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    Residents in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador communities to benefit from improved water and wastewater infrastructure – Stockhouse - January 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    NEW-WES-VALLEY, NL, Jan. 15, 2021 /CNW/ - The health and well-being of Canadians are the top priorities of the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador . But the COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than our personal health; it is having a profound effect on the economy.

    That is why governments have been taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continue to look ahead to see what more can be done.

    Strategic investments in safe and modern water and wastewater infrastructure will play a key role in ensuring Eastern Newfoundland residents have access to reliable services to support a healthy community.

    Today, Churence Rogers , Member of Parliament for BonavistaBurinTrinity, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable Derrick Bragg, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, announced more than $15.2 million in joint funding for 26 projects to safeguard public health and the environment in communities in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.

    In New-Wes-Valley, the installation of 1800 meters of a waterman extension from Little Northwest Pond to Newtown and Templeman streets will increase resident's access to potable water, and reduce maintenance costs at the town's current sole water source, Carter's Pond.

    The Government of Canada is investing more than $6 million , with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador providing over $7.4 million for these projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream (GIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The municipalities are contributing more than $3.3 million in total towards their respective projects.


    "Investing in high-quality water infrastructure is an essential part of building greener and healthier communities. We are proud to invest in better water and wastewater services for these 26 communities in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador , supporting future community growth and protecting the environment. Canada's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."

    Churence Rogers , Member of Parliament for BonavistaBurinTrinity, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

    "Managing municipal infrastructure is a priority for all communities because lift stations, sewer mains and the ability to manage stormwater is something all residents rely on. Like all infrastructure, they require maintenance. These investments help these communities make sure they can continue to provide these services without any disruptions and provide employment in each of the communities."

    The Honourable Derrick Bragg, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure for Newfoundland and Labrador

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    Residents in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador communities to benefit from improved water and wastewater infrastructure

    Joint federal, provincial, and municipal funding through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan will support 26 infrastructure projects in communities in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador .

    The Government of Canada is investing more than $6 million and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing over $7.4 million to these projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream (GIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The municipalities are contributing more than $3.3 million total toward their respective projects.

    Project Information:


    Project Name

    Project Details

    Federal Funding

    Provincial Funding

    Municipal Funding

    Arnold's Cove, Municipality of

    Water and Sewer Upgrading - Merasheen Crescent - Phase 2

    Work includes replacing 250m of watermain, installing new fire hydrants, replacing 250m of sewer main, and 250m of storm sewer, and improvements to roads, sidewalks and drains. Residents will benefit from increased access to potable water, while the Town's improves its capacity to manage wastewater and stormwater.





    Lift Station Upgrades - Bonavista

    Upgrades to the lift station. This will increase the Town's capacity to treat and manage wastewater and stormwater.




    Centreville- Wareham- Trinity

    Lift Station Upgrades - Silver Island Point

    Rehabilitation of one lift station located in Wareham (Silver Point). This project will increase the town's capacity to manage wastewater, better serving the surrounding community.





    Random Crescent Road and Water/Sewer Upgrades

    Rehabilitation to the water main, sewer main and road on Random Crescent Road, increasing access to potable water and the community's capacity to manage wastewater and stormwater, while also improving road infrastructure.





    Main Street Water and Sewer Phase II

    Upgrades to the water distribution and sanitary sewage systems. This will increase the reliability of the water system and fire protection measures.





    Dixon Femme Water and Sewer Upgrades

    Project work includes replacing 104m of sanitary sewer line, 212m of water main line, the replacement of eight sewer services and 11 water services, as well as repaving roads. This project will increase the town's capacity to manage wastewater, and provide residents with reliable potable water.





    Gambo WWTP Upgrades and Outfall Extensions

    Upgrades and extensions to the Middle Brook Wastewater Treatment Plant. This will extend the service life of the plant and increase the town's capacity to treat and manage wastewater.





    Pardy's Point Water and Sewer Upgrades

    Upgrading the current sanitary sewer and water services for Pardy's Point. This will eliminate water loss and provide better sewer and water services. Access to potable water will also be improved.




    George's Brook-Milton

    Water Infrastructure Upgrades

    Installation of a new pump control system in the George's Brook Pumphouse will make the system more energy efficient and reliable.





    Chlorination System Replacement

    Replacement of the existing chlorination system. This will improve the quality of drinking water in the town and will increase access to potable water.




    Happy Adventure

    Watermain Replacement and Septic Tank Installation

    Replacing the main waterline and installing a septic holding tank. This will provide residents with safe, clean drinking water and increase the town's capacity to treat and manage wastewater.




    Hare Bay

    Replace Water Services

    Replacement of outdated service pipes with new infrastructure, benefiting the community by increasing access to potable water.




    Heart's Content, Municipality of

    Sewage Pumping Station Upgrading

    Upgrading the lift station, including mechanical and electrical equipment. The project will provide better waste water services to town residents.


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    Residents in Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador communities to benefit from improved water and wastewater infrastructure - Stockhouse

    Tankless toilets save even more water than low-flow toilets – Calgary Herald - December 11, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Following the eco-efficient low-flow toilet comes the commode a la mode, the tankless toilet. A space-saving bathroom fixture that uses even less water than its two-button flush predecessor.

    Unlike traditional toilets that rely on gravity to get the job done, tankless models have a valve that brings water from the supply line in at a higher pressure. This also means the bowl refills quickly between flushes. Used in commercial settings for decades, the modern esthetics and water-saving properties of tankless loos are now becoming popular in single and multi-family applications.

    Homeowners flush with cash can also consider the aptly named performance toilet, a multi-functional privy that starts at the $1,000 mark. These high-tech toilets have heated seats, dryer and bidet functionality, complete with hands-free flushing. Some will even freshen the air.

    Another innovation is the Sanicompact, by toilet maker Saniflo, which not only saves space and water, it also doesnt require a hole in the floor. No flange to leak, no bolts to rust, no concrete or tile floor to break. It requires a connection to existing plumbing and an electrical outlet, preferably a ground fault circuit interrupter plug.

    An ideal solution for renovations, basement developments or anywhere a convenience is required, the tankless Sanicompact is a self-contained macerating toilet. Contents are liquefied and pumped to the nearest stack, sewer line or septic system, whether its above, below or horizontal to the toilets location, to a maximum distance of 25 feet.

    Theyre easy to install and can save the average household as much as 52,000 litres of water a year. The Sanicompact is available at major home improvement stores in Canada.

    See the article here:
    Tankless toilets save even more water than low-flow toilets - Calgary Herald

