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Coronavirus: Photo appearing to show lineup outside Costco in London, Ont., raises concerns

A photo that appears to show a long lineup outside a Costco in London, Ont., has raised concerns on social media over social distancing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus: B.C. closes all provincial parks ahead of Easter long weekend

All provincial parks in B.C. have been closed ahead of the Easter long weekend in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.


Nova Scotia sees another record spike in coronavirus cases

Nova Scotia announced 32 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 342.


BalanceBleu serves free meals to Lexington service industry

BY KRISTINA ROSEN

If anyone deserves discounted or free meals amidst the temporary restaurant shutdowns and in-person dining suspensions it’s service industry workers.

Many campaigns have been launched in Lexington to help support these individuals including The Restaurant Relief Program which provides furloughed service industry workers with free meals.

BalanceBleu, a Lexington based meal prep company, has followed that notion by offering their packaged meals for half priced or free to folks in the service industry who have been laid off or received a cut in their hours and/or pay.

“I’ve worked in the industry for almost 30 years in the front of the house and back of the house. People don’t understand how hard restaurant employees work,” says Rebecca Shepherd-Smith, co-chef and dietary & nutrition director of BalanceBleu.

She continues, “It is not an easy job. It’s hard when all of a sudden they’re out of work and have come to live on those daily tips. As a server you don’t get a paycheck.”

With donations from Jake’s Cigar Bar, Manning Brothers Food Equipment Co., and many other private anonymous donors, Balance Bleu offered over 130 meals to furloughed service industry workers during the last week of March.

BalanceBleu, as the name would reveal, is known for providing healthy and tasty individually packaged balanced meals. Along with their discounted meals, BalanceBleu offers their regularly priced ready-to-eat packaged meals for $7 each.

“We have meals that are fresh, affordable and flavorful,” says Grant Wilson, co-chef and marketing & systems director. “We want to promote good health along with good food.”

Shepherd-Smith and Wilson make up the team behind BalanceBleu with Wilson bringing the creativity of meal combinations and Shepherd-Smith bringing the nutritional aspect.

The two started BalanceBleu in the commissary kitchen at Pasta Garage before recently relocating to the commissary kitchen at Southland Bagel, which also had its start in Pasta Garage’s kitchen before opening their own location.

BalanceBleu menu items change weekly while delivery happens throughout the week on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Right now they are only offering a delivery option. Orders must be placed on the prior day by 8 pm, and delivery is available for the entire Lexington area.

There’s a five week rotating menu with eight different items each week making a total of 40 different menu options. Right now, a limited menu is offered based on the availability of ingredients. Expect the menu to always have a frittata and muffin, a basic healthy option of salmon or chicken, a comfort food like meatloaf, and some type of fun bowl like taco or burrito.

To qualify for a discounted or free meal, send an email disclosing where you worked. There is no need to prove it with a pay stub because they haven’t felt the need to ask workers to do so yet. To order meals at the regular price, head to the BalanceBleu website to submit an order.

 

BalanceBleu is offering traditional Easter meals as part of their weekly rotating menu of ready-to eat packaged meals this week. A sampling of more Lexington area restaurants offering takeout, curbside, and heat & ready meals for Easter.

More information on the coronavirus impact on Lexington restaurant economy.

Subscribe to the Ace e-dition for Lexington news, arts, culture, food, and entertainment news delivered to your inbox.

Call today to advertise in Ace, 859.225.4889


Coronavirus: HMP Winchester families fear ‘death sentences’

The BBC has been told there has been at least one case of Covid-19 at the Category B prison.


County cricketers agree ‘support package’ to help first-class game

County players agree wage cuts and to be furloughed if asked, as part of a "support package" to help the first-class game.


Bernie Sanders drops out of the 2020 race, clearing Joe Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination

Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, clearing Joe Biden’s path to the Democratic nomination and a showdown with President Donald Trump in November.

Sanders made the announcement in a call with his campaign staff, his campaign said.

Sanders’ exit caps a stunning reversal of fortune following a strong performance in the first three states that voted in February. The nomination appeared his for the taking until, on the last day of February, Biden surged to a blowout victory in South Carolina that set off a consolidation of moderate voters around the former vice president. The contest ends now as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, which halted in-person campaigning for both Sanders and Biden and has led many states to delay their primary elections.

Visit CNN’s Election Center for full coverage of the 2020 race

Sanders’ departure from the race is a sharp blow to progressives, who rose up during and after the 2016 campaign and commanded the Democratic Party’s Trump era debates over issues like health care, climate change and the effects of growing economic inequality.

But even as his policies grew more popular over the years and into the primary season, the Vermont senator struggled to broaden his own support and galvanize a winning coalition. Now, as he did after leaving the 2016 primary, Sanders will seek to influence the presumptive nominee through the means he knows best — from the outside.

Biden has already made gestures toward Sanders’ populist base, which formed a movement over the past five years that could be critical to defeating Trump in the fall. Whether the former vice president will take the necessary steps to win over the holdouts, and the extent to which Sanders goes to make the case, will be a running subplot until Election Day.

The Sanders campaign held its final live public event on March 9, transitioning from packed, raucous rallies to an entirely digital operation. He communicated almost exclusively through virtual town halls and livestreams focused on the coronavirus crisis — and how his progressive agenda, headlined by “Medicare for All,” might have prevented it or helped cushion the blow.

In February, Sanders appeared poised to run away with the nomination after a strong performance in Iowa and victories in New Hampshire and Nevada, the latter by more than 25 percentage points, on the strength of his popularity with Latino voters, which had been courted relentlessly by his campaign.

But Sanders’ momentum was dashed in South Carolina. Biden routed the field and then cleared it. The anti-Sanders vote rallied around him and, even with Sanders’ win in California, put Biden in the driver’s seat on Super Tuesday.

The wind at his back, the former vice president duplicated the feat a week later, delivering the hammer blow in Michigan, a state Sanders won in 2016 and viewed as crucial to his prospects in 2020. A day earlier, public safety measures in response to the coronavirus effectively ended the campaign roadshow.

Sanders would return to Vermont, where he has spent most of his time since, while Biden set up headquarters at home in Delaware. The Sanders fundraising machine, the most successful grassroots donor effort in American political history, was over the last month repurposed into a feeder for public health groups.

This story is breaking and will be updated.


California nursing facility evacuated after staff no-shows

A skilled nursing facility in Southern California where nearly three dozen residents are infected with the coronavirus is being evacuated after staff members failed to show up to care for … Click to Continue »


Coronavirus: Pub shut down for ‘shamelessly’ serving

Members of the public had reported the pub was continuing to trade.


Grant program announced to encourage entrepreneurship

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $580,000 to help boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.

The grant to the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama will help support Alabama Launchpad, which encourages entrepreneurship and nurtures new businesses, according to the governor’s office.

“Innovation is alive and well in Alabama, and now more than ever as we work to rise above the coronavirus pandemic, we need every resource and program available to regain our footing,” Gov. Ivey said in a news release.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grant from the Alabama Research Alliance Trust Fund.


Feds sending 100 ventilators to Colorado, Trump says

President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Wednesday morning that the federal government will be sending 100 ventilators to Colorado.

Gov. Jared Polis has requested 10,000 ventilators be sent to Colorado and said Saturday that the state was set to purchase 500 before the Federal Emergency Management Administration swooped in and bought them first.

Trump tweeted that the federal government will be sending the 100 ventilators to Colorado “at the request of Senator (Cory) Gardner.” The Republican president and Republican senator from Yuma have grown close in recent months.

“I have been working with the state to get ventilators from FEMA,” Gardner told a constituent during a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday. The woman had asked why the federal government bought 500 ventilators out from under Colorado and what Gardner was doing to stop it.

“I talked to the vice president, the president as well, about this need and we’re going to continue to fight each and every moment for Colorado,” Gardner said.

Last week, Denver hospitals said they had enough ventilators to care for current patients but that the situation could change quickly if the city sees a surge of coronavirus sufferers. The hospitals have worked to increase ventilator supplies.

“It’s a racket. This is literally racketeering,” state Sen. Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, said of Trump’s announcement. “The White House is keeping 80% of the ventilators they stole from Colorado — and bestowing 20% of what they stole as a political favor.”


Charlotte Figi, 13-year-old Coloradan whose CBD journey inspired medical marijuana reform, dies of coronavirus

Charlotte Figi, the young Colorado Springs girl whose battle with Dravet syndrome inspired changes to medical marijuana laws, has died of complications from the coronavirus, according to a nonprofit organization co-founded by her mother. She was 13 years old.

Realm of Caring, the nonprofit that focuses on medical cannabis research and education, attributed Figi’s death to “COVID-19 complications” in a Facebook post. A message posted to the Facebook page of Charlotte’s mother, Paige Figi, on behalf of the Figi family says, “Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever.”

Neither El Paso County nor state health officials have publicly announced the death of a 13-year-old Coloradan due to COVID-19; Charlotte would be the youngest person to date to die in Colorado in connection with the coronavirus.

Charlotte was one of Colorado’s many medical marijuana refugees, whose family moved to the state following the legalization of cannabis. From the time she was an infant, she suffered from frequent and severe seizures because of Dravet syndrome, including many that required hospitalization. But at age 5, Paige Figi gave her cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis known more commonly as CBD, and Charlotte’s condition changed overnight.

“Charlotte slept soundly for the first time in years. She went seven days without a seizure. Over time, the seizures dropped from thousands a month to just a few. After not speaking for six months, she started talking again,” The Denver Post previously reported.

Charlotte’s journey was famously chronicled in a CNN documentary that inspired families like hers to try CBD, thrusting the relatively unknown cannabinoid into a national spotlight. The high-CBD strain of cannabis that helped changed her life was named Charlotte’s Web in her honor.

Research into CBD had been hampered by cannabis’ status as a Schedule I drug, but Charlotte’s story led many states to pass their own laws regarding CBD. Just recently, the Drug Enforcement Agency removed Epidiolex, the only CBD-derived medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration, from the scheduled substances list.

“What began as her story, became the shared story of hundreds of thousands, and the inspiration of many millions more in the journey of their betterment,” the Charlotte’s Web team wrote in a Facebook post eulogizing the young girl. “Charlotte was and will be, the heartbeat of our passion, and the conviction that the dignity and health of a human being is their right.”



Coronavirus: ‘Despicable’ men lick hands and wipe supermarket food

Police are searching for the pair after describing their actions as "flabbergasting".


Wildlife may turn up in unusual places because of increased human activity at open-space parks

Wildlife along the Front Range seems to be reacting to increased human activity at open-space parks and trails during the coronavirus quarantine by moving to places where there are fewer people, a state wildlife biologist says.

“Everything with wildlife is risk assessment, especially this urban wildlife,” said Shannon Schaller, a wildlife biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “They learn how to manage the risk, and if open space has five times the number of people they normally have, but the golf courses don’t, being on the golf course is a lot less risk and a lot more comfortable for them.

“I think that’s what we’re seeing, this shift in their ability to be comfortable and live around people but definitely adapting to what we’re doing differently right now.”

One local elk herd splits time between the Fossil Trace and Rolling Hills golf courses in the Golden area, although Fossil Trace head pro Jim Hajek says elk sightings there haven’t increased.

RELATED(ish): Pets on conference calls, napping on laptops, stealing socks and social distancing with us

“We have a herd of about 110 that will camp out here most of the winter,” Hajek said. “They are still here, but I would expect that we probably see them leave after this next cold spell that happens this weekend. Since the golf course was built, this is Candyland for them, so they have a tendency to hang out with us. As soon as we get to a certain temperature where it’s too warm down here, they head back over Sixth Avenue and back up into the hills. I would expect if it gets warm next week, this weekend probably will be the last time we see them until fall.”

Fossil Trace closed due to coronavirus on March 26 but will reopen Wednesday. Tee times are sold out through Saturday.

Spring is normally a time when there is a lot of wildlife movement because dormant vegetation is turning green. Wild animals that like to summer in the mountains come down in elevation because there’s still snowcover higher up.

“They’re coming out of the winter, they’re getting that much needed new growth and nutrient boost,” Schaller said. “You also have baby animals that are hitting the ground now. Then animals that eat other animals tend to prey on those babies. This is just an active time for wildlife.”

In recent years, wildlife biologists have noticed by following tracking collars that some elk herds are spending more time in the foothills or on the edges of the urban area than they have historically.

“Those elk which should be going up into the mountains and away from people this time of year as winter is alleviating and the snow is receding, they are actually staying in the foothills closer to people, even in town, year-round,” Schaller said. “A growing number of elk are starting to do that. They’ve just learned that life is easier on golf courses or around people for the most part.”

And that, combined with the crowds massing on open space lands, means you may be more likely to see elk in unusual places.

RELATED: Crowded trails force Jeffco Sheriff to step up enforcement of “physical distancing”

“I think it’s a combination of what we are seeing on the Front Range, which is a growing number of elk around people, but also this time of year when it’s greening up and our activity level is really high on some of the open spaces where they live,” Schaller said. “It’s an interesting year for all wildlife, even those bigger ones like elk.”

And like bears. This time of year, they are coming out of hibernation with hungry cubs to feed back at the den. Bears cubs typically are born in January.

“If it’s a sow, she still has little cubs, so she’s really going to be thinking about taking care of those guys until they’re out and about in, like, June,” Schaller said.

This time of year, bears like to eat aspen catkins, those fuzzy, cylindrical blooms on aspen trees that come out in the spring before leaves appear. They are blooming now around Front Range homes.

“That’s a really important food source for bears,” Schaller said.

So are serviceberries, chokecherries, huckleberries and raspberries, as well as oak brush.

“Where we have the most oak brush is where we have the most bears,” Schaller said. “We have quite a bit of it in Douglas County, so we tend to have higher concentrations of bears there.

RELATED(ish): Why people keep howling like wolves at 8 p.m. across Denver

“But also, unfortunately, you tend to have a lot of bears where you have available human food sources, whether that is trash or bird feeders or stuff like that. They are very much tied to what’s available to them in the wild. In a good food year for bears, when we have a lot of berries and acorns — when we don’t have a late (spring) frost and all that stuff comes on really well — that’s where you will find the bears, up in the hills eating that stuff. In a year when we have a frost and everything dies, you’re going to find them closer, in and around people.”

Either way, Schaller urges Front Range homeowners to take measures to make sure their yards don’t have treats that might attract bears.

“Even in a year when we have a frost, there is food in the wild for them,” Schaller said, “but they will go to the easy sources around homes if people don’t do their part by keeping attractants away from bears.”

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Jean Truchon, Quebecer who fought to expand medically assisted death, receives procedure

Jean Truchon's lawyers said he received medical aid in dying at a Montreal-area long-term care facility.


Essex lorry deaths: Driver Maurice Robinson admits manslaughter

Maurice Robinson was arrested after the bodies of 39 Vietnamese migrants were found in his lorry.


Fatal Crash on Hwy 97 – Klamath County (Photo)

On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at approximately 7:30 P.M., Oregon State Police Troopers and emergency personnel responded to a two vehicle crash on Hwy 97 near milepost 259.

Preliminary investigation revealed that a Nissan Versa, operated by Austin Wills (29) of Sacramento, CA. was southbound when it drifted into the northbound lanes and into the path of Perterbilt semi truck operated by Robert Hall (75) of Klamath Falls.  

Wills sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Hall was not injured.

Hwy 97 was closed for approximately 3 hours with being reduced to one lane for another hour.  

OSP was assisted by the Klamath Falls Sheriff's Office, Chiloquin Fire Department, and ODOT


Northumberland OPP locate body of missing Roseneath woman in bay in Trent Hills, Ont.

The body of Kristina Zupanc was found Monday night in the water near Burnt Point Bay close to Nappan Island in Trent Hills, Ont.


Olmsted Phase 2C

Project Page for Olmstead Phase 2C


Hamilton set to host virtual town hall on coronavirus

The town hall will be broadcast live on 900 CHML and streamed live on the City of Hamilton's YouTube channel on Wednesday evening.


Air Canada to apply for wage subsidy program to keep workers on payroll amid COVID-19 pandemic

Air Canada has cut roughly half its Canadian workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Alberta liquor, cannabis sales remain steady during coronavirus pandemic

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis says it hasn't seen much of a change in wholesale liquor or cannabis orders compared to previous years despite the new coronavirus pandemic.


Inmate escapes Baldwin County work release

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Corrections are looking for an inmate who escaped from Loxley CBF in Baldwin County.

ADOC is looking for Clifton Debales Lang. Lang was sentenced in 2006 for attempted burglary 1st.

Lang is a 57-year-old male with brown hair and hazel eyes. He is 5’7” and 169 pounds.

Lang was last seen wearing state issued white pants and shirt.

If you see the inmate or have information that may lead to his recapture, please contact ADOC at (800) 831-8825.


Inmate escapes Baldwin County work release

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Corrections are looking for an inmate who escaped from Loxley CBF in Baldwin County.

ADOC is looking for Clifton Debales Lang. Lang was sentenced in 2006 for attempted burglary 1st.

Lang is a 57-year-old male with brown hair and hazel eyes. He is 5’7” and 169 pounds.

Lang was last seen wearing state issued white pants and shirt.

If you see the inmate or have information that may lead to his recapture, please contact ADOC at (800) 831-8825.


Premiership Rugby ‘intend to complete season in full’

Premiership Rugby intend to complete the 2019-20 season in full but it will not resume until it is "safe to do so".


Premiership Rugby ‘intend to complete season in full’

Premiership Rugby intend to complete the 2019-20 season in full but it will not resume until it is "safe to do so".


Trudeau cringes at his own ‘speaking moistly’ tip for coronavirus masks

The PM instantly regretted a verbal blunder about masks during a coronavirus briefing, but some say he has a point about "moist" speakers.


Coronavirus timeline: An in-depth look at COVID-19 in Colorado

As the novel coronavirus has spread throughout Colorado it altered the life of every resident; from their jobs, to changes in childcare, to what restaurants they could order food from. The Denver Post continues to devote substantial resources to provide up to date coverage of the pandemic. This timeline walks through some of the major events related to the COVID-19 outbreak as reflected in The Post’s stories.

March 5

March 6

March 10

  • Gov. Jared Polis declares a state of emergency to give officials “access to resources and more legal flexibility to takes steps now to protect the most vulnerable and better contain the outbreak.”
  • The number of cases rises to 17 as hospitals say they will take extra precautions
  • Denver cancels St. Patrick’s Day parade
The Colorado Department of Public Health ...
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment operates the state’s first community testing center for COVID-19 in Denver on March 11, 2020.

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

March 15

  • Colorado public health officials warn of “extensive spread” in the high country as the case count climbs to 135
Julie Siekmeier (left) makes a to-go ...
AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post

Julie Siekmeier (left) makes a to-go order as employees of Denver Biscuit Company at Stanley Market Place in Aurora keep their distance on Monday, March 16, 2020. Gov. Jared Polis ordered bars and restaurants to halt dine-in service statewide, ramping up the state’s fight against coronavirus.

March 16

March 17

Seven-year-old Lenox Pineau, a 2nd grader ...
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Seven-year-old Lenox Pineau, a 2nd grader in Jeffco Public Schools, works on doing his first day of online learning in his room at his family’s home on March 17, 2020 in Lakewood. Jeffco Public Schools implemented a remote learning and work plan where teachers, students, and staff will educate and learn from home with online programs for an unknown period due to COVID-19.

March 18

March 19

Forklift Operator Don Roland moves a ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Forklift Operator Don Roland moves a pallet of Barilla pasta out of a truck at Load to Ride on March 18 in Denver. Typically, Load to Ride transports hard goods like granite counter tops, plastic items and machines around the nation but now is helping to move food to area grocery stores.

March 20

March 21

March 22

Customers wait in long lines to ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Customers wait in long lines to be let inside at Argonaut Liquors on March 23, 2020 in Denver after Mayor Michael Hancock announced a stay-at-home order that did not list liquor stores and dispensaries as “essential.” That was later changed, but people had already rushed to pot shops and liquor stores fearing they wouldn’t be able to buy either item for an unknown period of time.

March 23

March 24

  • After days of error messages, some finally finding success filing claims on Colorado’s unemployment website
  • Grocery stores adding social distancing floor decals, sneeze guards in stores to combat coronavirus
Denver's historic Mayan Theatre suspended all ...
Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

The marquee at Denver’s historic Mayan Theatre is photographed using a tilt-shift lens, giving the image a miniature effect. On March 25, Gov. Jared Polis ordered nonessential businesses to close and the majority of Colorado’s 5.8 million residents to stay home to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus. Denver Post Hyoung Chang set out with this specialized lens to capture images of a mostly empty city. See more photos here.

March 25

March 26

Colorado Governor Jared Polis during his ...
Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Gov. Jared Polis offers grave predictions and a desperate call to action March 27, warning that tens of thousands of Coloradans could die if social distancing is not practiced, while reminding people that the effects of his orders restricting contact will not be seen for at least a few weeks.

March 27

March 28

March 29

Ken Pelot, right, talks on the ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post)

Ken Pelot, right, talks on the phone to his wife Joanie, center, and daughter Debbie as they visit him through his window at Chelsea Place in Aurora on March 22, 2020. Since the Coronavirus breakout the family has been unable to physically visit with Ken, who has been a resident at Chelsea Place for just over a year. Joanie and Ken have been married for almost 57 years.

March 30

March 31

The security line is much shorter ...
Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

The security line is much shorter than normal at Denver International Airport on March 12.

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 4

Beth Arellano, 45, is now recovering ...
RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Beth Arellano, 45, is now recovering at her apartment, from what she thinks was COVID-19, on April 2 in Boulder.

April 5

April 6

April 7

This timeline will be updated as frequently as possible, but is not intended to reflect breaking news or developing stories. For the latest on the coronavirus in Colorado, please visit denverpost.com/coronavirus.


Coronavirus: Rebecca Mack’s friends pay tribute after ex-nurse’s death

Friends have paid tribute to the "caring" 29-year-old who died on Sunday.


Coronavirus: Rebecca Mack’s friends pay tribute after ex-nurse’s death

Friends have paid tribute to the "caring" 29-year-old who died on Sunday.


‘Alexa, help me:’ Nursing home virus patient asked smart speaker for help dozens of times before death

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — In the days leading up to LouAnn Dagen’s death from COVID-19, the Metron nursing home patient repeatedly asked her Amazon Echo Show for help with her pain.

Dagen, 66, died Saturday shortly after her arrival at the Mercy Health Saint Mary’s emergency room in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dagen was one of 31 residents and five staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 at the nursing home, which is now called Mission Point. The residents with COVID-19 are quarantined away from the rest of the community’s population. 

It wasn’t until after her death that her sister, Penny Dagen, discovered the recordings from the Amazon device in her sister’s room at Metron.

“Alexa, help me,” LouAnn Dagen said in one of the exchanges.

There appeared to be 40 such recordings over the last three or four days of her life.

Penny Dagen played some of them from behind the storm door at her home in Sparta, Michigan. She said her sister would want her story shared to help others understand how relentless coronavirus is.

“I am in pain. I have to find a way to relieve it,” LouAnn Dagen told Alexa.

“Can you help me cope with pain?”

“Oh, Alexa, I’m going to hurt.”

At one point, she asked for help reaching law enforcement: “How do I get to the police?”

The recording shows the device provided directions to the nearest police station.

She told her sister the pain was everywhere. Penny Dagen said Metron was giving her a pain reliever to try to control it.

“I just kept telling her there wasn’t anything I could do,” Penny Dagen said.

Through tears, she apologized to the little sister she had looked after since birth.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help you more. I’d take your pain away,” she said, sobbing.

Penny Dagen said her sister had been short of breath early last week, but Metron told her that despite the COVID-19 infection, LouAnn Dagen did not have an elevated temperature.

“It wasn’t until Thursday that they started the saline solution because she was getting dehydrated,” Penny Dagen said. “She just kept saying, ‘I’m thirsty.’ She didn’t drink anything, though.”

Penny said her sister’s oxygen level and blood pressure dropped Saturday morning, prompting Metron to send her to the ER at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.

“They said she talked to the ambulance people all the way there, but when she got there, she went into convulsions,” she said.

“The hospital called me right away and said that they put her on a respirator. They asked me about giving her CPR if her heart stopped, and I said, ‘No, she didn’t want that.’ And then her heart stopped and that was it. A half-hour after they called.”

LouAnn Dagen had long struggled with diabetes and hypertension. She suffered a stroke almost a decade ago and had lived at Metron since then. According to the medical examiner’s office, her death was caused by “coronavirus infection, diabetes and hypertension.”

WOOD reached out to Metron, but the home had not responded by late Tuesday night. It is not known if the home was aware of the extent of Dagen’s pain or if there was anything Metron could have done differently.

Penny Dagen said her sister was a talented artist who played piano, organ and guitar. She also tried ventriloquism.

“She was such a talented girl. Very, very smart,” she said.

“It’s good to know she’s not in pain anymore, but I still miss her,” she continued through tears. “She’s up in heaven now, so she’s pain-free, and she’s walking … with my mom and my dad, so I have to be happy for her.”


Tools For Teacher: Virtual Field Trips

(WHNT) – School has changed for the last month or so of the year, and so has Tools for Teachers!

WHNT News 19 wants to give you a few resources to keep the learning going.

Data pix.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is doing "virtual field trips" on Facebook live. They held their first one last Friday. They spoke to a farmer from southeast Alabama about crops like cotton, corn, wheat, oats, and peanuts.

