Travel news: Eight countries now classified as green list travel destinations | UK | News


Holidaymakers could be allowed to travel to international locations as soon as May 17 under the Government’s plans for the easing of lockdown. However, based on the traffic light system that indicates which countries are safer to travel to, Britons can currently only chose from eight countries if they wish to enjoy quarantine-free holidays.

New modelling conducted by Robert Boyle, former strategy chief at BA and its owner IAG, listed USA, Gibraltar, Israel, Iceland, Ireland, Malta, and Australia and New Zealand as green list nations.

The Government is set to review the system on June 28 and popular tourist destinations such as Spain and Greece – which currently remain on the amber list – could turn green if their coronavirus figures improve.

The study read: “Last year, the Spanish and Greek islands were given a lower-risk rating than the mainland and that could happen again this year.”

The report labelled Gibraltar as “the surest case for green,” adding that “ it has essentially zero cases of any type and the population is fully vaccinated.”

It added: “Israel must be the next most likely. Again, it has vaccinated close to its entire population and case numbers are below even last year’s threshold.”

There is currently speculation over whether India should be added to the red list after a new coronavirus variant was first identified there.

The UK has already detected 160 cases of the variant, which has a “double mutation” in the spike protein, E484Q and L452R.

The strain is currently dubbed a “variant under investigation” rather than a “variant of concern” by the UK health authorities.

Professor Beate Kampmann, director of the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, stressed that herd immunity may not work in a scenario where various strains of coronavirus are in circulation.





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Travel news live: domestic holidays get the go-ahead


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s getaway day!

According to the government’s roadmap, domestic travel in “self-contained accommodation” is permitted from today, 12 April.

It means, after more than three months of lockdown, trips to Airbnbs, campsites and caravan parks and some holiday parks – including Center Parcs – are permitted for one household or social bubble only.

Follow live as The Independent’s travel desk heads off on domestic adventures…

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Everything you need to know about domestic travel

Here’s a handy digest of everything you need to know about what travel rules are changing today: what you can do, where you can go and with whom.

Cathy Adams12 April 2021 09:01

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Train stations gear up for a busy day

Commuter trains to London appear to be busier than they have done for months.

Overall passenger numbers on Britain’s railways have been at or below 25 per cent of pre-pandemic levels since the third lockdown began. By far the highest proportion of journeys are to and from London.

While final figures will not be in for 10 days, anecdotal evidence suggests stations are significantly busier than over the past two weeks; the “stay at home” rule in England was lifted on 29 March. 

As the Monday morning rush hour got under way, station staff said they were seeing many more passengers. Train operators have increased the number of trains running from 70 to 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Vauxhall station in southwest London gears up for a busy day

(Simon Calder)

Robert Nisbet, director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Rail companies are pulling out all the stops so that people can travel with confidence as restrictions ease, with continued extra cleaning, more services, high levels of face mask wearing and ventilation that refreshes air in the carriage at least every 10 minutes.

“We are advising that people to travel at quieter times [and] leave longer for their journey.”

Simon Calder12 April 2021 08:24



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A few frequent flyers ‘dominate air travel’


John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, told BBC News: “Taxing frequent fliers is a good idea – but we also have to do something about air miles, which reward frequent fliers for flying more frequently. This is obscene during a climate crisis – and it should be stopped.”



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Some Californians Willing to Travel a Distance to Get COVID-19 Shots – NBC Bay Area


Everyday it seems many people are hearing stunning stories of friends and neighbors going to great lengths to get vaccinated as soon as they can as Bay Area counties continue to struggle with vaccine supply issues.

For example, thousands of cars coming and going at the Levi’s Stadium mass vaccination site in Santa Clara all day long but don’t be misled.

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib told NBC Bay Area the county received just 40,000 doses last week. “However, I would warn people, basically, that there aren’t many first dose appointments,” he said.

Fenstersheib said he expects numbers to remain flat again this week. That means for at least one more week, it’s going to be difficult to get your first shot in Santa Clara county.

