Month: November 2020

Set Free Church awarded 2020 Volunteer Group of the Year by FCSD#25 Recreation Board

RIVERTON, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) –

a sign on the screen: volunteer award presented at FCSD#25 board meeting

© Provided by Cheyenne-Scottsbluff KGWN-TV
volunteer award presented at FCSD#25 board meeting

Last night, Fremont County School District 25 board meeting had a special presentation to give a volunteer award to Set Free Church. When this church and recovery program volunteers around the community, they’re not in it to get recognized, but last night, that’s exactly what happened.

Appointed member of the FCSD#25 Recreation Board, Cody Beers, stated this about giving the award: “It’s one of the coolest parts about being on the rec board because we all want Riverton, Fremont County, the state of Wyoming to be a better place. In our state, the way it becomes a better place is by volunteerism.”

For about 15 years, the District 25 Recreation Board has been doing the awards program to recognize people trying to turn the community into a better place. Set Free doesn’t use any grant funds, so they raise all the money for their service program though donations from volunteering for jobs around town. Pastor Richard Mills and his wife Cynthia noted some of their typical service projects are hauling trash, mowing lawns, and serving senior citizens. Donations are received for some jobs, but not all and that doesn’t concern this couple who are devoted to service.

“Proverbs 22:1 says ‘A good name is to be chosen over silver and gold,’ so it’s really opened up a wonderful relationship with many parts of the town and community by doing stuff like this,” added the pastor.

Pastor Richard moved to Riverton from California to start the church 12 years ago. They have served 1,600 people experiencing life crises such as addiction, homelessness, or a lack of purpose in life.

“Everyone deserves to be given a second chance. We know from personal experience how painful it can feel to be misunderstood or judged,” stated Cody Beers in the presentation ceremony. The program allows a safe environment for people to be given a second chance, while being supplied the tools to start over.

“We owe everything to Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be together, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing in the town if it wasn’t for our love for Jesus,” stated Pastor Richard.

The church will also be serving takeaway Thanksgiving meals tomorrow to shut-ins in Fremont County, and also will serve people a meal to go for anyone who calls the church at (307) 463-2095 or comes to the church at 620 West Adams St. in Riverton.

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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AC Hotel Park City Opens as the City’s Newest Lifestyle Hotel

The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content.

PARK CITY, Utah, Nov. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —
PARK CITY, Utah, Nov. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — AC Hotel Park City, owned by Ensign Hospitality, opens its doors on Dec. 7, 2020, inviting travelers to experience a hotel with style and intention in Utah’s cultured city. Part of AC Hotels by Marriott®, the design-driven hotel brand from Marriott International, this newly constructed hotel combines a small-town lodge feel with elegant, comfortable rooms and sleek, modern amenities, bringing purposeful design to Park City.

“We are excited to introduce AC Hotel Park City to our community near and far,” said Kirk Barker of Ensign Hospitality. “Park City is a year-round recreational haven, cultural hub, and distinctive venue for business, making it a perfect location for the well-intentioned AC Hotels guest.

AC Hotel Park City takes form with clean modern lines, aesthetically proportioned spaces, and balanced use of premium materials distinctive to the AC Hotels brand. The intuitive design was created to capture the majestic and wondrous spirit of the hotel’s surroundings and appeal to modern lifestyles. Embracing AC Hotels’ focus on harmonious design and tailored style, the hotel features minimalist guest rooms that allow travelers to use the space in whatever way they see fit. Free of traditional hotel room distractions, the 100 guest rooms are designed to maximize a sense of openness with plenty of open surfaces to place luggage or pull up a chair and work.

The AC Lobby features inviting furnishings, locally sourced art, and timeless, contemporary touches that evoke the feeling of a well-curated gallery. The AC Kitchen offers the brand’s signature European-inspired breakfast with options ranging from butter croissants imported from France, artisan cured meats such as thinly sliced Italian Prosciutto from AC’s iconic Berkel slicing machine, an international selection of cheeses, as well as yogurts and cereals, seasonal fruits, and local specialties. During the day, the AC Lounge® serves as a place to relax or create with maximum comfort and function in mind. In the evening, the AC Bar serves up a variety of signature cocktails, craft beers, and local wines paired with a Spanish-inspired tapas menu. The hotel also includes a state-of-the-art fitness center and indoor swimming pool with whirlpool.

