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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska will let bars, zoos, movie theaters and swimming pools reopen and allow small concerts and auctions to resume on June 1 in all but four hard-hit counties, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Thursday as the number of coronavirus deaths continued to rise.

Ricketts announced plans to further loosen social-distancing restrictions, saying he's trying to strike a balance between public health and the need to move back toward normal life as people grow restless.

"We're taking this a step at a time," he said at a news conference.

He made the announcement as state officials reported six more coronavirus deaths and 276 new cases in Nebraska as of Wednesday night, bringing the statewide totals to 138 deaths and 11,122 confirmed cases. Nearly 75,900 people have been tested.

The number of new cases has trended downward, however, since the one-day peak of 677 on May 7. Ricketts has said he's using Nebraska's hospital capacity to judge when to ease restrictions, and those numbers have remained fairly stable. Even so, public health officials say people still need to practice social-distancing measures to keep the virus from spreading.

Businesses that do reopen will still face mandatory social distancing restrictions. For instance, the number of patrons allowed in bars will be limited to half of the venue's rated capacity, and groups of customers will have to remain at least six people apart. Patrons won't be allowed to play pool, darts or arcade games or eat at the bar.

Nebraska will also allow gatherings of up to 25 people or 25% of a venue's rated occupancy, whichever is greater, as long as the total crowd doesn't exceed 3,000 people.

The new requirement will replace the state's current 10-person limit and will apply to both indoor and outdoor venues, including stadiums, fairgrounds, meeting halls, zoos, libraries and swimming pools. Individual groups will still be capped at six people and required to stay away from other groups.

Additionally, any event expected to draw more than 500 people will need prior approval from the county's public health director. In Omaha's Douglas County, the threshold is 1,000 people.

Ricketts will also ease rules for sports, allowing baseball, softball and volleyball teams to resume practices on June 1 and play games on June 18. Rodeos can begin on June 1, but contact sports such as football, basketball and wrestling will remain prohibited.

The changes won't apply to Hall, Hamilton, Merrick or Dakota counties, some of the hardest-hit regions in Nebraska. Hall and Dakota counties have seen particularly large spikes driven by local meatpacking plants.

On Thursday, a coalition of Latino Americans called on Ricketts and local meat packers to do more to protect plant workers who now account for a large share of Nebraska's coronavirus restrictions. Activists said conditions at the plants have generally improved, but they're still hearing reports about inconsistent use of protective equipment at some facilities.

"Unfortunately, these efforts may be seen as too little, too late," said Yolanda Nuncio, a former member of the Nebraska state Latino American Commission. "Some of these plants have not lowered production rates, so when workers go on standard breaks, their coworkers must maintain the same rate of production."

Asked about the criticism on Thursday, Ricketts said he has talked by phone with plant workers and union leaders to discuss their concerns. He also has said that local public health officials from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have gone out to plants to help them establish safety procedures to keep the virus from spreading.

For some infected people, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness or death. But for most people, it causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks.

 

 


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(Full story with audio at bottom of story)

The Hall County Commissioners met Tuesday with questions and concerns and had the ear of State Senators Quick, Freisen and Halloran as they addressed how to protect the county tax payer, who have already suffered enough. 

State Senator Steve Halloran of Hastings says the Grand Island and Hall County area are not immune to this problem and these questions will be asked by every county in the state.
Halloran added that he is in the minority, in the Nebraska legislature but believes we are already behind schedule in opening up the State. 

Chair of the Hall County Commissioners Pam Lancaster says county boards are feeling the effects, and points out that the long term impact when it comes to budget cuts will need to be examined, but said simply there are not many more places to cut.
Nebraska lawmakers will resume their regular session on July 20, four months after they last met to approve emergency coronavirus funding. 

Another question that was addressed at the County Commissioners meeting deals with Hall County as a whole and the increase in frustration that many of the rural communities are facing. Cario, Wood River, Doniphan..all placed under the DHM’s for the Central District Health Department region despite not seeing nearly the amount of cases or deaths that the Grand Island community has seen. It was asked what options do they have? That question was asked at the State Capital during the daily press briefing by Governor Pete Ricketts.

Impacts on the business community are not just being felt at county level but 87 percent of businesses surveyed a month ago from the University of Omaha were reported to have been negatively impacted by Covid 19.
The data was gathered by the University of Omaha April 15 through April 24th.