For Santa Cruz county resident Vijay Char, he said it seemed impossible to find his first shot in his county, so he went to the MyTurn website. “It prompted me to go look in Solano, so I absolutely looked there,” he said.

Char tells NBC Bay Area that he and his wife drove more than two hours from their Aptos home, six days ago to a site in Fairfield, only to find a note above the door stating no vaccines ran out.

Char added that dozens of people showed up in the few hours as he waited there to see if more vaccines would arrive. “It was sad to see some of the older folks that were struggling out of their wheelchairs and getting into their walkers and hobbling over to the door only to find that rejection there,” he said.

The couple did not give up, finally setting up their appointments directly through CVS Pharmacy’s vaccination page. But it was a CVS that was located two and a half hours away in Fresno. “The drive, I mean, it’s okay during these times to get out of the routine and go somewhere,” Char said.

Another looming issue could drag out the supply problem. There is mounting skepticism over AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is still awaiting FDA emergency authorization. This comes after the company revealed that its publicly stated efficacy findings may have not been final.

Fenstersheib said he’s sure that the FDA and every federal and state agencies involved in approving the drug will vet the vaccine thoroughly. “To the point of making sure that no vaccine is authorized for this country that has unacceptable safety issues around it,” he said.

Fenstersheib believes everyone who wants to be fully vaccinated will be able to do so before the end of summer.





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Travel picking up: SFO officials see more flights being booked


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – After more than a year of staying home, San Francisco International Airport leaders say they’re starting to see more people booking flights.

Some people said they’ve been waiting to travel for a long time and many people are flying to tropical places for leisure.

“This is the first time that I’ve traveled since the pandemic,” Antonio Perez said.

Perez says it’s been more than a year since he’s checked in for a flight and he’s not alone in his decision to fly.

“Last month there were probably 10,000-11,000 people per-day going through our security checkpoints, that number is now up to 14,000-15,000 a day and continues to climb,” Doug Yakel said. 

Doug Yakel with San Francisco International Airport says many of these people are taking vacations.

“We’re not expecting much in business travel for the remainder of this year so we do think that as travel is starting to recover and it is, it’s really that leisure sector that is leading the recovery,” Yakel said. 

Airport leaders are trying to keep people safe — They have reminders for people to social distance, hand sanitizer available, and partitions up.

“Masking is still a requirement. Although a lot of states around the country have lifted their masking requirement at any airport on any aircraft in the united states it’s now a federal requirement that you wear a face mask at all times,” Yakel said. 

Still, Perez says he’ll be taking extra precautions on his flight.

“I cannot say that I feel very safe — That’s why I brought this one because I want to wear this on the plane because I think the air in the plane can be more contaminated than outside,” Perez said. 

Airport officials are looking into creating a digital health app that will be able to certify that people have been vaccinated or have had a negative test recently.



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Desire for Normalcy Is Fueling a Busy Travel Season – NBC Boston


Hope is on the horizon for those dreaming of summer travel. With President Joe Biden targeting July 4 for small gatherings and public health experts giving summer getaways the green light, many are already planning an escape.

At Audley Travel, the phones are ringing off the hook from those looking to book.

“In the last three months, we’ve seen a 300% increase in bookings,” said Alex Shattuck of Audley Travel.

Shattuck said prices are still reasonable, but will be going up due to all of the pent-up demand. He also said many are looking to travel to domestic destinations first.

“Hawaii is our single biggest booking destination, followed by the U.S. national parks,” Shattuck said.

On Cape Cod, vacation rentals and hotels are also in hot demand. Matt Pitta, the director of communications for Red Jacket Resorts, said they are expecting a huge summer at their properties.

“We started getting hundreds of phone calls in January from people inquiring about availability, and from that point on, it has done nothing but accelerate,” Pitta said.

Pitta said the popular summer weekends are already starting to fill up and anyone looking to book a Cape escape should do so soon.

