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    Knox campus holds oldest TKE house in the world – Galesburg Register-Mail - June 6, 2020 by admin

    GALESBURG This year the TKE (Tau Kappa Epsilon) organization celebrates 100 years at 160. W. South St. in Galesburg. This makes the present TKE House at Knox College the oldest TKE house in the world. A commemoration rock and plaque in the front of the house note this historic element of Knox TKE history.

    The TKE House was built in 1906 for Knox College Professor William F. Bentley, professor of music and director of the Knox Conservatory of Music. The Tudor design six-gable house was built for the Bentley family as well as a place for Knox music students practices.

    The first floor was the parlor with fireplace, library, dining hall and kitchen.

    The second floor had a master suite with an attached study room with a fireplace as well as an infant changing room and a nursery.

    The third floor featured three music practice rooms and a storage area.

    The house originally had an octopus coal heating system that was replaced with natural gas and subsequently with radiator stream heat. The steam heat was replaced with a gas-powered boiler.

    The attic storage area became known by the members as the rack. In the rack were bunk beds to accommodate the members who lived in the house. When the requirement for all members to sleep in the rack was lifted, members slept in their individual study room and the rack was repurposed.

    The first floor kitchen was moved to the basement. The kitchen was renovated into an apartment for the housemother when the college determined in 1955 that each fraternity must have a resident housemother. The first housemother in 1955 was Pearl Maxey, whose son was a Knox student. When the last housemother retired in the 1970s, the housemothers room was renovated into a social room. Today, that room is an individual room for a member.

    All of the second floor rooms were used for members.

    One room was eliminated in 1990 when the house was renovated. That room was turned in to a large restroom.

    In a house that had as many as 28 residents and countless guests, there were minimal restroom and bath facilities. Today there are four restrooms and bathrooms with numerous showers, including handicap-accessible facilities.

    The ramp and deck that surrounds the outside of the house was added in 2002. The addition of the deck and ramp made the TKE House the first handicap-accessible fraternity house on the Knox campus.

    The basement, once a storage area and then a dining hall and kitchen, is now a social area with a complete modern kitchen and a large restroom as well as an energy-efficient laundry and mechanical room. The house employed full-time cooks for the members to take meals in the house until in the early 70s, when the college required all to board with the college. At one time there were nearly 100 members making the cooks job a real challenge.

    During renovations, the house was outfitted with a fire system, an overhead sprinkler system and a fire escape.

    A number of the house repairs and renovations occurred in the 1990s after the college wrote the TKE alumni that the house needed immediate attention. Over $300,000 was raised from TKE actives, alumni and friends. Renovations included all new windows, door frames and doors; new plumbing and electrical; new roof and exterior painting; new heating system, insulation, painting and lighting; hardwood floors on all three levels refinished; woodwork stripped and refinished; restrooms added; basement drains added; paint stripping from stonework on the first floor stone facade; and more.

    The later rack renovation featured new heating and an AC system as well as lighting and floor refinishing.

    During renovations, the gable interior area and attic were explored and finds included vintage cans, documents and sports programs. A dumbwaiter was found buried in a wall. Pocket doors on the first floor were found. The first and second floor hardwood floors were found to have been shimmed to be level with vintage baseball card and local newspapers from the 1906 time frame. There were various woods used in different rooms, including oak, maple, walnut and cherry.

    Over the years the house has been landscaped; the exterior redone and painted; and new gutters, roof and fire escape. The original roof was slate.

    The repairs and renovations have been done with a focus on maintaining the original characteristics and architectural features of the house. The front door is original, as are the hardwood floors. The window oak woodwork is original. The two fireplaces and the mantles that heated the house are original. The pocket doors and dumbwaiter remain, as do the overhead wooden beams in the original library. The exterior paint colors are the same or very similar to the original 1907 colors.

    All items found in the house, or that were required to be removed, were donated to the Knox Archives.

    A capital improvement fund is in place to address the next projects, which will include an updated laundry room, a time capsule to commemorate 100 years at 160, exterior repairs and more.

    The house has served as much more than living quarters. Long a social center on the Knox campus, the TKE House has hosted formals, dances, dinners, Mothers Weekends, frat parties, concerts, speakers and more.

    For decades, annually the members moved out of the house for a weekend and their mothers moved in for a weekend. The mothers club helped raise funds and raise "awareness" for cleaning and organization. When the members returned to the house on Sunday, it was spic and span clean.

    Numerous historic events have occurred in and around the house. The Tri-Delt sorority original installation event was held and hosted in the TKE House.

    The house has served and survived 100 year as a college fraternity. The house has had fires, floods, broken pipes and other challenges, but it still proudly stands for the diverse brotherhood of TKE.

    Over 1,200 Knox TKE students have called the TKE House home. Countless students, friends and family have visited the house and have many memories.

    TKE alumni have excelled in their fields and careers. TKE alumni include an NFL referee, business leaders, military leaders, professors, labor, union and environmental activists, politicians, authors, teachers and countless charity volunteers. Some of the funds raised by TKE are earmarked for St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. Nearly the entire chapter served in World War II, and many served in other wars, including Vietnam. A number of TKE alumni made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States.

