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Here are the companies mandating vaccines for all or some employees

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As the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus continues to strike communities nationwide, companies are stepping up their vaccine requirements, mandating that some or all employees get vaccinated or provide proof of vaccination.

After the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer’s Covid vaccine on Monday, more companies are expected to mandate that employees be vaccinated.

Here is a list of the companies who have already announced their vaccination plans:

Amtrak

The railroad service is requiring all of its 17,500 employees to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 or submit to weekly Covid testing, CEO Bill Flynn wrote in a note to employees. Starting Oct. 4, all new hires will also be required to get vaccinated against the virus. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and lifesaving,” Flynn wrote. “They are proving effective against the current surge of variants, especially at preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. Vaccines are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control.”

Anthem

Employees must be fully vaccinated to enter offices that are open, including the health care insurance company’s headquarters in Indianapolis and its office in Atlanta, according to Anthem spokesperson Michelle Vanstory.

BlackRock

Since July 1, only vaccinated employees and visitors to the investment giant have been allowed to return to the office, according to a company memo obtained by NBC News. All U.S.-based employees, regardless of any plans to voluntarily return, were required to report their vaccination status by June 30.

Cisco

The tech and telecoms conglomerate is only allowing vaccinated “critical workers” to come in to the office, and is pursuing a fully hybrid approach. “Whether that means you work five days a week at home and gather with your team for activities and connection every once in a while, or you are in the office five days a week … every Cisco employee will be hybrid,” Francine Katsoudas, executive vice president and chief people, policy and purpose officer, wrote in a memo to employees last week.

Citigroup

Citing the delta variant, the bank announced on Aug. 11 that employees will need to get vaccinated before returning to its offices, according to a LinkedIn post from Sara Wechter, the bank’s head of human resources.

Employees at offices in the New York area, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, “will be expected to return at least two days a week and vaccination is required” starting Sept. 13, Wechter said.

CVS Health

CVS said Aug. 23 it is requiring patient-facing and corporate employees to get their shot by Oct. 31, and new hires by Sept. 15. Although the health care giant is asking its pharmacists in retail stores to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30, it did not mention the same for retail associates, adding that “Other roles at CVS Health are under review and may be added based on updated data and public health guidance.”

Deloitte

The professional services firm is requiring employees who enter its facilities to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 11.

Delta Air Lines

The airline announced in May it would be requiring all new U.S. hires to be vaccinated against the coronavirus effective May 17. “This is an important move to protect Delta’s people and customers, ensuring the airline can safely operate as demand returns and as it accelerates through recovery and into the future,” the company wrote, adding that it would not be “putting in place a company-wide mandate to require current employees to be vaccinated.”

DoorDash

Although the food delivery service’s corporate employees are not required to come back in to the office until January, those who voluntarily do so before then must show proof of vaccination, the company said.

Equinox

SoulCycle-owner and luxury fitness company Equinox announced Aug. 2 it will begin requiring members, riders and employees to provide a one-time proof of vaccination to enter its facilities and offices starting in New York City in September. “We have a responsibility to take bold action and respond to changing circumstances with urgency. We encourage other leading brands to join us in this effort to best protect our communities,” said Equinox Group Executive Chairman Harvey Spevak in a press release.

Facebook

The social media giant announced Aug. 12 it is pushing back its return to the office until January 2022, citing ongoing concerns with the delta variant.

“Data, not dates, is what drives our approach for returning to the office,” the company said in a statement. “Given the recent health data showing rising Covid cases based on the delta variant, our teams in the U.S. will not be required to go back to the office until January 2022. We expect this to be the case for some countries outside of the US, as well.”

“As our offices reopen, we will be requiring anyone coming to work at any of our U.S. campuses to be vaccinated,” said Lori Goler, vice president, people, in an emailed statement to NBC News last week, prior to Thursday’s announcement. “How we implement this policy will depend on local conditions and regulations. We will have a process for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or other reasons and will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves.”

Ford

Car manufacturing titan Ford is requiring employees who partake in international business travel to be vaccinated, the company said in an emailed statement. It also said it is continuing “to strongly encourage all team members who are medically able to be vaccinated.”

The United Auto Workers labor union said Aug. 3 it would be reinstating a mask mandate at all of its facilities nationwide.