“If you want a certain room or date, don’t wait. There is so much demand this year, we are going have to hire more employees,” he said.

The travel and tourism industry is starting to bounce back in Boston, too. Martha Sheridan of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau said more people are starting to inquire about small weddings and events. She said what would help is more advance notice from the state about when the gathering limit will increase.

“We’re hopefully that will increase as vaccinations go up and infection rates go down. People are tired of being cooped up at home and they’re ready,” Sheridan said. “They’re not looking, they’re booking.”





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John Kerry to travel to Europe next week for climate talks


Benzinga

Medically Necessary: FDA Way Behind On Facility Inspections

This is an excerpt from the March 4, 2021 edition of Medically Necessary, a health care supply chain newsletter. Subscribe here. Good afternoon. Medically Necessary is a newsletter by Matt Blois about the health care supply chain — how we get drugs, devices and medical supplies to health care providers and patients. FDA way behind on facility inspections The problem: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration largely stopped conducting surveillance inspections — periodic evaluations of manufacturing plants to ensure drug quality — during the coronavirus pandemic. The FDA only conducted three surveillance inspections of foriegn facilities between March and October of 2020, compared with more than 600 during the same period a year earlier. Domestic surveillance inspections plummeted as well, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. The agency conducted about 1,000 international inspections per year from 2016 through 2019. About 74% of manufacturers making active ingredients and 54% of facilities making finished drugs for the U.S. market are located outside the country. (Credit: Government Accountability Office) Why it matters: A recent report from a team at Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health says postponed FDA inspections contributed to drug shortages last year, including drugs critical for treating COVID-19 patients. The delays have also slowed the process for approving new drugs. The FDA recently deferred or denied approval for six drugs because it couldn’t inspect manufacturing facilities, according to this must-read story from Politico. A guidance document for drug manufacturers notes that the FDA would try to approve applications for manufacturing facilities by gathering information remotely, but if an inspection is needed they may need to delay a decision. The past: The GAO has criticized the FDA’s oversight of “an increasingly global pharmaceutical supply” for years, according to the GAO report. The GAO determined the FDA wasn’t conducting enough foriegn inspections in both 1998 and 2008. The agency made some recommendations and increased inspections. Inspections started to fall again in 2016. FDA officials said that was because they didn’t have enough staff to keep up, according to the GAO. The pandemic: While the FDA halted many inspections, the agency argued in an annual report from its Office of Pharmaceutical Quality that it still achieved its most important goals. The agency continued some pre-approval inspections — needed before a facility starts producing a drug — by requesting documentation or relying on inspections by European regulators. The FDA used those methods for more than 150 pre-approvals. In 2020, the FDA approved applications for production of 942 generic drugs, down only slightly from 2019. The FDA also told drug producers that manufacturing changes for drugs used to treat patients with COVID-19 would receive priority treatment, and some regulatory flexibility, in order to prevent shortages. In the absence of in-person inspections, FDA did look for other ways to monitor the quality of drug manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the GAO called some of these measures inadequate. The agency allowed European regulators to vouch for the quality of drug manufacturers all over the world. Normally, the FDA only accepts those regulators’ inspections of European facilities. It beefed up inspection and testing of products as they entered the U.S., which caught dozens of drug quality problems. The future: The current backlog of inspections could also gum up the drug supply chain for years to come. The GAO report notes that the FDA wasn’t able to complete more than 1,000 of its planned inspections for fiscal year 2020. The FDA aims to inspect drug manufacturers at least once every five years. The backlog means the agency may not meet that goal, increasing the risk of poor-quality