On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

clear-day
60°
Sunny
H 62° L 42°
  • clear-day
    60°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 62° L 42°
  • clear-day
    43°
    Morning
    Sunny. H 62° L 42°
  • clear-day
    59°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 64° L 46°
Listen
Pause
Error

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Add Event

Daytona International Speedway

Location

Add Event

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A Florida woman and her grown son were indicted Wednesday in the killings of her husband and sister that took place 25 years ago in New Jersey, according to authorities. Dolores Mejia Connors Morgan, 66, and Ted Connors, 47, both of Del Ray Beach, are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 1994 slaying of Ana F. Mejia, 24, and the 1995 killing of 51-year-old Nicholas William Connors, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a news release. Both killings took place in the victims’ homes in Long Branch, a beachside city about an hour east of Trenton. A third person, Jose Carrero, 48, of Jackson Township, New Jersey, was also charged with murder in both homicides, Gramiccioni said. Carrero, who, like Morgan and Ted Connors, was arrested Jan. 10, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of second-degree conspiracy to commit murder in a plea deal with prosecutors. Media reports at the time of the killings indicated that Mejia considered her sister and brother-in-law her parents. An obituary that ran in the Asbury Park Press under the name Ana Mejia-Jimenez listed them as her mother and father, and Ted Connors as her brother. Mejia was found dead Dec. 8, 1994, in the bedroom of the apartment she shared with her boyfriend and her two young children, Gramiccioni said. “Mejia was stabbed multiple times and had a white powdery substance rubbed on her face when she was found. Her children were found safe within the residence,” the prosecutor said in a news release. Investigators initially believed it was cocaine that had been smeared on Mejia’s face, including inside her nose. According to NJ.com, however, the white powder found around Mejia’s nose and mouth was determined to be baby formula. Mejia had been stabbed 23 times and news reports at the time indicated her body was mutilated. Raw HTML blockedit “Six months later, on May 14, 1995, Long Branch police officers were dispatched to the Van Dyke Place home of Nicholas Connors, 51,” the news release said. “There, authorities found Nicholas Connors on a sofa, deceased after multiple gunshot wounds to the head.” Morgan, then 42, was the person who found him dead, NJ.com said. Two of the couple’s children, ages 13 and 12, were home but slept through the shooting. “By habit, he would wait for her to come home before going to bed,” then-Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye told the Asbury Park Press in 1995. “She found him on the couch, and there was blood all about.” Gramiccioni said last week that Carrero admitted conspiring with Morgan and Ted Connors “to kill Mejia in retaliation for what they believed were her actions to tip off law enforcement officers about the illegal activities of her boyfriend.” An Asbury Park Press article published in 1994 indicated that Mejia was slain a week after her boyfriend was arrested on drug charges. Raw HTML blockedit NJ.com reported Carrero said in court that Morgan feared her sister, who was allegedly working as a confidential police informant, would also tip detectives off about her illegal activities. She determined Mejia had to die, he indicated. Carrero told the court that he met with Morgan, who said she would pay him to help with the killing, and Ted Connors in the kitchen of the Connors home in 1994 to plan the hit on Mejia. He said he and Ted Connors planned to go to a party together the night of the crime to establish an alibi, NJ.com reported. He said he and Ted Connors left the party and parked down the street from Mejia’s house so no one would see Connors’ vehicle, the news site reported. They went to the house and Mejia opened the door for him and her nephew before returning to her bedroom. Carrero said he covered Mejia’s face with a pillow while Ted Connors stabbed her because he “didn’t want to see her” as she died, NJ.com said. After the murder, the pair returned to the party to maintain their alibi, Carrero said. “Carrero also admitted to conspiring with Ted Connors and Connors’ mother, Delores Morgan (then known as Delores Connors) to kill Nicholas Connors. Nicholas Connors was the adopted father of Ted and then-husband of Delores,” Gramiccioni said last week. Nicholas Connors “was killed in a successful effort to collect on a life insurance policy,” Gramiccioni’s news release indicated. NJ.com reported that Carrero said in court that he, Morgan and Ted Connors again sat at the kitchen table of the family’s home to plot out the husband and father’s killing. He said Ted Connors obtained a gun and Morgan went to work that night so she would not be home when her husband was slain. Carrero said he and Ted Connors again parked down the street from the house before walking to a side door and slicing the screen to make it look like a break-in. When they went inside, Carrero said he could hear a television in the next room. He said he remained in the kitchen while Ted Connors went in and shot his father, the news site reported. When he heard a second shot, he fled and ran to the car, with Ted Connors a couple of steps behind him, NJ.com said. News reports at the time indicated investigators almost immediately suspected the killings of Mejia and Nicholas Connors were related. Carrero said he was never paid outright for the crimes but Morgan loaned him cash at one point and he didn’t pay it back. He also lived at the family’s house for a while, rent-free, until Morgan kicked him out, the news site reported. As part of his plea deal, Carrero has agreed to testify against both of his codefendants. Gramiccioni said in exchange for his testimony, prosecutors would recommend consecutive sentences of five to 10 years in state prison for each of the two charges to which he pleaded guilty. The prosecutor said investigations into the Mejia and Nicholas Connors killings were launched back in 1994 and 1995 but the cases went cold. “Additional evidence recently uncovered by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Cold Case Unit and Long Branch Police Department resulted in charges being signed against the three defendants on Jan. 10, 2020,” Gramiccioni said. NJ.com reported last month that proof of the insurance payout Morgan received following her husband’s killing was part of the new evidence. An affidavit obtained by the site did not give the amount of the insurance payment she received. Cold case detectives also found that both the men accused in the crimes had confessed their alleged involvement to multiple friends. “The information given to (the friends) by Ted Connors and Jose Carrero is supported and proven to be true based on additional information discovered and confirmed in the current review of the file and additional investigation conducted over the last two years,” the affidavit read, according to NJ.com. The investigators also recently uncovered a transcript of a recorded conversation Ted Connors had with a friend about the crimes in 1995. Police re-interviewed one of the witnesses and obtained a new statement from him a couple of months ago, the affidavit said. Carrero’s sentencing was scheduled for June 5, but prosecutors told NJ.com it would not take place until he had testified against Morgan and Ted Connors. Both mother and son remain jailed without bond in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution.