Whats Next For Hall County

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(Listen to this feature in it's entirty below)

(Grand Island, NE) - Monday morning a flyover..over CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island to salute those on the front lines in our healthcare system, a healthcare system that with collaboration with other hospitals and an extremely dedicated staff of heroes were not overwhelmed by the coronavirus.

The data coming back from the Central District Health Department in GI is also showing positive signs, signs all pointing to one thing.

We are past the peak of this virus.

But instead of a sigh of relief, it’s more concern, and more questions for local businesses in Grand Island who watch other parts of the state slowly open, while our community sits on the sidelines.

Local business owner Casey Williams is in the tourism industry, a hotel owner with the Travel Lodge here in GI, who has seen bookings and stays simply come to a halt as more and more events preemptively call things off.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has said consistently, that the original goal of the DHM's and social distancing practices were to not overwhelm the healthcare system.

“That’s what we’ve done very successfully, at no point was our health care system in danger of being overwhelmed.”

So mission accomplished? Will we see a relaxation on the directed health mandates and social distancing restrictions?

The Governor has taken a more cautious approach.

The frustration that many Nebraskan’s are feeling isn’t due to the boredom of social distancing, it’s the uncertainty and the lack of a gameplan for the business community to move forward.

A popular hashtag on social media is “win back GI”, it could be argued we never lost it, but while we wait, the question remains...what will we come back to?


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The Nebraska State Fair Board has chosen their next Executive Director.

Bill Ogg, a Wyoming native and manager of the Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days in Washington was selected as the finalist by the personal committee. 

Ogg said this morning he believes he can help contribute to leading the state fair out of its current financial issues. 

Ogg was a finalist for the position three years ago when the board selected Lori Cox, who mutually agreed to a consultant position with the State Fair back in March. 
Ogg was approved unanimously, subject to contract approval by the State Fair Board.

That said, there are questions on the fair itself, especially after Governor Pete Ricketts commented on the possibility of public gathering in Grand Island being sidelined until August, at the least. A Covid 19 working group has been formed by the State Fair Board as they address the pandemic.

Kathleen Lodl said this morning that the committee doesn’t want to rush to a decision and is balancing the needs for a successful fair, and a safe fair, should the State Fair take place in 2020.

Ogg added these decisions aren’t just weighing heavy on the Nebraska State Fair, but every fair in the country right now.


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North Platte, Ne - The Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant will be postponed to Aug. 2-5 in observance of the social distancing practices occurring throughout the state and nation.

 

The move has prompted the Miss Rodeo Nebraska Association to extend its contestant deadline as well. Queen hopefuls now have until June 15 to enter.

 

“I would like thank everyone for their patience as we proceed with the pageant,” said Cindy Petersen, chair of the pageant committee. “This pandemic has caused the committee to adapt to new safety measures, but we are looking forward to another successful year.”  

 

The pageant was originally planned for June in North Platte - in conjunction with NEBRASKAland Days and the Buffalo Bill Rodeo.

 

However, on Tuesday, NLD announced that the Buffalo Bill Rodeo would be rescheduled for Aug. 5-8. A new Miss Rodeo Nebraska is traditionally crowned during the rodeo’s first performance.

 

Those interested in entering the pageant this year, or in receiving more information, can contact Cathy Ewing at (308) 530-0590 or buckcathy06@yahoo.com.

 

Rule books and contracts can be found on the forms section of the MRN website at missrodeonebraska.org.

 


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Covid-19 Update - City Hall/Grand Island

Notes from Mayor Roger Steele

 

Grand Island is projected to have a 12% decrease in sales tax revenue. That loss will be a loss of $1.5 million dollars to the general governmental fund for the fiscal year ending on September 30th.Overall the city is projecting a 5.6% decrease in all revenues for the general fund which equates to $2.2 million dollars.

 

Food and beverage tax collections were down for the month of April, that’s based on March sales, by 24% ($50,000) as compared to the same month last year. The city expects to have the food and beverage receipts to be significantly reduced for the rest of the fiscal year ending September 30th.

 

With an estimated loss of revenue of $437,000. Keno proceeds for the month of April are down 42%.

 

Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele spoke to Gov. Ricketts last Friday. Ricketts told him that he does not believe GI will be able to have gatherings of people until August, if even then. Referring to crowds where social distancing will not occur.

