The Rundown for November 18, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 11,320,337 and the nation’s death toll stands at 248,227, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Reuters analysis has found that 41 states have reported record increases in the number of cases so far this month, while 20 have seen a record rise in deaths and 26 reported record hospitalizations. In 25 states, test positivity rates were at least 10 percent for the week ending on Sunday. The World Health Organization considers a positivity rate above 5 percent to be concerning… Experts advising President-elect Joe Biden on the pandemic fear that the Trump administration’s delay in recognizing election results could be compromising the U.S. response to the virus. Yesterday, doctors and nurses from multiple medical associations published a letter urging the Trump administration to share critical COVID-19 data with Biden’s transition team to avoid unnecessary delays.

BIDEN APPOINTMENTS… President-elect Joe Biden yesterday announced the appointment of nine White House aides, including counselors and senior advisers. Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, will become deputy chief of staff. Longtime adviser Steve Ricchetti will become counselor to the president. U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, who served as national co-chairman of Biden’s campaign, will become senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Mike Donilon, chief strategist for the campaign, will become a senior adviser to the president. Finally, Dana Remus, the campaign’s general counsel, will become counsel to the president. Biden began his appointments last Wednesday with the naming of Ron Klain as chief of staff. The president-elect is expected to nominate cabinet members by the end of the week.

TRUMP FIRES ELECTION SECURITY DIRECTOR… President Trump announced on Twitter last night that he has fired Christopher Krebs as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Krebs has steadfastly defended the integrity of the 2020 presidential elections and repeatedly debunked Trump campaign allegations of widespread voter fraud. Trump called Krebs’ claims denying evidence of fraud “highly inaccurate.”

PA SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST TRUMP… The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly yesterday in rejecting the Trump Campaign’s claim that Philadelphia violated state election law by not giving Republican observers “meaningful access” to watch the vote counting. Dissenters in the 5-2 vote were justices who preferred to rule the case as moot. The ruling weakens the Trump campaign’s to contest voting results in federal court and lowers its record to 1-25 in post-election lawsuits.

SENATE STALLS FED NOMINATION… The Trump administration’s nomination of Judy Shelton for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors stalled in the Senate yesterday. The effort failed yesterday by a 47-50 vote that included the opposition of GOP senators Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell switched his “yes” vote to “no,” which allows another vote later. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris returned to the chamber for the first time since the election and cast a key vote against.

TROOP WITHDRAWALS IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ… The Pentagon confirmed yesterday that the Trump administration has ordered troop withdrawals in Afghanistan and Iraq. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said yesterday that the process will be complete by January 15 as part of efforts to reach a negotiated peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Miller’s public remarks were his first since replacing Mark Esper, who was abruptly fired last week. Some half of the 5,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in Afghanistan reportedly would be withdrawn, as would 500 of the 3,000 troops in Iraq. Some senior Pentagon officials are bewildered by the move and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called it a “dumb idea.”

SENATE PANEL GRILLS TECH LEADERS… The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday grilled Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over their social media platforms’ mechanisms for handling the spread of misinformation during the 2020 election campaign. Both tech leaders said their companies took steps to curb misinformation as the election approached, but their efforts prompted GOP panel members to allege bias. Zuckerberg and Dorsey both said they didn’t want a repeat of the 2016 elections, in which Russian hackers made repeated efforts online and via social media to interfere and influence the vote in favor of Trump.

… Conan O’Brien is leaving TBS to launch a weekly variety series on HBO Max. He will continue to host his nightly talk show through the end of its 10th season in June 2021. O’Brien had been a writer on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons” before replacing David Letterman behind the desk on NBC’s “Late Night” in 2003. O’Brien landed at TBS after a failed stint as host of “The Tonight Show.”

DOLLY PARTON DONATION HELPED COVID-19 VACCINE… The Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville says a $1 million donation by Dolly Parton helped U.S. biotech firm Moderna develop their COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine trial and clinical research were a part of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s efforts to stop the virus. Parton previously announced the donation on social media last April.

LIL WAYNE FACES FEDERAL GUN CHARGE… Lil Wayne was charged in Florida yesterday with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Prosecutors say Authorities said the rapper has acknowledged owning the gold-plated handgun and ammunition that were discovered in a search his luggage aboard a private plane that landed in Miami on December 23. Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., has a felony gun conviction from New York back in 2009. The federal offense he faces carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

… The Chicago Cubs announced yesterday that Theo Epstein is stepping down as the team’s president of baseball operations. The 46-year-old Epstein will leave at the end of the week and is being replaced by general manager Jed Hoyer. Epstein ran the Cubs for nine years and in 2016 helped bring the franchise its first World Series title in 108 years. Epstein also helped build World Series winners with the Boston Red Sox 2004 and in 2007.