Goldman Sachs

Starting Sept. 7, the investment bank is requiring all individuals who enter its offices, including clients and visitors, to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Fully vaccinated employees will also be required to wear masks in certain areas and undergo weekly testing. Employees who do not get their shot by the September deadline will be expected to continue working from home.

Google

On July 28, Google became the first major tech company to announce a vaccine mandate for its employees looking to return to the office later this fall. “Anyone coming to work on our campuses will need to be vaccinated. We’re rolling this policy out in the U.S. in the coming weeks and will expand to other regions in the coming months,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo. Pichai also announced that the company is pushing its return-to-office date back to October.

Jefferies

Financial giant Jefferies will only allow vaccinated individuals into its offices and to outside company events, according to a memo from CEO Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman. “We require that, after Labor Day, anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to work from home, which fortunately has proven to be highly effective. We will closely monitor the situation and be ready to pivot and adapt whenever needed,” the two leaders wrote in their joint letter.

Lyft

Starting Aug. 2, corporate employees will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter offices, according to an internal note obtained by NBC News. “For those who choose to continue working from our offices — which will remain open — our current safety guidance remains in place, including our existing mask requirement and vaccine requirement going into effect August 2,” said CEO and co-founder Logan Green. Green also announced that the company is delaying its full return to the office by six months, until February.

MGM Resorts International

Hospitality chain MGM Resorts International asked salaried employees who are not exclusively working from home to get vaccinated by Oct. 15. All new hires who are not exclusively working from home must also get a shot, starting Aug. 30, according to an internal memo from CEO and president Bill Hornbuckle. Unvaccinated employees at the chain’s Las Vegas properties will continue to be subject to regular testing and required to pay either a $15 co-pay for on-site or obtain a test from elsewhere and report the results.

Microsoft

The tech company announced Aug. 3 it will require proof of vaccination for all employees, vendors and guests starting in September, adding that it is delaying the full opening for its U.S. offices from next month to Oct. 4. The company did not say in its emailed statement whether the new vaccination policy includes employees who have voluntarily been going into the office since the spring or those working at its retail stores.

Morgan Stanley

Only vaccinated employees are allowed in New York-area offices at this time.

NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is requiring U.S.-based workers returning to the office later this fall to be fully vaccinated, executive vice president Adam Miller told employees in an email on Aug. 11. Employees will also be required to provide details about their vaccination status. Miller also announced that the company is pushing back its broader office reopening from Sept. 13 to Oct. 18.

Netflix

The streaming service will be requiring vaccinations for casts of all U.S. productions, as well as the individuals who work with them on set, the company confirmed to NBC News.

The New York Times

The New York Times Company CEO Meredith Kopit Levien told staff members via email that it will be requiring proof of vaccination for those who want to go into the office voluntarily. Levien also told employees that the publication would be pushing back its full office return from Sept. 7, without announcing a new set date.

Saks

The fashion company said it is asking employees to get the vaccine before returning to the office this fall. “If we’re asking people to come back, we have to make the environment as safe as we possibly can,” CEO Marc Metrick told The New York Times in May.

Salesforce

The customer-service software giant has only allowed vaccinated employees back to its offices as of May. All employees have the option to work from home until the end of the year.

TJX

The parent company of off-price retailers like HomeGoods, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx is requiring its U.S. “Home and Regional Office Associates” to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 and “will provide accommodations for those who cannot get vaccinated due to qualified medical or religious reasons.” It is unclear whether the mandate includes employees at the company’s retail stores.

Twitter

The social media giant required employees to be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination before voluntarily returning to the company’s San Francisco and New York offices, both of which reclosed last week. In May 2020, Twitter said employees could work from home for as long as they want.

Tyson Foods

The meat and poultry producer announced on Aug. 3 that it is requiring its U.S. corporate workforce to be vaccinated by Oct. 1 and all other employees by Nov. 1, making it the largest U.S. food company to implement this kind of mandate. CEO Donnie King told employees that the company will also provide $200 to frontline team members who get the shot.

Uber

In an internal note obtained by NBC News, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees that starting Aug. 2, they will now be required to be fully vaccinated in order to return to the office. “If you are not vaccinated, you’ll need to work from home until you are fully vaccinated,” he wrote. Khosrowshahi also shared the company’s new return to office date: Oct. 25, 2021. “It’s important to say that this date is a global target, and local circumstances will continue to dictate when it makes sense to bring employees back in a given city,” he wrote.

