UH takes on Army team seeking third straight win

By JOHN KEKIS

The Associated Press

It’s been almost a month since Army lost its fifth straight game. That narrow defeat to Air Force, however, is far in the rearview mirror.

Two convincing victories since have given the Black Knights (5-6) new life as they await the Universiy of Hawaii football team at Aloha Stadium tonight.

“It was good to get a couple of victories in a row for sure,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “It was an agonizing month of October and beyond. Just to go through that stretch was frustrating and disappointing for everybody. Our guys were playing hard and I thought we were practicing well, it’s just we weren’t making enough plays to win games.

“It doesn’t diminish the sense of urgency for this game. It’s a big game for us and one that we really need to win to push ourselves closer to the team we want to be.”

Army’s triple option is averaging 302.6 rushing yards a game, up to third nationally. The totals, however, are due in large part to lopsided wins over struggling UMass (63-7) and VMI (47-6) in the past three weeks. The Black Knights totaled 1,092 yards rushing in those two games and now have 40 rushing scores, tied for first in the nation.

The Rainbow Warriors (8-4) have defeated Army three times in four meetings and have clinched the West Division of the Mountain West Conference for the first time. They’ll play No. 20 Boise State for the league title next week, but coach Nick Rolovich says his team is not looking past the Black Knights..

“We’ve got to take care of Army,” Rolovich said. “We know what kind of game that’s going to be.”

Bye Advantage

Hawaii defeated San Diego State 14-11 last Saturday to capture a share of the division title with the Aztecs, earning the berth in the title game due to its head-to-head win. Army is coming off a bye week, a blessing of sorts for injury-plagued quarterbacks Kelvin Hopkins Jr. and Jabari Laws.

“They know what we do,” said Hopkins, a senior who gained a career-high 208 yards rushing two weeks ago in relief of an injured Laws during the win over VMI at Michie Stadium. “They play Navy, they play Air Force, and in the past two years they’ve played all three of us, so they know what the option is like and they’re a really aggressive, athletic team.

“We’re just going to try to do our job and keep them (the Hawaii offense) off the field as much as possible.”

Defenses Rising

UH has won three straight and in the past two games has allowed only 18 points and an average of 276.5 yards of total offense. The Rainbow Warriors gave up 52 or more points in three of their losses.

“We just really needed to prove that we’re a good defense after giving up (so many) points in two or three games,” linebacker Solomon Matautia said. “It’s just a combination of everybody giving their best.”

Army’s defense has allowed just 13 points in the last two games, the first time the Black Knights have accomplished that since 1977 when they held Holy Cross to seven points and Air Force to six in consecutive games. Army is 11th nationally in passing defense (178.7) and 23rd in total defense (323.8). UH quarterback Cole McDonald is averaging 286.5 yards passing and has thrown for 26 TDs with 13 interceptions.

Common Foe

Air Force dominated the fourth quarter against Hawaii after the Rainbow Warriors pulled within nine points. The Falcons, second nationally in rushing (304.4), scored three straight touchdowns to win 56-26, finishing with 353 yards rushing and averaging 6.9 yards a carry to more than offset Hawaii’s 404 yards passing. Army lost 17-13 to the Falcons on the road, denied victory by a goal-line stand in the final minute.

Win Win

Army lacks two victories to become bowl-eligible because two of its wins came against teams from the Championship Subdivision and only one of those can be counted toward the necessary six wins. The Black Knights finish the regular season against Navy in two weeks riding a three-game winning streak against the Midshipmen and can keep possession of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for a third straight year with a victory.

Home Sweet Home

Hawaii has won 14 of its last 15 regular-season, nonconference home games and is 9-1 in those games under Rolovich, its only loss coming against BYU in the season finale two years ago. The Rainbow Warriors are 2-0 against Army at Aloha Stadium, winning 59-28 in 2003 and 49-42 in 2013. The Black Knights won last year’s game at Michie Stadium, 28-21.

Buggs’ 25 points lead UH past USF

The Maui News

Drew Buggs scored a career-high 25 points, and the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team handed San Francisco its first loss of the season with an 85-75 win on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

Buggs was 11 of 19 from the field, including 3 of 6 from behind the arc, for UH (5-2). The junior guard also had six assists and four rebounds before fouling out with about a minute and a half left and the win well in hand.

Eddie Stansberry added 21 points for the Rainbow Warriors. Zigmars Raimo had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Samuta Avea chipped in 14 points.

Hawaii closed the first half on a 10-4 run to lead 39-30 at the half. An 8-0 run gave the Dons a 55-51 lead with 10 minutes, 48 seconds remaining. The Rainbow Warriors grabbed back the lead with a 7-0 run of their own and were able to pull away from there.

Jimbo Lull had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Dons (7-1).