NBA NEWS… The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired free-agent guard Bogdan Bogdanovic as part of a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings. The deal also brings guard Justin James to Milwaukee. In exchange, Sacramento gets guard Donte Divincenzo along with forwards D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova.

The Rundown for November 6, 2020

BIDEN CLOSES IN ON PRESIDENCY… Joe Biden continues to inch closer to the 270 Electoral College votes he needs to secure the 2020 presidential election. Ballots were still being counted in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and North Carolina, with races in those states too close to call. Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said enough ballots could be processed today to determine the winner. Biden was carrying 253 Electoral College votes and a win in Pennsylvania would push him past the 270-vote threshold he needs to take the White House.

POSTAL SERVICE SWEEPS FOR UNCOUNTED BALLOTS… A federal judge yesterday ordered the Postal Service to continue its sweep of mail facilities to check for undelivered ballots in states that have extended vote delivery deadlines. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan of Washington, D.C., ordered the sweeps to continue until the end of today to ensure that all the mailed ballots are counted. Data the Postal Service submitted to a federal court in Washington, D.C., showed that at least 150,000 ballots likely reached election officials on Wednesday

ESPER REPORTEDLY PREPARES RESIGNATION LETTER… NBC reported yesterday that Defense Secretary Mark Esper has prepared a letter of resignation. The reported cited three current defense officials. Esper reportedly prepared his letter because he is one of the Cabinet officials long expected to be pushed out after the election. In the meantime, Esper is helping members of Congress draft legislation that will strip names of Confederate leaders from military bases.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 9,607,336 and the nation’s death toll stands at 234,927, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Cases in the U.S. surged by at least 109,757 yesterday to set a daily record for the second straight day. Overall, 19 out of 50 states reporting record one-day increases yesterday. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients rose to more than 52,500 yesterday, marking the 11th consecutive day of increases.

ETA EXPECTED TO ARRIVE SUNDAY… Forecasters say Tropical Storm Eta could bring hurricane-force wind gusts of 74 mph or greater in part of the Florida Keys and the southern part of the Florida Peninsula by the end of the weekend. The storm was a Category 4 hurricane when it arrived in Nicaragua on Wednesday, but weakened as it moved farther over land. The storm is expected to strengthen today as it travels northeast from Central America.

… Police in Grand Prairie, Texas, have arrested an 18-year-old man suspected in the murder of actor Eddie Hassell in a robbery last Sunday. Detectives say that the robbery was random and that the 30-year-old Hassell was shot several times. The actor held several small film and TV roles throughout the 2000s and 2010s, most notably as Clay in the 2010 film “The Kids Are All Right.” He also played Phil Nance on NBC’s sci-fi series “Surface,” alongside Leighton Meester and Lake Bell; and appeared on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Oliver Beene,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “‘Til Death,” “Southland,” “Bones,” “Devious Maids” and “Longmire.”

CHARACTER ACTRESS ELSA RAVEN DIES… Character actress Elsa Raven, who was best known for her appearance in the film “Back To The Future,” died earlier this week, her manager confirmed yesterday. She was 91. Raven’s television credits included “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The A-Team” and “Seinfeld.”


Green Bay 34 – SAN FRANCISCO 17
… Aaron Rodgers hit Marquez Valdes-Scantling with two of his four touchdown passes and the Packers (6-2) cruised past the short-handed 49ers (4-5). Devante Adams had 10 catches for 173 yards and a score.

Detroit (3-4) is at Minnesota (2-5)…
Kansas City (7-1) hosts Carolina (3-5)…
Baltimore (5-2) is at Indianapolis (5-2)…
Buffalo (6-2) hosts Seattle (6-1)…
Chicago (5-3) is at Tennessee (5-2)…
Atlanta (2-6) hosts Denver (3-4)…
Houston (1-6) is at Jacksonville (1-6)…
Washington (2-5) hosts the N.Y. Giants (1-7)…
Las Vegas (4-3) is at the L.A. Chargers (2-5)…
Arizona (5-2) hosts Miami (4-3)…
Pittsburgh (7-0) is at Dallas (2-6)…
Tampa Bay (6-2) hosts New Orleans (5-2)

New England (2-5) is at the N.Y. Jets (0-8)

The Rundown for November 4, 2020

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION… Suspense surrounds the outcome of the 2020 presidential election as ballot counting extended into this morning in key battle ground states. Biden held a slight lead in delegates late into last night in the race for 270 needed to win the presidency. Trump recorded key wins in Florida, Ohio and Texas. Biden’s wins included West Coast states along with New York and Virginia. Ballots were still being counted in Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. There was a major development earlier this morning when Trump called a press conference at 2:30 a.m. Eastern to falsely declare himself the winner and declare that he wanted voting to stop.

