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Workers strike at all 3 Detroit automakers, a new tactic to squeeze companies for better pay

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 19:22


DETROIT (AP) — Nearly one in 10 of America’s unionized auto workers went on strike Friday to pressure Detroit’s three automakers into raising wages in an era of big profits and as the industry begins a costly transition from gas guzzlers to electric vehicles.

By striking simultaneously at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler owner Stellantis for the first time in its history, the United Auto Workers union is trying to inflict a new kind of pain on the companies and claw back some pay and benefits workers gave up in recent decades.

The strikes are limited for now to three assembly plants: a GM factory in Wentzville, Missouri, a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit, and a Jeep plant run by Stellantis in Toledo, Ohio.

The workers received support from President Joe Biden, who dispatched aides to Detroit to help resolve the impasse and said the Big 3 automakers should share their “record profits.”

Union President Shawn Fain says workers could strike at more plants if the companies don’t come up with better offers. The workers are seeking across-the-board wage increases of 36% over four years; the companies have countered by offering increases ranging from 17.5% to 20%.

Workers out on the picket lines said they hoped the strikes didn’t last long, but added that they were committed to the cause and appreciated Fain’s tough tactics.

“We didn’t have a problem coming in during COVID, being essential workers and making them big profits,” said Chrism Hoisington, who has worked at the Toledo Jeep plant since 2001. “We’ve sacrificed a lot.”

In its previous 88-year history, UAW had always negotiated with one automaker at a time, limiting the industrywide impact of any possible work stoppages. Each deal with an automaker was viewed as a template, but not a guarantee, for subsequent contract negotiations.

Now, roughly 13,000 of 146,000 workers at the three companies are on strike, making life complicated for automakers’ operations, while limiting the drain on the union’s $825 million strike fund.

If the contract negotiations drag on — and the strikes expand to affect more plants — the costs will grow for workers and the companies. Auto dealers could run short of vehicles, raising prices and pushing customers to buy from foreign automakers with nonunionized workers. It could also put fresh stress on an economy that’s been benefiting from easing inflation.

The new negotiating tactic is the brainchild of Fain, the first leader in the union’s history to be elected directly by workers. In the past, outgoing leaders picked their replacements by choosing delegates to a convention.

But that system gave birth to a culture of bribery and embezzlement that ended with a federal investigation and prison time for two former UAW presidents.

The combative Fain narrowly won his post last spring with a fiery campaign against that culture, which he called “company-unionism,” which he said sold out workers by allowing plant closures and failing to extract more money from the automakers.

“We’ve been a one-party state for longer than I’ve been alive,” Fain said while campaigning as an adversary to the companies rather than a business partner.

David Green, a former local union leader elected to a regional director post this year, said it’s time for a new way of bargaining. “The risks of not doing something different outweigh the risks of doing the same thing and expecting a different result,” Green said.

During his more than two-decade career at General Motors, Green saw the company close an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that employed 3,000 workers. The union agreed to a series of concessions made to help the companies get through the Great Recession. “We’ve done nothing but slide backward for the last 20 years,” Green said, calling Fain’s strategy “refreshing.”

Carlos Guajardo, who has worked at Ford for the past 35 years and was employed by GM for 11 years before that, said he likes the new strategy.

“It keeps the strike fund lasting longer,” said Guajardo, who was on the picket line in Michigan Friday before the sun came up.

The strikes will likely chart the future of the union and of America’s homegrown auto industry at a time when U.S. labor is flexing its might and the companies face a historic transition from building internal combustion automobiles to making electric vehicles.

The walkouts also will be an issue in next year’s presidential election, testing Biden’s claim to being the most union-friendly president in American history.

The limited-strike strategy could have ripple effects, GM CEO Mary Barra said Friday on CNBC.

Many factories are reliant on each other for parts, Barra said. “We’ve worked to have a very efficient manufacturing network, so yes, even one plant is going to start to have impact.”

Citing strike disruptions at its Wayne plant, Ford told about 600 non-striking workers at the plant not to report to work on Friday, Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Enoch said.

Even Fain has called the union’s demands audacious, but he says the automakers are raking in billions and can afford them. He scoffs at company claims that costly settlements would force them to raise vehicle prices, saying labor accounts for only 4% to 5% of vehicle costs.

In addition to the wage increases, union negotiators are also seeking: restoration of cost-of-living pay raises; an end to varying tiers of wages for factory jobs; a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay; the restoration of traditional defined-benefit pensions for new hires who now receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans; and pension increases for retirees, among other items.

Starting in 2007, workers gave up cost-of-living raises and defined benefit pensions for new hires. Wage tiers were created as the UAW tried to help the companies avoid financial trouble ahead of and during the Great Recession. Even so, only Ford avoided bankruptcy protection.

Many say it’s time to get the concessions back because the companies are making huge profits and CEOs pay packages are soaring.

Looming in the background is the historic transition to electric vehicles. The union wants to make sure it represents workers at joint-venture electric vehicle battery factories the companies are building so that members have jobs making vehicles of the future.

Top-scale assembly plant workers make about $32 per hour, plus large annual profit-sharing checks. Ford said average annual pay including overtime and bonuses was $78,000 last year.

The Ford plant that’s on strike employs about 3,300 workers. The Toledo Jeep complex has about 5,800 workers, and GM’s Wentzville plant has about 3,600 workers.

The union didn’t go after the companies’ big cash cows, which are full-size pickup trucks and big SUVs.

Automakers say they’re facing unprecedented demands as they develop and build new electric vehicles while at the same time making gas-powered cars, SUVs and trucks to pay the bills. They’re worried labor costs will rise so much that they’ll have to price their cars above those sold by foreign automakers with U.S. factories.


Seewer reported from Toledo, Ohio, while Householder reported from Wayne, Michigan.

General Daily Insight for September 16, 2023

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 19:22
General Daily Insight for September 16, 2023

We’ve all got extra firepower pushing us along today. The Moon is making its monthly conjunction to warrior Mars at 3:53 pm EDT, this time in fair-minded Libra, so we can accomplish even more if we pair up for progress, rather than flying solo. It will be simpler than usual to get along when the Moon sextiles Venus in Leo, bringing out our playful side, while a final lunar quincunx to Jupiter will help us end things on an enjoyable note.


March 21 – April 19

One person could have a major impact on you today. There is a potent conjunction between the Moon and your ruler Mars in your 7th House of Collaboration, so it wouldn’t be shocking if someone you’re currently involved with (be it romantically, professionally, or platonically) hastily appears on the scene to change up the program. You could also meet an entirely new person who will be part of your life for a long time to come for one exciting reason or another.


April 20 – May 20

You’ve got a million things to do, but you’re more than capable of handling them all. The Moon is syncing up with action planet Mars in your 6th House of Productivity, so regardless of whether you’re on the clock or not, you’ll probably have plenty of things on your plate. Don’t get daunted by the number of tasks, because Mars will galvanize you with all the energy you need to plow through each responsibility with measurable efficiency. Roll up your sleeves, Taurus!


May 21 – June 20

Denying yourself anything may be all but impossible in a moment like this. There is a fabulous alignment between the Moon and Mars in your pleasure-loving 5th house, so you likely won’t be interested in tending to chores or boring matters. Instead, you may have your heart set on enjoying yourself! Mars sharpens your ability to do just that. Still, try not to go overboard in your search for excitement, because that can be easily done if you don’t stay mindful.


June 21 – July 22

There’s something potent simmering within your abode today. The Moon and Mars are conjoining in your 4th House of Domestic Life, turning the energy there all the way up. You can put this to good use by plowing through any chores, whether you’ve just noticed them or have been putting them off. It also makes for a lovely time to work on a few DIY projects. Mars can occasionally bring stress, however, so be wary of overexerting yourself in the name of home improvement.


July 23 – August 22

It’s one thing after another today! The Moon is coordinating with Mars in your 3rd House of Multi-Tasking, so prep your mind for your schedule to fill up when least expected. If you’ve already got a million things on your plate, do your best to stay organized, because it would be simple to let things fall through the cracks on a day like this. Keeping your eye on the ball will certify your chance to knock it out of the park.


August 23 – September 22

The money in your pocket could burn a hole right through it at any moment. The Moon and Mars conjoin in your 2nd House of Values, which could stir up fresh chances for you to improve your net worth — but could provide you with a dozen different things to throw your hard-earned money at just as quickly. Attempt to avoid unnecessary spending, although that may be difficult; focus on necessities and then see what’s left at the end of the day.


September 23 – October 22

You’ve got more energy than you may know what to do with right now. There is a gorgeous alignment between the Moon and Mars in your very own fantabulous sign, so resting on your laurels probably isn’t an option. Set yourself attainable goals, because without a strategy of some kind, this energy risks leading you all over the place — but nowhere important. You’ll be more satisfied with the results if you channel all that firepower into a more meaningful journey.


October 23 – November 21

Your energy levels could rise and fall at the drop of a hat. The Moon in your sleepy 12th house is teaming up with aggressive Mars at the same degree, which could leave you spinning your wheels and unsure what to do. It’s not easy to make use of Mars in this hidden sector, so remind yourself that the less you carry with you, the lighter you’ll feel in the long run. What balls can you drop in order to keep juggling your vital responsibilities?


November 22 – December 21

Everyone wants a piece of you, Sag! You’re impacted by the potent combination of the Moon and Mars meeting up in your 11th House of Humanity, so without warning, your phone may begin ringing off the hook. It’s possible that there is so much on offer that you genuinely don’t have time for all of it, but don’t stress yourself out by trying to appease others. Only commit to what you know you can handle, and politely decline excess invitations.


December 22 – January 19

It’s a major day on the professional front for you. The Moon and Mars are syncing up in your 10th House of Recognition, giving you an extra push up the ladder of success. Mars often requires you to exert energy and control, so a boss or VIP may request this of you. Brace yourself for a big opportunity that will require definite effort to see your desired results. Don’t let this cow you; you’re more than capable of coming out on top.


