ANAHEIM, Calif. - Reigning American League MVP Mike Trout participated in the Los Angeles Angels first workout of summer camp, but said before Friday's practice that he hasn't made a final decision on playing this year. Trout and his wife, Jessica, are expecting the couple's first child in August. The outfielder said his mindset is to play in the virus-delayed season, but a lot will hinge on how he feels the next couple weeks. "Honestly, I still don't feel that comfortable," he said. "It's going to be tough. I don't want to test positive. I don't want to bring it back to my wife. If I test positive and we have the baby, I have to be there. That's my first child. If I or Jess don't see the baby for 14 days, we're going to be upset. "It's a tough situation we're in. I have to play it by ear. You don't know what is going to happen with the number of positive tests," he said. The three-time AL MVP continues to have discussions with general manager Billy Eppler and manager Joe Maddon. Trout wore an N-95 mask throughout the two-hour workout at Angel Stadium. Trout did leave open the possibility of possibly not playing until the baby arrives. Maddon, in his first season with the Angels after four years with the Chicago Cubs, said he had a good conversation with Trout last night and that he empathizes with everything he is facing. "Everybody's truth matters right now. That's the one thing I have appealed to our guys," Maddon said. "There's so much buried information I've encouraged everyone to think for themselves. I'm appealing to our guys to be as informed as they can and then arrive at their own truth. Tell me what they feel." ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Joe Reedy, The Associated Press
The CFL says no decision has been made regarding a hub city for an abbreviated 2020 regular season.
SPICEWOOD, Texas - Willie Nelson's annual Fourth of July Picnic is going ahead this year, but to reduce concerns about the coronavirus the event will be virtual. Fans can tune in to the nearly 50-year-old music bash Saturday via luck.stream and williepicnic.com. Tickets for the picnic are on sale at williepicnic.com. Other performers expected to play include Sheryl Crow, Ziggy Marley, Steve Earle and Nelson's fellow Texas-based singers Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen and Kinky Friedman. Some of the artists will perform at Nelson's Luck Ranch in Spicewood, northwest of Austin. Others will stream live from elsewhere. Nelson's event started in 1972 and has been held most years since, moving around Texas and occasionally outside the Lone Star State. It typically draws thousands. The 87-year-old Nelson's 70th album was released Friday. "First Rose of Spring" features two new tunes plus Nelson's take on songs by Toby Keith and Chris Stapleton. The Associated Press
CALGARY - It wasn’t quite a parade, but Brazilian long rider Filipe Masetti Leite was still happy to reach the finish line. The 33-year-old completed a 3,400-kilometre journey on horseback from Alaska to Calgary on Friday morning, the same day the Calgary Stampede was supposed to begin. Although the annual event and a parade to kick it off were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipe Leite was crowned this year’s parade marshal. The usual parade pomp was replaced with a small group of supporters that included girlfriend Clara Davel, Stampede president Dana Peers and two uniformed police officers as Masetti Leite plodded through the city toward the Stampede grounds. “I can see the emotion in people’s eyes, having all these volunteers here. This is what it’s all about. We’re in a tough situation but we’re making the best of it, like Calgary did in 2013 with the floods,” he said. “It’s moments like this that you understand what community spirit is.” Masetti Leite was given an award for being the parade’s fan favourite along with a marshal badge, which he proudly tacked onto his shirt. “Wow. This is beautiful. It’s got my name on it. I’m not going to take it off,” he said. “What kind of perks can I get in Calgary with this?” Masetti Leite moved with his family from Brazil to Calgary when he was nine and later grew up in Toronto. He said he was inspired to become a long rider by Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City in 1925 and wrote about his experiences. Masetti Leite covered about 16,000 kilometres riding from Calgary to his parents’ home of Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo, between 2012 and 2014. In 2016, he rode 7,350 kilometres from Brazil to Patagonia. He documented his travels and written the book “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.” His journey from Alaska to Calgary had its challenges, he said, but he focused on the destination. “In those tough moments, when those grizzlies are following us, when we’re crossing the mountains in the middle of three feet of snow and the cold and the wind and the mosquitoes trying to pick me up and carry me away, I was here. My mind was