An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)Washington D.C. — The Navy accepted delivery of future attack submarine USS Indiana (SSN 789), the 16th submarine of the Virginia class, June 25.The ship began construction in 2012 and is scheduled to commission in September. This next-generation attack submarine provides the Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority.“Indiana’s delivery marks the culmination of millions of man-hours of work by thousands of people across this country to bring the world’s foremost undersea asset to the fleet,” said Capt. Christopher Hanson, Virginia class program manager. “It is a proud day for every person who had a hand in the submarine’s construction.”Indiana is the sixth Virginia-class Block III submarine. Block III submarines feature a redesigned bow with enhanced payload capabilities, replacing 12 individual vertical-launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia payload tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles. The redesign also incorporates a large-aperture bow (LAB) water-backed array, which replaces the traditional air-backed spherical array. These, among other design changes, reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.Indiana is the fourth ship named after the 19th state and will be the first to be in active service since the end of the Second World War. The first USS Indiana (BB 1), a battleship, saw action during the Spanish-American War and participated in both the blockade and battle of Santiago de Cuba. The third USS Indiana (BB 58) was completed in April 1942, saw extensive combat in the Pacific theater of World War II, and earned nine battle stars.Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operations forces support; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; irregular warfare and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.
The Blue Jays’ plan to play in the Steel City has been scrapped.Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae reported late Tuesday that the Jays were heading to Pittsburgh to play their home games, sharing a park with the Pirates in 2020. Can confirm the Blue Jays have been told they will be calling PNC Park “home” this season per MLB source. @longleysunsport was first to suggest Pittsburgh as option.— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) July 22, 2020MORE: World Series odds for 2020But not so fast: While the Bucs were inviting of the Blue Jays making a nest in the ‘Burgh, Pennsylvania government was not a fan of the idea, and on Wednesday, state health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced (per The Associated Press) that it would not allow the club in.”In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Levine said in a statement obtained by the AP. “To add travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sports events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams.”The plan to play in Pittsburgh was the next best bet after Buffalo, N.Y., which houses the Jays’ Triple-A minor league affiliate, was seemingly eliminated early in the process.In case you’re wondering how and why two teams would have been able to play in one stadium over the course of just over two months, consider: The Blue Jays and Pirates share just seven game dates this year, making it easy for MLB to work out the kinks in the schedule.Of course, there were additional logistical issues that could have harmed both teams, including potential rainouts and travel for visiting teams. The postseason isn’t likely in either team’s immediate future, which did eliminate one potential logistical hurdle. (Sorry, Pittsburgh and Toronto fans.) Given MLB’s region-based schedule, this plan meant four divisions — the NL Central, AL Central, AL East and NL East — would have played games in Pittsburgh this year.The Blue Jays were left without a home stadium after Canada wanted no part of MLB’s plan to have teams travel back and forth between countries in the middle of a global pandemic, and reasonably so: Cases in the United States continue to rise, while Canada has flattened its curve significantly since its apex in early May.The state of Pennsylvania likewise had concerns with teams from the East Coast in coronavirus-rich areas traveling to Pennsylvania. Toronto’s enforcement of the Blue Jays staying indoors during summer training was very strict, with harsh penalties in place if players left their hotel or stadium bubble. If players were seen outside Rogers Centre, they would have been subject to a $750,000 fine and potential jail time.Pirates president Travis Williams welcomed the Blue Jays with open arms once Toronto was ousted from the north.Pirates President Travis Williams released this statement on the Blue Jays potentially playing some of their home games at PNC Park. pic.twitter.com/i1X5kBW2a7— Mike Persak (@MikeDPersak) July 20, 2020The Jays were originally scheduled to play their first home game on July 29. Scheduling updates have yet to be released.
MASON CITY — The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has re-designated Mason City as an Iowa Great Place, and they’ve also designated Mason City for one of three new Cultural and Entertainment Districts.Mason City received the Iowa Great Place re-designation for the Willow Creek Downtown Corridor Development on the southern boundary of the downtown area. Project development in that area will focus on creating an inviting, usable space incorporating the natural environment and complementing community and downtown assets and economic development.The Cultural and Entertainment District includes the Main Street Mason City program area and the Downtown Mason City Historic District. Major anchors include the MacNider Art Museum, Mason City Public Library, Music Man Square, Historic Park Inn Hotel, Mason City Community Theater and Steben’s Children’s Theater.