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    Category: Home Restoration

    Forget Home RenovationsThis New HGTV Show Wants to Make Over an Entire Town – - January 17, 2020 by admin

    Last week, HGTV announced its most ambitious renovation show yet: In a new series called Home Town Takeover, Ben and Erin Napier, the hosts of Home Town, will take over and restore an entire town. YES, you read that right. And if you live in a small historic town, you can nominate it to be featured on the show.

    This is a big one, Erin said of the new show in a statement. HGTV has never, ever taken on a whole town renovation and restoration project and were so proud and excited to be leading the team that will get it done. The Napiers are well-equipped to renovate a small towntheyve been revitalizing historic homes and properties throughout their home town of Laurel, Mississippi since 2017. Theyve also revitalized Laurels downtown area.

    Renovating one house at a time is an awesome experience, but the chance to support an entire town, where we can help bring a community back to life and enhance the lives of the people who live and work there, is something weve always wanted to try, Ben said in a press release.

    To be eligible for restoration, a town needs to meet three requirements: The town has to have a population of less than 40,000 residents. It must have homes and buildings with great architecture ready to be revealed. And it has to have a downtown area (think a classic Main Street) thats a bit run down.

    Does your town fit the bill? Fill out the submission form here by February 7, 2020 to nominate it. While photos of your town are great, the submission form states that videos are better. Make sure your video shows places you think need a makeover like diners, coffee shops, homes and playgrounds. Give a tour around your town featuring places that could be. And dont forget to include the most important part of any town: the people. Basically, show Home Town Takeover what you makes your town special and anywhere it could use some more love.

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    Forget Home RenovationsThis New HGTV Show Wants to Make Over an Entire Town -

    30 years after death of Jim Williams, his iconic Savannah home is being restored – Bluffton Today - January 17, 2020 by admin

    On the evening of Jan. 14, 1990, Doug Seyle knocked on his employers front door at Savannahs stately Mercer House on Monterey Square. Receiving no response, he let himself in and found the historic homes locally famous resident, 59-year-old Jim Williams, lying dead in the study.

    He died from a simple case of pneumonia, but the location of his death was remarkable. In that same room on May 2, 1981, Williams shot and killed 21-year-old Danny Lewis Hansford. Williams, an accomplished antiques dealer, building restorer and Savannah socialite, insisted that hed shot the young man his part-time assistant and occasional lover in self-defense. Within a few weeks, Williams was indicted for murder.

    Three decades after his death, Jim Williams is famous far beyond Savannah. The circumstances of the Hansford shooting, and the four trials that Williams endured to clear his name, provided the primary plot for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendts 1994 bestseller. Known locally as The Book, it later served as the basis for a Hollywood movie and became a driving force behind modern Savannah tourism.

    However, Williams legacy extends beyond the provocative anecdotes that made Berendt a multimillionaire. Williams was a leading preservationist of historic Savannah buildings, revamping more than 30 edifices citywide. His projects included the Olde Pink House on Reynolds Square, the Hampton Lillibridge House on East Saint Julian Street, and the Mercer House now called the Mercer Williams House Museum where he lived and died.

    This palatial Italianate mansion, constructed just after the Civil War for Gen. Hugh W. Mercer (the great-grandfather of musician Johnny Mercer), now ranks among Savannahs most popular landmark museums. Owned by Williams sister, Dorothy Kingery, the museum is receiving a thorough external refurbishment in what she considers an effort to preserve her brothers restoration legacy.

    People really enjoy learning about Jims history, Kingery said, noting that Williams antique collection within Mercer House paints a tasteful portrait of his life. To carry this on, it means a lot to me and my family, and we are pleased to be able to do it.

    He took it in stride

    Though Williams worked on many impressive buildings, Mercer House was his masterpiece. After completing its initial restoration in 1970 and making it his personal home, Williams hosted legendary parties there and used it as a showcase for his finest antiques. During his trials, it also became a place of refuge.

    We spent a lot of time in Jims house, said Atlanta-based attorney Don Samuel, who served on the Williams defense team. It was somewhat museum-like even then.

    Most anyone standing trial for murder would be forgiven for letting the ordeal overwhelm their decorum. However, this wasnt Williams style, Samuel said.

    He was a very charming guy, unlike 99% of people on trial, Samuel said, adding that Williams carried himself with grace and good humor while working on his defense. He took it in stride.

    When Williams was finally found innocent after his fourth trial in 1989, Samuel recalls that his client was completely exuberant, of course.

