Oskaloosa News Recap For February 22nd, 2021

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National and World News

Coronavirus will be “mostly gone” by April, according to a John Hopkins professor and surgeon.

Marty Makary, who teaches at the university’s School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Heath told the Wall Street Journal that daily infections have dropped by 77% since January.

Makary wrote: “As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory…COVID will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.”

WORTH NOTING: Joe Biden’s 100 days to cure coronavirus and all ailments forever ends at the end of April.

MEANWHILE: While Florida has been derided for its lax masking and gathering rules, and hosted the Super Bowl two weeks ago, its 7-day average is down nearly 50% since January 30.

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More than 14 million residents in Texas still do not have access to clean water.

A boil water notice is in effect in 190 counties, which officials said is likely to remain in effect for the rest of the week.

Statewide power outages caused a number of instabilities in systems, including water systems and water treatment facilities, as the winter storm ravaged the Lone Star state last week.

Despite the outages, some residents saw spikes in their power bills, with one family reporting a bill over over $17,000.

Gov. Greg Abbott called an emergency meeting with members of the state legislature to “quickly alleviate the problem” and work on solutions to help “Texas families and ensure they do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.”

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The president and three members of a California school board resigned last week after a video surfaced of them mocking parents who want their kids back in school.

During a video meeting, which board members believed was private, President Lisa Brizendine said that parents “just want their babysitters back.” Other board members agreed, seeming to dismiss parents’ concerns about their children’s education.

Ashley Stalf, whose 6-year-old daughter attends school in the district, called the comments “heartbreaking.”

Superintendent Greg Hetrick issued an apology for what he described as “board members’ truly inappropriate comments.”

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Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine can now safely be stored inside normal medical freezers, allowing for easier distribution, the company announced Friday.

The makers of the shot recently discovered that doses can remain at between 5 and -13 degrees Fahrenheit without spoiling, instead of the -94 degrees like initially thought.

The new “stability data” has been submitted to the FDA, the Financial Times reported.

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Romance scams raked in a record $304 million in 2020.

According to data complied by the Federal Trade Commission, for the last three years more money has been lost to romance scams than any other fraud.

A typical scheme goes like this: the scammer, using a fake identity, tries to woo a victim by expressing strong feelings or an immediate connection. Then comes the plea for money. While the stories vary, the goal is the same — create a sense of urgency that makes the victim send money over and over again. Also, the scammers claim to live far away to avoid ever having to meet in person.

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Last year, Earth was the quietest it has been in years.

Coronavirus lockdowns reduced noise across the planet by up to 50% in 2020, resulting in the “world’s quietest period in decades,” according to researchers at the Swiss Seismological Service in Zurich, Switzerland.

The quiet allowed researchers to better study small earthquakes that may have been otherwise drowned out by human activity.

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The coronavirus death toll in the US topped 500,000 on Sunday.

Worldwide the virus has claimed the lives of more than 2.4 million.

More than 28.2 million cases have been confirmed in the US, according to John Hopkins University.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks it is “possible” that Americans will still be wearing masks into next year.

The infectious disease expert told CNN’s “State of the Union” that while he can’t predict when the US could return to the way it operated during pre-pandemic life, he believes that by the end of the year the US could have a “significant degree of normality.”

Fauci explained that community prevalence of the virus will ultimately determine when Americans can ditch the masks.

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Two women in Florida dressed up as “grannies” to attempt to get their hands on a COVID vaccination last week.

Their getup included “the bonnets, the gloves, the glasses — the whole thing,” Dr. Raul Pino, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County told WKMG-TV.

Employees at the vaccination site noted the women “looked funny” and stopped them before they could get their shots.

The duo was coming in to get their second dose of the vaccine. Pino said it is unclear if they used the disguises to get their first.

The incident was turned over to authorities who issued the women — ages 34 and 44 — trespassing warnings.

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The pilot of a United Airlines flight headed to Honolulu from Denver called “mayday, mayday” as the aircraft experienced engine failure shortly after takeoff on Saturday.

The Boeing 777 had 231 passengers and 10 crew aboard when its right engine failed and erupted into flames. The plane quickly lost altitude and dropped huge pieces of the engine casing and chunks of fiberglass onto the neighborhood below.

The plan landed safely back at the airport and no injuries were reported on the ground where the debris had fallen.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.