  • Derrick Marks Jr.’s mother said he was hurting, mourning a best friend gunned down outside a central Alabama barbershop Tuesday. “I know you forever with me until we meet again,” Marks wrote on his Facebook page about three hours after Delquan McNeily, 21, was killed. Marks, 25, of Birmingham, decided to meet some friends to play video games and take his mind off his friend’s slaying. Minutes after leaving his home, Marks was also cut down by a bullet, AL.com reported. He died a short time later at St. Vincent’s East Hospital. “We never got a chance to see him,’’ Catrina Carey said of her son’s body. “I’m devastated. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t slept. I haven’t put my eyes on him.” The spate of violence began around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday when gunfire broke out outside Corey’s Barber Shop in Center Point, AL.com said. McNeily was found dead near the doorway of the business. David Agee, deputy chief of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, said the preliminary investigation indicated a group of men were arguing outside the barber shop, which AL.com reported is located in a heavily-populated commercial area. Witnesses from nearby businesses reported hearing at least five or six gunshots and seeing a vehicle speed away. “We don’t know what the argument was about, but weapons were drawn and a man was shot, and he is dead,” Agee said at the scene. AL.com reported that investigators determined McNeily and another man were arguing when a third person came out of the barber shop and opened fire, striking the victim. He was pronounced dead at 1:50 p.m. Marks was among the grief-stricken family and friends who gathered outside the barrier of police tape cordoning off the shop that afternoon, Carey told the news site. “They were best friends,’’ Carey said of McNeily and her son. “He used to be at my home all the time. They were very close. He was very sweet. He was the one in the bunch that never talked. He was on the timid side.” Carey said she saw her son when he came home from the crime scene in Center Point. Concerned about the violence and about how upset Marks was, she begged him to stay in that night. “I said, ‘Just don’t go back out. I don’t know what’s going on. Please just stay in the house,‘” Carey told AL.com. Marks got a phone call, however, and was soon packing up his gaming console to take with him to the Hunter Ridge Apartments in nearby Irondale, where he and friends planned to play for cash. He walked out the door around 6 p.m. and within 15 minutes, he had been fatally wounded. Carey told AL.com a bullet that struck Marks in the leg traveled internally to his heart, killing him. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7:13 p.m., less than six hours after his best friend’s official time of death. The shootings took place about 6 miles apart. Irondale police officials told the news site Marks was found sitting in a vehicle in the apartment complex’s parking lot, which was littered with about three dozen shell casings. Investigators do not believe he was in the vehicle when he was shot. Carey said she believes her son may have been ambushed by someone who knew he was bringing cash to the apartment. She said she believes the two shootings in such a short time span are a coincidence. “In my heart, I don’t feel like one had anything to do with the other,” she told AL.com. Carey said she was still trying to comprehend both her son and his best friend being killed. “There’s so much violence in the neighborhood. We trying to talk to the kids, and the teens, and the young men, but the violence has just taken over,” she said. Carey said she will always remember the creative side of her son, who worked in refrigeration but dreamed of being a rapper. Marks had some success on the local rap scene under the stage name ABM Brazi. She urged the person who shot her son to surrender to police. “Whoever did it, especially if it was a friend, turn yourself in. You really hurt a lot of people,” Carey said, according to the news site. “I forgive you and I hope God blesses you, but I want justice served.”
