first_imgEditor’s note: This is Part V of a five-part series detailing how NASCAR successfully ran its 2020 season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Part I: Overview | Part II: Schedule | Part III: Broadcast | Part IV: TeamsAs masked fans filtered into Talladega Superspeedway in orderly fashion, NASCAR field and office workers wandered about the sparse crowd, assisting where and when needed. They handed out two-ounce containers of hand sanitizer and clear bags for those who forgot about the no-coolers rule. Some walked with signs that read “please wear your mask” and “please observe six-feet social distancing,” as they respected the requests themselves.This didn’t fit in most of the employees’ job descriptions. Many who volunteered to help actually drove to Talladega, Alabama, from the NASCAR headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Daytona Beach, Florida, specifically for this race weekend.Even Talladega track president Brian Crichton left the infield to lend a hand.“The people we encountered and we talked to, they were thanking us,” Crichton said. “They were thanking us for making it possible for them to come back to races. I got a little bit of goosebumps when they said that. I got a little emotional. But it meant so much for the fans to be able to come back as well.”After a Sunday rainout, June 22 marked the first NASCAR race with paying customers since the two-month COVID-19 shutdown. Homestead-Miami Speedway invited up to 1,000 South Florida service members as honorary guests the previous weekend. Talladega, though, sold up to 5,000 tickets, along with limited motor-home/fifth-wheel camping spots outside the track, on a first-come, first-served basis — prioritizing those in-state and within a 150-mile radius.INFORMATION: Centers for Disease Control | World Health OrganizationTalladega had to get approval to host fans from Alabama governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Health Department and Talladega County officials. The race was scheduled regardless, making up for the original April 26 postponement. Crichton found it in the track’s favor that NASCAR had already completed eight races since its May return, proving the sport’s protocols and procedures were thorough enough to be reliably safe.NASCAR announced fans would be allowed on June 9 — less than two weeks before the GEICO 500.“It was stressful because we knew as a southeast region, as a NASCAR team, we all had to come together and make it successful,” Crichton said. “It had to be a success so we could continue to build off of it and continue to go racing.”Talladega built off of NASCAR’s procedures and protocols for essential personnel.Upon entering the premises, fans went through drive-in stations where they answered COVID-19 symptom and exposure questions and had their temperature checked by a handheld thermometer. If everyone in the car passed, they moved on to park. Those who didn’t went to a secondary screening with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officials. Same thing: Pass, move on. Crichton said there were no instances where someone had to be turned away, which would have been the case if medical professionals thought there was reason to worry.Tips for inside the venue came from an unexpected source. Select NASCAR employees, including Managing Director of Racing Operations Tom Bryant, toured Universal Orlando about 10 days before the theme park reopened June 5.“We spent an entire day with their team going through everything from how they parked their guests to how they entered the facility to how they screened them,” Bryant said. “How they had concessions set up, how they had restrooms set up, how they had to adapt movement in and around the attractions to keep people socially distanced. Everything you can think of.”And everything that relates to a NASCAR event.Masks were required at all times. Social-distancing pucks — basically stickers on the ground — detailed common areas and where lines formed. Concessions solely offered pre-packaged foods and sealed drinks. Cashless payment was used to limit touch exposure. Bathrooms had every other stall or urinal blocked off.Talladega also hired a cleaning team through its environmental-services partner, Clean Harbors. It sanitized the entire venue before and after the event. During the race, its cleaners constantly were on the move, wiping down all high-touch surfaces.The infield was completely off limits to fans.As for the grandstands, Talladega grouped seats in pods of four, starting two or three chairs in from the aisle to keep a safe social distance between those sitting and those walking up and down the stairs. Only one or two pods were ticketed per row.“Even if we had space between those two groups of four – say the row was 30 seats long – well, we wouldn’t put a group in the middle, not even a group of four in the middle, because that group would have to walk in front of one of these other groups,” Crichton said. “But what we could do is we could put a group of four in the row behind those two groups, but they were in the middle of the row, so it was staggered.”Fans witnessed the drama of seeing two wrecks on the final lap, Ryan Blaney beating Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the checkered flag by .007 seconds, which tied for the sixth-closest finish in Cup Series history, and Aric Almirola crossing the finish line backward in third.WATCH: Talladega Superspeedway’s 2020 photo finish“Man, it was so great just to have fans back,” Blaney said post-race. “The atmosphere of them cheering was back. Before and after the race, we love that stuff. Drivers, we love support.”Attendance wasn’t guaranteed after that event, though. It still depends on local and state COVID-19 restrictions.The NASCAR Playoffs is currently in its Round of 12. The opening race last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway did not have fans. This Sunday’s event at Talladega will still be far from full capacity, but a track representative indicated the number of spectators welcomed will be up from the June count. Charlotte Motor Speedway will permit a limited number of fans for the elimination race scheduled Oct. 11 on its Roval layout, in accordance to North Carolina’s recently updated rules.As of right now, Phoenix Raceway plans to host fans for the Nov. 8, 2020 championship.“Having our fans back is awesome and we look forward to the day we can have all of them back in full capacity, but that’s not yet,” Bryant said. “Our priority and the marching orders we’ve received are to ensure our ability to crown champions in Phoenix. We are laser-focused on that. We’re not going to do anything on the fan side that would endanger our ability to conduct races. It’s a balance.”last_img read more

