Early planning key for holiday shopping, travel in 2021 | News


While kids are likely asking friends what they are going to dress up as this weekend for Halloween, families, shoppers and retailers are asking other questions.

Have you started your planning and shopping for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

It is not uncommon for retailers to get a jump on the next big holiday early, this year consumers also might want to start thinking about starting their holiday shopping early too.

Consumers plan to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday items and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year, according to the annual survey released last week by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics. Despite the continued supply chain disruption, this is on par with consumer spending last year.

The survey asked 7,921 consumers about winter holiday shopping plans. It was conducted Oct. 1 to Oct. 10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

This year, 90% of US adults plan to celebrate the upcoming holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, up from 87% last year, according to the NRF.

Similar to last year, the NRF reported consumers are prioritizing gifts for family and friends and purchases related to holiday celebrations such as food or décor. Overall plans for holiday spending remain slightly below the pre-pandemic high of $1,047.83 in 2019, as fewer consumers plan to spend on non-gift purchases for themselves and their families.

While nearly half (47%) of holiday shoppers plan to take advantage of sales or price discounts during the holiday season to make non-gift purchases, they plan to spend an average of $118.41 on these items, according to the NRF.

In contrast, in 2019, 60% planned to make these types of purchases and expected to spend $162.02. As many continue to work from home, the NRF reported shoppers are also less inclined to purchase gifts for co-workers.

However, consumers are motivated to check items off their lists earlier than ever. Half (49%) of holiday shoppers will start browsing and buying before November, up from 42% in 2020 and the highest in the survey’s history, the NRF reported. Among those shopping in October or earlier, 47% say they want to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping and another 36% do not want to miss out on key holiday items.

The supply chain challenges that have been exacerbated since the beginning of the pandemic are top of mind for consumers, according to the NRF. Nearly half (47%) of holiday shoppers are concerned they will have difficulty finding items this year. The top items they are worried about finding are electronics (44%), clothes (40%) and toys (28%).

Local retailers in downtown Cadillac are not seeing that trend, yet.

Serendipity owner Michele Bosscher and Blossom Boutique owner Jamie Prince there hasn’t been a huge increase of early holiday shoppers. They also said they are not experiencing big supply chain issues.

“I can’t say I have seen people doing a bunch of early Christmas shopping, but they are starting,” Bosscher said.

Bosscher also said so far this year has been a good one and there haven’t been any issues with the supply chain. She attributes that to her store ordering from a vast array of different companies she orders from. As a result, they might have smaller orders than normal, but they have the product in.

“We have found our work-a-around (supply chain issues). Because we work with so many vendors, someone always has something,” she said. “We might have to use more suppliers to keep the same amount of inventory, but we are able to get our hands on it. I don’t think it will dry up and I don’t envision it being an issue.”

It’s a similar story for Prince.

While she admitted it has been somewhat trickier, Prince said supply chain issues haven’t had much of an impact before now. For that reason, Prince said she is not seeing a big increase in early holiday shoppers, but they are starting. With things more opened up this year compared to last, Prince also believes the holiday shopping season will be closer to normal, including Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Prince said, however, moving forward there could be supply chain issues but that remains to be seen.

“It might be easier to get more product in during the holidays but at the beginning of the New Year there could be an impact,” Prince said.

Retailers aren’t the only ones stressing early planning this holiday season. A AAA survey is showing almost half of Michigan residents who plan to travel during the holidays are already scheduling their trips.

The AAA Consumer Pulse Survey was conducted online among residents living in Michigan from Sept. 15 to Sept. 22. A total of 400 residents completed the survey. Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9% points. Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Michigan.

Michigan residents have begun making their travel plans for the holiday season. According to a new AAA Travel survey, nearly half (46%) of residents book their holiday trips by the end of October.

“Time is of the essence for people who plan to take a flight this holiday season,” Debbie Haas, AAA vice president of travel. “As we get closer to the holidays, airfares often rise as availability shrinks. We recommend you book by Halloween, for the best chance of finding the flight you want at a favorable rate.”