  • Five teens accused of gunning down a 16-year-old girl during a botched marijuana robbery were caught on a doorbell camera arriving at and leaving the girl’s home, police and the victim’s family said. The teens have been charged with capital murder in the death of Madison Harris, 16, of Biloxi. According to the Biloxi Sun Herald, the suspects have been identified as Yakeshia Blackmon, 17; Willow Blackmon, 15; Jarvis Jermaine Cook, 17; Jasmine Joy-Sade Kelley, 15; and Jaquez Devonte Porter, 17. All five teens are being charged as adults in the homicide. The Sun Herald reported that Cook, who was already free on bond in connection with an aggravated assault case out of Gulfport, was ordered held without bail. The remaining four suspects were initially being held in lieu of $1 million bond. A judge on Wednesday revoked their bail at the request of Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Herman Cox, the newspaper said. Biloxi police officers responded just before 2 p.m. Monday to a home on Rustwood Drive, where a caller told a 911 dispatcher a teen girl was having a “medical episode,” according to the Sun Herald. First responders found Harris, who had been shot in the hip area. Harris was taken to Merit Health Hospital, where authorities said she died during surgery. The caller, identified as Paultavius White, told detectives he was visiting Harris when the Blackmon sisters arrived with two teen boys and tried to rob Harris. According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Sun Herald, White said he, Harris and Kelley were in a back bedroom when the two boys came to a window and pointed a gun at Harris, demanded she open it. White told investigators he recognized the boy with the gun as a teen nicknamed “Teflon,” the affidavit said. “Teflon” was later identified as Porter. The window was broken and would not open all the way, White told police. The Blackmon sisters entered the house, and then the bedroom, and Porter handed the gun to Yakeshia Blackmon, White said. White told detectives he grabbed Yakeshia Blackmon to take the gun from her and that it fired during the struggle. The bullet struck Harris in the hip. The affidavit said a Ring doorbell camera on the home caught footage of the Blackmon sisters, Cook and Porter entering the house. The footage showed them running out in separate directions after the shooting, with White chasing after them, the Sun Herald reported. James Waldeck, the fiancé of Harris’ grandmother, described the footage for WLOX in Biloxi. Waldeck told the news station Harris was at the home with White, who was a good friend of hers, while her father was in the backyard, raking leaves. She and her father, Stuart Harris, had lived there with her grandmother, Susan Richards, and Waldeck for about four years, following her parents’ divorce. “One girl came in, I saw on the Ring doorbell, about a half hour before,” Waldeck said. “And then, according to my Ring doorbell, four of them charged in an unlocked door here at the carport. And within a matter of 10 seconds, the shooting and screaming, and then them running out the door being chased by Paul, her friend, and then her dad.” White told authorities he believed Kelley, the youngest of the group, had set Harris up to be robbed by the sisters, the affidavit said. Detectives wrote that surveillance footage and neighbors indicated a red sedan with front-end damage had fled the scene just after the shooting, the newspaper said. Officers canvassing the neighborhood found a red Toyota Camry matching that description about 3 miles from the home, with Cook and another person inside. That person has not been charged in the case. The Blackmon sisters were arrested at their home across the street from the house where Harris was killed, the newspaper reported. A crew with WLOX was there covering the shooting when the girls were handcuffed and taken away. Detectives wrote in the affidavit that all five teens admitted to participating in the botched robbery, the Sun Herald reported. Their stories appeared to match what White told police. Waldeck told the news station Harris was friends with some of the teens accused of killing her. “They were in our house -- I thought as friends -- a number of different times, yes,” Waldeck said. “They just lived two or three houses down and across the street.” Waldeck said the friendly relationship changed after he and the other residents of his home suspected the teens broke in about two weeks before the shooting. “Of course, the police were called and we were pressing charges against that first crime, and we’re afraid this may have been retaliation against us reporting their crime,” Waldeck told WLOX. His interview with the news station may explain why the window didn’t open all the way when the teens were trying to get in to rob Harris. “We screwed the window shut so they couldn’t get in there,” Waldeck said. “We put deadbolts on the doors so that they had to be locked with a key to get in or out, but the carport door was unlocked and that’s where they made their way in.” Due to their ages, none of the teens are eligible for the death penalty if convicted of capital murder, the Sun Herald said. They would instead serve sentences of life in prison without parole. Waldeck said he believes the teens meant to kill Harris, who he described as “a beautiful young lady, completely innocent of all these things that have happened to her.” “She loved her music and she loved her friends,” Waldeck said. “She had a big laugh and always enjoyed herself, wherever she was.” Harris’ cousin, Peyton Harris, described the slain girl as being like an older sister. “She was always there for me and my cousins,” the teen said. “You know, she did nothing to deserve this, and I don’t know why this happened to her.” Waldeck said Harris loved her family, which included two brothers, a half sister and two stepbrothers. “She was a sweet girl who didn’t hurt anyone,” Waldeck told the news station.
  • Osceola County deputies are looking for a man who allegedly stole $10,000 from an elderly woman. On Feb. 26, someone phoned the victim and said her grandson was arrested and needed money for bond. The woman agreed to withdraw the money . Later that day, a man arrived at the victim’s home to collect the cash. He was captured on home security video counting the money in her livingroom. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who can help identify this suspect or has any information on this case or any other similar cases to contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 348-2222. You can also call Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477, where information leading to a felony arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 dollars.
