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Winter Weather Warning for Monroe County. Wintry mix, colder temperatures until Friday morning

“Don't be tempted to speed as there is little snow. Even a small amount of snow is enough to create some slick patches and make an impression.” (Author: Gardener)

Winter Weather WarningA sudden temperature drop on Thursday can feel like whiplash as the day begins in the 50s and is expected to drop nearly 30 degrees overnight, according to the National Weather Service in Buffalo, which issued a winter weather warning across much of western New York, including the Rochester area. "A slow-moving front line will move across the region on Thursday and Friday," which will increase Thursday's rain and bring cooler air that will turn the rain into snow and ice, Weather Service meteorologist David Thomas said. Forecasters are forecasting mixed precipitation, some snow and some ice combined with whipping winds gusting between 35 and 40 miles per hour, all dependent on location. While the weather warnings begin at different times on Thursday evening, they all end at 9am on Friday. * In Monroe and Genesee counties, the advisory warns of 2 to 4 inches of snow and up to two-tenths of an inch of ice between 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m. * In Orleans County, the alarm warns of 4 to 7 inches of snow and up to two-tenths of an inch of ice. * Approximately an inch of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice is expected in Wayne County. The consultation begins at 11 p.m. Thursday. The consultation begins at 11 p.m. Thursday. *In Ontario, Livingston and Wyoming counties, the alert begins at 9 p.m. Thursday and warns of an inch of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice. The rapid drop in temperature - from the 50s to the 20s - could mean slippery conditions on the area's roads Thursday evening and overnight. Drivers should note that the change is likely to create some slippery roads with the possibility of black ice in time for Friday morning's commute. With much of the road salt washed away, be aware that a rapid drop in temperature followed by snow could be problematic for drivers, Thomas said. Monroe County is also on a flood warning through Saturday night due to forecast widespread rain and rapid snowmelt due to mild midweek weather. Flooding of rivers, streams, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations is imminent or occurring, according to the weather service. Wednesday's high hit 49 in Rochester, which is about 15 degrees above normal for mid-February in Rochester. Thursday's high is expected to hit the mid-50s. Friday's high is only expected in the low 20s. A massive storm system is forecast to bring snow, rain, flooding, wind and severe weather to much of the central, eastern and southern U. On the cold side of the storm, snow is likely through Thursday from northern Texas to northern New England. said AccuWeather. Meanwhile, severe weather, including the threat of tornadoes, threatens more than 20 million people in the south, according to the Storm Prediction Center Thursday. The storm should clear the east coast by Friday, Weather.com said. Here's when and where to expect the storm: Up to 3 inches of rain could fall from northeast Oklahoma to western New York and southeast to northern Georgia, weather forecasters have warned. The snow already on the ground in these areas is expected to melt with the heat and downpours, causing flooding of rivers and streams, AccuWeather said. A "low risk" (Level 2 of 4) of excessive rain exists Thursday from southern Illinois to western New York and over parts of the southern Appalachia, the National Weather Service said. These areas are expected to have the greatest chance of flash flooding. This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Rochester NY Weather: Winter Warning for Monroe County

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Have you benefited from student loan debt relief? Find out about the tax consequences

There are federal income tax consequences for student loan borrowers who are fortunate enough to have their debt forgiven or paid off by an employer. (Author: Gardener)

