Toronto Raptors center Chris Boucher wanted to put on a show and the 28-year-old did just that along with fellow Montrealers Khem Birch and Luguentz Dort.
Toronto Raptors center Chris Boucher wanted to put on a show and the 28-year-old did just that along with fellow Montrealers Khem Birch and Luguentz Dort.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fires linked to homeless tents and camps are raising concerns in Los Angeles, where flames claimed seven lives last year and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage to nearby businesses, according to a newspaper report. In the three years since the city's Fire Department began classifying them, the number of blazes related to homelessness has nearly tripled, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. In the first quarter of 2021, they occurred at a rate of 24 a day, making up 54% of all fires the department responded to. The paper said its analysis of records showed that fires related to homelessness doubled in all of the department’s 14 districts since 2018, the first year of complete records. The fires were most prevalent in downtown and South Los Angeles. In the popular Venice beach area, a fire that started in a tent destroyed a Venice boardwalk office building in January. A rash of fires among camps on the boardwalk has prompted residents to petition city officials to act. The Fire Department has equipped a new paramedic unit with a 150-gallon water tank that can respond to flames more quickly than a bulkier fire engine, KCBS-TV reported. Many fires are attributed to cooking, heating and smoking amid the flammable materials found in homeless street camps, makeshift shelters and RVs, the newspaper said. Others were intentionally set. Arson was blamed for a third of more than 15,600 fires related to homelessness in about the past three years, the Times reported. Some were set by outsiders, but police say most stemmed from disputes between homeless people. Dumpsters and trash piles are set ablaze, and melted plastic city trash cans are not uncommon in some areas of Los Angeles. In 2017, a wildfire sparked by a cooking fire in a ravine destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in the ritzy Bel-Air neighborhood. A fire started last August by a homeless person destroyed $1.5 million worth of merchandise in a warehouse owned by New Tech Display, co-owner Suzanna Naylor said. Since 2017, fires linked to homelessness have caused $185 million in damage — 22% of all fire damage in the city — including $12 million in the first quarter of this year, according to preliminary results of a Fire Department study. Homeless people themselves are often the main victims of the fires. Seven homeless people died in fires last year, including two considered homicides and two that were ruled suicides, authorities said. Accidental fires have claimed the lives of three homeless people so far this year, the Times said. “It takes a toll,” said Justin Szlasa, an organizer with the nonprofit Selah Neighborhood Homeless Coalition. Victims lose “literally everything that they’ve had with them on the street, which includes where they’re sleeping, their clothes, often documents that are necessary to access services,” he said. The city has removed large and hazardous encampments in a few cases, but officials say they are hamstrung by court rulings, including one upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court that says people can camp on sidewalks if alternative shelter isn't available. “Years of litigation and a growing number of court injunctions have significantly limited the city’s legal right to dismantle unsafe structures, or enter encampments to remove the hazardous items causing many of these fires,” said Jose “Che" Ramirez, deputy mayor for city homelessness initiatives. Cleanups aimed at “threats to public health and safety" also were curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. Two fires in the past month burned an area where homeless people had gathered under a freeway overpass near the city's vast Griffith Park. The Associated Press
Friends who bonded in a recovery group, led by Allison Janney's Bonnie, depart "Mom" more able to face life's challenges, but still adept at insults.
