Jan 15, 2021

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News from all over the USA

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Here’s how to get more information on COVID vaccines in your county

By Caroline Hurley
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  • If you are an essential worker, over 65 years of age or under 65 but have a high risk medical condition, the DuPage County Health Department asks that you fill out this survey to receive weekly updates on when a vaccine appointment will be available.
  • Public health departments in Chicago and its collar counties have released varying degrees of surveys and registration tools.
Read more >
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Inside the compulsion to own land — and to keep others out

By By Carlos Lozada
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  • Yet “Land” is more than a travelogue or popular history or geographic exploration — it is a political work, a chronicle of human efforts to possess, restrict, exploit and improve our lands, all while, ideally, not destroying them.
  • Spend some time with Simon Winchester, and you will sail oceans, survive earthquakes, peer into volcanoes, pore over maps, mine the origins of language and measure the immeasurable world.
Read more >
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Wisconsin launching mobile vaccination program

By Star Tribune Staff
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  • — Wisconsin is launching a mobile coronavirus vaccination program next week to be operated by the Wisconsin National Guard and health officials, Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday.
  • They will be staffed by members of the National Guard as well as pharmacy and nursing student volunteers through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin System.
Read more >
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Azia’s Picks 1-15-21

By Azia Wiggins
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  • MLK Celebration: Free Day —Monday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Two Mississippi Museums (222 North St.)
  • In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, the historical museums offer free admission to both the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History.
Read more >
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Internet service in Capital Region a story of the haves, have nots

By Larry Rulison
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Albany

Imagine not having high-speed internet at home.

That may be hard to do for people who live in towns like Wilton, Niskayuna, Clifton Park, Guilderland and Bethlehem.

But in some towns in rural Washington and Warren counties, as well as far-flung parts of Albany County, the majority of households lack decent internet service, a new study by the Center for Economic Growth found.

The news isn't all that bad.

[…]Read more >
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Travel firm to pay thousands in refunds to Minnesota students

By Janet Moore
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  • A Colorado travel company will pay nearly $665,000 in refunds to several hundred Minnesota music students after their trip to Europe was canceled last spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Some 344 students in Minnesota signed up for an "Ambassadors of Music" tour to Europe last summer arranged by Voyageurs International of Wheat Ridge, Colo.
Read more >
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Washington DC ramps up security ahead of Biden inauguration

By Elyse Russo
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  • WASHINGTON ( NewsNation Now ) — With just days to go until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, Washington, D.C., is stepping up security, with thousands of National Guard troops standing by to protect the presidential swearing-in.
  • President Trump told his supporters to avoid violence in the days ahead: "It must stop."
Read more >
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Gov. Inslee accuses Trump administration of deception over coronavirus vaccine reserve

By Evan Bush
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After learning the federal vaccine reserve is apparently barren and won’t provide a boost of doses to states, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee accused the Trump administration of deception. “Governors were told repeatedly by [the United States Department of Health and Human Services] there was a strategic reserve of vaccines, and this week, the American people […]Read more >
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USACE publishes record of decision for Yazoo Area Pumps Project

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  • (WJTV) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published its Record of Decision for the Yazoo Area Pumps Project on Friday, January 15.
  • The Record of Decision details USACE’s decisions on the issues discussed in the Final Supplement No. 2 to the 1982 Yazoo Area Pump Project Final Environmental Impact Statement, which was published in the Federal Register in December 2020.
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service 2021 volunteer events, opportunities

By Karis K. Gamble
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ST. LOUIS – The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is Monday, Jan. 18. This day is celebrated to honor Dr. King by following his example of serving and helping others. A lot of the events have gone virtual this year due to the pandemic, but that is not stopping the day of service, celebrations, and activities. MLK Jr. Day of Service events are as follows: St. Louis Art MuseumMissouri History MuseumCoat Drive for One Warm Coat- St. Louis GalleriaUMSL MLK Day of ServiceDepartment of Labor Diversity Spotlight To find volunteer opportunities, visit: National MLK Day of ServicePoints of Light / All For GoodThe Mission ContinuesUnited […]Read more >
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COVID-19 mass vaccination site in works for St. Clair County

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CHICAGO– Governor JB Pritzker discussed opening mass vaccination sites across Illinois and plans are already in the works for one in St. Clair County. Gov. Pritzker said starting Tuesday, the Illinois National Guard will activate flexible mobile teams to help health departments administer vaccines. Top story: ‘If it explodes, I guess this is where God meant me to go’ – Man who sprinted toward fiery wreck talks to FOX 2 Officials in St. Clair County are already collaborating with the National Guard about launching a site there. On January 25th, the National Guard led sites and select pharmacies in the state will begin vaccinating those […]Read more >
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The Texas Legislature Made It Just Three Days Without a COVID-19 Scare

By Andrea Zelinski
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  • “Tell the State Preservation Board where they can stick their mask,” yelled the thirty-year-old Austin activist, who said she plans to sue the board and the Texas Department of Public Safety for barring her from the Capitol.
  • Representative Joe Deshotel told the Texas Tribune, which first reported the story, that he tested positive for COVID on Thursday after three days on the House floor.
Read more >
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Alcorn to host virtual celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Lorman, Miss. (WJTV) —A celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will take place on Alcorn State University’s website to honor the civil rights icon’s legacy. Alcorn will host the Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Convocation Monday, Jan. 18, at 10 a.m. The program’s theme is “By All Means Keep Moving: Progressive Leadership in Perilous Times.” Director for Student Religious and Spiritual Life, the Rev. Dr. C. Edward Rhodes II, will be the keynote speaker. A viewing link will be provided on Alcorn’s website on the day of the event. […]Read more >
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I-20 Shut Down In Terrell Due To Downed Power Lines Caused By High Winds

By CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
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TERRELL, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Interstate-20 in Terrell is currently shut down in both directions as crews work to fix downed power lines that were caused by high winds, according to police. Traffic backup can be seen on I-20 near South Virginia Street. Police said a utility pole caught fire Thursday morning and they believe it was sparked by high winds. Due to the winds and substantial damage to the pole, authorities were concerned the power lines could drop across the I-20 lanes. Downed power lines over I-20 in Terrell. The freeway is expected to be shut down for hours as crews work to fix the pole. There were no injuries reported. […]Read more >
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‘We were praying Standing Bear would not be targeted and he would be unharmed’

By CINDY LANGE-KUBICK Lincoln Journal Star
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  • Author Joe Starita (left), who wrote "I Am a Man" and Judi gaiashkibos, executive director of Nebraska's Indian Affairs, pose before the unveiling of a statue of Ponca Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall in 2019.
  • Judi gaiashkibos, executive director of Nebraska's Indian Affairs, and Steve Laravie Jr., a great-great-great-great-grandson of Standing Bear, pose after the unveiling of a statue of Ponca Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall in 2019.
Read more >
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Billboards Against Culling Of Canada Geese Going Up In Denver

By CBS Denver
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(CBS4) — A group that’s against the culling of geese in Denver parks is putting up two billboards in the city next week. They say 1,662 Canada geese were culled without public notice in 2019 — and 517 were killed in 2020. The twobillboards state “Dear USDA, Stop Killing Our Wildlife,” and “Lake Watch, Protect Our Geese.” The two billboards will be up from Monday to Thursday on South Colorado Boulevard, one block north of Interstate 25, at East Mexico Avenue. The Animal Defense Fund claims the U.S. Department of Agriculture hid details about the number of birds slated to be killed and the cost per bird. In Defense of Animals and Canada […]Read more >
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Hundreds in publishing sign letter objecting to book deals for the Trump administration

By Dorany Pineda
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  • More than 250 authors, editors, agents, professors and others in the American literary community signed an open letter this week opposing any publisher that signs book deals with President Donald Trump or members of his administration.
  • “We affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals.
Read more >
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Should you keep using WhatsApp? Plus five tips to start the year with your digital privacy intact

By Shelley Hepworth
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  • At the end of the day choosing a messaging app is a personal preference and Mitnick says as long as the service uses end-to-end encryption and its policies protect your privacy you should be OK.
  • I f you use the popular messaging service WhatsApp you may have noticed a pop-up message in recent days asking you to accept the service’s new terms and conditions by 8 February in order to continue using it.
Read more >
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How to Reimagine Your Relationship to Alcohol

By Julia Bainbridge
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  • “You don’t have to have things figured out, aside from wanting to make a change,” said Holly Whitaker, the author of “Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol” and creator of an online A.U.D. recovery program called Tempest .
  • When we go to work every day during non-pandemic times and don’t have an inordinate amount of stress, it’s fairly easy” to limit drinking to Friday nights, said James G.
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Pandemic means renters can find deals downtown

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  • Downtown apartment managers are extending rent specials, reducing parking costs and offering other incentives to get tenants in the door—and lock those already there into new leases—as they try to stave off a pandemic-related slowdown in the multifamily market.
  • “We’re kind of trying to give downtown a shot in the arm,” said Tony Knoble, president of TWG Development, which owns The Whit and the 333 Penn apartments downtown, along with several other properties in the city.
Read more >
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Windy Conditions Lead To Highway Closures In Eastern Colorado

By CBS Denver
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(CBS4) – Officials have closed several main highways in eastern Colorado because of high winds and accidents that resulted from them. In some areas drivers have been unable to see far due to the strong wind kicking up dust and snow. RELATED: Red Flag Warning In Effect Friday Mainly East Of Denver Area Interstate 70 was closed at midday on Friday between Airpark Road and the Kansas border. Highway 40, Highway 285 and Highway 287 were also closed in the region. […]Read more >
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A Beginner’s Guide to Bourbon

By Griffin Coop
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  • So, in January 2021, the Arkansas Times raises a glass to all things boozy with a series we’re calling Drink/Drank/Drunk : our city’s great cocktails and mocktails, the history of temperance in the state, brews to try before you die, a boozy playlist and more.
  • That’s why you find distilleries producing bourbon all around the country, including here in Arkansas.
Read more >
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Gov. Jared Polis: ‘We Were Lied To,’ Federal Government Doesn’t Have National Reserve Of COVID Vaccine

By CBS Denver
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DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis and at least one other governor say the federal government does not have a national reserve of COVID-19 vaccines. Polis said on social media on Friday morning “I’m shocked. We were lied to.” Oregon’s governor first related the news. “The federal announcements that second doses being held in reserve were going to be released led states like Colorado to expect 210,000 doses next week,” Polis wrote. Now Colorado is finding out there will only 79,000 doses, according to Polis. […]Read more >
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How some Americans used their stimulus money to help those in need

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  • And to make matters worse, two of her dogs died.To counter her feelings of grief on both counts, Alonzo decided to create the nonprofit Obi's Pet Pantry to help people who are having a hard time financially providing for their pets.She keeps it stocked with food, blankets, collars, shampoo and other pet supplies in part with her stimulus money and with the donations the pantry receives."It's available for people in need, no questions asked, and all of the items are free," Alonzo said.
  • "Good begets good."Providing help for homeless seniorsStephanie Woods-McKinney, who works for a union pension fund, feels very lucky that she has been able to work from her home in Bronx, New York, throughout the pandemic.She has even managed to save more money as a result.
Read more >
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Is It Possible to Tell From a Photo if Someone Is Using Steroids?

