Blogosphere

Carleton cancels in-person sports competitions for Winter Term 2021

Northfield News - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 9:40pm
Carleton College has canceled in-person varsity athletic competitions during the winter sports season. This decision, announced Friday, was made due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and affects intercollegiate events through March 15, 2021.
Categories: Local News

Satellite food shelf opens at former Greenvale school

Northfield News - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 9:17pm
The Northfield Community Action Center has established a satellite food shelf in the former Greenvale Park Elementary School building to ensure food insecure residents on the north side of the city have access to needed food.
Categories: Local News

College enters yellow coronavirus alert level, signaling heightened campus awareness

Manitou Messenger - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 5:29pm

St. Olaf moved into the yellow COVID-19 Alert Level on Friday, Oct. 23, after the College’s randomized surveillance testing discovered three positive coronavirus cases in two days between Oct. 19 and Oct. 20.

A jump in the COVID-19 positivity rate throughout Rice County and a high number of close contacts from on-campus positive tests also informed the heightened alert level.  

The yellow alert level increases some restrictions throughout campus, but is more in place to prepare the College for a possible move to the orange or red alert level, which severely increase campus-wide restrictions, according to an email sent to students by the Campus Reopening Team on Oct. 23.

Social and non-class gatherings are limited to 10 persons indoors and out, and the Reopening Team increases their communications with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Local Public Health (LPH) authorities under the yellow alert level. 

As part of heightened community standards, the email from the Reopening Team encourages students to limit the number of people they socialize with for the remainder of the semester while avoiding gatherings outside of students’ immediate social circles. The Team has yet to state this recommendation explicitly as part of the community standards until now.

Students have raised concerns about the effectiveness of randomized testing in catching a possible outbreak on campus, as only about 10% of students are randomly tested each week. 

A further increase to an orange or red alert level would see the College move to entirely remote learning and significantly reduce campus activities. All students who could return home would evacuate campus if the College moved to the red alert level specifically. 

Categories: Colleges

Dundas City Council: Where do the candidates stand?

Northfield News - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 4:13pm
Five candidates are running for two open seats on the Dundas City Council. Candidates John Cruz and Kimberly Hildahl did not return the Northfield News' questionnaires.
Categories: Local News

Alumnus explores the intersection of race and religion in Lutheran Center Fall Symposium

St. Olaf College - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 1:33pm
St. Olaf alumnus Kristofer Coffman '13 held a series of virtual conversations with the St. Olaf community, in which he shared some of the ways the Lutheran tradition can be helpful in thinking about different issues of structural racism and our relationship to them today.
Categories: Colleges

Panel: Minnesota US House vote unlikely to be rescheduled

Northfield News - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 1:14pm
A federal appeals panel indicated Friday that the Republican challenger in a Minnesota congressional race is unlikely to succeed in his appeal to move voting in that race to February after the death of a third-party candidate.
Categories: Local News

Highway 246 Roundabout Grand Opening; Taking Domestic Violence out of the shadows; NDDC reports on initiatives; Fire prevention month

KYMN Radio - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 12:02pm
By Teri Knight, News Director  After years of conversation and planning, and four months of construction, the roundabout at the intersection of Highway 246 and Jefferson Parkway was unveiled and opened on Friday. Along with the roundabout, the newly designed intersection features four pedestrian underpass tunnels. Despite the cold and blustery conditions the mood during

'Multi-pound' marijuana dealer charged with multiple drug felonies

Northfield News - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 12:00pm
A man believed to be dealing large quantities of marijuana and found with more than 23 pounds of marijuana and related products has been charged in a pair of Rice County cases, according to court documents.
Categories: Local News

Jon Olson, Candidate for Minnesota Senate District 20

KYMN Radio - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 9:28am
Jon Olson discusses his background and candidacy for Minnesota Senate District 20.  

