Community Action Program – Tri Cap Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:11:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Community Action Program – Tri Cap 32 32 More bike racks coming to Kenai and Soldotna Tue, 28 Jun 2022 17:11:00 +0000

A group of local bike advocates are placing a second batch of aluminum bike racks around town.

The racks will be in addition to the 20 the group has already placed in Kenai and Soldotna at Kenai River Brewing, Soldotna Public Library and Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, to name a few, with the aim of make cycling a safer and easier way to get around. on the vast central peninsula of Kenai.

Jacob Nabholz, himself a biker, cuts and assembles the racks this round. He worked with Cook Inletkeeper, a local non-profit organization, which sponsors the project, to brainstorm a list of local storefronts that could use front racks.

“So I took that list and went around and talked to, I think, over 70 different companies to see if they were interested in bike racks,” Nabholz said.

Of those companies, he said a few were interested, including the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce and Red Run. Now he is looking for more.

The idea for the bike rack started in 2018, when a group of local cyclists got together and started a plan to make the area safer for bikes.

This group would later become Biking in Kenai & Soldotna, or “BIK&S”. And he submitted the towns of Kenai and Soldotna to become designated Bike-friendly communities through the League of American Cyclists.

Kaitlin Vadla was part of this group initially. She said the request involved a deep inventory of how cities were already supporting cyclists.

“And basically what it does is walk you through this pretty robust application process, assessing everything that’s in place — or not — in your community,” she said. declared. “And that gives you a roadmap to improve.”

This process also gave the cities grades. Kenai and Soldotna were ranked bronze.

“And what that means is that we’re doing pretty well, but we could do better,” she said.

In Alaska, Juneau is also a bronze-rated cycling community. Anchorage and Sitka are both silver rated.

One of the easiest to implement ideas the American Cyclists League had for the group was to install functional bike racks in Kenai and Soldotna. The group hired a local welder to create the inserts and students from Kenai Central High School to do the laser cutting.

Nabholz was one such student. He said the inserts, which bear the band’s logo, are cut with a CNC machine and framed by arches of rolled aluminum tubing, which hold the bikes upright.

There are two types of racks: one that can hold two bikes and another that can hold six.

“I think just trying to have more usability of bike racks, so you can put more bikes in so more people feel like they can get out there and ride their bikes when the weather’s nice – I think that was the goal,” he said.

And Nabholz said putting these racks in different places around town is important to show bikers that they can use their two wheels to get around.

Supports aren’t the only way the BIK&S Group has tried to encourage local cyclists.

Vadla said the League of American Cyclists told the group it was also important to host iconic cycling events – including local races like Mouth to Mouth. This is something that helped cities earn the bike-friendly designation the first time around.

The education of riders is another objective. Nabholz has grants to place multiple racks at local schools. This is in addition to a bike safety program at schools in Kenai and a youth mountain bike program – Sprockets – through Tsalteshi Trails.

The town of Kenai is also working to connect an unfinished section of the Unity paved trail, which connects Kenai and Soldotna.

It’s all about getting more bikers on the road.

Vadla said she thinks more people are cycling now than before. She works with Cook Inletkeeper at Community Action Studio on the Kenai Spur, which has its own bike rack out front.

“It’s a community action studio, so a lot of community members come in and out. And, especially in the summer, there’s a lot of cycling,” she said. “It’s heavily used.”

If you would like to house a rack, you can contact Cook Inletkeeper or call Jacob Nabholz of Nabholz Fabrication at 907-953-5795.

Vadla also said the advocacy group, BIK&S, is always open to new members. You can find them on Facebook.

Long-Distance Pollutants Found in Bering Sea Animals Hunted by Indigenous Peoples Sun, 26 Jun 2022 20:26:15 +0000

Chemicals from fire retardants and other materials have accumulated in the bodies of seals, whales and other animals in the northern Bering Sea, showing that pollutants emitted thousands of miles away continue contaminate the animals that indigenous peoples depend on for food, according to a recently published study. study.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, focuses on marine mammals and reindeer captured by Yup’ik residents of St. Lawrence Island, at the southern end of the Bering Strait.

Through samples donated by hunters, researchers – including islanders themselves – have found varying levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in marine mammals and reindeer on or around the island.

PBDEs are a class of compounds used as flame retardants. PFAS compounds are also used for this purpose, but are found in a wide variety of consumer products such as cosmetics, clothing, and cookware; they are known as “eternal chemicals” because they do not break down in the environment. PBDEs have been phased out in the United States since 2004, but there is no national ban on PFAS.

The study of subsistence foods on St. Lawrence Island shows how contaminants transported to the Far North by air and ocean currents persist for years, even decades, weighing down indigenous peoples in the region.

“We are infected against our will,” said study co-author Vi Waghiyi, from Savoonga, one of the island’s two villages.

Still, the results shouldn’t deter people from harvesting negepik, or traditional foods, said Waghiyi, director of the environmental health and justice program at Alaska Community Action on Toxics, a nonprofit environmental health organization. based in Anchorage.

