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NCAA Relocating 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Sites


The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee announced today the relocation of 13 predetermined preliminary round sites for the 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

In recent weeks, the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee has engaged in a thorough contingency planning process to determine the most effective way to conduct a safe and healthy March Madness for all participants for the 2021 championship. Through these discussions, it became apparent to the committee that conducting the championship at 13 preliminary round sites spread throughout the country would be very difficult to execute in the current pandemic environment. The committee has decided the championship should be held in a single geographic area to enhance the safety and well-being of the event.

As a result, NCAA staff are in preliminary talks with the State of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis to potentially host the 68-team tournament around the metropolitan area during the coordinated dates in March and April. Indianapolis was already slated to host the Men’s Final Four from April 3-5, 2021.

“My committee colleagues and I did not come lightly to the difficult decision to relocate the preliminary rounds of the 2021 tournament, as we understand the disappointment 13 communities will feel to miss out on being part of March Madness next year,” said Mitch Barnhart, chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and University of Kentucky athletics director. “With the University of Kentucky slated to host first- and second-round games in March, this is something that directly impacts our school and community, so we certainly share in their regret. The committee and staff deeply appreciate the efforts of all the host institutions and conferences, and we look forward to bringing the tournament back to the impacted sites in future years.”

The committee emphasized the importance of conducting the championship in a manageable geographic area that limits travel and provides a safe and controlled environment with competition and practice venues, medical resources and lodging for teams and officials all within proximity of one another.

“We have learned so much from monitoring other successful sporting events in the last several months, and it became clear it’s not feasible to manage this complex championship in so many different states with the challenges presented by the pandemic,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball. “However, we are developing a solid plan to present a safe, responsible and fantastic March Madness tournament unlike any other we’ve experienced.”

“The committee and staff have thoughtfully monitored the pandemic to develop potential contingency plans,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA President. “The Board of Governors and my top priorities are to protect the health and well-being of college athletes while also maintaining their opportunity to compete at the highest level. These principles have guided the decision-making process as we continue to assess how to have a fair and safe championship experience.”

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will continue to distribute all 67 games of the tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV and their digital platforms.

The post NCAA Relocating 2021 Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Sites first appeared on News Time Global.


Dallas Cowboys Back In Playoff Hunt


The Cowboys snapped a four-game losing streak, won a road game for the first time this season and put themselves in the NFC East race with six games to play.

On Sunday, Dalton threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz with 1:37 to play for the winning score, four weeks after suffering the first concussion of his career and three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Cowboys could be in first place in the NFC East with a win on Thanksgiving against the Washington Football Team.

After 10 games, no team in the division has more than three wins. The Eagles, who lost to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, are in first place with a 3-6-1 record. The Cowboys, Giants (who were idle Sunday) and Washington are all 3-7, but the Giants hold the tiebreaker, followed by Washington and the Cowboys.

To claim first place in the division, the Cowboys would need back-to-back wins for the first time under McCarthy, and the first time since they opened the 2019 season with three straight wins.

Few people expected the Cowboys to win Sunday. But the Dallas defense came up with two takeaways, leading to nine points in the first half, and two key fourth-quarter stops. The offense was able to score four touchdowns in a game for the first time since losing Dak Prescott. Dallas entered Sunday with just two touchdowns in the four games without Prescott.

Behind an offensive line that was using its seventh different starting combination that included Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin at right tackle, Elliott also came up big, finishing with his first 100-yard game of the season, rushing for 103 yards on 21 carries, setting up Tony Pollard’s 42-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Elliott also had a receiving touchdown.

Rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb made a Dez Bryant-like touchdown grab in the first half and impacted the game more than his four catches for 34 yards would indicate.

In the end, the Dallas defense came up with two key stops in the fourth quarter to set up Dalton’s winning drive and end a potential tying drive by Minnesota.

The post Dallas Cowboys Back In Playoff Hunt first appeared on News Time Global.


‘CUSE TO OPEN SEASON WITH BRYANT ON NOV. 27

Syracuse will conduct its men’s basketball season opener when it hosts Bryant on Friday, November 27, in the Carrier Dome. The game tip time has not been determined.
Series Notes

  • This will mark the first-ever meeting between Syracuse and Bryant in men’s basketball.

Coach Jared Grasso enters his third year at the helm of Bryant. Grasso and the Bulldogs finished the 2019 campaign with a 15-17 record, good for their highest season win total since 2014-15. Bryant’s season concluded in March following a loss to Saint Francis, 87-61, in the NEC Quarterfinal. The Bulldogs feature former Liverpool High School standout Charles Pride. The Syracuse native and 2017 New York State Champion scored 8.2 points and 5.0 rebounds for Bryant during his freshman campaign last season.

Syracuse was 18-14 and had won its first ACC Tournament game before the national pandemic ended the college basketball season. Syracuse returns four of five starters, including junior guard Buddy Boeheim (15.3 ppg.). Coach Jim Boeheim is in his 45th season in charge of the program at his alma mater.

Syracuse men’s basketball tickets are not available at this time. Questions about tickets may be answered by visiting Cuse.com/Tickets, by phone at 888-DOMETIX (888-366-3849), or by linking to these frequently asked questions.

Syracuse University Athletics remains committed to doing everything it can to support and protect the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes, our staff and the campus and Syracuse communities. All decisions will be science-based and informed by public health and guidance as provided by county, state and public health officials.

If fans are permitted to attend games – in some capacity – Syracuse Athletics will announce plans for spectators to secure admission to the events. Fans will be required to sit in their socially-distanced seat locations and wear a face covering.


Three dozen backcountry huts pause reservations for this winter while navigating COVID-19 concerns

Big changes are coming to reservation procedures for three dozen Colorado backcountry huts this winter because of COVID-19 concerns.

The process for new reservations has been frozen while previously confirmed reservations are being adjusted in order to ensure that only single parties use the huts this winter. As a result, some who had reservations are forfeiting them.

“We are happy and delighted to report that the huts are going to be open this winter,” said Ben Dodge, executive director of the 10th Mountain Division Huts Association. “We had to make a few changes to address COVID-19. The (reservations) closure we currently have in place is very temporary. The only reason we are not accepting new reservations is because we are currently reconfiguring all of the reservations that have already been made for winter, many of which are multiple parties booking into one hut.”

10th Mountain, a non-profit organization named in honor of the 10th Mountain Division World War II “ski troops” who trained for mountain and winter warfare in the high country between Aspen and Vail, was formed nearly 40 years ago. It was inspired by hut networks in the Alps, including the famous Haute Route from Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland. 10th Mountain currently owns a dozen huts and manages reservations for two dozen more that are owned by other entities, including five in Summit County.

In normal years, users could reserve one spot or the entire hut. For many, part of the fun was sharing the hut with newly met like-minded strangers, often with meals turning into smorgasbords of shared dishes.

That won’t happen this winter, though, because of the pandemic.

“Which is unfortunate, in my viewpoint, because that is one of the joys of going to the hut — meeting new people whom we share a lot with,” Dodge said. ”The concerns with COVID were such that even people with similar interests and like minds may have dramatically different viewpoints on COVID-19 and what it takes to be comfortable with it at the hut. We wanted to make sure there was less chance of controversy, discord, user conflicts at the hut that might have been caused by different viewpoints with multiple parties.”

To that end, 10th Mountain is working with existing reservation-holders to convert multi-party reservations to single parties. Those with reservations are being contacted in order of when their reservations were made, “using first in time, first in right,” as Dodge put it. They are given the opportunity to keep the reservation, but they must meet a minimum number of spots which will vary depending on the hut and which organization manages it.

“An example would be, if you and I booked a hut as a party of two, and we were the first ones to book, we would have right of first refusal,” Dodge said. “We would be contacted by 10th Mountain, and we would have the opportunity to maintain that reservation, but we would have to meet the minimum. At the huts we own and operate, that is 12 people. If we really don’t want to pay for 12 people, we would decline. We would get 100% credit for our reservation. Then 10th Mountain would go to second-in-time and allow them to do it, so on and so forth.”

Dodge said the decision on minimums was not intended to maximize revenue, but to make sure hut occupancy was maximized within the parameters of COVID-19 concerns and the need for single-party use.

“It was made to further our mission, provide a backcountry hut experience, and to allow as many people as possible to have that experience.” Dodge said. “We felt if we allowed a group of two or three that was first in time (making the initial reservations), if they had the ability to get the whole hut and just for that two or three or four, we were removing up to eight or nine spots available to the public.”

Dodge said the re-booking process has been going on for several weeks and it may take a couple more. At that time, it will we resume taking new reservations.

In most huts, users bring sleeping bags, which they place on fixed wooden cots, dormitory style. Hut users have always been responsible for cleaning huts and sweeping floors before leaving, but they will be asked to do more this winter. 10th Mountain will provide disinfectants.

“We expect them to clean and disinfect the hut as they arrive, and to clean and disinfect the hut when they leave,” Dodge said. “We did away with pillows, we did away with flannel sheets on the mattresses. We went with polyurethane mattress covers, which we had fabricated by a gal in Leadville, a seamstress. They can be cleaned in place with the disinfectants and cleaners that we provide.”

Dodge knows many backcountry enthusiasts will be disappointed if the change in procedures due to COVID means they will miss out on a hut trip this winter.

“We understand that there are winners and losers in this,” Dodge said. “The losers really are the ones who like to book smaller parties. A lot of those folks aren’t going to want to pay for 12 spots and only bring seven or eight people. I don’t judge the success of what we do by the numbers and how much money we make. I can only judge it by how good is that hut experience. We’ve decided, given COVID, it’s a better experience with single-party groups.”

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Saskatchewan-based father-daughter duo share love for stock car racing

Father-daughter duo share the same love for racing.


Another comeback win for Serena Williams at the US Open

(CNN) — Serena Williams pulled off another comeback win at the US Open on Monday, ensuring the weakened Grand Slam event didn’t lose a legendary player for a second consecutive day.

Williams trailed familiar foe Maria Sakkari by a break early in the third set before turning the tables for a 6-3 6-7 (6) 6-3 victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium to reach the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam for a 53rd time, tying Martina Navratilova for second on the all-time women’s list.

One of the most dramatic moments in Grand Slam history unfolded on the same court a day earlier as men’s world No. 1 and 17-time major winner Novak Djokovic was defaulted when he hit a ball that struck a line judge.

The hard-court major in New York was already missing Djokovic’s two main rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who stayed away for different reasons. Federer is recovering from knee surgery while Nadal cited coronavirus concerns and is preparing for the French Open.

In the women’s draw, the two highest ranked players, Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, skipped New York due to coronavirus concerns.

But in Williams, the US Open arguably has the biggest star of them all and the 38-year-old remains in contention to collect a record tying 24th Grand Slam title.

Sakkari had defeated Williams at the warmup Western & Southern Open in three sets. In that one, too, she won a second-set tiebreak.

Sakkari took lead in third

And when Greece’s top-ranked female player led 2-0 in the decider, it appeared as if the 15th seed was on course to become the first player since Justine Henin in 2007 to get the better of Williams — excluding a retirement — in back-to-back tournaments.

Williams, though, has won 23 majors for a reason.

Her game picked up and the desire, as ever, was there.

She broke for 2-2 and then again for 5-3. After forcing Sakkari into an error on match point, Williams let out a loud roar, which resonated even more since there are no fans at this year’s tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Williams wasn’t as close to exiting in the previous round but trailed 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens by a set.

Williams will face fellow mom Tsvetana Pironkova in the last eight. Williams owns a 4-0 record against the Bulgarian, who is contesting her first tournament in three years.

Pironkova also lost a second-set tiebreak, against France’s Alize Cornet, before progressing 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-3


Toronto Raptors even up series against Boston Celtics with 100-93 win

The series is now a best-of three heading into Monday's Game 5.


Rocky Mountain National Park expands rutting season closures as people keep approaching frisky elk

With elk rutting season approaching, Rocky Mountain National Park will implement overnight closures in select areas of the park beginning Tuesday.

Rangers have expanded the hours of closures this year because there have been increasing incidents of visitors approaching elk over the past two years, according to a park news release.

From 5 p.m. until 10 a.m., travel off of established roadways and designated trails on foot or horseback will be prohibited in Horseshoe Park, Upper Beaver Meadows, Moraine Park, Harbison Meadow and Holzwarth Meadow, the release said. In previous years, those closures were lifted at 7 a.m. but have been extended to 10 a.m. this year. Closures will remain in effect through Oct. 31.

In addition, fishing in designated areas of Fall River, Thompson River or the Colorado River will be closed from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., as in previous years.

Elk rutting season normally peaks from mid-September through mid-October. According to the news release, the purpose of the closures is to “prevent disturbance and harassment of elk during their fall mating period and to enhance visitor elk viewing opportunities.”

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Auburn football confirms nine new positive COVID-19 cases, 16 players unavailable for practice this week

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn is getting ready to open the season on September 26 against the Kentucky Wildcats, but the Tigers’ second week of fall practice came to a halt due to positive COVID-19 test results.

Auburn has reported a total of nine new positive cases this week. Head Coach Gus Malzahn did not specify which players or position groups were impacted.

“Every day and every week is a different challenge and we talked about the teams that can be adaptable,” Malzahn said. “This is a learning process I think for everyone and I think for us we’re testing probably as much or more than anyone, so it’s giving us really good information. The challenge with having students back the last two weeks obviously we haven’t responded as well as we did before they did we’re gonna have to adjust.”

The Tigers have not practiced since last Tuesday, but will return to practice this Tuesday. At least 16 players will be unavailable this week due to the COVID-19 positive results.


Celtics beat out Raptors 112-94 in conference semifinals game 1

Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart scored 21 points apiece to lead the Boston Celtics to a lopsided 112-94 win over the Raptors in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals.


