- Extreme Winter Weather Sweeps Across the United States
This week across the Midwest and Great Lakes regions, dangerous temperatures below zero are set to strike through Thursday evening. According to CNN, “between Tuesday and Thursday, temperatures will plunge to 20-40 degrees below zero in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes,” Hennen said. “Wind chills will plummet to 35-60 below zero.” According to CNN Meteorologist Tom Sater, the impending cold front is going to bring the coldest weather the country has seen in over 25 years. Across many of the northern states, there also will be blizzard-like conditions which will cause “dangerous to impossible travel conditions.” Many schools are closing down across Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday warned of a potentially historic winter storm that will bring extreme cold to our state. “An emergency preparedness plan is in place to help state agencies and residents prepare,” Pritzker said. States as far south as Georgia will face temperatures below freezing due to the storm.
- Measles Outbreak in Washington State Causes Scare
The state of Washington has declared a state of emergency as of this past Sunday because of a measles outbreak in the Clark County area, located on the state’s southern border near Portland, Oregon. There have been 35 confirmed cases in the state of the “highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said. According to CNN’s Amir Vera, 30 of the cases involved people who never had a measles immunization. Of those 34 cases, 24 of them are children between the ages of one and 10. A news release on the governor’s website says “the Washington State Department of Health, or DOH, has implemented an infectious disease incident management structure so it can manage the public health aspects of the outbreak through investigations and lab testing.” According to the CNN report, one of the infected people attended a Portland Trail Blazers home game in Oregon last week as the outbreak was happening. Other people who were contaminated were reported to have visited the “Portland International Airport, hospitals, schools, stores, churches and restaurants across Washington’s Clark County and the two-state region,” county officials said.
- Five Cops Shot Responding to Call in Houston
Five police officers were struck by gunfire this past Monday, according to police. None of the officers were killed in the attack, but two are reportedly in critical condition and three are stable following the incident Monday afternoon. “The officers were shot at a home in the southeast portion of the city,” Fox 26 reported. The suspect in the shooting, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, is “down.” Police confirmed that “one suspect is DOA at the scene.” The officers were in the process of serving a warrant at the time of the shooting, according to Fox 26.
“At this time we can confirm five officers have been struck and transported,” the department later tweeted, promising updates as they become available. All officers were transported to Memorial Hermann Medical Center, officials said.
“This evening’s horrific attack on police officers is a solemn reminder of the service and sacrifice our brave men and women in law enforcement make every day to keep us safe,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement following news of the shooting.
- Government Reopens after 35 day Shutdown
Federal employees went back to work Monday after the “longest shutdown in government history” — but the economic effects will be felt for a long time. A report released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the economy took an $11 billion hit, including $3 billion that is gone forever, in the 35 days that parts of the federal government went unfunded. “In CBO’s estimation, the shutdown dampened economic activity mainly because of the loss of furloughed federal workers’ contribution to GDP, the delay in federal spending on goods and services, and the reduction in aggregate demand,” the report said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Monday that “the President doesn’t want to go through another shutdown. That’s not the goal. The goal is border security.” She suggested worried federal workers should call their Democratic representatives to push them to make a deal.
- Fruit Sold Nationwide at Costco and Walmart Recalled Over Listeria Fears
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Jac. Vandenberg is recalling thousands of cartons of peaches, nectarines and plums due to the threat of possible listeria monocytogenes contamination, reported by Meghan Holohan of MSN. The contaminated produce was distributed to Aldi, Costco, Walmart and other smaller chain stores across the country.
“Some of the peaches and nectarines were sold as bulk items and have a PLU sticker with the numbers 4044, 3035 or 4378. The Aldi peaches and plums were sold in two-pound bags with brand Rio Duero, EAN numbers 7804650090281, 7804650090298 or 7804650090304. Costco sold nectarines in a four-pound plastic clamshells marked as Rio Duero EAN number 7804650090212,” Holohan said.
Approximately 17 states received the contaminated fruits, including Pennsylvania.
“While no illnesses have been reported, listeria bacteria can cause a fatal listeriosis infection in the elderly, newborns and people with weakened immune systems,” said Holohan.
The FDA and company are continuing to investigate the possible cause of the contamination.