"Our peanuts go to a local sheller in Enterprise, Alabama, which is also located in coffee county. the majority of those peanuts go into candies, it can also go into peanut butter and some peanut oil as well."

This Friday, April they'll visit a farmer to talk about fruits and vegetables.

The Facebook live starts at 10:00 a.m.

The University of North Alabama is offering something to help parents turned teachers.

'Your UNA' is meant to be a community resource.

The features of the page include "general education courses" for high school juniors and seniors, videos from UNA faculty members on topics like health, wellness, economics and an app to use on a nature hike.

There are also links from the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art.

WHNT News 19 wants to hear from parents and teachers! Let us know how the switch is going for you.

  • If you have any advice or sources that may help others, we want to hear it!
  • if you have photos or videos that paint the picture, we'd love to see them!
  • Email us at news.department@whnt.com with the subject "Tools For Teachers."

Tools for Teachers is sponsored by: NAECUYellow Hammer Roofing and Oakwood University


No public health officials screening for COVID-19 at Canadian land borders

There are currently no public health officials stationed at Canada-U.S. land border crossings to assist in screening for COVID-19, Global News has learned.


Detective Bureau

MEDIA CONTACT: 764-5605 Major Timothy G. Sanzi, Detective Commander

No arrests to report.


Coronavirus in Colorado, April 8: A look at the latest updates on COVID-19

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis took a hopeful, if cautious, look forward during a televised town hall on Tuesday night at a world in which COVID-19 is no longer a raging force that is occupying the minds and psyches of almost everyone in Colorado.

As of Tuesday, at least 179 people in Colorado have died from the novel coronavirus as hospitalizations rise to 1,079. Total confirmed cases are at 5,429.

Remember, all Coloradans have been asked to wear non-medical masks when outside their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Want to know how to make one? There’s plenty of ideas floating around in our coronavirus-focused Facebook group.

We are also looking to hear from you. Tell us what the coronavirus outbreak looks like for you and submit your story here.

Throughout the day, we will share the latest coverage from Denver Post journalists on the coronavirus outbreak on this page. Also, bear in mind The Denver Post relies on support from its readers to provide this in-depth coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, so please consider buying a subscription if you haven’t already.

Here are the updates from April 7.

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Man allegedly stole, then crashed an Englewood police car

A 27-year-old man allegedly stole an Englewood police patrol car Tuesday night and then fled at high speed before crashing the vehicle, police said.

Following the crash, police officers took David Cassuto into custody after he tried to flee on foot, according to a Wednesday Englewood police news release.

Englewood police officers were called at around 7:45 p.m. to a military surplus store at 3524 S. Broadway on a report of a disturbance.

When they arrived, police spoke with Cassuto, who requested mental health services. They gave him a “courtesy ride” to the Santa Fe House, a mental health crisis facility at 6509 S. Santa Fe Dr. in Littleton, according to the news release.

“Once the transporting officer arrived, Cassuto changed his mind and decided he no longer required mental health services,” the news release said.

Because police did not see any evidence warranting an involuntary mental health hold, the officers gave him a ride to the area of South Federal Boulevard and West Yale Avenue, the release said.

When police stopped the marked patrol car, Cassuto allegedly gained control of the vehicle and drove northbound on South Federal Boulevard at a high rate of speed, the Englewood police news release said. The news release does not explain how he managed to take the car.

Using global positioning software, dispatchers pinpointed the location of the stolen police vehicle. Law enforcement officers from several agencies helped search for the car, the release said.

Following a lengthy search, Cassuto allegedly crashed the vehicle near South Zurich Court and West Warren Avenue and fled on foot, the news release said.

Police took Cassuto into custody a short time later in the 2400 block of South Sherman Boulevard, the release said.


Quebec to provide update on coronavirus pandemic after releasing projections

The Quebec government is expected to inform the public on the latest developments concerning the coronavirus pandemic.


CDC weighs loosening guidelines for some exposed to coronavirus

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering changing its guidelines for self-isolation to make it easier for those who have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus to return to work if they are asymptomatic.

The public health agency, in conjunction with the White House coronavirus task force, is considering an announcement as soon as Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence said.

Under the proposed guidance, people who are exposed to someone infected would be allowed back on the job if they are asymptomatic, test their temperature twice a day and wear a face mask, said a person familiar with the proposal under consideration. The person described the proposal on the condition of anonymity because the draft had not been finalized.

The new policy is aimed in particular at workers in critical jobs. But it also comes as the Trump administration is eyeing what it calls a “stabilization” in infection rates and looks toward rolling back some of the restrictive social distancing guidelines and restarting the nation’s stalled economy.

The proposed guidance would follow recommendations made by the CDC that eased self-isolation requirements for front-line medical workers who were exposed to the virus. Under CDC guidance, medical workers who have been exposed to the virus without protective equipment but who have no symptoms can return to work with a mask and temperature checks after 14 days.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader on the White House’s coronavirus task force, called the upcoming CDC guidance “a very important piece.”

“It looks at degree of exposure and really making it clear that exposure occurs within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, so really understanding where you shouldn’t be within 6 feet of people right now,” Birx told CBS on Wednesday. “But if you’re in a work situation where you have to be, there will be a series of recommendations that if you had had a significant exposure of what specifically to do, and if you’ve had a less exposure what to do.”

Pence on Tuesday said the White House is focusing on the “point of need” for the current situation but also is operating on another track to consider future recommendations for the public.

“Some of the best minds here at the White House are beginning to think about what recommendations will look like that we give to businesses, that we give to states, but it will all, I promise you, be informed on putting the health and well-being of the American people first,” Pence said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. In the United States, there have been about 400,000 cases and about 13,000 deaths.

In fashioning the recommendations, the administration appeared to be trying to balance political concerns about wanting to preserve as much normalcy as possible with public health concerns that some infections are being spread by people who seem to be healthy.

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Pedestrian dead after being hit by a pickup truck in downtown Hamilton

Hamilton, Ont., police say a pedestrian was involved in a collision with a truck at King Street East and James Street North on Tuesday night.


Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73 from complications from coronavirus

John Prine, the ingenious singer-songwriter who explored the heartbreaks, indignities and absurdities of everyday life in “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and scores of other indelible tunes, died Tuesday at the age of 73.

His family announced his death from complications from the coronavirus; he died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

His wife Fiona said last month that she had tested positive for COVID-19 and she has since recovered, but her husband was hospitalized on March 26 with coronavirus symptoms. He was put on a ventilator and remained in the intensive care unit for several days.

Winner of a lifetime achievement Grammy earlier this year, Prine was a virtuoso of the soul, if not the body. He sang his conversational lyrics in a voice roughened by a hard-luck life, particularly after throat cancer left him with a disfigured jaw.

He joked that he fumbled so often on the guitar, taught to him as a teenager by his older brother, that people thought he was inventing a new style. But his open-heartedness, eye for detail and sharp and surreal humor brought him the highest admiration from critics, from such peers as Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson, and from such younger stars as Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves, who even named a song after him.

In 2017, Rolling Stone proclaimed him “The Mark Twain of American songwriting.”

Prine began playing as a young Army veteran who invented songs to fight boredom while delivering the U.S. mail in Maywood, Illinois. He and his friend, folk singer Steve Goodman, were still polishing their skills at the Old Town School of Folk Music when Kristofferson, a rising star at the time, heard them sing one night in Chicago, and invited them to share his stage in New York City. The late film critic Roger Ebert, then with the Chicago Sun-Times, also saw one of his shows and declared him an “extraordinary new composer.”

Suddenly noticed by America’s most popular folk, rock and country singers, Prine signed with Atlantic Records and released his first album in 1971.

“I was really into writing about characters, givin’ ‘em names,” Prine said, reminiscing about his long career in a January 2016 public television interview that was posted on his website.

“You just sit and look around you. You don’t have to make up stuff. If you just try to take down the bare description of what’s going on, and not try to over-describe something, then it leaves space for the reader or the listener to fill in their experience with it, and they become part of it.”

He was among the many promoted as a “New Dylan” and among the few to survive it and find his own way. Few songwriters could equal his wordplay, his empathy or his imagination.

“I try to look through someone else’s eyes,” he told Ebert in 1970. His characters were common people and confirmed eccentrics, facing the frustrations and pleasures anyone could relate to. “Sam Stone” traces the decline of a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran through the eyes of his little girl. “Donald and Lydia” tells of a tryst between a shy Army private and small-town girl, both vainly searching for “love hidden deep in your heart:”

They made love in the mountains, they made love in the streams

they made love in the valleys, they made love in their dreams.

But when they were finished, there was nothing to say,

‘cause mostly they made love from ten miles away.

“He writes beautiful songs,” Dylan once told MTV producer Bill Flanagan. “I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier-junkie-daddy, and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away — nobody but Prine could write like that.”

Prine’s mischief shined in songs like “Illegal Smile,” which he swore wasn’t about marijuana; “Spanish Pipedream,” about a topless waitress with “something up her sleeve;” and “Dear Abby,” in which Prine imagines the advice columnist getting fed up with whiners and hypochondriacs.

“You have no complaint,” his Abby writes back:

You are what you are and you ain’t what you ain’t

so listen up Buster, and listen up good

stop wishin’ for bad luck and knocking on wood!”

Prine was never a major commercial success, but performed for more than four decades, often selling his records at club appearances where he mentored rising country and bluegrass musicians.

“I felt like I was going door to door meeting the people and cleaning their carpets and selling them a record,” he joked in a 1995 Associated Press interview.

Many others adopted his songs. Bonnie Raitt made a signature tune out of “Angel from Montgomery,” about the stifled dreams of a lonely housewife, and performed it at the 2020 Grammys ceremony. Bette Midler recorded “Hello in There,” Prine’s poignant take on old age. Prine wrote “Unwed Fathers” for Tammy Wynette, and “Love Is on a Roll” for Don Williams.

Others who covered Prine’s music included Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, John Denver, the Everly Brothers, Carly Simon, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Norah Jones and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Prine himself regarded Dylan and Cash as key influences, bridges between folk and country whose duet on Dylan’s country rock album “Nashville Skyline” made Prine feel there was a place for him in contemporary music. Though mostly raised in Maywood, he spent summers in Paradise, Kentucky, and felt so great an affinity to his family’s roots there he would call himself “pure Kentuckian.”

Prine was married three times, and appreciated a relationship that lasted. In 1999, he and Iris DeMent shared vocals on the classic title track of his album “In Spite of Ourselves,” a ribald tribute to an old married couple.

In spite of ourselves we’ll end up a-sittin’ on a rainbow

Against all odds, honey we’re the big door-prize

We’re gonna spite our noses right off of our faces

There won’t be nothin’ but big ol’ hearts dancin’ in our eyes

Prine preferred songs about feelings to topical music, but he did respond at times to the day’s headlines. Prine’s parents had moved to suburban Chicago from Paradise, a coal town ravaged by strip mining that inspired one of his most cutting protest songs, “Paradise.” It appeared on his first album, along with “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore,” which criticized what he saw as false patriotism surrounding the Vietnam War.

Many years later, as President George W. Bush sent soldiers to war, Prine had a song for that, too. In “Some Humans Ain’t Human,” he wrote: “You’re feeling your freedom, and the world’s off your back, some cowboy from Texas, starts his own war in Iraq.”

Prine’s off-hand charisma made him a natural for movies. He appeared in the John Mellencamp film “Falling From Grace,” and in Billy Bob Thornton’s “Daddy and Them.” His other Grammy Awards include Best Contemporary Folk Recording for his 1991 album “The Missing Years,” with guest vocalists including Raitt, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Phil Everly. He won Best Traditional Folk Album in 2004 for “Beautiful Dreamer.”

Prine didn’t let illness stop him from performing or recording. In 2013, long after surviving throat cancer, he was diagnosed with an unrelated and operable form of lung cancer, but he bounced back from that, too, often sharing the stage with DeMent and other younger artists. On the playful talking blues “When I Get to Heaven,” from the 2018 album “The Tree of Forgiveness,” he vowed to have the last laugh for all eternity.

When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake God’s hand

Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand

Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band

Check into a swell hotel; ain’t the afterlife grand?

His survived by his wife, Fiona, two sons Jack and Tommy, his stepson Jody and three grandchildren.


Celebrated singer-songwriter John Prine has died at 73 from complications from coronavirus

John Prine, the ingenious singer-songwriter who explored the heartbreaks, indignities and absurdities of everyday life in “Angel from Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” “Hello in There” and scores of other indelible tunes, died Tuesday at the age of 73.

His family announced his death from complications from the coronavirus; he died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

His wife Fiona said last month that she had tested positive for COVID-19 and she has since recovered, but her husband was hospitalized on March 26 with coronavirus symptoms. He was put on a ventilator and remained in the intensive care unit for several days.

Winner of a lifetime achievement Grammy earlier this year, Prine was a virtuoso of the soul, if not the body. He sang his conversational lyrics in a voice roughened by a hard-luck life, particularly after throat cancer left him with a disfigured jaw.

He joked that he fumbled so often on the guitar, taught to him as a teenager by his older brother, that people thought he was inventing a new style. But his open-heartedness, eye for detail and sharp and surreal humor brought him the highest admiration from critics, from such peers as Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson, and from such younger stars as Jason Isbell and Kacey Musgraves, who even named a song after him.

In 2017, Rolling Stone proclaimed him “The Mark Twain of American songwriting.”

Prine began playing as a young Army veteran who invented songs to fight boredom while delivering the U.S. mail in Maywood, Illinois. He and his friend, folk singer Steve Goodman, were still polishing their skills at the Old Town School of Folk Music when Kristofferson, a rising star at the time, heard them sing one night in Chicago, and invited them to share his stage in New York City. The late film critic Roger Ebert, then with the Chicago Sun-Times, also saw one of his shows and declared him an “extraordinary new composer.”

Suddenly noticed by America’s most popular folk, rock and country singers, Prine signed with Atlantic Records and released his first album in 1971.

“I was really into writing about characters, givin’ ‘em names,” Prine said, reminiscing about his long career in a January 2016 public television interview that was posted on his website.

“You just sit and look around you. You don’t have to make up stuff. If you just try to take down the bare description of what’s going on, and not try to over-describe something, then it leaves space for the reader or the listener to fill in their experience with it, and they become part of it.”

He was among the many promoted as a “New Dylan” and among the few to survive it and find his own way. Few songwriters could equal his wordplay, his empathy or his imagination.

“I try to look through someone else’s eyes,” he told Ebert in 1970. His characters were common people and confirmed eccentrics, facing the frustrations and pleasures anyone could relate to. “Sam Stone” traces the decline of a drug-addicted Vietnam veteran through the eyes of his little girl. “Donald and Lydia” tells of a tryst between a shy Army private and small-town girl, both vainly searching for “love hidden deep in your heart:”

They made love in the mountains, they made love in the streams

they made love in the valleys, they made love in their dreams.

But when they were finished, there was nothing to say,

‘cause mostly they made love from ten miles away.

“He writes beautiful songs,” Dylan once told MTV producer Bill Flanagan. “I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier-junkie-daddy, and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away — nobody but Prine could write like that.”

Prine’s mischief shined in songs like “Illegal Smile,” which he swore wasn’t about marijuana; “Spanish Pipedream,” about a topless waitress with “something up her sleeve;” and “Dear Abby,” in which Prine imagines the advice columnist getting fed up with whiners and hypochondriacs.

“You have no complaint,” his Abby writes back:

You are what you are and you ain’t what you ain’t

so listen up Buster, and listen up good

stop wishin’ for bad luck and knocking on wood!”

Prine was never a major commercial success, but performed for more than four decades, often selling his records at club appearances where he mentored rising country and bluegrass musicians.

“I felt like I was going door to door meeting the people and cleaning their carpets and selling them a record,” he joked in a 1995 Associated Press interview.

Many others adopted his songs. Bonnie Raitt made a signature tune out of “Angel from Montgomery,” about the stifled dreams of a lonely housewife, and performed it at the 2020 Grammys ceremony. Bette Midler recorded “Hello in There,” Prine’s poignant take on old age. Prine wrote “Unwed Fathers” for Tammy Wynette, and “Love Is on a Roll” for Don Williams.

Others who covered Prine’s music included Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, John Denver, the Everly Brothers, Carly Simon, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Norah Jones and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Prine himself regarded Dylan and Cash as key influences, bridges between folk and country whose duet on Dylan’s country rock album “Nashville Skyline” made Prine feel there was a place for him in contemporary music. Though mostly raised in Maywood, he spent summers in Paradise, Kentucky, and felt so great an affinity to his family’s roots there he would call himself “pure Kentuckian.”

Prine was married three times, and appreciated a relationship that lasted. In 1999, he and Iris DeMent shared vocals on the classic title track of his album “In Spite of Ourselves,” a ribald tribute to an old married couple.

In spite of ourselves we’ll end up a-sittin’ on a rainbow

Against all odds, honey we’re the big door-prize

We’re gonna spite our noses right off of our faces

There won’t be nothin’ but big ol’ hearts dancin’ in our eyes

Prine preferred songs about feelings to topical music, but he did respond at times to the day’s headlines. Prine’s parents had moved to suburban Chicago from Paradise, a coal town ravaged by strip mining that inspired one of his most cutting protest songs, “Paradise.” It appeared on his first album, along with “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore,” which criticized what he saw as false patriotism surrounding the Vietnam War.

Many years later, as President George W. Bush sent soldiers to war, Prine had a song for that, too. In “Some Humans Ain’t Human,” he wrote: “You’re feeling your freedom, and the world’s off your back, some cowboy from Texas, starts his own war in Iraq.”

Prine’s off-hand charisma made him a natural for movies. He appeared in the John Mellencamp film “Falling From Grace,” and in Billy Bob Thornton’s “Daddy and Them.” His other Grammy Awards include Best Contemporary Folk Recording for his 1991 album “The Missing Years,” with guest vocalists including Raitt, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Phil Everly. He won Best Traditional Folk Album in 2004 for “Beautiful Dreamer.”

Prine didn’t let illness stop him from performing or recording. In 2013, long after surviving throat cancer, he was diagnosed with an unrelated and operable form of lung cancer, but he bounced back from that, too, often sharing the stage with DeMent and other younger artists. On the playful talking blues “When I Get to Heaven,” from the 2018 album “The Tree of Forgiveness,” he vowed to have the last laugh for all eternity.

When I get to heaven, I’m gonna shake God’s hand

Thank him for more blessings than one man can stand

Then I’m gonna get a guitar and start a rock-n-roll band

Check into a swell hotel; ain’t the afterlife grand?

His survived by his wife, Fiona, two sons Jack and Tommy, his stepson Jody and three grandchildren.


Veteran buys $20K bottle of bourbon for $40K to help restaurant stay open during COVID-19 crisis

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – There’s no question the coronavirus pandemic is hitting many businesses hard, but an act of kindness is helping one continue to serve and give back to the community.

Suzanne and Roger Perry, owners of the Tampa-area Datz restaurant group, say they went from having nearly 400 employees to just 27 overnight. They had to decide between completely closing their restaurants or only doing takeout and delivery at a fraction of normal sales.

“We decided to limp along and stay open as long as possible,” Suzanne Perry said in an email. “But making even our new lower payroll numbers is difficult with the drastic reduction in revenue that we are now facing.”

She said they decided to sell their prized bourbon and liquor collection in order to keep the remaining staff members employed and to even bring some back.

The most valuable bottle in the collection was a Pappy Van Winkle Kentucky bourbon, aged 25 years.

“I put it online for sale for $20,000 with the promo code #Here4U for an additional 15 percent off,” Suzanne Perry explained. “I was selling it, in reality, for $17,000 after I Googled it and saw similar bottles online for $17K to $26K.”

She said they received several low-ball offers but didn’t entertain them. “The stakes are too high right now,” she said.

Then they received a call from a couple who started asking questions about the restaurant’s situation. That couple eventually decided they wanted to buy the bottle.

When they showed up to pay for and pick up the bottle, Suzanne Perry said, they handed her husband, Roger, a check for $40,000.

She said her husband opened the check and tried to give it back because he thought it was written in error. But the man who wrote it refused to take it back and said, “We want you to have it.”

“Roger and I were both speechless and astounded by this generosity,” Suzanne Perry said.

She said the man who bought the bottle is a local veteran and philanthropist who has visited restaurants in the Datz group several times with his family. He and his family wanted to stay anonymous.

Because of the act of generosity, Suzanne Perry said, they’ve been able to stay open, keep their remaining staff members and bring a few more back. They’ve also made hundreds of meals for workers who are on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.

“When we get through this, we plan on doing something to pay it forward for one of the several local causes this family already supports,” she added.

Datz is currently open with a limited menu for takeout and delivery in both Tampa and St. Petersburg. A spokesperson for the restaurants says the best way to order is online or by calling either location to place an order for pickup.


Levi Ogden death: Man who killed partner by throwing phone jailed

A judge says Lloyd Birkby "poses a significant risk of harm to intimate future partners".


Nail salon fined after ignoring order to close during coronavirus pandemic: Waterloo Region CAO

A nail salon in Waterloo Region was fined after ignoring orders to close during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the region's chief administrative officer says.


Coronavirus: What does London Zoo look like during lockdown?

Despite the social distancing measures zookeepers still need to care for 18,000 animals.


Coronavirus: What does London Zoo look like during lockdown?

Despite the social distancing measures zookeepers still need to care for 18,000 animals.


Coronavirus: Seven residents of east London care home die

Almost half of the people living at Hawthorn Green care home are displaying Covid-19 symptoms.


Coronavirus: nearly 75 per cent of Hong Kong schoolteachers polled seek further postponement of DSE exams amid pandemic

Nearly 75 per cent of Hong Kong schoolteachers polled in a survey sought further postponement of the local university entrance exam amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the city’s biggest teachers’ union.Survey findings released on Wednesday by the Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU) also found most of the 3,600 teachers polled believed universities could defer the start of the new academic year by a month until October to fit the delayed schedule.More than 52,000 candidates were expected…


Coronavirus: Army veteran’s 100th-birthday walk for ‘magnificent’ NHS

Tom Moore wants to walk 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money.


Hong Kong Bar Association looking into whether former government prosecutor had violated professional code

Hong Kong’s professional body for barristers will investigate if a former government prosecutor has breached its code of conduct, after she allegedly attacked local judges for siding with anti-government protesters on her personal Facebook account.Legal sources said the Bar Association had launched an inquiry against barrister Vivien Chan Man-wai after an opposition politician filed complaints about her.An investigator from the association’s standing committee on discipline will be appointed…


Fatal fire in DDO claims woman’s life

Officials from the Montreal fire department say the victim was pronounced dead on scene.


‘Everybody wants one’: Maritimers make non-medical masks as COVID-19 health advice evolves

Maritimers are ramping up production of non-medical masks as public health advice evolves during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Nova Scotia non-profit launches virtual arts-based programming

Interested participants can get access to registration through the MacPhee Centre website online at macpheecentre.ca.


Nova Scotia non-profit launches virtual arts-based programming

Interested participants can get access to registration through the MacPhee Centre website online at macpheecentre.ca.


How far will your $1,200 stimulus check go?

Uncle Sam is doling out $1,200 stimulus relief checks to millions of Americans soon. But many say it won’t be enough to cover their bills. Karen Diehl, a retired teacher living in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, expects to get a check. But the 56-year-old, who is on social security disability, doesn’t expect $1,200 in relief to cover her bills for very long. She has spent more money on groceries recently since her son, who recently graduated from [...]


Economists Fear National Housing Crisis

(WHNT) – Concerns rise that after the pandemic there could be a housing crisis.

Data pix.

Economists worry that the federal aid that is being used to boost the economy now is just postponing a housing crisis.

The more than 2 trillion dollar stimulus package gives protection to some Americans by delaying eviction and foreclosure. 

Dr. Solomon Greene from the Urban Research Group says eventually, the rent will be due again and their needs to be a long-term plan in place.

"Renters are most likely to be the most hard hit by the crisis. They tend to have lower incomes. They also work in the industries that we're seeing are losing jobs,' said Dr. Greene.

Experts are comparing the predicted housing crisis to that of 2008. 

Some members of Congress say there need to be more incentives for home builders while others say Congress should wait to see what happens before they put anything into action.


Denver weather: One more sunny day before rain, snow hit the metro area in time for Easter

Denver will get one more sunny day before a new weather system brings rain and then snow by Sunday, forecasters said.

Wednesday’s high temperature will be about 69 degrees in downtown Denver, the National Weather Service in Boulder said. The low Wednesday night will drop to about 35 degrees.

It should be sunny early Thursday with a high temperature of about 61 degrees, the NWS said. At night, clouds will sweep over the Front Range and there’s a 20% chance of rain showers, forecasters said.

Afternoon rain showers are also possible Friday, when it will be mostly sunny with a high temperature near 67 degrees, the NWS said. The chance for rain rises to 30% Friday night.

There’s also a 30% chance of rain showers Saturday afternoon, when it will be mostly cloudy. Temperatures will dip to about 28 degrees overnight, forecasters said.

Rain showers will turn into a mix of snow and rain around 2 a.m. Sunday. By 3 a.m., only snow is expected, the weather service said.

Snow is possible through the day, when the high temperature will be only about 37 degrees. Snow showers are more likely in the evening before midnight, the NWS said. Temperatures are expected to dip to about 19 degrees overnight.

Snow will be possible in Denver through Tuesday, forecasters said.


