Minnesota woman vies to become first Sports Illustrated swimsuit model with Down syndrome

SAINT PAUL, Minn. (NewsNation Now) — A 26-year-old woman with down syndrome is making international waves as she competes to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Mikayla Holmgren says she wants to represent inclusivity. 

“I love being on the camera and I just want to do it. I just want to be more involved in modeling because I did a lot of photoshoots and a lot of radio shoots. And it stuck with me every time I go,” said the model.

“I want it to [add] more diversity … all women deserve to be celebrated,” she said.

She did Miss Amazing in 2015 and then competed in her first Miss USA state pageant. She made international headlines as the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in the system for the title of Miss Minnesota USA.

“I got to see all my directors and all my friends. It’s cool. It’s really cool to be on a stage and to have fun … and cameras,” she said.

Mikayla has finished her video submission for Sports Illustrated. She even picked out the swimsuit she likes best for the audition with her mother.

According to the CDC, each year about 6,000 babies born in the United States have Down syndrome. Scientists estimate Down syndrome occurs in about 1 in every 700 babies.

“When we first found out, of course it was a shock. But fortunately growing up, I had a couple of women in my life who introduced me to people with Down Syndrome so I wasn’t afraid of out. So when she was born, that’s when we decided we wanted to treat her like any other child. Her Down syndrome was secondary, it wasn’t who she was,” said her mother Sandi Holmgren. 

Her mother says she still gets nervous when her daughter competes or models. Her hope is that she shines on stage through it all.

“Let them just try everything that they want to try. Let them find out what their likes or dislikes are.  And be super supportive of them and be their advocate and help them achieve whatever they want to achieve,” said Sandi Holmgren.

She says she wants to be in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to inspire others to be empowered about who they are and encourage them to go for their dreams.

She says the two piece helps to show off her muscles and all her fitness training. Mikayla Holmgren says where she makes it or not, she will continue to share the message of inclusion.

Mikayla’s Sports Illustrated Submission can be found here

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/minnesota-woman-vies-to-become-first-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-model-with-down-syndrome/

17th-century coins may solve the mystery of murderous ‘King of Pirates’

WARWICK, R.I. (NEXSTAR) — A handful of 17th-century Arabian silver coins unearthed across New England may help solve one of the planet’s oldest cold cases.

Amateur historian and metal detectorist Jim Bailey found the first intact coin in a Rhode Island orchard and discovered it was minted in 1693 in Yemen.

Other coins have turned up in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and Bailey has found documents tying them to legendary English pirate Henry Every, dubbed the “King of Pirates” by his contemporaries.

The murderous pirate became the subject of the first worldwide manhunt after plundering an Indian ship carrying Muslim pilgrims home from Mecca.

According to historical accounts, his band tortured and killed the men and raped the women aboard the ship, a royal vessel owned by Indian emperor Aurangzeb.

During the raid, he stole $108 million in precious metals and jewels, making him the richest pirate in the world.

It is believed that he escaped to the Bahamas, but where he ultimately ended up is unknown.

Bailey and other historians say the discovery of the coins is evidence that Every, who was never captured, hid in the American colonies for a time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/world/17th-century-coins-may-solve-the-mystery-of-murderous-king-of-pirates/

Suffering from allergies? Wear a mask

DENVER (KDVR) — New research shows that your face mask could do more than just protect you from COVID-19.

With allergy season upon us, doctors say wearing a mask, which covers the nose and mouth, could help provide some relief for the 19.2 million American adults suffering from allergies.

“This is definitely the time where I’m having new patients come in — or some patients I haven’t seen in a couple years,” said Dr. Jessica Hui, a pediatric allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver.

Scientists collected data from 215 nurses using surgical or N95 masks during a two-week period.