According to a recent estimate, the total amount of outstanding student loan debt is approximately $1.75 trillion. According to a recent estimate, the total amount of outstanding student loan debt is approximately $1.75 trillion. Of that total, federal student loans total about $1.59 trillion. Of that total, federal student loans total about $1.59 trillion. According to the same source, about 43.2 million student borrowers owe just over $39,000 each, on average. According to the same source, about 43.2 million student borrowers owe just over $39,000 each, on average. That's a lot of debt! That's a lot of debt! Do you want to survive on your money? Do you want to survive on your money? Ignore these crucial financial concepts. Ignore these crucial financial concepts. You hear money jargon everywhere – whether in conversation, online or blaring from TV and radio. You hear money jargon everywhere – whether in conversation, online or blaring from TV and radio. But how many of us know what terms like APY, expense ratio and index funds actually mean? But how many of us know what terms like APY, expense ratio and index funds actually mean? If confusion about money talk makes you feel stupid, we have a way to get over it. If confusion about money talk makes you feel stupid, we have a way to get over it. Below is a detailed look at some of the most important money terms. Below is a detailed look at some of the most important money terms. These terms are important not only if you want to improve your current financial situation, but also if you want to make sure your savings don't run out when you retire. These terms are important not only if you want to improve your current financial situation, but also if you want to make sure your savings don't run out when you retire. 1. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 2. 1. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) 2. Annual Percentage Rate (APY) 3. Annual Percentage Rate (APY) 3. Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) 8. Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) 8. Expense Ratio 9 Expense Ratio 9. Index Funds 10. Index Funds 10. Mutual Funds 12. Mutual Funds 12. A Few Simple Financial Steps You Can Follow That Will Definitely Make You Richer. A few simple financial steps you can follow that will make you absolutely and positively wealthier. 1. Never spend more than you earn 2. Avoid debt like the plague 3. Avoid debt like the plague 3. You can either look rich or be rich 5. You can either look rich or be rich 5. There are only six choices , get rich 7. There are only six ways to get rich 7. Kids spend too much time on screens, study results. Kids spend too much time on screens, study finds ABC News reports that a new study suggests that an overwhelming majority of children aged five and under spend too much time in front of screens. ABC News reports that a new study suggests that an overwhelming majority of children aged five and under spend too much time in front of screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of two should avoid screen time altogether. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children under the age of two should avoid screen time altogether. while screen time for two to five year olds should be limited to no more than one hour a day. while screen time for two to five year olds should be limited to no more than one hour a day. Researchers found that 75% of children under the age of two exceed the recommended screen time. Researchers found that 75% of children under the age of two exceed the recommended screen time. . Also, 64% of children aged two to five spend healthy time with their screen. . Also, 64% of children aged two to five spend healthy time with their screen. Experts say that children under the age of five are the fastest growing subset of digital media users in the United States. Experts say that children under the age of five are the fastest growing subset of digital media users in the United States. On average, children under the age of five spend almost 25% of their day in front of the screen. On average, children under the age of five spend almost 25% of their day in front of the screen. Digital media has become an integral part of young children's lives, , University of Calgary studies researcher, via ABC News. Digital media has become an integral part of young children's lives, , University of Calgary studies researcher, via ABC News. , Study Researcher, University of Calgary, via ABC News. , Study Researcher, University of Calgary, via ABC News. Health officials say too much screen time can have negative effects on children, such as: B. a higher risk of obesity and delays in cognitive and emotional development. Health officials say too much screen time can have negative effects on children, such as: B. a higher risk of obesity and delays in cognitive and emotional development. I think when you consider the risk versus the benefit, the risks outweigh the benefits in this age group. I think when you consider the risk versus the benefit, the risks outweigh the benefits in this age group. The good news is that in some cases, student loan balances can be forgiven or even repaid by an employer. The good news is that in some cases, student loan balances can be forgiven or even repaid by an employer. This column focuses on the resulting federal income tax implications for student loan borrowers who are fortunate enough to have it happen. This column focuses on the resulting federal income tax implications for student loan borrowers who are fortunate enough to have it happen. The lucky borrower may not be you, but it could be a loved one. The lucky borrower may not be you, but it could be a loved one. Debt Forgiveness (COD) Income Tax Basics The general federal income tax rule states that a taxpayer's gross income includes debt forgiveness (COD) income, unless a statutory exception applies. The availability of these exceptions, found in Section 108 of our popular Internal Revenue Code, depends on various factors, such as the use of the loan proceeds and the borrower's financial condition at the time of the COD event. An exception provides that you can exclude cash on delivery income if you are insolvent at the time of the cash on delivery event (so-called insolvency exception). You are insolvent if your liabilities exceed the market value of your assets immediately before the cash on delivery event. Another exception applies to debts that are settled in bankruptcy proceedings (so-called bankruptcy exception). Another exception provides that cash on delivery income from certain forgiven student loans may be excluded. To qualify for this exemption, the loan document must state that some or all of the student loan debt will be forgiven if you, the borrower, work for a specific period of time in a specific occupation for a specific type of employer (basically a public employer) work duty). Super-Taxpayer-Friendly Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act For the 2021–2025 period, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants income tax-free treatment for full or partial repayment of the following types of student loans: (1) Loans provided expressly for post-secondary education expenses when the loan: is granted, insured or guaranteed by: the United States or any entity or agency thereof; a state, territory or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia or any political subdivision thereof; or an educational institution within the meaning of the federal income tax credit for higher education expenses; (2) any personal educational loan within the meaning of the Truth in Lending Act; and (3) loans made by educational institutions that qualify as charities for purposes of individual federal income tax deduction on charitable donations. Example 1: Last year you received the good news that your $30,000 student loan, which was insured by the federal government, was forgiven. Thanks to ARPA regulation, this was an income tax free event for you. So you don't owe Uncle Sam anything additional on your 2021 Form 1040. Proceedings to Exonerate the Department of Education for Student Loans Under the repayment defense process, the Department of Education (DOE) is required to pay certain federal student loans if the student (borrower), as a defense to repayment, establishes that the actions of the school would give rise to a cause of action against the school under applicable state law. While there is no statute that specifically allows for income tax-exempt treatment of federal cash on delivery income arising when loans are repaid as part of the defense against repayment process, a student loan borrower may be able to exclude cash on delivery amounts under other tax exemptions, such as the ARPA provision discussed above, the bankruptcy exception, the bankruptcy exception; or non-statutory exceptions provided for by the IRS that may be issued from time to time. Under the closed school process, the DOE can redeem a federal student loan if the student was attending a school at the time of the closure or if the student withdrew within a specified period prior to the graduation date. There is a statutory exemption from gross taxable income for cash on delivery income from federal student loans remitted as part of the closed school relief process. Therefore, a borrower whose loan is being paid off under this method should not report the related cash on delivery income as gross taxable income on their 1040 form. More details can be found here. Tax-Exempt Treatment for Section 127 Employer Plan Payments for Employee Student Loans The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) permitted income tax-exempt treatment for payments made by employers under Section 127 educational assistance plans for employee student loan debt of participating employees . Between 3/28/20 and 12/31/20, up to $5,250 per employee per year could have been paid out on the principal and/or interest on your student loan without incurring federal income tax on you. Your company could deduct the payments. The later Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) included the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act (TCDTRA). The TCDTRA extended the above-mentioned favorable treatment for qualifying student loan debt payments made under Employers Section 127 plans through 12/31/25. Example 2: This year, you receive good news that your company's Section 127 plan is paying $5,250 towards your student loan obligations. This is a federal income tax exempt event and you will not owe Uncle Sam anything additional on your 2022 Form 1040. Tax Treatment of Other Employer Payments for Employee Student Loans Apparently, this will become an increasingly common compensation practice for employers to repay student loans accrued by their employees. If that happens, it's not a COD event. Instead, it is a taxable compensatory event of the garden type. Student loan amounts paid out by your employer are treated simply as additional paycheck amounts that you (the student loan borrower) receive. Therefore, these amounts are subject to federal income and employment tax, and possibly state income tax, depending on where you live. Example 3: In response to the major termination threat, your company announced it would pay up to $10,000 in student loan balances for eligible employees. If you are lucky enough to qualify for this deal, paying $10,000 will count as additional taxable income for 2022 with the tax results explained above. You or a loved one may benefit, or have benefited, from student loan redemptions or employer payouts. You now understand the implications for federal income tax. See also: Department of Education forgives $415 million in student loan debt

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Why motivation is a lie

So tell me, if this sounds familiar, you have healthy meals all day Monday, and you feel great for being so "good" and sticking to your plan. Tuesday morning you have a healthy breakfast, but then you forget to pack your lunch and have to grab a takeout instead. (Author: Gardener)