Investors with over $720 in losses are encouraged to contact the firm before April 26, 2021; click here to submit trade information LOS ANGELES, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Portnoy Law Firm advises investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of MultiPlan Corporation (NYSE: MPLN) investors that acquired shares between July 12, 2020 and November 10, 2020. Investors have until April 26, 2021 to seek an active role in this litigation. Investors are encouraged to contact attorney Lesley F. Portnoy, to determine eligibility to participate in this action, by phone 310-692-8883 or email, or click here to join the case. It is alleged in this complaint that MultiPlan made misleading and/or false statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) MultiPlan was losing tens of millions of dollars in revenues and sales to Naviguard, a competitor that had been created by one of MultiPlan’s largest customers, UnitedHealthcare, which threatening up to 35% of MultiPlan’s sales and 80% of its levered cash flows by 2022; (2) revenues and sales declines in the quarters leading up to the Merger were not due to “idiosyncratic” customer behaviors as had been represented by MultiPlan, but rather due to increased competition and a fundamental deterioration in demand for MultiPlan’s services, as payers developed competing services seeking alternatives to eliminating excessive healthcare costs; (3) MultiPlan was facing significant pricing pressures for its services and had been forced to materially reduce its take rate in the period leading up to the Merger by insurers, who had expressed a dissatisfaction with the quality and price of MultiPlan’s balanced billing practices and services, which caused MultiPlan to cut its take rate by up to half in some cases; (4) MultiPlan was set to continue to suffer from earnings and revenue declines, increased competition and deteriorating pricing dynamics in the period following the Merger, as a result; (5) MultiPlan was forced to seek continued revenue growth and to improve its competitive positioning by way of costly acquisitions, which included the purchase of the healthcare technology company HST for $140 million at a premium price from a former MultiPlan executive only one month after the Merger, consequently; and (6) as such, investors had grossly overpaid for the acquisition of MultiPlan in the Merger, while MultiPlan’s business was worth far less than had been represented to investors. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than April 26, 2021. Please visit our website to review more information and submit your transaction information. The Portnoy Law Firm represents investors in pursuing claims arising from corporate wrongdoing. The Firm’s founding partner has recovered over $5.5 billion for aggrieved investors. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Lesley F. Portnoy, Esq.Admitted CA and NY Barlesley@portnoylaw.com310-692-8883www.portnoylaw.com Attorney Advertising
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley was forced to resign after cremating victims' remains from the 1985 police attack instead of returning them to family.
Liz Loza is joined by Yahoo's senior NFL reporter Charles Robinson to get the insider's take on some of the league's most pressing QB issues: Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and more.
Colonial Pipeline will likely resume over the next two days, but consumers may have to wait longer in line, experts say.
TORONTO and MONTREAL, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nexus Real Estate Investment Trust (the "REIT") (TSX: NXR.UN) announced today its results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. Highlights Occupancy of 94% at March 31, 2021 increased from 93% at December 31, 2020 and remained consistent as compared to Q1 2020.Rent collections continue to be strong despite the challenges of COVID-19.Graduated to the Toronto Stock Exchange on February 1, 2021, with a 1 for 4 consolidation of outstanding units. Comparative figures have been restated to reflect the consolidation.Completed a $14MM acquisition of two industrial properties in Edmonton, Alberta on March 1, 2021.Closed a $34.9MM bought deal equity offering on March 4, 2021 with 4,255,000 REIT Units issued (the “Offering”), including 555,000 units issued as part of a fully exercised overallotment. The incremental units outstanding following the Offering will negatively impact per unit measures and the REIT’s AFFO payout ratio until proceeds of the Offering are fully deployed to acquire industrial properties.Q1 2021 net operating income of $10,565,713 increased by $792,078 or 8.1% as compared to Q1 2020 net operating income of $9,773,635 and by $867,412 or 8.9% as compared to Q4 2020 net operating income of $9,698,301.Q1 2021 same property NOI of $9,501,869 increased by $19,044 or 0.2% as compared to Q1 2020 same property NOI of $9,482,825.Q1 2021 normalized FFO per unit of $0.203, as compared to $0.219 for Q1 2020 and $0.206 for Q4 2020.Q1 2021 normalized AFFO per unit of $0.183, as compared to $0.197 for Q1 2020 and $0.185 for Q4 2020.Q1 2021 normalized AFFO payout ratio of 87.7%, as compared to 81.3% for Q1 2020 and 86.1% for Q4 2020.Ended Q1 2021 with $52MM of cash and full availability of $5MM credit facility; debt to total assets of 45.8% compared to 48.2% at December 31, 2020.Book NAV per unit, including Class B LP Units, of $10.09 at March 31, 2021 as compared to $10.16 at December 31, 2020 and $9.80 at March 31, 2020.Acquired six industrial properties in London, Ontario for $103.5MM on April 1, 2021.