W&L Football to Travel to Mount Union for NCAA First Round Game


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced its field for the 2021 Division III football championship on Sunday and Washington and Lee will travel to 13-time National Champion Mount Union for a first-round contest.
The Generals and Purple Raiders will meet at 12:00 pm on Saturday, November 20 in Alliance, Ohio.
Mount Union posted a 10-0 record during the regular season and received an automatic bid from the Ohio Athletic Conference.  The Purple Raiders are ranked fourth in the D3Football.com Division III poll and average 48.9 points per game, while allowing just 9.1 points per outing.  They also allow an average of just 61.9 yards per game on the ground and 211.6 yards overall.

W&L finished its regular season with an 8-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.  The Generals earned the ODAC’s automatic berth to the tournament and were riding an eight-game winning streak until a regular season-ending loss to Shenandoah on Saturday.  The Blue & White averages 31.9 points per game and ranks fifth in Division III in rushing offense (324.8 ypg).

The winner of the first-round contest will take on the winner of a match-up between Salisbury (8-1) and Johns Hopkins (9-1) on November 27.

W&L is seeking its first-ever NCAA Tournament win (0-5).  The Generals met Mount Union in their last NCAA Championship outing on November 18, 2017.  The Purple Eagles claimed a 21-0 win on their way to seizing the 2017 NCAA title.

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European Union travel restrictions: E.U. recommends new rules for unvaccinated Americans

Airlines for Europe, the largest E.U. airline association, urged policymakers to rethink the decision, arguing that the rampant community spread on both sides of the Atlantic shows that air travel is not fueling new virus cases. The restrictions, the group said in a Monday statement, are “extremely disappointing for Europe’s airlines and our ailing tourism sector.”

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Knights travel to Union City tonight | News, Sports, Jobs

Times Observer Photo by Steve Younger
Eisenhower’s Benji Bauer breaks off a nice run in the season opener last week against Saegertown.

The Eisenhower football team is at Union City for a league game tonight.

The Knights come into the game with a 1-0 record after beating Saegertown last week. The Bears, meanwhile, dropped their opener, 22-0, to Cochranton.

Eisenhower will face a Union City team that it played and defeated twice during the 2020 COVID-19 bubble.

“We can’t think about last year,” Knights head coach Jim Penley said. “They are a well-coached team and are always very well prepared to play us. We have to be ready.”

The Bears can cause problems for Eisenhower if the latter doesn’t establish its own physicality.

“They have run the triple-option for a long time and they execute it very well,” Penley said.

The Bears are big across the offensive line, anchored by the Pituch brothers at the tackle spots, Ben a senior, and Joe, a sophomore. Both stand 6 foot, 3 inches and weigh 260 pounds.

The Knights kept Saegertown out of the end zone last week behind five sacks by the defense and allowed only 67 yards of total offense, but Union City’s triple option will surely test the Knights.

“We have to establish our presence and control the line of scrimmage.” Penley said.

Eisenhower’s offense had a solid game last week with 362 total yards, including 299 on the ground, in their 14-0 victory. The Knights were led by junior Keegan Eckstrom, who had 11 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown; and junior quarterback Garrett Jensen, who in his first varsity start was a solid 6 of 9 passing for 63 yards and no turnovers.

Union City struggled last week against Cochranton with only 67 yards of total offense and zero pass completions.

The game could come down to depth. The Bears have 10 players going both ways while Eisenhower uses a rotation system on their defensive line and offensive skill positions.

“This game will be a good test of where our younger guys are and if our skill players can continue to improve,” Penley said.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Union City Junior-Senior High School, 105 Concord St., Union City.

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Southwest pilots’ union sues carrier over changes to work rules during pandemic travel slump

A Southwest Airlines Co. plane takes off as representatives and pilots from the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) demonstrate outside Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Southwest pilots’ union sued the carrier this week, alleging the airline violated federal labor laws by altering work rules during the pandemic travel slump without negotiating the changes.

Those included changes to work conditions and pilot pay rules and rates, such as an “emergency” time-off program, according to the lawsuit, which the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association filed in federal court in Dallas on Monday.

Southwest denied the allegations that its changed required negotiation with the union.

“Southwest Airlines, like the rest of the industry, has been forced to respond to the unpredictable challenges presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Russell McCrady, Southwest’s vice president of labor relations said in a statement. “The airline disagrees with SWAPA’s claims that any COVID-related changes over the past few months required negotiation.”

The pilots union said in the complaint that it is seeking an injunction to force the company to revert to the terms of their collective bargaining agreement.

The lawsuit comes as tensions between Southwest’s workers and management are on the rise.

Southwest pilots’ labor union this month said it was considering pickets at airports over Thanksgiving and Christmas to protest work conditions.

The company last week said it would scale back its schedules for the rest of the year, following complaints about exhaustion from staff. Pilots and flight attendants have also complained about a shortage of hotels and food options while on the road.

Southwest told workers this week that it is negotiating an agreement with a “food delivery service provider” to deliver hot food to hotels during overnight trips.

“Southwest will cover the cost of the monthly subscription to this service, and we are negotiating to remove delivery fees and significantly reduce service fees,” wrote Rachel Loudermilk, director base operations in an email to staff.

