Tag: News

Fears for Melbourne’s homeless forced out of Covid hotel accommodation | Australia news

When Painter arrived at the Birches serviced apartments in East Melbourne, she breathed a sigh of relief.

“I’ve always said I just needed one person to treat me with a little bit of respect and I’ll flourish, and that’s what I’ve done here at Birches,” she said.

She is one of 2,000 rough sleepers in Victoria who were offered hotel accommodation during the pandemic – a program that has been heralded by service providers as extremely beneficial, and a possible road to ending rough sleeping once and for all.

Painter, who goes only by her last name, said she had been able to get off all drugs and, with the help of the hotel owner, Jenny Kerr, had begun painting and started to think about the future.

“Here I’m safe. S. A. F. E. It’s amazing what that one little thing will do, having a camera outside your room and knowing you can lock your doors.”

After Covid-19 was declared a pandemic the Victorian government announced it would double crisis funding to $6m to help homelessness agencies find temporary housing for those sleeping on the streets of Melbourne.

Unlike in other states, some Victorian rough sleepers were asked to contribute to the cost of their rooms, with some paying several hundred dollars a week.

The government promised the program would be extended until April when more than a thousand private properties would be subleased for rough sleepers. But two weeks ago Painter received a text message telling her the funding had run dry and she needed to call to discuss alternatives.

Painter was one of 2000 rough sleepers in Victoria who were housed during the pandemic



‘I will lose everything I own, again’: Painter was one of 2,000 rough sleepers in Victoria who were housed during the pandemic

“It’s really scary, because not only will I end up back on the streets, I will lose everything I own, again,” she said through tears.

For 25 years, Painter was in an extremely violent and abusive relationship. She became addicted to ice and heroin. When she fled, she ended up on the streets where she faced further abuse and sexual assault.

“It’s just trauma, trauma, trauma and I’m trying to get past it. Knowing that I’m going to be homeless again in two weeks, it’s like, what’s the point?”

‘No one was telling us anything’

When the $150m Home for Homeless program was announced, the premier, Daniel Andrews, said in a press release the funding would “extend current hotel accommodation until at least April next year while these 2,000 Victorians are supported to access stable, long-term housing”.

But in a document distributed to support workers by the Department of Health and Human Services later in the year, seen by Guardian Australia, the message was less clear.

“There may be a perception that emergency accommodation (EA) is available for all people in EA until April 2021. However, this funding is part of a package designed to support people to exit hotel accommodation, not to sustain all tenancies until this date,” the letter reads.

A spokesperson for the government

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Driskill hotel chef returns after stroke to light Christmas tree – News – Austin American-Statesman

For the first time in more than eight months, Nelson Toala returned to the Driskill Hotel the place he has worked as a chef for more than a decade.

Except in lieu of his chef’s uniform, Toala, 65, wore jeans, a long sleeve gray shirt, a hat and was accompanied by his wife Maria and a designated cane. The couple were honored guests Monday, as they helped continue the tradition of lighting the hotel’s Christmas tree.

The Toala family is part of the Statesman’s Season for Caring program, which helps hundreds of families each year through local nonprofit agencies. The Toala family was nominated by Meals on Wheels Central Texas.

Since 2015, the Driskill has welcomed Season For Caring families to be part of this tradition, which also includes dinner and a one-night stay, typically in the Cattle Baron suite. The Driskill also has hosted the Cookies for Caring event each year, which raises money for Season for Caring.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the hotel’s annual traditions look a little different this year. The virtual tree lighting event, which normally floods the downstairs lobby with people, is virtual, and guests and supporters will only be able to tune in online.

Cookies for Caring, which sells tins of cookies prepared by local bakeries, restaurants and hotel restaurants, will continue this year, but instead of having an event to pick up cookies, the cookies will be prepackaged in tins.

This year cookies from the Driskill, Hyatt Regency Austin, Hyatt Regency Lost Pines and Miravel Austin will fill the tins. Tins are available at driskillhotel.com for $50 and can be picked up in the hotel lobby 4-6 p.m. Dec. 17-19.

Since 2015 that event has raised $40,000 for Season for Caring.

To keep the spirit of the tree lighting tradition alive, a small group of hotel staff, Meals on Wheels staff and fellow employees joined the celebration when Toala would flip the switch.

