Seattle Seahawks — the team for which Lynch played most of his 12 NFL seasons — announced that Lynch had been hired as a broadcast special correspondent.

Lynch also played for the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders.

The arrest report said Lynch, 36, was uncooperative with officers and fell asleep several times during questioning. Jail officers “had to use a restraint chair to force a blood draw” after a judge issued a warrant, the report said.

Lynch was later released from Las Vegas City Jail pending a Dec. 7 court date in Las Vegas Municipal Court.

Results of his blood test were not immediately made public. Nevada law bans driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more.

Court records show that Lynch entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor vehicle parking charge and fined $750 in April in a case that saw charges of failing to report or remain at the scene of an accident dismissed.

Schonfeld, who represented Lynch in that case, declined Thursday to comment about it.

Lynch’s attorneys said in their statement that he “appreciates and is thankful for everyone’s concern and support.”

Lynch had 10,413 career rushing yards and 85 rushing touchdowns from 2007-19 and was chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2013.

An updated list of notable investigations and lawsuits against Donald Trump

18 min 41 sec ago
By Dan Berman | CNN

Former President Donald Trump is reportedly nearing a decision on when to announce a 2024 bid to return to the White House, but his legal troubles continue to build — not just with the recent FBI search at Mar-a-Lago.

Multiple federal and state investigations are ongoing regarding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, his handling of confidential documents and his family business.

Civil lawsuits accusing Trump of defamation and spurring on US Capitol rioters also remain on the docket.

Here’s an updated list of notable investigations and lawsuits:

White House documents: Did Trump mishandle classified material?

The search warrant executed at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Monday sent shockwaves through the legal and political worlds and shows the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the handling of classified information is accelerating.

After days of misinformation on the right about the search, fueled by Trump and his allies, Attorney General Merrick Garland broke his silence on Thursday and announced that the department had filed in court a request that the search warrant and property receipt from the search be unsealed.

The Justice Department has been instructed by the court to confer with Trump about its request to unseal certain warrant documents from the FBI Mar-a-Lago search and to tell the court by 3 p.m. ET on Friday if he opposes their release. On Truth Social late Thursday night, Trump said he would “not oppose the release of documents,” adding, “I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents.”

The National Archives, charged with collecting and sorting presidential material, has previously said that at least 15 boxes of White House records were recovered from Mar-a-Lago — including records that may have been classified. In June, federal investigators served a grand jury subpoena and took away sensitive national security documents.

Then, according to sources who spoke to CNN, prosecutors developed evidence that there were potentially classified documents with national security implications remaining at the property and suspicions that Trump’s team wasn’t being entirely forthcoming. That led the FBI to come in on Monday and remove more boxes from the property.

The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the investigation, reported on Thursday that classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items sought by authorities. CNN has not independently confirmed the report.

Any unauthorized retention or destruction of White House documents raises a red flag under a criminal law that prohibits the removal or destruction of official government records, legal experts tell CNN.

Before the search, CNN revealed earlier this month that Trump lawyers and the DOJ were in direct communication regarding his efforts to shield conversations he had while he was president from federal investigators in the department’s January 6 probe.

January 6 and overturning the election: House select committee and Justice Department

The House select committee investigating the US Capitol attack has uncovered dramatic evidence of Trump’s actions before and on January 6, especially efforts to use the levers of government to overturn the election.

As CNN’s Jeremy Herb wrote:

“Over the course of the two months’ worth of hearings, the committee tapped into the hundreds of taped depositions, as well as key witnesses who testified live, to present a devastating case that Trump sought multiple avenues to try to overturn the 2020 presidential election even after he was told he lost, that the former President knew ahead of time January 6 could turn violent, and that he chose not to act when his supporters attacked the Capitol and put the lives of lawmakers — not to mention his own vice president — in danger.”

During the hearings, fingers were pointed at GOP lawmakers and Trump allies who may have tried to help overturn the election and Trump White House officials who failed to stop the former President’s actions.

And dramatically, testimony from a former White House aide described hearing an account of a Trump demand to be driven to the Capitol on January 6 — an account in which Trump was said to have lashed out at Secret Service agents when he was told no.

The Justice Department is watching — and has an investigation of its own — so while there’s an outstanding question if the committee will recommend any charges for DOJ, it’s not a requirement for the feds to act if the committee does make a referral.

2020 Election: Efforts to overturn Georgia results

Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis is overseeing a special grand jury investigating what Trump or his allies may have done in their efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia.

Willis, a Democrat, has informed all 16 of the individuals who signed an “unofficial electoral certificate,” which was ultimately sent to the National Archives in late 2020, that they may be indicted in the probe.

The investigation may be drawing closer to Trump as well. Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to appear before the grand jury on August 17.

The probe was launched last year following Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he pushed the Republican to “find” votes to overturn the election results.

Willis has also been digging into Trump’s calls with Raffensperger and another official in the Secretary of State’s office; presentations Giuliani made before state lawmakers that were riddled with election falsehoods; a phone call between South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger; and the sudden resignation of Byung “BJay” Pak, the US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

The Justice Department, meanwhile, is looking at an aspect of a plot to put forward fake GOP electors from seven states.

Fake certificates were created by Trump allies in Georgia, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and New Mexico, who sought to replace valid presidential electors from their states with a pro-Trump slate.

Trump Organization: NY AG criminal and civil investigation

Trump this week took the Fifth at his deposition in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation of his namesake business in response to hundreds of questions.

The investigation is nearing the end and James’ office said it needed to question the Trump family to determine who had responsibility for the financial statements at the center of the investigation. Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump also recently were deposed and did answer questions. Eric Trump was questioned in 2020 and declined to answer more than 500 questions.

James, a Democrat, has previously said her office uncovered “significant” evidence “indicating that the Trump Organization used fraudulent or misleading asset valuations to obtain a host of economic benefits, including loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions.”

The investigation also includes the role of the company’s long-time appraiser Cushman & Wakefield. (The company denies any wrongdoing.)

Trump has decried the investigation as politically motivated.

“When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice” but to invoke the Fifth Amendment, Trump said Wednesday.

Trump Organization: NY DA criminal investigation

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg inherited that office’s probe into Trump’s businesses, but it has slowed significantly.

Prosecutors were focusing on the accuracy of the Trump Organization’s financial statements when seeking financing, people familiar with the matter have told CNN.

Earlier this year, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, two senior prosecutors on the team, resigned after Bragg informed them that he wasn’t prepared to move forward with criminal charges, CNN’s Kara Scannell reported.

A special grand jury hearing evidence in the case expired in April, but a new one could be seated in the future.

Bragg has maintained the investigation is ongoing and prosecutors are reviewing new evidence. He said he will issue a public statement or an indictment when it’s completed.

Personal finances: Litigation with niece Mary Trump

Trump and his niece Mary are in court over her cut of a 2001 family settlement.

In 2020, Mary Trump sued Trump, his sister Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired judge, and the executor of her late uncle Robert Trump’s estate, alleging “they designed and carried out a complex scheme to siphon funds away from her interests, conceal their grift, and deceive her about the true value of what she had inherited.”

Meanwhile, the former President is suing his niece and The New York Times in New York state court over the disclosure of his tax information.

Defamation: Suit over Trump’s denial of rape claims by E. Jean Carroll

Magazine writer E. Jean Carroll alleged Trump raped her in a New York department store dressing room in the mid 1990s and defamed her when he denied the rape, said she was not his type and alleged she made the claim to boost sales of her book.