  • The death toll attributed to the 2019 novel coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, continues to rise, with tens of thousands of people sickened and thousands of others killed by the virus, mostly in China. Here are the latest updates: Stock market rout deepens on virus worries Update 2:20 p.m. EST, Feb. 27: The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank nearly 1,200 points Thursday, deepening a weeklong global market rout caused by worries that the coronavirus outbreak will wreak havoc on the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 960 points in morning trading, then erased much of the loss by midday before giving way to another round of selling in the afternoon. Earlier assumptions that the impact would largely be contained in China and would temporarily disrupt manufacturing supply chains have been overtaken by concerns that as the virus spreads, more people in numerous countries will stay home, either voluntarily or under quarantine. Vacations could be canceled, restaurant meals skipped, and fewer shopping trips taken. “A global recession is likely if COVID-19 becomes a pandemic, and the odds of that are uncomfortably high and rising with infections surging in Italy and Korea,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. 650 cases in Italy, first case in Northern Ireland Update 2:40 p.m. EST, Feb. 27: The first case in Northern Ireland has been reported. There are no details as to the person’s nationally or how the person became infected, CNN reported. The number of positive results from coronavirus tests has increased to 650 in Italy. A bookkeeping issue is being blamed for the jump, with the Head of Italian Civil Protection Angelo Borelli saying officials in the Lombardy region didn’t file it’s number of cases correctly, CNN reported. Meanwhile, the number of cases in Spain has climbed to 24. Vice President’s role explained Update 11:50 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Now that Vice President Mike Pence has been put in charge of the country’s response to coronavirus, what does that actually mean? According to US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Pence is “able to clear barriers, get alignment across cabinet departments and agencies, and frankly deal with and coordinate areas that are outside of the health care expertise, broader economic questions, trade issues, etcetera,' CNN reported. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says lawmakers are “close to a bipartisan agreement in the Congress” for funding. She said they are not sure how much they will need, but that the country needs to be ready, CNN reported. Dow and Nasdaq open down again Update 9:50 a.m. EST Feb. 27: The US Stock Market is feeling the effects of the fears over coronavirus with another selloff. The Dow opened 1.9 % lower and lost about 515 points. The Nasdaq opened 2.5% down and the S&P 500 fell 1.9%, CNN reported. Japan’s number of cases jumps to 907, China to pay for reporting symptoms   Update 9:31 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Japanese officials say the total number of cases of coronavirus is 907 with 705 cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and 186 cases on land. Eight people in the country have died, CNN reported. Chinese officials in Qianjiang are paying residents who report symptoms that are related to the virus. If it is confirmed that they do have the illness, the government will pay them about $1,426 for reporting it early. Suspected cases will get about $285 while those who come up negative at first testing will get about $142, CNN reported. And while China has been the focus of the fight against the illness, the World Health Organization is shifting its focus, saying the rest of the world is “our greatest concern.” For the second day, the number of new cases outside of China outpaced the number inside the country, CNN reported. Of those new cases, there has been another positive result in Canada, which now has 13 patients who have tested positive for coronavirus. Another new case is that of an Iranian Vice President. Masoumeh Ebtekar, the Vice President of Women and Family Affairs, has tested positive. Officials say she is at home and recovering. Ebtekar was at a cabinet meeting feet away from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Those in attendance at the meeting have been tested with results expected to be released Saturday, CNN reported. Italy reports 2 additional virus-related deaths Update 7:51 a.m. EST Feb. 27:  Officials in Italy confirmed on Thursday that two more deaths related to the coronavirus have brought the nationwide total to 14, The New York Times reported. There are now a total of 528 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Italy. Iran’s confirmed cases spike to 245, causing 26 total deaths Update 6:51 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Iran’s Health Ministry on Thursday reported more than 100 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the nationwide number of infections to 245. Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said 26 people have died from the virus. According to The Washington Post, several Iranian officials – including lawmakers and the head of Iran’s counter-coronavirus task force – have tested positive for the virus. Japan shuttering all schools to contain virus spread Update 6:13 a.m. EST Feb. 27: In a bid to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Japan’s prime minister said Thursday the government will ask the nation’s schools to close from Monday until the end of spring break, The New York Times and The Washington Post reported. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of cabinet ministers there is zero time to waste. “Efforts have been made to prevent the spread of infection among children in each region, and these one or two weeks will be an extremely critical period,” said Abe, adding that the government 'attaches top priority to the health and safety of children, among others.” To date, Japan has confirmed 186 “domestic” cases of the virus – separate from the more than 700 sickened aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship – resulting in eight deaths. Japan reports eighth novel coronavirus death, first of unknown origin Update 4:46 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Government officials in Hokkaido, Japan, confirmed on Thursday the country’s eighth coronavirus-related death but have been unable to establish the source of the patient’s exposure to the illness, CNN reported. The octogenarian tested positive for the virus on Feb. 22 and died Thursday from pneumonia, but he has not traveled outside the country recently and had no known links to the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The news comes hours after the United States confirmed its first case – in Northern California – of unknown origin, sparking global concerns that community transmissions of the virus have begun. South Korea reports largest spike in new cases to date Update 4:44 a.m. EST Feb. 27: South Korea confirmed another 171 cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the nation’s total to 505 in the past 24 hours. The virus has killed a total of 13 in South Korea, and 1,766 cases have been confirmed nationwide since the outbreak began. Top Chinese pulmonologist: Epidemic to be ‘basically under control’ by April 30 Update 4:42 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Zhong Nanshan, the director of China’s National Clinical Research Center for Respiratory Disease, said during a Thursday news conference that he expects the novel coronavirus epidemic will be “basically under control at the end of April.” “We previously predicted that the peak should be in mid or late February. It turned out the number of new cases began to drop after Feb. 15. We predicted the number would be 60-70 thousand, and now it is 78-79 thousand in China,' Zhong said. First possible case of novel coronavirus recurrence documented in Japan Update 4:40 a.m. EST Feb. 27: A Japanese woman declared cured of the novel coronavirus has now tested positive for the illness a second time, The Washington Post reported. The woman – one of the country’s first documented cases of the virus – was declared cured four