    Nonetheless, Williams passing just months after his exoneration made the courtroom victory bittersweet for Samuel.

    That was very tragic and sad that he didnt get to enjoy his freedom, Samuel said.

    Its a huge job

    Kingery remembers sitting with her mother and Williams lawyers at the dining-room table soon after his death and being asked what the family would do with the historic home.

    I said, We will keep it, of course, Kingery recalls.

    Though maintaining such a grand estate was no small endeavor, Kingery felt that her brothers extensive efforts to preserve Mercer House would help considerably.

    Jim had just finished a restoration, Kingery said. I was confident that we were dealing with a house that was in excellent shape.

    For the next 14 years, Kingery maintained Mercer House as a private residence for herself and her daughter Susan, who now manages museum operations despite initial reservations about her mothers plan to turn the mansion into an exhibition.

    She said, Im going to turn it into a museum, and I said, Youre crazy, Susan Kingery recalls with a laugh.

    Dorothy Kingery, who earned a history masters and a sociology Ph.D. from the University of Georgia before establishing and directing UGAs Survey Research Center, was confident the family could open Mercer House to the public.

    I knew how to hire and supervise people, Dorothy Kingery said, and in the years that followed, the mother-daughter team turned Mercer House into a premier Savannah attraction, though they declined to reveal specific visitor totals. You would be amazed at the number of people who come here.

    Still, museum operations require a great deal of work, and the elements also present challenges to the nearly 150-year-old building. With paint chipping on the trim and areas of the brick facade requiring cleaning, last year the Kingerys decided to refurbish the entire exterior. The restoration began in December and is expected to continue through March, with the Savannah branch of Choate Construction handling the project.

    Its a huge job, Dorothy Kingery said.

    Its really a family home

    Though Williams untimely passing created an unwanted bookend to his lengthy legal difficulties, his family takes comfort in the final verdict.

    Im so grateful that he did clear his name before he died, Dorothy Kingery said.

    At times when the Mercer House is closed to the public, Williams family continues to gather there and enjoy the magnificent setting and all of its finery. On New Years Eve, Dorothy and Susan Kingery joined friends in the dining room to drink champagne from Williams Baccarat crystal glasses that visitors view during tours.

    Its really a family home, Dorothy Kingery said. We still love it and enjoy it. I think he knows.

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    30 years after death of Jim Williams, his iconic Savannah home is being restored - Bluffton Today

    Erin and Ben Napier Give Us a Peek Behind the Scenes of HGTV’s Home Town Season 4 – Parade - January 17, 2020 by admin

    Erin and Ben Napier, known to millions as the stars of the HGTV hit series Home Town, still cant believe that renovating houses in tiny Laurel, Mississippi, has made them famous. We do such a mundane thing, says Erin, 34, sitting in the office of their production company before heading to the afternoons makeover house. We work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., says Ben, 36. Yeah, we have a cameraman and a director, but its like were going to work in an office with our construction team or on a job site.

    The show, entering its fourth season, follows Erin and Ben as they turn dilapidated old houses into dream digs. Its also bringing new energy to Laurel, an old timber town of almost 19,000 that waned in the mid20th century once the areas loblolly pine forests were logged. Laurel has seen some hard times, said Ben in the shows season-one opening. Were committed to changing that one house at a time.In the season premiere, Jan. 20 at 9 p.m. ET, the Napiers share their experience regarding the tornado that touched down in Laurel and the surrounding area in December. (Watch a sneak peek from the premiere below!)

    The series has turned Erin and Ben into Americas newest home renovation sweethearts and made Laurel a tourist destination for fans of the show. Home Town drew 12.2 million viewers during its third season. Laurel is attracting visitors from across the country who drive through the historic district looking for some of the 30-plus houses renovated on the showas well as for the Napiers 1925 Craftsman. They shop at businesses the Napiers are partners in, such as Laurel Mercantile Co., a housewares boutique the couple opened with a group of their entrepreneurial friends in the towns old dry goods store and stocked with American-made merchandise including jadeite dishes, heirloom tools and paintings by local artists. Nearby is Scotsman General Store, which sells boots, flannel shirts, craft soda and the Napiers own brand of coffee, Big Bens Blend. Bens woodshop is housed there too. It features an exhibition window, so visitors can watch him make furniture for the show. And they have a furniture line thats made in two small towns in North Carolina and Virginia, because the couple is committed to making small towns better.