    Plumbing Insurance Quotes For Plumbers, Pipe Fitters, General Contractors To Protect Their Finances And Business – Yahoo Finance - December 11, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    Its been up, up, and away for the markets since the end of September. Both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 are trading within 3% of their recent record high levels, after counting for daily fluctuations. Its a clear sign of a bullish mood among investors.And that bullish mood is finding fertile soil among Wall Streets stock analysts, who are not hesitant to make buy-side calls. There are some indications that the analysts are hedging their bets, however, as among the recent Buy reviews published several also offer strong dividend yields.Return-minded investors can find a degree of safety in high-yielding equities. The advantage of such a fundamentally defensive strategy is obvious: stocks that are rising now will bring the immediate gains of share appreciation, while strong dividends will provide a steady income stream regardless of market conditions.Using the data available in theTipRanks database, weve pulled up three stocks with high yields from 7% to 9%. Even better, these stocks are seen as Strong Buys by Wall Streets analysts. Lets find out why.Energy Transfer LP (ET)First up is Energy Transfer, a major name in North Americas hydrocarbon midstream sector. The companys primary network of assets covers 38 states and links three major oil and gas production regions in the Midwest-Appalachian and Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana regions, along with North Dakota. Energy Transfer has smaller assets in the Colorado Rockies, Florida, and northern Alberta. These assets include pipelines, terminals, and storage tanks for natural gas and crude oil. The value of ETs services is clear from the companys $18 billion market cap and $54 billion in annual revenues.That value, along with the effects of the health and economic crises of 2020, are also clear from the companys recent third quarter earnings release. On the negative side, revenues were down 26% from the year-ago quarter, while EPS was down 18%. In absolute numbers, the top line came in at $9.96 million while the bottom line was reported at 30 cents per share. Both figures beat the forecasts by a wide margin.Beating the forecasts was a positive note. On another, the company reported $400 million in cost savings year-to-date, due to initiatives to control and streamline expenses. Total debt long-term debt remained stable at $54 million.In an announcement at the end of October, Energy Transfer declared its Q3 dividend, at 15.25 cents per common share. This was a 50% reduction from previous payments, and implemented for several reasons. Chief among those reasons is releasing cash for debt reduction. The dividend reduction also keeps the dividend yield in line with historical values (with the shares down this year, the yield was artificially inflated), and affordable at current income levels. The new dividend payment annualizes to 61 cents per common share, and even after the reduction gives a high yield of 8.8%.Covering the stock for Raymond James, analyst Justin Jenkins noted, We still see ET's top-tier integrated midstream footprint as a big positive, but risks are high and will remain so. Ultimately, we believe the core business and long-term free cash flow generation (which will improve dramatically in 2021) will help ET differentiate itself within the midstream space ET's large valuation discount to peers is unlikely to completely narrow in the near-term, we see the risk/reward as skewing positive in most scenarios.In line with these comments, Jenkins rates ET a Strong Buy, and his $9 price target suggests it has room for 26% growth in the year ahead. (To watch Jenkins track record, click here)Wall Street appears to be in broad agreement with Jenkins, as ET shares maintain a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus. There have been 8 recent reviews, including 7 Buys and a single Hold. The stocks $9.29 average price target is slightly more bullish than the Raymond James position, implying ~31% upside potential from the $7.09 trading price. (See ET stock analysis on TipRanks)Omega Healthcare (OHI)REITs are frequently known for high-yielding dividends, as tax regulations require these companies to return a minimum percentage of profits back to investors. Omega Healthcare, a real estate investment trust, is no different from its peers in that regard, but it does offer investors a twist. The companys portfolio consists of skilled nursing facilities and senior housing facilities, in an 83% to 17% split. The portfolio is valued at more than $10 billion. It totals 957 facilities in 40 states plus the UK.At the top line, Omega reported declines in Q3 revenues. The $119 million reported was down 53% sequentially and 16% year-over-year. That was the bad news. Adjusted funds from operations (FFO), a common metric used to judge REITs income levels, beat the forecast by 5%, coming in at 82 cents per share. In other positive notes this year, Omega has reported collected 99% of rents due in each quarter of 2020, and successfully issued, this past October, $700 million in Senior Notes at 3.375% and due in 2031. The company aims to use the funds raised to, first, repay existing debt, and second, to cover general operations.Omega currently pays out a 67-cent dividend per common share, and as held that payment steady for nearly three years. The company has a 6-year history of reliable dividend payments. The annualized payment is $2.68 per common share, making the yield 7.1%. This companys performance, including the reliable dividend, prompted JMP analyst Aaron Hecht to rate OHI an Outperform (i.e. Buy). His $43 price target indicates a 14% upside over the next 12 months. (To watch Hechts track record, click here)Backing his stance, Hecht writes, We believe COVID-19 vaccine deliveries will begin to arrive within the next two weeks and skilled nursing facility residents will be prioritized, based on vulnerability. We view this as a major positive for OHI as the largest owner of skilled nursing facilities in the United States. Although OHIs tenants have generally performed well during the pandemic, an increase in demand would be a derisking event We believe OHI deserves a slight premium to its three-year, pre-pandemic comps given demand tailwinds. We are buyers of the stock In the meantime, OHI has a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus, based on 8 reviews breaking down to 6 Buys and 2 Holds. Omegas share price has risen 28% since the first week of November, in the wake of the Q3 earnings. This has pushed the stocks trading price, currently $37.69, slightly above the $36.88 average price target. (See OHI stock analysis on TipRanks)Owl Rock Capital Corporation (ORCC)Last but not least is Owl Rock Capital, a specialty finance company based in New York. Owl Rock works in the middle-market finance sector, offering access to capital for mid-market companies to make acquisitions, fund operations, and conduct recapitalizations. The companys portfolio boasts $10.2 billion in total assets, of which 97% are senior secured assets. Owl Rock has current investments in 110 companies.Owl Rocks third quarter earnings came in slightly below expectations. EPS was 33 cents per share, down 3% sequentially and missing the estimates by 2 cents. Net asset value per share increased 1% quarter-over-quarter, from $14.52 at the end of June to $14.67 at the end of September. In a move to shore up liquidity, Owl Rock priced a public offering of $1 billion in 3.4% notes in the first week of December. The issue is due in 2026, and provides funds to paydown existing debt in the revolving credit facility and to fund general operations.Also in the first week of this month, Owl Creek confirmed that it is discussions to acquire Dyal Capital. The move would combine Owl Creeks direct lending platform with Dyals access to capital solutions.Owl Creek has a regular share dividend payment of 31 cents quarterly, which has been supplemented since May 2019 by a series of 6 special 8-cent dividend payments. Calculating the yield by the regular dividend, we find it at 9.6%, based on an annualized rate of $1.24 per common share. For comparison, the average dividend among S&P-listed companies stands at 2%.The review here was written by Devin Ryan, 5-star analyst with JMP Securities. Focusing on the Dyal Capital announcement, Ryan noted, While it is important to distinguish that this merger is between the management companies, not the BDC directly, and ultimately we do not expect much change, we do think a transaction could represent a positive outcome for ORCC shareholders over time.""We continue to view the opportunity in ORCC shares as attractive due to: 1) strong credit performance and expectations; 2) a well-positioned balance sheet; 3) the earnings scale-up as leverage moves to the target 1.0x by 2H21; and 4) an increase in the yield profile of the portfolio through a higher mix of unitranche loans," the analyst concluded. To this end, Ryan rates Owl Creeks shares an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $14.50 price target suggests a 13% upside in the coming year. (To watch Ryans track record, click here)Owl Creeks Strong Buy consensus rating is based on 6 reviews. These show a 5 to 1 split between Buys and Holds. ORCC is trading at $12.78, and its $13.90 average price target implies ~9% upside. (See ORCC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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    Plumbing Insurance Quotes For Plumbers, Pipe Fitters, General Contractors To Protect Their Finances And Business - Yahoo Finance

    Trading Post for week of Oct. 28 – Nov. 3, 2020 – The Cherokee One Feather – Cherokee One Feather - October 28, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    8 Rm Lodge for sale near Bryson City. Income Producing and Big Views. Price $745,000. Jack A. Calloway, Broker 828-421-3939.




    FILE NO.: _CVJ-19-058

    In the Matter of Taylor:

    TO: Marclena Leona Bird and Jaylen Taylor

    TAKE NOTICE that a pleading seeking relief against you has been filed in the above-entitled action. The nature of the relief being sought is termination of parental rights. You are required to make defense to this pleading not later than November 23, 2020 said date being 40 days from the first date of this publication, and upon your failure to do so, the party seeking service against you will apply to the Court for the relief sought.

    This is the 6th day of October 2020.

    Joni Larch-Locust and Cameron Locust

    Shira Hedgepeth

    PO Box 514

    Cullowhee, NC 28723

    N.C.G.S._1A-1, Rule 4(j1). 10/28

    Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

    Cherokee, North Carolina

    Estate File No. 20-078

    In the Matter of the Estate ofLorraine Conseen

    All persons, firms and corporations having claims against this estate are notified to exhibit them to the fiduciary(s) listed on or before the date listed or be barred from their recovery.

    Debtors of the decedent are asked to make immediate payment to the appointed fiduciary(s) listed below.

    Date to submit claims: 90 DAYS FROM DATE OF FIRST PUBLICATION

    Carrie Lynn Wade

    P.O. Box 1007

    Cherokee, NC 28719


    Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

    In the Tribal Court

    In the Matter of C.S., A Minor Child, File No. CVJ 20-036

    TO: Christopher Smith Sr.

    Take notice that a pleading seeking relief against you has been filed in the above-entitled juvenile action. The nature of the relief being sought is the adjudication and disposition of a petition alleging the minor child, C.S., born on May 19, 2010, is a neglected and drug endangered child, filed in the Cherokee Tribal Court on May 27 2020. You may know the mother of the minor child by the name of Tsasha McMillan.

    You must answer or otherwise respond to the pleading within forty (40) days of the date of first publication of this Notice. If you fail to answer or otherwise respond within the time prescribed, the matter will proceed to adjudication and disposition. If you are not already represented by appointed counsel, you are entitled to appointed counsel in this matter, and to that end, provisional counsel will be appointed for you in this matter, and the appointment of provisional counsel shall be reviewed by the court at the first hearing after service of process in this matter.

    You are advised to IMMEDIATELY contact the Clerk of Tribal Court for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at (828) 359-6213, to obtain further information about this case, including a copy of the pleadings filed herein and the date(s) and time(s) of scheduled hearings.

    First published this the 28th day of October 2020.

    Sybil G. Mann

    Family Safety Program Attorney

    P.O. Box 455

    Cherokee, N.C. 28719


    N.C. Bar No. 16729

    Project Title:

    Comprehensive Watershed Management Planning for all Sub-Watershed River Basins

    The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Natural Resources Department is requesting separate sealed proposals for the services of a qualified engineering firm with experience in providing comprehensive watershed management plans for the purpose of updating our current watershed plans for all sub-watershed basins. The purpose of the comprehensive watershed management planning is prioritizing watershed-based projects across the landscape throughout all sub-watershed basins. The primary objective is to develop a watershed-level planning document by which The Tribal Office of Environment and Natural Resources (OENR) and other partners can initiate future natural resource management and source water protection strategies and identify potential stream restoration activities.

    The comprehensive watershed management plan will be used to guide monitoring and conservation strategies, stream restoration efforts, BMP implementation and other nonpoint source pollutant related activities occurring in all sub-watersheds throughout the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) territory. Our objectives are to evaluate land cover and soil erodibility factors across the basin to rank sub-watershed for risks to water quality at multiple spatiotemporal scales and link land cover change over time to water quality and aquatic biota. Specifically, land cover percentages (impervious cover, agriculture activities, etc.) and landscapes features (soil types, % slope, etc.) at multiple spatial scales to categorize attributes and rank sub-watersheds from least to most susceptible to sedimentation. Additionally, landscape-level stressors within each sub-watershed will be ranked for targeting restoration activities.

