COVID-19 rates spiked in county NASCAR race had 20,000 fans. But officials don't blame the gathering.
Three weeks have passed since roughly 20,000 fans sat sprinkled throughout the grandstands at Bristol Motor Speedway to watch NASCAR’s All-Star Race. The race marked the largest sporting event with spectators since the pandemic shuttered the sports world in March.In Tennessee’s Sullivan County, where the speedway is located, there has been a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in the weeks following the July 15 race, but public health officials said Wednesday that they have not identified an association or cluster linked to the NASCAR event.“We were seeing an upswing prior to the race and that up...
The Charlotte Observer
Editorial: 'Utter disaster.' Allowing Sturgis rally to go on puts nation at risk
A yearning for the open road and open air of western South Dakota is understandable during this year of quarantine. But it doesn’t take a medical degree to understand that allowing 250,000 or more motorcyclists to jam into the small city of Sturgis during an out-of-control COVID-19 pandemic is downright reckless.And yet no one in a position of influence or authority stepped forward to make the responsible call — canceling the annual rally. In June, the Sturgis City Council voted to move forward with preparations for the event, which runs from Aug. 7-16. Nor did the state Health Department obje...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Ex-Atlanta officer charged in Rayshard Brooks' death sues to get job back
ATLANTA — The former Atlanta officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks during an arrest attempt has filed a lawsuit against the mayor and interim police chief seeking to get his job back.Garrett Rolfe contends his firing June 13, the day after Brooks died, violated the city’s policy in the lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court. Rolfe says in court documents that Brooks violently resisted arrest and the shooting was justified. The 27-year-old charged with felony murder and other charges is free on bond.But on Wednesday, prosecutors said they will ask a judge to revoke bond for Rolfe, who...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
After protests near her home, Seattle police chief asks city leaders for intervention
SEATTLE — A debate unfolded online Sunday night over whether protests against police brutality should include visits to public officials’ homes — and whether such a discussion distracts from the fight for Black lives — after Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best implored the City Council to “forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”Best wrote a letter to the council Sunday after protesters showed up outside her Snohomish County home Saturday night, the latest in a series of visits the demonstrations have paid to those who hold public power in Seattle, including City Council members and Mayor J...
The Seattle Times
Minneapolis police face staffing challenges as violence rises
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police are down at least 100 officers since the killing of George Floyd — more than 10% of the force — straining department resources amid a wave of violence and adding extra urgency to the political debate over its future.Over the past two months, 40 cops have resigned, been fired or are in the process of leaving the force, and another 75 have taken a medical leave for post-traumatic stress disorder they say was caused by the riots that followed Floyd’s death. Dozens more are expected to file for leave in the coming months.MPD officials not authorized to speak public...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Chicago mayor pulls out of roundtable to avoid being on same stage with Minneapolis mayor, sources say
CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pulled out of a virtual roundtable hosted by Crain’s Chicago Business to avoid appearing on the same digital stage as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who has been a lightning rod for criticism after the police killing of George Floyd, sources told The Chicago Tribune.Lightfoot had been scheduled to join political consultant David Axelrod “and the mayors of two Midwest cities on Wednesday to discuss how COVID-19 and recent civil unrest will define the future of our nation’s cities,” according to a since-deleted Crain’s Facebook post.But Lightfoot abruptly wi...
Chicago 'on the precipice' of returning to tougher COVID-19 restrictions, mayor warns
CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot sounded a stern warning Wednesday that Chicago is “on the precipice,” saying she may soon need to roll back parts of the city’s reopening if COVID-19 cases continue to increase, particularly among young people flocking to bars and restaurants.While the mayor consistently has cautioned the city is far from free of the grip of the pandemic, she struck a particularly dire tone at a morning news conference.“Some of you have joked that I’m like the mom who will turn the car around if you’re acting up,” Lightfoot said with Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady at her ...
Philadelphia now says fans might be able to attend Eagles games
PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration is clarifying guidance it offered Tuesday on whether professional sports teams can allow spectators in outdoor stadiums during the coronavirus pandemic, opening the door to the Eagles playing before fans this fall a day after saying that would be illegal under the city’s emergency rules.But the possibility of fans getting to cheer and boo the Eagles this year is dependent on the city easing its social-distancing rules before or during the season, a scenario seen as increasingly unlikely as coronavirus cases spike across the country....
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Crews raze Wendy's where Atlanta police killed Rayshard Brooks
ATLANTA — The sound of a balloon flapping in the wind with the message “You’re so special!” was overpowered Tuesday by excavators and backhoes demolishing a charred Wendy’s restaurant that had become a symbol of Atlanta’s civil unrest.The balloon was for Rayshard Brooks, the 27-year-old father shot and killed by a now-fired Atlanta police officer.The killing set off intense protests against race-based police violence, while the burned-out restaurant became a gathering place for demonstrators — some of whom armed themselves and threatened others while occupying the site for days on end.The occu...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
De Blasio unveils most detailed plan yet to reopen New York City schools
NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza unveiled on Wednesday the most detailed plan yet for the reopening of city schools in the fall, a day after President Donald Trump demanded schools physically reopen.De Blasio stressed that the partial, physical reopening of schools would depend on the city’s continuing progress to beat back the coronavirus and that families will be able to opt into a completely remote learning configuration if they have safety concerns.“They have every right to do that,” de Blasio said. “We’ll be ready.”The announcement came...
New York Daily News