UH hosts Hawaii Pacific on Sunday before traveling to Eugene, Ore., to take on the No. 11 Ducks on Dec. 7.

Rainbow Wahine fall to Mean Green 66-60

The Maui News

The University of Hawaii women’s basketball team’s comeback bid fell short Friday night as UH lost to North Texas 66-60 in the Rainbow Wahine Showdown at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

The Mean Green used an 18-point second quarter to take a 38-28 lead into halftime. They still led 50-41 after three quarters before the Rainbow Wahine rallied in the fourth.

UH went on a 7-0 run to close within 56-50 with 4 minutes, 30 seconds to go in the game. The Rainbow Wahine continued to chip away, and Amy Atwell’s 3-pointer with 18 seconds left closed the deficit to 60-58, but North Texas was able to hold on by going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.

Julissa Tago had 15 points and Atwell added 13 for UH (3-3).

Anisha George led the Mean Green (3-3) with 21 points.

Hawaii plays No. 12 N.C. State today and Texas on Sunday to wrap up the tourney.

Department of Education to offer Hawaiian courses

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Education plans to offer free Hawaiian language courses to its employees, officials said.

The department’s 22,000 salaried employees, including 13,000 teachers, will be able to take courses beginning in January, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The program is a partnership between the education department’s Office of Hawaiian Education and the University of Hawaii’s community colleges, officials said.

“We are excited to announce this new learning opportunity aimed at honoring the essential role that olelo Hawaii (Hawaiian language) plays in our educational system,” state schools Superintendent Christina Kishimoto said in a statement.

The Education Department has incorporated Hawaiian language, culture and history in its curriculum since an 80-year public education ban on the language was overturned at the 1978 state Constitutional Convention.

Education officials subsequently created the Hawaiian Studies program, the Hawaiian Language Immersion program and the Office of Hawaiian Education.

Employees can enroll in scheduled courses at seven community colleges beginning in the spring semester or join custom courses for education department staff groups, officials said.

Teachers completing courses will receive professional development credits, while other employees will be given college credit, officials said.

Somalia burial planned for Minnesota high-rise fire victim

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A daughter of a woman who was killed in a fire at a Minneapolis public housing high-rise is making plans to hold her funeral in Somalia.
Five people died and three were injured in the early Wednesday morning blaze at the Cedar High Apartments located in a heavily immigrant neighborhood. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office identified four of the five victims as Jerome Stewart, 59; Nadifa Mohamud, 67; Maryan Mohamed Mohamud, 69; and Amatalah Adam.
Mohamud’s daughter, Fardowsa Yusuf, told the Star Tribune Wednesday that her mother lived on the 24th floor and was overcome by smoke trying to escape. Yusuf said she and her two sisters attempted to help Mohamud, who had trouble walking, but lost her in the smoke on the 17th floor. Later, after Yusuf was able to enter her mother’s apartment, she dropped to her knees, placed her forehead on her mother’s mattress and wept quietly.
“I will never get my mother back,” she said, adding it was Mohamud’s wish to be laid to rest in Somalia.
While the cause of the blaze was still under investigation, Fire Chief John Fruetel told reporters Wednesday that investigators believe the fire was an accident but didn’t explain why. No further details on the fire were available Thursday morning and authorities had not released the name of the fifth victim.
Fruetel said the fire had been burning for a while and had blown out windows by the time firefighters arrived. A fire alarm was sounding throughout the building, and from a distance, flames could be seen extending 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) from windows on the 14th floor.
Casper Hill, a city spokesman, said the main floor and lower mechanical rooms had partial sprinkler coverage but the rest of the building did not have a sprinkler system. The building was built in 1969 and wasn’t required to have a sprinkler system due to its age, said Minneapolis Public Authority spokesman Jeff Horwich said.
States and cities need to look at making retrofitting high-rise buildings mandatory, said Shane Gray, a retired fire chief who is the president of the National Fire Sprinklers Association.
“There are tragedies, like the one in Minneapolis, all across the country,” Gray told KSTP-TV. “There are other places like Philadelphia, Houston and Louisville that have made retrofitting sprinklers in buildings mandatory.”
Horwich said the Cedar High building that burned has 191 apartments, all one-bedroom or studio units. There were 198 residents living in the building at the time of the fire.
The three injured people were being treated Wednesday at hospitals. Their conditions weren’t released, and it wasn’t known whether they remained hospitalized Thursday.
A firefighter also was treated for an exertion-related injury.
Another one of Nadifa Mohamud’s relatives, Ali Warsame, former director of the West Bank Neighborhood Coalition, said family members were still in shock and try to process what happened.
“From the outside, they look OK but I’m sure they’re hurting on the inside,” Warsame said.

Agency cited sprinkler need months before high-rise fire

By AMY FORLITI Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The agency that manages public housing in Minneapolis noted a need for sprinklers in older high-rise apartments months before a massive fire broke out in a 50-year-old building, leaving five people dead from smoke inhalation.
Although the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority didn’t specifically budget for high-rise sprinklers in a plan approved in September, the document does list them as a future priority.
“Additionally, as building codes have evolved, we need to address increased life/safety requirements such as retrofitting our highrise buildings with sprinkler systems,” the plan says. “MPHA has made infrastructure/building systems a priority and will target these types of improvements with its limited Capital Fund resources until major reinvestment opportunities materialize.”
Minneapolis Public Housing Authority spokesman Jeff Horwich declined to elaborate Friday on the reference to sprinklers in the plan. He said the document reflects long-term aspirations, not necessarily current available funding.
The fire Wednesday came just days before the building was to be inspected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was not immediately clear if that routine inspection will go on Monday as planned.
Authorities on Friday still had not released the cause of the fire, which started around 4 a.m. on the 14th floor of the building in the heart of an immigrant neighborhood. Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel told reporters Wednesday that investigators believe the fire was an accident, but he didn’t explain why.
The victims have been identified as Tyler Baron, 32; Jerome Stewart, 59; Nadifa Mohamud, 67; Maryan Mohamed Mohamud, 69; and Amatalah Adam, 78. Three others were injured.
According to the city, the main floor and lower mechanical rooms of the 25-floor building known as Cedar High Apartments had partial sprinkler coverage, but the rest of the building did not have a sprinkler system.
HUD says the building was built in January 1970, when sprinklers weren’t required by law.
Jen Longaecker, a spokeswoman for the state fire marshal, said building codes that addressed sprinkler systems existed at the local level in the 1960s. All local building codes were replaced by the state building code in 1972. But there were no state requirements for sprinkler systems in high-rise buildings until the 1979 Uniform Building Code went into effect in late 1980.
Longaecker said building code requirements apply to new construction and are not retroactive for existing buildings. Buildings like Cedar High Apartments would not need to improve their fire protection unless there is substantial remodeling or a change the type of occupancy.
When asked Wednesday whether sprinklers might have helped control the fire, Fruetel said: “Sprinklers will always make a difference in a building.”
Shane Gray, a retired fire chief who is president of the National Fire Sprinklers Association, told KSTP-TV that states and cities need to look at making retrofitting high-rise buildings mandatory.
“There is an extra cost to retrofitting older buildings with sprinklers, but there is a way to get it done too,” Gray said. “You can offer tax credits and deductions and phase it in over a number of years to help the owners of these buildings afford it.”
When it comes to public housing inspections, the city said those are handled by federal agencies, but the city inspected the building to respond to specific complaints. City records showed just a few inspections in recent years. The most recent, in 2016, was for failure to clean exhaust hoods “contaminated by grease-laden vapors” every six months; the inspector’s report said the last record of maintenance was four years earlier.
HUD last inspected the building in February 2015 and gave it a physical inspection score of 95 out of 100. According to a redacted summary of the inspection report, inspectors noted that a chute in the trash collection area didn’t latch properly, and that two units showed evidence of a cockroach infestation.
No problems were noted with fire alarm or sprinkler systems, according to the report. The complex that includes the high-rise is scheduled for its next routine inspection on Monday. It’s unclear if that inspection will go forward as planned.
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River watchers already wary about 2020 spring flooding

By JIM SALTER Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — After a year that has seen some of the worst flooding ever in parts of the Midwest, concern is already rising that the spring of 2020 may bring more high water to places that still haven’t fully recovered.
Flooding ravaged much of the Missouri and Mississippi River basins and their tributaries earlier this year, reaching record levels and overwhelming levees in many places. Eight months later, parts of the Missouri River are slightly above flood stage at a time of the year when river levels traditionally run low.
Conditions are only slightly better on the Mississippi River, which is just a couple of feet below flood stage at several towns from Burlington, Iowa, south to near St. Louis.
High river levels aren’t the only worry. National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs cited two other factors that have him concerned: Soil is extremely saturated in northern states like Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas, and the long-range forecast offers a strong possibility of a wetter-than-normal winter.
“We’re worried about rivers in general, primarily the Missouri and Mississippi for the spring,” Fuchs, of the weather service’s suburban St. Louis office, said. “We’ll see how the winter plays out.”
Areas along the Missouri River in parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri were particularly ravaged in the early spring, damaging hundreds of homes and businesses.
In Buchanan County, Missouri, some county roads were damaged on three separate occasions as floodwaters would rise, fall, and rise again. Emergency Management Director Bill Brinton said those roads have been fixed to the point of being passable but with the strong prospect of more potentially severe flooding next spring, full repairs will have to wait.
Levees that were overtopped and breached in spring and summer flooding also remain unrepaired, meaning that the next big flood could get back into the same homes damaged months ago.
“It’s kind of scary for the spring,” Brinton, whose county had about 150 homes damaged, said. “These people have had their lives impacted three separate times this year.”
The Mississippi River reached near-record levels at several points, including the second-highest ever at St. Louis. Both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers dipped below flood stage by early fall, “then they turned around and went right back up in October with more rain in both basins,” Fuchs said. “For both rivers, there really hasn’t been much chance to recover.”
Fuchs said soil moisture levels in many places to the north are at the 99th percentile for late fall.
“If you have rain, it’s supposed to go into the ground,” Fuchs said. “Well, there’s just not room in the soil to accept rainfall or snowmelt.”
Adding to the worry is the weather service’s December-February forecast which shows a significant chance of above-normal precipitation in the upper Midwestern states that feed water into the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
For now, all river communities can do is wait. Brinton said the holes in Buchanan County’s levees are too big and plentiful to sandbag.
“I just don’t see how it’s not going to be a problem in the spring,” Brinton said.

