Day: November 18, 2020

Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office Offers Vacation Watch

CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF)- If you’re looking for an extra line of security when you’re away from home, The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office is providing a ‘Vacation Watch’ service.

Whether it’s just a day or six months, deputies have you covered.

“We come out to your house several times -at different times throughout the day and night- check on your house and make sure that everything is the way you left it” says Captain Jeremy Keener.

Captain Keener says let the Sheriff’s Office know if you will have visitors stopping by to take care of needs around the house.

“If you tell us what cars are going to be there, cars that are going to be parked in the drive way, any contact information or people we can call if something were to be wrong” says Captain Keener.

Becky Martin, a Catoosa County resident, tells News 12 that the vacation watch service makes her feel more secure when she’s away from home.

“I did spend Christmas out last year and did not have that available to us. So we might have extended our vacation knowing that was available.”

Captain Keener offers this additional safety tip:

“Lights being left on inside the residence is not a bad thing. Anything you can do to make it look like somebody is there everyday.”

The ‘Vacation Watch’, isn’t just for the Holiday Season. It’s all year ’round. That’s another thing folks in Catoosa County can be thankful for.

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Shreveport solider wins $25,000 vacation in sweepstakes

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Pvt. Cade Davis didn’t believe it was real when he learned he had won a $25,000 dream vacation in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Subway Sip. Rip. Ultimate Trip sweepstakes.

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But the Shreveport native changed his mind when an email from the Exchange told him his victory was no dream. Now the 19-year-old will take the trip of a lifetime.

“I am just super excited,” Davis said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.”

More: Veterans Celebration Committee presents Col. Steven D. dePyssler Award to Chris Giordano

Davis, who enlisted in the Army 10 months ago and is assigned to the 305th Intelligence Battalion, Charlie Company, at Fort Huachuca, will decide between three destinations: Bora Bora, Cabo San Lucas or Turks and Caicos.



a group of people standing in front of a store: From left, Fort Huachuca Garrison Commander Col. Jarrod Moreland, Shreveport native Pvt. Cade Davis, Fort Huachuca Exchange General Manager Jeff Hyatt and Subway Facility Manager Cynthia Keyser pose as Davis holds up a giant check for $25,000 to celebrate his prize in the Exchange's Subway Sip. Rip. Ultimate Trip sweepstakes. Davis plans to use his winnings to visit either Cabo San Lucas, Bora Bora or Turks and Caicos.


© Army & Air Force Exchange Service
From left, Fort Huachuca Garrison Commander Col. Jarrod Moreland, Shreveport native Pvt. Cade Davis, Fort Huachuca Exchange General Manager Jeff Hyatt and Subway Facility Manager Cynthia Keyser pose as Davis holds up a giant check for $25,000 to celebrate his prize in the Exchange’s Subway Sip. Rip. Ultimate Trip sweepstakes. Davis plans to use his winnings to visit either Cabo San Lucas, Bora Bora or Turks and Caicos.

Davis won this prize by pulling off a game tab on his Subway drink, which he bought during a stop for lunch back in August.

He and some friends had just finished working out and grabbed a meal at Subway in the Exchange food court.

“I just didn’t think anything of it after I pulled the tab,” Davis said. “I thought, ‘OK, cool, what’s the catch?’”

The Fort Huachuca Exchange honored Davis at a short ceremony Nov. 17. He will take his trip sometime next year.

The sweepstakes is part of the Exchange’s 125th anniversary celebration, which commemorates its “we go where you go” mission.

“The Exchange is thrilled to reward Pvt. Davis with the trip of a lifetime,” Fort Huachuca Exchange General Manager Jeff Hyatt said. “The Exchange is honored to serve Warfighters during all stages of life—from young Soldiers such as Pvt.  Davis to retirees. It is truly a privilege to stand alongside Pvt. Davis and all who serve.”

This article originally appeared on Shreveport Times: Shreveport solider wins $25,000 vacation in sweepstakes

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Shreveport solider wins $25,000 dream vacation in sweepstakes

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Shreveport Times

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Pvt. Cade Davis didn’t believe it was real when he learned he had won a $25,000 dream vacation in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Subway Sip. Rip. Ultimate Trip sweepstakes.

But the Shreveport native changed his mind when an email from the Exchange told him his victory was no dream. Now the 19-year-old will take the trip of a lifetime.

