Compiled by Caleb Kerr
Michael Doti opened the show with a breaking news segment on COVID-19 vaccinations at Walgreens. The drug store chain recently decided that instead of issuing people two shots of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks apart, the pharmacy has done it four weeks apart since it would be easier and quicker to schedule appointments.
This caught the attention of customers and federal health officials. Kate Grusich, a spokeswoman for the CDC, said that the agency told Walgreens to stop waiting the extra week to give people their second Pfizer shot.
Does Walgreens have a point for waiting the extra week though? Some public health experts say that the US should delay the second doses of the vaccine by even longer so people could reportedly get more partial protection from the first shot.
Other countries, like Britain and Canada, are delaying the second dose of the vaccine for months in order to support this theory. This change could happen as soon as the end of the week.
Ansleigh Edwards continued the news with an exciting update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Oconee County. Officials announced Friday that the Oconee County Civic Center will distribute the vaccinations on April 17.
Edwards reports that registration for the event is required to attend and will begin on April 7 at 9 a.m. The event is free of charge and is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. According to Athens Banner-Herald, the University Cancer Center in Athens will be providing vaccines.
The space is expected to allow about 50 people to be vaccinated and observed every 15 minutes.
Watkinsville Acting Mayor Brian Brodrick said, “We are pleased to be able to offer another opportunity for Oconee County and Watkinsville residents to take just a few minutes to defeat COVID-19.”
For more information, you can visit the City of Watkinsville website.
Michael came back to deliver us an update on the backlash from Georgia’s newest voting law. Governor Brian Kemp has spoken up over the past few days defending Senate Bill 202, and trying to urge Georgians to not give into the “cancel culture.”
Doti reports that after major Atlanta companies like Delta and Coca-Cola protested the law in defense of minority voting groups, the first big domino, just like in so many other issues, fell in sports.
After receiving added pressure from president Joe Biden, Major League Baseball decided that the 2021 MLB All Star Game will not be played in Atlanta because of Senate Bill 202.
A disappointed Kemp said, “Well, it’s unfortunate that Major League Baseball has caved to the cancel culture and quite honestly President Biden and Stacey Abrams and a lot of other people are simply lying about this bill.”
While this was happening, eight members of the Georgia House of Representatives were trying to get rid of all Coca-Cola products in their office suite, in response to the company’s comments about the law.
Caleb Kerr continued the show with an update on the distribution of a Russian vaccine in the EU. As vaccine rollouts in the EU continue to struggle, many European countries have started to consider Russia’s vaccine, the Sputnik V, as a viable option.
Although sources from the Lancet have proven the Russian vaccine to be effective so far, European leaders are concerned about Russia’s ulterior political motives. Political analysts and leaders alike have speculated that the Kremlin is using the vaccine as a “political grenade” against the EU.
CNN reports that many ex-Soviet states have already declared their opposition to the Russian vaccine, citing that they will only use a vaccine approved by the EMA, the European Medicines Agency. Other states such as Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia have already ordered or are planning to order thousands of doses in the coming weeks.
Ultimately, political leaders understand that the Kremlin is “using vaccines to shove a deeper wedge…between those EU states that know Russia well — like Lithuania — and others that are more ready to turn a blind eye” towards the Kremlin.
Ansleigh continued the news with an update on the disastrous floods in Indonesia. As the latest flash floods and landslides hit the area on Sunday, officials confirm that more than 100 are dead and dozens are still missing as the search continues.
The torrential downpours have resulted in widespread destruction as overflowing dams destroy thousands of homes. According to BBC news, the affected areas stretch from Flores island in eastern Indonesia to East Timor.
Indonesia’s Disaster Mitigation Agency told reporters that the mud and extreme weather has presented a major challenge to the search as piling up debris makes the rescue process very difficult. Many of the casualties are believed to be from the country’s capital Dili.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo has urged citizens to follow official advice during the dangerous weather periods. In addition, he has ordered disaster relief efforts to be put in place to assist citizens.
Sarah Train continued the show with a report on Amtrak’s plans to upgrade their rail system under the American Infrastructure Plan. The rail line has announced that they will be adding new routes in its long-range plans that would include Georgia for the first time.
The new route would connect Savannah, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee, and Montgomery, Alambama to Atlanta. Other routes include more frequent trains from Charlotte, North Caroline to Birmingham, Alabama, and new lines from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
This news comes shortly after president Joe Biden announced his sweeping new plan to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.
As part of Amtrak’s 2035 plan, the new routes would be completed and would include 30 new routes and add more trips to at least 20 existing routes. Rail experts say it’s the biggest commitment to rail travel in more than a generation and will revitalize a transportation mode that’s long lacked the public investment that road and air travel receive.