SENATE RACES… Republicans were holding a narrow lead in the fight to keep control of the U.S. Senate. Mitch McConnell retained his Kentucky seat, Lindsey Graham was re-elected in South Carolina, Susan Collins held onto her seat from Maine and Joni Ernst withstood a challenge in Iowa. The GOP picked up a seat in Alabama, where former college football coach Tommy Tuberville defeated Democratic incumbent Doug Jones. Likewise, Democrats flipped a seat in Colorado, where former governor, John Hickenlooper, defeated incumbent Republican Cory Gardner.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 9,379,590 and the nation’s death toll stands at 232,553, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Daily infections have been rising in all but three states and the surge was most pronounced in the Midwest and Southwest. Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota and New Mexico all reported record high hospitalizations this week. Nebraska’s largest hospitals started limiting elective surgeries and looked to bring in nurses from other states to cope with the surge. Hospital officials in Iowa and Missouri warned bed capacity could soon be overwhelmed.

POSTAL SERVICE FAILS TO SWEEP FACILITIES… The U.S. Postal Service defied a federal judge’s order yesterday to sweep mail processing facilities for delayed election ballots and immediately dispatch any for delivery in about a dozen states. USPS data showed as of Sunday about 300,000 ballots that were received for mail processing did not have scans confirming their delivery to election authorities. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the sweep in response to lawsuits by voter- and civil-rights groups. The order applied to processing centers in central Pennsylvania, northern New England, greater South Carolina, south Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, Arizona, Alabama and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia and Detroit.

FBI INVESTIGATES ROBOCALLS… The FBI is investigation anonymous robocalls that targeted voters across the U.S. over the weeks heading into yesterday’s election. Investigators say the calls appeared to be an effort to scare voters into sitting out the election, urging them “stay safe and stay home.” The brief calls used a computerized female voice but made no mention of the election directly.

WALL STREET JUMPS…. Excitement over yesterday’s presidential election lifted all three major U.S. indexes rose for the second consecutive day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 554.98 points, or 2.06 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 1.78 percent and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.85 percent. Analysts credited the rises to investors’ confidence that the nation would avoid a delayed or contested result to the election.

… British actor Jeremy Irons has signed on star in Netflix adaptation of “Munich,” a new film based on the Robert Harris novel. The story is set in 1938 as Europe stands on the brink of war. Irons will play former British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, with George McKay as British civil servant Hugh Legat and Martin Wuttke as Adolf Hitler. The film is being shot in Germany and the United Kingdom. It is slated for release in 2021.

WOLFGANG VAN HALEN ANGRY OVER MAGAZINE ARTICLE… Wolfgang Van Halen, the son and bandmate of the late Eddie Van Halen, expressed his anger on social media yesterday for his father’s cover story in Us Weekly. The 29-year-old bassist accused the magazine of turning his dad’s death into “entertainment.” He claimed, “The only thing printed in this piece of toilet paper that’s true is that we all loved my father.”


… The Baltimore Ravens placed seven defensive players on the reserve/COVID-19 list yesterday as a result of contact tracing following cornerback Marlon Humphrey’s positive test on Monday. Linebackers Matt Judon, Tyus Bowser, Patrick Queen, L.J. Fort and Malik Harrison were added to the list, as were defensive backs Terrell Bonds and DeShon Elliott.

DEADLINE DEALS… Teams made last-minute deals of action ahead of last night’s NFL trade deadline…

The Los Angeles Chargers sent Pro Bowl defensive back/kick returner Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a sixth-round pick…

The Miami Dolphins acquired running back DeAndre Washington from the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for draft pick compensation. The Dolphins also traded wide receiver Isaiah Ford to the New England Patriots in an exchange for a 2022 seventh-round pick…

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired linebacker Avery Williamson and a 2020 seventh-round pick from the New York Jets in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick…

The San Francisco 49ers traded former Pro Bowler Kwon Alexander in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick and linebacker Kiko Alonso.

The Rundown for October 8, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,549,429 and the nation’s death toll stands at 211,793, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… 25 states have reported rises in cases three states have taken action this week… The outbreak has infected “34 White House staffers and other contacts” in recent days, according to an internal government memo. Yesterday, the Pentagon announced that assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, General Gary Thomas, has tested positive after meeting Friday with Coast Guard vice commandant Admiral Charles Ray, who has tested positive. On Tuesday, top military leaders said they would quarantine because of their exposure to COVID-19.