Union Square Hospitality Group

Union Square Hospitality Group, which operates restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C., will require vaccinations for staff members and guests. “Beginning the day after Labor Day, we are going to require that 100 percent of our staff members be vaccinated and that any guest who wants to dine indoors will be vaccinated as well,” founder and CEO Danny Meyer told NBC News.

United Airlines

The air carrier is requiring all U.S.-based employees to get vaccinated — and provide proof of their vaccination — either five weeks after federal approval or by Oct. 25, whichever comes first, the company announced in a note to employees on Aug. 6. United previously only required the shot for new hires and is now the first major U.S. airline to implement a blanket policy for all employees. United CEO Scott Kirby said in January that he wanted to make Covid vaccines mandatory for employees.

ViacomCBS

CEO Bob Bakish told employees earlier this month that the media conglomerate is requiring all U.S.-based employees working onsite during its “Yellow Phase” to be fully vaccinated, adding that it is still assessing whether this mandate will continue into the “Green Phase,” which is when most staff will be back in the office. Bakish also announced that the company is delaying the start of its “Green Phase” until Oct. 18 at the earliest.

“We will continue to closely monitor the impacts of the Delta variant and the response from schools, governments and other employers as we finalize our plans to return to the office,” Bakish said.

Walgreens

The pharmacy giant is requiring workers in its U.S. support offices to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, it said in a statement on Aug. 3. Those who do not adhere to the new rule will have to undergo Covid testing. Store associates must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

The Walt Disney Company

Disney is requiring all of its new, salaried and non-union hourly employees to get vaccinated before heading to work. “Employees who aren’t already vaccinated and are working on-site will have 60 days from today to complete their protocols, and any employees still working from home will need to provide verification of vaccination prior to their return, with certain limited exceptions,” the company said in part in an emailed statement. “Vaccines are the best tool we all have to help control this global pandemic and protect our employees.”

Walmart

Walmart corporate associates, managers and new hires are required to get their shot by Oct. 4, President and CEO Doug McMillon told employees in an internal memo obtained by NBC News. “As we all know, the pandemic is not over, and the Delta variant has led to an increase in infection rates across much of the U.S,” he wrote. “Given this, we have made the decision to require all campus office associates and all market, regional and divisional associates who work in multiple facilities to be vaccinated by Oct. 4, unless they have an approved exception.”

The Washington Post

Post employees, including new hires, must demonstrate proof of vaccination as a condition of their employment starting when they return to the office on Oct. 18, CEO Fred Ryan told staff in a memo sent out last week. “Even though the overwhelming majority of Post employees have already provided proof of vaccination, I do not take this decision lightly,” he said. “However, in considering the serious health issues and genuine safety concerns of so many Post employees, I believe the plan is the right one.”



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Russian Troops Dead After Getting ‘Treated’ to Poisoned Meals, Ukraine Officials Say

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Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry / Facebook

In a show of hospitality, Ukrainian citizens in the besieged region of Kharkiv have reportedly been “treating” Russian troops local delicacies—laced with poison.

At least two troops from the 3rd Motor Rifle Division of the Russian Federation died immediately after eating stuffed buns served by the residents of Izium, a town about 80 miles southeast of Kharkiv, the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine wrote Saturday in an announcement posted to Facebook.

Another 28 Russians are being treated in intensive care from eating the contaminated treats. The condition of these poisoned invaders has yet to be confirmed.

According to the Intelligence Directorate, several hundred Russian soldiers have also suffered severe illnesses from drinking poisoned alcohol while occupying the region. Ukrainian officials said that the Russian military is “writing off these cases as so-called ‘non-combat losses.’”

Though Russian troops have reportedly retreated from the capital of Kyiv. The New York Times reports that insurgent forces are still fighting to gain control of Izium, despite the locals’ culinary efforts. Control of the eastern town would allow Russians to strategically secure access to the occupied Donbas region.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Massive ship called Ever Forward is stuck in Chesapeake Bay

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Despite two failed attempts to free it this week, a sister container ship to the Ever Given that got stuck in the Suez Canal last year has been lodged in the Chesapeake Bay for 21 days — and now cargo holders have to pay to help free it.

Why it matters: The Ever Forward (yes, bask in the irony) is the largest ship to get stuck in the Chesapeake Bay and it’s carrying 5,000 containers of … stuff.

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What’s happening: The ship’s owner — Evergreen Marine Corp. — has invoked a maritime law dubbed “General Average,” under which people whose belongings are on a ship must share in the cost of freeing it.