“Our employees always believe that the benefits outweigh the risks. It’s our identity,” she said. “We are intimately connected to our lands, our waters and the wildlife that have sustained our people since time immemorial.

The results from St. Lawrence Island are, in some respects, similar to those from other studies of contaminants in animals around the Arctic.

However, there were new discoveries. The study appears to be the first to document PFAS compounds in bowhead whales, with traces appearing in mangtak – the name for fat attached to the skin – and fat alone and muscle.

He also found that of all the species tested, seals generally had the highest levels of PBDEs. This shows how persistent these chemicals are in the environment, said Pam Miller, executive director of ACAT.

[High levels of toxins in clams follow rapid warmup in Gulf of Alaska waters]

“Even though they have been subject to global regulation and regulation in the United States, they are still very ubiquitous in the Arctic and still prevalent among the people and wildlife that people depend on for traditional foods,” said said Miller, another co-author. .

The study, which used tissue samples provided by local hunters, is the latest in a series of research programs conducted by ACAT and its partners. The program dates back to the advocacy of Annie Alowa, a former Savoonga caregiver, who lobbied for a cleanup of military pollution on the island after watching so many villagers contract cancer and other health problems. Much of the inspiration for the founding of ACAT and its ongoing work; she died of cancer herself in 1999.

The research program is notable for its community focus and reliance on local leadership and knowledge, said Waghiyi, who was appointed to a White House advisory board on environmental justice last year. “It’s one of the few where we’re not just research subjects,” she said.

While this recently published study focuses on pollutants that are transported long distances through the air and ocean, other program work continues to examine the effects of pollution from Northeast Cape, a military site. closed in the 1970s, and other on-island sites.

St. Lawrence Island is polluted from both distant and local sources, and it’s possible to distinguish between the two, said the study’s lead author, Sam Byrne, assistant professor of biological health and world at Middlebury College.

Proximity to military sites and places like landfills is a distinguishing factor, he said. The types of chemicals discovered is another factor, as lighter compounds are more volatile and can be more easily carried by winds, while heavier compounds such as some of the PCBs found near the Northeast Cape tend to not travel far.

The issues go beyond hazardous chemical emissions, Waghiyi and Miller said. Melting sea ice and glaciers, thawing permafrost and the proliferation of microplastics in the ocean are also spreading contamination, some of what was previously sequestered in frozen states, they said.

“The convergence of climate, chemicals and plastics has not been fully appreciated by the scientific community or climate justice activists,” Miller said.

The eight-nation Arctic Council is an organization that has linked climate change to persistent organic pollutants, known as POPs.

A report released last year at a meeting of senior officials from Council nations showed how climate change has eroded some of the progress made since the mid-1990s through international bans and the phasing out of dangerous chemicals. . In some places in the Arctic, according to the report, POPs are even increasing in concentration after earlier declines.

Originally published by the Alaska Beaconan independent, nonpartisan news agency that covers the Alaska state government.

Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern Wed, 22 Jun 2022 17:45:00 +0000

Press release:

The Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund coordinated by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York, the John R. Oishei Foundation and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County announced that it has granted 4.5 million to 74 organizations in less than two weeks after the Fund was announced.

Grants have been awarded to organizations serving all eight Western New York counties that are meeting the immediate needs of our community in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of food, housing, care health, child care, mental health, transportation and other emergencies. services.

Grants were awarded to nonprofit organizations throughout WNY, including urban and rural areas, organizations of all sizes, and those serving a range of populations with consideration for areas already in economic difficulty.

The WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund is a collaborative effort among philanthropic organizations across the region to help essential organizations on the front lines of this community crisis with grants designed to complement public sector funds.

Everyone is invited to join the effort and donate to the Fund through the website –

The following nonprofits have received a grant from the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund:

• Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development

• Arc of Genesee Orleans (Meals on Wheels)

• BestSelf Behavioral Health

• Collaboration Boys and Girls Clubs

• Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network

• Buffalo Urban League

• Western New York CAD

• Start of the project in Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties

• Cattaraugus Community Action

• Cattaraugus County Dept. of Aging (Meals on Wheels Fund)

• Cazenovia recovery systems


• Erie County Child and Family Services

• Niagara Frontier Child Care Coalition

• Christ Church Community Kitchen

• City Mission Society, Inc.

• Orléans & Genesee Community Action

• Buffalo Community Health Center

• Niagara Frontier Community Missions

• CoNECT (Buffalo Community Health Worker Network)

• Crisis Services

• Cuban Cultural Center

• Directions in independent living

• Empower (United Cerebral Palsy Assoc. of Niagara County)

• Erie Regional Housing Development. (Belle Center)

• Evergreen Health

• Each fund covered

• Family Support Center

• Feed the buffaloes

• FeedMore WNY

• Friends of the Night People

• Genesee Orleans Ministry of Concern Inc.

• South Buffalo Harvest House

• Niagara County Health Association (HANCI)

• Healthy Community Alliance

• Heart, Love and Soul

• Of Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action Inc.

• Horizon Health Services

• Jericho Road Community Health Center

• Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County

• Journey’s End Refugee Services

• Kendall Community Food Cupboard Corp.