Members of Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s global travel program, have many of the hotel’s services at their fingertips with the Marriott Bonvoy App, including a digital room key, seamless check-in and check-out, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi.

Located just 35 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport, AC Hotel Park City is in close proximity to Park City’s wealth of activities, including a vibrant shopping district, exquisite dining options, and leisure options for all, including local breweries, Olympic Park and, most notably, the host of the International Sundance Film Festival in the winter.

To learn more about AC Hotel Park City, please visit 

Logos, product, and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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Denver mayor offers apology for Thanksgiving travel after urging residents to stay home

He recognized that many people were “disappointed” by his decision.

On Wednesday, Mayor Michael B. Hancock headed to Mississippi to join his wife and daughter there, he said.

Earlier that day, the mayor told Denver ABC affiliate KMGH that during the holiday, “if you can, remain in your household. If you can, stay with those in your household.” If you choose to travel, he said to “do what we’ve always been asking throughout the entire experience: Wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands.”

He also advised residents to avoid travel “if you can” and to host virtual gatherings this Thanksgiving in a social media post on Wednesday.

Hancock did not mention his own plans to travel. In his mea culpa, the mayor said he should have.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” he said in a statement. “I have shared how my family cancelled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.”

The news of Hancock’s travels was met with calls of hypocrisy on Twitter. The mayor said he recognized that many people were “disappointed” by his decision.

“As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel,” he said. “I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”

PHOTO: Denver Mayor Michael Hancock listens as Colorado Rep. Alec Garnett, D-Denver, makes a point during a news conference about the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the state Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Denver.

Denver County has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, with the seven-day moving average of new cases reaching a peak of 728 on Nov. 21, county data shows. The county is in the state’s “level red” risk category, indicating a 14-day average positivity rate of between 10% and 15%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people to spend the holiday at home as the number of COVID-19 cases spike.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has also urged residents

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Denver mayor apologizes over Thanksgiving travel plans

By Lauren M. Johnson, Kay Jones and Jeremy Harlan | CNN

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is asking for forgiveness after coming under fire for his upcoming holiday plans.

Hours after encouraging Denver residents to avoid Thanksgiving travel, the city’s mayor office confirmed he is flying to Mississippi to spend the holiday with his daughter and wife, according to his office.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” Hancock said in a statement released by his office. “As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel. I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head.”

The apology comes after he posted a tweet on Wednesday morning stating that avoiding travel is a way to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The city also encouraged residents to only host Thanksgiving dinners with members of their immediate household.

In a statement previously sent to CNN, Hancock’s spokesperson, Mike Strott, that Hancock “will follow all necessary health and safety guidance and quarantine” upon his return to Denver.

According to the latest data provided by the city’s health department, there are 33,971 total reported cases of Covid-19 in Denver since the start of the pandemic.

Hancock isn’t the only local leader who’s not heeded their own advice.

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom received backlash after he and his wife attended a birthday party at the French Laundry restaurant with a dozen others from several different households despite state health guidelines recommending against such gatherings amid a surge in Covid-19 infections.

Newsom apologized for his attendance, acknowledging that he should be practicing what he preaches.

“I made a bad mistake,” Newsom said. “Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up, walked back to my car and drove home.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo canceled his plans after facing criticism for planning to have a holiday meal with his 86-year-old mother and two of his daughters amid escalating numbers of Covid-19 cases.

The governor had previously warned New Yorkers who plan on holding Thanksgiving celebrations as usual that it was dangerous given that the virus can spread in large indoor gatherings.

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Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) apologized Wednesday following backlash for his holiday travel to Mississippi after he advised his residents to stay put due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

a view of a city with a mountain in the background: Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

© Getty
Mayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put

Hancock released a statement saying he acknowledges he instructed people to “stay home and avoid unnecessary travel.” He said he publicly announced how his family canceled its usual “multi-household Thanksgiving” but should have shared that his wife and daughter have been in Mississippi after his daughter took a new job.

