News

Columbian Newspaper

CBS grants $20 million to 18 women’s rights groups
Author: ALEXANDRA OLSON, Associated Press

NEW YORK — CBS on Friday pledged to give $20 million to 18 organizations dedicated to eliminating sexual harassment in the workplace as the network tries to recover from a scandal that led to the ouster of its top executive, Les Moonves.

The announcement comes as the network’s crisis deepens, with details emerging from an ongoing investigation into Moonves’ conduct and news surfacing of other instances of sexual misconduct at CBS.

In the latest revelation, CBS acknowledged that it reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year with actress Eliza Dushku, who said she was written off the show “Bull” in March 2017 after complaining about on-set sexual comments from its star, Michael Weatherly. Some women’s rights activists called on CBS to fire Weatherly.

The funds for the grants to the 18 organizations are being deducted from severance owed to Moonves under his contract, and the company had previously said the former CEO would have a say in which groups would receive the money.

But whether Moonves, who was one of the television industry’s most powerful executives, receives the remaining $120 million of his severance hinges on the investigation, which is being conducted by two outside law firms. The company has said Moonves would not be entitled to the severance if its board of directors determines he was fired for cause.

CBS said its donation to the 18 groups will go toward helping expand their work and “ties into the company’s ongoing commitment to strengthening its own workplace culture.”

Among the recipients are Catalyst, a 56-year-old organization dedicated to empowering women in the workplace, and several groups that have emerged as prominent voices since the downfall last year of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which triggered an avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations against powerful men across several industries.

The 18 organizations issued a joint statement praising the donations as a first step while calling on CBS to disclose the results of the Moonves investigation and the company’s efforts to rectify practices that may have enabled misconduct.

“We thank CBS for these donations. We also recognize these funds are not a panacea, nor do they erase or absolve decades of bad behavior,” the groups said.

Moonves was ousted in September after the New Yorker published allegations from 12 women who said he subjected them to mistreatment that included forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted. Moonves has denied having any nonconsensual sexual relationships.

Two other major figures at CBS have lost their jobs in the past year over misconduct allegations: “60 Minutes” top executive Jeff Fager, and news anchor Charlie Rose.

The New York Women’s Foundation said it is receiving $2.25 million from CBS to support its “Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies,” which is co-led by #MeToo founder Tarana Burke.

Clark men fall to Highline at Bellingham crossover
Author: Jeff Klein

The Clark College men’s basketball team suffered its second loss of the season Saturday, falling to Highline 93-89 at the Bellingham crossover.

The lead only changed hands three times, but the game was close throughout.

Clark’s largest lead was five early in the second half, while Highline (7-3) was able to stretch its lead to as many as 12 points with 6:36 to play at Pavilion Gym at Whatcom Community College.

The Penguins, who never regained the lead after a Highline 3-pointer made it 54-51 with 17:23 in the second half, closed the gap to 91-89 with 41 seconds to play.

Parker Gaddis led Clark in scoring with 25 points to go with seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. Sethon Moore had 19 points and five rebounds, Jalen Scott had 17 points, and Sam Scarpelli had 13 points.

Clark (7-2) closes out the tournament with a game against Big Bend of Moses Lake at 10 a.m. Sunday.

A record 2,000 wreaths sponsored locally for nationwide event honoring veterans
Author: Patty Hastings

The areas where veterans are laid to rest at Evergreen Memorial Gardens became coated with a symbol of honor, respect and holiday cheer Saturday morning.

It was standing room only inside the east Vancouver cemetery’s chapel for Wreaths Across America, an event that took place in cemeteries across the nation Saturday to recognize and remember those who served or are serving in the military by placing wreaths on veteran gravestones.

Master Sgt. Josiah Morales with the Lewis & Clark Young Marines explained the symbolism behind the green wreaths adorned with red bows. “Green represents the land that is protected and defended against by our brave men and women,” and red signifies the blood that was shed, he said.

“Lord, bless this day,” he said during the ceremony. “Bless the families and friends of those who are not home and who are not coming home this Christmas season.”

Representatives from all branches of the military were recognized and placed wreaths as part of the event.

Lindsay Fisher, of Evergreen Memorial Gardens, said the cemetery first got involved after she got a call from a Lewis & Clark Young Marine who had an idea for a service project. That first year, they drummed up enough support to place about 100 remembrance wreaths, she said. Fisher said it’s grown every year and last year volunteers placed 652 wreaths.