$144.9MM of industrial properties totalling 1.1MM square feet of gross leasable area under contract.Upon closing of announced transactions, more than 70% of the REIT’s NOI will be generated by its industrial portfolio.Management of the REIT will host a conference call on Friday May 14th at 1PM EST to review results and operations. “The first quarter saw the REIT graduate to the TSX as well as the successful completion of our $35 million equity raise, which will allow us to acquire a number of industrial properties” commented Kelly Hanczyk, the REIT’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are putting our equity to work and have announced entering into industrial asset purchase and sale agreements totalling approximately $144.9 million. Upon closing of these transactions, our industrial weighting will have grown to over 70% of our NOI. We have additional deals that we are currently working on and the balance of the year will see further shifting of our portfolio weighting towards industrial. In the quarter, we closed on a $14 million acquisition in Edmonton, Alberta, with $7 million of the purchase price satisfied in units. On April 1st, we closed on a $103.5 million acquisition in London, Ontario with $65.6 million of the purchase price being satisfied in units. One of the purchase and sale contracts we recently entered into is with the vendors of the London, Ontario portfolio, and we’re quite pleased to see that relationship giving us access to another unmarketed industrial acquisition opportunity. This relationship has the potential to provide a very significant pipeline of acquisition opportunities for the REIT.”Summary of Results Included in the tables that follow and elsewhere in this news release are non-IFRS measures that should not be construed as an alternative to net income / loss, cash from operating activities or other measures of financial performance calculated in accordance with IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures as reported by other issuers. Readers are encouraged to refer to the REIT’s MD&A for further discussion of the non-IFRS measures presented. Three months endedMarch 31, 20212020Financial Results$$Property revenues16,587,72415,592,759Net operating income (NOI)10,565,7139,773,635Net income10,207,77313,671,000 Three months endedMarch 31, 20212020Financial Highlights$$Funds from operations (FFO) (1)6,684,0536,283,632Normalized FFO (1) (2)7,321,3796,893,562Adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) (1)5,953,5965,590,259Normalized AFFO (1) (2)6,590,9226,200,189Same property net operating income (1)9,501,8699,482,825Distributions declared (3)5,777,0475,040,412Weighted average units outstanding – basic (4)36,041,44831,435,903Weighted average units outstanding – diluted (4)36,124,35931,465,380Distributions per unit, basic and diluted (3) (4)0.1600.160FFO per unit, basic (1) (4)0.1850.200Normalized FFO per unit, basic (1) (2) (4)0.2030.219AFFO per unit, basic (1) (4)0.1650.178Normalized AFFO per unit, basic (1) (2) (4)0.1830.197Normalized AFFO payout ratio, basic (1) (2) (3)87.7%81.3%Debt to total assets ratio45.8%47.6% (1)Non-IFRS Measure(2)Normalized FFO and Normalized AFFO include adjustments for vendor rent obligation amounts related to the REIT’s Richmond and Ajax Properties, which are payable from the vendor of the property until the buildout of the property is complete and all tenants are occupying and paying rent. The vendor rent obligation amount is not included in NOI for IFRS accounting purposes. Normalized FFO and Normalized AFFO exclude amounts recorded in other income related to estimated future vendor rent obligation amounts. For the three months ended March 31, 2021, normalized FFO and AFFO are also adjusted to exclude $207,355 of one-time TSX listing fees related to graduation to the TSX, which are included in general and administrative expense in the period.(3)Includes distributions payable to holders of Class B LP Units which are accounted for as interest expense in the condensed consolidated interim financial statements.