here. My heart was here,” he said. Peers said he’s been fascinated with the Masetti Leite’s journey, as he epitomizes the cowboy way of life. “I thought you know, he’ll make a terrific parade marshal, considering everything that’s gone on in the past four months I feel very fortunate that we’re able to enjoy the day, able to welcome him to Calgary,” Peers said. “We had incredible plans and unfortunately those weren’t possible, but you learn to adapt and find a way to make it work considering the circumstances.” Masetti Leite said he intends to spend the next couple of days sleeping and taking about a dozen showers. He also plans to retire from long riding so he can focus on new challenges. He intends to write another book about his travels and work on a movie about his Calgary-Brazil trip. He wants to be “the next Anthony Bourdain with a cowboy hat” and tell stories from countries around the world. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Toronto FC pushed back its departure to Florida for the MLS is Back Tournament to Saturday, saying more time was needed to complete pre-travel COVID-19 testing. The MLS team had been scheduled to leave by charter Friday. Toronto opens the World Cup-style tournament on July 10 against D.C. United. Establishing a secure MLS bubble in Florida has proved challenging. Six players from FC Dallas and one from Columbus Crew SC have already tested positive in the Sunshine state. They have been isolated and are receiving care while the other members of their delegations are in quarantine pending more testing. Major League Soccer had required teams to arrive in Florida no later than a week before their first game at the tournament, which runs July 8 to Aug. 11 at Disney's Wide World of Sport Complex in the Orlando area. But issues with test results have caused several delays. Nashville SC delayed its Florida flight until Friday due to delays in getting results of its pre-travel screening tests. The Vancouver Whitecaps were slated to fly Wednesday but held off after the inconclusive COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test results required follow-up tests. The club said subsequent test results were confirmed to be negative. Still the Whitecaps postponed their flight to permit additional testing. Toronto was forced to call off training Wednesday after problems getting test results in time. FC Dallas made it to Florida last Saturday, only to have two players test positive upon their arrival at the league's host hotel. Four other players tested positive soon after. All six were assessed and moved to the isolation area of the hotel where they continue to receive "remote care from a health-care provider,'' the league said. Coincidentally, Vancouver and Dallas meet Thursday in the first match at the tournament for both. On Thursday, Columbus confirmed that one of its players had tested positive in Florida. The Montreal Impact arrived Thursday. They open next Thursday against the New England Revolution. Eleven other teams had arrived in Florida as of Thursday: San Jose Earthquakes, Orlando City, Dallas, Columbus, Minnesota United, FC Cincinnati, Chicago Fire, Inter Miami, New York City FC, Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution. While all 25 teams are staying in the same hotel, they are not supposed to have contact with each other. League protocols include regular screening, testing, social distancing, person protective equipment and a mandatory quarantine for all individuals upon arrival at the hotel until they have a negative test. MLS has been on hiatus since March 12 when play was suspended two weeks into its season. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020. --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
The caves are vast, pitch black, full of twists and turns and treacherously tight in spots. New research reveals why ancient inhabitants of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula may have ventured deep into the underground labyrinths despite the danger: to mine red ochre. A paper published Friday in the journal Science Advances says there is evidence of people prospecting for the red pigment thousands of years ago in what is today the state of Quintana Roo. It seems the resource was especially abundant in a part of the cave network known as La Mina Roja, said Eduard Reinhardt, one of the study's authors. "This was a bonanza," said the McMaster University geo-archaeologist and expert cave diver. "This activity of mining, finding the ochre, extracting the ochre would have been a pretty big endeavour." For a hunter-gatherer society to put in so much effort, he said, "it must have been pretty valuable." The researchers say humans were frequenting the cave networks between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. They would have shared the landscape with now-extinct megafauna like sabre-toothed tigers and giant ground sloths. Back then, the caves were dry and further inland. Today, they are underwater and