At the end of that time, researchers revealed that among the 44 nurses who suffered from the most severe type of allergies, about 40% reported less sneezing and runny and stuffy noses while wearing masks, according to the September report, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

Among the 91 nurses with moderate symptoms, 30% improved when they wore a surgical mask and 40% saw improvement when wearing an N95. Among the 80 nurses with mild symptoms, about 54% saw improvement while wearing a surgical or N95 mask, the study found.

According to researchers, cloth masks can be effective, too, especially since some pollen is substantially larger than the coronavirus. Studies show masks can filter common allergens, making them easier to block, reported the New York Times.

“I would guess that it would help,” Hui said of cloth masks. “Obviously pollen, the sizes are different depending on what the allergen is. The N95 certainly will kind of block a lot of that versus cloth masks that still have openings on the sides.”

The New York Times also reported that wearing a mask helped the nurses with seasonal allergies more than those with year-round symptoms.

Masks, however, did not help alleviate itchy eyes, the report found.

Hui recommends that allergy sufferers who are out and about protect their eyes by wearing glasses or sunglasses to block allergens.

Another COVID-similar practice that helps with allergies is cleaning surfaces in your home. Giving your pets a bath after they’ve spent time outside is also suggested.

“You run outside and you’re working out and when you come back in, I would change your clothes, get in the shower,” Hui said. “You have still have some of that pollen in your nasal passages and on your clothes. Showering and changing out of that will definitely help.”

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/suffering-from-allergies-wear-a-mask/

Teen saves boy from 800 miles away after seeing ATV crash via TikTok

GILMANTON, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire teen has been credited with saving a boy more than 800 miles (1,290 kilometers) away — thanks to TikTok.

Caden Cotnoir, 13, was watching a TikTok livestream of Trent Jarrett, 12, riding a four-wheeler in West Virginia, when something went awry, WMUR-TV reported.

“All of a sudden his phone goes kind of blank, you can see a little bit of light and you can just hear him yelling for help,” Caden said.

Caden said he could hear Trent yelling out numbers.

“I was yelling out my grandparent’s house phone number,” Trent said, adding it was the only number he could remember.

Caden made a virtual call for help and Trent’s parents managed to find him and lift the ATV off him. After being trapped for about 20 minutes, he sustained minor cuts and bruises.

“He did was he was supposed to do and got the right people and it worked out. It was an Easter miracle,” Caden’s stepfather, Gilmanton Police Chief Matt Currier, said of him.

Caden had followed Trent because of the boys’ shared interests, including hunting and fishing, the station reported. The two met via Zoom on Monday, and Trent said he’d like to thank Caden for everything he did.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/teen-saves-boy-from-800-miles-away-after-seeing-atv-crash-via-tiktok/

Black-owned California beachfront seized 100 years ago could be returned to owners’ descendants

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County plans to return prime beachfront property to descendants of a Black couple who built a seaside resort for African Americans but suffered racist harassment and were stripped of it by local city leaders a century ago, a county official said Friday.

“It is the county’s intention to return this property,” Janice Hahn, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, told a news conference at what was known as Bruce’s Beach in the city of Manhattan Beach.


The decision in Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, comes at a time of national reckoning on race and discussions at the local, state and federal levels over reparations.

It comes after multiple property transfers over the decades. Today, a county lifeguard training headquarters building sits on the property along some of the most coveted coastline in Southern California.

The property encompasses two parcels purchased in 1912 by Willa and Charles Bruce, who built the first West Coast resort for Black people at a time when segregation barred them from many beaches. They built a lodge, café, dance hall and dressing tents with bathing suits for rent. Initially it was known as Bruce’s Lodge.

“Bruce’s Beach became a place where Black families traveled from far and wide to be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of a day at the beach,” Hahn said.

It did not last long.

The Bruces and their customers were harassed by white neighbors and the Ku Klux Klan attempted to burn it down. The Manhattan Beach City Council finally used eminent domain to take the land away from the Bruces in the 1920s, purportedly for use as a park.