• WNY Learning Disabilities Association

• Life Impact (Resurrection Life Pantry)

• Lieutenant Colonel Matt Urban HSC of WNY

• Development of the metropolitan community. Corp.

• Mid-Erie Mental Health Services (Endeavor Health Services)

• Native American Community Services

• Neighborhood health center

Community Action Program of Niagara Inc.

• Northpointe Council

• NYS Youth Success Network

• Olmsted Center for Sight

• Open Buffalo (Seeding Resilience Initiative)

• Parkside Evangelical Lutheran Church

• PUSH Buffalo

• Catering company

• Associ. of the safety net. affiliated primary care providers

• Save the Michaels of the world

• Say yes Buffalo

• Spectrum of health and social services

• Independent Living in Western New York

To date, the WNY COVID-19 Community Response Fund has received approximately $5.5 million from local foundations, private sector companies and individuals. Additional funds raised will be distributed based on evolving pandemic-related needs. To see the complete list of contributors to the Fund, please visit

On Monday, April 6, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane announced he was donating $20,000 to relief efforts and also giving fans the opportunity to interact with him as he prepares for the 2020 NFL Draft to raise awareness of the Fund.

The initiative, which runs until Friday, April 17, will reward seven randomly selected participants with one of seven unique Bills-themed experiences or prizes.

For anyone needing assistance with information related to services available in our community, please call 2-1-1. It is a referral hotline that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and serves all eight counties in Western New York.

KY Board of Post-Secondary Education Approves Tuition, University Programs and Trust Fund Guidelines Tue, 21 Jun 2022 04:34:00 +0000

The Council on Post-Secondary Education gave final approval to the campus proposals for tuition and compulsory fees at its meeting last week. Overall, the change in resident undergraduate tuition rates averages 1.5% system-wide, the third-lowest increase in recent history.

All proposals submitted were within the tuition fee caps set by the Board last year. This decision allowed universities to increase tuition fees by up to 3% over two years, but no more than 2% per year. Kentucky Community and Technical College System campuses were limited to a maximum increase of $5 per credit hour over two years and a maximum increase of $3 per credit hour in one year.

“College affordability is a priority for both CPE and our colleges and universities,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson. “These historically low tuition increases are one of many strategies we are employing to ensure that cost is not a barrier to earning a degree or credential in Kentucky.”

For undergraduate resident students, rate changes include:

• Eastern Kentucky University—1%
• Kentucky State University—1.8%
• Morehead State University—1.1%
• Murray State University: 1.9%
• University of Kentucky—2%
• University of Louisville—1.2%
• Western Kentucky University — 1.1%

Fees for Northern Kentucky University and KCTCS were approved in April.

In other matters, the Council approved three new academic programs.

• University of Kentucky, Bachelor of Science in Leadership for Community Education and Human Learning: This 120 credit hour program is designed to prepare students to lead educational programs in community organizations. The program is aimed at students who desire a professional career in the education of children and/or adults outside the traditional school structure. It does not lead to teacher certification.

• University of Louisville, Master of Arts in Applied Philosophy: Students will complete this 33 credit hour program with three semesters of full-time coursework and a fourth semester of capstone independent study. The program trains students in ethical leadership focused on practical issues, health care ethics, and the non-academic labor market.

• University of Northern KentuckyMaster of Arts in Instructional Leadership: This 30 credit hour program will train teachers for administrative positions as elementary, middle, and secondary school principals as well as P-12 teaching supervisors and leads to principal certification in Kentucky.

For KCTCS, the Board heard that staff had approved six Associate of Applied Science degrees since January, in accordance with the program approval process. At Maysville Community and Technical College, they endorsed degrees in social services, aviation maintenance technology, health science technology, and education. At Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College, they approved a medical laboratory technician degree. At Hopkinsville Community and Technical College, they approved a Computerized Manufacturing and Machining degree.

Asset Preservation Pool Guidelines

In another action, the Board approved the guidelines for the 2022-24 Asset Preservation Pool that were enacted in the 2022-24 State Budget and delegated authority to staff to approve the investment projects financed by the pool.

This $683.5 million pool funds asset preservation, renovation and maintenance projects for education and general facilities at public post-secondary institutions in Kentucky.

The budget also authorized an additional $16.5 million for a stand-alone asset preservation project at KCTCS. In total, the General Assembly authorized $700 million for asset preservation to meet an anticipated collective need of $7.3 billion.

Campuses will be required to provide matching funds. Research institute projects will be matched at 30 cents for every state dollar, while the match for comprehensive universities and KCTCS will be 15 cents for every state dollar.

In addition to matching requirements, the guidelines include use of funds, reimbursement process, project identification, and certification of expenditures.

money for brains

Council approved guidelines for Bucks for Brains, an endowment matching program designed to bring new funds from external sources to public universities and support efforts to increase endowments for science, technology, engineering, math initiatives and health.