Zoom in: It’s unclear what’s in the thousands of containers aboard the Ever Forward, but at least one cargo holder — a Bloomberg journalist who recently moved from Hong Kong to New York — has been sharing her experience waiting on her furniture.

  • “The entire contents of our apartment, all of our furniture, lots of books, things of sentimental value are all in a container stuck in the Chesapeake Bay,” Tracy Alloway told NBC Washington.

  • The U.S. Coast Guard, which is handling Ever Forward’s PR, per the Port of Baltimore, told Axios that “general cargo” is on the ship and referred further questions to Evergreen.

Zoom out: The Ever Forward has been idling near Baltimore, en route to Norfolk, since a wrong turn leaving Baltimore on March 13 ran the boat aground in shallow water (24 feet of water — when it needs 42 to float, per NBC Washington.)

  • The Ever Forward has been stuck thrice as long as its sister ship sat marooned between the Mediterranean and Red seas last year.

  • The ship is not disrupting trade — or blocking passage out of Baltimore Harbor, William Doyle, director of the Port of Baltimore tweeted.

  • Tuesday and Wednesday were the first attempts to refloat the boat using tug boats.

  • A third attempt will be coming soon, “using two anchored pulling barges from the stern and five tugs,” Doyle wrote on Twitter.

The big picture: You can stay informed on the progress via istheshipstillstuck.com, a website that went viral last year during the Suez fiasco.

  • The boat has become a tourist attraction and Downs Park (there’s a $6 entry fee) in Pasadena, Maryland is apparently the best place to see it.

By the numbers: Comparing giant, stuck container ships.

  • The Ever Forward — currently lodged in Baltimore en route to Norfolk for 21 days and counting — 1,095 feet long, 117,340 gross tons. Ran aground due to a wrong turn in the Bay.

  • The Ever Given — stuck in the Suez Canal for 6 days – 1,312 feet long, weighing in at 224,000 gross tons. Ran aground due to a large wind gust.

🗞 This article is by Axios Richmond’s Karri Peifer! Subscribe to the Axios Richmond newsletter (launching soon).

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California has $600M in unclaimed can, bottle deposits

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is sitting on a $600 million pile of unclaimed nickel and dime deposits on recyclable cans and bottles and now wants to give some of that back to consumers.

To get the state’s nearly 40 million residents to recycle more and send more deposits back to them, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration unveiled a plan Friday to temporarily double to a dime the refund for a 12-ounce (355 milliliters) bottle or can. California already pays 10 cents on containers over 24 ounces (709 milliliters), and that would temporarily double to 20 cents.

The move would make California among the highest-paying recycling programs in the country. Rachel Machi Wagoner, director of the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, said the effort would help California again become the recycling leader it was 35 years ago when it started its cash refund program.

When someone in California purchases a regular-sized soda, a 5-cent charge is applied that can be recouped if the container is brought back for recycling. Under Newsom’s plan, the deposit charge would remain the same but the return amount would double. The goal is to raise the recycling rate for beverage containers from 70% to at least 80%.

Oregon and Michigan already offer 10-cent refunds and advocacy groups say that amount for each glass or plastic bottle or aluminum can has been enough for consumers to recycle at least nine of every 10 containers.

The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog’s President Jamie Court, a frequent critic of the recycling program, called the plan “a very positive step” and “a bold proposal to give people their money back.”

“That money isn’t doing anybody any good sitting in the bank,” Court said. “We need a complete structural fix, but this is a good interim step.”

California’s proposal feeds the latest national effort to boost recycling as beverage distributors face increased pressure to include higher percentages of recycled material in their containers, National Stewardship Action Council executive director Heidi Sanborn said.

Just 10 of the 50 states have deposit programs now, but many are considering them — potentially creating a confusing patchwork and beverage labels crowded with different states’ deposit amounts, something she said distributors want to avoid.

California’s doubling of refunds would be temporary — a duration for the change has yet to be decided — and is expected to cost $100 million. If approved by the Legislature the refund increase would take effect sometime during the next fiscal year that starts July 1.

It’s uncertain if any boost in recycling would last once the higher price ends, Sanborn acknowledged, but she hopes instead California will decide to make the increase permanent. She’s also hopeful pressure from states will spur attempts by U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal of California and U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon to craft a national bottle bill.