MondayYou eat healthy meals all day Monday and feel great for being so "good" and sticking to your plan. Tuesday morning you have a healthy breakfast, but then you forget to pack your lunch and have to grab a takeout instead. You come home after work and realize you forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner, one of your kids (or maybe your partner) is having a crisis, and you see the dog has just crawled onto the carpet handed over. There's a stack of mail that needs to be sorted, and just as you start, you get a text message that says there's an urgent meeting at work tomorrow, right around the time you were planning to go to the gym walk. Oh, and your boss wants you to do "just" one thing to prepare for that meeting before you start your evening. Until you clear the insanity you really don't feel like cooking, so choose for dinner. As you sit in front of the TV, sipping your second glass of wine and licking the chocolate off your fingers, you feel defeated as if the whole "healthy living" thing is just too time-consuming and complicated. And it gets harder every year. As a "Recovering Perfectionist" living with Hashimoto for almost 15 years, I started from scratch every time something went "out of plan". What caused this was a cycle of yo-yo dieting and general inconsistency in every aspect of my life. I felt I needed to feel motivated to start over, or to find just the right timing/conditions/diet/situation...(am I picking a tone here?) The way we doing one thing is the way we do everything. However, what I ultimately learned is that motivation as we learned it is a lie. It's not something that magically comes to us when we need or want it. Motivation is something we need to create for ourselves and the only way to create it is to act first. This is how I live my life now. If you lack motivation, the biggest mistake you're likely to make is trying too hard to make things "perfect." This all-or-nothing thinking keeps you from being flexible and agile enough to adapt to the changing demands of your schedule and life. If something throws you off track, your whole plan crumbles. You get frustrated and stressed, and then you go on autopilot and grab anything that feels light and comforting. You may even feel like a failure and your inner bully will start berating you. Instead of just chalking it up as "one of those things," you give up and use it as proof that it's just too hard, or you're just too busy, or think this stuff just doesn't work for you. It's a mistake I see time and time again in my clients and trust me when I tell you I've done the same thing myself. What are you doing instead? start small Pick ONE thing to focus on, like packing your lunch or laying out your workout clothes before you go to bed at night. Break things up into small, even tiny steps. And only after mastering that ONE new thing, try to add ONE more. Add something like deep breathing before you go to sleep or a glass of water in the morning before your coffee. When "life happens" and it feels like it's trying to throw a curveball at even your small steps, or when your busy schedule doesn't leave you time to do the things you want to do, find a way to adapt. There are always ways to change things or break things down into smaller steps. And then of course it takes time and practice to celebrate Every. Instead, do 10 minutes. No time for a healthy dinner? Are you traveling and have to settle for what's available? Ask restaurants to make a few simple substitutions (like extra veggies or a salad instead of fries or rice). There is a way if you are willing to look for it. I've said it so many times because it's true - motivation FOLLOWS the action, not the other way around. If you wait for motivation to kick in, you will never achieve your goals. Motivation is a resource and a skill that you must build, and it does so through small, consistent steps that add up over time. Once you see the difference even a small change can make, you'll feel motivated to keep doing it. And when it becomes something you don't have to think about anymore - once it's something you "just do" you feel a lot more motivated to add something else. Then, when life happens and things feel like they're throwing you off course, don't wait for the motivation to strike — take a deep breath and do the next healthy thing. This is how you stay motivated. This is how you build the consistency that creates motivation. As I always say, "Once in a row doesn't make a habit, but every habit has to start with the first time." If you would like some assistance in making motivation a part of your daily life, send me a message and let's chat!

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Chicago Fire's Gaga Slonina remains focused on USMNT call-ups and European transfer interests

Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina caused quite a stir in MLS and overseas when he took the goaltender spot last fall with a string of commanding performances including three wins, three clean sheets and several brave displays against Audi MLS Cup Playoff opponents won by Chicago Fire FC. The most impressive number of all, however, was his (Author: Gardener)

Chicago Fire'sGabriel "Gaga" Slonina caused quite a stir in MLS and overseas when he took the goaltender spot last fall with a string of commanding performances including three wins, three clean sheets and several brave displays against Audi MLS Cup Playoff opponents won by Chicago Fire FC. Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina caused quite a stir in MLS and overseas when he took the goaltender spot last fall with a string of commanding performances including three wins, three clean sheets and several brave displays against Audi MLS Cup Playoff opponents won by Chicago Fire FC. With his first senior international experience in hand, former USMNT greats already comparing him to Gigi Buffon and transfer gossip linking him to big clubs like Juventus, while European heavyweights are zooming in on him as a serious target, Slonina fends off questions on those issues off with the embassy discipline of an experienced veterinarian. With his first senior international experience in hand, former USMNT greats already comparing him to Gigi Buffon and transfer gossip linking him to big clubs like Juventus, while European heavyweights are zooming in on him as a serious target, Slonina fends off questions on those issues off with the embassy discipline of an experienced veterinarian. "I think the routine you build is how you can stay in the moment and just keep working and give it your all." "I think the routine you build is how you can stay in the moment and just keep working and being able to give it your all.” “I think it's about all the routines I've established,” said Slonina. "I think it's about all the routines I've established," Slonina said. “Meditation is a big part of staying in that focused mindset all the time. “Meditation is a big part of staying in that focused mindset all the time. It's a daily thing I do in the morning to make sure I'm present, aware of everything around me and making sure I'm giving my all with every single shot, every single pass. It's a daily thing I do in the morning to make sure I'm present, aware of everything around me and making sure I'm giving my all with every single shot, every single pass. Because obviously that focus and everything is what will set you apart to perform at your best in sports. Because obviously that focus and everything is what will set you apart to perform at your best in sports. "Right now the focus is on this preseason and closing off the preseason strong, so I'm not a player looking too forward," said the Addison, Illinois player. "I want to be here now, to be present because that's obviously the most important thing. So I think I'll continue to give my all every day in training to make sure I'm helping the guys on and off the field to have again the most successful season we can have for this club." Although he's pretty clearly the Pole position in Chicago's No. 1 job - the club literally just bequeathed him the No. 1 jersey - Slonina doesn't even take that for granted. I don't like to see myself as the number one starter now, I have to give everything in training every day and make sure that I play and train as well as possible," said Slonina. "I'm feeling great about the season. I think the attitude is there, the right attitude and mentality in daily training," he added. "I think this season is going to be very successful and I think we're going to achieve some big things this year."

