Tag: local

Nebraska Humane Society goes the distance to connect people and pets | Local News

While the animals are listed online, Wiese said, the humane society wanted to give people a more personal connection with the animals they might adopt. 

“It’s hard to get a feel for a dog with a photo,” she said. 

Greg Sims, president and CEO of FIDO Friendly, said the magazine decided to make an extra stop this year in Omaha on their way back west from Chicago. Although the magazine originally planned 11 stops, all but a handful of shelters cancelled their events. 



Adoption Event

Omaha residents visit the Nebraska Humane Society’s adoption event held Sunday to meet potential new pets. 




“This year is just different,” he said, “everything is more challenging.” 

Those challenges haven’t stopped the tour, Sims said, and they continue to work for the welfare of animals. He said over the years, the magazine has helped to place over 15,000 animals in permanent homes. 

Laurie Zagurski, a volunteer for the shelter, said the event gave people a chance to meet more animals than they normally might if they visited. Pets and their volunteer handlers were spread across a green space behind the shelter, allowing for social distancing and separating the pets by category. It’s important to find the right fit in a home for shelter pets, and they often require extra patience.

But Zagurski she said the process is incredibly rewarding. 

“There is no love like the love you get from a shelter pet,” she said. 

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Government accused of treating the North ‘like a petri dish’ for local lockdowns as tougher restrictions are considered

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England





© Yahoo News UK


The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times, Telegraph and Sun newspapers, provoking an angry response from opposition MPs and Labour elected mayors.

Read more: Hospital suspends all non-emergency surgery for 48 hours following COVID-19 outbreak



a group of people standing in front of a building: City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)


City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)

Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and large parts of the North are currently under local lockdowns, limiting visits to other people’s households, while pubs have to close at 10pm nationally.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”

Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley Central MP, wrote on Twitter: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip”.

Sheffield is not currently under local lockdown but is on receiving enhanced support from the government and cases have soared to over 200 per 100,000 in recent weeks, mainly driven by the return of students.

Rotheram said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new Covid-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.

“At the moment we have a patchwork of local measures across the country and too much confusion for the public as a result.”

Read more: Coronavirus infections soar by 56% in a week as test and trace fails to hit targets

Rotheram said extra funding for affected areas would be needed saying the government provided support at the start of lockdown in March and they would need to again if measures were tightened.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP, tweeted: “Let’s remember infections still largely occurring: inside households, then in education (mainly university) settings then health/care settings, then workplaces. In that order. Only then (and

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Manitowoc Historical Society plans fall stroll for mid-October, plus more local news

Waldo Boulevard opens to traffic after ceremony

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Manitowoc County Historical Society to host Fall Stroll in mid-October



a tree in front of a house: Manitowoc County's Pinecrest Historical Village, shown here in fall.


© Courtesy of Manitowoc County Historical Society
Manitowoc County’s Pinecrest Historical Village, shown here in fall.

Manitowoc County Historical Society, 924 Pinecrest Road in Manitowoc, is offering a fall site stroll for guests to enjoy the natural beauty of the historic Pinecrest Village from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16-17.

The village is open for strolling amid the coronavirus pandemic, but all historic buildings are closed to the public. The McAllister House Welcome Center will be open for restrooms and the Museum Store. When people are indoors, masks are required. Restrooms are also available on the back of the General Store/Meat Market.

Pick-up will also be held during these times for those who have reserved an All Hallow’s Eve STEAM Pack. Packs will be available for pick-up on the McAllister House Welcome Center front porch.

Also available for pick-up on the porch will be an outdoor history scavenger hunt. Identify items throughout the historical village and in the windows of the historic structures.

There is no admission charge for the fall site stroll. As a non-profit organization, the museum said it “would greatly appreciate your donation to assist in supporting our Manitowoc County Historical Society during this time. A donation box will be available on the porch of the McAllister House Welcome Center.”

Besides the two-day fall site stroll, the Historical Society grounds and buildings are closed for the year. Local history information is always available on the museum’s website at ManitowocCountyHistory.org and its social media channels. 

‘InfoFun Day’ set for Oct. 17 at Lighthouse Inn

The Manitowoc County “That’s Enough Already” (TEA) movement said in a news release that it will host an “InfoFun Day” on Oct. 17 at the Lighthouse Inn, 1515 Memorial Drive, Two Rivers. It said doors will open at 1 p.m. with activities starting at 2 p.m.

Activities include a “Best Dressed Patriot” contest and a trivia contest. For the trivia contest, teams will consist of four people with registration ending at 1:45 p.m. on the day of the event. To pre-register, call 920-732-3200 or email with subject line “TEA — Contest Entry” to [email protected] with team name and list of members.

