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September 2016

Lorne Michaels: Tina Fey suggested Alec Baldwin to play SNL's Trump

It was Tina Fey's idea to enlist her 30 Rock co-star Alec Baldwin to play Donald Trump on several episodes of NBC's Saturday Night Live, starting with this weekend's 42nd-season opener (11:30 p.m. ET/PT).

SNL's executive producer Lorne Michaels was talking to Fey (an alum of SNL) over the summer, and "She said, 'You know who would be a great Trump is Alec!' " he recalls. "I talked to Alec, who was finishing a movie, he was getting ready to have a baby — it couldn't have been worse timing. But, slowly, the idea grew on me. People on the show liked it, and I thought he'd be great with Kate" McKinnon, who plays Hillary Clinton.

"And I thought, well, he's Alec," who holds the record as 16-time host of the late-night institution and might offer a fresh take on the Republican presidential candidate and NBC's TheApprentice star, at least until the election.

At first, Michaels says, Baldwin was uncertain: "He said, 'I'm not sure I have a Trump,' and I said, 'Yeah, you do.' "

Darrell Hammond, who begins his third season as the show's announcer, will give up the role, but is expected to continue playing Bill Clinton.


With Matt VandeBerg out with a foot injury, how will the Iowa Hawkeyes replace him on offense? - Black Heart Gold Pants

So in case you’ve been off the internet for a few days now (how did you do it? I can’t seem to pry myself away, send help), you already know that Matt VandeBerg has been ruled out indefinitely with a foot injury. The news shook Hawkeye Nation, which is now left wondering what the Hawkeyes are going to do for offense in the absence of the Meerkat. We’re not mind readers, nor do we claim to know exactly what it is that Kirk Ferentz and Greg Davis plan to do, but they sure do have a plethora of options. Let’s take a look at the many solutions the Hawkeyes can take until he comes back next year (you know, assuming he gets the medical redshirt that he is eligible for).

First off, let’s take a look at the wide receivers. How will the Hawkeyes replace his 300+ yards of total offense? Well, at the slot receiver, a pretty good solution could be Riley McCarron. He’s undersized, but that would fit in well with slot receiver abilities, as he’s not quite big enough to catch jump balls over opposing defensive backs, but could settle into the soft spots of opposing defenses. He’s also seldom used by the Hawekeyes, as he has just 14 receptions and 142 yards in his career. I’m not sure why I thought he had more, but I guess he’d be as good as most to be that next man in.


Johnson, Hawkeyes chase perfection

IOWA CITY — Jaleel Johnson isn’t satisfied.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The Iowa defensive tackle expects more of himself and of the Hawkeye defense in general, illustrative of his pursuit for perfection.

“There are times when I can be my worst critic, but I believe it helps push me to be the best player I can be,’’ Johnson said.

The senior sees room for growth as Iowa prepares for Saturday’s 11 a.m. game against Northwestern, a game where the Hawkeyes will continue to work toward improvements in defending the run.

Opponents have gained on average 179 yards per game on the ground against Iowa, nearly 68 yards more per game than the Hawkeyes surrendered last season against the run.

“That’s not acceptable,’’ Johnson said. “We’re a better defense than that. We know it and it’s time that we show it.’’


Howard vows to make most of chance

Surrounded by his teammates, Jordan Howard probably wouldn't be the first Bears player you'd notice. The rookie fifth-round draft pick isn't particularly vocal or physically intimidating.

But that doesn't mean that Howard, a 6-foot, 222-pound Alabama native, isn't beginning to develop into a productive all-around running back just three games into his NFL career.

"The thing that stands out to me about Jordan is the fact you wouldn't really know he's in a room because he doesn't say much," said right guard Kyle Long. "He's wise beyond his years. You can tell that he's been through some things in life that have forced him to mature at an accelerated pace.



Lady Gaga headlines Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show -

Global superstar LADY GAGA, winner of six Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominee, will headline the PEPSI ZERO SUGAR SUPER BOWL LI HALFTIME SHOW on FOX at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.

