Archive for the ‘Virginia Tattoo’

We still blow up mountains to mine coal: Time to end the war on Appalachia – Salon05.06.21

On Earth Day this year, as President Biden assembled world leaders to a climate summit to focus on a "clean energy future," retiredcoal miner Chuck Nelsonhunkered down in the green hills of West Virginia, recovering from a recent stroke and with one remaining kidney, as thousands of tons of explosives from mountaintop removal strip mining operations detonated nearby with atoxic haze of coal dust.

Yes, Greta (Thunberg), we stillblow up mountainsin the United States to mine deadly coal.

While coal mining has decreased dramatically in recent years,state permits for reckless mountaintop removal operationsby absentee corporations, which involve only small numbersof non-union heavy equipment operators and explosives, in contrast tolabor-intensive underground mines,continue to be doled out in central Appalachia in a desperate attempt to shake down the region for a final coal tattoo.

In fact, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection celebrated Earth Day by rubber-stamping anew strip-mining permitfor an out-of-state coal company, slated to destroy 1,085 acres of forested ridges and wreak havoc for neighboring communities for the next eight years, despitedecades of protestby local citizens andreams of shocking health studiesonheightened cancer, heart andbirth defectrates associated with mountaintop removalmining dust.

Theendlesswaron the central Appalachian mountains continues. Needlessly, we should add.

"Millions of acres of Appalachian mountains have been permanently destroyed, and thousands of miles of streams have been permanently buried," emailed Nelson, whose wife died from chronic obstructive pulmonarydisease in 2019. "Witha flow of permits being processed right now, thousands more acres are planned to be wiped away forever. As devastating asmountaintop removal mining is to our majestic mountains, and the people's health impacts, only 3% of it is for electrical demand only 3%. Mountaintop removal mining goes against everything we're fighting for in trying to deal with the climate crisis. These are criminal acts carried out by criminal enterprises."

Instead of recognizing thecentury-old legacy of ruin in coal country, from Appalachia to Alaska and 20-odd states and several First Nations in between including an enduring array of abandoned mines, dangerous coal slurry impoundments, fraudulent "reclamation" projects, polluted waterways, desperate black lung victims, and gutted and sick communities with few economic options the Biden administration risks falling into the trap of outdated policies.

Two days after Earth Day applause, the Department of Energyquietly awarded millions of dollars"toboost the economic potential of coal and power plant communities," and subsidize"critical mineral extraction from coal and associated waste streams," as well as widely debunkedcarbon capture and storageschemes.

Listen here:Advocates in coal country have been calling for a Green New Deal since 2008 and acoalfields regeneration fundfor everyone in coal mining communities, not simply the out-of-state companies, and not justthrowing out a few job training opportunities for the dwindling ranks of largely non-union miners.

If the Biden administration and Congress truly want to build back better, theyshould have passed theRECLAIM ACT years ago, simply to start the process of reclaiming and reinvesting in all mining regions.And they should now double down on the commitment and make the Appalachian region, like all extraction zones fromthe IllinoisBasin totheNavajo Nation to thePowder River Basin, a showcase for a clean energy economy, not a backwoods of denial.

If the Biden administration and Congress want to end the war on Appalachia, they should simply pass theAppalachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE) Act,which calls for a moratorium on such devastating operations until a basic health study is completed.

This is one of the most shameless realities in regulation: One of the Trump administration's first acts was to cancel a long-term health study on the impacts ofmountaintop removal mining.

The sad truth is that this humanitarian and environmentalcrisishas been a federally sanctioned disaster sinceJimmy Carter begrudginglysignedtheSurface Mining Control and Reclamation Act in 1977, complaining that it would allow "the mining companies to cut off the tops of Appalachian mountains to reach entire seams of coal."

Let's repeat that phrase, "cut off the tops of Appalachian mountains" as in the tops of more than500 mountains for over a half-century, literally clear-cutting deciduous forests and the region's ancient carbon sink, blowing ridges into oblivion withexplosives and dumping the toxic remains and pulverized heavy metals in polluted streams, and ravaging the lives of citizens considered collateral damage, along with everything else in the way.

It doesn't have to be like this. Last month, Canadian government officials reversed theirown 45-year policy for open-pit coal mining, admitting, "We didn't get this one right."

It's time for Biden and Congress to get this one right in Appalachia and all mining communities.

