Dear Abby: Our poker wives’ group has been hijacked by a pious new member

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 06/10/2023 - 01:01

DEAR ABBY: Recently, I started a group dinner for the wives of my husband’s poker buddies.

It started out well. However, a newer member of the group has instigated praying in the restaurant, including holding hands while we do it. This is not my style, nor is it for some of the others.

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We feel we are being held hostage to her request, and we’re not sure how to put a stop to this display.

I’m private about my spiritual life, and another group member is agnostic. Can you please advise me on a tactful way to address this dear woman?


DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Tell the dear, deeply religious woman that you are very private about your spirituality, and at least one other member of the group is agnostic. Then suggest it would be appreciated if she kept her devotions silent and contactless when you are in a public place.

(Could she be praying for her husband to win?)

DEAR ABBY: I have an older sister who has been a hypochondriac for as long as I can remember.

Every sniffle, cough or sneeze is always a dayslong or weekslong complain-a-thon about how sick she is, and sometimes these illnesses or injuries are simply invented for attention.

While this has always been annoying, it was fairly easy to brush it off — until after I married.

My husband, a wonderful man, is chronically ill. Like many chronically ill individuals, his life is filled with doctors’ appointments, various treatment plans, trying new medications and a lot of financial stress around how to pay for it all.

Through it all, he perseveres. He goes to work, cares for me and our animals and does his best to live a full, joyous life.

Watching my husband suffer has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. He is strong and brave, and now that I see how chronically ill people struggle to live a normal day, my sister and her fake issues have gone from bothersome to infuriating.

The truth is, she has no idea what these wonderful, strong humans endure on a day-to-day basis, and the fact that she hijacks that struggle for her own purposes makes my blood boil. I know hypochondria is an issue on its own, but she refuses to acknowledge it, let alone seek treatment for it.

How can I maintain a relationship with someone whose behavior, in my opinion, is extremely selfish? She has been confronted, but she just won’t stop.


DEAR SEES REAL: According to the DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, your sister may suffer from “illness anxiety disorder.” (Italics are mine.) She may not be seeking attention or trying to divert it away from your husband and his daily struggles; she may be genuinely fearful and distressed.

If interacting with her as often as you do is as upsetting as you indicate, for your own mental health, consider talking to or seeing her less often. Confronting her is not the answer; a licensed psychotherapist may be — if she would admit she may need one.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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Readers sound off on a Mets legend, air pollution and Mike Pence’s religion

San Jose Mercury - Sat, 06/10/2023 - 00:14
An indelible memory of original Met Roger Craig

Staten Island: When I heard on June 4 that former New York Met and legendary manager and pitching coach Roger Craig passed away, I thought of a night almost 60 years earlier. Craig had lost 18 games in a row, pitching for a very poorly hitting Mets ball club. His plan on Aug. 9, 1963 was to break the hex by changing his uniform number from 38 to 13.

The game, in the ancient Polo Grounds, went to the bottom of the ninth with the Mets and Chicago Cubs tied 3-3. Improbably, the Mets put runners on second and third with two outs. Joe Hicks had singled and Al Moran, with a batting average of .198, doubled behind him. Manager Casey Stengel called up pinch hitter Tim Harkness to bat for Craig. If the run did not score, Craig would be out of the game and his chance for the historic victory would vanish.

Harkness was walked intentionally, bringing up leadoff hitter Jim Hickman (famously immortalized in our very first Gold’s Horseradish Mets program ad). However, this time, Hickman hit a pop fly to left field that future Hall of Famer Billy Williams camped under. But the Mets were lucky — one of the quirks of the Polo Grounds was a left-field scoreboard that hung over the lower deck. On its downward path, the ball grazed the scoreboard and the impending pop out became a grand slam. The result: a 7-3 Mets victory. The losing streak ended and Craig improved his record to 3-20. His good fortune continued as he performed at a .500 clip the rest of the way, ending the season at 5-22. Marc Gold