Trump and the Justice Department say Trump was a federal employee and his statements denying Carroll’s allegations were made in response to reporters’ questions while he was at the White House. They argue the Justice Department should be substituted as the defendant, which, because the government cannot be sued for defamation, would end the lawsuit.

A federal judge denied that effort. DOJ and Trump appealed the ruling, and no decision has been made.

Trump lost an attempt to countersue earlier this year.

Michael Cohen: Claims of retaliation against Trump and Barr

Trumps’ former lawyer, Michael Cohen, is suing Trump, former Attorney General William Barr and others, alleging they put him back in jail to prevent him from promoting his upcoming book while under home confinement.

Cohen was serving the remainder of his sentence for lying to Congress and campaign violations at home, due to Covid-19 concerns, when he started a social media campaign in summer 2020. In retaliation, Cohen says he was sent back to prison and spent 16 days in solitary.

A hearing was held in early August on Trump’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit; a ruling has not yet been issued.

Tax returns: Will Congress see them?

Democratic lawmakers are still trying to get hold of Trump’s tax records from the Internal Revenue Service.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday sided with a House Ways and Means Committee request — originally made in 2019 — to obtain the returns, upholding a ruling from a Trump-nominated district court judge.

But Trump can appeal to the full circuit court or to the Supreme Court, and so far he has not shied away from throwing all legal arguments forward to prevent his tax records from being released to Congress or state investigators.

January 6: Lawsuits by police officers

Several members of the US Capitol Police and Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police are suing Trump, saying his words and actions incited the riot. Their cases were merged with a similar case filed by Democratic lawmakers.

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The various cases accuse Trump of directing assault and battery; aiding and abetting assault and battery; and violating local Washington, DC, laws that prohibit incitement of riots and disorderly conduct.

A federal judge in February said Trump’s statements to his supporters before the riot are “the essence of civil conspiracy,” and lawsuits by the police officers have been allowed to proceed. Trump is challenging the judge’s ruling in a federal appeals court.

Trump and his top advisers have not been charged with any crimes. Trump and others who are sued have argued they are not responsible for the actions of the people who stormed the Capitol.

Peter Strzok lawsuit

Former top FBI counter-intelligence official Peter Strzok, who was terminated by the FBI in 2018 after the revelation of anti-Trump texts Strzok exchanged with a top lawyer at the bureau, Lisa Page, has sued DOJ alleging he was improperly terminated. Strzok is now seeking to depose Trump for the case, though the judge has not said yet how she’ll rule on a DOJ request to block the deposition.

Strzok and Page were constant targets of verbal attacks by Trump and his allies as part of the larger ire Trump expressed toward the FBI during the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump repeatedly and publicly called for Strzok’s ouster until Strzok was fired in August 2018.

Biden has until mid-October to determine whether he will assert executive privilege and hinder Strzok’s effort to obtain testimony from Trump.

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California’s top environmental official leaving to run $3.5 billion climate change project funded by Laurene Powell Jobs

22 min 57 sec ago

California’s top environmental official is resigning to work with Laurene Powell Jobs, former Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ widow, on a project to donate $3.5 billion over the next 10 years to help communities in the United States and other countries who are most hard-hit by climate change.

Jared Blumenfeld, 52, who has worked as Gov. Gavin Newsom’s secretary for environmental protection since Newsom took office in 2019, will become the president of the Waverley Street Foundation, based in San Francisco.

When Jobs died in 2011, he left billions in Apple and Disney stock to his wife, Powell Jobs. Now worth an estimated $15.9 billion, Powell Jobs, a Palo Alto resident with an MBA from Stanford University, has become a leading philanthropist in the environment, immigration, social justice and education.

The Waverley Foundation will be chaired by Lisa Jackson, former chief of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama who also works as Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives.

The $3.5 billion gift is one of the largest private donations ever made to address climate change.

“Laurene is one of the most thoughtful, compassionate and strategic folks in philanthropy,” Blumenfeld said. “She’s really inspiring. Between Lisa, Laurene and myself it seems like a real opportunity.”

Blumenfeld will leave the California EPA on Aug. 31. He will be succeeded by Yana Garcia, legal policy advisor to California Attorney General Rob Bonta. Garcia, a former staff attorney for Communities for a Better Environment in Richmond, previously worked as deputy secretary for environmental justice, tribal affairs and border relations at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Under federal law, non-profit charitable foundations are required to give away 5% of their endowments every year.  Blumenfeld said that the Waverley Street Foundation is working on a faster time table, and will spend roughly $350 million to $500 million a year over the next decade. Although the foundation only has three or four employees now, it is hiring, and ramping up, he said.

“Most of these foundations spend the interest,” Blumenfeld said. “The goal here is to spend it down to zero in 10 years. That coincides with humanity’s window to get this right and have a habitable planet. It’s an opportunity I take incredibly seriously.”

Powell Jobs announced last September that she would be donating $3.5 billion to climate change initiatives. The main organization she runs, called the Emerson Collective, which is a corporation that makes grants and investments in environment, immigration reform, social justice and media, said at the time that the donation “would focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change.”

Blumenfeld said that there are myriad opportunities to help reduce emissions and improve the lives of people in vulnerable areas.

“The average PG&E bill in West Fresno is $900 a month,” he said. “The majority of that is for air conditioning. If we can help people put in a heat pump, which brings energy bills down to $300 a month and reduces greenhouse emissions, we are really doing something.”

Global temperatures have risen 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, mostly due to the burning of fossil fuels, which traps heat in the atmosphere. The 10 warmest years since 1880 on Earth have all occurred since 2005, according to NASA and NOAA.

Record heat waves, wildfires, rising sea levels and other impacts already are underway. There are widespread concerns from scientists and policy makers that some of the poorest areas on Earth will suffer the most in the coming decades.

Through the Paris Climate Treaty in 2015, nearly every nation in the world set voluntary targets to boost renewable energy and take other steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or about 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels.

Those targets are likely to be missed, although the United States took a major step this week with congressional approval of the Inflation Reduction Act, a bill backed by President Biden and passed by Senate Democrats that will provide $369 billion over the next 10 years to fund tax credits, grants and other incentives to dramatically increase solar, wind and other renewable energy, along with the expansion of electric vehicles.

Powell Jobs has drawn attention in the past for structuring some of her philanthropic donations in ways that are less transparent than traditional foundations. Blumenfeld said that the names of the grantees and the amounts given from the Waverly Foundation will be public.

Before working for the Newsom administration, where he oversaw everything from climate change initiative to water policy, Blumenfeld, an attorney, was appointed by former President Obama as administrator of the regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco from 2009 to 2016. Prior to that he worked for Newsom when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco as parks director and environment chief. After leaving the Obama administration, Blumenfeld hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile route that stretches from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canada border.

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said that environmental leaders around the world are interested in how Powell Jobs’ climate donations will be spent.

“The philanthropic world is waking up to the need,” Krupp said, citing a $10 billion pledge to climate projects last year from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. “We are seeing wildfires in California, Australia, and Western Europe. We are seeing devastating floods, and droughts, and fish migrating toward colder water. People with mega-resources are realizing there is an enormous opportunity to do something that is needed.

“I’m grateful that Laurene Powell Jobs and others are seeing the importance of this.”

FILE – California EPA Director Jared Blumenfeld talks to reporters in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. Blumenfeld, California’s top environmental regulator and a key climate adviser to Gov. Gavin Newsom, will leave the administration at the end of the month, Newsom announced Friday, Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) 

 

The Pittsburg QB who beat Clayton Valley in one of the biggest games last season now plays for … Clayton Valley. Here’s his story:

30 min 5 sec ago

CONCORD – Christian Aguilar started at quarterback in a North Coast Section championship game last season, filling in for injured star Jaden Rashada, and led Pittsburg to its first section title in 30 years.

