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February 4, 2019: What to Know

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BINGO BARNES
  • Bingo Barnes
  • The Virginia State Legislature will meet today to consider the fate of that state's executive branch. The New York Times reports that the meeting comes in the wake of Gov. Ralph Northam's denial of being one of two men in a racist photograph from his medical school days in the 1980s. Northam initially admitted that he was one of the two in the photo, but a day later denied that it was him. Northam is refusing to resign from office in spite of a growing national chorus calling for his ouster.
  • HARRISON BERRY
    • Harrison Berry
    At the Idaho Legislature, lawmakers still haven't agreed on a plan to expand Medicaid, something an overwhelming majority of Idaho voters ordered them to do in last November's general election. More than 60 percent of Idaho voters supported the ballot measure, which expands the state’s Medicaid eligibility rules to include anyone earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level. As a not-so-subtle reminder to tend to the people's wishes, more than 100 volunteers are expected to descend on the Statehouse later today to meet with lawmakers on the issue. The visitors are also expected to participate in a midday event, dubbed the Medicaid Expansion Day Rally, on the steps of the Capitol.
  • The BBC reports that British Prime Minister Theresa May says she's still determined to deliver Brexit on time (the deadline is Friday, March 29). Meanwhile, the Times of London reports that British officials have emergency plans to relocate the queen and the royal family to a safe place, away from London, "should there be riots"—an issue that may arise if Britain suffers a disruptive departure from the European Union.
  • USA Today reports that a Los Angeles-to-Hawaii airliner had to return to LA's airport three separate times over the weekend for a variety of technical problems. Ultimately, the flight was canceled.

  • After making recreational marijuana use legal, Denver voters will soon be asked to consider an ordinance to decriminalize magic mushrooms. NBC News reports that the ordinance would make possession of the drug, no matter the weight, legal for those 21 and older.
  • The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a measure currently before the Utah Legislature would make the so-called "Idaho Stop" legal in Utah. In effect, cyclists would be able to treat stop signs and stop lights much like yield signs, if the bill becomes law.
  • A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many parents are squeezing "potentially unhealthy amounts" of toothpaste onto their children's toothbrushes. Researchers say for young children with emerging teeth, swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause tooth discoloration, a condition called dental fluorosis.
  • The worst-kept secret in America this morning is that last night's Super Bowl was a snore, as the New England Patriots ground out a sixth NFL title in what was ultimately the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever.