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Minnesota opens with 38-0 win over Kill, New Mexico State

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Minnesota opens with 38-0 win over Kill, New Mexico State

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jerry Kill’s unexpected return to Minnesota with his rebuilding team was a predictably emotional night for New Mexico State’s new coach.

After some apparent reconciliation with P.J. Fleck, Kill was given an up-close reminder that a Gophers program he never wanted to leave is still in pretty good shape.

Mo Ibrahim rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota in his seamless comeback from a season-ending injury in the opener a year ago, and Fleck and the Gophers overwhelmed the Aggies 38-0 on Thursday night to spoil a homecoming of sorts for Kill.

“I guess I take it as a blessing that I got the opportunity to come back,” said Kill, who had a cordial pregame conversation with Fleck, his former assistant at Northern Illinois of whom he’d been critical in the past.

Fleck and Kill shared an extended postgame handshake, too, after Minnesota outgained New Mexico State a whopping 485-91 in total yardage. Fleck said he approached Kill by thanking him for his impact on his career.

“I appreciate Jerry’s passion, because I know how bad Jerry loves this place,” Fleck said. “The one thing I’ll say is, ‘So do I.’ I know how he feels, because I want to be here. It’s a very special place to me, and I couldn’t imagine not being here.”

Ibrahim, who tore his Achilles in the loss to Ohio State last Sept. 2, started his sixth college season in style. He bounced off and bashed into the Aggies over 21 carries, extending his school-record streak of 100-plus yards to 10 straight games and moving into a tie with Marion Barber III for second place in Gophers history with 35 career touchdowns.

The return of Kill was even more remarkable in Minnesota, where he inherited a bottomed-out program in 2011 and won the Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 2014 before epilepsy-related health problems forced him to retire midway through the 2015 season.

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“We gave everything we had and more,” Kill said. “I crashed and burned, and that’s my fault. But I’m very happy that Coach has taken it and continued to build and taken it to the next level.”

The 61-year-old Kill didn’t wind up retiring, working in various capacities at five different schools before taking the job this season at independent New Mexico State through a connection with athletic director Mario Moccia. The Aggies, who will join Conference USA next year, were 2-10 last season and finished with only one winning record (2017) in the past 20 years.

Kill once vowed to never again set foot on Minnesota’s campus after the firing of his defensive coordinator and successor as head coach, Tracy Claeys. Kill also ripped Fleck in a 2019 radio interview for what he felt was a disrespectful description of the state Kill and Claeys left the program in when Fleck brought in his distinctly different brand in 2017.

Tanner Morgan, another one of the four sixth-year standouts who came back for one more college try with the Gophers after a 9-4 finish in 2021, had 174 yards on 13-for-19 passing and rushed for two touchdowns.

Trey Potts, who like Ibrahim returned from a season-ending 2021 injury, had 17 carries for 89 yards and a score. Potts was seriously hurt at Purdue on Oct. 2 and spent six days in a hospital before being cleared to travel back to Minnesota. The Gophers never disclosed the nature of that injury.

“It’s first and foremost a very important lesson for everybody to learn from those two guys about how to respond from two very adverse situations,” Morgan said.

Diego Pavia, who threw three interceptions and lost a fumble in New Mexico State’s opening loss to Nevada, got another start and completed 2 of 5 passes for 10 yards.

Freshman Gavin Frakes entered in the second quarter and finished 2 of 7 for 43 yards. He was intercepted in the end zone in the fourth quarter by Terell Smith, ending the only drive longer than 16 yards for the Aggies.

STRANGE SYMMETRY

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Kill’s first home game with Minnesota on Sept. 10, 2011, was against none other than New Mexico State. The Aggies held on to beat the Gophers 28-21 in a finish marred by a frightening seizure Kill suffered on the sideline on a steamy afternoon with a kickoff temperature of 88 degrees.

Minnesota won a rematch on the road in 2013 and beat New Mexico State again in 2018. That game and this one were scheduled in 2009 as a two-game contract that guaranteed a total of $1.05 million to the Aggies.

THE TAKEAWAY

New Mexico State: Unhappy about hitting the road for a Big Ten foe just five days after the first game, Kill told Moccia he only wants one payout game per season in the future. The Aggies also play at Wisconsin and Missouri this year. They ran only 33 plays, a single-game program record for the fewest against a Minnesota defense.

