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A Motorcycle Rally in a Pandemic? ‘We Kind of Knew What Was Going to Happen’

first_img– Advertisement – “I don’t understand why he went to Sturgis and didn’t take Covid seriously,” said Jon Esmay, a friend who had not spoken with Mr. Aguirre in a few months. “Mostly I’m just angry that someone who talked to or saw him more often didn’t get him to the ER. I’m angry that I didn’t talk to him more often.”Dustin Van Balen, who considered Mr. Aguirre to be like an adopted brother, said he had been trying to piece together a timeline using Mr. Aguirre’s phone. But he said they might never have answers.“Not knowing is the hardest part,” he said.Mark Walker reported from Sturgis, and Jack Healy from Denver. After the crowds streamed home like some huge exhalation, coronavirus cases tied to the rally began popping up as far away as New Hampshire. Infection numbers climbed in the Dakotas and in the neighboring states of Wyoming and Nebraska, where thousands of residents had returned from Sturgis.In all, cases spread to more than 20 states and at least 300 people — including revelers’ families and co-workers who never set foot in South Dakota, according to state health officials. Twin sisters who had worked at a bike-washing stand in Sturgis tested positive. So did a local paramedic. And a motorcycle mechanic’s family in Rapid City. “I said back in March, do you want me to build a wall around Sturgis or a wall around South Dakota, because that is the only way we could have stopped them,” Mayor Mark Carstensen of Sturgis said.The backlash came quickly. After the rally concluded, city officials were flooded with death threats day and night by phone, email and mail. Some called the rally a declaration of freedom and went home with T-shirts declaring, “Screw Covid I Went to Sturgis.” But others in deeply conservative South Dakota now say it recklessly helped seed a new wave of cases raging out of control in the state.Family members who stayed away are angry at relatives who attended and brought the virus home. Sturgis council members who approved the rally have been bombarded with death threats. And health experts and politicians are still fighting over how many cases Sturgis may have caused across the country. STURGIS, S.D. — Albert Aguirre was amped as he and a buddy skimmed across the South Dakota plains, heading to join 460,000 bikers for a motorcycle rally shaping up to be a Woodstock of unmasked, uninhibited coronavirus defiance.“Sit tight Sturgis,” Mr. Aguirre, 40, posted on Facebook on Aug. 7 as he snapped a photo of the sun sifting through the clouds. “We’re almost there!”- Advertisement – The illnesses cut rifts among friends and families. In the rural panhandle of western Nebraska, Heather Edwards watched with frustration after a cousin who had worked at the rally tested positive and then shrugged off the seriousness because she had a mild case. A woman in Sioux Falls, S.D., seethed after her sister returned home from Sturgis, went to a wedding with a pasta buffet and tested positive the next day.Heidi Morgan, a conservative Republican who lives in the Black Hills, said some friends from Nebraska who attended Sturgis got sick after returning home. They refused to get tested out of a belief that the rally’s opponents wanted to use higher infection numbers as a political weapon.“There’s that feeling of, ‘We’re not going to add to the numbers,’” said Ms. Morgan, who said her family had taken the pandemic seriously, guided by their Baptist faith in putting others’ welfare first. “I’m trying to convince them that’s not true.”‘Not Knowing Is the Hardest Part’Mr. Aguirre was found dead at home on Sept. 10. The officers who moved his body wore gowns and protective gear because of the coronavirus risk, according to Chief Matt Betzen of the Vermillion Police Department. A posthumous test for the virus came back positive, according to the county coroner. In Rapid City, Holly Sortland had feared the virus would find her family, especially her 15-year-old son who has a heart defect. Her husband was a motorcycle mechanic in Sturgis, and though he wore a mask and tried to stay away from the rally crowds, a co-worker had been going maskless to the bars. Five people at his bike shop tested positive.“We kind of knew what was going to happen,” Ms. Sortland said. “I’ve never seen him so sick.”By mid-August, Ms. Sortland said, her husband was running a 101-degree fever and shed about 10 pounds. When she got flowers for her birthday, she realized that she could not smell them — a symptom that she, too, had Covid-19. A positive coronavirus test confirmed it. A contact tracer with the South Dakota Department of Health called the family to ask where her husband worked, but he worried about getting into trouble with his boss given the stigma that swirls around the virus, Ms. Sortland said. When she talked with the tracer, she said, she was not asked about her family contacts or where she had shopped.To date, the Health Department has reported 125 coronavirus cases among state residents who attended the rally. Derrick Haskins, a department spokesman, said the agency only conducts contact tracing on South Dakota residents.The Minnesota Department of Health in September connected 74 cases to the rally — 51 people who attended and 23 others who came into contact with them later. A man in his 60s who attended the rally contracted the virus and died. He is the only rallygoer whose death has been attributed to the coronavirus.