No laughing matter

Queens Village: Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the “Hagar the Horrible” comic strip. He is a lovable oaf who enjoys ransacking castles and brawling with his rivals. But with shoplifting becoming so rampant in our society, you have him joyfully shoplifting from a newly opened clothing store! Does it really set a good example, especially with our youth? Lawrence Krasner

Cover for crime

Clearwater, Fla.: Just when most thought that we were finished with masks, here we go again. And just when NYC thought that crime was at its worst — watch out for the masked bandit. Criminals will no doubt find the silver lining in the dark cloud of air pollution coming from Canadian wildfires. As people take precaution under hazardous conditions, don’t let the smoke get in your eyes. Crime is likely to rise. JoAnn Lee Frank

Schools in session

Pearl River, N.Y.: So the wonderful and wise Mayor Adams declares a crisis due to the smoke from the wildfires in Canada. Owners stop all sports games and ticket sales for future events. The mayor canceled all public gatherings but public schools stayed open on Tuesday and Wednesday. If anyone ever had a doubt that the city government and the teachers union only care about money, let this be a wake-up call. Our precious children, the future of this once-great country, are put at risk due to these idiots again. Robert Brennan

Locked in

Glendale: As the city goes full speed ahead with its flawed (insane) plan to close Rikers Island at a cost of about $8 billion, the taxpayers of the city continue to get shafted. As reported by the Daily News, about 10,000 preschoolers were denied legally required special education services while the city continues to go forward with its plan. Our inmates are more important than our children. Thomas Murawski

Leave it be

Rural Retreat, Va.: In 1961, my mother gave $5,000 to Blauvelt, N.Y. to buy the property to honor my grandfather Joseph Perlman that is now the Blauvelt Free Library. Her name and my grandfather’s are nowhere to be found in the library’s history. Yet your state senators want to waste time and money to rename a bridge out of spite for fear that Andrew Cuomo will rise to power again. New York is being run into the ground. It took seven years to think about what to name the bridge. Why now make a mockery out of a popular three-term governor whose widow is still alive? The remnants of the Tappan Zee Bridge make an artificial reef in the Hudson River. That is a good place for an old bridge to rest. Why don’t you make a park around that reef and name it the Tappan Zee Bridge Park? Therefore, all is solved. Kathleen (Loewy Perlman) Cobbs

Migrant wave

Barryville, N.Y.: To Voicer Kevin John Carroll: That big ethnic group populating the entire U.S., of which you are presumably a member, is not a drink called Scotch whisky. Scots-Irish Americans are descendants of Scots who lived in Northern Ireland for two or three generations but retained their Scottish character. The peak periods of Scots-Irish migration to America occurred between 1718 and 1774. More than 250,000 people came in total — far greater numbers than the Pilgrims, Puritans and Quakers who came before them. John Tomlinson

Undue expense

Armonk, N.Y.: The citizens of the United States are being forced into a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul scenario by people from Third World countries storming across the border and seeking “asylum” in one way or another. Sorry to say, but we should not have to do this — robarle a Pedro para pagarle a Pablo. Gary Miller

Flight risk

Sayville, L.I.: Cut this out and hang it on your fridge door: Within two to three years, maybe sooner, Trump will flee the country to avoid jail. Lots of choices, like Russia, Dubai, Saudi Arabia — even a country on his s-hole list if he has the need. He will not go to a country that is now authoritarian, but was democratic and may flip back. It has to be a pretty sure thing. He needs to be watched to be sure he doesn’t flee. Like Hitler in retreat ordering Paris burned to the ground, Trump in exile can and will do much damage to the U.S. He literally is every ugly human trait rolled into one person. Even Hitler had a dog he was fond of. Trump has nothing but himself. Michael Hooker

For shame

Staten Island: When Trump finally goes to jail, what will be embarrassing is not that a former president has gone to jail for the first time, but that so many Americans were so easily fooled and voted for a criminal to be our president. Michael Rosenkrantz