Alabama coaches, players to march against social injustice Monday

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama players and coaches are planning a march Monday to protest social injustice, ending at the schoolhouse door where Gov. George Wallace once stood to block two Black students from entering in 1963.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said he supports his players’ focus on trying to “make things better in the future.” They’re joining a number of other college and professional sports teams who have marched or spoken out in the wake of police shootings including Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Tailback Najee Harris posted the plans for Monday’s march on Twitter and teammates retweeted. Harris said they would march from the Mal Moore Athletics Facility at 4 p.m. and “meet at the schoolhouse door at Foster Auditorium.”

“We want our voices to be heard as we strive to enact social change and rid our world of social injustices,” Harris wrote.

In another post, he said: “We want all Alabama athletes to join us. This isn’t a fan day … this isn’t a football game … this is about lasting CHANGE!”

Saban has arranged for a number of speakers to the team, including Condoleeza Rice, Tony Dungy, Stephen A. Smith, Joey Galloway and Charles Barkley.

“And they all did a phenomenal job of trying to explain to players, how can we have a plan for change?” Saban said. “How can we make things better in the future? And I think that’s what our players have really been focused on, and I think that’ll be what they want to try to get out there, a message on Monday. And we’re very much in support of that.”


‘New normal’ of curling coming to Saskatchewan in September

Saskatoon’ Sutherland Curling Club is being prepared to be the first rink in Saskatchewan to welcome curlers back since the COVID-19 shutdown in March.


NBA to resume after historic anti-racism protests put post-season on pause

In a joint statement released Friday, the sides said they would immediately establish a social justice coalition, made up of players, coaches and owners, that would focus on issues such as voting access and advocating for meaningful police and criminal justice reform.


Calgary Black community calls for candid conversations about racism as NBA, NHL cancel games

The conversation about racism has flared up in recent days -- in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Wisconsin man who was shot by police seven times during an arrest Sunday.


NHL suspends games in solidarity with anti-police brutality protests

The players requested the postponements and the league supported the decision, the NHL and NHL Players' Association said in a joint statement.


Vail Resorts to require reservations, but only Epic Pass holders can save spots at start of season

Vail Resorts became the first major ski resort operator in Colorado to release details of the COVID-19 protocols it plans to implement for the upcoming ski season, announcing that a reservation system will be instituted to limit numbers and keep visitors safe.

Acknowledging that its plan will be an “inconvenience” for visitors, chief executive Rob Katz outlined procedures for social distancing on lifts, gondolas and in on-mountain restaurants in a detailed, five-page letter to pass holders that went out Thursday morning.

“It goes without saying that operations at our 34 North American resorts will abide by all local regulations, but for us, that’s just where safety begins,” Katz’s letter stated. “Since the beginning of this crisis, we have made a commitment to all of our stakeholders that we will operate in a way that puts safety first and uses the insights we have gleaned from operating so many resorts around the world. This often means choosing to go above and beyond what is required in order to do our very best to provide you peace of mind.”

Vail Resorts owns five resorts in Colorado, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte. Highlights of the protocols announced Thursday include:

  • Guests will be required to wear face coverings on mountains and in every area of resort operations, including lift lines, on lifts and in gondola cars.
  • Only related parties (guests skiing or riding together) will be loaded together on lifts, with exceptions: Two unrelated parties will be allowed to load on four-person chairlifts, seated on opposite sides of the chair; two unrelated singles or pairs will be allowed to sit on opposite sides of six-person chairs; two singles will be allowed to sit on opposite sides of gondola cabins.
  • A reservation system prioritizing Epic Pass holders will be implemented to limit numbers and ensure that guests will have the space they need while at the resort. Pass holders will be required to make reservations before arriving at the resort. The number of lift tickets sold to the general public on a given day will depend on how many pass holders have made reservations, and they will be sold only online or through Vail Resorts call centers.

Only Epic Pass holders will have access to Vail Resorts mountains through Dec. 7. Pass holders also will be entitled to priority reservation days so they can lock in their visits before lift tickets go on sale to the general public.

“For the vast majority of days during the season, we believe everyone who wants to get on our mountains will be able to,” Katz wrote. “However, we are not planning for the majority of days, we are planning for every day of the season. We want to provide assurance to our guests that we will do our very best to minimize crowds at all times — be it a holiday weekend or the unpredictable powder day. We believe this approach will help ensure a safe experience for everyone, while prioritizing access for our pass holders.”

The effort to limit numbers is less about the carrying capacity of trails on the mountain and more about pinch points such as lifts, lift lines, restaurants and restrooms. Full-service sit-down restaurants will have reduced seating to enable social distancing. Full-service bars will not be in operation but packaged beer and wine will be sold.

The protocols were formulated with the hope of ensuring that once Vail Resorts mountains open for skiing, they can remain open. Keystone is scheduled to open Nov. 6, conditions permitting.

“Each of our resorts will continue to work closely with all of our local community stakeholders to review the details of our winter plans and to ensure we remain aligned in our collective approach to the season,” Katz wrote. “Success for this season can only happen with close collaboration and partnership in each community. While we have designed our winter operating plan to comply with and at times exceed all known applicable laws, our operations will remain subject to the local regulations in each of our resort locations. Please understand that these may change at any time, either ahead of or during the ski season. We will endeavor to communicate any changes — and how they might impact our operations — as soon as we are made aware of them. Our resorts will have a dedicated page on each of their websites that will provide the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 impacts.”

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Boycott: NBA playoff games called off amid player protest

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — All three NBA playoff games scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, with players around the league choosing to boycott in their strongest statement yet against racial injustice.

Called off: Games between Milwaukee and Orlando, Houston and Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland. The NBA said all three games would be rescheduled, yet did not say when.

The dramatic series of moves began when the Bucks — the NBA’s team from Wisconsin, a state rocked in recent days by the shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man — didn’t take the floor for their playoff game against the Magic. The teams were set to begin Game 5 of their series shortly after 4 p.m., with the Bucks needing a win to advance to the second round.

Players had been discussing boycotting games in the bubble after the shooting of Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. More discussions among players on teams still in the bubble were scheduled Wednesday, presumably on how — or if — to go forward with the season, but even before that the Bucks apparently decided they would act.

“Some things are bigger than basketball,” Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted. “The stand taken today by the players and (the organization) shows that we’re fed up. Enough is enough. Change needs to happen. I’m incredibly proud of our guys and we stand 100% behind our players ready to assist and bring about real change.”

Added Jeanie Buss, the Governor of the Lakers, in a tweet: “I stand behind our players, today and always. After more than 400 years of cruelty, racism and injustice, we all need to work together to say enough is enough.

The Bucks remained in their locker room past 6 p.m., more than two hours after they made the decision to boycott. It was not immediately clear why they were staying in the arena.

There are three other playoff games scheduled Thursday. It was unclear if they would be affected. Several NBA players, including the Lakers’ LeBron James, tweeted out messages demanding change and the Boston Celtics’ official Twitter account did the same.

“We weren’t given advanced notice about the decision but we are happy to stand in solidarity with Milwaukee, Jacob, and the entire NBA community,” Orlando guard Michael Carter-Williams said. “Change is coming.”

Magic players and referees were on the basketball court for the game but Milwaukee never took the floor. Eventually everyone else left and the arena staff soon took the balls, towels and tags that go on player chairs back inside.

National Basketball Players Association President Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder and guard Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets were seen emerging from a conversation, not long before it became known that their teams also decided to not play their scheduled game Wednesday.

“Today we stand united with the NBA Office, the National Basketball Players Association, the Milwaukee Bucks and the rest of the league condemning bigotry, racial injustice and the unwarranted use of violence by police against people of color,” the Magic and its ownership group, the DeVos family, said in a statement.

Demanding societal change and ending racial injustice has been a major part of the NBA’s restart at Walt Disney World. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is painted on the arena courts, players are wearing messages urging change on their jerseys and coaches are donning pins demanding racial justice as well.

Many players wrestled for weeks about whether it was even right to play, fearing that a return to games would take attention off the deaths of, among others, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in recent months.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot when police officers burst into her Louisville, Kentucky apartment using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation on March 13. The warrant was in connection with a suspect who did not live there and no drugs were found. Then on May 25, Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes — all captured on a cell phone video.

Bucks guard George Hill said after Blake’s shooting that he felt players shouldn’t have come to Disney.

“We’re the ones getting killed,” Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who is Black, said in an emotional postgame speech Tuesday night. “We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that we’re denied to live in certain communities. We’ve been hung. We’ve been shot. And all you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back. And it’s just, it’s really so sad.”

The Celtics and Toronto Raptors met Tuesday to discuss boycotting Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, which had been scheduled for Thursday. Members of the National Basketball Players Association were also part of those meetings, and Miami forward Andre Iguodala — a union officer — said around 2:15 p.m. that he did not believe a boycott plan had been finalized.

Less than two hours later, the Bucks wouldn’t take the floor.

“When you talk about boycotting a game, everyone’s antenna goes up,” Iguodala said. “It’s sad you have to make threats like that — I wouldn’t say threats — but you have to be willing to sacrifice corporate money for people to realize there’s a big problem out there.”

The postponed NBA games came on the fourth anniversary of Colin Kaepernick’s very first protest of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before an NFL preseason game. Kaepernick sat through the anthem for his first protest, which he said was to protest racial inequality and police mistreatment of minorities. then famously kneeled during the anthem going forward.


NHLer Logan Couture says he was ‘punched’ for mentioning Trump in Toronto

The San Jose Sharks captain, who is Canadian, says the incident happened in Toronto on Tuesday night.


Regina university student creates non-profit to address mental health in sports

Paige Hamann says she wants to change the culture of sport by educating athletes and coaches on how to address mental health issues within athletics.


Several Tennesee Valley football games moving to Thursday due to weather

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Due to weather, several high school football games in the Tennessee Valley are moving from Friday to Thursday.

Madison County at Boaz, Whitesburg Christian at Asbury, and Brindlee Mountain at Douglass will now be on Thursday night.

The games were originally scheduled for Friday night.

Kick off is at 7:00 p.m.

https://www.facebook.com/Madison-County-High-School-180959481972256

4-year-old boy hits hole-in-one in W. Virginia

“HOLE IN ONE!!!!”

That was what Mario Figaretti said in a Facebook video post after his 4-year-old son, Rocco, nailed a hole-in-one last week.

The two were golfing with Mario Figaretti’s brother-in-law Friday at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia, when Rocco sank the shot on the par 3 course’s first hole.

After Rocco teed off, you can hear one of the men in the video saying, “Get there, get there, get there, get in the hole, go in the hole!” Then, one of them exclaimed, “What?! Rocco, you just hit a hole-in-one!”

Rocco immediately ran to the hole to see for himself. “I actually did it!” he yelled back.

Rocco has been practicing since he was 3 years old, his dad said.

“He practices all the time in the yard,” Mario Figarretti wrote. “To say I’m proud would be an understatement!”

The post has been shared more than 2,960 times.


Two Saskatchewan Roughriders trying their luck south of the border

Linebacker Deon Lacey has informed the Saskatchewan Roughriders of his decision to opt-out of his contract after the cancellation of the 2020 CFL season.


AP Top 25: Clemson No. 1, followed by Ohio State, Alabama

Clemson is the preseason No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25, a poll featuring nine Big Ten and Pac-12 teams that gives a glimpse at what has already been taken by the pandemic from an uncertain college football season.

Ohio State (1,504 points) was a close No. 2 behind Trevor Lawrence and Clemson (1,520), which starts atop the rankings for the second straight season. The Tigers beat the Buckeyes in a thrilling College Football Playoff semifinal last season.

Alabama is No. 3, Southeastern Conference rival Georgia is No. 4 and defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma is No. 5. Defending national champion LSU is No. 6.

The 85th edition of the AP rankings will be like none before.

When the season starts — if the season starts — the Buckeyes and 53 other Bowl Subdivision teams will no longer be eligible for inclusion in the Top 25 because they have postponed their seasons to the spring.

The Big Ten, where Ohio State and No. 7 Penn State play, and the Pac-12, home to No. 9 Oregon, canceled their fall sports seasosn because of concerns about the coronavirus. The Mid-American and Mountain West conferences have also said they will try to play spring football.

The SEC, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big 12, American Athletic, Conference USA and Sun Belt are forging ahead with fall sports, with changes: The three remaining Power Five conferences, the SEC, ACC, and Big 12, have eliminated all or most nonconference games and delayed the start of their seasons from one to three weeks.

Erased from the college football schedule this year were a host of tantalizing nonconference matchups: Ohio State at No. 9 Oregon; No. 10 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Wisconsin at Lambeau field in Green Bay; No. 14 Texas at LSU; No. 17 Southern California vs Alabama in Arlington, Texas; No. 11 Auburn vs. No. 18 North Carolina in Atlanta.

For now, big conference games such as Ohio State-Michigan and Washington-Washington State could still be made up in the spring.

All Division I teams were eligible for the preseason AP Top 25, but after the season starts, only teams scheduled to play in the fall are eligible. That leaves 76 FBS teams from which to choose.

If a spring season is played, the AP will consider doing rankings for those teams, too.

BACK-TO-BACK

Clemson had never been preseason No. 1 until last season, and now starts there again. It’s the eighth time since the preseason poll started in 1950 that a team has been preseason No. 1 two straight seasons. Alabama had been preseason No. 1 from 2016-18, a three-year run.

The Tigers finished last season No. 2 after losing the championship game to LSU, snapping a remarkable run of nine seasons in which Clemson has finished with the same or better ranking than it started. That included the last five seasons in which Clemson outperformed its preseason ranking, twice finishing No. 1 after starting No. 2.

The ACC’s Tigers, who also welcome back star running back Travis Etienne, standout offensive tackle Jackson Carman and sturdy defensive tackle Tyler Davis, will try to become the 12th preseason No. 1 to finish No. 1. Only two teams have gone wire-to-wire as No. 1: Florida State in 1999 and USC in 2004.