    This research will specifically address research to quantify effects of impervious cover, development and agricultural activities on water quality and aquatic life to identify and evaluate existing restoration activities and augment macroinvertebrate and fish recovery efforts due to non-point source pollution. Furthermore, research will be addressed by determining sediment sources and transport and elucidating hydrological and biological dynamics to promote community resilience and enhance watershed restoration and management. Site visits and field assessment opportunities will be provided to any qualified contractor upon request.

    Contact Dylan Rose at (828) 736-0578 or by email at dylarose@nc-cherokee for further questions. Proposal packages should be addressed to Mr. Rose at the address above and must be received by 11:00 AM, November 9th, 2020 at which time bids will be opened in accordance with TERO procedures. Any bid received after the time and date specified shall not be considered. Please be advised that Indian Preference (TERO) regulations apply for award and execution of this contract. 10/28

    Kituwah, LLC is searching for qualified construction professionals to participate in a preferred network of on-call construction service providers. This network will be used by Kituwah Builders for construction sub-contracts, finish work, etc for residential or commercial projects using Cardinal Home products. While it is not a requirement, professionals with previous or current construction experience with EBCI programs are highly desired. At this time, work will be on-call, as-needed and will not be full time employment.

    A list of potential services are below*:

    General Contractors (NC License required) -Roofers

    Licensed Electrical Contractors (NC License required) Siding (Wood, Vinyl, Cement, etc)

    Licensed HVAC Contractors (NC License required) Gutter Installer

    Licensed Plumbing Contractors (NC License required) Landscapers

    Carpenters Painters

    Electricians Concrete (Flat work)

    Plumbers Tile Installers

    Site Work/Excavation Hardwood Installers

    Septic Installers Carpet Installers

    Well Drillers Paving

    Block/Rock Masons Hydroseeding

    Poured Concrete Walls Other:


    Anyone interested should submit a company profile at the Kituwah, LLC Office between the hours of 9:00am 4:00pm Monday -Thursday.

    *This is not intended to represent an all-inclusive list of services associated with the construction of Cardinal Home Products. 11/4

    Advertisement for Proposal


    BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (the Tribe or EBCI) Project Management Office, is seeking the services of a qualified Construction Manager at Risk to provide pre-construction and construction services for the relocation/ addition for the Tribal Foods Distribution Center. The project will include the renovation of an existing 12,000 sf pre-engineered metal building to suit the expanding needs of the Tribal Foods Distribution Center. The proposed scope will include demolition of approximately 4,000 sf of the existing building, and constructing a 3-story, steel framed 12,000 sf addition. The new addition shall include offices, demonstration kitchen, drive-in cooler/ freezers, new entrances, and lobbies. Existing parking lots surrounding the building will need to be improved for required parking and loading dock access. A new drive-thru lane and appropriate canopies for curbside delivery shall be included. A detailed breakdown of the facilities can be reviewed in the Request for Proposal package.

    The project site is located at 2318 Old Mission Road Whittier, NC 28789

    Proposals will be received by: 2:00 pm local time 12th November 2020 at which time and place proposals will be opened in accordance with TERO procedures. Any proposals received after this time will not be considered. Please be advised that Indian preference (TERO) regulations apply to the proposals and award of this project. It is the responsibility of the construction manager team to insure delivery and receipt by the Project Management Office. Proposals sent by mail should be directed to the attention of:

    Program Manager: Chris Greene


    Phone: (828) 359-6703

    Courier Delivery: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

    Attn: Monica Lambert, Project Management Program, 810 Acquoni Road, Suite 118-A, Cherokee, NC 28719



    Project Representative: Johnson Architecture, Inc.

    Contact: Joey Staats


    Complete Request for Proposal and all attachments for this project can be obtained digitally from the Project Representative: Johnson Architecture, Inc. (contact information above). or at the following Plan Rooms:

    Knoxville Blueprint Supply Co., Inc. T: (865) 525 0463

    F: (865) 525 2383

    622 Leroy Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37921

    Builders Exchange of Tennessee T: (865) 525 0443

    F: (865) 525 6606

    300 Clark Street; Knoxville, Tennessee 37921-6328

    Bidding Documents may be obtained from the Designer in accordance with the Instructions to Bidders upon request and without deposit. 10/28





    Sealed Bids for the construction of the Lower Soco Creek Interceptor will be received, by Cherokee Water Programs, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, at the office of the 1840 Paint Town Road, Cherokee, NC 28719, until 2:00 PM local time on November 5, 2020, at which time the Bids received will be opened and read.

    The Project consists of the installation of approximately 2,800 linear feet (LF) of thirty-six inch (36-inch) gravity sanitary sewer; concrete manhole installations with watertight frames and covers; and other appurtenances as required; abandonment with flowable fill of approximately 500 LF of existing twelve inch (12-inch) sanitary sewer; abandonment of existing sanitary sewer manholes; at least one creek crossing; and one (1) hand-dug tunnel or bore and jack.

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    Trading Post for week of Oct. 28 - Nov. 3, 2020 - The Cherokee One Feather - Cherokee One Feather

    Mission Springs Water District candidates sound off on their election platforms – Desert Sun - October 23, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Mission Springs Water District has three open seats this year and six candidates.(Photo: Desert Sun file photo)

    Three seats on the Mission Springs Water District's five-member board of directors are up for election next month. Two will appear on the ballot andone will be automatically reseated.

    Formed in 1953 to provide water to a territory covering one square mile, MSWD now serves 135 square miles around Desert Hot Springs. In June, the district approved an ordinance allowing the first election by divisions, as it and other public bodies move away from at-large elections.

    Candidates fielded questions from The Desert Sun about their priorities for the upcoming term. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

    Division 2 incumbent Randy Duncan, an insurance agent and veteran who has lived in Desert Hot Springs for more than three decades, is being challenged byLarry Przybylski, a retired technical college instructor,and Patricia Schniebs, a full-time caregiver who previously owned an art gallery and fashion boutique in Laguna Beach.

    Duncan first served on the board between 2005 and 2009 and then again since 2014. He is also an alternate at the Coachella Valley Association of Governments and serves on the board of thenonprofit Urban Water Institute.

    According to the county's voter guide, Przybylski has lived full-time in Desert Hot Springs for the past six years and touts his knowledge of business operations as a main reason to vote for him. "I would be honored to represent the citizens of Desert Hot Springs, as a member of the Mission Springs Water District Board of Directors, Division 2," he said in the guide, adding that it's "crucial" to maintain high water quality.

    Schniebssaid her main campaign promiseis to protect against price hikes and payroll increases to the board of directors.

    The Desert Sun: Where do you stand on the litigation with the Desert Water Agency over groundwater management?

    Randy Duncan(Photo: Desert Sun file photo)

    Duncan:I believe each agencyshould be in complete control of our respective waterand water management.I have spent over two years negotiation with (DWA board President) Joe Stuart trying to settle our dispute over water management.I would much rather talk things out with them and come to a mutual agreement and avoid any expensive legal battles.We were close to reaching an agreement, but a boundary dispute put a stop to negotiations....

    Schniebs:I stand with the Water Rights Study Group. ... I strongly recommend that all voters take the time to read this publication. ...

    (Editor's note: The group published a report in April 2019 after a six-week study into the issue. It recommended restoring MSWD's ability to continue managing groundwater within its service area via legislative action, taking control away from DWA's board of directors and holding a public outreach program to educate the public on the dispute. The group'sfindings are available here:

    TDS: How should conservation fit into the district's mission?

    Duncan:Conservation is always at the top of our list, whether we are in a drought or not.Our board and staff have developed several programs, along with state funding, to reward our customers for replacing grass with water-saving plants/landscaping, replacing older toilets and shower heads with water-saving ones and implemented tiered water rates, which encourages people to use less water.Our conservation efforts have made MSWD customers the lowest per-capita consumption users in the valley.

    Schniebs:Conservation should definitely be a priority, as clean, potable water is our most essential need and human right.I believe this right extends to all life on Earth and as guardians of this planet we must assume responsibly. Children should be educated from an early age about theimportance of conservation, and I would encourage field trips and/or assemblies to encourage their interest.

    I would also like to investigate other avenues we have in Desert Hot Springs to acquire water to refill our water catch locations that replenish our aquifers. The water that is currently being used to refill our water levels by the DWA is considered to be of an inferior quality.

    TDS: In recent months, there have been reports of large hikes to water bills and register malfunctions. What needs to be done to ensure these and similar issues are fixed and preempted in the future?

    Duncan:Since we have replaced malfunctioning meters with more sensitive and accurate meters, a lot has been discovered. ...

    All of those (huge spikes) have proven to be a leak on the customer's property, and once the leak was fixed, the bill returned to normal.We are sending service representativesto homes and reviewing water meters and consumption with the customers. Several things are discovered: If the customer has a constant flow, then they typically have a leak. ... Quite often, the customers don't have a leak but rather have an irrigation system that runs for several hours instead of 10 or 15 minutes like the homeowner thought.

    Our new meters aren't malfunctioning but rather are more sensitive and accurate than past units, which explains smaller spikes. Another reason for smaller jumps is that some customers have had their bill estimated for up to a year-and-a-half. ... When the new meters are installed, they pick up our customers new water usage habits, which are often not very conservative.If, for some reason, our service representatives can't find a leak or satisfy our customers' concerns, we are hiring a leak detection company to meet with the homeowners. ... We are working on a smart phone technology that will allow customers to control and review their water usage in real time.

