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Plowy McPlowface has a chance in the naming contest. “Abolish ICE” does not.

Suggestions came in by the thousands, with the inevitable puns and nods to Prince, Minnesota Twins legends and, of course, snow.

There was Raspberry Brrr-et, Road Carew, and Minnesota Nice, all credible options as smart names for state snowplows.

When the Minnesota Department of Transportation recently asked the public for help in nominating eight snowplows in a competition, an even more popular suggestion was the phrase “Abolish ICE,” according to an analysis by The Minnesota Reformer. , an independent news site, which obtained all 24,000 entries in a public records request.

The wintry-sounding slogan, a play on the rallying cry of critics from the Federal Immigration and Customs Agency, ranks second among entries, The Reformer determined.

But Minnesota transportation officials have drawn a line in the snow, excluding it from a list of 50 finalists who are part of an online poll that ends Friday. The winners will be used to nominate a plow in each of the state’s eight regional transportation districts.

“It was supposed to be a fun, light-hearted contest,” Jake Loesch, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said in an interview Sunday night. “There is certainly a time and a place for political expression. A snowplow naming contest might not be the right place for this. “

Mr Loesch hinted at the fuss around the name Abolish ICE on Friday Twitter.

“I love our @MnDOT lots of snowplow naming contests, but I also didn’t foresee that by creating it, I would condemn myself to a life of apologies that the submission of people’s favors was not on the last 50, ”he said. said Mr Loesch, adding that prepared me very well for this #opesorry. “

Plowy McPlowFace and variations like Snowy McSnowface and Plowy McPlowerson were the most popular submissions, and Plowy McPlowFace made the list of 50 finalists. This seems to be a nod to Boaty McBoatface, the name British internet users overwhelmingly preferred for a $ 287 million polar research vessel in 2016. The UK Department of Science ultimately ignored the 124,000 votes and named it instead. the ship for naturalist David Attenborough.

Other nominees on the list have hinted at the culture, places, or people of Minnesota: The Truck formerly known as Plow, Purple Snow, F. Sel Fitzgerald, Lake Snowbegone, Plowin ‘in the Wind, Mary Tyler More Snow, Flake Superior and Tator Tot Hotdish. A few were allusions to “Star Wars”: Snowbi Wan Kenobi, Luke Snowalker, C-3pSnow and Darth Blader.

Not all submissions were jokes. The list of 50 choices includes Giiwedin, the Ojibway word for “North Wind”, and Ičamna, the Dakota word for “blizzard.”

The name “Abolish ICE” has been suggested in a December tweet by Kanad Gupta, a software engineer from Minneapolis who is in his twenties.

“I think it was a clever pun more than anything,” Mr Gupta said in an interview on Sunday night, adding that he made the suggestion jokingly, although he supports the elimination of the ICE. “I would love for them to reconsider, but I’m not losing sleep.”

Although President Biden has called for an overhaul of the immigration system, he stopped before seeking to dismantle the ICE, as urged by some on the political left. During Mr. Biden’s first month in office, ICE moved away from some of the contentious policies of former President Donald J. Trump’s radical “America First” agenda.

It might make Plowy McPlowFace look like a shoo-in, but not necessarily. Minnesota transportation officials will make the final decisions, Mr. Loesch said, which won’t be based solely on popularity in the online poll.

Once the names are chosen, they will appear on the back or sides of the plows, with one assigned to each of the state’s eight regional transport districts, officials said.

The state has more than 800 snowplows in its fleet, Mr. Loesch said.

He said the idea of ​​naming the snowplows was inspired by Scotland, which gained wide attention in December with its names for its plows, called gritters. Names there include William Wall-ice, License to Chill, Sled Zeppelin, and Sweet Child O’Brine.

“We’ve gotten a lot of questions from people about why Minnesota doesn’t appoint plows,” Loesch said.