This year, a record 2,000 wreaths were sponsored — and the Young Marines were behind a vast majority of those sponsorships. Wreaths cost $15, with $5 going back to the Lewis and Clark Young Marines. The wreaths came from Wreaths Across America’s headquarters in Columbia Falls, Maine.

“Remember we’re not here to decorate graves,” Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said during the ceremony. “Each wreath is a gift of appreciation. These wreaths symbolize our honor to those who have served and are serving in the armed forces of our great nation and to their families who endure sacrifices every day.”

She encouraged volunteers to say the name of the deceased out loud as they placed a wreath on their gravestone.

“It’s a small act that goes a long ways toward keeping the memory of that vet alive,” McEnerny-Ogle said.

One such vet, who made the ultimate sacrifice, is Andrew Shields. The 2007 Battle Ground High School graduate and Army combat medic was killed by a suicide car bomber on May 31, 2008 in Afghanistan. He was 19. As the Wreaths Across America ceremony moved outside, the Shields family took part in releasing white doves and a wreath was placed on his gravestone.

Volunteers gathered armfuls of wreaths and spread out throughout the memorial gardens laying down wreaths. Young Marines and Marine Cadets placed wreaths on the graves of veterans, and stood at attention as they said the names of the deceased out loud and thanked them for their service.

“I hope someone does that for me someday,” said Justin Phipps, the Marine Cadets of Washington platoon commander.

He noted that some of the gravestones at Evergreen Memorial Gardens are rather old, so it’s comforting to see young people recognizing veterans long after the people who knew them are gone.

Phipps said Wreaths Across American is one of his favorite events. The annual event started in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and has expanded across the country.

No. 12 North Carolina beats No. 4 Gonzaga 103-90
Author: AARON BEARD, AP Basketball Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Cameron Johnson had 25 points and six 3-pointers while No. 12 North Carolina shot 55 percent to beat fourth-ranked Gonzaga 103-90 on Saturday night.

Luke Maye added 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Tar Heels, who led by 14 at halftime and never let the Zags closer than eight after the break. The marquee nonconference game featured two of the nation’s best offensive teams who lived up to those reputations, yet it was the Tar Heels’ work on the boards that proved just as important.

North Carolina (8-2) made 13 of 25 3-pointers to go along with a 42-21 rebounding advantage. That included 14 offensive boards that led to a 27-0 edge in second-chance points, which proved critical on a night when neither team missed too often.

Zach Norvell Jr. scored 21 points to lead the Bulldogs (9-2), who shot 56 percent after halftime and 51 percent overall.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs sat at No. 1 in the AP Top 25 about a week ago, but they’ve lost two straight — though both games were serious nonconference tests that are sure to prepare the Zags for later in the season. They lost a close one last weekend against No. 3 Tennessee, then fell behind early Saturday night and never could catch up against a UNC offense that looked very comfortable on its home floor.

UNC: The Tar Heels offered a reminder that they have the firepower to score with just about anybody. One significant concern, though, was they committed a season-high 23 turnovers that led to 29 points for Gonzaga — the kind of mistakes that could’ve proved very costly had North Carolina not been shooting so well and dominating the glass.

UP NEXT

Gonzaga returns home to face Texas-Arlington on Tuesday.

Clark women lead wire-to-wire in win over Shoreline
Author: Jeff Klein

The Clark College women’s basketball team had all five starters score in double figures with two getting double-doubles in an 87-43 win over Shoreline on Saturday at the Clark crossover tournament at the O’Connell Sports Complex in Vancouver.

A day after being held to 39 points in a loss to Walla Walla, the Penguins had their offense rolling in a wire-to-wire victory.

Hockinson High grad Payton Wangler led all scorers with 17 points for Clark.

La Center High grad Taylor Mills had 16 points and 13 rebounds, plus four assists, and Mahrysa Thomas had 13 points and a team-high 17 rebounds.

Jodi Thomasian had 15 points, and Alexus Hunter had 13.

Clark outrebounded Shoreline 55-30.

The four-team event finishes Sunday with the Penguins (2-8) taking on Grays Harbor (4-3) at 3 p.m.

Grays Harbor lost to Walla Walla 73-51 on Saturday. Walla Walla (7-3) plays Shoreline at 1 p.m.