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What Deshaun Watson's trade market looks like this off-season

When the Texans bought Deshaun Watson before the November trade deadline, they took a tough stance on what they wanted in return: Three first-round picks and a combination of three second- or third-round picks or young players who could make an impact for years to come. NFL Tickets StubHub stubhub.com Shop Now There were reports that several teams were offering the Texans three first-round picks and two third-round picks with a contingency that... (Author: Gardener)

Deshaun Watson'sWhen the Texans bought Deshaun Watson before the November trade deadline, they took a tough stance on what they wanted in return: Three first-round picks and a combination of three second- or third-round picks or young players who could make an impact for years to come. There were reports that several teams were offering the Texans three first-round picks and two third-round picks with the possibility that there would be some sort of resolution to the 22 civil lawsuits filed against Watson involving allegations of sexual assault during massage sessions. The Dolphins reportedly made the biggest push, but the Texans turned down their offer and decided to try again in the offseason. It's been three months since that trading deadline, and most teams chasing Watson could still use him, while other teams - hello, Tampa Bay! Trading demand for Watson is helped by the fact that the free agent market is pretty empty and Jameis Winston and Teddy Bridgewater are the top quarterbacks available. If Watson settles the civil claims and puts the assault charges behind, no matter how gross, many NFL teams will want the quarterback in their uniform. The Texans will look to pit these potential contenders against each other as they prepare for the NFL draft, which begins April 29. Here are the teams that could make a push for Deshaun Watson this offseason... Since Tom Brady resigned, Tampa Bay's only quarterbacks are Blaine Gabbert and Kyle Trask. Besides the hole at quarterback, the Bucs are set to keep winning. A year after winning the Super Bowl, Tampa Bay drew 13-4 with Green Bay, the league's best record. With offensive Bruce Arians leading and Byron Leftwich on offense, Watson could have a great season in Tampa. There was some thought that Watson would veto any trade that didn't happen in a big market, but Minneapolis has plenty of pieces on offense. The Vikings are looking so good that ESPN reported they are one of the teams Watson is interested in. Minnesota, which has gone 7-9 and 8-9 in back-to-back seasons, has young stars in the skill positions in running back Dalvin Cook and receiver Justin Jefferson. They're also hiring Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell as their head coach. The Vikings would probably want to trade cousins ​​before attempting to land Watson. When the Panthers were interested in Watson at the close, they were 4-4. After Watson failed to land Watson at the close of trade, the Panthers signed Cam Newton and he lost five straight games and played poorly (five interceptions with only three touchdowns) before being replaced by Sam Darnold, who looked no better than in his first three seasons with the Jets. Ever since David Tepper bought the team in 2018, he has been determined to find his team a quarterback who will overpay for Teddy Bridgewater and then trade for Darnold. He will want to bring Watson, who played his college ball at Clemson, just 130 miles outside of Charlotte, back to the Carolinas. The Texans would likely be happy to trade Watson for the Panthers - send him to the NFC and get their hands on Carolina's No. 6 draft this year. The Saints - who are without Sean Payton, who is retiring from coaching - have been a disaster for the quarterback since Drew Brees retired after last season. Even without a reliable quarterback, the Saints almost made the playoffs — they only needed the 49ers to lose to the Rams in the regular-season finals — but they need to think about what they'll do as quarterback next season. The Broncos squandered one of the best defenses in the league -- only the Patriots and Bills conceding fewer points -- and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year. The Broncos appear in every trade rumor involving quarterbacks — Watson, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. So it's no secret how urgently they need to solve the problem behind the center. After hiring Nathaniel Hackett, former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, as head coach, the Broncos would like to work out a trade for Rodgers. Watson's first choice was always Miami, and the Dolphins had the best interest in signing the Texans quarterback from the start. However, the Dolphins have since fired Brian Flores and hired former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as their head coach. McDaniel has reportedly said owner Stephen Ross thinks he can win with Tua Tagovailoa as quarterback. There wasn't much talk of Washington at the Watson Sweepstakes at the start of the season, but the Commanders may want to jump in after seeing how 2021 has gone for them. The experiment with Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't go well as the 39-year-old quarterback threw just six passes in Week 1 before injuring his hip and missing the rest of the season. The Browns are another team rarely mentioned as chasing Watson, but having seen Baker Mayfield in his fourth season it's obvious they could use him. Would Watson waive his no-trade clause to play in Cleveland? Mayfield has one year left on his contract and is coming off the worst year of his career. He hit a career-low 17 touchdowns as the Browns underperformed and finished 8-9 after going 11-5 the previous season. Certainly Mike Tomlin doesn't plan on entering 2022 with any of these guys as his starting quarterback. The Steelers haven't won a playoff game since the 2016 season and need someone to fuel that offense. This is the one team whose quarterback game may have improved since the close. When the Texans tried to trade Watson before the deadline, the Eagles were one of the top teams involved. They were 3-5 at this point and appeared to be heading for their second straight losing season. Instead, they found their groove and made the playoffs with sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts in the lead. Part of that success is due to rookie head coach Nick Sirianni switching to a more run-heavy offense to take some pressure off hurts, but the Houston native has also improved a lot over the season and possibly done enough for the Eagles, their pursuit to abandon by Watson. Giants owner John Mara made things pretty clear when he hired Brian Daboll as his head coach: "We're not trading for Deshaun Watson." Still, the Giants, just having their fifth straight season of double-digit losses, could have Watson in place of Daniel Jones, who has proven he's not a good NFL quarterback. The Giants would be an ideal trade partner, having both the No. 5 and No. 7 overall picks in this year's draft. It's hard to imagine Russell Wilson playing anywhere but Seattle, but ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported that this could have been their last year in Seattle for either Wilson or head coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks went 7-10 and the 33-year-old Wilson had by far the worst season of his career by QBR - his 54.7 QBR puts him 10th in the league behind the likes of Carson Wentz and Ryan Tannehill .