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Weekend Box Office

10. The War with Grandpa: $224k (stayed at 10)
9. News of the World: $245k (down from 8)
8. Land: $500k (down from 6)
7. Nomadland: $503k (new)
6. Monster Hunter: $510k (up from 7)
5. The Marksman: $775k (stayed at 5)
4. Wonder Woman 1984: $805k (stayed at 4)
3. Judas and the Black Messiah: $905k (stayed at 3)
2. The Little Things: $1.2 million (stayed at 2)
1. The Croods: A New Age: $1.7 million (stayed at 1)

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Tube Talk

Here’s what’s new on TV tonight:

The Neighborhood / CBS / 7:00 pm
The Bachelor / ABC / 7:00 pm
Ellen’s Game of Games / NBC / 7:00 pm
9-1-1 / FOX / 7:00 pm
Bob (Hearts) Abishola / CBS / 7:30 pm
All Rise / CBS / 8:00 pm
Ellen’s Game of Games / NBC / 8:00 pm
9-1-1: Lone Star / FOX / 8:00 pm
Bull / CBS / 9:00 pm
The Good Doctor / ABC / 9:00 pm
The Wall / NBC / 9:00 pm

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Showbiz News

Actor Regé-Jean Page made his “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut this past weekend.

He opened the show saying that he is “just a normal guy” and nothing like his hunky “Bridgerton” character the Duke of Hastings.

Cast members Aidy Bryant and Ego Nwodium joined Page onstage and fawned over him as fans of his character on the Netflix series — specifically of all the steamy sex scenes between the Duke and Daphne Bridgerton.

As Page tried to convince the women that he is nothing like the Duke, he dropped his character’s most famous line, “I burn for you,” which elicited screams from the audience.

This upcoming weekend, Nick Jonas will pull double duty with his first time hosting the sketch-comedy show, as well as, being the musical guest.

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Popular CBS series “Criminal Minds” is making a comeback!

A revival series is in very early development at Paramount+, a source told Deadline.

Reps for the network declined to comment.

“Criminal Minds” aired on CBS for 15 seasons (2005-2020) and remains one of the most popular off-network titles on Netflix.

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Eve has landed a leading role in ABC’s new series “Queens.”

The actress will play one of four women in their 40s who reunite for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty B—ches — their ‘90s group that made them hip-hop legends.

No word on who will play the other three ladies.

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Gabrielle Union and Zach Braff will co-star in the Disney+ remake of “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

Joining them — and rounding out the family dozen — are: Journee Brown, Kyle Rodgers, Andre Robinson, Caylee Blosenski, Aryan Simhadri, Leo A. Perry, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Christian Cole, Sebastian Cote and Luke Prael.

The new version of the family comedy centers on a multiracial, blended family of 12 who try to navigate a hectic home life while also managing a family business.

The film is slated to drop on the streaming service next year.

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“South Park” fans will get another coronavirus-focused comedy as the animated series drops a sophomore special, “South ParQ The Vaccination Special,” next month.

The hour-long episode is a follow up to last year’s “South ParQ The Pandemic Special,” which saw the show’s best ratings in seven years.

“South ParQ The Vaccination Special” will air on MTV2 on March 10.

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Anthony Bourdain’s crime novel “Gone Bamboo” will be the basis for a new scripted series.

Set on the island of St. Martin, the novel follows assassin Henry Denard who enlists the help of his volatile wife after he botches a career-capping hit. Together the two must dispatch the villains and keep the peace in their tropical paradise.

This is Bourdain’s second book to be adapted to the small screen.

The celebrity chef, who passed away in 2018, also wrote several episodes of HBO series “Treme.”

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Disney has slapped a warning label on its streaming release of the children’s classic “The Muppet Show,” warning of “offensive content.”

Five seasons of the show hit the streaming service on Friday with a disclaimer that reads:

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.”

“The Muppets” was once celebrated for its depictions of Native American, Middle Eastern, and Asian people.

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Samara Weaving has been cast as ex-Playmate Holly Madison in a limited series.

The project, from Sony Pictures Television, will be based on Madison’s 2015 memoir “Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny.”

Madison, an ex-girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, was a key cast member in the E! reality show “The Girls Next Door,” which chronicled the exploits of several Playmates living with Hefner.

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Ken Jennings bid “Jeopardy!” fans farewell in a tweet late Friday.

After his final episode as guest host of the game show aired, the champion wrote, “That’s a wrap on my six weeks. Thanks for watching, thanks for your patience with a tough learning curve…and, as always, thank you Alex.”

Jennings began his hosting gig after Alex Trebek’s passing last November.

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Ella Emhoff has landed her first magazine cover.

The step-daughter of Vice President Kamala Harris is featured on Berlin-based art and fashion magazine Dust’s Spring 2021 issue.

For the cover shoot, Emhoff is wearing a pastel patchwork knit jacket of her own design. Inside the magazine she sported designer duds from brands including Balenciaga, Prada and Miu Miu.

The budding fashion designer spoke of her love for the craft, telling the magazine that its a “cathartic experience” and her “therapy.”