“The Bruces had their California dream stolen from them,” Hahn said. “And this was an injustice inflicted not just upon Willa and Charles Bruce but generations of their descendants who almost certainly would have been millionaires if they had been able to keep this property and their successful business.”

After lying unused for years, the land was transferred to the state of California in 1948 and in 1995 it was transferred to Los Angeles County for beach operations and maintenance.

The last transfer came with restrictions that limit the ability to sell or transfer the property and can only be lifted through a new state law, Hahn said.

State Sen. Steven Bradford said that on Monday he will introduce legislation, SB 796, that would exempt the land from those restrictions.

“After so many years we will right this injustice,” he said.

If the law passes, the transfer to the descendants would have to be approved by the county’s five-member Board of Supervisors, said Liz Odendahl, Hahn’s director of communications.

Manhattan Beach is now a tony city of about 35,000 people on the south shore of Santa Monica Bay. Its picturesque pier juts into swells prized by surfers, and luxury residences have replaced many of the beach houses along an oceanfront walk called The Strand. According to Census data, its population is 78% white and 0.5% Black.

The current City Council this week formally acknowledged and condemned city leaders’ efforts in the early 20th century to displace the Bruces and several other Black families, but stopped short of formally apologizing, Southern California News Group reported.

“We offer this Acknowledgement and Condemnation as a foundational act for Manhattan Beach’s next one hundred years,” a document approved by the council says, “and the actions we will take together, to the best of our abilities, in deeds and in words, to reject prejudice and hate and promote respect and inclusion.”

A hill rising steeply behind the beachfront property has a beach parking lot and above that is an ocean-view city park that was renamed Bruce’s Beach in 2006.

The lot and park were not part of the Bruces’ property and would not be part of a transfer to the family, Odendahl said.

The value of the property has not been assessed, she said.

A return of the land could include an option for the Bruce descendants to lease the land back to the county for continued use.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/california/black-owned-california-beachfront-seized-100-years-ago-could-be-returned-to-owners-descendants/

Taking this step after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine makes a difference, CDC says

(KTVX) — Millions of vaccine shots have been given across the U.S., and as that number grows, there is the potential for researchers to learn more about how the vaccine affects people’s health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently tracking any side effects of receiving the vaccine through a tool called v-safe.

No, COVID-19 vaccine patients are not being injected with a microchip

V-safe is a tool that can be accessed using a smartphone and allows users to track their health after getting the vaccine and communicate any side effects to the CDC. Anyone who has been vaccinated within the last six weeks can participate, according to CDC.

(Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star via AP)

“Once you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you can enroll in v-safe. You just use your smartphone and those places that are administering the vaccination will give you a handout to tell you how to do that,” Kayla Rypien, Early Childhood Coordinator Utah Immunization Program, explains.

“Participation is voluntary. You can opt out at any time, but what this does is you receive text messages from them in the afternoon, and they will ask you how you’re feeling. And there’s just a few pretty easy questions that you answer.”

The app sends text messages and web surveys to check in with the user’s health following the vaccine. Users can inform the CDC about any side effects they may experience after the vaccine, and depending on the side effects, they may receive a call from CDC personnel checking on them and to gather more information.

V-safe will also send users a reminder to get the second COVID-19 vaccine dose. The app is not for rescheduling, scheduling, or canceling vaccine appointments, CDC says.

What should and shouldn’t I do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

According to Rypien, if any questions arise from side effects that people experience, the app will immediately alert VAERS, which stands for Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, and is run by the FDA and CDC. She says v-safe is a faster way of getting reports of adverse events to them.

“A VAERS customer service representative will contact the person and decide if a VAERS report needs to be filled out for the adverse event. So it’s just a faster way of alerting them. Anybody can report a vaccine adverse event through VAERS, but it’s a faster way of alerting VAERS because not everybody knows to do that,” she says.

