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Health orders could prompt 49ers to move final home games amid COVID-19 surge

SANTA CLARA  — The 49ers may have to move their final three home games, not to mention all of their practices, under Santa Clara County’s stricter health mandate amid a “severe surge” of COVID-19. Professional sports, along with those in the youth and college ranks, are banned for a minimum of three weeks under the county advisory announced Saturday. “All recreational activities that involve physical contact or close proximity to persons outside one’s household, including all contact sports, will be temporarily prohibited,” County Counsel James Williams said Saturday. “People can continue to engage in outdoor athletics and recreation where social distancing can be maintained at all times.” The 49ers (4-6) have three home games remaining this regular season: Dec. 7 against the Buffalo Bills

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Chargers activate RB Austin Ekeler ahead of Sunday’s game vs. Bills

The Chargers will have their star running back available to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Austin Ekeler was placed on the active 53-man roster, the Chargers announced Saturday afternoon. He hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4. The Chargers also waived defensive end Jessie Lemonier and promoted nose tackle Breiden Fehoko and linebackers B.J. Bello and Cole Christiansen from the practice squad. Ekeler returned to practice Wednesday after the team designated him for return from injured reserve. Ekeler has 49 carries for 248 yards and 17 catches for 144 yards this season. He received a four-year, $24.5 million extension in the offseason after his breakout 2019 season. Related Articles Chargers at Buffalo Bills: Who h...

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19 Utah schools are tops at English language instruction

Edison Elementary School kindergartener Rebeca Prado sits behind a protective screen as she works on English skills with teacher Veronica Hernandez at the school in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. | Steve Griffin, Deseret NewsSalt Lake’s Edison Elementary, with 64% of its students English language learners and 100% economically disadvantaged, honored for ‘exemplary’ efforts SALT LAKE CITY — In a school year like no other, Edison Elementary School is finding new ways to reach the 64% of its student body who are English language learners. Salt Lake City School District is the only district statewide to solely offer remote learning, which has meant teachers at Edison have had to develop — often on the fly — innovative teaching techniques and inventive uses of technology to help the

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Santa Clara County to release tough new COVID-19 rules on heels of San Francisco

Santa Clara County is expected to release new COVID-19 restrictions in light of its rising caseload Saturday, including a temporary ban on all high school, collegiate and professional sports, a mandatory quarantine for those traveling into the region from more than 150 miles away and new capacity limits for indoor businesses, according to county sources. The new restrictions arrive as California experiences its worst COVID-19 surge yet and within hours of a similar rollback from San Francisco County, which was placed into the state’s most restrictive “purple” reopening tier starting Saturday. Santa Clara County’s new restrictions will include a 14-day quarantine for all those traveling to and from the county from more than 150 miles away, according to documents obtained by this news organ...

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Biden will leave decision about who gets the coronavirus vaccine first up to public health experts and scientists, his COVID-19 advisor says

Summary List PlacementDr. Celine Gounder, a member of Joe Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, told CNN  on Friday that public health experts and scientists will decide who among the groups that will be prioritized will get it first when a limited supply of vaccine is available.  "That's where it gets a bit more political and, frankly, this is where the President-elect is leaving it to the public health experts and scientists to figure out how best to allocate the limited supply first," Gounder told CNN. Last week, Pfizer and BioNTech filed for emergency authorization of their coronavirus vaccine with the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer announced that its vaccine had a 95% efficacy rate in its final-stage clinical trials. Pfizer has applied for emergency authorization and Moderna, whi...

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Detroit Lions fire coach Matt Patricia, GM Bob Quinn

Matt Patricia opened his final postgame news conference with the Detroit Lions by thanking his wife and children for their support. Patricia probably knew what was coming. His boss, general manager Bob Quinn, might not have expected the same fate. The Lions fired Patricia and Quinn, who hired the coach to replace Jim Caldwell, and effectively ended the franchise’s attempt to replicate the success the men helped Bill Belichick achieve in New England. The moves were made Saturday, surprising no one. Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp and team resident Rod Wood were expected to explain the decisions and to look ahead at the franchise’s decades-long attempt to win when it matters in the NFL. Since Detroit won the 1957 NFL title, it has won only one playoff game – and that was way back on Jan. 5, 19...

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South Jordan police officer accused of kidnapping relative on Thanksgiving

Adobe Stock image SALT LAKE CITY — A South Jordan police officer was arrested Friday and accused of kidnapping a relative on Thanksgiving, police said. While attending a family dinner in Provo, the relative said they arranged to go for a ride with their nephew, Scott Elliott Russell, before dinner. During that drive, the relative said Russell refused to take the relative home as they drove south on I-15, according to a police affidavit written in support of Russell’s arrest. Police did not disclose whether the relative was a man or a woman, or the person’s age. Russell’s behavior “became more irrational and paranoid, at one point, taking the victim’s phone and disabling it,” police said. The relative said Russell continued driving until, “for an unknown reason,” Russell took an exit ...