Death of 7-year-old on border raises questions
Author: COLLEEN LONG and ELLIOT SPAGAT, Associated Press

WASHINGTON  — Just 7 years old, Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin was picked up by U.S. authorities with her father and other migrants this month in a remote stretch of New Mexico desert. Some seven hours later, she was put on a bus to the nearest Border Patrol station but soon began vomiting. By the end of the two-hour drive, she had stopped breathing.

Jakelin hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for days, her father later told U.S. officials.

The death of the Guatemalan girl is the latest demonstration of the desperation of a growing number of Central American families and children showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border, often hoping to claim asylum, and it raises new questions about how well authorities are prepared.

Customs and Border Protection said Friday that the girl initially appeared healthy and that an interview raised no signs of trouble. Authorities said her father spoke in Spanish to Border agents and signed a form indicating she was in good health, though a Guatemalan official said late Friday that the family’s native language was a Mayan dialect.

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said agents “did everything in their power” to save her.

The episode drew immediate questions from members of Congress and others about whether more could have been done. There were only four agents working with a group of 163 migrants, including 50 unaccompanied children, and only one bus to take them to the nearest station 94 miles away. The protocols the agents followed failed to alert them to any signs of distress until it was too late.

“A 7-year-old girl should not be dying of dehydration and shock in Customs and Border Protection custody,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted.

The Rev. John L. McCullough, president of Church World Service, said her death was a result of “the administration’s immoral war on immigrants.” He declared, “People don’t walk thousands of miles unless they are desperate for freedom at the end of their journey.”

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general opened an investigation, and congressional leaders promised one as well.

The girl and her father, 29-year-old Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz, were arrested with the large group near the Antelope Wells border crossing at about 9:15 p.m. Dec. 6. The rugged, mountainous area is home to ghost towns and abandoned buildings from Old West homesteader days. It’s an unforgiving terrain where Geronimo made his last stand and remains largely isolated with no cell service and few unpaved roads. The sparsely used official port of entry is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The group was held at one of 17 “forward operating bases” in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — spartan facilities built in recent years to increase official U.S. presence in extremely remote areas. Agents live there on weeklong assignments because driving back and forth every day from their stations would consume enormous amounts of time.

Jakelin and her father were held in the facility with food and water but no medical aid.

CBP officials say the drive from Antelope Wells to the nearest Border Patrol station in Lordsburg can take hours.

With the migrants, the agents went over an intake form that reads: “Receiving screening will be performed by professional or paraprofessional personnel trained to recognize the state of conscious, quality of gross motor function, fever or other signs of illness upon arrival at the facility.”

According to the form, the girl showed no sign of illness. She was not sweating, had no tremors, jaundice or visible trauma and was mentally alert.

“Claims good health,” the form reads. Jakelin’s father appeared to have signed the form, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

The final question is whether she should be in a general population, referred for non-emergency medical care or referred for emergency medical care. The “general population” box is checked.

Arresting such large groups poses logistical problems for agents, who have to wait on transport vans that are equipped with baby seats to take the migrants to processing facilities, some which are far from the border.

There is a single bus that transports migrants to and from this area to the base in Lordsburg, and, following protocol, the other minors filled the first bus while the daughter and her father waited.

It’s not clear whether Jakelin ate or drank anything while in custody.

The father and daughter did not board the bus until 4:30 a.m. She began vomiting at 5. The bus continued — there was no way to receive medical care where they were, officials said — and radioed ahead to have emergency medical technicians available when they arrived in Lordsburg. By the time they arrived, at 6:30, she had stopped breathing.

Emergency crews revived her, and she was airlifted to an El Paso, Texas, hospital, while the father was driven there. The girl died at about 12:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Officials said she had swelling on her brain and liver failure. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death. The results could take weeks.

CBP said Friday it didn’t immediately publicize the death out of respect for the family but is reviewing its disclosure practices. Commissioner McAleenan didn’t mention the girl’s death when he was questioned by senators this week on border issues.

“The agents involved are deeply affected and empathize with the father over the loss of his daughter,” McAleenan said Friday. “We cannot stress enough the dangers posed by traveling long distances, in crowded transportation, or in the natural elements through remote desert areas without food, water and other supplies.”

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley described Jakelin’s death as “a horrific, tragic situation” and called for “commonsense laws to disincentivize people from coming up from the border,” crossing illegally.

Guatemalan consular officials said they had spoken with the father who was deeply upset. Tekandi Paniagua, the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas, told Univision said the family’s native language was Ki’che’, a Mayan dialect spoken in the country’s highlands.