    TKE looks forward to the next 100 years at 160 W. South St. on the Knox College campus.

    John Gorski is chairman and president of the Knox College TKE Board of Advisors.

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    Knox campus holds oldest TKE house in the world - Galesburg Register-Mail

    Crews respond to small fire inside of the Proper Cup Coffee House in Portland – WCSH-WLBZ - June 6, 2020 by admin

    PORTLAND, Maine The Portland Fire Department responded to a small fire inside of the Proper Cup Coffee House on Forest Avenue Thursday Morning.

    Portland Fire Deputy Chief Jon Hendricks says crews responded reports of smoke coming from the wall shortly after 8:00 A.M.

    Hendricks adds he believes an electrical outlet started the fire that spread to a wall in the rear of the building.

    "Crews made entry into the building fairly quickly with no issues, and located the fire and extinguished it fairly quickly," said Hendricks.

    Hendricks adds the building does have a sprinkler system, but it was not active. The building did sustain minor damage and Hendricks says the Proper Cup Coffee House may need to close for a short time. The rest of the building at 500 Forest Ave can remain open.

    Part of Forest Ave was closed for roughly one hour while crews responded but has since reopened.

    RELATED: One person taken to hospital following fire on Bell Street in Portland

    RELATED: All Portland fire companies respond to 3rd alarm fire on Commercial St.

    RELATED: UPDATE: House fire in Portland caused by wood stove ashes

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    Crews respond to small fire inside of the Proper Cup Coffee House in Portland - WCSH-WLBZ

    A Black-Owned Distillery Was Set On Fire In Minneapolis. Here’s How The Owner Responded. – HuffPost - June 6, 2020 by admin

    This story, as told to Garin Pirnia, is from the perspective of Chris Montana, co-owner of South Minneapolis Du Nord Craft Spirits. When Montana opened the distillery in 2013, in the neighborhood where he grew up, he became the first Black person to own a microdistillery in the U.S. Du Nord is located less than half a mile from Minneapolis 3rd Precinct, the epicenter of much of last weeks conflict. On the morning of May 29, Du Nord, along with hundreds of businesses on or near Lake Street in South Minneapolis, was damaged: Someone set a fire inside. The sprinkler system dumped 40,000 gallons of water and doused the fire, but the distillery sustained minor damages.

    Montana already knew about unexpected change. Two months before police killed George Floyd, the pandemic had forced Montana to close his distillery to the public. But he and two other local distilleries pivoted the businesses and founded All Hands Minnesota, using the facilities to manufacture hand sanitizer. Since last week, he has transformed the distillery into a community donation center and has raised more than $200,000 for local businesses. Montana spoke to HuffPost about community outreach, how Minneapolis (and the U.S.) can rebuild, and how the spirits industry needs more inclusiveness.

    I see three needs. The short-term need is we have a food desert here now. And not just a food desert an everything else desert. There used to be a Target, there used to be an Aldi, there used to be a Cub Foods. Theyre all gone. The restaurants are all burnt. Now, hows anyone going to get any of these supplies? If you already were food insecure, then this could be a death blow. The first thing we have to take [care] of is that immediate need.

    The second part is these Black- and brown-owned businesses theyre most likely to be undercapitalized. When youre undercapitalized and I know this because Ive always been undercapitalized you have to make some choices: Do you want to spend your money on insurance, or do you want to spend your money on inventory or rent?

    I think that this is going to be a like a stroke. Youre going to know how bad it was by what happens afterwards and what the lasting result is.

    - Chris Montana

    We had an outpouring, and I mean an outpouring, of support. I feel so amazingly blessed, and I feel humbled by it. We started the Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund. The pledge is, were not going to take any of the money. Were going to use that money to get it into existing business owners hands.

    The third need: And then we have a long-term plan on how we rebuild. Theres a physical manifestation of the anger that has existed in communities of color for generations and that physical manifestation is a scar that runs straight through Minneapolis, and another one goes through St. Paul. And how that scar is healed can be part of the solution, or it can be business as usual. But if theres some way to use the mechanisms of the state via zoning, via grant programs to seed and support businesses owned by persons of color, to intersperse them throughout majority-owned businesses, I think that is the recipe for success. Because what we really need is for those people to be together. We need those people to mix. We need those perspectives to mix.

    The other protesters who did most of the damage in the early stages of this I dont demonize them at all. I would shake their hands. I didnt want to see it happen, but I understand it.

    The path forward is for those to talk without demonizing and dehumanizing each other. Just talk. The thing that gives me hope is Ive had some of my conservative friends reach out. You know what? I dont agree with everything, but its helped me understand. Thats literally all we need. Once we have a national consensus on this, well fix this. But we dont have a national consensus. Theres a significant amount of the population that really doesnt see the systemic racism.

    My guess is a few years from now, well do it again if we dont learn the lesson. But I think this is harder to ignore.

    I get it that its news. I hope its not just the flavor of the month.

