New Rocket to be Launched from Virginia; Could be Visible from New Jersey to North Carolina

The rocket being launched from the NASA Wallops Spaceport could be visible in these colored areas at and in the seconds after launch time. Image: NASA
The rocket being launched from the NASA Wallops Spaceport could be visible in these colored areas at and in the seconds after launch time. Image: NASA

After several delays at the end of 2022, it appears a new rocket is on-schedule to be launched from Virginia in the coming weeks; the launch could be visible across the Mid Atlantic from New Jersey and New York to North and South Carolina. The launch, taking place at the NASA Wallops Spaceport, will send a Rocket Lab rocket to space; it’ll be Rocket Lab’s first launch in the United States.

Right now, the historic launch is scheduled for Monday, January 23; the launch window for the mission is 6 pm – 8 pm and the rocket can launch at anytime within that window. Additional back-up dates have also been decided on should weather or other conditions interfere with the launch on the 23rd.

The Rocket Lab Electron rocket is on the launchpad at NASA Wallops waiting for a launch set for next week. Image: Rocket Lab
The Rocket Lab Electron rocket is on the launchpad at NASA Wallops waiting for a launch set for next week. Image: Rocket Lab

Space company Rocket Lab continues to prepare to launch their very first rocket from the NASA Wallops Spaceport in Virginia. The launch, originally set for  December 9, has a mission name of “Virginia is for Launch Lovers.” This mission will deploy radio frequency monitoring satellites for HawkEye 360. The 59-foot-tall Electron rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

With this mission, NASA is helping foster a growing low-Earth space economy and continues Wallops’ 35-year history of support to the commercial launch industry.

Rocket Lab is an American aerospace manufacturer and launch service provider. Operating smaller, lightweight Electron orbital rockets, Rocket Lab is dedicated to providing access into space for small satellites and their manufacturers. Electron is a 2-stage launch vehicle which uses liquid fuel engines on both stages. Generally, the Electron craft is capable of delivering payloads of 150 kg to a 500 km Sun-synchronous orbit.

In the future, Rocket Lab hopes to launch their somewhat larger Neutron rocket from NASA Wallops too.  In March of this year, Rocket Lab announced that Neutron will be built at a facility adjacent to Launch Complex 2 at the Virginia coast spaceport. When built, the 130 foot tall Neutron is expected to be capable of launching a 17,600 pound payload into low Earth orbit. Rocket Lab previously said they hope the first stage of the Neutron rocket will be reusable, with rockets returning to Earth on a floating platform located down-range off the Mid Atlantic coast.

While this will be Rocket Lab’s first launch at NASA Wallops and the first in the Northern Hemisphere, they are no stranger to launching rockets. Rocket Lab has successfully launched 32 Electron rockets  from their New Zealand launch facility, known as Launch Complex 1 near Ahuriri Point at the southern tip of Māhia Peninsula, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

Rocket Lab attempted to launch this rocket in December, but attempts on December 7, 9, 13, 15, 16, and 18 failed primarily due to weather-related issues.

Rocket Lab isn’t the only company launching from NASA Wallops this year. In March, Northrop Grumman plans to launch a larger Antares rocket. The Antares rocket will launch the 20th Cygnus cargo craft to the International Space Station (ISS.)

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Progressive Field renovation

CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Cleveland Guardians announced renovation projects Thursday for Progressive Field.

Progressive Field is the 11th oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.

The improvements are expected to be completed over the next three years.

The scheduled renovation projects will focus on the following areas:

Revamped Upper Deck

The revamped Upper Deck will feature multiple social spaces for fans to enjoy the game. The new-look Upper Deck will feature a Beer Garden down the left field line, a new group outing space in right field, and new concession spaces, including two new View Box bars that will flank home plate and allow for more open sight lines from the Upper Deck concourse.