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5 reasons to watch 'UFC Fight Night 201'

MMA Junkie's John Morgan takes you through key storylines leading up to UFC Fight Night 201 in Las Vegas. (Author: Gardener)

5This weekend's UFC Fight Night 201 had a huge hit when a scheduled main event between Rafael dos Anjos and Rafael Fiziev was postponed to next month's UFC 271. In their place are now two dangerous light heavyweights with Johnny Walker taking the headlining slot and Jamahal Hill agreeing to extend their meeting to five rounds. In a talented weight class, both Walker and Hill are looking to prove they belong among the division's elite, and a big win on a featured slot could go a long way towards making that statement. Here are five reasons to watch the event, which will be streamed live in its entirety on ESPN+ from 4 p.m. ET for the prelims and 7 p.m. ET for the main map. It wasn't long ago that Johnny Walker (18-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC) seemed set for an eventual showdown with longtime UFC champion Jon Jones. After all, the 6-foot-5 Brazilian exploded with three straight Performance of the Night wins totaling less than three minutes of octagon time. However, Walker has been in a bit of a slump lately, going just 1-3 in his last four appearances and dealing with a few injuries along the way. Meanwhile, Jamahal Hill (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was also showered with praise as he stormed into the UFC light heavyweight division with three straight wins (although one was later knocked over after testing positive for marijuana). . . "Sweet Dreams," so his hype train derailed a bit with a June loss to Paul Craig, though he bounced back emphatically six months later with a 48-second stoppage from Jimmy Crute. Hill heard the doubters after his loss and seems to have a small chip on his shoulder now as he looks to continue his winning streak and earn matchups with the fighters sitting at the top of the division. Kyle Daukaus (10-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is in one of the most bizarre situations imaginable right now. After suffering a disappointing decision loss to Phil Hawes last May, Daukaus bounced back with a spectacular submission victory over Kevin Holland that was quickly ruled a no contest when replays showed a heads-to-heads clash preceded the target sequence. The 28-year-old middleweight was then booked to face Julian Marquez on Saturday, but "The Cuban Missile Crisis" became the third straight opponent to pull out of a fight with Daukaus. Undaunted, Daukaus kept preparing and ready to face anyone the UFC could find. Pickett came on short notice for a fight now being fought at 195 pounds and has not had an easy road in the UFC. In fact, it took The Night Wolf three trips to Dana White's Contender Series to finally earn a promotion invite. But Pickett has had back-to-back decision victories since then and thinks he's finally comfortable in front of the cameras attending the sport's biggest promotion. While neither of these men will claim a title shot with a win, it will certainly make a big statement in terms of future potential and staying power after battling through times. Future UFC Hall of Famer Jim Miller (33-16 MMA, 22-15 UFC) made his Octagon debut back in 2008 and since then has walked the cage more times than anyone in the company's history. At 38, Miller knows the end is coming but hopes he can hold out long enough to make a final appearance at UFC 300, which is expected to take place in the summer of 2024. Nikolas Motta (12-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his promotional debut 16 months after landing a contract with Dana White's Contender Series and admits it's a bit of an honor to be paired with a legend in the sport . Motta is a hard-hitting Brazilian who has won eight of his 13 career wins by KO and has spent much of his training camp for this competition at Rio de Janeiro's legendary Nova Uniao. UFC matchmakers knew exactly what they were doing when they saw the middleweight matchup of Abdul Razak Alhassan (11-4 MMA, 5-4 UFC) vs. Joaquin Buckley (13-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) as the main card Opener for placed event on Saturday. Company executives always like to see action packed competitions to kick off the main part of the evening and Alhassan and Buckley certainly seemed destined to deliver. If you don't have time to check out the full map on Saturday, make sure you at least get in before the preliminary rounds wrap up. The final fight before the main card features a potential featherweight banger between Gabriel Benitez (22-9 MMA, 6-5 UFC) and David Onama (8-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC). Mexico's Benitez suffered a TKO defeat in his last appearance back in July, but it was in absolutely exciting fashion at UFC on ESPN 26 in a fight with Billy Quarantillo that earned the night's fight of the night bonus. Benitez has actually won $50,000 in prizes in his last two straight fights, having also received a Performance of the Night bonus in his victory over Justin Jaynes in December 2020. Meanwhile, Uganda's first UFC fighter, Onama, looks like he could be something special. Onama, who stepped in at short notice for his UFC debut, moved up a weight class last October and fought to a decision loss against touted, undefeated contender Mason Jones. With Onama now falling back into his natural weight class and having ample time to prepare, this could be a more honest assessment of his future potential, which honestly looked pretty high, even with a loss. After Australia fan favorite Jessica-Rose Clark (11-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) battled through a tough stretch of setbacks, including two losses, a couple of serious injuries and some complications from weight savings, she continued on the UFC women's bantamweight winning streak and strives to prove herself as a true contender in the division. She now faces Swiss judoka Stephanie Egger (6-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) who is hoping to build on the strength of her first Octagon win. Veteran featherweight Chas Skelly (18-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) never shies away from an entertaining duel, but he believes Saturday's fight will likely be the last of his career at the age of 36. "The Scrapper" takes on Filipino import Mark Striegl (18-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), who was limping in a debut loss to Said Nurmagomedov 14 months ago. At just 24, Christian Rodriguez (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has a perfect record on his promotional debut. The Roufusport product has six finishes in his seven fights that resulted in a UFC deal and is highly acclaimed by those who train with him. He'll be looking to make a memorable first impression when he takes on three-time UFC veteran Jonathan Pearce (11-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC).

