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TexasTowelie

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Texas
Home country: United States
Current location: Red Hell Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 75,578

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Ohio's sole LGBTQ+ magazine stops publication due to COVID-19

On March 25, Prizm posted an online release stating that due to the shelter-at-home order, delivery to more than 1,000 Ohio locations was impossible. Also, advertising revenue “evaporated.”

Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community was hit last week with the sudden loss of its only hub for local news, features and events, Prizm magazine.

Prizm was a bimonthly magazine that covered news, health, entertainment, and culture through “journalistic storytelling with an artistic edge.” according to its mission statement.

On March 25, Prizm posted an online release stating that due to the shelter-at-home order, delivery to more than 1,000 Ohio locations was impossible. Also, advertising revenue “evaporated.”

The April/May issue will be electronically published through e-mail and on the website.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/business/20200331/ohiorsquos-sole-lgbtq-magazine-stops-publication-due-to-covid-19

Ford, GE commit to making 50,000 ventilators in 100 days

Source: Columbus Dispatch

Ford Motor Company and GE Healthcare have announced plans to produce 50,000 ventilators in the next 100 days with the support of 500 United Auto Workers employees in Michigan to help in the battle against the coronavirus.

A new, simple ventilator design, licensed by GE Healthcare from Florida-based Airon Corp., operates on air pressure without the need for electricity, officials said during a conference call.

The two companies will “leverage” the design of Airon Corp.’s FDA-approved ventilator and work with UAW members to build the GE/Airon Model A-E ventilator, starting the week of April 20 at Ford’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, said Jim Baumbick, vice president of enterprise product line management at Ford.

Read more: https://www.dispatch.com/business/20200331/ford-ge-commit-to-making-50000-ventilators-in-100-days

Ohio Supreme Court to decide whether Volkswagen should pay state hundreds of billions for 2015

Ohio Supreme Court to decide whether Volkswagen should pay state hundreds of billions for 2015 emissions scandal


COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a lawsuit in which the state of Ohio is seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in penalties from Volkswagen for the automaker’s 2015 emissions cheating scandal.

If Ohio wins the lawsuit, it could open Volkswagen up to lawsuits from other states, as well as thousands of local governments, for intentionally violating clean-air laws by using software that evades federal emissions standards.

In 2016, Volkswagen agreed to a nearly $15 billion settlement, under which the German car company agreed to pay the state of Ohio $13 million, as well as offer compensation of at least $5,100 each to nearly 14,000 Ohioans who bought or leased Volkswagen and Audi diesel-powered vehicles in model years 2009-2015.

In its appeal, Volkswagen stated that through various court settlements and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency penalties, Ohio and its residents have received (or will receive) more than $343 million in consumer relief, $71 million in environmental mitigation, and $36 million in compensation to dealers, which adds up to nearly $33,000 per affected vehicle in Ohio.

Read more: https://www.cleveland.com/open/2020/03/ohio-supreme-court-to-decide-whether-volkswagen-should-pay-state-hundreds-of-billions-for-2015-emissions-scandal.html

Amid coronavirus emergency, Sen. Rob Portman seeks Chinese tariff exemption for Ohio firm that makes

Amid coronavirus emergency, Sen. Rob Portman seeks Chinese tariff exemption for Ohio firm that makes Purell hand sanitizer


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Sen. Rob Portman on Tuesday says he’s working to lift tariffs implemented by the Trump administration on several Chinese-made packaging parts that Akron-based Gojo Industries uses in the pumps that dispense its Purell brand hand sanitizer, which is in heavy demand to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need all the hand sanitizer we can produce, and Purell is a global leader in that.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office denied the company’s request to lift a 25 percent tariff on Chinese-made pump houses and e-collar dispenser parts that Purell uses in its dispensers. Portman said the tariffs cost the company around $10 million, and they should be lifted to facilitate its efforts to boost production of its badly needed product.

“These are items that are critical to the public health response to coronavirus and we should do everything we can do to maximize the supply of this product, so I hope that by the end of this week we will have a successful outcome there, and we will be able to get an exclusion from those tariffs," said Portman. He said he’s working with a number of other companies to facilitate production of products for use in fighting coronavirus.

Read more: https://www.cleveland.com/open/2020/03/amid-coronavirus-emergency-sen-rob-portman-seeks-chinese-tariff-exemption-for-ohio-firm-that-makes-purell-hand-sanitizer.html

FDA Allows Full Use of Columbus Company's Surgical Mask Sterilization Tech After Pressure from Gov.

FDA Allows Full Use of Columbus Company's Surgical Mask Sterilization Tech After Pressure from Gov. DeWine


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended a previous decision regarding the use of Columbus, Ohio-based science and technology institute Battelle's CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted spoke about their disappointment in the national agency in a press conference on Sunday, March 29. The system sterilizes health care workers' used personal protective equipment (PPE).

According to a release from DeWine, as of Sunday, the FDA had authorized Battelle "to sterilize only 10,000 surgical masks in Ohio each day, despite their ability to sterilize up to 160,000 masks per day in Ohio alone." That decision also limited the company's ability to send its tech to COVID-19 hot spots like New York and Washington state.