Monday’s tree lighting was prerecorded and streamed on the Driskill’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Toala has been absent from his chef job since March.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, he was temporarily furloughed from his job, but before he could return to the kitchen he had a stroke leaving him with partial paralysis on his right side, making it difficult to walk on his own, shower or cook.

He is the primary caregiver for Maria, and now his two granddaughters Alexssandra, 10, and Isabela, 8, who live with them.

For months, Nelson Toala has been struggling to be able to provide for his family, but with the help of local organizations, like Meals on Wheels, and the love of the staff at the Driskill, they have been able to get by, Toala says.

Since May, Meals on Wheels has been able to provide the family with meals each week and also connected them with resources that have helped with mortgage and utility assistance, and other needs.

While Toala said he was humbled by the help he has received

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Vernon recreation services increase fees, reduce hours for 2021 – Vernon News

Rec fees rise, hours reduced

Vernon Recreation Services will be moving forward with operations and programming, but on a smaller scale.

As part of the 2021 budget discussions, city staff and council agreed to take a middle-of-the-road approach on keeping Recreation Services operational. Out of the five tiers outlined in the proposal, tier three was chosen as the department’s plan for next year.

Tier three outlines a modified service level, which includes reduced aquatic centre and arena hours of operation. Fees will also be increasing by five per cent, along with cuts to staff training and advertising.

These cuts are undeniably directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a major impact on the recreation department.

“The pandemic has been really tough on our staff,” says Doug Ross, director of Recreation Services. “This tier three plan would help our staff and allow us to continue operations for the community.”

Vernon city council agreed to contribute $249,733 to Recreation Services, which will potentially come out of the COVID-19 recovery fund that was granted by the province. That is all contingent based on how Recreation Services’ partners choose to pay their $115,374 share.

The Centennial outdoor rink will not be reopening this year, which will likely result in some savings for the recreation department. Council voted to allow Recreation Services to use any savings from the Centennial rink closure to use at their discretion.

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Mirae Asset Wins U.S. Lawsuit Against China’s Anbang on Scrapped $5.8 Billion Hotel Deal | Investing News

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean investment bank Mirae Asset Daewoo Co Ltd said on Tuesday it won a U.S. court case against Anbang Insurance Group, after Mirae Asset affiliates scrapped a $5.8 billion deal to buy 15 U.S. hotels from Anbang.

A consortium led by Mirae agreed last year to buy the hotels from Anbang, which had been selling some of its overseas assets after the Chinese government took control of the troubled insurer in 2018.

But the coronavirus pandemic put several deals at risk this year, as the tourism industry was one of the hardest hit by global travel restrictions.

Anbang had filed a suit saying Mirae Asset affiliates must fulfill their promised payment for the hotels, while Mirae affiliates filed a counterclaim that Anbang return the deposit, pay transaction costs, and related litigation costs, Mirae said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

A Delaware court on Monday rejected Anbang’s claims for payment and ruled Anbang should return the deposit and pay expenses of $3.685 million, according to the court document reviewed by Reuters.

Anbang has been liquidated and some of its assets have been revamped into a new entity called Dajia Insurance Group. A Dajia official could not be reached immediately.

Shares in Mirae Asset rose 6% in Seoul on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Civic Center, new cemetery top recreation department’s sixth-penny priority list | Local News

CHEYENNE – With another sixth-penny sales tax ballot coming down the pipeline, members of the city’s Community Recreation and Events Department outlined their top priorities – Cheyenne Civic Center renovations and a new cemetery – at a City Council work session Monday night.

According to City Treasurer Robin Lockman, the city has collected $33,691,443 out of the previous $40,850,000 ballot thus far, and Council President Mark Rinne said he anticipates another sixth-penny ballot to go out to voters next fall.

“I think it would serve us well to start doing our homework now and get some background on the sixth-penny projects that some of our departments would like to move forward,” Rinne said at the work session.

The first proposal outlined an expanded remodel of the Cheyenne Civic Center, which hasn’t seen many updates in its 40-year lifespan, according to Community Recreation and Events Director Teresa Moore. The department completed a conceptual design in 2019, in anticipation of sixth-penny discussions, and the proposed project totals around $40 million, though Moore noted the renovations could be scaled back with budgetary constraints.

“This facility was built in 1981; it’s coming up on 40 years. During those 40 years, there has been little investment in this building,” Moore said.

Currently, the Civic Center has no loading dock for performers, an outdated HVAC system, inadequate seating and insufficient equipment that leads to using rentals.