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The Conservatives don't need a progressive as their party leader

Why would a progressive lead the Conservative Party of Canada? Progressives belong to the New Democrats and Liberals. Progressive Red Tories have never been the dominant faction of the modern Conservative Party. Nonetheless, they are the darlings of the Canadian media establishment, which craves the moderates and progressives to lead the conservatives. (Author: Gardener)

ConservativesThe Conservative Party of Canada needs a Why should a progressive lead the Conservative Party of Canada? It's a weird question because the underlying concept is weird. Progressives belong to the New Democrats and Liberals. Progressive Red Tories have never been the dominant faction of the modern Conservative Party. Nonetheless, they are the darlings of the Canadian media establishment, which craves the moderates and progressives to lead the conservatives. Erin O'Toole came the closest thing to the Red Tory leader he wanted, and he checked many of the boxes. O'Toole emerged from the gate and declared himself a unionist who had been raised in a General Motors family. He was progressive in social policy. And he lost an election and was one of the shortest-serving elected leaders in the history of the Conservative Party of Canada. The Red Tory experiment with O'Toole caught fire. Now the same establishment is doubling down and declaring that O'Toole's progressive act needs a sequel. O'Toole scored almost exactly the same result in the 2021 election as the more conservative Andrew Scheer did in the 2019 election. The problem is that progressive conservatism in the Conservative Party is more about supporting liberal social policy bills than about any sort of innovation rotates. O'Toole's signature act as Tory leader was spearheading the Liberal ban on conversion therapy, which he did in high-profile fashion. That's not to say it was the wrong decision to support it, but it did illustrate the progressive conservative tendency to simply jump on the Liberal party bandwagon. O'Toole was high in the polls in the last election in August and might have formed a strong minority government if he hadn't gotten bogged down with guns. Liberals rushed in with a barrage of criticism and O'Toole relented, endorsing some token gun control measures. Once again, the course of O'Toole's progressive conservatism was uninnovative and dictated by the Liberals, who won the election and kept the Conservatives on the opposition benches. It is high time the Conservative Party was led by a confident Conservative leader, if only to end the obsession with a mythical Red Tory leader who can win. O'Toole's predecessor, Andrew Scheer, was conservative but extraordinarily shy. During the 2019 election, Scheer was chased across Canada by reporters urging him to explain his stance on abortion and gay marriage. When politics is discussed over beer, socialists, liberals and centrists usually assert their views confidently before the conservative's turn. The Conservative often speaks shyly, and in that moment of weakness they are immediately shouted down unless their friends behave well. No one behaves nicely in politics, especially not on an election campaign. Scheer, the disgraced Conservative, lost the 2019 election, paving the way for O'Toole's Red Tory parade to lead and lose the 2021 election. O'Toole was sacked in Caesarian fashion a few months later. Enter Pierre Poilievre, the favorite of the conservative grassroots who yearn for someone with uncompromising confidence, something neither Justin Trudeau nor Jagmeet Singh lacks. Broadly speaking, Poilievre's record on social issues is similar to O'Toole's. The difference is that Poilievre doesn't make these attitudes his selling points. Poilievre touched on all of those principles in the video announcing his entry into the Tory leadership race. A Red Tory entering the lead race swims against the Poilievrian tsunami. Red Tory-wishing opinion writers have warned of the dangers of a Conservative swing to the right, and Poilievre would embody that move. If some progressive Red Tories left the party, should Poilievre become party leader, they were never primarily Conservative. Pundits warn that a staunchly conservative candidate leading Canada's largest conservative party could result in another defeat. If he lost it would be no different than the result with a Red Tory leader like O'Toole.

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Daniel Craig remembers when Queen Elizabeth made a joke about me

Daniel Craig and Queen Elizabeth did a James Bond themed skit for the 2012 London Olympics (Author: Gardener)

Daniel CraigDaniel Craig was a good sport when Queen Elizabeth once made a joke of him. The 53-year-old No Time to Die actor appeared on Wednesday night's Late Show and told host Stephen Colbert about his final lap as James Bond in the Oscar-nominated film. At one point, Colbert asked the star to do the sketch with the Queen that aired during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. "I understand you may not be able to answer this question, but I'll ask it anyway: how is she private?" he asked Craig. The actor said, "Very funny. Craig added that he also hangs out with her corgis RELATED: Javier Bardem once jumped out of a cake "dressed like a Bond girl" for Daniel Craig's birthday Danny Boyle (Trainspotting) directed the 2012 sketch starring Craig and the Queen It's a Parody of the famous British spy films where Craig's character picks up the Queen from Buckingham Palace.They played stunt actors as they flew over London in a helicopter and parachuted into the Olympic Games venue.To cheers, Queen Elizabeth then appeared on the Tiers of VIP seats for her grand entrance at the Olympics Kelly was one of the first people to pitch the pitch during a meeting with Boyle and private secretary Edward Young in 2011 — and even pitched the idea "After listening to Danny's plan, I asked him and Edward to give me five minutes so I could ask the Queen," Kelly wrote. "I remember the shocked look on Danny's face that I was going to ask Her Maje but there's no use waiting around with these things: if she says no, it's over." Although the Queen "was very amused by the idea and immediately agreed,” she wished her attendance to be more than just an apparition. "I then asked if she wanted a speaking role," Kelly recalled. She added: "I asked her if she would like to say 'Good evening James' or 'Good evening Mr Bond' and she chose the latter as she knew the Bond films. Within minutes I was back at Edward's office delivering the good news to Danny - I think he almost fell off his chair when I said the Queen's only condition was that she could deliver that iconic line.