The idea is gaining ground (sorry). Along with Minnesota, which announced their competition in December, South Dakota and Michigan are also seeking public assistance in naming snowplows. The same goes for the cities of Scandia, Minn., And Syracuse, NY

In Minnesota, names could not exceed 50 characters. That left room for a few features: Oh Snow You Did, Edward Blizzardhands, Duck Duck Orange Truck, and Princess Kay of the Snowy Way all made the finalist list.

Mr. Loesch said the range of submissions was wild. “There was no way I could have found all of this on my own,” he said.

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Storms bring cold, snow and ice from coast to coast

Extreme winter conditions gripped large swathes of the United States on Saturday, bringing heavy snow and ice and cutting power to thousands of people from the Pacific Northwest to the mid-Atlantic.

Minnesota – which is no stranger to cold weather – could have set a record temperature for February 13 of minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which was recorded 25 miles east of Ely, according to the National Weather Service. Minnesota’s previous record for the date was minus 46 degrees, set in 1916. Several other areas in northern Minnesota have reported temperatures below 40 degrees, according to the Weather Service.

Ice storm warnings, winter storm warnings, and winter weather advisories have been issued through a thick belt across the country, from Seattle to southern Texas to southern New Jersey, with many areas reporting brutally low temperatures.

Heavy snow fell over the mountains and lowlands of Washington and Oregon, with heavy icing in northwestern Oregon. Seattle was covered in more than a foot of snow, and emergency crews were responding to cars slipping on icy roads.

In southern Washington state, Clark County officials declared a state of emergency, warning that roads had become impassable and six snow plows were stuck in deep snow and ice , although they are fitted with tire chains.

“It’s a good reminder to the community that winter driving conditions are unpredictable and even the best prepared vehicles can have difficulty maneuvering in these conditions,” said Ahmad Qayoumi, Clark County Public Works Director. .

Housekeeper Kate Brown of Oregon declared a state of emergency Saturday, saying the weather had created “extensive damage” and left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. She said the crews were in full force to respond to the dangerous conditions and open warming centers.

In Northwestern Oregon’s Willamette Valley, traffic was at a standstill on some roads, including Interstate 84. Downed trees and power lines had closed other roads in the Oregon, and the low temperatures made plows difficult.

“I’ve worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation for 17 years, so I’ve seen some really bad storms, and it’s right up there,” said Shelley Snow, a department spokesperson. “It was a mess.”

More than 230,000 people in northwestern Oregon were without power on Saturday afternoon as crews worked to repair more than 1,200 downed power lines, according to Portland General Electric. The company estimated that it would take at least two days to restore power.

“We really understand this is frustrating,” the company wrote on Twitter, “And we’re sorry.”

The power outages affected at least eight states. Virginia, with nearly 280,000 customers without power, has been among the hardest hit; Oregon, with over 230,000; and North Carolina, with more than 120,000, according to, which aggregates live electrical data from utilities across the United States

Bad weather was the prelude to yet another winter spell that is expected to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to more than 100 million Americans over the next few days.

The storm was expected to hit the southern plains on Sunday before making its way into the Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio valleys and into the northeast on Monday and Tuesday.

The Texas Department of Transportation has warned drivers to prepare for “a marathon of historically cold air” over the next few days that could make driving dangerous.

“Remember, if you don’t have to be on the road, stay home,” the department said.

Las Vegas was going through its own tumultuous weather as afternoon storm packed winds of up to 72 miles per hour at the North Las Vegas airport, according to the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service.

Nearly 30,000 customers were without power in the Las Vegas area alone, according to NV Energy.

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Ice floe rescues and highway accidents end a bad winter week

A powerful storm brought high winds and blizzard conditions to parts of the Midwest on Thursday and Friday, forcing rescuers to brave snow, ice and freezing cold through air, lake and land to save dozens of people from accidents and accidents.

The storm capped a bad week for winter weather in the United States. The northeast has had record snowfalls and freezing cold is forecast for the weekend. Across Iowa, stranded cars and trucks were entangled in a snowy mess on the roads. And in Wisconsin, dozens of people who were ice fishing had to be rescued from the ice in Lake Michigan.