Theocratic oath

Brooklyn: I just listened to Mike Pence announce his campaign for pope — er, priest — um, religious leader. I mean, wow! From his point of view, every right listed in the Constitution is a “God-given right.” He told us he is a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third. Well, that’s very nice, but we don’t (or shouldn’t) elect religious leaders in this country. It’s like he’s forgotten the last phrase of the Constitution’s Article VI: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” While he wasn’t saying his Christianity is required to be president, he certainly made me — not a Christian — feel like I won’t be welcome in his United States. A Christian President Pence would not be hidden by the masking effect that Vice President Pence had in Grifter-in-Chief Trump’s shadow. Ian Randal Strock

Salvation pitch

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Most people are bound by a ball and chain for eternal punishment and don’t realize it. These balls and chains are spiritual and illustrate the lost condition of their souls. They are chained to their sins, which are revealed in the Ten Commandments. This keeps them separated from God (Isa. 59:2). Unless released, their end is the eternal lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). The only way they can be set free is through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ that paid the penalty for their sins. Their release is effected upon faith in Him and repentance of their sins. Only Christ can remove the ball and chain that holds them captive to sin: “In Him, we have redemption, through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Eph. 1:7). In Christ, eternal punishment is canceled and eternal life in Him begins. Jim Black


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Expert Picks: Who Will Win the Belmont Stakes?

N.Y. Times - Sat, 06/10/2023 - 00:00
Joe Drape and Melissa Hoppert assess the contenders for the 155th Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
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60-Somethings With Mob Ties Charged in Jewel Heists

N.Y. Times - Sat, 06/10/2023 - 00:00
Four older men with extensive criminal records, including killings and a jailbreak, were charged this week in two brazen armed robberies in Manhattan.
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Multiple people shot in San Francisco’s Mission District

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 22:35

SAN FRANCISCO — Multiple people were shot Friday night in San Francisco’s Mission District, police said.

Officers from the Mission Station were called to the area of 24th Street and Treat Avenue at 9:07 p.m. for a report of a shooting, a San Francisco police spokesperson said in an email. They arrived to find multiple people suffering from gunshot wounds.

Medics were summoned to the scene to treat and transport the victims to area hospitals.

“At this time we can confirm that there are multiple shooting victims,” the spokesperson said. “Their medical conditions are unknown. Members of the public are asked to avoid the area at this time.”

KGO-TV reported that the shooting happened during a block party and that at least five people were injured.

Anyone with information related to the case can contact the police department at 650-565-4444.


Please avoid the area of 24th/Treat St as we conduct an investigation related to a shooting. At this time, can confirm multiple victims – their medical conditions are unknown. Updates will be released as they become available.

— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) June 10, 2023

Check back for updates.

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SF Giants lose to Cubs despite Joc Pederson big night against Stroman

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:57

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants’ returned home off a three-game sweep to face one of of the hottest pitchers in baseball in Marcus Stroman. But the Giants had one of his nemeses.

Joc Pederson came into the game with a .455 average including four doubles in 11 at-bats against Stroman for his career. He added three hits to that tally on Friday, including a single that kept a rally to score their first run in the third inning. But Pederson’s mastery wasn’t enough as they fell to the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Friday night at Oracle Park.

Pederson was key in the Giants’ threat to rally back from a two-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh. Brandon Crawford doubled on a drive down the right field line and advanced to third on an out, bringing Pederson up and prompting Cubs manager David Ross to pull Stroman.

Pederson’s fourth hit of the game came off reliever Mark Leiter Jr. on a dribbler that came off his bat at 63.3 mph. He was initially called out by a hair, but the call was overturned and Crawford’s scamper home made it a one-run game.

Anthony DeSclafani looked to be keeping up with Stroman, holding the Chicago Cubs to two hits over his first six innings while the Giants pinned one run on Stroman. But a trouble inning did him in.