The renovations would revamp the front of the building, allowing more visibility for the facility and advertising for events. The bathroom facilities would also be expanded, doubling the amount of water closets and urinals; a loading dock would be added; the concession area would be expanded; and the seating would be improved to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

A multi-purpose room would also be added for rehearsals, weddings, lectures and meetings, and it would be available to rent.

“Cheyenne and the region support the Civic Center and deserve better functionality and a high-quality experience,” Moore said. “Cheyenne has made an investment in this asset, creating it in the first place, and we think it needs our protection and our investments for future generations.”

The second proposal from Community Recreation and Events is for a new cemetery that would be built at the arboretum, next to the new Cheyenne National Cemetery. According to department Deputy Director Jason Sanchez, the city is currently running out of space.

“Most of the available spaces are single spaces; they’re undesirable. We don’t have any family plots remaining,” Sanchez said.

The new cemetery would house 3,644 interments, which Sanchez said would last the city about 20 more years, as they do an average of 150 burials annually. A cemetery master plan was completed in 2014, and the estimated cost is just over $7 million for the new cemetery, as well as to update the irrigation system at Lakeview Cemetery.

While some councilmen questioned whether the city should let the private cemetery industry take over, the department stood by the idea that this is a service

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State promotes VTR as tourist spot in vacation | Patna News

PATNA: With Covid-19 pandemic spoiling vacation plans to sea beach or abroad, Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) offers a choice with spots like Manguraha, Valmiki Nagar and Govardhana having tourist facilities and scenic beauty, environment, forest and climate change department additional chief secretary Dipak Kumar Singh said on Monday.
“These places have some unique features and the department is ensuring the safety of tourists,” he said.
One such holiday spot is Manguraha with an option of animal sightseeing, natural beauty and safari ride crossing the river. It is a part of VTR and tourists have been allowed since November 10.
Manguraha range DFO Ambarish Mall said the campus where tourists could stay was inaugurated in September this year. After the reopening in November, the rooms are keeping full to their capacity, especially on weekends, he said. Mall said tourists revealed how pandemic made them opt for a nearby place for vacation. “We are taking all precautions. For instance, earlier six people were allowed for a safari ride, which has been reduced to four now,” he added.
Gaurav Ojha, the DFO at VTR, said children below 10 and those above 65 years are not allowed for safety reasons. “We have closed down cultural activities, which included folk dance by the local tribe, and documentaries because such activities involve gathering,” said Ojha. However, he said safari is allowed.
Ojha said all the rooms and vehicles are sanitized regularly and temperature is checked. He further said the footfall is no less when compared to previous years. “Over 15 safari rides take place in the VTR daily,” said Ojha, adding the footfall has been increasing with each passing year.

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Chicago Weather: Snow Coming For Northwest IndianaCBS 2 Meteorologist Tim McGill has your 10 p.m. RealTime Weather update for Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020.

As He Beats Cancer, 6-Year-Old Dylan Schroeder Gets A Special Parade Of TrucksDylan Schroeder, 6, has spent half his life fighting cancer. On Sunday, he took his last chemotherapy treatment – and as CBS 2’s Steven Graves reports, the community made it a day to remember.

Southwest Side School Principal Honored For Contributions To CommunityPrincipal Victor Iturralde got a socially-distanced surprise from a group of student athletes in Pilsen Sunday for his contribution to the community.

Minority Groups Want To Ensure Equal Access To Coronavirus VaccineAs we get closer to the distribution of a coronavirus vaccine, minority communities across Chicago want to make sure they get equal access – since they have among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Dining Tents Vandalized In West LoopPolice late Sunday were trying to find out who vandalized outdoor tents along Randolph Street’s Restaurant Row in the West Loop.

Thanksgiving Airline Travel Down 50 Percent, Which Could Spell Trouble For AirlinesCBS 2’s Marissa Parra has been tracking Thanksgiving travel since last week. She reports the possible impact of decreased travel could be rough for airlines.

Health Care Workers Prepare For Thanksgiving COVID-19 SuperspreaderA superspreader event on top of a COVID-19 surge – that is what health care workers are preparing for around the country and right in Chicago. CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports.

Chicago Weather: Winds To Whip Up Big WavesCBS 2 Meteorologist Tim McGill has the RealTime Weather forecast for Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020.