Just listen to Vernon Haltom, director ofCoal River Mountain Watch,based in the frontline extraction zones of West Virginia, not in Washington, an organization thatdeserves as much support as possible:

With millions of Americans seriously ill or dead from the COVIDpandemic, the stockholders and executives of Alpha Metallurgical Resources have no qualms about filling the air in Appalachian communities with carcinogenic blasting dust. Their enablers at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection have no qualms about rubber stamping new and renewed mountaintop removal permits, "just following the law"to sentence innocent people to death and misery. People like WVDEP permit supervisor Laura Claypool face no negative consequences for their actions, apparently not even remorse, but the people face the consequences of death. How do they sleep at night? It's not as if they don't know about the dozens of peer-reviewed health studies demonstrating that mountaintop removal is a deadly public health threat. No, they sleep soundly in the comfort of a steady job doing the coal barons' bidding. The WVDEP has made it personal by approving the death of friends and family like Judy Bonds, Larry Gibsonand Joanne Webb, so they shouldn't be surprised if we make it personal about their cold, inhumane decisions. But since they've proven their incapacity for basic human decency, we need the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency (ACHE) Act, H.R. 2073 in this U.S. Congress, to protect the people.

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We still blow up mountains to mine coal: Time to end the war on Appalachia - Salon

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‘It was a wild goose chase’: Family reunited with dog that was stolen and taken 50 miles away – KERO 23ABC News05.06.21

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTKR) - Claire, a 1-year-old pit bull mix belonging to James and Amber Holda, was playing soccer in her Dam Neck yard on Tuesday.

"She loves to play defense,"said James Holda.

Claire has been away, literally on a rollercoaster ride since Thursday.

"She got through a crack in the fence," said James.

After the Holdas noticed Claire escaped, they immediately checked their home surveillance cameras.

"You can see Claire on the left of your screen running in the court, and you can see a woman scooping up the dog and putting it in her car," said James.

The rest of the story is complicated, but basically the owners called the police, filed a report and put up reward signs all within minutes.

An hour later, they oddly got a picture of Claire texted to their phone.

"Someone had identified the dog, and said, 'I know who has it,' and that started the wild goose chase," said James.

Through a tattoo on the alleged dognappers arm, the couple took to Facebook and became amateur detectives asking for help. Within minutes, someone gave them a name and number of who they thought took Claire.

"I was able to text her picture and say, 'Hey, we know who you are, and the police are involved,'" James said.

The person on the other end said they thought the dog was lost and said it was with them in Suffolk.

"They said, 'We didn't mean to take the dog; we wanted to turn it in, but it jumped out,'" James explained.

Another tipster called the family and said the alleged dognapper was staying in a motel in Suffolk, so the family hightailed it there.

"We went to the motel looking for the car," said Amber Holda.

Guests at the motel told the Holdas they had seen the dog handed off to another person, another twist.

"We were anxious - so many ups and downs and clues; so many leads. So close, so many times," said Amber.

After chasing down leads and putting up more reward posters of Claire, they got a call Monday night.

"The guy said he had the dog and was willing and straightforward to give her back," said James.

That person said they were given the dog and had it in Windsor.

"It was a rabbit chase," said James.

Four days later, Claire was reunited with her family.

"The reunion was something else. Her tongue was out, tail waggin', and everyone was in tears," said James.

The Holdas say they have many people to thank on Facebook for helping them follow the breadcrumbs. No arrests have been made, but Virginia Beach Police are investigating.

This story originally reported by Chelsea Donovan on WTKR.com

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'It was a wild goose chase': Family reunited with dog that was stolen and taken 50 miles away - KERO 23ABC News

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‘It was a wild goose chase’: Family reunited with dog stolen and taken over 50 miles away – wtkr.com05.06.21

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Claire, a 1-year-old pitbull mix belonging to James and Amber Holda, was playing soccer in her Dam Neck yard on Tuesday.

"She loves to play defense,"said James Holda.

Claire has been away, literally on a rollercoaster ride since Thursday.

"She got through a crack in the fence," said James.

After the Holdas noticed Claire escaped, they immediately checked their home surveillance cameras.

"You can see Claire on the left of your screen running in the court, and you can see a woman scooping up the dog and putting it in her car," said James.

The rest of the story is complicated, but basically the owners called the police, filed a report and put up reward signs all within minutes.

An hour later, they oddly got a picture of Claire texted to their phone.