Seiya Suzuki collected his second hit of the night — he reached base four times — to start the inning and Ian Happ walked to put the tying run in scoring position, prompting manager Gabe Kapler to take his starter out of the game. Reliever Ryan Walker couldn’t get DeSclafani off the hook, hitting Matt Mervis with a pitch to load the bases and giving up a go-ahead single to Nico Hoerner. Tucker Barnhart added another run on a single to shallow center field to give the Cubs the run that won them the game.

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DeSclafani went six innings, allowed two runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

J.D. Davis was scratched from the lineup prior to the game with hip tightness, but pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning for Patrick Bailey. It began a one-two-three ninth inning with no comeback magic this time.

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Hallan a los 4 niños perdidos en la selva de Colombia tras 40 días

N.Y. Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:46
Aún no se sabe quién encontró a los menores, ni cómo lograron sobrevivir en una selva tan densa. “Queremos compartir la felicidad de todo el pueblo colombiano”, dijo el ministro de Defensa.
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Gritty Nuggets beat Heat to take commanding 3-1 lead in NBA Finals

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:31

MIAMI – As Stan Kroenke roamed the sidelines before Friday’s Game 4 of the NBA Finals, he issued a prophetic missive.

“Opportunity knocks,” he said, his bold statement matched only by his blue jacket.

The gritty and grimy Nuggets wrestled the Heat to the mat, seizing a 3-1 series lead in the NBA Finals with their resounding 108-95 win. All that was left was the pin, which could happen as soon as Monday when the series flips back to Denver for Game 5.

There, the Nuggets will have a chance to clinch their first-ever NBA championship.

“We’re not celebrating like we’ve done anything yet,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.

Nikola Jokic picked up his fifth foul three minutes into the fourth quarter, which preempted the defining sequence of the night. As their MVP shouted and coached from the baseline, the rest of Denver’s resilient group clawed to keep the Heat at bay.

Jamal Murray buried a dagger 3-pointer. Reserve Jeff Green knocked one down, too. Together, as a unit, they put the clamps on Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and took control of the Finals. Fearless Bruce Brown, who finished with 21 points, attacked the hoop with a championship in sight.

“I knew coming into the league what I could do,” said Brown, his steady confidence a defining trait of his versatile game.

Added Malone: “He’s not afraid.”

Jokic finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, along with three steals and two blocks. Aaron Gordon had a team-high 27 points, his production and efficiency proving too much for the Heat’s beleaguered defense to handle. Gordon, the former Archbishop Mitty High star, sunk three of Denver’s 14 3-pointers.

Murray added 15 points and 12 assists, and fans finally headed for the exits after Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drained a 3-pointer with 1:49 left.

“Our guys are locked in, man,” Malone said, crediting his entire team for their effort.

All that was left, after storming to South Beach and seizing the two biggest wins in franchise history, was to finish the job.

“We’re just ready to win a championship,” Murray said.

Denver spent the first two quarters raining 3-pointers like the torrential downpours that’d shrouded Miami the last two days. By the third quarter, they started hunting the paint. Michael Porter Jr. finally found pay-dirt on two quick baskets inside, and then Jokic and Murray started attacking just like they’d done in Game 3. With impeccable touch and uncanny range, Jokic buried one from the mid-range and then stepped out and canned another deep 3-pointer. His dissection, from all three levels, was unrelenting. When a Murray jumper trickled in near the elbow, a second road win started to feel imminent.

After Adebayo was called for basket interference with 2:07 left in the third quarter, officials felt the basket needed to be leveled. Jokic tried hanging on the rim, twice, to fix it himself, as curious Heat fans didn’t know whether to applaud or cheer. The seven-minute delay afforded Jokic even more rest.

Once play resumed, Gordon continued dominating. He ended the quarter with a corner 3-pointer in front of Miami’s bench that left Heat fans stunned. Denver had an 86-73 lead and was just a quarter away from returning home with a commanding edge.

A 2-1 series lead didn’t mean much to Malone. Not at this stage and not with these stakes.