The opponent that night was Clayton Valley Charter.

The final score was 28-14.

“He was the main reason they won that game,” Clayton Valley coach Tim Murphy said this month. “The kid was as accurate as it got.”

Now the kid is on Murphy’s team.

A couple of weeks after the championship game, Aguilar, now a senior, moved and enrolled at Clayton Valley. He has been cleared to play at the Concord school because the transfer was a family move, Murphy and Aguilar said.

Aguilar is in a tight competition for playing time at Clayton Valley with the team’s backup last year, junior Mason Lovett. Pittsburg is still led by Rashada, a five-star senior who has committed to the University of Miami and remains on good terms with his former backup.

“Me and Rashada are really good friends to this day,” Aguilar said.

Given the quality of the programs separated by nine miles over Kirker Pass Road, it’s possible – perhaps even likely – that Pittsburg and Clayton Valley could meet again in the postseason.

In the NCS Division I championship game last season, Aguilar had a storybook night. He completed 21 of 27 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

The following week, Rashada, who would later say he was “like 55-60 percent” from a hamstring injury, returned to the field for a regional game on the road against Liberty of Bakersfield. Pittsburg lost 35-7, an outcome that ended the Pirates’ season one victory from playing for a state title.

Aguilar finished the game against Liberty. He was 4 of 5 for 37 yards.

After winter break, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Aguilar was a student at Clayton Valley.

“Showing up Day 1 was a whole another environment for me,” Aguilar said. “Talking to some of the players, we had some laughs and giggles. We had just played them and beat them. Now I obviously just transferred to that school, which is crazy. I didn’t really know nobody. It was a different environment, for sure.”

Aguilar said it took about a week for him to feel more at ease from the nerves he had when he stepped onto the campus.

“Day 1, me and coach Murph talked a lot,” Aguilar said. “The players brought me in early on and from there I’ve built a lot of friendly relationships with them.”

Aguilar showed last season that he can adapt quickly to change. He said he found out in the middle of the week that he — not Rashada — would most likely play in the title game against Clayton Valley.

“Any backup quarterback can just get thrown in,” Aguilar said.

After the transfer, he added, his new teammates told him that they had been preparing for Pittsburg’s QB1, not the backup who had thrown no more than 10 passes in any game that season.

“They saw me and thought for sure they had the game in the bag,” Aguilar said. “They were saying they didn’t see it coming, I guess you could say.”

In his postgame interview, Pittsburg coach Victor Galli said of Aguilar, “He’s a really good quarterback playing behind a really good quarterback. It’s nice to have someone like that as an insurance policy.”

Now he could be Clayton Valley’s QB1.

“He’s good, hasn’t missed a practice, has improved tremendously,” Murphy said. “Very coachable, great kid, his teammates love him. Completely reliable. I don’t have one negative thing to say about him. He’s a great kid, and he’s made our backup from last year, Mason Lovett, oh my God, that kid is a different kid. His work ethic, his commitment, his work on his own, going to camps. He’d have never done all this if it wasn’t for Christian.”

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Both quarterbacks will need to make sure their arms are loose because Murphy said he plans to throw the ball “way more” than in previous seasons.

“I got out of double tight, partly because Christian came over and we have more receivers than normal,” Murphy said. “I wanted to try something new. I’ve been doing my offense for 30 years.”

Clayton Valley opens the season at home against Salinas on Aug. 26. It closes the regular season at home against De La Salle on Nov. 4.

Then maybe, just maybe, a postseason date against Pittsburg.

“That would be fun to play that game again,” Aguilar said. “Me and my friends have been talking about that at Clayton — how ironic that would be to play them.”

Coming in the next two weeks

The Bay Area News Group’s high school football preview package has started to roll out. If you have not already, please subscribe.

YMCA pool closed after uproar about patron’s run-in with transgender staffer

44 min 17 sec ago

A public swimming pool in Port Townsend, Wash., is temporarily closed because of an uproar over a locker room confrontation that resulted in the banning of an 80-year-old woman.

The Mountain View Pool, which is run by the YMCA, says its employees have been harassed over the phone and in person since news got out about the run-in between Julie Jaman and a teenage pool employee who is a transgender woman.

Jaman claims she saw the employee — whom she refers to as a man — watching young girls using the toilet. The pool management says the 18-year-old staff member was following protocol in accompanying two children from the day camp. “Staff always accompany children in a group of three, and staff members are never alone with a child,” YMCA official Erin Hawkins told the Port Townsend Leader.

Jaman made what the managers characterized as “disrespectful” statements toward the employee and was told she was being ejected for violating the YMCA code of conduct. She refused to leave, and the police were called. The police report described the confrontation: “Julie asked if [the staffer] had a penis and started screaming at her to get out.”

Now permanently barred from the facility, Jaman returned on the following days to stand at its entrance with a sign reading: “Men who identify as women are using the women’s shower / dressing room.”

That spawned a week of protests and counterprotests with up to 60 people. The staff began receiving abusive phone calls and emails — most from outside the county, Hawkins said, and from people who believed the false claim that Jaman “had confronted a man in the woman’s shower area.”

The facility is now closed at least until next week and will not reopen until the management “determines there can be a harassment-free environment for both staff and patrons,” the city said.

Hawkins told the newspaper that all staff members undergo background checks and are trained in recognizing potential child abuse. The facility’s access policy is in accordance with Washington state law requiring that transgender people be allowed to use locker rooms, changing rooms and bathrooms that align with their gender expression or gender identity.

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Here’s one more good reason to go see Chicago at Mountain Winery

49 min 41 sec ago

Brad “Guitar” Wilson is riding high with the release of his latest full-length album, a self-titled effort that topped the blues rock charts back in July and remains a hot seller with fans.

One of the key tracks from that album is a live version of “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” which has also been a top 10 success story on the blues-rock singles charts.

The accomplished vocalist-guitarist, who has opened for such headliner acts as Buddy Guy, Cheap Trick, .38 Special, Marshall Tucker Band and Tommy Castro during his lengthy career, has a couple of high-profile dates coming up in the Bay Area.

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Wilson opens up for Chicago on Sept. 6-7 at the lovely Mountain Winery in Saratoga. Fans of the Rock and Hall of Fame act — responsible for such hits as “25 or 6 to 4,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “You’re the Inspiration” — should definitely show up in time to see Wilson perform his set as well.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. and tickets start at $50. There are also dinner packages available — which might just be the best way for fans to take in those fabled Mountain Winery views of the South Bay. For more information, visit mountainwinery.com.

 

Victim of fatal shooting outside East Bay 24 Hour Fitness identified

54 min 57 sec ago

BRENTWOOD — A woman who died after a shooting outside a 24 Hour Fitness early Thursday was a 21-year-old Antioch resident.

Authorities identified Cesar Arana on Friday morning. She died at the scene after gunfire in the parking lot outside the gym in the 5900 block of Lone Tree Way.

The shooting happened about 1:55 a.m. Police said a confrontation started inside the gym at the basketball courts and escalated outside.

Three other people, including a minor, were shot, too. All of them were expected to survive and got themselves to a hospital for treatment, Brentwood police spokesman Lt. Walter O’Grodnick said.

Police detained two people but did not arrest anyone. O’Grodnick said officers still were trying to determine who fired the shots, and that police believe two people pulled triggers.