By Katie Way
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  • In fact, these experts told VICE that without drug test results, it’s impossible to make a definitive statement about whether or not someone is using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs—especially not based on photographic evidence alone.
  • He said the people he believes use performance enhancers most often are more likely doing so to maintain permanent leanness, rather than to achieve greater muscle mass—though even he can’t always be sure who’s juicing and who isn’t.
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Airport’s retail-refresh timeline shifts with pandemic

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  • Two months later, the authority approved vendor contracts for new restaurant offerings, including Sun King and Tinker Coffee, plus Goshen-based Ben’s Soft Pretzels and much-anticipated New York-based Shake Shack.
  • Even as the pandemic has dramatically reduced foot traffic at Indianapolis International Airport, the facility’s work to refresh its slate of restaurants and shops is progressing—albeit more slowly than initially expected.
Read more >
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FBI Dallas Office On ‘Heightening Level’ Of Awareness Ahead Of Inauguration

By CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
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  • DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The FBI’s Dallas office is on a “heightened level” of awareness for any possible threats in multiple areas of Texas ahead of the presidential inauguration next week.
  • “The FBI Dallas Field Office is currently operating at a heightened level of investigative awareness for any emerging threats to our region between now and the presidential inauguration.
Read more >
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Colombia’s Government Won Its Three Year Battle Against the Church of Satan

By Joshua Collins
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  • In 2019, the Director of the Office of Religious affairs, Beatriz Lorena Ríos Cuéllar, an evangelical and former advocate for Christian organizations, dissolved the Templo de las Semillas de Luz Satánico .
  • The three-year legal crusade against the Templo raised questions over whether the laws designed to protect religious freedom in Colombia were instead being used to maintain a christian hegemony.
Read more >
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More districts to begin in-school coronavirus surveillance testing

By Rachel Silberstein
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Watervliet City Schools will begin testing at least 10 percent of its on-site students and staff next week, school officials have announced.

The testing will be administered by school nurses on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on a rotating basis starting with the junior and senior high school on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and at Watervliet Elementary School on Friday, Jan. 22.

[…]Read more >
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Shamir, How Are You So Hot?

By Maggie Lange
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  • I love the walk to the post office, in headphones, getting lost, feeling very “main character." Anything pop-rock feels “main character,” I think because of any of the coming-of-age movies I’ve seen.
  • Most of all, we needed to know: Shamir, how are you so hot?
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Indiana scrambles to get COVID vaccines into arms

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  • But as hospitals and health departments scramble to erect temporary clinics, the big questions are how fast states can roll out the vaccines and how long it will take for people to get protected against a deadly virus and resume their normal lives.
  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, a former Indiana state health commissioner, said last week that hundreds of thousands of people are getting vaccinated every day across the nation, but the pace of inoculations needs to improve.
Read more >
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San Antonio’s Bistr09 to hold disco-themed brunch featuring go-go dancers and ’70s era dishes

By Nina Rangel
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Alamo Heights eatery Bistr09 continues its run of themed Sunday brunches with a Soul Train Brunch highlighting the fashion and food of the '70s.

The restaurant is inviting guests to don their bell bottoms and platform shoes while professional go-go dancers and disco music set the scene for this month’s themed brunch. Era dishes such as spinach quiche, fried chicken lollipops and cherries jubilee will get a culinary refresh from chef Damien Watel. […]Read more >
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Additional COVID-19 vaccine allocated to Mississippi this week

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announced that additional COVID-19 vaccine was allocated to Mississippi this week. The additional allotments will support ongoing vaccination appointments at drive-through sites next week andallow for a modest amount of doses to be shared with community partners.The additional vaccine will be distributed to community partners in a manner that seeks to address both geographic and racial disparities. MSDH leaders said they anticipate that they will have an additional drive through appointments, in more locations, the week of January 25 based on […]Read more >
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Biden’s Big New Covid Relief Plan Deserves Support

By The Editors
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  • It’s a pity that the most expensive component of the plan — another round of checks to most households regardless of need, adding $1,400 to the $600 already provided in the measure that passed in December — is likely to be its least cost-effective .
  • In his speech on Thursday night, President-elect Joe Biden said his new economic-stimulus proposal is only the first installment of a two-stage plan to speed America’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Read more >
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Hennepin County pauses plan to move Edina library to Southdale Center

By Erin Adler
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  • County officials haven't ruled out Southdale Center as a future library location, Geffen said, though its unclear how mall management and Life Time will proceed.
  • Updating Southdale Library has been in the county's capital plans for a few years, Geffen said, and the mall location would have provided "the opportunity to be a part of a larger space to draw additional people to the library."
Read more >
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Texas-Based Dating App Bumble Setting Up To Go Public

By CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
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  • “We remain committed to the major opportunity ahead of us to make dating healthier and more equitable around the world, not only for women, but for people across the gender spectrum,” Wolfe Herd wrote in a letter accompanying the IPO paperwork.
  • (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — Bumble, the Austin, Texas-based company best known for its female-centered dating app, is getting ready for its big date with Wall Street.
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Listen: Coronavirus Mutations

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  • Now you can think about a key in a lot of different ways, but the better that key fits, the more efficient and transmissible the virus is going to be.
  • Menachery: The worry would be: If you’re increasing the viral load, the virus is replicating better and that might cause more severe disease.
Read more >
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Fact check: Yes, slow absentee count explains Milwaukee “ballot dump”