Coronavirus: Alberta government proposes amendments to emergency act

The proposed amendments would allow local states of emergency to be extended up to 90 days, according to the Alberta government.


I want to save. My partner wants to invest in stocks. Who’s right?

The Warren Buffett meme with versions of the legendary investor's advice to be fearful when others are greedy, and to be greedy when others are fearful, has been making the rounds on social media as the markets have rocked and rolled over the last few weeks.There is logic in this advice. But not [...]


I want to save. My partner wants to invest in stocks. Who’s right?

The Warren Buffett meme with versions of the legendary investor's advice to be fearful when others are greedy, and to be greedy when others are fearful, has been making the rounds on social media as the markets have rocked and rolled over the last few weeks.There is logic in this advice. But not [...]


Nearly 450 Hong Kong police officers quit unexpectedly amid last year’s anti-government protests, Security Bureau says

Nearly 450 Hong Kong police officers quit the force during months of social unrest that engulfed the city in the past year, while the number of new hires fell far short of recruitment targets, the latest official figures show.The city’s largest police group on Wednesday said it was not surprised by the resignations, adding the force still received more than 10,000 applications annually and needed to carefully choose the right candidates amid unprecedented challenges.The revelation follows the…


Disney, musicians union agree on virus-related furloughs

Disney and a union representing musicians who perform at its theme parks agreed Tuesday to extend the company's furloughs to union workers while maintaining their health benefits, according to a … Click to Continue »


Winnipeg Bear Clan to deliver food hampers amid coronavirus pandemic

The Bear Clan says offering food hampers will help flatten the curve by having more than 250 people stay home to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.


Winnipeg Bear Clan to deliver food hampers amid coronavirus pandemic

The Bear Clan says offering food hampers will help flatten the curve by having more than 250 people stay home to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.


Coronavirus: ONroute service centres give free coffee to truck drivers on Wednesday

ONroute says it is offering free medium coffees to truck drivers on April 8 to show appreciation for their work maintaining supply chains during the coronavirus pandemic.


Coronavirus: Jos Buttler’s World Cup shirt raises £65,000

The jersey, which smells of "sweat and champagne", was signed by all of England World Cup squad.


Coronavirus: Sheffield Roma warned over social distancing breaches

South Yorkshire Police wanted to reassure critics after pictures on social media showed groups in the streets.


Coronavirus: Sheffield Roma warned over social distancing breaches

South Yorkshire Police wanted to reassure critics after pictures on social media showed groups in the streets.


COVID cases: Searchable U.S. map

SEARCHABLE MAP: Coronavirus death rates and cases for every US county. Zoom in for details.


Alberta government introduces human-trafficking bill

The Alberta government introduced a new bill Tuesday that it says will empower survivors of human trafficking.


‘It’s not fancy, but it works’: Mississippi doctor uses garden hose, lamp timer and electronic valve to create makeshift ventilators

JACKSON, Miss. — As states across the country beg for ventilators to help patients suffering with respiratory issues from COVID-19, the University of Mississippi Medical Center is building its own makeshift ventilators with supplies found at a hardware store. Dr. Charles Robertson, a UMMC pediatric anesthesiologist and the mastermind behind the idea, said he set out to make the [...]


Colorado Republicans act as watchdogs on Polis’ coronavirus policies

Colorado Republicans don’t have their hands on any of the levers of state government, but they’ve had plenty to say about officials’ response to the coronavirus pandemic.

State legislators and some other GOP elected officials for weeks have taken to talk radio and social media to voice their outrage with the far-reaching restrictions on activities issued first by local authorities and then taken statewide by Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat. And they’ve pushed back in letters signed by nearly all members of the minority caucuses of the state Senate and House.

As Colorado’s COVID-19 case counts, hospitalization figures and death toll have risen quickly over the last month, the pandemic has upended more than the economy and residents’ daily lives. This time of crisis has added new complications to the state’s longtime rough-and-tumble politics. It’s even raised the question, for some, of whether a pause is in order to show unity.

“Anyone who is not providing assistance right now is making this pandemic worse,” said Mindi Haddad, a Denver political strategist who has worked with Democrats in the past. “And if you’re not helping, this is one of those points where you either need to sit down, get out of the way or figure out how to help. … This is not a political game — or at least it shouldn’t be.”

But plenty of Republicans disagree, arguing the opposition has a role to play at such a critical time.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville said state legislators’ goal has been to “try to be helpful as much as we can,” while lamenting: “When this first started, we had a lot of back and forth with the governor’s office, and as time has gone on, he hasn’t been taking as much advice as he was in the beginning.”

Still, Democrats and even some fellow Republicans have questioned the helpfulness of GOP officials’ public statements.

In late March, Neville, of Castle Rock, called the declaration of a stay-at-home order by the Tri-County Health Department “insane” in a radio interview and said it was leading to “a Gestapo-like mentality.” He was among Republican state legislators from Douglas County who urged their county to cut ties with the agency. Days later, a letter signed by most of the Senate’s minority caucus denounced Polis for his statewide stay-at-home order, which took effect March 26.

Earlier, just after local and state orders had come down for bars and restaurants to close for on-site service in mid-March, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck — also chairman of the state Republican Party — assailed the measures as part of “a panic that is creating irrational responses.”

Recent Republican critiques of Polis have had a more measured tone.

On Monday, Neville sent Polis a letter signed by the entire House Republican caucus asking him to release the detailed coronavirus projection modeling he has relied upon.

“As of yet, we have no indication from you about specific guidelines, which will determine when we have made enough progress to put desperate Colorado workers back on the job and allow our businesses to reopen,” the letter says.

As it happened, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its state virus projection models Sunday afternoon, while the Republicans’ letter was being finalized. But the question about what would trigger a lifting of restrictions had not been answered as of Tuesday, Neville said, though he said an afternoon conference call with the governor was productive.

“He’s definitely trying to work with us and be more intentional” about releasing more information about current cases, Neville said. “My point of view to him was that if he was more open about this data, then citizens might be more receptive toward your orders.”

Neville has been less critical of the governor’s state stay-at-home order, he said, because Polis, unlike the Tri-County department’s leaders, is elected and accountable to voters.

Asked about the Republicans’ latest letter, Polis’ office said the governor has consulted “members of the legislature, Colorado’s federal delegation and other local leaders about the state’s response to this crisis” and is taking a data-centric approach to decision-making.

In a televised address Monday night, Polis agreed the economic impact had been “devastating,” adding: “We all want a timeline — when will this nightmare be over?”

Without identifying specific metrics, Polis did cite a few conditions for relaxing the state’s orders: when more hospital beds are in place, when the spread of the virus has tamped down, and when “a mass-testing and containment program” is in place to keep close tabs on infections.

Some Republicans’ skepticism toward the orders is rooted in the weight conservatives tend to place on individual and economic freedom — a political value that also has led many of their officeholders to rebuff stronger school vaccination requirements for children and greater regulations to tackle climate change. In the case of the coronavirus, some have come off as dismissing the guidance of public health experts.

But Rep. Lois Landgraf, R-Fountain, says the legislators’ intent is to increase public understanding by getting more information out, including the numbers of people currently hospitalized and who have recovered. The state has said those figures aren’t readily available.

“We’re taking this deadly serious,” said Landgraf, whose daughter works as a surgical physician’s assistant and whose son-in-law is a hospital administrator. “It’s a horrible thing, and people need to pay attention (to the orders) and follow the rules.”

Ian Silverii, executive director of the left Progress Now Colorado, agrees on that point, but he suggested the Republicans’ latest letter was written to get attention and wasn’t the right approach in a crisis.

“During the crisis, showing unity is the strongest thing you can do,” Silverii said. “And that doesn’t mean you can’t hold people accountable” in subtler ways.

Silverii echoed Cole Wist, a former Republican state representative, who tweeted about the letter Monday: “I respect my former colleagues. But it is not the time and place for this. Pick up the phone and work it out.”

Others see a role for the opposition to play in pushing for more transparency and holding Democratic officials’ feet to the fire.

“There is a fine line to walk — because if the criticism just seems to be knee-jerk and just partisan in nature, that’s not good,” said Dick Wadhams, a former Colorado Republican Party chairman. “I don’t think that’s happened yet. I think legitimate questions have been asked of the governor.”



Some Denver-area school districts aren’t tracking how many students have failed to start remote learning

Some Denver-area school districts aren’t tracking how many students have failed to check in with their teachers or log into their remote-learning programs after the coronavirus closed classroom doors and forced students to learn from home.

Representatives from Jeffco Public Schools and Douglas County School District couldn’t say how many of the more than 150,000 students attending schools in the two districts have not been reached by their teachers since classrooms were shuttered March 16 in an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Cameron Bell, Jeffco Public Schools spokeswoman, said she couldn’t provide hard attendance numbers, but district leaders “are confident most of our students are engaging in the work and continuing their education.”

Paula Hans, Douglas County School District spokeswoman, said that while teachers aren’t taking attendance the way they normally would, they are monitoring student participation in areas like task completion, check-ins with their teachers and engagement in “live” video class sessions.

“DCSD school administration, counselors and teachers will continue efforts to reach out to families when students are not engaging in learning opportunities,” Hans said.

On March 13, Westminster Public Schools began handing out laptops to students to prepare them for at-home learning amid school closures. As of Monday, 80% of Westminster students had checked in with their teachers, said Stephen Saunders, spokesman for the district.

The Westminster district doesn’t have an exact count of the students who have yet to make contact with their teachers, but continues to reach out to families about resources they may need, Saunders said.

Officials with the Cherry Creek School District did not immediately respond to an information request.

While individual teachers and schools are working to reach students who have yet to check in, without districtwide numbers it’s difficult to judge the scope of students who may have slipped through the cracks in the abrupt switch to distance-based learning that followed the closure of schools across the Denver metro area for the remainder of the academic year.

Many districts are being flexible, adapting their typical attendance policies for such unprecedented times with the understanding that families’ circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic will impact how and when children are able to learn.

“Superintendent Dr. (Jason) Glass and district leadership have provided guidance to, and set expectations for, our schools, and charged our education professionals with developing systems within their individual school communities for ensuring every student is engaged in the learning, that no student is left out, and that every effort is being made to ensure we are reaching all students,” said Bell, of Jeffco Public Schools, one of the first districts in the state to move to remote learning.

Not every school in the district is using the same platform to measure student participation and engagement, Bell said. Schools and teachers have been encouraged to do what works best for their class, whether that’s Google Classroom, Schoology or a paper-and-pen-based system.

“Because of this shift to a flexible, asynchronous model, we do not have hard attendance numbers in the traditional sense,” Bell said.

One Jeffco elementary school teacher, who spoke to The Denver Post on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said she had just checked in her last two unaccounted-for students Tuesday, tracking them down after several phone calls from the administration.

One family thought summer break had already begun, she said.

The Jeffco teacher said about a dozen students in her school still haven’t been heard from in the three weeks since remote learning began in the district, with at least five of them lacking internet access.

Most districts, including Jeffco, have provided help with access to technology and internet for families who may lack the resources.

Tuesday marked the first day of remote learning for students in Denver Public Schools, the largest district in the state. On Friday, Superintendent Susana Cordova said during a news conference that school teams will work to take attendance daily.

“Not for the purposes of hoping to get perfect attendance but to make sure we’re engaged with our students and make sure we can reach out to families about the supports they need,” Cordova said.

Some students may be unable to do school work on certain days of the week depending on their families’ situations, which Cordova said DPS understood. She asked families to keep teachers updated about their circumstances and students’ whereabouts so the school would at least know the kids are OK.


Colorado weather: A warm, dry spring ahead?

If the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook is right, Colorado could be in for a warmer and drier spring than normal.

The CPC’s 90-day outlook, which covers the months of April, May and June, puts all of Colorado as having good chances at a warmer-than-average spring and early summer, and most of the state leans drier in the outlook, as well. However, there is an unusually high degree of uncertainty with this particular long-range forecast outlook.

“Over the western (U.S.), the forecast is highly uncertain,” the CPC wrote in its forecast discussion for the three-month outlook.

The primary reason why the next few months could be especially uncertain: there isn’t expected to be a strong influence from either an El Nino or a La Nina, known as the ENSO cycle.

The ENSO cycle is in reference to abnormally warm or cool (or neutral) sea-surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean, and it has a big domino effect on global weather, including Colorado’s. While El Nino and La Nina influences on local weather are typically greater in the winter months, there can be some impacts on spring and summer weather as well. But, the lack of a clear-cut La Nina or El Nino (and the unlikely chances of one forming, either) make it difficult to get a great sense for the upcoming spring and early summer season.

“There’s not really any strong signals, so it’s hard to hang your hat in any direction,” said Scott Entrekin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Boulder.

The last time that conditions were ENSO neutral was in 2012 and 2013 when extreme weather was noted in the state during both summers. In 2012, the Waldo Canyon and High Park fires devastated the state, and the Black Forest fire of 2013 did the same. Additionally, in September of 2013, Colorado experienced some of its worst flooding on record.

However, it is difficult to extrapolate one single large-scale event, such as a series of large wildfires or a one-time — albeit catastrophic — flood, and attribute it to ENSO neutral conditions. It is more likely that a wide array of other meteorological factors played a far bigger role in the extreme weather during those two years.

Additionally, Colorado’s snowpack remains in healthy shape, a solid indicator that this will not be a huge wildfire season. In lower elevations, precipitation values are generally running at or above average so far this year. While pockets of southern Colorado remain in a moderate to even severe drought, less than half the state was experiencing official drought conditions, as of an April 2 update. In April 2012 and April 2013, a much wider swath of Colorado was under drought conditions than currently noted.

Of course, there may be some extra reasons to cheer for a warmer and drier spring and summer along the Front Range this year. There may be indications that a warmer and drier summer season could reduce the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, although those findings are largely speculative.

 


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Hilton and American Express to offer 1 million rooms to front-line medical workers

(CNN NEWSOURCE) – Hilton and American Express are teaming up to offer up to a million hotel room nights to front-line healthcare workers for free during the coronavirus pandemic.

It will give them a place to sleep, recharge or isolate to protect their families — so that money won’t come out of their own pockets.

Hilton is working with 10 US medical associations to provide rooms to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and other medical professionals.

The stays will be available from Monday [April 13] through may 31st.

Hilton team members trained on health and safety measures will staff the hotels.

Hilton’s CEO said they’re honored to extend Hilton hospitality during this difficult time.

American express is helping cover the cost of the hotel room donations.

The rooms are being provided at or below cost by Hilton’s network of franchisees and independent owners.


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Hope Valley Barracks

No arrests to report.

Media Contact: Major Christopher J. Dicomitis, Administrative Commander and Public Information Officer, Rhode Island State Police, 401-764-5603 or rispdps@risp.gov


100 American Airlines flight attendants have coronavirus, union says

(CNN) — The union representing flight attendants for American Airlines says about 100 flight attendants have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing more than 27,000 flight attendants, disclosed the figure in a message to its membership and said the airline has “agreed to start providing face masks for frontline team members while at work should you choose to wear one.” The union said masks are being distributed this week.

APFA president Julie Hedrick said Tuesday the union has “been pushing the company since January” to provide personal protective equipment for flight attendants.

“We have consistently advocated for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all of our flight attendants to be available on every aircraft, for social distancing between passengers and crew jump seats, for thermal scanning in the airports, and to receive immediate notification of flight attendants who have tested positive for the virus,” Hedrick said. “Flight attendants are aviation’s first responders, who are transporting medical personnel and supplies into COVID-19 hotspots, and they need to be treated and protected as such.”

American would not comment directly on the union’s claim of flight attendants testing positive for the virus at the world’s largest airline.

“The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority,” the airline’s statement said. “We are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials and are coordinating with them on any required health and safety related measures. We continue to look at all ways we can care — and protect — our team during this stressful time.”

In another message to its membership, the union indicated it expects only about one in four of its flight attendants to be flying in May, due to major cuts in the airline’s schedule.

The airline is prevented from involuntarily furlough any employees during the next six months as part of the terms of the coronavirus relief act that is expected to give $25 billion in grants to the nation’s passenger airlines.

American CEO Doug Parker warned employees a week ago that many of them “will be at minimal paid hours for months to come.”

— CNN’s Renee Baharaeen and Chris Isidore contributed to this report


Coronavirus updates and cancellations in our state

Questions about medical or social service needs, call 211, 800-560-3372, 711 (deaf or hard of hearing), or text ZIP code to 898-211, 8:30-6 p.m. M-F, 10-4 p.m. weekends or email DPHCall@delaware.gov. Official page: de.gov/coronavirus.


Scituate Barracks

*No arrests to report.

Media Contact: Major Christopher J. Dicomitis, Administrative Commander and Public Information Officer, Rhode Island State Police, 401-764-5603 or rispdps@risp.gov


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Acting secretary of the Navy resigns after calling ousted aircraft carrier captain ‘stupid’

(CNN) — Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday, a day after leaked audio revealed he called the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt “stupid” in an address to the ship’s crew.

Modly’s resignation comes a little more than a week after Capt. Brett Crozier, the then-commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sent a memo warning of coronavirus spreading among the sailors on the aircraft carrier. The memo leaked and Modly subsequently removed Crozier from command. The former acting secretary flew to Guam to address the ship, insulting Crozier to thousands of sailors who had given their former captain a standing ovation as he left the ship days before.

The audio of that address was leaked to media outlets and the uproar over Modly’s remarks — calling Crozier “too naive or too stupid” to be in command of the aircraft carrier and saying that going outside of the chain-of-command with his memo represented a “betrayal” — quickly made his position untenable.

In his resignation letter, Modly did not mention the controversy but later apologized to the whole of the Navy for the incident in a memo.

“More than anything, I owe every member of the Navy and Marine Corps team a lifetime of gratitude for the opportunity to serve for them, and with them, once again. They are the reason why I will forever remain inspired by the call of service. They are the ones who lift our nation, heal our divides, and make this country the greatest in the history of the world,” Modly wrote in his resignation letter.

“That is why with a heavy heart, I hereby submit my resignation, effective immediately. The men and women of the Department of the Navy deserve a continuity of civilian leadership befitting our great Republic, and the decisive naval force that secures our way of life. I will be forever grateful for my opportunity, and the blessing, to be part of it.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a letter that he accepted Modly’s resignation Tuesday morning, confirming CNN’s earlier reporting that Modly had resigned.

“He resigned of his own accord, putting the Navy and Sailors above self so that the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt and the Navy, as an institution, can move forward,” Esper wrote. “His care for the Sailors was genuine. Secretary Modly served the nation for many years, both in and out of uniform. I have the deepest respect for anyone who serves our country, and who places the greater good above all else. Secretary Modly did that today, and i wish him all the best.”

READ: Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirms resignation of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly

Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson — who served on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the 1980s — has been tapped to succeed Modly, Esper wrote. McPherson is a retired rear admiral and was the former judge advocate general of the Navy.

‘A betrayal’

Modly relieved Crozier of duty late last week after a memo the captain had written to Navy officials leaked to the press. Crozier wrote of the challenge of trying to contain a coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship and urgently requested that sailors be allowed to quarantine on land.

Modly told the crew that Crozier had to go, citing loss of confidence and a failure to adhere to the chain of command. It was a “betrayal of trust, with me, with his chain of command,” he said in remarks that were piped over the vessel’s public address system.

Modly also suggested Crozier leaked the memo on purpose or was “too naive or too stupid” to be in command if he didn’t think that sending it to over 20 people would not result in it getting out to the public.

“If he didn’t think, in my opinion, that this information wasn’t going to get out to the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either a) too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this,” Modly said. “The alternative is that he did this on purpose.”

At least 230 sailors aboard the Roosevelt had tested positive for coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, an increase of 57 cases since the day before, a US Navy official told CNN.

Officials at the Pentagon are split about whether Crozier should have been relieved, but most feel the situation was badly handled and is now causing additional problems at an already difficult time.

The situation quickly escalated and Trump was asked about Modly’s comments during Monday’s briefing from the White House coronavirus task force.

“I haven’t heard it exactly, I heard they heard,” Trump said, referring to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. “I heard they had a statement that was made, if that were the statement, it’s a strong statement.”

Trump added that he “may just get involved.”

Shortly afterward, Modly moved into damage control mode, but his apology still insinuated that Crozier had deliberately leaked the memo himself.

“I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship. I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused,” he said.

Modly also apologized directly to Crozier for “any pain my remarks may have caused.”

“(Crozier and his family), and the entire Navy, have my full commitment that I will continue to help get the TR back to full health and back to sea where we can move forward beyond this unfortunate situation,” he said.

“I lost situational awareness”

After he resigned on Tuesday, Modly again apologized for his comments about Crozier and his familiar tone, telling the Navy in a memo that — upon getting on the ship — “I lost situational awareness.”

“When I walked on the quarterdeck of the TR I lost situational awareness and decided to speak with them as if I was their commander, or their shipmate, rather than their Secretary,” Modly wrote. “They deserved better, and I hope that over the passage of time that they will understand the words themselves rather than the manner in which they were delivered. But what’s done is done. I can’t take it back, and frankly I don’t know if I walked back up that quarterdeck today if I wouldn’t have the same level of emotions that drove my delivery yesterday.”

Modly said he now recognized that the “crew deserved a lot more empathy and a lot less lecturing” during his remarks. He said that he regretted how quickly his words spread through the press and insisted that his true meaning was lost.

“I had hoped to transmit a message of love, and duty, and mission, and courage in the face of adversity,” Modly wrote. “Those words are in there, but they are now lost, because of me, and I will regret that for the rest of my life. But, I am not a football head coach, or a master chief, or even the ship’s own CO, I am the Secretary of the Navy and you, and they, should expect more out of me. I own it.”

Trump, during Tuesday’s briefing from the White House coronavirus task force, said Modly “didn’t have to resign.”

“I had no role in it. The whole thing was very unfortunate,” Trump said. “I’ve heard, I don’t know him, but I’ve heard he was a very good man, and it was a, the whole thing was very unfortunate.”

The President again criticized Crozier, saying the captain “didn’t have to be Ernest Hemingway” by writing the letter. Trump said he recognized that Crozier’s decision to send the letter was a “very unselfish thing for him to do.”

“He made a mistake, but he had a bad day, and I hate seeing bad things happen. Man made a mistake. But you know, he shouldn’t have been writing letters.”

This breaking story has been updated to reflect Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson has been named as Modly’s successor after he resigned.


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Andrea Bocelli to perform live from Italy’s empty Duomo cathedral on Easter

MILAN, Italy (KRON) – Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will be performing live from the Duomo of Milan on Easter Sunday.

Variety reports the mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, invited Bocelli to perform solo at the religious landmark which remains empty during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bocelli will be accompanied by the cathedral’s organist Emanuele Vianelli, and will sing songs which send a “message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world.”

The “Music For Hope” concert will be streamed worldwide on Bocelli’s YouTube page starting at 10 a.m. PST.

Italy has reported more than 132,000 coronavirus cases and more than 16,000 deaths amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.


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Los Angeles orders essential workers to wear masks, allows businesses to deny service to customers without face coverings

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is ordering workers at essential businesses to cover their face starting Friday, when they’ll also be able to deny service to customers who don’t wear masks.

So far, the city has recommended — but not mandated — that people cover their face when venturing into public to prevent the virus’ spread.

Employers will be required to supply essential workers with a mask or reimburse workers for the cost, the mayor said.

The order applies to workers at grocery stores, pharmacies, hotels and restaurants, as well as taxi and ride-share drivers, among others. Those who fail to comply could face a fine or prison time.

L.A. Protects, a city initiative organizing garment manufacturers to make non-medical masks for essential workers, is expected to help supply some businesses. The mayor said 800 companies have already signed up for the project, and so far 384 have been approved for operation.

L.A. will also encourage retail businesses to install plexiglass at checkout counters, but since there’s currently a plexiglass shortage that measure will remain a recommendation for now, Garcetti said.

Gene Seroka, executive director at the Port of L.A., said officials there are also working to build a stockpile of medical supplies for local use. The project seeks to create an avenue for medical workers to specify what they need, and for manufacturers and others to respond to that request.

The mayor’s address Tuesday came after public health officials confirmed 3,130 cases in the city of L.A., with 6,910 cases and 169 deaths countywide.

County officials also for the first time on Tuesday released preliminary data on the virus’ distribution among racial groups, showing African Americans are slightly more likely to die from the disease.

Garcetti acknowledged that, “like many things in our society,” the virus is disproportionately affecting communities of color, where preexisting conditions like diabetes are more prevalent. But he emphasized that COVID-19 poses a threat to everyone, no matter what area they’re from.

Monday evening, Garcetti announced L.A. County was expanding COVID-19 testing to anyone who is experiencing symptoms. Previously, sick people had to meet additional requirements, like being at least 65 years old or having underlying health conditions.

Garcetti said the county saw a record number of signups for testing following Monday’s announcement.

He offered a tip for people still trying to get an appointment: About 15%-20% of people don’t show up, so check in the afternoon to see if anything has opened up.

The mayor promised to conduct 30,000 tests at drive-thru sites by the end of the week.

Garcetti has said this week will be “critical” in the fight against the virus’ spread, with the impact of our actions now being felt in the next few weeks, when some expect infections statewide to peak.

But state officials maintain that California will hit its peak toward the end of May. Gov. Gavin Newsom says that’s partially due to successful social distancing, which is helping to flatten the state’s coronavirus curve.


