The Harbinger Online

News Briefs: 4/19

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Local: Union Station Renovations 206

Union Station will start construction on a bridge that will connect the third floor of the West Yards parking garage to the existing station.

The vehicular and pedestrian bridge will create a more direct route to the parking garage, going directly across from the Station to the third floor of the garage. This will also improve access from Pershing Road, according to Fox 4 KC.

Other phases of renovations will consist of a new entrance to the existing theater and planetarium, and an addition to Science City, an indoor science center for kids. Science City will have an outdoor expansion near the bridge, which will include outdoor exhibits.

“I used to love to go to Science City and always wished it was bigger, and soon it will be,” freshman Madisyn Wallin said.

A new outdoor festival plaza will also be added to host concerts and other events, as well as converting the front entrances into green spaces.

During construction, all events and parking will go on as usual and renovations are expected to be completed by 2017.

“[This project] is the largest construction project since the historic Station was renovated and reopened in 1999,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station, said to unionstation.org.

National: Zika in the US 208

More than 300 travel-associated cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the U.S. in the past month. Out of those diagnosis, 32 of them were in pregnant women. Zika is a virus spread by mosquitoes and sexual contact that has been linked with birth defects in the infants of pregnant women with the virus.

One of the defects is microcephaly, which is when a baby’s head is smaller than usual due to neurological complications during pregnancy.

The largest concentrations of the Zika virus are in South America and have travelled to the US via mosquito migration patterns.

Freshman Pauline Shaver went to Nicaragua for spring break, a country with a high Zika rate.

“I wasn’t able to donate blood when I came back because the doctors suspected I had Zika,” Shaver said.

Zika is primarily transmitted to people by mosquitoes known as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These types of mosquitoes have been detected in 12 California counties, leading to 22 travel-associated cases of Zika virus reported in California in 2016.

“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at a White House briefing said.

International: Volcano 195

The active Popocatépetl Volcano is putting between 2 and 10 million people southeast of Mexico City at risk for potential danger. The volcano is located in the states of Puebla and Morelos, in Central Mexico.

According to volcanodiscovery.com, Popocatépetl is North America’s fifth highest peak and Mexico’s second highest peak. It has been active since 2005 but has been more violent recently.

“The quality of life in this area is already poor as it it, and this volcano won’t help anything,” social studies teacher Steve Klein said.

Experts on Popocatépetl have detected a lava dome of a thousand feet in diameter in the innermost crater by conducting flyovers, with plumes up to a mile high.

The emissions from the 17,900 foot volcano are explosions of poisonous gases and smoking, fiery fragments. In the past two weeks, there has been 136 emissions of gas from Popocatépetl.

On a scale from one to four ranking, the level of alert for Popocatépetl is a three. This ranking means an eruption will likely happen in the next few days or weeks.

Locals in the nearby cities of Puebla and Mexico City are prepared to evacuate if necessary.

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