accessible via openings called cenotes. Ancient human remains have previously been found in Quintana Roo caves, including the 13,000-year-old skeleton of a teenage girl in the Hoyo Negro cavern in 2007. But, until now, scientists didn't know the reasons behind the risky subterranean excursions. Members of CINDAQ, a local cave diving team, were exploring an area of deep tunnels in 2017 and found what they thought could be human disturbances. They reached out to Mexican cultural authorities and academic experts were brought in to investigate. Reinhardt, who has been in the caves, compared them to "Swiss cheese" or a "rabbit warren." "You have to be very, very careful about not getting lost," he said. "You've got passages that kind of loop around and interconnect and then branch off and then connect into other systems." Many of the passages are a comfortable 25 metres wide, but have ceilings less than two metres high. Some areas are a tight squeeze at just 70 centimetres wide. "You've really got to basically get on your back and kind of wiggle your way through." The paper describes cairns and broken-off stalagmites and stalactites that could have been used as route-markers, as well as the remnants of fires likely used to illuminate passages up to 650 metres away from sunlight. At mining sites, divers have found orderly rock piles and tools used to smash up the stone. The hot, humid climate of the Yucatan has destroyed most above-ground evidence of those who lived there during an age known as the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. But artifacts have been remarkably well-preserved in caverns that became submerged as sea levels rose 7,000 to 8,000 years ago. "It's this kind of time capsule," said study co-author Brandi MacDonald, an archaeological scientist at the University of Missouri who studies ochre deposits around the world. "We're able to see what it looked like more or less as it was when it was abandoned." MacDonald said evidence of the mine's intensive use over a 2,000-year span suggests knowledge and skills were being passed generation-to-generation. It's also possible ochre-mining was a large-scale regional industry, as there is evidence of prospecting in multiple locations. Reinhardt and MacDonald said further exploration of the caves could reveal how extensive and long-lasting ochre-mining was. MacDonald said ochre - a mix of iron oxide, clay and other minerals - is most often associated with ancient cave and rock paintings. The researchers don't know how early Yucatan residents used the material, but elsewhere in the world there is evidence of it being used in mortuary practices and rituals. It might have had utilititarian uses on top of religious ones. The ochre found at La Mina Roja, for instance, contained enough arsenic to perhaps be an effective insect repellent. "It's the kind of material that humans have been using for literally hundreds of thousands of years," said MacDonald. "Ochre is such a universal material in terms of human history." This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 3, 2020 Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX - With an increasing number of Nova Scotians complaining on social media about seeing cars with American plates entering the province, Premier Stephen McNeil has pledged to keep a closer watch on those showing up at the border from outside Atlantic Canada. However, McNeil also warned Nova Scotians not to jump to conclusions about the people in those cars, saying most of them are probably Canadian citizens coming home after living or working abroad. The premier made the comments today as the four Atlantic provinces lifted travel restrictions for residents to reflect the region's relatively low and stable COVID-19 infection rates. Residents of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador can now travel to any of the other three provinces without self-isolating for 14 days after arriving - but isolation remains the rule for anyone arriving from outside the region. Even though the Canada-U.S. border is closed to non-essential travel, Canadians citizens living in the United States are allowed to enter Canada, as long as they have a passport. McNeil says Nova Scotians' growing concerns about people coming from the United States has prompted his government to ramp up its efforts to keep track of those entering the province who are not coming from another part of Atlantic Canada. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020. The Canadian Press
Two people are dead and 15 others are injured following a crash on Highway 2 in Manitoba on Thursday.
A 23-year-old Kindersley man and a 30-year-old Saskatoon man face human trafficking charges following an investigation by the Saskatoon Police Service VICE- Human Trafficking Unit.
The Water Security Agency (WSA) has advised the public of rapid increases in flows on the South Saskatchewan River.
Saskatchewan Agriculture said one per cent of the hay crop is cut and one per cent is baled.