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Benton, Union tip-off seasons at Indee |

While Benton and Union volleyball may not have faced each other on Saturday in Independence, the two programs each found plenty of competition in their first tournament of the season.

“It was a little bit of a stacked pool,” Benton coach Mike Embretson said with a slight chuckle. “Janesville and West Delaware are always good competition.”

The Bobcats opened their morning with a 2-0 win over Alburnett, led by six kills from sophomore outside hitter Piper Nelson. Embretson praised his team’s passing and setting in the 21-8, 21-12, noting how well Benton ran its sets throughout the match. Senior Grace Embretson had 10 assists, while she and senior Janelle Morris each had three digs.

“Piper is definitely going to be a force for us this season,” Embretson said. “When she becomes more consistent, she’ll be a really good player. We have more guns this season than in the past. Addie Phillips and Grace give us more hitting to go to this year.”

3A second-ranked West Delaware proved too quick to handle in a 21-11, 21-10 win for the Hawks. Benton found itself stuck in a rotation after going point-for-point with West Delaware for 10 points. Nelson again had six kills, Grace Embretson four assists and seven digs.

“West Delaware is a good quality team we need to see at the beginning of the season,” Embretson said. “We need to know where we’re at.”

Benton needed a win of 1A 15th-ranked Janesville to advance to tournament play. The Wildcats did not make that simple as they took the first set 21-14. Sensing their day was in jeopardy of ending, the Bobcats battled back in the second set and kept the score close. A Nelson kill put Benton up 12-11 and prompted a Janesville timeout. The Wildcat regained their slim lead and held on for a 21-19 win to end the Bobcat’s day 1-2.

“We fought to the end of that second set but just didn’t have enough gas,” Embretson said. “It’s huge seeing them not give up. That fight will win a lot of matches for them.

Nelson had seven kills in the match, and junior libero Olivia Janss finished with nine digs. Grace Embretson totaled six kills, 11 assists and six digs.

Union competed on the opposite court, starting off with new NICL conference rival Oelwein. The Knights made swift work of the Huskies in a 21-7, 21-12 win while also getting their bench players involved in the second set. Junior Jaidyn Bush had 18 assists to lead a balanced attack from senior Laura Rempe, junior Aubrey Gates and sophomore Gracie Klima with five kills each. Senior libero Bailey Foulk had five digs. Senior Belle Olson 19 for 20 on serves with four aces and four digs.

“We saw great connection between Jaidyn and Aubrey,” Union coach Brian Jesse said. “Belle served well all day. Bailey is doing a good job of transitioning into a new defensive assignment.”

Union’s success continued with a three-set win over 2A 15th-ranked Starmont. Down as much as 12-7, the Knight rallied back in the first set to squeak out a 21-19 set. The Stars came back to win the second set 21-18. Union was far from through as they opened the third set on a 6-1 run. Starmont went on a 4-0 run of their own before the Knights pulled away a second and final time in their decisive win. Gates totalled 13 kills and four digs. Bush had 24 assists and Foulk 14 digs.

“We played a pretty good game defensively against Starmont,” Jesse said. “We’ve got the tools for a good team but still have plenty of work to put everything together. You can’t lose two All-State players, and 100 percent of your serve receive and think everything is going to fall right into place.”

Jesse’s words rang true as the Knights “fell flat” against host Independence in a 21-11, 21-6 loss. A three-way tie in the pool (2-1 records) was settled by sets won, leaving Union out of tournament play due to being defeated by the Mustangs in two sets. Gates had three kills and three digs.

“We have to learn to respond better when things don’t go our way,” Jesse said. “You have to bring consistent effort each time you step on the court. We see tough competition in our conference and tournaments. If we play flat, this is the result we’ll get.”

Union will travel to Jesup on Tuesday, Benton will travel to Vinton-Shellsburg on Thursday.

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European Union To Remove The U.S. From Its ‘Safe Travel’ List

American travelers in Europe may soon face additional Covid-related restrictions such as quarantines and testing requirements. The European Union has already begun the procedure to remove the United States and five other countries from its “safe travel” list, reports Reuters.

Travelers from countries on the safe list can visit E.U. countries without quarantining by showing only a recent negative test result, while travelers from other countries are discouraged from visiting for non-essential reasons. However as the “safe list” is non-binding, American travelers would not automatically be barred from entry to E.U. countries. The last word will come from each individual E.U. country, which has the authority to impose their own restrictions. In other words, it’s going to be a messy patchwork of different rules and regulations across the continent.

The change to the so-called “safe list” could become official as soon as Monday. The other countries on the chopping block include Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.

The E.U.’s safe list includes countries outside the 27-member block that are considered safe amid the Coronavirus pandemic due to the low rates of infections. The list is updated periodically based on the latest coronavirus developments in each country.

The threshold for being on the “safe travel” list is having fewer than 75 new Covid-19 cases daily per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days. Currently the United States has an infection rate roughly seven times above that threshold.