"The FDA's decision to severely limit the use of this life-saving technology is nothing short of reckless," said DeWine in a press release. "Battelle's innovative technology has the capability to protect healthcare professionals and first responders in Ohio and across the country, but in this time of crisis, the FDA has decided not to support those who are risking their lives to save others. This is a matter of life and death. I am not only disappointed by this development, but I'm also stunned that the FDA would decline to do all it can to protect this country's frontline workers in this serious time of need."

According to DeWine, Battelle wanted to send a machine to New York City; Stony Brook, New York; Washington state; and Washington, D.C. The company had also planned to ship four more CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System units next week and 15 more in the coming weeks.

Read more: https://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2020/03/30/fda-allows-full-use-of-columbus-companys-surgical-mask-sterilization-tech-after-pressure-from-gov-dewine

City of Cincinnati Furloughs 20 Percent of its Workforce as Coronavirus Causes Budget Havoc

The City of Cincinnati confirmed it is making massive furloughs today in order to address a looming $60 million to $80 million budget deficit related to pandemic coronavirus COVID-19.

Those cuts were "extreme," Mayor John Cranley said today, but necessary as the city struggles with an enormous reduction in tax revenue related to closure of non-essential businesses and other economic fallout from COVID-19.

Cranley said more than 20 percent of the city's workforce will be on temporary unpaid leave, though they will still have health benefits. The average department saw staff reductions of around 50 percent, he said. Some departments saw even steeper cuts.

No firefighters or police officers were furloughed, though some administrative staff in those departments will be. Roughly 90 percent of the city's sewer and waterworks employees also remain on the job, Cranley said.

Read more: https://www.citybeat.com/news/blog/21125345/city-of-cincinnati-furloughs-20-percent-of-its-workforce-as-coronavirus-causes-budget-havoc

First-time voters bummed, but undeterred by delayed Ohio primary

Abra Lisowski did everything right.

The 18-year-old native of Cleveland Heights registered to vote and researched her 2020 primary ballot thoroughly. While other voters paid most attention to the presidential race, Lisowski had her eyes on a local schools levy. She was excited to cast her ballot in favor of the district.

Then COVID-19 got in the way. With support of the governor, Ohio’s health director declared a health emergency to close all voting locations just eight hours before the polls were set to open.

First-time voters like Lisowski experienced an unwelcome introduction to the American democratic process — the unprecedented postponement of a statewide election. Many had accompanied their parents to the polls as children, watching them be greeted cheerfully by pollworkers and receive a coveted “I Voted” sticker on their way out.

This election was supposed to be their turn.

Read more: https://ohiocapitaljournal.com/2020/03/31/first-time-voters-bummed-but-undeterred-by-delayed-ohio-primary/

CNMI: 7 p.m. curfew for all

Starting last night, everyone must be home by 7pm. Violators will be given citations.

Following the death of a suspected COVID-19 patient and two positive cases in the CNMI, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres ordered yesterday a 7pm curfew for everybody, with those found to be violating to be cited according to law.

“Starting tonight, 7pm, if you are not part of the exception, you need to stay home. Starting tomorrow night, citations will be forthcoming to anybody that does not fall under the exception of curfew hours,” the governor said.

Not included in the curfew are law enforcement officers, first responders, and private sector employees whose work schedule falls within the curfew hours.

“Those that are exempted are law enforcement officers, first responders, private sector employees on duty during curfew hours, they will be the only person allowed to leave their home anytime after 7pm, and before 6am. Violators will be cited according to law,” Torres said.

Read more: https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/7pm-curfew-for-all/

Essentia lays off 500 employees across 4 states

FARGO — Essentia Health announced Monday, March 30, that they have laid off 500 nonmedical staff as they prepare for an "expected surge of COVID-19 patients."

David Herman, chief executive officer at Duluth-based Essentia, said the employees who aren't involved in direct patient care have been placed on "special administrative leave" at its hospitals and clinics in Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho and Wisconsin.

The health care system employs another 14,000 in the four states.

Herman said they have postponed elective surgeries, closed some clinics and delayed routine appointments.

Read more: https://www.inforum.com/business/healthcare/5022748-Essentia-lays-off-500-employees-across-4-states

Researchers: North Dakota has adequate hospital bed capacity for virus; 171 deaths anticipated

Projections from University of Washington researchers suggest that North Dakota is well-positioned with hospital beds to accommodate coronavirus patients over the next four months.

Despite the availability of beds, the model indicates that 171 residents will die over the four-month time period from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The research from the school’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that the peak demand on hospital resources in North Dakota will fall on May 1.

Gov. Doug Burgum said at a press conference Monday that he was familiar with the institute’s research and called it “directionally correct” relative to other, less-reliable modeling that various states have used to predict the spread of the virus. But, he said, 171 deaths “is not acceptable to us” and “we do not want to be on that path.”

Read more: https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/researchers-north-dakota-has-adequate-hospital-bed-capacity-for-virus/article_40824dd8-3b8c-553a-ab3a-bf92b63990a2.html
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