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Why now is the perfect time for the UFC to introduce a women's heavyweight division

With Kayla Harrison still contemplating her future options, the promotion would be wise to take that step (Author: Gardener)

UFCOne of the more interesting and important free agent periods for an elite MMA fighter took an interesting turn on Tuesday. Two-time PFL women's lightweight champion Kayla Harrison told ESPN she is "considering" a move to the 135lb division in the future. S. Olympic gold medalist in judo, has fought 11 times as a professional at 155lbs and only once under the Invicta FC banner dropped to 145lbs in a one-off win in 2020 while PFL was idle due to the pandemic. As an Olympian, Harrison previously competed at 78 kilograms, which is 172 pounds. The news came just days after reports from Ariel Helwani suggested talks between Harrison and the PFL, which she has been a part of since 2018, "hit a snag at the 11th hour", leaving Harrison open again to any potential sutiors stayed. But the fact that UFC has never promoted a 155-pound women's division - and the reality that their 145-pound division remains on life support - shows quite clearly the motivation behind the decision. Harrison told ESPN she is hiring a chef and is interested in consulting a nutritionist to determine if such a dramatic weight loss is realistic and can be accomplished in a healthy way. The Middletown, Ohio native, who trains from American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., also takes into account recent changes in her personal life in her freelance decision after Harrison became a first-time parent by legally adopting her niece and her nephew. The physical gamble Harrison is considering is interesting. Harrison was nothing short of dominant as a pro, winning two PFL tournaments at 155 pounds, but has not taken on any world-class competition. At 31 and at the peak of her physical prime, Harrison knows her window to maximizing her potential is now and seems to have the potential critical acclaim of being called the best in the world - which can only happen by winning the UFC - just appreciate as much as the financial realities of free agency. In the past, however, removing muscle to reduce weight was a risky proposition in martial arts because it often rendered the fighters so low in energy. And Harrison has admitted that a full-time cut to as much as £145 if she re-enlists in the PFL would be impossible given the close timing of fights each calendar year given the promotion's unique regular season and playoff format. Now, is Harrison willing to risk it all to work his way around 145 pounds total and see if pushing himself down to bantamweight is a possibility? From the standpoint of potential rewards, both monetary and critical acclaim, it's clear that going down to £135 would open up a new world of options for Harrison to fulfill her bright potential. The UFC has never fully committed to its women's featherweight division, and hasn't even had to release a ranking of the top 10 145-pound fighters since the division's inception in late 2016. In theory, the UFC's featherweight division was created just to house current Bellator MMA champion and seminal legend Cris Cyborg, whose own attempt at healthy muscle shedding to reduce to bantamweight (hoping for a superfight against Ronda Rousey, which never materialized), leveled off at 140 pounds, where Cyborg twice fought for a catchweight when he signed with UFC in 2016. Cyborg won a vacant UFC title at 145 pounds after inaugural champion Germaine de Randamie was stripped because she had refused to fight them. But despite the history and fanfare that came with Amanda knocking out Nunes Cyborg to become a two-division champion in 2018, featherweight has largely been home to inflated bantamweights looking for a shorter road to a title fight and less one Collection sought of the best fighters in the world in this weight class. Should Harrison be able to drop down to bantamweight in a healthy manner, the potential for big fights is endless. Not only would she be an interesting opponent for the winner of a bantamweight title rematch between Nunes and new champion Julianna Pena, which is expected to take place later this year after the conclusion of reality show The Ultimate Fighter, but she also holds the potential openly a superfight against current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, who previously competed at 135 pounds. Considering that former 135-pound champions Holly Holm and Miesha Tate are also competing in and around the division, successful completion of such a "dare to be great" move would give Harrison a chance to no doubt fight for the Opportunity to fight it being dubbed the greatest female fighter in MMA history. But that remains a big "if" physically, and also brings to light an idea this writer proposed last year that could be the perfect compromise between Harrison's goal of rewriting the history books and the desire of the UFC, so many say fight as big as possible: the creation of a women's heavyweight division. All you have to do is look at how UFC is currently promoting its own male heavyweight division as the current model, taking advantage of the largest weight gap between two divisions from 206 pounds to the current limit of 265 pounds. What if UFC used the same strategy to promote a 136-pound to 155-pound women's heavyweight division, which would fix the glaring lack of depth across all three divisions? Considering how often UFC President Dana White is asked when and if the Ascension plans to fold its own women's featherweight division due to a lack of viable title challengers, it seems like a decision that in the short term will do nothing but excitement for matchmaking. It could also give Harrison a chance to perform at her physical best without compromising herself to stick a square pin in the 135-pound round hole. Harrison told MMA Junkie late Tuesday that the quotes she gave ESPN may not have been as serious as the headlines suggested. “Obviously my goal isn't to fight at 135 pounds. Of course I want to fight against the best in the world. In any case, creating a women's heavyweight division still seems like the smartest play for UFC, with past precedent showing that star power dictated such a move. Rousey was the only reason women were ever allowed to compete in the UFC, while Cyborg was the reason for creating a 145-pound division. The hottest topic in MMA right now is Francis Ngannou given his own looming free hand later this year, but it seems like the UFC heavyweight champion's very public fight with UFC brassiers Robert Whittaker in their rematch may have had immediate repercussions was the announcement of the middleweight champion's new deal, which his management agency Paradigm Sports claimed in its press release made Adesanya "one of the highest-paid athletes in mixed martial arts history." Although neither UFC nor Adesanya publicly disclosed the terms of the deal, including the duration of the all-around fights or the finances, The Last Stylebender said during the UFC 271 media day that his "bloody big deal" could leave him as the second-highest-paid UFC fighter behind former two-division champion Conor McGregor. Adesanya's key quote related to how much he believes his deal is the start of a real shift in the relationship between the UFC and its athletes, saying, "I look forward to seeing that effect trickle down to the rest of the fighters .” While most UFC stars are reluctant to comment publicly on Ngannou's fight, the timing of the Adesanya news seems to indicate that a little bit of influence could be returning to them thanks to The Predator. Former lightweight title challenger Michael Chandler had a number of interesting social media snaps following Adesanya's narrow (and increasingly controversial) unanimous decision victory over Whittaker at UFC 271.