 

Opening of the water park (Island Oasis) and Lincoln Pool will probably not be happening given the expense and uncertainty of when it will be allowed for people to gather in close proximity.

 

 


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Grand Island Mayor Roger Steele announced today the reopening of Heartland Public Shooting Park following its closure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mayor Steele issued the following statement:
   “I directed the closure of the Heartland Public Shooting Park, Jackrabbit Run Golf Course and other city parks and recreation facilities in order to promote the public health by slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Opening any recreational facility is with the expectation that the public will follow health recommendations regarding public distancing, wearing face coverings, and other health related recommendations.  I have ordered the Shooting Park and the Golf Course to operate under rules and procedures designed to promote safe and healthy public use.
   Opening the Shooting Park will create additional financial pressure on the City at a time when we are anticipating significant tax revenue shortfalls.  Because of these anticipated revenue shortfalls, operation of the Shooting Park and other recreation facilities will be closely managed and overseen by my Administration to ensure the parks are run in an efficient and economical manner.
   The primary job of the City is to ensure public health and safety and recreational venues will not be allowed to detract from that priority, especially when we expect less revenue.  I will meet with the Shooting Park employees on a monthly basis to make sure the park is operated in an economical manner.  Simply put, I expect recreational venues to safeguard every penny until we can work our way through the impact of COVID-19.”


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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Gov. Pete Ricketts is pushing back against four Nebraska lawmakers who urged him to cancel a $27 million coronavirus testing contract with a group of out-of-state startup companies, calling their criticism “ludicrous” even though the program is off to a slow start hasn’t kept up with demand. Ricketts defended the state’s agreement with Utah-based Nomi Health and its business partners but acknowledged some early problems with the TestNebraska program. The same companies have similar no-bid contracts with Iowa and Utah that have also come under scrutiny as states scramble to offer more tests.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — State health officials have reported two new deaths from COVID-19 that occurred in the central part of the state. That came as officials in the Omaha area noted the disproportionately high number of cases among minority populations. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services reported the two deaths Monday _ one in Hall County and the other in neighboring Adams County. The new deaths brought the state’s total since the outbreak began to 100. Meanwhile, the Douglas County Health Department expressed alarm at the number of Latinos, Asians and black residents becoming infected with the virus. Douglas County is nearly 70% white, but health officials say 77% of known COVID-19 cases in the county have occurred among people of color.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s primary voters mostly steered clear of polling sites Tuesday while shattering the state record for absentee voting with nearly 400,000 mail-in ballots in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Republican President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic challenger Joe Biden sailed to easy victories in the election, the first in-person primary since a heavily criticized election in Wisconsin five weeks ago in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. So did Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, who faced a GOP primary challenge because of his previous criticism of Trump. Sasse will face Democrat Chris Janicek, the winner of a nine-way primary.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans agreed to a new contract with NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry just before yesterday’s deadline. The team announced only that it was a multi-year extension, but ESPN.com says it’s a four-year package worth up to $50 million with $25.5 million guaranteed. The Titans had to sign him today or let him play this season under the $10.2 million franchise tag he signed April 2.

DALLAS (AP) — Dak Prescott will play under the franchise this year after the Dallas Cowboys quarterback was unable to work out a multiyear package before yesterday’s deadline. The two sides have been working for more than a year on a long-term contract for a two-time Pro Bowler who has started every game of his career. He will get $31.4 this year after earning just over $4 million over his first four seasons.

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett’s has signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension, making the talented edge rusher the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player. The deal includes $100 million guaranteed, according to NFL Network. Garrett received a six-game suspension last season after ripping a helmet off of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and striking him in the head with it.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (oh-lah-DEE’-poh) is having second thoughts about calling it a season, saying the workouts in Orlando, Florida, have forced him to rethink his decision. Oladipo said less than two weeks ago that he would sit out because of concerns over his surgically repaired right knee. His presence could give the Pacers a big boost when the season resumes, especially with starting guard Malcolm Brogdon also expected to be healthy.

NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL has announced the finalists for the Jack Adams Award and the Calder Trophy. Columbus’ John Tortorella, Philadelphia’s Alain Vigneault (VEEN’-yoh) and Boston’s Bruce Cassidy are up for the Adams Award, which goes to the Coach of the Year. Colorado’s Cale Makar (mah-KAHR’), Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes and Chicago’s Dominik Kubalik (koo-BAH’-lihk) are the finalists for the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.