Bears V. Packers: Three Things To WatchBears head to Lambeau Field Sunday night for their first matchup of the season against their division rivals. The Bears are back from the bye hoping not to say goodbye to their playoff hopes in Green Bay. Here are three things to watch.

Dolton Village Trustee Tiffany Henyard To Give Away Thousands Of Dollars Of GasolineVillage Trustee Tiffany Henyard, who is running to be Dolton’s next mayor, will pay for thousands of dollars in gasoline for anyone who signs up first. 

What Caught My Eye Nov. 29, 2020CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot and Ed Curran share the photos that caught their eyes this week.

Two Crashes In Same Lake Shore Drive Curve In Two DaysA crash on Lake Shore Drive closed the south bound lanes early Sunday morning after it almost turned into a hit-and-run. A Ferrari crashed in the same spot Saturday, sending sparks flying as it hit the barrier, flipped onto its roof and caught fire

Greater Galilee Baptist Church In Lawndale Offers Free Flu Shots And Coronavirus TestingThe church will be helping both insured and uninsured people who

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Support for Japan’s Suga Falls Following Travel Campaign Reversal | World News

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s approval ratings fell five percentage points to 58%, with many unhappy with his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll taken over the weekend by the daily Nikkei newspaper.

The dip in ratings follows criticism over his hesitation to suspend a domestic travel campaign as new coronavirus infections rise, and potentially threatens the chances of his premiership extending beyond next autumn, when his current term ends.

Suga’s approval ratings were at 63% in the previous poll conducted in October.

Respondents who disapproved of the government’s coronavirus countermeasures rose 13 percentage points to 48%, topping the 44% who thought the government was doing well, according to the same poll.

In the survey of 993 people, 61% agreed with the government’s decision to partially halt the domestic ‘Go To’ travel campaign, while 25% said the government needed to do more.

Although Japan has been spared the high incidence of the disease seen in Europe and the United State, infections rates are rising as the cold season approaches, with the nation reaching record numbers of daily cases in recent weeks.

New daily infections surged to an all-time high of 2,684 people on Saturday, according to public broadcaster NHK. The number of deaths stands at over 2,100.

The government has been attempting to keep the coronavirus under control while boosting Japan’s hard-hit economy with a national travel campaign that subsidises tourism.

With new cases rising, the government scaled back on the tourism campaign last week by excluding the two cities of Osaka and Sapporo, but has not suspended the programme in Tokyo, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases.

(Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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The District of Summerland is reviewing over the recreation and health needs of the community – Penticton News

The District of Summerland will be reviewing the Summerland Community Recreation & Health Centre Engagement Strategy Summary and the Draft Needs Assessment report from the Director of Community Services on Monday. 

The update on the project will provide an overview of community summary and further information on options presented from the program and space requirements excerpt.

This section of work on the project is targeted to be completed by the end of January 2021.

Consultants hired by the district have now completed the comprehensive community engagement process. The public survey included over 600 responses, online open houses, stakeholder workshops, stakeholder questionnaires, and meetings with the Steering Committee, Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and the Penticton Indian Band (PIB), as well as content for the project website.

From the results, the consultants have begun to develop program and space requirements for the new facility. First choice options for spaces and costs details will be provided, along with options and costs for secondary spaces for Council’s consideration. 

Key feedback from the community on the project include replacement and improvement of the aquatic centre as the highest priority. There is strong support for a larger pool, more than one pool, a hot tub, and better accessibility. 

The community would also like to see replacement of the fitness centre, building a better workout space with access to cardio machines, and weights. There is also a demand for gymnasium space, adding to indoor activities for all ages in fall/winter/spring; event and community gathering space, programs and drop-in for children, youth and families. 

Additional community services would also like to be improved in the community centre, including youth programs with a dedicated youth space, childcare/daycare for children up to 5 years old, Seniors’ services as well as  a dedicated seniors’ spaces. 

There is a need for better access to family doctors, a walk-in health service option, and space for dedicated mental health professionals (Interior Health).

After Monday’s meeting, the summary of the results will be posted on the website. The community is encouraged by the District to review the documents and provide feedback on their level of support for the options presented. 

Funds for the initial phase of the project are budgeted for $80,000 and are included in the District of Summerland 2020 Financial Plan.

Full details of the Community Engagement Summary and the Program and Space Requirements Excerpt will be presented to the council on Monday.

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