Sexual harassment, a warehouse fire and the Bubonic plague



Know: A five-alarm fire broke out in a warehouse in the Botanical Heights neighborhood in downtown St. Louis, Nov. 15.

Inform: The fire started small in the basement of the Park Warehouse Service near 39th Street and Park Avenue at about 10:15. a.m., Nov. 15. Just west of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, the warehouse created thick black smoke that lasted from Wednesday morning to Thursday, Nov. 16. At least 80 firefighters battled the flames. Cara Papavramides, a worker in the building, was on the phone inside when she noticed a burning electrical smell and screamed to those around her to exit the building. The ambulance rushed four people out, including two firefighters to the hospital for smoke inhalation. While doctors treated and released first responders, the fire destroyed hundreds of children’s toys donated to patients at Shriner’s Hospital.

Care: After losing toys that were lost in the fire, Shriner’s Hospital for Children hosted a toy drive for people to donate toys, Nov. 18. The last couple weeks EHS hosted its annual canned food drive and collected over 50,000 cans, beating the nine year record. The cans all went to the Circle of Concern to feed homeless people. Best Buddies also hosted the eighth annual coat drive and collected 128 coats to give to families within Rockwood, Nov. 17. The donations of food and coats going to families in the St. Louis area will provide comfort through the holiday season.


Know: Eight women accused talk show host, Charlie Rose of sexual harassment, Nov. 20. Other women also accused Senator Al Franken of sexual harassment, Nov. 17.

Inform: Rose allegedly made unwanted sexual advances towards women who worked for his show, aged from 21 to 37. These advances included lewd phone calls, walking around nude in their presence and groping their breasts, buttocks and or genitalia. One striking commonalty in the women’s stories was their fear of Rose’s power in the industry, his bad temper and his control over their careers. In response to the allegations, Rose apologized publicly to these women about his behavior. When one of Rose’s assistants came forward in the mid 2000s about misconduct to Yvette Vega, Rose’s long-time executive producer. She then shrugged to say “That’s just Charlie being Charlie.” In response, Vega said that she failed by not standing up for the women. Leeann Tweeden, a morning news anchor on TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, posted her story alleging how Franken groped and forcibly kissed her without consent during an overseas USO tour in December of 2006, two years before he was elected into office. One particular part of the post shows a picture of Franken attempting to grab her breasts while she’s asleep. While Congress is leaving the accusations to a committee investigation, Franken has apologized that he didn’t remember the forced kissing, but that he shouldn’t have behaved the way he did in the photo.

Care: The many cases of exploitation have led Congress to conduct a review of its policy for addressing complaints of sexual harassment. The House held a hearing in which two female lawmakers accused male lawmakers of sexual misconduct, Nov. 14. Now changes and new training will be done on Capitol Hill to prevent these instances from occurring. Eradicating this culture of exploitation and predatory behavior is the issue of current culture. With all of these cases being reported, these predators are setting the example for young adults. Bringing the accusations to light will address the crimes that were made, hopefully bringing justice to the situations as well. When the president of the U.S. is able to make the same remarks as these men, the culture of exploitation is promoted as tolerable.


Know: The bubonic plague swept over Madagascar, infecting 2,119 people, Nov. 15.

Inform: The World Health Organization saw the first outbreak of the plague, Aug. 1. The Ministry of Health of Madagascar reported a total of 171 deaths, a fatality rate of eight percent, Nov. 10. Although the bubonic plague is a contagious disease that can be treated with antibiotics and is not something new, the fast spreading of the plague has been turning it into a more serious form. Since the plague isn’t being immediately treated, the bacterium is traveling to people’s lungs, causing pneumonic plague, which spreads more quickly and is more fatal. In just over three months, Madagascar has seen six times more cases and deaths than the previous two years that consisted of 300 cases per year. Healthcare for those affected is declining with only about a dozen people currently hospitalized for the plague. So far, the disease remains in Madagascar and travelers that are leaving the airport are being screened for fever or plague symptoms so that other nations aren’t impacted by the deadly disease.

Care: WHO is cautioning travelers and other countries about the conditions and precautions being taken to end the spread of the plague from Madagascar. Knowing the proper antibiotics and medical care needed in order to combat the fatal diseases can hopefully prevent the spread of more contagious diseases such as ebola. Informing everyone about these diseases and how they are rapidly spreading is the first step to battling them. No one lives in a world where diseases remain in one specific location. There will always be a risk of the bubonic plague spreading, which is why it is important to be prepared.