DEFENDING CHAMPS

LSU is the first defending national champion to start the following season outisde the top five since Auburn in 2011 (post-Cam Newton, the Tigers were ranked No. 23 in the preseason poll). LSU lost a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, too, in Joe Burrow.

Myles Brennan is the new QB for the Tigers, who had 14 players selected in the last draft, including five in the first round. There is plenty of talent coming back with All-America receiver Ja’Marr Chase, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., and nose tackle Tyler Shelvin.

The Tigers will try to become the first back-to-back national champions since Alabama in 2011 and ’12.

FANCY SEEING YOU HERE

— No. 18 North Carolina is ranked in the preseason for the first time since 2016.

— No. 19 Cincinnati makes its first appearance in the AP preseason poll. The Bearcats have finished ranked each of the last two seasons.

— No. 20 Minnesota is making its first preseason poll appearance since 2004. The Gophers were one of the surprise teams of last season, starting unranked and ending up No. 10, their best finish since 1962.

STREAKING

Ohio State extended the longest active streak of preseason Top 25 appearances with 32, followed by Oklahoma with 21, LSU with 20, Georgia with 19, Alabama with 13 and Clemson with nine.

STRONG SECOND

The Buckeyes’ 21 first-place votes in the preseason Top 25 were the most by a non-No. 1 team since Ohio State in 2008, when it also had 21 and was one behind top-ranked Georgia. Florida, which was No. 5 in the 2008 preseason poll with five first-place votes, won the national title that year.

CONFERENCE CALL

The Southeastern Conference, as usual, leads the way with seven teams in the Top 25, including six of the first 13 teams.

The Big Ten is next with six, but when the regular season starts No. 6 Penn State, No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 16 Michigan, No. 19 Minnesota and No. 24 Iowa will no longer be eligible for votes. Same goes for No. 9 Oregon, No. 17 USC and No. 22 Utah of the Pac-12.

SEC — 7 (Nos. 3, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 25).

Big Ten — 6 (Nos. 2, 7, 12, 16, 19, 24).

Big 12 — 4 (Nos. 5, 14, 15, 23).

ACC — 3 (Nos. 1, 10, 18).

Pac-12 — 3 (Nos. 9, 17, 22).

American — 2 (Nos. 20, 21).


Saskatoon summer run clinics aim to inspire youth during coronavirus pandemic

The Prairie Run Crew outreach program changed its summer run clinics for youth this year. The clinics aim to instill leadership mindsets and provide physical activity during the pandemic.


Some women are opting to carry guns on Colorado trails to stay safe

Every time they go out on Colorado trails, hikers face inherent risks — including those from man and beast who share the paths. Some women are choosing to pack heat for protection.

“I carry a handgun when I am hiking alone on a trail that is more secluded, or at night, or (when) I am backpacking alone,” said Cierra LeVan, a 27-year old teacher in Mesa County. “I do this for personal protection and self-defense, from both potential animal and human predators.”

LeVan is not alone; Rather than avoid hiking because they don’t have a companion, some women are opting for more than bear spray for protection when they hit the trails. The question of whether or not one should carry a gun while hiking has long been a topic in online group chats, and there is a Facebook group just for women who hike with guns.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation does not tally gun ownership by gender, so it’s not possible to see how many women in the state are gun owners.

A couple of recent incidents on the Front Range trails have brought the issue up for many hikers:

“Most women I know have been touched or grabbed by men when in the woods. It’s too common,” said Sara C., a 35-year-old Denver business owner who did not want her full name used for fear of being targeted. “A creepy guy sees a girl fishing or hiking alone, tries to grab her arm or her body … dogs and guns will scare people off.”

Both of the women interviewed for this article, along with many others who commented in private social media group chats, were quick to say that a gun is only useful if the person carrying it has been trained to use it properly. In addition, people should know the rules for carrying and using weapons — particularly guns — of the state and land management agency where they are hiking.

“You should not carry a gun while hiking unless you are completely comfortable handling it and have the proper education on how to do so,” LeVan said. “If you cannot unholster your gun, take it off safely, aim and fire without fumbling, you need more practice.”

In Colorado, the rule is generally that it is legal to open-carry a gun, but a permit is needed for concealed carry, such as in a backpack.

While it is legal to carry a gun for protection, it is not legal to kill wildlife outside of hunting season.

“In Colorado, a person is legally allowed to defend themselves if their life is in danger,” said Travis Duncan, public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Simply feeling threatened or frightened is in no way grounds for shooting an animal.” He added that cases of illegal poaching are investigated each year.

“Colorado Parks and Wildlife advocates for safe firearm use, a skill which can be honed through Hunter Education courses through the agency,” Duncan said.

One of the exceptions to the state rules is in Boulder County, where firearms are not permitted on county open space, where there are over 110 trails to explore. In Rocky Mountain National Park, the rules are a little more complicated and it is not legal to discharge a firearm in the park, though the state laws otherwise mostly apply. In a statement released after the accidental shooting in July, park officials said that “Firearms should not be considered a wildlife protection strategy.”

Even those who carry a gun while hiking said that they do not rely completely on it for protection against various elements in the wild.

“Carrying a weapon is a very serious responsibility and it’s not for everybody, and that’s fine,” Sara C. said. “You need to be 900% sure how to handle, fire and disassemble your gun and know how to stand and draw so your weapon is not used against you.”

There are many safety precautions available to solo hikers other than carrying a gun, including leaving word with a trusted friend about where you are going to hike and when to expect you back; taking a self-defense class; carrying an air horn, a whistle, bear spray (which cannot be used on humans), or pepper spray; or carrying a knife and knowing how to use it properly.

“You should still go out and feel confident by yourself as a woman,” Sara C. said. “I have always really felt competent and confident in the outdoors, but I didn’t realize how uneasy I felt with my personal safety until I started carrying a gun. I feel exorbitantly more comfortable because I know how to use a gun, not because I have one.”

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Takuma Sato wins the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500








INDIANAPOLIS — Luck can change in a heartbeat at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It appeared Takuma Sato would hold off Scott Dixon with just a few laps remaining, but a crash involving Spencer Pigot eliminated any drama. Sato, the 2017 champion, won the race under caution at a fan-free Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It looked like an exciting finish with Sato, Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal battling down the stretch, but Pigot’s crash brought out the yellow flag. Race officials decided not to red flag the race, ending the Greatest Spectacle in Racing under a caution flag.

Dixon finished second while Rahal finished third. That meant Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing took two out of the top three spots at the race. Pigot, whose late crash essentially sealed the victory for Sato, also races for Rahal Letterman Lanigan.

“This is unbelievable,” Sato said after the race, adding that he knew Dixon was bearing down on him. He chose 2% milk for his post-race victory drink.

It was the third time Dixon has finished the 500 in second place. He congratulated Sato, saying the Japanese driver “drove his pants off” to get the win.

Early incidents in the race took out Marcus Ericsson and James Davison. The first incident of the day involved veteran driver Ed Carpenter, who brushed the wall and couldn’t recover to become a factor during the race.

The scariest moment of the race came after a caution flag that ended Dalton Kellett’s day–Conor Daly and Oliver Askew were involved in a frightening crash, with Askew hitting the wall hard. That led to another caution flag.

Dixon looked good early on, leading from the first lap until he pitted during a caution around lap 29. He regained the lead about a quarter of the way through the race. Just past the race’s midway point, Dixon and Alexander Rossi passed the lead back and forth in an effort to conserve fuel.

Rossi ran into trouble of his own, making contact with Sato during a pit stop and being assessed a penalty that sent him to the back of the field. He tried to make his way back into contention but crashed on lap 144, ending his day.

Dixon remained one of the front-runners throughout the race, ceding for a while to Sato, who seized the lead late and held on.


Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher to undergo surgery for broken jaw

The Habs played Game 5 of the series against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, when defenceman Matt Niskanen hit Gallagher in the face with his stick during the third period.


Fans encouraged to wear masks, social distance at Albertville City Schools athletic events

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Football in Northeast Alabama kicked off Thursday night, but there are still coronavirus safety precautions recommended for folks at the games. 

The Albertville High School athletic director Tyler Reeves told WHNT News 19 he is excited about their first game Thursday against the Arab Knights. 

He said he is happy the players, cheerleaders, and band members are able to showcase their hard work from over the summer because they were not sure a season would happen during the COVID-19 crisis. 

There are signs posted at each gate reminding fans to follow Governor Kay Ivey’s safety recommendations in order to protect players, coaches, and fans. 

Fans who are not comfortable with being around crowds can get a subscription to National Federation of State High School Associations to live stream the entire games, both home and away. 

“There’s an element of personal responsibility that everybody has to take to manage their risks in some situations when you’re coming to an event like this no matter what precautions are in place but we do feel like we’ve given options to those who don’t feel comfortable coming to the ball game,” explained Reeves.

There are also areas inside the stadium where people can stand or sit with space between them and others. 

The Aggies are still accepting cash for tickets, but anyone wanting to do touchless ticketing, tickets can be bought in advance here or anyone with a smart phone can scan the QR code posted at the gates to buy one. 

Reeves said they strongly encourage people to wear masks when they cannot socially distance, they cannot really enforce it. 

“We’ve encouraged families to sit together. We’ve encouraged people to social distance but in terms of masks the issue of masks when people are closer than six feet, we would hope that those people do what they’re supposed to do and put their mask on, but it is very difficult when talking about managing an event and when you’re talking about managing a large crowd, it’s difficult to enforce those things at times,” said Reeves.


Georgia Bulldogs planning to have fans between the hedges

(AP) – The Georgia Bulldogs are planning to have some fans for their football games played between the hedges this season. Mirroring other schools in the Southeastern Conference, the university announced a ticket plan that would allow 20-25% capacity at 92,746-seat Sanford Stadium. That translates to crowds of about 18,500 to 23,000 for Georgia’s four home games.

Athletic director Greg McGarity stressed that all arrangements are tentative amid the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, Georgia has become one of the nation’s hot spots.

The Bulldogs are offering single-game tickets in hopes of accommodating as many season-ticket holders as possible for games against Auburn, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. 


Staying safe while watching football in 2020

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – With high school football set to start in just two days, school districts are acting quickly, to make sure they can accommodate spectators for the upcoming fall sports season.

On Tuesday, the Alabama High School Athletic Association had a news conference to kick off the start of high school football. The conference was streamed on YouTube and lasted an hour.

Ron Ingram was able to speak briefly regarding the protocols for high school games this fall. He said that the recommendations to follow the Alabama Department of Public Health are encouraged, but the ultimate decision lies with each individual school.

The number of cases are still high and school officials are tasked on how they will provide a fall sports season for spectators and keep them safe.

ADPH officials say spectators are allowed to attend games, but the number of those watching will be drastically lower.

While high schools are coming up with solid plans, many were unavailable to speak on the topic. University of North Alabama Athletic Director Mark Linder spoke on how the university has decided to follow recommendations.

“We’re going to open up to at least 50% capacity in Braly, takes our 15,000 seats down to 7,500 but we will require masks and we’ll have screening stations on the perimeter for temperature checks. A temperature check will get you a wrist band and a ticket and your face mask will get you in to cheer on the Lions.”

With 7,500 less fans in attendance, Linder knows there will be a distinct impact on the revenue, but he hopes that this gives fans the comfort in knowing they can watch a game, with little worry.

“I think that by showing you have a stadium and you have a plan, it should bring a lot of confidence to our fan base.”

The safety of all student-athletes, coaches, staff and spectators is number one and the schools are confident in being able to establish effective plans for the fall season.


Women are going topless in nature as part of growing trend across Colorado

Some call it empowering; others say it’s offensive. Some just don’t get it.

“It feels fun, exciting and maybe a little risky to be naked in nature,” said Kari Armstrong, co-organizer of The Boulder Hiker Chicks, a women’s hiking club. “When you have worked hard for your hike, or even if you haven’t, it is fun to do something a little silly and liberating to celebrate.”

Well, they aren’t completely naked. Just topless.

No one is sure exactly how the trend of removing your top on the summit of a mountain and getting a photo taken of your bare back to share on social media started, but this summer the trend seems to be exploding among female hikers in Colorado.

Armstrong and her co-organizer, Alli Fronzaglia, agree that they were inspired by a now-defunct women’s hiking group’s social media account back in 2015.

When they started their hiking group, Armstrong and Fronzaglia reveled in a growing reputation for being a little wild, Fronzaglia explained, noting that they would sometimes wear costumes while hiking.

“Women joined us to let loose, gain confidence, and make new friends,” she said. “We had begun showcasing our shenanigans on social media. It was part of the fun.” So when they spotted other women hiking groups online baring their naked backs, some with arms raised in glory, it seemed natural to try it, too.

The whole experience seems to have two parts: First, getting and being half-naked on a trail that might have lots of other hikers on it while you have a friend snap the photo of the gorgeous mountaintop view and your naked back. Next, sharing the image on social media, either in a private group or on your individual Instagram or Facebook account.

Along with the images are captions that run from goofy to deeply personal as women share recovery from cancer and other serious health ailments, relationship heartache, body acceptance and other issues, in part to say how doing this helped them feel better.

“This was a big, important moment for me,” said Kelli Schulte, 36, a grants specialist, of choosing to do her own “bareback” photo on top of Torreys Peak, a 14,000-foot mountain. Schulte said she had just ended a relationship that had damaged her self-confidence. “With every step, I felt empowered. Like I was taking control of my life. Like I could and would be me again. I looked at my friend and said, ‘I’m taking one of those topless pics and I’m never giving up the things I love again.’ Then I snapped a couple of pics and I absolutely love them.”

In fact, she had her picture framed to hang in her bathroom as a daily reminder of the moment.