Kenzie Harms then delivered a report on a local tragedy. An Athens woman was identified last wednesday by the authorities as the driver of a car that hit and killed University of Georgia student Knox Whitten.
Harms reported that he was walking along the Athens Perimeter when the woman hit him and his body was not found until 2 a.m. by a person who saw it on the side of the highway. The woman will be charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, hit and run involving death, false report of a crime and driving with a suspended license.
Hunter Townsend continued the show with an update on the “new normal” in the US. The Wall Street Journal reports that US COVID-19 cases are dropping from highs in January of 2021 amid growing vaccine distribution.
Townsend reported that a recent foot traffic study by the WSJ, however, has discovered that life in most states has not gotten more normal since January February and March of 2020. The Wall Street Journal has reported that foot traffic is down 6% across the country. The report defines foot traffic as leaving the house for 10 mins or longer.
This report has discovered that Americans are more likely to go to restaurants, but movie theater attendance and church attendance is down in nearly every state.
Despite these statistics, The Wall Street Journal reports that “In Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota, these establishments have almost made a full comeback.” Maybe there is hope for a full recovery after all.
Sarah Train returned to deliver a report on the highly-anticipated SAG Awards. On Sunday night, the 27th annual SAG awards took place three weeks ahead of the Academy Awards, and it seems like we now have some clues of who might be taking home an Oscar.
One of the biggest awards of the night, best ensemble, went to The Trial of the Chicago 7. Viola Davis won big for her work on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, winning the best actress category over Carey Mulligan and Frances McDormand. Chadwick Boseman posthumously won the best actor award for the same film.
For television, Netflix won big with “The Crown” winning best drama series ensemble. Other big winners include Anya Taylor-Joy for “The Queen’s Gambit”, Jason Sudeikis in “Ted Lasso” and Mark Ruffalo in “I Know This Much is True.”
One of the biggest surprises of the night was Jason Bateman taking home the award for his work on “Ozark,” which was up against some big name competitors including Rege-Jean Page from “Bridgerton” and Josh O’Connor in “The Crown.”
Kenzie Harms returned to give a report on the shockwaves from the MLB’s decision to move their All Star game out of Atlanta in response to the passage of Georgia’s new restrictive voting law.
Due to this decision Cobb County will lose an estimated $100 million.
President and CEO of Cobb Travel and Tourism Holly Quinlan said, “This event would have directly impacted our county and the state, as visitors spend their dollars on local accommodations… this would have been a big boost to Cobb businesses and help with recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Caleb came back to deliver a report on the public education relief in Atlanta. Senator Jon Ossoff toured some Atlanta-area schools this past week, announcing a “$1.6 billion [budget increase that] will go toward 20 different metro Atlanta school districts” under Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
The largest budget increase of $265.2 million will go to Gwinnett County Schools, with other metro-Atlanta county schools receiving similar amounts.
Kerr reported that tensions are continuing to rise nationwide as teachers demand more options such as at-home instruction for theirs and their students’ safety. But for now, the Biden Administration hopes to quell unrest as it prepares for an extensive vaccine rollout before students can safely return to schools in the fall.
Michael wrapped up the show with your Sports Power Minute. After 72 teams were invited to play in March Madness in Indianapolis, we are down to just two. The no. 1 27-2 Baylor Bears will play the no. 1 31-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs for the national championship.
These two teams were ranked one and two in both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches poll for the first 14 weeks of the season. Baylor ranked no lower than third after that. Gonzaga is favored in the game by about a 55% to 45% margin. Both of these teams are trying to win their first national championship in school history. The game starts at 9:20 p.m. Eastern.
Congratulations to the Stanford Cardinals for their national championship on the women’s side. They defeated Arizona last night 54-53 to capture their first national championship win since 1992. In a low scoring game, it was a defensive play that sealed the win for the Cardinal. Stanford became the tenth straight no. 1 seed to win March Madness.
The Georgia football team received a gift from the transfer portal yesterday, as former West Virginia Mountaineer’s cornerback Tykee Smith announced that he will be wearing red and black next season. Georgia lost its three starting cornerbacks and its two starting safeties to the NFL Draft. It also lost safety Tyrique Stevenson to the transfer portal, as he will play in Miami next season.
After going 4-4 on their eight game western conference road trip, the Hawks finally returned home for the first time in 17 days. They defeated the Golden State Warriors for their third straight win last night, 117-111. Next up on the homestand is a team they just beat three days ago, the New Orleans Pelicans in tomorrow’s game.
Not a good start to the 2021 regular season for the Braves. Just like they did two years ago, they got swept in their opening series in Philadelphia. Atlanta hopes to play their next series in DC with the Nationals. Monday’s game was already postponed because of Washington’s COVID-19 outbreak.
For more information, the news continues on wuog.org.