weeks ago and released from the hospital treating her. Because she was not retested at the time of her release, however, health officials have been unable to determine if the virus lay dormant in her system or if her current condition is the result of reinfection, the Post reported. Global infections near 82,000, death toll surpasses 2,800 Update 2:30 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Progression of the novel coronavirus hit a new milestone early Thursday with the latest data confirming global deaths from the rapidly spreading illness have reached 2,801. The lion’s share of confirmed cases and deaths remain in mainland China and specifically within the virus’ Hubei province epicenter, but infection rates elsewhere continue to climb. Of the total 81,722 confirmed cases, 78,497 are in China where 2,744 patients have died. A total of 57 deaths have been confirmed in eight other countries: • Iran: 19 • South Korea: 13 • Italy: 12 • Japan: 7 • Hong Kong and France: 2 each • The Philippines and Taiwan: 1 each 7 additional European countries confirm first cases Update 2:28 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Denmark and Estonia became the latest European nations to report their first confirmed novel coronavirus cases early Thursday. CNN affiliate Berlingske Media reported a journalist at a TV channel in Denmark is the country’s first confirmed case. Greece, Norway, Romania, Georgia and North Macedonia each confirmed their first cases Wednesday. Pence sets first task force meeting Update 2:26 a.m. EST Feb. 27: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will lead a coronavirus task force meeting on Thursday afternoon at the Department of Health and Human Services, CNN reported. The meeting will take place less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump placed Pence at the helm of the nation’s outbreak response. “Mike will be working with the professionals, doctors and everybody else that is working. The team is brilliant. I spent a lot of time with the team the last couple weeks,” Trump said, according to CNN. “But they are brilliant, and we’re doing really well, and Mike is going to be in charge, and Mike will report back to me. But he has a certain talent for this,” he said. Rampant infection reports continue; deaths outside mainland China mount Update 2:24 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Italy has now confirmed 400 cases, meaning the nation now hosts the largest known cluster of cases outside of Asia and making it the epicenter of the European outbreak. South Korea reported 344 new cases and one death Wednesday, bringing its national total to 1,596 cases and 13 deaths. Japan’s defense minister confirmed early Thursday that 22 additional patients have tested positive for novel coronavirus and a seventh patient has died. The newest figures bring that country’s total number of “domestic” infections to 186 in addition to the 693 cases linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, moored off Japan’s coast awaiting deep cleaning. Hong Kong confirmed two new cases on Wednesday, raising its citywide total to 91. US companies fear major losses Update 2:22 a.m. EST Feb. 27: Some American companies stand to lose as much as half of their annual revenue from China if the novel coronavirus outbreak extends through the summer months, The Wall Street Journal reported. According to a survey conducted between Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 by the American Chamber of Commerce in China, nearly half of U.S. companies in China expect revenue losses if disruptions to business continue past April 30. Meanwhile, 20 percent of the 169 responding companies indicated their 2020 revenue from China could decline more than 50 percent if the epidemic is left unchecked through Aug. 30, the Journal reported. Read more here. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms first case of unknown origin in Northern California  Update 8:15 p.m. EST Feb. 26: The CDC told The Sacramento Bee Wednesday that a confirmed case in Northern California is of an unknown origin. The person is resident of Solano County and is being treated in Sacramento, according to KRON. The CDC told KRON that the patient has not travelled to a foreign country and has not been in contact with a confirmed case. It is possible that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected the CDC said in a release. The CDC said that it is possible that this is an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. Trump appoints Pence to lead response Update 7 p.m. EST Feb. 26: President Donald Trump put his vice president in charge of overseeing the nation’s response. He will be working with the government’s top health authorities and Trump’s earlier-appointed coronavirus task force, to oversee the response. California: Orange County to declare local health emergency Update 4:45 p.m. EST Feb. 26: Officials in Orange County, California, are expected to declare a local health emergency later Wednesday in response to increasing cases of the coronavirus in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported. County supervisors Michelle Steel and Andrew Do called a news conference in Santa Ana to discuss the declaration, the newspaper reported. Orange County has one confirmed case of the coronavirus, a man in his 50s who has since recovered, according to the county’s Health Care Agency website. Norway has first case Update 3:45 p.m. EST Feb. 26: Norway has its first positive test for coronavirus, CNN reported. The person had no symptoms but had recently returned from an area of China that is a hotbed for the virus. The result was weak, officials with Norway’s Institute for Public Health said. More new cases outside of China than in Update 2:57 p.m. EST Feb. 26: For the first time since the outbreak started, there are more new cases of coronavirus in a single day outside of China than inside the country. The World Health Organization says China had only 412 newly confirmed cases Wednesday. There were 459 new cases over the rest of the world, CNN reported. As for the US, there are a total of 60 cases with 15 of them coming from travel or close contact with travelers, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday, according to CNN. President Donald Trump to hold press conference with CDC Wednesday Update 8:39 a.m. EST Feb. 26: President Donald Trump says he will be holding a joint press conference with the CDC Wednesday at 6 p.m. EST. Trump and his supporters have been saying that virus is not as bad as it seems, saying via Twitter that news outlets “are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus [sic] look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action, USA in great shape!” The Washington Post reported. Earlier this year, Trump said that the coronavirus was under control in the US saying “It’s going to be just fine.” That statement was made during January’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January. At the time there was one person confirmed to have had coronavirus in Washington state. Now there are more than 50 people in the country who have tested positive, and the CDC has warned Americans to brace and prepare for a crisis, NBC News reported Tuesday. The CDC advised that the U.S. should prepare for disruptions to their daily lives like closing schools, working from home and delaying elective medical procedures, NBC News reported. Greece reports first confirmed; Italy struggles to contain outbreak Update 7:49 