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Could Detroit Lions’ openings shake up 49ers’ coach and personnel staffs?

SANTA CLARA — Four years of coaching and front office stability could end soon for the 49ers. That’s because of an expanding job market, more so than poor performance among the NFC West’s last-place and injury-riddled franchise. The Detroit Lions fired coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn on Saturday, creating openings along with those that the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans made earlier this season. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, a native of Dearborn, Mich., could emerge as a prime candidate in the Lions’ coaching search, and 49ers vice president of player personnel Adam Peters might make a nice pairing as general manager. Saleh was a finalist in January for the Cleveland Browns’ post. Peters, like Saleh, is in his fourth season with the 49ers and is general man...

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The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the case of a Louisiana pastor who ignored the governor’s order banning large gatherings

Summary List PlacementUS Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday declined to hear a petition brought forth by a Louisiana pastor who claimed Gov. John Bel Edwards' order meant to stem the spread of COVID-19 was in violation of his First Amendment rights.  In the spring, Tony Spell the pastor at the Life Tabernacle Church in Central, Louisiana, had ignored Edwards' stay-at-home order that prohibited gatherings larger than 10, even busing in individuals from neighboring towns to attend church services, according to the Monroe News-Star. At the time, Spell said he had defied Edwards' stay-at-home order in the spring because "the Lord told us to," according to the report. As Insider previously reported, Spell held services of approximately 1,000 people while the order was in place. Th...

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Pope elevates 13 new cardinals then puts them in their place

By Nicole Winfield | Associated Press ROME — Pope Francis raised 13 new cardinals to the highest rank in the Catholic hierarchy Saturday and immediately warned them not to use their titles for corrupt, personal gain, presiding over a ceremony marked from beginning to end by the coronavirus pandemic. Two new “princes” of the church, from Brunei and the Philippines, didn’t make it to Rome because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, though they were shown on giant screens watching it from home in the nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica. Throughout the socially distanced ceremony, which clocked in at an unusually quick 45 minutes, cardinals new and old wore protective masks. Most removed their masks when they approached a maskless Francis to receive their red hats, but Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the

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Rep. Jim Clyburn says that Biden should select more Black appointees for high-ranking administration posts

Summary List PlacementDemocratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking Black lawmaker in Congress and a close ally of Joe Biden, said that the president-elect has fallen short in nominating Black figures to top positions in the administration, according to The Hill. Clyburn, the House Majority Whip, said in a recent interview with Hill columnist Juan Williams that Black Americans, who catapulted Biden from the presidential primaries to a general election win against President Donald Trump, have not been well represented in the early picks for Cabinet or senior-level posts. In the interview, Clyburn praised Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the veteran diplomat who was nominated to serve as US Ambassador to the United Nations but was concerned that there have not been more Black...

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Some surprise takeaways from the Utah’s mining industry

Rio TintoProduction is up and so are the dollars SALT LAKE CITY — If you’ve driven a car, rode in an airplane or worked on a computer, chances are pretty good you are a consumer of metals mined in Utah. In fact, Utah is the United States’ only producer of beryllium and accounted for the production of 65% of the world’s beryllium last year, according to the Utah Geological Survey. The agency says beryllium is one of the lightest and stiffest metals, used for aerospace and defense applications, as well as for automobiles, computers, medical equipment, telecommunications and more. Rio Tinto Heavy equipment operates at Bingham Canyon Mine west of Salt Lake CityA new report by the Utah Geological Survey says mining production increased 2.4%, or $90 million last year. The state’s tota

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Trump has only himself to blame for his election loss

SACRAMENTO >> If I argued that a group of highly intelligent but nefarious aliens invaded the bodies of California’s lawmakers in order to destroy our lovely state, you might expect me to share a little evidence to support those startling claims. The onus should always rest with the promoters of conspiracy theories to prove them true, not with the rest of us to disprove them. Perhaps California officials embrace inexplicably destructive policy measures because they cling to misguided political ideologies. Maybe there is some other plausible explanation related to the state’s unique culture or politics. We should consider many theories (is it something in the water?) before arriving at extraterrestrial invasions. Likewise, it’s time for President Trump’s supporters to consider that, q

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Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart tests positive for coronavirus

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart attends a press conference last month outside the Cook County Jail, where he appealed to the community to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dart tested positive for the virus on Friday. | Pat Nabong/Sun-TimesDart last worked Nov. 19, began feeling symptoms the next day and then immediately self-quarantined, officials said. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is at home recovering after testing positive for COVID-19, his office announced Saturday. Dart last worked Nov. 19, began feeling symptoms the next day and then immediately self-quarantined, according to a statement from Dart’s office. He was tested Tuesday and received results Friday confirming he had contracted the virus, the sheriff’s office said. Dart remains symptomatic and is under the care of a ph...

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