The girl’s father is at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in El Paso, said director Ruben Garcia. Garcia said the dad isn’t speaking with reporters but now has an attorney. The group planned a press briefing for Saturday but Garcia said the father would not be present.

Arrests in the U.S. have surged since summer, with many prospective migrants coming from the highlands, where Mayan dialects flourish.

In many ways, the group of 163 migrants that included the girl offers a snapshot of how dramatically the border has changed in recent years. In November, there were 51,001 arrests of people entering the country illegally from Mexico — the highest of Donald Trump’s presidency — and more than half were traveling as families or unaccompanied children.

It was unclear if any in the group expressed fear of returning home, but families and children increasingly seek out agents to pursue asylum or other humanitarian protection, avoiding an often life-threatening effort to elude capture in remote areas.

The Trump administration has made curbing illegal immigration a signature issue — and some advocates say its policies are prompting more people to cross in perilous ways. Immigration officials say their system is strained and not equipped to handle such a high volume of families who can’t be easily returned, but there is resistance to suggestions to change facilities to better accommodate families. The government notes there are many other border missions, including trade, commerce and counterterror efforts.

Interior Secretary Zinke resigning, cites ‘vicious’ attacks
Author: ELLEN KNICKMEYER, MATTHEW BROWN and JONATHAN LEMIRE, ELLEN KNICKMEYER, MATTHEW BROWN and JONATHAN LEMIRE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON  — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, facing federal investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest, will be leaving the administration at year’s end, President Donald Trump said Saturday. In his resignation letter, obtained by The Associated Press, Zinke said “vicious and politically motivated attacks” against him had “created an unfortunate distraction” in fulfilling the agency’s mission.

Trump, in tweeting Zinke’s departure, said the former Montana congressman “accomplished much during his tenure” and that a replacement would be announced next week. The Cabinet post requires Senate confirmation.

Zinke is leaving weeks before Democrats take control of the House, a shift in power that promises to sharpen the probes into his conduct. His departure comes amid a staff shake-up as Trump heads into his third year in office facing increased legal exposure due to intensifying investigations into his campaign, business, foundation and administration.

Zinke’s resignation letter, obtained from a Zinke aide on Saturday, cites what he calls “meritless and false claims” and says that “to some, truth no longer matters.”

The letter, dated Saturday, said Zinke’s last day would be Jan. 2. It was not clear whether Zinke had already submitted the letter when Trump tweeted.

Zinke, 57, played a leading part in Trump’s efforts to roll back federal environmental regulations and promote domestic energy development. He drew attention from his first day on the job, when he mounted a roan gelding to ride across Washington’s National Mall to the Department of Interior.

Zinke had remained an ardent promoter of both missions, and his own macho image, despite growing talk that he had lost Trump’s favor. On Tuesday, Zinke appeared on stage at an Environmental Protection Agency ceremony for a rollback on water regulations. Mentioning his background as a Navy SEAL at least twice, he led the audience in a round of applause for the U.S. oil and gas industry.

Trump never established a deep personal connection with Zinke but appreciated how he stood tall against criticisms from environmental groups as he worked to roll back protections. But the White House concluded in recent weeks that Zinke was likely the Cabinet member most vulnerable to investigations led by newly empowered Democrats in Congress, according to an administration official not authorized to publicly discuss personnel matters who spoke on condition of anonymity.

His tenure was temporarily extended as Interior helped with the response to California wildfires and the West Wing was consumed with speculation over the future of chief of staff John Kelly. But White House officials pressured him to resign, the official said, which he did after his final public appearance at his department’s Christmas party on Thursday night.

As interior secretary, Zinke pushed to develop oil, natural gas and coal beneath public lands in line with the administration’s business-friendly aims. But he has been dogged by ethics probes, including one centered on a Montana land deal involving a foundation he created and the chairman of an energy services company, Halliburton, that does business with the Interior Department.

Investigators also are reviewing Zinke’s decision to block two tribes from opening a casino in Connecticut and his redrawing of boundaries to shrink a Utah national monument. Zinke has denied wrongdoing.

The Associated Press reported last month that the department’s internal watchdog had referred an investigation of Zinke to the Justice Department.

Zinke’s travels with his wife, Lola Zinke, also had come under scrutiny.