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TORONTO (AP) — With the start of its season approaching, Major League Baseball still needs to work out approval to send teams back and forth across the Canadian border. A top Canadian government health official says a longer stretch of home games might help the Blue Jays get approval to play in Toronto. Amid the pandemic, MLB needs an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots have joined a growing list of NFL teams who hope to play home games this season in front of a significantly reduced number of fans to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The team announced Tuesday that it plans to play in front of about 20% of Gillette Stadium’s capacity, if approved by state and local officials. The stadium’s capacity is just under 66,000.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed with defensive tackle Chris Jones on a four-year, $85 million contract extension that includes $60 million in guarantees. That’s what a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The Chiefs and representatives for Jones have been working on a contract extension ever since last year, when they remained far apart on terms and the Pro Bowl selection skipped the entirety of the offseason program.

CLEVELAND (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that the Cleveland Browns are closing in on a massive contract extension with star defensive end Myles Garrett. He was the No. 1 overall pick in 2017 and is one of the NFL’s premiere edge rushers. Garrett and the Browns could have the deal completed in the next day or so. NFL Network reported the extension could be for five years and $125 million.

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Islanders have signed goaltender of the future Ilya Sorokin to a contract for next season. The $2 million deal includes $1 million in salary and a $1 million bonus. A day earlier, the team signed Sorokin to an entry-level deal for the remainder of this season even though he’s not eligible to play. The 24-year-old Sorokin is considered one of the top prospects at any position not current in the NHL.




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WASHINGTON (AP) — Effective immediately, the Washington NFL team is dropping the “Redskins” name, which had been in use since 1933. The change comes following national protests against inequality and financial pressure from sponsors FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America. Opponents of the name have long said it was a slur. Owner Daniel Snyder had vowed never to change the name. More than a dozen Native leaders and organizations wrote to the league last week demanding an immediate end to Washington’s use of the name.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Add another name to the list of MLB players opting out of the shortened season because of health risks. St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks has opted out, citing pre-existing health concerns. The 23-year-old Hicks was diagnosed in high school as having Type 1 diabetes. Hicks had been taking part in workouts at Busch Stadium, leading up to the Cardinals’ opener on July 24 at home against Pittsburgh.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets says he has tested positive for coronavirus, and that he plans to eventually join his team at the restart of the NBA season. Westbrook made the revelation Monday on social media. As recently as Sunday, the Rockets believed that Westbrook and James Harden — neither of whom traveled with the team to Walt Disney World near Orlando last week — would be with the team in the next few days.

NEW YORK (AP) — Reigning MVP Elena Delle Donne says her request to be medically excused from the WNBA season has been denied. The Washington Mystics star said in a statement Monday that the independent panel of doctors the league and union agreed upon to decide whether players should be medically excused deemed her not to be “high risk, and should be permitted to play in the bubble.” Delle Donne has battled Lyme disease since 2008.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Marathon organizers and city officials cited the challenge of staging the large-scale Oct. 11 event while COVID-19 concerns endure. Chicago’s event typically draws about 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes, and more than one million spectators. The Boston Marathon and New York Marathon have also been canceled because of the pandemic.




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UNDATED (AP) — The Pac-12 has become the second major conference to shift to a conference-only fall schedule amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement came after a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group, a day after the Big Ten opted to eliminate non conference games for all fall sports. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences are still weighing options for fall sports. The decision covers football, women’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31.

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Are the Redskins finally changing their name after years of criticism? Multiple reports say that Washington’s NFL team will be changing its name today. USA Today, ESPN, The Washington Post and Sports Business Journal reported that owner Dan Snyder and the organization would announce the move two weeks before the start of training camp. It’s unclear when a new name will be revealed.

UNDATED (AP) — NHL teams return to the ice today for the first time since March as the 24 that qualified for the expanded playoffs open two-week training camps. Mixed with the excitement is the uncertainty of which and how many players might opt out and how the long layoff could contribute to injuries. It’s a training camp unlike any in history, with players coming back from a four-month absence to compete for the Stanley Cup. It’s a two-week sprint from home cities to Toronto for Eastern teams and Edmonton, Alberta, for their Western counterparts.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Major League Soccer postponed a match between Toronto FC and D.C. United shortly before it was scheduled to begin Sunday morning because of one unconfirmed positive test and one inconclusive test for the coronavirus. The unconfirmed positive test was for a D.C. United player, while a Toronto player returned the inconclusive test. The league announced Sunday night that the match would be rescheduled for today with a 9 a.m. EDT kickoff after all players on both teams had tested negative during the additional round of testing.