“This is a must-win for us,” he said prior to Friday’s tip-off. “This is the Finals. This can’t be human nature, ‘We came down, got one game, we can relax.’ Each game, each possession, each quarter are way too important. As I told our players, when we got on that plane to come down here, it wasn’t just to get one win. Our mindset is to go out there and take it tonight.”

Malone also didn’t want to hear anything about benching Porter, who’d struggled mightily throughout the first three games of the series.

“Zero discussion about making any changes,” Malone said. “Again, Michael Porter is a big part of our team. We would not be in this position if it wasn’t for him. … As far as him kind of getting back into his groove, I talked to him today about understanding that we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all the contributions and growth that you’ve shown us throughout this year being healthy. Go out there and play, be aggressive, shoot the ball with confidence and, remember, you’re not a specialist. We don’t bring in specialists.”

The Nuggets played with the moxie befitting of a team trying to make history. In building a 55-51 halftime lead, they rained in seven 3-pointers. Those triples meant more given the slow, steady pace of the game.

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Even though none came from Porter, arguably Denver’s best sniper, the rest of his teammates found their range. After Porter missed one and dropped his head into a timeout, teammates Vlatko Cancar and Christian Braun were there to encourage him.

On the court, Jokic, who played through a rolled ankle, and Gordon carried the weight. Jokic buried two 3-pointers, flexing among the most devastating weapons in his arsenal. Not known for his 3-point shooting, Gordon drained two more. Gordon scored 15 points in a dominant second quarter, pummeling Miami with his jumper and his size.

Both Gordon and Jokic went to half with 16 points each to pace Denver’s attack.

Gordon’s family sat some 20 rows up from Denver’s bench. After each basket, they celebrated in unison, a few jubilant fans among a sea of white.

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A’s beat Brewers 5-2 for first 3-game winning streak of season

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:21

By Steve Megargee

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ramón Laureano hit a two-run triple, Jonah Bride also drove in a pair of runs and the Oakland Athletics beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 on Friday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.

The Athletics (15-50) entered the day having put together the worst 64-game start by any team since the 1982 Minnesota Twins also went 14-50, but they’ve won their last three games by a combined score of 25-9.

“It’s huge,” said Ryan Noda, whose remarkable slide home highlighted the Athletics’ three-run rally in the first inning. “We’ve still got to keep doing the little things. We’ve still got to keep picking each other up. We did a great job today of situational hitting.”

All three of those wins have come away from home. The A’s — planning to move to Las Vegas — had lost 15 straight road games before this streak.

After winning 11-2 and 9-5 in the final two games of a series at Pittsburgh, the Athletics carried that momentum into Milwaukee and took a 3-0 lead off Adrian Houser (2-2) in the first inning.

“I think everybody forgets that they’re a major league baseball team,” Houser said. “It doesn’t matter what their record is. Those guys are on the field for a reason. If their organization doesn’t want to win, that’s on them. But they’re major league baseball players and they’re talented and they know how to hit and they know how to throw. They’re still competitors. They’re still going to try to come out and beat you every time.”

Oakland’s early outburst started when Esteury Ruiz singled, took off for second for his major league-leading 30th steal and advanced to third on catcher William Contreras’ errant throw. Noda’s walk put runners on the corners.

Laureano then hit a one-out triple into the right-field corner to bring home both Ruiz and Noda. Milwaukee’s Blake Perkins made a diving attempt but couldn’t snare the ball before it came down near the foul line.

The throw from second baseman Andruw Monasterio beat Noda home, but Noda made an outstanding slide and touched the plate with his left hand before Contreras tagged him around the chest.

“If he’s out at home, it can change the momentum of the inning and the game,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Noda’s a really, really athletic young kid. It showed right there.”

Noda, who grew up about an hour away from Milwaukee in Volo, Illinois, said he had about 100 friends and family members at the stadium watching him make that slide.

“High school coaches, second-grade teacher, the list goes on and on,” Noda said. “The support is huge. I love it. There will be more tomorrow, too.”

