News briefs

Tribune Content Agency

COVID-19 outbreak hits CDC epidemiology conference in Atlanta

A COVID-19 outbreak struck a recent CDC epidemiology conference, infecting at least 181 attendees, officials said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s four-day Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference was held at an Atlanta hotel in late April, hosting 1,800 people in person. Of 1,443 attendees who responded to a post-event survey, 13% said they later tested positive for the coronavirus, according to findings released Friday.

Among those who were infected, slightly more than half said they were unaware of any prior bouts with the virus.

CDC guidance in effect during the conference, based on local COVID-19 conditions in the Atlanta area, said people could choose to wear masks if they wished, but stopped short of recommending the practice for everyone. Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents said they did not wear a face covering during the conference.

Health officials have routinely said mask use reduces the risk of infection, particularly in crowded indoor settings where air circulation might be poor.

—Los Angeles Times

Rep. Cicilline signing off after years of fighting for progressive causes

WASHINGTON — Rep. David Cicilline couldn’t have known in February that there would be so much turmoil in Congress on his final day in the House of Representatives.

The seven-term Democrat from Rhode Island’s 1st District announced a little more than three months ago that he’d be leaving Congress effective June 1 to become president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation.

At that time, a breach of the debt ceiling loomed well off in the distance and negotiations were still months away. But as Cicilline’s resignation date approached, so did the drama. It took until the weekend before his departure for negotiators to strike a deal, setting up a vote on his last night in Congress.

“I am going right now to meet with my staff,” Cicilline said, exiting the House Visitor Center meeting room where Democrats huddled Wednesday morning. “My staff is divided on this. … I’m likely to vote for it. I’m leaning yes. I know there’s lots of things I don’t like, but the consequences of default are just too great.”

The vote will likely be the last cast by Cicilline, capping a roughly 12-year career in Congress that saw the ambitious and amiable former mayor of Providence rise through the Democratic ranks and score a series of legislative victories.

—CQ-Roll Call

North Miami Beach mayor faces charges related to his voting

MIAMI — North Miami Beach Mayor Anthony DeFillipo was arrested and charged with voting irregularities, the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office announced Wednesday morning.

The arrest comes six months after a complaint was filed with the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics & Public Trust alleging DeFillipo lived in the town of Davie in Broward County, in violation of the North Miami Beach city charter, which requires elected officials to reside in the city.

DeFillipo, through his attorney Michael Pizzi, denied the allegations. “We look forward to a speedy exoneration,” Pizzi told the Miami Herald in a text message.

The complaint, filed in December, claimed DeFillipo purchased a home in Davie for $1.2 million. DeFillipo has repeatedly denied the allegations surrounding his residency and insisted he lives in North Miami Beach.

In a March deposition, DeFillipo admitted to purchasing the Davie home, but for his family to live in, citing marital issues. He also admitted to serving on the homeowners association board for the Davie community.

—Miami Herald

9 minors arrested in Memorial Day assault of 3 Marines

LOS ANGELES — Nine minors were arrested Tuesday after a melee near the San Clemente Pier over Memorial Day weekend in which a group of 30 teens and young adults pummeled three off-duty Marines, according to the city’s mayor.

Orange County deputies arrested five of the juveniles — four boys and one girl — on suspicion of felony assault, said San Clemente Mayor Chris Duncan. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said the five were booked into Orange County Juvenile Hall. Duncan said four additional minors were arrested on other charges.

The suspects’ identities have been withheld because they are minors, according to authorities.

The Marines were kicked and punched by the group late Friday, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

An altercation broke out between the Marines and young people at about 9:50 p.m., the Sheriff’s Department said. Authorities did not say what caused the fight, but one of the Marines told KCBS-TV Channel 2 that it started after he asked the other group to stop lighting fireworks at the beach because firework debris had hit him in the face.

—Los Angeles Times