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Governor Shumlin announces additional assistance package for towns

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first_imgGovernor Shumlin was joined by Treasurer Beth Pearce and other state leaders today to announce an Irene recovery package for municipalities struggling with the effects of the tropical storm. ‘We recognize that the disaster is putting a strain on local governments,’ Shumlin said.  ‘This assistance package will help ensure that they have the support they need to emerge stronger than before the storm hit.’The financial package includes: ·         $24 million in advanced State payments: To assist towns struggling with immediate cash flow needs, the State will advance payments of key state and federal programs.   $6.2 million in town highway funds have been delivered this week instead of on October 15.  $12.3 million in Current Use payments will be advanced this week rather than on November 15.  $5.8 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments will be delivered shortly, instead of by October 31.  This is not new revenue to municipalities, but faster revenue, and will help ease short-term cash needs. ·         Local bank loans:  Vermont’s local banks will be offering loans to communities in need with favorable terms.  ·         Municipal Bond Bank loans: The Municipal Bond Bank has initiated a program to assist towns with low-interest loans to finance response and recovery efforts.  In the short term, the Bond Bank will provide stop-gap funding to local banks as needed and may provide direct loans in the future. ·         FEMA Community Disaster Loan (CDL): The State has requested that FEMA initiate its CDL program to assist towns with low-interest loans. ‘The assistance we are announcing today will help the municipalities hard hit by Tropical Storm Irene,’ said Treasurer Beth Pearce.  ‘This package provides a series of options for communities; they can opt for all, none or part of the options beginning with short-term financing all the way through long-term bonding. The banks are on the ground providing short-term financing and the State is advancing payments to municipalities to provide some relief for their short-term cash needs.’ Towns are also struggling with the massive impact that Irene had on the municipal transportation infrastructure.  During the first week of Irene Emergency Response Vermont officials at VTrans realized the extent of damage to local roads and mobilized additional resources to aid towns.  VTrans reached out to the Regional Planning Commissions and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns for assistance.  Vermont’s 11 regional planning commissions (RPCs) formed a State Resource Coordination Center with the mission of helping towns with not only local highway recovery, but also other forms of storm-related assistance. Regional Commission staff have been assessing damage to the local system and today report that Irene washed away more than 1950 local roadway segments, undermined more than 917 culverts, and damaged more than 200 bridges owned by municipalities.   Today, 184 roads and 94 bridges, within the municipal system remain closed.  The regional commissions launched their emergency efforts in coordination with VTrans with the goal of helping towns get the majority of their roads open, safe and passable by winter. ‘The goal of our efforts is to work with towns face that continued stress and mobility challenges, and to help them get back on their feet and establish access through emergency repairs,’ said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. Road assistance for towns includes: ·         Unmet Emergency Needs Assessment: VTrans has asked towns to request assistance for any unmet emergency needs.  Unmet emergency needs include closed bridges, failed roads, and impassable roads that need to be made safe and passable before winter.  Towns should submit that information to the Regional Commissions as soon as possible and VTrans will work to coordinate additional resources to help towns. ·         VTrans has found that there is a shortage of bridge parts nationwide due to the tremendous need brought on by weather all over the country.  To ensure that towns receive the temporary bridges they need before winter, VTrans will serve as a clearinghouse and source of information on bridge acquisition and a resource for ordering these structures and parts where needed. ·         VTrans and the RPCs will create and update town maps depicting open and closed town roads so the traveling public can plan accordingly. These maps are being used by customer service representatives at VTrans’ Irene Storm Call Center, which can be reached at 1-800-VERMONT. They are also available to the general public at the agency’s website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external). To view them, users should activate the ‘local roads and bridges’ section of the Google map.  Smart phone applications of the Google map are also accessible on the Vtrans website. ·         Associated General Contractors (AGC) Clearinghouse: AGC is coordinating Vermont contractors available to help towns repair damaged roads and bridges. This is the principal resource for towns that need outside contracting for rebuilding. ·         Public Assistance (PA) Teams: State & FEMA PA teams are on the ground assisting communities with paperwork needed to obtain reimbursement for FEMA-eligible costs. ‘Vermonters have responded to this disaster with determination, tenacity and hard work,’ said Governor Shumlin.  ‘It is in large part due to the indomitable spirit of Vermonters that our recovery is going so well.  All recovery is local and this package will help ensure that our communities have the support they need.’ ###last_img read more

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UCL: Perfect Rodrygo hat-trick helps Real Madrid win 6-0