The homicide was the second of the year investigated by Brentwood police. Det. Dustin Greene is the lead investigator on the case and police encouraged anyone with information to contact him at 925-809-7797.

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Woman dead in East Bay overnight shooting

1 hour 7 min ago

UNION CITY — A 28-year-old woman was shot to death early Friday morning, police said.

Few details were released, and police emphasized that they are looking for witnesses. Officers were called to the 2500 block of Medallion Drive at 12:20 a.m.

The woman had been shot one time, police spokesman Lt. Paul Kanazeh said. Alameda County Fire paramedics worked to save the woman, but she died at the scene.

The homicide is the third of the year investigated by Union City police.

“We aren’t releasing any more information at this time, because this just happened and we’re still trying to find witnesses,” Kanazeh said.

Police urged anyone with any information to contact Det. Dominic Ayala at DominicA@unioncity.org or 510-675-5259. Anonymous information can be left at the Union City police tip-line 510-675-5207 or tips@unioncity.org.

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San Jose the No. 3 BBQ city in the U.S.? That’s tough to swallow.

1 hour 7 min ago

When it comes to barbecue, San Jose is no slouch — the Smoking Pig, Blue Rock and Sam’s BBQ come to mind immediately — but the No. 3 barbecue city in the country? That seems like a bit of a stretch, and is sure to get places like Kansas City, Dallas and Memphis fired up.

The dubious distinction comes courtesy of Clever Real Estate, which used data to cook up the list of the top 50 barbecue metros, weighing factors like the number of BBQ restaurants per capita, Yelp reviews, Google searches and cost.

San Antonio topped the list, with Austin coming in second. And then comes San Jose, landing a prime spot that might make people wonder if the tech wizards of Silicon Valley somehow hacked the system. (In Northern California, Sacramento ranked 23rd and San Francisco 30th.)

So why did San Jose get such a highly ranking? Clever gives a shout out to the slow-cooked meats of Smoking Pig BBQ but also says San Jose has a surprising number of barbecue joints, with 5.6 restaurants per 100,000 people. San Jose also ranked fourth in Google search interest for how to barbecue, no doubt due to the seasonable weather that encourages backyard grilling. And it’s apparently a bargain to cook your own in Silicon Valley, the survey says, as buying 4 lbs. of BBQ meat every month for a year costs only 0.21% of a “typical” annual income.

That’s a good thing, too. With everything we spend on housing in San Jose, there’s not much left for BBQ.

Column: Kevin Costner’s absence, Chicago Cubs executive cameos and other observations on the Field of Dreams telecast

1 hour 27 min ago

It turns out you can stage a great infomercial for baseball, Iowa and Hollywood without the presence of the New York Yankees or a walk-off home run by Tim Anderson.

Field of Dreams 2.0 once again lived up to expectations, though expectations were considerably lower this year with the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds playing a game that had no bearing on the National League playoff race.

As a special TV event, the Fox telecast hit all the marks — plenty of stories about dads, videos of players shucking corn, a glowing full moon rising above the field and a sunset so Instagramable you’d think it was CGI.

And if you lived in Chicago and also were able to catch the postgame news conference on Marquee Sports Network, you were treated to someone asking the Cubs how an organization could be so “blessed” as to get invites to both the Field of Dreams game and next summer’s game in London against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs marketing department couldn’t have scripted a question any better if they tried.

Watching the Field of Dreams game has become an annual tradition at my dad’s house, so I picked up a couple of Italian beefs with sweet peppers and juice on the side, and headed over to watch, hoping to get the father-son vibe that made the 1989 movie such a success.

Unfortunately my dad fell asleep before the Harry Caray hologram in the seventh, and I missed part of the game checking in on an episode of “24″ in which the ex-president takes nuclear secrets with him. Or maybe it was the news. It’s hard to remember with all the hoopla from Iowa.

The first thing you noticed about Field of Dreams 2.0 was there would be no Kevin Costner in the sequel, except for a brief narration of a video tribute to the late Ray Liotta, who played “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in the movie. Costner’s absence was never explained, and it didn’t really matter why he wasn’t there.

But since Costner was the star of the movie and made the inaugural game memorable by walking out of the cornfield to the theme music, his presence was sorely missed.

MLB instead gave us the father-son duo of the Griffeys. That was fine for the visuals, but didn’t pull the heartstrings like Costner returning to the site, looking exactly like his character, Ray Kinsella. You probably could put any visual to that music and pretend it’s a heartwarming moment, so give MLB some credit for not messing with the goods.

The Cubs scored three first-inning runs, but I lost my train of thought when Fox briefly cut away to a shot of a singular Cubs fan cheering in the stands. This was no ordinary Cubs fan. It was none other than Colin Faulkner, the Cubs executive vice-president of sales and marketing.

“Crane Kenney would be so jealous,” said a comfy chair wag.

Johnny Bench joined the Fox booth, after appearing on the pregame show that featured his famous talent for holding seven balls in one hand. Bench mentioned the long and storied rivalry between the Reds and Cubs when he played, with a nice shoutout to Ron Santo, Glenn Beckert and Don Kessinger. Mercifully, Bench neglected to mention the Reds dominated in those years, winning back-to-back championships in 1975 and ’76 while the Cubs never made a postseason appearance.

After the three-run first, the game turned increasingly dull, as happens when teams headed for 90-plus losses match up in August. But Fox was prepared, with video of players and Cubs manager David Ross shucking corn.

Hey, look — there’s Commissioner Rob Manfred seemingly signing an autograph in the stands, projecting the image of the popular leader of the national pastime. I was almost positive it was not staged. At least Manfred had the sense to stay out of the TV booth and spare us his thoughts on the ghost runner and the expanded wild-card races.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto, however, was miked up and ready with praise for analyst John Smoltz and all the Hall of Famers he faced over the years. It seemed like an audition for a TV gig whenever Votto retires. Votto didn’t shut up, so he would be a perfect fit in many TV booths.

Later on, Fox broadcaster Joe Davis revealed some fun facts about Iowa, which apparently is the birthplace of sliced bread and bizarrely has the world’s largest popcorn ball.

When the full moon began to rise over the cornfield, Fox was all over it. It was so scenic, so bucolic and so Midwest you had to marvel at the timing. Was the game scheduled for a full moon? If so, bravo, MLB.

Though the breathlessly-awaited Caray hologram during the seventh inning stretch was a bit creepy, it fit in with the overall movie theme of bringing back the ghosts of baseball immortals. Hopefully Caray’s family got residuals from MLB for the use of his name and image. Doubt it.

When the ninth inning arrived, Fox cut away to another random shot of a happy Cubs fan sitting in the stands with his son. This was no ordinary Cubs fan. It was none other than Cubs President Jed Hoyer. Davis and Smoltz said nothing about Hoyer, who wasn’t identified during his brief cameo.

“That would never happen to Theo (Epstein),” a comfy couch wag said.

What are the odds of two Cubs executives getting cameos and not being identified? Check with your local sports betting site.

By the bottom of the ninth, all that was needed to bookend the second Field of Dreams game with the inaugural affair was a walk-off home run. But it was not to be. The Cubs won 4-2 in a game that would be mostly drama-free and, more importantly, home run-free.

The sights of baseballs cutting through the night sky and landing in the corn field were the highlights of last year’s Yankees-Sox thriller. It happened eight times, including the walk-off by Anderson that set off a home plate celebration, fireworks and hundreds of newspaper headlines that read “Hollywood Ending.”

Alas, that was impossible to replicate. As sequels go, Field of Dreams 2 was somewhere between “Back to the Future, Part II” and “Porky’s II: The Next Day.”

