5 Things That Happened While You Were Out: March 4

Wednesday is almost over, and with it goes the first part of the workweek. With only two days left until the weekend and warmer, though still gloomy weather in the forecast, it’s a good time to get caught up on what has been happening around the nation and the state today.

1) Former Vice President and current presidential hopeful Joe Biden has a very Super Tuesday indeed. Winning nine out of the 14 states that voted yesterday, Biden has roared to the front of the pack after a slow start to his White House bid.

Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia all went to Biden. The biggest shock of the bunch was Texas, a state that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had been leading up to this moment. Texas is a high delegate state, second only to California in Super Tuesday sweeps.

Biden also unexpectedly won Maine.

Sanders took his home state of Vermont, but not by the landslide one might expect, and saw definitive victories in Colorado and Utah. California’s delegates are not fully allocated as of now, but Sanders is the frontrunner, according to current votes counted.

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg ended a short and unorthodox campaign that hinged almost entirely on his Super Tuesday performance, which turned out to be anemic (at best), and threw his support to Biden, as did Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

2) A 2014 abortion law from Louisiana is coming before the U.S. Supreme Court just four years after the court handed down a decision in a similar case from Texas. The issues behind the case are about admitting privileges, and Louisiana has confirmed that the admitting law is basically the same as the one the court already struck down in 2016.

Both in Texas and in Louisiana, laws were passed that called for any doctor working at an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The theory behind these laws is that it makes the clinics safer, but the Supreme Court previously decided in 2016 that to do so put an unnecessary burden on the staffing of abortion clinics and was unconstitutional.

Many pro-choice supporters are concerned that this case is being heard by the Supreme Court again at all, let alone so soon. The biggest difference now is not in the circumstances of the cases but in the make-up of the court. For the first time in a while, the court has a majority of pro-life proponents.

This case could cause a complete reversal of the 2016 decision and start the court down a path towards reversing many protections in place for women and abortion clinics since the iconic Roe v. Wade decision.

3) New York increased its number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus to 11. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the news at a press conference today, confirming that all of the new cases have been traced back to the Westchester attorney who was diagnosed yesterday.

The person who drove the attorney to the hospital, his wife, and two of his children have all tested positive. Four members of another family in his town that had come into contact with him also have tested positive. There are eight fellow attorneys at his firm in downtown Manhattan that are currently being tested.

As Cuomo confirmed this to be a valid coronavirus pandemic, he also warned against an outbreak of fear. He reminded people that this news was expected, and to not panic anymore than the revelation calls for. The governor also announced that SUNY and CUNY students who are currently studying abroad in five countries on the federal watch list are being recalled. The 300 students will be housed in dorms on Long Island and watched for virus symptoms.

4) The Lake George High School (LGHS) robotics team recently won five trophies at the annual New York State VEX Robotic tournament. Along with winning the Think Award, the 2020 Programming title, the Innovative Award, the Drive Skills Champion title and being named the 2020 Tournament Champion the team also won a guaranteed bid at the 2020 VEX World Championships.

The LGHS team had to create and build three robots in the tournament, and all of them made it through to the finals. Part of the challenge throughout the competition is to consistently tweak and redesign your team’s robot(s) as the competition continues. Successfully doing so landed the LGHS team on top of the podium across the board, and overall.

The Lake George High School team is made up of 13 people and will be going to the VEX World Championships in Kentucky from April 22 to April 25, 2020.

5) On the first Wednesday each month, Noteworthy Resources of Albany Inc. (NWR Albany) hosts a Mental Wellness Meetup at the Washington Avenue branch of the Albany County Public Library. Held in the second level community room from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., each month’s meetings give a safe space for attendees to talk about their mental health and issues concerning the topic of that meeting.

This month’s meeting will focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  This group gives you the safe space and community needed to work through certain traumas or experiences you have had throughout life, and the ACEs meeting has the potential to be particularly powerful and impactful.

These meetings are open to anyone who would like to attend. Please keep in mind this is a safe space, and the goal is to support and help each other advance through the mental health circus. All meetings are free.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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