    In fact, the Napiers are so serious about making little towns better that theyre hitting the road this year to revitalize another small town for a new, six-episode spinoff series for HGTV,Home Town Rescue. The couple will help members of a yet-to-be-named community renovate homes in the area and upgrade public spaces. The new show is set for a 2021 premiere. Dont worry, Laurel, theyre not leaving permanently. The original show will go on. We never want to live anywhere else, Erin says. We love it here.

    Related:Erin Napiers Southern Skillet Cornbread

    Erin was born to create. She grew up in Laurel wanting to be a book designer, inspired by her real estate agent mothers painting and writing and an aunt who was into scrapbooking. Her aunt gave her a big, huge photo album with staticky sheets, and little Erin filled it with leaves she found, newspaper clippings about dinosaur bone discoveries and her own writing. In seventh grade, she discovered typography. As soon as we got a computer, thats when graphic design began for me, Erin says. I would make these fake ads for things, fake logos. I had fun with type.

    She met Ben when they were both students at a junior college in nearby Ellisville, Mississippi. He was a 20-year-old history major, the son of a Methodist minister who had grown up in little towns all over the South. She was an 18-year-old graphic design major, the daughter of a doctor whose family had lived in Laurel for generations. He was outgoing and funny. She was quiet and artistic. They met when she took his photo for a yearbook feature. Six days later, we decided we would get marriedwhen we got out of school, Erin says. Weve been inseparable ever since.

    They transferred to Ole Miss, and thats when Ben picked up woodworking. After his classes ended, he would hang out with Erin in her art classes. When she needed to frame pieces for a student exhibition, Ben made the frames. Hed done rough carpentry, but fine woodworking was new. Some of the graduate assistants showed me how to use the tools, Ben says. It became an obsession. Yep, he became a woodworker for the woman he loved.

    Erin inspired his first foray into furniture making too. I wanted a $3,000 armoire I saw in an antiques mall, and we couldnt afford it, she says. So Ben built one just like it for her. He discovered that making furniture made him happy and that there was no place he would rather be than in a woodshop. My real passion is furniture design, Ben says. You can get lost in it.

    Related:Property Brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott on What Makes a Forever HomeAnd How to Find Yours

    After they graduated college, the couple moved back to Laurel, against the advice of some who wondered what Erin was going to do with an art degree in a dying lumber town. My parents said, Youre very talented, but you live inMississippi, baby. Its just going to be hard to be a professional artist, Erin says. And I was like, No its not. Just watch. Just watch, and Ill show you. I think it was a little bit of a rebellion for me to come back here.

    She worked as a graphic designer for a financial marketing company, then started her own business designing letterpress wedding invitations and selling them online. Ben was a woodworker, Methodist student ministry director and Mr. Loblolly, the official lumberjack mascot of town events. They bought the gorgeous old house Erin had wanted to live in since she was a little girl, began renovating it and they got two fuzzy dogs.

    Their big break came when a former HGTV executive started following Erins Instagram account and saw the makings of a TV show about an adorable couples life in a small town in the Deep South. The executive, Lindsey Weidhorn, who now runs her own production company, asked the Napiers if they were game. Erin and Ben said yes, because they wanted to draw positive attention to Laurel. Home Town premiered in March 2017 and was an instant hit. The show is a paean to small-town life, where neighbors are friendly, church bells ring on the hour and mortgage payments are small. Its a binge-watchers dream. You can tune out current events for hours watching Ben and Erin rescue wood floors from shag carpet, eradicate 1980s kitchens, put up luscious crown molding and get it all together in time for the big reveal. Just try to watch it without googling Laurel real estate and wondering briefly if your boss would let you telecommute.

    Related:HGTVs Leanne Ford Changed Her Career at 30 and Hasnt Looked Back

    Erin and Ben dont do the construction on their makeovers, but the vision for how a property should look is theirs. On each episode, a homeowner chooses one of two homes selected by the Napiers, buys the place and hands the keys over to Erin and Ben for the remodel. The couple works with contractors, artisans and designers to direct the renovation. Ben makes a few pieces of custom furniture and features for the house, like a banquette made of wood repurposed from the local high school gym or a kitchen table with perfectly turned legs. Erin decides what walls to knock down to open up that dated floor plan and oversees the design, adding artisan touches like custom stained-glass windows or wall art made from the innards of an old piano.

    They give homeowners the digs of their dreams for less than $200,000, on average, including the house sale price and the renovation. Thats the beauty of living in a state where the cost of livings low. I mean, if you make $100,000 a year in Mississippi, you are living large, Erin says. We give people the very best historic restoration and preservation we can with the budget that they have. Scrappy, not crappy is the motto around here.