    - Chris Montana

    I hope that we get to a better place. Part of the way I found out that [I had the first Black-owned microdistillery] was I went to my first American Craft Spirits convention in 2015. I walked in and I was the person of color. I asked some people if they thought about the lack of diversity, and the answer was, No, we havent. And I suppose why would you?

    For me, obviously, its inescapable. Everyone is staring at you. Im somewhat used to it. I grew up in Minnesota, but Im not going to say Im comfortable with it. I ran for a spot on the board and then ran for president and served as president [of the American Craft Spirits Association] for the past two years. I just gave it up. When I was there, one of the things that I pushed, from beginning to end, was an internship program to get persons of color in and working at distilleries, such as they would be marketable and then get picked up by other companies. Because thats how you build the bench of people who will eventually become master distillers and eventually will open their own distilleries.

    I think its getting better. Theres Uncle Nearest. [Note: Another Black-owned distillery, Brough Brothers Bourbon, opened this year in Kentucky.] But theres 2,000-plus microdistilleries. Thats not good. Theres plenty of Black-owned brands, but the actual facilities that are making things? Not enough. I dont want it to stay that way. That should be an insult to our industry. It should be a wake-up call.

    Theres a physical manifestation of the anger that has existed in communities of color for generations ... How that scar is healed can be part of the solution, or it can be business as usual.

    - Chris Montana

    I will tell you this: Since these recent events, some of the larger microdistilleries in the country have reached out, and now I think that program that Ive been pushing for three years, I think it probably has its best shot in becoming a reality. Im happy its happening. I get it that its news. I hope its not just the flavor of the month. You gotta take what you got. Theres the world as it is, and the world as you want it to be, and I got to live in this one. If this is how we get attention on these issues? Fine, Ill take it. I dont think you can look at people who are trying to do something helpful and throw it back in their face and say, Why werent you doing it before? If youre trying to help, youre trying to help. Period.

    Theres going to be some good to come from this. I think there could be a lot of good. I think that this is going to be like a stroke. Youre going to know how bad it was by what happens afterwards and what the lasting result is. Whether or not any of this has been effective, I dont know that we will know for some time. If we go back to business as usual, then no. I hope that we dont. Time is going to have to tell on that one.

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    A Black-Owned Distillery Was Set On Fire In Minneapolis. Here's How The Owner Responded. - HuffPost

    Adding up the damage to Twin Cities arts organizations – MinnPost - June 6, 2020 by admin

    In a week filled with grief and rage at the death of yet another black man at the hands of police, several nonprofits and organizations that serve the community were damaged or destroyed.

    On Thursday, May 28, Springboard for the Arts new space on University Ave. in St. Paul suffered fire and property damage as peaceful protests gave way to looting and rioting. On Friday morning, Springboard tweeted, Our staff are safe, our building is standing. We are cleaning now. Please help our neighbors at the clean-up organized by Hamline Midway Coalition, and keep demanding #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd.

    Ananya Dance Theatres Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice, also on University Avenue, had property damage. In an email sent Monday morning, Managing Director Gary Peterson wrote, Responding to rumors of likely trouble on May 27, a small army of volunteers arrived and helped us remove all valuable items. That night, as continuing protests turned violent, our security cameras captured the image of a shattered, floor-to-ceiling glass window Somewhat magically, no one entered through the broken window.

    Several buildings nearby were set on fire that night. The next day, more volunteers arrived to clean-up, secure, and muralize our space for whatever the weekend of protests might bring, Peterson wrote. Through Sunday, June 7, company dancer Kealoha Ferreira is leading a daily 20-minute meditation class at 7 a.m. on Facebook.

    Vine Arts Center/The Ivy in Minneapolis Seward neighborhood, home to Frank Theatres studio, several artists studios and a gallery, was damaged Thursday night when its roof caught fire and sprinklers went off inside. Its believed the blaze was started by debris from the Hexagon Bar nearby, which was destroyed by fire.

    Juxtaposition Arts, the teen-staffed art and design center in north Minneapolis, reported Saturday on Facebook that JXTA has not burned down. We did sustain minor damages last night, as the protests over George Floyds death were co-opted by violent individuals inciting riots and looting. We spent today admiring the efforts of our community members in cleanup, donations and aid.

    The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, located just south of the Minneapolis Police Third Precinct in Longfellow, was damaged by graffiti and fire sprinklers. The former Patricks Cabaret, the Hook is also home to Jawaahir Dance Company. Booker Jackson Buck told the Star Tribune that people broke in, probably looted and vandalized. The building still stands, but we dont know if it will survive until a later date. Its survival already threatened by COVID-19, the Hook had planned to launch a series of Hookstreams live streaming concert fundraisers this coming Friday, June 5.


    Ananya Dance Theatres Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice, also on University Avenue, had property damage.

    Hours before the fire began, the Migizi Legacy Radio Archive was moved elsewhere to safety. (Earlier reports said the archive, which includes decades of radio broadcasts and interviews with prominent Native Americans, had been lost.) Executive Director Kelly Drummer told Indian Country Today that what remains of the building is just a shell.

