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The Coldest Winter Ever: Death toll climbs in Midwest

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A total of six deaths have been reported in connection to the polar vortex since making landfall on Wednesday.

According to USA Today, the reports include a man killed by a snow plow in the Chicago area, a young couple who passed away after a deadly accident on a snow-covered road in northern Indiana and in Milwaukee, and a man who froze to death in the garbage.

A high percentage of flights around in the region have been delayed or canceled, with over 1,000 flights at Chicago airports.

Homeless shelters and warming centers are at capacity across the region. Chicago officials have added 500 shelter beds and brought in more than 100 religious leaders to make daily to check on senior citizens. Five Chicago Transit Authority buses were reportedly dispatched to provide homeless people a place to warm up who may not have access to a shelter.

“Everyone of us has a role to check on somebody who is maybe a neighbor on the block who is elderly, infirm or needs extra help,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The mayor has also instructed the department Commissioner Judy Frydland to use her authority to “restore heat in buildings where landlords are failing to do their jobs,” Emanuel said in a press release on Wednesday.

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged In Prostitution bust with possible ties to Human Trafficking

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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been reportedly charged with solicitation of prostitution in connection to an ongoing human trafficking investigation, according to multiple news sources.

A police report was released in Florida at a news conference early Friday morning.

The NFL coach is currently facing two counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution.

The alarming human trafficking case shockingly involves solicitation of sex at a massage parlor, local authorities reveal. The age of the victims is unknown at this time.

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The arrest follows the Patriots recent defeat against the Los Angeles Rams, snagging their sixth Super Bowl title.

This is a developing story.

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Bernie Sanders announces President Bid for 2019 Election

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose insurgent 2016 presidential campaign reshaped Democratic politics, announced Tuesday he is running for president in 2020.

The 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist challenged Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary in 2016. He told Vermont Public Radio on Tuesday that he planned to again seek the nomination.

“Our campaign is not only about defeating Donald Trump,” the 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist said in an email to supporters. “Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”

Sanders has earned a loyal following with his passionate defense of liberal proposals, including free college tuition and single-payer health care. But he will face off against several other Democratic candidates who also want to appeal to the party’s base.

Still, Sanders’s name recognition, fundraising prowess and passion for liberal policies makes him a top-tier 2020 presidential contender. He won more than 13 million votes in 2016, and opens his campaign with a nationwide organization and a proven small-dollar fundraising effort.

Sanders was asked Tuesday on CBS whether he believes the Democratic Party has come his way.

“I don’t want to say that. Most people would say that,” he said.

“You know what’s happened in over three years? All of these ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream,” said Sanders.

The question now for Sanders is whether he can stand out in a crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates who also embrace many of his policy ideas and are newer to the national political stage. That’s far different from 2016, when he was Clinton’s lone progressive adversary.

“We’re gonna win,” Sanders told CBS.

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Five hospitalized after shootout in New Orleans raise concerns ahead of Mardi Gras

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REUTERS/Sean Gardner

Five people were reportedly injured following a shootout in downtown New Orleans Sunday night (Feb. 17), according to New Orleans police department.

The multi-victim shooting included five people who were shot near the intersection of Canal Street and Elk Place. The victims were transported to University Medical Center in critical condition, WWL reports.

NOPD Chief Shaun Ferguson later revealed the number rose to six people, adding the gunman to the list. The outlet also reports, four of the shooting victims were listed in stable condition and one in critical condition.

According to local officers, the suspect is believed to be involved with two armed robberies just last week. The suspect pulled out a gun and started firing at officers attempted to question him. An officer and detective returned fire, resulting in a deadly shootout involving five innocent bystanders who were struck at a bus stop nearby.

NOPD’s initial report said that is when officers returned fire, striking the suspect. The suspect later died from wounds sustained during the gunfire.

With Mardi Gras quickly approaching, New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell acknowledged the concerns people may have, but reassured visitors that New Orleans police are “the worlds best,” when it comes to crowd control and managing major events.

“We’re going to do what we do best, in terms of hosting these large-scale events,” Cantrell said in a statement. “So we’re prepared, but these things do happen and we are going to do everything we can possible to prevent them from happening in the future.”

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