“I am just super excited,” Davis said. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.”

More: Veterans Celebration Committee presents Col. Steven D. dePyssler Award to Chris Giordano

Davis, who enlisted in the Army 10 months ago and is assigned to the 305th Intelligence Battalion, Charlie Company, at Fort Huachuca, will decide between three destinations: Bora Bora, Cabo San Lucas or Turks and Caicos.

Davis won this prize by pulling off a game tab on his Subway drink, which he bought during a stop for lunch back in August.

He and some friends had just finished working out and grabbed a meal at Subway in the Exchange food court.

“I just didn’t think anything of it after I pulled the tab,” Davis said. “I thought, ‘OK, cool, what’s the catch?’”

The Fort Huachuca Exchange honored Davis at a short ceremony Nov. 17. He will take his trip sometime next year.

The sweepstakes is part of the Exchange’s 125th anniversary celebration, which commemorates its “we go where you go” mission.

“The Exchange is thrilled to reward Pvt. Davis with the trip of a lifetime,” Fort Huachuca Exchange General Manager Jeff Hyatt said. “The Exchange is honored to serve Warfighters during all stages of life—from young Soldiers such as Pvt.  Davis to retirees. It is truly a privilege to stand alongside Pvt. Davis and all who serve.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/military/2020/11/18/shreveport-solider-wins-25-000-dream-vacation-sweepstakes/3770790001/

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County board calls for tougher vacation rental rules

SALINAS — Monterey County supervisors will back a stricter approach to regulating the local vacation rental industry.

On Tuesday, in response to a request from the county Planning Commission for policy direction, the Board of Supervisors laid out its vision for how the largely unregulated vacation rental industry should be managed.

According to staff, the most recent check on the industry showed more than 600 advertised vacation rentals despite the county issuing only 20 permits.

Generally, the county board called for establishing a limit on the number of vacation rentals allowed under the proposed rules to control the impact on area affordable housing availability. All vacation rentals would be treated as commercial ventures requiring discretionary use permits and review rather than considering them as similar to existing residential uses.

Vacation rentals in the unincorporated areas of the county would also be subject to specific visitor-serving unit limits in areas such as Carmel Valley and Big Sur, according to the county board’s direction. The details of how they would count have yet to be worked out.

The county board’s approach to vacation rental rules diverged markedly from the Planning Commission’s approach. The Commission envisioned unlimited numbers of vacation rentals only constrained by the county’s regulatory structure. It would have distinguished between “limited” vacation rentals with a principal resident on-site and subject to a ministerial permit and “commercial” vacation rentals subject to a discretionary use permit.

The commission also left open the question of whether and how vacation rentals would count against visitor-serving caps.

While the supervisors’ approach would eliminate the distinction between limited and commercial vacation rentals, the board expressed support for allowing three so-called “freebies” per year subject to lesser scrutiny, albeit with some regulation and notice to neighbors.

Supervisor Mary Adams, whose district includes the bulk of the local vacation rentals, argued all of them should be treated as commercial ventures requiring use permits because the proposed draft rules were not adequate to protect the area’s neighborhoods and affordable housing. She still believes there is a “sweet spot” that would allow vacation rentals to operate while not alienating the community.

And board chairman Chris Lopez said the goal should be to address both the needs of both the industry and the community.

“I think we agree that (vacation rentals) have a place in our community,” Lopez said. “But we need to strike a balance.”

The board also supported a robust vacation rental enforcement program modeled after the county’s cannabis enforcement approach, tapping transient occupancy tax revenue to hire a third-party contractor to monitor local industry compliance.

“Philosophically, I’m in favor of (vacation rentals) but we’ve got to consider the impact on neighborhoods,” Supervisor John Phillips said, warning the previously proposed rules were “complicated and difficult to enforce” while calling for a simplified approach. “I’m not sure I’d want a (vacation rental) on our road.”

Supervisor Luis Alejo noted Santa Cruz County had experienced the same issues with vacation rentals in past years before adopting regulations and using TOT revenue

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New Marriott Tacoma Downtown hotel is open

The lobby of the new Marriott Tacoma Downtown hotel. The 304-room hotel officially opened Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

The lobby of the new Marriott Tacoma Downtown hotel. The 304-room hotel officially opened Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

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Wednesday morning marked a landmark launch in downtown Tacoma with the opening of the new Marriott Tacoma Downtown hotel next to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center.

