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'Pandemic babies' Babies born now have a story to tell
5/27/2020 11:24:53 AM

By Gabby Boyd   CORINTH, Miss. (AP)—Born amidst a national crisis, some local and area babies will have a story to tell when they grow up as “pandemic babies.” Stephanie Davis gave birth to her baby girl, Alaura, on April 3 during the COVID-19 state shutdown at Magnolia Regional Health Center. The registered nurse said she was afraid throughout her pregnancy, especially as the due date drew near. “I was absolutely terrified. I tried to talk my doctor into delivering her two weeks early because the virus wasn't in the area. However, she insisted for...

Musk threatens to exit California over virus restrictions
5/15/2020 12:59:42 PM

By Tom Krisher   ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA—Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened Saturday to pull the company's factory and headquarters out of California in an escalating spat with local officials who have stopped the company from reopening its electric vehicle factory. On Twitter, Musk also threatened to sue over Alameda County Health Department coronavirus restrictions that have stopped Tesla from restarting production at its factory in Fremont south of San Francisco. “Frankly, this is the final straw,” he tweeted. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future...

Black district attorney taking over Ahmaud Arbery case
5/15/2020 12:58:33 PM

By Russ Bynum   SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP)—Georgia’s attorney general appointed a Black district attorney Monday to take over the case of a white father and son charged with killing a Black man, making her the third outside prosecutor in a slaying that’s prompted a national outcry over suspicions that race played a role in delaying arrests. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was fatally shot Feb. 23 by the men who told police they chased him because they believed he matched the appearance of a burglary suspect caught on surveillance video. Gregory McMichael and his son, Travis...

National parks visitors should plan for 'new normal'
5/15/2020 12:57:32 PM

BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP)—After closing amid the coronavirus pandemic, the National Park Service is testing public access at several parks across the nation, including two in Utah, with limited offerings and services. Visitor centers and campgrounds remain largely shuttered at Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef, but visitors are welcome at some of the sites. “I felt like they did it right here because if they opened all the services, I think it would have been too much. Too many people would hit it,” Donna Sullivan, of Sedona, Arizona, told The Salt Lake Tribune...

Crime doesn't pay but prison does, even during a pandemic
5/15/2020 12:56:15 PM

By Robin McDowell and Margie Mason   MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—As factories and other businesses remain shuttered across America, people in prisons in at least 40 states continue going to work. Sometimes they earn pennies an hour, or nothing at all, making masks and hand sanitizer to help guard others from the coronavirus. Those same men and women have been cut off from family visits for weeks, but they get charged up to $25 for a 15-minute phone call—plus a surcharge every time they add credit. They also pay marked-up prices at the commissary for soap so they can wash their...

Little Richard, flamboyant rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, dead at 87
5/15/2020 12:41:05 PM

By Kirsten M. Hall   NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Little Richard, one of the chief architects of rock ‘n’ roll whose piercing wail, pounding piano and towering pompadour irrevocably altered popular music while introducing Black R&B to white America, died Saturday after battling bone cancer. He was 87. Pastor Bill Minson, a close friend of Little Richard’s, told The Associated Press that Little Richard died Saturday morning. His son, Danny Jones Penniman, also confirmed his father’s death, which was first reported by Rolling Stone. Bill Sobel, Little...

California nail, hair salons plead to open with other shops
5/15/2020 12:38:23 PM

By Amy Taxin   WESTMINSTER (AP)—California officials have rattled off numerous shops and businesses that can now start reopening under rules aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus—but hair and nail salons are nowhere on the list. For more than a week, salon owners have clamored to get back to work throughout the the state, but Gov. Gavin Newsom has them slated for a later reopening date that could be weeks away. Stylists have shown up at county board meetings, pleading for officials to let them go to work so they can earn a living without making house calls...

House oversight subcommittee asks 5 companies to return coronavirus aid
5/15/2020 12:36:05 PM

By Mary Clare Jalonik and Matthew Daly   WASHINGTON (AP)—A Democratic-led subcommittee overseeing federal coronavirus aid is demanding that five companies return loans the panel says should have gone to smaller businesses. The subcommittee led by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., sent letters Friday to the companies as its first official action. The House voted last month to create the panel over the objections of Republicans who say it is partisan and duplicative of other oversight efforts around the federal government. The panel said the companies they contacted received...

White House recommends tests for all nursing home residents
5/15/2020 12:35:08 PM

By Darlene Superville and Bernard Condon   WASHINGTON (AP)—With deaths mounting at the nation’s nursing homes, the White House strongly recommended to governors Monday that all residents and staff at such facilities be tested for the coronavirus in the next two weeks. Why the government is not ordering testing at the the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes was unclear. Nor was it clear why it is being recommended now, more than two months after the nation’s first major outbreak at a nursing home outside of Seattle that eventually killed 43...

COVID survivors’ blood plasma is a sought-after new commodity
5/15/2020 12:33:49 PM

By JoNel Aleccia khn.org   NEW YORK, NY—Diana Berrent learned she had tested positive for COVID-19 on a Wednesday in mid-March. Within a day, she had received 30 emails from people urging her to donate blood. Friends and acquaintances, aware of her diagnosis, passed along a pressing request from New York’s Mount Sinai Health System, one of the first centers to seek plasma, a blood component, to be used in a therapy that might fight the deadly disease. Berrent, 45, said she immediately recognized the need for the precious plasma—and the demand that would...