(4)Weighted average number of units includes the Class B LP Units. COVID-19 Collections Update The following table summarizes rent collections presented as a percentage of contractual gross rent: Q1 2021Cash collected from tenants97.8%Remaining to be collected2.2%Total100.0% Revenues and Results from Operations Q1 2021 NOI of $10,565,713 was $792,078 higher than Q1 2020 NOI of $9,773,635. Properties acquired in 2021 and 2020 generated incremental NOI of approximately $930,000 in Q1 2021 as compared to Q1 2020. Partially offsetting was the impact of a vacancy at a REIT industrial property in Calgary, Alberta which reduced Q1 2021 NOI by approximately $150,000 as compared to Q1 2020. Occupancy remained stable at 94% at both March 31, 2020 and 2021. Q1 2021 NOI of $10,565,713 was $867,412 higher than Q4 2020 NOI of $9,698,301. Properties acquired in 2021 and 2020 generated incremental NOI of approximately $512,000 in Q1 2021 as compared to Q4 2020. A reduction COVID-19 related expenses increased Q1 2021 NOI by $128,000 as compared to Q4 2020 NOI. General and administrative expenses of $1,429,051 for the quarter was up $436,389 as compared to Q1 2020 and $655,834 as compared to Q4 2020. General and administrative expenses increased as compared to Q4 2020 primarily due to one-time TSX listing fees relating to graduation to the TSX of approximately $207,000, timing of expenses related to the REIT’s equity-settled RSU plan of approximately $210,000, other staffing costs and the timing of professional fees and public company costs. Earnings Call Management of the REIT will host a conference call at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Friday, May 14, 2021 to review the financial results and operations. To participate in the conference call, please dial 416-915-3239 or 1-800-319-4610 (toll free in Canada and the US) at least five minutes prior to the start time and ask to join the Nexus REIT conference call. A recording of the conference call will be available until June 14, 2021. To access the recording, please dial 604-674-8052 or 1-855-669-9658 (toll free in Canada and the US) and enter access code 6814. About Nexus REIT Nexus is a growth-oriented real estate investment trust focused on increasing unitholder value through the acquisition, ownership and management of industrial, office and retail properties located in primary and secondary markets in North America. The REIT currently owns a portfolio of 82 properties comprising approximately 5.7 million square feet of gross leasable area. The REIT has approximately 33,582,000 Units issued and outstanding. Additionally, there are Class B LP Units of subsidiary limited partnerships of Nexus issued and outstanding, which are convertible into approximately 14,701,000 Units. Forward Looking Statements Certain statements contained in this news release constitute forward-looking statements which reflect the REIT’s current expectations and projections about future results. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “estimates”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the REIT to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Actual results and developments are likely to differ, and may differ materially, from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. Such forward-looking statements are based on a number of assumptions that may prove to be incorrect. While the REIT anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its views to change, the REIT specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by applicable law. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the REIT’s views as of any date subsequent to the date of this news release. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The factors identified above are not intended to represent a complete list of the factors that could affect the REIT. For further information please contact: Kelly C. Hanczyk, CEO at (416) 906-2379 orRob Chiasson, CFO at (416) 613-1262.
Investors with losses are encouraged to contact the firm before June 15, 2021; click here to submit trade information LOS ANGELES, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Portnoy Law Firm advises investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Intrusion, Inc. (NASDAQ: INTZ) investors that acquired shares between January 13, 2021 and April 13, 2021. Investors have until June 15, 2021 to seek an active role in this litigation. Investors are encouraged to contact attorney Lesley F. Portnoy, to determine eligibility to participate in this action, by phone 310-692-8883 or email, or click here to join the case. White Diamond Research published a report on April 14, 2021 alleging, among other things, that Intrusion’s product, Shield, “has no patents, certifications, or insurance, which are all essential for selling cybersecurity products” and that “Shield is based on open-source data already available to the public.” It was stated in this report that “Shield is a repackaging of pre-existing technology rather than an innovative offering.” This report also alleged that the claims that Shield “stopp[ed] a total of 77,539,801 cyberthreats from 805,110 uniquely malicious entities . . . in the 90-day beta program” were “outlandish,” which led White Diamond to question “[h]ow have these companies been able to function so far, as they’ve been attacked many times per minute by ransomware, malware, data theft, phishing and DDoS attacks?”. During intraday trading on April 14, 2021, Intrusion’s share price fell as much as 11%, based on this news. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than June 15, 2021. Please visit our website to review more information and submit your transaction information. The Portnoy Law Firm represents investors in pursuing arising from corporate wrongdoing. The Firm’s founding partner has recovered over $5.5 billion for aggrieved investors. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Lesley F. Portnoy, Esq.Admitted CA and NY Barlesley@portnoylaw.com310-692-8883www.portnoylaw.com Attorney Advertising