Terrace Hub

The current Terrace Club will be reimagined as an open-air hub with terraced-ticketed seating on the 200 and 300-levels, and a new expansive authentic-to-Cleveland Beer Hall food and beverage experience on the 400-level that will be open to all ticketed patrons at Progressive Field. The ticketed seating sections will have their own private club space on the 300-level.

Dugout Club

The new Dugout Club will combine the best of both worlds when it comes to premium seating, allowing for the same great field-level seats that currently exist while creating a new exclusive lounge behind home plate. The Club will also feature seven private lounges to allow for groups to enjoy an exclusive experience.

Clubhouses & Service Level

Both clubhouses, as well as the ballpark Service Level, will be updated for the first time since the ballpark opened in 1994. The new home clubhouse will be completely reimagined with a focus on player amenities in performance, training and recovery.

Through these renovations, we will significantly improve our ability to support player preparation, performance, and recovery through expanded and enhanced strength and conditioning and athletic training areas, improved kitchen facilities, more robust technological support for players, coaches, and staff members, among other improvements.

E. 9th Street Building

To allow for the clubhouse expansion, a new four-level E. 9th street building will be erected in right field to allow for a new kitchen and commissary for the Guardians concessionaire, as well as additional storage facilities for the ballpark. The rooftop of the new E. 9th street building will connect to the Upper Concourse and serve as a new group space at Progressive Field.

Cleveland Guardians Front Office

The Guardians Front Office will also be fully renovated for the first time since 1994. As part of the renovation, the Guardians will add a fifth floor to the current four-level structure.

Project Funding

The funding for the projects will be supported by the new lease agreement which extends the current lease to 2036 (with potential options to extent to 2046) and was agreed upon between the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, State of Ohio, the Gateway Economic Development Corporation of Greater Cleveland and the Cleveland Guardians. The estimated total of the projects will be $202.5 million with $67.5 million coming from the Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians are also responsible to provide additional funds to cover cost overages, if any, that may result from the projects.

Project Timing

The Guardians expect all renovations to be completed by the 2025 season. The schematic design process is close to completion, and the majority of the 2023 season will focus on design development with the hope of starting construction at the end of the 2023 season.

2024 Opening Day Project Completion:

  • Upper Deck Experience
  • E. 9th Street Building

2025 Opening Day Project Completion:

  • Terrace Hub
  • Dugout Club
  • Clubhouses & Service Level
  • Administrative Offices

Manica is serving as the lead design architect on the finalized projects.

“Progressive Field has been a fantastic home to Cleveland Baseball since it opened in 1994,” said Cleveland Guardians Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Dolan. “We are excited to continue to call Progressive Field home for decades to come, and we look forward to providing new experiences and updated enhancements to our fans, players and staff through renovation projects that will continue to keep our ballpark competitive as one of the best venues in Major League Baseball.”

“Year over year we are continuously striving to achieve our ultimate goal of winning a World Series Championship for the City of Cleveland,” said President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti. “To achieve that goal, we need to provide our players the adequate space and amenities to focus on training, recovery and rehabilitation, and those will be the biggest focus areas as we build out the renovated clubhouse space.”

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Rams Called to Draft 2-Time National Champion Edge Rusher



Rams defenders celebrate a defensive stop on December 25, 2022 in Inglewood versus Denver.

Regardless if it’s Sean McVay back at head coach or someone else handling the coaching reins for the Los Angeles Rams, edge rush help is considered a high priority for the offseason.

Outside of Leonard Floyd and his team-high nine sacks, the rest of the edge rush room combined to only get 6.5 sacks — and that includes Michael Hoecht snatching 4.5 after moving from defensive tackle to a rusher coming out of the two-point stance. And that’s where one draft expert believes a two-time national champion defender can come in handy in the “Rams House” to improve the edge rush room: Nolan Smith of Georgia.

Luke Easterling of USA Today’s Draft Wire on Thursday, January 12 called on the Rams to take Smith at No. 36 overall. But along with his rush skills, Smith has the skillset that got Bleacher Report comparing him to this three-time Pro Bowler: Melvin Ingram.

