Back to school season amid COVID-19, Tropical Storm Elida, Serena Williams: 5 things to know Monday

Editors, USA TODAY
·4 min read

Back to school season is here

A college in Michigan, Lake Superior State, is among the first in the United States to test campus living amid the coronavirus pandemic with classes starting Monday. But with the pace of infections widely varying from one area to another across the U.S., schools and universities are reopening in different ways. In New York City, students will have to stay home for at least two days a week as the state cautiously reopens. Over on the West coast, however, the Los Angeles Unified School District is completely online. But safe schooling is easier said than done. In Georgia, in-person instruction had to be suspended after an outbreak hit Cherokee County School District.

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Tropical Storm Elida forecast to become a hurricane

A named tropical storm has formed off the western coast of Mexico and is forecast to become a hurricane on Monday before dissipating without threat to any land. Tropical Storm Elida, which had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph on Sunday, is forecast to weaken late Tuesday or Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Although the system doesn't pose any danger to land, Elida may create rough seas and stronger rip currents, which could be a threat for cargo ships and beaches in Mexico. Elida follows a pair of much stronger hurricanes, Hanna and Isaias, foreshadowing an active season, forecasters said.

Serena Williams heads back to the tennis court

Serena Williams will be flexing her tennis muscles Monday for the first time in six months at the inaugural Top Seed Open near Lexington, Kentucky. The recently added hard court tournament serves as a tune-up for this month’s U.S. Open in New York. The Women's Tennis Association's first event in the U.S. since March features a spectator-free field that includes sister Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner herself, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and rising star Coco Gauff. Serena Williams, who is ranked No. 9, is competing for the first time since playing for the U.S. in the Fed Cup in February. The pandemic quickly shut everything down the next month, forcing an extended layoff.

A year after Jeffrey Epstein's death, more light shed on his life, crimes and fortune

It's been one year since Jeffrey Epstein's death in a jail suicide. The multimillionaire financier and convicted sex offender was being held without bail pending trial on child sex-trafficking charges. He was arrested in 2019 over the alleged sexual abuse of dozens of young girls in his Upper East Side townhouse and his waterfront mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, between 2002 and 2005. He pleaded not guilty and faced up to 45 years in prison. In the wake of his death, more light has been shed on his life, crimes and fortune­– most notably culminating in the arrest of his ex-girlfriend and longtime associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, in July 2020. She was denied bail and is currently in prison facing multiple charges related to the sexual abuse of young women and girls by Epstein.

'American Idol' goes remote for nationwide search during pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic won't allow "American Idol" to conduct its traditional in-person auditions in cities around the country, so it will use technology to provide opportunity for singing hopefuls. Starting Monday, the long-running singing competition will host a "live virtual audition tour" with singers from Delaware, Florida and Ohio. The show, which had a 15-season run on Fox before moving to ABC, has previously hit the road to find contestants, visiting a group of big cities each season to hold auditions. The virtual tour runs through Sept. 9, with groups of states assigned specific dates.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19, Tropical Storm Elida, Serena Williams: 5 things to know Monday