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$1.4B in Sandy Aid to Rebuild Long Island Electric Grid

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The federal government is making more than $730 million available to fund long-awaited Long Island power grid upgrades and an additional $700 million to cover the cost of Sandy-related repairs, officials said.The $1.4 billion agreement, announced Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, which characterized the move as “unprecedented” in New York State because of its promise to provide protection against future outages without burdening ratepayers with the costs of repairs.Cuomo’s office said Federal Emergency Management Agency funding will go toward elevating damaged substations, moving certain power lines underground and automatic sectionalizing switches across the grid, among other improvements.“We need to reimagine New York for the new reality of extreme weather and I want to thank FEMA for providing this new support to help us build back better and stronger than ever before,” Cuomo said in a statement.The agreement also punctuates the complete turnaround of how the electric grid is managed on Long Island after officials blasted the Long Island Power Authority for its handling of the Oct. 29, 2012 hurricane. Since the storm, the state passed a bill that restructured LIPA by transforming it into a holding company and dramatically cutting its staff and board.“We’re not just building back the same, we’re building back stronger, so that the next time a superstorm hits, the lights don’t go off across Long Island,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added in a statement. “This generous amount of funding from the Federal Hurricane Sandy relief bill will make sure that Long Islanders, who saw such miserable service during the storm, will not be on the hook for the repairs and improvements to the system.”Under the agreement, the state will bare the responsibility of determining how to utilize the $730 million made available to improve resiliency, a stipulation that the governor’s office cheered.Ninety-percent of the funding will be paid for by FEMA, with the remainder coming from a federal Community Development Block Grant issued by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Cuomo’s office said.last_img read more

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Paratore leads Whitnell by 1 shot at British Masters

first_imgA victory on the Portugal Pro Golf Tour earned him five Challenge Tour invites in 2019 and he won the KPMG Trophy last September before claiming his European Tour card from the qualifying school.“I’ve been working hard on my game and this course suits me because it’s a little bit fiddly in places,” said Whitnell, who had not earned anything from five events in 2020 before the circuit shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.“The peaks and troughs of the golf profession are very interesting. You’ve just got to try to deal with it the best you can,” Whitnell said. “I love the game, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t and my amateur career speaks for itself.”South Africa’s Justin Harding fired a brilliant 63, the lowest round of the week so far, to sit alongside Whitnell on 10 under. Overnight leader David Law (69), Calum Hill (66), Ashley Chesters (66) and Rasmus Hojgaard (67) are a stroke further back. Associated Press Tournament host and club member Lee Westwood was in danger of making an early exit after a double bogey on the first, but the 47-year-old fought back to shoot 71 and make the cut on the mark of 1 under.The European Tour’s strict health protocols have been applauded, but did lead to the withdrawal of England’s Andrew Johnston after nine holes of his opening round.Johnston, who opened up last year about the mental health issues that followed his rapid rise to fame after winning the 2016 Spanish Open, said: “Being here and being confined to the hotel and course and not being able to bring my family is ultimately not what I want at this moment.“I’m struggling to get my head around it all. One minute I’m coming out of lockdown, going out for dinner, and then the next I’m back in lockdown in a hotel room.”Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult, the 98th-ranked defending champion and one of only three players inside the world’s top 100 featuring this week along with No. 82-ranked Eddie Pepperell, shot another 2-under 69. Pepperell (69) is on 6 under for a share of 13th place. Paratore leads Whitnell by 1 shot at British Masters Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditNEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, England (AP) — English golfer Dale Whitnell had an eagle and five birdies for a 7-under 64 in the second round of the British Masters to move second at Close House Golf Course on Thursday.Whitnell is 10 under par at the halfway stage, a shot behind Italy’s Renato Paratore (66), on the European Tour’s full return to action.The 31-year-old Whitnell played on the 2009 Walker Cup team alongside Tommy Fleetwood but struggled to establish himself in the professional ranks and was forced to take on a courier job for 10 months to make ends meet.center_img July 23, 2020 Miguel Ángel Jiménez (71), making his 706th appearance on the European Tour to tie the record of Sam Torrance, is tied for 35th on 3 under.Former US Open champion Michael Campbell (80) missed the cut after a first-round 68.The tournament marks the start of the European Tour’s “U.K. Swing,” a series of six events played in England and Wales over the next six weeks devised primarily for ease of travel for players amid the coronavirus pandemic.The venues for the six events are all within a three-hour drive of one another, scrapping the need for air travel to which players have become accustomed on the increasingly global tour. Players and caddies have been tested on arrival, will have to check for symptoms and take a temperature test daily. Most of Europe’s elite are in the United States ahead of a World Golf Championship in Tennessee, where the prize fund of $10.5 million is around 7½ times that of the British Masters, and then the PGA Championship in San Francisco starting on Aug. 6. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