It was watchable but nothing like the original.

Costner made the right call.

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Polio detected in New York City’s sewage, suggesting virus circulating

1 hour 43 min ago

By KAREN MATTHEWS and MIKE STOBBE | Associated Press

NEW YORK — The polio virus has been found in New York City’s wastewater in another sign that the disease, which hadn’t been seen in the U.S. in a decade, is quietly spreading among unvaccinated people, health officials said Friday.

The presence of the poliovirus in the city’s wastewater suggests likely local circulation of the virus, the city and New York state health departments said.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said the detection of poliovirus in wastewater samples in New York City is alarming but not surprising.

“The risk to New Yorkers is real but the defense is so simple — get vaccinated against polio,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said in a statement. “With polio circulating in our communities there is simply nothing more essential than vaccinating our children to protect them from this virus, and if you’re an unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated adult, please choose now to get the vaccine. Polio is entirely preventable and its reappearance should be a call to action for all of us.”

New York City is being forced to confront polio as city health officials are struggling to vaccinate vulnerable populations against monkeypox and adjusting to changing COVID-19 guidelines.

“We are dealing with a trifecta,” Mayor Eric Adams said Friday on CNN. “COVID is still very much here. Polio, we have identified polio in our sewage, and we’re still dealing with the monkeypox crisis. But the team is there. And we’re coordinating and we’re addressing the threats as they come before us, and we’re prepared to deal with them with the assistance of Washington, D.C.”

The announcement about the discovery of the polio virus in New York City comes shortly after British health authorities reported finding evidence the virus has spread in London but found no cases in people. Children ages 1-9 in London were made eligible for booster doses of a polio vaccine Wednesday.

In New York, one person suffered paralysis weeks ago because of a polio infection in Rockland County, north of the city. Wastewater samples collected in June in both Rockland and adjacent Orange County, NY, were found to contain the virus.

Most people infected with polio have no symptoms but can still give the virus to others for days or weeks. Vaccination offers strong protection and authorities urged people who haven’t gotten the shots to seek one immediately.

Based on past outbreaks, it is possible that hundreds of people in the state have gotten polio and don’t know it, officials said.

Polio was once one of the nation’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis. The disease mostly affects children.

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Vaccines became available starting in 1955, and a national vaccination campaign cut the annual number of U.S. cases to less than 100 in the 1960s and fewer than 10 in the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A small percentage of people who contract polio suffer paralysis. The disease is fatal for 5-10% of those paralyzed.

All schoolchildren in New York are required to have a polio vaccine, but the state’s Rockland and Orange counties are both known as centers of vaccine resistance.

Mychal Givens and Trevor May will have a lot of say in how far the Mets ultimately go

1 hour 47 min ago

A Major League Baseball postseason game tends to follow a familiar pattern.

Mirroring a trend that has taken over the regular season, starting pitchers are often yanked at the first sign of trouble, as one misplaced pitch over the middle could be the difference between advancing to the next round and going home.

Because of this, middle relievers have become some of the most indispensable players on any playoff roster. Whether it’s a previously unknown guy riding the best month of his life to a World Series float (Tyler Matzek for the 2021 Braves), an aging former closer who’s been moved to the earlier innings (Sean Doolittle and his 1.74 postseason ERA for the 2019 Nationals) or a rookie who can’t stop striking everybody out (Francisco Rodriguez earning his K-Rod nickname in 2002), having a guy who can lock down the sixth, seventh and eighth innings is one of the determining factors in October baseball.

The Mets, obviously, have the front and back ends of games figured out. Their starting rotation has a fun sort of fire and ice thing going, with Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer trying to throw the ball through their catcher’s glove, Chris Bassitt and Carlos Carrasco trying to coax as much weak contact as possible, Taijuan Walker somewhere in the middle, and Edwin Diaz lurking as the executioner. The Mets’ starters have also pitched the fourth-most innings of any group in the league, and, paired with an offense that excels in the art of lead-building, the team has eliminated the need for middle relievers to get many tense outs this season.

That will change in the playoffs, when everything is clenched a little tighter. In breaking down the Mets’ current roster, two of these presumed x-factors will be Mychal Givens and Trevor May. Givens was the bullpen’s lone external addition at the trade deadline, while May is the classic internal upgrade, if you buy that line of front office thinking. Last season, Carrasco was hailed as that big acquisition from within. He never looked quite right after overcoming his hamstring issue, finishing with a 6.04 ERA in 12 starts.

If May posts an ERA above 6.00 down the stretch, don’t expect him to be anywhere near the postseason roster. But as he eases his way back — May has not pitched in consecutive MLB games since returning from the stress reaction which kept him down for three months — the right-hander still has his velocity. He’s flirted with 98 miles per hour on the fastball, and on Aug. 9 against the Reds, he recorded each of his three outs via the strikeout.

“Any time you’re forced to take some time off, there’s an opportunity to get better in other ways,” May said earlier this month at Nationals Park, the site of his first post-injury outing. “I’ve always treated it that way.”

As for Givens, who’s been twisting, turning and sidearming his way through the big leagues for the past eight years, deception has always been his calling card. Despite being overwhelmingly right-handed — Joely Rodriguez and David Peterson might end up fighting for the token lefty spot in the postseason pen — Givens thinks that the Mets’ diversity of deliveries can spell trouble for the National League.

“With the stuff we’ve got, all the angles and weapons we have in the pen, I think it’s going to be unique,” he said on his first day in the Mets’ clubhouse. “I can pitch behind a lot of these guys, and it’s going to be really uncomfortable for the hitters.”

All the Mets have on May and Givens, so far, is a very small sample size. The next few weeks are essentially the audition for their prospective playoff role, just as it is for Rodriguez and Trevor Williams, as well as Drew Smith and Tylor Megill whenever they come back from their injuries. Not all of them are guaranteed to make it, of course. But the Mets certainly didn’t trade for Givens, or sign May for $15.5 million, to leave them at home for a Division Series. They have to pitch, and pitch well, to unlock this squad’s full potential.

“Having a good bullpen like this, we can bounce from each other, pass the baton, and try to make each other better,” said Givens. The Mets have the NL’s fifth-best bullpen according to FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement, but rank sixth in home runs allowed, a nightmare for close games with everything on the line.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Givens said.

The old pro called Buck Showalter, whom he knew well from 2015-18 in Baltimore, “one of the best managers I’ve had throughout my career” and said “he knows how to win games.”

The same needs to be true for this reliever duo tasked with setting up their blood-curdling closer, the ultimate card up the Mets’ sleeve. For May, who did not even travel with the team for most of the season as he rehabbed his arm, there will be no shortage of incentive.

“It was not hard to be motivated to work every day,” May said of his journey back to the mound. “I tend to blow past milestones and just be like, ‘Alright, what’s next?’ It was kind of a long road, little bit of question marks, so I’m happy about being back on a big-league mound in that context.”

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Dan Rodricks: Could we please enjoy the rest of the Orioles season without the Angelos family soap opera? | COMMENTARY

2 hours 5 min ago

I have never understood people who blow it — that is, people who appear to enjoy great success and have many reasons to be happy but fritter away their bliss on irrational choices and petty grievances.

I have never understood the guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, then used it to dig himself into a hole.

Or, to deploy a baseball metaphor — because I’m addressing the Angelos family feud today — consider the guy who was born on third base and thought he hit a triple, and even then, takes too big of a lead off the bag and gets picked off. He blew it!