a.m. EST Feb. 26:  Greece has confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in a 38-year-old Thessaloniki woman. A health ministry spokeswoman told CNN the woman returned recently from an affected area in northern Italy. She is hospitalized, but is listed in good condition. Northern Italy – specifically the Lombardi region – has emerged as the European epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak. To date, more than 320 cases have been confirmed nationwide, resulting in 12 deaths, CNN reported. Cases in Greece, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland and France have also been linked to the Italian cluster. Brazil confirms first novel coronavirus case Update 7 a.m. EST Feb. 26:  South America has confirmed its first novel coronavirus case, making Antarctica the only continent remaining untouched by the fast-spreading contagion, Reuters reported. The patient is a 61-year-old being treated at a Sao Paulo hospital in Brazil after visiting Italy. Iran confirms 19th death Update 5:25 a.m. EST Feb. 26: Iran’s health ministry spokesman confirmed that the country’s 19th citizen has succumbed to the novel coronavirus. Kianush Jahanpur told state television on Wednesday the nationwide number of confirmed cases has reached 139 and Iran has the highest number of deaths attributed to the outbreak outside of mainland China. Jahanpur also told Iranians to cancel all nonessential travel and urged all residents to avoid Gilan and Qom, the two areas of the country with the highest concentration of confirmed novel coronavirus cases. Spain confirms 8 new cases Update 5:25 a.m. EST Feb. 26: In the 24 hours since a hotel in Tenerife was placed on lockdown, Spain has confirmed eight new cases of the novel coronavirus, according to The Washington Post. At least two of the newest cases were confirmed in Madrid, while a third was diagnosed in Barcelona. UK launches mass testing Update 5:25 a.m. EST Feb. 26: The United Kingdom began mass testing of its population Wednesday to determine if the spread of the novel coronavirus is more rampant than originally believed, The Washington Post reported. Public Health England Medical Director Prof Paul Cosford said people with flu-like symptoms will be tested in 11 hospitals and 100 private practices across the country. “We are heightening our vigilance,” he told the British Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday, adding, “There is random testing of those people…that’s to check we have any transmission that we are not aware of.” As of Tuesday, 6,795 people had been tested for the virus, yielding 13 confirmed cases and zero deaths, the Post reported. First French national dies from novel coronavirus Update 5:25 a.m. EST Feb. 26: A 60-year-old man in Paris has become the first French national to die from the coronavirus, CNN reported, citing the director general of the French health authority. Jerome Salomon told reporters on Wednesday the man died at the Pitie Salpetriere hospital in the French capital. Meanwhile, two additional novel coronavirus cases were reported in the country, including a 55-year-old French man being treated in a hospital in Amiens and a 36-year-old French man in Strasbourg. Hong Kong confirms 4 new infections Update 5:23 a.m. EST Feb. 26: Four additional novel coronavirus cases have been confirmed by health officials in Hong Kong, bringing the city’s total number of cases to 89. According to CNN, the new cases include two passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, a man linked with a previously confirmed case and a domestic helper who was linked to a previous case. To date, 24 people have been discharged from medical facilities following recovery, while one patient remains in critical condition and another 64 continue receiving treatment in hospitals. San Francisco declares local emergency over coronavirus Update 5:21 a.m. EST Feb. 26: Despite having confirmed zero cases of the novel coronavirus, San Francisco authorities declared a local emergency Tuesday as the fourth-largest California city prepares for the infection’s spread within its tight-knit communities, Reuters reported. “Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. Rate of new mainland China cases decreases, infections elsewhere on the rise Update 4:01 a.m. EST Feb. 26: The rate of new novel coronavirus cases continued its decline in China Wednesday, but health experts cautioned against underestimating the virus’ staying power, The Washington Post reported. The Chinese government confirmed 406 new cases diagnosed on Wednesday and an additional 52 deaths. The latest figures bring mainland China’s total infections to 78,064, resulting in 2,715 deaths. Meanwhile, CNN reported: • South Korea confirmed an additional 115 cases and another death, bringing the nationwide total to 1,261 cases and 12 deaths. The latest figures mean 184 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday alone. • Kuwait’s newest case brings that nation’s total confirmed infections to 12. • Bahrain confirmed three new cases Tuesday, bringing its nationwide total to 26. • More than 90 total cases have been confirmed in Iran, resulting in 15 deaths. • Taiwan reported its 32nd novel coronavirus case on Wednesday. • Thailand confirmed three additional novel coronavirus infections on Wednesday, brining its nationwide total to 40. China asks banks to disinfect, hold cash Update 3:58 a.m. EST Feb. 26: Beijing is asking all banks in the region to disinfect paper cash and keep the notes in a dry place for at least seven days before returning them to circulation, The Washington Post reported. Beijing’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Bureau made the request Wednesday while also imploring financial institutions to “intensify disinfection” protocols at counters and public facilities in all “customer-facing banking and insurance establishments,” the Post reported. Read more here. European outbreaks mirroring those in Asia, the Middle East Update 2:20 a.m. EST Feb. 26: Despite its Chinese origins, an outbreak in Italy has given the novel coronavirus a foothold in Europe that has now spread to five additional countries. According to The New York Times, Spain, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and France all reported cases linked to Italy’s Lombardy region on Tuesday. On Wednesday in Innsbruck, the Austrian ski town in the Alps, authorities sealed off the 108-room Grand Hotel after a hotel employee, who had recently visited Lombardy, tested positive for the virus. The move came less than 24 hours after Spain cordoned off the H10 Costa Adeje Palace on the resort island of Tinorefe after a guest tested positive. According to CNN, a total of 212 infections have been confirmed in the Lombardy region, alone, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was forced to admit on Monday that a hospital in the northern town of Codogno had mishandled the region's first coronavirus case, known as Patient 1, by not following protocol. Patient Zero, or the individual responsible for importing the virus to the country, has not yet been identified by Italian authorities. The virus’ spread to date in Europe has mirrored outbreaks in the Middle East and Asia, the Times reported. Meanwhile, a new case was confirmed in southern Germany late Tuesday, and the patient had just returned from a trip to Milan in northern Italy, The Wall Street Journal reported. U.S. soldier stationed in South Korea tests positive for virus Update 9:30 p.m. EST Feb. 25:  A