Just like that, Friday is over bringing the workweek to a close. And as an added bonus, we’re mow another week closer to starting Spring on the calendar, and we get to Spring Ahead this weekend.
Yes, CivMixers, this is your friendly reminder (for the second time, because no one ever remembers this) that on Sunday you need to set your clock ahead an hour! Most of us run off of phones, tablets, and streaming so it will spring ahead for us automatically, but in case you have an old-school clock, don’t forget to move it.
That could really mess up your Monday. But Monday is so far away…a whole weekend stretches out before us. But first, let’s revisit a few of the day’s top stories.
1) On the national front today, more Coronavirus updates. In the wake of an admission last night by the Trump Administration that there are not enough test kits to meet the growing need across the U.S., the president signed a bill into law that calls for $8.3 billion to be spent to help combat the epidemic.
President Trump assured Americans that this too shall pass, and we should all remain calm.
Meanwhile, top health officials confirmed that 22 states now have confirmed COVID-19 cases. There are 14 fatalities from the virus, with 13 of them occurring in connection with a Seattle, WA nursing home facility.
The number of confirmed cases across the U.S. is now at 233 and there are over 100,000 worldwide. In New York alone, cases went up to 33 confirmed from 22 yesterday. The state total stands at 44, with many of the new cases connected to the Westchester cluster that started with a New Rochelle attorney who commuted regularly to his law office in Midtown Manhattan.
The Grand Princess cruise ship of the Princess Cruise Lines still sits in limbo off of San Francisco, CA awaiting results from tests taken by the CDC of those currently on board.
Stocks continue to fall worldwide in direct correlation to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. The Trump Administration has faced criticism due to its perceived lack of response by many other officials and citizens. After a few miscommunications, the president visited the CDC today. We’re still awaiting details of how that went.
2) In Tennessee today, U.S. Immigration Judge Rebecca L. Holt ruled that a 94-year-old man who has lived in the U.S. for 75 years will be deported back to Germany as he has admitted to willingly serving under the Nazi Regime at concentration camps during World War II.
Friedrich Karl Berger admitted to being a guard in 1945 at a sub-camp of Neuengamme near Meppen, Germany, as well as helping to transport the prisoners to the Neuengamme main camp during the major Nazi evacuation in March of 1945. Berger has maintained that he served under the orders of The Third Reich, and was an unarmed administrative guard.
Judge Holt, however, found that Berger’s admission of watching over the prisoners in the camp’s inhumane working conditions and making sure they didn’t escape was enough voluntary compliance to be held responsible for his actions. She also called into question the fact that he never requested a transfer out of the camp system and that he has received a German retirement stipend for his service.
Berger expressed dismay and outrage that he is being turned away from his home for the past 75 years. He and his attorney have not ruled out an appeal.
3) Back in the news is convicted sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, who officially traded Manhattan five-star suites and thousand-dollar suits for an address at the infamous Riker’s Island jail. Despite repeated attempts by his legal team to allow him to remain at Bellevue Medical Facility under guard or house arrest with an ankle bracelet monitor, Weinstein was finally handed over to the medical facility on Rikers Island late Thursday evening.
Weinstein was found guilty and remanded to Riker’s Island to await sentencing back on Feb. 24. After suffering severe chest pains en route to the jail, he was sent to Bellevue instead where he was diagnosed with a significant heart blockage and underwent open-heart surgery. He has since been cleared by the doctors and sent on his way to await sentencing.
Weinstein and his team have not hidden that there’s a lot of concern on the part of the disgraced Hollywood mogul about how he will adjust to life behind bars. He has been working with experts since the start of his trial to prepare for the world of prisons while hoping he would not have to ever find out if he learned enough to adapt.
As he sits in the infirmary unit in Riker’s Island, Weinstein is waiting to hear if he will get the minimum sentence of five years or a maximum of over two decades.
4) A 12-year-old boy from Cohoes is in jail tonight after a perceived terror threat social media post was discovered on his social media pages.
After receiving multiple concerned reports from not only school district residents, but also district employees, on Wednesday of this week the Cohoes Police Department (CPD) began investigating and found the threatening post.
The post is down now, but according to the CPD it involved duffel bags and a threat of injuries up to and including fatalities. Upon tracing the post back, they successfully found the sender and arrested the 12-year-old perpetrator whose identity is being withheld due to his age. He has been arraigned in Albany County’s Family Court.
Due to the age of the alleged perpetrator and sensitivity of the case, no other information is readily available. But officials did say that upon searching the home, the threat was deemed not credible.
5) If you are over 21 and looking for something different to do this weekend, keep in mind that it is the first weekend of the month, which means it is Country Weekend at Van Slyck’s in the Rivers Casino.
On Friday and Saturday evenings the first weekend of every month, Van Slyck’s goes country! Grab some friends and head on over to the casino to grab a table and enjoy not only DJ Ketchup this weekend, but also live entertainment featuring Martin and Kelly this Friday and Skeeter Creek Saturday.
Photo credit: George Fazio.