The General Assembly authorized $40 million in government bond funds for the program. Of the total amount, $30 million has been earmarked for the Research Challenge Trust Fund. As required by law, two-thirds, or $20 million, will go to the UK, and the remaining third, $10 million, will go to the UofL.

The remaining $10 million from the program was earmarked for the Comprehensive University Excellence Trust Fund. These funds will be distributed among comprehensive universities based on each institution’s share of the total general fund for the sector, excluding debt service and specialized non-teaching programs.

Universities are required to match state funds dollar for dollar.

Workforce Development Trust Fund

The Board approved the guidelines for the $2.25 million allocated to the Workforce Development Trust Fund by the General Assembly. The purpose of the fund is to increase the capacity to generate credentials in academic disciplines that address labor shortages in five sectors: healthcare, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics. , business services and information technology, as well as construction and trades.

In 2020-21, these industries had projected annual job application numbers that exceeded the number of KCTCS graduates.

As part of other financial measures, the Board approved two asset preservation projects for KCTCS: mechanical equipment and upgrades at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College for a total of $2 million, and a replacement of the $1.5 million roof for the Glema Mahr Arts Center at Madisonville Community College.

Kentucky State University’s request for $5.5 million from its $23 million Special Appropriation for 2021-22 was also approved to fill the current year’s budget shortfall.

In other cases, Franklin County Executive Judge Huston Wells swore in three new council members: Jacob L. Brown of Louisville, Connie D. Smith of Bowling Green and Faith Kemper of Ft. Wright.

In addition, the Council:

• Approved staff recommendation to retain Regulation 13 KAR 2:045 in its current form. The regulations specify residency status for the purposes of admission and tuition assessment.

• Approved the Council Agency’s 2022-23 budget.

• Approved resolutions to thank outgoing Board members Carol Wright and Vidya Ravichandran for their service to the Board.

• Appointed Maira Gomez to the Equal Opportunity Commission.

• Received a report from Board Chair Aaron Thompson, which included updates on Kentucky State University’s management improvement plan.

Heard the reports of the Academic Strategic Initiatives Committee and the Equal Opportunity Committee as well as the annual Campus Diversity, Equity and Inclusion assessment report. Good news from the campuses was also presented.

Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education

Biz Roundup: Duke Energy programs offer relief from high cooling costs this summer – Reuters Sun, 19 Jun 2022 04:08:55 +0000

Duke Energy offers a wide range of programs and plans to help customers reduce their energy consumption and manage their bills.

Since mid-2021, the costs of fuels used to generate energy have more than tripled. Duke Energy is not profiting from these cost increases and the company is proactively taking steps to insulate customers from these spikes. These steps include negotiating long-term fuel contracts and maintaining a diverse energy mix, including nuclear, solar and hydroelectric, for power generation.

“With the price of everything going up right now, we want to minimize the impact on our customers as much as possible,” said Larry Hatcher, senior vice president of customer experience and services. “We offer a variety of programs ranging from payment flexibility to financial assistance that will help our customers who may be struggling with higher bills.”

Two payment options include flexible payment plans and the budget billing plan. Payment plans allow residential customers to pay off their balance over a longer period. Options are available for customers who need a few extra days or need a longer installment plan to catch up.

The Budget Billing plan is a free and popular option for customers who like to know what to expect each month. It provides predictable monthly energy bills to help customers build their family budget.

There are several programs to improve a home’s energy efficiency for customers who want to take proactive steps to keep their energy bills manageable.

Customers who have registered email and a smart meter receive a mid-cycle usage alert to provide a mid-month view of their current usage to date and a projection of their monthly bill at their rate of current use. They can also access daily usage through their online account profile. These tools are intended to give customers insight and control over their energy consumption.

The Home Energy House Call is a free program for eligible Duke Energy homeowners (in Florida the program is called Home Energy Check). Customers receive a free assessment detailing steps they can take to increase efficiency and lower their energy bill and a free kit with energy-saving products worth over $180.

In most Duke Energy territories, customers can save at the company’s online store at, which offers energy-efficient appliances such as thermostats, lights and faucets. Also on the website, customers can discover discount offers for doing home improvement work to save energy.

To help connect our customers who need assistance, Duke Energy partners with community and state agencies to help eligible individuals access Duke Energy and federally funded assistance programs. Programs and eligibility vary by service territory, so customers can find more information by visiting or calling our Customer Service Center.

• Crisis Response Program (CRP) covers heating and cooling related crises and is available year-round.

• The Weather Protection Program helps qualified customers save energy and reduce expenses through energy-saving measures such as weather stripping and HVAC repairs or replacements.

• The Helping Home Fund is available to income-qualified applicants in several Duke Energy operating jurisdictions. It provides home energy assessments and improvements such as appliance replacements and HVAC repairs up to $800.

• The Neighborhood Energy Saver program is also available to income-qualified customers to help them reduce their energy bills through home energy assessments.

• The Duke Energy Share the Light Fund also helps eligible customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills. Duke Energy employees, customers and shareholders contribute to these funds, to which the Duke Energy Foundation contributes.

North Carolina May job numbers released

RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May 2022 was 3.4%, remaining unchanged from the revised rate in April. The national rate remained unchanged at 3.6%.