Laureano scored the Athletics’ third run on Bride’s two-out single.

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JUNE 09: Jonah Bride #26 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Seth Brown #15 and Ryan Noda #49 after hitting a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on June 09, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JUNE 09: Jonah Bride #26 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Seth Brown #15 and Ryan Noda #49 after hitting a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field on June 09, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) 

Oakland made it 4-0 in the second when Ruiz singled home Shea Langeliers, who had reached on a leadoff double.

Milwaukee got two runs in the bottom of the second on RBI doubles by Blake Perkins and Luis Urías. After going 0-for-14 to start his season, Urías, just missed homering with his drive off the top of the wall.

The A’s extended the lead to 5-2 in the fifth on Bride’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly.

Oakland made this a bullpen game by giving left-hander Sam Moll his first start out of 100 career appearances and having him pitch only one inning. Moll held the Brewers scoreless in his brief stint before Luis Medina (1-5) allowed two runs over the next five innings.

Moll, Medina, Lucas Erceg and Trevor May combined to allow Milwaukee just four hits. May worked the ninth to earn his second save in four opportunities.

Houser gave up five runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out five and walked four.


RHP Paul Blackburn (0-0, 6.00) was set to start for Oakland on Saturday against RHP Julio Teheran (1-2, 1.56).

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Secretariat’s Legend Rolls on Like, Well, a Tremendous Machine

N.Y. Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:01
Fifty years after Secretariat clinched the Triple Crown with a runaway win in the Belmont Stakes, fans still long to connect with his story.
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Canada’s ability to prevent forest fires lags behind the need

Seattle Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 21:00

Canada’s capacity to prevent wildfires has been shrinking for decades because of budget cuts, a loss of some of the country’s forest service staff, and onerous rules for fire prevention.
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Man rescued after jumping off Pacifica Pier

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 20:47

PACIFICA — Authorities on Friday rescued a man after he jumped off the Pacifica Pier.

The incident was reported around 4:40 p.m. at the pier in the 2100 block of Beach Boulevard, the North County Fire Authority said in a statement. Crews arrived to find a man in the water.

The man told bystanders he wanted to go swimming before jumping, according to the fire authority.

Crews lowered a life jacket to the man, who put it on, the fire authority said. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter then arrived at the scene and lowered a rescue swimmer into the water. The swimmer retrieved the man and both were lifted back into the helicopter.

The man was then lowered from the helicopter to the pier, where he was assessed and treated by firefighters, according to the fire authority. He was then taken by ambulance to an area hospital for further evaluation.

An update on the man’s condition was not immediately available.

Check back for updates.

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This week’s passages

Seattle Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 20:00

A roundup of notable obituaries from the week ending June 9.
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What to Know About Canada’s Exceptional Wildfire Season

N.Y. Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 19:42
Wild fires started earlier, are higher in number and spread across much of the country, burning millions of acres as climate change turns more of the country’s forest into a tinderbox.
Categories: Local News

Children Missing in Amazon Jungle Found Alive After 40 Days

N.Y. Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 19:29
Rescuers had been searching for the children — aged 13, 9, 4 and 1 — ever since they survived a plane crash that killed the three adults on board.
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Trump Indictment Lays Out Evidence for Historic Charges in Documents Case

N.Y. Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 19:19
The indictment details evidence that the former president placed national security secrets in jeopardy and schemed to thwart the investigation into the matter.
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Tylor Megill roughed up as Mets losing streak hits 7 with 14-7 loss to the Pirates

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 19:15

PITTSBURGH — Against one of the most beautiful backdrops in baseball, the Mets played one of the ugliest games of the season.

One night after dropping a devastating extra-inning contest to the Atlanta Braves, the Mets were battered by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The losing streak extended to seven games in a 14-7 loss at PNC Park in the series opener. There were bad fundamentals, misplays, miscues and everything in between.

The Mets rallied to score five in the ninth off Rob Zastryzny and closer David Bednar. The fight was there, but the execution wasn’t.