"Someone had identified the dog, and said, 'I know who has it,' and that started the wild goose chase," said James.

Through a tattoo on the alleged dognappers arm, the couple took to Facebook and became amateur detectives asking for help. Within minutes, someone gave them a name and number of who they thought took Claire.

"I was able to text her picture and say, 'Hey, we know who you are, and the police are involved,'" James said.

The person on the other end said they thought the dog was lost and said it was with them in Suffolk.

"They said, 'We didn't mean to take the dog; we wanted to turn it in, but it jumped out,'" James explained.

Another tipster called the family and said the alleged dognapper was staying in a motel in Suffolk, so the family hightailed it there.

"We went to the motel looking for the car," said Amber Holda.

Guests at the motel told the Holdas they had seen the dog handed off to another person, another twist.

"We were anxious - so many ups and downs and clues; so many leads. So close, so many times," said Amber.

After chasing down leads and putting up more reward posters of Claire, they got a call Monday night.

"The guy said he had the dog and was willing and straightforward to give her back," said James.

That person said they were given the dog and had it in Windsor.

Related: Owners reunited with pet after Chesapeake home broken into, dog and other items stolen

"It was a rabbit chase," said James.

Four days later, Claire was reunited with her family.

"The reunion was something else. Her tongue was out, tail waggin', and everyone was in tears," said James.

The Holdas say they have many people to thank on Facebook for helping them follow the breadcrumbs. No arrests have been made, but Virginia Beach Police are investigating.

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'It was a wild goose chase': Family reunited with dog stolen and taken over 50 miles away - wtkr.com

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Therapy to heal the world with Micki Free – Verde Independent05.06.21

Native American flautist Micki Free will perform Friday May 7 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Sedona Arts Academy at The Collective, 7000 SR 179, in the Village of Oak Creek.

Live Climate, Avanti Consortium and Sedona Arts Academy collaborate to bring the performance by Micki Free, Commanche/Cherokee Native American, Grammy-award-winning, NativeAmerican Music Hall of Fame inductee and musician extraordinaire offering his Native American Flute music for healing, love and spirituality for the world.

Frees performance is scheduled Friday May 7, 7-8:30 p.m. at Sedona Arts Academy at The Collective, 7000 SR 179, in the Village of Oak Creek.

From Wikipedia

Free is a mixed-blood Native American born in West Texas and moved to Germany soon afterward. He claims Irish, Comanche, and Cherokee descent.

His stepfather, a U.S. Army sergeant, was stationed in Germany, and Free was introduced to rock n roll there as a child, when one of his five sisters received tickets to a Jimi Hendrix concert and took him along to the show.

It just blew my mind, Free remembered.

His family later moved to Illinois, where Free formed a rock band, Smokehouse. When he was 17, he was discovered by Gene Simmons of KISS, during a concert at which Smokehouse was the opening act for KISS, Ted Nugent, and REO Speedwagon.

After Simmons encouragement, Free joined Shalamar in 1984, just in time for the bands big successes, including a #17 position in U.S. Top 20 in 1984 with Dancing In The Sheets from the Footloose soundtrack, and a Grammy for Dont Get Stopped In Beverly Hills from the Beverly Hills Cop (1984) soundtrack in 1985.

With Shalamar, he was nominated for a Grammy three times.

After Shalamar, Free and Jean Beauvoir (of The Plasmatics) founded an AOR band, Crown of Thorns. Free later founded (and still tours with) The Micki Free Electric Blues Experience, with Jon Brant (formerly of Cheap Trick) on bass, and Curly Smith (formerly of Boston) on drums.

Recognition for his musical career after Shalamar came from the Native American Music Awards, where he won in the categories of Male Artist in 2002 and Pop Rock artist in 2004.

Micki Free has recorded with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and the DVD/CD/EP release Micki Free Live in Hyde Park featured Bill Wyman, formerly of The Rolling Stones.

In 2002, he was cast to play Tonto in a new production of The Lone Ranger.

Native Music Rocks is a music program created by Micki Free, designed to give Native American musicians an opportunity to tour alongside Micki and his band, American Horse Trio.

The band features Cindy Blackman-Santana, former drummer for Lenny Kravitz, and David Santos on bass. Free was Director of the Native Music Rocks program and went on to create the first Native American Record company, Native Music Rocks Records, distributed by Fontana/Universal Music. He was a recording artist on the label as well as Chief Creative officer/VP.