Minnesota: The run-pass balance the Gophers are striving for behind the direction of offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, who returned after two seasons away, will have to wait another week. They ran the ball 57 times, including on 12 of 13 plays during a touchdown drive that took 12:58 off the clock into the second quarter.

UP NEXT

New Mexico State plays at UTEP on Sept. 10.

Minnesota hosts Western Illinois on Sept. 10.

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More AP college football coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25.

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Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

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Remember last year’s Memorial Day travel jams? Chances are they will be much worse this year

The patience of Memorial Day weekend travelers was tested Thursday by widespread delays across the country, but there were relatively few canceled flights, raising hopes that airlines can handle bigger crowds expected Friday.

By early evening on the East Coast, more than 6,000 flights had been delayed Thursday, with the biggest backups at the three major airports in the New York City area and Dallas-Fort Worth International.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

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Pasha Pidlubniak waits for a domestic flight at Miami International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Miami. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

 

The Transportation Security Administration predicted that Friday will be the busiest day for air travel over the holiday weekend, with nearly 3 million people expected to pass through airport checkpoints. It could rival the record of 2.9 million, set on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

“Airports are going to be more packed than we have seen in 20 years,” said Aixa Diaz, a spokesperson for AAA.

When they aren’t waiting out flight delays, travelers are reporting sticker shock at the prices.

At Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Larisa Latimer of New Lenox, Illinois, said her airfare was reasonable but other expenses for a getaway to New Orleans were not.

 

 

 

 

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Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

Motorists travel along Interstate 24 near the Interstate 40 interchange Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to hit the pavement over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

“I just have to make the accommodation,” she said. “The rental car is up … this year, the hotel accommodations were very unusually expensive.”

Kathy Larko of Fort Meyers, Florida, used frequent-flyer miles — and some flexible scheduling — to pay for her trip to Chicago.

“I’m really conscious of looking at the cost of the entire trip. We’re staying a little farther out than we normally would” to get a lower hotel rate, she said. “We’re also flying back a day later, because we could get cheaper miles.”

More travelers will be on the road. AAA estimates that 43.8 million people will venture at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) from home between Thursday and Monday, with 38 million of them taking vehicles.

 
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Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

 

Travelers wait at a TSA checkpoint at the Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Los Angeles. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

 

Airport unions are using the holiday weekend to highlight their demands.

About 100 workers who clean airplane cabins and drive trash trucks at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, started a 24-hour strike Thursday, demanding better pay and healthcare, according to the Service Employees International Union. About 15% of flights were delayed, but it was unclear whether the strike played any role.

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A planned strike at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York was averted, however. Teamsters Local 553, which represents about 300 workers who refuel passenger and cargo jets at JFK, said that it reached a settlement with Allied Aviation Services and called off a walkout planned for Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

George Ridley, 4, left, rides on a suitcase as he and his father Chris Ridley make their way through the Nashville international Airport, Thursday, May 23, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. A record number of Americans are expected to travel over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

 

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“We are happy an agreement has been reached, a need for a strike averted, and we are hopeful that the deal will be ratified by our members,” said Demos Demopoulos, the secretary-treasurer of the local.

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Associated Press video journalist Melissa Perez Winder in Chicago and Associated Press radio reporter Shelley Adler in Washington contributed to this report.

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Texas health department appoints anti-abortion OB-GYN to maternal mortality committee

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Texas health department appoints anti-abortion OB-GYN to maternal mortality committee

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ health department has appointed an outspoken anti-abortion OB-GYN to a committee that reviews pregnancy-related deaths as doctors have been warning that the state’s restrictive abortion ban puts women’s lives at risk.

Dr. Ingrid Skop was among the new appointees to the Texas Maternal Morality and Morbidity Review Committee announced last week by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Her term starts June 1.

The committee, which compiles data on pregnancy-related deaths, makes recommendations to the Legislature on best practices and policy changes and is expected to assess the impact of abortion laws on maternal mortality.

Skop, who has worked as an OB-GYN for over three decades, is vice president and director of medical affairs for the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion research group. Skop will be the committee’s rural representative.

