‘Historic and crippling’ winter storm dumps over 25 inches of snow
Winter and spring collided Sunday as parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Nebraska were blasted with up to 4 feet of snow while Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri braced for heavy rains, high winds, flooding and possible tornadoes. More than 2,000 flights were canceled in and out of Denver alone over the weekend, and a slew of highways were closed because of dangerous conditions. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center set the avalanche risk as high, warning of “very dangerous avalanche conditions.” Cheyenne, Wyoming, saw snow totals of 25.8 inches this weekend — smashing a previous 2-day record held since 1979, according to the National Weather Service. And more could be coming — the weather service warned some areas could see up to 50 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 60 mph before the weather eases Monday.
Beyoncé, Taylor Swift make history at the Grammys
Pop wunderkind Billie Eilish won record of the year for the second time in a row while Taylor Swift became the first female singer to win album of the year three times – taking this year’s honor with “Folklore” – and Beyoncé set a new record for most wins by a female artist and most wins by a singer, male or female, at the ceremony hosted by Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show.” It was Eilish who took the night’s biggest prize, following up 2020’s record of the year win for “Bad Guy” with a victory this year for “Everything I Wanted,” but she just wanted to give the honor to Megan Thee Stallion for “Savage,” the Houston rapper’s collaboration with Beyoncé. Sunday night’s show also featured performances from Dua Lipa, Brandi Carlile and Haim, among others.
Derek Chauvin trial: Racial makeup of jury a key concern as selection continues
Jury selection is ongoing in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial for the death of George Floyd last May. The process will take about three weeks. Given the circumstances of Floyd’s death – a Black man dying under the knee of a white police officer – the racial makeup of the jury is a key concern. Court wrapped up Friday with seven jurors seated thus far. Four of the jurors identify as white, one as multiracial, one as Hispanic and one as Black, according to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the case. Six of the jurors are in their 20s or 30s, and one is in her 50s. On Friday, Minneapolis city leaders approved a $27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd in a wrongful death lawsuit over his killing in police custody.
Los Angeles County reopening indoor dining, movie theaters, gyms
Los Angeles County, once the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, is opening up indoor dining, movie theaters and gyms Monday. The county moved to the “red tier” in California’s tier-based system after reaching its goal of administrating 2 million vaccine doses to residents in its disadvantaged areas. The county also released its reopening plans, including indoor dining at the state-authorized capacity of 25% and reopening of retail at 50%. It’s a welcome sign in a county that just two months ago was getting crushed by COVID-19.
Odd awards season continues with Oscar nominations
As our critic Brian Truitt notes, “March Madness” wasn’t coined for this year’s Oscar race, though it certainly seems appropriate. Even taking out the delays, virtual film-festival season, new rules and other varied havoc wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic on the road to April 25’s Academy Awards, there has been plenty of chaos with few actual frontrunners. But followers of the movie business will finally get the answers they have been seeking as the Oscar nominations will be announced Monday morning. Celebrity couple Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra have been tapped to deliver the nominations and the ceremony will air live on YouTube and ABC starting at 8:19 a.m. ET/5:19 a.m. PT. In two key races, Truitt expects musical tale “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” to be nominated for best picture and says the movie’s late star Chadwick Boseman is a lock to secure a best actor award nod.