U.S. military statement said a 23-year-old soldier who tested positive was in self quarantine at his off-base residence. He had been based in Camp Caroll in a town near Daegu, and visited Camp Walker in Daegu earlier this week. The military said South Korean authorities and U.S. military health professionals tracing his contacts to determine if other people may have been exposed. South Korean virus cases jump, total now 1,146 Update 8:30 p.m. EST Feb. 25: South Korea has reported 169 more cases of the new coronavirus, mostly in the southeast city of Daegu and nearby areas, bringing its total number of infections to 1,146. South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that 134 of the new cases were confirmed in Daegu, where the government has been mobilizing public health tools to contain the virus. Another 19 cases came from the neighboring North Gyeongsang Province towns. Chinese officials have reported a slowing in the number of new cases in recent days but it still has most of the world’s 80,000 cases and 2,700 deaths. Stock market falls 879 points Update 4:12 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The stock market plunged for the second consecutive day Tuesday, as concerns about the coronavirus caused investors to dump stocks, according to The New York Times. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 897.44 points Tuesday, its worst two-day stretch of selling in two years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The market closed at 27,081.96 a drop of 3.15%, The S&P 500 fell 3.03%, losing 97.68 points to close at 3,128.21. The Nasdaq Composite lost 2.77%, falling 255,67 points to 8,965.61. The Dow Jones dropped by as much as 900 points Tuesday afternoon after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned of the inevitability of the virus spreading to communities in the United States, The Washington Post reported. CDC: Americans should brace for virus spreading in US Update 1:41 p.m. EST Feb. 25: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans should brace for the inevitability the coronavirus will spread to communities in the United States, The New York Times reported. “Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in the United States, Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Tuesday. “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore but a question of when this will happen.” Messonnier said public health officials have no idea whether the spread of the coronavirus to the United States would be mild or severe. However, she added that Americans should be ready for significant disruption to their daily lives. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” Messonnier told reporters. Alex Azar II, the secretary of health and human services told a Senate committee, “This is an unprecedented, potentially severe health challenge globally,” the Times reported. National Institutes of Health could start vaccine clinical trials in three months Update 12:15 p.m. EST Feb. 25: The Health and Human Services Secretary says the National Institutes of Health will have a coronavirus vaccine clinical trial in three months, Fox News reported. Sec. Alex Azar says the country is preparing for an outbreak, with 30 million respirator masks already stockpiled, but they do need 10 times that for healthcare workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expecting the virus to spread through communities. Dr. Nancy Messonnier said during a call with the media, it’s “more a question exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,' Congressional Quarterly reported. Another death linked to Diamond Princess Update 10:31 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Another passenger who had been on the ship Diamond Princess has died. That brings the number of deaths connected to the quarantined cruise ship to four, CNN reported. His death brings the death toll in Japan to five. As for a vaccine, despite China’s claims that one is in development, U.S. Senators were told during a briefing that one is at least 12 to 18 months away, CNN reported. China claims to have developed vaccine, US lawmakers briefed on outbreak Update 10 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Researchers at China’s Tianjin University say they have created an oral vaccine, NBC News and China’s Global Times have reported. The lead on the project says he has taken four doses and has not had any side effects. The university now needs to start clinical trials. The vaccine is only in its first steps and still has to be tested through animal and human trials, NBC News reported. Meanwhile, US Senators were briefed Tuesday morning, CNN reported. The briefing, which was classified, spurred a question, according to Democrat Whip Dick Durbin, “whether or not [countries] will be aggressive in quarantine cases and reduce the spread beyond their borders. We still have to wait to see.” To help stop the spread, one diocese in Northern Italy has canceled Ash Wednesday mass. Instead the faithful are being told to stay home and pray with the help of a live stream, CNN reported. There will be prayers for the sick included in this year’s service. Churches will still be open for private worship Iran Deputy Health Minister tests positive Update 7:05 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi has tested positive for the coronavirus, Bloomberg and other media outlets reported. He is now under quarantine, Reuters reported. Harirchi’s diagnosis comes after accusations that the government of Iran is lying about how big the outbreak is in the country. A member of parliament in Qom said there have been 50 deaths in the city attributed to the virus. Harirchi said that number was too high, and said that if even half that number of people died in the city because of coronavirus, he would resign, the BBC reported.  977 cases, 10 deaths reported in South Korea Update 3:53 a.m. EST Feb. 25: Health officials in South Korea announced Tuesday afternoon that 84 more cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country, raising the total number of cases there to 977, CNN is reporting. Ten people have died. More cases of Coronavirus in China and South Korea reported Update 9:30 p.m. EST Feb. 24: China and South Korea reported more cases of a new viral illness that has been concentrated in North Asia but is creating worrisome, increasing clusters in the Middle East and Europe. China reported 508 new cases and another 71 deaths, 68 of them in the central city of Wuhan. The updates bring mainland China’s totals to 77,658 cases and 2,663 deaths. South Korea now has the second-most cases with 60 reported, bringing its total to 893. South Korea has reported a near 15-fold increase in infections with the new coronavirus in a week, as health workers continue to find batches in the southeastern city of Daegu and nearby areas, where panic has brought towns to an eerie standstill. Dow drops more than 1,000 as outbreak threatens the economy Update 4:30 p.m. EST Feb. 24: The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 1,000 points as the spread of the new coronavirus threatened wider damage to the global economy. The drop was the worst for the index in two years and wiped out its gains so far in 2020. Nervous investors scrambled for safety, loading up on gold, U.S. government bonds and other safe-harbor assets. The price of oil fell sharply on expectations that demand for energy would tumble. The Dow lost 1,031 points, or 3.6%, to 27,960. The S&P 500 fell 111, or 