Journ. 133: Prof. Craig: Headlines

  • Many people who experience long-term symptoms from the coronavirus did not feel sick at all when they were initially infected, according to a new study that adds compelling information to the increasingly important issue of the lasting health impact of COVID-19.

    The study, one of the first to focus exclusively on people who never needed to be hospitalized when they were infected, analyzed electronic medical records of 1,407 people in California who tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 60 days after their infection, 27 percent, or 382 people, were struggling with post-COVID symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, cough or abdominal pain.

    Nearly a third of the patients with such long-term problems had not had any symptoms from their initial coronavirus infection through the 10 days after they tested positive, the researchers found.

  • Senators in Washington state have proposed a mileage-based tax for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as the first step toward changing how the state pays for road maintenance and other transportation needs. 

    Policymakers expect gas tax revenue to decline long term. Oregon has been experimenting with a per-mile charge for years.

    Right now, Washingtonians who own fully electric cars pay an extra $225 annual registration fee. A proposal by state Sen. Rebecca Saldana (D-Seattle) would replace that flat fee beginning in July 2026 with a mandatory 2 cents per mile road usage charge for electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
  • A new survey revealed that six in 10 Americans say that the COVID-19 pandemic year has permanently changed their spending and shopping habits.

    The survey of 2,000 Americans examined pandemic-era spending and saving trends and revealed that 2020 has permanently affected how 60% of people budget and spend their money.

    Nearly half (49%) said they were panic-buying essential goods at the beginning of the pandemic. At that time, the most panic-bought items included toilet paper (50%), cleaning supplies (42%), hand sanitizer (41%), water (41%) and paper towels (40%).

    One year later, these habits have calmed down, but 14% of people report continuing to panic-buy. People are still purchasing essential items like toilet paper (35%), water (31%), cleaning supplies (30%), hand sanitizer (29%) and paper towels (28%) more than they did prior to the start of the pandemic.

  • BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University suspended the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority Thursday evening following reports of alleged hazing incidents published that morning.

    A 19-year-old student alleged that her 2020 pledge class was hazed by older sisters last year during the chapter’s Big Little Night, an annual event when pledges find out which older member of the sorority is their "big sister" and mentor.

    She said pledges were taken to a dark basement and told they must choose between doing a line of cocaine or performing oral sex on fraternity men. Two other women present corroborated key details of Willoughby’s story. One said the sisters told the pledge class this was their punishment “for being the worst pledge class ever” before telling them it was a joke.

    Two more women from different pledge classes said they had similar experiences on Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Big Little Night.

  • The annual daylight saving time change on Sunday has legislators at statehouses around the country debating the need to continue with the twice-annual time changes. Some members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have also called for ending the practice of changing clocks in the spring and fall.

    Federal law does not require states to observe daylight saving time, but if they choose to follow the time change they must adhere to the dates set.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation states that daylight saving time is observed because it saves energy, saves lives and prevents traffic injuries, and reduces crime.

    Critics counter the time changes may have been useful for some during a bygone era but it provides little if any real benefit.

  • MONROE, Washington -- Not satisfied with the amount of money they found in a Starbucks safe, two robbers allegedly went to work filling coffee orders and pocketing the proceeds.

    The pair served at least 18 unsuspecting customers over a half-hour period early Friday morning and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Cmdr. Rick Dunn said.

    The holdup early Tuesday began before opening time, when a woman was allowed to use the shop's restroom, Dunn said. After her accomplice also entered, the two approached the manager with guns, demanded that the safe be opened and took the money.

    The man then donned a Starbucks apron and he and the woman ordered an employee to assist them at the drive-up window, where they filled orders from 18 to 25 customers before fleeing.

    The other two employees were confined to a back room.

  • BOSTON -- A letter written by President Lincoln's assassin two months before the 1865 slaying sold at auction Sunday for a record $68,000.

    In the letter, dated February 9, 1865, John Wilkes Booth asks a friend to send him a picture of himself "with cane & black cravat" -- the one later used in his wanted poster.

    The previous high for a Booth letter was $38,000, according to Stuart Whitehurst, vice president of Skinner Inc. auctioneers.

    The buyer was Joe Maddalena, a Beverly Hills-based historical document dealer. Maddalena, who bid by phone, said Booth "is the rarest American autograph."

    "When he killed Lincoln, anybody who had any relationship with him burned their letters, because they were so afraid they would be linked to him," Maddalena said. "There are only 300 known letters and he must have written thousands and thousands."

    Whitehurst estimated that only 17 Booth letters remain in private hands. This letter was addressed to family friend Orlando Tompkins of Boston, an apothecary and part owner of Boston Theatre. Booth tells Tompkins he "will get any letter sent to Fords Theatre."

  • Given the opportunity to receive a coronavirus vaccine, many Americans say they would roll up their sleeves. But the decision to post a photo of the moment isn’t as black and white.

    People are divided over “vaccine selfie” etiquette. As more people have been vaccinated — 47.2 million in the United States have received one or both doses as of Saturday — the debate is unfolding online and in print. “Cool it with the vaccine selfies for a while,” read one Boston Globe opinion column. “Go ahead, share your vaccine selfie,” the Atlantic’s Brit Trogen wrote.

    Some people despise the smiley selfies, as the virus that has killed more than 2.5 million people worldwide continues to take its toll. And most Americans who want to be vaccinated still are unable to get a dose.

    But public health experts hope photos of people being safely vaccinated will encourage their vaccine-hesitant social media connections to do the same. About 1 in 3 Americans said they definitely would not or probably would not take a coronavirus vaccine, according to a recent AP/NORC poll.

  • JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Fleeing from police, Isaac Mofokeng ran blindly into the local zoo and jumped over a low wall into one of the enclosures. Big mistake.

    For the pen belonged to Max the gorilla, who did not appreciate the sudden invasion of his privacy.

    "The first thing the gorilla did was rip my jeans and bite me on the buttocks," Mofokeng told a Johannesburg court on Wednesday. "I thought my last hour had come."


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