Newsom’s plan also attempts to ease a bottleneck that began years ago as more neighborhood recycling centers closed and Consumer Watchdog said many grocery stores also were refusing to take back empties in-store as required.

To increase access, Newsom’s administration proposes spending $100 million on grants to add about 2,000 automated recycling machines, also known as reverse vending machines, at high schools, colleges and retailers. Consumers dump their empty containers into the machines, which issue a refund.

Another $55 million would go for state-funded mobile recycling programs in rural areas and other places with few recycling options.

Consumers are very upset that “they are unable to return their bottles and cans and get their money back as promised,” said Sanborn, who also heads California’s Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets & Curbside Recycling.

Sanborn blamed the closure of many California recycling centers on the state’s failure to quickly adjust its complicated payment formula to meet changing market conditions.

Many of California’s recyclables go to China, which toughened standards in 2017 on accepting contaminated material, including plastics. The move “totally slammed the recycling industry” nationwide, said Kate O’Neill, a University of California, Berkeley, environmental science professor and author of the 2019 book “Waste.”

The U.S. market is recovering now with the addition of domestic recycling facilities, but there still is a problem matching supply to demand, O’Neill said.

Recycling officials had expected beverage consumption to drop during the pandemic, as it does during most economic downturns, Wagoner said. Instead, container sales in California increased by 2.5 billion over three years, to 27 billion last fiscal year, meaning a record number of deposits flowing into the state’s recycling fund.

The number of refundable containers recycled in California meanwhile hit a record high of more than 18.8 billion in 2021 — but that still left plenty of money on the table.

Repeated attempts to improve the state’s recycling system have struggled in the Legislature, even as California tries to boost its recycling rates, minimize food waste, and work toward a circular-use economy.

Wagoner said Friday’s proposal is an interim step while the administration continues talks with lawmakers over permanent fixes.

Democratic state Sen. Bob Wieckowski said he tried a bill last year with proposals similar to what the administration is now suggesting, “and they didn’t want to hear about it.” He anticipates people now hoarding their recyclables until the double redemption period, then facing long lines once it begins.

His proposal this year would put more responsibility on producers to recycle their containers.

“It has a little gimmicky nature to it,” Wieckowski said of the state’s plan. “We have 45 Band-Aids on this program, and sometime you have to get out of the Band-Aid business.”



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Fort Lauderdale police arrest Black hotel clerk who called for help

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New body camera video released by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department shows officers pushing a Black hotel employee before arresting him. The employee, Raymond Rachal, was the person to call the police after an incident in the lobby where Rachal claims a man was yelling racial slurs at him.



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Police investigating ‘appalling’ incident recorded inside a Wilmington High School bathroom

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Police and school officials in Wilmington are investigating a “serious and disturbing physical altercation” inside a boys’ bathroom this week that left the superintendent of schools “appalled,” not only because of the incident, but because some students recorded video and posted it online.

The video is difficult to watch.

In a letter to the school community dated March 30th, Superintendent Glenn Brand said the incident happened on Tuesday and investigators are working to identify the students involved.

The recording sent to Boston 25 indicates a student was picked up inside the bathroom and had his head forced into a toilet inside a stall in the bathroom. The video below has been blurred due to the ages of those involved.

“I am truly appalled by the actions of these students which are unacceptable and do not represent the core values of this educational community,” said Supt. Brand. ”It is my expectation that each and every one of our students has the right to attend a school that is safe and supportive. While I recognize that the vast number of our students consistently make appropriate choices to support such an environment, we will have zero tolerance for those that do not.”

“The Wilmington Public School prioritizes, above all else, the safety, well-being and respect of all of our students and staff,” said Supt. Brand.

“It is therefore with tremendous disappointment that I write to inform you of a serious and disturbing physical altercation that occurred in one of the boys’ bathrooms (Tuesday),” said Brand. “Not only is the incident itself concerning, but also that some of our students recorded the altercation and posted this online.”

“All students who are found culpable will be held fully accountable and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as well as the removal of appropriate privileges that are afforded to those students,” said Supt. Brand. “I assure you that we will pursue relevant legal actions should such be deemed warranted following the investigation.”

The superintendent also alluded to other recent trouble at the school.

“This incident comes in the wake of a number of other concerns recently involving troubling student behavior. Everyone has an obligation to help foster the type of school environments that our students deserve, including our staff, families and most importantly, our students themselves,” said Brand.