    Schniebs:Some forensics accounting is in order. Many consumers are doubting the word of the directors that are currently holding positions with MSWD. Ifvoted into office, I would plan or assist with any and all attempts to explain clearly and intelligibly what steps have been taken to get to where we are today. Consumers specifically want to know why theyre paying what theyre paying. The public deserves clear and concise answers.

    TDS: What are your priorities, if elected?

    Duncan:My main priorities deal with waste water as well as potable watergetting our regional treatment plant built and continuereplacing septic tanks with a complete sewer system.Also, we have won nine medals from the Berkeley Springs international water tasting event held annually in West Virginia, and I would like to continue protecting our water tables so we can continue to provide safe, clean, great-tasting water to our customers.

    Schniebs:Communication efforts need to be addressed. There needs to be clear, open and honest conversation between MSWD and the public. Our ratepayers deserve it.

    ... I would encourage (conservation) education at an early age for all children in Desert Hot Springs as well as the entire Coachella Valley about the importance of lifes most precious resource through interactive field trips and assemblies. I want to see stable water rates and happy customers.

    Przybylski:(Larry Przybylski did not respond to requests for comment.)

    Incumbent Russ Martin is challenged for the Division 3 seat by Terressa Powell, whois running on a platform of addressing public service complaints and water rate increases. Powell is a doula by training and activelyvolunteers with nonprofits and other causes, including organizing a holiday toy drive.

    Martin has served three terms as MSWD board president and four terms as vice president. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Agua Caliente Water Authority, among various other positions both past and present with county and city governmental boards, business groups and nonprofit organizations. He worked for three decades with the Santa Monica Police Department before retiring to Desert Hot Springs.

    "I have dedicated my life to serving my community," Martin said.

    TDS: Where do you stand on the litigation with DWA?

    Russ Martin(Photo: Russ Martin)

    Martin:Approximately five years ago, under the provisions of new legislation, DWA applied to be designated as anexclusive groundwater sustainability agency with the state over the west end of the Coachella Valley. Unbeknownst to MSWD, their application not only included their boundary but ours, giving them groundwater management over our jurisdiction. ...

    If not challenged, under certain circumstances, this would give them the authority to limit our pumping, restrict us from sinking a well and impose a building/development moratorium within our jurisdiction due to an overdraft that was hypothetically caused by their customers. This is unacceptable. I have been on the negotiating team and participated in court-mandated mediation and separate informal meetings with representatives of their board of directors. Unfortunately, these meetings were unsuccessful.

    At this stage, I see no alternative but to pursue this matter in court.I am confident that we will prevail.

    Powell:(Powell did not provide an answer.)

    TDS:How should conservation fit into the districts mission?

    Martin:Conservation has always been an MSWD priority.In the last 10 years, we have installed sewers for 2,000 homes, removing pollution-prone septic systems.An additional 2,400 homes have been approved for sewers, pending funding.

    We work with schools stressing the importance of water conservation at home, providing projects that families can work on together. We team up with the city and developers promoting desert landscaping and have a turf rebate program. Soon, we will have a toilet rebate program that is designed to replace inefficient toilet bowls. We can only accomplish effective conservation by working with the community. For the most part, our efforts have been very effective in that the per-capita water consumption in our jurisdiction is lower than most of our neighbors.

    Terressa Powell(Photo: Terressa Powell)

    Powell:Water conservation education is important for many reasons here in Desert Hot Springs. First, it helps us all save money. It's most important because using less water at each of our homes and businesses allows water managers at DWA and MSWD to import less low-quality Colorado River water. ... The amount of salts added to our watershed must be minimized by importing less water to our recharge basin and ultimately to our Mission Creek Aquifer.

    TDS: How would you address community concerns over high water bills and register malfunctions?

    Martin:Due to the financial crisis caused by the pandemic, I support a rate rollback to that of January 2019. We recently experienced the perfect storm." In 2015, through a collaboration with a citizens advisory committee, we came up with a five-year rate adjustment to address increased district costs. Pursuant to law, we initiated a 218 process which requires an approval by ratepayers for a water rate increase. The measure passed overwhelmingly.

    Approximately, two years ago we started noticing the meters were malfunctioning. During meter replacement, water usage was estimatedto an average consumer use from the preceding year, minus 3%. ...When the new meters were installed, water bills reflected actual use rather than estimated, resulting in a jump from estimated to actual.

    Then the pandemic hit. Many people were forced to remain at home with kids not in school and weve had 140 days of record-breaking, triple-digit heat, all of which resulted in even more water consumption. The new meters are accurate. Those customers who have experienced significantly high water bills, have leaks verified by independent leak contractors. In the future I will oppose long range multi-year rate adjustments.

    Powell:Far too many customer have experienced wildly high spikes in their water bills only to be told they have a water leak. Many customers have found no leaks, even after calling in a professional leak detection company. Where leaks have been found, the leak is to small to be responsible for the high water bill spike.

    ... The "guessing"/"estimating" needs to end. The customers deserve true and accurate billing. ... Customers are receiving a water bill that is hundreds of dollars higher than their most recent bill. MSWD needs to stop guessing at the expense of residents and fix this problem. It's MSWD's problem.

    TDS:What would be your priorities, if elected?

    Martin:My first priority is the completion of the new MSWD Water Treatment Facility in the early stages of construction. This project is necessary to accommodate future development in the Desert Hot Springs area. Next, obtaining funding for sewer installation to the 2,400 homes already approved for sewers. And last, successful outcome in our litigation with DWA. It is important for all of us to work together in cooperation to effectively manage our most important resource: water.

    Powell:Any customer experiencing a water bill spike that is hundreds of dollars higher than their prior bill should have their bill frozen at the prior most recent month's rate while an investigation into the true cause is made. MSWD should provide leak detection services, at its own expense, to determine if a leak actually exists and if the size of the leak matches the amount of consumption being claimed. ... If a leak is detected that is responsible for a very high bill, MSWD should offer customers the option to have the leak repaired and the amount of the repairs spread out of two years of future water bills.

    An independent company one not selected by MSWD should be hired to determine and report on the cause of the new unusually high water customer billings. ... Salaries of top management are excessive, especially for a very small water district like MSWD. ... Legal bills have also been wildly excessive. An organization with very high legal bills has a management problem, not a legal one. ...

    If there is not a change on the Board of Directors, the problems at MSWD will not be fixed and instead will continue to be blamed on the water customers.I could not sit by and let that happen without being challenged.I'm running for the District 3 Board seat to ensure the water customers get representation for a change, one in their favor.

    Ivan Sewell is running unopposed and will retain his seat without appearing on the ballot.He was born and raised in Desert Hot Springs and owns TOP Shop, a printing and graphic design business, with his wife. He has served on the board since 2017 and is also a commissioner with the Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

    Ivan Sewell(Photo: Ivan Sewell)

    TDS: Where do you stand on the litigation with DWA?

    Sewell:... I was in favor of trying to come to an agreement through mediation. We have attempted to find a solution that would work for both parties twice now and have not been able to come to an agreement. The management of our groundwater is something we have been overseeing since the beginnings of MSWD.

    I believe control of our own groundwater is something our community deserves and should demand. Prior to DWA electing themselves the groundwater sustainability agency over MSWD territory, multiple meeting attempts were made by both MSWD and the city of Desert Hot Springs. DWA declined and elected itself the GSA. That action is what initiated the litigation and I believe was the only correct course of action for MSWD. It is odd that DWA is so set on managing the groundwater outside of their retail water service area, most of which is in an entirely different aquifer. Our community deserves to have complete control over the groundwater within our district boundaries. Our water will determine the future growth and prosperity of our community.

    TDS: How does conservation fit with MSWD's mission?

    Sewell:Education is critical to understand how to preserve and protect our water. Our population is growing and our water is becoming more precious. The state of California has set upcoming per-capita water use goals that are going to be difficult to reach.

    Currently, we are working on a turf rebate program to lessen outdoor usage. We promote the use of high efficiency appliances and fixtures to lessen water use inside the home. In addition our Waterwise program in partnership with our local schools teaches students the importance of conservation through hands on activities. The students are given various assignments to complete both in class and at home, often with parents' participation. Each student is also sent home with various tools such as high efficiency shower heads and hose nozzles. Education will improve conservation both now and in the future.

    TDS: How will you address reports of hikes to water bills?

    Sewell:First and foremost I apologize for any issues and added stress that any of our families have experienced here in our district. If you or anyone you know is having problems or issues with your bill please call us immediately at 760.329.6448. Each property is different and speaking one-on-one with our service team is the best course to find the root of the problem. If you are not satisfied please contact me directly at

    MSWDs previous meter manufacturer provided us with meters that failed prior to their typical lifespan. Approximately one-third of our previous meters registers failed. This failure was out of our control and our board reacted promptly. We researched and approved new meters that are produced by a different manufacturer. These new meters can be read three different ways, this redundancy will eliminate issues in the future. We are also working on a new customer portal using the new technology that will allow MSWD and our customers to see real-time water usage. This will help our community better understand and manage their water use.

    TDS: What would be your priority to address this term?

    Sewell:My number one priority is our customers. I will guarantee that they are provided a safe, reliable water supply for years to come. I will push for continued rate studies to make sure our rates are as low as possible. I will focus on additional grant funding to complete our Groundwater Protection Program. I will see the completion of our Regional Water Management Facility, which will protect and replenish our water supply. I will continue to be honest and respectful in all of my duties. I am determined on making the best decisions for our customers and the future of our community.

