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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A federally funded national study to find out why exercise benefits the human body is now in the testing phase at AdventHealth in Orlando. Last year the National Institutes of Health issued a $170 million grant to conduct the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans study, also known as MoTrPAC (pronounced “Motor Pack”).  Orlando was chosen as one of the ten markets where the study is being conducted. In January 2019, News 96.5 WDBO spoke with the AdventHealth senior investigator leading the study at the Translational Research Institute on Princeton Street.  One year later, Dr. Bret Goodpaster said the testing is happening now with the first group of volunteers from Central Florida. “They essentially get an exercise program,” Dr. Goodpaster said. “They get their own personal trainer for twelve weeks who really teach them about the right way to do exercise.” Goodpaster’s team is working with about 25 or 30 people at a time.  Over the course of about three years they’ll study 150 volunteers, a good chunk of the nearly 2,000 people who are being studied nationwide for MoTrPAC.  They’ll continue working with volunteers through 2022. The study itself involves both resistance and aerobic exercise.  Volunteers undergo all sorts of testing of their muscle, fat and blood both before and after the exercise program to see what has changed. “We’re looking at all the molecules that might be produced during exercise in muscle, fat cells and in the blood to really try to discover what we don’t yet know about why exercise exerts its positive health benefits,” Dr. Goodpaster said. He hopes the study will lead to new data on what exercise is doing on a fundamental, basic molecular level.  One example is finding what molecules end up in the blood that might be related to risk for diabetes, heart disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Orlando wasn’t chosen at random to participate in the study.  Dr. Goodpaster said  they competed to get part of the federal grant. “I think what this does from a research perspective is it really puts Orlando on the map as being able to succeed at competing at landing these NIH-funded national studies like MoTrPAC,” he said. That could mean more projects for Orlando in the future, as the National Institutes of Health wants to give money to people who have established a track record of success in being able to do these types of studies. AdventHealth’s Translational Research Institute will be looking for volunteers for the next two to three years.  Anyone interested in getting involved with the MoTrPAC research study can call (407) 303-7193 or visit TRI-MD.org.
  • At least two people died and one person was injured after an early-morning explosion Friday at a machine shop in northwest Houston, police said. KHOU reported residents first felt the blast at Watson Grinding & Manufacturing Co. around 4:30 a.m. Friday. Update 4:50 a.m. EST Jan. 25: Houston authorities have identified the two people killed in Friday’s early-morning explosion as Frank Flores and Gerardo Castorena. Both men were employees at the facility and had arrived early to use the company’s on-site gym before starting their workdays, KHOU reported. According to the TV station, a nearby resident was taken to a local hospital for treatment of unknown injuries, and at least 18 people sought emergency room treatment on their own for minor injuries associated with the blast, such as breathing issues and cuts. Update 2:30 p.m. EST Jan. 24: Police Chief Art Acevedo said authorities believe they have identified the two people killed in Friday morning’s explosion as employees of Watson Grinding. Authorities declined to identify the victims as they continued to await official confirmation of their identities. “We only have two people that are accounted for and we have recovered two bodies,” Acevedo said Friday afternoon. “That doesn’t mean that there (isn’t) people that no one knows were in the area, and so we cannot say whether or not there are more victims but right now. It appears (to be) a high probability (that) there’s only two victims.” Police, firefighters and officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the cause of the blast. “As of right now, we don’t have any have no indication that there’s any terrorism nexus or any intentional act,” Acevedo said. Earlier Friday, he noted investigations are part of standard procedure when dealing with situations such as Friday’s explosion. Update 1:55 p.m. EST Jan. 24: Firefighters have cleared the immediate blast area affected by Friday morning’s explosion at Watson Grinding. The owner of Watson Grinding told KTRK the blast was a propylene gas explosion. Houston fire officials said propylene tanks still at the machine shop were intact and stable Friday afternoon. “There is no indication of any air quality issues,” officials said. Update 1:10 p.m. EST Jan. 24: Police expect to provide an update on the investigation into Friday morning’s explosion at a news conference scheduled to start at 1 p.m. local time Friday. Update 10:55 a.m. EST Jan. 24: Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters Friday morning that police have confirmed two fatalities connected to the explosion at Watson Grinding. Acevedo said authorities weren’t immediately sure whether the victims were employees of Watson Grinding or residents who lived nearby. Mayor Sylvester Turner said as many as three people are believed to have died as a result of the early-morning blast. Police and firefighters have launched an investigation of the incident. “Let me just say off the bat, we have no reason to believe -- we have no evidence at this point that terrorism was involved, we don’t have any evidence that an intentional act is involved,” Acevedo said, adding that the investigation was part of standard procedure. Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also investigating. Fire Chief Samuel Peña said there was “significant damage” to homes and businesses in the area. Authorities continue to investigate. Update 10:35 a.m. EST Jan 24: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said as many as three people are believed to have died in Friday morning’s explosion. Original report: One person was missing Friday after an early-morning explosion at a machine shop in northwest Houston caused heavy damage to nearby buildings, injuring at least one person and leaving rubble scattered in the area. “(The explosion) knocked us all out of our bed, it was so strong,” resident Mark Brady told KPRC. “It busted out every window in our house. It busted everybody’s garage door in around here … and closer toward the explosion over here, it busted people’s roofs in and walls in and we don’t know what it is … It’s a warzone over here.” Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday morning that one person remained unaccounted for after the incident. “It’s somebody that works there,” Acevedo said. “We’re keeping that person in our prayers.” Firefighters said a resident who lives near Watson Grinding was injured in the explosion and taken to a hospital. Houston fire Capt. Oscar Garcia told CNN the person was injured by shattered glass. At least one local resident captured the incident on a doorbell camera. The owner of Watson Grinding told KTRK the blast was a propylene gas explosion. Houston fire Chief Samuel Peña said a hazardous materials team was monitoring after the incident but that there were no immediate reports of hazardous air quality. Acevedo said the debris field extended about half a mile from the site of the explosion. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • Workers in China are swiftly building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat people who have been sickened by a new strain of the coronavirus that has claimed more than two dozen lives and sickened hundreds of others in the country, according to multiple reports. Ten bulldozers and nearly three dozen diggers arrived Thursday night at the future site of the hospital in Wuhan, Reuters reported, citing Changjiang Daily. The facility was being built using prefabricated buildings around a holiday complex on the outskirts of the city that was originally meant for local workers, according to Reuters. Officials expect to complete construction on the 270,000-square-foot lot by Feb. 3, The Associated Press reported. The facility was being built amid reports of hospital bed shortages as hundreds of people fell ill during the country’s popular Lunar New Year travel season. Several people in Wuhan, the epicenter of the viral outbreak, told The Guardian they had been turned away from hospitals due to the flood of patients seeking testing and treatment. At least eight hospitals in Wuhan have called for donations of items including masks and goggles as they work to meet demand for medical treatment, according to the AP. 'The construction of this project is to solve the shortage of existing medical resources,” Changjiang Daily reported, according to Reuters. “Because it will be prefabricated buildings, it will not only be built fast but it also won’t cost much.” The facility was being modeled after the Xiaotangshan SARS hospital built in 2003 in Beijing, the AP reported. That hospital was built by 7,000 workers in just six days during the SARS outbreak, which killed 800 and sickened people in more than a dozen countries, according to the AP and Reuters. The facility, which was deemed a success, treated 700 patients over less than two months before it closed, The Guardian and Reuters reported. As of Friday, 26 people have died and more than 900 people have been infected with coronavirus in China since reports of the virus first surfaced last month, according to CNN and the AP. Several cases have also been confirmed in other countries, including two in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials believe the virus can spread from person-to-person, though it remained unclear Friday just how easily the virus spread. Officials recommend that any people who have recently traveled to Wuhan and subsequently experienced flu-like symptoms -- including fever, coughing, shortness of breath or a sore throat -- contact their health care providers.