“We’re officially open,” said Ben Osgood, general manager of the hotel. “We’ve signed all the documents and the doors are open.”

Osgood spoke to The News Tribune not long after the official 9 a.m. opening.

There was no pomp and circumstance with a large crowd of officials to mark the start, given that Pierce County is now awash in its third surge of COVID-19 cases in the pandemic.

“It’s a little quiet, to say the least,” Osgood said. “But …. we are receiving reservations as we speak.”

For tourism officials, that’s good news.

“This is a big day for Pierce County, and we’re excited to officially welcome Marriott Tacoma Downtown into the Tacoma hotel community,” said Dean Burke, president and CEO of Travel Tacoma – Mt. Rainier Tourism and Sports, via email Wednesday.

Adapting to change

The hotel, with 22 floors and 304 guest rooms, has been a goal for the city since the convention center’s completion in 2004.

The site’s groundbreaking on Aug. 8, 2017, was arranged with the help of a feng shui expert, focused on every celebratory detail down to the date itself to instill good luck on the project.

Fast forward to 2020: Attention to detail now is focused on providing safe service in a pandemic.

Opening plans called for what Osgood describes as a “big pivot” following Gov. Jay Inslee’s new orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“Really, the biggest change that we had to pivot on just in the last three, four days is we are unfortunately unable to open our restaurant,” Osgood said.

Staff had trained for weeks planning for a thriving indoor dining scene.

Instead, guests now can experience a revamped room service with quick turnaround time.

“Our interim dining program … it’s not the traditional room service that you would expect where you get to your room and, an hour and a half after you order, your food shows up on the big metal plate (with) all the fancy dinnerware,” Osgood said.

“This is more on demand, a la carte experience that will be delivered to your room or available for grab and go in the lobby within 15 minutes of your order. So it’s hot and fresh. It competes with your fast casual restaurants. Everything’s in compostable packaging. It’s a really good program, and it keeps it actually very affordable for the guest.”

Other amenities for now are either scaled down or temporarily off-limits, such as the pool, spa and fitness center.

Cleaning, air filtration

Cleaning, another big issue top of mind with guests trying to avoid COVID-19, follows a pandemic protocol.

“Basically, anything that can’t be sanitized in the guest room is removed.,” Osgood said, “and available by request only.

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California lawmakers travel to Hawaii despite COVID-19 surge and travel advisory

A nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases and a statewide travel advisory didn’t stop a group of California lawmakers from flying to Hawaii for a four-day conference this week.

The annual policy conference hosted by the Independent Voter Project, a San Diego-based nonprofit group, has fewer people attending this year, but according to Politico, about 100 lawmakers and lobbyists from multiple states still made the trip to Maui.

The Los Angeles Times didn’t name the California legislators in attendance but confirmed about a half dozen are there (although the paper also puts the total number of attendees closer to 50).


The Fairmont Kea Lani, the luxury Wailea resort hosting the summit, told the Sacramento Bee that guests had to show proof of a negative test result before attending.

Dan Howle, the chairman of the Independent Voter Project, told the Bee that attendees are following the rules and wearing masks on the hotel grounds.

“Nobody has been walking around without masks,” he said. “They’re not complaining about it. Of course, they’re in Maui.”

This news comes as California has seen new cases double in the past 10 days and Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a travel advisory Friday urging against nonessential travel and recommending quarantines for those who do travel between states and internationally.

Newsom is asking out-of-state travelers to California and residents who leave and then return home to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Hawaii also has strict rules for travelers, requiring either a 14-day quarantine or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.

The Hawaii trip also comes after Newsom drew criticism for attending a birthday party with members outside his household at the French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley.

Newsom said at a Monday press conference attending the party was a mistake and more people were at the event than he expected.

“I need to preach and practice,” he said. “We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes. I shouldn’t have been there. I should have turned back around. You got to pay the price. You have to own it. This isn’t a practice I’ve indulged in in the past.”

The Independent Voter Project wasn’t immediately available for comment. SFGATE will update the story if we hear back.

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Historic Hotel Metropole sign finds new home in San Jose

Another of San Jose’s historic signs has received a new lease on life, with the old Hotel Metropole sign now installed in the beer garden between Camino Brewing and Faber’s Cyclery on South First Street.