The group said “several speakers have been secured and we are looking for appropriate vendors. Other activities available are Jenga or play a hand of sheepshead.”

For more information, call 920-732-3200 or email [email protected]

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North being treated like ‘petri dish’ for local lockdowns

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England

The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times, Telegraph and Sun newspapers, provoking an angry response from opposition MPs and Labour elected mayors.

Read more: Hospital suspends all non-emergency surgery for 48 hours following COVID-19 outbreak

City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)
City Region Mayors attacked the plans over closing pubs and restaurants so soon after new measures were brought in. (PA)

Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and large parts of the North are currently under local lockdowns, limiting visits to other people’s households, while pubs have to close at 10pm nationally.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat. It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”

Dan Jarvis, Sheffield City Region mayor and Barnsley Central MP, wrote on Twitter: “Recklessly irresponsible to brief the papers but not leaders in the North who’ll somehow have to make this work. Get a grip”.

Sheffield is not currently under local lockdown but is on receiving enhanced support from the government and cases have soared to over 200 per 100,000 in recent weeks, mainly driven by the return of students.

Rotheram said: “It is deeply disappointing to wake up this morning to reports that new Covid-19 restrictions affecting millions of people in our city region, and across the North, could be in place within days, rather than hearing it during a genuine dialogue between ministers and local leaders.

“At the moment we have a patchwork of local measures across the country and too much confusion for the public as a result.”

Read more: Coronavirus infections soar by 56% in a week as test and trace fails to hit targets

Rotheram said extra funding for affected areas would be needed saying the government provided support at the start of lockdown in March and they would need to again if measures were tightened.

Shadow business minister Lucy Powell, Manchester Central MP, tweeted: “Let’s remember infections still largely occurring: inside households, then in education (mainly university) settings then health/care settings, then workplaces. In that order. Only then (and further down) do you get to hospitality and other settings…”

Referring to the prospect of pubs in northern England being shut down, she added:

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Utah Huntington’s Disease Society to hold virtual Team Hope Walk | Local News

The Utah chapter of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America will be hosting its annual Team Hope Walk with a twist this year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the organization is transitioning into a virtual format, welcoming people to walk wherever they would prefer for the fundraising event on Oct. 17.

According to the HDSA website, Huntington’s disease is a fatal genetic disorder causing the breakdown of cells in the brain as well as the deterioration of a person’s physical and mental abilities. There are currently 41,000 symptomatic Americans with more than 200,000 at risk of inheriting the disease.

For Morgan Pratt, the Utah chapter president, Huntington’s disease is something she has been dealing with throughout her life. Pratt’s mother passed away due to complications from the disease and Pratt was then diagnosed with it about two years ago at the age of 23.

“We are on the cusp of finding a cure,” Pratt said. “They do know what causes Huntington’s disease so I truly believe I am not going to die from Huntington’s disease, it’s just going to be a little blip in my lifetime.”

For Pratt and the Utah chapter, the Team Hope Walk raised $40,000 last year in hail and inclement weather. This year Pratt said the goal is to raise $60,000 through the virtual event.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s fundraising efforts have taken a big hit and the same has been happening at the national level. Pratt said the national organization had to lay off half of its staff, but she added that the struggles have brought the Huntington’s disease community closer together.

“We all are quarantined and going through the same sad and depressing emotions, but when you go through hard times together your community grows stronger,” Pratt said.

According to Pratt, an estimated 300 people in the state of Utah have Huntington’s disease. With the community being so small and tight knit, Pratt brought up how important events like the Team Hope Walk are for people with Huntington’s disease.

At one virtual fundraiser Pratt attended recently, one of the women in attendance mentioned that it was the first time she had smiled in a month.

“That truly gave me the chills, that was so fun to connect with her, have fun and shake off those COVID blues,” Pratt said. “The Hope Walk is such a great time to see families and connect with everybody in the community. It’s a great time for us.”

Pratt also said that the organization is in dire need of donations right now as scientists work to find a cure for Huntington’s disease.

While putting together events and fundraisers, the Utah HDSA offers monthly support groups for those impacted by Huntington’s disease, and anyone can join.

While the diagnosis of Huntington’s disease is considered fatal, Pratt found that her diagnosis gave her a new outlook on life, something she feels lucky to have realized at the age of 23.

“I realized in that moment that

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Virtual meetings of local government bodies in jeopardy after Supreme Court ruling

Local governments across Michigan are in limbo following a state Supreme Court ruling, uncertain whether they’ll be able to keep holding public meetings virtually.

The court last Friday, Oct. 2, struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authority to continue Michigan’s state of emergency amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s the state of emergency that has empowered Whitmer to unilaterally issue orders like allowing public bodies to hold electronic meetings since March.