By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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  • Talking about the need to restore voters’ confidence, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Wisconsin needs to allow work on absentee ballots to begin before Election Day. Wisconsin is one of just a handful of states that ban election workers from starting to process these ballots until then.
  • "It takes quite a while on Election Day to load those ballots, which is why we have the 1 a.m. or 3 a.m. ballot dumping in Milwaukee," LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, said Jan. 10, 2021, on WKOW-TV’s Capitol City Sunday .
Read more >
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Frog Cakes Are the Best Thing Online Right Now

By Bettina Makalintal
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  • Almost a year into pandemic life, and many fleeting food trends later, frog cakes have taken over social media: most of them featuring chubby, smiling buttercream frogs atop colorful and retro-inspired cakes.
  • Though she admired the intricate rococo designs by decorators like Lily Vanilli Bakery and briefly gave jelly cakes a try, Ma landed on her current chubby animal style in part because of its simplicity.
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Cuomo: 74 percent of vaccine in New York has been administered

By Chris Bragg
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New York has administered 74 percent of the state's supply of first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Friday.

The Cuomo administration has been criticized for a bumpy roll out of the program as frustrations mount about lack of access and glitches in setting up appointments. At a Friday briefing in Albany, Cuomo gave the state good marks, but acknowledged there could be improvements.

[…]Read more >

Verizon adding high-speed internet in Hoosick

By Larry Rulison
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Verizon is installing fiber-optic cables in the town of Hoosick as part of its agreement with the state to upgrade its high-speed internet network upstate.

The expansion of Verizon's high-speed internet servivce in Hoosick is part of a 2018 agreement with the state Public Service Commission to bring high-speed internet to 14,000 additional upstate homes.

[…]Read more >

Utah courts are making a ‘cautious return’ to restart jury trials. Here’s what you need to know.

By Taylor Stevens
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  • Members of the jury will be temperature checked when they arrive and will be required to wear masks at all times in the courthouse, according to a video released by the courts outlining the new safety precautions .
  • The Utah court system had previously planned to hold some jury trials with extra safety precautions at the end of last month but called off those plans in light of high positivity rates of COVID-19, the Deseret News reported.
Read more >
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Proof San Antonians will eat anything jalapeño-flavored: H-E-B has introduced jalapeño saltines

By Nina Rangel
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San Antonio-based grocery giant H-E-B has released jalapeño-flavored saltine crackers, injecting slow-burn flavor into the blandest of bland food items, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

The new crackers offer a bright jalapeño flavor and lingering burn, as well as a hint of onion and garlic, the Express-News reports.

The daily offers a slew of possible applications for the new snack — past the obvious one of crumbled atop chili. Those includeas using the crackers as a vessel for charcuterieor crushed up into meatloaf, meatballs or the breading for a fried schnitzel.

H-E-B Jalapeño Saltines are available at area stores for $1.58 for an 8-ounce package.

So many restaurants, so little time. […]Read more >
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Illinois State Capitol boarded up as the National Guard prepares for protests

By Joe Millitzer
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  • - The Illinois National Guard has been activated after the FBI's warning about threats to state capitals cities in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.
  • The FBI issued a warning on Monday based on intelligence that said there is the potential for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C. in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Read more >
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Every Video Ever Posted to Parler Is Now Available to Download

By Matthew Gault
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  • A hacker archived more than 56 terabytes of data pulled from the far-right social media site and now nearly every video captured in that archive is available on Bittorrent where anyone can download and watch them.
  • “These torrents contain video.parler.com public video archives, as they existed,” the projects GitHub explained .
Read more >
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Sharon Simmons

By Dustin Cardon
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  • After graduating from the University of Virginia, she began working in the tax research division of New York-based public accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 1994.
  • Since assuming her position, Simmons has been teaching both entrepreneurship courses and accounting, with a focus on venture creation and commercializing new ideas and technologies.
Read more >
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Lilly invests $30M in new fund for minority health-care startups

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  • Eli Lilly and Co. is investing $30 million in a new venture fund for minority-owned, early-stage health care companies as part of its ongoing racial justice efforts.
  • The Indianapolis-based drugmaker said Friday that the fund is “well on its way” to raising $100 million, and the company expects traditional investors to follow its lead in helping minority and “historically under-represented” business owners.
Read more >
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Polis “shocked we were lied to” following report that promised COVID-19 vaccine stockpile doesn’t exist

By Meg Wingerter
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  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted Friday morning that he was “shocked we were lied to” following a report that a promised increase in COVID-19 vaccine doses won’t be coming because the federal stockpile already had been used up.
  • But the Trump administration had stopped holding back doses in December, meaning there was no stockpile to send out when Azar made the announcement, The Washington Post reported Friday .
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Axne ‘absolutely’ backs Biden pandemic relief plan, Hinson not ruling out a ‘yes’

By O. Kay Henderson
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  • “I like to say we’re going to bring the vaccine to people where they, not just bring it to places where we hope that they are and so you know one of the most important things to move us through the economic downturn we have is obviously to get people back to a healthy state, free from contacting Covid-19,” Axne said.
  • Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines, the only Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation, says she’ll “absolutely” vote for the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan President-elect Joe Biden unveiled last night.
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The Evolution of the Coronavirus

By James Hamblin
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  • Though this strain of the virus (officially called “B.1.1.7”) quickly became known as “the U.K. variant,” it has already been found in 45 countries, suggesting that the opportunity to contain it with travel restrictions has passed.
  • There is a plausible mechanism that could allow them to do so elsewhere: Both the U.K. and South African variants share a mutation that manifests as a subtle change in a key site where the virus binds to human cells.
Read more >
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UT researcher finds increased first-trimester exercise could reduce risk of gestational diabetes