Investors can contact the law firm at no cost to learn more about recovering their lossesLOS ANGELES, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Portnoy Law Firm advises ContextLogic, Inc. ("ContextLogic" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: WISH) investors that the firm has initiated an investigation into possible securities fraud, and may file a class action on behalf of investors. Investors are encouraged to contact attorney Lesley F. Portnoy, by phone 310-692-8883 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss their legal rights, or click here to join the case via www.portnoylaw.com. The Portnoy Law Firm can provide a complimentary case evaluation and discuss investors’ options for pursuing claims to recover their losses. The investigation focuses on whether ContextLogic issued misleading and/or false statements and/or failed to disclose information pertinent to investors. On May 12, 2021, ContextLogic reported a first-quarter loss of $128 million, based on $772 million of sales. ContextLogic suffered from a loss in the quarter that was almost double on a year-over-year basis. The prior year’s first-quarter loss of $66 million came on $440 million in sales. Based on this news, shares of ContextLogic dropped in after-hours trading and traded down more than 25% in intraday trading on May 13, 2021. Please visit our website to review more information and submit your transaction information. The Portnoy Law Firm represents investors in pursuing claims arising from corporate wrongdoing. The Firm’s founding partner has recovered over $5.5 billion for aggrieved investors. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Lesley F. Portnoy, Esq.Admitted CA and NY Barlesley@portnoylaw.com310-692-8883www.portnoylaw.com Attorney Advertising
Investors with losses are encouraged to contact the firm before January 26, 2021; click here to submit trade information LOS ANGELES, May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Portnoy Law Firm advises investors that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Fortress Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ: FBIO) investors that acquired shares between December 11, 2019 through October 9, 2020. Investors have until January 26, 2021 to seek an active role in this litigation. Investors are encouraged to contact attorney Lesley F. Portnoy, to determine eligibility to participate in this action, by phone 310-692-8883 or email, or click here to join the case. According to the lawsuit, Fortress made misleading and/or false statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) IV Tramadol was not safe for the intended patient population; (2) it was foreseeable as a result that the NDA for IV Tramadol would not be approved by the FDA; and (3) as a result, the Fortress’s public statements were materially misleading and false at all relevant times. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than January 26, 2021. Please visit our website to review more information and submit your transaction information. The Portnoy Law Firm represents investors in pursuing claims arising from corporate wrongdoing. The Firm’s founding partner has recovered over $5.5 billion for aggrieved investors. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Lesley F. Portnoy, Esq.Admitted CA and NY Barlesley@portnoylaw.com310-692-8883www.portnoylaw.com Attorney Advertising
Paul George had 20 points and 10 rebounds, Reggie Jackson added 19 points off the bench on five 3-pointers and the Los Angeles Clippers handed the slumping Charlotte Hornets their fourth loss in the last five games, 113-90 on Thursday night. Kawhi Leonard had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who are jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference. The Clippers (47-23) remain in third place, one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets with two games remaining.
Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 14 (ANI): Two individuals lost their lives and at least 120 prisoners tested positive for Covid-19, as per an official on Thursday.
Note: All times local
Owen Hurcum, 23, was elected unanimously last year by the City Council in Bangor, Wales after they served as deputy mayor for a year
‘We think that this bill itself is a serious threat to freedom of speech,’ general secretary says
Jordan Spieth hasn't played much golf lately. Spieth drained a 55-foot eagle putt on the final hole to cap off a bogey-free, 9-under 63 and vault himself into a tie with J.J. Spaun for the first-round lead at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Thursday. TPC Craig Ranch, in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, Texas, is hosting the Byron Nelson for the first time.
'Last Man Standing' star Tim Allen and executive producer Kevin Abbott look back on how the show tackled political issues, and how they adjusted their approach in the final season.