    After the fire, Rosy Simas, founding director of Rosy Simas Danse, wrote on Facebook, MIGIZI Communications is gone. My family and many others built this Native organization that has served the Native community for over 40 years Yes, it is just a building. But to the Native community this is territory, a home we still had here. Our lands stolen. We built this place for all people and many communities were loved, educated and thrived at MIGIZI. Im heartbroken. My sister has worked there for about 40 years. My mother is a founder. I worked there on and off for 13 years.

    Since George Floyds death, arts organizations across the Twin Cities have issued statements of solidarity and support. Penumbras Sarah Bellamy wrote, Justice doesnt come from one person pushing against a system, or one group making noise. It comes from the mighty confluence of many streams all rushing forward to say, enough. No more. Not in our names. Not on our watch. It seems that moment has arrived for Minnesota and the United States of America.

    MinnPost photo by Walker Orenstein

    A mural honoring George Floyd on display outside of Cup Foods in Minneapolis near where he died.

    From the Playwrights Center: We stand united with our communities of color and commit to supporting and uplifting voices of color We call on white people within our community to self-examine and to acknowledge racism and white supremacy in all their implicit and explicit forms and to make intentional change. The Guthries rooftop LED signs now say George Floyd and scroll James Baldwins words Nothing can be changed until it is faced.

    Minnesota Citizens for the Arts issued its statement on Monday afternoon. In part: Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is angered, appalled and outraged, like all of you, at the murder of George Floyd. We call for justice to be served for all those responsible. We also call for immediate engagement of all police to become catalysts of reform instead of participants in a culture of violence towards people of color.

    We are also saddened at the damage to small businesses and community-based arts organizations and nonprofits which are the livelihoods of and provide services to so many across Minneapolis and Saint Paul. We are particularly heartbroken by the destruction of Migizi Communications, a native led, youth serving organization which was burned to the ground near the Third Precinct police station, and we urge our members to help them rebuild by donating.

    Photo by Adam Kissick

    Sheila Smith

    The damage is a spectrum, Smith said. The worst one was Migizi. Its just really terrible. The damage at Springboard sounds pretty bad the sprinkler system was on but they are saying theyre resilient and justice is a more important issue right now than whats happening with buildings. You hear that as a pretty common refrain.

    We dont know everything that has happened, and we dont know everything that will happen. What we have now is a snapshot in time. I think its important to ask, How can the arts bring people together to express their feelings and to heal? One of the first things that happened was the mural of George Floyd near the spot where he died. And now that has become a sacred site in the city

    Our mission is to ensure access to the arts for all Minnesotans. We will still be working on our mission, no matter whats happening in the world. Were going to need to protect arts funding when the legislature reconvenes. We have so many arts organizations that were vulnerable because of COVID closings, and now we have some of them suffering physical damage. Its just injury on injury to our vibrant arts community. Like every other part of the economy, theyre hurting, but this feels like theyre hurting way more.

    The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits report says the nonprofit arts organizations have been the most deeply affected by COVID. This all happening on top of that is hard to bear. Were all going to have to work together to rebuild those communities and the arts organizations that serve them.

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    Adding up the damage to Twin Cities arts organizations - MinnPost

    It Took a Fire to Change Us – KNPR - June 6, 2020 by admin

    Everyone who was in Las Vegas on the morning of November 21, 1980 remembers what they were doing when they heard that the MGM Grand was burning.

    It was the worst disaster in the citys history, and, at the time, the second-worst hotel fire in the nations history. (The 1946 fire in Atlantas Winecoff Hotel, which claimed 119 lives, had that dubious honor.) All told, the MGM Grand fire would claim 87 lives. Thursday night had ended normally. At 7:15 Friday morning, a fast-moving fire erupted from the hotels deli, racing through the casino and sending toxic smoke through the hotel tower. Most of the hotels 2,000 rooms were filled with sleeping guests who, if they were lucky, were woken by shouting and banging.

    That day saw heroism helicopters from Nellis Air Force Base rescuing guests from the hotels 26th story roof, iron workers using their scaffolding to help others out of their windows, the 200 firefighters who battled the blaze. Yet there was also the sense that this tragedy was avoidable.

    The fact that the disaster may have been less deadly had there been fire-safety equipment provoked outrage.

    There was no alarm, not a thing, just panic, guest John Pupich told the Review-Journal. Smoke detectors, fire alarms, and sprinklers had not been required by law when the MGM Grand had been built in 1973. As they stood in 1980, county building codes required all those fire safety features, but the building code was not retroactive, so the MGM only had sprinklers in its theater, kitchen, lobby, basement, and top floor.

    This tragedy was also a public relations catastrophe for Las Vegas. The newest, most modern hotel was revealed as a death trap. Certainly images of black smoke billowing from the MGM Grand as guests desperately tried to escape some jumped or fell to their deaths were not going to encourage tourists to make travel plans.

    National press coverage was macabre. A Life and Death Gamble at MGM Grand, read the headline to a UPI wire story. Gamblers all, some of them bucked impossible odds, betting their lives on the strength of a bedsheet and plunging to a losers death, the article began. Fire Chief Roy Parrish did not help matters when he told a press conference that, all things considered, only one percent of the 8,000 human beings in the MGM Grand at the time perished. When he got on the scene, hed figured hundreds would be dead. News that personal items left behind when guests fled the blaze had been looted added insult to injury.