The weather forecast showed more bitter conditions on the way. In parts of the Upper Midwest and the Great Lakes, temperatures are forecast to drop over the weekend to below zero in some areas.

Despite warnings from officials to commuters to stay in and out of the winter storm, the Iowa State Patrol said he responded to calls for help with 195 accidents and 169 damaged properties between Thursday morning and Friday morning. At least 25 injuries have been reported and an unidentified man has been killed.

State patrol told drivers not to travel east of Des Moines on the I-80 freeway, saying accidents have blocked the road.

The stacking of cars and semi-trailers with jacks had a cascading effect. The feeder roads that were used as detours were ultimately blocked with other accidents, said Craig Bargfrede, the winter operations administrator at the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The largest of the crashes occurred in the central and eastern part of the state: a stack of 40 vehicles stretching about two miles west of the town of Newton on Interstate 80, a said Mr. Bargfrede.

“We also saw a number of vehicles where motorists got stuck in cars in the ditch in low visibility and windy conditions,” he said.

The reason, he said, was a perfect storm of very fast weather and deterioration. The front crossed Thursday morning, affecting northwestern Iowa, and moved rapidly across the state with a line of freezing rain. Temperatures have dropped considerably. The rain turned to snow. “Then we had a quick frost, where all that precipitation froze on the sidewalk, creating slippery conditions,” he said.

Then the winds picked up, making it difficult to treat the roads with brine or sodium chloride. “The wind blows it a lot, and it ends up in areas where it isn’t needed,” he said. “It must have been rated up there as one of the toughest days we’ve seen across the state in quite a while.”

The fatal case took place on Highway 20 in northern Iowa, involving eight trucks and four passenger vehicles. The man who was killed was in one of the trucks involved in the crash.

Even the state’s soldiers have faced weather issues, said Sgt. Alex Dinkla, spokesperson for the State Patrol. Two state soldiers, who were trying to help a stuck truck driver, had to run into a ditch to flee a chain reaction accident that hit their patrol cars, he said.

Sixty-six people were rescued from three blocks of ice that broke off the shore of Lake Michigan on Thursday. Lt. Phillip Gurtler, a spokesperson for the 9th District of the Great Lakes Coast Guard, said the ice that had clung to the shores of the mouth of Sturgeon Bay had broken free, possibly due to strong winds disturbing the water.

The pack ice drifted deeper into Lake Michigan, one reaching nearly two miles offshore, and took the fishermen with them. About 30 fishermen stranded on one of the floes, he said. “They were pretty big,” Lt. Gurtler said of the floes.

Some fishermen called 911 around 9 a.m. local time. In less than four hours, rescuers from the Coast Guard, the Department of Natural Resources and other state and county agencies had wrested the anglers from the floes, using helicopters, air boats and icebreakers. There were no injuries.

Lt. Gurtler said he was reminded that a Coast Guard said, “There is no safe ice. Just safer ice cream.

Ice disengaging from the shore may be “something natural happening,” he said, listing wind-driven currents as one possible cause. Even though the weather was good during the rescue, conditions “could have been the straw that shattered the camel’s back if the ice had been weakened.”

Weather conditions can weaken sections of ice, or people can, for example, drill holes too close to each other or drive their vehicles on the ice, which was not the case on Thursday.

The Wisconsin ice fishing community is tight-knit, with a long tradition of ice fishing. People pitch tents on the ice or build cabins, dipping lines in the water for perch, smallmouth bass, or sturgeon. As soon as people heard about the floes, many took to the shore ice to remove their hidden gear, in case other pieces broke.

“I’m sure there were probably a lot of people disappointed that their ice cream huts were still on the floes,” he said.

The Northeast is shoveling its recent snowstorm that left New York City with 17 inches of snow this week, the largest since the record-breaking 2016 blizzard that dumped 27.5 inches of snow on Central Park. This week’s storm also hit other parts of the northeast, such as Bloomingdale, NJ where the snow totaled 26.2 inches.