Haas also said recently there have been numerous flight delays and cancellations and more are possible during the upcoming holidays. If a person is planning a flight, Haas said they may want to consider travel insurance.

The recent survey also showed two-in-five (41%) Michigan residents plan to take a vacation of three days or more during the 2021 holiday season. Meanwhile, 10% have not yet decided. About a third (36%) of Michigan residents without holiday travel plans are staying home for fear of contracting or spreading COVID-19.

Compared to last year, when a vaccine wasn’t available, 38% of Michiganders are more comfortable traveling this holiday season. Meanwhile, two-in-five (41%) feel the same as last year.

Traveler confidence took a step back this quarter, following a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, brought on by the Delta variant. This year, the percentage of Michigan residents who are comfortable traveling rebounded from 45% in Q2 to 72% in Q3, yet slipped back to 63% in our Q4 survey — fielded in September.

Although traveler confidence hit a snag, enthusiasm could rebound through the end of the year. COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are trending lower again, which is what 41% of Michigan residents said would need to happen to feel more comfortable traveling.



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Early prep, correct gear and staying informed are key for smooth travel this winter


 OLYMPIA – With winter just around the corner, now is the best time to make plans and prepare for winter driving.

The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to get themselves and their vehicles ready for winter weather well before they head out. Drivers can visit WSDOT’s winter driving web page for tips and information. WSDOT also asks travelers to always “know before you go” and get the most up-to-date transportation information both while planning trips and during travel.

“Our crews work hard to keep roads clear, but we also need the public’s help to keep traffic moving during winter weather,” said WSDOT Maintenance Operations Manager James Morin. “Most pass closures are due to preventable spin outs or crashes with vehicles going too fast or not having proper winter equipment.

“This winter, being prepared and staying informed will be even more important because staffing shortages will affect our ability to clear roadways and passes as quickly as in years past,” Morin added.

WSDOT crews are already planning for winter storms, but ongoing staffing challenges mean that some areas may not see the traditional 24-hour service, some roadways will not be plowed as often, and compact snow and ice will remain on roadways longer than a typical winter. This will be especially true during large or long-lasting storms. WSDOT determines its storm response based on safety, available resources and pre-set priority plow maps for highest volume and/or critical roadways. Travelers should be sure to check conditions before and during travel and always have proper winter weather supplies before heading out.

To check conditions and prepare for winter weather:

Alternatives to chains
Although some vehicle manufacturers recommend against the use of tire chains for certain models, the state’s traction device laws still apply to all vehicles. These requirements exist to help keep all traffic moving safely during extreme winter conditions.

The Washington State Patrol provides an online list of state-approved alternative traction devices on its vehicle equipment webpage under “traction tires.” These approved alternatives meet state traction tire requirements and can be used instead of chains when chains are required. Not every alternative on the market has been approved by WSP, so please check the website before making purchases. All travelers are reminded to prepare for changing weather conditions and avoid a costly ticket by carrying chains or approved alternatives whenever crossing mountain passes. Failure to obey a tire chains sign can mean a ticket of up to $500. Special chain enforcement patrols will be keeping an eye on mountain passes this winter.

Studded tires
By law, studded tires are only legal for use in Washington state from Nov. 1 through March 31. This applies to all vehicles in Washington, even those traveling from other states, and no personal exemptions or waivers exist to allow for earlier use of studded tires.

WSDOT estimates studded tires cause between $20 million and $29 million in pavement damage to state-owned roadways (asphalt and concrete roadway damage combined) each year. WSDOT encourages motorists to visit a tire dealer to learn more about their winter tire options, including stud-free, winter tread traction tires. This type of tire is different than an all-season tire, is legal year-round and does not cause the same roadway damage as studded tires. More information about studded-tire restrictions and requirements can be found in the FAQ on the WSP website.



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Travel Experts Urge Travelers to Book Early and ‘Pack Patience’ This Holiday Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth




Travel Experts Urge Travelers to Book Early and ‘Pack Patience’ This Holiday Season – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



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Avs Notebook: Four players placed on waivers, early word on Francouz encouraging


The Avs took the day off from hockey activities, but the front office was still at work. Management put four players on waivers this morning, including veteran Kiefer Sherwood.