VICE PRESIDENT DEBATE… Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic challenger Senator Kamala Harris clashed early and often during last night’s vice presidential-debate at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Harris promoted the Joe Biden platform and attacked Pence for his role in an administration that has mishandled a pandemic, crashed the economy and attacked the Affordable Care Act. Pence countered by defending the Trump administration’s economy and tax policy. The two also expressed their views of the Supreme Court and the differences over environmental policies.

APPEALS COURT RULES TRUMP TAX SUBPOENA VALID… A federal appeals court yesterday ruled against Trump’s latest attempt to block a subpoena for his tax returns. The decision marked the fifth time courts have blocked Trump’s efforts to withhold his tax returns from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The appeals court found the subpoena was not too broad in its scope, nor could the reason for its issuance solely be relegated to a “political fishing expedition,” as lawyers representing Trump unsuccessfully argued. Vance has been investigating a number of financial crimes, including hush payments. Last month, the New York Times obtained and published most of Trump’s returns, which showed that he paid $750 in income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and did not pay taxes in 11 of the 15 years examined.

TRUMP 12 POINTS DOWN IN HIS FAVORITE POLL… President Trump’s favorite poll is the latest to join others in finding that his numbers have been falling since the first presidential debate and his infection with the coronavirus. The Republican-leaning Rasmussen poll says Trump trails Democratic challengers by 12 points. Voters surveyed between September 30 and October 6 favored Biden by a 52-to-40-percent margin. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released yesterday found Biden leading Trump in Florida and the two virtually tied in Arizona.

DELTA MAKES LANDFALL IN MEXICO… Delta made landfall yesterday in Puerto Moreles, Mexico, as a Category 2 hurricane and is taking aim at the Texas-Louisiana border. The latest forecast calls for it to arrive near Cameron, Louisiana, tomorrow afternoon as a Category 3 hurricane. A hurricane watch has been issued for Texas and Louisiana. A storm surge watch was issued from Texas to the Alabama-Florida border.

… Country star Morgan Wallen has been disinvited as the musical guest on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.” NBC rescinded the offer after the 27-year-old Wallen was seen partying without a mask and kissing multiple women while at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa over the weekend. Wallen posted an apology to SNL, his fans and his band on social media yesterday.

ELLEN RATINGS TUMBLE… Ratings continue to tumble for Ellen DeGeneres, who has been scandalized by rude behavior and abusive workplace environment. Tuesday’s fourth season premiere of the comic’s primetime NBC series, “Ellen’s Game of Games,” got a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49, which represents a 30-percent drop from from the Season 3 premiere last January. Ratings for DeGeneres’ daytime talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” slipped 16 percent in total audience.


Oakland 9 – HOUSTON 7
(at Dodger Stadium in L.A)…. The Athletics erased a 7-4 seventh-inning deficit to get past the Astros and pull within 2-1 in the series. Chad Pinder belted a game-tying three-run homer and lifted a sacrifice fly. Marcus Semien, Tommy La Stella, Mark Canha and Matt Olson hit bases-empty homers. Oakland will try to even the series today when it sends Frankie Montas to the mound. He’ll be opposed by fellow righthander Cristian Javier.

Tampa Bay 8 – N.Y. YANKEES 4 (in San Diego)… Randy Arozarena homered for the third straight game and the Rays also got homers from Kevin Kiermaier and Michael Perez in doubling up on the Yankees to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Starter Charlie Morton surrendered a run on four hits over five innings. New York will try to bring the series even today behind lefthanded starter Jordan Montgomery. Tampa Bay counters with righthander Ryan Thompson.

ATLANTA 2 – Miami 0
(in Houston)… Rookie starter Ian Anderson pitched three-hit ball over 5-2/3 innings and four relievers preserved the shutout as the Braves blanked the Marlins to go up 2-0 in the series. Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud smacked solo homers. It will be a matchup of righthanders today as Atlanta’s Kyle Wright opposes Miami’s Sixto Sanchez.

L.A. DODGERS 6 – San Diego 5 (in Arlington)… The Dodgers held off the Padres to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Cody Bellinger homered and made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Fernando Tatis of a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning. Corey Seager stroked a two-run double. Max Muncy produced a pair of run-scoring singles. San Diego will try to get in the win column today behind rookie Adrian Morejon. Los Angeles sends Julio Urias to the mound in a matchup of lefthanders.