Opening in 1903, the Hotel Metropole occupied the top floor of the Alcantara Building, an 1890s brick beauty on Market and Post streets, and its blue porcelain neon sign was a familiar sight for decades as a modern downtown San Jose grew up around it.

The Alcantara building in downtown San Jose, photographed on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2020, once housed the Hotel Metropole. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group) 

As downtown’s fortunes turned downward in the 1960s, so did those of the hotel, which always had been a bit of second-rate joint but fell into being a flop house by the early 1980s. The top floor was deemed unsafe after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the Alcantara building — which also was home to the California Loan pawnshop and Keegan’s Kafe , a popular breakfast spot — was designated a city landmark in 1989 and sold in the late 1990s.

Jim Salata‘s Garden City Construction/Buccaneer Demolition was called in to do the interior demolition of the building, which was then renovated into offices in 2001. (Knight Ridder Digital, Xactly and Electric Cloud occupied the currently empty building for most of the next two decades.) He got both the porcelain sign and an older smaltz sign from the owners, who didn’t want them.

The older sign hung in the Garden City Construction offices until recently. Salata says he’s been toting around the porcelain sign from warehouse to warehouse for the past 22 years. He also kept the original neon tubes in a five-gallon bucket, which allowed glassblower and neon artist Kevin Chong to light them up and determine what color they were at the time the sign was taken down. Salata’s planning a small, private re-lighting ceremony in early December, but the sign’s location on First Street just south of Interstate 280 means everyone can enjoy the sight.

Salata proposed creating a “neon alley” behind Camino Brewing — partly for preservation and partly to deter crime in the area — but didn’t get anywhere with the city. He says he’s happy to be part of the preservation movement, working with people like Chong and others at History San Jose and Preservation Action Council to keep these bright spots of our civic heritage alive.

“This is the end of one long journey for me and I trust the beginning of another,” Salata said. “Perhaps the relighting of the Metropole sign will inspire others to support restoring neon signs from a planning and financial standpoint.”

TECH PUTS LEADERS ONLINE: Back in the pre-COVID world — remember that? — the Tech Interactive honored its Tech for Global Good laureates at a big event (known for many years as the Tech Awards). This year, however, the big “event” is online and the four honored organizations are featured in a Virtual

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From hotel to pizza shop to lockdown: has South Australia learned Victoria’s Covid tracing lessons? | Australia news

As tense South Australians swirled around Unley Shopping Centre on Wednesday afternoon trying to figure out what to buy for their first full lockdown – “screw essentials, I need ice-cream!” – council worker Anne Ross was standing in the long queue for the supermarket, calmly preparing for her third time around.

Ross had secured an exemption to enter SA from her home state of Victoria several weeks earlier, escorted by police to Adelaide, so she could grieve with relatives after her mother died.

Little did she anticipate how the tables would turn. “Now I’m stuck here,” she tells Guardian Australia with a laugh.

Ross hopes the six-day lockdown announced for SA on Wednesday doesn’t develop into the marathon she experienced at home.

“I think South Australia is in a fortunate position, in that they can learn from what happened in Victoria,” she says.

The daily press conferences are a similar experience, but the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has been swapped out for his South Australian counterpart, Steven Marshall, and in place of Victoria’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, is SA’s calm voice of scientific authority, Prof Nicola Spurrier.

The biggest difference Ross has noticed in the response so far has been in the detail of the contact-tracing announcements “right down to the number of minutes someone was in a particular location”.

Adelaide residents queue for supermarket shopping after South Australia was thrown into a snap six-day lockdown.



Adelaide residents queue for supermarket shopping after South Australia was thrown into a snap six-day lockdown. Photograph: Peter Mundy/Speed Media/REX/Shutterstock

Spurrier has been able to provide the public with a detailed breakdown of possible transmission sites across Adelaide.

Dr Stephen Duckett, the health program director for the Grattan Institute, agrees South Australia has had an opportunity to learn from other states.

“NSW was the first to do tracing of contacts at the second level, they shared this with Victoria, and now we see it in South Australia,” he says. “There’s a good network of sharing experiences between the states.”

SA approaches it like this. Once SA Pathology has processed a positive case, it immediately alerts the SA Health contact-tracing team, which attempts to call the patient within a few hours.

In detailed phone interviews, the contact tracer records who the patient came into contact with and where they went.