North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell 1.6 percentage points from a year ago. The number of people employed increased by 33,419 during the month to 4,916,580 and increased by 218,327 during the year. The number of unemployed fell by 2,361 during the month to 170,970 and fell by 76,321 during the year.

Seasonally-adjusted total non-farm employment, as collected by the monthly establishment survey, rose by 7,000 to 4,728,200 in May. The top industries seeing increases were manufacturing, 3,700; Financial activities, 2,200; Leisure and hospitality services, 1,700; Education and health services, 1,300; Construction, 1,200; Professional and business services, 1,200; other services, 1,000; and Information, 100. The main industries with declines were trade, transportation and utilities, 4,300 and government, 1,100. Employment in mining and logging remained unchanged.

Since May 2021, total non-farm payrolls increased by 165,300, with total private sector increasing by 154,600 and government increasing by 10,700. The top industries seeing increases were recreation and hospitality services, 43,500; Professional and business services, 43,300; Manufacturing, 15,600; Financial activities, 14,500; Education and health services, 13,200; Government, 10,700; Commerce, transport and public services, 9,600; other services, 7,500; Information, 5,400 and Construction, 2,200. The only major industry that saw a decline during the year was mining and logging, 200.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for June 29, when the county’s unemployment rates for May 2022 will be released.

Attorney General announces $233 million multi-state Medicaid settlement with Mallinckrodt

RALEIGH – Attorney General Josh Stein announced today that he has reached a $233.7 million settlement to resolve allegations that the pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt ARD, LLC (formerly known as Questcor Pharmaceuticals) allegedly knowingly underpaid Medicaid drug discounts for his HP drug Acthar Gel (Acthar).

North Carolina will receive $13.78 million in restitution and other recoveries. The company is the US subsidiary of Irish pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt plc.

“When drug companies hijack the Medicaid program, they make it harder for North Carolina residents to get the care and medications they need to stay healthy,” Attorney General Josh Stein said. “I am thrilled that Mallinckrodt is restoring North Carolina’s Medicaid program. My office will always hold businesses and health care providers accountable when they defraud taxpayers.

Under the Medicaid Drug Rebate program, when a manufacturer increases the price of a drug faster than the rate of inflation, it must pay the Medicaid program a unit rebate equal to the difference between the drug’s current price and the price of the medicine if he had disappeared. at the general inflation rate since 1990 or the year the drug first entered the market, whichever is later.

However, Attorney General Stein, along with 49 other states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the federal government, alleged that Mallinckrodt and its predecessor Questcor began paying rebates for Acthar in 2013 as if Acthar was a “new drug.” which had just been approved by the United States. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), rather than a drug first introduced to the market in 1952. Apparently, this practice meant that companies ignored all pre-2013 price increases when calculating and paying Medicaid rebates for Acthar from 2013 to 2020.

In particular, the government alleges that the price of Acthar had already increased to more than $28,000 per vial in 2013, so ignoring all pre-2013 price increases significantly reduced Medicaid rebate payments for Acthar. The governments alleged that Mallinckrodt’s conduct violated the Federal False Claims Act and the North Carolina False Claims Act and resulted in the submission of false claims to the North Carolina Medicaid program.

Under the settlement agreement, Mallinckrodt admitted that Acthar was not a new drug as of 2013, but was in fact approved by the FDA and marketed before 1990. Mallinckrodt agreed to correct the Acthar’s AMP base date and that it will not change the date in the future.

This settlement results from a whistleblower lawsuit originally filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The federal government, twenty-six states, including North Carolina, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, intervened in the civil action in 2020. The settlement, which is based on Mallinckrodt’s financial situation, required the U.S. Bankruptcy Court final approval for the district. of Delaware. A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units participated in the litigation and conducted settlement negotiations on behalf of the states.

Attorney General Stein previously announced a separate settlement with Mallinckrodt in October 2020 to address the company’s misconduct in manufacturing opioids. This settlement also received final approval from the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Rice County Seeking Affordable Housing Developer; Smith touts new generic drug regulations; Elliott talks about “Coffee with a Cop” Fri, 17 Jun 2022 14:15:30 +0000

Rice County is now accepting proposals from developers interested in building up to six four-bedroom homes to be designated as affordable lodging.

On Tuesday, the county board of commissioners cleared the use of about an acre and a half just north of the planned public safety center for the project.

When county officials announced they had purchased 109 acres off Highway 3 for the security center in late 2021, they suggested some of the land could be used for housing. While several new apartment buildings have sprung up in Northfield and Faribault over the past two years, both towns have struggled to attract owner-occupied residential developments. Developers generally see higher profit in the metro, so few are willing to invest in Rice County where housing prices are generally lower.

Housing Director Joy Watson suggested townhouses will likely be offered in the county’s state financial aid application. She and Commissioner Steve Underdahl said they would like single-family homes to be part of the development.

Once the HRA selects a developer, Director Watson will work with social service organization Three Rivers Community Action in Zumbrota to develop a proposal to apply for funding from the state housing finance agency. A decision by the agency will only be made in December.