Interior’s inspector general’s office said Zinke allowed his wife to ride in government vehicles with him despite a department policy that prohibits nongovernment officials from doing so. The report also said the department spent more than $25,000 to provide security for the couple when they took a vacation to Turkey and Greece.

Trump told reporters this fall he was evaluating Zinke’s future in the administration in light of the allegations and offered a lukewarm vote of confidence. Zinke in November denied he already was hunting for his next job.

“I enjoy working for the president,” he told a Montana radio station. “Now, If you do your job, he supports you.”

“I think I’m probably going to be the commander of space command,” Zinke said. “How’s that one?”

Zinke outlasted EPA chief Scott Pruitt, another enthusiastic advocate of Trump’s business-friendly way of governing who lost favor with Trump amid ethics scandals. Pruitt resigned in July. Trump’s first Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, also resigned under a cloud of ethical questions.

Democratic leaders in Congress were scathing in response to the news that Zinke was leaving as well.

“Ryan Zinke was one of the most toxic members of the cabinet in the way he treated our environment, our precious public lands, and the way he treated the govt like it was his personal honey pot,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of the New York tweeted Saturday. “The swamp cabinet will be a little less foul without him.”

House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is set to become speaker in January, said Zinke had “been a shameless handmaiden for the special interests” and his “staggering ethical abuses have delivered a serious and lasting blow to America’s public lands, environment, clean air and clean water.”

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, had warned that after Democrats took control of the House they intended to call Zinke to testify on his ethics issues.

Grijalva spokesman Adam Sarvana said Saturday that committee leaders still intended to ask for Zinke’s testimony. “It’s safe to say that Citizen Zinke may be leaving, but real oversight of former Secretary Zinke has not even started,” Sarvana said in an email.

Earlier this month, Zinke unleashed a jarring personal attack on Grijalva, tweeting, “It’s hard for him to think straight from the bottom of the bottle.”

Zinke got a warmer send-off from Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, head of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, who said in a statement that he had been a “strong partner for Western states.”

Under Zinke’s watch, the Interior Department moved to auction off more oil leases, ended a moratorium on new sales of federally owned coal, and repealed mandates governing drilling. Zinke’s focus on the president’s energy agenda was cheered by oil, gas and mining advocates, who credit the administration with seeking to balance conservation with development on public lands. But his tenure was denounced by most conservation groups.

“Zinke will go down as the worst Interior secretary in history,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement released Saturday. “His slash-and-burn approach was absolutely destructive for public lands and wildlife. Allowing David Bernhardt to continue to call the shots will still be just as ugly. Different people, same appetite for greed and profit.”

Bernhardt, the deputy secretary, is in line to lead the Interior Department on an interim basis. He has spent years in Washington as a lobbyist for the oil and gas industry and has deep ties to Republican politicians and conservative interest groups.

Two outgoing Republican congressmen are said to be interested in the job.

Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho planned to go to the White House on Saturday to discuss the job with officials, said a GOP congressional aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe Labrador’s private plans. Labrador, 51, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, who is retiring from Congress after eight years. He lost a bid for his state’s GOP gubernatorial nomination last spring.

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., is also interested in Zinke’s job, according to another Republican congressional aide who described the situation only on condition of anonymity. The aide said the White House has made inquiries about Denham to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who will be House minority leader next year. Denham, 51, has been involved in water issues in California. He lost his bid for re-election last month.

As head of Interior, Zinke made plans to realign the agency’s bureaucracy, trimming the equivalent of 4,600 jobs, about 7 percent of its workforce. He also proposed a massive overhaul that would have moved decision-making out of Washington, relocating headquarters staff to Western states at a cost of $17.5 million.

Zinke was a one-term congressman when Trump selected him to join his incoming Cabinet in December 2016.

An early Trump supporter, Zinke is close to the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and publicly expressed his interest in a Cabinet post when Trump visited Montana in May 2016.

Brown reported from Red Lodge, Montana. Associated Press writers Matthew Daly and Alan Fram in Washington contributed to this report.

49ers CB Richard Sherman irks former Seahawks teammates
Author: JOSH DUBOW, AP Pro Football Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — When Richard Sherman downplayed Seattle’s success by describing the Seahawks as a “middle of the road” team a few weeks ago, his former teammates took offense.

Heading into the rematch this week between Sherman’s new team, the San Francisco 49ers, and his old one, former teammate Frank Clark had a stern message for the player who helped lead Seattle’s defense to a Super Bowl title five years ago.