“It is very challenging to trace the infections that attendees may have spread after they returned from Sturgis,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease epidemiology at the Minnesota Department of Health. “We were able to link several infections at a Minnesota wedding to someone who had gone to Sturgis but we were not able to definitively state there was a direct link. The web just becomes too complicated.” Health officials said a lack of contact tracing and the sheer scale of the event have made it impossible to know how many people were infected directly or indirectly because of Sturgis.“We don’t know if we’ll ever know the full extent,” said Dr. Benjamin C. Aaker, president of the South Dakota State Medical Association. “These people go home and get sick with coronavirus. They don’t have any way of knowing whether they picked it up at the rally or back in California.”Mr. Aguirre’s friends said they would likely never know whether he got sick at Sturgis, at a bar or restaurant in his hometown as college students returned, or somewhere else altogether.But friends said that by early September, Mr. Aguirre — a big guy and fiercely loyal friend who loved cooking and the Wu-Tang Clan — had been sick for more than a week and was struggling to breathe and eat. He called a local clinic but worried he could not afford to go to a hospital because he did not have insurance, according to friends and the chief of the Vermillion Police Department. In response, the city scrubbed its website of all personal contact information and replaced it with a generic phone line. The death threats ramped up another notch after a study suggested the event resulted in an estimated 250,000 coronavirus infections across the country.Mike Bachand, a City Council member, was among those who received death threats for his vote to host the event. The messages continue to come in, he said.Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip, which is outside the city limits of Sturgis and is used as a campground by motorcyclists during the rally, said he could not rationally see how the event could end up being a superspreader event and was skeptical of some of the cases being linked back to the event. Mr. Woodruff said he did not know of anyone who contracted the virus at the campgrounds. Democrats and some conservatives in South Dakota say the rally turned their state into a petri dish. They say Sturgis and other mass gatherings like President Trump’s Fourth of July rally, the state fair and an early-September Mustang car rally in Sturgis helped send the state’s infection rate soaring to one of the highest in the nation. The state is averaging about 1,100 cases a day, compared with fewer than 100 in much of August and September.But other conservatives accuse the news media and Democrats of inflating case counts and exaggerating the rally’s toll to smear its bikers. They said the number of infections was negligible compared with the thousands who attended, and pointed out that many rallygoers spent the week outdoors, camping and zooming through Spearfish Canyon and the Badlands.‘I’ve Never Seen Him So Sick’Back home, quietly, people were getting sick. And health departments in different states were struggling to trace where they had gotten sick or who else they might have infected on long road trips that spanned hundreds of miles. A month later, back home in the college town of Vermillion, S.D., Mr. Aguirre was so sick he could barely take a shower. He had not been tested but told friends that it had to be Covid-19.Infectious-disease experts had warned about the dangers of cramming thousands of revelers into the Black Hills of South Dakota at the height of a pandemic. But it was the 80th anniversary of the annual Sturgis rally, and bikers were coming no matter what. South Dakota’s Republican governor, a vocal opponent of lockdowns, gave her blessing, local leaders set aside their misgivings, and thousands of people from every state in the nation rolled down Sturgis’s Main Street.- Advertisement – In the aftermath, hundreds of people have gotten sick and Sturgis has become a rumbling symbol of America’s bitter divisions over the coronavirus, even now, as cases continue to surge, surpassing more than 121,000 daily infections on Thursday, and the nation’s death toll crosses 235,000. South Dakota’s Health Department has not connected any deaths to the rally, and Mr. Aguirre’s friends said they have been struggling to get answers or information about how and where he got sick, and wondering whether they could have helped. In North Dakota, the Health Department traced 30 cases back to the event, said Nicole Peske, a spokeswoman for the agency. That number, she added, does not include any secondary coronavirus cases that may have resulted if someone contracted the virus from someone who was at the rally.Ms. Peske said the agency was still investigating the cases linked to the event. “Hanging in there?” a friend, Dan Herrera, texted Mr. Aguirre on Sept. 5.“About to get in the shower and see how much energy that uses,” Mr. Aguirre replied.“Good luck.”Three days later, Mr. Herrera texted Mr. Aguirre to check in.This time, there was no answer.‘Do You Want Me to Build a Wall Around Sturgis?’Like every year, banners strung across Main Street proclaimed, “Welcome Harley Riders.” Downtown was blocked off for motorcycle parking. And despite rising case counts and growing criticism, Gov. Kristi Noem told Fox News in August that the state was handling the virus and glad to host the rally. “We hope people come,” she said.But behind the scenes, many in the 7,000-person city of Sturgis were on edge.Three City Council members wanted to call it off, but they changed their votes at the last minute after several large concert venues, including the Buffalo Chip campground and Rushmore Photo and Gifts, sent letters threatening legal action against the city. Sixty percent of residents who answered a city-sponsored survey wanted to postpone the rally, but city officials said they were boxed in. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Linda Lou McDole