“From this point forward, I’m committed to living an authentic life,” the single mom and marathon runner said. “A happy and adventure-filled life.”

The practicalities of whipping off a jacket, a shirt and a sports bra after a grueling hike and maybe on a windy peak might also be a consideration for some women, but many like Schulte said it all happened quickly enough that they felt comfortable. “I rushed a bit to get my top off, just in case someone came up, but I did have someone to toss me a shirt. And I don’t care if someone sees my bare back,” she said.

Coral Scherma, a 58-year old academic adviser, had seen other women’s topless photos online and thought, “Cool for them, but I wouldn’t do it.” That is, until she was on a hike with her daughter-in-law, Donalyn White, 28, on empty Kenosha Pass one gorgeous day.

“I turned to her and said, ‘You know, I’m almost tempted to do one of those topless photos,’ ” Scherma recalled.

White was having the same thought at the same time. “It felt empowering to have her bring it up,” she said. “We each got one photo solo, and then Coral suggested taking one together, which was brilliant.”

There were a few seconds of nerves, White said, then no hesitation to be briefly topless. “It’s freeing and exhilarating,” she said. “Men are out there hiking with their shirts off all the time.”

After Scherma’s husband died a couple of years ago, she started hiking “as therapy.” “I’ve found more solace in the mountains than anywhere else, and I’ve discovered that I am much stronger — physically and emotionally — than I thought I was,” she said.

Scherma was equally pleased with the photo of the two of them together. “That is my favorite by far,” she said. “Two strong, intelligent, fierce women standing on the edge of the world.”

In case you’re wondering, it is legal for both men and women to be topless in the state of Colorado, with some restrictions for both.

“Honestly, it’s so easy and not really a big deal,” Scherma said. “Our culture is so incredibly neurotic about women’s bodies, and breasts in particular. Just go for it. Find an empty stretch along your way. You might surprise yourself.”

However, it’s not for everyone. Comments for these photos when shared on social media aren’t always supportive or along the lines of, “You go, girl!” Some will simply say, “It’s not sexual or tasteless, just not for me!” or, “I don’t get it.” Others can be harsh, stating they will “report” the image to the social media platform for indecency.

To be clear, no one is requiring that such photos happen in hiking groups, and it’s an individual choice.

“I think it’s just one more way for women to unapologetically claim their space on the trails and in nature,” Fronzaglia said. “So many of us, as women, spend our lives trying to do the right thing, trying to look a certain way, trying not to offend, trying to just be acceptable to society. Being in nature reminds us that, like the wildflowers and the trees, we’re perfect just as we are.”

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SEC releases guidelines for fan safety at games

Face masks and physical distancing will be requirements when fans attend SEC football games beginning next month, and tailgating may be off the table at some schools.

The SEC released its guidelines Tuesday morning for fan safety at games this season, as schools try to navigate holding games in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fans who attend games will be required to wear masks as they enter and exit the stadium, according to the guidelines. They also will be required to wear them whenever they move throughout the stadium or cannot maintain physical distance from people outside their same household. Stadium workers and athletics staff will be required to wear masks at all times.

The number of fans allowed to attend games will be left to each member school and will be required to fit within state and local health guidelines.

The SEC’s guidelines also require installation of plexiglass between fans and stadium staff at concession stands and merchandise areas. There will be no condiment carts, and fans will not be able to fill or refill their own drinks. Water fountains also will be prohibited.

Tailgating and team walks are not guaranteed to be allowed either. The SEC’s guidelines stipulate that each school determine whether large gatherings on school property are permitted within state and local guidelines. If there aren’t local guidelines, CDC recommendations will be used. The same guidelines will apply to team walks.

You can read the full list of SEC guidelines below.

Attendance

  • Institutions shall determine the number of guests permitted to attend in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines, policies and/or regulations. In the absence of state and/or local guidelines, policies and/or regulations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on physical distancing should be applied.

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings (over the nose and mouth) shall be required as a condition of all guest ingress, egress, and movement throughout the stadium, as well as any time guests are unable to maintain the recommended physical distance from others who are not in their same household.
  • Stadium workers and athletics staff should wear face coverings at all times.

Food, Beverage and Merchandise

  • Barriers (e.g., plexiglass) shall be installed at all points-of-sale or otherwise all concessions staff shall wear a face shield plus a mask.
  • Queuing lines at points-of-sale shall permit physical distancing between guests.
  • “Grab and go” food/beverage options should be considered at points-of-sale locations.
  • Beverages shall be provided directly to guests. Machines designed to allow guests to fill or refill beverages must remain inoperable.
  • Condiments shall be offered only as single-serve condiments, and condiment carts shall be prohibited.
  • All portable points-of-sale locations shall be strategically placed to ensure physical distancing is permitted between guests who are in line or may be in close proximity to the selling location for other purposes.

Gate Ingress/Egress

  • Signage shall be installed at parking lots, pedestrian paths to the stadium, gates and/or other ingress/entry points that outlines mandates for all guests to wear face coverings, maintain physical distancing and mandates guests do not enter the stadium if they display any COVID-19 symptoms as outlined by the CDC.
  • All tickets shall be digitally scanned.
  • The footprint at all gates and ingress/entry and egress/exit points shall permit physical distancing between guests.

Guest Shuttles

  • Institutions that cooperate with and/or arrange for shuttles to transport guests to/from the stadium shall ensure the shuttle operator has sufficient protocols/procedures in place including, but not limited to, the following:
  •    Maintaining physical distancing while guests are on the shuttle, entering/exiting the shuttle and while waiting in lines to board the shuttle;
  •     Requiring face coverings as a condition for shuttle usage for drivers and guests at all times while aboard the shuttle, entering/exiting and while waiting in line; and
  •     Planning to sufficiently and regularly disinfect the shuttle.

Plans for Disinfection, Symptomatic Guests, Communication/Public Relations and American with Disabilities Act

  • Institutions shall have a documented plan that outlines the procedures/protocol for appropriate disinfection of the stadium.
  • Institutions shall have a documented plan that outlines the procedures/protocol for working with guests who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Institutions shall launch a communication/public relations campaign for communicating all COVID-19 procedures/protocol to prospective guests.
  • Institutions shall ensure they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act in the development and implementation of all procedures/protocols. Premium Seating – Suites and Clubs 1. “Suite hopping” shall be prohibited. 2. Sufficient signage that promotes and instructs suite holders to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing shall be installed near ingress/entry points. 3. Furniture shall be arranged in clubs to promote physical distancing. 4. Each suite and club shall be supplied with sufficient hand washing and/or hand sanitizing stations.
  • Guests shall be permitted to access “field level” suites or clubs that are not within six feet (6′) of any team area. Additionally, institutions must ensure guests do not access a pathway to enter or exit a “field level” suite or club at the same time a student-athlete, coach, team staff member, game official or other game participant is utilizing the same pathway.

Public Areas Inside Stadium

  • Institutions shall ensure the set-up and operational procedures in all areas accessed by guests permit physical distancing including, but not limited to, the following areas:
  •     Guest Seating
  •     Concourses and Gathering Places
  •     Dining Areas (high top tables, extended countertops, etc.)
  •     Concessions Sales
  •     Merchandise Sales
  •     Restrooms
  •     Elevators
  •     Escalators
  • Sufficient signage that promotes and instructs guests to wear face coverings and maintain physical distancing shall be in place in areas accessed by guests.
  • Signage must specify the maximum number of guests who may be inside an elevator simultaneously at each elevator entry point (elevator operators shall wear face coverings).
  • The usage of traditional water fountains or other apparatuses providing drinking water shall be prohibited and all must be clearly marked or covered to indicate its use is prohibited. This does not apply to apparatuses that use touchless technology.
  • Sufficient hand washing and/or hand sanitizing stations should be present throughout the stadium.

Restrooms

• Entry and exit points shall be clearly designated, and sufficient signage shall be in place to assist with traffic flow and promote physical distancing.

• Institutions shall implement measures that promote physical distancing, reduce touch points and/or assist with minimizing the spread of COVID-19 including, but not limited to, the following:

o Installing additional hand sanitizer and hand soap dispensers; and

o Leaving doors open at entry/exit points.

Tailgating 

  • Institutions shall determine whether tailgating or other large gatherings of guests (e.g., alumni events, university recruiting events, etc.) are permitted on property owned and/or controlled by the institution in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines, policies and/or regulations. In the absence of state and/or local guidelines, CDC recommendations on physical distancing should be applied.
  • Considerations should be given as to the time parking lots open.

Team Walks

  • Institutions shall determine whether team walks are permitted in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines, policies and/or regulations.
  • If permitted, all institutional personnel (e.g., student-athletes, coaches, team staff, athletic department staff, etc.) and guests in attendance shall wear face coverings.
  • If permitted, institutions shall ensure recommended physical distancing exists and may be maintained at all times between walk participants and guests. Team walks shall be prohibited if physical distancing cannot be implemented during its entirety.

SEC releases schedule for week one

(WHNT) – The Southeastern Conference (SEC) released the schedule for week one.

According to the SEC, the Alabama Crimson Tide will take Missouri on the road. And Auburn will host Kentucky.

The full schedule will be released tonight at 6:00 p.m. on the SEC Network.


SWAC releases spring 2021 football schedule

The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its spring 2021 football schedule Monday.

Each team will open the season on February 27 with a non-conference game before six weeks of conference play, four against division opponents, and two against non-division opponents.

March 13 is a bye week conference wide to allow fans to attend the Cricket Wireless Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which runs from March 9-13.

The Cricket Wireless SWAC Championship Game is slated for Saturday, May 1.

Alabama A&M University’s schedule can be found below:

DATE  OPPONENT 
 Feb. 27 vs. Alcorn State
 Mar. 6 at Mississippi Valley State
 Mar. 13 Bye Week 
 Mar. 20 at Prairie View A&M
 Mar. 27 vs. Grambling State
 Apr. 10 at Jackson State
 Apr. 17 vs. Alabama State 

The conference said it remains prepared to make any additional adjustments if deemed to be in the best interest of the health of student athletes.

Week-by-week schedules for the entire conference and for each school can be found on the SWAC website.


East Limestone forfeits season opener against Guntersville due to COVID-19 exposure

LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – The gridiron will stay silent Friday night in East Limestone.

The team has decided to forfeit Friday’s contest against Guntersville, due to COVID-19 exposure.

Guntersville’s record is now 1-0, but the team will travel to Locust Fork for a “game of no record,” as allowed by the AHSAA. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night.


Grab your beers and koozies: There’s a new park in RiNo that needs you to sit in it

Denver’s just got a new park along the South Platte River, the culmination of a decade-long project between the city and community partners.

Denver Parks and Recreation live-streamed a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony on its Facebook page on Thursday afternoon to open River North Park, which includes new green space, river access, performance areas, art installations and two industrial buildings, where the city plans to house a Denver Public Library branch, art space from contemporary venue Redline and will include other community partners including the northeast Denver nonprofit, Focus Points Family Resource Center.

Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation, spoke at the ribbon-cutting on Thursday to a small crowd of socially distanced residents and reporters. The new park is a part of her department’s 20-year plan to increase access to green spaces so that every Denver resident is within a 10-minute walk of a park. She added that this is the first park in the River North Art District area.

“Although the path to this park was long and sometimes complicated, the steady heartbeat that continued to pump life into this project remains, and that is the commitment that the city has to work with residents and the organizations in this area to ensure that neighborhoods have access to nature and gathering spaces,” Haynes said during the live-stream.

The 3.5-acre park is located along the river on Atkins Court between 33rd and 35th streets. In 2010, The city purchased the land with guidance from the Greenway Foundation, Trust for Public Land and a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. The plot cost $2.4 million in 2010 and is now worth upwards of $12 million, as RiNo has become one of the most expensive development areas in Denver. The city broke ground on the park in spring 2019, spending $6 million in improvements through grant funding, private donations and support from community partners, including the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative.

Haynes said Parks and Recreation also worked with community members and organizations to determine what residents wanted and needed. Residents suggested repurposing the buildings on the property rather than tearing them down, and Andrew Feinstein, co-founder of the River North Art District, said his organization collaborated with the city to use the buildings as community art space, with the hope of opening them by 2021.

“This is what RiNo is all about — saving the old and reactivating it as the new,” Feinstein said during the live-stream. “It’s critically important that we have affordable space for art in our community.”

At the ceremony on Thursday, Haynes and Mayor Michael Hancock also broke ground on the riverfront promenade connected to the new park, which the city will develop with funds from the Elevate Denver Bond Program and is slated to open in 2021.

In an interview with The Denver Post on Thursday, Gordon Robertson, director of planning, design and construction at Parks and Recreation, said the promenade aims to connect the park to residents across northeast Denver, including Five Points and Globeville Elyria-Swansea. The promenade will stretch across nine blocks along the river, leading residents to the park for its community resources and green space.

Robertson acknowledged that RiNo is in and surrounded by some of Denver’s most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods, and he said the city purchased the land anticipating that the industrial area would grow more residential. But his department made an intentional effort with River North Park to provide services and programming aimed at residents of greater northeast Denver.

“Typically when we open a park, we’ve done all the work,” he said. “This park is different. This park has ownership from businesses and the neighborhoods around it … We opened the park together, with the neighborhoods, in a way we have never done before.”

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Madison Bowl moving to Louis Crews Stadium

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – The annual Madison Bowl will be moving to a different venue for 2020.

The game, which pits James Clemens against Bob Jones, will be held at Louis Crews Stadium instead of the Madison City Stadium.

WHNT News 19 Sports Director Rocco DiSangro says sources told him the game is being moved to accommodate 8,000-9,000 fans and stay within social distancing guidelines.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 4.