The finished homes will be sold to people representing up to 115% of the Rice County median income, or about $100,000 a year for a family of four. County Administrator Sara Folsted said the covenants will ensure the homes will remain affordable for the average worker in Rice County even when they are sold.

Smith says the Generic Drugs Act will make a ‘big difference’

Senator Tina Smith

U.S. Senator Tina Smith has said the first bill she introduced after arriving in the Senate four and a half years ago is expected to become law this summer, and it’s a bill she says will help most people in Minnesota.

The Expanding Access to Low-Cost Generic Drugs Act is a bill that Smith, a Democrat, created with Republican Senator Mike Braun of Indiana aimed at ending the practice of “parking” .

“The way it works is that a big branded pharma company has market exclusivity for a number of years,” which she says is the way it should be. “But what happens then is that these pharmaceutical companies pay generic manufacturers not to put their generic drugs on the market.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s anti-competitive and it hurts consumers.”

Senator Smith said the practice has been around for over twenty years and is so widespread that it applies to any drug or any type of medicine.

Smith’s bill will change the incentive structure for generic manufacturers and encourage them to rush their products to market and grant them 180-day market exclusivity under certain circumstances, thus stopping the generic drug bottleneck. waiting to be made available.

She said generic drugs are a great way to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. They can have the same formulation, effectiveness and safety as a brand name drug, but can also be 80% cheaper.

“It’s a really good way to cut prices, and it brings us home. In 2020, 92% of generic drug prescriptions cost $20 or less. It’s very different from what brand name drugs cost, so that makes a big difference.

She said that because this is such a strong piece of legislation with such strong bipartisan support, it has been incorporated into broader “to pass” legislation that will almost certainly be sent to President Biden’s office and signed by the end of the summer. Once passed, the FDA will write the rules for implementing the law, and consumers could start to feel its results around this time next year.

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with US Senator Tina Smith can be heard here

‘Coffee with a Cop’ will be a monthly event

The Northfield Police Service is well known for taking a community policing approach to its work. Police Chief Mark Elliott said that being a police officer in Northfield is not for everyone, and those looking for fast-paced activity and frequent homicide investigations will not be a good fit for this department. However, those looking to engage with the community and get to know the people will enjoy working here. A new program the ministry has just launched is a perfect example of this philosophy.

Elliott said that at least once a month a member of the Northfield Police Department will make themselves available by taking a seat at a local establishment, whether it’s a cafe, beer hall or even just a table in one of the parklets of Division Street. and invite the community to come and talk.

“We know people have questions,” Elliott said. “I get it all the time when I’m on Kwik Trip or having lunch somewhere. So we just thought, ‘Why not take some structured time to have a conversation with someone who wants to talk?’

He said similar programs with other police departments across the country have had great results, and he himself has been involved in programs like this with other departments where he has worked. In fact, Elliott said, he wanted to get the program in place sooner, but the Covid-19 pandemic prevented that from happening.

The idea is for people to have answers to questions they may have been hesitant to call the police station because it’s not an emergency, or just to talk on their own. one-on-one with a policeman. Elliott said he even understands that sometimes people who want to speak may have a grievance to air.

“They just express what frustrates them. Sometimes these are things we can fix. Sometimes it’s national political agendas that we can’t address here, but at the same time what we can do is have a conversation and say, ‘Yeah, we see that as a big problem, but here’s what our local response, or here’s what’s happening locally.'”

Chief Elliott said events will change from location to location, but will work through social media and local event calendars to let the public know when and where they are happening.

Jeff Johnson’s full conversation with Northfield Police Chief Mark Elliott can be heard here

Rich Larson is KYMN’s News Director. Contact him at

]]> As Troup County deals with Active Living heat advisory, 4H ensures seniors and children are safe from the heat – Reuters Wed, 15 Jun 2022 06:01:14 +0000

Troup County along with several other areas of Georgia are currently under a heat advisory this week, with daily temperatures reaching highs in the upper 90s. So many local organizations are taking proactive steps to make sure their summer programs beat the heat.

With several summer camps planned in the area, the 4-H club has taken several precautions to prevent its young campers from getting too hot. According to Laura Mirarchi, Troup County Extension Officer, this means always having water on site and structuring your schedule around warmth.

“Our programs are a really good mix of indoor and outdoor activities,” Mirarchi said. “We also have structured schedules where the kids are only out for about 15-20 minutes before coming in to cool off.”

It’s not just children who are at risk for heat-related illnesses during these scorching temperatures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the people most prone to heat exhaustion are actually people aged 65 and older. As such, the Active Life Senior Center has established several programs to assist senior citizens in Troup County.

“We recently purchased over 100 box fans to donate to members to help supplement the air conditioning in their homes,” Aging Services Director Dan Wooten said.

“In addition, we help members in need apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through Community Improvement Action. Because the application is now live, many of our members cannot apply without help.