Wintry weather back in the Dakotas after Thanksgiving break

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Travelers across the Dakotas and Minnesota braced for a return of wintery weather this weekend, with up to 2 feet of snow expected in the Black Hills.
The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning remained in effect in counties across the Great Plains from central Montana to northern Wisconsin. Freezing drizzle is expected to turn into heavy snow on Friday night. Winds as high as 60 mph may whip across the region, blowing snow and reducing visibility.
Hospitals in western South Dakota prepared to care for patients if the storm causes power outages. The South Dakota Highway Patrol reported one fatal accident on an icy road and posted photos on social media of cars that had careened off roads. Travelers are being asked to stay off the roads.

Antetokounmpo leads Bucks by Cavs

CLEVELAND (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and Milwaukee held off Cleveland for its 10th straight victory.
Antetokounmpo grabbed 12 rebounds and has had double-doubles in every game this season for Milwaukee, at 16-3 the top team in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks hadn’t won 10 in a row since the 1985-86 season.
Hill scored 18 points, and Middleton, playing for the second time since missing seven games with a bruised left thigh, had 12.
Cleveland has dropped nine of 10. Rookie Darius Garland scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, and Cedi Osman had 20. Tristan Thompson had 11 points and 13 rebounds, including the 5,000th of his career in the first half.
Love, who is playing despite dealing with a sore back, had 16 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes.

Wild use 3-goal burst to coast past Senators 7-2

By Brian Murphy
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Defenseman Jared Spurgeon had a goal and two assists, Zack Parise stayed hot and Minnesota scored three goals in a 4:13 span of the second period to cruise to a 7-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
The Wild had their highest-scoring game of the season, beating the Senators for the eighth straight time since November 2016. It was the first time Minnesota scored seven goals since a Dec. 11, 2018, victory over Montreal.
All four forward lines had a goal and Alex Stalock made 33 saves to improve to 6-3-2 as starter Devan Dubnyk takes more family leave to deal with his wife’s undiagnosed illness.
After Minnesota took a 3-2 lead into the third period, Luke Kunin, Ryan Hartman and Eric Staal added insurance goals.
The Wild extended their points streak to eight games (5-0-3). Only the Boston Bruins (10 games) have a longer active streak.
It was the fourth time this season Ottawa allowed five or more goals in a game after yielding just five in its previous four games.
The Wild dominated the scoring chances in the first period but were denied by the goal post and Senators goalie Anders Nilsson. Meanwhile, Ottawa opened the scoring when Nick Paul re-directed Nikita Zaitsev’s point shot at 15:37. It was Paul’s first goal in 15 games.
Minnesota came to life in the second period with 17 shots and a trio of goals 4:13 apart to take a 3-2 lead into the third. Ryan Donato got it rolling with his second goal in three games, grabbing a loose puck in the corner, cutting to the net and roofing a backhander over Nilsson.
The Senators regained the lead only 54 seconds later off an offensive-zone faceoff. Brady Tkachuk, despite being knocked to the ice by Parise, managed to one-time Connor Brown’s centering pass past Stalock for his ninth of the season.
The Wild quickly answered off the rush. Staal fed Zuccarello in the left circle. His shot toward the net was tipped by Spurgeon, who celebrated his 30th birthday with his third goal of the season.
Just 28 seconds later, Parise gave Minnesota its first lead. His goal-line shot ricocheted off Nilsson’s skates and through the goaltender’s legs. Parise continued his torrid pace. His team-leading 11th goal of the season was his seventh in eight games.
NOTES: Staal became the 113th player to skate in 1,200 NHL games. …The Senators finished 0 for 1 on the power play and remain mired in last place in the NHL with a 9.3% conversion rate.