Call of the Wilde: Montreal Canadiens drop Game 3 to Philadelphia Flyers

The Canadiens again put in a strong effort, but they were unable to solve Carter Hart as they fell to Philadelphia 1-0.


SEC to announce 2020 football schedule Monday

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference plans to unveil its 2020 football schedule Monday.

The conference announced last month that they will play a 10-game conference only slate.

Week 1 games will be revealed at 2 p.m. Monday. The complete schedule will later be released at 6 p.m.

The league moved the start of the season to September 26 and the SEC Championship game to December 19.

WHNT News 19 will have special coverage of the announcement . Make sure your sports notifications are turned on in the WHNT News 19 app to make sure you’re alerted once the schedule is released.


5 NFL officials take a leave of absence for 2020 season

NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL’s longest-serving on-field official was among five who have opted to take a leave of absence for the 2020 season.

Line judge Jeff Bergman, who was entering his 29th year of service, headlined the list released Friday by the NFL.

Also in the group was back judge Steve Freeman, who was entering his 20th year. He is part of the league’s only father-son duo in the officials ranks. Freeman is a former NFL player who spent 12 of his 13 seasons with the Bills. His son, Brad, is a back judge is entering his seventh season.

Also opting out are field judges Greg Gautreaux and Joe Larrew and back judge Tony Steratore.

The league said additional officials will be hired and announced.

Officials are allowed to opt out under the protocols negotiated by the NFL and NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Grizzly Creek fire has reached the Hanging Lake area, authorities say

Aside from the smoke hanging in the air over the Front Range from three wildfires, there’s another reason for Coloradans to hold their collective breath: The Grizzly Creek fire in Glenwood Canyon has moved through the Hanging Lake area, one of the prized jewels of our state’s natural treasures.

The fire, which started a few miles west of Hanging Lake on Monday, more than doubled in size on Thursday to more than 13,400 acres and is 0% contained. Authorities don’t know the extent to which Hanging Lake itself has been affected.

RELATED: Grizzly Creek fire update: Wildfire forces more evacuations as it continues to spread through Glenwood Canyon

“We do know that the fire moved through the Hanging Lake area,” said David Boyd, public affairs officer for the White River National Forest. “We are not able to get firefighters on the ground over the trail, due to fire activity. We are waiting for smoke to clear for a flight.”

Weather conditions in the area remain hot and dry with gusty winds.

“As soon as we have more information,” Boyd said, “we will share it.”

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Montreal Canadiens head coach hospitalized for chest pain

Claude Julien, the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, has been hospitalized.


Runner Courtney Dauwalter’s record attempt on Colorado Trail stopped after hospitalization

Courtney Dauwalter’s attempt to break a record along the Colorado Trail has ended — for now — due to acute bronchitis.

Dauwalter, 35, of Golden, had stepped onto the start of the Colorado Trail in Durango Wednesday at 2 p.m. with a goal to run the 486 miles to Denver in record time.

Her husband Kevin Schmidt wrote on her Instagram Monday around 6 a.m. that Dauwalter was wheezing in the crew’s RV that morning, so her crew decided to take her to an emergency room in Leadville.

According to her Garmin GPS, she stopped running east of Twin Lakes, which would mean she had completed more than 300 miles of the 486-mile trail in a little more than five days.

RELATED: Golden ultrarunner Courtney Dauwalter crushes the competition — men and women

Read more on our partner site Denver7.

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Kingston, Ont. man charged after assaulting a stranger with a baseball

A batting practice turned ugly after a man threw a baseball from s close distance at a stranger.


Big South Conference cancels fall football, but UNA still hopes to play

FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama is hoping to still get some fall football in, despite the conference it plays in postponing its season until spring.

The Big South Conference said Wednesday it was delaying all sports until spring, including football, tennis, soccer and volleyball.

But the conference is allowing up to four non-conference games in the fall, which is being left up to each institution.

UNA said Wednesday it hopes to play its scheduled games against Brigham Young University, Western Illinois, Jacksonville State, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

UNA’s football team competes in the Big South, but the university’s other 13 sports compete in the ASUN Conference. That conference hasn’t determined what will happen in the fall.

“Our plan is to look at all of our options and hopefully have the chance to play a full slate of games, combining the fall and spring,” UNA Athletic Director Mark Linder said in a news release. “One of the biggest concerns of our players is not having the opportunity to play a full schedule. This plan provides the ultimate flexibility, to play four non-conference games in the fall and the Big South schedule in the spring.”


Pac-12 expected to postpone fall sports: reports

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Pac-12 is expected to postpone fall sports, including the college football season, according to multiple reports.

The reported decision, which is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon, comes shortly after the Big Ten conference announced it was postponing all fall sports due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President in a statement.

The 1:30 p.m. Pac-12 press conference webinar will include Commissioner Larry Scott, along with University of Oregon President Michael Schill and Oregon State Assistant Athletic Director Dr. Doug Auckerman.


Tonight is Denver’s last 8 p.m. sunset until May 2021

Funny how things can sneak away from you when you aren’t paying attention. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve already lost an hour of daylight since the summer solstice fell on June 20 — that would be the longest day of the year — and you may be alarmed to learn that Tuesday will mark the last sunset in the 8 p.m. hour until next May.

You might say you’ve had a whole lot of abnormally long days this year, but that’s another story.

Sunset on Tuesday will occur precisely at 8 p.m., astronomically speaking. The sun actually will appear to disappear behind the mountains a little earlier than that, of course, depending on where you are, because the mountains poke up above the horizon.

According to timeanddate.com, an international database for sun and moon data, we had 14 hours, 59 minutes, 15 seconds of daylight on June 20, the first day of summer, and today we’ll be down to 13 hours, 51 minutes, 42 seconds. We’ll do the math for you. That’s a loss of 67 minutes, 33 seconds in just eight weeks.

Sunset on June 20 occurred at 8:31 p.m., when the day was 5 hours, 38 minutes longer than it will be when the winter solstice comes in December.

We’ll lose another hour by the time the autumnal equinox arrives and fall begins on Sept. 22, when sunset will occur at 6:56 p.m. The winter solstice will occur Dec. 21, when the sun will rise at 7:17 a.m. and set at 4:39 p.m.

The next time we will see the sun at 8 p.m.? Not until May 7, 2021.

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Dallas Stars keep Calgary Flames guessing ahead of first round playoff series

The Calgary Flames take on the Dallas Stars in their first-round playoff series.


VP Pence tweets “America needs College Football”

WASHINGTON (WLNS) – Vice President Mike Pence has joined the president in advocating for college football to return.

“It’s important for student-athletes, schools, and our Nation,” tweeted Pence just after 8:00 p.m.

He added that “they deserve the chance to safely get back on the field”

President Donald Trump on Monday joined a number of coaches calling to save the college football season from a pandemic-forced shutdown as supporters pushed the premise that the players are safer because of their sport.

There was speculation two of the five most powerful conferences — the Big Ten and the Pac-12 — might call off their fall seasons and explore the possibility of spring football.

The Mountain West became the second conference in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivison to do just that, joining the Mid-American Conference in giving up hope on playing any sports in the fall. Farther east, Old Dominion canceled fall sports, too, becoming the first school in college football’s highest tier to break from its league; the rest of Conference USA was going forward with plans to play.

A Big Ten spokesman said no votes on fall sports had been taken by its presidents and chancellors as of Monday afternoon, and the powerful Southeastern Conference made clear it was not yet ready to shutter its fall season.

A growing number of athletes have spoken out about saving the season, with Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence among a group posting to Twitter with the hashtag WeWantToPlay. Trump threw his support behind them Monday.

Just after 7:00 p.m., President Donald Trump tweeted a video with #WeWantToPlay.

Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted, “Play College Football!”


Bid corporation pitches ‘legacy’ of affordable housing should Hamilton host Commonwealth Games

The city's general issues committee received a filing in advance of a proposed September hearing likely to decide the fate of the games in Hamilton.


2 Athens High football players test positive for COVID-19

ATHENS, Ala. – Athens High School has suspended football practices after two players tested positive for COVID-19.

Athens City Schools said Monday afternoon that practices would be suspended “out of an abundance of caution” until Aug. 19.

The district said it also was notified Sunday that two employees tested positive for the disease. one of those employees was at football practice Friday, Aug. 7, they said. Both employees are under quarantine.

Parents were told to monitor their children for symptoms over the next several days and expect a call from the Alabama Department of Public Health as workers try to determine who may have had contact with the students, as part of contact tracing.


SEC Sankey asks for patience with seasons iffy

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has weighed in on the powerhouse league’s situation regarding a decision on the football season.

Sankey posted on Twitter he doesn’t know if college football can be played during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the best advice he has received since the pandemic started was to be patient in making decisions. “This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day,” Sankey posted.

“We know concerns remain,” Sankey said. “We have never had a FB season in a COVID-19 environment. Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate and care for student-athletes every day, and will continue to do so…every day.”


Reports: Big Ten to cancel fall football season

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Big Ten Conference has voted to cancel the 2020 college football season, according to published reports.

Sources confirmed details of the decision to the Detroit Free Press and the Dan Patrick Show.

The Presidents of Big Ten universities met through the weekend to discuss the issue. No official announcements have come out to the weekend meetings, nor have any dates for potential future meetings or announcements.

New reports from the Dan Patrick Show Monday morning say the Big Ten and Pac 12 will cancel their 2020 football seasons in a formal announcement Tuesday.

Patrick said he sources say the ACC and Big 12 are on the fence about cancelling while the SEC is trying to get teams to join them for a season.

Ohio State University spokesperson Ben Johnson confirmed that OSU’s incoming president Kristina Johnson is representing the university on the Sunday night call. She did not take part in the meeting on Saturday.

Reports coming out of that Saturday meeting indicated a majority of Big Ten presidents want to postpone the football season to 2021. No vote was taken on that conference call.

ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and others are reporting that the Power 5 conference commissioners held an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon on the heels of the Big Ten presidents’ Saturday call.

ESPN is further reporting the Big 10 presidents wanted to gauge if the other Power 5 conferences would “fall in line” with them on the decision to postpone football.

In addition to the Big 10, the Power 5 conferences include the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC.

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated is reporting high-level conference meetings are being planned across college football, with the expectation the season will be postponed to 2021.

The Mid American Conference took the plunge on Saturday, becoming the first FBS conference to cancel the fall sports season. The conference is aiming to move fall sports to the spring.

The Buckeyes returned for fall football camp on Thursday.

On Saturday, the Big Ten announced it has put full contact practice on hold until further notice.

Ohio State is set to begin its 2020 season on Thursday, Sept. 3, against Illinois.


The 5 best Colorado campgrounds for weddings

Durango-based Shannon Hahn and Jason Bushey, both 33, met when friends introduced them after a mountain bike ride; they began hiking, biking and skiing together. Jason proposed marriage at a remote alpine lake in the Weminuche Wilderness during a backpacking trip, and they have decided to hold their wedding outdoors as well. The couple is planning to tie the knot this summer at Chris Park Campground, a Forest Service group site near Haviland Lake, 18 miles north of Durango.

Looking for more to do? Find summer getaways here >>>

“We wanted to throw a laid-back and fun wedding,” said Hahn. “We wanted most of our budget to be spent on food, drinks and entertainment, and not the venue.”

They’ve reserved all three group sites at the campground, which can accommodate up to 150 campers, though their event will be smaller than that. Some of Shannon and Jason’s guests will camp, others will book a room at nearby Purgatory Resort. When asked what her biggest piece of advice would be for someone planning a campground wedding, Hahn said, “You need to plan far ahead. The reservations go fast. Planning your wedding in a campground is a do-it-yourself endeavor, but we think it’s the best value.”

Oh, and their honeymoon? “We’re going to explore the Canadian Rocky Mountains — mountain biking in Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden and Revelstoke.”

For anyone else thinking of holding their wedding at a campground, here are a few options in Colorado:

Chris Park Group Campground

North of Durango

This Forest Service group facility is in a sheltered hollow of ponderosa pines. Its three sites have large gravel lots for RVs and dispersed tent camping in the woods. You can take a dip in Haviland Lake, accessible via the short Wagon Road Historic Trail. There are no mountain views from the campground, but the lake is scenic. Some sites and all facilities are wheelchair-accessible. There are picnic tables, grills and fire rings, vault toilets, drinking water, an event pavilion, horseshoe pits, and a volleyball court. Reservations are required at 877-444-6777 and recreation.gov. The fee is $100-$220 depending on group size. Contact: San Juan National Forest, Columbine District, 970-884-2512, fs.usda.gov/sanjuan

Windy Point Group

South of Frisco

This group campground on the southeast shore of Dillon Reservoir has incredible panoramic views and two large sites for tent camping that hold up to 100 people each. The lake site has a covered pavilion for 95 people. The other site is more rustic. RVs can park in the parking lot and there are picnic tables, grills and fire rings, vault toilets, and a picnic pavilion. The facilities are wheelchair-accessible. Make reservations at 877-444-6777 and recreation.gov. The fee is $215-$265 per night. Contact: White River National Forest, Dillon District, 970-468-5400, fs.usda.gov/whiteriver

Bogan Flats

South of Carbondale

On the banks of the Crystal River, between the Maroon Bells-Snowmass and Raggeds Wilderness areas, Bogan Flats is in a fly-fishing haven, 5 miles from the historic town of Marble. The group site is upstream of the main campground and is private. Make reservations at 877-444-6777 and recreation.gov. The group site costs $135 per night, for up to 50 people. Contact: White River National Forest, Sopris District, 970-963-2266, fs.usda.gov/whiteriver

Arapaho Valley Ranch

Outside Granby

This off-grid “mountain resort” on the South Fork of the Colorado River is ideal for events like weddings and reunions; its accommodations include camping sites, glamping tents, teepees, cabins, a historic lodge and dance hall, and access to “Colorado’s smallest bar,” the Red Dog Saloon. Wedding parties get exclusive use of the entire property for a three-night weekend. There’s excellent fishing, including a trout pond for kids. Contact: 720-550-0684, arapahovalleyranch.com

Top of the Pines

Outside Ridgway

This is a smaller option, with a handful of campsites. It has a heated indoor pavilion with electricity and flush toilets, plus space to set up a large outdoor event tent. For your outdoor ceremony, there is a lovely meadow with views of the Sneffels range. The deck has stunning views, and the bonfire area is a nice touch for after the reception. Contact: info@topofthepines.org, topofthepines.org

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Sources: Big Ten, other top conferences meeting to decide fate of 2020 college football season

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — For the second straight day, Big Ten presidents are on a conference call Sunday night to discuss the 2020 college football season.