    Within a week of the inferno, several multi-million dollar lawsuits had been filed, as other Strip hotel executives claimed that such a disastrous blaze could never happen at their resorts though a quick check revealed that many of the citys high rises lacked smoke detectors, alarm systems, and sprinklers.

    For their part, MGM executives made it clear that the hotel would be reopened by July 1, and they also announced the establishment of a $1 million fund to assist employees who had been thrown out of work by the Grands closure. Other local businesses started a complementary relief fund, and labor unions and relief organizations distributed donations of food and clothing to both out-of-work employees and stranded tourists.

    Even before survivors of the fire had left town, concerns about the economic impact of the fire blossomed. Las Vegas was already amid a recession, and 4,500 newly unemployed casino workers, as well as 2,100 rooms out of service, boded ill for the citys recovery. Already, some were fretting about how the city could absorb the 55,000 conventioneers slated to arrive for the Consumer Economics Show in a few weeks. And removing the MGM Grand from the tax rolls, experts thought, could subtract up to $5 million from tax collections.

    Looking to the future, the first instinct for both public officials and casino executives had been to deny that a problem existed. But with bad press continuing, it was impossible to deny. Governor Bob List convened a fire safety commission chaired by Kenny Guinn in December; by the end of the month, it had gotten far enough along that it had already assembled a list of 11 ways existing hotels could be retrofitted.

    By early February, the commission was prepared to file its report, which recommended adding some sprinklers, smoke detectors, and emergency stairwell lighting to existing high rises. Some still protested that these measures might not be fully necessary, that they might be too expensive to enact. Although it seemed obvious that only retrofitting all hotels with sprinklers and other expensive safety systems would prevent another fire like that at the MGM Grand, the commission, bowing to pressure from the gaming industry, did not require it in existing structures.

    Disaster strikes twice

    Then, on February 10, tragedy struck again. Eight guests died in a rapidly spreading fire in the Las Vegas Hiltons East Tower. Fifteen hours later, Senate Bill 214, which required all hotels in install sprinklers in all guest rooms and back- and front-of-the-house areas, was introduced in Carson City. Some still, however, argued that the state should continue to let local jurisdictions remain responsible for fire safety.

    But with the second high-rise disaster, the reality became clear: however expense fire mitigation systems might be, they were cheaper than the alternatives.

    Before the Hilton fire, the legislature was diametrically opposed to retrofitting with sprinklers, said state Sen. Joe Neal, a co-sponsor of SB 214. After the Hilton fire, no one was opposed."

    By the time in early March that Gov. Lists fire safety commission delivered its findings, some casinos were already installing protective systems. On June 15, Gov. List signed a bill turning the commissions recommendations into law, requiring that about 33,000 structures throughout the state undertake expensive retrofitting project that would ensure that all buildings over 55 feet would have smoke detectors, fire alarms, exits, improved emergency lighting, and other safety improvements.

    Beyond the economic impact of the fires and the costs of retrofitting was the emotional impact on potential visitors of hotels everywhere. The fires, combined with the collapse of a skywalk at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency that July, made many guests fearful; according to news reports at the time, some avoided hotels whose design they perceived as dangerous or refused to stay in a room on an upper floor.

    Las Vegas bore the brunt of the negative publicity from the fires and the ongoing recession. After a decade of successive increases, a record 11,941,524 visitors made it to Las Vegas in 1980. The numbers dropped the following two years, the longest and proportionally largest decline in visitation in Las Vegas history (so far).

    Las Vegas reached a milestone on the road back on July 30, 1981, when the MGM Grand, after eight months and $50 million of reconstruction work, reopened. Though Dean Martin was the featured entertainer for the reopening, the real star was the hotels new $5 million, state-of-the-art fire suppression system. It featured a fire-proof command center from which personnel monitored a computer capable of automatically activating 1,000 safety actions.

    Dean Martin even joked about the hotels new vigilance. This is the safest place in the world, he reassured his audience. I ordered smoked salmon for breakfast in my room and the sprinklers went off.

    From lagging behind to safest in the world

    Of course, reopening the MGM Grand didnt immediately reverse the citys economic decline, and it didnt assuage the worries of all potential Las Vegas visitors. Retrofitting the states high rises was not an easy or quick task; it was not until the third anniversary of the MGM fire that most structures were in compliance, and it took several more years for all of the Strip to pass muster.

    But by 1983, Las Vegas was seen as taking the lead on fire safety. The Hilton and MGM fires had led to Nevada adopting what was called the toughest safety code in the nation, with individual casinos going above and beyond it to show their concern for guest safety.