What Smith Can Bring to the Rams if Taken

Smith was not on the field when his Bulldogs annihilated Texas Christian 65-7 inside the Rams’ home venue of SoFi Stadium on Monday, January 9 with the national championship on the line. He sat out with a torn pectoral muscle. He was involved in the game’s opening coin toss while being joined by past Georgia great and Rams franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford.

But when he was on the field, the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Smith brought a relentless streak to a loaded Georgia defense and some consistent tackling.

Smith delivered 114 tackles across his four seasons in Athens with 66 solo stops and 21 tackles for a loss. He added 11.5 career sacks with three forced fumbles in 2021. Even with his rather thin frame for a front seven edge defender, Bleacher Report’s Matt Holder praised how effective Smith is when taking on blockers.

“Physical at the point of attack and has pop in his hands to get extension and shed blocks from offensive tackles fairly easily. He’s violent when shedding and has shown flashes of using his quickness to defeat blocks, too,” Holder wrote.

Holder added that Smith knows how to “set the edge” versus outside zone plays (jet sweeps, designed option keeper runs) plus “is stronger than his 235-pound frame would suggest to hold his ground versus offensive tackles.” But another major strength of Smith’s game? He’s not one to miss tackles.

“Form tackler, good pad level, wraps up and runs his feet through contact. He’s not going to miss many tackles,” Holder said.

State of the Rams’ Edge Rush Room for 2023

Changes already started during the season for this group.

Takkarist McKinley went from late regular season addition to being released after not even being with the team for a month, as he parted ways on October 18, 2022. Then, Super Bowl 56 winners Justin Hollins and Terrell Lewis were waived during the season on November 22 and December 15, respectively.

But there could be more. Hoecht is an exclusive rights free agent for the upcoming free agency period. Same with outside linebacker and NFC championship game hero Travin Howard, who snatched the final interception to send the Rams to Super Bowl 56. Defensive end A’Shawn Robinson, who has also slid inside on the line, is an unrestricted free agent.

The Rams should have plenty of opportunities to draft an edge rusher. While Smith has noticeable flaws in his frame and in having an arsenal of hand moves, his experience in playing for a multiple champion and playing in the always stout Southeastern Conference makes him battle tested enough to give the Rams edge help if drafted. And, he could add to the Georgia representation already in L.A. with Stafford and Smith’s former college teammate Derion Kendrick.

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John Tortorella bans iPads from Flyers’ bench: ‘Watch the game’

John Tortorella is taking away the Flyers’ toys.

The famously crusty coach revealed after Wednesday’s 5-3 win over the Capitals he banned iPads from the Philadelphia bench in an attempt to help his players focus on their next shift, not looking back at their last.

“I think it’s a major problem with us, understanding the momentums of the game,” Tortorella told reporters. “You can’t understand momentums of the game if you’re looking at the iPad all the time. We took them off and aren’t even going to use them, so that they watch the game and see what’s next.”

Head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, John Tortorella, looks on
John Tortorella doesn’t want his players reviewing their old shifts instead of looking toward their next ones.
Getty Images

The approach seems to be working. The Flyers are in the midst of a midseason turnaround, having won six of seven and going 7-3-0 in their last 10. They haven’t made up ground in the ulta-competitive Metropolitan Division, though; at 17-18-7 and in second-to-last place, there’s plenty of work to be done.

One player who seems to be benefitting from Tortorella’s decision is forward Travis Konecny, who he cited as looking “at that damn thing all the time.”

“He might’ve been upset that the iPads were gone tonight,” forward Scott Laughton said after the win. “He’s pretty good at looking at it after every shift.”

Travis Konecny #11 of the Philadelphia Flyers uses an iPad to review a play during a timeout
Tortorella singled out Travis Konecny as a player who looks at the iPad ‘all the time.’
Getty Images

With a hat trick on Wednesday, Konecny extended his point streak to 10 games and has equalled his career-high of 24 goals in just 36 games played this season.

