March 24 Weekly News Digest: Spring break, Kentanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing and March Madness


Credit: James Hauke

News Digest Team

COVID-19 Updates 

According to the New York Time’s COVID-19 Dashboard, there have been over 29 thousand new cases each day of COVID in the United States as of March 23. Around 855 cases are concentrated in Michigan, and out of the new daily Michigan cases, roughly 21 are in Kalamazoo County. These numbers appear to be stagnant over the past couple of weeks following the surge of omicron in late January.


Local / KPS News 

On March 18, a mysterious purple glow in the sky was spotted by residents over parts of Kalamazoo. The moist air mixed with purple light from nearby greenhouses caused this visual spectacle. 

Thirty-three year old Nicholas Conklin was shot and killed by police officers in Kalamazoo on March 20.  According to an article by WWMT, “Police responded to the 1000 block of South Westnedge Avenue Sunday ‘to conduct an investigation into suspected criminal activity.’”  The police were called regarding a stolen vehicle and found that Conklin had 5 warrants out for his arrest. When the police arrived, Conklin fired shots from his handgun, which led to police to shoot back.  

For KPS spring break starts this Friday, March 25, and school resumes on April 4.  


State News  

This upcoming Saturday, March 26, a Make America Great Again rally and trucker protest similar to the one in Canada is set to happen in Lansing.  The rally is planned to start on the steps of the capitol building. Speakers include Arizona State Representative Mark Finchem, Attorney General candidate Matt Deperno, and former Michigan Senator Pat Colbeck.  


National News

Governor Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Governor Spencer Cox of Utah have both vetoed anti-trans bills attempting to prevent trans people from participating in sports that have come in the wave of new anti-trans legislation being pushed out by the GOP. 

According to a poll conducted by Reuters on March 21 and 22, President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have dropped down to 40% , from its previous 54%. This most likely reflects disapproval of Biden’s tactics with dealing with the Russia/Ukraine conflict as well as concerns regarding inflation. 

Miami Beach, Florida has set an official curfew as well as announced a state of emergency due to increased levels of violence during the spring break season. There will be an enforced curfew of midnight, following a shooting that injured five people. 

On Monday, March 21, Kentanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice began. The questioning has appeared largely partisan, with an apparent divide between Republican and Democratic senators. Democrats seem to be in clear support of her appointment to the Supreme Court whereas Republicans questioned Jackson about several different prevalent political issues. 

The hearing will last for four days, the final day being Thursday, March 24. “The Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately votes on whether to report out a nominee’s candidacy to the rest of the upper chamber for a final debate and vote, so the hearings are a high-profile step in the process,” NPR reported.


International News

As the recent escalation of the Russian Ukrainian War enters its second month, Ukraine still holds out against Russia. Biden and other European leaders intend to meet this week in Brussels to discuss more sanctions on Russia and possibly more military assistance. 

Reports also state that one fourth of Ukraine’s population have fled the country so far, but thousands are still stranded in cities, including the capital, Kyiv. Ukrainian forces are believed to be taking back some land from the Russian forces including most of Kyiv, but have revealed massive civilian casualties. Russian forces are moving towards the Donbas region in Southeast Ukraine where many Russian supporters live. The Donbas region is economically crucial to Ukraine.

Last Monday, China Eastern Flight 5735 crashed in the Guangxi region. All 132 people onboard are presumed dead. The Boeing 737-800 that crashed was approved maintenance and crew-wise leaving only the black boxes to explain what caused the plane to dive out of its flight path. Relatives and friends of the passengers were turned away by police and escorted away from the crash. 



Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had his bank accounts frozen by the UK government over issues between Russia and Ukraine. With Abramovich having his accounts frozen, Chelsea will not be able to receive revenue from merchandise, advertisements or even be able to pay its staff and players.


March Madness Updates

¨Sweet Sixteen´´ Teams

Mens Womens

  1. Kansas vs 4. Providence 1. South Carolina vs 5. North Carolina
  2. Miami (FL) vs 11. Iowa State 3. Iowa State vs 10. Creighton
  3. Arizona vs 5. Houston 1. Louisville vs 4. Tennessee
  4. Villanova vs 11. Michigan 3. Michigan vs 10. South Dakota
  5. UCLA vs 8. North Carolina 1. Stanford vs 4. Maryland
  6. Purdue vs 15. Saint Peter’s 6. Ohio State vs 2. Texas
  7. Duke vs 3. Texas Tech 1. NC State vs 5. Notre Dame
  8. Gonzaga vs 4. Arkansas 3. Indiana vs 2. UCONN


Arts & Entertainment 

The highly anticipated second season of critically acclaimed Netflix original series “Bridgerton” arrives this Friday, March 25. The first season, which released December 2020, focused primarily on Daphne Brigerton’s (Phoebe Dynevor) introduction to high society, while season 2 will focus more on Daphne’s brother, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and his quest for love. 

Saturday Night Live announced that on April 16, pop-musician Lizzo will be both their host and musical guest for the night. Billie Eilish was the latest “double-duty” SNL member.

The Academy Awards Oscars ceremony will take place this upcoming Sunday, March 27. The event will be hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, with the event being broadcasted on ABC at 8:00 pm EST.