    The Napiers work on small budgets with a fast turnaround, because its TV, not reality. If the custom tile they ordered for the makeover house arrives broken, Ben and Erin dont have time to order more. They have a production schedule to keep, so they have to improvise. We go that day to City Home Center [a locally owned home improvement store in Laurel] and get something else. You have to be flexible, Erin says. We do a lot of problem-solving, Ben says. Thats where we shine.

    Erin and Ben arent impressed with their own celebrity. Theyre quick to give credit to the crew that helps them on the house makeovers for the success of the renovations, and their business partners and fellow Laurel residents for the towns revival.

    They are authentically adorable together. Ben is a 6-foot-6 bear of man who towers over pixieish 5-foot-5 Erin. They finish each others sentences. She calls him Big and gazes at him lovingly while he speaks. He hugs her a lot. They have a 2-year-old daughter, Helen, whos the center of their world. They plan their daily schedules around her naps, meals and bedtime, and they wont go out of town for more than two nights unless Helen can go along with them. Helens number one, and everything else has to fall in line behind her, Erin says.

    Theyre really into vintage. Ben drives a 1962 Chevy pickup. Erin drives a 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. They live in a 95-year-old house and work on old houses all day long. Older things are the closest things we have to time machines, Erin says. When you live in an old house or drive an old car, you always feel like youre living in a time when design mattered more. Now its all about expediency. How fast can we build, how quick, how cheap. And I dont care about fast or cheap. Everything should be savored and enjoyed, and I think thats what old housesand lifeis about.

    Related:HGTVs Boise Boys Share Their Top Picks For a Sleek and Functional Home

    Wherever Erin and [our daughter] Helen are. Ben

    The place Id rather be when Im on a plane. Erin

    Best reno idea

    Ben: Customize prefab. We bought a door off the shelf for our house but pulled off the factory trim and custom-made trim to match the house.

    Erin: Spend money on bigger baseboards. You need bigger baseboards than you think you do. Big baseboards are sexy.

    What they geek-out about

    Ben: Wood grain, like in the crib he made for Helen.

    Erin: Typography can be art.

    What every home must have

    Ben: Big windows open up any space.

    Erin: Books personalize a room.

    Their plan for life after TV stardom

    Erin: When the show is over, Im going to design books.

    Ben: Im going to work in my woodshop.

    Their home renovation heroes

    Ben: The guys on This Old House. I love watching their show, because theyre a bunch of awkward old men who are just like the guys in our crew. Theyre just good at what they do.

    Erin: Gil Schafer is my absolute favorite. Hes an architect who works a lot with Rita Konig, whos an interior designer.

    Related:Hometown Heroes: 50 Amazing Americans from Every State

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    Erin and Ben Napier Give Us a Peek Behind the Scenes of HGTV's Home Town Season 4 - Parade

    Mount Ayr investor receives private donation for restoration of the Sigler General Store and Bank of Mount Ayr building – Rantoul Press - January 17, 2020 by admin

    MOUNT AYR - Dan Thomas of Mount Ayr and owner of the Sigler General Store and Bank of Mount Ayr building on Chicago Street, received a private donation of $1,000 from Chief Warrant Officer Barry Elliott, U.S. Coast Guard, retired, and the heir of the Helen Rae Elliott Kraud Trust.

    Thomas has been restoring the 1890s building since the 1980s and made Mount Ayr his home since retiring from Crown Point a few years ago.

    Elliott, who lives in Connecticut, spent summers in Mount Ayr with his grandparents (Red and Lucy Elliott) during his childhood.

    I have great memories of Mount Ayr and want to help to continue to save this landmark for the town said Elliott.

    Thomas was presented the check at a small fundraising dinner held at the store last Saturday night (Jan. 11).

    I am so humbled by this very generous donation," said Thomas. "It really helps defray the continually increased costs to maintain and heat this old building.

    Mount Ayr resident Howard Marshall, who presented the check and organized the fundraiser, said It is a miracle that Mr. Thomas happened through town one day in the 80s, saw this old building in terrible disrepair, and decided to invest and restore it. Although not a 'not for profit', people dont usually buy property in Mount Ayr as an investment. It is the single, most significant building we have. We, as a community need to support this gem in any way we can.

    Thomas has been assisted by Billy Pappas, Assistant Curator, whom has been a leading force in the buildings restoration and upkeep.