Florida man accused of stabbing dog and putting it in hot oven, deputies say

LEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida man is accused of abusing a dog before killing it and then placing the animal in an oven.

Deputies were called to 24-year-old Vicasso Lara’s home by a neighbor who said he was making threats.

When detectives responded to the home, deputies found several pools of blood outside and bloody footprints near the rear entrance.

Once detectives began a search warrant of the home, they discovered the body of a dog in the kitchen oven, which had been turned to its highest setting.

Detectives say Lara had stabbed the dog numerous times, then beaten and brutalized the dog prior to having placed it in the oven.

“I’m speechless,” stated Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “This is possibly the most brutal and horrific example of animal abuse my team or I have ever seen. We will pursue the absolute maximum punishment for this horrific crime.”

Lara was arrested and charged with torture of an animal, inflicting pain, serious injury, and causing death. He is currently being held without bond.


Three workers stabbed to death at Tennessee truck stop, suspect shot and killed

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A man who was shot and killed after fatally stabbing three women and injuring a fourth at a Tennessee truck stop early Tuesday has been identified by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The suspect, Idris Abdus-Salaam, 33, was a truck driver from Durham, North Carolina.

The three deceased victims were all employed at the Pilot Travel Center on Strawberry Plains Pike. They have been identified as:

  • Joyce Whaley, 57
  • Patricia Denise Nibbe, 51
  • Nettie R. Spencer, 41

The fourth victim, who was a customer and has not been identified, remains hospitalized.

The report of a stabbing at the truck stop at 7210 Strawberry Plains Pike in Knoxville was made just before 7 a.m.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confirmed that three women were killed and a fourth was transported to a nearby hospital.

The condition of the hospitalized individual was unknown as of Tuesday afternoon.

The stabbing suspect, Abdus-Salaam, was shot and killed by law enforcement, TBI spokesperson Leslie Earhart said.


Idris Abdus-Salaam of Durham, North Carolina. Abdus-Salaam is alleged to have fatally stabbed three workers at a Pilot Travel Center in East Knox County and injuring a customer before being shot and killed by a Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy. (WNCN photo)

Officials say officers arriving on the scene first saw at least one person with stab wounds outside of the store. A man, armed with a knife and identified by witnesses as the suspect, was also in the parking lot.

Officers confronted Abdus-Salaam, who refused to drop the weapon. At some point during the encounter, one of the officers fired shots, striking him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pilot Company CEO Jimmy Haslam confirmed in a statement that all three victims were Pilot employees.

“Today is a difficult day for the Pilot Company family. We are devastated to confirm the loss of three team members and the injury of a guest after an act of violence at our Strawberry Plains, Tennessee, location this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we extend our deepest sympathy to the families and loved ones of the victims. We are providing support and counseling to the families and our team. We are working closely with local authorities. Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers.”

PILOT COMPANY CEO JIMMY HASLAM

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will launch a probe into the officer-involved shooting. Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen released a statement about the decision for the TBI to take over the investigation.

“Historically, our policy has been for KPD to investigate any KCSO officer-involved shooting and KCSO to investigate any KPD officer-involved shooting. TBI has always investigated all in-custody deaths of inmates for our jurisdiction. Recently, in order to have uniform consistency in the investigation of these incidents, Chief Thomas, Sheriff Spangler, and I have discussed using the TBI for all officer-involved shootings. We have decided to follow the majority of our colleagues across the state, and I will now request that TBI conduct all of our officer-involved shootings for both KPD and KCSO.”

KNOX COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHARME ALLEN


Judges release growing number accused of violent crimes due to COVID-19 fears

Canadian judges are increasingly citing the new coronavirus in their decisions to release detainees accused of serious crimes.


Hong Kong’s Airport Authority in talks with banks for US$2.6 billion loan to fund the third runway’s construction

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority is in talks with banks for a HK$20 billion (US$2.6 billion) loan to help fund the city’s third runway, according to people familiar with the matter.The five-year facility, which is also meant for general corporate purposes, offers an interest margin of 72 basis points over the Hong Kong interbank offered rate (Hibor) and a top-level all-in of 82 basis points, said the people who are not authorised to speak publicly and asked not to be identified.The Airport…


Hong Kong customs officers seize HK$5.5 million worth of endangered red sandalwood bound for mainland China

Hong Kong law enforcers confiscated more than seven tonnes of endangered wood worth HK$5.5 million (US$709,489) hidden in two shipping containers from India and was bound for mainland China, where they would be made into luxury furniture and carvings, customs officials said on Wednesday.A 63-year-old consignee – a Hong Kong man – was arrested on Monday after customs officers posing as logistics workers delivered the two containers to a secluded container yard in Yuen Long.The red sandalwood,…


September 6 tentative date for Legislative Council election, but Hong Kong’s battle with Covid-19 lends uncertainty

September 6 has been set as the tentative date for Hong Kong’s upcoming Legislative Council election, despite concerns the polls could yet be postponed as the city grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.The provisional date for the highly anticipated election was mentioned in a circular sent by the Registration and Electoral Office to permanent secretaries and heads of various government departments on Monday, and revealed to the Post on Wednesday.Riding the momentum of the anti-government…


Coronavirus tests: Cambridge University lab sets daily target of 30,000

It is part of the government's goal of achieving 100,000 tests each day by the end of April.


Coronavirus: Inside Manchester’s Nightingale Hospital

Manchester Central convention centre has been converted into a field hospital for Covid-19 patients.


Coronavirus: Hong Kong records 25 new cases, including two-month-old baby and clinic staff member; tally at 960

Hong Kong recorded 25 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, including a two-month-old baby and a staff member of a public clinic, bringing the city’s infection tally to 960.Fifteen people who had recent travel history were also among the fresh cases, according to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Centre for Health Protection’s communicable diseases branch, who spoke at the daily press briefing.Chuang said the infected staff member from Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club General Out-patient Clinic in Sheung Shui…


Coronavirus: food supply to Hong Kong from Australia will not be affected despite pandemic

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What LEH International School Foshan hopes to bring to the Greater Bay Area

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Halifax driver fined for driving more than double the speed limit

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Severe Storms Likely Wednesday Night Into Early Thursday

An *enhanced risk* for severe storms across the Tennessee Valley for damaging winds, hail, and possible tornadoes

Data pix.

A strong cold front moves through the Tennessee Valley late Wednesday into early Thursday bringing strong to severe storms to the area. These storms will be fast movers and will bring plenty of wind and hail. In fact, very large hail is possible with this line during the overnight hours. The Storm Prediction Center has parts of the Tennessee Valley with an *enhanced risk* for wind, hail, and possible tornadoes late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Timing For Storms - Late Wednesday & Early Thursday

This is likely to be an overnight event for us. This means your NOAA Weather Radio will go off as well as your Live Alert 19 app. This system is strong enough to knock down trees, power lines, and drop hail larger than quarters. We can't rule out tornadoes as well. This will be a faster mover. The main line with the cold front will be in and out in around six hours.

Don't be surprised if a severe thunderstorm watch or tornado watch is issued for the Tennessee Valley sometime Wednesday evening that lasts into the overnight. We'll be free of severe storms after sunrise Thursday. 

Bottom Line: We are in severe weather season and we'll have multiple rounds of strong to severe storms in April through May. We will likely see another round on Easter Sunday. We prepared with our Live Alert 19 app and remember have multiple ways to get warnings. Click here for the forecast discussion.


Boy thought Bournemouth footballer’s call was April Fool prank

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White Stuff founder wants to plant trees to shield unlawful tennis court

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Ben Stokes: Wisden name England all-rounder leading cricketer in world

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Fatal crash NB US95 at Careywood Road

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE - generated by our News Release ListServer

DO NOT REPLY

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IDAHO STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE

District 1 Patrol 615 West Wilbur Ave. Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815

(208) 209-8620

Fax (208) 209-8619

For Immediate Release: 04/08/2020 12:32 am

Please direct questions to the District Office

On Tuesday, April 7th, 2020, at approximately 8:30 pm, the Idaho State Police responded to a fatal crash on northbound US95 at Careywood Road, north of Athol. A passenger car was traveling northbound when it failed to negotiate a left turn. The vehicle entered the northbound ditch and turned sideways, striking a telephone pole and then started to roll. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. The driver was declared deceased on scene. Identification of the victim is pending next of kin notification. The northbound lane of travel was blocked for approximately three hours. The investigation is ongoing.

MRW

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Coronavirus: New London bus safety measures after nine worker deaths

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Coronavirus: Oxford junior doctors keep video diaries

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Alan Shearer: ‘Let Premier League players decide the best way to help’

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Coronavirus lockdown sees air pollution plummet across UK

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How the coronavirus might change the world for the better, from less pollution to improved family bonds

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Litherland shooting: Murder probe after man shot dead at house

The 20-year-old victim was shot through the window of a home on Merseyside on Tuesday evening.


SHAFTSBURY BARRACKS/DUI ARREST/TOWN OF POWNAL

VSP News Release-Incident STATE OF VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY VERMONT STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE         CASE#: 20B301108 RANK/TROOPER FULL NAME: Trooper Justin Walker                               STATION: Shaftsbury Field Station                       CONTACT#: 802-442-5421 DATE/TIME: 04/07/20 @ 2104 hours INCIDENT LOCATION: 7534 US Rt 7


Hong Kong court rejects police group’s application to keep voter details under wraps over doxxing concerns

A Hong Kong court on Wednesday dismissed an application by the city’s largest police group to ban election authorities from publicly disclosing voters’ details.The Court of First Instance ruled that the publication of voter registries, which make the names and residential addresses of voters available for public inspection, are both lawful and constitutionally compliant.Mr Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming said the registries were rationally connected with the aims of preserving the integrity of…


Coronavirus: Hong Kong set for HK$130 billion in Covid-19 relief measures

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong workers will have up to half of their wages paid by the government under a HK$130 billion package of measures to help businesses and residents struggling during the economic storm unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Post has learned.Most of the massive relief fund – equivalent in size to 4.6 per cent of the city’s gross domestic product – will go towards the wage plan, set to last for six months, which will target affected industries with payments capped at 50…


Passover in lockdown ‘will be tough’

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Lost and found: Hong Kong schoolgirl reported missing three months ago found by police – after trapping herself in mall locker

A schoolgirl reported missing more than three months ago was finally found by police on Wednesday morning – not due to an investigation, but because of a prank.The 16-year-old, who failed to return after leaving her parents home in late December, was hanging out with friends at the Ching Long Shopping Centre in Hong Kong’s Kai Tak area when she decided to stuff herself into one of the 90cm lockers used to hold items for online shoppers.“The girl found one of the lockers wide open. She climbed…


Lost and found: Hong Kong schoolgirl reported missing three months ago found by police – after trapping herself in mall locker

A schoolgirl reported missing more than three months ago was finally found by police on Wednesday morning – not due to an investigation, but because of a prank.The 16-year-old, who failed to return after leaving her parents home in late December, was hanging out with friends at the Ching Long Shopping Centre in Hong Kong’s Kai Tak area when she decided to stuff herself into one of the 90cm lockers used to hold items for online shoppers.“The girl found one of the lockers wide open. She climbed…


Premier League ‘could lose £1bn’; while football’s ‘clubs and leagues in danger’

The Premier League warns of a potential £1bn loss - while FA chairman says the wider English game faces "the danger of losing clubs and leagues".


Pandemic deals blow to plastic bag bans, plastic reduction

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Coronavirus: newspaper mogul calls on Lam to dip into public coffers to pay two months’ wages for all Hong Kong workers

A newspaper mogul has issued an open letter to Hong Kong’s beleaguered leader, urging her to use public funds to pay two months of wages across the private sector to keep the city’s workers employed.In Charles Ho Tsu-kwok’s appeal, made in a full-page advertisement on the front-page of Wednesday’s Sing Tao Daily, the Sing Tao News Corp chairman also urged Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to learn from other governments in formulating Covid-19 relief measures.Ho’s letter came a day…


He was ‘tethered’ to a pole after hitting man with a vehicle, Calaveras deputies say

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Gov. Polis takes a cautious look forward to a pandemic-free Colorado during a televised town hall

Gov. Jared Polis took a hopeful, if cautious, look forward Tuesday night at a world in which COVID-19 is no longer a raging force that is occupying the minds and psyches of almost everyone in Colorado.

During a televised town hall with 9News anchor Kyle Clark, the governor spoke of a return — albeit a slow one — to normalcy in the Centennial State. He held up Colorado’s hard-hit high country as an example of a part of the state that may experience more challenges in the face of its high per-capita coronavirus caseload, but one that will still come back.

“Our mountain communities, like the rest of Colorado, are strong and are independent,” Polis said. “We’re going to bounce back. This is temporary — our natural assets, our incredible state, world-class tourism opportunities — there will be a day we’re able once again to embrace tourists from around the world.”

But he cautioned that a resurgence to business as usual in Colorado won’t happen all at once, but likely in phases, and that state officials will need to remain “wary of large gatherings” for a while yet.

“So let’s talk about when we totally get back to normal — that means stadiums full of people, congregations of thousands of people going to mass — a lot of that will need a cure or a vaccine,” the governor said. “It doesn’t mean that bars and restaurants are opening in the same way, right away; it might mean a week or two later.”

Some reopened eateries might have to start out at half capacity, Polis said.


The governor was joined at the town hall by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, and Betsy Markey, who heads up Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Markey, a former U.S. congresswoman from Colorado, said it’s important that residents practice social distancing, wear masks and stay at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.

“At the end of the day, the quicker that we can deal with this health crisis, get the pandemic under control, the quicker we can get our economy back on track,” she said. “The worst thing we can do is to open too quickly and see another reoccurrence of the disease among people and then we are that much further back.”

On Monday, Polis extended the statewide stay-at-home order, which had been set to expire Saturday, until at least April 26. He announced the move during a 19-minute speech carried by multiple media outlets.

As of Tuesday evening, at least 179 people have died of complications from the novel coronavirus in Colorado, while confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose to 5,429. More than 1,000 Coloradans are hospitalized due to COVID-19.

 

For now, testing is at about 2,000 tests daily in Colorado, Polis said, though the state can ramp up to 10,000 tests a day if it gets all the equipment needed to do so. Because the disease is so contagious and testing limited, the governor advised those who are not experiencing respiratory distress that requires hospitalization to hold off on getting tested.

“If you’re experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms, we don’t want you to go out and scramble around, try to get a test, go to a hospital — you might spread it and put others in danger,” he said.

Herlihy on Tuesday looked forward to a day when more than just those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested for the virus.

“There will potentially be an increasing role for those types of tests,” she said. “One way that they may be useful is to help us understand what the level of immunity could be across the state or in different communities across the state over time.”

State health officials said this week that the spread of coronavirus is slowing in Colorado, with daily new cases of the disease dropping from 387 announced Saturday to 221 announced Sunday. But the number of new cases jumped back up to 261 on Monday.

Polis said during Tuesday’s town hall that he didn’t believe Colorado would run short of ventilators as long as people continued to keep their distance from one another.

“It really just depends on people’s behavior,” the governor said.

The governor also acknowledged that even if Colorado gets its house in order on the coronavirus pandemic, its full recovery — especially the beleaguered travel industry — will be heavily impacted by how other parts of the world are doing in combating the virus.

“The world isn’t traveling right away — I mean, people are scared out there,” he said. “So unless the tourism behavior snaps back when the health restrictions are off, it’s going to be a long tail on the difficulties for (the travel) industry.”

Polis has generally gotten high marks for his response to the coronavirus pandemic in Colorado — even from some political opponents — as he tried to figure out what measures to take that might contain the virus’ spread without doing excessive damage to the economy. But he took pointed criticism at the end of March when a majority of Colorado Senate Republicans sent Polis a letter denouncing his stay-at-home order, saying the governor did not engage them in the decision.

The governor ended the town hall with a recognition that many people in Colorado are helping others in greater need and being selfless in the face of great personal challenge.

“In these dark times, the heart of people — the value of people — really comes through,” Polis said.

Join our Facebook group for the latest updates on coronavirus in Colorado.


Emergency medical professionals using caution when answering calls

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Emergency medical services are the professionals often first on scene when someone is sick or injured. And while their ability to respond isn't affected, the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way some first responders think when answering a call.

"Not knowing what you're up against when you do get a call. Whether you're going to need just a mask or full PPE (personal protective equipment)," said EMT Bobby Ramsey.

With the worry of their own health in the back of their minds, taking precautions is not only necessary but top of mind.

"I have four kids, and I really have to protect myself. Especially with a newborn. That really runs through my head," said Ramsey.

Ramsey says the virus doesn't take away from his duty to care for the community. HEMSI (Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc.) Officials tell us that patient care comes first.

"I love doing the job so it's part of it," said Ramsey.

HEMSI says they have protocols for both the 911 dispatch center and field crews to ask patients about the potential for COVID-19 symptoms so they know when they get to a call if they need to grab their personal protective equipment and suit up.

"911 dispatchers have certain protocols and they will ask screening questions. They may identify that a person has COVID-19 symptoms before we even arrive and then we can use the appropriate PPE precautions before we enter the scene and assess the patient," says HEMSI Chief Operations Officer Dea Calce.

Calce says in some cases 911's protocol doesn't call for the screening questions or the patient might not give accurate information.

"When we get there we have asked our providers to ask those same screening questions before they go up and preform a full assessment. So when they make patient contact they can do it from six feet away before they go in," said Calce.

HEMSI officials are taking daily inventory of their supplies and working to stay ahead of the nationwide PPE shortage.

"We're having to reach out and look in unusual places to try to find the highest quality and the best priced items," said Calce.

HEMSI says patients can help first responders by answering questions from 911 dispatchers honestly and having patience when crews arrive on scene and need to suit up.


Former SNC-Lavalin CEO earned $7M in 2019, despite retiring in June

Former SNC-Lavalin CEO Neil Bruce also took in $4.2 million in share-based awards, a bonus of about $670,000 and "other compensation'' of $891,000.


U.S. Space & Rocket Center honors medical, emergency workers with special Saturn V lighting

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. –  The U.S. Space & Rocket Center will have special lighting on the Saturn V replica to pay tribute to the medical and emergency workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the past few weeks the Rocket Center has lighted the Saturn V red, white and blue in a show of community solidarity during the crisis.

Each night starting at 8 p.m., the top part of the rocket will change to a sparkling red for 33 seconds for medical workers followed by 33 seconds of blue for police. Finally, the rocket will sparkle red and blue for all emergency workers.

This lighting pattern will repeat until 8:59, when the Saturn V goes dark for one minute in memory of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

At 9:01, the Saturn V will again shine red, white and blue as a beacon of hope for the future.

The special lighting will continue for at least the next two weeks as the community continues to face the coronavirus challenge.

Data pix.

U.S. attorney would like to see more progress in settlement with state over prison issues

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - About a year ago, the U.S. Department of Justice released a 2-year study that found high levels of violence, sexual abuse and death within the Alabama prison system. The situation is bad enough for the DOJ to allege the state is violating the U.S. Constitution's 8th amendment on cruel and unusual punishment.

Since the report, U.S. Attorney Jay Town has lead negotiations between the DOJ and the state.

"My disappointment is more with the pace. I do think being deliberate is wise, but sometimes in the law, it's an industry. We need to be mindful of that," said Town.

The Alabama Department of Corrections added in a statement, "Achieving resolution and agreement to the issues raised by the Department of Justice in its findings letter remains a priority for the ADOC, and we are working in good faith with the DOJ to achieve this end as quickly as possible. We believe we are making appropriate progress.

Alabama prison occupancy is at 170 percent and climbing. Town told our news partner AL.com and WHNT reporter, Ethan Fitzgerald that he thinks the state is making progress.

When Town was asked what that progress is or if there is any data to back that up, Town directed WHNT to the ADOC. They too, did not give any specific details to indicate progress.

Instead releasing a statement saying:

"The Department continues to make significant progress on the initiatives outlined in our strategic plan to transform the correctional system in Alabama. With that said, our current focus and resources are directed toward mitigating the potential spread of COVID-19 in our facilities and to protecting the safety and well-being of our inmate population and staff."

Alabama Department of Corrections

Town says while the pandemic is front of mind, he still has weekly talks with the state regarding the issue at hand.

Governor Kay Ivey announced Tuesday she is extending the proposal deadline for plans centering on 3 new prisons for men. The DOJ report says new prisons will not be enough to solve the problem. However, Town does think it plays a roll in improving the prison system.

"Crowding just causes problems. It's the root of problems. The problems themselves, the 8th amendment issues are a result of contraband and some of the violence, the sexual issues," said Town.

Last year, 13 inmates were killed by other inmates in Alabama. Two additional inmates were killed as a result of excessive force.

Governor Ivey's office says improving the prison system is still a top priority in the midst of also fighting a global pandemic.


U.S. attorney would like to see more progress in settlement with state over prison issues

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala - About a year ago, the U.S. Department of Justice released a 2-year study that found high levels of violence, sexual abuse and death within the Alabama prison system. The situation is bad enough for the DOJ to allege the state is violating the U.S. Constitution's 8th amendment on cruel and unusual punishment.

Since the report, U.S. Attorney Jay Town has lead negotiations between the DOJ and the state.

"My disappointment is more with the pace. I do think being deliberate is wise, but sometimes in the law, it's an industry. We need to be mindful of that," said Town.

The Alabama Department of Corrections added in a statement, "Achieving resolution and agreement to the issues raised by the Department of Justice in its findings letter remains a priority for the ADOC, and we are working in good faith with the DOJ to achieve this end as quickly as possible. We believe we are making appropriate progress.

Alabama prison occupancy is at 170 percent and climbing. Town told our news partner AL.com and WHNT reporter, Ethan Fitzgerald that he thinks the state is making progress.

When Town was asked what that progress is or if there is any data to back that up, Town directed WHNT to the ADOC. They too, did not give any specific details to indicate progress.

Instead releasing a statement saying:

"The Department continues to make significant progress on the initiatives outlined in our strategic plan to transform the correctional system in Alabama. With that said, our current focus and resources are directed toward mitigating the potential spread of COVID-19 in our facilities and to protecting the safety and well-being of our inmate population and staff."

Alabama Department of Corrections

Town says while the pandemic is front of mind, he still has weekly talks with the state regarding the issue at hand.

Governor Kay Ivey announced Tuesday she is extending the proposal deadline for plans centering on 3 new prisons for men. The DOJ report says new prisons will not be enough to solve the problem. However, Town does think it plays a roll in improving the prison system.

"Crowding just causes problems. It's the root of problems. The problems themselves, the 8th amendment issues are a result of contraband and some of the violence, the sexual issues," said Town.

Last year, 13 inmates were killed by other inmates in Alabama. Two additional inmates were killed as a result of excessive force.

Governor Ivey's office says improving the prison system is still a top priority in the midst of also fighting a global pandemic.


Florence City Council votes to declare state of emergency

Data pix.

FLORENCE, Ala. — Another north Alabama city has declared a local state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Florence City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening in favor of a state of emergency. Florence Mayor Steve Holt said it authorizes the city to apply for money from the Care Act and may allow them to get money from the federal stimulus funds.

“It gives us access to that but had we not passed it, we would not be eligible to apply so now we can apply and we anticipate all the other towns within Lauderdale county will also pass this state of emergency resolution this month,” said Holt.

Mayor Holt said those towns in Lauderdale County are anticipated to make their respective votes the next time their councils meet.


Florence City Council votes to declare state of emergency

Data pix.

FLORENCE, Ala. — Another north Alabama city has declared a local state of emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Florence City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening in favor of a state of emergency. Florence Mayor Steve Holt said it authorizes the city to apply for money from the Care Act and may allow them to get money from the federal stimulus funds.

“It gives us access to that but had we not passed it, we would not be eligible to apply so now we can apply and we anticipate all the other towns within Lauderdale county will also pass this state of emergency resolution this month,” said Holt.

Mayor Holt said those towns in Lauderdale County are anticipated to make their respective votes the next time their councils meet.


Hong Kong anti-government protests: more than 7,600 arrested during unrest

Hong Kong police have arrested more than 7,600 people during the social unrest which has gripped the city since June, of whom only one in six has been prosecuted.During the same period, officers earned more than HK$2 billion in overtime pay.The force also revealed details of the amounts of ammunition used in the street clashes, triggered by proposed legislation which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, among other jurisdictions. The government has since…


Hong Kong anti-government protests: more than 7,600 arrested during unrest

Hong Kong police have arrested more than 7,600 people during the social unrest which has gripped the city since June, of whom only one in six has been prosecuted.During the same period, officers earned more than HK$2 billion in overtime pay.The force also revealed details of the amounts of ammunition used in the street clashes, triggered by proposed legislation which would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, among other jurisdictions. The government has since…


Tennessee congressman tweets out personal phone number to answer coronavirus questions, concerns

Data pix.

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Members of Congress receive calls every day from constituents about the work they’re doing in Washington. But few give out their personal number, and even fewer answer their phone at all hours of the night.

“I just felt like I needed to do something, and it just came to me. I said, ‘Well, I’ll just give my dadgum cell phone out,’” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) said. “I suspect [lawmakers’] spouses are saying, ‘That idiot, Tim Burchett. Don’t you dare give your phone number out.’ But everything I’ve got is because of the people I work for so I’m more than happy to share it with them.”

Burchett tweeted out his personal number a week ago to help people feeling overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis.

“If you wanna just talk about what’s going on around you, I don’t need to know your name,” Burchett said in the Twitter video. “You don’t even have to live in my congressional district.”