drugs entering the supply chain. Each year, the agency creates a list of facilities that need inspection. The highest-risk locations — those that have never been inspected or haven’t been inspected in five years — get priority. Remaining resources go toward other facilities. Previously, the FDA spent less than a third of its inspection resources on the highest-risk facilities, allowing the agency to stay ahead of the curve. By 2022, the GAO estimates the FDA will need to use the vast majority of its resources on high-risk facilities. (Credit: Government Accountability Office) Back on the horse: By October, the FDA started conducting some international inspections once again. FDA conducted nine pre-approval inspections in China during late 2020 and early 2021 but didn’t complete any surveillance inspections. The agency started inspections in India in January, completing two by Feb. 25. Catching up: Like a college student pulling an all-nighter after procrastinating all semester, the FDA is looking for creative ways to cram in inspections after falling behind. The FDA plans to continue using the tools, such as reports from European regulators and document reviews, that helped it carry out its work during the pandemic, but it’s also exploring creative options to speed things up. The agency is researching whether it could use videoconferencing tools to conduct inspections remotely. The Johns Hopkins University team recommended creating new partnerships, similar to agreements with European countries, that would allow inspections by regulators from countries with advanced pharmaceutical markets, like Australia or Japan, to stand in for FDA inspections during pandemics or other emergencies. The Office of Pharmaceutical Quality’s annual report also says the agency is developing a new risk management strategy to prepare for future disruptions. It’s not clear what that strategy looks like. Biden promises vaccine doses for all U.S. adults by May, prioritizes teachers (Photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0) Supply boost: The Biden administration is promising to have enough doses of COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate every adult in America by May. However, actually vaccinating every adult will be a different challenge. “It’s not enough to have the vaccine supply. We need vaccinators — people to put the shots in people’s arms, millions of Americans’ arms,” President Joe Biden acknowledged during a press conference on Tuesday. Biden highlighted the federal governments efforts to increase the number of vaccinators, such as enlisting retired doctors and nurses, deploying Federal Emergency Management personnel and the national guard to administer vaccines. Focus on schools: Biden also directed states to start vaccinating teachers so schools can reopen. Many states are already doing that. The White House set a goal of vaccinating every teacher by the end of March. “Let’s treat in-person learning like an essential service that it is. And that means getting essential workers who provide that service — educators, school staff, childcare workers — get them vaccinated immediately,” Biden said on Tuesday. The federal government plans to allow teachers to get shots at retail pharmacies to achieve that goal. The numbers: There are still 18 states that haven’t made teachers eligible for early vaccines, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation policy database. In the 2017 to 2018 school year, there were about 4 million teachers in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The U.S. has recently been delivering about 1.8 million COVD-19 vaccine doses per day. Some days are well above 2 million doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. government is sending about 2.4 million doses to retail pharmacies every week, White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt reported on Twitter. Reading list: The best stories about the health care supply chain A Covid-19 Vaccine Without a Needle? These Firms Are On the Case —The Wall Street Journal Freight pilots are flying Covid-19 vaccines around the world — and calling for their turn to be vaccinated —STAT Amazon Care’s health provider has quietly filed paperwork to operate in 17 more states —STAT Merck’s COVID Manufacturing Deal With US Government Goes Well Beyond J&J Vaccine —The Pink Sheet Thanks for reading. Please send an email to mblois@freightwaves.com if you have questions, praise or grievances. If this email was forwarded to you, sign up here. Matt Blois See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaAir Cargo 2021: The Good, The Bad And The UglyRepublicans To White House: Limit Infrastructure Spending To Roads And Bridges© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.