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    Mount Ayr investor receives private donation for restoration of the Sigler General Store and Bank of Mount Ayr building - Rantoul Press

    Wilkinson receives 2020 Aldax award – The Record-Courier - January 17, 2020 by admin

    The Carson Water Subconservancy District selected Richard Wilkinson to receive the 2020 Andy Aldax Carson River Watershed Award for Exemplary Service in Conservation and Protection of the Carson River Watershed. The award, created in 2007, recognizes individuals or organizations that actively demonstrate a 10-plus year commitment and accomplish plans and projects to improve and sustain the Carson River Watershed.

    Wilkinson is an environmental resource sciences specialist. Through his positions at the Carson Valley Conservation District, Dayton Valley Conservation District and Carson City, he has worked on numerous projects in the Carson River Watershed. Wilkinson takes it upon himself to provide exceptional support and service to landowners, the general public, and everyone he meets. He discerns quickly their individual needs and moves efficiently to provide key information to projects and natural resource issues.

    Wilkinson was raised in the Carson River Basin and remains within the community today. After receiving his degree in Environmental Resource Sciences from UNR, he went to work doing what he loves. While his adventures took him to the east side of the state, it wasnt long before he was back home in the Carson River Basin. During his time with the Dayton Valley Conservation District, he was responsible for several streambank restoration projects. Now, he finds himself at the Carson Valley Conservation District working tirelessly to restore streambanks in the Carson Valley area. Wilkinson believes in creating a river that can change freely without doing irreparable damage to those who live along the river. His philosophy doesnt end there; Wilkinson is known for getting projects competed in a timely manner with minimal negative effects. His river restoration projects are so successful that many would never know that the area was once in need of severe ecological restoration.

    Fondly known as the go-to for most things within the Carson Valley Conservation District, Wilkinson receives countless calls daily from government entities and private landowners calling upon his experience and knowledge for conservation information and advice. He is devoted to protecting the agricultural infrastructure and natural resources of the unique watershed that he calls home.

    The award will be presented at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 in the Bonanza Room of the Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St. (Hwy. 50), Carson City. All are welcome. For more information, contact Catrina Schambra at 775-887-7450.

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    Wilkinson receives 2020 Aldax award - The Record-Courier

    EPA providing more than $230000 to Vermont for wetlands projects – Vermont Biz - January 17, 2020 by admin

    Vermont Business MagazineThe USEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced more than $230,000 in grants to the state of Vermont for state-led programs and projects that will protect, manage and restore wetlands across the state. The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) received $190,944 in grants and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department received $45,000. EPA expects to award a second round of these grants in the same amounts later this year.

    The funds were provided through EPAs Wetland Program Development Grant program, which enables state, local and tribal governments to conduct a range of projects that promote research and pollution reduction efforts related to wetlands. In 2019, EPA awarded $1,323,000 in Wetland Program Development Grant funds across the six New England states.

    Wetlands provide a range of important benefits to ecosystems and local communities across New England, including critical habitat for various species of wildlife and natural buffers against flooding,said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel.These grants exemplify EPAs commitment to helping our state and local partners further their wetlands research and protection programs that will have lasting impacts for decades to come.

    Protecting wetlands provides two essential services for our communities, enhancing community resilience by absorbing and slowing floodwaters and improving the water quality of our lakes and rivers by retaining sediment and nutrients. We are grateful for the EPAs partnership and funding to assist our efforts in the Otter Creek Basin which is an important ecological resource and home to thousands of Vermonters,said Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Emily Boedecker.

    Everett Marshall with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department saidthat the EPA funding will allow for the identification of wetlands with significant ecological features that deserve a higher level of protection through the Vermont Wetland Rules.

    Information on the funded projects:

    Vermont DECreceived funding for projects on mapping the wetlands of the Otter Creek Basin and work to restore wetlands and strengthen the states understanding of wetland protections and conditions.The mapping project will result in improved wetland mapping for the State of Vermont in Addison and Rutland Counties. The Otter Creek sub-basin suffers from phosphorus pollution stemming primarily from agriculture and understanding the spatial extent of wetlands in the basin is crucial to managing water quality. The main tasks are to produce high resolution mapping of the Otter Creek sub-basin, review the accuracy of the mapping, and create outreach materials for local municipalities. The updated maps will be used to improve conservation and restoration models in the Lake Champlain basin.