    Still, uneasiness remained. A February 1986 series of arson attacks at the Dunes, Holiday Inn (now Harrahs), and Sands were mostly extinguished by sprinklers, but some felt that Las Vegas got lucky the bankruptcy-prone Dunes, which had several times requested extensions for its retrofitting due to financial problems, had a main casino that still lacked sprinklers or an alarm system. The Marina Hotel had failed to install non-combustible panels on its exterior windows to prevent a repeat of the Hilton tragedy in which flames jumped from window to window and was headed to court. The Flamingo Hilton and Landmark were not yet compliant, but were close to the finish line.

    The litigation sparked by the MGM Grand fire dragged on for years; the hotel never quite recovered its pre-disaster momentum and was sold, along with the MGM Grand Reno, to Bally in April 1986. A few months later, with the completion of the necessary work at the Marina, Clark County Inspections Administrator Brad Remp announced that all resorts in the county were now fully compliant with all fire safety ordinances.

    I would say, he said, the tourists that come here can be very secure in knowing that any major facility they stay in can be counted among the safest in the world.

    Media coverage of the December 31, 1986 fire in Puerto Ricos Dupont Plaza Hotel, which claimed 96 lives, reflected indirectly the work that had been put into improving safety for Las Vegas resorts. Only Massachusetts and Florida, it was noted, had laws as stringent as Nevadas. Presumably these ordinances would prevent disasters like that at the MGM Grand or at the Dupont Plaza.

    It has been worth every dollar

    Ironically, a series of fires may have cemented the narrative that Las Vegas hotels were now fundamentally safe. On June 8, 1988, a housekeeper discovered a fire in a pile of linens on the 24th floor of Fitzgeralds (now The D). An employee quickly smothered the fire with a fire extinguisher; it never became intense enough to activate the sprinkler system. However, the alarms did trigger, and three floors of the hotel were evacuated, and play continued in the casino without interruption. A more serious September 1989 blaze at the Riviera, sparked by construction on the high-rise, led to the evacuation of 3,000 guests and caused $3.5 million in damage. Still, no one died, and though the fire was serious enough to halt gambling in the casino (which suffered water damage), most of the resort returned to operation within hours.

    A Review-Journal editorial used the occasion to declare the retrofitting program, which had cost resorts over $200 million, a success. Though it had taken strict enforcement to bring the Strip into total compliance, it has been worth every dollar, as the aftermath of the Riviera blaze showed, the R-J proclaimed.

    And visitors returned. Visitation to Las Vegas started rising again in 1983. From 1985 until 1990, the city added, on average, over a million new visitors a year, bringing the total from under 12 million in 1980 to nearly 21 million in 1990.

    From disaster, a lesson

    The retrofitting and recovery of Las Vegas after the MGM Grand fire can serve as a playbook for how resorts reopen and the town recovers from its current crisis. The immediate disaster and its economic impact were the worst of it, but the long-term implications were worrisome too: With public confidence shaken, there were real fears that tourists, fearing for their safety, would stay away.

    The February 1981 Hilton fire, which claimed fewer lives but garnered more national media attention, underscored the need for real action. The 1981 fire safety legislation, though it was expensive, ended up giving resorts a blueprint for improving safety. Some found it onerous, other struggled to pay for it, but in the end the public demanded safety, and Nevadas leaders made the decision to embrace it.

    With the states resorts on the cusp of reopening, there are few certainties. Will tourists want to travel? Will they want to visit casinos? Will a spike in cases force a second closure? But there are general principles to be learned from the pain of the MGM Grand fire four decades in the past. Las Vegas is a city built on public relations. Coming back from the fire demanded that the city undertake costly, time-consuming retrofitting before it could be promoted as safe. The eventual adoption of fire safety in Las Vegas led to the city being hailed, within a half-decade, as an example of responsible planning two words not usually paired in discussions of Sin City.

    So far this year, Las Vegas has suffered a calamity whose death toll and economic impact already dwarf that of the fire. But the lessons of that tragedy, painfully learned, can continue to point the way to the future.

    First, while the first instinct may be to deny or minimize health and safety concerns about traveling to and vacationing in Las Vegas, ultimately the public will demand a response to those concerns. With the gaming industry already in recession in 1981, spending money on retrofitting was a huge financial burden but one the industry accepted, after the Hilton fire proved the MGM Grand disaster was no fluke. For years, some hotel guests insisted on staying in rooms below the ninth floor, the highest elevation fire ladders could reach. It was only the existence of robust safety systems that proved themselves literally under fire at Fitzgeralds and the Riviera that fire became less of a concern.

    Its not hard to imagine that the labor and effort it will take to make Las Vegas appear healthy and safe should a viral outbreak occur here might eclipse the fire safety retrofitting of the 1980s. Certainly it would have an even bigger impact on how people live, work, and play in Las Vegas. So, in the new Las Vegas, expect stringent health measures. Expect messaging about how, while its fun, Las Vegas is also safe and responsible.

    After the fire, casino executives learned to rely on fire safety experts, whose advice helped them make changes that restored public confidence. Its not hard to imagine that, post-pandemic, virologists and public health experts will play a similar role in Las Vegas.

    History has one final lesson. The prognosis for Las Vegas looked terrible by 1981. But within two years, the citys recovery was well under way. By the end of the decade, the city welcoming nearly twice as many visitors as before was on the verge of even greater growth.