January 20 – February 18

Your world is becoming much, much wider. There is an inspiring conjunction between the Moon and Mars in your high-minded 9th house, which is encouraging you to explore beyond your usual limitations. You’ll never know how much fulfillment could be found if you don’t reach out! The chance to travel or further your education may arise, but don’t sit around waiting for opportunities to land in your lap. You create your own luck — and a small amount of effort should net amazing results.


February 19 – March 20

Life is about to give you a little push — or a big one. The Moon in your 8th House of Intimate Power is conjoining red-hot Mars, and you’ll have a hard time missing this powerful combination. You may encounter situations that require you to be the bigger person, but the universe is asking you to display mastery and maturity even at difficult moments. You’re earning good karma right now, so don’t drop the ball when you can score a major goal.

Arraez’s two home runs, Stallings’ three-run double in seventh key as Marlins rally to top Braves

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 19:00

MIAMI — Luis Arraez homered twice and Jacob Stallings had two doubles, the second a go-ahead line drive with the bases loaded in the seventh, and the Miami Marlins beat the NL East champion Atlanta Braves 9-6 on Friday night.

In their first game since winning the division title Wednesday, the Braves lost star slugger Ronald Acuña Jr. after 7 1/2 innings because of right calf tightness. Acuña went to his position after grounding into a double play to end the top of the eighth but left before a pitch was thrown in the bottom half.

“I feel good, it just felt like a cramp,” Acuña said through a translator. “Let’s see how I come in (Saturday) and I’m feeling and if I can play.”

Jake Burger and Garrett Hampson each had two hits for the Marlins, who began Friday a half-game from the third NL wild-card spot.

“Coming back against a team like that just shows you the growth of our team and the belief they have in there,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “They really believe they can do this. Whatever happens, I’m super proud of the fight that they have.”

Down 6-4, the Marlins rallied with a five-run seventh against relievers Pierce Johnson and Brad Hand (4-2). Arraez’s solo shot off Johnson cut it to 6-5 for his first career multi-homer game. Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a two-out single against Hand and scored from first on Hampson’s tying single to deep center. After Hand walked pinch-hitter Yuli Gurriel and hit Xavier Edwards, Stallings drove in three runs with a shot to the corner in left.

“I just kind of had a feeling I was going to get it done,” Stallings said. “It’s just really cool to come through for the guys. Obviously a huge game for us.”

Acuña said he initially felt the discomfort while chasing Chisholm’s hit in the seventh. The 25-year-old Acuña sustained a season-ending knee injury on the same field two seasons ago and missed the Braves’ 2021 World Series championship run.

“Every game gives me anxiety because I try to be one of those players that plays every single day,” Acuña said of any unease about another possible health setback occurring on the same field.

A.J. Puk (6-5) struck out three in 1 1/3 innings of relief for the win. Andrew Nardi pitched a scoreless eighth and Tanner Scott worked a perfect ninth for his ninth save.

“It seems like someone is coming through every day,” Schumaker said. “But Arraez set the tone at the top. He’s had an incredible year.”

The Braves erased an early four-run deficit and went ahead 6-4 on Ozzie Albies’ two-run single off reliever David Robertson in the sixth.

Albies completed a 10-pitch at-bat with a soft line drive up the middle that scored lead runner Orlando Arcia. Acuña sprinted home from first as he ran on the pitch and beat Chisholm’s throw to the plate.

Braves starter Bryce Elder settled down after a difficult first two frames and completed five innings of four-run ball. Elder gave up nine hits and struck out six.

The Marlins struck quickly with a three-run first. Arraez hit a leadoff homer, Bryan De La Cruz had a run-scoring single and scored on Jesús Sánchez’s RBI triple. Burger’s double preceded De La Cruz’s hit for a team cycle in the inning.

Burger made it 4-0 with a run-scoring single in the second.

“I just came out flat, wasn’t very sharp and wasn’t executing pitches,” Elder said. “I was kind of pleased with the last couple of innings but the first was just kind of sloppy and paid for it.”

Atlanta cut the deficit on Michael Harris II’s leadoff shot and Austin Riley’s RBI single off Miami starter Johnny Cueto in the third.

Sacrifice flies from Acuña in the fourth and Eddie Rosario in the fifth tied it at 4.

Cueto was lifted after four innings. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs and seven hits and struck out two.


Atlanta’s Matt Olson and Miami’s Jorge Soler, the clubs’ respective nominees for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award, were allowed to wear jersey No. 21 in the tribute throughout the major leagues honoring the late Hall of Famer on Friday.


Braves: RHP Jesse Chavez (left shin microfracture) struck out the side in a perfect inning during his second rehab outing with Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.

Marlins: De La Cruz left after the third because of right ankle discomfort. … Soler (right oblique strain) hit off the machine for the second consecutive day Friday. … RHP Sandy Alcantara (right forearm flexor strain) continues to play catch and is being evaluated daily.


Neither club has announced a starter for the second game of the series Saturday.

Swamp sellouts on the rise for Florida football

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 16:08

Sellouts in the Swamp, once a given, have become more commonplace again following a decade when packed houses were increasingly rare at Florida football games.

Saturday night’s visit from Tennessee marked the the fifth capacity crowd during nine home games under Billy Napier, or one more than Dan Mullen during three seasons excluding the 2020 played amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reasons for the shift in fan interest vary.

The pandemic changed attitudes, a head coaching change created new hope and an ever-improving game day experience gave fans more reasons to leave behind their HDTV, AC and convenience of home.

The Gators have sold out five of the past nine games under coach Billy Napier. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

“There’s no one thing. A lot of factors go into it,” athletic director Scott Stricklin told the Orlando Sentinel. “It also speaks to how special the Gator Nation is and the connection it has to this place.”

Stricklin said students have led the charge back to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The group has purchased more than 20,000 season tickets for 2023. Several years ago UF decision-makers reduced the ticket allotment to 17,500 from 21,000 for the students and band.

“Our students are driving a lot of the energy post-COVID,” Stricklin said. “I don’t know if this is unique to UF, but our student support is at a much different level now than it was pre-pandemic. The student section has been packed every game since we came back for the most part.”

An upset of Utah to begin his first season at Florida led to a spike in attendance in 2022 despite a 6-7 record for coach Billy Napier. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

To play the 2020 season safely and avoid spreading the virus, UF allowed just a maximum 20% capacity, or 17,710 people, at the Swamp — a venue that can seat up to 88,548. The changes helped maintain social distancing guidelines for fans entering and exiting the stadium, using bathrooms or purchasing concessions.

Tailgating was not be permitted and masks were required for all who entered the stadium.

When restrictions were lifted in 2021, many fans realized what they had missed.

Under Mullen, UF sold out one game each in 2018 (LSU) and 2019 (Auburn) despite going 21-5, and two games in 2021 (Alabama and Florida State) even though he was fired amid a 6-7 season.

“There was a recognition that these are pretty special experiences, game day in the Swamp,” Stricklin said. “You want to take advantage of every time you can.”

Dusk falls on Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, which drew an average of 89,626 during four SEC contests, the best since 2015, in 2022. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

The best games understandably draw the best crowds.

In 2022, UF averaged 89,626 during four SEC contents, the best since 2015. The Gators’ season-opening upset of No. 7 Utah drew a reported 90,799, the season high in attendance just ahead of LSU (90,585) on Tom Petty Night.

At the end of the third quarter, fans honor the late Petty, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member from Gainesville, by singing, “I Won’t Back Down.” The tribute began Oct. 7, 2017 against LSU, five days after his death, and follows the longstanding tradition of signing, “We Are The Boys from Old Florida.”

“There’s certain things you only get to do in that environment a few times a year,” Stricklin said. “In addition to watching the team play.”

Edgar Thompson can be reached at egthompson@orlandosentinel.com

Jury clears 3 men in the last trial tied to the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 16:02

By ED WHITE (Associated Press)

A jury acquitted three men Friday in the last trial connected to a plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a scheme that was portrayed as an example of homegrown terrorism on the eve of the 2020 presidential election.

William Null, twin brother Michael Null and Eric Molitor were found not guilty of providing support for a terrorist act and a weapon charge. They were the last of 14 men to face charges in state or federal court. Nine were convicted and now five have been cleared.

The Nulls and Molitor were accused of supporting leaders of the plan by participating in military-style drills and traveling to see Whitmer’s vacation home in northern Michigan. The key players, Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr., were convicted of a kidnapping conspiracy last year in federal court.

In the latest trial, the jury heard 14 days of testimony in Antrim County, the location of Whitmer’s lakeside property, 185 miles (297 kilometers) north of the state Capitol.

There were gasps in the courtroom as the jury foreperson announced the verdicts, first for each brother and then Molitor. Deliberations began Thursday morning and lasted a few more hours Friday. The men cried as they hugged their lawyers and supporters.

“You gentlemen are free to leave,” Judge Charles Hamlyn said.

Outside the courthouse, a juror approached Molitor and “said he was very sorry for all he had gone through,” defense attorney William Barnett told The Associated Press. “The man shook his hand and gave him a hug.”

Barnett said jurors privately told the judge the evidence simply did not add up to “material support” for a kidnapping plot, a key phrase in the charge.

“They went after three peoples’ lives and destroyed them for three years,” Barnett said of the attorney general’s office. “I’m just lost for words. This is an emotional moment.”

Authorities said an attack on Whitmer began to simmer at a regional summit of anti-government extremists in Dublin, Ohio, in summer 2020. Fox, Croft and William Null were in attendance while an FBI informant also inside the gathering secretly recorded profanity-laced tirades threatening violence against public officials.

The disgust was also fueled by government-imposed restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to recordings, text messages and social media posts introduced as evidence at trial.

Jurors were repeatedly shown images of the Null brothers and Molitor bearing guns and “kitted up” in body armor at state Capitol protests and elsewhere in 2020, though there was nothing illegal about those actions.

Whitmer’s chief of staff, JoAnne Huls, said Friday’s verdicts were disappointing and would “further encourage and embolden radical extremists trying to sow discord and harm public officials or law enforcement.”

State Attorney General Dana Nessel, in a written statement, said the “verdicts are not what we hoped for.” Her spokesperson did not respond to a request for an interview with Nessel.