A CDC handout about the online tool says that participation in v-safe helps keep COVID-19 vaccines safe. Rypien says that after people receive the vaccine, if they don’t receive any information about v-safe, they should ask. They may be provided with a QR scanner so they can just bring v-safe up on their phone.

Health officials track safety as COVID-19 vaccines roll out

The handout states that text messages from v-safe begin arriving around 2 p.m. To opt-out, text “STOP” and to opt back in, text “START.” V-safe will send a text message every day to ask how you are doing throughout the first week following the vaccine.

Check-in messages will continue once a week for up to five weeks afterward. Questions take less than five minutes to answer. After participants receive the second dose of the vaccine, they will be prompted to begin a new check-in process to monitor side effects from the second dose. Participants can also expect to receive check-ins at the three, six, and 12-month marks following the vaccine.

Rypien says vaccine recipients have to wait 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine anyway, so that is a great time to fill out information for the app.

All personal information is protected and will be kept confidential, the handout states. Visit cdc.gov to learn how to register for v-safe.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/health/coronavirus/taking-this-step-after-receiving-the-covid-19-vaccine-makes-a-difference-cdc-says/

The ‘Great Reshuffling’? 11% of Americans say they moved in 2020, survey finds

(NEXSTAR) – In what some are calling the “Great Reshuffling,” 11 percent of Americans moved in 2020 as the pandemic continued raging across the world, a new survey reports.

The survey, conducted by real estate site Zillow, reported that 75 percent of respondents moved for “positive reasons,” including being closer to family or friends or moving to an area they’ve always wanted to live.

The advent of telework, which was greatly expanded during the pandemic, likely made it easier for people to move to their dream destinations, untethered by the location of their brick-and-mortar office buildings.

The most popular destinations included Phoenix, Arizona, Charlotte, North Carolina and Austin, Texas, all of which saw the highest net inbound moves in the first 11 months of 2020.

Zillow believes movers sought “relative affordability” and “warmer weather.”

The locations with the highest outbound moves include some of the nation’s largest and most expensive housing markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago, according to northAmerican Van Lines.

“The pandemic brought an acceleration of trends we were seeing in 2018 and 2019,” said Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker in a statement.

“More affordable, medium-sized metro areas across the Sun Belt saw significantly more people coming than going, especially from more expensive, larger cities farther north and on the coasts. The pandemic has catalyzed purchases by millennial first-time buyers, many of whom can now work from anywhere.” 

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/real-estate/the-great-reshuffling-11-of-americans-say-they-moved-in-2020-survey-finds/

Watch: Thief on motorcycle rips necklace off woman in middle of Manhattan crosswalk

NEW YORK CITY (WPIX) — A thief on the back of a motorcycle snatched a chain off a woman’s neck during a drive-by robbery on a Manhattan street on Saturday, police said.

The incident was caught on video, which the NYPD released Sunday morning. 

Police said two suspects drove by the 73-year-old victim as she crossed a street in Washington Heights just after 1 p.m. As they passed her in the crosswalk, the suspect on the back of the motorcycle reached out and ripped the chain off the woman’s neck, the video shows.


The suspects then drove north, police said.

The victim suffered minor injuries and refused medical attention at the scene, according to the NYPD. NYPD Crime Stoppers offered a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/national/watch-thief-on-motorcycle-rips-necklace-off-woman-in-middle-of-manhattan-crosswalk/

Where are masks required? Interactive map helps you find out

(KTVX) — An interactive map can now help you find which businesses are requiring masks as states begin dropping their mask mandates.

Many businesses and municipalities are still permitted to enact their own mask requirements. As these mandates come to an end, it can be hard to know which stores, restaurants and venues are still requiring masks.

According to its website, The Mask Map “was born from an idea that people have a choice and can influence society with their voices.”

Developers say it is based on reviews.

“When we purchase a product, we look at Amazon reviews. When we select a restaurant, we look at Yelp reviews. These reviews are based on what is really happening – not what the marketing team is telling us,” says the site.