After several months of livestreaming meetings using platforms like Zoom, elected officials around the state are now wondering if they’re going to be forced to return to in-person meetings.

“Things got even more interesting in this incredibly strange year,” said Ann Arbor City Council Member Ali Ramlawi as the issue came up during a virtual council meeting Monday night.

While the governor said Friday her orders remain in effect for 21 more days and the Michigan Municipal League has advised cities they can continue to meet virtually during that time, some elected bodies are moving to cancel meetings or return to in-person meetings due to a lack of clarity on the issue.

The Lansing City Council and Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners are among bodies that canceled their meetings this week due to the uncertainty.

“Our goal has been and continues to be that we serve as good stewards, not only of the work of running Washtenaw County government, but also good stewards of the health and safety of our staff and residents,” said Washtenaw County Board Chairman Jason Morgan, D-Ann Arbor.

“We’re postponing our agenda items until our next meeting out of an abundance of caution. We want to ensure we have clarity from the state of Michigan on our legal ability to meet virtually and we are still following the science and abiding by the orders of both our county and state health departments.”

COVID-19 is still a very real threat, added Washtenaw County Administrator Greg Dill.

“Until there is a vaccine or a cure, we will continue to take all the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe as we continue to handle (the) business of running Washtenaw County,” he said.

Police investigating racist, sexist ‘Zoom bomb’ during Washtenaw County meeting

Grand Blanc Township near Flint held its first in-person meeting in months on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Supervisor Scott Bennett said the township decided to follow direction it received from the Michigan Townships Association and others in making the decision.

“We have business we need to take care of,” Bennett said, adding the township is following Michigan Department of Health and Human Services requirements.

“We’re following the guidelines for the number of people in the room,” he said, noting the township set up an overflow area in case more than 25 people showed up and it still has a livestream for those who don’t want to attend in person.

It went well Tuesday night, Bennett said.

State Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, said state lawmakers are scrambling to address the issue of public meetings and he expects a

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China’s ‘three red lines’ strike delicate balance between curbing real estate debt and local government finances

As China moves to tackle excessive borrowing in the real estate sector, it is walking a tightrope between providing cash-strapped local governments with revenues from land sales and keeping a lid on rising house prices.

Chinese regulators in August tightened funding conditions for 12 major property developers, setting caps on the amount of debt they could hold in relation to cash on hand, the value of their assets and as a proportion of equity in their businesses – dubbed “the three red lines”.

Last week, mainland financial newspaper the 21st Century Business Herald reported authorities had asked large banks to keep the proportion of property loans below 30 per cent of all new loans, citing unidentified sources.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Property sales growth has surged this year, helping the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. But it has also raised the alarm among top Communist Party officials who fret speculation in the real estate sector could increase house prices further.

In July, the Politburo – the party’s top decision-making body – stressed President Xi Jinping’s mantra that houses are “for living in, not for speculation”.

Given attempts to reign in property funding, analysts expect local government land sales to developers to weaken in coming months, something that could hurt regional finances and weigh on the broader economy.

“We don’t think Beijing wants to kill the property sector. After all, the economy is still running below its trend growth,” Macquarie Group said in a report last month.

“But it does send out a strong signal that Beijing wants to cool down the sector to save the ammo for the future. As such, property investment could peak soon.”

Zhang Ming, a researcher with the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said in August the central government does not want to see a sharp drop in property prices because it could cause risks for commercial banks, private wealth and local governments.

Land sales have been an integral part of China’s government finances at all levels over the past decade, according to research by Kate Jaquet, a portfolio manager at US-based Seafarer Capital Partners.

In China, land is owned by the state and the sale of land and user rights have been rising steadily since 2010, making up 38.6 per cent of China’s central government revenue last year, compared to 35.5 per cent in 2018, and 30.2 per cent in 2017, Seafarer Capital Partners said.

“One plausible explanation as to why Chinese authorities have allowed the listed portion of the sector to lever up so substantially, contrary to their stated commitment to reduce leverage in the financial system, is that this arrangement has been beneficial to the financial standing of the central and local governments,” Jaquet said in the June report.

Despite Beijing’s push for local governments to increase the use of municipal bonds for financing, regional economies still

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Humane Society adjusts to the pandemic | Local News

BURLINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic has brought plenty of changes — and more than enough challenges — to the Humane Society of Skagit Valley, but the organization is continuing to place cats, dogs and other small animals to those who want a furry friend.

The organization, which was founded in 1974 to provide shelter for abandoned, abused or unwanted animals, has been going through a challenging time, said Executive Director Janine Ceja.

“Like everyone, we too have been hit with this pandemic in all aspects,” she said.

The organization has limited its hours, and made its shelter available to the public on an appointment-only basis, she said. Despite the changes, adoptions have been robust, especially with the organization’s partnership with PetSmart in Burlington.