UNDTED (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals say that owner Michael Bidwill has been released from a Rhode Island hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. The team revealed on Friday that the 55-year-old Bidwill was in the hospital with the virus. Bidwill said in a statement that he “learned first-hand just how serious COVID-19 is.”

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthony Davis will wear his own name on the back of his jersey when the Los Angeles Lakers return to action. Davis and LeBron James both declined to choose a social justice message to replace their names on the back of their jerseys during the NBA restart. Davis said he was “torn between” choosing from among the 29 approved messages and sticking with his name. In the end, the seven-time All-Star decided that he wanted to represent his family name because it’s very important to him.




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UNDATED (AP) — Full-scale practices inside the NBA bubble at the Disney complex have started. The Orlando Magic became the first team to formally return to the floor. By the close of business, all 22 teams participating in the restart were to be checked into their hotel and beginning their isolation from the rest of the world for what will be several weeks at least. And by Saturday, all teams should have practiced at least once.

MILWAUKEE (AP) Baseball has its answer to World Cup soccer’s penalty kicks, NFL overtimes or NHL shootouts. And it figures to stir just as much debate as all those other forms of tiebreakers. Major League Baseball will start each extra inning this season by putting a runner on second base. The minor leagues have used this extra-inning format since 2018. MLB is experimenting with the rule this year in part to prevent marathon games from causing long-term damage to pitching staffs in a pandemic-shortened season.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cody Bellinger is ready for whatever baseball’s shortened 60-game season brings. The All-Star slugger is looking to pick up where he left off after a stellar performance for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. The reigning NL MVP batted .305 with 47 homers and 115 RBIs for the NL West champions last year. He says the season figures to be “a once-in-a-lifetime thing” because of the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Rendon mostly spent the first few months of his seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels changing his daughters’ diapers and throwing a tennis ball at a wall. The $245 million third baseman is more than ready to get to work earning his riches, and the World Series winner doesn’t think it will take long to get back into championship form. Rendon is getting to know his teammates again after his first spring with the Angels was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic before he even got a chance to play in Anaheim. The most coveted hitter on the free agent market even got his World Series ring this week.

UNDATED (AP) — The Big Ten Conference won’t play nonconference games in football and a handful of other sports this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league also warns that it's “prepared not to play” at all to keep its athletes safe. The decision affects more than 40 games, including some marquee matchups like Notre Dame against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. The announcement came a day after the Ivy League called off all fall sports. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says he is “very concerned” about the season.

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech has signed 7-foot-1 Russian center Vladislav Goldin. He played last season at Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut. Goldin also played for Russia’s U18 and U19 national teams, and for three seasons with CSKA Moscow’s Junior Team. The center is the eighth player that has signed with the Red Raiders, including Division I transfers Mac McClung (Georgetown), Jamarius Burton (Wichita State) and Marcus Santos-Silva (Virginia Commonwealth). There was also a junior college transfer and three high school signees.

UNDATED (AP) — American broadcaster CBS will get an early start on its Champions League deal by showing games next month when the pandemic-delayed competition resumes. The rights to the rest of this Champions League season and all of next season became available last month when Turner opted out of its 2018-21 deal for exclusive English language rights in the United States. CBS says it has acquired the rights and will get two Champions League finals in less than 10 months. This season’s competition resumes Aug. 7 and ends with an eight-team knockout tournament in Lisbon, Portugal. The final is on Aug. 23.




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We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority.
 
To that end, the Big Ten Conference announced today that if the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports. Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic.
 
This decision was made following many thoughtful conversations over several months between the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Directors of Athletics, Conference Office staff, and medical experts including the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.
 
In addition, the Conference announced that summer athletic activities will continue to be voluntary in all sports currently permitted to engage in such activities. Furthermore, Big Ten student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any time during the summer and/or the 2020-21 academic year due to concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarship honored by their institution and will remain in good standing with their team. 
 