Since then, the former Knoxville mayor’s phone has received thousands of calls, voicemails and texts from people not only in his district but across the country and around the world. Burchett said many are worried about losing their homes or businesses, while others wanted to know how to donate masks and other resources.

“Mostly, folks just want to hear a voice,” he said.

Beyond the physical effects, the global pandemic is also impacting people’s mental health. Burchett said nine people in his community recently died by suicide.

The congressman has referred constituents to available resources and even called the police for wellness checks.

“Everybody knows me pretty much,” Burchett said. “I’ve lived here my whole life.”

Burchett said answering the calls and texts takes about 12 hours a day, but he isn’t about to stop.

“It’s just good therapy for them,” he said. “And honestly, it’s good therapy for me.”


Tennessee congressman tweets out personal phone number to answer coronavirus questions, concerns

Data pix.

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Members of Congress receive calls every day from constituents about the work they’re doing in Washington. But few give out their personal number, and even fewer answer their phone at all hours of the night.

“I just felt like I needed to do something, and it just came to me. I said, ‘Well, I’ll just give my dadgum cell phone out,’” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) said. “I suspect [lawmakers’] spouses are saying, ‘That idiot, Tim Burchett. Don’t you dare give your phone number out.’ But everything I’ve got is because of the people I work for so I’m more than happy to share it with them.”

Burchett tweeted out his personal number a week ago to help people feeling overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis.

“If you wanna just talk about what’s going on around you, I don’t need to know your name,” Burchett said in the Twitter video. “You don’t even have to live in my congressional district.”

Since then, the former Knoxville mayor’s phone has received thousands of calls, voicemails and texts from people not only in his district but across the country and around the world. Burchett said many are worried about losing their homes or businesses, while others wanted to know how to donate masks and other resources.

“Mostly, folks just want to hear a voice,” he said.

Beyond the physical effects, the global pandemic is also impacting people’s mental health. Burchett said nine people in his community recently died by suicide.

The congressman has referred constituents to available resources and even called the police for wellness checks.

“Everybody knows me pretty much,” Burchett said. “I’ve lived here my whole life.”

Burchett said answering the calls and texts takes about 12 hours a day, but he isn’t about to stop.

“It’s just good therapy for them,” he said. “And honestly, it’s good therapy for me.”


Accident – Jefferson Rd at Kathwood Dr

Accident - Jefferson Rd at Kathwood Dr - All lanes of Jefferson Rd blocked between Kathwood Dr and Trinity Pl. Avoid area and seek an alternate route until cleared.


Reports: Country artist John Prine dead at 73 after battle with COVID-19

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Country artist John Prine has died after a battle with COVID-19, Rolling Stone magazine and The New York Times are reporting.

Prine, a country folk-singer and songwriter for nearly five decades, was hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on March 26. He had since been placed in ICU and put on a ventilator and reportedly had pneumonia in both of his lungs.

Prine, a two-time Grammy-winner, is perhaps best known for songs such as Sam Stone, Hello in There, Angel From Montgomery, Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore, The Late John Garfield Blues, Bear Creek Blues, Sweet Revenge, and Spanish Pipedream.

Prine was 73-years-old.

This is a developing story.


Reports: Country artist John Prine dead at 73 after battle with COVID-19

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Country artist John Prine has died after a battle with COVID-19, Rolling Stone magazine and The New York Times are reporting.

Prine, a country folk-singer and songwriter for nearly five decades, was hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on March 26. He had since been placed in ICU and put on a ventilator and reportedly had pneumonia in both of his lungs.

Prine, a two-time Grammy-winner, is perhaps best known for songs such as Sam Stone, Hello in There, Angel From Montgomery, Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore, The Late John Garfield Blues, Bear Creek Blues, Sweet Revenge, and Spanish Pipedream.

Prine was 73-years-old.

This is a developing story.


Concerns about housing crisis after coronavirus

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Economists fear that federal coronavirus aid is simply postponing a housing crisis to rival that of 2008.

“Eventually, the rent will be due,” said Solomon Greene of the Urban Institute research group. “We need to be planning now for that cliff.”

Greene said millions of Americans could face losing their homes if their jobs don’t survive the pandemic.

“Renters are most likely to be most hard hit by the crisis. They tend to have lower incomes. They also work in the industries that we’re seeing are losing jobs,” Greene explained.

The $2.2 trillion federal coronavirus relief package approved last month gives temporary protection from eviction and foreclosure for some, but Greene said Congress must create long-term solutions for many more.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, agreed, saying building more affordable housing is key.

“We just need to put incentives out there for homebuilders and others,” Brown said.

Democrats in Congress say they will not allow a flood of foreclosure and evictions like those caused by the 2008 financial crisis. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., said families, not banks, must come first.

“At this point, I think it’s just fair to say we’re willing to look at anything to make sure we’re helping our families,” she said.

But Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kan., said Congress should wait to see what happens before moving.

“Businesses would be able to come back to work and employees would be ready and at a place to get back to work, as well,” he said.

He added that the money already in the pipeline may be enough to prevent a housing crisis.

Hilary Shelton, NAACP president of policy and advocacy, says the crisis is disproportionately impacting communities of color and is hoping Congress doesn’t repeat mistakes of the 2008 financial crisis where African-American home ownership was slashed by nearly half.

“At that time, only 40% of African Americans owned their homes. By the time the economic downturn was over, that number was cut in half. (For) white Americans, it was cut by about 10%. The impact was astounding, it was outrageous to see what happened then,” Shelton said.

“What happens when we’re finished going through this? What happens when we solve this problem? Are people going to find themselves in deep debt?”

The National Apartment Association says it’s urging Congress to “create an emergency rental assistance program for those residents who are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and struggle to cover housing expenses.”

We also ask that financial assistance and protections be expanded to other property-level financial obligations such as property taxes, insurance payments, utility service and similar expenses,” the association said in a statement.


NMSP to Hold Virtual Recruiting Event

Statewide, NM - The New Mexico State Police will hold a virtual recruiting chat on Thursday, April 9th for anyone interested in learning more about NMSP and the application process to join the department.

NMSP jobs are pandemic-proof, recession-proof and are always essential. Our commitment to our communities is more important than ever during these challenging times. Anyone who wants to learn more about what it is really like to be an officer and how they can start their career can log onto the NMSP Facebook page for this live event.

Who: New Mexico State Police

What: Facebook Live Virtual Recruiting Chat

When: Thursday, April 9th. 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Where: NMSP Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/NMStatePolice/


###


Companies across the U.S. work to combat COVID-19 any way they can

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Companies around the country have, literally overnight, retooled their businesses to help fight the coronavirus.  

Distilleries across the country have halted production of alcohol to make hand sanitizer; car companies like Tesla are building ventilators instead of cars.

One small business in Washington, D.C., has already produced three million bottles of hand sanitizer in less than two weeks.

David Simnick at Soapbox has made and sold soap with a mission for the past 10 years – and for a good cause, he says.

“Every time someone buys one of our products, we donate a bar of soap,” says Simnick.

But when one of their partners called in March — requesting hand sanitizer — that mission grew.

“Within 24 hours, we had source to formula, we created a whole bottle and design and look, we were able to get the approval from the FDA,” says Simnick. “And then we went to market.”

Soapbox is just one of the many companies stepping up to meet the demand for essential supplies.

For example, right now, Austin-based Tito’s Handmade Vodka is shifting production to produce 24 tons of hand sanitizer.

This week companies like Tesla and Xerox say they’re revving up work to help address the shortage of ventilators.

Simnick says Soapbox is standing by their commitment to charity, and will donate three million bars of soap to match the bottles of hand sanitizers they sell to hospitals and retailers across the country.

He says, “Our whole team feels incredibly privileged and honored in order to be able to stand with our community right now and make a difference.”


Jackson County Sheriff: Gov. Ivey’s “stay-at-home” order leaves things “wide open”

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JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - Many on Sand Mountain have reached out to us about several businesses staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the stay at home order issued by Governor Kay Ivey.

“It was pretty much wide open. There’s really not closure of very many businesses. Small businesses have closed, like beauticians, and things where there’s a few people working, but the plants are all still considered essential,” explained Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips

There are more than 80 local industries in Jackson County according to the Economic Development Authority.

“Who decides what is essential, I don’t know. To the average citizen out here, there’s a lot of places that’s working today that they don’t think are essential, and I may even think they’re not essential, but that’s not my call,” said Phillips.

The governor’s stay at home order is in effect until April 30, but Phillips said more may need to be done to better flatten the curve.

Phillips told WHNT News 19 that he has been asked by others

“A curfew may help, more closures definitely would help but that’s not my call. The governor’s got to do that and it’s got to be statewide thing, not just for one area. They have info coming into them that I don’t have and the power to make the call,” said Phillips.

WHNT News 19 has gotten dozens of complaints from residents about Maples Industries staying open and not enforcing CDC safety recommendations. Maples Industries is the largest employer in Jackson County.

Company president John Maples tells us they are doing everything they can to keep employees healthy, including increased cleaning in all departments, mandatory hand washing at the start of every shift and after breaks, and adjusting work stations, break rooms and other areas to implement social distancing recommendations as best they can.

Maples told WHNT News 19 that employees do not have to come to work during the crisis if they are concerned for themselves or their loved one.

He added that there is no risk of losing their jobs for not coming to work as long as they let company leaders know in a timely basis.

Maples said by law, they can only put employees on temporary layoff if there is no work for them. If an employee is put on temporary layoff, Maples Industries will file their unemployment forms for them.

Further, the company has temporarily waived the payment of all medical insurance premiums until this crises passes.


Coronavirus: Hong Kong to close beauty and massage parlours amid Covid-19 spread

Hong Kong beauty and massage parlours have been ordered to close for 14 days from Friday, the government announced on Wednesday, after three of them were linked to confirmed Covid-19 cases.Meanwhile, an earlier ban on gatherings of more than four people at public venues such as restaurants has been extended until April 23. Hong Kong reported 21 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, bringing the city’s total to 935.“We hope the closures can effectively break the transmission chain of the virus,…


Five new coronavirus cases reported in Merced County Tuesday, total rises to 34

Five new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Merced County Tuesday by the Department of Public Health, raising the total number of infected persons to 34. The transmission source for the … Click to Continue »


Coronavirus: Early summer festivals in Saskatoon up in the air

Annual summer events in Saskatoon, such as the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Jazz Festival might still be cancelled due to COVID-19.


Colorado candidate campaigns with doctor who shared coronavirus conspiracy theories

Republican congressional candidate Steve House held a virtual campaign event Tuesday with a doctor who has spread conspiracy theories about coronavirus.

House is the Republican nominee to face Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat, in Denver’s eastern suburbs. Late Tuesday afternoon, House’s campaign organized a Facebook event with Dr. Colleen “Kelly” Victory, of Steamboat Springs. A few dozen people tuned in to the conversation about coronavirus.

“I do not believe that the general public should be wearing masks,” Victory said during the event, contradicting state and federal public health officials.

On her Twitter account, Victory has said the mortality rate from COVID-19 is “on par with the flu,” although health experts say it is several times deadlier. She shared a tweet saying “all the (coronavirus) numbers are fake” and claimed Saturday that no Coloradans have been intubated due to coronavirus, which is false.

Victory helped spread conspiracy theories that coronavirus-related closures are a Democratic plot, coordinated in conjunction with the “deep state” and the press, to defeat President Donald Trump in November. She also alleged an over-reaction to the pandemic is a Democratic plot to steal the 2020 election via mail voting and shared a tweet accusing Democrats of stealing elections that way in 2018.

Victory is a critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease. She shared a tweet calling for him to be criminally prosecuted and another calling him an idiot. Fauci has drawn the ire of some on the far right for supporting closures.

On social media, Victory has aligned herself for weeks with ultra-conservatives, such as Ann Coulter, who have spread dubious information about coronavirus. Victory knows Coulter and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disorderly conduct related to an altercation after an event with Coulter in Colorado in 2012.

“Churches should absolutely be open! And so should everything else,” Victory wrote March 21. “Isolate and protect the small percentage of people who are truly at risk and let the masses be exposed and therefore DEVELOP IMMUNITY!”

In an online bio, Victory says she is “a member of” Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, or NPLI, and “served for many years” on a leadership council at Harvard’s public health school. A Harvard spokeswoman says Victory went through a 10-day NPLI program about a dozen years ago and only briefly was a member of the leadership council several years ago.

A spokesman for the House campaign, Roger Hudson, said House likes Victory and considers her to be knowledgeable about health care. Hudson said House has spoken with many physicians as he crafts health policy proposals and the House campaign was not aware of, or responsible for, content on her Twitter feed.

House and Victory share an interest and confidence in hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria medicine Trump has hailed as a treatment for coronavirus. Public health experts, including Fauci, have cautioned that while there is anecdotal evidence of the drug’s success against COVID-19, scientific studies are ongoing.

“It’s very, very safe. Given the risk for COVID in certain populations…why would we not try this very simple, very inexpensive (drug)?” Victory said during the House event Tuesday, after acknowledging a conclusive study has not been conducted.


Colorado candidate campaigns with doctor who shared coronavirus conspiracy theories

Republican congressional candidate Steve House held a virtual campaign event Tuesday with a doctor who has spread conspiracy theories about coronavirus.

House is the Republican nominee to face Rep. Jason Crow, an Aurora Democrat, in Denver’s eastern suburbs. Late Tuesday afternoon, House’s campaign organized a Facebook event with Dr. Colleen “Kelly” Victory, of Steamboat Springs. A few dozen people tuned in to the conversation about coronavirus.

“I do not believe that the general public should be wearing masks,” Victory said during the event, contradicting state and federal public health officials.

On her Twitter account, Victory has said the mortality rate from COVID-19 is “on par with the flu,” although health experts say it is several times deadlier. She shared a tweet saying “all the (coronavirus) numbers are fake” and claimed Saturday that no Coloradans have been intubated due to coronavirus, which is false.

Victory helped spread conspiracy theories that coronavirus-related closures are a Democratic plot, coordinated in conjunction with the “deep state” and the press, to defeat President Donald Trump in November. She also alleged an over-reaction to the pandemic is a Democratic plot to steal the 2020 election via mail voting and shared a tweet accusing Democrats of stealing elections that way in 2018.

Victory is a critic of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s leading expert on infectious disease. She shared a tweet calling for him to be criminally prosecuted and another calling him an idiot. Fauci has drawn the ire of some on the far right for supporting closures.

On social media, Victory has aligned herself for weeks with ultra-conservatives, such as Ann Coulter, who have spread dubious information about coronavirus. Victory knows Coulter and pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disorderly conduct related to an altercation after an event with Coulter in Colorado in 2012.

“Churches should absolutely be open! And so should everything else,” Victory wrote March 21. “Isolate and protect the small percentage of people who are truly at risk and let the masses be exposed and therefore DEVELOP IMMUNITY!”

In an online bio, Victory says she is “a member of” Harvard’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, or NPLI, and “served for many years” on a leadership council at Harvard’s public health school. A Harvard spokeswoman says Victory went through a 10-day NPLI program about a dozen years ago and only briefly was a member of the leadership council several years ago.

A spokesman for the House campaign, Roger Hudson, said House likes Victory and considers her to be knowledgeable about health care. Hudson said House has spoken with many physicians as he crafts health policy proposals and the House campaign was not aware of, or responsible for, content on her Twitter feed.

House and Victory share an interest and confidence in hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria medicine Trump has hailed as a treatment for coronavirus. Public health experts, including Fauci, have cautioned that while there is anecdotal evidence of the drug’s success against COVID-19, scientific studies are ongoing.

“It’s very, very safe. Given the risk for COVID in certain populations…why would we not try this very simple, very inexpensive (drug)?” Victory said during the House event Tuesday, after acknowledging a conclusive study has not been conducted.


Madison County officials concerned by potential shortage of drugs for people on ventilators

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - For weeks when health officials talk about shortages related to COVID-19, many have worried about the supply of personnel protective equipment and ventilators. But medical leaders in Madison County are also concerned about the supply of certain medications that could treat people struggling to breathe.

The topic of ventilators has been one of upmost importance as hospitals in Madison County prepare for a potential future surge in COVID-19 cases. County officials say they have about 400 at their disposal.

"And right now the models don't show that we would need more ventilators," David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO told reporters during a briefing Monday.

Spillers says he is still concerned about supplies when it comes to the ability to intubate a patient.

"You have to sedate a patient to put them on a ventilator and nobody is talking nationally about the shortage of propofol and other drugs required to put somebody on a ventilator," Spillers pointed out.

A recent study by Vizient, the nation's largest member-owned health care services company, shows that in March there was a 51% increase in demand for drugs like propofol used to intubate patients.

"I could predict particularly since our curve generally is farther along than the rest of the country that drugs may be the issue for us, not ventilators," Spillers said.

During a Huntsville-Madison County COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Crestwood Hospital CEO, Dr. Pam Hudson says those drugs are already being conserved, in part, by cancelling all elective surgeries.

And Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong says they are in contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health to manage that supply.

"That propofol, right now, we've got enough in stock to take care of our local hospitals and there is a large communication related to being sure that not only here locally, but also here in north Alabama, that sufficient supplies are there," Strong said Tuesday.

Strong says he wants the area to be prepared for the days and weeks ahead as the wait for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

County officials continue to urge people to obey the governor's order and practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.


Madison County officials concerned by potential shortage of drugs for people on ventilators

Data pix.

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - For weeks when health officials talk about shortages related to COVID-19, many have worried about the supply of personnel protective equipment and ventilators. But medical leaders in Madison County are also concerned about the supply of certain medications that could treat people struggling to breathe.

The topic of ventilators has been one of upmost importance as hospitals in Madison County prepare for a potential future surge in COVID-19 cases. County officials say they have about 400 at their disposal.

"And right now the models don't show that we would need more ventilators," David Spillers, Huntsville Hospital CEO told reporters during a briefing Monday.

Spillers says he is still concerned about supplies when it comes to the ability to intubate a patient.

"You have to sedate a patient to put them on a ventilator and nobody is talking nationally about the shortage of propofol and other drugs required to put somebody on a ventilator," Spillers pointed out.

A recent study by Vizient, the nation's largest member-owned health care services company, shows that in March there was a 51% increase in demand for drugs like propofol used to intubate patients.

"I could predict particularly since our curve generally is farther along than the rest of the country that drugs may be the issue for us, not ventilators," Spillers said.

During a Huntsville-Madison County COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, Crestwood Hospital CEO, Dr. Pam Hudson says those drugs are already being conserved, in part, by cancelling all elective surgeries.

And Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong says they are in contact with the Alabama Department of Public Health to manage that supply.

"That propofol, right now, we've got enough in stock to take care of our local hospitals and there is a large communication related to being sure that not only here locally, but also here in north Alabama, that sufficient supplies are there," Strong said Tuesday.

Strong says he wants the area to be prepared for the days and weeks ahead as the wait for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

County officials continue to urge people to obey the governor's order and practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.


Blood banks seeking recovered COVID-19 patients to potentially help people fight off the virus

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MADISON, Ala. - The Food and Drug Administration is leading an experiment that could potentially save lives.

Medical experts believe patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to help those who haven't.

Blood

"This is what they need," said Chuck Borcher. He's talking about blood. "I'm 75 years old." Blood gives all of us life, but for Chuck, it's given his life meaning.

"I don't give whole blood," he said. "I give platelets."

Chuck said he's been donating for nearly half a century, "since God was a little boy. I have no idea -- maybe -- let's see -- 40 years?"

Donate

But fewer people are following Chuck's lead right now, and blood banks are running dangerously low on supplies.

"We are continuing to encourage all of our community to donate blood," said LifeSouth District Community Coordinator Eric Franchois.

Chuck said he may be afraid of needles, but giving blood isn't scary. This brave act may soon help others fighting the coronavirus.

Plasma

LifeSouth is one of North Alabama's blood banks working with medical centers to collect plasma from patients who have recovered fully from COVID-19.

"It may contain extra antibodies that might help boost that patients immune system to help them fight off the virus," said Eric.

LifeSouth said patients can donate plasma if they have not had symptoms for at least 14 days and follow-up tests are negative -- or after 28 days without symptoms. Plasma is the liquid version of your blood.

Help

"This is a really great opportunity if you have the chance to recover from COVID-19 -- a different way to give back," said Eric.

Chuck is still healthy and hopes his gift can help others get there too.

"They can't get it any other way but through donation," said Chuck.

Connect

Potential donors who have recovered from COVID-19 can contact your local blood bank. Email medicaloffice@lifesouth.org or call 888-795-2707 for details.


Blood banks seeking recovered COVID-19 patients to potentially help people fight off the virus

Data pix.

MADISON, Ala. - The Food and Drug Administration is leading an experiment that could potentially save lives.

Medical experts believe patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to help those who haven't.

Blood

"This is what they need," said Chuck Borcher. He's talking about blood. "I'm 75 years old." Blood gives all of us life, but for Chuck, it's given his life meaning.

"I don't give whole blood," he said. "I give platelets."

Chuck said he's been donating for nearly half a century, "since God was a little boy. I have no idea -- maybe -- let's see -- 40 years?"

Donate

But fewer people are following Chuck's lead right now, and blood banks are running dangerously low on supplies.

"We are continuing to encourage all of our community to donate blood," said LifeSouth District Community Coordinator Eric Franchois.

Chuck said he may be afraid of needles, but giving blood isn't scary. This brave act may soon help others fighting the coronavirus.

Plasma

LifeSouth is one of North Alabama's blood banks working with medical centers to collect plasma from patients who have recovered fully from COVID-19.

"It may contain extra antibodies that might help boost that patients immune system to help them fight off the virus," said Eric.

LifeSouth said patients can donate plasma if they have not had symptoms for at least 14 days and follow-up tests are negative -- or after 28 days without symptoms. Plasma is the liquid version of your blood.

Help

"This is a really great opportunity if you have the chance to recover from COVID-19 -- a different way to give back," said Eric.

Chuck is still healthy and hopes his gift can help others get there too.

"They can't get it any other way but through donation," said Chuck.

Connect

Potential donors who have recovered from COVID-19 can contact your local blood bank. Email medicaloffice@lifesouth.org or call 888-795-2707 for details.


“Flatten the Curve” campaign aims at helping healthcare workers in Marshall County

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.- Road signs and t-shirts are popping up across Marshall County reading "Flatten the Curve." They are the creation of The Foundation for Marshall Medical Centers and are meant to be visual reminders for everyone to do their part.

"We all may not be essential at this point in terms of what your job is, but we are all essential in what we can do to flatten the curve. If that just means staying home or calling in on someone to check on them or sewing a hand-sewn mask for a frontline healthcare worker, or just wearing your t-shirt, so others can see it on social media and just spread that. That’s what our campaign is all about," explained The Foundation for Marshall Medical Centers Director, Andrea Oliver.

Money raised goes to providing frontline medical workers with the things they need including personal protective equipment.

With mask limitations, the foundation has turned to paying local groups, including Masks for Marshall County and the Northeast Alabama Mask Makers, to make hand-sewn masks for those.

Members of Masks for Marshall County have donated 1,200 to hospital and nursing homes in Marshall County.

They are also using the money to help in other areas.

“There are equipment needs that we have supported. We’re also supporting our frontline workers through emergency assistance. We have helped set up daycare for our employees at Marshall Medical Centers who don’t have childcare anymore. So, really anything that arises out of the pandemic, out of COVID-19,” said Oliver.

Click here to buy from or donate to the foundation's COVID-19 emergency fund.


“Flatten the Curve” campaign aims at helping healthcare workers in Marshall County

Data pix.

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.- Road signs and t-shirts are popping up across Marshall County reading "Flatten the Curve." They are the creation of The Foundation for Marshall Medical Centers and are meant to be visual reminders for everyone to do their part.

"We all may not be essential at this point in terms of what your job is, but we are all essential in what we can do to flatten the curve. If that just means staying home or calling in on someone to check on them or sewing a hand-sewn mask for a frontline healthcare worker, or just wearing your t-shirt, so others can see it on social media and just spread that. That’s what our campaign is all about," explained The Foundation for Marshall Medical Centers Director, Andrea Oliver.

Money raised goes to providing frontline medical workers with the things they need including personal protective equipment.

With mask limitations, the foundation has turned to paying local groups, including Masks for Marshall County and the Northeast Alabama Mask Makers, to make hand-sewn masks for those.

Members of Masks for Marshall County have donated 1,200 to hospital and nursing homes in Marshall County.

They are also using the money to help in other areas.

“There are equipment needs that we have supported. We’re also supporting our frontline workers through emergency assistance. We have helped set up daycare for our employees at Marshall Medical Centers who don’t have childcare anymore. So, really anything that arises out of the pandemic, out of COVID-19,” said Oliver.

Click here to buy from or donate to the foundation's COVID-19 emergency fund.


Coronavirus: Saskatchewan post-secondary student unions say more emergency funds needed

While some emergency funding exists, the student unions of major Saskatchewan universities say there's many who don't qualify for federal programs and have little to no income for basic needs.


Fort Payne man charged with second-degree rape

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — A Fort Payne man is accused of raping a minor. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office says they began investigating after someone reported a man had committed a sexual act with a minor.

Deputies arrested Jason Bolt, 22, on April 3 and charged him with second-degree rape, which is a Class B felony.

“This is a great job on the part of our investigators when it comes to protecting our children from predators,” said DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden. “No matter what current events are taking place, this must always be one of our top priorities.”

