Feb. 18 Weekly Digest: Sarah Palin defamation lawsuit, senior night for LN swimmers and Beijing Olympics 


Credit: Gigi Fox

The Nation Honor Society table of virtue being set up before the symbolic candles are lit. Each candle represents the pillars of NHS, character, service, scholarship and leadership.

News Team

COVID Update

According to The New York Times’ COVID-19 dashboard, there have been over 124 thousand new cases each day of COVID  in the United States as of February 17. Around 3 thousand cases are concentrated in Michigan, and out of the new daily Michigan cases, roughly 80 are in Kalamazoo County. This week marks the return to the COVID infection rate prior to the omicron spike in late January, which held a roughly 840 thousand cases per day average. 

Local News

On Tuesday night, February 15, the Loy Norrix chapter of the National Honor Society held their induction ceremony in person for the first time in two years due to COVID-19. Seniors and juniors were inducted in their introductory year of NHS, as well as the previous senior inductees who were finally inducted into the program after a “sad virtual ceremony” last year, according to chapter co-advisor Matthew Porco. 

Tuesday night also marked the senior night for the LN men’s swimming team. The team swam against Mattawan-Hackett and the Knights won, finishing the season 7-2. Event Winners included James Harn, Evan Teal, Keng Wee and Joss Brent for the 200m Medley Relay, Roman Wassink in the 50m Freestyle, Joss Brent in the 500m Freestyle, Evan Teal in the 100m Breaststroke and Roman Wassink, Tony Parlato, Joss Brent and James Harn in the 400m Freestyle. The team swims in the SMAC conference championship next week.

Last Saturday, February 12, marked the final performance of the Loy Norrix Theater Department’s production of “Something Rotten.” The seniors of the production were given a final bow as they graced the stage for the final time in their high school musical career. 

You can now sign up for your classes for the 2022-2023 school year. You can get more information by contacting your counselor or by getting the slideshow that was presented in fourth hour last Thursday. Many teachers have the slideshow in their Google Classroom stream. 

State News

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday, February 16, that they have started to ease mask mandates throughout the state as the population enters a “post-surge recovery phase,” according to the MDHHS. Wayne County schools have already decided to relieve the mask guidance in schools following the MDHHS update. Portage schools have also lifted the mask mandate in their buildings. 

Parts of southern Michigan on Wednesday were placed on a winter storm watch for Thursday and Friday this week. The outlooks were eventually upgraded to winter storm warnings and flood warnings as precipitation began to fall on Wednesday and Thursday night.

National News

Since July 2020, Special Counsel John Durham has been investigating the relationship between Former President Donald Trump’s campaign and the foreign entity, Russia. 

According to ABC News, Durham has evidence that members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election campaign “worked with a group of cybersecurity researchers to collect internet data about the Trump Organization.” Durham also claims that these researchers were gathering data to defame Trump. 

These new allegations tie into previous charges with Durham’s investigation, like Micheal Sussman, another person associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign, who was charged with lying to the FBI. 

On Feb. 13, a man in Albuquerque, N.M. stabbed eleven people in a rampage. Two of the victims are still in critical condition and the New Mexico police believe to have apprehended the suspect, Tobias Gutierrez.

The Sarah Palin v. New York Times case, which was previously mentioned in the Jan. 28 Weekly Digest, was thrown out by U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff due to insufficient evidence. However, the jury is still being allowed to deliberate on the case and the verdict should come in the coming week. 

International News

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue as the United States as NATO continue to take careful watch. The U.S. claims that Russia has added seven-thousand troops to the Russia-Ukraine border. U.S. air force jets have also arrived in Germany, prepared to aid NATO and strengthen their forces. There is talk of a bipartisan bill being voted on in the Senate on Thursday that would condemn the actions of Russia. This bill was introduced on Tuesday, purportedly sparking much debate in the Senate. 

This week the Beijing Olympic Games continued and the United States has added nine more medals to their collection bringing their total to 19: eight gold, seven silver, and four bronze. Norway is in first place with 28 total medals: 13 gold, seven silver, and eight bronze. 

Joining the Feb 11 list of United States medalists are…

  • Kaillie Humphries – Women’s Monobob (Gold)
  • Taylor E Meyers – Women’s Monobob (Silver)
  • Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue – Ice Dance (Bronze) 
  • Alex Hall – Men’s Freeski Slopestyle (Gold)
  • Nick Goepper – Men’s Freeski Slopestyle (Silver)
  • Megan Nick – Women’s Aerials (Bronze)
  • Mixed Team Snowboard Cross (Gold)
  • Men’s  Team Pursuit – Speed Skating (Bronze)
  • Erin Jackson – Women’s 500m Speed Skating (Gold)

The US Women’s hockey team will go on to the Olympic finals against Canada after their 4-1 win against Finland on Feb. 15. 

The US Men’s hockey team has been eliminated after a stunning 3-2 loss against Slovakia in the quarter finals. 

In other Olympic news, a banned substance scandal has appeared in the Figure Skating sport. Kamila Valieva, who is competing for Russia, tested positive for a banned stimulant called trimetazidine. 

Valieva is, by far, the favorite for the women’s figure skating event. Before testing positive for the banned substance, on Feb. 7, Valieva landed the hardest jump in figure skating – quadruple jump – twice and the Russian Olympic Committee won gold in the team event. 

The medal ceremony, however, was postponed and Valieva was provisionally suspended. According to ESPN, “Valieva challenged the provisional suspension before the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee on Feb. 9” and “That evening, the RUSADA Disciplinary Anti-Doping Committee decided to lift Valieva’s provisional suspension, thus allowing her to continue her participation in Beijing.” This is most likely because of her age, 15 years old. Despite being allowed to compete now, Valieva will not be eligible to receive any medals. As of Feb. 16, Valieca sits at first place for the women’s figure skating event and will compete in the women’s free skate on the 17th.