John Fossum discusses 2nd Congressional District Race and more

KYMN Radio - Fri, 10/23/2020 - 9:12am
Rice County Attorney John Fossum discusses the 2nd Congressional District race and whether there will need to be a special election in light of the death of one of the candidates.  His advice is to cast a ballot in that race as, presently, there is a Federal Court order directing the Secretary of State to

Adventures in the New Humanities: It’s a noir semester

St. Olaf College - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 10:23pm
In this "Adventures in the New Humanities" blog post, Professor of History Judy Kutulas shares a meditation on our pandemic state of mind — and why she's calling this a noir semester.
Categories: Colleges

The Weekly List – The Minnesota Music Show, Vol. 3

KYMN Radio - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 6:00pm
This week, Rich takes a look at some of the music that has been released by Minnesota artists in 2020.

NHS set to perform a rendition of historical classic

Northfield News - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 5:49pm
Though COVID-19 has all but eliminated performances in front of large crowds, Northfield High School is set to deliver its rendition of the well-known “The War of the Worlds,” later this month in front of a socially distanced crowd.
Categories: Local News

County, city reach agreements to improve internet access

Northfield News - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 4:00pm
With the need greater than ever, Rice County and even the city of Faribault have taken steps in recent days to improve access to high-speed internet in rural areas.
Categories: Local News

Man charged in 2014 hit-and-run that killed 2 in Wisconsin

Northfield News - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 3:39pm
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man has been charged in a 2014 hit-and-run crash that killed two men in western Wisconsin.
Categories: Local News

Honeylocust Dr. trail connection takes a step forward; Mankato woman accused of breaking into a home, punching a woman, abusing her cat; Cemetery Stories goes virtual with voice reenactors

KYMN Radio - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 1:02pm
By Teri Knight, News Director The Northfield Council, two weeks ago, voted down a trail connection from Honeylocust Drive to the E. Cannon River Trail as part of the 2021 road projects which requires a supermajority to pass. The action this week was for the trail connection as a stand-alone project that will use tax

State launches pilot COVID-19 test at home program

Northfield News - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 12:47pm
Minnesotans in two dozen counties or tribal nations will be able to order a COVID-19 Test at Home kit, to perform in the comfort of their own home. These tests are available free of charge to any Minnesotan in those…
Categories: Local News

Will the NFL beat COVID-19?

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 12:41pm

When the pandemic hit, along with other leagues across the world, the NFL was forced into new protocols for a sport and economy very heavily based on in-person interaction.

Unsurprisingly, the NFL has sordidly failed at approaching the pandemic, reducing risk and promoting sound morals.

In comparison to the NBA and the NHL, who have created bubbles, the NFL has had significantly more positive COVID-19 cases— and more delays, cancellations and uncertainty because of them.

This summer there was much conversation and confusion about whether or not professional football would start back up for the season. It became clear through NFL announcements that the season would occur no matter what, with a small delay at the beginning. The first protocols seemed fairly standard, with players getting tested and being asked to physically distance.

Within a few weeks, several games had to be cancelled due to positive COVID-19 tests. There were significant outbreaks on the New England Patriots — shocker — and the Tennessee Titans. Fans were worried about postponed games affecting their team’s ability to compete when other teams were still playing. Players were worried about their personal safety and the safety of their families. Others in the organization were only worried about economic downsides that would inevitably come from the cancellations. But a focus on profit over people is not a new theme for the NFL.

This COVID-19 response plan, or lack thereof, put athletes at higher risk of contracting the virus, feeling long term effects and hurting their bodies because of it. In short, within the scramble to keep football open, the NFL has proven that they care much more about making money than they do about the safety of their players, coaches and other team members.

Let’s not forget about the players who in protection of their health and the health of their loved ones decided to opt out. If opting out for a medical condition, players received a stipend of $350,000 for the season, those who opted out voluntarily received a $150,000 salary advance and undrafted rookies who opted out voluntarily were not able to receive any money. It seems to me that players who are trying to protect themselves and promote health are being punished.

Because of the unclear and unprepared nature of this fall season, the NFL was pushed into new protocols in early October. The new restrictions include the enforcement of masks or gaiters for coaches and personnel on the sidelines, testing to occur on game day and increased protocol compliance checks. How irresponsible is it that the first time the NFL officially requires masks and gameday testing is in October? The carelessness is evident.

The pandemic has reinforced long-held issues of integrity within professional football. As more time passes, it becomes ever clearer that the NFL is deeply problematic, harmful and corrupt. When we combine the response to COVID-19, continued covering up of domestic violence, controversy surrounding racism and political protest, the amount of life-damaging injuries and more, how could we still be championing this enterprise? The list of red flags goes on and on.