In addition to these programs, the Active Living Center has also installed an outdoor fountain on its nature trail and has started hosting its outdoor activities, such as pickleball, earlier in the morning when temperatures are lower. They also make daily announcements reminding members to be careful in hot weather.

“We can’t help the whole community, but we try to help as many seniors as possible,” Wooten said.

From Tuesday, afternoon temperatures all week should be in the high 90s. For the latest weather updates, be sure to follow the US National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia on Facebook or on their website at

The CDC classifies symptoms of heat exhaustion as profuse sweating, cold, pale, and clammy skin, rapid, weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, fatigue or weakness, dizziness , headaches and fainting. People with symptoms of heat exhaustion are advised to seek cold water in a cool place as soon as possible.

People with severe symptoms are advised to seek medical attention.

Inflation sends more Ohioans to food banks. Can pantries keep up? Sat, 11 Jun 2022 20:00:31 +0000

LIMA — Cars lined up around the Kibby Street parking lot of the West Ohio Food Bank on Thursday, waiting for the final food distribution to begin.

Nearly 500 families signed up to participate Thursday as more families turn to food pantries like WOFB to supplement their budgets, a larger share of which is now spent on basics like gasoline, rent and food.

Food prices alone have risen 8.6% over the past year, according to the Labor Department’s latest Consumer Price Index report released on Friday.

But food banks are also struggling to keep up with inflation.

“We may have to re-evaluate”

WOFB has seen a 13% increase in the number of families visiting its pantries and distributions since last July. So many families are now seeking help that the food bank, which serves an 11-county region, is requiring them to register before attending distributions at its Kibby Street location.

“These families may never have needed food aid in the past, but now more than 8,700 new families have visited one of our partner agencies or gone through a distribution to receive food. food over the past 11 months,” said Tommie Harner, CEO of WOFB. .

There are grandparents raising their grandchildren and parents whose adult children have returned, Harner said.

But food banks are seeing fewer donations even as their spending increases.

Products that once cost 42 cents a pound now cost $1.04 a pound, Harner said.

Other necessary elements like proteins and shelf-stable products are not available at all. In the past five months, Harner said 250 truckloads of USDA products needed by its partner agencies have been canceled.

The food bank in turn had to move distributions and change its offerings – less fruit, less meat – to accommodate everyone seeking help.

“If things don’t change,” Harner said, “we may need to re-evaluate all of the distributions we provide to make sure our pantries are getting the food they need to serve the customers who come through their doors each day. the week.”

Housing crisis fuels food insecurity

“People can’t afford the basics,” said Jackie Fox, CEO of the West Ohio Community Action Partnership, which suspended applications for its rental assistance program in May due to a lack of funding. .

It was a bad time for tenants: Fox estimates tenants here are seeing rent hikes of $200 to $300 a month, sometimes more. Many of her clients spend 60% or more of their income on rent, she said.

“So if we can pay people’s rent, they can often afford car insurance and have food on the table,” Fox said. “That’s what we tried to do.”

While WOCAP will resume its rental assistance program if funding is renewed, the agency is still operating its usual utility assistance and summer crisis programs, among others.

“Almost every job application we get these days, the client’s explanation is, I’m having trouble paying for food, utilities, rent, and gas,” Fox said.

Volunteers wanted

Harner said WOFB needs monetary and food donations, especially large-scale donations from manufacturers with excess or mislabeled products.

Volunteers are also needed to pack boxes and carry out food distributions.

“Not everyone has the ability to donate financial aid or they may not have the ability to donate food,” Harner said, “but if they have the ability to donate their time , it’s just as valuable to us.”

Volunteers load vehicles with cans, jugs of milk and other food items as part of a distribution at the Kibby Street location of the West Ohio Food Bank on Thursday.

Volunteers load vehicles with cans, jugs of milk and other food items as part of a distribution at the Kibby Street location of the West Ohio Food Bank on Thursday.

Texas Health Action appoints new chief medical officer Wed, 08 Jun 2022 13:03:00 +0000

AUSTIN, TX, June 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Texas Health Action (THA), a community-informed nonprofit organization specializing in serving LGBTQIA+ people and people affected by HIV, recently appointed Dr. Sandra Guerra as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). In this role, Guerra is responsible for clinical leadership, quality processes, and medical education efforts that advance THA’s mission to provide access to culturally affirming quality health services in a safe and supportive environment. She took on her new role on June 6, 2022replacing Dr. Cynthia Brison.

“We are extremely grateful for the legacy Dr. Brinson left as a founding member of our organization, and we look forward to the many contributions that Dr. Guerra will make,” Christopher Hamilton, chief executive of THA, said. “Dr. Guerra’s extensive background in public health and her experience working with diverse patient populations make her ideally suited to lead Texas Health Action’s growing clinical programs.”

In her new role, Guerra oversees HAT programs, including Kind Clinic, which provides sexual health services in Austin, San Antonio and dallas; and TeleKind, which provides Texas residents have access to the HIV prevention drug known as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) through virtual appointments, as well as home testing and HIV care.