I’m not saying you should never take risks. A lot of people are financially successful because they do exactly that. I’m just baffled by people who, through hard work or privilege, attain a certain status — wealth, career accomplishments, the high opinion of their peers — and then lose one or all of those things because they let anger, greed or vanity consume them.

Why on Earth are the Angelos brothers, John and Lou, having an ugly fight in public when the Baltimore Orioles, owned by their 93-year-old father, could be on the cusp of a new era of success?

And why would you want to sell the team when there’s a possibility you could be sitting large in the owner’s box during the World Series in the not too distant future? Where’s the joy?

Let me say that I have no personal experience with either of these guys. I only know what I’ve read in The Sun’s reporting, based on documents in the Baltimore County Circuit Court, and from what a couple of insiders have shared. I’ve heard enough — and experienced enough of life — to say this: The split between Lou and John is the worst part. It’s why people use the term “tragic” to describe the escalating litigation.

I know: You can pick your friends, but not family, and feuds break out between siblings all the time, born in rivalries that go back to the earliest years. There’s a library full of scholarly work and fine literature devoted to that deep, dark subject.

But life is precious and shorter than we think. To continue your journey while feuding with a brother or sister, not speaking to them — that’s a terrible burden to carry through life.

There are those of us who have lost a beloved sibling — not to a feud, but to death — and look at the Angelos brothers and say, lads, if this goes on, you’re going to hate how you feel for the rest of your lives.

A sibling feud does not have to fester. There’s a thing called mediation, and though it’s been tried in the Angelos feud before, it should be tried again.

John and Lou could agree to call, say, attorney and master negotiator Ron Shapiro and try to work things out. Once a sports agent, Shapiro represented Cal Ripken and other Hall of Famers. He’s written books on how, in business or life, opposing parties can get to win-win. One of his titles is, “Bullies, Tyrants and Impossible People: How to Beat Them Without Joining Them.”

Shapiro is certainly qualified to end the Angelos feud. If he’s not available, there are others around to help: Oprah maybe, or Gordon Ramsay!

Of course, to break the impasse, one of the Angelos fratelli needs to offer detente, end this cold war and push the reset button.

Georgia Angelos, wife of Peter and mother of Lou and John, has come down on John’s side in all this, making Lou look like the bad guy and instigator.

I don’t know who’s telling the truth, though I admit a bias in believing the mom. But I’ll say this to Lou: You’re not winning the public relations battle so far; you might want to consider asking for peace talks.

And then, on behalf of the many Baltimoreans who want to enjoy the 2022 Orioles without this soap opera, I ask all three parties: Could you please work this out in a yurt somewhere?

And as for my question about selling the team: It’s none of my business what the wife and sons of Peter Angelos decide to do, but, for the life of me, I can’t understand why, besides getting top dollar — Forbes values the Orioles organization at $1.37 billion — you’d want to let some other owner have all the future fun.

Don’t the Angeloses like owning a Major League team? It’s a very small club of Americans who ever get to do that. Don’t they take pride in having hired sharp baseball executives to rebuild the organization?

I understand from one of the unfortunate lawsuits that it’s Peter Angelos’ wish that the Orioles “should be sold on his death so Georgia could enjoy the great wealth they had amassed together.” But doesn’t Mrs. Angelos already enjoy great wealth? What’s she going to do, rocket to Venus?

George Steinbrenner’s family managed to work things out to maintain ownership and management of the New York Yankees after his death in 2010. Why can’t the Angelos brothers do that here?

They have an opportunity to be big men in Baltimore, real civic leaders. To let the feud go on, ending with the sale of the franchise just as the team could be entering an era of winning seasons and playoff runs — that’s what I call blowing it.

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Injuries to Shane Lemieux, Jamil Douglas sting already thin Giants O-line

2 hours 28 min ago

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Injuries to Giants guards Shane Lemieux and Jamil Douglas may have decimated the depth of an already thin offensive line.

Lemieux, the club’s starting left guard, suffered a toe injury during the game’s first series. He needed a walking boot to stand on the sideline after.

And Douglas, a free agent signing at second-string right guard, hurt his ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return to the sideline for the second half.

Rookie corner Cor’Dale Flott (groin) also got hurt after playing both outside and inside in his NFL preseason debut. And that’s a position where the Giants are paper thin, as well.

“I always think you can use as much depth as you can get,” head coach Brian Daboll said of the offensive line. “But those guys who came in relatively new up front really did a good job. I thought [O-line coach] Bobby [Johnson] had them prepared and learning calls and communicating. And you can never have too many corners. But the guys that competed, … I thought they did a good job.”

Second-string center Ben Bredeson has been the team’s best reserve lineman this training camp. He was good again Thursday, so that’s a plus.

The Giants have high expectations for rookie guard Josh Ezeudu, but he’s experienced natural growing pains amid some positive flashes so far.

The Giants ran the ball well as a team Thursday, with 33 carries for 177 yards (5.4 average), led by Antonio Williams’ 61 yards and a TD on nine carries and Gary Brightwell’s 40 yards on seven runs.

But Daniel Jones was hit four times in the backfield on 12 dropbacks during his two possessions. There were too many free runners at the Giants’ first-string quarterback.

And they are short on surefire, NFL starter-caliber linemen to plug any holes up front when the real games start. Daboll couldn’t say if Lemieux’s injury would be a longer-term issue.

“Hope not,” he said.

Plus, it’s also important to note that left tackle Andrew Thomas was limited to only one series for rest purposes on Thursday.

He said his surgically-repaired left ankle is O.K. as he left Gillette Stadium postgame, but Thomas has labored some in recent practices and that is definitely something to monitor.

It was at least encouraging to hear Jones say he wasn’t worried about his neck while taking hits coming off last year’s injury.

“It felt good to get out there and it was just like it used to be,” He said. “That’s football, right? That’s football and I felt good out there. I didn’t think a whole lot about the neck or anything like that. I felt good and it was just football.”

The Giants would rather he not take hits, though. And the more linemen they lose, the harder it will be to make sure that doesn’t happen.

That’s why the team said GM Joe Schoen told the local broadcast that he and the personnel staff would be busy the next three weeks, searching every team for any possible upgrades to the roster.

They need them.

PATS ATTACK A-ROB

The Patriots showed no mercy on starting Giants corner Aaron Robinson on New England’s second drive, attacking a clear area of concern in Wink Martindale’s defense.

New England rested top QB Mac Jones and several other starters, but backup QB Brian Hoyer peppered Robinson for a 33-yard completion to Kristian Wilkerson and a 2-yard TD to Tyquan Thornton that drew a holding flag on the Giants’ CB.

Robinson broke up a third-down pass in the end zone that could have forced a field goal, but then he was whistled for taunting.

The second-year player said he’s “expecting” to be targeted opposite the more experienced Adoree Jackson and “you gotta embrace it.”

“It’s part of the game, but with that comes plays being made,” Robinson said. “They’re football players just like I am. I learn from it and move from there.”

He said he could have had “better technique at the line of scrimmage” on Wilkerson’s deep reception and anticipated the throw better. But it was a “great ball” and “great play made” by Wilkerson.

As for the taunting penalty, he called it a “learning experience” getting caught up in the “moment.”

“Now I know,” he said.

LOVE FOR SANDRO

Daboll called on Austrian RB Sandro Platzgummer, a third-year international pathway program player, to take the Giants home on the game-winning drive. And he delivered with 21 yards on three carries, gaining 15 on his first touch.

“I wanted to make sure that everybody that came on the trip had an opportunity to play,” Daboll said. “That’s not the easiest situation either when they’re trying to rip at the ball, and you’re not loose, and you warmed up. He is such a good young man. I was happy for him. I think his teammates were, too.”