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  • — A study at the University of Tennessee says that pregnant women who get moving for roughly eight minutes longer than daily recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may lower their risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • And, there's potential to help the women in their pregnancies and also improve health outcomes for the children later on,” Ehlrich said, adding that if 38 minutes sounds daunting, any amount of physical activity is better than none.
Read more >
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Live: Walz to give update on Minnesota Capitol security ahead of inauguration

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  • Security officials from the Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Minnesota National Guard, the Minnesota State Patrol, and St. Paul police will join the governor to give the public an "update on security concerns at the Minnesota Capitol following the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week and continued threats to state capitols," according to a news release from the governor's office.
  • On Thursday DPS said while the State Capitol remains a safe place, state officials are asking residents who aren't working or doing business there to stay home.
Read more >
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Battle Over Space Command: How Did Huntsville Beat Colorado Springs?

By CBS Denver
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  • Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama was selected by the Secretary of the Air Force to host U.S. Space Command headquarters based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and cost to the Department of Defense.
  • From there, the Department of the Air Force selected six candidate locations and conducted both virtual and on-site visits to assess which would be best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and costs to the Department of Defense.
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More contagious COVID-19 variant has arrived in Utah, state health department says

By Sean P. Means
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  • The B.1.1.7 variant, which was first found in the United Kingdom, was discovered in his case through ongoing genetic sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples by the Utah Public Health Laboratory.
  • The so-called “UK variant” of COVID-19 — a fast-moving and more contagious version of the coronavirus — has arrived in Utah, the state health department said Friday.
Read more >
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Control Board to survey licensees about COVID-19 vaccinations

By News Engin
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  • The Nevada Gaming Control Board has issued a survey to its more than 400 nonrestricted licensees about their employees’ willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • “This most recent version of the playbook includes Nevada’s gaming industry as part of the state’s ‘Frontline and Essential Workforce.’ To implement this portion of the playbook most effectively, the board is collecting information regarding the willingness of the industry’s workforce to receive vaccinations,” it says.
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The Proud Boy Who Smashed a US Capitol Window Is a Former Marine

By Tess Owen
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  • Through interviews with former classmates and reviewing archived social media and VICE News has identified Pezzola, now 43, as “Spazzo” a member of the Proud Boys who is wanted by the FBI for his critical role in the breach that occurred on Capitol Hill.
  • Now, word is traveling quickly through the alumni community from The Aquinas Institute in a suburb of Rochester, New York, that their former classmate was the wild-eyed man seen smashing the window of the Capitol with a riot shield during the deadly January 6 insurrection.
Read more >
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New coronavirus variant could become dominant strain in March, CDC warns

By Helen Branswell
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  • A new, more transmissible variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 could sweep the United States in coming weeks and become the dominant strain as soon as March, leading to a new surge of cases through the spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday.
  • Modeling work done by CDC scientists suggests that unless the pace of vaccination of the population increases dramatically and people adhere stringently to Covid-19 control measures, the new variant will spread rapidly.
Read more >
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SEC Probe Is the Latest Un-Exxon Thing Happening to Exxon

By Liam Denning
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  • Sankey’s question in 2018 was prompted by Exxon breaking with tradition and setting a long-term target to double its earnings and return on capital by 2025.
  • It’s important to emphasize that the whistle-blower’s complaint is said to center on assumptions about drilling productivity, which is the sort of thing batted around at every oil and gas company.
Read more >
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St. Paul restaurants can get help from city program 

By Nancy Ngo
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  • Attention St. Paul restaurateurs looking for some operational support in online ordering, delivery and marketing: a program called the St. Paul Restaurant Resiliency Program is here to help.
  • St. Paul has launched Phase 2 of the program, which is a collaboration between the city and nonprofit NCXT, and aims to help restaurants in generating revenue and other support.
Read more >
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Michelle Deininger: Hear the stories of women affected by reproductive freedom laws

By Michelle Deininger | Special to The Tribune
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  • Toward that goal, we gathered a group of women personally affected by abortion or contraception policies who were willing to share their stories, and we asked individual lawmakers to meet with small groups of women to hear their experiences.
  • But legislators aren’t hearing much from women and families with personal experiences that were made easier or more difficult depending on the reproductive health policies in effect when they needed them.
Read more >
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C.D.C. Warns New Virus Variant Could Fuel Huge Spikes in Covid Cases

By Apoorva Mandavilli and Roni Caryn Rabin
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  • Federal health officials sounded the alarm Friday about a fast spreading, far more contagious variant of the coronavirus that is projected to become the dominant source of infection in the country by March, potentially fueling another wrenching surge of cases and deaths.
  • Only 76 cases of the variant have been identified so far in the U.S., but the actual number is believed to be higher and is expected to spiral upward in the next few weeks, officials said.
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Milwaukee VA to offer walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations for veterans 65 and over

By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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  • Those who already have a vaccination appointment time at the medical center or clinics should keep that time and not come to the walk-in event, officials said.
  • The Milwaukee VA Medical Center walk-in clinic will be offering COVID-19 vaccinations Saturday through Monday to veterans 65 and over who are enrolled with the Milwaukee VA or its community clinics in Green Bay, Appleton, Cleveland and Union Grove.
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The Guardian view of Trump’s populism: weaponised and silenced by social media | Editorial

By Editorial
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  • But the industry has grown into a monster – one which threatens democracy by commercialising the swift spread of controversy and lies for political advantage.
  • There are two related issues at stake here: the chilling power afforded to huge US corporations to limit free speech; and the vast sums they make from algorithmically privileging and amplifying deliberate disinformation.
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What the Tech? Do You Need an Amazon Smart Shelf?