“As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver,” he said in the statement.

“I recognize that my decision has disappointed many who believe it would have been better to spend Thanksgiving alone,” he added. “As a public official, whose conduct is rightly scrutinized for the message it sends to others, I apologize to the residents of Denver who see my decision as conflicting with the guidance to stay at home for all but essential travel.”

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” he concluded.

The mayor received criticism after it was reported that he flew to Mississippi hours after tweeting out recommendations for people to “avoid travel, if you can” this year for Thanksgiving as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations surge across the country.

Earlier Wednesday, Mike Strott, a spokesperson for Hancock, told The Denver Post in a statement that there was not a contradiction between the mayor’s instructions and his flight as his family changed its plans from its tradition of gathering up to 50 people.

“[Hancock] has told people to rethink their Thanksgiving plans. He has also said that if you do travel to follow health and safety guidelines and the mayor will still follow health and safety guidelines upon his return,” Strott told the newspaper.

Similar to leaders across the country, Hancock cautioned against large gatherings for the holidays throughout November saying “we’re not going to sit here and tell you that Thanksgiving is canceled in Denver,” but people should “think differently” about holiday gatherings.

He is not the only government official to be accused of hypocrisy after California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) faced condemnation for attending a 12-person party after urging people to avoid such gatherings. The governor later apologized for his attendance.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) altered his in-person Thanksgiving plans after he received backlash for saying his 89-year-old mother and two daughters were traveling to Albany to celebrate the holiday.

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US jobless claims and hunger spike as Congress goes on vacation

The latest weekly report from the Department of Labor on new claims for state unemployment benefits, released Wednesday, showed the first back-to-back increase in five weeks, with 778,000 seasonally adjusted claims for the week ending Nov. 21. The figure represents an increase of 30,000 from last week’s revised total of 748,000.

The report also revealed that an additional 311,000 people applied for unemployment benefits through the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Volunteers pack boxes of food outside Second Harvest Food Bank in Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Irvine, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Nov. 7 was over 20,400,000, an increase of more than 135,000 from the previous week. There were about 1,488,000 people claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019. This means that nearly 14 times as many people are claiming jobless benefits this month as in the same month last year.

Since mid-March, there has yet to be a single week in which combined state and federal unemployment claims have not topped 1 million. Overall, nearly 69 million jobless claims have been filed since March, an unprecedented figure nearly six times the average yearly amount in the span of roughly eight months.

The staggering level of weekly job losses, more than triple the pre-pandemic average of 225,000 claims per week, shows no signs of relenting. Thousands of small businesses, cut off from government stimulus or private loans, are shutting their doors forever amid disorganized partial lockdowns and curfews imposed on a state or local level.

Despite the unchecked spread of the virus in “superspreader” worksites, factories and schools, governors and mayors, Democratic and Republican alike, have vowed to keep businesses and schools open. For its part, the US Congress adjourned for its Thanksgiving recess without any movement towards the passage of a relief bill.

The Trump administration’s open promotion of “herd immunity,” combined with congressional inaction and indifference, have left millions of workers and students at risk of infection and death and millions more without the means to pay for necessities or plan for the immediate future.

PUA benefits, along with the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program and the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention eviction moratorium, are set to expire after Christmas, leaving over 12 million workers currently receiving payments with nothing, while an estimated 6,471,000 people will be facing eviction beginning in January.

Already, massive food lines are springing up across the country, as working class families deprived of employment and relief turn to food banks and charities in scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of the Great Depression. A US Census survey conducted between the last week of October and early November indicated that nearly 26 million adults either “sometimes” or “often” did not have enough food to eat over the prior seven days, accounting for nearly 12 percent of all US adults.

The same census report indicated that 16 percent of children do not have

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N.J. scraps COVID-19 state-by-state travel advisory that called for quarantines

After using it for nearly five months to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, New Jersey is abandoning its state-by-state travel advisory formula as cases rise across the country, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday.

a group of people standing in a room: Holiday travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday.

© Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/
Holiday travelers at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday.

Instead, the state is now asking people who travel from any U.S. state or territory except immediate neighbors New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving.

Murphy is also urging people to avoid all unnecessary travel to and from the state.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout our nation, New Jersey will no longer utilize previously outlined metrics to inform its travel advisory,” Murphy said in a statement. “Given the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 for both residents who travel outside the state and for visitors into the state, New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time.”

If you do travel — whether it be visitors or residents returning home from a trip — New Jersey is asking you to self-quarantine at your home, a hotel, or other temporary lodging for 14 days.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker 5/8 Newsletter 5/8 Homepage

Murphy said the state Department of health will release more information in the coming days about new travel precautions.

“Individuals should continue to abide by the state’s current guidance until a new policy is issued,” he added.

The move comes the day before Thanksgiving — usually the busiest travel day of the year in the United States. But federal and state officials are asking Americans to stay home this year and celebrate with small gatherings of immediate household members to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s not too late to change your plans for tomorrow,” Murphy tweeted Wednesday. “I know it’s difficult and heartbreaking to break with tradition, but small gatherings this Thanksgiving are the best way to protect your loved ones and ensure we can gather safely in the years to come.”

New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut introduced the travel advisory in June, calling on people traveling from states and territories considered coronavirus hot spots to self-quarantine for 14 days. It came at a time when the tri-state region, among the earliest COVID-19 epicenters, began to see numbers drop, while other parts of the country saw numbers surge.

States qualified for the list if they had a positive test rate higher than 10 pr 100,00 residents or if they had a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.

People traveling for work or essential reasons have been exempt.

With the virus starting to spread again across the U.S. — including the northeast — New York dropped the advisory late last month and began requiring visitors from non-neighboring states get a COVID-19 test instead.

New Jersey pressed on with the advisory but exempted neighboring states. Last week, 46 states

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Millions ignore travel warning as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide

With millions of Americans on the move Wednesday, health experts worry what is usually one of the country’s biggest nights for travel may also become one of its most dangerous. Despite the surge in new coronavirus cases, AAA expects up to 50 million Americans to travel.

More than 2.3 million people have been infected nationwide in the past two weeks, and more than 2,000 have died in the past 24 hours, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. That’s the highest single-day death toll in more than six months.

Despite blunt warnings from public health officials pleading for people to stay home this Thanksgiving, millions are hitting the skies and roads anyway. 

Romeo Garcio left Maryland on Wednesday afternoon for his parents’ home in Greenville, North Carolina.

“The holidays are really the only times where I could be able to see my family,” he said.

When asked if he was worried at all about bringing the coronavirus home with him, Garcio replied, “Not at all. I’ve been tested. I’m negative.”

But that wasn’t enough for Tom Wilson. He made the agonizing decision not to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

“It just seemed like a risk that wasn’t worth taking,” Wilson said.

Meanwhile, there’s a growing patchwork of restrictions in cities and states that are intended to stop the virus’ spread. Fourteen states and Washington, D.C., call for mandatory testing or quarantine requirements for travelers. New York City police are setting up checkpoints at bridges and tunnels, and Maryland state troopers are checking if bars and restaurants are following the rules.

A stay-at-home advisory is now in place in Pennsylvania, and the state has ordered bars, restaurants and private catered events to stop alcohol sales for on-site consumption starting at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve.

In Los Angeles County, dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be restricted starting Wednesday. Beginning at 10 p.m., all eateries in the county will only be able to offer take-out, drive-thru and delivery services, CBS Los Angeles reports. 

From coast to coast, governors and mayors are practically begging people not to gather.

“Don’t make it harder on those frontline workers,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said. 

“To act like it’s a normal Thanksgiving is to deny reality,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated.

Small gatherings are now a major driver of the virus spread. Fifteen members of a Texas family contracted COVID-19 at a birthday lunch.