    Mark Olalde covers the environment for The Desert Sun. Get in touch at, and follow him on Twitter at @MarkOlalde.

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    Mission Springs Water District candidates sound off on their election platforms - Desert Sun

    Letters to the editor Oct. 15 – Portland Press Herald – - October 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Vote yes on OOB Question 1

    To the editor,

    For a town in which I was born, and one where Ill spend my golden years walking the beaches and drinking coffee and enjoying lively discussions at the Ocean Park Sub and Grocery, I am deeply committed to preserving a safe and prosperous Old Orchard Beach for generations to come. That is why Im voting YES on Question 1.

    Question 1 will bond $23.5 million so that we can finally fix our aging wastewater system. As a Planning Board member, I know first-hand that our system is not capable of growing with us. There have been a number of new developments in town that weve approved, but we could not put them on the current sewer system because of capacity issues. These developments have had to install private septic tanks to process their waste, which is not ideal.

    We can no longer put off the inevitable long-term repairs required to keep the wastewater system functional. Its impossible to find replacement parts; the odor is terrible and we need to expand capacity. These are all things weve needed to do for 20 years.

    I volunteer with the State of Maines Healthy Beaches organization, testing water quality to make sure that we are continually meeting State of Maine standards water quality standards. It is critical that we protect our watershed and our beaches to provide a safe environment for our residents, businesses and guests to enjoy. We risk our future if we dont invest in it today. Please join me in voting YES on Question 1 this November. We may never get this opportunity again.

    David WalkerOld Orchard Beach

    Re-elect Susan Deschambault, SD 32

    To the editor,

    With the turmoil created by the pandemic, economic recession, and current political climate, re-electing Susan Deschambault to the SD 32 seat in the Maine State Senate is essential. Senator Deschambault consistently represents the needs of our community at the state level, and her record of success speaks to her leadership.

    Senator Deschambault cares about fixing our health care system which we need now more than ever. She has worked to lower the cost of prescription drugs, ensured Mainers cannot be denied health care coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and believes that no one should be thrown into poverty because of unexpected illness.

    Senator Deschambault cares about community safety a conversation that requires experienced leadership to navigate. Not only was she Biddefords first-ever female police commissioner, she also worked for the Department of Corrections as a social worker for more than 40 years. This breadth of experience in criminal justice, rehabilitation, and community support is essential to tackling the questions of safety and security for all that face us anew today.

    To tackle the complex issues ahead, we must re-elect Susan Deschambault to the Maine State Senate. I hope you will join me in voting for Susan Deschambault to represent Maine SD 32.

    Stephanie EdwardsBiddeford

    To the editor,

    As a middle school teacher with over 20 years of experience, one of the great joys of my career is witnessing former students become successful, contributing members of their community. This is why I was elated to get word that one of my former students, Joshua Parks, was running for the School Board in Saco. As a student, I found Josh passionate about learning and invested in his school. His witty sense of humor and overall respect for his peers and teachers made him a favorite to all that associated with him. It is because of these skills that he developed early in his schooling, that I was not surprised to hear that he was voted as president of the Student Senate while attending Southern Maine Community College. Josh is, and always has been, someone that looks out for people and wants what is best for his community. I couldnt be happier that he is running for school board and will be encouraging my friends and family to vote for Joshua Parks in the upcoming election on Nov. 3.

    Robert LePauloueThornton Academy Middle School teacher

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    Oct. 14, 2020 Classified Ads – Mount Vernon News - October 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    The City of Mount Vernon will receive sealed bids for FUEL, required for the year 2021, with an option to renew the contract for a second year at the same cost, all in accordance with plans and specifications, now on file in the Office of the Safety-Service Director. Bids must be received on or before 11:00 a.m. on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2020. The bid specs may be picked up from the Safety-Service Directors Office at 40 Public Square, Mount Vernon, OH. (Also available electronically upon request to All bids must be sealed and plainly marked FUEL BID on the outside envelope, and delivered to the Safety-Service Directors Office.

    Each bid must contain the full name of every person or company interested in same, and be accompanied by a bond in the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) to the satisfaction of the Director, or a certified check on some solvent bank as a guaranty that if the bid is accepted, a contract will be entered into and its performance properly secured.

    The City reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to waive any informalities in the bidding. Should any bid be rejected such check will be forthwith returned to the bidder and should any bid be accepted, such check will be returned upon the proper execution and securing of the contract.

    Richard Dzik

    Safety Service Director

    October 14 & 21, 2020


    Notice is hereby given that on the 2nd of November, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Clinton Township House, 350 Johnson Ave, Mount Vernon, Ohio there will be a public hearing at the request of Theophilus Properties LLC to rezone 13130 Pleasant Valley Road.

    Jennifer Hubbard,

    Fiscal Officer

    October 14, 2020


    Notice is hereby given that on the 9th of November, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Clinton Township House, 350 Johnson Ave, Mount Vernon, Ohio there will be a public hearing at the request of Ronald Ross LLC, to rezone 13298 New Delaware Rd.

    Jennifer Hubbard,

    Fiscal Officer

    October 14, 2020


    The City of Mount Vernon will receive sealed bids forLime (Water Department), Sodium, Chlorite, Water Meters, Waterline Repairs/Supplies; required for the year2021, all in accordance with plans and specifications, now on file in the Office of the Safety-Service Director. Bids must be received on or before 11:00 a.m. onTHURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2020, when they will be publicly opened. The bid specifications may be picked up from the Safety-Service Directors Office at 40 Public Square, Mount Vernon, OH. (Also available electronically upon request tosafetyservice@mount All bids must be sealed and plainly marked on the outside envelope with the name of the item upon which you are bidding and delivered to the Safety-Service Directors Office located in City Hall at 40 Public Square, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050.

    Each bid must contain the full name of every person or company interested in same, and be accompanied by a bond in the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) to the satisfaction of the Director, or a certified check on some solvent bank as a guaranty that if the bid is accepted, a contract will be entered into and its performance properly secured.

    The City reserves the right to reject any and all bids and to waive any informalities in the bidding. Should any bid be rejected such check will be forthwith returned to the bidder and should any bid be accepted, such check will be returned upon the proper execution and securing of the contract.

    Richard Dzik

    Safety Service Director

    October 14 & 21, 2020




    Case No.20DC05-0101

    Hon. Judge Richard Wetzel


    164 Grand Ridge Road

    Howard, Ohio 43028

    DOB: 11/14/1992




    DOB: 01/31/1991,



    TAKE NOTICE:Christopher Liptak whose last known address was 700 Melvin Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401 and whose present address cannot be ascertained, will take notice that Lacey N. Liptak, Plaintiff, has filed a Complaint against him in the Knox County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, Case Number 20DC05-0101.

    Further take notice, the Answer date will be DECEMBER 9, 2020.

    Christy Milligan Station

    Clerk of Courts

    Knox County Court of

    Common Pleas

    117 East High Street, Suite 201 Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050

    JOHN S. DILTS, (#0040883)

    Attorney for Lacey N. Liptak

    28 South Park Street

    Mansfield, Ohio 44902

    (419) 525-0777 Telephone

    (419) 525-0150 Facsimile

    September 30, 2020 & October 7, 14, 21, 28, 2020 & November 4 & 11, 2020

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    Single, hard-working, Christian man, 41, seeks a Christian lady 28-40, who is ready to be a companion and helpmate.

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    Investigate before you invest. Call the Ohio Division of Securities BEFORE purchasing an investment. Call the Divisions Investor Protection Hotline at 800-788-1194 to learn if the investment is properly registered and if the seller is properly licensed.

    This notice is a public service of the Mount Vernon News.




    Borrow Smart. Contact the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions Office of Consumer Affairs BEFORE you refinance your home or obtain a loan. BEWARE of requests for any large advance payment of fees or insurance. Call the Office of Consumer Affairs toll free at 1-866-278-0003 to learn if the mortgage broker or lender is properly licensed. This notice is a public service announcement ofThe Mount Vernon News.

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    Please complete an application by, click on CAREERS and then LOCAL RESTAURANT JOBS, select UNITED STATES and finally click on APPLY NOW. Use the 43050 or 43011 zip code to apply at any of our locations. No calls please.

    Knox County Park District (O.R.C. 1545) is accepting resumes for a part-time (no benefits but PERS) for an Operations Manager. Position maintains Park District parks, trails, bike trails and river accesses. Work requires mowers, chainsaws, hand and power tools, trash removal and more. This job is physically demanding and requires work outdoors in all weather conditions. Must have valid Ohio Driver license and clean record, submit to a background check, drug screening and medical physical. HS diploma or GED required, 6 months related experience preferred, and agree to complete a pesticide applicators license within one year of employment. Send resumes to: Knox County Park District, OM Position, PO Box 509, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050. Deadline must be postmarked by October 16, 2020. NO WALK-IN APPLICANTS OR PHONE CALLS.


    Administrative Specialist

    The Administrative Specialist performs detail-oriented administrative functions and support to the Foundation. The successful candidate will demonstrate exemplary interpersonal and organizational skills. Furthermore, they will demonstrate excellent follow-through, attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, flexibility and discretion with sensitive information. A high degree of professionalism is also required.

