5 Things That Happened While You Were Out: Feb. 25

Tuesday dawned so promising…warm (relatively speaking) and cloudy, but clear. Now, of course, it’s raining. Can’t win ’em all.

Here are the top 5 things that happened while you were out today so you can head into tomorrow all prepped and in the know…

1) The top U.S. health officials have made it quite clear – there will be an outbreak of the Coronavirus on American soil. It is really no longer a matter of if, but rather a countdown to when.

The prediction is that the virus will be fairly mild here, comparatively speaking, and there will be increasingly aggressive measures taken to contain any outbreak to impacted regions and minimize the severity.

Officials stress that the best thing Americans can do is to be prepared for disruptions to everyday life. In other words, be prepared to make some scheduling sacrifices in order to do your part to prevent the spread of the virus. Daycares and schools may be closed if there are more severe or plentiful cases in certain areas. Be sure to have a plan in place for those unlikely but possible occurrences.

Whether there is a specific travel ban in place or not, it’s a good idea to avoid unnecessary travel to areas with known outbreaks. Stay informed, and remember: So far there are only 14 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the United States.

2) The surreal college admissions scandal continues. The latest defendant in the case, Michelle Janavs, formerly an executive at Food Chef Inc., a company co-founded by her father, was sentenced today in Boston, MA.

Food Chef Inc., by the way, is best known for inventing the Hot Pocket.

This whole mess first came to light in March 2019. Thus far, 36 people have been charged with paying William “Rick” Singer for a variety of scams that enabled their kids to circumvent the usual college entrance requirements.

Janavs, for example, has admitted to paying Singer $300,000 to have someone take ACT exams using the names of her two daughters. Presiding Federal District Judge Nathaniel Gorton sentenced her to a five-month jail term. She’ll also have to pay a $250,000 fine.

Other well-known figures involved in the case include Felicity Hoffman, Desperate Houswives, who pleaded guilty and served 14 days in jail, and Lori Laughlin, Full House and Fuller House, who is fighting the charges.

3) The New York State Police (NYSP) have announced plans to put a body-cam pilot program into effect. Though details of the plan have not yet been released, an agency spokesperson confirmed the program is indeed moving forward. This comes after a report revealed the State Police was the only large body law enforcement agency of its type not using the devices.

State Police officials have blamed budget restrains for the fact that it is one of the least technologically advanced police departments in the nation. They have resolved to find a way to have officers equipped with body cams to help increase the transparency of the department.

This move is supported by multiple municipalities as well as state Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James.

4) The death of a Lansingburgh 6-year-old has officially been ruled a homicide, after being initially deemed suspicious. On Feb. 9, the Troy Police Department (TPD) responded to a Fifth Avenue home and found Davonte Paul unconscious in his mother’s bathtub. He was admitted to the hospital, and passed away two days later.

Police uncovered a suicide pact between Davonte’s mother, Nicole Bauer, and her boyfriend, Kevin Cox. Pittsfield, MA police responded to a call on Feb. 14 to the Berkshire Inn on West Housatonic Street where they Cox had administered himself a heroin overdose. They also discovered a needle they believe Bauer intended to use on herself.

Cox is currently in grave condition. there has been no update on Bauer’s status or whereabouts.

5) Remember that this week is Winter Restaurant Week in Guilderland. If you are looking to go to one of your favorite local restaurants, be sure to check if they are participating and check out the menu before you head out for the evening. This is a great chance to get a good deal on some good food and get a night out to help break up the end of winter monotony.

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