“I’d like to remind the public to never hesitate to contact us if they know of any such acts taking place. You can call us any time at (256)845-3801 and the information will be passed along to our investigative team,” Sheriff Welden said. “God Bless!”


Coronavirus: Hong Kong’s aviation sector projected by IATA to be Asia’s worst hit, with 46 per cent collapse in demand and US$6 billion revenue loss

Hong Kong’s aviation sector is projected to be the worst hit in Asia, with the coronavirus pandemic expected to cut passenger numbers by 23.6 million and place 146,000 jobs in the industry at risk this year, a global airline association has estimated.In new figures released, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast air travel demand for Hong Kong to collapse by 46 per cent in 2020 year on year, and a financial review concluded it faced a US$6 billion (HK$46.5 billion) loss in…


Pink Moon: Europe illuminated by lunar light show

Breathtaking images capture the spectacular lunar event in the skies above Europe.


California governor considers aid for immigrants amid virus

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he is working with the Legislature on an economic stimulus package for immigrants in the country illegally and others not covered by the federal stimulus … Click to Continue »


Quebec doctor concerned by hydroxychloroquine shortage after patients denied treatment

A leading rheumatologist is calling for answers after a hydroxychloroquine shortage prevents his patients from accessing treatment.


Coronavirus: Saskatoon business working to keep people connected during pandemic

Bolt Mobile is repairing broken phones and donating them to hospitals and retirement homes so families can keep in touch.


2nd Green Shirt Day spreads organ donation awareness: ‘The response is overwhelming’

Stories of their son's impact have reached the Boulets from all over the country.


Home-brew boom: More people in B.C. making their own beer amid COVID-19

Hobby stores that sell beer-making supplies are seeing a substantial uptick in business since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.


Non-life-threatening injuries in Bridgeport stabbing

Bridgeport police are investigating a stabbing in the city Tuesday night.


St. Albans Barracks//DUI

STATE OF VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY VERMONT STATE POLICE   PRESS RELEASE                 CASE# 20A201535 TROOPER: Dylan LaMere                                                               STATION: St. Albans Barracks                      CONTACT# 802 524 5993   DATE/TIME: 04/07/20 –  1600 hours LOCATION: Perley Road VIOLATION: DUI   ACCUSED: Dakota McLean AGE: 26


Coons leads effort to deliver COVID-19 protective equipment to first responders

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, led his colleagues in an April 6 letter to President Donald Trump demanding a strong, coordinated federal effort to support first responders by addressing the national shortage of personal protective equipment.The shortage of PPE unnecessarily exposes first responders to COVID-19 and will hamper the ability of emergency personnel to serve on the front lines during this public health crisis.Joining Coons on the letter were members of the Law [...]


Coons leads effort to deliver COVID-19 protective equipment to first responders

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, led his colleagues in an April 6 letter to President Donald Trump demanding a strong, coordinated federal effort to support first responders by addressing the national shortage of personal protective equipment.The shortage of PPE unnecessarily exposes first responders to COVID-19 and will hamper the ability of emergency personnel to serve on the front lines during this public health crisis.Joining Coons on the letter were members of the Law [...]


Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Troopers Requesting Public’s Assistance with Killing and Waste of Cow Elk – Washington County (Photo)

The Oregon State Police is seeking the public’s assistance regarding the unlawful take and waste of a cow elk in Washington County outside of Banks.

The cow elk was located on Thursday, April 2, 2020, on private timber property, near NW Sellers Road and NW Davidson Road.

The property owner reports hearing gunshots in the area around April 1, 2020.

The Oregon State Police is requesting that any person with information about this waste contact Trooper Ben Turner by calling the TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP(677)  or TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM)

The TIP program offers preference point rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of big game mammals.

Preference Point Rewards:

* 5 Points-Mountain Sheep

* 5 Points-Mountain Goat

* 5 Points-Moose

* 5 Points-Wolf

* 4 Points-Elk

* 4 Points-Deer

* 4 Points-Antelope

* 4 Points-Bear

* 4 Points-Cougar

The TIP program also offers cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of Mountain Sheep, Mountain Goat, Moose, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Bear, Cougar, Wolf, Upland Birds, Waterfowl, and Furbearers. Cash rewards can also be awarded for the unlawful take of Game Fish and Shellfish and for Habitat Destruction.

CASH REWARDS:
* $1,000 Mountain Sheep, Mountain Goat and Moose 
* $500 Elk, Deer and Antelope 
* $300 Bear, Cougar and Wolf 
* $300 Habitat Destruction 
* $100 Upland Birds and Waterfowl 
* $100 Furbearers

* $100 Game Fish and Shellfish 

How to Report a Wildlife and/or Habitat Law Violation or Suspicious Activity: 

TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP(677)

TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us (Monitored M-F 8:00AM - 5:00PM)

 

 

 


Coronavirus: Licensed restaurants, bars can now offer alcohol for takeout, delivery orders

A Saskatoon business owner says she is relieved about a recent policy change that allows licensed restaurants and bars to offer alcohol for takeout and delivery.


Coronavirus safety rules should be mandated in Saskatchewan stores: retailers union

A retailers' union is calling on the province to develop enforceable safety requirements for stores.


Deputy minister of Global Affairs Canada tests positive for COVID-19, agency says

Global Affairs said it has since taken "appropriate measures" including contacting tracing to prevent further spread of the virus.


Georgia senator sends private jet to bring stranded Florida cruise ship passengers home

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Four Georgians who were stranded off the coast of Florida after nearly a month at sea in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak are back home in Georgia.

They were without a way home until Georgia’s governor asked the state’s junior U.S. senator if she could give them a lift.

“I was really honored to receive a call from the governor to ask if I could get involved,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) said.

The Republican Senator is a former corporate CEO and a co-owner of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

She is reportedly the wealthiest U.S. senator and she just happens to have her own private jet.

“I was able to send my plane down there and bring the Georgians home last night,” Loeffler said Tuesday.

The two couples – Alan and Sharon Podrid from Marietta and David and Dianne Fowler from Sharpsburg – had been passengers on the Coral Princess cruise ship that was forced to stay at sea because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“About two weeks longer than they had planned,” Loeffler added.

Senator Loeffler said she worked with Gov. Brian Kemp and the State Department to make sure the Georgians got home. They’re continuing to work to find ways to bring other Georgians caught out of the country by coronavirus travel restrictions back to the U.S.

“This is something my office gets involved in routinely. My staff has been tremendous, I just want to recognize them and their work,” Loeffler said.

Loeffler said she met the passengers when they arrived back in their home state.

“To see the relief and the happiness on their faces, though we were all wearing surgical masks and gloves and social distancing,” she said. “I was happy to welcome them home.”

Loeffler said the passengers were taken in ambulances to get tested for the coronavirus.

The pilots that flew Loeffler’s jet are now in quarantine.


Canada reports 1,230 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total to 17,883

A total of 58‬ new deaths were also reported across the country on Tuesday, bringing Canada's total death toll to 381.


What happens if Hong Kong court upholds mask ban amid coronavirus pandemic?

Hong Kong’s embattled government will know on Thursday the outcome of its appeal to uphold a controversial ban on masks, which was introduced at the height of the civil unrest last year but later ruled unconstitutional by the court.Legal experts, however, have called for a full withdrawal of the law invoked under a colonial-era legislation in October, regardless of the appeal outcome, amid the coronavirus crisis.The Court of Appeal’s ruling, set for 3.30pm, underscores what critics see as the…


California ventilators en route to New York, other states

The California National Guard flew ventilators Tuesday to New York, New Jersey and Illinois as part of an effort to help other states manage a crush of coronavirus hospitalizations, the … Click to Continue »


Deputies follow shoe prints in the snow from Lake Tahoe home burglary to 3 suspects

Three people were arrested on suspicion of burglary after deputies followed fresh shoe prints in the snow from a home along the shore of Lake Tahoe to a nearby motel, … Click to Continue »


Deputies follow shoe prints in the snow from Lake Tahoe home burglary to 3 suspects

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Alberta medical students help with COVID-19 contact tracing

Three hundred medical students in Alberta are helping health-care workers trace possible exposures to the COVID-19 virus.


Alberta medical students help with COVID-19 contact tracing

Three hundred medical students in Alberta are helping health-care workers trace possible exposures to the COVID-19 virus.


Attorney General cracks down on noncompliance with emergency declaration

Attorney General Kathy Jennings urged Delawareans to heed Gov. John Carney’s declarations of a state of emergency, announcing on April 6 the declaration and its modifications carry criminal punishment and have been enforced throughout Delaware."This is a tremendously difficult time for everyone, and the only path forward is for all of us to take this seriously as a community," said Jennings. "These temporary restrictions are unprecedented, but they are necessary. [...]


Coons releases statement on Wisconsin primary

Sen. Chris Coons, the top Democrat on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, which funds and provides oversight of federal elections, released a statement April 7 on Wisconsin’s primary election."The events unfolding in Wisconsin demonstrate that we can’t keep ignoring the threat that COVID-19 poses to our elections," said Coons. "Every state needs to expand vote-by-mail, early voting, and online voter registration as soon as [...]


Huntsville security company looking forward to business picking back up

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to close and events to be cancelled, causing a loss in business for Southern Jamm Security.

Founded in 1994, Southern Jamm Security is a family-owned and operated business that provides professional security personnel for corporations, concerts, entertainment venues and private parties.

"We do security for the bars downtown, the restaurants, the hotels, all the major outdoor festivals: Panoply, Whistlestop, PGA Golf Tournament, Taco Fest," said Southern Jamm Security President and CEO, Larry Blitch.

Blitch says Southern Jamm Security has been in Huntsville for 25 years and in less than a month, the COVID-19 virus affected business. He said they lost about 95% of business.

Before the pandemic, between 125-130 people were on payroll. Blitch says now, that's on pause and their uniform rack is full.

Of 45 years in the security business, Blitch says he's never seen anything like this.

"I've seen tornadoes and hurricanes and power outages, and our phone normally rings off the wall because people want overnight security or security to protect their property. This time, it's not like that," said Blitch. "The phone's not ringing and I don't understand."

He expected big box stores to be calling for help in enforcing social distancing.

"You would think they would want a security officer at their front door monitoring how many people are allowed in and keeping them all in line and keeping them distanced," said Blitch.

In the meantime, Blitch says he's excited to be able to hire employees in the near future.

"This, too, shall pass and we`ll be back to work and back to normal again soon," he said. "Bars are going to be open, restaurants are going to be open. Concerts are coming and there's going to be a lot of good shows coming to the Civic Center."

Southern Jamm Security says as soon as people get back out, their business will pick up again, and they'll start hiring. If you're looking for full-time or part-time employment, you can call them at 256-880-5266.


Huntsville security company looking forward to business picking back up

Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to close and events to be cancelled, causing a loss in business for Southern Jamm Security.

Founded in 1994, Southern Jamm Security is a family-owned and operated business that provides professional security personnel for corporations, concerts, entertainment venues and private parties.

"We do security for the bars downtown, the restaurants, the hotels, all the major outdoor festivals: Panoply, Whistlestop, PGA Golf Tournament, Taco Fest," said Southern Jamm Security President and CEO, Larry Blitch.

Blitch says Southern Jamm Security has been in Huntsville for 25 years and in less than a month, the COVID-19 virus affected business. He said they lost about 95% of business.

Before the pandemic, between 125-130 people were on payroll. Blitch says now, that's on pause and their uniform rack is full.

Of 45 years in the security business, Blitch says he's never seen anything like this.

"I've seen tornadoes and hurricanes and power outages, and our phone normally rings off the wall because people want overnight security or security to protect their property. This time, it's not like that," said Blitch. "The phone's not ringing and I don't understand."

He expected big box stores to be calling for help in enforcing social distancing.

"You would think they would want a security officer at their front door monitoring how many people are allowed in and keeping them all in line and keeping them distanced," said Blitch.

In the meantime, Blitch says he's excited to be able to hire employees in the near future.

"This, too, shall pass and we`ll be back to work and back to normal again soon," he said. "Bars are going to be open, restaurants are going to be open. Concerts are coming and there's going to be a lot of good shows coming to the Civic Center."

Southern Jamm Security says as soon as people get back out, their business will pick up again, and they'll start hiring. If you're looking for full-time or part-time employment, you can call them at 256-880-5266.


Alabama Department of Public Health details who’s getting sick, dying from COVID-19

The Alabama Department of Public Health released detailed COVID-19 data Tuesday afternoon, providing more detail on the race, age and underlying health conditions of state residents afflicted by the virus.

Released in chart form the ADPH data lists just over 2,000 confirmed cases, 52 reported deaths and 39 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

View the chart with data current as of April 6 here:

The death figures show 17 white Alabama residents and 17 black residents have died from the disease. Based on overall population data from the 2010 census, that means its claiming more black resident lives, per capita.

The ADPH figures also show those who’ve succumbed to the illness had one or more underlying health conditions, with heart disease and diabetes as the two most common.

The figures also show more men than women are dying from the virus and it’s claimed 23 people 65 or older and 16 people ages 19-64.

The chart shows 315 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus.

There is also some detail about the severity of the virus in some cases, with 116 people listed as being in intensive units and 75 on those on “mechanical ventilation” helping enable them to breathe.

The ADPH said late Tuesday afternoon it is working to update the original’s charts figures concerning workers and residents at long-term care facilities. The percentage figures in those cases contains an error, ADPH told WHNT News 19.


Muscle Shoals restaurant converts to pop-up grocery store, hires furloughed workers

Data pix.

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — Alabama Bliss Bistro in Muscle Shoals is going the extra mile during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its new role as pop-up grocery store is easing stress and creating jobs.

As customers fill the restaurant’s parking lot, some are waiting for take-and-bake meals while others are in line for groceries. In addition to food, they’re selling highly desired items like toilet paper, hand soap, and sanitizer. Owner Miranda Ball said this is a brand new concept.

“A lot of people are coming to get our take-and-bake meals because they don’t have the groceries, they don’t want to have to go to the store to buy the groceries,” said Ball. “My Sysco rep, my food supplier rep, came to me last week and said, ‘What would you feel like doing a pop-up grocery store to go with your curbside pick-up and delivery?’” That was Wednesday; by Friday Ball said the increase in orders crashed the restaurant website six times.

She said the restaurant became so busy, she needed to hire more workers. “This took off so quickly that we actually had to hire three people that got furloughed from their other jobs and so we were able to create three jobs to help us get the groceries out.”

Ball spoke highly of small businesses during this time but said she didn’t start the pop-up grocery for financial gain—part of her mission is to help Shoals area mothers.

“You don’t need to take your three toddlers to the store with you but what are you going to do with them while you go and get your supplies—you’re going to drive up to my curb and let me put them in your trunk for you and give you service with a smile,” Ball said.

To place orders with Alabama Bliss Bistro, visit their website or download their app, only for iOS devices. The phone number is (256) 248-4530.


Alabama Department of Public Health details who’s getting sick, dying from COVID-19

The Alabama Department of Public Health released detailed COVID-19 data Tuesday afternoon, providing more detail on the race, age and underlying health conditions of state residents afflicted by the virus.

Released in chart form the ADPH data lists just over 2,000 confirmed cases, 52 reported deaths and 39 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

View the chart with data current as of April 6 here:

The death figures show 17 white Alabama residents and 17 black residents have died from the disease. Based on overall population data from the 2010 census, that means its claiming more black resident lives, per capita.

The ADPH figures also show those who’ve succumbed to the illness had one or more underlying health conditions, with heart disease and diabetes as the two most common.

The figures also show more men than women are dying from the virus and it’s claimed 23 people 65 or older and 16 people ages 19-64.

The chart shows 315 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus.

There is also some detail about the severity of the virus in some cases, with 116 people listed as being in intensive units and 75 on those on “mechanical ventilation” helping enable them to breathe.

The ADPH said late Tuesday afternoon it is working to update the original’s charts figures concerning workers and residents at long-term care facilities. The percentage figures in those cases contains an error, ADPH told WHNT News 19.


Coronavirus: Have the Brits stranded abroad got home yet?

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Coronavirus: Have the Brits stranded abroad got home yet?

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Coronavirus: Suffolk family isolating in van on Corfu

Martin and Kate Thacker, their daughters Shannon and Phoebe, two dogs and cat are living in a van.


Coronavirus: Suffolk family isolating in van on Corfu

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Coronavirus: Farmer ploughs NHS tribute into field

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Coronavirus: Farmer ploughs NHS tribute into field

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Coronavirus: Woman stuck on docked ship after husband hospitalised

Georgina Forsythe hopes her father does not have coronavirus so her parents can return home.


Coronavirus: Woman stuck on docked ship after husband hospitalised

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Aidan Atkinson has sex assault preliminary hearing rescheduled for June

Aidan Atkinson has had the preliminary hearing on his sexual assault case pushed back to June, one of many hearings to be delayed due to court restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Atkinson, 18, was arrested and charged in November as a juvenile after investigators say he sexually assaulted multiple young women on a party bus in September 2018.

Atkinson was set for a preliminary hearing on March 31 to determine whether there is probable cause to move the case forward, but that hearing was canceled after Chief District Judge Ingrid Bakke ordered all non-essential hearings be delayed due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Because Atkinson is out of custody on a personal recognizance bond, the preliminary hearing was not one of the hearings exempt from Bakke’s order.

Atkinson is now scheduled for a preliminary hearing on June 5, according to court records.

Bakke has already ruled that the hearing will be closed to the media and most of the public due to concerns about coverage of the case affecting Atkinson and the named victims, all of whom were juveniles at the time of the alleged incident.

Bakke noted Aktinson, formerly a star quarterback at Fairview, has received more press coverage than a typical juvenile defendant because of his athletic career.

Named victims can be present or have up to two representatives at the hearing.

Atkinson is charged with three charges of sexual assault, one charge of attempted sexual assault, and five charges of unlawful sexual contact. He is also facing additional charges that were added to the case but have not yet been made public.

According to an arrest affidavit, a student told officials she was on a party bus for homecoming in 2018. She said she became too drunk to stand and sat next to Atkinson, who began to sexually touch her.

The girl said she told Atkinson to stop and that others saw what was happening but did not intervene, and the girl said Atkinson’s behavior continued at a restaurant.

While the Daily Camera does not typically name juvenile defendants, it is naming Atkinson because of the serious nature of the allegations and the fact that his initial arrest and charges were public record because he was 18 at the time.

Marilyn Lori, a mental health worker accused of failing to report accusations against Atkinson while embedded at Fairview High School, also had her case delayed as a result of the court restrictions.

Lori, 46, is now set for a case management conference on June 15.

She is charged with one count of failure to report suspected child abuse in relation to the Atkinson case as well as a second count of failure to report that is not related to the Atkinson matter.

Lori is also free on bond.


Sunken Southern California tall ship will be demolished

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Kelsey Berreth murder: Patrick Frazee writes letter claiming innocence

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — A Colorado man sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of fatally beating his fiancee with a baseball bat has written a letter to a local television reporter arguing his innocence.

Patrick Frazee, 33, wrote a letter after not testifying at his trial or speaking at his sentencing, KCNC-TV reported. The letter to KCNC-TV reporter Rick Sallinger came after Frazee has appealed his life sentence.

The return address is from the Colorado Department of Correction Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway.

“Let me start by telling you I did not kill Kelsey!” Frazee said in the letter. “I want my daughter to know the truth. Most of all I want my daughter to know I did not kill her mother!”

Kelsey Berreth, the mother of their child, went missing on Thanksgiving 2018. She was last seen on video in a Woodland Park Safeway, authorities said, adding that her body was never found.

Idaho nurse Krystal Lee, who was having an affair with Frazee, was the key witness against him, testifying that he asked her three times to kill Berreth, but she couldn’t do it, prosecutors said.

The 33-year-old nurse was sentenced to three years in a plea deal after she helped clean up Berreth’s townhome in Woodland Park where she died, court officials said.

Frazee argued in the letter that unknown male DNA was found in the sink in Kelsey’s bathroom despite investigators telling reporters that all DNA was identified. Frazee also argued his attorneys did not even try to present a defense and told him not to speak to the media.


Kelsey Berreth murder: Patrick Frazee writes letter claiming innocence

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — A Colorado man sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of fatally beating his fiancee with a baseball bat has written a letter to a local television reporter arguing his innocence.

Patrick Frazee, 33, wrote a letter after not testifying at his trial or speaking at his sentencing, KCNC-TV reported. The letter to KCNC-TV reporter Rick Sallinger came after Frazee has appealed his life sentence.

The return address is from the Colorado Department of Correction Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility in Ordway.

“Let me start by telling you I did not kill Kelsey!” Frazee said in the letter. “I want my daughter to know the truth. Most of all I want my daughter to know I did not kill her mother!”

Kelsey Berreth, the mother of their child, went missing on Thanksgiving 2018. She was last seen on video in a Woodland Park Safeway, authorities said, adding that her body was never found.

Idaho nurse Krystal Lee, who was having an affair with Frazee, was the key witness against him, testifying that he asked her three times to kill Berreth, but she couldn’t do it, prosecutors said.

The 33-year-old nurse was sentenced to three years in a plea deal after she helped clean up Berreth’s townhome in Woodland Park where she died, court officials said.

Frazee argued in the letter that unknown male DNA was found in the sink in Kelsey’s bathroom despite investigators telling reporters that all DNA was identified. Frazee also argued his attorneys did not even try to present a defense and told him not to speak to the media.


Hamilton hospitals reveal plan to open beds as public health reports 183 COVID-19 cases

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Court drops rape, other charges against megachurch leader

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Jimmy Greaves: Former England, Spurs, Chelsea & West Ham striker admitted to hospital

Former England, Tottenham, Chelsea and West Ham striker Jimmy Greaves is being treated in hospital for an unspecified illness.


Jimmy Greaves: Former England, Spurs, Chelsea & West Ham striker admitted to hospital

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Union files complaint after 1,400 BC Ferries workers laid off due to COVID-19

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Edmonton Oilers GM hopeful season can be completed

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New Mexico State Police to enforce non-compliant penalties on Public Health during COVID-19 outbreak

Statewide-New Mexico State Police will enforce penalties on New Mexico Businesses and the public who refuse to comply with the Emergency Public Health Order.

On April 6th, 2020 New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the Public Order to April 30th, 2020 which requires all non-essential businesses to stop operating. New Mexico State Police, in conjunction with local law enforcement, will ensure that businesses adhere to its directives.

New Mexico State Police has been educating non-compliant establishments and has given them a reasonable opportunity to adapt. We have seen many businesses and people voluntarily comply with the order. However, not all business and people are following the order. New Mexico State Police is in the position to hold businesses and people accountable. In the event businesses are not compliant, officers will first issue a written warning along with a cease and desist order. On a second violation the business will receive a citation under the Public Health Act (contrary to NMSA 24-1-1 a petty misdemeanor). A third or subsequent violation will be sent to the Department of Health where business will face a civil penalty of up to $5000.00.

The public health order also states that mass gatherings of more than five individuals are prohibited at this time.

If you wish to report non-compliance within a business, a violation of the mass gatherings ban, or other violations of the public order, you may report them to NMSP.COVID19@state.nm.us or contact our non-emergency COVID-19 hotline at (833) 551-0518, Option 9 or contact your police or sheriff’s department on their non-emergency phone lines. When submitting a non-compliance complaint via email, please provide the following: date and time of observed violation, city, county, business name and business address.

“We have enormous sympathy and empathy for our small business community and everyone across the state who is dealing with this pandemic, but we must all understand that the sooner we strictly adhere to the Public Health Order, the sooner we’ll all get through this, and the better off our state will be as far as preventing illnesses and death,” said Chief Tim Johnson. “Citizens must understand that we are getting many complaints about non-compliance. It’s putting our officers, law enforcement all across the state and the public in jeopardy -- and it risks increasing the already significant strain on our health care professionals.”

The New Mexico State Police is committed to ensure the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of New Mexico, and we are dedicated to doing just that by ensuring New Mexicans adhere to this public health emergency order.

###

Trust between Canadians and government improving during COVID-19 outbreak: survey

During the COVID-19 outbreak, 46 per cent of Canadians are more trusting of the federal government and 55 per cent feel more trust with their provincial government, according to a national survey.


Trust between Canadians and government improving during COVID-19 outbreak: survey

During the COVID-19 outbreak, 46 per cent of Canadians are more trusting of the federal government and 55 per cent feel more trust with their provincial government, according to a national survey.


Land purchased for new downtown Saskatoon library

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Colorado announces 29 new coronavirus-related deaths as COVID-19 hospitalizations top 1,000

At least 179 people have died of complications from the novel coronavirus in Colorado, while confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 5,429, state health officials announced Tuesday.

The 29 additional deaths announced Tuesday include a second person in their 30s and two more in their 40s, bringing to nine the number of people under 50 who have died from the new coronavirus in Colorado. They also serve as a stark reminder that the illness is still deadly, even as state health officials say the highly infectious respiratory disease is showing some signs of slowing down.

Although the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continued to rise, the 257 new cases marked the second consecutive day of slower growth and significantly lower than the April 2 peak of 450 new daily cases.

Health officials also confirmed 1,079 people have been hospitalized — an increase of 85 more patients from Monday — while there are 44 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities. More than 28,000 people have now been tested for virus in Colorado.

Social distancing measures have made a dramatic impact on the new coronavirus’s spread, health officials said Monday, while the effects of the stay-at-home mandate should be seen in the next few days.