Sherwood, who played 16 games for the Avs last season, and two more in the playoffs, is likely to be reassigned to the Colorado Eagles if he clears waivers. The Avs also put Roland McKeown and Dylan Sikura on waivers, and also Stefan Matteau.

Once they clear – or if any are taken by another club – the Avs will be down to 31 players on the camp roster. They need to get down to 23 by opening night. Last night, Oskar Olausson was sent back to Barrie of the OHL and Andreas Wingerli was sent to the Eagles.


By no means is this an official “report.” But from what I’ve heard from my spies with the Avs, there is early encouragement about the condition of goalie Pavel Francouz, who left last night’s game with some kind of lower-body injury.

Coach Jared Bednar said the injury was not related to the hip surgery that sidelined him all of last season, so that was early good news right there. We’ll probably get official word from Bednar on Thursday. For now anyway – and things could change, who knows – it sounds like Frankie escaped serious injury.


Still no contract for Jack Johnson. I know the sides have talked a lot, and I still believe a contract is forthcoming. But until it’s done, it’s not done.


Interesting comments from Nathan MacKinnon to Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet, in his 32 Thoughts column today. The comments came at the NHL media tour in Chicago last month. He talks about the Vegas series and what went wrong:

“We beat them in Game 2 but they dominated us in the second and third (periods), and I remember thinking, ‘Ooof.’ Talking on the plane, our whole thing is the process. Be good at the process, results will take care of themselves. And that process that game was so bad…In Games 3-4 they dominated us and we got hesitant. Our whole thing is being aggressive, making plays and being confident with the puck. No one really wanted the puck, no one wanted to make mistakes. I know we will learn from that. When things get tough, it’s the playoffs, teams are going to have good games, we are going to have to stop the bleeding a little bit quicker than (we did).” What is a successful process to the Avalanche? “We like to track all five guys above their five guys,” he answered. “When we do that, we’re actually much better offensively, we don’t get lazy coming back in our zone. We swarm quick in the D-zone, we play physical, fast and aggressive. When we do that, we’re a tough team to beat. All credit to Vegas, they were great. Even in Game 5, we’re up 2-0 going into the third period. Couple of mistakes, they tie the game and win it in OT. And then in Game 6, I think we outshot them 40-20 or something, it was just too late. They had all the momentum on their side. It’s just too bad, because you think you can win, you want it so bad, it’s frustrating.” Added stud defender Cale Makar: “Vegas started chipping pucks behind us as a d-core, we weren’t doing our job well enough. We just need to stay patient, we got on our heels a little bit because they were coming at us so fast with their transition game. It’s a learning curve.”

He also added that maybe he and maybe the team thought too much in the series when things got tough, instead of just going by aggressive first instincts:

Betting with the Barbers!

“Joe (Sakic) was just like, ‘Let go.’ I was trying to play the perfect game, not take any risks or anything. That’s not my style either. You kind of have to go through it, and when you start to feel that again, you remember how to get through it. And that’s not by being hesitant. If anything, you double down on your aggressiveness and your assertiveness. I can’t let that feeling take over because I think hesitating is the worst thing you can do. Hockey is such a fast sport, when you get the puck you can’t have a negative thought in your head. It has to be an assertive thought, a confident feeling. Easier to say that now in an interview in September, but that’s what I think our whole team — and myself — pick up from last year.”


To all you fence-sitters: We’ve still got our 2021 sale going on. Hit that subscribe button up top, click on the full-year subscription option, throw in the promo code 2021 and your price will drop from $29.99 to $20.21. You also get an ad-free version of the site. Sale won’t last too much longer.

Oh, and I’m starting to draw up some travel plans for coverage. This year’s Avs schedule is NOT good from a practical perspective for us media, because there are a lot of back-to-back games and a lot of big distances from one city to the next and nothing is all that well clustered together geographically. But, Colorado Hockey Now will still be on the road for as many games as we can financially and practically manage.