first_imgLinda Lou McDole, age 55, of Vevay, Indiana, entered this life on August 8, 1962, in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, the daughter of the late, Gilbert Douglas and Emma Lee (Hankins) McDole. She was raised in Bennington, Indiana and was a 1980 graduate of the Switzerland County High School. She attended Ivy Tech Community College in Madison, Indiana and received her Administrators License in Indianapolis, Indiana. Linda was employed as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit for Carroll County Memorial Hospital and Green Valley Nursing Home in Carrollton, Kentucky. She was also employed for Silver Bell Nursing Home in Versailles, Indiana and Jackson’s Senior Citizen Home in Vevay, Indiana. Linda was a member of the Vevay Tri Kappa and Christian Missionary Alliance in Aurora, Indiana. Linda resided in Aurora, Indiana and in the Vevay community since 1978. Linda enjoyed reading, crocheting and horseback riding. Linda passed away at 3:55 a.m., Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Vevay, Indiana.Linda will be deeply missed by her brothers, Robert McDole of Vevay, IN and Paul McDole of Vevay, IN; her sister, Debbie Bamberger of Aurora, IN and her nieces and nephews.She was preceded in death by her parents, Gilbert Douglas and Emma Lee (Hankins) McDole; her brother, David Luther McDole died April 4, 2011 and her sister-in-law, Linda Joyce (Hash) McDole, died June 22, 2012.Funeral services will be conducted Monday, April 9, 2018, at 1:00 pm, by Rev. Mike Jones at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043.Friends may call 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Monday, April 9, 2018, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Memorial contributions may be made to the Vevay Tri Kappa. Cards are available at the funeral home.last_img read more

Cricket News Seven Balls, Seven Consecutive Sixes! Yes, This Happened In T20 Match Between Afghanistan And Zimbabwe

first_imgNew Delhi: When one takes about consecutive sixes in Twenty20 Internationals, Yuvraj Singh’s decimation of Stuart Broad in the 2007 World T20 clash in Durban comes to light. Yuvraj smashed six sixes in one over bowled by Broad and it was the third instance in cricket where this feat was achieved. However, in the game between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur on Saturday, a unique event was witnessed in which seven balls witnessed seven consecutive sixes. Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah had started building a partnership and Tendai Chatara was bowling the 17th over. Aftr the first two balls went for singles, the third ball was a short ball from Chatara and Nabi dispatched it over deep square leg for the first six. The fourth ball was full but Nabi punched a flat six straight down the ground. The fifth ball completed the hat-trick of sixes as Nabi thumped a full toss over deep midwicket for a six. The sixth ball witnessed the fourth six in the over and Nabi thumped the delivery inside out over extra cover. Having seen Nabi hit four consecutive sixes, it was the turn of Najibullah to get going and he decided to target Neville Madziva. The bowler bowled the first delivery short and Najibullah pummelled the pull shot to deep square leg. The second delivery resulted in the sixth consecutive six as Najibullah swatted a short ball to deep square leg for yet anither six. The seventh consecutive six was completed in the third ball as Najibullah scooped a full toss over fine leg for a six. The carnage ended when the batsman sliced a full and wide ball to deep backward point for a boundary and he notched up his fifty off 22 balls. Also Read | WATCH: Clash between Afghanistan and Pakistan fans during ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match in LeedsThe partnership between Najibullah and Nabi resulted in 107 runs in just 40 balls as Afghanistan notched up 197/5. In response, Zimbabwe never got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Brendan Taylor smashed a quick 27 off 16 balls while Regis Chakabva managed 42 off 22 balls but Rashid Khan, the Afghanistan captain was the star as they notched up a 41-run win.Also Read | I don’t play for ACB or Gulbadin Naib, I play for Afghanistan: Rashid KhanThis was Zimbabwe’s second loss in the tri-series, having earlier lost in the final over to Bangladesh but this was also their eighth consecutive loss against Afghanistan, making it their wost losing streak against an opposition. This was also their 11th straight win in the Twenty20 International format, having begun the streak during the Twenty20 series against Zimbabwe in the United Arab Emirates in 2018.Afghanistan will next take on Bangladesh in the next match on September 15 and this will be the last match in Mirpur before a three-day break for the next round of matches will take place at the Zahue Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in Chattogram. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Clock runs out on Syracuse in 3-1 loss to No. 13 Virginia