Molitor, 39, and William Null, 41, testified in their own defense, admitting they had attended gun drills and taken rides to see Whitmer’s property. Molitor was in a pickup truck with Fox and had recorded a brief video of the house.

But William Null said he and his brother broke away when talk turned to getting explosives. Molitor said Fox was “incredibly dumb” and wouldn’t pull off a kidnapping.

During closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutor William Rollstin urged jurors to not be swayed.

“If you help in whole or even in part you’ve satisfied that element” of the crime, he said. “Was he helping him to plan? Was he helping him prepare? The answer is absolutely.”

Michael Null, 41, did not testify and his lawyer took the unusual step of declining to question any witnesses during the trial. Tom Siver told jurors that Michael Null did nothing wrong.

“A stroke of genius,” Barnett said of Siver’s strategy of silence.

Informants and undercover FBI agents were inside the group for months before arrests were made in October 2020. Whitmer was not physically harmed.

Nine men were previously convicted in state or federal court, either through guilty pleas or at three other trials. Shawn Fix and Brian Higgins pleaded guilty in Antrim County and had agreed to cooperate but were never called as prosecution witnesses at the last trial.

Patrick Miles, a former U.S. attorney in western Michigan, said it was “mixed bag of results” for prosecutors with five acquittals in state or federal court.

“I still think that these were legitimate cases that needed to be brought,” Miles said. “It’s very dangerous for our democracy when there’s these kinds of threats with actual planning, training and scheming.”

After the plot was thwarted, Whitmer blamed then-President Donald Trump, saying he had given “comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.” Out of office, Trump called the kidnapping plan a “fake deal” in 2022.


Associated Press writer Joey Cappelletti in Lansing, Michigan, contributed to this report.


Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwritez

UCF wraps up nonconference schedule vs. Villanova

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 16:00

UCF, coming off a thrilling win at Boise State last weekend, returns home for a nonconference game Saturday.

Kicker Colton Boomer connected on four field goals, including a walk-off 40-yarder, to keep the Knights undefeated start to the season.

Villanova, a Football Championship Subdivision program, is off to a 2-0 start for the second consecutive season. The Wildcats are looking for the first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision school since defeating Temple in 2018.

“I’m good with playing anybody, to be honest with you,” said UCF coach Gus Malzahn. “We need to play good football and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. That’s our mindset. It just so happens we’re playing a high-level Division I-AA program with a high-level coach.”

Said fifth-year offensive lineman Lokahi Pauole: “I’m aware that Villanova is an up-and-coming team … We just have to focus on our game and do our thing. They’ve gotten off to a great start this season and I’m glad for them, but we’re ready to play.”

The last time UCF lost to an FCS program was in 2015, a bewildering 16-15 decision to Furman at the Bounce House. Previously, the Knights had won 20 straight against Division II schools.

UCF’s Colton Boomer is confident in his kicking, faith

Coaches: Malzahn, 3rd season at UCF, 20-9 (97-47 overall); Mark Ferrante, 7th season at Villanova, 37-26 (37-26 overall)

Quick slant: This is the second overall meeting between the programs, with UCF knocking off the Wildcats, 35-16, on Sept. 2, 2006, at the Citrus Bowl. Steven Moffet threw three touchdown passes — two to receiver Mike Walker — and Kevin Smith rushed for 86 yards and a score for the Knights. … A win over Villanova would give UCF its first 3-0 start since 2019.

About UCF (2-0, 0-0 Big 12): For the second consecutive week, UCF leads the nation in total offense (626 yards) and rushing offense (323 yards). The Knights also are 36th overall in scoring (37 points). … Receiver Xavier Townsend is third on the team with 192 all-purpose yards (67 rushing, 87 receiving, 5 punt returns, 34 kick returns). … UCF’s defense has allowed just 22 points through the first two games; only 16 teams in the FBS have allowed fewer points, including Georgia (10), Michigan (10) and Ohio State (10).

About Villanova (2-0, 0-0 CAA): Quarterback Connor Watkins became the first Villanova player to throw for at least 300 yards on fewer than 10 completions when he went 8 of 11 for 310 yards with two touchdowns during the Wildcats’ 42-9 win over Colgate last weekend. … Receivers Rayjuon Pringle and Jaylan Sanchez are the team’s top targets, combing for 361 yards on 10 receptions with three touchdowns. … Villanova ranks fourth in the FCS in rushing defense, allowing an average of 55 yards with one touchdown through the first two games.

Here’s hoping UCF’s John Rhys Plumlee — a leader and role model — gets well soon | Commentary

3 things to watch

Timmy time: Backup Timmy McClain takes over starting quarterback duties with John Rhys Plumlee out for several weeks with a leg injury from the Boise State win. The redshirt sophomore appeared in 12 games (nine starts) during his freshman season at USF before transferring to the UCF at the start of the 2022 season. His last career start was against the Knights at FBC Stadium on November 26, 2021.

Turnovers: UCF ranks 116th out of 133 FBS teams in turnover margin (-3) after allowing five turnovers through the first two games. All five turnovers were credited to Plumlee (four interceptions/fumble). The defense, meanwhile, has two interceptions (DeJordan Mask, Corey Thornton) through the first two games.

Red zone efficiency: While UCF features the nation’s top offense, the team has struggled inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, scoring on just 67% (8 of 12) opportunities with seven touchdowns and one field goal. The Knights were 2 of 5 in the red zone at Boise State last week with two interceptions and a turnover on downs. The only missed opportunity in the previous game against Kent State was an interception.

Where: FBC Mortgage Stadium

When: 6:30 p.m.

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+; Radio: ESPN FM 98.1/AM 850 WRUF, Sirius/XM 84

Weather: 73 degrees, 23% rain chance

Favorite: N/A

Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on X at @osmattmurschel.

Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, known for his inflated forms, has died at age 91

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 15:39

By MANUEL RUEDA (Associated Press)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Renowned Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, whose depictions of people and objects in plump, exaggerated forms became emblems of Colombian art around the world, has died. He was 91.

Lina Botero told the Colombian radio station Caracol that her father died Friday morning in Monaco of pneumonia complications.

Botero depicted politicians, animals, saints, and scenes from his childhood in an inflated and colorful form that was instantly recognizable. During his lifetime the artist attained global fame and influence, despite his humble origins, and his paintings were exhibited in museums globally, while his imposing bronze sculptures can be found in the parks and avenues of many European and Latin American capitals.

“His success was truly immense” Botero’s son Juan Carlos, wrote in a biography of his father, published in 2010. “Fernando Botero has created a unique style, that is original and easy to recognize.”

Botero’s paintings fetched millions of dollars at international auctions, and the artist was highly esteemed in his native Colombia, not just because of his success abroad, but due to the generous donations he made to his home country, including 23 statues, that are now in a park in downtown Medellin, and have become one of the city’s most visited attractions.

Botero also donated 180 paintings to Colombia’s Central Bank which were used to create the Botero Museum in Bogota. His sculpture of a white, chubby pigeon, standing proudly on a pedestal became an emblem of Colombia’s efforts to make peace with rebel groups and is currently placed in a prominent gallery inside the nation’s presidential palace.

Many Colombians appreciated Botero’s art because it evokes nostalgia for the country as it was in the early 20th century. His characters wear bowler hats, and sport neatly trimmed mustaches. They move around in a colorful universe of green hills and lush trees, where homes are made with clay roof tiles.

“The painter of our traditions and our defects, the painter of our virtues has died,” President Gustavo Petro wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Friday. “He painted violence and peace. He painted the pigeon that was rejected one thousand times, and put one thousand times on a throne.”

Botero was born on April 19, 1932 in Medellín, Colombia. As a child he was enrolled by an uncle in a bullfighting school that he soon left, but it was a world captured later in his paintings. Botero decided at age 14 to dedicate his life to the arts, after managing to sell some sketches of bullfights to fans outside the city’s bullfighting arena. His mother supported the decision, but told him he would have to pay for his studies.

As a teenager, Botero participated in a group exhibition in Bogota, and had his first individual exhibition there in 1951. In the following year, he went to Madrid to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

From Europe, he traveled to Mexico to study the work of Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco.

During his travels, Botero married Gloria Zea, with whom he had three children, Fernando, Lina and Juan Carlos. Returning to Bogotá in 1958, he was appointed professor at the School of Arts of the National University. He later divorced and took up residence in New York in 1960, where he arrived with just a few hundred dollars in his pocket.

In the 1960s Botero began experimenting with the volume of objects and people in his paintings. His original and plump creations attracted the attention of art critics and, by then, the painter had created hundreds of drawings as well as some 1,000 paintings.

Botero remarried in 1964 with Cecilia Zambrano, who he also later divorced. In 1970 they had a son, Pedro, who died four years later in a car accident in Spain. Botero captured the pain of his son’s death in the painting “Pedrito” that depicts his son riding a toy horse and wearing a blue police officer’s uniform. He also donated 16 works to the Museum of Antioquía, in Medellín, to honor the boy and in turn the museum named a room in memory of “Pedrito Botero.”

In the 1970s, Botero put aside painting and began to experiment with sculptures in bronze, marble and cast iron, which brought him great success. In 1978 Botero returned to painting, and then alternated between the two disciplines.

In his paintings, the artists depicted scenes of daily life, such as a family picnic or a party in an early 20th century ballroom. But he also tackled political subjects, like the death of drug dealer Pablo Escobar, or the emergence of rebel groups.

In 1995, his bronze sculpture “The Bird,” weighing more than 1.8 tons and displayed in a park in Medellín, was dynamited by unknown attackers, causing the death of 22 people and injuring more than 200.

In 2005, Botero created a series of 79 paintings that depicted U.S. soldiers torturing Iraqis at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, just a year after the incident came to light. The artist struggled to get the paintings shown in U.S. museums, but they were eventually exhibited at the University of California Berkeley, which still houses some of the paintings.

“I was moved by the hypocrisy of the situation” Botero said of his Abu Ghraib series in a 2007 interview with Semana Magazine. “A country that presents itself to the world as a model of compassion and as a defender of human rights, ended up torturing people in the same prison where Sadam Hussein tortured people.”

