Tag: officials

Officials approve plan for managing recreation on Madison River | News

Montana officials amended and approved new regulations intended to reduce crowding on the Madison River at a virtual meeting Wednesday, wrapping up a three-year long process.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission spent six hours Wednesday hearing public comments and wrangling with proposed rules to limit commercial use on stretches of the Madison River. They voted unanimously to pass a version of the regulations drafted by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials that will go into place in three parts.

The first part is about gathering data on noncommercial use and setting up a working group for the river. The second would put in place a cap on commercial use and the third would test restricting certain uses on certain days.

“Madison River recreation management is one of those issues where developing a solution that makes everyone happy is close to impossible,” said Eileen Ryce, FWP’s fisheries chief. “In developing a recommendation, our goal was to try and find some middle ground or a moderate approach that addresses the major concerns raised in public comment.”

Now that the regulations have passed the commission, they will go to the secretary of state’s office for filing, according to Becky Dockter, chief legal counsel for FWP. Commissioners said the rules would likely be filed by Dec. 15 and go into effect on Christmas Day.

FWP already drafted a series of rules reflecting recommendations found in petitions from the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana (FOAM) and a coalition of the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Anaconda Sportsmen Association and the Skyline Sportsmen Association. The department collected more than 700 public comments on those proposals, then drafted its own set of recommendations.

To give FWP staff time to evaluate the effectiveness of the new rules, the approved regulations will be adopted in phases, according to Ryce. Each phase will be evaluated and regulations will receive a full review every five years.

In 2021, the commission plans to appoint a working group responsible for regulating commercial and non-commercial river users. The working group is expected to include a commissioner and a member of the Bureau of Land Management.

Additionally, in 2021, all non-commercial river users will have to report their trips to FWP officials through a system devised by the department. The department suggested it may track non-commercial recreation via sign-in boxes, rather than mandatory stamps, as petitioners had originally proposed. Trail cameras are also being considered. The data collected from the project will help inform future non-commercial river use management.

In 2022, FWP plans to set the number of guided trips allocated to commercial river users at 2019 or 2020 levels, choosing whichever is higher for the outfitter. The new working group will continue to develop and monitor caps on the number of guided trips allocated to outfitters.

Further caps would be enforced based on levels recommended by the working group and approved by the commission. Information gathered from the non-commercial reporting requirements will allow the department to draft any regulations restricting such

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South Australia officials reject calls to stop Covid medi-hotel staff working multiple jobs | Australia news

South Australia’s police commissioner has said it would not be possible to run the state’s hotel quarantine program without allowing staff to work multiple jobs, despite the Victorian inquiry into the failures of its program specifically recommending staff hold only one posting.

South Australia has entered the first day of a six-day lockdown to prevent the further spread of a Covid-19 outbreak out of the Peppers quarantine hotel in Adelaide. There are now 23 cases associated with the outbreak after the virus transferred from a returned traveller from the UK to a cleaner, on to two security guards and then into the community.

Contact tracers in the state are now attempting to track down people who attended the Woodville Pizza Bar between 6 and 16 November, after it was revealed on Wednesday one of the two security guards also worked at the venue.

The path the virus took through casual workers in two high-risk settings echoes how the virus spread in Victoria at the start of its second wave, with the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry hearing of a security guard who continued to work both at the hotel and as an Uber driver while infectious.

The spread was partly put down to casual workers fearing they would not be paid if they needed to isolate. Eventually the Victorian and federal governments made payments to those needing to isolate while waiting for test results, or for the two-week infectious period.

A key recommendation of the interim report delivered by the head of Victoria’s inquiry, Jennifer Coate, earlier this month stipulated that “every effort must be made to ensure that all personnel working at the facility are not working across multiple quarantine sites and not working in other forms of employment”.

“Every effort should be made to have personnel working at quarantine facilities salaried employees with terms and conditions that address the possible need to self-isolate in the event of an infection or possible infection, or close contact exposure, together with all necessary supports, including the need to relocate if necessary and have a managed return to work,” the report recommended.

Under South Australia’s model for hotel quarantine, known as medi-hotels, the state has police at hotels, but also uses private security.