By Alabama News Network Staff
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  • Amazon’s Dash Smart Shelf is a plastic scale that recognizes when a product is running low and automatically re-orders a replacement.
  • Now, Amazon thinks a new gadget will help consumers who may have trouble remembering when they need something and for whom ordering themselves is just too difficult.
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Mechanicville pays more legal fees for FOIL denial

By Wendy Liberatore
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Mechanicville has again paid legal fees for denying a Freedom of Information request.

City council Commissioner Barbara McGuire took the city to court after it denied her access to fellow city council Commissioner Anthony Gotti’s text messages. In a settlement agreement between attorneys last fall, she got the text messages. And the city was ordered to pay $9,700 for her attorney.

“The city is playing games,” McGuire said. “(The city) does whatever it likes. It’s like the wild, wild west. But (city officials) aren’t mad at the attorney for denying my request, they are mad at me for winning.”

[…]Read more >

What the Tech? App of the Day: Reface

By Alabama News Network Staff
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  • Reface is the latest crazy popular face-swapping app that uses artificial intelligence to take someone’s selfie and place it in photos and videos of famous actors, actresses, singers, and other famous people.
  • Reface does reserve the right to use your selfie and the photos and videos you create for marketing and advertising campaigns at no compensation to you.
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When will we reach herd immunity? What about vaccines for 65- to 69-year-olds? Q&A with Washington state’s health secretary

By Evan Bush
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The Seattle Times sat down for a video chat on Wednesday with Dr. Umair Shah, who took over the top post at the Washington state Department of Health last month. Shah came to Washington as cases of COVID-19 crested their peak and during the second week of vaccine administration. The vaccine rollout nationwide and in […]Read more >
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Folake Olowofoyeku On CBS’ ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’: ‘I’m Extremely Proud To Be A Part Of This Presentation Of Nigerian Culture’

By CBS Denver
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  • The next two episodes of the series are extremely important to Olowofoyeku and the rest of the cast as Abishola’s husband makes his way from Nigeria to Detroit in order get Abishola and their son Dele back in his life.
  • As Abishola tries to figure out whether to stay in Detroit with Bob or go back to Nigeria with her husband, the episodes give life to the many fascinating dynamics of Nigerian culture.
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Gov. Kevin Stitt activates National Guard due to nationwide Capitol threats

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  • Stitt's office announced Friday the governor he has activated more than 75 members of the guard to assist local law enforcement should any violent protests break out at the state Capitol or elsewhere.
  • Gov. Kevin Stitt has activated the Oklahoma National Guard to protect the state Capitol building as warnings swirl that all 50 state capitals could see armed protests in the coming days.
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St. Paul awards annual low-income tax credit allotment to Selby-Wilkins housing

By Frederick Melo
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  • Meeting as the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the St. Paul City Council this week voted to reserve $914,000 in 2021 low-income housing tax credits for the Selby-Wilkins housing development at 180 Milton Ave.
  • The tax credits will help the Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation preserve and rehabilitate 45 existing units of affordable housing, including 23 units of federally-backed Section 8 housing.
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Mississippi sees “significant progress” on vaccine front, says Dr. Dobbs

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said there has been "significant progress" on the COVID-19 vaccine front in Mississippi. "Please forgive confusion from earlier this week. The anticipated February vaccine infusion is in addition to the modest weekly allocation we get," he stated on Twitter. State Health Officer: “January will likely be the worst month for COVID deaths” On Wednesday, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) said there’sno additional vaccinedue to a “monumental” surge in appointment requests, and every appointment is tied to an actual vaccination. […]Read more >
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Migrants Are Shunning People Smugglers and Going it Alone on TikTok

By Meriem Mahdhi
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  • Six other Tunisian migrants – not including Azer and Mohammed – who arrived on Lampedusa’s shores in 2020 told VICE World News that they all organised their own journeys to Europe.
  • Azer is one of tens of thousands of Tunisian migrants shunning smugglers to organise their own escape from the country on self-provisioned boats, before posting videos of their journey on social media.
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How will school closures affect children in the long run? Wars, disease and natural disasters offer clues

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  • German children lost around 25% of classes and had earnings dropped by around 5%," Posso told CNN, citing their findings.More recent insights can be drawn from the experience of children whose education was disrupted in the early 1990s by the Bosnian War — with the obvious caveat that life during conflict is very different from life during a peacetime pandemic.Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura, who was born in Sarajevo, was about four years old when the nearly four-year siege of the city began.
  • She had to learn English from scratch but, after a few rocky months, she caught up with her peers, became a "straight-A student" and continued into further education.She relocated to London from Chicago at the end of April 2019 and has since seen the education of her daughter disrupted by both the move and the pandemic.Like many countries in Europe, the UK closed its schools to most children in March.
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Are Doctors Allowed to Give Expiring COVID Vaccine Doses to Walk-Ins?