  • Orlando International Airport officials issued a statement Thursday about the deadly coronavirus, which has killed more than a dozen people and sickened hundreds of others since it was first reported last month in China. Rod Johnson, an airport spokesman, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to expand screening at airports this week, but OIA is not included in that grouping. As of Friday, the CDC is requiring screening of passengers arriving from Wuhan, China to Atlanta and Chicago O'Hare,  Los Angeles International, San Francisco International and New York JFK. 'Since we do not have direct service from the affected regions in China, no additional measures are currently prescribed for our location,' Johnson said. 'However, we will continue to collaborate with health officials, monitor the situation for changes and will act accordingly.” Cases of the virus first surfaced in Wuhan, China, which has a population of more than 11 million. The first travel-related case in the U.S was announced Tuesday. A traveler who had been in central China landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on an unidentified airline Jan. 15 and reported pneumonia-like symptoms to his doctor on Jan. 19.  The Seattle-area resident did not take a nonstop flight between Wuhan and Seattle. So far, the virus has killed at least 17 people and sickened more than 600 others in China. Here are six things you should be aware of about the disease: 1. Coronavirus is actually a group of viruses that can cause a cold or something severe like Middle East respiratory syndrome, known as MERS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as SARS. The World Health Organization says symptoms are similar to pneumonia symptoms, CBS News reported. The initial symptoms include fever, cough, tightness of the chest and shortness of breath, The Associated Press reported. 2. Normally they’re transmitted from animal to humans, but 2019-nCoV is apparently able to be transmitted between humans. At least two people were infected that way, the BBC reported. But there are other coronaviruses in animal populations but have not been transmitted to humans, according to CBS News. 3. The World Health Organization is considering declaring a public health emergency, similar to what it did with Ebola and swine flu, the BBC reported. If the declaration happens, a coordinated international response will follow. 4. At least 15 medical workers are infected with 2019-nCoV and one is in critical condition. They are believed to have contracted the illness from treating patients who were kept in isolation, but that has not been confirmed, the BBC reported. 5. While the 2019-nCoV was traced back to a seafood market that also sells live animals in Wuhan, China last year, there are a few cases outside of China including Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Those cases are linked to the same area in China, the BBC reported. 6. People are taking measures to protect themselves from exposure to the virus. Medical-style face masks are sold out in China, the AP reported. Many people in Wuhan are wearing face coverings as they go about their day. The company that makes the anti-pollution masks, 3M was sold out of the mask online, the AP reported.
  • There's a lot of flawed logic happening here.  A man in St. Petersburg, Florida was arrested Tuesday morning (January 21st) for setting a fire inside his apartment to stay warm.  Sixty-six-year-old Mark Okrent allegedly set fire to a stack of paperwork in his apartment around 3 a.m., and police report the flames were large enough to set off smoke detectors.  No one was injured, but Okrent has been charged with arson in the first degree.  Police also say he had several other options available to him that could've helped him get warm.

Washington Insider

  • Democrats concluded their 24 hours of opening arguments in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump with a blistering assessment of his effort to get Ukraine to announce investigations which would politically benefit him, as Democrats pleaded with GOP Senators to subpoena documents and witnesses blocked by the President. 'I implore you, give America a fair trial,' Schiff said. 'She's worth it.' In a final summary of the House impeachment arguments, Schiff said the President had clearly stepped over the line by trying to get Ukraine to start an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. 'President Trump has abused the power of his office, and must be removed,' said lead House prosecutor Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). 'Our founders worried about a situation just like this,' Schiff added, arguing the House charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress have 'been proved.' For Republicans, the third straight day of arguments by House prosecutors was like hundreds of fingernails on a Senate blackboard, as they all but accused Schiff of making up a story about President Trump. “It's kind of a story of the entire three days, of this invented story, weaving through bits of facts, but all this fiction weaved in it,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), as he told reporters that Schiff's final speech was 'insulting to everybody.' 'I don't anything they've said so far is impeachable,' said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who earlier in the day told reporters that he thought the arguments of Rep. Schiff were 'horrible.' 'They shouldn't need anymore information to make a final decision,' said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), who made clear the GOP leadership position that Republicans should not vote for extra documents or witnesses, worried it will drag out the trial well into February. With the White House legal team ready to start arguments on Saturday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - who said he had been in touch with the President just yesterday - said there was no reason to ignore the story of Hunter Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden. 'The President is frustrated and I am frustrated that we live in a country where only one side gets looked at,' Graham told reporters, as he accused the news media for a second straight day of carrying the water for Democrats in this impeachment fight, and hinted he would start his own investigation. The end of the House prosecutors arguments set the stage for the White House to begin its defense of President Trump, which is set to begin at 10 am ET on Saturday, and last for about three hours. Schiff tried to preempt some of the expected arguments. 'If they couldn't get Ukraine to smear the Bidens, they want to use this trial to do it instead,' Schiff said about anticipated talk from the President's lawyers about investigating Hunter Biden. If the Senate refuses to call witnesses next week, then the President's impeachment trial could conclude by the end of January, or the first days of February.