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The lights at SU Soccer stadium shined down on Syracuse for just the second time in conference play. With its season on the line, the Orange was in the spotlight for its most important game of the season. SU fought, but the clock ran it short.“You are competing against the clock, aren’t you?” Orange head coach Phil Wheddon said. “Anytime you’re chasing the game against a team like Virginia, it’s very, very difficult.”Syracuse (7-7-2, 2-5-1 Atlantic Coast) suffered a deflating loss to No. 13 Virginia (9-3-4, 4-1-3), 3-1, putting SU’s season in jeopardy. The Orange challenged, but ultimately fell short as Virginia pushed ahead and bled time, “taking valuable seconds off the clock,” Wheddon said.With the loss, the Orange is one game closer to likely elimination from ACC tournament contention. Before the game, it sat at just four points, third-worst in the conference. With only eight teams qualifying for the conference tournament, the Orange remain six points out of the final spot.SU needed to win each of its last three games to solidify a spot in the top eight. In just the first game of that quest, like it has done so many times in conference play, it fell short.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We know where we stand,” Wheddon said. “There are nine teams in the same spot that we are. Everyones checking twitter and checking the scores.”The Orange played five ranked opponents before Thursday night. It hadn’t beaten any of them. This game, which players called a “must win” just a day earlier, proved to be much of the same.Early on, Virginia pressured the ball far up into the Syracuse box. In the 15th minute, Hana Kerner fired a cross that made it into the interior of the Syracuse defense. Alex Lamontagne put a head on it, but it was right to Betsy Brandon who paused, fired and silenced the Orange crowd with a goal.All hope for SU was not lost, though.In the 27th minute, Virginia, again, provided heavy pressure up into the Syracuse third. The ball got away from the Cavaliers and Taylor Bennett controlled the ball and looked downfield. The sophomore launched a cross to the speedy Sydney Brackett who flew in the open field, fought off Virginia defender and crossed the ball to a wide open Georgia Allen. Allen nosedived at the ball and knocked it into the right corner of the goal. Suddenly, Syracuse had life, but the clock continued to run.“We deserved the goal as a team,” Allen said. “You always have to believe you have a chance.”The game was filled with Orange successes. Two potentially season-preserving saves highlighted the final 10 minutes of the first half. The crowd continued to cheer as Syracuse inched closer to the Cavaliers goal out of the halftime break. It silenced and tensed up as Brackett sailed another cross in the direction of Allen right around the Cavaliers goal, which was grabbed by Virginia keeper Laurel Ivory.“For at least 75 minutes of the game,” Wheddon said, “we were on equal terms with them.”In the 60th minute, the Orange suffered its second lapse of the night, as Virginia played the ball deep into the Orange third and headed the ball above the outstretched arms of Brosnan. The discouraged SU keeper sluggishly slid on her knees to the right corner of the net to retrieve the ball. The Orange had just 30 minutes to find an equalizer.As Syracuse scrambled to tie, it was charged a penalty in its own box. Brosnan and the crowd lamented the call. Virginia was awarded a penalty kick that Brianna Westrup put out of reach of Brosnan’s left glove. She didn’t even wait for the ball to hit the net before she charged towards the referee and gave a few choice words. She knew, just like everyone else, that the goal moved the Cavaliers further out of reach.“Until the penalty kick,” Wheddon said, “we thought we were going to counter them and find another opportunity.“It changed the game.”With just 12:49 left on the game clock, the Orange had to do something it hadn’t done in over 50 minutes, twice. As the clock struck zero, with Brosnan at midfield, the Orange found itself out of luck and out of time.“It was devastating…” Bennett said. “It’s always disappointing when you don’t get the result you deserve.” Comments Published on October 19, 2017 at 11:34 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcClearylast_img read more