So, hey, will I stop any of you from giving to the Avs Travel Tip Jar? No, I, won’t. Thanks to you, this site has done MORE travel to Avs games the last two seasons than anybody. That included 50 straight days in Edmonton last summer, covering every single Avs playoff game in the bubble, when nobody else from Denver was there. (And only two other U.S. cities from the Western Conference – St. Louis and Minnesota – had working media there).

(My recap of the journey to Edmonton and what it was like there, is here).

I still get a thrill when I see this official NHL seating chart from that weird, dystopian playoff experience:

I’m still very, very proud of that, and many of you helped that happen with your Tip Jar donations. It makes a difference. As always, 5% of every dollar goes to the Thornton Food Bank. Otherwise, every cent goes to fund as much road coverage as possible.

Subscribe to CHN+ today!



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NU-Minnesota pregame observations: A couple of early OL injury updates; see the full travel roster | Football








Nebraska vs. Minnesota, 10.16

Nebraska coach Scott Frost (right) talks with Husker offensive coordinator Matt Lubick (left) and Mario Verduzco during pregame warmups before taking on Minnesota on Saturday at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.




MINNEAPOLIS — It’s a crystal clear, brisk October morning in Minneapolis. 

When Nebraska players hit the field for early warmups shortly before 9:30 a.m., the temperature sat in the mid-40s. Most of the Huskers got their early work in wearing sleeveless warmups, while others opted for loose sweatshirts. 

Coach Scott Frost and special teams coordinator Mike Dawson strolled around the field and watched the early work. 

Here are some other pregame observations: 

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* It doesn’t appear that redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ethan Piper made the trip. The Norfolk Catholic graduate was not out for early warmups like he usually is. 

The three centers snapping to quarterbacks in early warmups: Cam Jurgens, Trent Hixon and Nouredin Nouili. Typically, Piper is the third. 

Nouili, of course, has stepped into the starting lineup the past two weeks at left guard. 

That makes the Huskers a little bit short on the offensive line, as redshirt freshman Brant Banks also appears to be out again this week. He’s been unavailable the past two weeks with what looks like a right-hand injury. Freshman left tackle Teddy Prochazka, of course, suffered a season-ending knee injury last week against Michigan. 

Hixson, junior Broc Bando and redshirt freshman Ezra Miller would all be candidates to fill in up front if needed today. 



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NBL fixture: Perth Wildcats avoid early travel to COVID hotspots as schedule gets pushed back


The NBL have delayed the start of the season until December 3 and ensured the Perth Wildcats will avoid the nation’s major COVID hotspots until January 30.

And all Wildcats players will be vaccinated for the start of the season, avoiding any potential issues with changing laws.

The league has today released a fixture heavily designed around playing at venues with fans in attendance while avoiding border closures.

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FULL FIXTURE

Matches were initially scheduled to start on November 18 but the later tip-off has eased the COVID-19 pressures on the NBL.

The fixture will see the Wildcats playing seven of their first nine games at home, with their only travel to Adelaide and Brisbane during that time.

The 36ers, Brisbane and New Zealand will all play in Perth twice in the early rounds.

Perth won’t play in NSW until January 30 and their first match in Victoria isn’t until February 26.

“It’s a credit to the league that they have been able to put together a fixture that presents the least amount if interruptions that seems possible,” Wildcats CEO Troy Georgiu said.

“Our priority was for our members to be able to attend games. The fact that we have a lot of home games during school holidays is great. People can watch summer hoops at night and we have some mouthwatering games during that time.

“We’ve got early games like Vic Law playing against his former team and a new JackJumpers team that is filled with former Wildcats.”

Perth's 2021-22 fixture.
Camera IconPerth’s 2021-22 fixture. Credit: The West Australian

With 28 games scheduled across a 10-team competition, the Wildcats will play Adelaide four times and the remaining teams on three occasions. They won’t play any of the Victorian or NSW teams more than once at RAC Arena.