    The wetlands restoration project will improve the quality and quantity of Vermont wetlands by increasing wetland restoration efforts and their success on previous disturbed sites. The work will focus on seeking wetland restoration sites with the highest potential for phosphorus removal.

    Efforts to strengthen the states understanding of wetland protections and wetland conditions will advance the science of wetland monitoring and assess the condition of Vermont's wetlands at a local and national scale. Vermont DEC will complete intensive ecological and water quality monitoring assessments of sites and specific basins and conduct a national aquatic wetland resource survey. The work involves statewide monitoring of wetland water quality, flora, soils, functions, and spatial extent on a basin by basin basis; and evaluating wetland restoration activities to document before and after functions and characteristics of sites to inform future efforts.

    The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Departmentreceived funding to inventory, monitor and map rare, threatened and endangered wetland plant and natural communities in Vermont. This project will improve the protection of rare plants and significant natural communities through the Vermont wetland rules by integrating a rare plant and natural community inventory, conducting monitoring and sharing data with the Vermont wetlands program.

    For more information on the Wetland Program Development Grants, visit:

    Source:MONTPELIER, Vt. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1.17.2020

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    EPA providing more than $230000 to Vermont for wetlands projects - Vermont Biz

    [UPDATE 12: 38 pm: PG&E Says About 25,000 Without Power Now] Power Likely to Be Restored by Mid to Late Morning, PG&E Told OES – Redheaded Blackbelt - January 17, 2020 by admin

    [Image from CanStockPhoto]

    However, at 7:25 a.m., Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services posted, This morning PG&E confirmed that Humboldt County lost power due to transmission lines being impacted by winter weather. PG&E has stated that restoration work has already begun and that most of Humboldt County should regain power by mid-late morning.

    We will update as more information comes in.UPDATE 8:44 a.m.: According to PowerOutage.US, about 65,350 customers out of 81,516 in Humboldt County are without power. Nearby Trinity County is also affected with about 764 PG&E customers without power.

    UPDATE 9:40 a.m.: According to Open Door Community Health Centers,

    Open Door Community Health Center locations in Ferndale, Fortuna, Arcata, are operating under generator power and services are unaffected by the current power outage.

    All but one of our Eureka health centers are operational and seeing patients as usual. Patients of Redwood Community Health Center are being seen at other nearby sites; patients should call (707) 443-4593 to confirm where they will be seen.

    UPDATE 9:45 a.m.: According to Supervisor Estelle Fennell,

    Three of the 4 transmissions lines supplying power to the entire county are down due to heavy snow load however PG&E is actively working to restore power and anticipates power restoration to the coast and metropolitan areas within a couple of hours.FYI, Please Note: areas of Southern Humboldt that were affected by yesterdays storm damage (downed trees etc.) will still have to wait until those issues have been repaired.

    UPDATE 10:24 a.m.: PG&E is now backing away on their mid to late morning prediction on restoring power to most of Humboldt County according to a tweet by Senator Mike McGuire. He tweeted, [PG&E] is now reporting that full restoration of the Humboldt power outage will take place this afternoon.

    Just a couple minutes before that, Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services tweeted, Power is returning to many Humboldt County residents. PG&E has advised us that there could be additional power impacts due to continuing winter conditions. During the winter, residents should be prepared for sudden power loss and other impacts caused by wind and snow.

    UPDATE 10:34 a.m.: According to PowerOutage.US, now just under 50,000 customers are without power. This means about 15,000 customers have had power restored in the last two hours.

    UPDATE 12:16 p.m.: According to a PG&E spokesperson, Deanna Contreras,

    The safety of our customers, crews and communities is our most important responsibility. PG&E crews are working safely and as quickly as possible to assess the transmission outage impacting approximately 67,000 customers in Humboldt County today, Friday, Jan. 17.

    As of 11:00 a.m., about 31,000 customers had been restored, leaving about 36,000 out of power.

    PG&E has multiple transmission, distribution and substation crews working on the restoration. PG&E will be flying helicopters this morning to do aerial inspections of transmission lines. At this time, we do not have an estimated time of restoration.

    The Humboldt area has experienced severe weather conditions this week, including heavy snowfall. Snow is 6- to 7-feet deep in some locations, plus there is fog this morning.

    Some crews are utilizing Sno-Cat to reach equipment in that needs to be repaired in difficult to access conditions. As a result of these outages, CAISO has issued a Transmission Emergency notice for Northern California from 6 a.m. until midnight.