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first_img Source: BBC Brazilian forward Rodrygo announced himself on club football’s biggest stage with a ‘perfect’ hat-trick in Real Madrid’s 6-0 defeat of Galatasaray.The 18-year-old became the second youngest player to score a Champions League treble, behind only Real legend Raul.He has already been labelled the “new Neymar”, having followed in the Paris St-Germain star’s footsteps by moving from Brazilian club Santos to Spain.Outside of South America, little was known about the 5ft 9in youngster – who is the the same height as Neymar – before his summer switch to Real.Since then, Rodrygo has scored five times in his first six appearances for the club in all competitions.“Hearing the Bernabeu singing my name is a dream come true,” Rodrygo said. “I’m so happy, it has been a joyous night but I must try and stay calm.”The Bernabeu were saluting the teenager as early as the fourth minute when he clinically opened the scoring, left-footed, from his fellow countryman Marcelo’s pass.He got his second three minutes later as he headed in superbly from another Marcelo cross, becoming the first player to score twice in the first seven minutes of a Champions League game.He was denied the chance of a quickfire hat-trick shortly afterwards, when captain Sergio Ramos stepped up to score a penalty after Steven Nzonzi had fouled Toni Kroos.But Rodrygo provided an assist for Benzema on the stroke of half-time and the Frenchman returned the favour in second-half stoppage time.The teenager – whose full name is Rodrygo Silva de Goes – completed his ‘perfect’ hat-trick as he poked in with his right foot to cap a crushing 6-0 win.last_img read more

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George W Bush And Michelle Obama Join African First Ladies In Tanzania

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first_imgThe George W. Bush Institute has kicked off the African First Ladies Summit, “Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa,” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.George and Laura Bush Join Michelle Obama and the African First LadiesCredit/Copyright: Paul Morse for the George W. Bush Presidential CenterAttended by George W. Bush and with support from ExxonMobil, the two-day summit brings together Heads of State, current and former First Ladies, government officials, academics and representatives from non-profit and private sector organizations around the world to focus on effective investments in women that lead to greater stability and prosperity in countries.“The Bush Institute is proud to bring some of the brightest minds together to work on improving access to education, health services and economic opportunity for women and children across Africa. This Summit gives us the opportunity to exchange best practices and harness the power of public-private partnerships to further establish significant investments in women here,” said Bush Institute Executive Director James Glassman.The Summit will highlight the critical role First Ladies play as advocates for women and girls, and provide examples and models of programs that are working to better the lives of women and girls across the continent.“The inclusion of women and girls in all aspects of society strengthens the stability of nations,” said Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute. “Improving the lives of women and girls with education and economic opportunity provides the fastest way to growing a nation’s economy, raising living standards and promoting peace.”Day one features a discussion between current and former First Ladies of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush, moderated by Cokie Roberts. Panel discussions will highlight empowering women entrepreneurs through technology and improving agricultural outcomes for female farmers. Attendees will then head to off-site visits to NGOs focused on cervical and breast cancer, women’s entrepreneurship, and education.Day two includes moderated panels on the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative to combat cervical and breast cancer, as well as a panel on critical interventions in education and literacy. The panels are followed by a summit village networking session and a call to action session.“We know that when women have access to the right tools, training and opportunities, they act as catalysts for broader economic and social advancement. This Summit is a critical part of the ongoing dialogue and collaboration between governments, the private sector and community organizations to advance economic development and improve lives across the continent,” said Suzanne McCarron, President of ExxonMobil Foundation & General Manager, Public and Government Affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation.Additional participants include Mrs. Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; the Honorable Nancy G. Brinker, Chair, Global Strategy, Susan G. Komen for the Cure; U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control; the Honorable Mark Dybul, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; Dr. Martin Fisher, Co-Founder and CEO, KickStart International; Dr. Julie Gerberding, President, Merck Vaccines; the Honorable Leslie Rowe, Ambassador, Office of Global Health Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State; and the Honorable Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, UNAIDS, Undersecretary-General of the United Nations.African First Ladies expected to attend include Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Spouse, Vice President of Ghana; Mrs. Chantal Campaore, First Lady of Burkina Faso; Mrs. Maria da Luz Dai Guebuza, First Lady of Mozambique; Dr. Christine Kaseba, First Lady of Zambia; Mrs. Salma Kikwete, First Lady of Tanzania; Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma, First Lady of Sierra Leone; Mrs. Janet Kataaha Museveni, First Lady of Uganda; Mrs. Roman Tesfaye, First Lady of Ethiopia; and Mrs. Nompumelelo Zuma, First Lady of South Africa.last_img read more

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Sarah Duchess Of York Helps Open Teenage Cancer Trust Unit