While that will require them to spend time in the nation’s most COVID-impacted states, Georgiu said the entire squad would be vaccinated.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Bryce Cotton of the Wildcats runs with the ball under pressure from Sam McDaniel of United during the round 16 NBL match between Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at John Cain Arena, on May 05, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Camera IconAll of Perth’s players will be vaccinated this season. Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

“We didn’t mandate it so we are pleased that our players put themselves into a position where they can play even if laws come into place at some point during the season,” Georgiu said.

The NBL has planned for all teams to have four practice matches but an NBL Cup has not been announced.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the fixture could change if required, but everyone was looking forward to a more normal season.

“We are confident that as the country opens back up, our schedule will open up with it and we will get back to running the competition like we used to,” he said.

PERTH WILDCATS 2021/22 SCHEDULE

(Home games in bold)

Fri Dec 3 v Brisbane Bullets at RAC Arena

Sun Dec 12 v Adelaide 36ers at Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Fri Dec 17 v Tasmania JackJumpers at RAC Arena

Thurs Dec 23 v Brisbane Bullets at RAC Arena

Sat Jan 1 v Brisbane Bullets at Nissan Arena

Sat Jan 8 v New Zealand Breakers at RAC Arena

Fri Jan 14 v New Zealand Breakers at RAC Arena

Thurs Jan 20 v Adelaide 36ers at RAC Arena

Fri Jan 28 v Adelaide 36ers at RAC Arena

Sun Jan 30 v Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena

Fri Feb 4 v Cairns Taipans at RAC Arena

Sun Feb 6 v Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena

Sun Feb 13 v Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre

Fri Feb 18 v Melbourne United at RAC Arena

Sun Feb 20 v Adelaide 36ers at Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Thurs Feb 24 v Tasmania JackJumpers at RAC Arena

Sat Feb 26 v South East Melbourne Phoenix at John Cain Arena

Sat Mar 5 v Tasmania JackJumpers at venue TBA

Sat Mar 12 v Illawarra Hawks at RAC Arena

Sun Mar 20 v Melbourne United at John Cain Arena

Thurs Mar 24 v Sydney Kings at RAC Arena

Sun Mar 27 v Melbourne United at John Cain Arena

Sat Apr 2 v Cairns Taipans at Cairns Convention Centre

Tues Apr 5 v Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre

Fri Apr 8 v South East Melbourne Phoenix at John Cain Arena

Thurs Apr 14 v Cairns Taipans at RAC Arena

Sat Apr 16 v South East Melbourne Phoenix at RAC Arena

Sat Apr 23 v New Zealand Breakers at venue TBA



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NBL fixture: Perth Wildcats avoid early travel to COVID hotspots as schedule gets pushed back


The NBL have delayed the start of the season until December 3 and ensured the Perth Wildcats will avoid the nation’s major COVID hotspots until January 30.

And all Wildcats players will be vaccinated for the start of the season, avoiding any potential issues with changing laws.

The league has today released a fixture heavily designed around playing at venues with fans in attendance while avoiding border closures.

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FULL FIXTURE

Matches were initially scheduled to start on November 18 but the later tip-off has eased the COVID-19 pressures on the NBL.

The fixture will see the Wildcats playing seven of their first nine games at home, with their only travel to Adelaide and Brisbane during that time.

The 36ers, Brisbane and New Zealand will all play in Perth twice in the early rounds.

Perth won’t play in NSW until January 30 and their first match in Victoria isn’t until February 26.

“It’s a credit to the league that they have been able to put together a fixture that presents the least amount if interruptions that seems possible,” Wildcats CEO Troy Georgiu said.

“Our priority was for our members to be able to attend games. The fact that we have a lot of home games during school holidays is great. People can watch summer hoops at night and we have some mouthwatering games during that time.

“We’ve got early games like Vic Law playing against his former team and a new JackJumpers team that is filled with former Wildcats.”

Perth's 2021-22 fixture.
Camera IconPerth’s 2021-22 fixture. Credit: The West Australian

With 28 games scheduled across a 10-team competition, the Wildcats will play Adelaide four times and the remaining teams on three occasions. They won’t play any of the Victorian or NSW teams more than once at RAC Arena.