The event was sponsored by Hard Rock International and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Free was invited to appear as part of an all-star cast of Native American musicians, known as Native Rocks, at the American Indian Inaugural Ball in Arlington, Virginia, on the occasion of president Barack Obamas inauguration.

He performed with Native Rocks at a related event at the Hard Rock Cafe prior to performing at the Inaugural Ball.

Tattoo Burn (2012), is a blues-rock style album written, produced, arranged, and performed by Free.

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Joyce Mayberry Stowers Obituary – Madison Heights, VA | The News & Advance – Legacy.com01.24.21

Joyce Mayberry Stowers

Heaven has called one of his angels home. Our dear sister, aunt, and friend, Joyce Mayberry Stowers, passed suddenly Saturday, January 16, 2021, at Lynchburg General Hospital. She is now in the loving arms of her Mother and Father, Lynn Thomas Mayberry and Thelma Tomlin Mayberry.

Left behind in a world that will forever be changed without her, are two brothers, Mike Mayberry of Madison Heights and Les Mayberry of Lynchburg; a sister and special brother-in-law, Joan and Joseph Whaley of Lynchburg; six nieces and nephews, Drew, Patrick and Parker Whaley and Matthew, Stephanie, and Kelly Mayberry; and special friends, Tonya Wilson of Bedford and Theresa Whorley of Evington.

After graduating from Amherst County High School in 1971 and Lynchburg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1974; besides a short career managing The Ground Round Restaurant in Lynchburg; Joyce spent a lifetime caring for others. Her nursing career spanned 45 years. At the time of her passing, she was caring for our veterans at The Veterans' Administration Out-Patient Clinic in Lynchburg. She touched the lives of patients and coworkers everywhere she worked, Salem Veterans' Administration Hospital ICU, Lynchburg General Hospital Emergency Room, Central Virginia Training Center, Buckingham Correctional Center, Public Health Departments in Richmond and Charlottesville, and Medical Personnel Pool in Lynchburg.

Joyce was so kind to everyone putting herself last always. She was the glue that held the Mayberry family together. She was the best aunt ever, treating her nieces and nephews as if they were her own children. She knew unconditional love. She was a compassionate nurse who always advocated for her patients; often getting in trouble with the doctor or her supervisor. She was an animal lover like no other. Rescue dogs and cats were her children. And lastly, she was kind to strangers. The following wonderful rendition written on her Facebook page by a coworker sums up what Joyce was all about:"Oh, girl, You could blow into a room all sparkly and just a crazy energy! You gave such loving care to your patients and always had time to help another coworker. Could never say to you, "Oh Joyce, I love that necklace", next thing you know, you're taking it off and putting it around my neck. You came in with those big bag of McDonald's cheeseburgers and we'd pig out all night! We use to fix up our super- duper bath concoction that was our trade secret; cleanest, best smelling patients in ICU! You were a whirling dervish of love and selflessness. Rest easy now, your work here is done and your tattoo is on many hearts."

There will be an open visitation to pay your respects from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at Whitten Monelison Chapel.

Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at Whitten Monelison Chapel.

Flowers are welcome as well as donations to the SPCA of your choice.

Whitten Monelison Chapel is assisting the Stowers family (929-5712). To send online condolences to the family, please visit http://www.whittenmonelison.com.

Published by The News & Advance on Jan. 24, 2021.

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Man accused taking off with 18-year-old after family is kidnapped at gunpoint arrested in Virginia – WPBF West Palm Beach01.24.21