MORRISON, Colo. (AP) — Frustrated by an increase in dangerous street racing amid the pandemic, Denver police have deployed the department's helicopter to track races, closed lanes in areas often used by racers and sent officers to places where the groups meet. But law enforcement also has shifted gears to tackle the problem by using a racetrack in the foothills west of the city to provide a safe venue for those who feel the need for speed. The Colorado State Patrol has teamed with Bandimere Speedway to lure racers from public areas to a more controlled environment, even allowing participants to race a trooper driving a patrol car. On a recent day, dozens of drivers lined up to race at the speedway, revving their engines and squealing their tires before hurtling down the quarter-mile track. Most drove highly tuned vehicles, but there was the occasional stock SUV or pickup. “This is a great alternative to street racing. You can bring out whatever you have, be it a supercar or mom's minivan, grandpa's Buick. We want to see them all out here. ... And you can race a cop, and do so legally,” said State Trooper Josh Lewis, who beat a Toyota SUV in his first race last week by topping out at nearly 89 mph (143 kph). The Colorado State Patrol has been involved in the “Take it to the Track” event for more than a decade, but its goals have gained new importance and urgency after two recent high-profile street racing incidents in the area. On April 3, police say a mother of two who was delivering food was killed when a street racer broadsided her car with his SUV in the heart of downtown Denver. About a month earlier, hundreds of street racers clogged a stretch of interstate in suburban Aurora, some allegedly blocking the shoulders to keep officers away. Police warned other motorists to avoid the gridlock after reports of guns being waved and fireworks being set off. Lewis said the “Take it to the Track” program's impact on illegal racing is hard to quantify, but it provides important community outreach nevertheless. “We don't necessarily know about data to be able to back it up, but every time we're out here, we always get folks who come up to us and tell us how much they enjoy the program, how great it is, how much fun it is,” he said. The event takes place every Wednesday throughout the summer. Ray Propes, 58, of Windsor, said he started street racing as a teen and found himself doing it “every time I got in a car, it seemed like.” “I turned 16, it wasn't six months before I lost my license,” he said. “I was racing everything and anyone and all the time.” He has since traded in those days for the track, in part because the conditions are more predictable and “you don't get the tickets that you get on the street.” “The prepped track. The traction is there. Straight line. You don't have to worry about accidents, animals, kids, birds, anything,” he said. Tyler Truini, 28, of Colorado Springs, left work early one day last week to “just play around on the track” at Bandimere Speedway. He said he steers clear of illegal racing because his 2019 Dodge Charger Hellcat is too fast for the street. “A lot of my friends that I hang out with, we always talk about just coming to the track because it's a lot easier, and it's better for the car and better for everyone else's safety,” he said. Thomas Peipert, The Associated Press
Jaye Sanford, a 52-year-old mother of two, was driving home in suburban Atlanta on Nov. 21 when a man in a Dodge Challenger muscle car who was allegedly street racing crashed into her head-on, killing her. She is one of the many victims of a surge in street racing that has taken root across America during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting police crackdowns and bills aimed at harsher punishments. Experts say TV shows and movies glorifying street racing had already fueled interest in recent years. Then shutdowns associated with the pandemic cleared normally clogged highways as commuters worked from home. Those with a passion for fast cars often had time to modify them, and to show them off, said Tami Eggleston, a sports psychologist who participates in legal drag racing. “With COVID, when we were separated from people, I think people sort of bonded in their interest groups,” said Eggleston, who is also the provost of McKendree University, a small college in suburban St. Louis. “So that need to want to socialize and be around other people brought the racers out.” But people have been killed as packs of vehicles, from souped-up jalopies to high-end sports cars, roar down city streets and through industrial neighborhoods. Street racers block roads and even interstates to keep police away as they tear around and perform stunts, often captured on videos that go viral. The snarl of engines and traffic tie-ups have become huge annoyances. Georgia is among the states fighting back with new laws. Last week, Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill named for Sanford that mandates at least 10 days of jail time for all drag racing convictions. It also requires people convicted a third