Botero said he would paint every day from morning until night, and in absolute silence, so as not to allow anything to distract him.

“Fernando Botero is one of the most disciplined people you can meet. His friends and family affirm that he works every day of every year. For Botero there are no rest dates, no holidays, no weekends,” his son, Juan Carlos Botero, wrote in his book. At Christmas, “he is painting. On his birthday, he is painting. On New Year’s, he is painting.”

His daughter, Lina, told Colombian radio station Blu on Friday that Botero had been working at his studio in Monaco regularly, until last weekend. “He couldn’t work on oil paintings” she explained, because he was too weak to stand and hold larger brushes. “But he was experimenting with water paintings.”

What’s at stake as 13,000 workers go on strike at major US auto makers

Fri, 09/15/2023 - 15:39

By TOM KRISHER (AP Auto Writer)

DETROIT (AP) — About 13,000 auto workers have walked off the job at three targeted factories after their union leaders couldn’t reach a deal with Detroit’s automakers.

The United Auto Workers union is seeking big raises and better benefits from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. They want to get back concessions that the workers made years ago, when the companies were in financial trouble.

A small percentage of the union’s 146,000 members walked off the job at a GM assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit; and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday.

Shawn Fain, the combative president of the UAW, says the targeted strikes will give the union leverage in contract talks and keep the auto companies guessing about its next move.

It could also make the union’s $825 million strike fund last much longer.

Both sides began exchanging wage and benefit proposals last week. Though some incremental progress appears to have been made — General Motors made a new, richer offer just hours before the strike deadline — it was not enough to avoid walkouts. The strike could cause significant disruptions to auto production in the United States.

Here’s a rundown of the issues standing in the way of new contract agreements and what consumers could face in a prolonged strike:


The union is asking for 36% raises in general pay over four years — a top-scale assembly plant worker gets about $32 an hour now. In addition, the UAW has demanded an end to varying tiers of wages for factory jobs; a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay; the restoration of traditional defined-benefit pensions for new hires who now receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans; and a return of cost-of-living pay raises, among other benefits.

Perhaps most important to the union is that it be allowed to represent workers at 10 electric vehicle battery factories, most of which are being built by joint ventures between automakers and South Korean battery makers. The union wants those plants to receive top UAW wages. In part that’s because workers who now make components for internal combustion engines will need a place to work as the industry transitions to EVs.

Currently, UAW workers hired after 2007 don’t receive defined-benefit pensions. Their health benefits are also less generous. For years, the union gave up general pay raises and lost cost-of-living wage increases to help the companies control costs. Though top-scale assembly workers earn $32.32 an hour, temporary workers start at just under $17. Still, full-time workers have received profit-sharing checks ranging this year from $9,716 at Ford to $14,760 at Stellantis.

Fain himself has acknowledged that the union’s demands are “audacious.” But he contends that the richly profitable automakers can afford to raise workers’ pay significantly to make up for what the union gave up to help the companies withstand the 2007-2009 financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Over the past decade, the Detroit Three have emerged as robust profit-makers. They’ve collectively posted net income of $164 billion, $20 billion of it this year. The CEOs of all three major automakers earn multiple millions in annual compensation.


The automakers have moved closer to the UAW’s demands on wages, but a big gulf remains.

On Thursday, GM said it boosted its offer to a 20% wage increase, including 10% in the first year, over four years. CEO Mary Barra said in a letter to employees, “We are working with urgency and have proposed yet another increasingly strong offer with the goal of reaching an agreement tonight.”

Ford is also offering a 20% boost in pay. The last known offer from Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) was 17.5%, but the company has since made another.

Fain has dismissed these proposals as inadequate to protect workers from inflation and reward them for building the vehicles that have made the Detroit Three so profitable.

The companies have rebuffed the union’s demands as too expensive. They say they will spend vast amounts of capital in the coming years to continue to build combustion-engine vehicles while at the same time designing electric vehicles and building battery and assembly plants for the future, and can’t afford to be saddled with significantly higher labor costs.

They also contend that a lavish UAW contract would force up the retail prices of vehicles, pricing Detroit automakers above competitors from Europe and Asia. Outside analysts say that when wages and benefits are included, Detroit Three assembly plant workers now receive around $60 an hour while workers at Asian automaker plants in the U.S. get $40 to $45.


Fain said there will be no negotiations Friday because union leaders will join rank-and-file workers on picket lines.

The union could pick more plants to strike in the coming days, and it all depends on progress — or lack of it — at the bargaining table, the UAW president says.

“If the companies continue to bargain in bad faith or continue to stall or continue to give us insulting offers, then our strike is going to continue to grow,” Fain said. The union’s strategy, he said, “will keep the companies guessing” about how the union might escalate the fight.


Eventually. GM, Ford and Stellantis have been running their factories around the clock to build up supplies on dealer lots. But that’s also putting more money into the pockets of UAW members and strengthening their financial cushions.

At the end of August, the three automakers collectively had enough vehicles to last for 70 days. After that, they would run short. Buyers who need vehicles would likely go to nonunion competitors, who would be able to charge them more.

Vehicles are already scarce when compared with the years before the pandemic, which touched off a global shortage of computer chips that hobbled auto factories.

Sam Fiorani, an analyst with AutoForecast Solutions, a consulting firm, said the automakers had roughly 1.96 million vehicles on hand at the end of July. Before the pandemic, that figure was as high as 4 million.

“A work stoppage of three weeks or more,” Fiorani said, “would quickly drain the excess supply, raising vehicle prices and pushing more sales to non-union brands.”


Yes, if it’s long and especially in the Midwest, where most auto plants are concentrated. The auto industry accounts for about 3% of the U.S. economy’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — and the Detroit automakers represent about half of the total U.S. car market.

If a walkout occurs, workers would receive about $500 a week in strike pay — far short of what they earn while they’re working. As a result, millions of dollars in wages would be removed from the economy.

The automakers would be hurt, too. If a strike against all three companies lasted just 10 days, it would cost them nearly a billion dollars, the Anderson Economic Group has calculated. During a 40-day UAW strike in 2019, GM alone lost $3.6 billion.

The strike could also test President Joe Biden’s claim that he’s the most pro-union president in U.S. history.


It’s hard to say. The companies have plenty of cash on hand to withstand a strike. The union has its $825 million strike fund. But it would be depleted in just under three months if all 146,000 workers were to walk out. That’s where the targeted strikes come in — helping the union stretch its money if the walkout persists into this winter.

The union’s inability to organize U.S. factories run by foreign automakers represents a disadvantage for the union because those companies pay less than Detroit companies do.

But organized labor has been flexing its muscles and winning big contract settlements in other businesses. In its settlement with UPS, for example, the Teamsters won wages for its top-paid drivers of $49 an hour after five years.

So far this year, 247 strikes have occurred involving 341,000 workers — the most since Cornell University began tracking strikes in 2021, though still well below the numbers during the 1970s and 1980s.

UAW poised for midnight strike at plants in Wayne, Michigan, Toledo, Ohio, and Wentzville, Missouri

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 21:17


DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union says it will go on strike at three vehicle assembly plants as it presses Detroit companies to come up with better wage and benefit offers.

The factories include a General Motors assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri; a Ford factory in Wayne, Michigan, near Detroit; and a Stellantis Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. Only assembly and paint shop workers will walk out at the Ford plant.

Contracts between 146,000 auto workers and the companies are set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Workers will stay on the job at all other plants.

“Time is of the essence,” union President Shawn Fain told workers late Thursday in an online address less than two hours before the deadline.

Despite increased offers from Ford and GM, it appears that no deals will be reached before the contacts expire.

Fain said for the first time in the union’s 88-year history, the UAW will strike at all three companies at the same time. He said union bargainers have been working hard but have been firm in trying to reach fair deals.

About 13,000 workers at the three plants are preparing to walk off the job after contracts with the Detroit Three expire at 11:59 p.m.

Fain has said more walkouts could be scheduled if companies don’t move on bargaining. The companies, he said have made billions in profits during the past decade and can afford to pay workers more to make up for concessions made starting in 2007 to help the automakers in tough times. He says labor costs are only 4% to 5% of a vehicle’s cost.

“They could double our raises and not raise car prices and still make millions of dollars in profits,” Fain said. “We’re not the problem. Corporate greed is the problem.”

The union has a list of demands including 36% pay raises over four years, cost of living raises, and an end to different tiers of wages for workers. Ford and GM are offering 20% during the next contract while the last known offer from Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, was 17.5%.

The companies say the union hasn’t responded to their latest offers and have called union demands unreasonable. They fear taking on increased costs at a time when they have to spend billions to develop and build new electric vehicles, while also making automobiles with internal combustion engines.

The Ford plant that’s targeted employs about 3,300 workers who will strike, and it makes Bronco SUVs and Ranger midsize pickup trucks.

The Toledo Jeep complex has about 5,800 workers and manufactures the Jeep Wrangler SUV and Gladiator pickup.

GM’s Wentzville plant has about 3,600 workers and makes the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickups, as well as the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express full-size vans.

The union didn’t go after the companies’ big cash cows, which are full-size pickup trucks and big SUVs, and went more for plants that make vehicles with lower profit margins, said Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University in Detroit.

“They want to give the companies some space without putting them up against the wall,” Masters said. “They’re not putting them right into the corner. You put an animal in the corner and it’s dangerous.”

Masters said the companies are going to have to raise their wage offers in order to reach an agreement and address the issue of wage tiers and how to convert temporary workers to full-time jobs.

In a statement late Thursday, Ford said the union responded to the company’s latest “historically generous” offer by showing little movement from its initial demands.

“If implemented, the proposal would more than double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs, which are already significantly higher than the labor costs of Tesla, Toyota and other foreign-owned automakers in the United States that utilize non-union-represented labor,” the statement said.

On CNBC Thursday, Ford CEO Jim Farley said if Ford had agreed to the union’s demands, it would have lost $15 billion during the last decade and gone bankrupt.