Ohio State University spokesperson Ben Johnson confirmed that OSU’s incoming president Kristina Johnson is representing the university on the Sunday-night call. She did not take part in the meeting on Saturday.

Reports coming out of that Saturday meeting indicated a majority of Big Ten presidents want to postpone the football season to 2021. No vote was taken on that conference call.

ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and others are reporting that the Power 5 conference commissioners held an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon on the heels of the Big Ten presidents’ Saturday call.

ESPN is further reporting the Big 10 presidents wanted to gauge if the other Power 5 conferences would “fall in line” with them on the decision to postpone football.

In addition to the Big 10, the Power 5 conferences include the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC.

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated is reporting high-level conference meetings are being planned across college football, with the expectation the season will be postponed to 2021.

The Mid American Conference took the plunge on Saturday, becoming the first FBS conference to cancel the fall sports season. The conference is aiming to move fall sports to the spring.

The Buckeyes returned for fall football camp on Thursday.

On Saturday, the Big Ten announced it has put full contact practice on hold until further notice.

Ohio State is set to begin its 2020 season on Thursday, Sept. 3, against Illinois.


UNA cancels football practice over players’ COVID-19 concerns

FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama has cancelled football practices after hearing concerns from players about COVID-19.

The Lions started fall football camp on Friday.

The team said it hopes to have more clarity about the 2020 football season by Aug. 14. In the meantime, the team has split up into groups of 12 or less that have the option to continue their physical training for the upcoming season.

Team meetings will still be held in person, with social distancing guidelines, according to the team.

The team said its leadership council expressed concerns about practice to the staff on Saturday, which was the first day they returned to the field for practice.

UNA is scheduled to play its first game Sept. 3 at Western Illinois.


Litter, graffiti and vandalism are increasing at state parks, national forests across Colorado

Spray paint and carvings on bridges and trees at Eldorado Canyon. Graffiti at Roxborough, and graffiti and vandalism at Golden Gate.

Those state parks and others across the Front Range are reporting a host of negative impacts stemming from big increases in visitation that have been linked to reduced recreation options caused by the coronavirus. Many are seeing increases in litter and trash that have forced park managers to bring in larger dumpsters or have their dumpsters emptied more frequently.

And it’s not just state parks.

“We’re experiencing the same things,” said Lawrence Lujan, press officer for the Rocky Mountain region of the U.S. Forest Service. “People aren’t taking their trash with them, they’re not obeying the pack-it-in/pack-it-out principle. Where there are dumpsters, they are filling quite quickly. People are going into crowded parking lots, trying to park off-road on the grass, which is troublesome: Your undercarriage could light the grass on fire if it’s a hot, dry day. We’ve been experiencing these recreation pressures for quite some time. Now they’ve skyrocketed because of the number of people who are visiting.”

Visitors have been dumping trash into vaulted outdoor toilets, Lujan said, which is prohibited. In addition to trash and sanitation issues, other problems have included overcrowding, user conflicts and illegal or abandoned campfires.

RELATED: What are the rules of trail etiquette for hikers, runners and mountain bikers?

“We are finding that there are a lot of first-time forest public-lands visitors,” Lujan said, adding that he is working on a campaign to raise awareness for rules intended to diminish human impact.

At Rocky Mountain National Park, where visitation has been limited to 60% of maximum parking lot capacity from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. due to the pandemic — through the implementation of a timed-entry reservation system — public information officer Kyle Patterson said rangers there “have not seen a noticeable increase in trash or graffiti.” But Time Magazine has reported increases in vandalism, litter and other negative impacts at national parks and forests across the country.

“It’s certainly a national issue,” said Ben Lawhon, education director for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a national organization headquartered in Boulder. “In the case of Rocky, the timed entry that they’ve instituted probably has played a role in helping to minimize what otherwise might be just out-of-control impacts.”

RELATED: Huge jump in popularity at Brainard Lake leads to extreme crowding despite pandemic restrictions

A surge in visits from people who are inexperienced or unaware of outdoor ethics seems to be compounding increased visitation pressures, public lands officials and outdoors advocates say.

“Much of the impact we see in the outdoors can be categorized as people who are either unskilled, uninformed or under-informed,” Lawhon said. “Or they are just careless.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Jason Clay said Castlewood Canyon State Park has seen a “massive increase” in trash, adding that another “big problem” there has been bags filled with dog excrement discarded along trails.

“Golden Gate has seen an increase in trash and uneducated behavior — from graffiti and vandalism on signs, markers and facilities to illegal fires in our backcountry sites, illegal camping throughout the park and a general disrespect for the resource,” Clay said. “They have been trying to educate new visitors, but it seems as though most don’t bother to read, understand or even care about the regulations in place to protect our natural resources. Mainly, lots of selfish behavior.”

At Eldorado Canyon State Park, there has been a marked increase in weekday visitation with lots of first-time visitors, Clay said. Rangers there report an increase in litter – plastic bottles, gloves, masks and food wrappers throughout the park, including in the creek — and an increase in rescues for heat-exhausted visitors, human and canine.

“Chatfield State Park has seen an uptick in litter, but they are also at a 38% increase in visitation over its busiest year ever,” Clay said. “They said they don’t know how much of the litter is because of inexperienced visitors or just that many more people coming through. It is mostly plastic ice and shopping bags that have blown away and bottles, cans and food scraps on the shoreline. Picking up paper and cloth masks has become an everyday occurrence.”

At Cherry Creek State Park, there has been an increase in dumpster trash and roadside litter.

“Prior to COVID, the park did increase the size of its dumpster capacities, which proved to be a great decision as it is compacting the trash more often, even with the increased capacities,” Clay said. “Alcohol containers, coffee cups, water bottles and fast-food litter primarily makes up the ground litter.”

Jeffco Open Space visitor services manager Mary Ann Bonnell said she noticed an uptick in litter right after pandemic quarantines began, and a lot of that was dog-waste bags left along trails. Those problems seem to have diminished since then, Bonnell said.

“The other issue we are seeing is bagged trash being left in picnic areas next to full trash cans,” Bonnell said. “In this case, the visitor thinks they are doing the right thing by bagging trash and leaving it next to existing trash cans. But bagged trash will be too tempting for wildlife. We’ve had incidents of wildlife, likely bears, opening and rummaging through the bagged trash. This is tragic and dangerous because it teaches bears to look to picnic areas for food, which can make them a nuisance bear. Sometimes, nuisance bears end up being dangerous to humans and may be relocated or lethally managed.”

Bonnell says peer pressure can be a powerful tool to discourage misbehavior on public lands.

“I have seen visitors get after other visitors who fail to pick up trash,” Bonnell said. “In many cases, a fellow visitor saying something is more powerful than a park ranger saying something.”

Public lands continue to see huge increases in visitation. At Brainard Lake Recreation area, for example, daily visitation rates have been running two to four times more than normal despite restrictions that limit parking lots to 80% capacity.

“We know our natural places are important, now more than ever,” Lujan said. “We welcome people to come to our national forests and grasslands. There are things we need them to do while they’re out there.”

U.S. Forest Service rules governing waste and sanitation

The following are prohibited:

  •  Depositing in toilets, toilet vaults or plumbing fixtures any substance which could damage or interfere with the operation or maintenance of the fixture
  •  Possessing or leaving refuse, debris or litter in an exposed or unsanitary condition
  •  Placing in or near a stream, lake or other water any substance which does or may pollute a stream, lake or other water
  • Failing to dispose of all garbage, including any paper, can, bottle, sewage, waste water or material, or rubbish either by removal from the site or area, or by depositing it into receptacles or at places provided for such purposes

For more guidance on being responsible in the outdoors, the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has a list of “Seven Principles” with detailed explanations on its website.


Hamilton Honey Badgers beat Niagara, advance to semis in CEBL playoffs

Hamilton will face Fraser Valley in one semi-final of the league playoffs.


CJFL cancels 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Canadian Junior Football League says it’s determined that it is not feasible to operate a regular season or playoffs for the 2020 season.


Coronavirus: WHL planning to start next season Dec. 4

The Western Hockey League halted the 2019-20 regular season March 12 because of the advancing COVID-19 virus.


Auburn senior linebacker Chandler Wooten opts out of upcoming season

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn senior linebacker Chandler Wooten has decided not to play this upcoming season, citing concerns over COVID-19.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announced Thursday that Wooten was not playing because of health concerns for him and his family.

Wooten posted a message on Twitter explaining he decided to redshirt because he is becoming a father in November.

“As a soon to be father, my number one priority is the safety and well-being of my family,” Wooten wrote. “Unfortunately, playing this season was ultimately not a risk I was willing to take.”


Here are the Rockies’ 2020 walk-up songs

After months of delay due to the pandemic, Rockies baseball is back. While fans can’t physically be at Coors Field, it doesn’t mean they can’t experience the sights and sounds of the game.

The Rockies this week unveiled the walk-up songs for the team’s roster, from classics like Charlie Blackmon’s iconic “Your Love” and Daniel Bard’s “Alive” to newer tracks like “Blinding Lights” for Chris Owings and “Watermelon Sugar” for Tony Wolters. Some players have multiple songs, like first baseman Daniel Murphy, who has four different tracks to choose from.

Go to The Know for Spotify links of each song.

Here’s a look at the Rockies’ walk-up songs for the shortened 2020 season:

Yency Almonte –  “The Movement” by Kid Ink

Nolan Arenado — “Heavy Camp” by Blac Youngsta featuring Travis Scott

Daniel Bard — “Alive” by Pearl Jam

Charlie Blackmon — “Your Love” by The Outfield

Drew Butera — “Hollywood’s Bleeding” by Post Malone

David Dahl — “Saint-Tropez” by Post Malone

Elias Diaz — “Las Avispas” by Juan Luis Guerra

Jairo Diaz — “Con Calma” by Daddy Yankee

Phillip Diehl — “Really Really” by Kevin Gates

Carlos Estevez — “Asi Soy Yo” by Bad Bunny and Anuel AA

Kyle Freeland — “Rolling Stone” by Machine Gun Kelly featuring Earl St. Clair

Josh Fuentes — “25/8” by Bad Bunny

Chi Chi Gonzalez — “Sunday’s Best” by Surfaces

Ashton Goudeau — “Feels Like the First Time” by Foreigner

Jon Gray — “Addict” by Destiny Potato

Garrett Hampson — “Handsome” by Chance the Rapper

Joe Harvey — “Reload” by Sebastian Ingrosso

Sam Hilliard — “God’s Country” by Blake Shelton

Jeff Hoffman — “Meant to Live” by Switchfoot

Tyler Kinley — “Bad Boy 4 Life” by P. Diddy featuring Black Rob and Mark Curry

German Marquez — “Pensando En Ti” by Dimension Latina

Ryan McMahon — “Devil Eyes” by Hippie Sabotage

Daniel Murphy — (No. 1) “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys

Daniel Murphy — (No. 2) “Children of God” by Third Day

Daniel Murphy — (No. 3) “Christ in Me” by Jeremy Camp

Daniel Murphy — (No. 4) “Rise” by Danny Gokey

Chris Owings — “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

James Pazos — “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” by AC/DC

Antonio Senzatela — “Esta Vida” by Jorge Celedon and Jimmy Zambrano

Trevor Story — (No. 1) “Uptown” by Drake featuring Bun B and Lil Wayne

Trevor Story — (No. 2) “So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast

Raimel Tapia — (No. 1) “Tap” by Nav featuring Meek Mill

Raimel Tapia — (No. 2) “No Hay Para” by Rochy RD and Napo

Tony Wolters — “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles

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Boulder climber sets new speed record for running 1,000 feet up the First Flatiron in just over 9 minutes

Michael Reese thought it would be fun to run up the precipitous First Flatiron above Boulder to see how fast he could do it. And we do mean run.

He did have to mix in some hand holds in sections, but the Boulder rock climber ran and scrambled pretty much straight up the 60-degree face that rises 1,000 feet over Chautauqua Park without technical climbing ropes on July 3. Reese completed the ascent in 9 minutes, 23 seconds, which was 2 seconds faster than the previous fastest known time set by Stefan Griebel in 2011.

To put the height of the climb into perspective, the First Flatiron is almost 40% taller than Denver’s tallest building, the Republic Plaza.

“It’s pretty much pure joy,” Reese said. “I think the best part about it is kind of killing multiple birds with one stone. You’re in nature, you’re pushing your limits, you’re bettering your physical state, you’re getting in a workout, you’re going for a record.”

Reese, 26, hails from a prominent Colorado running family. His father, Dan, was an All American at the University of Colorado before running professionally. Two uncles ran for CU and another, Dave Reese, won Denver’s Mile High Marathon in 1987. Michael Reese ran at Monarch High School and was All State in cross country his senior year.

Reese said the record Flatiron ascent was about equal parts running and scrambling, which he accomplished wearing shoes designed for extra grip on rock.

“Setting the record is just like running a race,” Reese said. “You’re really just pushing your limits. On one hand, it’s how much pain you can take, but it’s a little different from running. There’s that really zoomed-in focus with the holds you are grabbing and the technical aspects of it.”