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Mike McDaniel's Fantasy Impact on Jaylen Waddle, Dolphin's Offense

The Dolphins' new head coach is getting fantasy execs excited about Miami's offensive weapons, but should they be? (Author: Gardener)

Mike McDaniel'sThe Miami Dolphins' signing of Mike McDaniel follows all of former head coach Brian Flores' dramatic revelations. It's perfectly reasonable not to agree to his sacking either, but today we're focusing on the months and possibly years to come that will see McDaniel at the helm. He has been on the 49ers' offensive coaching staff for five years, most recently as offensive coordinator. From 2017-20, McDaniel was her running game coordinator. He began his coaching career in 2005 as a coaching intern with the Broncos and has been alongside 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan for most of those years. Now that he's going it alone, we need to evaluate his offensive philosophy, player deployment and game planning to project how he'll use his talents at South Beach. McDaniel has said he wants to "bring all the greatness out of [Tua Tagovailoa]" in a viral tweet in which the new head coach called his quarterback. Then fantasy executives collectively drooled when McDaniel stated in a recent Miami Herald article that he was "getting [waddle] in fantasy leagues." So let's take a closer look at how McDaniel could affect offense. As I wrote in my Dynasty Watch series last season, I'm better than most on Tagovailoa. For sure. The arm strength is overwhelming, the Dolphins' offensive line is nothing special and the Miami leadership always seemed to tempt Tua's fortunes by entertaining trade offers from the Texans (Deshaun Watson). If we're going to start thinking about player comps for Tagovailoa, we don't have to look far away from McDaniel's last QB: Jimmy Garoppolo. A signal caller with average arm strength, quick diagnosis of passing games and the consistent search for the open man on short to medium distances. Tags is at his best when he can pre-snap read and deftly hit a short route with an accurate, timely throw. He's doing a great job with run-pass options (RPOs), and the Dolphins' 8-1 finish of the 2021 season was fueled alongside great defense by the coaching staff who finally seemed to put Tagovailoa in the best position to win win by playing to his strengths. His completion percentage improved, RPOs clicked better and this is where we hope to find the silver lining. Play action was the be-all and end-all for the 49ers' offense under Shanahan. I don't mind snapping Tua as a backup, but I don't think this offense has the talent to back him up as more than a very high QB2. Though he ranked eighth in PPR among tight ends, preseason expectations were a bit higher for the former Penn State standout. It's not possible to get a big fantasy effect if you only score two touchdowns. While you can argue for a positive regression of his touchdown totals, I think it's unwise to compare Gesicki to George Kittle. Gesicki had just one game with 90% or more offensive snaps and 13 games with less than 80%. That's because he's still missing as a blocker, something that keeps Kittle on the field at all times. Its use in running play adds a layer of deception, as Kittle often travels routes off an inline set. Ultimately, what will help Gesicki the most is a more efficient offense that doesn't suffer as many three-and-outs, can shift chains, and gets into the red zone more often. He still finished third in goals under TEs (112) and a few more touchdowns next year could go a long way in a crowded second TE tier. We were all hoping for a little more from Gaskin in 2021, but we're almost a statistical duplicate of his 2020 season -- and he's only played 10 games that year compared to all 17 in 2021. My gut tells me McDaniel and most of the organization would agree that they need to draft a running back. We've all seen what McDaniel did with Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel. Gaskin is entering his contract year in 2022 and while that can bode well the player will put everything he has into the year ahead but I won't hang my hat on that which makes Gaskin a great value. It's the offensive line. Miami hired former Los Angeles Chargers running game coordinator and OL coach Frank Smith as the new offensive coordinator. Smith has been an NFL coach since 2010 with extensive offensive line experience. A sought-after man who has been hired twice in the last two seasons must be doing something right. But like I said, we have to worry about a day 2 or 3 pick being given out to another running back. A new coaching staff might not even see Gaskin as his top defender. Best-case scenario, Gaskin gets another honest crack to become that team's RB1 and will see his ADP fall this off-season after a disappointing 2021. A draft pick and a notable free agent signing cloud the clarity of the running back corps. Waddle finished the race with the second most receiving yards among rookie receivers (1,026) behind Ja'Marr Chase (1,455). Exceeding 1,000 yards as a rookie has become almost commonplace in recent years (this feat was only accomplished 20 times prior to 2019). This threshold has been exceeded five times since 2019 and three times in 2021 (Waddle, Chase and Kyle Pitts). What can McDaniel do for Waddle? Well I think the first thing we should get out of our heads is that Waddle Deebo becomes Samuel 2.0. You might be thinking - wait, you just said the dolphins need a rewind! Well, Waddle is 5-10 and 185 pounds. Waddle only had a handful of carries in Alabama and saw two carries in his rookie campaign. Is it possible that McDaniel throws the kitchen sink at Waddle to get him involved in the running game? Naturally. Any coach worth their salt will challenge their players' talents and see what they can get out of them. I'm just not convinced it fits well with Waddle's playstyle. All in all, a more productive run-game and therefore an improved focus on play-action and RPOs would be huge for Waddle. It would give him extra time to field and challenge the secondary as he was mainly used at short range and did a lot of damage after getting his hands on the ball. But Samuel is sudden and sharp in his cuts, like a running back. He flees from the defense. Waddle finished with 104 receptions, a new NFL rookie record. Waddle broke Anquan Boldin's 18-year record (2003, 101). Our capitalist worldview leads us to believe that we should see growth every year, but Waddle, doing that again is a big challenge. Back-to-back seasons of full health, 140 objectives, and 100+ receptions are a blessing, not a set expectation. Waddle is currently a top 40 player in most rankings I've seen. That may be where his average draft position ends, but I believe it will continue to climb to 30 in the coming months. Given that my roster construction allows it in these early rounds, I might consider Waddle at this price point, but we're looking at things through aqua-tinted glasses. This is a new coaching staff taking on a mostly mediocre offense in a difficult league where only the third best is expected. Tagovailoa threw for 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, so it seems like it'll take him 30 games to do what a true QB1 can statistically achieve. There is much to look forward to and we should be optimistic; However, I have a feeling other fantasy managers will be just a little more enthusiastic than me and these dolphins will snap half a round ahead of me on draft day.

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