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    Oct. 14, 2020 Classified Ads - Mount Vernon News

    The geography of environmental toxins in the District of Columbia – The D.C. Policy Center - October 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Living in a toxin-free environment is essential to peoples mental and physical health. Being exposed to chemicals from pollution in soil, air, and water has wide ranging health effects including acute asthma symptoms, hormone disruption, decreased mental ability, and cancer. A U.S. national environmental quality index determined that there are over 30 more cases of cancer in counties with poor environmental quality than in counties with the least exposure to toxins in the air, water, and soil (approximately a seven percent increase).[1]

    In addition to being a health issue, a toxin-free environment is also a quality-of-life issue with equity implications. Across the United States, low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to be exposed to environmental toxins. Facilities using toxic substances that can pollute the soil, air, and water are often located in low-income, non-white neighborhoods.[2] The demographics are similar for neighborhoods containing hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal plants.[3] Additionally, studies have shown that within cities, low-income neighborhoods are exposed to higher levels of air pollution from highways and factories, putting residents at higher risk for acute asthma attacks and other illnesses.[4]

    In an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranking of environmental pollution in metropolitan areas in the United States, called the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI), the District of Columbia ranks 576 out of 2,357 localities.[5] D.C. is a dense urban environment. As such, every ward in the District has some exposure to chemicals that are released by daily activities including personal transportation, household behavior, and commercial activity. However, given the Districts RSEI ranking in the top quartile of counties, we wondered what environmental hazards exist here? Where in the city are these hazards concentrated? What does that mean for the health and health equity of District residents?

    A survey of the Districts environmental hazards, their locations, and their impacts follows, examining soil contamination, air pollution, and water pollution. Overall, we have found that residents of Wards 4, 5, and 6 are disproportionately exposed to chemicals in the soil, air, and water from sources outside of daily activity.[6]

    In the District, as in the rest of the United States, there is contaminated land due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out, or improperly managed. Soil contamination can happen if hazardous chemicals are spilled or improperly disposed of, as well as if contaminated soil migrates to uncontaminated areas. Contamination can occur if chemicals are not stored properly, during the application of fertilizers or pesticides, and through chemical and industrial processes. People then can be exposed to chemicals by breathing in contaminated dust, touching contaminated soil, or eating food grown in contaminated soil, in turn impacting their health.

    The most common element polluting soil in D.C. is leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs). These tanks often hold petroleum and sewage, which contain bacteria and chemicals that are harmful to human health. Brownfields, or sites where future use is affected by environmental contamination, are the next most common soil contaminant contributors, and are concentrated in parts of the city where there has been significant development in recent years. More brownfields may be found in the future as more properties around the city are redeveloped. Superfund sites represent the lowest number of soil contamination sites in the District and are largely driven by dry cleaners. The majority of superfund sites are located in Wards 4 and 6.

    Underground storage tanks (USTs) are tanks and underground piping connected to tanks, with at least ten percent of the container volume below ground. They can hold toxic materials including but not limited to hazardous waste, regulated substances, septic materials, wastewater, oil, and gasoline (petroleum). USTs are a potential hazard if they contain toxic chemicals that leak into the soil and groundwater. Congress began regulating USTs in 1984, creating protocols for tank installation, design, corrective action, and closure to minimize tank leaks. As of 2005, USTs are inspected every three years to identify leaks and other potential issues.[7] Since 1987, officials have identified 1847 leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs) in the District, the majority of which have been cleaned up and had their leaks corrected.

    D.C.s underground storage tanks are regulated locally by the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program. DOEE has identified leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs) and engaged in cleanup efforts to protect against adverse effects of petroleum, petroleum related products, and hazardous materials.

    DOEE has established standards for chemical levels in order to protect the health and safety of District residents. The department tests soil for many chemicals found in oil, gas, and hazardous materials including total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs), gasoline range organics, and diesel range organics. Additionally, groundwater is tested for many chemicals including lead, benzene, and toluene.[8] The health effects of these chemicals require more study and are dependent on the amount and type (skin, air, water, etc.) of exposure.

    Nonetheless, some health effects of chemical exposure are known. Lead exposure can cause damage to childrens developing nervous system resulting in IQ loss and impacts on learning, memory, behavior, and growth; kidney (renal) effects in adults; anemia; reproductive disorders; and neurological impairments. Studied health disorders related to total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) include skin and eye irritation, breathing and neurologic problems, and stress. TPHs impact mental health and induce physical and physiological effects, and are potentially toxic to genetic, immune, and endocrine systems. The long-term effects of TPHs in humans are not fully understood yet and certain symptoms may persist for years after exposure.[9] TPHs and Benzene have also been linked to cancer in medical studies.[10] At present, there is not enough data to determine if Ethylbenzene and Xylenes, other chemicals found in petroleum, cause cancer.

    Since 1987, the District has registered 1847 leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs). The good news is most of these sites have now been cleaned up. As of 2020, only 130 of those 1847 tanks have not completed cleanup and are still currently active, potentially damaging and contaminating nearby soil and groundwater. While LUSTs have been remediated and cleaned up in every ward in the District, a higher proportion of Ward 2 LUSTs have been cleaned up and resolved than LUSTs in other wards. While Ward 2 held 18.9 percent of leaking underground storage tanks over the last 30 years,[11] it currently accounts for 8.46 percent of active leaking sites (11/130).

    A brownfield is a property where development and reuse of land are hindered by previous contamination by hazardous substances. The District employs voluntary cleanup programs (VCP) to incentivize the cleanup of brownfields by owners or developers who did not cause the contamination. Brownfields, or sites contaminated by hazardous substances, are eligible for voluntary cleanup programs if they are not listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys National Priority List and are not the subject of a current cleanup action by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Environmental Health Administration.

    When a community has questions about a site, or a site is up for redevelopment, an environmental site assessment is conducted by DOEE to understand the environmental conditions of the property and determine if there are potential threats to the environment or human health. These assessments include reviewing records of the property, visually inspecting the site, sampling and testing the soil and groundwater, and developing plans for cleanup such that the property meets the Districts environmental standards. Because an assessment is initiated by community concern or redevelopment, known brownfields may be more highly concentrated in areas with intense development. This means additional brownfields may exist that have not yet been identified.

    The majority of identified brownfields in the District, both cleaned up and active, are located in Ward 6. Of the active sites, or sites that have not yet completed cleanup, the most sites are located in Wards 6, 7, and 5, in respective order.

    A superfund site is another example of land with soil contamination due to hazardous and improperly managed chemicals. Superfund sites differ from brownfields in that the cleanup of superfund sites involves coordination with the EPA. Often, superfund sites are on the National Priorities List (NPL), a list of the nations worst hazard sites. These sites can include manufacturing facilities, military activity, dry cleaners, and landfills. Common contaminants found at superfund sites include lead, asbestos, dioxin, and radiation.[12] Health effects of these chemicals include cancer, lung disease, neurological effects, and endocrine disruption. The EPA cleans up these contaminated sites or funds local governments to do the cleanup.

    There are 29 superfund sites in D.C., and none of them are on the national priority list, which means the EPA does not include them among the nations most hazardous waste sites. While we do not know the chemicals released for all, we know that 9 of 20 are associated with dry cleaners, one is a gardening center, one site is associated with a mercury spill that happened at Ballou High School in 2003, one is a medical facility, one is the result of a protest march to the EPA headquarters when protestors left drums filled with contaminated water, one is a previous landfill which is now a part of the National Park System, and others have to do with previous land use (such as the munitions plant in Navy Yard).

    We also know the location of the sites that the EPA is actively cleaning up. The majority of superfund sites in the District are located in Wards 4 and 6 (with six sites each), while Wards 3 and 5 have the fewest sites (two each).

    In addition to contaminated soil, residents of the District are also exposed to air pollution: mainly ozone and particulate matter. Air pollution affects residents ability to breathe and can exacerbate asthma prevalence and symptoms in both children and adults. Known harmful chemicals for which levels are tested under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) include ground-level ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide, lead, and carbon monoxide.

    Ward 1 has the highest concentration of ozone, largely driven by vehicle exhaust. Ward 7 has the highest levels of particulate matter (known as PM 2.5).

    Health impacts of these chemicals can include inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract, leading to coughing and difficulty breathing, acute asthma attacks and other respiratory diseases, and aggravated heart (cardiovascular) diseases. Specifically:

    Air pollution has been connected to mental, neurological, and respiratory health. The Center for Disease Controls (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey shows that D.C.s child and adult asthma rates of lifetime prevalence are significantly higher than the national averages.[13] When data is disaggregated by race, it is revealed that white children in the District have lifetime rates of 6.5 percent while Black children have asthma rates of 23 percent.[14] Besides having disparate rates of asthma, there are also disparate rates of acute asthma attacks in D.C., resulting in emergency room visits. While there are many causes of asthma including poverty, stress, and other health conditions, neighborhoods with higher percentages of Black residents have more air pollution than neighborhoods with majority white residents.

    There are five main locations where air pollution data is collected by DOEE, located at Takoma Recreation Center, McMillan Reservoir, Hains Point, River Terrace Site, and Anacostia Freeway.[15] Not every site collects the same information, but generally information is collected on ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The District stopped monitoring lead in 2016 because levels were consistently below the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). D.C. levels for all other pollutants have gone down over time and are currently within all NAAQS with the exception of ozone. Nonetheless, even air pollution levels within acceptable safety standards can adversely affect health.