While Big Ten member institutions continue to rely on the most up-to-date medical information to establish the best protocols for voluntary workouts on their campuses, in compliance with local and state regulations, the Conference is working with the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee to finalize Conference-wide protocols.
 
As we continue to focus on how to play this season in a safe and responsible way, based on the best advice of medical experts, we are also prepared not to play in order to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes should the circumstances so dictate.

Statement from University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green, University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter and Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos:

“We are pleased that the Big Ten is planning to move forward with fall sports. The conference has determined a path forward that helps to mitigate risk and will allow Husker student-athletes to compete on the field and in the arena. The most important thing is the safety of our student-athletes and that of our Athletics staff and coaches, and we appreciate the thoughtful approach taken by the Big Ten. Athletics is a valuable part of campus life, and important to our community and the state of Nebraska. We are fortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has not been as widespread in Nebraska and look forward to safely hosting Big Ten competitions. While there are still many details left to be worked out, we are eager to safely cheer on our Husker student-athletes.”

 




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UNDATED (AP) — San Francisco 49ers postseason breakout star Raheem Mostert has requested a trade from the team after being unable to renegotiate his contract. Agent Brett Tessler made the request public after talks with the 49ers failed to lead to a new deal to replace the three-year contract Mostert signed in 2019 when he was still mostly a special teams standout. Mostert has a base salary of $2,575,000 this season and $2,875,000 next season as part of the deal he signed with San Francisco last year.

UNDATED (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Junior Guerra has returned to the team after missing the start of summer camp because of a positive coronavirus test. Guerra is one of four Arizona players to test positive and had not participated in summer camp since its start last week. Guerra said his first test for the virus was negative, but his second about 10 days ago was positive. He returned after testing negative twice in 24 hours. Guerra signed with the Diamondbacks last offseason after spending the previous four seasons in Milwaukee.

UNDATED (AP) — The Seattle Mariners say they had three positive tests for the new coronavirus among 122 individuals that received initial intake tests before the start of summer camp workouts last week. The team has not specified whether the three that tested positive were players, coaches or staff. The Mariners say all three are asymptomatic and are currently quarantined.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An array of injuries was largely responsible for the blight on the first five years of Byron Buxton’s major league career. The latest setback for Minnesota’s speedy center fielder was surgery last fall to repair labrum damage in his left shoulder. Buxton worked his way onto a rehabilitation track that would have had him ready for the original season opener on March 26. Having four extra months to heal and train due to the virus outbreak sure didn’t hurt. The Twins play the Chicago White Sox on July 24 to start the 60-game season.

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he believes the name of Washington’s professional football team “probably should be changed.” The Republican governor was asked on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday whether he believed the team should change its name from the Washington Redskins. The team’s home field is in Landover, Maryland, and Hogan grew up in the area as a fan of the team. When he ran for governor in 2014, he expressed support for the name. But on Wednesday he said the time is probably right to change the moniker, and he’s glad the team is having the discussion.




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CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs delayed the start of their workout a few hours on Tuesday because they were awaiting some new coronavirus test results. That’s according to manager David Ross. The move came one day after slugger Kris Bryant criticized the lack of frequency of the tests and delays in getting results. Ross urged patience from everybody. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals say right-hander Brad Keller and first baseman Ryan O’Hearn have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks say they will continue to use their team name because it honors a Native American leader who has been an inspiration to generations. The NHL team said in a statement Tuesday that: “The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public.”

CLEVELAND (AP) — A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press the Cleveland Browns have re-worked defensive end Olivier Vernon’s contract for next season. Vernon’s future with the Browns seemed uncertain as he was set to make $15.25 million in 2020. But the club reworked his deal and the source says he’ll earn $11 million. The 29-year-old Vernon joined the Browns last season after coming over from the New York Giants in the blockbuster trade involving wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

UNDATED (AP) — International Ice Hockey Federation chief Rene’ Fasel is encouraged upon learning the NHL’s tentatively-agreed-to labor deal opens the possibility of the league allowing its players to return to Olympic competition. Aside from the uncertainty raised by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Fasel tells The Associated Press he doesn’t foresee any major stumbling blocks that could derail negotiations leading up to the 2022 Beijing Games. Fasel spoke a day after the NHL and NHL Players’ Association tentatively agreed to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement for four years, which would run through the 2025-26 season, including a provision to have players compete in the next two Winter Games.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan has been elected to the team’s Ring of Honor. Shanahan won’t be inducted until 2021 because of coronavirus precautions. Shanahan was a two-time Super Bowl winner and is the franchise’s all-time leader in victories with 146. He was head coach of the Broncos from 1995 until 2008.