Since the beginning of the global outbreak, experts have attempted to model its trajectory. And in Colorado, there is debate raging as to when the virus may peak in the state.

The Colorado Hospital Association on Tuesday pushed back on a prominent national model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that predicts the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado has peaked and the state has no shortage of ICU beds.

“Unfortunately, we believe those studies may mislead Coloradans into thinking this is behind us when in reality, it isn’t,” said Dr. Darlene Tad-y, vice president of clinical affairs, in a statement. “That data doesn’t align with what is actually happening in Colorado hospitals currently – which we are tracking very closely.”

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model estimated that the state reached its peak for hospital bed usage on Saturday when it needed 133 ICU beds and 113 ventilators.

But the Hospital Association, which said it backed the model created by state officials, said there are hundreds of patients on ventilators and more than 1,000 Coloradans hospitalized.

The state Department of Public Health and Environment predicts that the number of coronavirus cases in Colorado will peak between May 8 and Sept. 14. By June 1, between 1,030 people to more than 73,000 individuals could die from complications related to COVID-19, depending on the effectiveness of social-distancing measures, according to modeling by the state health department.



Man’s conviction upheld in Auburn student’s 2008 murder

AUBURN, Ala. – A Lee County Circuit Court judge upheld the conviction of the man on death row for the 2008 murder of Auburn University student Lauren Burk.

The Alabama Attorney General’s Office said the judge made his decision Friday to deny Courtney Lockhart’s request to have his conviction and sentence reversed.

Authorities said Lockhart forced Burk into her car on campus the night of March 4, 2008. He forced to undress and made her drive around at gunpoint for about 30 minutes until she jumped from the vehicle. Lockhart shot her and drove away, they said.

Police said Lockhart burned Burk’s car and fled to Georgia, using her debit card during a spree of robberies before police caught him three days later.

Lockhart was convicted of capital murder in November 2010 and sentenced to death.


Inslee, Department of Commerce announce support for small businesses

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Amazon, Global News partner to provide Canadians with 24/7 live national, regional news

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Toronto blind community calls for common sense amid distancing guidelines

"The attitudes definitely need to change a bit more."


Three Rounds of Storms: severe storms expected Wednesday into early Thursday

The Storm Prediction Center outlines a risk of severe storms for all of North and Central Alabama as well as Middle Tennessee through Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

It’s April.  It’s the heart of severe weather season in the South, and we’re facing a stormy set-up on Wednesday, Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.  Beyond that, there will be another threatening weather set-up this weekend: potentially-severe storms again on Easter Sunday across much of Alabama, Southern Tennessee and Georgia.

In the short-term, the three rounds of storms in the Wednesday/Thursday timeframe could bring these threats:

  • Very large hail (larger than a quarter, possibly larger than a golf ball)
  • Strong wind gusts over 60 miles per hour
  • Intense, frequent lightning
  • Tornadoes are possible (regardless of the ‘chance,’ it’s good to be aware and prepared)

Round 1: early Wednesday morning (severe weather unlikely)
  • The first round of storms early Wednesday will be more noise than anything with a lot of lightning (and accompanying thunder).  
  • Some small hail and locally-heavy rainfall are possible.
  • Coverage is limited; we won’t ALL get rain overnight.
  • Timing: around 1am to around 8am. 

We’ll get a break with some sun shining through the clouds through midday.  That should push temperatures upward into the 80s by mid-afternoon, and the warm, humid air destabilizes the atmosphere rapidly.

Round 2: Wednesday afternoon and evening (large hail and strong winds possible)

Wednesday afternoon simulated radar (Baron 3km model)
  • This second round of storms depends on two factors: how much sun we get and where the trigger causes them to form.
  • Any storms that blow up in the afternoon could have very large hail (golf ball sized or larger possible).  Strong damaging winds could also come from a few intense storms.
  • Coverage is limited; these storms look very hit-or-miss.
  • Timing: around 2pm to around 8pm Wednesday.

There’s another ‘break’ after these storms diminish.  Don’t let your guard down!  The final round begins late Wednesday evening in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Illinois.  Those storms move southeast through the night ending up in Alabama before sunrise.

Round 3: Wednesday night into Thursday morning more widespread severe storms

  • The final round of storms looks the most intense of all with very large hail (possibly larger than golf balls), strong wind gusts over 60 miles per hour.  A tornado is possible with this batch of storms.
  • Storms will be more widespread with this round; almost all of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee get 30-60 minutes’ worth of stormy weather between midnight and 6 AM.

Be sure you’re prepared and ready to get a warning!  Your NOAA Weather Radio in combination with Live Alert 19 will ensure you get the fastest, best information possible!

Wondering why we’re focused on wind and hail? Here’s an explanation of how we see the atmosphere developing for the middle of the week:

Hail Season in Alabama and Tennessee

Looking for the rest of the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
Connect with me!
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Three Rounds of Storms: severe storms expected Wednesday into early Thursday

The Storm Prediction Center outlines a risk of severe storms for all of North and Central Alabama as well as Middle Tennessee through Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

It’s April.  It’s the heart of severe weather season in the South, and we’re facing a stormy set-up on Wednesday, Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.  Beyond that, there will be another threatening weather set-up this weekend: potentially-severe storms again on Easter Sunday across much of Alabama, Southern Tennessee and Georgia.

In the short-term, the three rounds of storms in the Wednesday/Thursday timeframe could bring these threats:

  • Very large hail (larger than a quarter, possibly larger than a golf ball)
  • Strong wind gusts over 60 miles per hour
  • Intense, frequent lightning
  • Tornadoes are possible (regardless of the ‘chance,’ it’s good to be aware and prepared)

Round 1: early Wednesday morning (severe weather unlikely)
  • The first round of storms early Wednesday will be more noise than anything with a lot of lightning (and accompanying thunder).  
  • Some small hail and locally-heavy rainfall are possible.
  • Coverage is limited; we won’t ALL get rain overnight.
  • Timing: around 1am to around 8am. 

We’ll get a break with some sun shining through the clouds through midday.  That should push temperatures upward into the 80s by mid-afternoon, and the warm, humid air destabilizes the atmosphere rapidly.

Round 2: Wednesday afternoon and evening (large hail and strong winds possible)

Wednesday afternoon simulated radar (Baron 3km model)
  • This second round of storms depends on two factors: how much sun we get and where the trigger causes them to form.
  • Any storms that blow up in the afternoon could have very large hail (golf ball sized or larger possible).  Strong damaging winds could also come from a few intense storms.
  • Coverage is limited; these storms look very hit-or-miss.
  • Timing: around 2pm to around 8pm Wednesday.

There’s another ‘break’ after these storms diminish.  Don’t let your guard down!  The final round begins late Wednesday evening in Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Illinois.  Those storms move southeast through the night ending up in Alabama before sunrise.

Round 3: Wednesday night into Thursday morning more widespread severe storms

  • The final round of storms looks the most intense of all with very large hail (possibly larger than golf balls), strong wind gusts over 60 miles per hour.  A tornado is possible with this batch of storms.
  • Storms will be more widespread with this round; almost all of North Alabama and Southern Tennessee get 30-60 minutes’ worth of stormy weather between midnight and 6 AM.

Be sure you’re prepared and ready to get a warning!  Your NOAA Weather Radio in combination with Live Alert 19 will ensure you get the fastest, best information possible!

Wondering why we’re focused on wind and hail? Here’s an explanation of how we see the atmosphere developing for the middle of the week:

Hail Season in Alabama and Tennessee

Looking for the rest of the forecast? It’s always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the “Daily Forecast” section on Live Alert 19!

-Jason
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Coronavirus patients are being flipped onto their stomachs in the ICU — here’s why

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Coronavirus patients are being flipped onto their stomachs in the ICU — here’s why

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04-07-20 Wanted: Jake Branch (Update)

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Special Enforcement Unit, Area II
Officer Jeremiah Hull
Phone: (808) 747-3591
Report No. 20-017992

[See image gallery at www.hawaiipolice.com]

Media Release (Update)

The Area II Special Enforcement Unit is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Jake Branch, a 35-year-old male who frequents the Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, and Ocean View areas.

Branch is wanted on multiple outstanding Criminal Contempt Bench Warrants, BOLO’s for Resist Order to Stop, Reckless Driving and Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving Damage to a Vehicle.

Branch is described as being 6-feet 3-inches, approximately 285 pounds, with long brown hair. Branch is known to operate a black Yamaha FJ 1300cc motorcycle with unknown plates.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is encouraged to contact Officer Jeremiah Hull at (808) 747-3591 or at the police non-emergency number (808) 935-3311.

 


Assiniboia, Sask. residents call for windmill project postponement during COVID-19 pandemic

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Salvation Army launches Virtual Food Pantry

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Coronavirus: Gananoque, Ont., RV centre lends out units for health-care workers to self-isolate

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Privacy experts raise red flags as Ontario first responders get access to COVID-19 info

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Coronavirus: Ford Motor Company in Windsor, Ont., producing face shields for front-line workers

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2020 Delaware STEM Signing Day goes virtual

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Boil Water Advisory Issued April 7, 2020 for Residents from 325 Alligator Road – 2011 Alligator Road to include James Turner Road, Woodstream, Edenwood, Briargate, Greenfield, Country Creek, Wildbird Run Subdivision, Redberry Circle, and Pleasant Valley

The City of Florence and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control advise water system customers in the 325 Alligator Road - 2100 Block of Alligator Road to include James Turner Road, Woodstream, Edenwood, Briargate, Greenfield, Country Creek, Wildbird Run Subdivision, Redberry Circle, and Pleasant Valley to boil their tap water vigorously for one minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking.  To read the full  advisory follow this link:  Boil Water Advisory April 7 2020.  


Carper, colleagues urge Trump administration quickly release CARES Act emergency funding

Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan; Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey; Ben Cardin, D-Maryland; Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania; and Michael Bennett, D-Colorado, urged the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately provide hospitals, nursing homes, community health centers, hospice providers and other essential community health providers with the financial support necessary to prevent, prepare for and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. [...]


San Miguel County suspends community-wide coronavirus testing after delays in processing samples

Local health officials in San Miguel County on Tuesday announced that they have halted testing residents for the new coronavirus via blood tests after the company they were working with reported “unexpected delays” in processing initial samples from residents.

The announcement comes less than a month after the Telluride-based San Miguel County Department of Public Health and Environment became the first agency in the state to partner with a company to use blood tests to check every resident of the southwestern Colorado county for the virus.

The agency is partnering with United Biomedical Inc.

“We will continue to evaluate whether or not it makes sense to pursue the second round of testing given the unexpected obstacles UBI’s lab is facing,” San Miguel County Public Health Director Grace Franklin said in a statement.

Almost 6,000 San Miguel County residents, most of the community, participated in the first round of testing. But only about 1,600 of those tests have been processed, according to a news release.

The reasons for the delays are because United Biomedical’s staff is “down 40%” and supplies needed to run the tests, including personal protection equipment, are compromised. The delays could continue as the company’s lab is in New York, which has become a national hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic. This means the results could be weeks late, according to the news release.

A representative with United Biomedical could not immediately be reached for comment. San Miguel County’s health department declined two interview requests from The Denver Post.

“We are communicating regularly and making our public health officials available to our local media to help keep our county residents informed,” county spokeswoman Susan Lilly said in an email. “We are (temporarily) declining outside media requests to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.”

San Miguel health officials announced in mid- March that they would test all of the county’s residents for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, using blood draws instead of the nasal swabs used by the state health department and hospitals.

Local public health agencies in Colorado have looked to use blood tests amid national shortages of testing supplies, saying that they can help their departments determine who in the community is immune to the disease. However, medical experts question the usefulness of the tests, which are in their infancy and search for antibodies.

San Miguel officials said United Biomedical plans to process “as many as possible tests per day” of the remaining tests, starting this week, but there are other priorities in the company’s lab that can cause more delays, according to the news release.

Subscribe to bi-weekly newsletter to get health news sent straight to your inbox.


Beloved Guelph children’s writer Jean Little dead at 88

Little's sister Pat de Vries said she died in her sleep early Monday morning while staying in a hospice.


Bomb squad called to Roseville church for suspicious package. Pastor says it was dynamite

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Pres. Trump, White House coronavirus task force plan Tuesday briefing

(NEXSTAR/CNN) — President Trump and members of the White House coronavirus task force will hold a briefing Tuesday to discuss the latest efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus in the U.S.

The briefing is tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. Eastern.

Not two weeks after lawmakers approved their massive $2.2 trillion spending package, committee aides, administration officials and industry lobbyists are beginning to encounter unintended — and to some extent unanticipated — consequences.

As one industry official put it to CNN yesterday, “we are building the space shuttle as it is rocketing toward Mars.”

The glitches, breakdowns, frustrations and angst building right now on every piece of this third stimulus package were all together predictable, and yet it doesn’t make it any less painful for the individuals who are waiting for their personal stimulus checks to buy groceries or for the small business owner who is waiting to be approved for a loan so they know they can keep paying their employees.

These programs are unwieldy. They were largely agreed to over late-night negotiations as a global pandemic was gripping the nation, and the turbulence is real.

There is some hope however: Many of the most egregious issues can be — and likely will be — addressed in another stimulus package passed by Congress, though the particular parameters of what will and will not be included in such a package are still being determined.

The spotlight on the SBA

Nowhere is that clearer than in the Small Business Administration’s new loan program.

For a significant chunk of time Monday, multiple sources texted and emailed to say the system lenders used to input loan application info was down. In simpler terms that means that for a chunk of Monday, nobody was able to apply for the nearly $350 billion in assistance that Congress created to keep small businesses afloat.

Technical issues aren’t the only frustrations playing out. Many lenders are still waiting for further guidance on what criteria needs to be met before they cut checks, some groups like venture capital need more guidance on if they qualify and everyone fears they’ll be left out of the line.

Time isn’t something that business owners have a lot of right now as they are staring down payroll deadlines and trying to make decisions about how much longer they can stay afloat.

“The pragmatic part of me knows that cannot happen overnight,” an industry source told me Monday, adding that it was still “gut wrenching” to talk to small business owners clamoring to find a bank that was willing to give them a loan.

The issues with this program aren’t disputed. Republicans, Democrats, the SBA and Treasury — everyone acknowledges there are kinks to work out. There is some hope that the announcement Monday by the Fed that they will open a new facility to purchase loans made by banks through the Paycheck Protection Program will help alleviate stress on already cash-strapped financial institutions. That’s the silver lining here: everyone is working toward the same goal. But it is still going to take time, and there’s no disputing that people’s livelihoods are on the line.

Stimulus problems ahead

Pretending that the SBA is the only area of this stimulus package that is hitting a snag is to miss a far bigger story that is playing out right now.

For example, the expectation from Capitol Hill this week is that that they will get further guidance on how the administration plans to dole out nearly $500 billion to large businesses (those with more than 500 employees). The legislation gave Treasury pretty broad discretion on how they can use that money and that was intentional given there was no knowing who all was going to be affected by the virus, but the politics of who gets what is sure to play out in the next days and weeks.

There are also questions about whether distressed companies could be kept from getting the funds given the investment-grade standards that typically apply. Some companies that looked healthier six weeks ago have been downgraded in recent weeks. Some of those may be the most in need of the money (like cruise lines or restaurant chains for example).

Hospital funding: The stimulus bill also appropriated $100 billion to hospitals, but the need for health facilities is massive right now, and lawmakers don’t know if it will be enough. Further complicating this is that the rules surrounding who gets the funding are still largely at the discretion of the Trump administration. Aides in Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith’s office told CNN on Monday that the Department of Health and Human Services is already directly involved in helping steer the money. But aside from going to help cover the cost of providing care to uninsured patients and funding surges in rural areas, it’s not clear what the direct allocation formula will be for this. It’s an area that — depending on which states and jurisdictions may get help — could be ripe for congressional oversight.

Unemployment insurance: CNN reports that the House Ways and Means Committee is still waiting for all 50 states to get money from the second stimulus bill in order to cover the administrative costs that are coming from implementing a rapid rise in unemployment claims. One aide on the committee told CNN on Monday that the committee was depending on individual members to report to Ways and Means once their state had received the money, but that they only had direct evidence of a handful of states having received their share. That’s before you even get to the additional money individuals are supposed to start getting through the third stimulus bill.

Personal checks: The direct checks from the government, as CNN has reported, could be delayed for those who don’t have direct deposit information filed with the government. The timeline House Ways and Means has circulated is that checks will start going out April 13, but if the government doesn’t have direct deposit information, and they have to mail a check, it could be four months or longer. Other frustrations include the fact that administrative guidance excluded college students and those over 17 from getting a check, but parents also can’t get the $500 they’d receive for younger dependents.

Fixes in Phase 4

In recent days, Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have backed away from the idea of a “phase 4” stimulus that includes a massive infrastructure component.

Instead, the emphasis in “phase 4” is likely going to include plussing up a lot of the accounts that lawmakers and industry sources are confident won’t cover the economic pain this country is in for over the next few months. That’s everything from more money for the SBA loan programs to the hospitals.

But, expect lawmakers to also fight to clarify certain sections of the legislation where industries in their district or individuals have been locked out of getting some of the money. One Democratic aide cited the small loans as one area where Democrats want to explicit write in guidance to ensure that banks aren’t only lending to existing customers. The idea according to the aide is to “do fixes and more funding together.”

The issue with that as one Republican aide noted is that making too many detailed fixes could inhibit Congress from actually passing a “phase 4.” Details, after all, are where things get stuck.

Overall, aides say no one thinks that things are running perfectly right now, but “at the end of the day, it is the government giving people money. It’ s going to get figured out.”

This story has been updated.


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04-07-20 DUI stats

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Torey D. Keltner, Program Manager
Phone: (808) 961-2305

 

Media Release

During the week of March 30, 2020, through April 5, 2020, Hawaiʻi Island Police arrested five (5) motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. One of the drivers was involved in a traffic accident. None of the drivers was under the age of 21.

So far this year, there have been 267 DUI arrests compared with 311 during the same period last year, a decrease of 14.1 percent. The numbers of arrests by district were:

 

DUI Arrests by District
District Weekly Total   Year to Date
       
Hāmākua 0   4
North Hilo 0   0
South Hilo 1   73
Puna 1   55
Ka’u 1   4
Kona 2   107
South Kohala 0   18
North Kohala 0   6
       
Island Total 5   267

There have been 239 major accidents so far this year compared with 261 during the same period last year, a decrease of 8.4 percent. 

To date, there were 7 fatal crashes, resulting in 7 fatalities, compared with 3 fatal crashes, resulting in 3 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 133.3  percent for fatal crashes and 133.3 percent for fatalities.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue islandwide.

 


04-07-20 DUI stats

Hawaiʻi Police Department
Traffic Services Section
Torey D. Keltner, Program Manager
Phone: (808) 961-2305

 

Media Release

During the week of March 30, 2020, through April 5, 2020, Hawaiʻi Island Police arrested five (5) motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. One of the drivers was involved in a traffic accident. None of the drivers was under the age of 21.

So far this year, there have been 267 DUI arrests compared with 311 during the same period last year, a decrease of 14.1 percent. The numbers of arrests by district were:

 

DUI Arrests by District
District Weekly Total   Year to Date
       
Hāmākua 0   4
North Hilo 0   0
South Hilo 1   73
Puna 1   55
Ka’u 1   4
Kona 2   107
South Kohala 0   18
North Kohala 0   6
       
Island Total 5   267

There have been 239 major accidents so far this year compared with 261 during the same period last year, a decrease of 8.4 percent. 

To date, there were 7 fatal crashes, resulting in 7 fatalities, compared with 3 fatal crashes, resulting in 3 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 133.3  percent for fatal crashes and 133.3 percent for fatalities.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue islandwide.

 


Can hospitals handle more patients?

Three things to know from Gov. Carney's press briefing April 7


Can hospitals handle more patients?

Three things to know from Gov. Carney's press briefing April 7


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Colorado lawmakers could return to the Capitol as early as May after breaking for coronavirus

Colorado lawmakers are hopeful that they’ll be back at the Capitol as early as May, but they caution that it will depend on the advice of experts and whether the state’s state-at-home order is still in place.

“We’re not driving this,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “This is being driven by a disease process we don’t yet have our hands around.”

That means balancing the public’s health and safety with ensuring an essential part of democracy is preserved, he said.

The state Constitution mandates that the Colorado budget be finalized by June 30, and school districts need funding through the School Finance Act to be finalized by June 1 so they can create their own budgets.

Both chambers’ leaders plan to meet Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol to discuss plans, including remote testimony options. Staff members previously informed leaders that they did not have the setup to conduct all operations remotely, but lawmakers told The Denver Post on Tuesday that they’re open to alternate plans as they relate to the Joint Budget Committee — which does not take public testimony — if that ends up being the best solution.

Now that the state Supreme Court has decided that the legislature can continue its 120-day session past its initial May 6 end date, Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert said lawmakers will have to decide exactly how to count those days and determine how many are left.

Those discussions, the Parker Republican said, may be frustrating to Coloradans who are just hoping to get back to some semblance of normalcy and recover from the pandemic, but because the General Assembly operates on a specific timeline, making that clear is necessary. Then, lawmakers will be able focus on priorities and how to move forward.

Holbert said some members of his caucus are eager to get back in session to do the people’s work, and while he respects that, he said it’s also important respect the governor’s stay-at-home order and advice of public health experts.

That’s why House Speaker KC Becker wanted to have a public discussion Wednesday about the possibilities moving forward. Members of the public will be able to listen in through the General Assembly’s website.

“We just have to be flexible about timing and about schedule and what we can get done,” said Becker, D-Boulder. “If COVID is still really bad in mid-May, we’re going to have much more limited time in the Capitol.”


Colorado lawmakers could return to the Capitol as early as May after breaking for coronavirus

Colorado lawmakers are hopeful that they’ll be back at the Capitol as early as May, but they caution that it will depend on the advice of experts and whether the state’s state-at-home order is still in place.

“We’re not driving this,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo. “This is being driven by a disease process we don’t yet have our hands around.”

That means balancing the public’s health and safety with ensuring an essential part of democracy is preserved, he said.

The state Constitution mandates that the Colorado budget be finalized by June 30, and school districts need funding through the School Finance Act to be finalized by June 1 so they can create their own budgets.

Both chambers’ leaders plan to meet Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol to discuss plans, including remote testimony options. Staff members previously informed leaders that they did not have the setup to conduct all operations remotely, but lawmakers told The Denver Post on Tuesday that they’re open to alternate plans as they relate to the Joint Budget Committee — which does not take public testimony — if that ends up being the best solution.

Now that the state Supreme Court has decided that the legislature can continue its 120-day session past its initial May 6 end date, Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert said lawmakers will have to decide exactly how to count those days and determine how many are left.

Those discussions, the Parker Republican said, may be frustrating to Coloradans who are just hoping to get back to some semblance of normalcy and recover from the pandemic, but because the General Assembly operates on a specific timeline, making that clear is necessary. Then, lawmakers will be able focus on priorities and how to move forward.

Holbert said some members of his caucus are eager to get back in session to do the people’s work, and while he respects that, he said it’s also important respect the governor’s stay-at-home order and advice of public health experts.

That’s why House Speaker KC Becker wanted to have a public discussion Wednesday about the possibilities moving forward. Members of the public will be able to listen in through the General Assembly’s website.

“We just have to be flexible about timing and about schedule and what we can get done,” said Becker, D-Boulder. “If COVID is still really bad in mid-May, we’re going to have much more limited time in the Capitol.”


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Young Edmontonians who contracted coronavirus say ‘no one is immune’

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B.C. First Nations ask to appeal second federal approval of Trans Mountain pipeline

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seoc-update-15-officials-warn-minnesotans-not-to-ease-up-on-social-distancing-as-religious-holidays-warmer-weather-arrive

Title: SEOC Update #15: Officials Warn Minnesotans Not to Ease Up on Social Distancing as Religious Holidays, Warmer Weather Arrive
Page Content:

ST. PAUL — While Minnesota appears to have a lower COVID-19 infection rate compared with other states, officials are asking residents to continue being vigilant with social distancing. Health officials acknowledge navigating upcoming holidays and continuing to stay apart from family and friends is difficult, but warn that abandoning social distancing could have severe consequences.

“The social distancing and other mitigations are having a positive impact. We need to keep this up,” said Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “We encourage all Minnesotans to keep up this good and difficult work even during the religious holidays coming up.

State agencies and volunteer organizations continue working from the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to keep Minnesotans safe and coordinate efforts to provide essential services and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.


SEOC working with FEMA on personal protective equipment (PPE) requests

The SEOC remains fully activated and staffed either physically or virtually by all state agencies and several volunteer organizations.

  • SEOC staff are coordinating with MDH, the Minnesota National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers to identify alternative care sites around the state, should they be needed. These locations would be for non-critical care.
    • To date, 29 site visits have been conducted, with eight more scheduled today and tomorrow. More than 3,200 bed-sites have been identified. This is in addition to beds in Minnesota hospitals, which have worked to expand their capacity.
    • The alternative care sites will be prioritized based on need and location. From that list, one or two sites will be selected and prepared for use.
  • SEOC officials are working with FEMA to find ways to best distribute anticipated PPE. Gown and gloves are becoming a priority for PPE requests. The SEOC is reaching out to counties to determine the most critical needs for PPE.
  • Officials in the SEOC continue to also respond to flooding in the state. Marshall County is requesting assistance with levee patrol and traffic control as the city is experiencing flooding
  • The SEOC continues to support the state hotline. The hotline received 182 calls on Monday. State employees are staffing the hotline and are answering calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at either 651-297-1304 or 800-657-3504.