If he’s missing the iPad, he’s not showing it — at least not to his teammates, anyway.

“Everyone was chirping me because I’m always watching them,” Konecny said. “But I don’t care.”

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Florida Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform Praise Governor Ron DeSantis for Taking on PBMs – Business News Today

Florida Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform Praise Governor Ron DeSantis for Taking on PBMs – Business News Today – EIN Presswire

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Exxon nailed global warming projections decades ago, new study finds

A new study of Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp.’s own climate projections offers fresh evidence that the oil giant’s models accurately forecast global warming decades ago even as it publicly sowed doubt about the climate crisis.

A review of climate projections made by Exxon for the years 1977 through 2003  found that the company anticipated warming of roughly 0.20° each decade, according to a new study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science. That projection aligns with academic and government studies, as well as observed increases in temperatures over that time period.

“Our investigation uncovers new data in old documents,” said Geoffrey Supran, lead author of the new study and an environmental science and policy professor at the University of Miami. “They didn’t just know some climate science. They pioneered it.”

The findings build on twin investigations published in 2015 by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times, which outlined in detail how Exxon’s researchers extensively studied climate change in the 1970s and 1980s.  The new study also elaborates on previous research from Supran and his co-author Naomi Oreskes, who in 2017 published a study that found Exxon had publicly cast doubt on climate science while its scientists were internally acknowledging the risks of climate change.

Read more about Exxon Mobil

Over the past few years, state attorneys general, members of Congress and others have opened investigations and filed lawsuits accusing Exxon and other fossil fuel companies of misleading investors and the public on climate change. Patrick Parenteau, a professor of law emeritus at Vermont Law and Graduate School, said this most recent study will bolster those cases.

“This analysis is a stick of dynamite,” he said. “The industry’s own experts and paid consultants began running sophisticated temperature models as long ago as the ‘70s, quantifying the impact that CO2 emissions were having on the climate system.”

To reach their conclusions, Supran and his team in 2019 began analyzing more than 100 documents and peer-reviewed publications produced, authored or co-authored by Exxon scientists and managers between 1977 and 2014. The researchers found that the projections from Exxon’s scientists aligned with observed global warming, and one 1985 study boasted a skill score of 99%, meaning the projection almost perfectly aligned with observed temperatures.

In its proprietary research, Exxon correctly dismissed the possibility of a coming ice age and accurately predicted when human-caused global warming would first be detected. The company also accurately estimated the carbon budget — defined as the amount of carbon dioxide that could be added to the atmosphere — for keeping warming below 2C.

Supran said that Exxon’s global warming projections contrasted with the company’s doubtful rhetoric and, as a result, “confirm complicity.”

Carly Wanna, Bloomberg

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Cecil County lawmakers talk priorities on General Assembly opening day | News

ANNAPOLIS — A spirit of change was alive and well in the packed chambers of the State House as Maryland lawmakers convened for the 445th Session of the General Assembly Wednesday.

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‘Six Picks’ Music: The best in local music this weekend (Jan. 13-15)

Its another busy weekend on the local music scene, and we’re featuring free or inexpensive local shows sure to beat the winter blues! Read more in “Six Picks Music.”

Friday: The Berger Boys, the father/son duo Jimmy (Schemers, Men of Great Courage) and Louie Berger, bring their two-part harmonies to covers and originals at the Updike Room at the Greenwich Hotel in East Greenwich at 8PM. Click here for details.

Friday: The Manatees, RI rock veterans Tim Quigley, Steve Capasso and Mike Stamp, play high-energy rock, blues, reggae, dance, and country music and gig regularly around the region. Check out their show featuring Chris Phillips at the Tavern on the Hill in West Greenwich. Click here for details.

Saturday: The National Reserve are a Brooklyn-based Americana/Roots band beginning a new residency at Askew in Providence. They’re a band to watch, and will be appearing monthly at the Providence club. Julie Rhodes opens the free show. Click here for details.