“I’ve seen Texas Health Action go from from Austin first PrEP clinic to a thriving nonprofit organization that provides access to PrEP to all Texans, across a range of healthcare services,” Brinson said. Guerra’s 20-plus year career in people-centered healthcare and her leadership experience in large, multi-disciplinary organizations make her the ideal choice to help drive this growth.”

Prior to joining THA, Guerra was CMO of Centene Corporation WellCare of Kentucky and the acting deputy director of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District. Previously, she served as vice president and chief marketing officer of Humana Military, which provides military health care through the Department of Defense’s TRICARE East program. From 2005 to 2012, Guerra served as Regional Medical Director and Preventive Medicine Residency Program Director for the Texas Department of State Health Services. She also served on the board of directors of Regents for the American College of Preventive Medicinethe American Board of Preventive Medicine PAFT Review Committee and the San Antonio AIDS Foundation Board of Trustees, among others.

“At this point in my career, I am thrilled to be working with Texas Health Action toward solutions for such a deserving population,” Guerra said. “I am honored to join an organization focused on prevention and health equity.”

Guerra earned a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Texas at Austinmedical doctor of Texas A&M University Health Sciences Centerand a Masters in Public Health from The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston School of Public Health.

About Texas Health Action

Texas Health Action (THA) is a community-informed organization dedicated to providing access to culturally affirming quality health services in a safe and supportive environment with expertise serving LGBTQIA+ people and people affected by HIV . Since 2015, Texas Health Action has provided health services without stigma or judgment and empowered the community through outreach and education. Texas Health Action operates Kind Clinic, which provides sexual health services through locations across Central Texas; TeleKind, which provides sexual health services through virtual visits and home testing; and Waterloo Counseling Center, which provides behavioral health services in Austin. Texas Health Action is led by CEO Christopher Hamilton. For more information about Texas Health Action and its programs, please

Media contact: ECPR
Kelsey Stevens Where Anita Garza
[email protected] Where [email protected]
512-694-7003 or 361-655-4683

SOURCE Texas Health Action

Ernor Abbott of Uvalde County Announces the Opening of the Uvalde Together Resilience Center, Resources Available for the Entire Community | Texas Governor’s Office Fri, 03 Jun 2022 21:39:24 +0000

June 3, 2022 | Austin, TX | Press release

Governor Greg Abbott announced today that Uvalde County officials are opening a temporary facility for the new Uvalde Together Resilience Center (UTRC) on Monday, June 6 to begin providing long-term support services to the community. Operated initially by the local district attorney’s office, the center will provide ongoing mental health resources and other assistance provided by state agencies and local organizations to affected Uvalde community members. by last week’s tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School.

“As the community of Uvalde struggles to put its life back together, we must come together as Texans to provide the continued and comprehensive support needed to emerge from this terrible tragedy,” Governor Abbott said. “I commend County Judge Bill Mitchell, District Attorney Christina Mitchell, Mayor Don McLaughlin and Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell for establishing the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center in one location to meet community needs and provide resources and support easily accessible. From advice to assistance with insurance claims, the Uvalde Together Resilience Center will be able to serve the community as it heals. Texans are a particularly resilient people, but that doesn’t mean dealing with grief and trauma alone. The State of Texas and local organizations will continue to provide the support the Uvalde community needs in the future.

See the full list of comprehensive resources available to the Uvalde community here.

Earlier this week, the Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) made an initial investment of $5 million to establish the long-term UTRC, which will serve as a hub for services, such as emergency counseling. crisis and behavioral health care for survivors, first responders and community members seeking ongoing support. Services currently available at the Family Assistance Center will move over the weekend to the new UTRC and will not be available until the UTRC opens on Monday. However, the 24/7 hotline that connects callers to mental health assistance will maintain operations over the weekend for anyone seeking help: 888-690-0799.

The UTRC will initially be overseen by District Attorney Christina Mitchell’s office and will operate through coordinated efforts among local support organizations and state agencies. Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disorders Centers are partnering with other regional mental health authorities to connect community members to mental health services through the 24/7 helpline. A partnership between Communities in Texas Schools and the Area 20 Educational Services Center will provide mental health support to students enrolled in summer school in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. Students not enrolled in summer school this year can still receive counseling at the Benson Center.

The UTRC operates in a temporary facility until a permanent location is established in Uvalde. The support services offered at CRUT will be adjusted as community needs are determined on a local basis.

Governor Abbott has taken significant steps to provide all available resources to support the community of Uvalde following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. These actions include:

  • Launch of comprehensive plan for the state of Texas to help and support members of the community, including co-location of state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for immediate assistance in seeking benefits .
  • Issue a disaster declaration at the request of local leaders to expedite all national and local resources available to assist the community of Uvalde.
  • Ask Texas legislative leaders to convene special legislative committees to begin reviewing and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, gun safety, and more.
  • Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to immediately begin conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure that all public schools in Texas are following proper procedures to maximize school safety.
  • Lead the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through enhanced safety standards.
  • Initial investment of $5 million to establish a long-term Family Resilience Center (FRC) in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to essential mental health resources .
  • Work with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop donation webpage to support the families of the victims, teachers and the community of Uvalde.