Football was even a topic of discussion at the presidential debate. Why are we continuing to put  a heinous amount of money and energy into football when this pandemic is affecting so many more important and crucial elements of life?

I cannot deny the community and connections that flourish through football. I have always loved claiming my cities and laughing with people about games and rivalry. I love that professional football is a way for people to create a valuable and important path in life, and I cannot forget the importance of sports for society. However, something has to and will give out if the NFL doesn’t step up to support people’s lives.

Despite all of this, I do not think that this pandemic will beat the NFL. Fans should be gearing up for an upcoming Super Bowl. Football is valued too much in our country for the pandemic to destroy it. Of course, the NFL will be and already has been significantly weakened economically. I don’t think this is a wholly bad thing.

I hope this pandemic and its effects on the NFL will push change and movement, not only in regards to the health of players, coaches and fans, but in regards to racism and misogyny as well. If the NFL is going to stay, the adverse aspects of it need to go.

peacor2@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

A case for Lamelo Ball: The Timberwolves’ should-be #1 draft pick

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 12:39pm

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a joke. Ever since losing legendary center Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007, despite sporting names like Kevin Love, Jimmy Butler and Karl Anthony Towns, all bonafide superstars in their own rights, Minnesota has struggled with relevancy. Over those 13 years, the T-Wolves have notched only one playoff berth, falling 4-1 to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2017-2018 playoffs. The Timberwolves are the team that no one remembers, the one that is always forgotten in attempts to list off all 30 NBA teams.

Minnesota General Manager Scott Layden has a chance to change all that. Blessed by the ever malevolent and mischievous basketball gods, the Timberwolves had their ping pong ball combination pulled before anyone else’s, despite there only being a 14% chance of that happening, giving Layden control over the first overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA draft.

Unlike previous years, this upcoming draft class is not significantly top heavy. While there is certainly a top three, the skill dropoff between them and the rest of the available players is much less significant. While it can be said that this lack of an obvious top player is a detriment to the Timberwolves, the more optimistic way of looking at the situation is that Minnesota has much more flexibility with their premium pick.

Reports have emerged that Minnesota has narrowed its options down to two. Either they plan on selecting 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of University of Georgia Anthony Edwards, or they plan on trading the pick away. However, Layden should, in my humble opinion, consider a third option. He should consider drafting Lamelo Ball.

While the 6-foot-6 point guard did not play a minute of American college basketball, the former Chino Hills High School standout put up big numbers both overseas with the Latvian team Prenai as well as the Junior Basketball Association – a league run by his father LaVar Ball.

From a purely basketball point of view, this move would make sense. Lamelo has the potential to be an elite point guard in this league, which would allow him to not only dish the ball effectively inside to Karl Anthony Towns, but also would create a more than serviceable shooting tandem with recently acquired D’Angelo Russell.

However, even more than the on-court productivity that would come with Lamelo, the publicity would be huge. Despite a dip in recent months with brother Lonzo Ball having a down season with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Ball family over the past year has been outspoken within the NBA world. Sports media loves having patriarch LaVar talk as much as possible, and considering the sometimes absurd things he says, one can be sure that he would be hard to silence if his son was selected first overall in the NBA draft.

If the Timberwolves were to greenlight this pick, for the first time in a long time, people would treat the team as less of a punchline. For the first time in a long time, in a league full of historic organizations, the T-Wolves would not be overlooked. For the first time in a long time, people would actually talk about Minnesota’s basketball team.

warren2@stolaf.edu

Categories: Colleges

From Northfield to the NBA: The Freddie Gillespie Story

Manitou Messenger - Thu, 10/22/2020 - 12:34pm

Five years ago Freddy Gillespie sat in his freshman dorm room at Carleton College, preparing to face Bethany Lutheran in what would be his collegiate basketball debut the next night. Gillespie would come off the bench to log 15 minutes for the Knights in their season opener, finishing with six points, five rebounds and three assists. On paper, an unremarkable performance. 