Saquon Barkley was jumping around on the sideline on Platzgummer’s big run.

“When you see a guy, who puts a lot of hard work in, get on the field and make a play in a critical situation…,” Barkley said with a smile. “Sandro just brings a smile to everybody’s face. So we’re all excited for him.”

Platzgummer actually told me he thought he might have been able to score, or challenge for the end zone, on his last carry. But he knew he couldn’t risk going out of bounds, because the object was to wind the clock down and maintain possession.

He figures that’s how he’ll get more opportunities: by showing the coaches they can trust him.

“You’ve gotta earn the trust first,” Platzgummer said. “In that situation, if I fumble, we lose the game. So I guess I kind of earned that a little bit.”

Daboll had Platzgummer break the team down in the locker room after the win, too.

EYE IN THE SKY

Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka wasn’t on the sideline Thursday. He called the plays from a booth upstairs instead. Daboll did the same thing when he was the Buffalo Bills’ OC with Josh Allen.

“I thought that was the best spot,” Daboll said of Kafka’s placement. “I called the plays upstairs [in Buffalo]. We’ll see what we do [next] week against Cincinnati. It was a good operation.”

GAME NOTES AND NUGGETS

Wide receiver Collin Johnson led the team with seven catches for 82 yards working with both Jones and Tyrod Taylor, but he also had a drop and a lost fumble. He’s had a great training camp. He just has to keep the ball off the turf … Daboll challenged a Patriots catch near the sideline in the fourth quarter, but the play was upheld. “I lost the challenge,” Daboll said. “I was upset about that.” … Giants LB Austin Calitro jumped a slant route and intercepted Patriots rookie QB Bailey Zappe to set up a Graham Gano 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but later Calitro committed a 15-yard facemask penalty to help New England advance on a touchdown drive to take a late 21-20 lead … Zappe, out of Western Kentucky, was throwing tons of back shoulder fades on the Giants’ outside corners. He finished 19 of 32 with 205 yards, one TD to Lil’Jordan Humphrey on a terrific blitz read, and the INT … Tight end Chris Myarick made a great special teams tackle on a late Patriots punt return … Third-string QB Davis Webb was 8 of 16 for 51 yards, capped by a 15-yard completion to tight end Austin Allen on the game-winning drive. Webb also chewed out WR Keelan Doss after a third down incompletion earlier in the half, though, which wasn’t a great look … on special teams, rookie Jashaun Corbin had a 34-yard kick return. But the punt coverage team also surrendered a 30-yard punt return in the first quarter to the Patriots’ Myles Bryant … Thursday was the media’s first time back in the Giants’ locker room since before the COVID pandemic.

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM

“We can’t get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of work to do.” – edge rusher Jihad Ward

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San Jose: Man arrested in Mexico in connection with April killing

2 hours 38 min ago

A man suspected in a fatal shooting in Willow Glen in April has been arrested in Mexico and is expected to be extradited to face prosecution in the South Bay, according to San Jose police.

Police officers were called at about 4:30 a.m. April 9 for a report of a person down near Meridian Way and Pedro Street, and found a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound.

The victim was rushed to the hospital, where he died. He was identified as Cristian Murillo Ramirez, a 25-year-old San Jose resident.

An ensuing investigation identified Jose Alberto Aguirre, 28, of San Jose, as “the primary suspect responsible” for the shooting, police said in a Friday news release. He was also thought to have traveled to Mexico after the killing.

After obtaining an arrest warrant for Aguirre, police said San Jose detectives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and authorities in Mexico tracked him to Mexcali, a city just across the border from Imperial County in Southern California.

Mexican authorities arrested Aguirre in Mexicali on Tuesday, and he was transferred to U.S. Marshals custody, police said. Aguirre was booked into the Imperial County jail and is awaiting extradition to Santa Clara County.

Police have not publicly disclosed a motive or the circumstances behind the April shooting and their subsequent suspicion of Aguirre.

Anyone with information about Sunday’s fatal fire can contact Detective Sgt. Richard Martinez at 3934@sanjoseca.gov or Detective Sean Ancelet at 4173@sanjoseca.gov or at 408-277-5283. Tips can also be left with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at svcrimestoppers.org.

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Travel Troubleshooter: British Airways cancels flight and then refuses refund

2 hours 45 min ago

DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: British Airways canceled my recent flight from Boston to London. The airline said it canceled the flight because of “operational constraints.” British Airways sent me an email promising to “do everything (they) can to get you where you need to be.”

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter 

I asked the airline for a refund, but instead, I received another email that accused me of being a “no-show” for my flight and refused a refund. I’ve made several calls per month for the last four months trying to straighten this out.

Finally, I received an email from British Airways that said per its fare rules, it could not offer a refund. But, British Airways canceled my flight, so doesn’t it owe me a refund?

— Carrie Christensen, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

ANSWER: It most certainly does. If an airline cancels a flight, it owes you a full and prompt refund under its fare rules and federal regulations. British Airways can’t keep your money under any circumstances.

I’m kind of shocked that your refund request dragged on this long. I reviewed the correspondence between you and British Airways. The facts were clear: You received an email from British Airways that said, “We’re sorry your flight has been canceled due to operational constraints.” And you sent that email to the airline when you requested your refund. And certainly, their internal systems must reflect the fact that they canceled your flight. How much more do they need?

You did a terrific job of keeping all of your records with the airline. If only British Airways had paid attention to its records, then you wouldn’t have a complaint at all.

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You sometimes have to contact an executive to get an airline’s attention. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of several British Airway executives on my consumer advocacy site at www.elliott.org/company-contacts/british-airways/. I think a quick, polite message might have gotten this resolved.

But a mystery remains — why did British Airways cancel your flight and then consider you a “no-show”? To find out, I contacted the airline directly on your behalf. It looks like your flight wasn’t canceled after all. British Airways generated the cancellation notice by mistake. The airline still agreed to issue a full refund.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers resolve their problems. Elliott’s latest book is “How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler” (National Geographic). Contact him at elliott.org/help or chris@elliott.org.

(c) 2022 Christopher Elliott
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Salman Rushdie attacked on stage in New York

3 hours 7 min ago

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was attacked Friday as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

An Associated Press reporter saw a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and begin punching or stabbing Rushdie as he was being introduced. The author fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.

Rushdie’s condition was not immediately known.

Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it to be blasphemous. A year later, Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death.

A bounty of over $3 million has also been offered for anyone who kills Rushdie.

Iran’s government has long since distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, but anti-Rushdie sentiment lingered. In 2012, a semi-official Iranian religious foundation raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million to $3.3 million.

Rushdie dismissed that threat at the time, saying there was “no evidence” of people being interested in the reward.

That year, Rushdie published a memoir, “Joseph Anton,” about the fatwa.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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Bicycle commuter killed in crash on two-lane Vacaville road

3 hours 22 min ago

A cyclist on his way to work Thursday morning in Vacaville was killed when he was hit by a car.

The man was identified only as a 33-year-old resident of the community of Elmira. He was riding west on Elmira Road around 8:30 a.m. when, just before Leisure Town Road, he was struck from behind by the sedan, Vacaville police Sgt. Frank Piro said.

The cyclist was hit by the right front of the car and thrown into its windshield.

The man, who had not been wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the crash site. At this point, neither alcohol nor drugs appear to be a factor in the crash, Piro said.

At the Leisure Town intersection, Elmira Road’s single westbound lane splits into three to allow turns to the left or right. The speed limit there is 50 mph.