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Does being fully vaccinated get you around New York’s travel advisory rules?


For now, the answer appears to be “no,” but several other states are lifting quarantine rules for domestic travelers who have received both doses of the vaccine.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side has been getting questions from viewers asking whether receiving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will exempt them from having to follow New York’s COVID-19 travel advisory, which requires testing and quarantine protocols for certain domestic travelers.

Except for certain individuals traveling as essential workers, here is the current Traveler’s Advisory, last updated in early November for any traveler to New York State from a non-contiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 (and higher) country who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:

  • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York State
  • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days
  • On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test

For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours:

  • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State
  • However, the traveler must fill out the state’s traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test four days after their arrival in New York

According to a person who answered a call we placed to New York’s COVID-19 hotline on Monday, travelers must still follow the testing and quarantine protocols, even if they have received both doses of vaccine.

What some individuals may find as nonsensical (and even maddening) is that New York is clinging to these rules, even though the governor announced more than a week ago that the state would follow another new set of CDC guidelines pertaining to individuals who have been fully vaccinated.

Those guidelines advise that those who’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, need not have to quarantine, even if they are exposed to someone with the virus. 

However, New York still requires you to abide by its quarantine protocols even if you haven’t been exposed, merely because you traveled somewhere. New York is one of only 18 states that still have quarantine requirements for domestic travelers.

And while a number of states, including Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii have in recent days announced plans to lift restrictions for domestic travelers who have had both doses of the vaccine, there is no word thus far if New York is preparing to do likewise.





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White House warns immigrants against travel as new Border Patrol numbers show arrivals are edging upwards


A controversial immigration policy left over from the Trump presidency has resulted in immigrants being quickly removed from the U.S. more than 450,000 times since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, and the White House is warning migrants that they should not travel to the U.S.

And the number of migrant families caught at the southern border rose to 7,260 in January from an average of about 4,500 in the first three months of this fiscal year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported on Wednesday night.

Both figures highlight the policy dilemma now before the Biden administration as it tries to reverse some of the measures made by the Trump administration. If the Biden team changes policies too quickly, it could result in a fresh spike of desperate immigrants and asylum-seekers like 2019.

“Now is not the time to come,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Wednesday news conference. “The vast majority of people will be turned away. Asylum processes at the border will not occur immediately.”

For now, migrants seeking asylum will still face the same hurdles put in place by the Trump administration. About 28,000 were waiting in Mexico for their day in immigration court under former President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly known as Remain in Mexico. In Matamoros, across from Brownsville, about 1,000 asylum seekers have lived there for months, some for more than a year in a squalid tent camp.

Rapid expulsions

Under Title 42, the removals are known as “expulsions” and aren’t considered deportations, which would allow an immigrant to make a case to stay in the U.S. before an immigration judge. The Trump administration said the emergency measures were needed to protect the health of U.S. citizens and of the migrants who couldn’t be socially distanced in the tight confines of Border Patrol holding areas.

At the ACLU, which sued the Trump administration numerous times over its policies, attorney Lee Gelernt urged the Biden administration to make a strong pivot against rapid returns, known as expulsions under Title 42.

“While we recognize that the Biden administration has been saddled with a lot of bad policy and structural problems, it cannot continue the Trump administration practice of turning away people in danger based on illegal policies, such as the notorious and pretextual Title 42 policy.”

Critics of Title 42 have noted that while unauthorized immigrants and asylum seekers are being routinely rounded up and expelled at the border under Title 42, an emergency pandemic order named for its place in the federal code, routine trade and medical traffic has continued at U.S,-Mexico checkpoints.

Medical and human rights groups have pushed back hard on the targeted use of the measures and say people can be screened for COVID-19 like others who move across the border.

They also say Title 42′s use end-runs the due process of the U.S. immigration court system. And many people expelled by Title 42 are also believed to be immediately attempting new crossings into the U.S.

“It really shows the urgency of doing away with the policies Trump left behind and the difficulty of setting up the infrastructure for the migrants,” said Adam Isacson, a security analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America.

Infrastructure would include creating adequate processing facilities for CBP, staffing up to do the processing and expanding COVID testing, he said.

Migrant families

Although Title 42 has led to the rapid expulsion of most immigrants and asylum seekers, a small increase has been reported in the number of migrant families that are being allowed into the U.S.

Isacson has kept a steady watch on migrant families arriving along the border, traveling through Mexico toward the U.S. The number of individuals in migrant families — 7,260 in January 2021 — is far lower than in 2019 when 10,000 were coming in a week. “If they say they have gotten hundreds in the last week, that’s not that much,” Isacson said.

Overall, January showed an increase of 6 percent over the previous month when Title 42 expulsions and regular apprehensions were combined.