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UNDATED (AP) — It’s the biggest sports contract ever and could generate about a half billion dollars for Kansas City Chiefs quarter Patrick Mahomes (mah-HOHMZ’). According to his agency, Steinberg Sports, Mahomes agreed to a 10-year extension worth up to $503 million. The deal is worth $477 million in guarantee mechanisms and includes a no-trade clause and opt-out clauses if guarantee mechanisms aren’t met. Mahomes threw touchdown passes on consecutive fourth-quarter drives in rallying the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years and the first for coach Andy Reid.

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a dozen Native American leaders and organizations have sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell calling for the league to force Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to change the team name immediately. The letter was signed by 15 Native American advocates and obtained by The Associated Press. It demands the team and the NFL cease the use of Native American names, imagery and logos.

UNDATED (AP) — Iowa State guard Rasir Bolton said he decided to leave Penn State last spring because of a comment by coach Pat Chambers, who said the player had a noose around his neck. Bolton, who is Black, disclosed the reason for his departure Monday in a tweet he titled “a noose around my neck.” Chambers, who is white, later tweeted an apology. Bolton told The Undefeated he was offended by the reference and confronted both Chambers and the athletic director’s office.

UNDATED (AP) — Rapper Ice Cube, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and longtime boxing promoter Bob Arum led a cavalcade of sports leagues, federations, businesses and teams that navigated a federal loan program designed to help small firms cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Data released Monday shows hundreds of thousands of Paycheck Protection Program recipients across a wide range of industries, and sports-related businesses were well represented.

UNDATED (AP) — The PGA Tour and the Memorial have scrapped state-approved plans to have limited spectators next week in Ohio. The Memorial was scheduled to be the first tournament with spectators since golf's return from the COVID-19 pandemic-caused shutdown. Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approved a plan for there to be 20% capacity at Muirfield Village. The tour said rapidly changing dynamics of the pandemic caused that to change.




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NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees had their Sunday brightened by Masahiro Tanaka, who came to the ballpark and seemed well a day after being hit in the head by Giancarlo Stanton’s line drive. They’re hoping Yankee Stadium’s lights will do the same this week. The Yankees are planning to hold intrasquad night games Monday and Tuesday in the Bronx as they prepare for the July 23 start of a 60-game regular season condensed by the coronavirus pandemic. Tanaka is in concussion protocol after a CT scan came back negative. Manager Aaron Boone says it looks like the Japanese right-hander “dodged a bullet.”

UNDATED (AP) — The Oakland Athletics’ first full-squad workout was pushed back from Sunday following the July 4 holiday given the club hadn’t received results from position player intake testing done Friday, according to general manager David Forst. Manager Bob Melvin is eager to get everybody on the field together at the Coliseum while understanding he must be flexible during this fluid time.

UNDATED (AP) — Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly says the NHL and NHL Players’ Association have agreed on protocols to resume the season but are still negotiating a collective bargaining agreement extension. The league’s board of governors and players’ executive committee and full membership must approve it for it to happen. If ratified, the agreement will end a pandemic-forced shutdown for 31 teams across North America that began in mid-March. Games would resume in late July or early August with 24 teams taking part in expanded playoffs, finishing with the Stanley Cup being awarded in October.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Harvick took advantage of Denny Hamlin’s late crash and wound up winning his third Brickyard 400 title. The Cup points leader beat Matt Kenseth across the yard of brick by 0.743 seconds to win his fourth race of the season and the 53rd in his career. He needs one win to tie Lee Petty for 11th place. Harvick beat Kenseth off the final restart with two laps to go and pulled away for the victory.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A tire changer for NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney was taken to a hospital after being injured Sunday early in the Brickyard 400. Zachary Price was pinned between Blaney’s No. 12 car and another car, the result of a six-car pileup near the entrance of pit road 16 laps into the race. Five of the drivers were checked at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield medical center and were released. Blaney, meanwhile, returned to the race. NASCAR said Price had been transported to a hospital for further evaluation.




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