UPDATE: The Pembroke Pines Police Department was notified by the Virginia State Police at 12:40 a.m. Monday that Jaddier Sanchez and Nicole Martinez were located in Alexandria, Virginia.Martinez was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.Sanchez was arrested. We are still waiting to learn what charges he will face.ORIGINAL STORY:Two victims of an armed kidnapping in were left in Belle Glade early Sunday morning and authorities are searching for a third victim, who is being held against her will.At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office alerted the Pembroke Pines Police Department that they made contact with two victims who had been kidnapped at gunpoint outside their home in Pembroke Pines. The victims, an adult male and an adult female, told authorities they were confronted outside their home at 12:30 a.m. by Jaddier T. Sanchez. The suspect forced the two adults, along with their 18-year-old daughter, Nicole Martinez, into the family's 2007 red Dodge Ram pick-up truck with the Florida license plate number PYDC13. Sanchez was last seen in that vehicle with Martinez.Martinez is 5 feet 3 inches, 120 lbs., has black shoulder-length wavy hair and was last seen wearing a gray hoodie and orange/black cheetah print shorts. She has a goat tattoo on her left forearm, a Madusa head on the backside of her left forearm, a lion head on her right forearm, a dragon tattoo on her right thigh and the letter "D" with a crown tattoo behind her right ear.Sanchez is between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet, 185 lbs., has a thin beard across his jawline and has large tattoos around his neck.The victims were able to identify Sanchez through their daughter, officials said.Sanchez allegedly drove the three victims to various banks to withdraw money from ATMs before leaving the parents along the side of the road in Belle Glade.Martinez was not released from the vehicle and is being held against her will, officials said. Sanchez is considered armed and dangerous.Investigators say Sanchez dropped off Martinez parents on the side of the western portion of Southern Boulevard in Belle Glade before driving off with Martinez. Investigators say Sanchez has ties to Palm Beach County and Martin County.We do believe that the longer Nicole stays in contact with the suspect, the more harm she is going to find herself in," said Captain Adam Feiner with the Pembroke Pines Police Department. "So, if anybody sees the victim, the suspect or the vehicle they are urged to call 911 immediately."Anyone with information regarding Martinez's whereabouts or the stolen vehicle is asked to call 911, the Pembroke Pine Police Department at 954-431-2200 or the FBI Miami Field Office at 754-703-2000.

UPDATE:

The Pembroke Pines Police Department was notified by the Virginia State Police at 12:40 a.m. Monday that Jaddier Sanchez and Nicole Martinez were located in Alexandria, Virginia.

Martinez was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Sanchez was arrested. We are still waiting to learn what charges he will face.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Two victims of an armed kidnapping in were left in Belle Glade early Sunday morning and authorities are searching for a third victim, who is being held against her will.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office alerted the Pembroke Pines Police Department that they made contact with two victims who had been kidnapped at gunpoint outside their home in Pembroke Pines.

The victims, an adult male and an adult female, told authorities they were confronted outside their home at 12:30 a.m. by Jaddier T. Sanchez. The suspect forced the two adults, along with their 18-year-old daughter, Nicole Martinez, into the family's 2007 red Dodge Ram pick-up truck with the Florida license plate number PYDC13. Sanchez was last seen in that vehicle with Martinez.

Martinez is 5 feet 3 inches, 120 lbs., has black shoulder-length wavy hair and was last seen wearing a gray hoodie and orange/black cheetah print shorts. She has a goat tattoo on her left forearm, a Madusa head on the backside of her left forearm, a lion head on her right forearm, a dragon tattoo on her right thigh and the letter "D" with a crown tattoo behind her right ear.

Sanchez is between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet, 185 lbs., has a thin beard across his jawline and has large tattoos around his neck.

The victims were able to identify Sanchez through their daughter, officials said.

Sanchez allegedly drove the three victims to various banks to withdraw money from ATMs before leaving the parents along the side of the road in Belle Glade.

Martinez was not released from the vehicle and is being held against her will, officials said. Sanchez is considered armed and dangerous.

Investigators say Sanchez dropped off Martinez parents on the side of the western portion of Southern Boulevard in Belle Glade before driving off with Martinez.

Investigators say Sanchez has ties to Palm Beach County and Martin County.

We do believe that the longer Nicole stays in contact with the suspect, the more harm she is going to find herself in," said Captain Adam Feiner with the Pembroke Pines Police Department. "So, if anybody sees the victim, the suspect or the vehicle they are urged to call 911 immediately."

Anyone with information regarding Martinez's whereabouts or the stolen vehicle is asked to call 911, the Pembroke Pine Police Department at 954-431-2200 or the FBI Miami Field Office at 754-703-2000.