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Delayed School Reopening Upcountry Due to Logistical Problems?

first_imgWe do not know how many other counties have experienced delayed school re-openings due to various logistical problems. But our Nimba Correspondent Ishmael Menkor reported yesterday that school reopening across the county was delayed for two primary reasons: first, the absence or delayed arrival of anti-Ebola supplies, such as chlorinated hand washing buckets and temperature taking devices.  The second was the delayed disbursement of subsidies to public schools, which the Ministry of Education (MOE) has directed not to charge entrance, registration or any other fees whatsoever.  The MOE’s reason was a good one—to minimize the hardship on parents, most of whom have suffered substantial economic and financial setbacks due to the Ebola epidemic. In order to save public schools from financial shortfalls since they had been ordered not to accept registration or other fees, MOE pledged subsidies to these schools.  Alas, in Nimba County at least, Menkor reported that the subsidies have not been forthcoming.Surely Nimba is not that far away.  Due to the deplorable road conditions and also the ongoing highway construction that necessitates many detours, it takes about five hours to reach Ganta from Monrovia.  That is not that far; so what is the reason that MOE could not get the subsidies and Ebola-fighting materials to Nimba schools in time? It was in early January that the Ministry announced the reopening of schools by late January and then early   February.  Surely, before making that pronouncement,   MOE should already have made sure to line up its promised subsidies, its anti-Ebola supplies, books and all other necessities for distribution throughout the country in time for school reopening.  This was the minimum the Ministry could have done to take itself seriously in order to meet its own target date. It is a sad commentary on educational administration, most especially at the governmental level, for MOE to not be in compliance with its own deadlines.  And if these deadlines are not met for schools as near as Nimba, how much more the schools in much further distances, such as Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe,  River Cess and Lofa counties?But this is nothing new.  We recall that a few years ago it took months for textbooks to reach the schools in River Gee County. Liberian administrators have to take themselves far more seriously.  They must realize that Liberia is a small country—only 43,000 square miles, with a population of hardly 4,000,000.  So why does Liberia seem so hard to manage?  Why did it take months, well into second semester, before River Gee students could get their textbooks?How long did it take further distances—Grand Kru, Maryland, Sinoe, River Cess, Lofa Counties—to receive their text books, if at all?  In this post-Ebola season, how long will it take for all these distant places to receive their subsidies and supplies?Surely MOE should give credit to the progress in the banking sector, which has made it possible for every county to boast of at least one bank.  That is progress which should make it easier for the MOE—or anyone else—to move money around.  So what is the reason for the late arrival of subsidies, especially in a centrally located and progressive city like Ganta,   where there are at least FIVE banks?  MOE leads us to ask the totally unnecessary question, What is the purpose of progress, if our very government fails to recognize the progress that its own regulatory institutions, such as the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), are making sure to establish around the country?   All MOE needed to do was to instruct the Ministry of Finance to channel the subsidies  through any of these banks—or MOE could have made sure that Finance remitted the money directly to MOE, which could then transfer it to the various counties directly through the banking system.We hope Minister Etmonia Tarpeh and other MOE authorities do not think we are being needlessly critical.  All we are trying to do is to remind them that Liberia is a very small country.  Therefore, apart from the reason of the lack of budgetary allocation, it should not take that much time and effort to get things done efficiently and expeditiously. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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