The announcement and looming strikes capped a day of both sides griping that the other had not budged enough from their initial positions. But talks continued on Thursday with GM increasing its wage offer and Ford looking for a counteroffer from the union.

The chasm between the two sides could be a shock to a U.S. economy already under strain from elevated inflation. It’s also a test of President Joe Biden’s treasured assertion that he’s the most pro-union president in U.S. history.

In a video released Thursday night, GM manufacturing chief Gerald Johnson said the union initially presented over 1,000 demands that he said would cost more than $100 billion. “That’s unreasonable,” Johnson said. “It’s more than twice the value of all of General Motors and absolutely impossible to absorb and still compete in today’s automotive market.”

If there’s no deal by the end of Thursday, Fain said union officials will not bargain on Friday and instead will join workers on picket lines.

The UAW started out demanding 40% raises over the life of a four-year contract, or 46% when compounded annually. Initial offers from the companies fell far short of those figures.

In addition to cost-of-living pay raises and an end to varying tiers of wages for factory jobs, it wants a 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay, the restoration of traditional defined-benefit pensions for new hires who now receive only 401(k)-style retirement plans, pension increases for retirees and other items.

The companies have upped their initial wage offers, with Ford and GM now at 20%, and GM offering 10% in the first year. Stellantis has made another offer following its last known offer of 17.5%.

“We know a strong GM is important to all of us,” GM CEO Mary Barra wrote in a letter to workers Thursday. “We are working with urgency and have proposed yet another increasingly strong offer with the goal of reaching an agreement tonight.”

Angry and frustrated, McCarthy challenges right-flank colleagues to try to oust him from his post

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 21:14


WASHINGTON (AP) — Angry, frustrated and unable to lead a fractured and unruly Republican majority, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Thursday told the colleagues threatening to oust him: Do it.

The embattled Republican leader essentially dared his hard-right flank to quit holding the risk of a vote to remove him from the job.

If you’re going to do it, go ahead and try, McCarthy told the Republicans behind closed doors.

“File the f—- motion,” McCarthy said, using a profanity for emphasis, according to those in the private meeting.

With a government shutdown looming, McCarthy is confronting the same stubborn problem that has driven Republicans before him from the speaker’s job — trying to lead a ruptured GOP majority that’s split between what’s left of the traditional party and a harder-right element largely allied with former President Donald Trump.

Even his decision to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden did little this week to appease the demands of the Freedom Caucus and others as they threaten to shut down the government in pursuit of deep spending cuts or move to a motion to oust him from office.

“I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated with some people in the conference,” McCarthy said after the meeting in the Capitol basement as lawmakers were wrapping up for the week.

“But when we come back, we’re going to get this done. Nobody wins in a government shutdown.”

This may be the toughest moment yet for McCarthy who is trying to survive his first year as House speaker and live to fight another day.

But now, after promises made and possibly dashed, he has barely any days left.

At the moment McCarthy has just nine working days to pass the spending bills needed to fund the government or risk a politically devastating federal shutdown.

An interruption in government services would ripple across the country, almost certain to hurt his party politically as Republicans are blamed for the disruption and disarray.

Biden said in a speech Thursday that McCarthy and House Republicans seem unable to honor the commitments they made as part of a June debt-limit deal and are now seeking deeper cuts. In his remarks, the president did not address the impeachment inquiry nor the indictment Thursday of his son, Hunter, on gun-purchasing charges.

“They’re back at it again, breaking their commitment,” Biden said in Maryland. “Threatening to shut down the government again this month.”

Led by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a core group of McCarthy critics is holding the threat of removal over him unless he meets conservative demands.

A top Trump ally, Gaetz reiterated the conservative flank’s many demands after McCarthy’s meeting — single-subject spending bills, a subpoena for Hunter Biden in the impeachment inquiry and other priorities.

“So instead of emotionally cursing, let’s do this,” Gaetz chided. “We must begin immediately. Pull yourself together, Kevin!”

None of the hard-right opponents of McCarthy rose to speak during the private morning meeting — in fact, few even showed up.

But McCarthy still addressed them directly — and profanely.

“Kevin doesn’t live in fear about this,” said Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla.

McCarthy has prided himself being a survivor, who rose from the ranks over the past nearly 20 years to lead House Republicans.

At the start of the year, he suffered through 14 votes in his reach for the speaker’s gavel before colleagues finally agreed to give it to him on the 15th vote.

Top McCarthy ally Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene who is also close with Trump recaptured the speaker’s message. “He said, ’If you want to throw in a motion to vacate, that’s fine. I didn’t survive 15 rounds for nothing and I’ll survive another 15 rounds.”

That said, there still is no viable plan or having the House pass the bills needed to run the government by Sept. 30, when current funding runs out, risking the shutdown.

Freedom Caucus conservatives are demanding cuts lower than what McCarthy agreed to in a budget deal with Biden earlier this year —- and even lower than the speaker promised he would fight for when he agreed to their demands during his election to become speaker.

It’s not just Trump influencing House Republicans from the campaign trail. Republican rival Ron DeSantis has also connected with conservatives “and is supportive of us trying to fight to get change up here,” said Freedom Caucus member Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said, “House Republicans have made clear that they are determined to shut down the government and try to jam their extreme right-wing ideology down the throats of Americans.”

Jeffries said he had not talked to McCarthy this week about a solution, but he has spoken with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and they have agreed “the only way forward is a bipartisan path that funds the government at the current fiscal year levels.”

The Senate meanwhile, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats, pushed ahead with a rare and overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, 91-7, to advance a package of spending bills toward final passage — until it was stalled by Senate conservatives.

“And now all of a sudden, you have a group, a small group in the Senate, trying to mimic the Freedom Caucus in the House,” Schumer said, calling on Republican leaders to intervene “for the good of the country.”

McCarthy told the lawmakers to go home for the weekend — they are not in session Friday for the Jewish holiday — and be prepared to stay in session next week until they get the job done.

“I don’t walk away from a battle,” the speaker said, preparing to return to fight another day.

Asked if he had a plan for the week ahead, McCarthy said later: “I always have a plan. Doesn’t mean it happens.”

“I had a plan for this week, didn’t turn out exactly as I had planned,” he said.

Exasperated, McCarthy had already showed signs of strain the night before.

As he left the Capitol, his voice hoarse and his dry-cleaning bags of fresh shirts in hand, McCarthy scoffed when asked about the conservatives’ latest demands for spending cuts.

“Welcome to my world,” McCarthy said, as the grand Memorial Door slammed behind him.

__ Associated Press writers Kevin Freking, Stephen Groves, Josh Boak and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

Yurgealitis hits two long touchdown passes as University School edges St. Andrew’s, stays undefeated

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 19:53

BOCA RATON — University School senior quarterback Jett Yurgealitis passed for 192 yards and two touchdowns and the Sharks defense created three turnovers as they held off host St. Andrew’s 14-6 to remain unbeaten on Thursday night.

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Yurgealitis connected with junior wide receiver Belal “JuJu” Logan for a 41-yard touchdown in the second quarter and a 74-yard score in the third quarter.

St. Andrew’s (3-1) trailed 14-6 with 2:22 left and took over on offense after University School (4-0) missed a 32-yard field goal attempt. Senior quarterback Dylan Mayers fired back-to-back 20-yard completions to junior wide receiver Teddy Hoffmann to reach the Sharks 40-yard line. The Scots were unable to convert on fourth-and-2 at the Sharks’ 7 after an incomplete pass toward the back left corner of the end zone.

Michael Norman, who is a former defensive coordinator at St. Andrew’s, is in his third season as the head coach at University School. He praised his team’s effort and strong start to the season. Last year, the Scots routed the Sharks 42-6.

“I am very happy with the progress we have made,” Norman said. “The kids have been working hard since day one. They’re buying into the process and it’s showing and translating on the field. I was really happy with the way our defense played for most of the game. We made a play at the end when we needed it. This is a huge win for us. For our program, it’s a notch on our belt as far as getting back to where we need to be.”

Yurgealitis has stepped up to lift the team with 17 touchdowns passes in four games.

“Jett is a tremendous leader on the field and in the classroom,” Norman said. “He has really been tremendous in this rebuilding process.  I am really happy with the way he is developing.”

Mayers finished the contest with 162 passing yards and 83 rushing yards, including a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Hoffmann had six catches for 126 yards.

Jackson Parke had a 64-yard kickoff return to open the game to reach the Sharks 26. The Scots lost a fumble at the 10 after a completed pass as the Sharks recovered the ball at the 3.

Mayers bounced out to his right and turned upfield for a 13-yard touchdown run to give the Scots a 6-0 advantage with 11:50 left in the second quarter. The Scots missed on a two-point conversion attempt.

The Sharks responded as Yurgealitis delivered a deep pass down the middle of the field that was hauled in by Logan for a 41-yard score to make it 7-6 with 5:46 left in the first half.

Mayers had a 35-yard touchdown pass to Parke called back after a holding penalty later in the first half. The Scots lost a fumble on the drive after the ball was stripped out after a completion.

The Scots blocked a 36-yard field goal attempt late in the first half as they trailed 7-6 entering halftime.

The Sharks quickly jumped ahead 14-6 on the second play of the third quarter. Yurgealitis found Logan wide open downfield for a 74-yard score with 11:40 left in the third.

“We talked about it at halftime and got the play we wanted,” Logan said. “We are a way better team this year. The Sharks are coming back.”

The Sharks controlled the time of possession for the majority of the fourth quarter.

“I really think that we knew how to finish and we had discipline,” Yurgealitis said. “We practiced all week to never be satisfied and it actually showed with how we played to the last whistle. We have each other’s back on this team and we fight for each other. I am having the time of my life.”

Junior running back Jacques Dixson also led the Sharks offense with 120 rushing yards.

“I just wanted it and worked hard and everybody did amazing,” Dixson said. “I love our team. We are going to keep working and we are not satisfied yet.”

St. Andrew’s lost three fumbles on offense in the loss.

“They’re a well-coached team,” St. Andrew’s coach Jimmy Robertson said. “We put ourselves in bad situations and with the turnovers. They capitalized on our mistakes. We had a chance to go into another overtime and we couldn’t finish this time. Hats off to them for a great defensive stand. This game will humble us and we will learn from it to make us a better team.”