    Prior to becoming associate vice provost, gaming historian David G. Schwartz was the director of UNLVs Center for Gaming Research.

    See the article here:
    It Took a Fire to Change Us - KNPR

    Government launches 1bn Building Safety Fund to replace cladding on high rise residential buildings – IFSEC Global - June 6, 2020 by admin

    Building Safety Fund

    The UK Government has launched its 1 billion building safety fund, initially revealed in the most recent Budget announcement by Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. The registration process is now open and closes on 31 July 2020.

    The building safety fund is designed to help building owners and landlords replace unsafe non-ACM cladding on residential buildings at least 18 metres high which do not comply with building regulations. Unsafe non-ACM cladding includes certain types of other (non-Aluminium) metal composite or high pressure laminate panels, render and timber wall systems.

    The scheme follows previous government funding of 600 million for the remediation of ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) cladding systems such as those used on Grenfell Tower for high-rise social and private sector residential buildings.

    The new fund is aimed at making sure tenants, leaseholders and residents are safe and feel safe, by remediating unsafe non-ACM cladding systems. The fund will meet the cost of remediating non-ACM cladding systems where building owners (or other entities legally responsible for making buildings safe) are unable to do so.

    In the private sector, the fund will meet the capital costs of removing and replacing unsafe non-ACM cladding systems which would otherwise be passed on to leaseholders.

    For social housing, the Government will meet the costs of remediation to high rise residential buildings regulated as social housing. For social providers whose viability is not threatened by the cost of the work, a claim process will be launched in July to meet the remediation costs which would otherwise be passed to leaseholders.

    But ministers have made it clear that they except building owners who are already remediating their buildings to continue doing so, and that building owners should explore every opportunity to fund this work before seeking government funding or passing their costs to leaseholders.

    Funding will also be provided for mixed use residential and commercial developments in both sectors. But where remediation work has already started, or where work has previously been committed to prior to the budget announcement in March, funding will not be available.

    The fund will apply to the removal and replacement of cladding systems with panels achieving European Class C-s1,d0 or worse in combination with any class of insulation, or cladding systems with panels achieving European Class B-s1,d0 to Class B-s3,d2 with insulation achieving Class B-s1,d0 or lower, unless the system has achieved a BR135 certificate via a BS8414 test. Any building with insulation or filler achieving Class B-s1,d0 or lower that is not installed in line with a system with a BR135 certificate via a BS8414 test will also be eligible to register.

    Launching the scheme, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: I will not accept any excuses from building owners who have yet to take action, and those responsible should register for the fund so that they can start the remediation process immediately. I have also reached an agreement with local leaders so that this important work can continue safely during the pandemic.

    The registration process is now open and closes on 31 July 2020.

    Under the Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018, the Government banned the use of combustible materials on the external walls of new high rise residential buildings with a storey at least 18m above ground level.

    The Government is also amending guidance in Approved Document B which makes sprinkler systems and floor and flat identification signage mandatory in new high-rise blocks over 11m tall. The amended guidance will come into force in England on 26 November 2020 and is the first part of a full technical review of Approved Document B.

    In addition, the Government is consulting with the National Fire Chiefs Council to begin testing evacuation alert systems for high-rise blocks of flats, which could support fire and rescue services operational response by alerting residents if they need to escape.

    Know your fire safety responsibilities.

    Business owners have many responsibilities, but the consequences of neglecting your fire safety responsibilities are potentially unthinkable.

    Download this guide to get:

    Government launches 1bn Building Safety Fund to replace cladding on high rise residential buildingsThe Government has launched its 1 billion building safety fund, initially revealed in the most recent Budget announcement by Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.

    Ron Alalouff

    Post-Grenfell regulation aims to transform fire safety in buildings

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    Government launches 1bn Building Safety Fund to replace cladding on high rise residential buildings - IFSEC Global

    Crop-killing cold expected Monday night, how local farmers plan to survive – WBNG-TV - May 12, 2020 by admin

    (WBNG) -- With crop-killing cold possible for Monday night, farmers in our area are prepared to make sure their crops survive the unseasonably low temperatures.

    To make sure their buds turn into apples come September, Russell Farms apple orchard in Brackney, Pennsylvania relies on a sprinkler system.

    Staff explain when used, the system wets the trees, which turns into an icy coating in the cold temperatures. This ice insulates the trees, therefore allowing them to warm up a few degrees.

    Farmer Michael Russell explains the magic number to use this process is when the trees hit 28 degrees.

    Without the pump on rare, cold nights, Russell said, "Once we get down to 25 [degrees] if you didn't have protection and you would pretty much lose your whole crop of apples."

    A situation his team avoided just a few nights ago, saying, "We sprayed almost 24 hours on Friday night...but we think it saved the orchard."

    As for Monday night, "If we have to turn our sprinkles on we're going to turn them on."

    At the farm's farm stand in Vestal on rare, chilly nights, Russell explains, "We're working harder to bring those plants under the tents, tent side the whole tent in and then put heat in there so then when the morning comes we'll pull everything back out and it'll be just as good as it was yesterday."