Tim Gross, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Davenport, Iowa, said an arctic front, which started at Cedar Rapids and blew across the region, also affected northwestern Illinois. “He went through the whole region,” he said. Temperatures dropped over 10 degrees in a matter of hours, hitting 20 degrees with wind gusts of over 40 miles per hour.

Snow wasn’t really the problem: in eastern and central Iowa, totals were three inches to five inches. But conditions were bad enough that airports in the Chicago area canceled hundreds of flights.

This weekend, colder weather is waiting for you.

“Across the Midwest, we’ll have single-digit, above and below zero temperatures,” Gross said, referring to Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Illinois. “And taking the wind chill into account, we’re looking at between 20 and 30 below.”

Travel News

Video: Intense storm hits Midwest

From late Thursday through Friday, an intense storm swept through the Midwest, causing havoc, including cars and trucks stranded in a snowy mess on major highways.

Travel News

Last-day deal between Trump official and ICE union ties Biden’s hands

Notably, the acting head of ICE at the end of the Trump administration did not sign the new labor agreement, which met during a time of bureaucratic turmoil. Acting ICE director Tony Pham abruptly resigned at the end of December. He was replaced by Jonathan Fahey, who abruptly resigned on January 13.

Mr. Fahey was replaced by Tae D. Johnson, who did not sign the agreement. Instead, on the signature lines, Mr. Cuccinelli is identified “for the agency” but without a title. Mr Cuccinelli said it was appropriate for him to sign the deal as acting deputy secretary, and he did so after getting advice from the attorney general.

Before resigning, Mr Fahey had for days rejected efforts to strengthen the ICE union and ultimately refused to sign the deal, according to the senior homeland security official familiar with the matter.

The Trump administration had attempted in various ways to give Mr. Cuccinelli a leadership role in the Department of Homeland Security without going through Senate confirmation, but the legal legitimacy of his appointment to various positions was a recurring dispute.

In 2019, Mr. Trump attempted to make Mr. Cuccinelli the acting head of the ministry’s citizenship and immigration services agency. But in March 2020, a federal judge ruled his appointment illegal, overturning policies he had taken because he lacked legal authority to hold the post. The Trump administration has not appealed this decision.

The administration also attempted to make Mr. Cuccinelli the No. 2 in the department, giving him the title of senior official performing the duties of deputy secretary. In August, the Government Accountability Office issued an opinion that this appointment was also legally invalid, although it was not a court decision.

Mr Cuccinelli has repeatedly pressured ICE leaders to adopt tougher policies. Shortly after joining Citizenship and Immigration Services, Mr. Cuccinelli pushed the agency to add new restrictions to the student visa program, which is under the authority of ICE and not the agency. that he was supposed to lead at the time. His actions angered other ministry officials and prompted intervention from Kevin K. McAleenan, former acting Homeland Security secretary.

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Pat Quinn, who promoted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies at 37

Pat Quinn, who helped raise $ 220 million to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, by promoting the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, died on Sunday, seven years after learning he had the disease. He was 37 years old.

His death, at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY, was confirmed by the ALS Association and in a post on its official Facebook page.

Mr Quinn didn’t create the challenge, in which people threw buckets of ice water over their heads while pledging to donate money to fight ALS But he and his friend Pete Frates, who also had ALS, are credited with amplifying it and helping to make it a sensation in the summer and fall of 2014, raising tens of millions of dollars for research and, perhaps almost too. important, wider awareness of the disease.

“Pat has forever changed the trajectory of the fight against ALS,” said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of the ALS Association, on Sunday. “He has inspired millions of people to get involved and care about people living with ALS”

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement and leads to complete paralysis. People with the disease typically live three to five years from diagnosis, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Soon after Mr. Quinn learned he had ALS in 2013, he created Quinn for the Win, a Facebook group, to raise awareness about the disease and raise funds to fight for a cure. Mr. Frates created his own page, Team Frate Train, with the same goal.

