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Nicholas Sandmann reaches settlement with NBC

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed against NBC by Covington Catholic graduate Nick Sandmann.

Sandmann announced the settlement in a tweet, saying the terms of the agreement are confidential. This is Sandmann's third settlement with a major news outlet following media coverage of a viral video featuring him at the Lincoln Memorial in January 2019.

Documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Kentucky show both parties agreed to dismiss the case without a judgement from the court.

Court records show Sandmann has filed suit in federal court against eight major news outlets including The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, CBS News, ABC News, Rolling Stone and Gannett. In January 2020, CNN settled. In July 2020, The Washington Post settled.


Opinion: Vaccine mandates may be only remedy for Detroit's disrupted classrooms

Long-term, only a vaccine mandate for employees and students will allow for consistency of learning," Nikolai Vitti wrote in an email to the Free Press this week. "... If we do not move to a vaccine, the challenges disrupting school ... will not end."

Statewide, 61.5% of Michiganders of all ages have gotten the first shot; in Detroit, it's 44%. Broad public access and literal vaccination house calls haven't moved the needle much. (Any Detroiter older than 12 can receive the shot at home by calling 313-230-0505. Vaccines for kids are also available at the Detroit Health Department) The Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for teenagers this spring, and for children 5-11 last month. But just 17.5% of Detroiters aged 5 to 19, and less than 5% of Detroit kids 5-11 have received their first shot.

Vitti listed mask requirements, the expense and operational distraction of testing, quarantines triggered by COVID-19 outbreaks, and employee burnout among the chronic pandemic contingencies that continue to disrupt classroom instruction. It's those last two that prompted the district to switch to virtual learning every Friday this month, after outbreaks shut down multiple school buildings.

The closures will also allow time for deep cleaning of school buildings, Vitti said; When I pointed out that public health authorities have long since debunked such cleaning rituals as an effective COVID-19 mitigation tactic, he conceded the point, but added that the community has "continued to raise concerns about cleanliness after positive cases and outbreaks were identified." Vitti had hoped to encourage vaccination by offering staffers $500 bonuses, but it hasn't been enough. National teacher unions have supported vaccine mandates, but the Detroit Federation of Teachers hasn't embraced that position.


Gov. Whitmer says President Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate a 'problem,' report says

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in her strongest public remarks to date about President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for employers, said Monday that the requirement is "a problem" for her and state government, according to a published report.

The Daily News in Greenville reported Whitmer as telling business leaders in Montcalm County that she had the same concerns as some of them that the mandate, if enforced, could lead to workers, including those in state government, walking off the job.

"We’re an employer too, the state of Michigan is," Whitmer was reported as saying. "I know if that mandate happens, we’re going to lose state employees. That’s why I haven’t proposed a mandate at the state level. Some states have. We have not, we’re waiting to see what happens in court."

“But we have a lot of the same concerns that you just voiced and it’s going to be a problem for all of us,” Whitmer added.

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