Tampa Bay (3-1) is at Chicago (3-1)

NFL NEWS… A total of 22 Tennessee Titans players and staff have contracted the coronavirus. 11 of the players have placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list this season. The status of Sunday’s against the Buffalo Bills is unknown. The NFL and NFLPA are reportedly investigating whether the Titans violated COVID-19 protocols.

The Rundown for October 16, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,979,448 and the nation’s death toll stands at 217,683, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Nine states reported record one-day increases of new infections yesterday. Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa are among Midwest states that set records.

TRUMP, BIDEN HOST TOWN HALLS… President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden participated in separate town halls last night. Biden, appearing on ABC from Philadelphia, criticized Trump’s “panicked” response to the to the coronavirus pandemic. The former vice president appeared to be at ease as he answered questions ranging from criminal justice reform to climate change and foreign policy. He was not a “fan” of packing the Supreme Court with more liberal justices to counter seat seats stolen by Republicans but stopped short of ruling it out. Appearing from Miami on NBC, while Trump questioned the effectiveness of wearing masks to defend against the coronavirus, declined to denounce QAnon and dodged questions about a New York Times investigation of two decades of his tax returns, which he has refused to release publicly despite promising to before the 2016 election.

BARRETT CONFIRMATION… The Republican majority on the Senate judiciary committee plans to vote next Thursday whether to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for a full floor vote. Democratic Senator from Connecticut Richard Blumenthal unsuccessfully sought a postponement, calling the nomination a “sham process.” The 22-member committee is expected approve Barrett’s confirmation along party lines. Her appointment would then move to the full Senate, where it needs a simple majority for final confirmation. Barrett answered questions before the committee for three days last week. Witnesses were brought in for yesterday’s fourth and final day of the confirmation hearings.

FBI INVESTIGATES EMAILS… The FBI is investigating whether the emails cited in a debunked New York Post story are products of a foreign intelligence operation. Agents have seized a laptop that purportedly contained evidence that presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, orchestrated a meeting between his father and a firm that once had the younger Biden on the payroll. President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani reportedly gave the laptop to the Post, and Giuliani claimed to have received it from a Delaware computer repairman who has changed his story multiple times in media interviews. Both Hunter and Joe Biden deny the emails’ authenticity and say such a meeting never happened. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported yesterday that President Trump just “shrugged his shoulders” when he was personally warned by his own national security adviser last year that Giuliani was being used to feed him disinformation from Russian intelligence operatives. The U.S. intelligence community was reportedly concerned about Giuliani’s ties to Andriy Derkach, the Ukrainian lawmaker spouting pro-Kremlin propaganda who was last month blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury as a “Russian agent.”

MORE AMERICANS IN POVERTY… Researchers at Columbia University say 8 million more Americans have been plunged into poverty since May as federal aid to help people through the coronavirus pandemic has largely dried up. The researchers found that, after falling by four million at the beginning of the pandemic thanks to a $2 trillion emergency stimulus package, the number of people in poverty is now higher than before coronavirus crisis. A separate study, from the universities of Chicago and Notre Dame, used a different definition of poverty and found that the number of poor Americans has grown by six million people in the past three months. The latter study found that circumstances have got worse mostly for Black people and children.

… Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Ariana Grande, Jonah Hill are among entertainers who have joined Netflix comedy film “Don’t Look Up.” Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and Rob Morgan already have signed to star in a cast that also includes Timothee Chalamet, Matthew Perry, Kid Cudi, Himesh Patel and Tomer Sisley. The film centers on a pair of low-level astronomers who warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy earth during a media tour.

REBA McENTIRE TO STAR IN ‘FRIED GREEN TOMATOES’… Reba McEntire has signed on to star in the upcoming NBC series “Fried Green Tomatoes,” which is based on the 1987 Fannie Flagg novel and 1991 film. The 65-year-old McEntire will play Idgie Threadgoode in a story about a middle-aged housewife and an elderly woman living in a nursing home. The 1991 movie adaptation starred Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-House Parker and Jessica Tandy as Ninny.


HOUSTON 4 – Tampa Bay 3
(in San Diego)… Carlos Correa’s one-out homer in the bottom of the ninth inning gave the Astros a walk-off win over the Rays and pulled them within 3-2 in the series. George Springer homered to lead off the bottom of the first. Michael Brantley stroked a two-run single in the fifth. It will be a matchup of lefthanders today when Houston’s Framber Valdez goes against Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell. Gametime is 6:07 p.m. Eastern.

ATLANTA 10 – L.A. Dodgers 2 (in Arlington)… The Braves pounded the Dodgers to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Freddie Freeman’s tie-breaking RBI double sparked a six-run bottom of the sixth inning that put the game away. Dansby Swanson added a two-run double. Marcell Ozuna smacked a pair of solo homers. Los Angeles will try to stay alive today by sending righthander Dustin May to the mound. Atlanta didn’t name its starter.