In May, of the 123 dogs and cats to come in, 76 were adopted, and many of the remaining 47 remained only because they were too young to be adopted.

In an example comparing this year with last, August 2019 had 110 of 207 animals adopted and 28 reunited with owners, and this August, 114 of 147 were adopted and 14 were reunited with owners.

All in all, Ceja said, adoptions are down about 13% compared to last year. She expected a more severe drop when the pandemic began to take hold last spring.

“I was expecting a 33 to 40 percent drop in adoptions,” she said.

COVID-19 has had an impact throughout the pet community, Ceja said.

With some veterinary clinics closing their doors or limiting hours, it’s made it a challenge to get an appointment. And with spay and neuter procedures curtailed because they were designated as non-essential, Ceja said that may lead to a glut of pets in need of adoption.

“It will be interesting to see how that affects next year,” she said.

As for this year, Ceja said people in the animal care community are working hard in a tough time.

She and Humane Society staff counsel pet owners over the phone about challenges, including behavioral problems. Staff have also worked with other Humane Society branches, even taking in animals from shelters if they’re at risk of being euthanized.

Ceja said the Humane Society is among the organizations that’s here to help people — and animals — get through the pandemic.

“We’ve been going nonstop,” she said.

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‘Danger sign’: State, local government job losses grow as Congress stalls on relief

The new data undercut a Republican argument that state and local governments have gotten enough help from Washington, with some citing an uptick in revenue for many states this summer that outpaced initial projections. But the job losses suggest that economic relief that Congress approved in the CARES Act in late March gave a temporary boost to local economies that’s now drying up.

Not all Republicans have rejected more state aid outright. In an interview, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) cited three Republican cosponsors — Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi and Susan Collins of Maine — for his bill to provide $500 billion in flexible grants to help state and local governments.

“One of the lessons we should take from the Great Recession was that massive layoffs and tax increases at the state and local level acted as an anchor and weighed down our economic recovery for years to come,” Menendez said. “We shouldn’t repeat that.”

He pointed to a Moody’s Analytics report this month that predicted the fiscal shock for state and local governments could run as high as $450 billion, or 2.2 percent of the economy. However, that figure assumes an additional stimulus, projected at approximately $1.5 trillion, from the federal government arriving sometime in the fall.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of the House Republican leadership and a senior appropriator, told POLITICO that if lawmakers fail to reach agreement soon, the economy could “lose the momentum that we created over the summer.”

“There’s a lot of things that were actually generating revenue for states that are ending,” Cole said, referring to unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and coronavirus support funds.

Even though many of his fellow Republicans think no more aid is needed, the “political reality is if you want a package, there’s going to have to be state and local and tribal aid in it, period,” Cole said.

Meanwhile, local budget officials have kept up a steady call for more aid. They also warn that federal funds already provided can’t be used the same way by all states.

Colorado Treasurer Dave Young said that even though the state managed to fill shortfalls earlier this year using reserves, the drawdown led to automatic spending cuts because a certain level of reserve funds is required by statute.

Young said the state also has difficulty using the Municipal Liquidity Facility, which the Federal Reserve set up in April as a backstop emergency lending source for states in financial distress. With so few states using the facility, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has suggested that officials wind it down.

But Young said the facility, which lends short-term debt at above-market rates to be paid off over a maximum of three years, isn’t a viable option for Colorado, because state law requires that any borrowing must be paid off in the same fiscal year it is made.

“When they say, ‘Well, you’re not utilizing it!’ Well, there’s a number of reasons we’re not utilizing it. None of them have

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Local husband-wife photography team helps lower the save rate for Forsyth Humane Society. | Twin City Talk

The love of dogs has taken on a new meaning for Lauren and Dave Clark, owners of DesiLu Photography.

Not only is the company named after the couple’s dogs, Desi and Lucy, but the pair have partnered with Forsyth Humane Society (FHS) to photograph dogs that are up for adoption after their experience fostering a senior pet.

“Our relationship with Forsyth Humane Society started with us becoming fosters about two years ago,” says Lauren. “We brought home this gorgeous dog that looked a lot like our dog, Desi. Knowing that black dogs are harder to photograph and get adopted, we decided to take her over to our studio to take some pictures of her and sent them over to FHS.”

From there the partnership was born.

Lauren and Dave photograph the pets once or twice a month, helping FHS work toward their goal of increasing the save rate in the community. After each session, the photos are placed on the adoptable pet’s online profile, as well as shared on their social media channels. The photos have also been used on the FHS website and in marketing campaigns.

“Every like, share, and comment helps these pets get seen and hopefully adopted,” Lauren says. “Our hope is that these photos will catch people’s eye enough for them to pause and take a look at these animals that need our help.”

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