The Saskatchewan Rattlers will begin their quest to defend their league title on July 26. The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) has released its Summer Series schedule. On June 25, the CEBL announced it would return to action on July 15 with the opening of training camps. The Summer Series will consist of a 26-game round-robin competition culminating with the championship game set for Aug. 9. The Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., is to serve as the hub city for the tournament, with all games closed to fans. The Rattlers will play on the following dates (all times are Saskatchewan time): July 26: Versus Niagara at 11:30 a.m. July 28: Versus Fraser Valley at 5:30 p.m. July 31: Versus Guelph at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 1: Versus Edmonton at 1:50 p.m. Aug. 4: Versus Hamilton at 3 p.m. Aug. 5: Versus Ottawa at 5:30 p.m. The playoffs are to begin Aug. 6.
Dalton Kellett's long wait to make his IndyCar debut will finally come to an end on Saturday afternoon. The 26-year-old Kellett, a product of Stouffville, Ont., will be on the grid at the GMR Grand Prix at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He started racing go-karts at the age of 13 and has made it a goal to reach North America's top open-wheel circuit - with a few more months tacked on because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's really exciting to finally get the chance to step up into the NTT IndyCar Series," said Kellett. "Obviously honoured to represent Canada as our next Canadian guy. "It's a culmination of a lifetime dream for me so it's a big weekend." Of course, it won't quite be as Kellet pictured it without fans in the stands. The GMR Grand Prix as well as the Xfinity's Pennzoil 150 and the Brickyard 400 the following day in the first-ever IndyCar-NASCAR doubleheader, will have no spectators in the stands at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Speedway, Ind., is in Marion County which is behind schedule for the state of Indiana's reopening plan, preventing event organizers from selling tickets to any of the three races. "It's unfortunate that the fans won't be able to experience the race with us," said Kellett. "The silver lining is that, in the U.S., the broadcast shifted to network television so more people will be exposed to it, will get the chance to watch the race." Kellett will be behind the wheel of the No. 14 car for A.J. Foyt Enterprises and racing against some of the biggest names in IndyCar including Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud, and Josef Newgarden, who are ranked first through third. Fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., is also in the field racing the No. 29 car for Andretti Autosport. Although it's a star-studded lineup, Kellet said he is not intimidated. He's faced all of these drivers before, albeit in iRacing simulations which IndyCar televised in the early stages of the pandemic when most people were completely housebound. "It was definitely a toe-in-the-water experience," said Kellett. "With the caveat that some guys aren't going to race how they would in real life on iRacing. Some may be more bold or do stuff they wouldn't normally do. "But I think that overall you get a sense of who is really aggressive, who is more methodical." Kellett's IndyCar experience will triple within the week as he's also signed up for Road America on July 11 and 12. Competing in two races on the weekend is a different challenge altogether, he said. "It's a little nerve-racking because in the junior leagues you do tend to do double-headers, but it's a different level in IndyCar," said Kellett, who noted that IndyCar has had to schedule more double-headers than usual with its condensed schedule this year. "So physically the Road America and all the double-header weekends are going to be very challenging." This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020. ___ Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Saskatoon police say a 23-year-old woman was held for a period of time at a home on Willis Crescent.
TORONTO - The CFL says no decision has been made regarding a hub city for an abbreviated 2020 regular season. On Friday, a CFL spokesman denied reports the league had settled upon Winnipeg as a hub city in the event football was played this year. The spokesman added the CFL also hasn’t reached a decision whether or not a season will even be held this year. The ’20 regular season was scheduled to kick off June 11 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest a shortened 2020 season would begin is September but that a cancelled campaign is also possible. Currently, the CFL and CFLPA are discussing amendments to the collective bargaining agreement that would allow for an abbreviated season to be played. Both sides must sign off on any CBA changes for them to be implemented. The Canadian Press
Two men are facing charges after an investigation by the Saskatoon Police Service’s VICE-Human Trafficking Unit. It began on Monday, when police responded to a domestic complaint in the 200 block of Willis Crescent. It had been reported that a 23-year-old woman had been held in a home for a period of time. After further investigation, the VICE-Human Trafficking Unit was called in to help. The whereabouts of the two suspects was not known at the time, so warrants were issued. At around 1 p.m. on Thursday, members of the Guns and Gangs Unit went to the 1500 block of Rayner Avenue, where both men were taken into custody without incident. A 23-year-old Kindersley man is charged with two counts of uttering threats and one count each of trafficking persons, material benefit (trafficking), theft under $5,000, breach of a release order, and breach of a conditional sentence order. A 30-year-old Saskatoon man is facing two charges of breaching a release order and one each of trafficking persons and uttering threats.
