News Fix: CDC warns of US coronavirus outbreak; sources say first soldier diagnosed in South Korea

CHICAGO (WLS) -- ABC7's Terrell Brown has your top stories for Wednesday, February 26.

TOP STORY: Ash Wednesday marks start of Lent season

Ash Wednesday is the start of Lenten season for Christians.

Lent is a six week period of reflection, prayer and fasting leading up to Easter.

Local churches held palm burning ceremonies Tuesday in preparation for the day. Ashes from those palms will be used to mark the sign of the cross on believers' foreheads.

For commuters who can't make it to church, you can receive ashes at O'Hare and Midway airports as well as certain CTA stops throughout the day.

TOP STORY: CDC warns of coronavirus outbreak in US; first U.S. soldier diagnosed

The CDC said there's a strong chance of a serious coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

President Donald Trump said he'll discuss the coronavirus threat at a White House news conference Wednesday evening, a day after he sought to minimize fears of the virus spreading widely across the U.S.

In Europe, where Germany, France and Spain were among the places with a growing caseload, an expanding cluster of more than 200 cases in northern Italy was eyed as a source for transmissions.

Health officials said communities should get ready to take drastic measures to control the outbreak including closing schools and stores.

Experts said people should make sure they keep essentials, like medications, on hand in case pharmacies are forced to close.

In South Korea, workers sanitized public buses, while in China, banks disinfected banknotes using ultraviolet rays. China, by far, still has the most cases and deaths from the illness, though its daily increase in cases has slowed recently.

TOP STORY: Hot Pockets heir sentenced to 5 months for college admissions scandal

An heir to the Hot Pockets fortune was sentenced to five months in prison Tuesday for trying to cheat and bribe her daughters' way into school as part of a nationwide college admissions scam.

Michelle Janavs, whose father and uncle invented the microwaveable Hot Pockets turnovers before selling their company, showed no emotion as the judge delivered his sentence after she apologized for abandoning her moral compass and hurting her family and friends.

The judge told Janavs that prison time was needed to deter others who might have the gall to use their wealth to break the law and dismissed her argument that her actions were motivated by a love for her children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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