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ALLEGANY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2021: CELEBRATING 15 YEARS — The Face of Resilience Justyn Time – Cumberland Times-News01.24.21

The Face of Resilience

For the Health of Itand Justyn Time too

Do you remember that experience of being on the cover of Allegany Magazine? Was it a good one? Being selected at all to share my story with others was an amazing opportunity and then being chosen for the cover was unbelievable. My journey with AML began in 2013 and had been an almost continuous roller coaster ride (mostly down) when I was contacted in late 2017. It is hard to put in words the feelings of total isolation I'd experienced especially during the long months of transplant. I remember getting wheeled across the walkway at Hopkins every morning and looking out at the world I was no longer a part of wondering if I'd ever be able to join it again. In all that time, with the exception of a single visit from a dear high school friend, my mom and sister were my only contacts. The rest of the world goes on and you wonder if anyone remembers you are still there let alone what you are going through. Even when youre finally out, the bubble continues because you are immunocompromised and forever holding your breath. To get a call from a magazine back home interested in me and my journey was beyond reaffirming that I mattered. Allegany Magazine will never know how much it meant to my well being and positive outlook. I truly felt like a celebrity.

What have you been up to since we last featured you? In March 2019, while on one of my tattoo excursions, I met a great Irish country guy from Lancaster Pa. and we both quickly realized there was something special between us. He relocated to Virginia and we became engaged June 2, 2019. In 2020, I moved him home with me to Frostburg. My life today is nothing like it was when I was on the cover in 2018. The beginning of January I went for my annual checkup at Hopkins. My neutraphil numbers were very low. They were concerned because I had no ability to fight off any infections and my position at work located in the Pentagon Mall continuously exposed me daily to hundreds of people and germs from all over the world. I continued to work but when I became sick was told I had no choice but to take a leave until my numbers improved and because they were concerned about new reports of an unknown virus from China. That was mid January and then all hell broke loose with Covid. So after being away for over 15 years I found myself back in my little hometown. Then the other shoe dropped. I had been in an auto accident before I left Virgina when a guy ran into my car at stop sign. I thought I was fine but started having extreme pain in neck radiating down to fingers which became numb and trembled. It took until August to get into neurosurgeon who told me I needed surgery to remove discs, part of bone and put a protective cage in my neck. The surgeon was amazing. He even successfully managed to realign my tattoo perfectly at the incision! The care I received here was far better than some of the big names places Ive been! They were awesome.

What is something about you that may surprise people? Well, I have continued using my body as a canvas for expressing and documenting the events that have happened in my life. Many people are unaware that each tattoo is much more than just artwork. I guess for me it is my therapy and way of dealing with all I have been through. My angel wings represent my faith in heaven and my goal to fly free over adversity that always carry me through. My phoenix rising from the ashes is my rising from and overcoming my diagnosis. St Michael is my protector. The dove represents finding peace in chaos while the eagle is strength, majesty and the ability to keenly see into the future. My tigers are fire and water, ying and yang for balance as well as strength, fight and determination. The anchor keeps me grounded, the diamond hardness that cant be broken while brilliantly shining. Last but far from least are my warrior which I got as reminder of honor being on cover for Allegany Magazine and my DNA strand for my transplant. My sister and I each have one in the same spot. Hers coming out, mine going in representing her precious stem cells she donated to me to save my life and made her eternally part of me.

Do you still feel a connection to Allegany County? I have been away from home and Allegany County for more than 15 years since graduating college. Though my degree is in art and graphic design I made the choice to stay in retail because I am definitely a people person and could not stand the idea of working in a cubicle. As much as I enjoyed the salary abundance of activities and opportunities I had with city life in Arlington and DC area I guess I am more country at heart. I still missed the mountains and peace of home. Even though I hate the circumstances that brought me back and worry about the direction of my career, I am more than thrilled to be home with family and friends in Allegany County. Wade and I are looking forward to building a life here together.

What makes a good cover story? Someone that is human with real struggles and successes who has made the effort not just lucked out. A story I could read and think Id like to handle a situation like that too or at least inspire me to try.

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ALLEGANY MAGAZINE JANUARY 2021: CELEBRATING 15 YEARS -- The Face of Resilience Justyn Time - Cumberland Times-News

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Combined Federal, VA and NC Government Resources for COVID-19 – JD Supra12.14.20

Virginia Resources Updated: December 11, 2020North Carolina Resources Updated: November 25, 2020

Commonwealth of Virginia Official COVID-19 Website

This website is a comprehensive resource that provides information pertaining to official actions, guidance, updates, and information about the novel coronavirus. The Department of Social Services has recently launched a website to streamline access to resources and guidance for citizens.

Williams Mullen COVID-19 Legal Updates

Williams Mullen attorneys continue to serve our clients by assembling a legal resource page with alerts on federal and state actions related to COVID-19. An email sign-up is available so you can have legal alerts and updates sent as soon as they are published.

