Tanya Ballard Brown

Updated May 14

After weeks of stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, many states are looking at loosening restrictions and allowing some businesses, beaches and other places to reopen.

If your state reopens, are you planning to resume your old routine? Will you go back to work, socialize with friends, eat at a restaurant, or allow your child to get together with other kids? How will you decide?

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Comedian Dana Jay Bein never thought a little ditty that popped into his head after a cough and a throat tickle would catch on.

Bein, a native of western Massachusetts and longtime stand-up comedy instructor at ImprovBoston, says he was sitting on his sofa when he thought up the lyrics to what became "Coronavirus Rhapsody," a riff off the Queen hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Experts have said that testing is essential to controlling the coronavirus pandemic. Tell us here about your experiences trying to access testing for the coronavirus. We'll use some of your comments for a story on our website and may call you for an interview to air on the radio.

Schools, businesses, sports arenas, restaurants and entertainment venues are closing as the coronavirus spreads across the United States. Social distancing is strongly encouraged.

As you're working from home or under quarantine, what are you doing to cope and entertain yourself and/or your family?

A man killed earlier this year when he helped stop a shooter at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte is now part of the Star Wars universe.

Songwriter Allee Willis, whose credits include the theme for the show Friends, and Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" and "September," died Tuesday. She was 72.

Willis' long career included a Grammy win and nominations for an Emmy and a Tony. In 2018, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

I'm a longtime Prince fan. I would listen to his raunchy songs with the sound turned down low so my parents couldn't hear, because even before I understood a lot of the double entendre in his lyrics, I sensed they — and he — were naughty. And, of course, my parents confirmed.

Once while driving in the car with my mom, Erotic City started playing on the radio. She reached over, snapped the radio off and said, "That Prince is just nasty." And he was nasty. In a good way.

Like a lot of young women her age, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson had a date Friday night — but unlike many of her peers, Jefferson's date was with her 8-year-old nephew. They were enjoying a heated video game that went into the early hours of Saturday when police arrived at the house Jefferson shared with her mother.

Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET

A federal appeals court has granted President Trump a temporary stay of decision, and he will not have to turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney.

Earlier on Monday, a federal judge in New York ruled that Trump's longtime accounting firm must turn over eight years of tax returns as part of a criminal probe of his business dealings. The president's personal attorneys immediately filed a notice of appeal.

Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger took the stand on Friday, testifying that she was "scared to death" when she fatally shot her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment last year. She has said she entered Botham Jean's apartment — which was directly above hers — by mistake.

Guyger, 31, is charged with murder in the death of 26-year-old Botham Jean, a Dallas accountant and native of St. Lucia. It is the first time she has spoken publicly about the shooting. On Friday, she broke down in tears several times as she gave her version of what happened on Sept. 6, 2018.

Updated 8:35 p.m. ET

A California businessman was sentenced on Tuesday to four months in prison, and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service and pay a fine of $95,000 for his role in the multimillion-dollar college admissions fraud scheme.

Devin Sloane, 53, admits that he paid $250,000 to get his son into the University of Southern California as a fake water polo recruit. He is one of 15 parents who have pleaded guilty in the bribery scandal that FBI investigators call Operation Varsity Blues.

It has been a week since the disturbing discovery of thousands of fetal remains at the home of a former abortion provider, and authorities still don't know why he kept them.

Ulrich Klopfer had performed abortions at three clinics in Indiana but lived across the state line in Illinois.

General Motors workers made big concessions to help pull the automaker out of its 2009 bankruptcy. Now, the company is making record profits.

But, the Warren Transmission plant in Michigan shut its doors at the tail end of June, and most of the workers have been placed at other plants. It's a ghost factory.

Jury selection is set to begin Friday for the white former Dallas police officer who shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment last year. Amber Guyger said she entered the apartment by mistake and thought 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean was a burglar.

Police officers involved in a shooting that left a 31-year-old Minneapolis man dead on June 23 won't face charges, the district attorney announced on Monday.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said on Friday he would not resign and instead demanded an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

In the lead-up to Independence Day, Oregon state Rep. Janelle Bynum — a black woman — was out canvassing her constituents in Clackamas, as she is up for re-election this fall.

But according to Bynum, her door-to-door stops raised alarm bells for someone, who called the police.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET Thursday

British police say two people in their 40s are in critical condition after being contaminated by the same deadly nerve agent used to attack a former Russian spy there in March. They both became sick on Saturday in Amesbury, England.

In response to a federal court order, the Trump administration announced a new policy with regard to migrant families on Friday. The administration will now hold families together for longer than 20 days.

Luis Posada Carriles, a militant and former CIA operative who was lauded by many in the Cuban exile community for his efforts to overthrow Fidel Castro, has died, according to The Associated Press. He was 90.

"An extraordinary life has ended," Arturo Hernandez, a lawyer for the hardline exile, told the AP. "It's a very sad morning for me, to say farewell to such a great man."

Others were less admiring.

Next week, Bill Cosby goes to court again to face three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand more than a decade ago.

Last June, a jury couldn't decide whether to convict or acquit the 80-year-old celebrity on these allegations, resulting in a mistrial.

Now, there's a new jury, new defense attorneys and, with the #metoo movement, a new era of accountability for sexual assault. If found guilty, Cosby faces up to 10 years behind bars for each count.

Chicago saw fewer murders and shootings in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same time period in 2017, according to new stats released by police officials.

The Chicago Police Department's crime numbers show a "22 percent reduction in murders and a 25 percent reduction in shootings compared to the same period in 2017," a statement from the department said. Citywide, crime is down 15 percent so far this year.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

New York City is one step closer, as part of a larger plan, to shutting the doors on the Rikers Island jail complex. On Wednesday, city officials announced an agreement to start a public review process of proposed sites for smaller jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

"This agreement marks a huge step forward on our path to closing Rikers Island," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "In partnership with the City Council, we can now move ahead with creating a borough-based jail system that's smaller, safer and fairer."

As the year draws to a close and the news cycle continues to reset every day, let's pause and revisit some of the most important news events from 2017.


The Inauguration

If you've been convicted of marijuana-related crimes in California, you might be able to have your record wiped clean or the charges greatly reduced under a provision in the state's new marijuana law, Prop 64. More than 4,000 people have already petitioned the courts about their records and sentencing.

The police response to the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 followed protocol, but more training and better coordination are needed moving forward, according to a new 200-page review from the Justice Department and the Police Foundation.

As investigations continue into the terrorist truck attack in New York City that left at least eight people dead and several more injured on Tuesday, officials are shoring up security for Sunday's kickoff of the New York City Marathon.

With more than 51,000 runners expected, the annual 26.2-mile race is one of the largest in the world. As many as 2.5 million spectators could be along the race route.

Two weeks ago he locked arms and knelt with his players before the national anthem, then stood with them as it played. Now, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says players who "disrespect the flag," won't take the field.

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