Lady Gaga is a one-of-a kind artist and performer. Her new single "Perfect Illusion" off her upcoming fifth studio album "Joanne," due out October 21st debuted at #1 on iTunes in 60 countries. She holds the distinction of generating three consecutive Number One albums on the Billboard Hot 100, has won an aforementioned six Grammy Awards, and was recently featured as Billboard's "Woman of the Year." She has amassed an outstanding 30 million global album sales and 150 million single sales, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Lady Gaga expanded her talents to television last Fall when she appeared as The Countess on the fifth season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series "American Horror Story: Hotel" for FX Network. Subsequently, she won the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress -- Miniseries or Television Film" for her performance on the show. Next up she will star in the Bradley Cooper-directed film "A Star is Born" for Warner Bros. Pictures.

This will be Lady Gaga's second time performing on the Super Bowl stage, after having sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 last February.


600,000 Veterans May Go Without Health Insurance Next Year: Report - NBC News

More than 600,000 veterans will go without health insurance next year unless 19 states stop holding out against expanding Medicaid, researchers said Wednesday.

Even with Medicaid expansion, hundreds of thousands of vets are going to go without a way to pay for medical care, the report from the left-leaning Urban Institute finds.

But 327,000 of those who will go without health insurance live in the 19 states -- all with Republican governors -- that have not expanded Medicaid, the researchers said.

It finds more than 120,000 of these fall into the so-called "Medicaid gap" — they are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid, but they make too much money to qualify for federal subsidies to buy health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

And they don't all get or qualify for care by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Some uninsured veterans may qualify for VA care, but not all take up the available coverage or meet the eligibility requirements, which are based on service-connected disability status, veteran discharge status, income, and other factors," the report reads.


Police: Naked man defecated on doorstep of Iowa City home

An Iowa City man was arrested after he allegedly tried to trespass into an Iowa City house while naked, and then defecated and urinated on the house's doorstep.

According to police complaints from the Iowa City Police Department, officers responded to a house at 12:28 a.m. Saturday in the 3300 block of Lower West Branch Road of Iowa City on a report of a naked man trying to trespass into the victim's house by pushing his way into the front door. The man had left the residence when police had arrived.

A resident of the house had identified the man as Thomas Larry Warren, 49, of Iowa City, whose clothes, wallet, car keys and driver's license had been left on their doorstep, according to the complaint. While on the property, Warren allegedly urinated and defecated on the doorstep.


Iowa flooding: Relief as some Cedar Rapids residents go home

CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Gary and Lynn Stansbery lost nearly everything in Cedar Rapids' flood of 2008, including every photo of their children and all but one wedding photo. They left their home Sunday praying to be spared another disaster.

They happily joined thousands of residents and business owners who were permitted Wednesday to return to areas near the flooded Cedar River that had been evacuated earlier this week.

“When I heard we didn’t have a drop of water, I was jumping up and down,” Lynn Stansbery said.

The Iowa National Guard moved barricades overnight to reduce the size of the evacuation area, effectively reopening 2,500 properties in the downtown district and on the western side of the Cedar. The Stansbery home is on Eighth Street N.W., right on the border of the original evacuation zone, which affected properties that would be inundated if the river rose above 24 feet.

The river cleared 31 feet in 2008. On Tuesday, it crested just below 22 feet, with city leaders also crediting temporary protections they erected to guard vulnerable neighborhoods.


Congress Approves Spending Bill, Averting Government Shutdown - The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Congress averted a government shutdown Wednesday as the Senate and then the House approved a short-term spending bill, allowing lawmakers to avoid a crisis and return home to campaign.

The stopgap spending bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 9, had been ensnarled in a debate over financing for the lead-tainted water system in Flint, Mich.

But an agreement between congressional leaders late Tuesday — which would authorize aid for Flint as part of separate legislation for water infrastructure projects — appeared to ameliorate Democratic concerns, clearing the way for the Senate to pass the spending bill, 72 to 26. The House followed suit late Wednesday, approving the measure 342 to 85.