The Rundown for March 3, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,719,624 and the nation’s death toll stands at 516,608, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves eased restrictions in their states yesterday despite recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warnings not to. Abbott lifted a mask mandate and announced that businesses may open at full capacity next week. Reeves has lifted all county mask mandates and announced all businesses can operate at 100-percent capacity.

RAIMONDO CONFIRMED AS COMMERCE SECRETARY… The Senate yesterday confirmed Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo as Commerce secretary. Her confirmation came following an 84-15 bipartisan vote. Raimondo said in her confirmation hearing she would prioritize addressing economic damage from COVID-19, ensuring fair competition for U.S. workers “on the global playing field” and tackling climate change. Also yesterday, former President Barack Obama adviser Neera Tanden withdrew her nomination as director of the Office of Management and Budget after facing scrutiny over her past tweets critical of lawmakers.

MORE THAN A DOZEN DEAD IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CRASH… At least 13 people were killed yesterday when a big rig hauling two trailers crashed with a Ford Expedition carrying at least 25 in Southern California, about 10 miles north of the Mexico border. The cause of the deadly crash near State Route 115 in Imperial County is being investigated for any connection to human smuggling. A preliminary report released last night by the California Highway Patrol said the SUV, driven by a 28-year-old resident of Mexico, “entered the intersection directly in front” of a 68-year-old truck driver. The SUV driver was killed instantly. The truck driver was hospitalized with major injuries. Authorities said 10 of the dead were Mexican nationals.

WRAY TESTIFIES ON CAPITOL ATTACK… FBI Director Christopher Wray repeatedly told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that there is no evidence of “antifa” participating in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol nor is there evidence of attackers posing as Trump supporters. Wray’s testimony defied the efforts of several GOP officials to divert blame for the insurrection from Trump supporters. A recent Suffolk University/USA Today poll found that 58 percent of Republicans believe the Capitol riot to have been “mostly an antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.”

VERNON JORDAN DIES… Civil-rights activist Vernon Jordan, who developed close personal friendships with presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama, died Monday night of undisclosed causes, his niece announced yesterday. He was 85. Jordan served as field secretary for the Georgia NAACP and executive director of the United Negro College Fund in the 1960s before becoming head of the National Urban League, He transitioned into business and politics in the 1980s. Jordan was a key campaign adviser to Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign and co-chaired Clinton’s transition team.

ENTERTAINMENT
BUNNY WAILER DIES
… Reggae icon Bunny Wailer, who was the last living original member of the Wailers, died yesterday at the age of 73. The Jamaican Observer reported that Wailer had been in and out of the hospital since having a second stroke in July. The native of Kingston, Jamaica, was Bob Marley’s stepbrother. The two, along with Peter Tosh, formed the Wailing Wailers in 1963. It wasn’t until the 1970s that members of the group became international superstars as Bob Marley and the Wailers. After leaving the band in 1973, Wailer embarked on a successful solo career. He won three Grammys in the ’90s and recorded with Snoop Dogg on the 2013 Snoop Lion album “Reincarnated.” In 2017, Wailer was awarded the Order of Merit by the Jamaican government and in 2019 was presented the Reggae Gold Award for his contributions to the country’s music culture.

DOLLY PARTON GETS HER VACCINATION… Country star Dolly Parton, who was was credited with helping fund the Moderna vaccine through her $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been given her first dose of the vaccine. The 75-year-old Parton used the opportunity to urge others to join her in getting vaccinated. She sang an adapted version of her hit song “Jolene” before receiving the shot. “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate,” Parton pleaded in a video.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Memphis 125 – WASHINGTON 111… The Grizzlies took control in the second quarter and held off the Wizards. Ja Morant pumped in 35 points and dished off 10 assists. De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks added 20 points apiece.

BOSTON 117 – L.A. Clippers 112… The Celtics withstood a late charge to get past a Clippers team that was playing without Kawhi Leonard. Kemba Walker scored 25 points to lead six players in double figures.

Atlanta 94 – MIAMI 80… Trae Young scored 13 straight points during a fourth-quarter surge that carried the Hawks past the Heat. Young finished with 18 points and 10 assists. Clint Capela pulled down 17 rebounds to go with his 10 points.