There is danger, too, though. Reese estimates he climbed the First Flatiron without ropes 50 times before his record ascent, so he felt comfortable without them on the record jaunt.

“I think it’s all relative to your experience level,” Reese said. “It’s something you work your way into. It’s all about the risk to reward, having the proper experience, and mitigating that risk.”

That isn’t a lot of comfort to his parents, who know he’s out climbing on the Flatirons almost daily.

“My wife Sharon and I, we are scared every day,” Dan Reese said. “We know he’s really good, we know he’s really safe and he’s very cautious. But still, one bad move and it’s death.”

When he was a high school runner and at CU, which is a collegiate power in distance running, Reese was plagued with injuries. When he finally accepted that his body couldn’t handle the high mileage required of a CU runner, he switched to the triathlon team, which won two national titles while he was there. During that period, he took up rock climbing.

After graduating in 2017, he spent a year mostly rock climbing, went to work as a crypto-currency specialist for a time, and enrolled in grad school last year at California Polytechnic State University. The pandemic brought him back home in March, and since then he’s been in Boulder “living a little bit as a climbing bum,” thanks to income from crypto-currency investments.

The five most prominent Flatirons are designated by numbers from north to south. The First Flatiron is the northernmost of the five, and the most difficult.

Since March, Reese figures he climbed the First Flatiron 40 to 50 times to scout the perfect route to make his record attempt. Sometimes he runs from the trailhead to the base of the peak, climbs up, down climbs off the back and runs back to the trailhead, thinking of it like a triathlon.

“Running can be very meditative,” Reese said, “and so can climbing the Flatirons. Climbing is very good for mental health and physical health. You’re using nature as your inspiration to push your limits.”

“I’m sure you saw that movie ‘Free Solo,’ ” said Reese’s father, Dan, referring to Alex Honnold’s famous free solo climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in 2017 and the documentary that came from it. “Honnold climbed that thing how many times — maybe a thousand times? — and it’s still scary.”

Michael and his parents talk often about his passion and the dangers  that come with it.

“We just say, ‘Be careful and be smart,’ ” Dan said. “It is tough to reconcile. I try not to think about it too much. I’m not going to stop him from what he wants to do. All we can do is try to support him. I want to be positive, but you’ve got to respect the mountain.”

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Columbus may finally get kicked out of the park after five decades of Chicano activism

The park at the center of Arturo Rodriguez’s neighborhood, where his family has been for five generations, is called La Raza. He said it means “the people” — which means empowerment, pride and unity.

“Viva La Raza,” he said, repeating the refrain of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and ’70s.

But the official name of the plot of land on Navajo Street and 38th Avenue is Columbus Park, which Rodriguez said represents the history of colonialism and violence against Indigenous people in the United States. And it’s a painful moniker.

“Our native brothers and sisters are still today fighting for their land, fighting every issue in the world to hold on to their culture,” he said in an interview with The Denver Post. “A small, one-block park has such a significant lesson.”

As protests against the treatment of Black Americans bring American racism into sharp focus, Indigenous and Latinx communities are evaluating their own experiences with the police and racism. And in Denver, La Raza Park is at the center of that story, Rodriguez said. From civil disobedience and community organizing to police riots, the Chicano movement has deep roots in the park, and the newest renaming efforts are part of reclaiming the space for Denver’s Latinx community.

After Black Lives Matter protests downtown, the Parks and Recreation Department even removed all signs that say “Columbus Park” to prevent vandalization. And Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval, representing the district where the park is located, has started the formal process with the city to change the name to La Raza Park.

In 2013, Sandoval had worked for Councilwoman Judy Montero in the effort to rename Lincoln Park to La Alma-Lincoln Park and she campaigned on the promise that she would do the same for La Raza.

In April, she started looking into the process, and by early June, as coronavirus restrictions started to loosen, she gauged community support through social media. That coincided with Black Lives Matter protests and the push to rename the Stapleton neighborhood, named for the former Denver mayor and Ku Klux Klan member. (The new name selected by residents last week is “Central Park.”) Sandoval’s online letter took off, gathering more than 2,000 signatures.

Then, on June 26, Sandoval sent her formal request to begin the renaming process to Happy Haynes, the executive director of parks and recreation. On that day, the city took down the Columbus Park signs.

At the end of July, her office set up tables under the kiosk in the center of the park with petitions. Sandoval needed 300 signatures to begin the renaming process. By the end of the weekend, she had more than 700.

“I saw tons of people from the community, and none of us have gathered because of COVID,” she said. “As people wore their masks and social distanced, it was an opportunity for people to check in and see each other. It felt great to have such community support.”

Parks and Recreation will verify the signatures, and Sandoval hopes the office can do it in time to present the proposal at the Denver Parks and Recreation Advisory Board’s September meeting. If it gets approved there, the proposal will go to the City Council for a final vote.

Rodriguez has been a part of three renaming petitions over the past 50 years, as well as other community organizing efforts in Sunnyside. In 1970, he helped organize a “splash-in” at the pool to demand Parks and Recreation rename the park, hire youth from the community, and lead the revitalization of facilities that had fallen into disrepair. He said one of the young organizers came up with the name La Raza before the splash-in.

A decade later, in the summer of 1981, Rodriguez was at La Raza Park with Corky Gonzales and other leaders in the Chicano rights movement when a riot broke out. Police kicked them out of the park for not having a permit, and as residents moved to the street and started throwing rocks, officers tear-gassed them. The next year, the city filled in the park’s pool.

Now, in 2020, Rodriguez hopes the dynamics have changed for the newest renaming effort, as the country faces a reckoning with racism in America, including colonialism and the genocide of indigenous Americans, he said.

But changing the name won’t address other things that his community needs. Rodriguez wants to see the history documented and displayed for people to learn about the park’s role in the Chicano rights movement. He also wants bathrooms and a recreation center, and to change the park’s designation to a community park, so people don’t get harassed by police officers for holding family gatherings or fiestas.

His vision extends past the name itself, La Raza, to imagine resources, activities and cultural events for La Raza, the people. And this is what it was like in the 1970s, he said, when he led youth programs and cultural events in the park.

“It was more than a park,” he said. “It became a cultural center. It became a safe haven for people.”

As Rodriguez passes the torch to the next generation of leaders fighting for La Raza Park, his advice is to be persistent. Even if it takes 50 years, change is a beautiful sight to behold.

Sandoval said renaming the park is bringing together generations of residents and honoring the work of those who came before. From the children she sees playing there every day to the 100-year-old man who came to sign her petition, La Raza Park is for her community.

“All the work that we’re doing right now, like people whose shoulders I stand on, it’s for the next generations of people, the next generations in Denver,” Sandoval said. “It’s who we are, where we came from, and how we’re building a better future.”

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NHL and its labs say COVID-19 testing doesn’t overlap with public’s

Roughly 1,500 samples are collected and checked daily in each city not only from players, team and NHL personnel, but from restaurant and hotel workers supporting the post-season tournament in each hub.


Members of Vegas Golden Knights arrange pizza delivery for homeless Edmontonians just outside NHL bubble

Some members of the Vegas Golden Knights endeared themselves to a large number of homeless and poverty-stricken Edmontonians on Wednesday when they arrange for pizza to be delivered to them outside the NHL's bubble in Alberta's capital.


Alabama gives OC Steve Sarkisian big raise, to $2.5 million

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will make $2.5 million a year under a new three-year deal reached after his flirtation with the Colorado head coaching job.

University trustees approved Sarkisian’s new deal and others for assistant coaches and support staffers on Wednesday. It includes a raise of more than $800,000.

A former Washington and USC head coach, Sarkisian agreed to the new deal in February after reportedly being targeted by Colorado. It was pending formal approval by trustees.

Sarkisian signed a three-year deal worth $1.6 million annually in March 2019, returning to Alabama after two seasons running the Atlanta Falcons’ offense.


Women’s skateboarding scene in Nova Scotia sees surge in growth during pandemic

A 'girl skate crew' from Nova Scotia's South Shore is helping to fuel growth in the sport among women and girls.


Famous CU Buffs fan Betty Hoover passes away at 95

The University of Colorado has lost one of its greatest fans.

Betty Hoover, a long-time supporter of the Buffaloes, along with her twin sister, Peggy Coppom, has died at the age of 95.

Coppom and Hoover, known as “the twins” have been CU football season ticket holders since 1958 and have rarely missed a football or basketball game since first attending in 1940. They are often cheered by fans when they enter the CU Events Center together for games.

Betty and Peggy were born in Haxtun and their family moved to Longmont in 1939 and then Boulder in 1940. They graduated from Boulder High School in 1943 and continued to attend Panthers games over the years. Their brother was a part of football and basketball state championship teams at Boulder. The sisters had a combined seven children, all of which graduated from Boulder.

In 2018, they were honored at Boulder’s homecoming football game in 2018.

This story will be updated.


UConn becomes 1st FBS program to cancel football over virus

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn canceled its 2020-2021 football season Wednesday, becoming the first FBS program to do so because of the coronavirus pandemic, as other schools had taken the Huskies off their schedules and the governor was reluctant to allow UConn to travel to states with high infection rates.

“After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season,” athletic director David Benedict said. ”The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.”

UConn had been scheduled to play its first season as an independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference.

The Huskies had already been taken off the schedules of Illinois, Indiana, Maine and Mississippi by those schools, and games against North Carolina and Virginia remained uncertain, UConn officials said. Many of the Power Five conferences are playing league-only games this season.

The Huskies began spring practice on Feb. 4 and were one of the only teams in the country to complete a full spring schedule. The team returned to campus in early July and no one has tested positive for the coronavirus, UConn officials said.

The football team will remain enrolled in classes either in-person or virtually, and will keep access to facilities and support services under NCAA rules.

“We engaged and listened to the concerns of our football student-athletes and feel this is the best decision for their health, safety, and well-being,” coach Randy Edsall said. “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont had expressed reluctance to allow the football team to travel to any state with a high virus infection rate. He said the team would be subject to the state’s 14-day quarantine rule upon its return to Storrs from away games.

Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have travel advisories that require visitors from more than 30 states and Puerto Rico to quarantine for 14 days, with certain exceptions.

UConn officials said they will be reaching out to season ticket holders in the coming days to explain refunds and other options.


Manitou Springs reopening Incline, adding free reservation system

In a virtual Manitou Springs City Council meeting on Tuesday, a motion to reopen the Incline with a free reservation system was passed on a 5-2 vote.

This action to reopen the trail was achieved by approving a Memorandum of Understanding with Colorado Springs, which will operate and manage the reservation system. Manitou Public Works are maintaining the Hiawatha parking lot, and installing parking kiosks.

The Incline was closed to the public in late March because of coronavirus concerns. This plan hopes to reopen the trail while regulating the number of people allowed on it at one time. The free reservation system would allow 35 people on the trail per 30-minute window for the first two weeks of operation. Then, it would allow 45 people per 30-minute window in the weeks following.

The access to the Incline would be from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m, and reservations could be made up to a week in advance. Unless a person arrives on a bicycle or on foot, anyone who wants to hike the Incline must prove they parked at Hiawatha Gardens or the Iron Springs Chateau (provided the Iron Springs Chateau implements a parking system). A wristband would be required for hiking the trail.

Read more about the new system on our partner site Denver7.

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Group racing to raise $10M to preserve iconic Crystal Mill before potential sale

The Crystal Mill, a beautiful relic of Colorado’s colorful mining past, has stood crazily on a rock outcrop above the Crystal River in the Elk mountains since 1893. But after withstanding more than a century of harsh winters in a rugged, remote setting near the ghost town of Crystal, its days may be numbered.

Historic preservation efforts to save the structure through the intervention of a non-profit foundation are underway, but Crystal Mill Foundation president Heather Leigh said $10 million must be raised by next June to purchase it from the private family that owns it and secure its future, otherwise the owners are likely to sell it.

“We really believe that making it a non-profit and putting it in a place where it is preserved and protected for the next century will help get it into the right place, and we have a very small window to do it,” Leigh said. “We have to get this done within the next year, or it rolls back to the family and they will sell it to the highest bidder. If you’re a billionaire and you want a quiet retreat place to go, you (can) knock down the mill and no one will ever come on that road again.”

That’s because it’s not easy to get to the Crystal Mill, which is 6 miles west of Marble. The last 4 miles is on an extremely rugged road, making it a destination mostly limited to hikers, mountain bikers and 4×4 vehicles.

But it’s only 17 miles southwest from Aspen as the crow flies — a few minutes by helicopter — so Leigh fears it would be an attractive property to a billionaire wanting to demolish the mill to discourage visitors and build a home nearby. That’s why Leigh spent a year setting up the non-profit foundation to save it so visitors can continue to make the trip.

“It looks fake,” Leigh said. “It looks like a Hollywood movie set façade, out in the middle of nowhere. You think you’re never going to see it, you’re never going to find it, and then there she is. She is sitting up on this precipice of a rock outcrop, this silent majestic symbol of the American West, of Colorado and the determination of people when they set their mind to something. I think that’s what brings people back.”

Despite its name, it wasn’t actually a mill. It was built beside a dam with a water-wheel turbine to operate an air compressor that served mines in the area. It closed in 1917.

At its peak, the town of Crystal was home to more than 600, but now there are only six residents, all of them summer-only.

The foundation’s website has letters of support from several entities supporting preservation, including White River National Forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, Colorado Preservation Inc. director Kim Grant and Aspen Valley Land Trust executive director Suzanne Stephens.

Leigh said $5 million is needed to acquire the property, while another $5 million will be needed to install toilets, provide a source of drinking water and restore a series of steps from the structure down to the river below.

“We need to be halfway there by December, or the family is probably going to list the property for sale,” Leigh said. “We have to have the $10 million before June of 2021 or they get it back. The race is on.”