By Hannah Smothers
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  • “PLEASE SHARE: We need to give out 410+ doses in next 4hours at Brooklyn Army Terminal (by 7pm), taking anyone in community age 18+, walk ins, or earlier than scheduled,” it read, followed by an address and a link to New York City’s official COVID-19 vaccine finder website.
  • So when the message spread last night around New York City, late in the afternoon, it was believable that a clinic may have had excess doses that would expire by 7 p.m. that walk-ins could take advantage of.
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Hal Boyd and Alan Hawkins: Marriage is solemnized through more than self

By Hal Boyd and Alan Hawkins | Special to The Tribune
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  • But the study’s findings might also suggest that couples with bigger (and cheaper) weddings are more likely to experience what researchers call “the community effect” — the impact of supportive friends and family that help a married couple get through the inevitable peaks and vales of married life.
  • As marriage has become a personal and private matter — and now with the potential of self-solemnization — it’s worth noting that marriages are often better positioned to thrive when situated within community life.
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Cleveland schools CEO recommends remote learning should continue through February

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  • Students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District remain in a remote learning plan amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns .
  • While we must all take precautions to keep our students, their parents, caregivers and our educators safe at this time, the prospects of vaccines becoming available during the month of February gives me hope that we will soon begin the move to hybrid learning for our students and families who choose to return to in-person instruction.”
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What the Tech? Action Taken Against Parler Social Media App

By Alabama News Network Staff
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  • Apple, Google, and Amazon’s decision to effectively shut down the social media platform “Parler” has resulted in cries that free speech and the first amendment is under attack by big tech.
  • Professor of Communications at Hartford University, Adam Chiara says while many of its users will disagree, the decisions made by Apple, Google, and Amazon are not infringing on the right to free speech and the companies have a right to police their services.
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Feds: Capitol mob aimed to ‘assassinate’ elected officials

By Associated Press
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  • “Strong evidence, including Chansley’s own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials in the United States Government,” prosecutors wrote in their memo urging the judge to keep Chansley behind bars.
  • PHOENIX (AP) — The pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last week aimed to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” federal prosecutors said in court documents.
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The buck stops here: Dutch government quits over welfare scandal

By Associated Press
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  • In a nationally televised speech, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he had informed King Willem-Alexander of his decision and pledged that his government would continue work to compensate affected parents as quickly as possible and to battle the coronavirus.
  • In a nationally televised speech, Rutte said he had informed King Willem-Alexander of his decision and pledged that his government would continue work to compensate affected parents as quickly as possible and to battle the coronavirus.
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Trump Has Reportedly Banned Staff From Even Mentioning Nixon’s Name

By Paul Blest
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  • Trump aides have reportedly floated the idea of quitting before Congress can officially impeach Trump again, but the president shot it down, saying he couldn’t depend on Vice President Mike Pence to grant him a pardon, according to CNN .
  • President Gerald Ford, Nixon’s vice president, pardoned his predecessor in September 1974, two months after Nixon left office to avoid an impeachment vote.
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PEF sues New York for inadequate paid sick leave for coronavirus

By Amanda Fries
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Public Employees Federation President Wayne Pence on Friday filed a lawsuit against New York for its failure to provide adequate paid sick leave for state employees who have had to quarantine or isolate beyond the 14 days allotted to them.

"The lawsuit asserts that state employers have irrationally and improperly deprived our members of their guaranteed right to paid quarantine leave during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said, standing in front of the closed steps to the state Capitol in Albany.

[…]Read more >
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Mike Pence Has Nowhere to Go

By Peter Nicholas
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  • As a lowly representative from Indiana, he talked privately with former Vice President Dan Quayle about how best to position himself for a White House bid, gaming out whether he should run as a member of Congress or as Indiana governor.
  • Reviewing the changes, Pence would take his Sharpie and add Trump’s name back in, a former Trump-administration official told me.
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Tell us who makes Utah’s best bagel

By Kathy Stephenson
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Whether it’s plain, with poppy seeds or covered with everything, there’s nothing quite like a bagel.The best versions of this East Coast classic are dense and chewy, but at the same time tender and easy to bite through.These baked and boiled breads — with a hole — may reign supreme in New York City, but excellent versions also are made every day in Utah restaurants, delis and bakeries.Which one deserves the title of “Best Bagel in the Beehive?’You tell us.[Subscribe to our weekly Utah Eats newsletter.]Vote for your favorite on the form below — or write in the name of a business we may have missed.Do it soon, as the polls close at noon on […]Read more >
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IRS delays start of tax season to Feb. 12

By Nexstar Media Wire
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  • "It is encouraging that the IRS expects taxpayers who file electronically at the beginning of the season and claim refundable tax credits to receive their refunds by the first week of March," Neal said.
  • “These changes ensure that eligible people will receive any remaining stimulus money as a recovery rebate credit when they file their return,” the agency said, according to CNBC .
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Willie Nelson Finally Shows Up for His SXSW Keynote, Thirty Years Later

By Sean O'Neal
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  • With that rethinking comes a recentering of the festival’s Texas identity, not only via Willie’s keynote but through an opening night premiere of Dallas singer Demi Lovato’s new documentary, Dancing With the Devil, as well as a spotlight conversation between Austin FC co-owner Matthew McConaughey and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber.
  • Who could have ever predicted that the Houston rapper would spend the year shattering so many streaming and awards records, slaying Saturday Night Live, gracing the cover of Time, and generally dominating our culture—unless, of course, they were Megan Thee Stallion?
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Wisconsin set to launch mobile vaccination teams next week with the help of National Guard and UW System, Evers says

By Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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  • State health officials and the Wisconsin National Guard are launching a mobile COVID-19 vaccination program next week to help expand access throughout Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers said Friday.
  • The mobile clinics will be staffed by the National Guard as well as pharmacy and nursing student volunteers through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin System.
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Live updates: MDH ramps up COVID-19 vaccinations

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  • In all, MDH says nearly 37% of all COVID-19 vaccine doses received by the state have been used, and on Thursday health officials gave guidance to health care providers that they can began vaccinating people outside of Phase 1a who are over age 65.
  • Numbers from the new Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) dashboard say 162,040 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 24,745 have completed the two-dose series.
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Here’s How Much Money You’d Get Under Biden’s COVID Relief Plan