No. 22 Hurricanes roll to 3-0 start with blowout win against Bethune-Cookman

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 19:32

MIAMI GARDENS — The Hurricanes showed no signs of fatigue despite returning to Hard Rock Stadium five days after beating Texas A&M on the same field.

No. 22 Miami (3-0) rolled to a 48-7 win against an overmatched Bethune-Cookman on Thursday night, outgaining the Wildcats 589-165.

The Hurricanes got off to a quick start. Tyler Van Dyke opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, as UM drove down the field with a nine-play, 65-yard series. Van Dyke ended it with a 10-yard touchdown run, his first score on the ground this season and the second of his career.

“It was good to get in there with my feet,” Van Dyke said.

Miami largely stuck with the ground game, finishing the win with 240 rushing yards. Ajay Allen, who transferred from Nebraska in the offseason, scored his first touchdown as a Hurricane on an 8-yard carry, putting UM up 14-0. Don Chaney Jr. racked up 55 yards on his first drive of the game, capping it with his second score of the season on a 3-yard touchdown carry.

Allen added a second touchdown with 3:03 left in the third quarter, scoring from 4 yards out. Chris Johnson Jr., a Dillard High alumnus, scored his first career touchdown with a 21-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Chaney led Miami with 73 rushing yards on seven carries.

“All the running backs ran really hard,” Cristobal said.

Van Dyke did not have a quiet game, though. He completed 19 of 23 passes for 247 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He connected with Jacolby George for a 15-yard touchdown, which was George’s fourth of the year. He also tossed a 27-yard score to Brashard Smith.

Van Dyke has eight touchdown passes this season.

“I feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been, accuracy-wise and seeing the field,” Van Dyke said.

The Wildcats could not catch a break in their defeat. Their most promising drive of the game ended with a forced fumble by Francisco Mauigoa, which was recovered by Jake Lichtenstein.

Freshman Emory Williams took over for Van Dyke early in the third quarter, and he completed nine of 11 passes for 102 yards in his second career game. He and a large group of freshmen and reserve players closed out the game, surrendering a late touchdown to Wildcats quarterback Water Simmons III.

“I think (Emory) looked really good when he had the supporting cast, most of the ones and some of the twos,” Cristobal said. “He understands the offense really well. He was protected well. He seemed to operate at a relatively high level and did a good job.”

Five takeaways Offense keeps clicking

If you were concerned that Miami would be sluggish coming off a short week and a physical game against an SEC defense, the Hurricanes quickly assuaged your fears.

The Hurricanes had a strong, nine-play, 65-yard drive to open the game and did not slow down. Miami scored on all but one of its first-half drives. The only time the Hurricanes did not reach the end zone was when Colbie Young caught a slant inside the 5-yard line but fumbled at the 1-yard line and turned the ball over in the end zone.

” I thought…early on we started taking control of the game,” Cristobal said. “Not a ton of explosive plays but we methodically drove the ball down the field.”

UM rushed for 240 yards in the win and racked up a season-high 589 total yards.

Receivers continue hot start

Miami’s wide receivers continued the roll they got on last week.

Slot wide receiver Xavier Restrepo had his second consecutive 100-yard game, finishing the contest with 120 receiving yards. He has 314 receiving yards in three games this season.

After catching three touchdowns against the Aggies, George caught another one Thursday and had 52 receiving yards.

“His attitude is at an all-time high right now,” Van Dyke said. “Doing a great job. Confident. Really good at separation.”

Smith had his first touchdown catch of the season (though he scored on a kickoff against Texas A&M on Saturday) and racked up 55 yards. Young had a drop and a fumble but finished the game with 55 yards.

“I know Colbie is kicking himself a little bit but he played hard,” Cristobal said. “It wasn’t his best performance, but he did some good things.”

Defensive line gets in the backfield

Miami had no trouble pressuring Bethune-Cookman’s quarterbacks on Thursday.

The Hurricanes finished the game with four sacks. Freshman Rueben Bain recorded his first college sack, and Miami also got sacks from Jake Lichtenstein, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Chase Smith. UM had 10 total tackles for loss.

Mauigoa also forced Bethune-Cookman quarterback Tylik Bethea to fumble, which Lichtenstein recovered.

‘Canes rotate players

UM had plenty of time to rotate in substitutes in the blowout win. The Hurricanes brought in many reserve players for most of the second half.

Williams got into the second game of his college career, and Miami brought in some freshmen like running back Chris Johnson Jr., wide receiver Robby Washington, defensive lineman Jayden Wayne, linebackers Bobby Washington Jr. and Raul Aguirre and cornerback Damari Brown.

Injury replacements do well

Miami had several players out for their win on Thursday, but their replacements filled in admirably.

Kam Kinchens missed the game after his scary injury at the end of the Texas A&M game. Miami started Jaden Harris in his spot. Harris had a tackle in the win Thursday.

Miami was also missing three starting defensive linemen: ends Akheem Mesidor and Nyjalik Kelly and tackle Branson Deen. The Hurricanes started Jahfari Harvey, Jared Harrison-Hunte and Rueben Bain in their stead.

Bain and Harrison-Hunte each had a sack, and Harvey had a tackle. Lichtenstein also filled in and had a sack and a fumble recovery.

“You’d like to have those guys back as often and as soon as you can,” Cristobal said. “Overall, a lot of guys stepped up and we probably played 10 or 11 guys and they are going to need to play. As the season goes on, more and more guys get banged up. But I thought overall, up until the last two drives where we started giving up some driving, we had 160 yards, but up until the last drive it was only 60 or so. So, that part was disappointing. We didn’t close out the game like we wanted to.”

Former Plantation Councilman Ralph Merritt and wife Gloria die in possible homicide-suicide

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 19:09

Former Plantation Councilman Ralph Merritt and his wife Gloria died Thursday in what police said preliminarily appears to be a homicide-suicide.

The Merritts “were suffering from health problems,” said Det. Robert Rettig, a Plantation Police spokesperson. The couple was found dead at a home in the city Thursday morning, he said. Rettig said detectives are actively investigating.

The city’s post on Facebook, shared about 7:30 p.m., did not provide additional details about their deaths.

“The family asks for privacy at this time,” the city’s post said. “Please keep them in your prayers.”

Merritt was elected to the council in 1975 and served for over two decades. At the time he retired, his career was the longest of any council member in the city’s history.

He left the council in 1997 to retire but returned in 1999. He then decided to retire a second time, announcing he would not seek re-election at a public meeting in late 2002.

Gloria Merritt was a longtime member of the Plantation Woman’s Club and the Plantation Historical Society.

The Merritt family owned and ran the landmark Rena’s Flowers of Merritt, named after matriarch Rena Merritt who died in 2006. Rena’s husband and Ralph Merritt’s father, Ralph D. Merritt, opened the nursery in Plantation in 1955 that ultimately became the business. Ralph Merritt took the family business over in 1978 from his mother before passing it along to his son. Gloria Merritt was a co-owner.

A woman who answered the phone at the Merritts’ son’s home said it was too soon to comment and declined to speak.

Former Plantation Councilman Bob Levy didn’t serve with Merritt but knew him well.

“He advised me during my tenure and they were very close friends of mine,” he said. “They were staunch supporters of Plantation and what it meant to be in Plantation.”

He described them as down to earth, great people who summered in North Carolina. He said their son Steve Merritt is a Plantation firefighter. Levy called the couple “inseparable.”

Former Plantation Councilman Rico Petrocelli didn’t serve with Merritt, but they were friends. Petrocelli called them “the staple of the community. I have such great memories. They loved to travel, I used to talk to him for hours about politics. He was a kingmaker in Plantation.”

Information from the South Florida Sun Sentinel archives was used in this report. 

This is a developing story, so check back for updates. Click here to have breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox. 

Flooding death toll soars to 11,300 in Libya’s coastal city of Derna, aid group says

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 18:46

DERNA, Libya (AP) — The death toll in Libya’s coastal city of Derna has soared to 11,300 as search efforts continue following a massive flood fed by the breaching of two dams in heavy rains, the Libyan Red Crescent said Thursday.

Marie el-Drese, the aid group’s secretary-general, told The Associated Press by phone that a further 10,100 people are reported missing in the Mediterranean city. Health authorities previously put the death toll in Derna at 5,500. The storm also killed about 170 people elsewhere in the country.

The flooding swept away entire families in Derna on Sunday night and exposed vulnerabilities in the oil-rich country that has been mired in conflict since a 2011 uprising that toppled long-ruling dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Here’s a look at where things stand:

Daniel, an unusually strong Mediterranean storm, caused deadly flooding in communities across eastern Libya, but the worst-hit was Derna. As the storm pounded the coast Sunday night, residents said they heard loud explosions when two dams outside the city collapsed. Floodwaters gushed down Wadi Derna, a valley that cuts through the city, crashing through buildings and washing people out to sea.

A U.N. official said Thursday that most casualties could have been avoided.

“If there would have been a normal operating meteorological service, they could have issued the warnings,” World Meteorological Organization head Petteri Taalas told reporters in Geneva. “The emergency management authorities would have been able to carry out the evacuation.”

The WMO said earlier this week that the National Meteorological Center issued warnings 72 hours before the flooding, notifying all governmental authorities by email and through media.

Officials in eastern Libya warned the public about the coming storm, and on Saturday, they ordered residents to evacuate coastal areas, fearing a surge from the sea. But there was no warning about the dams collapsing.

The startling devastation reflected the storm’s intensity, but also Libya’s vulnerability. Oil-rich Libya has been divided between rival governments for most of the past decade — one in the east, the other in the capital, Tripoli — and one result has been the widespread neglect of infrastructure.

The two dams that collapsed outside Derna were built in the 1970s. A report by a state-run audit agency in 2021 said the dams had not been maintained despite the allocation of more than 2 million euros for that purpose in 2012 and 2013.