Advocates and authorities are concerned about the rising numbers.

This week, in Donna, near McAllen, a climate-controlled tent camp was reopened by CBP for immigrant families. The temporary tent camp expands processing capacity in the Rio Grande Valley, the busiest region for the U.S. Border Patrol.

Shelters and nonprofits in the Rio Grande Valley have seen a small increase in the number of migrant families released into the area. In Brownsville, for example, two nonprofits greet about 50 persons daily, bringing them hygiene kits and meals, after they are dropped off at a bus station there.

Nonprofits along migrant trails from Honduras to U.S. say shelters are filling up again as asylum seekers and immigrants head north because economies are suffering due to the pandemic, people are still feeling the effects of two recent hurricanes, and the new Biden administration has given them new hope that they would be welcomed in the U.S.

At the Good Neighbor Settlement House in Brownsville, staff is bracing to help more desperate families — a task complicated because of the pandemic. In the past, immigrant families were allowed to bathe and eat at their nonprofit. No longer.

“When we started noticing that McAllen got the first 150 persons [in families] we knew we had to be prepared,” said Belinda Bradford, the assistant director at the Good Neighbor Settlement House. Sighing, Bradford said migration is “unhealthy. It is causing a lot of trauma to children.”

The election of a new president friendlier to immigrants sparked a journey north for Gustavo Sanchez, the father of five young children. He left his central Mexican state of Guanajuato late last year for a job making bleachers in North Texas. He never made it. He was deported through Laredo last week, and expelled into a cartel-controlled area of northern Mexico.

He told his wife not to wire him money to get home because of cartel lookouts. Instead, he hitchhiked some 500 miles south.

Now, Sanchez would just like to get back his Mexican identification card and $200 in pesos he had with him when he was caught, he said by phone Wednesday.

“When I left [Texas immigration officials] said they didn’t have them, and said they sent them to Mexico,” Sanchez said.



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Cats Travel to Eastern Washington


WHO:           Montana State at Eastern Washington
WHEN:         Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 @ 7:05 p.m. (MST)
WHERE:       Cheney, Wash. – Reese Court (5,000)
RECORDS:    Montana St.: 11-5, 8-2; E. Wash.: 6-11, 5-7
SERIES:         Montana State leads 47-43; Streak: MSU W3
LAST MTG:  Feb. 8, 2020 @MSU 79, E. Washington 47
RADIO:         Live on My 103.5 KZMY FM with Mark Martello on the call; pregame begins 15-minutes prior to opening tip.
VIDEO:          Montana State’s game at Eastern Washington on Thursday night can be seen on Pluto TV – channel 1053.
 
ON A ROLL:  The Bobcats will look to extend its current six-game win streak when it plays a weekend series at Eastern Washington on Thursday and Saturday in Cheney, Wash. Montana State will face the Eagles, Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:05 p.m. (MT) at Reese Court. MSU and EWU will conclude the series on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1:05 p.m. (MT).
 
BOBCAT PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Sophomore Darian White was named the Bobcat Player of the Week for her efforts as Montana State swept Weber State in Worthington Arena last weekend. The Boise, Idaho product averaged a team-best 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals, while averaging just 19.3 minutes of action. Additionally, White shot 62% from the field, connected on 4-of-6 from long distance and shot 77.8% at the line. She had her best offensive game on Thursday with 17 points, shooting 60% from the floor and 75% from the stripe.
 
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING:  The Bobcats strength this season has been its balance and depth. Of the 15 players that have seen action this season, twelve have posted at least one double-figure scoring game. Darian White leads the team with 14 double-digit scoring games, followed by Tori Martell (9), and Gabby Mocchi (6).
 