SAN ANTONIO 119 – New York 93… The Spurs came alive in the second half to blow open a close game. Six players scored in double figures led by Trey Lyles’ 18 points. DeMar DeRozan had 10 points and 11 assists.

Denver 128 – MILWAUKEE 97… The Nuggets built a double-digit lead early and went on to hand the Bucks their first loss in six games. Nikola Jokic racked up 37 points, 10 boards and 11 assists in his 50th career triple-double. Jamal Murray added 24 points.

Phoenix 114 – L.A. LAKERS 104… The Suns fought off the Lakers despite the third-quarter ejection of leading scorer Devin Booker for arguing. Dario Šarić came off the bench and scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Indiana is at Cleveland…
Philadelphia hosts Utah…
Detroit is at Toronto (in Tampa)…
Houston hosts Brooklyn…
Atlanta is at Orlando…
Minnesota hosts Charlotte…
Chicago is at New Orleans…
Oklahoma City is at Dallas…
Portland hosts Golden State…
the L.A. Lakers are at Sacramento

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. Islanders 2 – NEW JERSEY 1… Oliver Wahlstrom found the net early in the third period to break a scoreless tie and Anders Lee added what proved to be the decisive goal in the Islanders’ win over the Devils. Goalie Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves and came within 14 seconds of his fourth shutout.

N.Y. RANGERS 3 – Buffalo 2… Pavel Buchnevich had a goal and an assist in leading the Rangers past the Sabres. The loss was Buffalo’s fourth straight.

PITTSBURGH 5 – Philadelphia 2… Kasperi Kapanen netted back-to-back goals in the second period to give the Penguins the lead for good in their defeat of the Flyers. Tristan Jarry stopped 40 shots at goal.

COLUMBUS 4 – Detroit 1… The Blue Jackets scored three second-period goals to put away the Red Wings. Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist. Zach Werenski set up two goals.

MONTREAL 3 – Ottawa 1… Brandon Gallagher and Jeff Petry opened the scoring with back-to-back power-play goals 2:04 part in the second period and the Canadiens breezed past the Senators to give new coach Dominique Ducharme his first NHL victory. Goalie Carey Price made 26 saves.

WINNIPEG 5 – Vancouver 2… Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and two assists as the Jets skated past the Canucks. Laurent Brossoit made 32 stops at goal.

Carolina 4 – NASHVILLE 2… The Hurricanes got a pair of goals from Sebastian Aho in doubling up on the Predators. Steven Lorentz scored a goal and assisted on another.

Tampa Bay 2 – DALLAS 0… Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped all 28 shots in his third straight shutout and the Lightning clipped the Stars. Ondrej Palat provided all the offense Tampa Bay needed with a first-period power-play goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Washington is at Boston…
Edmonton hosts Toronto…
St. Louis is at Anaheim…
Vegas hosts Minnesota…
Arizona is at Los Angeles…
San Jose hosts Colorado

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD… 10 TOP-25 TEAMS IN ACTION!
No. 4 Illinois 76, No. 2 MICHIGAN 53…
No. 3 Baylor 94, No. 6 WEST VIRGINIA 89…
No. 8 ALABAMA 70, Auburn 58…
No. 12 Arkansas 101, SOUTH CAROLINA 73…
No. 15 Texas 81, IOWA STATE 67…
No. 18 TEXAS TECH 69, TCU 49…
No. 25 PURDUE 73, No. 23 Wisconsin 69

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
CHI. CUBS 3, Kansas City 2…
Texas 5, CHI. WHITE SOX 5 (tie)…
Cleveland 6, SEATTLE 1…
Oakland 2, MILWAUKEE 1…
San Diego 7, ARIZONA 2…
Detroit 6, PITTSBURGH 1…
ATLANTA 6, Minnesota 0…
N.Y. Yankees 4, BALTIMORE 2…
St. Louis 0, MIAMI 0 (tie)…
BOSTON 9, Tampa Bay 3…
TORONTO 4, Philadelphia 2…
N.Y. METS 2, Houston 0…
CINCINNATI 7, L.A. Angels 5…
SAN FRANCISCO 1, L.A. Dodgers 1 (tie)

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