“Please don’t be like my family and ignore the CDC guidelines,” one of the family members said in a video.

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook has advice for people who have chosen to gather with friends and families.

“I think the safest thing is for people to assume they’re infected and infectious but they just don’t know it, even if they recently have tested negative,” he said.

Dr. LaPook added that masks should be worn during the gatherings, eating and socializing should be divided into separate areas, and windows and doors should be kept

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Homeless Men Must Leave The Lucerne Hotel, Judge Rules

About 200 homeless men will have to vacate a hotel on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that has been used as an emergency shelter during the pandemic, a judge ruled on Wednesday — the latest twist in a contentious case that has been a flash point in one of New York City’s most liberal enclaves.

The judge in Manhattan said that she would dismiss the proceedings and said that the court lacked jurisdiction over the dispute.

A spokesman for the city’s law department, Nicholas Paolucci, said that officials planned to begin moving the men after Thanksgiving.

“We’re pleased with the court’s decision which will allow the city to continue providing critical services to those who need it most,” Mr. Paolucci said in an email.

A lawyer for a downtown group that filed the lawsuit seeking to stop the relocation said that it planned to appeal.

The Upper West Side hotel, the Lucerne, which used to offer valet parking and spa services to tourists during pre-pandemic times, is one of 63 hotels the city has temporarily used as shelters to help prevent the spread of coronavirus at dormitory-style shelters.

The city’s strategy has sparked legal threats, protests, news conferences and the formation of several neighborhood groups — some opposed to these shelters and others in favor. But caught in the middle of the political push-and-pull are the displaced men whose lives have often been upended by evictions, unemployment and other traumatic events.

Michael Hiller, the lawyer who represented several of the men at the Lucerne, wrote in a text message: “Words cannot express how I feel about this decision greenlighting the city’s forcible relocation of the homeless residents of the Lucerne on the day before Thanksgiving.”

The decision is a blow to many of the men, who had said that they had found a sense of belonging and a measure of stability on the Upper West Side.

One of the men, who goes by the name Shams DaBaron and has become a spokesman for some of the men at the hotel, said in a statement, “We are hurt.”

“We have proven that the city does not care about our well-being, because if they did, we would be able to stay at a place where we are thriving,” Mr. DaBaron said.

Mr. Hiller said his clients were considering their legal options.

Mayor Bill de Blasio decided to move the men from the Lucerne Hotel in September after visiting the neighborhood and after a group formed by area residents hired Randy Mastro, a well-connected lawyer who has represented Mr. de Blasio in the past, to threaten a lawsuit against the city.

“The court recognized what we have been saying all along — that the city made the right decision here,” Mr. Mastro said in a statement.

The city first tried to move the men to a shelter for homeless families near the Empire State Building, but blowback from residents there led to the decision to send them to the Lower Manhattan hotel. The

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Denver mayor says he ‘should have’ shared Thanksgiving travel plans after urging people to ‘avoid unnecessary travel’

Denver’s mayor apologized for traveling out of state to visit family members only hours after telling residents of the Colorado city to “avoid travel.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, who was seen boarding a flight to Houston, Texas, on Wednesday said that although he warned residents of the Colorado capital to refrain from traveling amid the coronavirus pandemic, he decided “it would be safer” to travel to Mississippi to visit his daughter than have her come to Denver.

“I fully acknowledge that I have urged everyone to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel,” Hancock wrote. “I have shared how my family canceled our plans for our traditional multi-household Thanksgiving celebration. What I did not share, but should have, is that my wife and my daughter have been in Mississippi, where my daughter recently took a job. As the holiday approached, I decided it would be safer for me to travel to see them than to have two family members travel back to Denver.”

Hancock was chastised online for his hypocritical decision and apologized for the travel plans after critics noted his office previously instructed residents to stay home for “all but essential travel.”

Hancock admitted that he allowed his emotions to get the better of his travel plans, which fly directly against his own health guidelines.

“I made my decision as a husband and father, and for those who are angry and disappointed, I humbly ask you to forgive decisions that are borne of my heart and not my head,” Hancock added.

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