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first_imgSarah, Duchess of York and world snooker players Judd Trump and Jack Lisowski, have officially opened at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC) the first specialist Teenage Cancer Trust unit in the UK’s South West for local young people with cancer.Sarah Ferguson helps open first specialist Teenage Cancer Trust unit in the South WestCredit/Copyright: Teenage Cancer TrustEach year, over 200 young people from Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, are diagnosed with cancer. Across the UK, seven are diagnosed every day. Traditionally treated either on a children’s ward or on an adult ward often alongside elderly patients, young people can feel extremely isolated during treatment, some never meeting another young person with cancer. Being treated alongside others their own age, by experts in teenage and young adult cancer care, can make a huge difference to their experience.Thanks to fundraising support from local communities, a volunteer committee chaired by Lady Wills, Trust funding from The Garfield Weston Foundation and the John James Bristol Foundation and generous help from corporate partners Home Retail Group, The Football Association, MandM Direct and Societe Generale, Teenage Cancer Trust raised £2.5million to open this new eight bed unit. Named Area 61 by the patients and taking ten months to build, the state-of-the-art unit offers 16 to 24 year olds a place to receive treatment where they can feel at home.Long term patron of Teenage Cancer Trust, Sarah, Duchess of York, opened the unit and said: “Teenage Cancer Trust is the most incredible charity, helping young people stay teenagers first, cancer patients second. I’ve been a patron for over 20 years and I’ve seen it grow and lead the way in the treatment of teenage and young adult cancer. This new unit will help so many local young people and their families and friends.”The unit also gives young people the best possible care, support and access to treatment via a team of specialist doctors, nurses and youth support staff who are all experts in teenage and young adult cancer care. Teenage Cancer Trust funds the lead nurse and youth support coordinator roles within this team. The youth support coordinator helps young people share their experiences and fears with each other, encourages them to socialise by arranging activities and outings and enables them to participate in a peer support group.Area 61 has two floors, with one floor dedicated to in-patients with five en-suite bedrooms with sofa beds for family and friends to stay overnight. It also has a large social area where young people can play pool, listen to music, play games consoles or watch films on the latest Smart TVs. There’s also a kitchen and dining space where meals can be cooked at all times of day and night, as well as a lounge for family members to take a break. The other floor is for day patients, featuring three treatment pods, two consulting rooms, a procedure room, a social space which includes entertainment and gaming consoles and a waiting area with cafe.A group of young people with cancer were involved in the overall design of the unit and worked with local street artist Dave Bain to develop the wall art. James Lusher, the architect also consulted young people on the furniture designs and colours.Teenage Cancer Trust ambassadors Jack Lisowski from Cheltenham and Judd Trump, from Bristol, also helped officially open the unit and have been supporting the local fundraising appeal. It’s a cause close to their hearts as at 16 Jack was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jack said: “It’s a fantastic moment to be here today and the unit is so much better than we could have ever imagined. Teenage Cancer Trust is an amazing organisation and I only wish I had benefitted from being treated here.”Siobhan Dunn, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment in Teenage Cancer Trust’s history as it’s our first specialist unit in the South West. It’s a remarkable facility and we are very much hoping that local communities and businesses will continue supporting our work here as we need to raise a £1,000 a day to maintain the unit, fund specialist staff and continue our free cancer awareness sessions in schools across the region.”Jamie Cargill, Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) comments about today’s milestone: “It is taken a significant team effort to get to this point and credit must be given to all those who have been involved. Even after just a few months we can already see how the new facilities are benefiting our patients and their families. By helping us build this amazing unit, our local and regional supporters have done something very special for young people with cancer and I hope they feel as proud of the unit as we all do.”Dr Alison Cameron, Macmillan Teenage and Young Adults Lead Clinician at UH Bristol, said: “Over the past five years UH Bristol has built a team to care for and support teenage and young adult patients with cancer across the South West. The opening of this unit enables that team to maximise the support they give to patients and their families, whilst providing patients with as “normal”, least hospitalised, physical space as possible. This helps to reduce the impact of the cancer on the patient.”The unit opening marks the final phase in a multi-million pound investment the charity has made in young people’s cancer services across the South West. In December 2012, Teenage Cancer Trust lent its design expertise to enhance a brand new hospital ward at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children for 11 to 16 year olds with a variety of complex health issues including cancer. The charity has also adopted five teenage and young adult specialist nurses who operate from various shared care hospitals across the South West. By doing so, this provides an excellent model of care for 15-24 year olds no matter where they live in the region.Teenage Cancer Trust is now appealing to local communities to continue supporting its work with young people with cancer. The charity relies on donations and a £1,000 a day needs to be raised to maintain the new unit, fund specialist staff and support the free cancer awareness sessions that are delivered in schools, colleges and universities across the South West.Find out more here.Source:Teenage Cancer Trustlast_img read more

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