    The largest air pollution challenge in the District is ozone, for which D.C. and surrounding counties in Virginia and Maryland receive a marginal nonattainment designation, meaning we are within 11 parts per billion (ppb) of the standard for which air is safe for sensitive populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. Transportation, especially exhaust from personal motor vehicles, is a leading creator of ground-level ozone.

    The monitoring site at McMillan Reservoir, located near Howard University, had the highest average concentrations of ozone and sulfur dioxide in 2019. This site, in 2019, also had the most days of ozone at dangerous levels (5 days) and particulate matter (PM 2.5) at dangerous levels (2 days). Particulate matter above dangerous levels[16] was also observed at both of Ward 7s monitoring sites for at least one day in 2019. The two sites in Ward 7, located at the Anacostia Freeway and River Terrace, both had higher averages of particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxide than the other monitoring sites in the District.

    COVID-19 has changed the volume of commuter traffic coming into the District, affecting the amount of air pollution. So far in 2020, there have been no days where the concentration of ozone reached dangerous levels. However, patterns have largely remained the same for differences in averages across sites from 2019 to 2020. The average levels of particulate matter and ozone for 2020 are shown below.

    Air quality is worsened by urban heat islands, as heat and pollution can work in conjunction to make breathing challenging. As previously documented by the D.C. Policy Center, the District has uneven heat distribution, with the city center experiencing the most heat and least vegetation and neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park having the most trees and coolest temperatures. Increased pollution in the center and east sections of the city, coupled with increased heat from the built environment, worsens air quality for residents and has the potential to trigger acute asthma attacks.[17]

    Water in the District is contaminated by waste released into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and overflow from the combined sewer and rainwater systems. Bodies of water in the District have been deemed impaired for human and aquatic life due to high levels of bacteria (E. coli), high pH, low levels of dissolved oxygen, and high turbidity (the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates). There are several permit holders in the District that are allowed to release waste into the water. These sources of contamination are concentrated in the Anacostia River just as air and soil pollution are more concentrated in the southeast portion of the city than the northwest.

    DC Water, the Districts water and sewer authority, collects wastewater in both separate and combined pipes. Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) pipes cover about a third of D.C., draining rainwater and storm overflow into the same sewer pipes that collect liquid from toilets, tubs, and sinks. These CSOs overflow in times of heavy, prolonged rain, letting the excess flow enter directly into the Districts rivers and creeks, namely into the Anacostia River, Rock Creek Park, and Potomac River.[18]

    For small amounts of rainfall, the overflow from CSOs typically lasts less than 24 hours. However, with over an inch of rain, the effects of CSOs on water quality can persist up to three days.[19] CSOs are a concern in the District as they contain harmful bacteria to people in addition to compounds, like nitrogen, that contribute to low dissolved oxygen levels in water: potentially killing fish.

    Rain can thus cause violations of water standards, as fecal coliform bacteria present in sewage mixes with rainwater and flows into Rock Creek, the Potomac River, and the Anacostia River. Due to flow and location of CSOs, the southeast section of the city is exposed to the most water pollution from the sewer system, while Ward 3 is exposed to none.

    Under the Clean Water Act, people and companies are prohibited from polluting in bodies of water. However, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits can be acquired from the EPA to discharge substances into bodies of water (pursuant to safety standards). In the District, there are currently seven companies with active permits. Pollution in the water can include substances such as radioactive material; sand; and chemical, industrial, and agricultural waste.[20]

    These permit holders include:

    Of the Districts waterways, the Potomac and Anacostia rivers most frequently receive pollution from permit holders in the District (3 current permits each). Most permit holders have been industrial (9 permits), with one permit for wastewater and one for the DC Water and Sewage Authority (Blue Plains). Most of the permits are still active, except for the JFK Center, Navy Yard, Pepco, and the Washington Aqueduct Division.

    The District monitored 36 waterbody segments over a period from January 2015 to June 2019 (2020 reporting period), and found that while water quality is improving, bodies of water in the District are still impaired for human health and aquatic life. This impairment is largely due to high levels of bacteria (E. coli), high pH, low levels of dissolved oxygen, and high turbidity (the degree to which the water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates).

    In comparison with the Potomac River, the Anacostia River has higher levels of E. coli bacteria and exceeds standards for dissolved oxygen and turbidity. In the Anacostia watershed, Kingman Lake has the highest number of samples of any in the District exceeding turbidity standards, with as many as 43.16 percent of samples not meeting the District standard.

    Rock Creek tributaries exceeded turbidity standards significantly less than Anacostia tributaries, with averages of 4.23 percent and 25.37 percent of samples that did not meet standards, respectively.

    Samples from the Potomac River had higher numbers of exceedances of safety standards for pH levels, although exceedances remained less than 6 percent of samples.[21]

    Wards 4, 5, and 6 collectively have the most environmental pollution in the District in terms of soil and air exposure. In addition, heavy rains divert sewer water into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers which flow to the southeast of the city, and permit holders can potentially release toxic materials into bodies of water that flow to southeast D.C.

    Soil contamination from LUSTS, brownfields, and superfund sites are concentrated in Wards 4, 5, and 6. Additionally, while air monitoring sites in Ward 7 experienced heightened levels of certain chemicals, the monitoring site at McMillian Reservoir (Ward 1) experienced the highest average levels of ground-level ozone in 2019, the only chemical for which D.C. is not within standard limits. As such, the wards in the District with the highest area median income and highest levels of white residents (Ward 3) are the least affected by environmental toxins examined in this report.

    Datasets on Superfund sites, air quality monitors, and water pollution permit holders come from the Environmental Protection Agency. Datasets on leaking underground storage containers and voluntary cleanup sites come from the Department of Energy and the Environment. The shapefile containing the combined sewer overflow system comes from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer.


    [1] Percentage based on National Cancer Institute 2011-2015 averages of 439 new cancer cases per year.

    Gomez, S. L., Shariff-Marco, S., Cheng, I., & Reynolds, P. (2017). Impact of the environment on cancer: Seeing the forest for the trees. Cancer, 123(15), 2796-2797. doi:10.1002/cncr.30711

    Cancer Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 13, 2020, from

    [2] Collins, M. B., Munoz, I., & Jaja, J. (2016). Linking toxic outliers to environmental justice communities. Environmental Research Letters, 11(1), 015004. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/015004

    [3] Mohai, P., & Saha, R. Which came first, people or pollution? Assessing the disparate siting and post-siting demographic change hypotheses of environmental injustice. (2015, November 18). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [4] Gochfeld, M., & Burger, J. (2011, December). Disproportionate exposures in environmental justice and other populations: The importance of outliers. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [5] This ranking, called the the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI), is calculated by the EPA for states and counties. It uses a formula that takes into account a given chemicals toxicity to people, as well as the amount of that chemical that is released into the environment. It should be noted that the methodology of the RSEI ranking doesnt distinguish between the number of people that are exposed or the area in which the chemical is released. In other words, the RSEI is not a ranking of the total environmental risk to its population, but instead is based on the initial release of toxins by volume, and not how they work through the environment over time.

    Where You Live. (2020, February 11). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [6] While this paper is not an exhaustive list of all sources of toxins in the built environment in the District, it provides ward-level breakdowns of many environmental dangers and their potential side effects.

    [7] Learn About Underground Storage Tanks (USTs). (2020, September 29). Retrieved October 13, 2020, from

    [8] Concentrations in soil are not to exceed the following amounts: Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) gasoline range organics (GRO) or diesel range organics (DRO) concentrations in soil shall be no greater than one hundred milligrams per kilogram (100 mg/kg); Individual constituent concentrations of BTEX in soil shall not exceed benzene (0.005 mg/kg), toluene (9.6 mg/kg), ethylbenzene (0.04 mg/kg), and total xylenes (3.86 mg/kg). In groundwater, concentrations of chemicals are not to exceed these amounts: Lead, 50 parts per billion (ppb); Benzene, 5 ppb; Toluene, 1,000 ppb; Ethylbenzene, 700 ppb; and Total Xylenes 10,000 ppb.

    [9] Kuppusamy, Saranya & Naga Raju, Maddela & Mallavarapu, Megharaj & Kadiyala, Venkateswarlu. (2020). Impact of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons on Human Health. 10.1007/978-3-030-24035-6_6.

    [10] Brewer, R., Nagashima, J., Kelley, M., Heskett, M., & Rigby, M. (2013, June 13). Risk-based evaluation of total petroleum hydrocarbons in vapor intrusion studies. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from

    [11] Of the 1847 LUSTs registered in the District, 1732 of them had addresses listed. This represents approximately 94% of the data. The analysis of total LUST data is based on this 94% sample for which we have addresses.

    [12] Contaminants at Superfund Sites. (2018, June 04). Retrieved October 13, 2020, from

    [13] D.C. has a child asthma rate of 16.45 percent versus the United States average of 11.4 percent. The District has an adult asthma rate of 17.7 percent versus the United States average of 14.5 percent.

    [14] Table L4: Child Lifetime Asthma Prevalence and Weighted Number by Race and State or Territory: BRFSS 2018. (2020, April 06). Retrieved October 13, 2020, from

    [15] There is one additional air quality monitors located at Verizon Telephone. However, this monitor only collects data on carbon monoxide.

    Ambient Air Quality Trends Report 1996-2019. Monitoring and Assessment Branch Air Quality Division, Department of Energy and Environment. Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [16] PM 2.5 concentrations are considered dangerous when over a daily average of 12.0 g/m3.