THE SCOUTING REPORT:  Eastern Washington – The Eagles enter Thursday’s contest 6-11 overall and 5-7 in Big Sky Conference play. Last weekend, Eastern Washington dropped a pair of games to Idaho, losing 79-69 in Cheney, and 85-56 in Moscow.  In its Thursday night loss to the Vandals, EWU was led by Grace Kirscher with 24 points. The 6-0 junior forward from Sandpoint, Idaho connected on 10-of-17 from the field, including three 3-pointers. Aaliyah Alexander and Maisie Burnham were also in double-digits with 16 and 10 points, respectively. On Saturday, Burnham posted 14 points and Kirscher 10 to pace EWU. On the season, four Eagles average double-figures led by Burnham (14.4 ppg), Alexander (11.9 ppg), Kennedy Dickie (11.6 ppg) and Kirscher (11.1 ppg). Under the boards, Eastern Washington is led by Dickie and Burnham, who average 5.9 and 5.8 rebounds per game, respectively. EWU is under the leadership of Wendy Schuller, the longest tenured coach in the Big Sky Conference, who is in her 20th season in Cheney.
 
PRESEASON ACCOLADES: Montana State sophomore Darian White was named to the preseason all-Big Sky team voted on by BSC head coaches and media members. White, a product of Boise, Idaho, was the 2020 Big Sky Freshman of the Year, after helping the Bobcats to a 25-6 overall mark, a dominating 19-1 league ledger and a Big Sky title. In what was arguably one of the best inaugural campaigns in MSU history, White collected 394 points, 150 rebounds, 104 assists and 76 steals. She played and started in all 31 games, averaging 12.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game. White, who recorded 25 games in double-digit scoring, notched a season-high 23 points in MSU’s win at Eastern Washington connecting on eight-of-15 from the field and six-of-six at the line. She finished 25th in the nation in steals and 31st in the country in steals per game. In MSU’s two victories at the Big Sky Tournament, White averaged 19 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 assists.
 
A LITTLE BIT OF TORI:  Tori Martell, a product of Somerset, Wis., moved up the all-time Montana State three-point made chart. Martell has 187 career 3-pointers, which ranks third all-time. Ahead of her on MSU’s all-time list are Katie Bussey (254), and Hannah Caudill (231).  Martell’s career 36.7% shooting from beyond the arc ranks eighth all-time at Montana State.  Her eight 3-pointers against North Dakota on Dec. 6, 2020 broke the MSU school-record of seven previously held by Amy Meckling (Jan. 2, 2000), Brandi Lewis (Feb. 13, 2003) and Hannah Caudill (Jan. 28, 2017). Martell’s total is tied for third most in the nation this season. She is currently second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.3 points per game. Martell has been in double-digit scoring on nine occasions this season, including a career-best 26 points against North Dakota. 
 
DARE TO BE:  Sophomore Darian White has picked up where she left off last season. The preseason All-Big Sky Conference selection leads the Bobcats and is fifth in the Big Sky averaging 14.8 points per game. She’s been over the 20+ point mark on three occasions, with a career-best 24 points in MSU’s win at Portland on Dec. 17. White, a graduate of Mountain View High School in Boise, Idaho, also leads the team in assists (64), steals (41) and free throws made (76). In addition, White is averaging a team-best 5.1 rebounds per game. She recorded a career-high 11 rebounds at Portland.
 
ALL JACKED UP:  Madison Jackson, who was sidelined for seven games, returned to action against Northern Arizona on Jan. 21. The Parma, Idaho product has seen her minutes increase since her return. Last weekend against Weber State, she averaged 6.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. In Thursday’s win over the Wildcats, Jackson notched eight points, which included a 2-of-2 effort from long distance. Jackson had her best game of the season at BYU on Dec. 10. She tallied 11 points, her first double-digit output since notching a career-best 15 points at Eastern Washington last January. At BYU, she connected on a career-best nine-of-nine from the line.
 