Rain improved moisture conditions in Saskatchewan fields this week, but some areas of the province got too much precipitation. In the weekly crop report released Friday, Saskatchewan Agriculture said there was localized flooding and standing water in fields in some northern areas of the province, which caused crop damage in that region. Crops also were harmed by dry conditions in the southern and east-central regions, wind, insect and animal feeding, and disease. Even so, the report said the majority of crops in the province are in fair to excellent condition. Across Saskatchewan, 67 per cent of fall cereals, 72 per cent of spring cereals, 65 per cent of oilseed crops and 81 per cent of pulse crops are developing normally for this time of year. Haying has just started in the province, with one per cent of the hay crop cut and one per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality was rated as eight per cent excellent, 59 per cent good, 24 per cent fair and nine per cent poor.
LOS ANGELES - Dodger Stadium's 40-year wait to host baseball's all-star same is going to last even longer. The game scheduled for July 14 was cancelled Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Dodger Stadium was awarded the 2022 Midsummer Classic. The 2021 game is set for Atlanta's Truist Park, home of the Braves since 2017. Due to the pandemic, opening day has been delayed from March 26 to July 23 or 24. This will be the first time since 1945 that no game will be held. Travel restrictions because of the Second World War kept the game scheduled for Boston's Fenway Park and any player selections from taking place that year. It was pushed back to the next season. The Dodgers hosted the only the Mid-Summer Classic in Dodger Stadium history in 1980, won 4-2 by the National League. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Beth Harris, The Associated Press
EDMONTON - Alberta's minister of health has ordered an independent third-party investigation into how the province's health authority responded to a racist act. Tyler Shandro says in a statement that a piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016. He says he was made aware of the matter in August 2019 and was assured by senior officials at Alberta Health Services that it was being handled appropriately. But he adds that he recently heard about it again and is not satisfied with the response. Shandro says racism and bigotry have no place in the health-care system. The Opposition NDP's deputy leader and former Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says she hadn't been told about the racism at the time. "I am shocked and disgusted to learn of the violent, racist incident that occurred at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016," she said in a statement Friday. "My record on confronting racism is clear. In 2017, when two AHS employees used a racial slur against an Indigenous woman, we moved swiftly to dismiss them." Hoffman said she's concerned that Shandro has known about the incident for nearly a year and has not raised it publicly or acted. Shandro said in his statement that the investigation may have been limited by medical staff bylaws that govern how a health region responds to complaints and disciplines staff. "These bylaws have not been updated in more than a decade," he said. "Consequently, I have issued a directive requiring AHS to revise their bylaws within 60 days." He said he would be introducing legislation next week that would increase the number of public representatives on college councils, hearing tribunals and complaint review committees, which will increase the public's oversight of health professions. "These initial steps are only the beginning," said Shandro. "The review, which will be made public, will undoubtedly bring further required changes to our attention." This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 3, 2020 The Canadian Press
TORONTO - The CFL says no decision has been made regarding a hub city for an abbreviated 2020 regular season. On Friday, a CFL spokesman denied reports the league had settled upon Winnipeg as a hub city in the event football was played this year. The spokesman added the CFL also hasn't reached a decision whether or not a season will even be held this year. The '20 regular season was scheduled to kick off June 11 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has stated the earliest a shortened 2020 season would begin is September but that a cancelled campaign is also possible. Currently, the CFL and CFLPA are discussing amendments to the collective bargaining agreement that would allow for an abbreviated season to be played. Both sides must sign off on any CBA changes for them to be implemented. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020 The Canadian Press