Thursday News: Seems about white...

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RESIDENCY CHALLENGED FOR AFRICAN-AMERICAN WAKE SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTEE: Artis, an educator and former teacher, won over most of the board members last week with a promise to make equity issues a focus if he was appointed. But Artis’ educational views and whether he can legally serve in District 4 was questioned Tuesday on social media and at the school board meeting. People pointed out that Artis’ education consulting business still lists his District 1 address on his state business records and that his wife is still registered to vote at the prior address. Artis said Wednesday that he no longer lives with his wife. “Provide proof of Mr. Artis’ residency immediately if you plan to proceed to appoint him to District 4 — and residency as in now, not that he plans to move there some time soon,” Becky Lew-Hobbs said during public comments at Tuesday’s board meeting. Apparently she's miffed because Wake Schools no longer wants her volunteering. And I can see why...
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article257480139.html

REPUBLICANS PASS BILL DELAYING PRIMARY ELECTION IN NC: North Carolina’s primary elections would move from May to June under a bill Republicans advanced at the statehouse Wednesday in a pair of party-line votes. Gov. Roy Cooper has expressed concern with the bill and may veto it, and with Democrats already voting against the measure en masse he'd likely be able to sustain that veto, rendering the planned changes moot. But for now House Bill 605 lays out this proposed schedule for the primaries: Candidate filing would run from March 24 to April 1. The primaries would be June 7. Runoff election dates would be impacted as well. If Cooper vetoes the bill, primaries go back to May 17. The idea behind the delay is to leave more time for an ongoing court fight over North Carolina's congressional, state House and state Senate election districts. A number of progressive groups sued over those maps, arguing that the General Assembly's Republican majority gerrymandered themselves extreme advantages last year in drawing the districts. State Supreme Court arguments in the case are scheduled Feb. 2, and the high court will decide the matter some time after that. The Supreme Court had already moved the primaries from March to May to make time for the case, but the State Board of Elections has said it needs districts in place by Feb. 18 to make the May election timetable. My gut reaction is to let this bill take effect, because every time we try to rush the courts, a price is paid. I just don't know what that price will be, and who will pay it.
https://www.wral.com/nc-republicans-vote-to-delay-2022-primary-elections/20086129/

2 DEAD, 2 SERIOUSLY ILL DISCOVERED AT THOMASVILLE NURSING HOME: Thomasville Police were called to a nursing home on Sunday night after people reported that staff could not be reached over the phone and had not been seen by some residents of the facility. When police arrived at Pine Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center, they said there were only three staff members working, trying to take care of the 98 residents who lived in the facility. First responders were called and police found two people who had died at the nursing home and two other people who were in critical condition. Staff had notified the families of the two people who had died, according to police, and the two people in critical condition were taken to local hospitals. Savanna Barrett, whose great-grandmother lives at Pine Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center, said the facility needs to make changes. "More employees, more staffing, better food, better care," she said. "Now don't get me wrong, there are some nurses that I talk to on the daily that care about the residents and they have been there for years." As in many cases of neglect, the facility is part of a huge network of nursing homes operating in NC, VA, and Kentucky. It's a business, so you can expect shortcuts and poor staffing. Do your research before signing.
https://www.wral.com/police-find-2-dead-2-in-critical-condition-at-neglected-nc-nursing-home/20086138/

THE WORST OF OMICRON IS STILL AHEAD OF US: “We shouldn’t expect a national peak in the next coming days — the next few weeks will be tough,” U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy said Sunday on CNN. Case counts fueled by the highly contagious variant have started to level off in some parts of the country hit early by the latest wave. In the District of Columbia and Maryland, experts said the omicron-fueled surge was showing signs of peaking in recent days, after a winter wave began to slow in other Northeast cities, including New York and Boston. While that’s good news, Murthy said, “the challenge is that the entire country is not moving at the same pace. The omicron wave started later in other parts of the country.” The national peak of this variant, whenever it is reached, is less important than the point when the decline starts to mean relief for health systems and the return of normal activity, said Gabe Kelen, chair of the department of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Even in places where case numbers are starting to slow, he said hospital visits, admissions and intensive care unit numbers “are going to stay up, probably for several more weeks.” The seven-day average of coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 800,000 for the first time Friday, according to data tracked by The Washington Post, exceeding that level again on Saturday and Sunday. Also on Friday, 23 states set a record for seven-day average of cases, and all but three states had hit such a record within the previous week. I heard something really frightening on the radio this morning about Covid infecting wild animals, hiding and mutating there for a long time, then re-emerging into the human population periodically. I kinda wish I had changed the channel...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/01/18/omicron-national-peak-surgeon-general-fauci/

YOU PROBABLY HAVE A ZINC DEFICIENCY, AND YOU NEED TO FIX THAT: As researchers learn more about how our bodies use zinc, they’re finding that the element plays a surprisingly key role, particularly within the immune system. “We think zinc is a gatekeeper of immune function,” says Lothar Rink, an immunologist at RWTH Aachen University in Germany who recently co-wrote an overview of zinc’s roles in the immune system in the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition. And unlike iron, which is easily assessed by measuring levels of iron-containing blood proteins like hemoglobin and ferritin, there is no biomarker that can be used as an indicator of zinc levels. “There’s still no 100 percent accurate way to measure zinc in a human being, especially if they have an illness of some kind,” says Daren Knoell, a zinc biologist at the University of Nebraska. The best way to determine a potential zinc deficit is to look at someone’s dietary intake, he adds. Because of these limitations, most physicians diagnose zinc deficiency only if patients show symptoms of major deficiency such as rough skin or hair loss, Rink says. “But immune deficiency takes place much earlier, when you have a slight zinc deficiency,” he says. Researchers have found that zinc-deficient individuals are more vulnerable to infection than those with adequate levels of the mineral and that zinc supplements reduced the frequency of infections. (The possible use of zinc supplements to help ward off covid-19 is an area of investigation, although the National Institutes of Health says there is not enough evidence to say if it will help.) I take some dietary supplements, fish oil, niacin, ginkgo biloba, St John's wort, potassium citrate, but most of those have been given a thumb's up by an MD, PA, or nurse practitioner. I got a few frowns at the ginkgo, but as a a writer, I couldn't do what I do without it. Vocabulary recall (among other memory issues) has been greatly enhanced. I still can't remember people's names though...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/zinc-supplements-benefits/2022/01/14/0a0ec2b8-7252-11ec-bc13-...

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