Puma launch high performance evoPOWER boot

first_imgOfficially launched in Barcelona on January 17, the high-performance footwear will be worn by players such as Cesc Fabregas, Mario Balotelli and Marco ReusPuma have announced the launch of evoPOWER, their new boot that will be worn by stars such as Cesc Fabregas, Marco Reus and Mario Balotelli as Europe’s major leagues reach an exciting conclusion.Launched in Barcelona on January 17, the evoPOWER is designed to enhance a player’s natural kicking ability, and also optimise power and accuracy when striking the ball. EvoPOWER features Puma’s most advanced technology to date, including the Gradual Stability Frame (GSF), which allows the boot to bend both ways and be as close to the biomechanics of a bare foot as possible.Fabregas and Reus assisted Puma in the testing of the new footwear, to prove the power and accuracy of the new design. Barcelona star Fabregas said: “Taking inspiration for a football boot from an actual foot sounds like the most obvious thing in the world, but in all the time I’ve spent in football, it’s the first time I’ve heard of this being done.  “When you try on these new boots, they are actually quite different to what we have worn before. They are so much more flexible – the way they bend with the natural shape of your foot really helps you to shoot harder.” Borussia Dortmund attacker Reus added: “Shooting from distance is a key part of my game, in open play and free kicks. Having a boot that maximises power in these instances is necessary to help you capitalise on these moments, and this evoPOWER boot gives me a lot of confidence. “I like the thought behind it and have tested it a lot. You can feel a genuine difference – so much so, it actually surprised me. This is a very exciting new boot PUMA have created.”Balotelli was delighted with the feel of the boot, stating: “I’m new to the Puma family, and the football boots they produce were one of the reasons for me signing the deal. The evoPOWER boot impressed me from the first day I tried it in training, I hadn’t really seen a boot like it before. What Puma say about it is true: the flexibility helps create a better contact with the ball and generate really good shooting power.” The evoPOWER boot and the full range of evoPOWER accessories and apparel are launched on February 1.last_img read more

FA charges Pep Guardiola over Catalonia political symbol

first_img“Pep Guardiola has been charged for wearing a political message, specifically a yellow ribbon, in breach of the FA’s kit and advertising regulations,” the FA statement said.“He has until 6:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Monday 5 March 2018 to respond to the charge.”Following events last year surrounding Catalonia’s bid to break away from Spain, which included a referendum and a proclamation of independence, both deemed illegal, authorities jailed several leaders of the movement.The City manager, who was born in Catalonia, has previously explained his reasons for wearing the ribbon.Referring to the first two independence leaders to be jailed, he said in December: “I do that because in Spain two specific people who defend something like the vote, something the people in command do not agree (with), are in prison. It’s unfair.“To make a rebellion on something like that, you have to be something tough to be in prison. And they are still there. So, while they are not out, always here (points to ribbon) will be shared with me.“Because, OK, they can suspend me for doing that, but the other people are in jail. If they want to suspend me — UEFA, Premier League, FIFA — it’s OK.”The City boss explained his stance in response to comments from Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who questioned whether the ribbon was within the rules and claimed he would not be allowed to do a similar thing.Last year world governing body FIFA backed down in its row with British football authorities over the wearing of poppies, worn to remember war dead.England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had previously been fined by FIFA for wearing or displaying poppies, which FIFA said were “political symbols”.FIFA’s climbdown meant none of the British home nations had to pay their fines.Guardiola’s Manchester City team face Arsenal in the League Cup final on Sunday. Victory would bring Guardiola’s first silverware as City boss after a trophy-laden managerial career with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.The club are 16 points ahead of their nearest challengers Manchester United in the Premier League, and thumped Basel 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Charged: Pep Guardiola sporting the yellow ribbon © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 23 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was on Friday charged by the Football Association over wearing a yellow ribbon in support of jailed Catalan independence leaders.The FA said in a statement that the symbol sported by the former Barcelona boss on his jacket broke its rules.last_img read more