A statement posted to the school’s website on Friday by the Wilmington High School Student Class Officers, called the incident “horrific.”

“If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth a million, yet many of us were left speechless by the thoughtless actions of others that transpired earlier this week in one of our school bathrooms,” according to the statement. “These horrific actions perpetrated by an embarrassing group of individuals do not represent who we are as a student body. We are honor roll students, college bound-career focused seniors, varsity athletes, robotic champions and so much more. Our image should not be clouded by these individuals.”

Boston 25 spoke with Wilmington Police Chief Joe Desmond about the incident.

“Obviously there were a lot of kids in the bathroom and this young man was taken and physically dragged into the bathroom,” said Desmond.

The chief says the students pick the student up and lower him head down into the toilet. “It clearly looks like an assault as far as where I come from,” said Desmond.

Police are also looking to see if this incident rises to the level of a hate crime or civil rights violation. Chief Desmond says they have at least three recordings and they are working with the school to identify everyone involved.

“Kids should be able to go to school and feel safe and feel supported and not worried about being picked on or God forbid this incident is horrible. That poor kid” it’s terrible,” said concerned parent Roberta Biscan.

The school superintendent is scheduling bystander training that will be mandatory for all students. According to police, the case is moving quickly and charges are likely to be filed.

Watch for updates on Boston 25.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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Why this huge catfish was released by a fisherman who didn’t even bother to weigh it

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Ivan Garren from Cleveland, Tennessee caught a huge catfish Thursday while fishing in Wolftever Creek.

Garren, who used skipjack as bait, was fishing in a depth of about six feet when he hooked the monster.

He did not weigh or measure the fish but estimated it was about 38 pounds. He wanted to get the fish back in the water as soon as possible after taking a couple of pictures.

More: A 500-pound black bear made its home near a Tennessee college. Here’s how TWRA relocated it

Ivan Garren caught this big catfish in Wolftever Creek in Hamilton County.

“I release all big fish for other people to enjoy,” Garren said.

As big as the fish was, Garren said he has caught bigger.

Wolftever Creek is located in Hamilton County near Middle Valley, Tennessee. It is known for having a large population of catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass and crappie.

Ivan Garren caught this big catfish in Wolftever Creek in Hamilton County.

Ivan Garren caught this big catfish in Wolftever Creek in Hamilton County.

Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Tennessee fisherman releases huge catfish without weighing



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The Judds reunite for CMT Music Awards performance

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Judds, one of the most successful duos in country music in the 1980s, are reuniting to perform on the CMT Music Awards, their first major awards show performance together in more than two decades.

The mother-and-daughter duo of Naomi and Wynonna will perform their hit “Love Will Build a Bridge” on the awards show on April 11, airing on CBS and Paramount+, during an outdoor shoot in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.

It’s a fitting backdrop for the five-time Grammy winners, who will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in May.

“It feels both surreal and what a thrill it is. What a thrill to finally get her back on the stage because she’s been waiting for 20-plus years,” Wynonna told the AP of her mother, Naomi. “As a daughter and as an artist, it’s a win-win.”

Originally from Kentucky, Naomi was working as a nurse in the Nashville area when she and Wynonna started singing together professionally. Their unique harmonies, together with elements of acoustic music, bluegrass and blues, made them stand out in the genre at the time.

The Judds won nine Country Music Association Awards and seven from the Academy of Country Music and had more than a dozen No. 1 hits, including “Mama, He’s Crazy” and “Grandpa (Tell Me ’bout the Good Old Days).”

In 1990, Naomi Judd announced her retirement from performing due to chronic hepatitis. Wynonna has continued her solo career and they have occasionally reunited for special performances.

“To have all the incredible opportunities that I have had, being reminded of all that, just makes me very humbled and I just want to bask in the moment,” Naomi Judd told the AP.

This is also their first ever performance together at the CMT Music Awards. Country star Kacey Musgraves will introduce the pair prior to the performance.

“Music is the bridge between mom and me, and it it bonds us together. Even in the not easy times,” said Wynonna Judd. “We show up and we sing because that’s what love is about, right? So what a beautiful celebration.”

Hosted by country singer Kelsea Ballerini and actor Anthony Mackie, the fan-voted awards show will also feature performances by Ballerini, Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, Maren Morris, Cody Johnson, Little Big Town, Keith Urban, Carly Pearce and more.



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