Skop, who has worked in San Antonio for most of her career, told the Houston Chronicle that she has “often cared for women traveling long distances from rural Texas maternity deserts, including women suffering complications from abortions.”

Texas has one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S., and doctors have sought clarity on the state’s medical exemption, which allows an abortion to save a woman’s life or prevent the impairment of a major bodily function. Doctors have said the exemption is too vague, making it difficult to offer life-saving care for fear of repercussions. A doctor convicted of providing an illegal abortion in Texas can face up to 99 years in prison and a $100,000 fine and lose their medical license.

Skop has said medical associations are not giving doctors the proper guidance on the matter. She has also shared more controversial views, saying during a congressional hearing in 2021 that rape or incest victims as young as 9 or 10 could carry pregnancies to term.

Texas’ abortion ban has no exemption for cases of rape or incest.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says abortion is “inherently tied to maternal health,” said in a statement that members of the Texas committee should be “unbiased, free of conflicts of interest and focused on the appropriate standards of care.” The organization noted that bias against abortion has already led to “compromised” analyses, citing a research articles co-authored by Skop and others affiliated with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.

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Earlier this year a medical journal retracted studies supported by the Charlotte Lozier Institute claiming to show harms of the abortion pill mifepristone, citing conflicts of interests by the authors and flaws in their research. Two of the studies were cited in a pivotal Texas court ruling that has threatened access to the drug.

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Michigan farmworker diagnosed with bird flu, becoming 2nd US case tied to dairy cows

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Michigan farmworker diagnosed with bird flu, becoming 2nd US case tied to dairy cows

A Michigan dairy worker has been diagnosed with bird flu — the second human case associated with an outbreak in U.S. dairy cows.

The male worker had been in contact with cows at a farm with infected animals. He experienced mild eye symptoms and has recovered, U.S. and Michigan health officials said in announcing the case Wednesday.

A nasal swab from the person tested negative for the virus, but an eye swab tested Tuesday was positive for bird flu, “indicating an eye infection,” U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said.

The worker developed a “gritty feeling” in his eye earlier this month but it was a “very mild case,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive. He was not treated with oseltamivir, a medication advised for treating bird flu, she said.

The risk to the public remains low, but farmworkers exposed to infected animals are at higher risk, health officials said. They said those workers should be offered protective equipment, especially for their eyes.

Health officials say they do not know if the Michigan farmworker was wearing protective eyewear, but an investigation is continuing.

In late March, a farmworker in Texas was diagnosed in what officials called the first known instance globally of a person catching this version of bird flu from a mammal. That patient reported only eye inflammation and recovered.

Since 2020, a bird flu virus has been spreading among more animal species — including dogs, cats, skunks, bears and even seals and porpoises — in scores of countries.

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The detection in U.S. livestock earlier this year was an unexpected twist that sparked questions about food safety and whether it would start spreading among humans.

That hasn’t happened, although there’s been a steady increase of reported infections in cows. As of Wednesday, the virus had been confirmed in 51 dairy herds in nine states, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. Fifteen of the herds were in Michigan.

The CDC’s Dr. Nirav Shah said the case was “not unexpected” and it’s possible more infections could be diagnosed in people who work around infected cows.

U.S. officials said they had tested 40 people since the first cow cases were discovered in late March. Michigan has tested 35 of them, Bagdasarian told The Associated Press in an interview.

Shah praised Michigan officials for actively monitoring farmworkers. He said health officials there have been sending daily text messages to workers exposed to infected cows asking about possible symptoms, and that the effort helped officials catch this infection. He said no other workers had reported symptoms.

That’s encouraging news, said Michael Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist who has studied bird flu for decades. There’s no sign to date that the virus is causing flu-like illness or that it is spreading among people.

“If we had four or five people seriously ill with respiratory illness, we would be picking that up,” he said.

The virus has been found in high levels in the raw milk of infected cows, but government officials say pasteurized products sold in grocery stores are safe because heat treatment has been confirmed to kill the virus.

The new case marks the third time a person in the United States has been diagnosed with what’s known as Type A H5N1 virus. In 2022, a prison inmate in a work program picked it up while killing infected birds at a poultry farm in Montrose County, Colorado. His only symptom was fatigue, and he recovered. That predated the virus’s appearance in cows.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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