Here are today’s updates and actions from state agencies and volunteer organizations:

Minnesota tops 1,000 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, 64 people in the ICU

Minnesota Update

  • Total of 1,069 lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota — up 83 cases from April 6.     
    • 34 reported deaths — up four from April 6. Four additional deaths all were residents of long-term care facilities.
      • Dakota County resident in their 60s
      • Winona County resident in their 90s
      • Hennepin County resident in their 90s
      • Hennepin County resident in their 80s
    • Since the start of the outbreak, 242 patients in Minnesota have been hospitalized.
    • 120 patients currently hospitalized with 64 in the ICU; the rest are recovering at home.
  • See the latest situation report on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
  • There were 296 calls to MDH public hotline on April 6. The public hotline is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number is 651-201-3920.
  • There were 701,151 visits to MDH COVID-19 website on April 6.

Global/National Update

  • Worldwide: Nearly 1.4 million cases and more than 76,000 deaths as of this morning.
  • U.S.: 369,069 cases (NY: 131,083; NJ: 41,090; MI: 17,221; CA: 16,363; LA: 14,867) and 10,993 deaths (3,485 in New York City).


Driver Education Programs Can Provide Driver Education via Teleconference

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) approved a variance allowing Minnesota driver education programs to provide driver education via teleconference or other methods of video distant learning in a live setting to their students.

  • Driver education programs are not required to participate, and students should contact their driver education program to find out if this is an option.
  • The variance allows driver education programs to offer teleconferencing in place of classroom training to students currently enrolled or planning to enroll with the driver education program while Gov. Walz’s executive stay at home order is in effect.
  • Once the order is lifted, driver education programs must immediately resume classroom-setting training and may no longer offer teleconferencing in place of classroom training.

Unemployment Insurance applications received, accounts reactivated tops 355,000

  • Total cumulative new Unemployment Insurance (UI) applications received and accounts reactivated from March 16 through April 6: 355,108 
  • New UI applications received and accounts reactivated as of end of day on Monday, April 6: 13,424 
  • The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program has successfully processed initial weekly payment requests for more than 90 percent of new or reactivated applicants since March 16 who have been determined eligible and who have requested payment. 
  • Executive Order 20-29 announced by the Governor on April 6 will help thousands more Minnesotans receive their unemployment benefits more quickly.


Minnesota 911 dispatch centers receive 11 percent fewer calls

According to statistics provided by CenturyLink to the Department of Public Safety division of Emergency Communication Networks (DPS-ECN), call volumes for Minnesota public safety answering points (PSAPS), also known as 911 dispatch centers, continued their decline in the fourth week of March compared with the same time period last year.

  • In 2019, Minnesota PSAPs received 51,796 calls for the fourth week of March.
  • In 2020, Minnesota PSAPs answered 46,133 calls for the fourth week of March.

That 11 percent decrease is greater than the decrease in calls for the third week of March, which was eight percent.


Discussions about emergency childcare facilities taking place with state fire marshal and DHS

State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) staff met virtually with Department of Human Services to discuss options for emergency childcare facilities. The SFMD is focused on the need for fire safety in these turbulent times as well as working with care providers across the state to inspect and assist with fire code compliance.


Fire marshal meets with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to discuss gas station safety

State Fire Marshal Jim Smith and SFMD fire code staff met with partners at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to discuss fire safety at unattended gas stations. Some gas stations will be closing the retail side of operations and solely offering pay at the pump. Staff met to address environmental and fire hazard concerns. Gas stations need to be checked daily to ensure safety equipment is in place and well-marked. Signed emergency stops must also be available outside of the gas station. Some stations with 24-hour retail had historically placed the emergency stops inside the store. With a few modifications, those stops could be moved outdoors.


Completing the 2020 Census Amid COVID-19 Disruptions

Why counting every college student matters: The Census guides funding levels for over $15 billion in annual federal spending in Minnesota. For each person not counted, Minnesota risks losing nearly $28,000 in federal funding over the next 10 years. The Census also determines the number of congressional seats each state receives, and Minnesota is at risk of losing a congressional seat.

How to make sure you are counted: The Census asks for information based on where you live on April 1. Students that normally live at school should be counted at school — even if you are temporarily living somewhere else due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The address that applies when completing the 2020 Census is the address where you would have lived on April 1st if COVID-19 had not caused you to temporarily relocate. For more information, watch this video from the Census explaining these details.

  • If you normally live in a dorm or similar college-owned housing, your institution will work with the Census Bureau to make sure you are counted. If you are temporarily living elsewhere, tell the people you are living with that they should not include you when responding to the Census.

  • If you normally live in a rental unit or other location, either alone or with roommates, follow these instructions:

    1. You should have received or will soon receive an invitation via U.S. mail to respond to the Census with a 12-digit code. The Census Bureau began mailing these invitations on March 12th. If you are not at the same location currently or have not received an invitation you can still complete the Census online with a few additional steps to verify your address.

    2. Designate one person from your rental unit or household to complete the Census and fill it out here. If you cannot coordinate with the other people in your rental unit or household, you can each fill it out individually.

    3. You can refer to this sample Census form to understand the information the Census requests from each person.

  • If you normally live with a parent or guardian while you are at school, that person should include you on their Census form.

More information about the Minnesota Census is available online.


Red Cross in Minnesota: Thankful for blood and platelets donors and staff, volunteers

  • We greatly appreciate the outstanding support of blood and platelets donors as well as the dedication of Red Cross blood collection, lab, and medical office staff and volunteers in Minnesota.

  • Through your generosity, we’re preventing a blood shortage in our region and across the country during this uncertain and challenging time.

  • As of April 5, some 14,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 400,000 fewer blood donations, including in our region about 550 cancellations and more than 17,500 fewer donations.

  • We encourage individuals to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and to make new blood donation appointments at RedCrossBlood.org for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.


Traffic volumes remain significantly below 2019 levels

The Minnesota Department of Transportation continues to monitor traffic volumes statewide.

  • Statewide: Traffic volumes on April 6 were down 50 percent compared to Monday averages for April 2019.

  • Metro area: Traffic volumes on April 6 were down 47 percent compared to Monday averages for April 2019.
Director: Bruce Gordon
Primary Contact Email: bruce.gordon@state.mn.us
Primary Contact Name: Bruce Gordon
Primary Contact Phone: 651-201-7171
Formatted Publish Date: April 07, 2020

seoc-update-15-officials-warn-minnesotans-not-to-ease-up-on-social-distancing-as-religious-holidays-warmer-weather-arrive

Title: SEOC Update #15: Officials Warn Minnesotans Not to Ease Up on Social Distancing as Religious Holidays, Warmer Weather Arrive
Page Content:

ST. PAUL — While Minnesota appears to have a lower COVID-19 infection rate compared with other states, officials are asking residents to continue being vigilant with social distancing. Health officials acknowledge navigating upcoming holidays and continuing to stay apart from family and friends is difficult, but warn that abandoning social distancing could have severe consequences.

“The social distancing and other mitigations are having a positive impact. We need to keep this up,” said Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “We encourage all Minnesotans to keep up this good and difficult work even during the religious holidays coming up.

State agencies and volunteer organizations continue working from the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to keep Minnesotans safe and coordinate efforts to provide essential services and information during the COVID-19 pandemic.


SEOC working with FEMA on personal protective equipment (PPE) requests

The SEOC remains fully activated and staffed either physically or virtually by all state agencies and several volunteer organizations.

  • SEOC staff are coordinating with MDH, the Minnesota National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers to identify alternative care sites around the state, should they be needed. These locations would be for non-critical care.
    • To date, 29 site visits have been conducted, with eight more scheduled today and tomorrow. More than 3,200 bed-sites have been identified. This is in addition to beds in Minnesota hospitals, which have worked to expand their capacity.
    • The alternative care sites will be prioritized based on need and location. From that list, one or two sites will be selected and prepared for use.
  • SEOC officials are working with FEMA to find ways to best distribute anticipated PPE. Gown and gloves are becoming a priority for PPE requests. The SEOC is reaching out to counties to determine the most critical needs for PPE.
  • Officials in the SEOC continue to also respond to flooding in the state. Marshall County is requesting assistance with levee patrol and traffic control as the city is experiencing flooding
  • The SEOC continues to support the state hotline. The hotline received 182 calls on Monday. State employees are staffing the hotline and are answering calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily at either 651-297-1304 or 800-657-3504.

Here are today’s updates and actions from state agencies and volunteer organizations:

Minnesota tops 1,000 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases, 64 people in the ICU

Minnesota Update

  • Total of 1,069 lab-confirmed cases in Minnesota — up 83 cases from April 6.     
    • 34 reported deaths — up four from April 6. Four additional deaths all were residents of long-term care facilities.
      • Dakota County resident in their 60s
      • Winona County resident in their 90s
      • Hennepin County resident in their 90s
      • Hennepin County resident in their 80s
    • Since the start of the outbreak, 242 patients in Minnesota have been hospitalized.
    • 120 patients currently hospitalized with 64 in the ICU; the rest are recovering at home.
  • See the latest situation report on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
  • There were 296 calls to MDH public hotline on April 6. The public hotline is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The number is 651-201-3920.
  • There were 701,151 visits to MDH COVID-19 website on April 6.

Global/National Update

  • Worldwide: Nearly 1.4 million cases and more than 76,000 deaths as of this morning.
  • U.S.: 369,069 cases (NY: 131,083; NJ: 41,090; MI: 17,221; CA: 16,363; LA: 14,867) and 10,993 deaths (3,485 in New York City).


Driver Education Programs Can Provide Driver Education via Teleconference

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) approved a variance allowing Minnesota driver education programs to provide driver education via teleconference or other methods of video distant learning in a live setting to their students.

  • Driver education programs are not required to participate, and students should contact their driver education program to find out if this is an option.
  • The variance allows driver education programs to offer teleconferencing in place of classroom training to students currently enrolled or planning to enroll with the driver education program while Gov. Walz’s executive stay at home order is in effect.
  • Once the order is lifted, driver education programs must immediately resume classroom-setting training and may no longer offer teleconferencing in place of classroom training.

Unemployment Insurance applications received, accounts reactivated tops 355,000

  • Total cumulative new Unemployment Insurance (UI) applications received and accounts reactivated from March 16 through April 6: 355,108 
  • New UI applications received and accounts reactivated as of end of day on Monday, April 6: 13,424 
  • The Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program has successfully processed initial weekly payment requests for more than 90 percent of new or reactivated applicants since March 16 who have been determined eligible and who have requested payment. 
  • Executive Order 20-29 announced by the Governor on April 6 will help thousands more Minnesotans receive their unemployment benefits more quickly.


Minnesota 911 dispatch centers receive 11 percent fewer calls

According to statistics provided by CenturyLink to the Department of Public Safety division of Emergency Communication Networks (DPS-ECN), call volumes for Minnesota public safety answering points (PSAPS), also known as 911 dispatch centers, continued their decline in the fourth week of March compared with the same time period last year.

  • In 2019, Minnesota PSAPs received 51,796 calls for the fourth week of March.
  • In 2020, Minnesota PSAPs answered 46,133 calls for the fourth week of March.

That 11 percent decrease is greater than the decrease in calls for the third week of March, which was eight percent.


Discussions about emergency childcare facilities taking place with state fire marshal and DHS

State Fire Marshal Division (SFMD) staff met virtually with Department of Human Services to discuss options for emergency childcare facilities. The SFMD is focused on the need for fire safety in these turbulent times as well as working with care providers across the state to inspect and assist with fire code compliance.


Fire marshal meets with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to discuss gas station safety

State Fire Marshal Jim Smith and SFMD fire code staff met with partners at Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to discuss fire safety at unattended gas stations. Some gas stations will be closing the retail side of operations and solely offering pay at the pump. Staff met to address environmental and fire hazard concerns. Gas stations need to be checked daily to ensure safety equipment is in place and well-marked. Signed emergency stops must also be available outside of the gas station. Some stations with 24-hour retail had historically placed the emergency stops inside the store. With a few modifications, those stops could be moved outdoors.


Completing the 2020 Census Amid COVID-19 Disruptions

Why counting every college student matters: The Census guides funding levels for over $15 billion in annual federal spending in Minnesota. For each person not counted, Minnesota risks losing nearly $28,000 in federal funding over the next 10 years. The Census also determines the number of congressional seats each state receives, and Minnesota is at risk of losing a congressional seat.

How to make sure you are counted: The Census asks for information based on where you live on April 1. Students that normally live at school should be counted at school — even if you are temporarily living somewhere else due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The address that applies when completing the 2020 Census is the address where you would have lived on April 1st if COVID-19 had not caused you to temporarily relocate. For more information, watch this video from the Census explaining these details.

  • If you normally live in a dorm or similar college-owned housing, your institution will work with the Census Bureau to make sure you are counted. If you are temporarily living elsewhere, tell the people you are living with that they should not include you when responding to the Census.

  • If you normally live in a rental unit or other location, either alone or with roommates, follow these instructions:

    1. You should have received or will soon receive an invitation via U.S. mail to respond to the Census with a 12-digit code. The Census Bureau began mailing these invitations on March 12th. If you are not at the same location currently or have not received an invitation you can still complete the Census online with a few additional steps to verify your address.

    2. Designate one person from your rental unit or household to complete the Census and fill it out here. If you cannot coordinate with the other people in your rental unit or household, you can each fill it out individually.

    3. You can refer to this sample Census form to understand the information the Census requests from each person.

  • If you normally live with a parent or guardian while you are at school, that person should include you on their Census form.

More information about the Minnesota Census is available online.


Red Cross in Minnesota: Thankful for blood and platelets donors and staff, volunteers

  • We greatly appreciate the outstanding support of blood and platelets donors as well as the dedication of Red Cross blood collection, lab, and medical office staff and volunteers in Minnesota.

  • Through your generosity, we’re preventing a blood shortage in our region and across the country during this uncertain and challenging time.

  • As of April 5, some 14,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in more than 400,000 fewer blood donations, including in our region about 550 cancellations and more than 17,500 fewer donations.

  • We encourage individuals to keep scheduled blood donation appointments and to make new blood donation appointments at RedCrossBlood.org for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.


Traffic volumes remain significantly below 2019 levels

The Minnesota Department of Transportation continues to monitor traffic volumes statewide.

  • Statewide: Traffic volumes on April 6 were down 50 percent compared to Monday averages for April 2019.

  • Metro area: Traffic volumes on April 6 were down 47 percent compared to Monday averages for April 2019.
Director: Bruce Gordon
Primary Contact Email: bruce.gordon@state.mn.us
Primary Contact Name: Bruce Gordon
Primary Contact Phone: 651-201-7171
Formatted Publish Date: April 07, 2020

7 new coronavirus cases reported in Saskatchewan, total rises to 260

There are currently 169 active coronavirus cases in Saskatchewan after seven new cases were reported in the province on April 7.


Edmonton’s Metro Cinema launches online screenings through COVID-19 closure

Edmonton's Metro Cinema has launched an online screening program, in hopes of keeping arts cinema alive in a world without movie theatres.


Police offer $100K reward to solve 1984 murder of undercover OPP officer

OPP officer William McIntyre was killed almost 36 years ago inside his Oakville apartment, say investigators.


7 women test positive for COVID-19 at Kitchener, Ont., prison

There are now seven inmates at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener who have tested positive for COVID-19.


Middlesex Barracks/Single Vehicle Crash

STATE OF VERMONT DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY VERMONT STATE POLICE   NEWS RELEASE MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH   CASE#: 20A301474          RANK/TROOPER FULL NAME: Trooper Casey Ross STATION: Middlesex                     CONTACT#: 802-229-9191   DATE/TIME: 4/7/2020 at 1030 hours STREET: 850 South Hill Road TOWN: Williamstown, Vermont LANDMARK AND/OR CROSS STREETS: Menard Crossroad


Coronavirus: Ontario launches online portal to recruit health-care workers

"Our health-care heroes on the frontlines of this battle are doing extraordinary work, but they need reinforcements to step up and lend a hand to help defeat this virus," Doug Ford said.


Coronavirus: Hospital cleaners, admins workers need PPE too, unions say

There has been a growing outcry from hospital workers across the country that there isn't enough personal protective equipment to go around as hospitalizations for COVID-19 rise.


Coronavirus cases surge at some California nursing homes

Coronavirus infections reported at a nursing home in the San Francisco Bay Area increased to nearly 50 from 27 last week and one infected person has died, officials said. At … Click to Continue »


Lowe’s to close all stores, facilities for Easter to give workers ‘much-deserved’ day off

(WDAF) – Lowe’s will close all stores and distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada on Easter Sunday.

The April 12 closure is a way to give employees a day to relax since stores have ramped up work during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement.

“We want to provide our teams with a much-deserved day off to spend Easter Sunday with their families and loved ones and recharge,” company president and CEO Marvin Ellison said in the statement.

No hourly employee scheduled for Sunday will lose hours or face reduced pay as a result of the closure, according to the statement.

“I want to personally thank our 300,000 associates who have helped families stay safely at home. Their actions are nothing short of heroic,” Ellison said.

The statement said the company is also considering additional operational changes, including the following:

  • More third-party cleaning shifts
  • Enhanced curbside pick-up
  • Customized Plexiglass shields at all registers
  • In-store social distancing markers
  • Dedicated social distance ambassadors to monitor customer flow and adhere to guidelines
  • Regular overhead announcements and adjusted store layouts.

Governor Ivey extends deadline for Alabama prison program proposals due to COVID-19

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections announced today a two-week deadline extension for proposal submission in response to the ADOC’s request for a proposal to improve the state’s prison infrastructure.

The proposals will now be due by May 14.

The decision to extend the proposal submission deadline was made after talking with the participating developer teams about the restrictions they are having because of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. The developer teams are being hindered from preparing and finalizing their proposals for the three new men’s facilities.

“I am steadfastly committed to the strategic effort to build three new men’s correctional facilities – this ‘Alabama solution’ is a direct result of our dedication to implement actionable solutions that address long-standing challenges facing our prison system,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “Given the unforeseen circumstances associated with COVID-19, it is in the best interest of the state of Alabama to grant this extension so that the developer teams have adequate time to perform required due diligence and to prepare thorough and thoughtful proposals.”

“The spread of COVID-19 has only further demonstrated the critical need for new correctional facilities in Alabama,” ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn said. “As we have stated before, overcrowded conditions within the Department’s dilapidated facilities create increasingly challenging circumstances to ensure inmate and staff health and safety.  The developer teams expressed the need for an extension – due to work and travel restrictions implemented in the wake of this national health crisis – and we fully supported the extension.  Improved prison infrastructure, increased staffing, and stronger rehabilitation programs will allow for transformational results.”

The ADOC plans to announce the successful developer team(s) in late 2020.


Governor Ivey extends deadline for Alabama prison program proposals due to COVID-19

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections announced today a two-week deadline extension for proposal submission in response to the ADOC’s request for a proposal to improve the state’s prison infrastructure.

The proposals will now be due by May 14.

The decision to extend the proposal submission deadline was made after talking with the participating developer teams about the restrictions they are having because of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. The developer teams are being hindered from preparing and finalizing their proposals for the three new men’s facilities.

“I am steadfastly committed to the strategic effort to build three new men’s correctional facilities – this ‘Alabama solution’ is a direct result of our dedication to implement actionable solutions that address long-standing challenges facing our prison system,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “Given the unforeseen circumstances associated with COVID-19, it is in the best interest of the state of Alabama to grant this extension so that the developer teams have adequate time to perform required due diligence and to prepare thorough and thoughtful proposals.”

“The spread of COVID-19 has only further demonstrated the critical need for new correctional facilities in Alabama,” ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn said. “As we have stated before, overcrowded conditions within the Department’s dilapidated facilities create increasingly challenging circumstances to ensure inmate and staff health and safety.  The developer teams expressed the need for an extension – due to work and travel restrictions implemented in the wake of this national health crisis – and we fully supported the extension.  Improved prison infrastructure, increased staffing, and stronger rehabilitation programs will allow for transformational results.”

The ADOC plans to announce the successful developer team(s) in late 2020.


Premier Doug Ford declares Easter Bunny ‘essential service’ amid COVID-19 outbreak

"So kids, the Easter Bunny is becoming an essential service and we'll make sure they have the chocolates ready for Easter."


Mother of 5-year-old found dead pleads not guilty to abuse

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The mother of a 5-year-old girl found dead in Alabama last year pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to child abuse and other charges in the case.

Breanna Williams, 27, was arraigned via videoconference before a judge in Duval County, Florida, on charges of child neglect, aggravated child abuse, providing false information to police and tampering with evidence, news outlets reported.

She initially told police that her daughter, Taylor Rose Williams, went missing the night of Nov. 6 from their Jacksonville home, but the woman stopped cooperating with detectives after being questioned about inconsistencies in her account, investigators said.

The search for the child took officials to Demopolis, Alabama, where Brianna Williams grew up, and remains later identified as Taylor’s were found in a wooded area near the city on Nov. 12, 2019.

Police documents previously revealed the girl last attended day care in April 2019, months before she was reported missing, and the child’s grandparents said they had not seen her in more than a year.

Authorities have not said how the girl died. Brianna Williams has not been charged with the girl’s death.


Isolation rooms established for Calgary homeless populations at high risk of COVID-19

Assisted self-isolation rooms have been established for people dealing with homelessness in Calgary and also displaying symptoms of COVID-19.


New coronavirus case reported in City of Kawartha Lakes, bringing area total to 99

The new confirmed coronavirus case is in the City of Kawartha Lakes, which now has 84 cases, according to the local health unit.


Governor Mills Issues Executive Order to Expand Access to Health Care During COVID-19

AUGUSTA - Governor Janet Mills has signed an Executive Order to further expand access to health care for Maine people in the face of COVID-19. The Order takes additional steps to bolster the health care workforce, expand telehealth services, and temporarily alleviate certain licensing requirements, building upon the Governor's March 20 Executive">https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites/maine.gov.governor.mills/files/inline-files/EO%2035.pdf">Executive Order.

"As the demands on our health care system grow, it is critical that we ensure Maine people have access to the health care services they need in the face of COVID-19," said Governor Mills. This Executive Order allows nonresidents and retired Maine health care providers, such as respiratory therapists, to serve Maine people during the pandemic.

This action also ensures that Mainers can access a broader range of health care services via telehealth, minimizing in-person visits to comply with physical distancing guidelines said Department of Professional and Financial Regulation Commissioner Anne Head. Commissioner Head also noted that, the COVID-19 situation has made it difficult for licensees to complete some of the steps necessary for licensure, including continuing education. For compassionate and practical reasons, the order waives continuing education requirements for license renewals through March 20, 2021.

This Executive Order allows:

  • All health care providers licensed by the Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation (OPOR), such as psychologists, social workers, and physical therapists to:
    • provide their services via telehealth
    • have their license expiration dates extended until 30 days following the end of the declared state of emergency, if the license was scheduled for renewal during the state of emergency
    • not have to complete continuing education requirements for license renewals that occur through March 20, 2021.
  • In addition, certain health care providers licensed by OPOR, such as respiratory care therapists and pharmacists may:
    • Receive a temporary license to provide health care in person or through telehealth, with no application fee, if currently licensed in another state
    • Reactivate their Maine license immediately, with no application fee, if retired within the last three years.

The Governors March 20 Executive Order applied only to licensed physicians, nurses and physician assistants. For more details including a complete description of the OPOR licensees covered under this order, please refer to the Executive">https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/sites/maine.gov.governor.mills/files/inline-files/EO%2035.pdf">Executive Order.

#####


SIU says no charges against officers in case of man who set himself on fire in London, Ont.

The SIU concluded officers acted lawfully in an incident last summer when a man in London, Ont., set himself on fire outside an immigration office.


Coronavirus: Doctor in his 70s at Kingston Hospital dies

Dr Anton Sebastianpillai is believed to have come out of retirement to help on the NHS.


33 new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, total stands at 403

Ottawa sees another large increase in cases, with the city's total now reaching over 400 cases.


Battery

673 State St.
     A suspect, who had just battered a downtown store clerk this morning, fought with officers, biting down hard on the armpit & #8230;


Coronavirus: Kingston-area trails to close after reports of some not practising social distancing

The Kingston, Ont.-area conservation authority said staff had noticed some people not following social-distancing guidelines imposed due to the new coronavirus.


Coronavirus: Saskatchewan Lotteries extends deadline to claim winning prizes

Saskatchewan lottery prize winners are getting a six-month extension to claim their prize due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.


Watch live: California Gov. Gavin Newsom gives coronavirus update

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will hold a coronavirus news conference on Tuesday at noon, according to his office. You can watch the livestream by clicking on the video below: Newsom … Click to Continue »


Theft

Keswick Dr.
     Young car thieves, driving around in one stolen vehicle, made off with a 2019 Jeep Overland from the driveway of a home on & #8230;


Ottawa firefighters save 2 dogs stuck on thin ice

Two huskies were rescued after they ran out onto an ice sheet in the far west end of the city, Ottawa Fire Services says.


22 more people in Waterloo Region test positive for coronavirus

The new numbers, released during Waterloo Public Health’s daily update on Tuesday, push the total number of coronavirus cases in the region to 207.