By Emma Ockerman
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  • If President-elect Joe Biden gets his way, Americans will soon see more stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and a boosted federal minimum wage in the midst of a shattered economy that’s pushed some households to the brink of financial calamity.
  • But, since qualifying Americans were already granted a $600 check through the stimulus package that Congress passed in December, the level of new direct payments will actually be $1,400—bringing the total benefit to $2,000, according to Biden’s plan.
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Drought expected to continue into spring

By Dar Danielson
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  • Much of western Iowa was in drought last year and even with a couple of heavy snowstorms already this winter, the drought is expected to continue at least into spring.
  • “I would expect it to improve some in the spring,” Todey says.
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Joe Biden’s Looming War on White Supremacy

By Ronald Brownstein
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  • When identifying their priorities, Garland and Biden’s other top DOJ nominees pointed to the same two issues: tackling the threat of violent domestic extremism and confronting systemic racial bias in law enforcement.
  • Rashad Robinson, the president of the civil-rights advocacy group Color of Change, argues that federal law enforcement puts much more emphasis on monitoring and pressuring racial-justice advocates than white nationalists.
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By clamping down on DC rioters, Airbnb is finally acting like it owns the place

By Rani Molla
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  • When Alex Dodds started reaching out to local Washington, DC, Airbnb hosts last week asking them to take down their listings and cancel existing reservations ahead of the presidential inauguration, she had hoped the house-sharing company would wave cancellation fines.
  • Airbnb is balancing some lost customers and revenue with preserving the trust and safety of the rest of the guests and hosts on its platform — issues it’s dealt with over and over and has since taken a stronger stance on.
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Corrupted: Confirming Our Fears About the PPP

By Kristin Miller
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  • More than half of the $522 billion loaned through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was aimed at small- and midsized companies, went to bigger businesses making up just 5% of the recipients .
  • NBC News discovered that tenants at properties owned by the Trump Organization and Kushner Companies received more than $3.65 million in PPP loans, which they may have used to pay rent.
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Tennessee authorities searching for alleged members of identity theft ring operating out of Memphis metro area

By WREG Staff
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TIPTON COUNTY, Tenn. — The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office asked for help identifying alleged members of an identity theft ring operating out of the Memphis metro area. According to Sheriff J.T. Chumley, the individuals used stolen social security numbers to access store credit accounts. One member of the team made the purchase using the stolen identity and another returned it to a different store the following day to get a gift card. They have reportedly done this at Best Buy, J.C. Penny, Kohl’s, Target and Home Goods stores in Murfreesboro, Franklin, Jackson, Collierville, Memphis, Southaven and Tupelo. If you can identify the […]Read more >
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Orpheum announces new changes to upcoming Broadway season

By WREG Staff
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —The Orpheumhas announced additional changes to its upcoming Broadway season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With touring productions still on hold, the entertainment venue said they had to reschedule their Broadway season again, which will now begin in September with "The Band’s Visit." Disney’s "The Lion King" is scheduled for November, followed by the megahit "Hamilton" in December 2021. "Hadestown" and "Tootsie" will hit the stage in February followed by "Cats," "Mean Girls" and "Jesus Christ Superstar." “While our Broadway […]Read more >

New Road Improvement Projects Announced Across Alabama

By Alabama News Network Staff
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A new round of road improvement projects has been announced through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (ATRIP-II). The project funds road projects of local interest, proposed by one or more local governments, related to the state-maintained highway system. The Rebuild Alabama Act requires ATRIP-II to set aside at least $30 million from the Alabama Department of Transporation’s share of new gas tax revenue for projects of local interest on the state highway system. Among the projects for this year include improvements to U.S. Highway 80 at Mitchell Young Road in Montgomery County, various road improvements in […]Read more >
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Congressman pushes criminal investigation of Trump for Capitol attack

By Ariana Figueroa
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  • WASHINGTON — A Democratic congressman has filed a resolution directing the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation against President Donald Trump once he leaves office, on charges that Trump incited a mob to storm the U.S. Capitol.
  • Rep. Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania said the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol stemmed from a rally that Trump held just blocks from where lawmakers were set to certify the Electoral College votes to officially declare Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election.
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How to Make Google and Facebook Care About Privacy

By Catherine H O'Neil
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  • The company must also delete any algorithms that it developed with the photos and videos that it obtained through the app (which was shut down last year).
  • Some Ever users felt that their privacy had been violated, and the Federal Trade Commission alleged that the company, Everalbum, had acted deceptively by employing face recognition without customers’ knowledge and by failing to delete their photos when they deactivated their accounts.
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Janesville teachers to receive vaccine ahead of schedule

By Star Tribune Staff
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  • — Wisconsin's Department of Health Services says it's investigating plans by the Janesville school district to vaccinate its teachers and staff next week, even though the state hasn't yet moved to the next phase of coronavirus vaccinations.
  • The state is still in what is referred to as 'phase 1a' of the vaccine rollout, which includes inoculating frontline health care workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities and first responders.
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Biden’s New Chapter

By Heather Cox Richardson
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  • It outlines a vision for America that reaches back to an older time, when both parties shared the idea that the government had a role to play in the economy, regulating business, providing a basic social safety net, and promoting infrastructure.
  • While this system was enormously popular, reactionary Republicans hated business regulation, the incursion of the federal government into lucrative infrastructure fields, and the taxes it took to pay for the new programs (the top marginal tax rate in the 1950s was 91%).
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