The picture looked rosier for the U.S. when it was added to the list of safe countries in mid-June. At that time, the vaccination rollout was well underway in the United States, and the number of new daily Covid cases was declining. But now, as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to sweep across America, Covid levels are back to what they were in January.

In early August, when the infection rate in the U.S. was half as high as it is currently — but still well over the “safe travel” threshold — the bloc discussed curbing U.S. travelers, but decided to keep the status quo.

Last Thursday, the E.U. member countries again debated whether to reimpose limits on U.S. tourists. This time around, European nations reportedly concluded that the U.S. is not able to remain on the list.

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Opinion – Part 2 – Many faces of the Soviet Union

I vividly remember the 13 American journalists and two State Department/AYCPL veterans on the ride to the Dallas International Airport for  a night departure to London and into the mysterious Soviet Union.  We were laughing but nervous about the adventure.

We arrived in London early in the morning.   I read countless booklets during the night from my fellow travelers that proved valuable later.  I loved the accent of the “Bobby” policeman who told us how to get a “Lift.”  Ernie Stallworth, Bangor Maine columnist and my eventual USSR trip roommate and a female African American reporter from the Baltimore Sun, who became a Soviet hit, and I, rented a taxi-lift and we literally sped around London for the entire day.  Seeing Shakespeare’s tavern, Westminster Abby and  the crows feeding at the London Tower.  The fare for the day was around $80 that we all split.  The “cockney” taxi/lift driver’s accent was memorable, along with his many stories.

Arriving back at Heathrow  airport we were escorted out on the tarmac where there was a Russian jet with two uniformed Soviet  soldiers standing guard  with the nation’s “Hammer and Sickle” emblazoned on the plane’s tail.  We were headed for Moscow.

We arrived late at night and the streets were dark and ominous. It was raining hard in October as we rode a bus to the IN-tourist hotel, a government owned and  operated facility.  Ernie and I became roommates and we shared a small room with narrow short bunks;  both tall,  we had our feet extended over the end of our beds. A uniformed lady sat at the floor entrance at a desk supervising the floor. It was pitch black in the room when a Russian voice suddenly came on and woke us up.  I thought to myself, “The indoctrination has begun.”  What really happened was the last guest left the radio on and the station came on the air very early in the morning.

The hotel was well located, with a restaurant, ball room, and bar open at night, all serving us well as our Moscow home base.  We would travel by train to Leningrad, today St. Petersburg, on the “The Red Arrow” express, another nighttime trip.  The longest journey was to Siberia where a 1,000 volunteer youth labor crew was constructing a hydroelectric dam and power facility.  They had a huge party for us and we were the first Americans that many had ever seen or met.  We danced,  drank vodka and exchanged presents.  It was a great night for American diplomacy.  We flew in on an older twin-engine plane.  The following day, now in November it started to snow.  In Siberia that was big trouble, we could have been stranded for days. But, out of the blue came a small sleek jet that whisked us back to Moscow.  They kept good track of us everywhere.

Each day we would all meet for breakfast; coffee was boiled with the grounds,  the ham was fatty and it was explained that the pigs in Russia were fattened on garbage, created the poor quality of meat.  In America we fatten our pigs/hogs on corn, resulting in fine tasting pork.

Meals were interesting because they came in various courses. We never knew when the meals were completed. My best meal was Borsch soup in Siberia.

In Moscow at night we would gather in the hotel bar that was crowded with German construction workers building an oil pipeline to Germany.  Two blonde female bartenders were hard pressed to attend to the crowded barroom so when we finally got a Heineken beer I tipped the barkeeper well.  We were told not to tip but that was faulty information, the Russians loved to get tips.  After the tip all I had to do was raise my arm and we had more beer.  The Germans apparently didn’t know tipping made for better service, then and now.

Each day we would board buses and attend programs, visit schools with indoor firing ranges and MIG cockpits,  collective farms and state farms, auto factories and  viewed the Russian crown jewels stored within the Kremlin walls.  On the entire trip we were always escorted by professional Komsomalia communist interpreters and  a KGB suited agent. Over the six week period we became  friends with the interpreters.   They couldn’t figure out why we wanted to visit Russian churches.  Most were boarded up and there was little Christianity in the godless nation.  I’m told that it has improved. We visited a synagogue where aging, dignified, long bearded rabbis were still allowed to worship.

Visiting a hydroponic farm, I was given a large red tomato.  I gave it to our bus driver and he was thrilled.  At a dairy farm they were feeding the milk cows sugar beets because of a lack of hay.   Because of the cold climate most of their food comes from root crops, especially potatoes that could be made into vodka that was in abundance.  The Russia don’t sip, they chugalugged the whole glass.

I never saw a horse in the entire country and of course there were no fences because the Soviets had done away with private property. The state owned and operated everything and everybody.  Everyone had a job rating and pay scale.  Highest paid were factory workers and timber jacks, lower paid were doctors and at the bottom were journalists.  Top pay was around $600 dollars in equivalent rubles.

Riding with my favorite interpreter on the bus,  I  saw one person walking a dog, the first dog to be seen.  I said,  “There’s a dog.”  He replied, “We don’t need them.”

To Be Continued – The Red Arrow Express to Leningrad.

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