Tylor Megill was shelled for the third time in four starts, but the defense behind him didn’t exactly help the situation. After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, the Mets (30-34) went down 2-0 when a ground-rule double by light-hitting catcher Austin Hedges scored two. Hedges flared one down the right field line and Starling Marte misjudged how close to the wall the ball was. The catch probability was 50% and Marte didn’t come very close to grabbing it.

But that one play didn’t doom the Mets. They made two errors in the second, contributing to the Pirates’ five-run outburst. There was one by Francisco Lindor that put two on with none out and another by Eduardo Escobar that allowed two more to score.

With runners on the corners, Ji Hwan Bae laid down a bunt and Escobar fielded it but overthrew Mark Canha at first by about a mile, allowing both runs to cross the plate and Bae to reach third. A base hit by Josh Palacios scored him easily.

Megill exited with two outs in the third to end his outing at 3 2/3. Zach Muckenhirn, who was called up to replace Stephen Nogosek on the roster earlier in the day, couldn’t stop the bleeding. Pitching in only his third big league game, he allowed two inherited runners to score and gave up three of his own on five hits over 2 1/3 innings. The Mets badly needed him to chew a few and he did. In doing so, he spelled a bullpen that had only a few available arms. Tommy Hunter threw two innings, giving up back-to-back home runs in the eighth to Carlos Santana and Jake Suwinski.

Megill (5-4) was charged with nine runs, but only seven were earned, on eight hits and three walks. He struck out only one and he now has a 5.14 ERA.

Meanwhile, left-hander Rich Hill (6-5), who pitched in 13 games for the Mets in 2021, limited his one-time former team to only two earned runs. Mark Vientos had an RBI single in the second inning to open the scoring. Francisco Lindor hit his 12th home run of the season in the third to briefly tie the game at 2-2.

The 43-year-old Hill threw 119 pitches over seven innings, walking two and striking out six for Pittsburgh (33-29).

It was exactly the kind of start the Mets needed.


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Oregon, mecca of weed, to crack down on illegal pot growers

Seattle Times - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 19:10

Oregon has long been known as a mecca for high-quality marijuana, but that reputation has come with a downside.
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Orioles top Royals, 3-2, as offense scores early and bullpen holds on late

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 18:59

The Orioles didn’t score until the ninth inning Wednesday. It took them seven innings Thursday. Austin Hays didn’t wait long Friday.

Batting leadoff, Hays homered on the first pitch he saw to give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. The early run — as well as the ones Baltimore scored in the second and fifth innings — mattered immensely, as the Orioles found themselves in a one-run game, relying on their bullpen to hold the tight lead.

Mike Baumann, Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista delivered, following another solid start from Tyler Wells to hand the Orioles a 3-2 victory over the visiting Kansas City Royals.

Wells delivered 6 2/3 efficient innings to maintain his status as one of the best pitchers in the American League. Baumann stranded two runners in scoring position with a two-out strikeout in the seventh. Cano won a nine-pitch battle with Salvador Pérez, inducing a ground ball double play, for a scoreless eighth. And Bautista continued his dominance in the ninth, striking out two batters and retiring the side in order for his 17th save of the season.

After Hays’ leadoff home run, Jorge Mateo singled home Gunnar Henderson, who recorded his first career three-hit game, in the second inning, and Anthony Santander roped an RBI double for the Orioles’ third run.

The close game is nothing new. The Orioles are 12-7 in one-run games, and 55 of their 63 contests have been decided by four runs or fewer. They are 35-20 in those games.

After going 0-2 in their first weekend in the new City Connect uniforms, the Orioles earned their first win in the new threads. Baltimore is 39-24 and owners of the third-best record in the major leagues.