While that will require them to spend time in the nation’s most COVID-impacted states, Georgiu said the entire squad would be vaccinated.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 05: Bryce Cotton of the Wildcats runs with the ball under pressure from Sam McDaniel of United during the round 16 NBL match between Melbourne United and the Perth Wildcats at John Cain Arena, on May 05, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Camera IconAll of Perth’s players will be vaccinated this season. Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

“We didn’t mandate it so we are pleased that our players put themselves into a position where they can play even if laws come into place at some point during the season,” Georgiu said.

The NBL has planned for all teams to have four practice matches but an NBL Cup has not been announced.

NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the fixture could change if required, but everyone was looking forward to a more normal season.

“We are confident that as the country opens back up, our schedule will open up with it and we will get back to running the competition like we used to,” he said.

PERTH WILDCATS 2021/22 SCHEDULE

(Home games in bold)

Fri Dec 3 v Brisbane Bullets at RAC Arena

Sun Dec 12 v Adelaide 36ers at Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Fri Dec 17 v Tasmania JackJumpers at RAC Arena

Thurs Dec 23 v Brisbane Bullets at RAC Arena

Sat Jan 1 v Brisbane Bullets at Nissan Arena

Sat Jan 8 v New Zealand Breakers at RAC Arena

Fri Jan 14 v New Zealand Breakers at RAC Arena

Thurs Jan 20 v Adelaide 36ers at RAC Arena

Fri Jan 28 v Adelaide 36ers at RAC Arena

Sun Jan 30 v Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena

Fri Feb 4 v Cairns Taipans at RAC Arena

Sun Feb 6 v Sydney Kings at Qudos Bank Arena

Sun Feb 13 v Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre

Fri Feb 18 v Melbourne United at RAC Arena

Sun Feb 20 v Adelaide 36ers at Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Thurs Feb 24 v Tasmania JackJumpers at RAC Arena

Sat Feb 26 v South East Melbourne Phoenix at John Cain Arena

Sat Mar 5 v Tasmania JackJumpers at venue TBA

Sat Mar 12 v Illawarra Hawks at RAC Arena

Sun Mar 20 v Melbourne United at John Cain Arena

Thurs Mar 24 v Sydney Kings at RAC Arena

Sun Mar 27 v Melbourne United at John Cain Arena

Sat Apr 2 v Cairns Taipans at Cairns Convention Centre

Tues Apr 5 v Illawarra Hawks at WIN Entertainment Centre

Fri Apr 8 v South East Melbourne Phoenix at John Cain Arena

Thurs Apr 14 v Cairns Taipans at RAC Arena

Sat Apr 16 v South East Melbourne Phoenix at RAC Arena

Sat Apr 23 v New Zealand Breakers at venue TBA



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Fights Force Ohio Theme Park To Close Early


An amusement park in Mason, Ohio, recently closed early because police were called to break up large groups of teens who were fighting.

Just how bad was it? One witness told WLWT 5 (Cincinnati) that he saw park security, Mason police, County Sheriff’s deputies, and Ohio state troopers on the scene to break up the fighting.

A witness named Shan Powell told reporters, “It became a mob.” What’s more, “a police officer was assaulted while trying to help someone else who was assaulted,” WLWT 5 reports. Mason police said the officer was attacked with a “chemical spray.”

From Bad To Worse

Kings Island amusement park is located in Mason, Ohio — a little more than 20 miles outside Cincinnati. It opened for the season on May 15.

Last Saturday, guests reported 30- to 45-minute lines at food stands and restaurants, a Cincinnati Enquirer article reports.

“It was insanely crowded,” Ryan Smith says in the article. “Not surprising, I guess, as it was a Saturday and the weather was nice.”

In the WLWT 5 article, Powell says groups were “terrorizing that park.”

“The whole day, there had been quite a bit of people living without consequences, line-jumping, stealing Coke products, and it was just a really weird feeling throughout the whole day,” Powell said.

