Rise and Shine, March 4, 2020

Happy Hump Day, CivMixers.

Did you know that March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month? Yes. For more information check out the #ChangeYourMind public awareness campaign, run by the Brain Injury Association of American, which aims to educate the general public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.

It looks like we’re in for another nice, early spring day, with temperatures in the high 40s and clouds that give way to sunshine in the afternoon, according to The Weather Channel. It will, however, be windy, with occasional gusts of over 40 mph. So, hang on to those hats.

Model and photographer Brooklyn Beckham turns 21 today. A big year for him. (Folks in my age group may know him as the oldest son of former English soccer player David Beckham and Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham). Other birthdays of note: Model Erin Heatherton (31), actress Jenna Boyd (27), and writer/actor/musician Chaz Bono (51).

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, was born on this day in 1993. She died tragically in July 2015, six months after being found unconscious in a filled bathtub in her home. She was in a coma from the day she was found until the day of her death from pneumonia.

Today’s big political news is all about the results of Super Tuesday, which is shaping up to be very good for former Vice President Joe Biden, though Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is hot on his heels in the delegate race.

Biden won primaries in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts (Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home state), Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, while Sanders won his home state, Vermont, and Colorado and Utah.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who staked his whole campaign on the outcome of this day (though that spin is changing) and thus far has spent $500 million of his fortune on his quixotic White House bid, won the caucuses in American Samoa.

According to several anonymous people familiar with Bloomberg’s plans, he’s contemplating quitting the race. Though a Bloomberg spokesperson insisted that no decisions had been made after he left his party in West Palm Beach, Florida convention center late yesterday.

Speaking of Bloomberg, this happened.

The Associated Press called California, the biggest delegate prize of the night, for Sanders. The primary in Maine has not been called.

In other news…

The first virus-related deaths tied to a nursing center in Kirkland, Washington occurred days earlier than previously known — and well before residents had been quarantined in their rooms.

The head of the World Health Organization said that the global mortality rate for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was 3.4 percent. Covid-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu, but does not transmit as easily.

Congress expects to approve billions in funding to combat coronavirus in the U.S. by the end of the week, but a deal was slowed yesterday by a partisan disagreement over controlling the costs of a vaccine and treatments.

The discovery of a second case of the new coronavirus in New York — a man of about 50 who lives in Westchester County — quickly touched off an intense search by health investigators across the region to determine whether he had infected others, and who might have infected him.

At least two New York area high schools closed after the suspected case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the local community.

The infected attorney commuted regularly from his home in New Rochelle on the Metro-North Railroad. But it’s unlikely that he used the city’s subway system because his office is within walking distance of Grand Central Terminal.

Epidemiologists said that the risk of coronavirus transmission connected to using public transit is hard to accurately assess.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored a dramatic expansion of his emergency powers that left even top Democrats wary thanks to provisions tucked inside of a hastily drafted $40 million spending bill to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Cuomo says he’s taking steps to lower patients’ costs associated with testing for the coronavirus. He made the move amid concerns getting tested for the virus may be unaffordable for many.

New York is among the first states in the country to waive some fees and expenses for people who undergo testing for the coronavirus, as public health officials are increasingly worried that medical bills will discourage the poor and uninsured from getting medical care.

Upstate hospitals don’t have coronavirus test kits. Right now, the only approved kits are in Albany.

Queens politicians are calling out the New York Post for using a misleading photo of Flushing Main Street, where the population is mostly Asian, to aid a story about the first case of coronavirus that was reported in Manhattan.

State University of New York students who are currently studying abroad in countries with high prevalence of novel coronavirus will return to the United States.

An Amazon employee in Seattle has become the company’s first US worker to contract coronavirus, a spokesperson confirmed.

A top Manhattan fertility clinic says it’s been inundated with women pushing to get their eggs harvested and frozen — because of the coronavirus.

Lots of stores have sold out of hand sanitizer, but not to worry, it turns out to be pretty easy to make your own.

Also, it’s time for a refresher course in how to properly wash your hands. (Hint: A quick rinse doesn’t cut it).

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang said “we’re looking at it” when asked by a reporter who encountered him on the Acela en route to D.C. whether he’s contemplating a run for NYC mayor.

New York will not hold a Republican presidential primary this year, guaranteeing that President Donald Trump will win all of the state’s delegates. Nobody besides Trump qualified to appear on the ballot, and primaries in New York are held only if multiple candidates qualify.

State Attorney General Letitia James along with 18 other attorneys general from around the nation are suing the Trump administration, claiming it illegally and unconstitutionally diverted $3.8 billion for the construction of an unauthorized border wall along the U.S./Mexico border.

All it took was one man and “a series of very unfortunate events” for nearly $10 million in an Oklahoma payroll company’s tax funds to be left in limbo and unpaid at a local bank. This week, representatives from that company, Southwestern Payroll Services, are in Albany demanding to be made right.

State lawmakers passed legislation that would require all adult passengers in a car to wear a seat belt. The bill sponsored by state Sen. David Carlucci, D-Rockland County, specifies that passengers 16 and older wear a seat belt when riding in any seat of a vehicle.

A former Washington County high school principal has been charged with official misconduct for changing students’ answers on the Regents exams following an investigation by State Police, authorities have confirmed.

The Malta Town Board unanimously passed a resolution this week to support state Sen. James Tedisco’s efforts to pushed back on state’s 2020 justice reforms.

The Irish Heritage Museum in Albany has a new home at 21 Quackenbush Square, just across the way from the Olde English Pub.

The New York State Gaming Commission is turning its focus to the issue of problem gambling by teaming up with a national council to raise awareness for the problem.

Michelle Hunter, a Capital Region BOCES graduate and popular Saratoga Springs restaurant chef, was on Food Network’s “Chopped” last night.

“The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon played it cool when talking about his trip to Syracuse last weekend, saying he was overshadowed by football stars Tom Brady and Julian Edelman.

The journalist Ronan Farrow, the author of the best-selling book “Catch and Kill,” said that he would cut ties with his publisher, Hachette Book Group, after it announced that one of its divisions was publishing Woody Allen’s autobiography next month.

RIP Matvey Natanzon, who was known as Falafel because he subsisted on deep-fried chickpea balls while hustling gullible opponents in Washington Square Park in Manhattan while he groomed himself to be the world’s greatest backgammon player. He died on Feb. 14 in Clarence, near Buffalo at the age of 51 after suffering from brain cancer.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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