Around the horn
  • Ryan Mountcastle wasn’t in Friday’s lineup for the third time in seven games, but instead of manager Brandon Hyde giving him a day off to get his slumping swing right, the first baseman was out with an illness. “Just tried to play through it yesterday. I could tell he wasn’t feeling well, and he tried to battle through it,” Hyde said before the game. “He’s still feeling a little sick today, so we decided to give him a day today.” Mountcastle has four hits in his past 30 at-bats with 11 strikeouts and no extra-base hits.
  • Before the game, the Orioles optioned left-hander Bruce Zimmermann to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled lefty Nick Vespi. Zimmermann provided long relief twice during the road trip, including three innings to keep the bullpen fresh when they were leaned upon in Thursday’s win. He gave up four runs in five innings. Vespi, who split his 2022 season between Norfolk and Baltimore, has a 1.77 ERA in 20 1/3 innings with the Tides this year. Vespi was previously recalled in mid-May, but he didn’t pitch in his few days with the Orioles.
  • The Orioles announced that Cole Irvin will start Saturday. Baltimore had an open spot in the rotation after sending down Grayson Rodriguez in late May, and rather than go with a bullpen game, the Orioles are bringing back the left-hander they traded for this offseason. The stint will be Irvin’s third in Baltimore this year. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in his past five starts with Norfolk.
  • Rodriguez started his second game at Triple-A since being demoted, scattering seven hits and one walk while allowing three runs in six innings. He struck out 10. One walk is an encouraging sign after he walked five in his previous start, especially considering fastball command was an area the Orioles want to see Rodriguez improve. Also for Norfolk, Heston Kjerstad hit an inside-the-park home run for his first Triple-A homer.

This story will be updated.

Royals at Orioles

Saturday, 4:05 p.m.


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Categories: Local News

Rafael Devers’ continued success against Gerrit Cole helps Red Sox beat Yankees

San Jose Mercury - Fri, 06/09/2023 - 18:56

Nearly a year ago, Rafael Devers left Gerrit Cole searching for solutions.

“I’m open to suggestions,” the Yankees ace said when asked how he planned to get Devers out moving forward. Devers had just taken Cole deep twice in a Yankees win at Fenway Park on July 7, adding to the Boston third baseman’s success against the pitcher.

That success continued on Friday night in the Bronx, as Devers helped the basement-dwelling Red Sox score their first two runs in a 3-2 win over the Yankees.

Boston got on the board first when Triston Casas singled off Cole in the fourth inning. That hit drove in Devers, who doubled off Cole earlier in the frame. Devers then homered off Cole in the sixth inning.

Cole threw the left-handed hitter a 90.2 mph changeup just below the zone, but that didn’t stop Devers from going the other way for a solo shot.

Devers has now crushed seven career homers off Cole. No batter has hit more off the right-hander.

While Devers continued to thrive, Cole only allowed those two runs over six innings. He also totaled seven hits, one walk, six strikeouts and 101 pitches. He now has a 2.84 ERA this season.

Enrique Hernandez added his own solo homer off Albert Abreu in the seventh.

Garrett Whitlock, meanwhile, pitched better than his 5.61 ERA. The former Yankees prospect, snatched away by the Red Sox in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, held the Bombers to two runs (one earned) over 6.1 innings. Whitlock tallied seven hits, one walk and six strikeouts over 88 pitches.

The one earned run came off the bat of Josh Donaldson, as he homered in the sixth. Donaldson has hit four home runs since coming off the injured list on June 2.

The Yankees scored their other run in the seventh when Isiah Kiner-Falefa picked up an infield single, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and dashed home on a wild pitch.

With the Yankees’ first game of the season against the Red Sox wrapped up, the team will turn it’s attention to Tanner Houck, Boston’s Saturday starter. Domingo German, meanwhile, will take the ball for the Yankees in the series’ second game.

German has been the Yankees’ second-best starter this season, recording a 3.69 ERA over 11 outings and 61 innings. He most recently limited the Dodgers to one run over 6.2 innings in Los Angeles on June 4.

Sunday’s series finale features a matchup between two young right-handers, as Clarke Schmidt lines up with Boston’s Bryan Bello.


Categories: Local News