The downside of a strong jobs report? Less urgency for stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits

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Call it a good news/bad news situation.


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When the Senate passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package by a 96-0 vote on March 25, the economy was in free fall. The S&P 500 stood at 2,475 points, and a record 6.9 million jobless claims were filed that week. Economists were talking about Great Depression 2.0.

But this time around, stimulus negations are happening with the backdrop of an improving economy. And that is reducing the political pressure for Republican and Democratic leaders to comprise.

On Friday we learned the unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% in July to 8.4% in August. That soundly beat Goldman Sachs’ estimate of 9.8%. And the U.S. added—or we should say regained—1.4 million jobs in August.

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Games or not, O’s turn Bowie site into strong player development experience

Were this a “normal” baseball season, players would be getting into games on the farm and getting plenty of at-bats and innings in during minor league games. It would provide chances to improve their skills and advance their careers.

Without that this year, the Orioles have tried to develop a strong Plan B at their alternate site at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Double-A Bowie Baysox. Players get at-bats and innings, but against players from their own farm system and organization. But with a number of coaches there, in addition to an extensive use of technology, we may be seeing that the Orioles are thriving in some respects. Even without minor league games.

Perhaps left fielder Ryan Mountcastle would not have gotten the same very targeted and focused development work he did in Bowie this year had he been playing in games at Triple-A Norfolk.

During an interview Sunday

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Southwestern Health & Science Technology Building 90% complete | South Coast Strong

COOS BAY — A project administrators dreamed about 19 years ago is now 90% complete on the Southwestern Oregon Community College campus.

The college’s Umpqua Health & Science Technology Building is expected to be done in time for its January 2021 opening. A grand opening ceremony has been pushed from October to sometime in December. 

There have been a few delays along the way due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but overall, construction of the 36,000 square-foot project has been on schedule. The original $21.5-million budget has gone up to $24 million, as material costs have increased since the project began. Southwestern fundraised vigorously to qualify for an $8 million match from the state for construction of the building, with funds also provided from state bonds, federal grants and many generous private donations.

The pandemic has slowed things a little, said Leonard Phearson, project superintendent with Bogatay Construction of Klamath Falls,

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