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Sports

Novak Djokovic won his ninth Australian Open championship and 18th Grand Slam title after beating Daniil Medvedev in the Grand Slam final, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

The win puts him within two of the men’s record of 20 shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

The No. 1-seeded Djokovic has won the trophy three years in a row at Melbourne Park.

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Christopher Bell scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory at the Daytona International Speedway Race Course on Sunday.

The win came in Bell’s 38th Cup start and he is now the 15th NASCAR driver to win his first race on a road coarse.

In second was Joey Logano, followed by Denny Hamlin in third, Kurt Busch in fourth and Brad Keselowski in fifth.

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Day of the Year

National California Day
National Cook a Sweet Potato Day
National Margarita Day
For the Love of Mike Day
National Wildlife Day
Play More Cards Day
World Thinking Day

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On This Date

1819 – Secretary of State John Quincy Adams agrees to the purchase of Florida from the Spanish.

The Spanish had been colonizing the New World since 1565.

In the 1700s, Florida flipped between Spanish and British rule, but with the outcome of the American Revolution, it fell back into the hands of the Spanish.

The US didn’t pay Spain for Florida, but instead agreed to pay the legal claims of American citizens against Spain — a maximum of $5 million.

Andrew Jackson became the first governor of the territory in 1822. Florida became a state in 1845.

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1946 – An American diplomat in Moscow sends a lengthly memo back to Washington, outlining his views on the relationship between America and the Soviets.

George Kennan had been observing and analyzing the effectiveness of America’s containment policy in the Cold War.

He famously wrote that peaceful coexistence between the Soviets and the West would not last. The Reds were very suspicious of all other nations, and Kennan foresaw the strategy that would win the Cold War, which was to be very aggressive and resistant to Soviet policies.

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1959 – Lee Petty beats Johnny Beauchamp by a hair in the first Daytona 500.

The photo finish was so close, that at first Beauchamp was named the winner by William France, the owner of NASCAR. But after 3 days of review and analysis of news photographs, Petty was named the winner.

Lee is the father of legendary racer Richard Petty.

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1980 – The American hockey team bests the Soviets at the 13th Olympic Winter Games.

More than 10,000 were on hand to watch the victory, which was in Lake Placid, New York.

For all the legend and fanfare behind the win, it was not even for the Gold medal. But the victory did come in the midst of the Cold War, and saluted the work of America’s amateur team — the average age was 22.

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1990 – Milli Vanilli wins a Best New Artist Grammy.

It is the only Grammy to have been rescinded.

Misters Milli and Vanilli were just good-looking lip-synching faces who lip-synced over the electric pop singles. In fact, musicians with at least marginal talent were behind the music.

The two frontmen would spiral into drugs and oblivion, never mounting a successful comeback.

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1997 – Dolly the Sheep is introduced to the world.

Dolly is the first successfully cloned mammal.

She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Scotland.

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2017 – Jay-Z is the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside Max Martin, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

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2019 – Robert Kraft is charged with soliciting prostitution.

The New England Patriots owner is caught in a human-trafficking sting operation at massage parlors in Jupiter, Florida.

A spokesperson for Kraft did not deny that he participated in a sex act at the parlor, only that he did not engage “in illegal activity.”

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2019 – Jussie Smollett is suspended from the TV show “Empire.”

The move comes after the actor lied about being attacked by two homophobic and racist individuals in Chicago.

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Birthdays

Khalil Mack – NFL player – 30
Miko Hughes – actor, “Pet Sematary,” “Kindergarten Cop” – 35
Drew Barrymore – actress, “Ever After,” “50 First Dates” – 46
Chris Dudley – former NBA player – 56
Pebbles Flintstone – daughter of Fred & Wilma Flintstone – 58
Lenda Murray – body builder & 4x Ms Olympia – 59
Mike Morris – former NFL player – 60
Julie Walters – actress, “Harry Potter,” “Mama Mia” – 71
Julius Erving – former NBA player aka Dr. J – 71

Born On This Date

Steve Irwin – The Crocodile Hunter – 1962 (d. 2006)
Robert Kardashian – dad of Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Rob & OJ’s lawyer – 1944 (d. 2003)
Bruce Forsyth – game show host, UK’s “The Price is Right” – 1928 (d. 2017)
Robert Wadlow – Guinness Book of World Records tallest man (8’11”) known as “Giant of Illinois” – 1918 (d. 1940)
George Washington – 1st President of the US – 1732 (d. 1799)

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Deaths

Arturo Di Modica has died.

The sculptor of the famed “Charging Bull” statue on Wall Street passed away at home in Italy on Friday. Di Modica had been fighting cancer for many years, according to the Italian newspaper la Republblica.

He was 80.

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