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March 18, 2020 GMT

DIEHARDS TRY TO DYE CHICAGO RIVER

CHICAGO (AP) — Concerns over the new coronavirus kept the Chicago River from going green for St. Patrick’s Day -- mostly. The city of Chicago scrapped the nearly 60-year-old tradition of dyeing the river green in order to keep crowds away. One or more diehards tried to turn at least part of it green anyway. WTTW-TV reports a portion of the river was turned green by someone, but it’s not clear what substance was used.

SPREADING BIRTHDAY CARD LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS

NEW YORK (AP) — Mona Helgeland’s children are self-quarantined in their Norway home because of the coronavirus and their birthdays are coming up, meaning they will miss the celebration. That’s changing because dozens of people across the world responded to her request on Facebook groups asking people to send them greeting cards. Non-stop global news of the effects of the virus is dominating people’s attention but as Helgeland is finding out, there are people sacrificing for others, performing random acts of kindness and in this case, brightening the day of two teenagers. They have received dozens of cards from across the world - from Alaska to South Africa.

BIKES VS VIRUS: BOGOTA EXPANDS PATHS IN NOVEL STRATEGY

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Wash your hands. Try to stay home. But if you have to go out - consider taking a bike. That’s the message the mayor of one of Latin America’s most populous cities is sending residents in a novel bid to halt the spread of the new coronavirus. Bogota, Colombia, opened nearly 72 miles (117 kilometers) of new bike routes this week in hopes of reducing congestion — and person-to-person contact — on the perpetually clogged TransMilenio bus system. Mayor Claudia López says the city is facing a “triple threat” of bad air quality, seasonal respiratory illnesses and now the coronavirus.