Contacts of positive cases receive daily messages or phone calls to find out if symptoms have developed, to determine if they need to get tested.

The investigation into the cluster that has since shut down the state began after a woman in her 80s presented to the Lyell McEwin hospital with symptoms on Friday evening.

She tested positive, and contact tracers identified that her daughter worked as a cleaner at the Peppers quarantine hotel, where she is believed to have contracted the virus from a contaminated surface.

The cleaner also infected two security guards. None of the hotel quarantine workers exhibited any symptoms, but passed the virus on to their family members.

One day after the positive case was identified, Spurrier was able to provide the public with

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Legislators in Hawaii as WA residents urged not to travel

As new cases of COVID-19 reach record levels in Washington state and residents are urged not to travel or gather for the holidays, the Evergreen State is among three with legislators reportedly attending a conference in Maui, Hawaii.

The lawmakers come from Washington, California and Texas, according to reporting by Politico, and are at the Fairmont Kea Lani hotel for a conference hosted by the Independent Voter Project.

Dan Howle, the Independent Voter Project’s chairman and executive director, on Wednesday confirmed with McClatchy that Washington legislators were at the conference. He did not answer questions regarding who they are or how many are there.

He said about 100 people came to the hotel for the event, including about 20 state legislators, and daily participation is “in the neighborhood of 75” people. The conference has a 15-year history at the hotel, Howle said, and has drawn legislators from a dozen or so states over the years, as well as governors. But, he said, no governors were invited this year.

The Sacramento Bee reported that both Democrats and Republicans were participating in the conference, which started Monday and is scheduled to last four days.

Spokespeople for the four legislative caucuses in Washington state did not identify members as conference attendees when asked.

A spokesperson for Washington’s Senate Democrats told McClatchy Wednesday that there hadn’t been any requests for reimbursement from members. Politico reported that moderate Democrats often attend the event, and spokesperson Aaron Wasser said he had so far confirmed that Sens. Steve Hobbs and Mark Mullet did not go.

Senate Republican spokesperson Kim Wirtz told McClatchy she had checked with all members and none were participating, and spokespeople for both caucuses in the House told McClatchy they weren’t aware of any members in attendance.

The conference is taking place as cases spike in Washington and nationwide. On Sunday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a new round of restrictions on gatherings and businesses in response to the ongoing “third wave,” two days after Washington joined California and Oregon in issuing advisories that ask visitors arriving for non-essential travel from out-of-state to quarantine for 14 days.

Washington’s travel advisory also includes the following: “Washingtonians are encouraged to stay home or in their region and avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back to Washington.”

In a phone interview with McClatchy, Howle said his organization had “dozens” of phone calls with hotel representatives ahead of this year’s event, ticking off tasks such as approving seating diagrams for every meeting space to guarantee social distancing and agreeing that there wouldn’t be any food and beverage service when people weren’t sitting down.

There are opening and closing receptions and a dinner, he said, with masks required except when actively consuming food or drink. Otherwise, the conference has “restricted or eliminated almost all” other typical social events, and hotel bars are closed.

He emphasized Hawaii’s strict Safe Travels Hawai’i program. To travel to

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U.S. travel restrictions at Canada, Mexico borders set to be extended until Dec. 21: official

By David Shepardson



a large orange truck in a parking lot: The Canada-United States border crossing in Lansdowne


© Reuters/LARS HAGBERG
The Canada-United States border crossing in Lansdowne

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States’ land borders with Canada and Mexico are expected to remain closed to non-essential travel until Dec. 21 at the earliest amid a rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases, a Homeland Security Department official told Reuters.

The current restrictions expire on Saturday and the three countries are expected to approve another 30-day extension, the official said on Wednesday. The United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The restrictions were first put in place in March to control the spread of COVID-19.

Video: DHS can rescind DACA, acting secretary Wolf says (The Washington Post)

DHS can rescind DACA, acting secretary Wolf says

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Canada’s CTV News also reported that the travel restrictions in place at the Canada-U.S. land border were expected to remain in effect for at least another month.

The DHS official told Reuters the agency was “continuing to look at appropriate public health criteria for a future re-evaluation of existing restrictions.”

The restrictions are particularly painful for U.S. and Canadian towns along the border that are tightly intertwined.

Statistics Canada said earlier that U.S. visits to Canada by automobile had plummeted by more than 95% in August from August 2019.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Peter Cooney)

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