NEW YORK – When nearly a half-million motorcycle enthusiasts gathered in South Dakota this summer, health experts worried the gathering would ignite new outbreaks of coronavirus cases.
It did, according to a report Friday that looked at cases in neighboring Minnesota.
About one-third of counties ended up having at least one coronavirus case that was tied to August's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, investigators reported in a study mainly conducted by Minnesota health officials and published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Minnesota officials counted 86 cases that they said were related to the rally – 51 people who went to Sturgis and 35 who came into contact with those people later. Most did not suffer serious illnesses, but four were hospitalized and one died.
“These findings highlight the far-reaching effects that gatherings in one area might have on another area,” the study authors wrote.
Satellite to help climate scientists
A “climate guardian” satellite set for launching this weekend will greatly help scientists keep track of the rise in sea levels, one of the most daunting effects of global warming, a senior official at the European Space Agency said Friday.
The satellite, known as Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and jointly developed by Europe and the United States, contains cutting-edge instruments able to capture sea surface height with unprecedented accuracy, adding to space-based measurements going back almost 30 years.
“This is an extremely important parameter for climate monitoring,” said Josef Aschbacher, the European Space Agency's director of Earth observation.
Man cleared after 26 years in prison
A New York man has been cleared after more than a quarter-century behind bars for a deadly robbery, with prosecutors acknowledging that witnesses against him – including a 10-year-old boy – weren't reliable.
Jaythan Kendrick walked out of a Queens courthouse Thursday, free for the first time since his arrest in the November 1994 killing of Josephine Sanchez. The 70-year-old woman was stabbed in the back on the grounds of a public housing complex.
“I'm very, very happy today because I never thought this would happen, although I hoped and wished that it would,” Kendrick, 62, told the court.
Ruling on Mueller testimony delayed
The Supreme Court is putting off upcoming arguments about whether Congress should have access to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives had asked the court to put off arguments scheduled for Dec. 2, and the court on Friday agreed, removing the case from its calendar.
Douglas Letter, the top lawyer for the House had told the court in a written filing that the House Judiciary Committee that takes office in January “will have to determine whether it wishes to continue pursuing the application for the grand-jury materials that gave rise to this case.”
Letter noted that President Donald Trump's defeat in his bid for reelection could affect the committee's decision.