In July 2014, Mr. Quinn and Mr. Frates saw another ALS patient, Anthony Senerchia, take the Ice Bucket Challenge online. They created their own ice bucket videos and shared the challenge with their followers. (Mr. Frates died last year at the age of 34.)

From there, the campaign spread widely, with Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James and many other celebrities participating and donating to the cause. The challenge raised $ 115 million for the ALS Association and $ 220 million globally for ALS research in just six weeks, the ALS Association said.

Dr. Quinn’s efforts “dramatically accelerated the effort to end ALS, leading to new research discoveries, expanded care for people living with ALS, and greater government investment in research.” on ALS, ”said Ms. Balas.

In a 2015 interview for Talks at Google in Manhattan, Mr. Quinn was asked if he had a celebrity favorite video on the Ice Bucket Challenge. He noted that Mr. James, Bill Gates, and Leonardo DiCaprio each made one, but declined to pick one.

“It’s not worth being picky,” he said, “because every challenge, no matter how small, was to do what we originally planned to do, which is to create awareness. , and the money coming in was completely unexpected.

Patrick Ryan Quinn was born February 10, 1983 in Yonkers to Rosemary Quinn and Patrick Quinn Sr. He attended Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, where he was on the rugby team.

He was diagnosed with ALS in March 2013, a month after his 30th birthday, according to the ALS Association.

Besides his parents, he is survived by his brothers, Dan and Scott Quinn, according to the association. His marriage to Jennifer Flynn ended in divorce.

After the challenge, Mr. Quinn continued to speak about the struggle for healing and led the challenge each August in his hometown at an event called “Every August Until Healing”.

Mr. Quinn lost his voice in 2017. The following year, a company called Project Revoice used the interviews and speeches he gave to promote the Ice Bucket Challenge to create a “voice bank” of his recorded speech. . The innovation allowed him to communicate with a digital approximation of his own voice using existing eye gazing technology.

Speaking to an audience in Boston last year for the challenge’s fifth anniversary, Mr Quinn said the campaign “was tied to a soft left hook to the jaw from ALS and rocked the disease, but that fight is by no means finished. “

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On thin ice: climate change is making winter more dangerous

The authors compared death records and temperature data in Canada, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Japan, and the northern United States. They analyzed about 4,000 records in total over a 26-year period, although the time period varies depending on the data available in each country.

Researchers have found that more cold-weather drownings occur in the spring, when daily low temperatures rise too much to support stable ice structures. At the same time, these warmer temperatures make it more pleasant to spend time outdoors, meaning more people are spending time on the ice.

Northern Canada and Alaska have higher drowning rates, even in very cold weather. Dr Sharma says it’s probably because people there are just spending more time on the ice. Indigenous communities near the Arctic depend on waterways for food and transport, which means more time on the ice in winter and an increased risk of drowning.

The coronavirus pandemic could also put more people at risk.

“If this winter looks anything like this summer,” said Dr. Sharma, “a lot of people have spent time in cabins in Ontario because we can’t go anywhere.

She said ice with standing water, slush or holes in the surface was generally dangerous. “Snow cover is when it gets tough,” said Dr Sharma. “People think there is so much snow on the ice that the ice must be thick,” but snow can also act as insulation, causing the ice to melt faster.

“We, as individuals, need to adapt our decision-making,” she added, and focus on how changing winters affect local rivers, lakes and streams. “It may not be as safe today as it was 30 or 40 years ago.”

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Ice storms in Oklahoma leave thousands without power on the eve of early voting

Hundreds of thousands of people in Oklahoma are still without power on Wednesday after powerful ice storms destroyed power lines statewide on Monday, creating dangerous conditions on the eve of in-person advance voting scheduled to begin in the ‘State.

According to the Oklahoma Emergency Management Department, some 373,000 households and businesses across the state were still without power as of Wednesday, affecting about 300,000 people in Oklahoma City alone.

David Holt, mayor of Oklahoma City, said he hopes the warmer weather expected on Friday will help melt the ice that had knocked down power lines and downed trees on the city’s roads.

“When you don’t have power, that’s one thing, but when it’s cold, it’s dangerous,” he said on Wednesday. “There’s a chance some won’t have power on the weekend, but at least they’ll be warm.”

Noting that perhaps half of Oklahoma City’s 650,000 residents were still without power on Wednesday, Mr Holt said he had opened a warming facility in the city’s convention center for daytime use and was assessing the options to keep it open at night if necessary.

The city has a location for the early poll – the Oklahoma County Electoral Board near the state capitol – and as of Wednesday morning it had power and is expected to be open to voters on Thursday, Mr. Holt said .

While ice storms of this type are not uncommon during Oklahoma winters, it is unusual to have such a severe one in early fall.

“This storm had a significant impact because our trees had not yet shed their fall foliage, so the ice had a lot more surface to fall on,” said Brian Alford, an Oklahoma Gas spokesperson. & Electric Company, which supplies electricity to Oklahoma City. . “We’re worried about seeing gusts of wind tomorrow that could cause more damage, but it’s at least now above freezing.”

Mr Alford said that although the utility had restored power to 100,000 households and businesses so far, 260,000 were still without power. More than 2,000 employees and contractors were working to restore services, he added.

The Oklahoma State Election Committee said a lack of electricity would not prevent Oklahomans from voting.

“Oklahoma has a paper voting system, which ensures that voting in Oklahoma will continue regardless of whether we have power or not,” said Misha Mohr, spokesperson for the council.

Warming temperatures can cause their own problems. When the weight of the ice is removed from already stressed tree branches, others are expected to break and pull down power lines.

Emergency Management Department spokesperson Keli Cain said further losses were likely as the weather warmed.

“Our electricity suppliers are working hard to recover electricity,” Cain said. “But Mother Nature is only working against them.”

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As her dad battles ‘dumb’ scientists, Ivanka Trump talks ice cream

“Listen,” Ms. Schlapp laughs, “The president punches when he needs to punch. Her daughter has her own story to tell and her own way of telling it.

Yet a substitute can only stray so far from a campaign’s dominant message and messenger. Mrs. Trump could speak with endless confidence about all the important lessons her father instilled in her (“Find something that excites you, for this is the way to happiness”). She could focus on suburban parental concerns such as school choice and education reform, and lament “the loss of social interaction for our children” during the coronavirus outbreak. She could avoid any discussion of immigration, caravans, walls or family separation.

And then, later that day, it was reported that the parents of 545 children who had been separated from them at the southern border could not be found.

“On the one hand, a family member of a president can offer a softening and humanizing touch,” said Gil Troy, a presidential historian who has written extensively on early families. In such a polarized and binary environment, he added, Ms. Trump can still offer some reassurance to Republicans who dislike her father but would be loath to support Mr. Biden. “Ivanka can still be proof that ‘you see, it’s not that bad,’” Mr. Troy said. “She’s trying to be a port in the storm.” At some point, although the contrast becomes too stark. “It almost becomes a counter-campaign rather than a support campaign,” he said.

And while Ms. Trump may avoid the vitriolic language of her father and brothers, she has been linked to policies and actions that critics find equally obnoxious or misguided. She was, reportedly, a supporter of her father’s march on Lafayette Square last spring in protests against racial injustice, which culminated in a photo shoot waving the Bible outside St. John’s Church. damaged by fire. The widely ridiculed performance is one of the most notorious spectacles of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

She has shown a knack for the subconscious and deaf gestures of tone: eliciting negative reactions, for example, after tweeting a photo of herself cuddling her two-year-old son as migrant children were reportedly abducted from force to their mother by border officials. Ms Trump’s official position in the White House – along with that of her husband, Jared Kushner – has drawn widespread criticism of nepotism and potential violations of the Hatch Law.

As perhaps the president’s most influential assistant, his daughter tends to be silent in public, even about policies she would personally be opposed to. She inspired a parody perfume ad on Saturday Night Live – a scent called “Complicit.” (“She is beautiful. She is powerful. She is partner in crime. ”)