Wednesday, August 19, 2020

USPS announces temporary price increase

The United States Postal Service is planning for a temporary price increase that will go into effect from October 18th to December 27th. The price increase is due to the high demand for online items. Package shipments will see a rate increase anywhere from 24 cents to as much as $1.50. USPS filed the notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission. The price increase is expected to still keep the postal service rates competitive while providing the agency with much needed revenue. (United States Postal Service)


Historic covered bridge, damaged by a truck in 2018, finally reopened. Then a school bus ran into it

Within 24 hours of reopening, Long Grove, Illinois Robert Parker Coffin Road Bridge was damaged when a yellow school bus struck the historic structure, officials said. The bridge, which was seriously damaged in 2018 when an overweight box truck plowed into the structure, reopened recently to fanfare and celebration. The very next day, a bus driver turned and disregarded an alert to stay off the bridge, said the Sargent of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. “Her GPS warned her she should not proceed with the type of vehicle she was driving. The occupants on the bus convinced her to proceed, which she did, and subsequently struck the bridge.” The bus was rented for hire. Charges are pending against the driver, a 44-year-old from Chicago, Illinois. (Chicago Tribune)


Florida man floods jail cell by repeatedly flushing toilet

A man who was apparently upset about being arrested repeatedly flushed the toilet in his cell until it flooded the area then made a death threat toward the officer who took him into custody, according to the Melbourne, Florida Police Department. Police said a man flagged them down to let them know that another 40-year-old man had just stolen his Schwinn bicycle from his garage.The victim confronted the man and got the $150 bike back, but he still wanted to press charges since he had surveillance video of the incident and his family was home at the time, records show. Police said they located the thief nearby and took him into custody, but after the man placed in a cell in the booking area, he became “extremely irate,” started banging on the cell doors and then flushed the cell toilet repeatedly until the booking room flooded. As he was being taken to the Brevard County Jail, he berated the officer with racial and homophobic slurs. Records show that once the officer turned off his in-car camera as they arrived at the jail, the thief told him, “You’re going to be killed when this is over.” The thief is facing charges of occupied burglary, grand theft and threatening a law enforcement officer. (Click Orlando)


Woman drives car inside Home Depot, steals merchandise, then flees scene

Police in Trussville, Alabama are searching for the woman who drove her car into the Home Depot and stole merchandise before fleeing the scene. Several customer and workers were witnessing the situation while being yelled at by the woman who was driving the car. The woman was yelling back “Move out of the way of the car” during the whole chaotic scene. Police are investigating and asking for assistance from the public if anyone has any information available that would identify the woman. (WVTM)


Florida sheriff arrested in sex scandal

In May 2019, a 55-year-old Clay County, Florida sheriff called his deputy and said he was being followed by someone in a Jeep and believed he was in danger. Turns out he was being followed by a woman with whom he had been having an affair for six years. She was on her way to their regular meeting spot. He falsely accused her of stalking him. Although she was detained for hours, she was never charged, and the sheriff ended up in jail. Following a year-long investigation, Florida authorities filed four charges against the sheriff and he was arrested. The sheriff will be up for reelection in a few days and questions the timing of his arrest. He refused to drop out of the race and insists the scandal doesn’t prevent him from doing his job. The sheriff was charged with tampering with evidence, which is a felony. He was also charged with three misdemeanor counts of giving false information to other law enforcement officials. The mistress, who was a 21-year-old rookie corrections officer when she began her affair with the sheriff, is planning to sue the beleaguered lawman, according to her attorney. She called the wrongful arrest that took place in front of her 8-year-old daughter, “an abuse of power.” (News 4 Jax)


Death Valley reaches 130 degrees, hottest temperature in U.S. in at least 107 years

On Sunday, August 16th, the thermometer at Death Valley’s Furnace Creek, located in the deserts of Southern California, soared to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center. If verified, it would be the hottest temperature recorded in the U.S. since 1913, and perhaps the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded in the world. The historic reading is just a small part of a massive, intense and long-lasting heat dome smothering the West Coast, that will continue to get worse this week. (CBS News)


Virus intensifies California blackouts

As rolling blackouts darkened businesses and residential homes across California over the weekend and the state lurched toward its worst energy crisis since 2001, the pandemic has complicated the response of residents and authorities. About two million people have been affected by blackouts created by California’s grid operator as the state’s power supply struggled with a heatwave responsible for the state’s hottest two weeks in 70 years. The crisis is augmented by millions of residents sheltering in place with air conditioners blasting. (LA Times)


Working parents at ‘breaking point’

Working parents now entering their sixth month of juggling child care, household duties and their jobs say they are at “breaking point,” as they face either increased daycare or babysitting costs for young children, or increased costs for tutoring and online classes for school-age kids. Rising child-care costs also risk crippling the economic rebound, because many working parents say they can’t save for a home or grow their investments. (The Wall Street Journal)


Colleges grapple with virus response

Even before students started returning in earnest for fall classes, hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities were fighting coronavirus outbreaks. As of the end of July, it was reported more than 6,600 cases linked to about 270 colleges while active clusters at universities in North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as an infected student in isolation in Ohio. All of this is unfolding as a new survey shows a majority of younger college students crave in-person interaction but see less value in their education this fall compared to last year. (Axios)


Hunger rises among Americans

More Americans cannot afford food and this number is likely to grow as some government benefits expire. Close to 20% of those with kids at home couldn’t afford to give their children enough food toward the end of July, compared to almost 17% in early June, according to Census data. A delay in receiving benefits, closed childcare facilities, including schools, that provided food for children and a rise in food prices are all contributing to the issue, say researchers. (The Wall Street Journal)


When your boss doesn’t like you

Your relationships at work are often essential to your happiness and productivity. This is even more true when it comes to your boss, who often holds your success, both financial and professional, in their hands. But getting along with your boss isn’t always possible and when you don’t click, it can cause stress and undermine your performance. The solution? It depends on the problem, step one should always be to check your negativity bias. (Harvard Business Review)


Trump administration finalizes plans to open up Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling

The move will allow leasing on the 1.6 million-acre coastal plain, the center of a nearly pristine wilderness home to migrating caribou and waterfowl as well as bears and foxes that live there year-round. It marks a major step toward reviving fossil fuel development in an area that has been untouched for three decades. (The Washington Post)


We may be closer to achieving herd immunity than previously thought, scientists say

Researchers have long claimed that a given population may be able to stop coronavirus if more than 70% of its members develop antibodies – either because they survive the disease or because they are vaccinated. But more than a dozen scientists say that new statistical models indicate that the threshold may be below 50%. It is possible that parts of London, New York, and Mumbai have crossed that point, some researchers said. Herd immunity depends on demographic factors such as population density. Herd immunity comes at a price as many people would have to contract and survive the disease and some of them would die. Clinics in some orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of New York City have found that more than 80% of people there have antibodies to the virus – it spread rapidly through several Brooklyn neighborhoods in April, killing hundreds of people. Researchers found that between 51% and 58% of residents in poor areas of Mumbai had antibodies. A minority of the scientists said that the herd immunity threshold may be as low as 10% to 20%. (The New York Times)


Wednesday Gets Organized With:

  • Aviation Day
  • “Black Cow” Root Beer Float Day
  • Coco Chanel Day
  • International Bow Day
  • International Orangutan Day
  • Medical Dosimetrist Day (Third Wednesday)
  • Soft Ice Cream Day
  • World Humanitarian Day
  • World Photo Day

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