Fighting Broke Out

Eventually, due to several fights inside the park, Kings Island closed. Fights then broke out in the parking lot and police were called.

Troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported there were several fights in the afternoon, and a large fight just before 10 p.m., the Cincinnati Enquirer article reports. “A sergeant from the highway patrol said the Mason Police Department asked for backup to respond to several large fights at Kings Island and troopers responded,” the article continues.

Even then, there were problems dispersing the crowd.

“There was a lot of yelling,” Powell says in the WLWT 5 article. “Ice and sodas were thrown at the officers, and at each other. It was just pretty much chaos.”

The Park’s Response

When Kings Island closed, it quickly released a statement.

“The safety of our guests and associates is always our top priority,” explained the statement. “On Saturday, the decision was made to close the park 30 minutes early due to unruly behavior and altercations involving a number of teenagers. This behavior did not align with our park’s values, and was not the experience we want any guest to have while visiting Kings Island.”

WLWT later asked a park spokesperson what will happen if passholders have concerns about dropping their memberships, should the fighting continue.

“Yesterday’s event was not a normal occurrence at Kings Island. Unruly behavior has no place at our park,” the spokesperson told WLWT in a statement. “We are taking immediate steps to address the situation so that our guests enjoy their future visits.”

Know Before You Go

Kings Island has more than 80 different rides and attractions — including 36 water slides and two wave pools. Its Diamondback roller coaster is 230 feet tall, with a 215-foot drop. Hours of operation and ticket information may be found here.

For more Ohio inspiration, consider



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Vols basketball to face Villanova in early season tournament with North Carolina, Purdue


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee basketball will get an early season test when they travel to Connecticut for the 2021 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made the team announcements Monday. The Vols will play Villanova on Saturday, Nov. 20.

The four-team tournament also includes North Carolina and Purdue. The winners of those games meet in the championship on Sunday, Nov. 21.

Tennessee and Villanova have met four times previously, with the Wildcats owning a 3-1 advantage. The Vols’ lone win in the series came in the championship game of the 2011 NIT Season Tip-Off. The most recent meeting saw No. 5 Villanova overcome a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat the Vols at the 2017 Battle 4 Atlantis.

Under the direction of Hall of Fame coach Jay Wright, Villanova projects to enter the 2021-22 season as a top-five team.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes will welcome the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class to complement veteran returners John Fulkerson, Victor Bailey Jr., Josiah-Jordan James and Santiago Vescovi.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Tip-Off will go on sale in September. Tip times and broadcast information have yet to be announced.



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B.C. RCMP provide early update on COVID-19 travel checkpoints for May long weekend


VANCOUVER —
B.C. RCMP have provided a preliminary update on travel checkpoints for the May long weekend.

The checkpoints, set up in four spots across the province, are in place to enforce the temporary ban on non-essential travel to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey provided data from Thursday, May 20, for the checkpoints on Highway 3 near Manning Park and Highway 5 in the Old Toll Booth area.

Traffic patrol officers say that on Thursday they stopped 732 vehicles, and turned two around for non-essential travel on Highway 5, and at Manning Park on Highway 3, they stopped 336 vehicles and only turned around one.

Police are not staffing the checkpoints around the clock, and therefore their numbers do not reflect the total number of vehicles travelling along those highways.

O’Donaghey said that preliminary observations from travel on Friday – the beginning of the May long weekend – showed an uptick in vehicles.

“According to those operating the Manning Park road check on Friday, it appeared as though there was an increase in traffic coming through that location,” he said in an email.

Earlier this week, police announced that they were ramping up enforcement at the check points, saying they were “increasing the number and duration” of road checks through Victoria Day.

The government temporarily banned non-essential travel between three designated regions of the province in April, and the RCMP has been setting up rotating road checks at four locations for the past two-and-a-half weeks to intercept drivers.

Last weekend saw a significant spike in traffic, with officers stopping 2,069 vehicles from May 14 to 16. Some 30 drivers agreed to turn around voluntarily, authorities said.

By comparison, officers stopped 1,412 vehicles from May 6 to 8, and only one driver was turned around.





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