Looking east on Elmira Road near Leisure Town Road

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Insurance rates climb from fires, COVID, inflation, worker shortage

3 hours 44 min ago

Inflation, a labor shortage, effects from the lingering COVID pandemic and increasingly devastating fires are boosting the cost of insurance for homes, cars and businesses.

“Everything,” said Sunnyvale insurance agent Steve Nelson, “has gone up.”

The pandemic and high costs of living, especially in the Bay Area, have aggravated a shortage of construction workers, and combined with inflation-boosting prices for building materials, insurers are on the hook for rising replacement costs when homes and commercial buildings are destroyed or damaged. So homeowner premiums have gone up 20% to 25% in the past three years, Nelson said, adding that commercial policies vary so much it’s not possible to specify the increase accurately. Auto insurance pricing also depends on several factors, including zip code, but Nelson estimates it’s risen about 15% in the past few years, despite drivers getting a break during the worst of the pandemic.

Huge home-insurance payouts by insurers after wildfires sent some providers fleeing from the risky areas of California, leaving fewer companies in the Bay Area and the state, with more risk in their portfolios, leading them to charge higher prices, said Nelson, who co-owns Nelson/Nelson Insurance Services with his cousin Jason Nelson.

The two Nelsons represent the third generation to run the business, after Nelson’s grandfather Buford founded it just after the Second World War. This news organization spoke with him about the state of insurance coverage at a time when prices are up considerably for virtually every consumer good. His comments have been edited for length and clarity.

Steve Nelson a partner at Nelson/Nelson Insurance Services is photographed on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, in Sunnyvale, Calif. The pandemic, wild fires, and inflation have dramatically increased replacement cost for homes and businesses, boosting insurance costs. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) 

Q: How did the COVID pandemic affect the insurance industry in general, including for home, auto and business?

A: The insurance industry as a whole automated quite a bit more. The automation has given people (in the insurance business) the ability to work from home, but I think the efficiency level has dropped a little bit. In some ways it speeded up the process, in other ways it slowed down our ability to be able to quote new policies and be efficient — it’s kind of a Catch-22. Insurance is kind of slow on the digital side of things, applications, things of that nature. We do a lot of it on the computer but there’s a lot of parts and pieces where we were still taking information in and filling it out … on a PDF form by hand. A lot of that’s changed. They’ve automated it, where they’re pulling that information from other sources.

Q: How did the COVID pandemic affect car insurance, when so many people shifted to working from home?

A: A lot of companies stepped up and automatically decreased people’s mileage driven per year — everything’s based on miles driven for your rates. Some companies gave discounts, other companies … just automatically based everybody at 3,500 miles a year.

Q: What’s happened with those discounts now that many people have resumed earlier driving patterns?

A: That has been taken off now that things are back open. Everybody’s being charged based on their normal driving habits. Some people who work remotely, we keep them low — they just have to provide some proof, like mileage readings.

Q: What’s affecting homeowner’s insurance?

A: What really has been hitting people in California are the long-term effects of several years of large fires — there’s definitely a trickle-down effect in insurance. Even if you’re not in an area that has high fire risk, in insurance we all share risk. Those fires have driven companies out of areas that they used to cover in. A lot of companies have just decided, “We’re no longer going to insure in these areas.” Because there are less insurance companies, (remaining ones) are taking on more risk, and that has driven costs up. Where we used to not have much of an issue writing insurance in places like Saratoga or Los Altos, or the hills of Redwood City and certain areas of Fremont and Milpitas, now there are times, even in Morgan Hill, where we’ll submit something that any company would have taken, and they say no.

Q: How is inflation affecting the insurance market?

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A: The property side is the most affected by rises in costs. Any time that we write a homeowners policy or rental policy or any type of situation where the customer is covering the property, we have to value the cost to rebuild it. Labor prices have really skyrocketed in California, and material prices. Gas prices fit in because the transporting of those materials is expensive. And we have the cost of not having enough material, because of supply chain problems. A couple of years ago, if I were to run a replacement-cost estimate on a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, the cost would be about $300 to $350 a square foot. Now you’re looking at that three-bedroom, two-bathroom house costing $400 to $450 per square foot.

Q: What happened with business insurance costs during the pandemic?

A: A lot of their cost is tied to what their revenue is: If you’re a restaurant and you’re serving $100,000 worth of food a month compared to $700,000, your risk is lower. If your risk drops, then we go to the company and we take care of it. Any company or any business type that had a reduction in revenue and their policy was based on that had the ability to go in and do that. We did have a few small businesses, like hair salons — some of them that couldn’t open called us and cancelled their policy. A lot of those people … came back when they were able to open.

Q: What advice do you have for consumers about insurance?

A: Pay attention to your insurance policies. Look at what it cost before, what it costs now. Make sure the coverage amounts are correct. Call your agent and shop around. There’s no harm in sending it out to several other companies and seeing what someone else has to offer and get a little bit educated on how it works. Get three or four quotes. Try a few different agents — maybe get someone like us that’s independent and can shop different places. Most people have no idea how insurance works for a homeowner, or even on a car. What’s good for one person is not necessarily good for another. It’s not just about saving money because in the long term it could cost you quite a bit. The (California) Department of Insurance does have a lot of information for consumers online.

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Name: Steve Nelson

Grew up in: Milpitas

Education: Milpitas High School; Mission College in Santa Clara

Family: Married, with two adult children and one in high school

Age: 48

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Five things to know about Steve Nelson:

1: I like spending time with my family

2: I enjoy being with my dad working on his old cars. He’s got old hot rods.

3: I split time between California and our new home in Tennessee.

4: I like Italian food.

5: I enjoy being on the water, going to the lake.

Tom Brady on personal leave: ‘We’re praying for whatever he’s got going on’

4 hours 7 min ago

(CNN) — Tom Brady is taking some time away from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to “deal with personal things,” according to the team’s head coach Todd Bowles.

The 45-year-old quarterback missed practice on Thursday, and Bowles told reporters that he will not return until after the team’s second preseason game, on Aug. 20.

“Tom has been excused today,” Bowles said. “He’ll be back sometime around after Tennessee. He’s going to deal with some personal things.

“This is something we talked about before training camp started. We allotted this time because he wanted to get in and get chemistry with the guys and go through two weeks of training camp.”

Bowles didn’t elaborate on the reason for Brady’s absence, but said it was a plan that had been in place from before training camp began and remained confident that Brady would be back for the team’s season-opening Week 1 clash against the Dallas Cowboys.

“Obviously, there’s always going to be doubt,” Bowles said, “but I have a pretty high level of confidence, yes.”

Bucs linebacker Devin White said Brady had his team’s full support and understanding.

“He’s a grown man — (more grown) than most of us in the locker room, and he’s a human at the end of the day,” White said. “He’s got personal problems going on, but he’s a guy that’s been doing this so long, he (doesn’t) need to be here.

“If he’s not here, we know that he’s still working. He has a great supporting cast around him and he’s going to get his work in whether he’s here or not here, so when he comes back, he’ll never miss a beat and that’s the only important thing.

“But more than football, we’re praying for whatever he’s got going on as a human being and we hope everyone else does too and that’s all we ask for him — his well-being. Football comes second, him being a human comes first.”

Since joining the Bucs in 2020 from the New England Patriots, Brady  — the league’s oldest quarterback — has helped to dramatically improve the team’s success.

A perennial underachiever before his arrival, the Bucs won the Super Bowl in Brady’s first season at the helm — his seventh Super Bowl ring.

The team fell short of expectations last season, losing to the eventual Super Bowl winners the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.

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