On Thursday, the South Australian health minister, Stephen Wade, said the health department and the SA police commissioner, Grant Stevens, had reviewed the findings in Victoria, but Stevens said it was an “unreasonable” expectation.

“They have mortgages to pay, they have other bills to pay, and this is simply a necessity in order for us to fulfil our obligations,” he said.

“They have lives beyond their responsibilities in any hotel, and we need to find that balance and it’s simply not possible for us to bring in the total number of people required to run this function in South Australia, and have them not participate in other activities that they consider necessary for their personal circumstances.”

Stevens argued it would mean people working in the system would need to isolate

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VMRDA officials seal hotel in Vizag

In an early morning crackdown, officials of the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA) sealed a hotel, located adjacent to Gurajada Open Air Theatre, at Siripuram here on Sunday on the charge that the proprietor Harshavardhan had got the lease extended in violation of the norms.

The leaseholder had got his lease extended by the erstwhile Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) in 2015 reportedly in violation of the rules. The then VUDA Vice Chairman had extended the lease by nine years, without considering the fact that the State government had already rejected the plea for extension of licence/lease, according to the vacation notice issued by VMRDA.

The VMRDA officials seized the hotel and sealed it reportedly after issuing a notice saying that the leaseholder had got the lease extended in violation of the rules. The lease rent is very less and the revenue of VMRDA is down due to the pandemic situation. Fresh tenders would be called to allot the premises to the highest bidder as per the rules.The VMRDA officials are also believed to have said that since it was more than three years that the extension was given, a decision on further extension of the lease cannot be taken at the local level and only the State government is competent to deal with it. Mr. Harshavardhan reportedly is a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) sympathiser. It may be recalled that an employee of Mr. Harshavardhan’s restaurant at the airport had attacked the then Opposition Leader and Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy with a knife at Visakahaptnam Airport in October 2018.

“The lease for my hotel was renewed till 2024. I was not served any notice and last night, they got the notice printed, though it was a holiday on account of Deepavali, and pasted it on the gate. The land was leased to me and I had constructed the hotel building, after obtaining permission from VUDA, under PPP mode. I have paid all dues and I am not directly connected with any political party,” Mr. Harshavardhan told The Hindu.

Officials of the VMRDA could not be reached over the phone for a clarification.

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Canadian Officials Concerned with Raptors’ Cross-Border Travel Amid Pandemic | Bleacher Report

Toronto Raptors' Marc Gasol, right, celebrates a basket against the Brooklyn Nets with Fred VanVleet, left, and Kyle Lowry during Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief of public health, said Friday the Toronto Raptors have presented a good plan to host games at Scotiabank Arena during the 2020-21 NBA season amid the COVID-19 pandemic but that cross-border travel between Canada and the United States “continues to be an issue,” per the Canadian Press.

Njoo also noted that following protocols that were in place during the league’s 2019-20 season finish at Walt Disney World would be “tough on everyone involved” since teams won’t be in isolation. The bubble was a resounding success, with zero positive COVID-19 cases emerging.

The Canada-United States border is closed to non-essential travel, and those who do cross the border are subject to a 14-day quarantine, per the Canadian Press.

If the Raptors cannot play their home games in Toronto, the Tampa, Florida, area will be their most likely backup option, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet.

Per Grange, the Raptors would need clearance from three levels of government to play in Toronto, which is the team’s clear preference.

If we can get it done in Toronto, we’d do it tomorrow,” a team executive told Grange.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario and the United States are on the rise. Per CBC, Ontario recorded a daily record of 1,575 new cases Thursday. According to the COVID Tracking Project, the United States had 150,526 cases Thursday, a daily record for the country.

A 72-game NBA season is scheduled to begin Dec. 22.

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CA health officials issue COVID-19 travel advisory

If you were planning to travel for Thanksgiving, the State of California is asking you not to do so.

But if you must, the state Department of Public Health has issued a travel advisory urging travelers to the state to observe a 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival.

The advisory, which applies to California, Oregon and Washington, states that people traveling should limit their interactions to just those within their immediate household. The recommendation does not apply to those engaging in essential travel, such as those traveling for work, critical infrastructure support or for immediate medical care.