Chicago (4-1) is at Carolina (3-2)…
Philadelphia (1-3-1) hosts Baltimore (4-1)…
Atlanta (0-5) are at Minnesota (1-4)…
Pittsburgh (4-0) hosts Cleveland (4-1)…
Houston (1-4) is at Tennessee (4-0)…
the N.Y. Giants (0-5) host Washington (1-4)…
Denver (1-3) is at New England (2-2)…
Indianapolis (3-2) hosts Cincinnati (1-3-1)…
Detroit (1-3) is at Jacksonville (1-4)…
Miami (2-3) hosts the N.Y. Jets (0-5)…
Green Bay (4-0) is at Tampa Bay (3-2)…
San Francisco (2-3) hosts the L.A. Rams (4-1)

Kansas City (4-1) is at Buffalo (4-1)…
Dallas (2-3) hosts Arizona (3-2)

NFL NEWS… Fred Dean, a Hall of Fame pass-rushing defensive end who played with the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers, died Wednesday after battling COVID-19, the Pro Football Hall of Fame confirmed yesterday. He was 68 and had been hospitalized in intensive care. Dean played on two Super Bowl-winning teams with the 49ers and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times during his 10-year career.

The Rundown for September 29, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 7,148,009 and the nation’s death toll stands at 205,069, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passed a million yesterday just nine months after the first reported fatality in China. Public health experts believe the actual toll is much higher than what has been recorded… Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading disease expert, is concerned about the full re-opening of bars and restaurants in Florida. Fauci told ABC’s “Good Morning America” yesterday that the U.S. is “not in a good place” for the upcoming winter season as cases continue to rise in most states. Fauci emphasized that he is urging people take a common-sense approach toward public health and is not calling for a shutdown.

PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TONIGHT… President Trump and his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, square off tonight in their first debate of the 2020 presidential campaign. The event at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, airs from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET. Polls have been indicating that Biden currently holds a 10-point advantage nationally among both registered and likely voters. Bombshell reports about about Trump’s taxes, the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation fight and Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to be among topics discussed tonight.

TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN ACCUSED OF DETERRING BLACK VOTERS… An investigation by Channel 4 News in London has found that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign sought to deter millions of Black voters in battleground states from casting their ballots. According to the investigation, the voters were targeted in negative Hillary Clinton ads posted on Facebook. A leaked database of voter profiles used by the Trump campaign revealed how the “dark” ads identified Black voters who were likely to vote for Clinton. The strategy was reportedly orchestrated through Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm that gained unauthorized access to tens of millions of Facebook profiles.

DEMS UNVEIL RELIEF PLAN… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that Democratic lawmakers have unveiled a new, $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. She called the bill a compromise measure that reduces the costs of the economic aid. According to Pelosi, the legislation “includes new funding needed to avert catastrophe for schools, small businesses, restaurants, performance spaces, airline workers and others.” She hasn’t said when Democrats would vote on the proposal.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES… Evacuations continued in two Northern California counties yesterday, where the Glass Fire has consumed 36,236 acres and is 0 percent contained. More than 68,000 people have been forced out of their homes in Napa and Sonoma counties. A separate fire in Shasta County has claimed the lives of at least three people, authorities reported.

… HBO announced yesterday that it has renewed “Real Time with Bill Maher” for two more seasons. The deal keeps the topical talk show on the network through 2022. HBO praised the show for giving “audiences an unparalleled platform for debate, comedy, and social discourse.” Each episode features an opening monologue, followed by round-table discussions with guests and interviews.

CAROL BASKIN BOOTED FROM ‘DANCING’… “Tiger King” alum and animal activist Carole Baskin was eliminated from Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars” last night. She had teamed up with professional dancer Pasha Pashkov for the competition. Following Baskin’s departure, remaining competitors include “Cheer” coach Monica Aldama, “The Bachelorette” alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, “Selling Sunset” star Chrishell Stause, retired NFL player Vernon Davis, actresses Anne Heche, Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, actor Jesse Metcalfe, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.


Tampa Bay 2 – Dallas 0… The Lightning clipped the Stars in Game 6 to capture the franchise’s second-ever Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay got goals from Brayden Point and Blake Coleman. Goalie Sergei Vasilevskiy stopped all 24 shots.