time within five years to forfeit their vehicles. “This illegal activity is very dangerous,” the Republican governor said at a bill-signing ceremony. “Our goal is simple: to protect every family in every community.” In New York City, authorities received more than 1,000 drag racing complaints over six months last year — a nearly five-fold increase over the same period in 2019. “Illegal street racing puts lives at risk and keeps us up at night,” said New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman. “While there’s been less traffic during the pandemic, some drivers have used this as an opportunity to treat our streets like a NASCAR speedway.” The Democratic lawmaker has introduced legislation that would authorize New York City to operate its speed cameras overnight and on weekends in hot spots for illegal street racing. The Senate Transportation Committee recently unanimously approved the measure, setting it up for a floor vote. In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed into law in March a bill that allows state troopers to respond to incidents in cities. On New Year’s Eve, drivers blocked traffic on an interstate highway in Jackson, the state capital, for an hour while they spun out and did donuts, etching circles in the pavement. Even though the highway patrol headquarters was nearby, troopers couldn’t respond because they were prohibited from handling incidents in cities with over 15,000 people. That prohibition will be lifted when the new law takes effect July 1. In Arizona, the state Senate has passed a bill to impose harsher penalties. It now awaits a House vote. Under an ordinance approved in March by the Phoenix City Council, police can impound a car involved in street racing or reckless driving for up to 30 days. Meanwhile, the death toll climbs. On the night of May 2, a 28-year-old woman was killed in Phoenix when a street racer crashed into her car. A man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, handed out thousands of tickets for speeding and racing since a crackdown began in October. “Racing up and down our streets is so deadly, especially while more kids, seniors, pedestrians and cyclists are out during this pandemic,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. Street racing in an industrial neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, scares people who work there. A motorcyclist was killed last month in a crash that police said apparently involved racing. Business owners on April 2 wrote to the mayor and city commissioners, asking them to take action. After weekends of racing and stunts, a road there and its 2-mile (3.2 kilometer) straightaway are littered with alcohol containers. Spray-painted lines mark start and finish lines. Parking lots are scarred by circular tire tracks or completely eroded in places by spinning tires. Portland police say they’re too overwhelmed to do much about it. “The city of Portland has experienced an enormous increase in our shooting rate, a staggering amount of volatile demonstrations, while our staffing numbers have dwindled,” said acting Lt. Michael Roberts, who is tasked with addressing illegal street racing. “We often do not have the bandwidth to address the street racer calls.” Bizarrely, two police cars drag raced through a residential Washington, D.C., neighborhood last month. They wound up crashing into each other. One officer was fired, and three others are under investigation. In Denver, police have deployed a helicopter to track races, closed lanes often used by racers and sent officers to places where racers meet. On April 3, a mother was killed when a street racer broadsided her car in downtown Denver. In one of the most notorious incidents, hundreds of street racers clogged a stretch of interstate in nearby Aurora on March 7 while they raced and cruised. Police warned other motorists to stay away amid reports of guns being brandished and fireworks going off. The events have given more urgency to a long-standing effort by the Colorado State Patrol to lure street racers to a safer environment. The agency's “Take it to the Track” program features weekly contests at Bandimere Speedway, in the foothills west of Denver. “You can bring out whatever you have, be it a supercar or mom’s minivan, grandpa’s Buick,” Trooper Josh Lewis said at the racetrack last week. “And you can race a cop, and do so legally.” Lewis then beat a Toyota SUV on the quarter-mile track, reaching 88 mph (142 kph) in his Dodge Charger. Ray Propes, 58, started street racing when he was 16 but now prefers Bandimere Speedway for its traction and safety. “You don’t have to worry about accidents, animals, kids, birds, anything,” he said. ___ Associated Press reporters Thomas Peipert in Denver; Maria Villeneuve in Albany, New York; Emily Wagster in Jackson, Mississippi; Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix contributed to this report. Andrew Selsky , The Associated Press
Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler wasn't even possible less than nine months ago and yet, they'll fight for gold at UFC 262.