    [17] High Heat, Air Pollution, Air Quality Create Problems for People with Asthma. (2018, July 17). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [18] Diverting overflow into the creeks prevents flooding of private property.

    [19] Combined Sewer System. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [20] NPDES Permit Basics. (2020, August 03). Retrieved October 12, 2020, from

    [21] District of Columbia Water Quality Assessment 2020 Integrated Report. Retrieved from

    D.C. Policy Center Fellows are independent writers, and we gladly encourage the expression of a variety of perspectives. The views of our Fellows, published here or elsewhere, do not reflect the views of the D.C. Policy Center.

    See original here:
    The geography of environmental toxins in the District of Columbia - The D.C. Policy Center

    Highland Co. Health Department seeking to maintain funding – Hillsboro Times Gazette - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    In the upcoming election, the Highland County Health Department is seeking to maintain its funding with the renewal of a local health levy, Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner told The Times-Gazette.

    Were looking to renew again this year. Its just to keep it at level funding; its not an increase to anyones taxes, Warner said. Were just trying to maintain funding so we can continue supporting all the different programs that we have here in the county.

    If renewed, the levys tax rate will continue at $0.05 for each $100 of land valuation for the next five years, according to information provided by the Highland County Board of Elections. The tax will commence in 2020 and first become due in 2021.

    Warner acknowledged that Highland County voters passed a separate health levy during the November 2019 election. He said that levy replaced a levy from 1989, bringing the old levy to modern-day funding levels.

    The Highland County community passed the levy that appears on the current ballot in 2000, Warner said, and has renewed the levy every five years since.

    The ceiling was set for how much it could earn from the beginning, and its never earned more than it did in 2000, Warner said.

    The health department counts on levies like the one on the 2020 ballot to provide its services. Health levies make up 50 percent of the health departments funding.

    So much of what we do is unfunded. Half the work we do is funded by local levies and in the midst of a global pandemic is not that time to take away one of those levies, Warner said. When infectious diseases are identified, we contact people who are sick, we talk to them about what symptoms to expect, we connect them with treatment when we need to, we tell them how to prevent spreading that disease to others. Theres no reimbursement for that work. Thats why we rely on funding from tax levies to support that effort.

    In a normal year, Warner said the health department provides 60 different health department services for the community.

    In 2019, the Highland County Health Department performed 4,337 immunizations, completed over 600 food inspections, processed 3,174 birth and death records, and tracked 514 infectious diseases, Warner said.

    The nursing and environmental health departments also answered around 10,000 phone calls.

    A lot of those phone calls were the same people, but that represents a quarter of our population that has some interaction with the health department each year, Warner said. Traditionally Highland County is in the bottom quarter of funded health departments in the state. Theres plenty of room for improvement in the health factors and measures that we use to determine if a community is healthy or not. Thats why were here; thats what were trying to do. Thats what this levy funding helps us support.

    Warner acknowledged that many community members are frustrated with state officials due to the COVID-19 response but stressed the value of funding local health departments.

    The CDC and the national news media and the Ohio Department of Health have the biggest voices, but we are the ones doing the real work were doing essentially all of the work locally, but we have the smallest voices, Warner said. Weve really worked hard to find common-sense ways to protect this community from Covid. Thats one of the benefits in having a local health department thats involved and invested in the community: We understand one size doesnt fit all, and as a local health department, were in the position to make some common-sense decisions and interpret some of these orders from the state in ways that make sense for Highland County. We look for ways to protect our community and work as a partner with the community. Were not out there shutting things down and yelling at people; were really trying to work beside people and find safe ways to do things.

    If the levy is not renewed, Warner said the health department will be forced to stop offering some of its programs and increase its prices for remaining services.

    There are a few things that were currently having trouble keeping up with, and wed have to do away with those programs, even though a couple of them are mandated by the state, Warner said. One of them is the trash and sewer nuisance program. Its completely unfunded. We dont get any revenue from dealing with these trash complaints and sewage failures. We just will not be able to do that work if we dont get that funding.

    It really turns the health department towards only doing jobs and only working on programs that generate funding for us because were trying to make payroll and pay people to do the work that we need to do as a health department. None of this is meant to be held over someones head like, Were going to charge you more if you dont pass this its just the reality. I have to make payroll. If we dont have funds, thats not going to happen.

    Fees for items like food licenses and septic and water installation permits could also increase.

    A lack of funding would also affect some of the health departments free health care clinics and screenings for those without insurance or access to health care, which ultimately save taxpayers money.

    People get frustrated with us because we occasionally have these free programs to offer to the community, Warner said. If we spend a little bit of the health departments money in, say, identifying breast cancer in a woman in our community and we find that early, we save tens of thousands of dollars that would have been spent when this person shows up at the emergency room at the hospital with advanced breast cancer and has to go through all the treatment using Medicare, using Medicaid. A little bit of an investment in preventative health care saves our entire community and our entire tax system a lot of money down the road.

    Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

    In a scene from a past interview, Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner explains local public health issues.

    Health commissioner: Its not an increase to anyones taxes

    See the article here:
    Highland Co. Health Department seeking to maintain funding - Hillsboro Times Gazette

    Pet of the week – The Robesonian - October 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    October 09, 2020

    LUMBERTON Domestic violence survivors are doing their part to help others this month, as crisis calls have increased because of isolation brought on by COVID-19.

    The Robeson County Sheriffs Office responded to 2,732 domestic violence calls in the county between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30. Those numbers do not include calls to city police. There are 1,588 domestic violence protective orders pending in the county.

    Seven people have died in Robeson County this year because of matters related to domestic violence, said Emily Locklear, executive director of Southeastern Family Violence Center.

    Quarterly reports from the Rape Crisis Center of Robeson County also show a 63.9% increase in rape and/or sexual assaults in the county when compared to the same time period in 2019, according to Virginia Locklear, the Crisis Centers executive director. Those numbers include children under the age of 18.

    But there are agencies working to address the increased need brought on by COVID-19.

    My whole goal with Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October) is to let individuals in our community know that we are here, Emily Locklear said.

    I just want people to know that domestic violence is present in our community and that there is help for any individual, she added.

    Emily Locklear is a survivor of domestic violence herself, and she often shares her story and strength with others at the center.

    The executive director recalls enduring dating violence at the age of 18, when her then boyfriend tried to run her over with his vehicle, while she was pregnant with his child. He convinced her not to continue taking college courses, a decision she would regret and remedy later at a community college.

    It altered my life, Emily Locklear said.

    But she shares a common history with the rest of the staff, all of whom have been affected by domestic violence in some way, including a worker who started working Wednesday at the center.

    The worker, who chose to remain anonymous, recalls six months spent at the centers shelter when she was about 10 years old. She and her younger brother formed bonds with center workers as her mother attended counseling and planned her escape from a husband who used mental and verbal tactics to control and abuse her.

    The worker does not recall being abused by her father, but remembers the shouting behind closed doors and the escape from the man behind the heated words.

    Now that Im older, I just aspire to be a change, she said.

    Although she is new at the center, she hopes to share her story with people who need to hear it most, and to offer advice.

    Your situation doesnt define your story, she said.

    The worker encourages other victims to reach out for resources and to seek help if needed.

    The center offers a 22-bed shelter at an undisclosed location, and programs to help victims plan their way out of abusive situations and to secure housing away from abusers. It also helps with obtaining domestic violence protective orders and hosts a domestic violence support group. A confidential 24-hour crisis hotline also is available at 910-739-8622 or 1-800-742-7794.

    Also among about 20 staff members is a Latino advocate and three other Spanish-speaking staff members who work across language barriers to provide accessibility and support for victims.

    The SFVC is working to share videos, photos and stories of survivors on its Facebook page during the pandemic, which has restricted its usual methods of raising community awareness of the issue. The center will host its annual candlelight vigil on Thursday via Facebook to honor the memory of people who have died as a result of domestic violence. Anyone interested in sharing photos of loved ones during the ceremony should call the center by Tuesday at 910-739-8622.

    About one in four women and nearly one in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of IPV-related (intimate partner violence) impact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    There are several types of abuse, including physical, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual, among others.

    Victims are encouraged to contact the Rape Crisis Center of SFVC for help, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Sexual assaults have not stopped during the pandemic nor did they stop during the stay-at-home orders. If anything the experience is compounded by the COVID 19 restrictions and isolation, said Virginia Locklear, of the Rape Crisis Center.

    If you decide to stay, call our crisis line to devise a safety plan, said Emily Locklear, of SFVC.

    When survivors choose to leave, the abuser feels as if his or her power is threatened, which can lead to retaliation, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

    As a result, leaving is often the most dangerous period of time for survivors of abuse, the Hotlines website reads in part.

    In 2019, SFVC served 1,383 individuals and received 1,151 crisis calls. Ninety-five adults and 84 children used the shelter to escape abuse that year.

    Leaving an abusive relationship may be hard to do but its the right thing to do. There is no shame in reporting domestic violence and asking for help. As seen by the numbers in Robeson County, we have an issue, and no one is immune from the threat of domestic violence, Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said.

    Simply asking for help is the first step in taking charge of your life, Wilkins added.

    To find more resources on domestic violence visit All services provided by SFVC and the Rape Crisis Center are free and confidential. The Crisis Center can be reached by phone at 910-739-6278.

    Originally posted here:
    Pet of the week - The Robesonian

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