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Despite a push to go outside, one of Boulder’s most diverse outdoor community spots is still restricted

By Special to The Denver Post

On a warm afternoon in mid-May, about a week after Boulder County lifted its stay-at-home order, cooped-up young people flocked to Eben G. Fine Park to swim in the creek. City and county officials soon learned they had a problem.

“Apparently, this is all over social media now,” said Jeffrey Zayach, the county health department’s executive director, in an email to Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold.

A video circulating on Twitter showed people packing the creek cheek to jowl without masks. Media reports showed images of trash left behind. Complaints from residents poured into city officials’ inboxes: “What if someone was openly firing a handgun in a public park? Is that much different than walking around spreading potentially a life-threatening illness?”

Within hours of the media reports, Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam ordered access to the creek at Eben G. Fine Park closed. Public health officials played little role in the decision to fence off the creek, though they supported the emergency order. The city said it plans to keep access restricted to limit large gatherings, especially at a time when COVID-19 cases have been rising in Colorado.

But the closure comes as cities are expanding access to the outdoors, where the risk of spreading the coronavirus is relatively low compared to indoors. In Denver, several streets were converted to “shared streets” that enable more people to exercise and get fresh air while keeping distance. People visiting the park last week said the creek is one of the few free places they can go to cool off and better cope with a pandemic that has dragged on for months.

“The creek allows for access to affordable swimming. We get families that come in groups of eight and they’re able to swim and not worry about expenses and feeling like they’re too close to one another,” said Danessa Garcia, an 18-year-old from Denver who was at the park last week.

Eben G. Fine Park is not the only place where water access is restricted in Boulder. Wading into the Boulder Reservoir is prohibited. One-hour deep water swimming reservations are available for $15 for residents and $20 for non-residents. A spokesperson for Boulder Parks and Recreation said financial aid is available to obtain reduced rates. Some pools can be reserved in 30-minute increments.

“Who can swim in 30 minutes?” said Mariasol Gonzales, a 46-year-old who came to Eben G. Fine Park last week from Denver. “To come to a place like this and to be able to see a smile and know that there is still laughter, it helps boost your spirit and it helps you for the next day and to keep going.”

Temperatures have been hot this month along the Front Range. And like the coronavirus, heat, too, kills Black people at higher rates than white people, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Boulder, a city that is more white than the rest of Colorado, Eben G. Fine Park is among the city’s most diverse community centers on a summer afternoon.

“Open spaces, parks and playgrounds are places that positively contribute to health,” said Glen Mays, who chairs the Colorado School of Public Health. “We already have unequal access to those kinds of venues to begin with due to residential segregation, income and race and ethnicity. I think we have to be very cautious about unintentionally exacerbating those kinds of inequities through the kinds of policies that we’re talking about here even though these kinds of policies are put in place with good intentions.”

He said governments should be looking for ways to encourage more activity outdoors where the risk of spreading the coronavirus is lower. Thus far, large gatherings during the Black Lives Matter protests failed to cause a case spike despite early warnings, public health officials say, as mask use was high and protests were outdoors.

Meanwhile, businesses on Pearl Street in Boulder and across the state are largely open, including restaurants serving people indoors. Outbreaks have occurred in dozens of restaurants and 11 retail locations in Colorado, infecting at least 236 employees, according to state data.

County health officials have not produced evidence that the large gatherings at the creek before Memorial Day caused an uptick in cases. However, people ages 21 to 29 make up the age group with the most confirmed cases in Boulder County, according to county data.

City and county officials say they have struck a balance to limit large gatherings and still allow access to the creek. The Boulder Creek is accessible east of Eben G. Fine Park, including at a popular location near the library. Picnic tables, a playground, a drinking water fountain and bathrooms are open at the park. And there’s a section along the creek to put in a tube, raft or kayak.

“We hope this compromise helps to protect residents and visitors while providing open spaces and activities they can still participate in safely,” said Chana Goussetis, a spokeswoman for the Boulder County Department of Public Health.

But Garcia didn’t have a tube. Besides, she said, she comes to the park for the community, something she said changed when the white metal fences went up.

“You see Latinos, whites, Blacks — you see us all swimming together because that’s a sense of community,” Garcia said. “You should be able to feel a sense of freedom when you go outside.”

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Call of the Wilde: Pittsburgh Penguins even series against the Montreal Canadiens

It was another low-scoring affair for the Montreal Canadiens with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning 3-1 to even the series.


Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.


Dallas, Vegas NHL players kneel during anthems as protests gain momentum

Minnesota Wild defenceman Matt Dumba says he will continue to publicly protest racial injustice as the NHL returns to action in the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto. On Monday, he was not alone.


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson acquires XFL

Former wrestling star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said he has acquired the XFL.

The 48-year-old Johnson made the announcement Monday on Twitter. The price reportedly is $15 million.

The XFL had eight franchises and played five games out of a planned 10-game schedule before canceling the remainder of its season in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It drew decent TV ratings early on and had deals with ESPN and Fox.

The league suspended operations and laid off all of its employees on April 10 and filed for bankruptcy protection on April 13.

Since ending his wrestling career, Johnson has become a movie star, including in the “Fast & Furious” and “Jumanji” franchises.

Spring football is a difficult challenge, as the Alliance of American Football found out in 2019, not lasting a full season, either.

A previous version of the XFL also played one season in 2001.


UA to refund student season football tickets

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The University of Alabama has announced they will be refunding all student season tickets for the upcoming football stadium.

This comes after the SEC announced its plan for the football season after other conferences decided to move away from the originally planned schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The schedule for the Crimson Tide as well as the other teams have yet to be determined and the number of fans allowed into stadiums is also up for debate. Due to this, the university decided to refund the students.

The school says refunds will be processed within the next 1-2 weeks and will be put back on the card used to make the purchase. The refunds will be automatic and there is no need to make a request.

UA says a new student plan will be announced at a later date and if you have questions, contact the ticket office at 205-348-2262 or ticketoffice@ia.ua.edu.


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Head Coach Billy Nappier issues statement on passing of Assistant Coach D.J. Looney

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The college football world today is mourning the sudden passing of UL Lafayette football assistant coach D.J. Looney.

Looney, who was heading into his third year as an assistant offensive line coach with the Ragin’ Cajuns, died after suffering a heart attack during a team workout. He was only 31 years old.

Cajuns head coach Billy Napier released a statement Saturday evening regarding Looney’s passing.

The Ragin Cajuns Department of Athletics ask that fans, friends and acquaintances of Coach Looney keep his family and the football program in their thoughts and prayers.


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BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron offered his heartfelt condolences on the passing of UL Lafayette assistant football coach D.J. Looney, who died Saturday following a heart attack during a team workout at Cajun Field.

“Our prayers are with Coach Looney’s family and the Ragin Cajun Football team. He will be missed. God bless.”

Looney was confirmed dead at University Hospital & Clinics, which is located across the street from Cajun Field.

He was 31 years old.


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Nuggets coach Michael Malone sought permission from Elijah McClain’s family for shirts

No matter the frustration Nuggets coach Michael Malone might feel over his team’s extensive injury list, he’s determined not to let this moment pass.

While sitting in his room in Orlando, an idea dawned on Malone. He wanted to honor the life of Elijah McClain, the 23-year-old Black man from Aurora who died after an encounter with police last fall. McClain was restrained in a chokehold and later injected with ketamine by paramedics.

Malone contacted Mari Newman, the attorney for the McClain family, and asked how they’d feel if the Nuggets wore shirts in McClain’s honor.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t doing anything the family wasn’t comfortable with,” said Malone, who wore the shirt for his pre- and postgame news conferences Saturday and also knelt, with his team, during the national anthem. “And thankfully, Mari told me that when she spoke to Elijah’s mom, she was moved, she was emotional and she was fully supportive of us continuing to find a way, in this platform, in this bubble, to make sure no one’s forgetting about Elijah McClain’s name, what happened to him and the demand for justice in his case.”

Even after dropping Saturday’s game to Miami 125-105, Malone was thoughtful in his responses.

On several occasions, Malone has opened news conferences by reading from the Equal Justice Initiative calendar, which documents instances of racial injustice from the day’s date. When Congressman John Lewis died, he encouraged his players to watch the documentary “Good Trouble” about his life spent fighting for racial equality. And as games start, it was perhaps more important for Malone to be proactive in the conversation. The shirts for McClain were about recognizing racial injustice in the Nuggets’ own state.

“I’ve been led to believe that the NBA is allowing people to use this forum down here,” Malone said. “It’s not just about a return to play, it’s also about making sure we keep the conversation on racism, police brutality and all those other things, and this is an example of us taking it upon ourselves to keep light on our conversations in our backyard. That’s as simple as it gets.”

Nuggets players Monte Morris and Torrey Craig were both appreciative of the gesture and valued highlighting the inequities in Colorado.

“Everybody’s happy basketball’s back, but we’re playing really for the things that’s going on in this world,” Morris said. “I think that should be the biggest focus. Coach had those shirts for us, just recognition that Denver may not be where we grew up at but it’s our hometown right now and that’s who we play for.”


Another postponement rattles MLB; Brewers’ Cain opts out

The coronavirus forced baseball’s 17th postponement in 10 days on Saturday, prompting at least two more players to opt out and casting doubt the league can complete a truncated 2020 season.

A Cardinals-Brewers game in Milwaukee was postponed for the second straight day after one more player and several staff members with St. Louis tested positive for the coronavirus in rapid samples, Major League Baseball said. The staff total of positives was three, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. MLB said results of saliva tests will not be available until later Saturday.

Milwaukee then announced that Gold Glove center fielder Lorenzo Cain will not participate in the rest of the 2020 season.

The Miami Marlins received no new positive results in their latest round of coronavirus testing, MLB said, but second baseman Isan Díaz also opted out.

The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, were permitted to access Citizens Bank Park for staggered workouts beginning in the afternoon.

MLB said no Phillies players have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week and while three staff members have tested positive, it appeared two were attributable to false positives and the third, based on the timing of the positive test, may not have contracted COVID-19 from the Marlins.

MLB rescheduled the postponed Phillies-Yankees games of this week for next week, in New York on Monday and Tuesday and in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday. New York’s game at Tampa Bay on Thursday was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Aug. 8.

“What the virus has taught us is this is a day-by-day, week-by-week situation that we live in,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Miami will play a four-game series in Baltimore from Tuesday through Thursday, with one game a doubleheader. The Marlins will be the home team for two games.

MLB said it will reschedule the missed Yankees-Orioles game and Marlins-Phillies series.

The people with knowledge of the Cardinals’ and Marlins’ situations spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the tests had not been released publicly.

Two Cardinals players were flagged for positive tests on Friday, forcing the series opener in Milwaukee to be called off. The teams had hoped to resume play Saturday and make up Friday’s game as part of a doubleheader Sunday.

St. Louis learned of its first two positive tests Thursday night from samples taken Wednesday before a game in Minnesota. Players and staff were instructed to isolate in their hotel rooms, and the club said it was conducting rapid testing and contact tracing.

The Cardinals have not been to Miller Park since arriving in Milwaukee, and the Brewers have not reported any positive tests among their players since the season began. Despite that, Cain, a two-time All-Star, informed management that he no longer wanted to participate.

“We fully support Lorenzo’s decision and will miss his talents on the field and leadership in the clubhouse,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said in a statement.

At least 21 members of the Marlins’ traveling party have been infected by an outbreak at the start of a season-opening trip. The team hasn’t played since Sunday in Philadelphia but hopes to resume games next week.

Díaz consistently tested negative while the season was on hold, but he decided to become the first Miami player to opt out. He played in two of the Marlins’ three games before their season was halted.

“This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads,” Díaz wrote on Instagram. “After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season.”

Díaz batted .173 as a rookie last year, but the organization has big hopes regarding his potential.

The infected Marlins players and staff left Philadelphia in sleeper buses Friday for Miami, where they will stay together in quarantine. The rest of the team remained in isolation at a hotel in Philadelphia.

With six teams idled Friday by the pandemic, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport’s coronavirus protocols.

Manfred and Clark talked about what needs to be done to finish the season, a person familiar with the conversation said. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The conversation between Manfred and Clark, first reported by ESPN, comes amid growing evidence that the spread of infection threatens to overtake efforts to play ball.

“Some things aren’t looking too good right now, but we have to play up to that point. Players are seeing what can happen,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.

The Phillies-Blue Jays series in Philadelphia was among two weekend series called off earlier. The Marlins were hit with a virus outbreak in Philadelphia, and both Miami and the Phillies are sidelined for at least a week.

Cleveland players and staff talked about postponing Friday night’s game at Minnesota but played on. The Cardinals had played at Target Field on Wednesday, a day before the Indians arrived.


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Reports: Brewers vs. Cardinals game postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests

(WFRV) – According to reports, the Milwaukee Brewers home opener at Miller Park has been postponed.

Tweets by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman indicated multiple Cardinals players had tested positive for COVID-19, information later confirmed by multiple outlets. The reports say the Cardinals are isolating in their hotel room and not going to the ballpark.

According to Heyman, multiple positive tests on the Cardinals forced the postponement.

The news follows a week of several MLB postponements due to positive tests. More than a dozen Miami Marlins players tested positive, forcing Miami to postpone its season. The Philadelphia Phillies’ home series against Toronto was postponed due to two staffers testing positive.

Friday was set to be the home opener at Miller Park, celebrating 50 years of Brewers baseball. Local 5 News has reached out to Brewers executives for comment and is waiting for any additional information.

If the series is postponed, it could have wide-ranging impacts on the NL Central race, with the Cardinals visiting Milwaukee for just one weekend in the 60-game season. The Brewers wrap up the season in St. Louis at the end of September.

Stay tuned to this story for updates.