Libya’s Tripoli-based prime minister, Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, acknowledged the maintenance issues during a Cabinet meeting Thursday and called on the Public Prosecutor to open an urgent investigation into the dams’ collapse.

The disaster brought a rare moment of unity, as government agencies across the country rushed to help the affected areas.

While the Tobruk-based government of eastern Libya is leading relief efforts, the Tripoli-based western government allocated the equivalent of $412 million for reconstruction in Derna and other eastern towns, and an armed group in Tripoli sent a convoy with humanitarian aid.

Derna has begun burying its dead, mostly in mass graves, said eastern Libya’s health minister, Othman Abduljaleel on Thursday.

More than 3,000 bodies were buried by Thursday morning, the minister said, while another 2,000 were still being processed, He said most of the dead were buried in mass graves outside Derna, while others were transferred to nearby towns and cities.

Abduljaleel said rescue teams were still searching wrecked buildings in the city center, and divers were combing the sea off Derna.

Untold numbers could be buried under drifts of mud and debris, including overturned cars and chunks of concrete, that rise up to 4 meters (13 feet) high. Rescuers have struggled to bring in heavy equipment as the floods washed out or blocked roads leading to the area.

Libya’s eastern based parliament, The House of Representatives, on Thursday approved an emergency budget of 10 billion Libyan dinars — roughly $2 billion — to address the flooding and help those affected.


As of Thursday, the Libyan Red Crescent said that 11,300 people have been killed, and a further 10,100 are reported missing.

However, local officials suggested that the death toll could be much higher than announced.

In comments to the Saudi-owned Al Arabia television station on Thursday, Derna Mayor Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi said the tally could climb to 20,000 given the number of neighborhoods that were washed out.

The storm also killed around 170 people in other parts of eastern Libya, including the towns of Bayda, Susa, Um Razaz and Marj, the health minister said.

The dead in eastern Libya included at least 84 Egyptians, whose remains were transferred to their home country on Wednesday. More than 70 came from one village in the southern province of Beni Suef. Libyan media also said dozens of Sudanese migrants were killed in the disaster.

The floods have displaced at least 30,000 people in Derna, according to the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration, and several thousand others were forced to leave their homes in other eastern towns, it said.

The floods damaged or destroyed many access roads to Derna, hampering the arrival of international rescue teams and humanitarian assistance. Local authorities were able to clear some routes, and humanitarian convoys have been able to enter the city over the past couple of days.

The U.N. humanitarian office issued an emergency appeal for $71.4 million to respond to urgent needs of 250,000 Libyans most affected. The office, known as OCHA, estimated that approximately 884,000 people in five provinces live in areas directly affected by the rain and flooding.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday that it has provided 6,000 body bags to local authorities, as well as medical, food and other supplies distributed to hard-hit communities.

International aid started to arrive earlier this week in Benghazi, 250 kilometers (150 miles) west of Derna. Several countries have sent aid and rescue teams, including neighboring Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. Italy dispatched a naval vessel on Thursday carrying humanitarian aid and two navy helicopters to be used for search and rescue operations.

President Joe Biden said the United States would send money to relief organizations and coordinate with Libyan authorities and the United Nations to provide additional support.


Associated Press journalists Samy Magdy in Cairo and Jack Jeffery in London contributed to this report.


This story was updated to correct the Derna mayor’s name. He is Abdel-Moneim al-Ghaithi, not Abdel-Raham al-Ghaithi.

After days of heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes in New England, Hurricane Lee up next

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 18:29


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Days of wild weather that produced torrential rain, flooding, sinkholes and tornadoes in New England could be a prelude to something more dangerous lurking offshore — Hurricane Lee.

As the Category 1 system swirled southwest of Bermuda, Maine Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday declared a state of emergency, and the state was under its first hurricane watch in 15 years. The water-logged region prepared for 20-foot (6-meter) waves offshore and wind gusts up to 70 mph (112 kph), along with more rain.

Eastern Maine was under the hurricane watch while the rest of the state and an area extending south through Massachusetts were under a tropical storm warning. Powerful winds were expected to arrive late Friday in southern New England.

Although Lee did not contribute to the recent flooding, it threatened to exacerbate conditions in a region that is already much too wet.

The Coast Guard and emergency management agencies warned New England residents to be prepared, and utility companies brought in reinforcements to deal with power outages. At Boothbay Harbor Marina in Maine, the community came together to remove boats from the water to keep them out of harm’s way.

“It’s a batten-down-the-hatches kind of day,” owner Kim Gillies said Thursday.

Similar scenes played out elsewhere, including at Kennebunkport Marina, where crews planned to take 100 boats out of the water, said Cathy Norton, marina manager.

Some people used the storm as an opportunity to put their boats into storage on land, bringing an abrupt end to the summer boating season, said John Lusty, owner of York Harbor Marine in York.

Commercial lobster fisherman Steve Train said fishermen have been sinking gear in deeper water to protect against storm damage. Fishing boats were also headed to the safety of harbors.

In Canada, residents of western Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick were warned about the risk of power outages and flooding this weekend. A year ago, the remnants of Hurricane Fiona washed houses into the ocean, knocked out power to most of two provinces and swept a 72-year-old woman into the sea.

New Brunswick Minister of Public Safety Kris Austin urged residents to assemble a 72-hour safety kit that included batteries, water, food, medication and a radio.

In her emergency declaration, the Maine governor urged people to take the storm seriously and to make preparations. Mills, a Democrat, also asked President Joe Biden to issue a preemptive presidential disaster declaration to give the state access to federal resources.

Earlier in the week, the region saw 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain over six hours. Tornado warnings were posted Wednesday for communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and more heavy rain opened up sinkholes and brought devastating flooding to several areas.

The National Weather Service in Boston confirmed Thursday that damage to trees and power lines in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut the day before was caused by four tornadoes.

Dozens of trees snapped or were uprooted by a twister in the town of Glocester, Rhode Island, and a structure used as a bus shelter was completely blown away, the weather service said. In Lincoln, Rhode Island, photos showed a home’s roof damaged and the press box at the high school stadium tipped into the bleachers.

The three tornadoes in Connecticut and Rhode Island were categorized as EF-1, while the one in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, was an EF-0.

Thursday night, Lee was spinning 185 miles (300 kilometers) west of Bermuda, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center. It was traveling north on a path that could lead to landfall in Nova Scotia, possibly as a tropical storm, forecasters said.

The system threatened to bring a mixed bag of threats. The storm surge and waves could lash the coast, damaging structures and causing erosion; powerful wind gusts could knock down trees weakened by a wet summer; and rain could cause flash flooding in a region where the soil is already saturated, said Louise Fode, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Maine.

The state’s eastern coast — known as the Down East region — and the coast of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were expected to bear the brunt of the storm, though the track could shift before the system arrives, Fode said.

One thing working in the region’s favor: The storm surge will not be accompanied by an astronomical high tide, helping to lower the risk, she said.

New England has experienced its share of flooding this summer, including a storm that dumped up to two months of rain in two days in Vermont in July, resulting in two deaths. Scientists are finding that storms around the world are forming in a warmer atmosphere, making extreme rainfall more frequent.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey issued a state of emergency late Tuesday following “catastrophic flash flooding and property damage” in two counties and other communities. The torrential downpour in a six-hour period was a “200-year event,” said Matthew Belk, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston.

The state is monitoring the conditions of dams, the governor said, and she urged residents to stay off the roads when ordered.

The rain created several sinkholes in Leominster, Massachusetts, including one at a car dealership where several vehicles were swallowed up. In Providence, Rhode Island, downpours flooded a parking lot and parts of a shopping mall. Firefighters used inflatable boats to rescue more than two dozen people stranded in cars.

In Maine, the last time a hurricane watch was declared was in 2008, for Hurricane Kyle, but residents are accustomed to rough weather. Lee’s projected wind, rain and surf are akin to a powerful Nor’easter, and Mainers are familiar with those.

The Portland Sea Dogs, a minor league baseball team, moved its fan appreciation day to Friday because of the weather forecast. But the club had no plans to cancel its game on Saturday despite the storm.


Associated Press journalists Rob Gillies in Toronto and Robert F. Bukaty in York, Maine, contributed to this report.

Miami set to host the third Republican presidential primary debate in early November

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 18:05

Miami will host the third Republican presidential primary debate in early November. The move was first reported by CNN. A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee confirmed the decision to the Miami Herald.

The debate will follow the second such forum, which is set to take place on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The first debate was held last month in Milwaukee, Wis.

The decision to hold the third debate in Miami is notable, given that the two leading candidates for the GOP presidential nod — former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis — are Floridians.

Go to Herald.com for the full report.

Zelenskyy is expected to visit Washington as Congress is debating $24 billion in aid for Ukraine

Thu, 09/14/2023 - 17:44


WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill next week as he visits the U.S. during the United Nations General Assembly.

Zelenskyy’s trip comes as Congress is debating President Joe Biden’s request to provide as much as $24 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as it fights the Russian invasion.

An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive visit, said Zelenskyy will meet with Biden at the White House next Thursday. The trip to the Capitol was confirmed by two congressional aides granted anonymity to discuss the plans.

The Ukrainian president made a wartime visit to Washington in December 2022 and delivered an impassioned address to a joint meeting of Congress. At the time it was his first known trip outside his country since Russia invaded in February of that year.

In his speech to cheering lawmakers, Zelenskyy thanked Americans for helping to fund the war effort and said that the money is “not charity,” but an “investment” in global security and democracy.

Details of Zelenskyy’s visit next week were not yet being made public. It was first reported by Punchbowl News.

The White House National Security Council declined to comment on Zelenskyy’s plans, including whether he would meet with Biden at the White House.

Meanwhile, the Treasury and State departments announced they were imposing new sanctions on more than 150 individuals and entities connected with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. was “continuing our relentless work to target Russia’s military supply chains and deprive (Russian President Vladimir) Putin of the equipment, technology, and services he needs to wage his barbaric war on Ukraine.”

Congress is increasingly divided over providing additional funding for Ukraine as the war is well into its second year. Biden has sought a package of $13.1 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine and $8.5 billion for humanitarian support. It also includes $2.3 billion for financing and to catalyze donors through the World Bank.