But for the lengthy big-man from East Ridge High School, his career would go on to be anything but unremarkable. Standing at 6-foot-9, with arms like wings and an eye catching vertical leap, Gillespie was a physical force unimaginable on a Division III basketball court. And while a Division III court may have been the starting point for Gillespie’s college career, it would not be his final destination.

Gillespie began playing the game of basketball later than most, not starting until the 8th grade. His high school years were plagued with injuries, tearing his ACL and twice breaking his ankle, limiting his exposure as a prep hoops prospect. Without much playing experience or skill, the then senior Gillespie set his sights on an academically focused school to attend after graduation, with the only schools recruiting him being local Division III institutions. Gillespie decided to play for Carleton College, looking to salvage a career that had barely begun in a rural Minnesotan town known more for its cereal than its basketball.

Despite his size, strength and obvious potential to be the best basketball player to ever step foot in Carleton’s West Gym, Gillespie would ride the bench for most of his freshman year. He broke his way into the starting lineup in his sophomore campaign, with stats good enough to earn him Second-Team All Conference. His sophomore highlights are jaw dropping, pinning his opponents shots off the glass with ease and throwing down put back dunks like you’d see in a video game.

After his sophomore season, the story goes that Gillespie was with his roommate watching the University of North Carolina Tarheels play in the NCAA tournament when he had an epiphany — that he himself was capable of playing at the Division I level like the players he was watching on TV. I’m sure that for the next few days, Gillespie would lie awake at night, his legs hanging off the end of his twin bed, unable to escape the thought of leaving Northfield to pursue playing college basketball at a school like UNC.

Six months later, that’s exactly what Gillespie did, transferring to Baylor University as a walk-on after connecting with their assistant coach, a Minnesota native. Gillespie would redshirt his first year in Waco, working to develop his skills for a chance to compete at a level even his own Baylor teammates and coaches first thought he may never reach. But like Gillespie had done his entire career, he surprised everyone but himself, becoming the team’s starting center the following season.

This Baylor team was no average squad either, earning the No. 1 rank in the country for much of the 2018-2019 season. In just under two years, Gillespie had gone from playing in front of a few dozen Carls after poli-sci class to catching alley-oops in sold out Big-12 arenas. 

Gillespie never stopped improving, earning the Big-12’s Most Improved Player award the following year, while also nabbing a spot on conference’s all-defensive team.

Today, Gillespie is preparing for the NBA Draft, hoping to be one of the 60 most talented amateur basketball players in the world to be selected. Gillespie, who just only a few years ago was trying to find a way off Carleton’s bench, now has a chance to play against some of the greatest players the game has ever seen. It’s a story as heartwarming as it is unlikely, and it’s not over yet.

The draft takes place on Oct. 22, and even if Gillespie isn’t taken in the second round, he will likely be given the chance to sign with a team as an undrafted free agent for a team in the G-League, the NBA’s developmental system. He will look to follow in the footsteps of players like Duncan Robinson and Alex Caruso, both young talents who began their careers in the G-League and most recently competed against each other in the NBA Finals, each in the starting lineup of their respective franchise. Robinson is a fellow DIII alum like Gillespie, transferring from Williams College to the University of Michigan, drafted with the 55th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Beyond all else, Gillespie’s story is emblematic of what it means to chase a dream. For most of us, our talents don’t stand out like the wingspan of a 7-footer in a brightly lit basketball gym. Our potential isn’t measured in rebounds on a stat sheet, or shot blocking presence in the paint. But nonetheless, we all have ambitions. And I’m willing to bet that almost every person has had their Freddie Gillespie moment, seeing someone else living their dream, with the same thought: “That could be me.”

At Carleton, Gillespie met his basketball ceiling fairly quickly. Understandably, the rigorous academic schedule of a prestigious liberal arts school paired with the coaching staff of a Division III athletic program isn’t known to produce NBA skill sets. If Gillespie had stayed at Carleton, who knows where he would have ended up.

We like to think that success is dependent on internal drive, and the intrinsic motivation to be great. When in reality, it’s more about surrounding yourself with the right environment, and finding some luck along the way. The lesson we should take away from Gillespie’s career is not that ceilings don’t exist, but that they are impermanent. Sometimes the hardest part of reaching your destination is finding the right path, and we often have more to lose by staying put than chasing the impossible.

Categories: Colleges
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