Kansas City 34 – BALTIMORE 20
… Patrick Mahomes passed for 385 yards and hit four different receivers with scoring tosses in leading the Chiefs (3-0) past the Ravens (2-1). The victory was Kansas City’s 12th straight in the regular season and ended Baltimore’s 14-game regular-season winning streak.

MLB POSTSEASON OPENS TODAY… Major League Baseball postseason gets underway today with four American League wild-card games. National League wild-card games begin tomorrow.

the Houston Astros (Zack Greinke, 3-3) are at Minnesota (Kenta Maeda, 6-1)…
Oakland (Jesus Luzardo, 3-2) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 4-3)…
Toronto (Matt Shoemaker, 0-1) is at Tampa Bay (Blake Snell, 4-2)…
Cleveland (Shane Bieber, 8-1) hosts the N.Y. Yankees (Gerrit Cole, 7-3)

Wilkie C. Mahoney, West Coast Whiz Bang: A Guest Post by Bob Sarber

Happy birthday to an old family friend…


Comedy writer Wilkie C. Mahoney has one champion on this world, and a fierce one it is. Journalist Bob Sarber knew him personally as a family friend when he was growing up. Nine months ago, when such a thing was still possible, Bob told me story after story about Wilkie as he drove me along the Pacific Coast Highway to show this Eastern dude the California country he knows and loves so well. It all culminated with a talk at the History Center of San Luis Obispo County, drawn from Bob’s research on Mahoney for a projected book, which we chronicled here. At any rate, Bob is the only person to write a Travalanche entry on Wilkie Mahoney, which he has generously done. The foregoing is from his pen:  

Wilkie Mahoney was was born the family homestead in San Miguel, California, on this day in 1897. His name frequently…

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The Rundown for June 10, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has risen to 1,979,850 and the death toll stands at 112,006, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday that the disease is “my worst nightmare,” in some ways more than Ebola or HIV. Almost half the states in the country are seeing higher rates of cases as Americans gather to socialize or protest. South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune, the second-highest-ranking Republican in the upper chamber, told reporters yesterday that the next relief package likely won’t be passed by the Senate until at least mid-July.

PROTESTS CONTINUE… Protests calling for justice over George Floyd’s death in police custody and for police reform continued yesterday in cities large and small throughout the nation. Protesters in Seattle stormed city hall and called for the resignation of Mayor Jenny Durkan, whom they accuse of failing to stop “unnecessary violence” from being used at demonstrations. The action came on the same day that the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Korematsu Center at Seattle University School of Law and the law firm Perkins Coie filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court on behalf of Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County, protesters and a journalist. In Richmond, Virginia, protesters toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus into a pond in the city’s Byrd Park.

BIDEN WINS GEORGIA AND WEST VIRGINIA PRIMARIES… Joe Biden picked up more delegates yesterday with projected primary wins in Georgia and West Virginia, raising his number of delegates to 2,106. Problems with voting machines caused long lines at Georgia’s voting stations and prompted authorities to open an investigation into the “unacceptable” voting issues. In DeKalb County, officials reportedly ran out of paper ballots after voting machines failed.

AIR FORCE GETS NEW COMMANDER… The Senate voted unanimously yesterday to confirm General Charles Q. Brown as the Air Force’s 22nd chief of staff and make him the first African-American to lead a U.S. military branch. Brown, who is currently the commander of the Pacific Air Forces, will replace General Dave Goldfein. Last week, Alaska Republican Senator Dan Sullivan delayed Brown’s nomination due to questions about the KC-46 aerial-refueling tanker.

NEW YORK STATE VOTE TO MAKE COPS’ RECORDS PUBLIC.. Lawmakers in New York state yesterday repealed a decades-old law that has kept law enforcement officers’ disciplinary records confidential. State lawmakers also passed other bills that would provide all state troopers with body cameras and ensure that police officers provide medical and mental health attention to people in custody. Earlier yesterday, the passage came as criminal charges were brought against an NYPD officer over his rough treatment of a protester during recent demonstrations.

… The Paramount Network yesterday canceled production of the long-running reality TV series “Cops” amid worldwide protests against police brutality. Earlier, Paramount’s parent company, ViacomCBS, announced that it would not air the show’s episodes on any of its channels. The 33rd season of “Cops” was set to premiere June on Monday but wasn’t aired. Over the weekend, cable channel A&E pulled last week’s episodes of “Live PD.”

‘VANDERPUMP RULES’ CAST MEMBERS FIRED… Four “Vanderpump Rules” cast members have been fired for racist actions deemed racist by Bravo. Original cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute were let go, as were new cast members Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni. Former cast member Faith Stowers, who was the only black cast member when she appeared in the show’s fourth season, recently revealed on Instagram that Schroeder and Doute once reported her to police for a crime she didn’t commit.