Described as the “Yelp For Public Health,” The Mask Map was started in July 2020 and is a “simple crowdsourced map for consumers to share their experience of mask policies and decide where to spend their money.”

The interactive map, which you can view here, allows users to mark whether or not a business is requiring customers to mask up. Once users mark the mask requirements of a location, an icon will appear with each business, showing either a blue face without a mask or an orange face with a mask.

You can also search a location via a search bar at the top of the page.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/health/coronavirus/where-are-masks-required-interactive-map-helps-you-find-out/

Disneyland reopens: What to know before you go

Fans eager and excited to visit Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park lined up for hours to enter the theme parks Friday morning as they reopened for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented 13-month closure.

But with capacity limited and currently restricted to in-state visitors only, guests will no longer simply be able to go to the ticket booth and buy admission on the day of their visit. Gone too are the days where annual passport holders can simply show up, cards in hand, and be scanned in at the gates — that program was sunsetted during the shutdown.

The coronavirus has changed many things in the past year, and the protocol for going to Disneyland will be no exception. From new requirements to a reservation system, fans will be navigating some changes as the theme park brings back the magic.

Entrance requirements:

There are three requirements to enter the “Happiest Place on Earth”:

  • A ticket and a reservation: A ticket alone will no longer guarantee guests admission to the Anaheim theme parks. In advance of its reopening, Disney announced that it would be switching to a reservation-based system, whereby guests sill have to purchase a ticket and specify the date they will be visiting. The system was a source of frustration for many trying to get one when Disneyland first began selling tickets online two weeks ago, with some reporting online wait times of five hours or more as soon when the system opened April 15 at 8 a.m. due to overwhelming demand.
  • California residency: The popular tourist destination is only allowing in residents of the Golden State, at least to start. For now, a proof of residency is required to purchase a ticket and make a reservation.
  • No isolation or quarantine orders: People who are under isolation or quarantine orders as a result of a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure to the virus will not be allowed into the theme park, according to Disney.


The reservation system

Disney opened up its online reservation system on April 12 to those who bought tickets prior to the pandemic-related closure, and then on April 15 to the general public.

Ticket costs have not changed since the theme park expanded its tiered pricing to five levels shortly before the shutdown started, and range from $104 to the $154 to visit a single park, depending on the day the guest picks. The park hopper option adds $55 to the total cost, and multi-day tickets can still be purchased.

Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance and are currently available for both May and June. As of Friday morning, some dates for both theme parks were completely sold out, while on others only California Adventure was available, according to the reservation calendar.

For those wanting to get into Disneyland over the next two months, the park hopper option had much more availability. One note about the park hopper tickets: unlike in years past, guests won’t be able to get into the second park until after 1 p.m.

“We highly recommend that you make your theme park reservation as soon as you complete your ticket purchase, as availability can change until the reservation is finalized,” Disney’s website says.

Other things to know

As has been the case since the Downtown Disney District reopened last summer, a slew of health and safety measures are in place at the Disneyland Resort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They include:

  • Mandatory masks for most: Those ages 2 and older are required to wear a facial covering, except when eating or drinking (or swimming at a pool at one of the resort’s hotel). In the case of dining, visitors have to be stationary and physically distance themselves from others outside their party.
  • Temperature screenings: Guests will have to undergo a temperature check prior to entering Downtown Disney and/or the theme parks. Because anyone with a temperature of 100.4 F or above will be denied entrance — as will everyone else in that person’s party — Disney recommends visitors do their own screenings at home as a precautionary measure.
  • Cashless transactions: While not a requirement, Disney advises guests use a cashless payment option, such as a debit, credit or gift card, to purchase food and merchandise. The Disneyland app features mobile ordering, a convenient option that allows people to pay online and pick up their food instead of waiting in line.

from KRON4 https://www.kron4.com/news/california/disneyland-reopens-what-to-know-before-you-go/

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