Saturday: Winterstock is an annual benefit concert for the Southcoast Sammaritans, a local agency dedicated to suicide prevention. The free (donations encouraged) day long concert at the Narrows Center features a great line up of locals bands including 3 Legged Dog, Louis Leeman, Beth Barron and The Automatics. Click here for details.

Saturday: Stay in Fall River for what will undoubtedly be a kick-ass Saturday night at the Narrows Center with a “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” co-headlining show starring Miss Tess and Sarah Borges. Both bring a high-energy American/root/rock vibe Click here for details.

Sunday: Celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Redwood Athenaeum with The Voices of Unity Choir – Mount Zion AME and Community Baptist Church under the direction of Frances-Elayne Johnson. Click here for details.

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Newark airport’s new, and very Jersey, Terminal A opens today. Everything you need to know.

It’s 1-million square-feet in size, has 21 gates, screams “you are in New Jersey” through art, food and decor, and has the kind of space and amenities that fliers using Newark Liberty International Airport’s old Terminal A could only dream about.

Wake up. The era of Newark airport’s new Terminal A is dawning today.

The $2.7 billion Terminal A finally opens to air travelers on Thursday after its opening was delayed from Dec. 8 to square away issues with fire alarms and other safety systems.

While much has been written about the massive improvement that the new terminal is compared to the 1970s era building it replaces, here’s some information travelers need to know about using the new Terminal A. Visitors can also find a guide on the Port Authority’s Newark airport website.

Old Terminal A is closed as of Jan. 12, and all operations will be moved to the new building, said CherylAnn Abienz, a Port Authority spokeswoman. Kiss it goodbye. More space, better amenities and less confusion await flyers in the new terminal.

Driving there

Road signs have been erected at the airport to will direct drivers to the new Terminal A, she said.

Drivers can use these coordinates to get directions: 6 Earhart Drive, Newark, NJ 07114. GPS Coordinates –40.68401346398805, -74.18862113251812.

Watch the signs

The new terminal features many “dynamic” video signs that tell drivers where departure drop-off areas are for various airlines. The roadway and sidewalks at the drop-off areas are wider, intended to relieve traffic congestion between arriving and departing vehicles at the new terminal. While it’s a new building, the old rules still apply about no parking, it’s a load or unload and go zone.


The hulking 2,700 space Consolidated Parking and Rental Car building, also known as CONRAC, will be open for parking on Jan. 12, but not for rental cars, Abienz said. The new parking garage is connected to Terminal A by a long, enclosed pedestrian bridge. It also has charging stations for electric vehicles.

The facility that consolidates 10 rental car facilities under one roof will open later in the year, she said.

With the closing of the old Terminal A on Jan. 12, the existing Short Term Parking A lot will also close to new customers when new Terminal A opens, so don’t try to park there after Thursday.

Port Authority parking pre-booking is available for the new Terminal A and provides a cost savings compared to drive up parking rates. The airport and parking websites also provides information about parking availability in the daily, short term and economy lots.

What if you parked at the old Terminal A?

There will be a shuttle bus from the new Terminal A to get you back to your vehicle in the old Terminal A short term parking lot. Travelers should follow the ground transportation signs to Curb 3 Loading Zone 15 to take the bus marked Short Term Parking, operated by Country Club.

Travelers should ask the driver if they are on the correct bus to the short term parking lot, since several different buses pick up in that loading area at Terminal A.

Getting there by mass transit

NJ Transit and Amtrak Northeast Corridor line passengers will continue to take the AirTrain-monorail to the airport, but they will get off at a different stop, the former P2 stop which has been renamed to Terminal A. To actually get to the terminal, passengers can take a free shuttle bus, which runs every five to seven minutes. That ride takes four minutes according to the Port Authority.

Passengers who want to get their daily steps in can walk, the new Terminal A is a .35 mile, 14-minute walk from the AirTrain station. Pedestrians can access the pedestrian bridge to the terminal by taking an elevator to Floor 2 of the parking garage.