    This is the lowest emergency level. It is declared for any event threatening or limiting transmission grid capability, including line or transformer overloads or loss. (The California Independent System Operator runs the grid in California.)

    We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work to restore power.

    UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: PG&EsDeanna Contreras just issued another update:

    As of 12:30, there are about 25,000 customers out of power. PG&E has multiple transmission, distribution and substation crews working on the restoration. PG&E has dispatched crews from Marin, Napa and Sonoma Counties to help with the restoration. PG&E has begun flying helicopters this morning to do aerial inspections of transmission lines.

    At this time, we do not have an estimated time of restoration.

    The Humboldt area has experienced severe weather conditions this week, including heavy snowfall. PG&E meteorologists report a wind gust of 60 mph in one location with gusts of 30-40 mph in many areas. The storm produced several feet of new snow in some areas, and PG&E crews have found the snowpack to be 6- to 7-feet deep in some locations.

    The snow level was down to 1,000 feet at times. Most locations above 2,000 feet, and in some places even lower in elevation, saw accumulating snow.

    Some crews are utilizing Sno-Cat to reach equipment that needs to be repaired in difficult to access locations. As a result of these outages, CAISO has issued a Transmission Emergency notice for Northern California from 6 a.m. until midnight. This is the lowest emergency level. It is declared for any event threatening or limiting transmission grid capability, including line or transformer overloads or loss. (The California Independent System Operator runs the grid in California.)

    We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work to restore power.

    UPDATE 2:21 p.m.: PG&E spokesperson Deanna Contreras wrote, As of 2 p.m., there about fewer than 5,000 customers in Humboldt County out of power. There are currently about 1100 customers in Leggett and Laytonville (Mendocino County) who are without power due to outages that started yesterday.Restoration work will continue this afternoon and into the evening. The winter storm caused multiple incidents of damage include a broken pole, a damaged transmission tower and downed wires.

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    [UPDATE 12: 38 pm: PG&E Says About 25,000 Without Power Now] Power Likely to Be Restored by Mid to Late Morning, PG&E Told OES - Redheaded Blackbelt

    Small piece of history returned as bell from 1930s makes its way back to Boroughmuir High School – Edinburgh News - January 17, 2020 by admin

    The bell alongside S6 Pupils Gregor Holmyard, Isabella Della Sala, Head Teacher David Dempster, CALA Project Manager Craig Donaldson, S6 Pupils Imogen Moran and Greg Manson

    Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh has been presented with their original school bell from the 1930s which was discovered during the property restoration of the school's previous home in Viewforth.

    The construction team at CALA Homes (East) facilitating the restoration rescued the artefact and has now gifted it to the new school.

    A Grade B listed building, the former Boroughmuir High School was occupied from 1913 and was one of the first in Edinburgh to use steel frame architecture.

    The recovered bell was produced in 1938, as is inscribed around the body, by specialist bell casters and hangers in Glasgow and Edinburgh, John Bryden & Sons.

    Mr Dempster said: Were delighted that CALA has recognised and restored this significant part of our schools long history. The bell will remain with us as a reminder to all of our staff and pupils of the past.

    Craig Donaldson, CALAs Project Manager at Boroughmuir, helped ensure the safe delivery of the historic bell to the new school.

    He said: As with every restoration project that we undertake, at Boroughmuir we are working to breathe new life in what is an important building for the city.

    Externally the building will remain largely untouched. We are sensitively restoring all 430 windows, as well as repointing and painting where required to bring it back to its best.

    Inside, were carefully renovating the former school into beautiful modern apartments, with nods back to history throughout.

    We were delighted to get to a point where we could safely retrieve the bell. Its a privilege to be able to give something back to the school that spent so many years on this site and it will hopefully give the staff and students a small reminder of their heritage every day.

    CALA's work began at Boroughmuir in March 2019 and the final development will comprise 87 one, two, three and four-bedroom contemporary apartments.

    Last year Cala Homes (East) hailed a report that its work to redevelop a former school in Edinburgh will deliver an economic boost of more than 45 million to the local area.

    Read more:
    Small piece of history returned as bell from 1930s makes its way back to Boroughmuir High School - Edinburgh News

    Work to save A-listed Aberdeen building could start in summer – Aberdeen Evening Express - January 17, 2020 by admin

    Work to restore an A-listed Aberdeen landmark to its former glory could begin in the summer.

    Westburn House was built by Aberdeens famous architect Archibald Simpson and has lain derelict for more than 20 years.

    The Save Westburn House group set out its vision for the derelict structure at an exhibition at Robert Gordon University yesterday.