… ESPN announced yesterday that the Major League Baseball Players Association is proposing an 89-game season with a full prorated share of salary and expanded playoffs. The proposal would bring the sides closer to an agreement because it is 25 games fewer than the union’s most recent proposal of 114 games at full pro rata. On Monday, owners proposed a 76-game season that would cover up to 75 percent of players’ prorated salaries. Per the players’ proposal, the season would start on July 10 and end on October 11. It also would expand the postseason to 16 teams (eight in each league) for 2020 and 2021.

The Rundown for June 2, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus case in the U.S. has reached 1,811,277 and the death toll stands at 105,147, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. A comprehensive study published yesterday in the Lancet medical journal found that physical distance and perhaps the use of a mask were the two best ways to prevent transmission. The study urged people to stay at least three feet apart and more if possible. Also yesterday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer rescinded the state’s stay-at-home order, allowing many businesses to reopen later this week. Whitmer issued an executive order allowing retailers to open Thursday and restaurants to open on Monday with both being subject to capacity limits.

TRUMP THREATENS TO USE MILITARY ON PROTESTERS… Demonstrations and clashes with police continued in cities throughout the U.S. yesterday. President Trump threatened the nation’s governors that he would deploy the military to states that fail to end violent protests over police brutality. Later, police under federal command fired tear gas and flash-bang grenades at peaceful demonstrators so that Trump could walk to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church and pose for photos while holding a Bible. The bishop who oversees the church was “outraged” that the president would use that place of worship for a photo-op. “We need moral leadership and he’s done everything to divide us and has just used one of the most sacred symbols of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” lamented Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde.

WHITE NATIONALIST GROUP INCITING VIOLENCE… An account claiming to be associated with a non-existent national anti-fascist organization has been suspended on Twitter after sharing a tweet that incited violence. The account, which has been connected to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa, declared, “Tonight’s the night, Comrades Tonight we say ‘F— The City’ and we move into the residential areas… the white hoods…. and we take what’s ours …” Twitter suspended hundreds of accounts and is conducting an investigation into the widespread use of disinformation to deflect blame for recent violence.

GEORGE FLOYD DEATH OFFICIALLY RULED A HOMICIDE… The Hennepin County Medical Examiner yesterday officially ruled last week’s death of George Floyd a homicide. According to the updated report, the 46-year-old unarmed black man died on May 25 due to a “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restrain, and neck compression” while Floyd was being restrained by law enforcement officers. Hours before the update was released, attorneys for Floyd’s family released the findings of an independent autopsy, which determined Floyd died of “asphyxia from sustained pressure” on his neck and back.

LOUISVILLE POLICE CHIEF FIRED… Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the firing of Police Chief Steve Conrad yesterday in response to the performance of his officers. The announcement came a day after the fatal shooting of the owner of a barbecue restaurant that offered meals to police officers. 53-year-old David McAtee died while police and National Guard opened fire while enforcing a curfew. He was inside his restaurant at the time. Mayor Fischer said police turned off their body cameras prior to the shooting.

BIDEN MEETS WITH BLACK LEADERS… Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed to African-American leaders yesterday that he would fight institutional racism and re-establish a Justice Department police oversight body within the first 100 days of being elected president. Biden made the announcement while visiting with political, religious and education leaders at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware. The former vice president listened and took notes before standing to address the crowd.

… Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts announced yesterday that they are postponing their joint summer stadium tour until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original stadium tour was set to kick off on June 18 in Jacksonville, Florida. Members of Motley Crue were looking forward to returning to the road together following the release of their Netflix biopic “The Dirt.” Poison was set to tour with its original lineup of Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall and Rikki Rockett.

MUSIC INDUSTRY TAKING THE DAY OFF… The music industry will be observing a day-long “blackout” today in response to George Floyd’s killing last week. All three major record labels yesterday promised on social media “a day to disconnect from work and reconnect with our community.” Workers at the labels have been given the day off as “a day of action,” intended to “provoke accountability and change.” Interscope vowed not to release new music this week.

MLB OWNERS FAVOR SHORT SEASON… ESPN reported yesterday that Major League Baseball owners are now willing to honor the March accord in which players agreed to prorate their 2020 salaries based on the number of games played but are also angling for a much shorter regular season. Owners are thinking in terms of a 50-game season, with players earning their full prorated salaries. Players have sought a full prorated portion of their salaries based on a March 26 agreement with the league. The Players Association on Sunday proposed a 114-game schedule that would cover 70.3% of their original salaries. A 50-game schedule with full pro rata would pay the players 30.8 percent of that number.