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first_imgCOMMUNITY News:Ten Moons Collective invites the community to take the Los Alamos County Community Birth Care Survey. Ten Moons created this survey to foster understanding among community members and stakeholders around local birth preferences and needs.The information collected from this survey will be reported in aggregate—without personally identifying features—to community stakeholders, such the Los Alamos County Council, Los Alamos Community Health Council (LACHC), BabyNet Subcommittee of the LACHC, Los Alamos Medical Center and any other interested parties. Results will be provided at for anyone to view. Neither Ten Moons Collective nor its members are benefiting financially from the administration or outcome of this survey.There are 16 questions, 11 multiple choice and five open-ended questions, that should take 10 minutes or so to complete. Please answer as many questions as you feel comfortable. All survey responses will be kept completely anonymous.To take the Survey click here.last_img read more

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first_imgSenior legal figures are at odds on how to reform the Crown Prosecution Service, it has emerged.Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle Victoria Atkins, a non-practising barrister, mooted the idea about making the CPS ‘more localised’ during social and economic thinktank Politeia’s discussion ‘The CPS – is the system working?’.However, Lib Dem peer Lord Macdonald (pictured), who was director of public prosecutions from 2003 to 2008, told the event there were ‘many flaws’ with Atkins’ proposed model.The CPS, which was created by the Prosecution of Offences Act, began operating in 1986.Atkins, a specialist fraud prosecutor, said ‘we are at a time now where we can really begin to be bold about how the CPS should be’.She suggested the CPS could be responsible for setting, reviewing and ensuring national prosecuting standards are met.Atkins mooted: ‘Having a network of solicitor agents across the country, chambers as well, where we begin to take on more of the litigation role and where they are advising from the very beginning – pre, post-charge and beyond.’‘I wonder if we could not set up a more localised system where, if you’re in Lincolnshire, you know you’re being prosecuted by solicitors or barristers in your local community who understand the pressures of your area in a way which Rose Walk [the address of the CPS’s head office in London] simply can’t.’Lincolnshire’s policing needs were ‘very different’ to those of central London, Atkins said.Though Macdonald was ‘not opposed’ to the idea of localism, he warned it could lead to ‘huge inconsistency’ around the country in terms of decision-making and ‘overpowerful’ police forces.Macdonald said the proposed model would lead to lawyers working in a CPS ‘that does no advocacy, no role in charging, but has some sort of guiding function that’s not quite defined’.He said it was ‘very dangerous’ to ‘talk in terms of devolving powers to small, independent organisations dotted around the country who have little contact with each other and may have a commercial interest in decisions they take’.Earlier this week the CPS was criticised by inspectors for failing to engage effectively with defence practitioners amid efforts to reduce delays in magistrates’ courts.last_img read more

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first_img Credit: ABC Credit: ABC Catherine (Debbie Allen) had surgery on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy in an attempt to save her life.Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Koracick (Greg Germann) teamed up to perform the surgery. Initially hopeful they could remove all of the cancer, they quickly realised that wasn’t going to be possible.With the help of Richard (James Pickens Jr.), the surgeons managed to remove 95% of the tumour and Catherine survived the surgery.Meanwhile Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) went to visit her ailing father Thatcher (Jeff Perry). The two clashed with Meredith lashing out over her father’s absence in her life. Meredith managed to get past her issues and reconnect with Thatcher before he died with her by his side.The next episode of the season is Girlfriend in a Coma. A patient gives Meredith some clarity on her dating situation around the holidays. The strain on Bailey and Ben’s marriage comes to a head. Meanwhile, Betty drops a bomb on Owen and Amelia.Grey’s Anatomy continues at 9pm Wednesday on Sky Witness HD. Preview the episode with our gallery below: Credit: ABC Credit: ABC Credit: ABC Credit: ABC Credit: ABC Credit: ABClast_img read more

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first_imgINDEPENDENCE, OHIO– Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert will be out the next 5-7 days with right knee soreness, the team announced via a release on Tuesday.Through six games this season, Shumpert is averaging 6.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.o assist in just over 18 minutes a night. Shumpert began experiencing increased soreness in his knee a few days ago, and sat out Sunday’s 114-95 loss to the New York Knicks.According to the team, Shumpert underwent imaging yesterday at the Cleveland Clinic and there is no structural damage. His status will be updated next week. Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers the Cavs for SB Nation’s Fear The Sword. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42 Ashley Bastockcenter_img Related TopicsCavsClevelandCleveland CavaliersIman ShumpertNBAlast_img read more

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