    It used the showcase to display its own plans for the project as well as the history of the former residence, which sits in the centre of Westburn Park.

    Heritage experts also explained the reasons for the scheme and the best way to successfully turn the decrepit building into a cafe, community space and museum dedicated to the life of Archibald Simpson.

    Save Westburn House hopes to raise 300,000 to help complete the restoration and believes the bid to reverse the houses fortunes could begin at the end of spring or start of summer.

    The project has been split into three different parts phase one is stopping the decay, phase two is the restoration of the building and phase three is opening it up for visitors.

    The group is trying to take on ownership from the city council and also secure charitable status.

    Gavin Esslemont, founder and chairman of Save Westburn House, said the first major project will be getting inside the building and checking what damage has been caused by the crumbling roof.

    He hopes to get things moving within a matter of months.

    Mr Esslemont said: We need to work with architects to weed out anything that is in a pile in the basement and make sure we retain anything of interest for Westburn House.

    Little bits of cornicing or door panels all that is really important to be able to recreate the building the way it was when it was designed by Archibald Simpson.

    Our objective is to put it back to the way it was in 1901.

    That is phase one of our plan and we hope to commence in May or June this year, subject to funding.

    Once we get that done, by October or November we will try to secure funding for phase two, which is the actual restoration.

    Westburn House was built as a private home for David Chalmers in 1839 and was originally part of the 22-acre Westburn Estate.

    The city council bought it in 1901 and the house was used as a refreshments room.

    Mr Esslemont said yesterdays exhibition at RGUs Garthdee campus was a good chance to boost the project.

    He said the group also wants people with experience of heritage and other building projects to join the cause.

    We need to get professionals on board and actually help us, like architects and structural engineers, Mr Esslemont added.

    If we can get anything for free, we can actually give back to them somehow. We need to keep communicating to say to people this is what we are doing.

    That is why forums like this exhibition are important.

    This event is essentially a formal launch and fundraiser to make people aware of what we are doing.

    Work to save A-listed Aberdeen building could start in summer - Aberdeen Evening Express

    Woman travels 12000 miles to donate towards restoration of historic Aberdeen building where parents were married – Press and Journal - January 17, 2020 by admin

    A woman has made a poignant 12,000-mile journey to donate money towards the repair of the historic building where her parents were married.

    Susan Innes travelled from New Zealand to Aberdeen to make the touching pledge.

    Her parents, Robert and Isobel Innes, tied the knot in Westburn House in July 1954.

    In the decades after emigrating, the pair kept up with what was going on in the north-east via Press and Journal cuttings sent overseas.

    Mr Innes died in 2012, but Mrs Innes maintained the interest.

    She was recently dismayed to see that the venue which holds such a special place in her heart has fallen into ruin.

    The former caterer is now unable to travel, but resolved to do her bit towards the campaign to return it to its former glory.

    Her daughter instead made the trip and handed over 200 towards the restoration project, which is being carried out by the Save Westburn House Action Group.

    Aberdeens historic Westburn House could be sold for just 1

    Ms Innes also handed over a handwritten letter from her mother.

    She said: When my mum saw the recent article she was really angry that something that means so much could be left to rack and ruin.

    She was talking about all of the good times they had as kids being in the area, and how much that place meant to them.

    The family moved to New Zealand in 1966 when Ms Innes was three months old, because of a lack of work in the city.

    Mr Innes had worked at Cornhill and moved into a job in mental health while Mrs Innes continued to work in catering.

    Ms Innes works in airport security and has always been proud to be Scottish, with Aberdeen being her second home.

    For 50 years, her fathers sister Auntie Isobel has been posting clippings of the P&J overseas.

    After reading about the decline of the historic A-listed site, and attempts to restore it, Ms Innes and her mother went through her wedding album reminiscing about the reception there.

    Ms Innes said: Mum wrote the card and the letter so that they knew that somebody 12,000 miles away cared about their project.

    The letter described the perfect and sunny day at Westburn Park when the pair were wed.

    The family hope that Westburn House will one day host more wedding receptions.

    Vice chairman of the action group, Adam Simpson, said: The donation is absolutely amazing, this is what its all about, capturing peoples memories of when they were young.

    This is why it should be saved.

    Ms Innes added: The story of what happened, and getting to tell mum about it it is going to be recited I dont know how many times.

    View post:
    Woman travels 12000 miles to donate towards restoration of historic Aberdeen building where parents were married - Press and Journal

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