3.4%, to 3,225. The Nasdaq fell 355, or 3.7%, to 9,221. More than 79,000 people worldwide have been infected by the new coronavirus. China, where the virus originated, still has the majority of cases and deaths. The rapid spread to other countries is raising anxiety about the threat the outbreak poses to the global economy. China outbreak under control while infection spreads in other parts of world Update 3:25 p.m. EST Feb. 24: The World Health Organization is warning that while China may have control over the outbreak, the rest of the world may not be so well prepared. Officials with the WHO found that cases peaked and plateaued between Jan. 23 and Feb. 2 then started to decline, The New York Times reported. Locking down the areas of China where the virus was most prevalent helped curb its spread outside of those zones, the Times reported. Meanwhile, the number of positive cases of coronavirus has climbed to 53, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Washington Post Reported. Read the latest situation report from the WHO below. Italy reports 219 cases, 5 deaths Update 7:29 a.m. EST Feb. 24: Italy is reporting at least 219 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, CNN is reporting. The virus has killed five people there, officials said. Global death toll hits 2,619 Update 3:11 a.m. EST Feb. 24: At least 2,619 people worldwide have died from coronavirus, CNN is reporting. The vast majority of the deaths – 2,582 – occurred in China, while 27 others were reported in other countries, such as Iran, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France and Taiwan, officials said. Plan to bring coronavirus patients to Alabama scuttled  Update 4:35 p.m. EST Feb. 23:  A plan to quarantine some passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship at a Federal Emergency Management Agency center in Alabama was canceled Sunday. Passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus but did not have symptoms were going to be taken to the FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama, under a plan announced Saturday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby and Gov. Kay Ivey pushed back. 'I just got off the phone with the President,” Shelby wrote Sunday on social media. “He told me that his administration will not be sending any victims of the Coronavirus from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to Anniston, Alabama.” Ivey also confirmed the change. 'President Trump called to assure me that this plan will not move forward,” Ivey said on social media. “I thanked him for his support of (Alabama)! We always want to help our fellow Americans, but this wasn’t fully vetted.” Italy locks down more than 50,000 people Update 2:05 p.m. EST Feb. 23: Italy locked down more than 50,000 people in 10 towns in the country’s northern region of Lombardy, according to The New York Times. Government officials said there are now 152 confirmed cases, several events across Italy were canceled Sunday, including the last two days Venice’s Carnival, The Washington Post reported. Officials said Sunday, that 88 of the cases reported in Italy are from the Lombardy region, the Times reported. Three people have died, including a 77-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man, and at least 26 are in intensive care, according to officials. In other news, the Chinese government reported 648 new cases across the country Sunday and 97 deaths, the Post reported. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 76,936; there have been 2,442 deaths. China’s Xi calls virus ‘a crisis’ and ’big test’ Update 10:05 a.m. EST Feb. 23: China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, told Communist Party officials at a meeting Sunday that the coronavirus epidemic was “a crisis and a big test” for the country. Xi admitted “obvious shortcomings in the response to the epidemic,” but did not give details, according to The New York Times. Xi also said officials should “learn lessons” and improve China’s ability to respond to public health emergencies, the newspaper reported. He said the outbreak in China presented “the fastest spread, the widest scope of infections and the greatest degree of difficulty in controlling infections” of any public health emergency since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Times reported, citing the official Xinhua News Agency. 132 coronavirus cases confirmed in Italy Update 7:36 a.m. EST Feb. 23: At least 132 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Italy, officials announced Sunday. According to CNN, two people there have died, while another 26 are being treated in intensive care.  South Korea reports 46 more coronavirus cases; total there hits 602 Update 3:51 a.m. EST Feb. 23: South Korean health officials said they have confirmed a total 602 coronavirus cases in the country, CNN is reporting. News of the new total came Sunday after the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 46 more cases of the virus, according to CNN. Five patients in South Korea have died from the illness, the outlet reported. 6th person dead from coronavirus in Iran  Update 5:36 p.m. EST Feb 22: A sixth person in Iran has died from the deadly coronavirus that originated in China.  The person also had a heart condition, The Associated Press reported. A fifth fatality in Iran was reported earlier Saturday.  There have been 28 reported cases of coronavirus in Iran. People are being treated in Tehran, Qom, Arak and Rasht. Officials will use center in Alabama as quarantine facility Update 2:06 p.m. EST Feb 22: Concern is growing in Israel, where health officials said a woman who was a passenger aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan tested positive for the virus after returning home, The New York Times reported. Meanwhile, after nine South Koreans who visited Israel tested positive for the coronavirus after returning home, the Israeli government began closing the country to South Korean travelers, the newspaper reported. Passengers flying on a Korean Air flight scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport at 7:30 p.m. Saturday were expected to be barred entry into the country, the Times reported, citing Ynet, an Israeli news organization. Government officials were expected to decide Sunday whether other inbound flights from South Korea would be allowed, the newspaper reported. Japan waited 72 hours before imposing quarantine on cruise ship Update 10:56 a.m. EST Feb 22: More than 72 hours elapsed before Japanese officials imposed a quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, The New York Times reported. Early on the morning of Feb. 2, before the ship had docked in Yokohama, Hong Kong officials informed the Japanese health ministry about an infected passenger, the newspaper reported. A spokeswoman for Princess Cruises said the company received “formal verification” of the infection from Hong Kong on Feb. 3, the Times reported. The announcement was made to passengers that night, and they were advised around 11 p.m. to remain in their rooms, the Times reported. On Feb. 5, the captain of the Diamond Princess confirmed there were 10 cases of the coronavirus on the ship, and passengers were told they needed to return to their rooms, where they were quarantined for 14 days, according to the newspaper. University of Memphis graduate Luke Hefner, a singer who was aboard the Princess Diamond, was one of the 10 people on board confirmed with the virus, WHBQ reported. After Hefner tested pos