Other ground transportation

Travelers can access the five NJ Transit bus routes, airport shuttle buses, cabs and Uber/Lyft for hire vehicles and hotel shuttles by following signs to the ground transportation area. Be sure to check digital-video signs for the precise loading zone for each transportation mode because they change.


Welcome to the future. The new Terminal A is loaded with self-check-in and self-bag check kiosks, in addition to traditional check-in counters staffed by people. Air Canada, American Airlines, JetBlue and United Airlines are the first to operate from the new terminal.

A very Jersey experience

The new Terminal A has 60 different restaurants and retail shops, with several from Newark, Elizabeth and Jersey City featured.

Unlike the old terminal, there is room for grand public art with dozens of works by artists from Newark and around the state. That theme continues with a mural in the back of the ground level floor paying tribute to New Jerseyans, including some who’ve spent their careers working at Newark Airport.

The rest rooms are Jersey-themed, with maps of cities in the region, photos of a forest or waves at the beach in bathroom stalls — depending which section of the airport you’re in. There is also a Jersey-centric art show scrolling across a giant video screen across a wall over the TSA checkpoint.

Travelers also will encounter a free standing high resolution video art installation that display Jersey-centric quizzes and facts about science and technology.

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com.

Larry Higgs may be reached at lhiggs@njadvancemedia.com.

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Continuing To Push on Crucial, Progressive Priorities

The General Assembly gaveled into the 2023 legislative session on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at noon. We began the session just one day after three special elections occurred across Virginia. In the House, the partisan makeup remains unchanged at 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats, with Delegate-elect Holly Seibold (D-Fairfax) replacing former Delegate Mark Keam, who resigned from his seat to join the Biden Administration, and Delegate-elect Ellen Hamilton Campbell (R-Rockbridge) succeeding her late husband, former Delegate Ronnie Campbell, who sadly passed away from cancer in December. 

In a hotly contested race to replace former senator, now Congresswoman Jen Kiggans in Virginia Beach, Democrat Aaron Rouse defeated Republican candidate Kevin Adams. I look forward to welcoming Senator-Elect Rouse to Richmond this week, where his swearing in will expand our Democratic majority to 22-18. 

WIth this split legislature and a Republican executive branch, I expect the session will play out much like the 2022 session – in which compromise on nonpartisan issues created some incremental progress, and tie-breaking votes moved forward portions of the Governor’s agenda, creating unnecessary and deleterious backslides. 

My legislative agenda contains a number of pragmatic, nonpartisan proposals to benefit the 30th District, including battling inland flooding, regulating intentionally loud modified car mufflers, protecting the privacy of our genetic data information, and protecting election officials from harassment and intimidation. But I will also continue to push on crucial, progressive priorities including the regulation marijuana sales, gun violence prevention, and LGBT marriage equality. For these proposals to become law this year, it will require political courage from members of the legislature to vote their conscience.

Nevertheless, I am hopeful that over the next 46 days, my colleagues and I will make significant progress for Virginians. We expect to hear up to 2,000 pieces of legislation and will amend the second year of our biennial budget. The Governor laid out his priorities in early December and provided the Money Committees with a starting point. I feel strongly that the Governor’s proposals fall short in many areas, continuing to prioritize tax gimmicks over funding of core services like public education. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make meaningful investments in the needs of the Commonwealth as a whole, rather than reducing taxes for major corporations and the wealthiest Virginians. 

I also expect that my Democratic Senate colleagues and I will have our work cut out for us defending the progress Virginia has made over the last several years. Already we have seen bills filed to restrict reproductive rights, siphon public dollars to private schools, and discriminate against transgender students. I look forward to working with my colleagues, and using my new chairmanship over the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee to both move forward the operation and efficiency of Virginia government, and to defeat any antiquated, backwards proposals and defend our shared priorities and rights. 

It is my continued honor to serve the 30th District.

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