KUDOS TO KOLA:  Sophomore Kola Bad Bear has played and started in all 16 games to date. The 6-2 product of Billings Senior is averaging 5.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest. Bad Bear had her best outing of the season at Portland State on Jan. 14 posting a career-high 16 points, connecting on seven-of-10 from the field. She has been in double-digit scoring on three occasions. Bad Bear pulled down a season-best six rebounds at BYU on Dec. 10. On the season, she is fourth on the Bobcat squad shooting 80% at the free throw. Bad Bear has converted 24-30 charity tosses. Her 24 makes are second highest on the squad.
 
EASY PEASY:  True-freshman Katelynn Limardo has started all 16 games for the Bobcats to date. The 6-2 product of Silver City, N.M. (a town where lawman Harvey Whitehall was the first to arrest Billy the Kid, known at the time under the alias Henry Antrim in 1875) is averaging 5.8 points per game. Limardo had her best game of the season at Utah Valley scoring a team-high 15 points. Against the Wolverines, she connected on 6-8 from the field and was 3-5 from long distance. Limardo also chipped in four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in the win. On the season, she’s averaging 4.6 rebounds per game. Limardo had a season-best eight rebounds in MSU’s win at Portland State. Last week, she averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. 
 
THE PRIDE OF ROSEMOUNT:  True freshman Taylor Janssen has played in all 16 games, including three starts. She is averaging 15.1 minutes per contest. The Rosemount, Minn., native is averaging 5.8 points per game. Janssen posted a season-high 14 points in MSU’s 102-53 win over Weber State on Thursday night. For the game, she connected on 4-7 from the field, 2-3 from 3-point range and 4-4 at the line.
 
LAUDING LEXI:   Lexi Deden has played in all 16 games. The 6-1 freshman forward from Missoula is averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Deden recorded a season-high 22 points in MSU’s win over Northern Arizona on Jan. 23. For the game, she connected on 10-14 from the field. Deden finished the NAU weekend averaging 15 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 66.7% from the floor. The Deden name is familiar in Montana basketball circles. Deden’s mother Dawn (Silliker) Deden played for Montana from 1984-88. At Montana, she was a 1,000-point scorer and was an all-Mountain West pick. In addition, Lexi’s aunt and head coach at Sentinel High, Karen Deden, was a standout at Washington and is in the Husky Hall of Fame. Last week against Weber State, Deden averaged 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.
 
MENTIONING MOCCHI:  Junior Gabby Mocchi has played in 15 of MSU’s 16 games, including starting the last 10 outings. The 6-1 forward from Champlin, Minn., saw limited minutes early in the season, but had a breakout performance at Utah Valley with 13 points. Mocchi is averaging 9.3 points per game, while shooting 45.2% in Big Sky action. She recorded a career-high 18 points at Portland State on Jan. 16.
 
SKYE’S THE LIMIT:  Skye Lindsay, who sat out last season after transferring from Pepperdine, has seen action in eight games and is averaging 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. The Orem, Utah product posted a season-best 11 points in MSU’s win at Portland. Lindsay played her first Big Sky games of the year against Montana and notched six points and four rebounds in MSU’s 70-60 win over the Lady Griz.
 
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS:  Leia Beattie, a product of Midland, Texas, posted a season-best 14 points in Montana State’s win over Northern Arizona on Jan. 23. For the game, she went 5-of-7 from the field, including three 3-pointers. Beattie also has familiar Montana basketball pedigree. Her mother, Kelly (Pilcher) Beattie was a two-time All-Big Sky selection for the Lady Griz and is 6th all-time in assists. In addition, her 15 assists vs. Boise State and No. Arizona still rank first in single-game history. Beattie’s aunt/coach at Midland Christian Academy, Carla (Beattie) Cunneen, is also a former Lady Griz and was the 1996 Big Sky Sixth Player of the Year.
 
ASHLEY’S ACCOLADES:  Junior Ashley Van Sickle has averaged 5.0 points per game over the last seven outings and has connected on 9-14 triples (64.3%) from long distance during that same time frame.
 
EN FUEGO:  Freshman Ava Ranson had a breakout game against Northern Arizona on Jan. 21, scoring 12 points on 4-5 triples.
 



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