But conservative Republican lawmakers have been pushing for broad federal spending cuts and some of those allied with Donald Trump, the former president, are specifically looking to stop money to Ukraine.

Congress is working to pass its annual appropriations bills before a Sept. 30 deadline to keep the U.S. government running.


Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

How to dress for fall workouts

Wed, 09/13/2023 - 23:53

Fall is a great time to work out outdoors. The worst of the summer heat is gone, and the bitter winter cold hasn’t set in yet. Whether you like to run, hike, walk, bike or do strength training exercises in the park, you’ll be comfortable getting your workout in nearly any time of day.

Regardless of the weather, you should choose your workout clothes carefully. You don’t want to dress too warmly and overheat, but you want to be warm enough if it gets a little chilly during early morning workouts.

Our fitness expert, Judd NeSmith, NASM-CPT, PES and founder of Serious Fitness, explains how to choose the best fall workout clothes so you stay warm and dry no matter how much sweat you work up.

Choose the right material

When dressing for fall workouts, the materials you wear make all the difference. NeSmith is a big fan of synthetic workout clothing in the fall because it’s moisture-wicking. These fabrics pull sweat and moisture away from the body and dry quickly, keeping you comfortable, even in chilly weather.

Look for workout clothes made of polyester, nylon, spandex or a blend of polyester and another synthetic material. Wool also works well for fall workout clothes. Despite being a natural fiber, wool is also moisture-wicking and highly breathable, so it can keep you comfortable in unpredictable fall weather.

Avoid cotton — this natural material is breathable, but it isn’t moisture-wicking. “Cotton absorbs sweat and stays wet, so it has a hard time keeping you dry and warm in cooler weather,” NeSmith explains.


In cool fall weather, layering your workout clothes ensures you’re comfortable at the start of your workout and once you start sweating.

NeSmith suggests starting with a base layer, which can be a sleeveless or short-sleeve workout shirt and layering a looser-fitting long-sleeve workout shirt over it. This keeps you warm when you start your workout but allows you to take off the top layer to get more comfortable once you’re warmed up.

Hoodies also work well as a top layer. “Many brands are making really comfortable hoodies that aren’t that thick or bulky, so they’re perfect for fall,” NeSmith said. ”They’re a pullover style that can be worn over your favorite base layer.” Under Armour, Nike and Adidas are excellent brands for hoodies.

Choose the right bottoms

When it comes to the right bottoms for fall workouts, NeSmith believes shorts are still an excellent option, especially for runners and cyclists who need freedom of movement for their lower body.

For late fall when the weather is really cool, NeSmith likes joggers. These sweatpants taper to an elastic cuff, so they do an excellent job of keeping your legs warm. If you get overheated during your workout, you can push the cuffs up toward your knees and turn them into shorts.


Q. What accessories do you need for fall workouts?

A. NeSmith recommends wearing a beanie for fall workouts. “You lose a lot of heat through your head, so a hat can keep you warm,” he said. A beanie also protects your ears from the wind when running or biking. You may also want to invest in a thin pair of gloves because your hands and fingers can get cold very easily.

Q. What types of workouts are best in the fall?

A. Fall is a perfect time for walking, running, hiking and biking. Trail running is a particularly ideal fall workout because you can take in the fall foliage on the trails. Outdoor sports like soccer and football are also great ways to get your heart rate up in the fall.

Best fall workout clothes

C9 Champion Women’s Soft Tech Tee 

This soft, comfortable polyester blend shirt features a semi-fitted design that layers well under other workout gear. It’s moisture-wicking and dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about staying warm during fall workouts.

Under Armour Men’s Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-shirt  ]

This 100% polyester shirt wicks away sweat and dries quickly, ensuring you’re always warm and dry on your fall runs. It’s super soft and stretchy, allowing it to move with your body. It comes in more than 15 colors.

Adidas Men’s Essentials Three-stripes French Terry Hoodie

This cotton hoodie has a regular fit that’s not too tight to layer over T-shirts for fall workouts. The drawstring hood and kangaroo pocket keep your head and hands warm in chilly weather.

Champion Men’s 10-Inch Core Training Short 

These polyester shorts dry quickly, meaning you don’t have to worry about chafing during workouts. They have side vents for better mobility and an adjustable waistband for a customized fit.

Under Armour Men’s Sportstyle Tricot Joggers

These sweat-wicking polyester joggers have ribbed ankle cuffs for a comfortable tapered fit. They have an external drawstring waist that allows you to customize the fit and zip-closed side pockets as well as an internal phone pocket.

Baleaf Women’s Active Yoga Joggers

These lightweight joggers are breathable and comfortable enough for your longest workouts. They have an elastic waistband with a drawstring cord and large side pockets to hold your essentials. You can choose from more than 15 colors.

Tough Headwear Beanie Knit Hat

This lightweight ribbed beanie is perfect for fall workouts. It’s made of flexible acrylic yarn that stretches to fit heads of different sizes and shapes. The material also maintains its shape and color after repeated washings.

Unigear Lightweight Running Gloves

These lightweight gloves can keep your hands warm when running, walking or biking. The fabric stretches easily to fit hands of various sizes, and they’re touchscreen-compatible.

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Small drones that don’t have to be registered with the FAA in most states

Wed, 09/13/2023 - 23:51

The easiest way to get stunning aerial footage is to send a drone into the sky to record a bird’s-eye view. Whether it’s a golden sunset or gigantic whales swimming just off the coast, a drone can capture scenes that would be impossible for humans to see otherwise.

But drones also pose a serious risk. On a few occasions, drones were spotted near international airports. While it will undoubtedly make for amazing footage, it puts everybody in danger. A gust of wind can blow the drone into an airplane’s path, having catastrophic consequences. However, not all drones are equal, as smaller ones have more leeway.

Drones and the FAA

If you ask anybody to describe a drone, they’ll probably reference the size and shape of hugely popular brands, such as DJI and Holy Stone. These are often the largest drones available commercially, while even more massive ones are used for Hollywood filming.

But on the other side of the scale, there are small drones that can land easily on your palm. Naturally, there are also hobby drones that are slightly larger and can be a lot of fun. While all of these sizes are known as drones, there is a definitive difference under the Federal Aviation Administration’s guidelines.

Since large flying machines can cause serious damage to an airplane, its passengers and everybody else around, they must be registered with the FAA. This is so that the administration can track how many drones there are, where they are flying and who they belong to.

The FAA is also taking registration one step further this year, requiring all drones to be fitted with Remote Identification technology. This lets a drone in flight provide location data and owner information to law enforcement agencies and FAA agents.

Who needs to register? 

All pilots must register themselves and their drones with the FAA under one of two regulations: recreational flyers or commercial pilots. The last one is specifically when you use your drone as an income source, for example, by taking photos or videos and selling them.

However, there is one exception. You’re not compelled to register with the FAA if your drone weighs less than half a pound (8.8 ounces) and is flown exclusively under the Exception for Recreational Flyers.

Best small drones that don’t need FAA registration

DJI Mini SE With 3-Axis Gimbal ]

This drone is incredibly close to the registration cutoff, weighing only 8.5 ounces. That means you can’t fly it with the sticker pack or propeller guards to stay under the guidelines. It has a flying time of 30 minutes, has a 12-megapixel camera on a 3-axis gimbal and records videos in 2.7K resolution.

DeerC D20 Mini Drone for Kids ]

Perfect for children or beginner pilots, this drone has a 720p camera that gives you a first-person view while flying. It has one-key landing and takeoff, altitude hold and an emergency stop button. It comes with two rechargeable batteries that provide about 20 minutes of flying time.

Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone ]

Weighing only 2.8 ounces, this drone has a forward-facing camera with a maximum video resolution of 720p and takes still images at a 5-megapixel resolution. It has a flight time of around 13 minutes and two antennas to ensure you don’t lose signal. It comes with propeller guards, a micro USB cable and a propeller removal tool.

Holy Stone HS430 Mini Drone ]

Capture amazing scenes with this drone’s 1080p forward-facing camera. It weighs 2.7 ounces and is small enough to land in a child’s palm. The drone has various flying modes, including high-speed rotations, circle flying and headless mode. The batteries provide just under 30 minutes of flying time and come with propeller guards.

Holy Stone Mini Drone for Kids ]

A perfect mini drone to teach kids how to fly, this model weighs only 1.55 ounces and has a flying time of about 21 minutes. Taking off is made easy with the Toss to Fly system, and it can land at the press of a button. It has several flying modes, which include altitude hold, 3D flips and auto rotation.

DeerC D10 Drone With 2K Camera ]

Weighing 5.8 ounces, this drone has an excellent camera considering its weight. The forward-facing camera captures videos in 1080p resolution, while still images are captured in 2K resolution. It comes with two rechargeable batteries for up to 30 minutes of flying. It features one-button takeoff and landing, speed adjustment functions and a video transmission range of up to 260 feet.

InkPot I06 Mini Drone ]

With three operation levels, this sturdy drone is the perfect gadget to teach kids how flying machines work. The drone’s functions increase with a higher level, letting beginners slowly increase the difficulty. It has one-button takeoff and landing, fully enclosed propellers and a low battery alarm.

Force1 Scoot LED Hand-Operated Drone ]

This drone doesn’t require complex controllers, as you direct its motion with hand gestures. This model is an ultrabright version of the original Scoot and has several red and blue LEDs around it. The propellers are fully enclosed in a plastic mesh housing, making the drone perfect for all ages and indoor flying.

Drone Eye V14 Drone with Camera ]

Weighing just under 3 ounces, this drone has a high-definition 1080p camera with a 120-degree field of view. You navigate the drone’s actions with a controller and see the camera’s view through a connected mobile phone. The batteries last 30 minutes, and the drone can do several flying maneuvers.

4DRC 4DV5 Mini Drone ]

Perfect for smaller hands, this drone comes with a basic controller that’s easy to use. There is a bright LED ring around the propellers to protect them from damage, and it comes with four extra propellers. It has a forward-facing 720p camera, and the drone can take off and land with one button.

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