“He’s not in this locker room anymore, so his opinion really doesn’t matter,” defensive lineman Frank Clark said.

“You know what I mean? They’ve got problems over there in San Fran that he needs to be worried about. At the end of the day, this is my team now. This is my defense. Richard Sherman and his era is over here.

“If he’s got anything to say about our defense, he can say it on the field. We’re 1-0 against Richard Sherman right now, and we’re 1-0 against the San Francisco 49ers this year.

“Our plan is to be 2-0. So we’re going into their stadium with pure aggression. We’re going to stop that run and we’re going to have fun on third downs.”

The Seahawks (8-5) dominated the first meeting in a 43-16 win at home two weeks ago, winning their 10th straight game over the 49ers (3-10) in a rivalry that used to be one of the league’s fiercest.

Now in a season that started with talk of the 49ers emerging as an NFC West contender behind quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the Seahawks falling following the breakup of the “Legion of Boom” defense is heading to the finish with Seattle still holding the upper hand.

The Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win today, while the 49ers are tied for the worst record in the league and only playing for draft position and next season.

“At the end of the day in this league if you don’t end up with the trophy then how great was your season anyway?” Sherman asked.

“We’re fighting, we’re struggling, dealing with injuries. But at the end of the day there’s only one team that ends up with the trophy. Unfortunately it won’t be us this year and we’ll see if it’s them.”

Here are some other things to watch:

KITTLE’S CATCHES

Tight end George Kittle has been the major bright spot in a down season for the 49ers. After catching seven passes for 210 yards — all in the first half — last week, Kittle holds the single-season record for yards receiving for a San Francisco tight end with 1,103. Kittle fell 5 yards short of breaking Shannon Sharpe’s single-game record for a tight end and coach Kyle Shanahan apologized for not getting him the record.

“Every play mattered there at the end so you’re just trying to call plays to try to win the game, not to break a record,” he said. “That’s what you feel bad about. I wish he could have broken the record. He deserved to.”

STABLE LINE

Seattle is likely to be without starting guard D.J. Fluker for the second straight game because of a hamstring injury, but his replacement has proven to be more than adequate.

Perhaps it’s just coincidence but Seattle’s two best running games this season have come with Jordan Simmons in the lineup.

Simmons started for Fluker in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Rams when the Seahawks rushed for 273 yards. And he was in the lineup again last week against Minnesota when Seattle ran for 214 yards.

Fluker has been a key component of Seattle’s success this season, so it’s mostly coincidence about when its two best running games have happened. But the run game has been a critical part of Seattle’s success this season and the Seahawks rushed for 168 yards in the first meeting against San Francisco.

SHOEGATE

The Niners are still a bit steamed about a play in the game two weeks ago in Seattle. Linebacker Fred Warner lost his shoe and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tossed it out of his way. While Warner went behind the line to try to get his shoe, the Seahawks went into hurry-up mode and drew an offside penalty when Elijah Lee couldn’t get on the field in time as Warner rushed off. Shanahan got a personal foul for arguing the call and then was fined $25,000 on top of it for the outburst.

“They told us there was nothing the player could do,” Shanahan said. “So, that’s what I told Fred. Next time, just make it more obvious. We’re going to get the penalty anyway, so hopefully, sit down and make it as obvious as you can. Hopefully then common sense will prevail.”

LINEBACKER CHANGE

The Seahawks were hoping to get Mychal Kendricks back from suspension to hold down the weakside linebacker position until K.J. Wright was fully healthy. That plan lasted one game as Kendricks was injured against Minnesota and is out for the season after being placed on injured reserve.

Wright is not expected to return to the lineup for another couple of weeks, meaning second-year linebacker Austin Calitro will rejoin the starting lineup. Calitro has started three games at weakside linebacker and one at middle linebacker this season, and played well alongside Bobby Wagner.

AP Sports Writer Tim Booth in Renton contributed to this report

NYT Politics

The Special Counsel Is Fighting a Witness in Court. Who Is It?
Author: MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
The office of Robert S. Mueller III is in a closed-door legal battle to force a witness to testify. Here’s what we know about the dispute.
Zinke’s Likely Successor Is a Former Oil Lobbyist Who Has Influenced Trump’s Energy Policy
Author: CORAL DAVENPORT
With the Interior secretary's departure, the agency will likely be run for a time by David Bernhardt, a man who has played a central role in opening up public lands to drilling and mining.

Pages