    The farm also grows other fruits and vegetables in Lancaster, PA. This happens in the much warmer environment of a greenhouse until about the end of May.

    If you're concerned about your plants on an unseasonable cold night, Russell suggests bringing them inside your home or garage for the night.

    When it warms back up, you can bring them back out safe and sound.

    More here:
    Crop-killing cold expected Monday night, how local farmers plan to survive - WBNG-TV

    With summer around the corner, will city pools be open? – KCTV Kansas City - May 12, 2020 by admin

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    With summer around the corner, will city pools be open? - KCTV Kansas City

    The scandal that haunts Kankakee Illinois Leaks – Edgar County Watchdogs - May 12, 2020 by admin


    Kankakee, IL. (ECWd)

    This article was written by Jeff P. Hutson and is reposted with permission.

    Weve heard about the scandal for months. 600+ pages of proof, evidence, and documents. Yet there is still so much unanswered about what is really going on at The Haunted Factory and ACERE (American Center for Emergency Response and Education). Why there are still children in there sweeping proven asbestos. Why ACERE under-reported their gross annual income on their form 990 tax return for 2018 as $18,915. Despite a super majority of the board of The Haunted Factory being in agreement that their fundraiser alone brought in close to $50,000 over 10 days. How the venue operated a haunted house without meeting fire code.

    On September 18th of 2019 the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal inspected the property at 980 N. Hobbie Ave. in Kankakee, and that report was released 8 days later. Full report available here: Did ACERE really fix 60+ violations to the NFPA and life safety code in less than 2 weeks? The answer is no. It is unlikely that they even fixed one. While a significant amount of work went into the sprinkler system, it was never made operational due to it being a fire pump system. Which would require its own electricity service or a dedicated commercial generator[via Illinois Department of Labor]. Neither of which were furnished. It was stated by a representative of ACERE that city of Kankakee had certification of the sprinkler system being tested and working, which they did not. Nor did the Illinois Department of Labor or the State Fire Marshal [via FOIA]. In the inspection report from the Illinois Department of Labor, Full report available here: , on October 8th of 2019 it is noted that they were relying on a statement that the sprinkler system was tested and working but they were doubtful of the legitimacy of that claim. Many pictures of crumbling asbestos, hazards, and failures were also documented within the pathways of the haunted house during that inspection.

    The IDOL has stated that local officials were pushing for the haunted house to pass the inspection despite their findings, stating they have seen this situation before and suggested the media and elections may. . . Continue reading at:

    .Our work is funded entirely thru donations and we ask that you consider donating at the below link.

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    The scandal that haunts Kankakee Illinois Leaks - Edgar County Watchdogs

    Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market Growth by Top Companies, Trends by Types and Application, Forecast to 2026 – Cole of Duty - May 12, 2020 by admin

    Weathermatic (Telsco Industries)

    Moreover, the Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System report offers a detailed analysis of the competitive landscape in terms of regions and the major service providers are also highlighted along with attributes of the market overview, business strategies, financials, developments pertaining as well as the product portfolio of the Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System market. Likewise, this report comprises significant data about market segmentation on the basis of type, application, and regional landscape. The Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System market report also provides a brief analysis of the market opportunities and challenges faced by the leading service provides. This report is specially designed to know accurate market insights and market status.

    By Regions:

    * North America (The US, Canada, and Mexico)

    * Europe (Germany, France, the UK, and Rest of the World)

    * Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, and Rest of Asia Pacific)

    * Latin America (Brazil and Rest of Latin America.)

    * Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, , South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa)

    To get Incredible Discounts on this Premium Report, Click Here @

    Table of Content

    1 Introduction of Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market

    1.1 Overview of the Market1.2 Scope of Report1.3 Assumptions

    2 Executive Summary

    3 Research Methodology

    3.1 Data Mining3.2 Validation3.3 Primary Interviews3.4 List of Data Sources

    4 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market Outlook

    4.1 Overview4.2 Market Dynamics4.2.1 Drivers4.2.2 Restraints4.2.3 Opportunities4.3 Porters Five Force Model4.4 Value Chain Analysis

    5 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market, By Deployment Model

    5.1 Overview

    6 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market, By Solution

    6.1 Overview

    7 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market, By Vertical

    7.1 Overview

    8 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market, By Geography

    8.1 Overview8.2 North America8.2.1 U.S.8.2.2 Canada8.2.3 Mexico8.3 Europe8.3.1 Germany8.3.2 U.K.8.3.3 France8.3.4 Rest of Europe8.4 Asia Pacific8.4.1 China8.4.2 Japan8.4.3 India8.4.4 Rest of Asia Pacific8.5 Rest of the World8.5.1 Latin America8.5.2 Middle East

    9 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Control System Market Competitive Landscape

    9.1 Overview9.2 Company Market Ranking9.3 Key Development Strategies

    10 Company Profiles

    10.1.1 Overview10.1.2 Financial Performance10.1.3 Product Outlook10.1.4 Key Developments

    11 Appendix

    11.1 Related Research

    Get Complete Report


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