News From This Week (1/10 -1/16)

By: Cody Tackett

North Korea Tests New Missiles; Placing the U.S on “Edge”.

Through the media this week, I learned about the launching of test missiles by North Korea, which has put the United States on edge. Two of the country’s new hypersonic ballistic missiles were launched on Tuesday under the command of King Jun Un, the nation’s leader. As a precaution, flight departures were delayed from all west coast airports in the U.S for a few moments until the missiles were no longer tracked on radar. A similar test was conducted on Friday, leading Americans to fear the possibility of a North Korean missile reaching the west coast. This is a concerning situation that seems to escalate and de-escalate with time in a vicious cycle that puts both countries at a “stalemate”.

Source: NBC Nightly News w/ Lester Holt

CDC Recommends N95 Masks to Protect Against COVID-19

The CDC is now recommending that Americans wear N95 masks in order to receive the best protection against Covid-19. This has led to some confusion as during the first few months of the pandemic the CDC was recommending that N95 masks be reserved for healthcare workers due to supply shortages. Now that the masks are in large supply, Americans are encouraged to wear them instead of cloth masks. This is due to the fact that cloth masks don’t fit over a person’s nose and mouth as tightly as N95 masks do; better preventing the small, finer particles of the Omnicron variant of Covid-19 from getting through. The increased supply of the N-95 masks isn’t unbelievable, as when the pandemic started, these masks were not readily available due to the fast onset of the pandemic that led to a supply shortage of this type of mask. Now nearly two years into the pandemic, the manufacture of N-95 maks has increased to meet demand.

Source: WSAZ-TV (Local News)

Supreme Court Blocks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Large Private Businesses

The U.S Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandate this week for large private businesses but upheld the mandate for healthcare facilities and organizations that accepts Medicare or Medicaid benefits. The mandate would’ve required businesses with 100 employees or more to require employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19, or undergo weekly testing. The mandate would’ve hurt smaller companies who narrowly meet the criteria for the proposed mandate as those businesses would’ve had to allocate funds to ensure each employee was vaccinated and/or tested, and these restrictions would’ve led to a lot of workers walking off of the job. The Biden Administration would have to be prepared (as they likely were) to provide assistance to businesses who would’ve had to impose the mandates upon their employees.

Source: WSAZ-TV (local news)

Snowstorm to Impact Central Appalachia during MLK Day Weekend

I’ve always followed the weather closely, and therefore I’m usually the one being asked by friends and family about the weather forecast for I’ve been proven reliable in providing this information in the past. Through the weather reports of local news stations such as WSAZ and WYMT, I learned that another round of snow is expected to impact 20 states in the U.S, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio during Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend. Parts of the region are expecting anywhere between 5 – 8 inches of snow, coming just more than a week after another snowstorm inundated our area. Road crews are pre-treating roadways in preparation for the incoming snow which is predicted to begin Saturday night and will continue throughout the day Sunday and will finally move out of the region early Monday.

Source: WSAZ TV (local news)

DOT Announces Historic Bridge Repair/Replacement Funding

Funding to repair and/or replace bridges is being administered by the U.S Department of Transportation to each U.S State. The funding stems from the Biden Administration’s bipartisan infrastructure package. $26.5 billion is being allocated for bridge projects across the country; $438 million of which will be utilized on Kentucky’s bridges. The Biden Administration’s promise for investment into America’s infrastructure is the largest infrastructure undertaking since the construction of the Interstate Highway System during the Eisenhower Administration. This is a very important project that is much needed especially in rural parts of Appalachia as recent flooding has washed out many bridges in our region.

Source: The Courier-Journal

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