With coronavirus cases surging, the advisory encourages Californians to stay home or in their home region and to avoid non-essential travel to other states or countries.

“We’re encouraging Californians to stay close to home,to avoid non-essential travel to other states, and frankly, across the state, if that’s avoidable,“ said Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly during a Friday press conference.

The state is recommending that families engage in virtual gatherings as much as possible.

The state travel advisory, which is a recommendation and not mandatory, differs from the approach taken by the state of New York, which has issued a mandatory two-week quarantine period for all non-essential travelers from non-bordering states.

Ghaly stressed that the advisory was just that.

“It isn’t a ban. It isn’t a restriction. It’s an advisory,” Ghaly said. “(Yet) we certainly hope that the fact that it’s an advisory doesn’t lessen the voice and the emphasis on how important it is.”

Ghaly said that the state opted for a voluntary approach, instead of something more restrictive, in part because of Californians’ exhaustion with coronavirus lockdown orders. He has begun using the term “COVID resentment” to describe what some are experiencing.

He said state officials still hope that other measures they recommend, including wearing masks and avoiding mixing with members of multiple households, will avoid more restrictions that could hurt California businesses.

Ghaly said it would be difficult to police a state of 40 million people, and that the preferred approach is to work in partnership with Californians on voluntary measures.

“We are not looking today at a statewide stay-at-home order. We know many Californians are fatigued and tired,” Ghaly said. “All of that said, this is a quickly, rapidly evolving situation. Certainly these rates of rise are very concerning.”

Ghaly said self-quarantine means people should only have contact with immediate family members with whom they have regularly had contact. People in quarantine should not have in-person contact with others outside of their household, he said.

“This isn’t the time to put our guard down,” Ghaly said.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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L.A. officials warn of more drastic restrictions, urge holiday travel quarantine, as COVID-19 surges

With coronavirus infections continuing to surge in California ahead of Thanksgiving, public health officials urged those who travel during the holiday to quarantine for 14 days and said more drastic restrictions could be necessary if case rates continue to rise.

The urgent warnings come after economic reopenings were rolled back in some parts of the state and it became clear that hard-hit places such as Los Angeles County would not see their restrictions eased for the foreseeable future amid the widespread COVID-19 pandemic.

After declining earlier in the fall, California’s weekly cases have doubled in the past month. The Golden State is now averaging about 6,300 new cases a day over the past week, up from about 3,200 a month ago, according to a Times analysis. COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen 50% in the last month, and the coronavirus positive test rate has climbed by nearly 70%, with 4.4% of test results coming back positive over the past week, up from 2.6% a month ago.

The state as a whole hit 1 million confirmed cases Thursday, another grim milestone in a year full of them. In a sign of the worsening conditions, the drive-through testing site at Dodger Stadium has been flooded with people in recent days.

If the surge continues in L.A. County, “additional actions” could become necessary to bring the rate of transmission back under control, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday.

Though she didn’t elaborate on what potential new measures could be implemented, Ferrer emphasized that L.A. County remains on a knife’s edge and that everyone needs to do their part to keep conditions from worsening.

“We all need to act now,” she said during a media briefing. “The actions we take today, tomorrow and next week have tremendous impact on the health and well-being of many, many people across the county. If, collectively, we fail to stop the acceleration of new cases, we will have no choice but to look at additional actions.”

There has been debate about whether California might need to impose further restrictions if COVID-19 continues to spread. That would be bad news for retailers, who have been battered by the shutdowns and were hoping to finally see some relief during the typically busy holiday season.

Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious-disease expert at UC Berkeley, said earlier this week that he believes the novel coronavirus is likely to swamp California in December and parts of the state economy will have to be shut down.

“Within a month after Thanksgiving, the number of cases is going to be up significantly,” Swartzberg said. “California is going to be very worried, and we will start to see things close down.”

L.A. County is recommending that residents don’t travel out of state for the holiday and that if they do, they quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

“If you are going to travel — which we are recommending you not do, we are actually recommending this Thanksgiving be a stay-at-home Thanksgiving — but if you are

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Airlines, U.S. Officials Spar With CDC Over International Travel Regulations

U.S. transportation officials and airlines are at odds with public-health officials over whether people who test negative for the coronavirus before they travel should still have to quarantine when they arrive in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

The rift has emerged as U.S. officials have also been looking to strike deals with their foreign counterparts to establish safe-travel corridors between major American and international cities. Reopening international markets and persuading people to fly again are pressing issues both for airlines, which are losing millions of dollars a day, and governments concerned about languishing economies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has insisted that such corridors should still require that arriving passengers quarantine for five days to a week and take another test, according to these people. Industry trade groups, along with senior U.S. transportation officials, have balked at that, they said.

Airlines and industry groups are instead pushing for a system of pre-departure testing and contact tracing. The discussions are ongoing, and officials are looking for a middle ground, according to people familiar with the talks.

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New hotel opening in downtown Flint is part of city’s rebirth, officials say

FLINT, MI — After two decades of sitting vacant, one of Flint’s tallest and most prominent buildings is reopening to serve a new purpose for the community and its visitors.

The Hilton Garden Inn, a $37.9 million, 11-story hotel in the downtown area, is taking room reservations beginning Monday, Nov. 2. Sauce Italian American Kitchen and Bar, a restaurant attached to the Hilton, also opens to the public on Monday as well.

A media event is set for Friday, Oct. 30, to show off the three-year project, and community leaders and nearby business owners say the new hotel will add to a resurgence of the downtown area.

“Having this new hotel downtown is a critical part of the rebirth or continued rebirth of the city of Flint,” said to Ridgway H. White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

“I think one of the most important things to realize is that this is a large economic development driver, so not only is it creating jobs at the property itself, but it allows businesses to create more business, have sales calls, that further stimulates the economy for Flint and Genesee County,” he said.

The hotel transforms the former 1920s-era Genesee County Savings Bank building, 110 W. Kearsley St., which also once housed the Flint Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a real estate firm. Plans to redevelop the building began in 2017.

Related: Get a look at historic downtown Flint bank being renovated as hotel

The 148,470-square-foot building’s architectural style is Italian Renaissance Revival with Art Deco elements added in 1947.

The ground floor of the building, which was once the grand banking hall, has been converted into the 2,500-square-foot Sauce Italian American Kitchen. The original bank vault itself will be used as a private dining area. The hotel also features a seasonal roof deck with a bar called Simmer Rooftop Lounge as well as a meeting and banquet center, according to the hotel’s website.

White said the amenities bring new life to downtown.

“I think Flint is on a great trajectory forward. Obviously, we continue to have our challenges on a number of items, but this hotel is being developed because there’s demand that people want to stay in Flint when they do business, to visit family and friends,” White said.

John Saites is part owner of nearby Churchill’s Food and Spirits, 340 Saginaw St. He said he and other community members are excited to see new life in a building that sat vacant for decades.

“It’s great expansion for all of downtown Flint. Actually, it’s something that we haven’t had since the early ’80s, so for downtown Flint to offer a hotel right in the heart of the city is amazing to have back again,” Saites said. “It’s going to actually help out all the businesses that are located in the downtown district, so between retail shops to bars and restaurants that are located downtown. It’s really going to give a

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Indonesia to ban air, sea travel to end-May: officials

A local wearing a face shield stands guard to check people entering his area, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 23, 2020. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia will temporarily ban domestic and international air and sea travel, with some exceptions, starting this week to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus, the transport ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The announcement came as the holy month of Ramadan began in the world’s largest Muslim majority country, and the government has already banned citizens’ traditional annual exodus from the cities to the provinces during the holiday period..

The ban on sea travel took immediate effect, but the ban on air travel will start on Saturday so that some pre-booked flights can go-ahead.

The ban will apply across-the-board until May 31. The ministry had previously given different dates for the end of the ban for different modes of transport.

Cargo transport is exempted. Other exceptions would include flights to repatriate Indonesian and foreign citizens, as well as travel by state officials, diplomatic staff and representatives of international organisations, the officials said.

The country’s biggest airlines include state-run Garuda Indonesia and budget carrier Lion Air.

The government has banned Indonesia’s traditional annual exodus for Muslim holidays.

Reporting by Maikel Jefriando; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy, Ed Davies and Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Mark Heinrich & Simon Cameron-Moore

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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