Recent Updates

On Thursday, December 10, 2020, Governor Ralph North announced further actions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the Commonwealth. While Virginias COVID-19 case count and positivity rate remain relatively low compared to other states, new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in all areas of the Commonwealth. Thus, the Governor has ordered further, more restrictive, measures to fight the spread of the disease. The following measures will take effect at 12:01am on Monday, December 14:

The new restrictions discussed above are reflected in Executive Order 72 , which incorporated Executive Orders 63 and 67. Here is a link to all of the Governors Executive Orders and Directives.

Virginia Employment Commission http://www.vec.virginia.gov/

Department of Labor and Industry https://www.doli.virginia.gov/

Department of Health: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov

Department of Medical Assistance Services (Medicaid): http://www.dmas.virginia.gov

Secretary of Commerce and Trade: https://www.commerce.virginia.gov/covid-19/

CARES Funding allocated to date

North Carolina Official COVID-19 Website

This website is a comprehensive resource concerning North Carolinas response to COVID-19.

Williams Mullen COVID-19 Legal Updates

Williams Mullen attorneys continue to serve our clients and have helped by assembling a legal resource page with alerts on federal and state actions related to COVID-19. An email sign-up is available so you can have legal alerts and updates sent as soon as they are published.

North Carolina ReopeningAs background, Governor Roy Coopers three phase reopening plan relies on North Carolinas progress on certain measurable factors. Below are the factors and in parentheses the result needed for each factor for the State to continue to the next phase:

Recent Updates:

On Monday, November 23rd, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 180, which reduces the number of exceptions to the face covering requirement and includes additional enforcement provisions. The new order takes effect Wednesday, November 24th at 5pm and runs until December 11th.

Executive Order 180 also continues Phase 3 until December 11th as well. Here are some highlights of Executive Order 180:

A link to the Governors Offices guidance document for Executive Order 180 can be found here.

On Tuesday, November 17th, Governor Cooper announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System (System). The System categorizes all 100 counties into three tiers using criteria that measure the level of viral spread. The Governor also announced recommended actions for public officials, individuals, businesses and community organizations to decrease the spread of the virus that are specific to the tiers.

The three tiers of counties are as follows:

The System uses a combination of three metrics: case rate, the percent of tests that are positive, and hospital impact within the county. A county is classified in the red or orange tier if the case rate surpasses the threshold for the respective tier and either the threshold for the percent of positive tests or the hospital impact threshold for that tier is also reached.

As of November 23rd, of North Carolinas 100 counties there are 20 red tier counties and 42 orange tier counties. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will publish an updated System report the 2nd week of every month.

A document outlining the System, along with the initial classifications, can be found here.

On Tuesday, November 10th, Governor Cooper extended Phase 3.0 of the states reopening plan and reduced the mass gathering limit for indoor spaces from 25 people to ten in preparation of the holidays when the number of indoor gatherings tends to increase. Both changes are included in Executive Order 176. An overview of Phase 3.0, initially embodied in Executive Order 169, is below.

A link to the Governors Offices guidance document for Executive Order 176 can be found here.

On October 20th, DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Secretary Eric Hooks sent a letter to elected officials in 36 counties asking that they consider taking local actions to improve compliance with the Governors executive orders. Because enforcement of the Governors Phase 3 Order is criminal, law enforcement may be reluctant to act. Therefore, DHHS and DPS are suggesting local civil enforcement. Some of the specific ideas mentioned in the letter are as follows:

The letter was sent to counties that have one or more of the following metrics:

The following counties received the letter from DHHS and DPS: Alamance, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Caswell, Catawba, Chowan, Cleveland, Craven, Cumberland, Davidson, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gaston, Graham, Greene, Guilford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Onslow, Pitt, Randolph, Robeson, Rockingham, Rowan, Scotland, Union, Wake, Watauga and Wayne.

A link to the letter can be found here.

A link to the DHHS press release can be found here.

Phase 3.0

Pursuant to Executive Order 169 North Carolina moved into Phase 3.0 on Friday, October 2nd. The significant modifications from Phase 2.5 are as follows:

Highlights of Phase 3.0:

Retail RequirementsThe capacity limit for retailers is the lesser of the following:

Other requirements include:

The Phase 1 requirement to provide hand sanitizer, when available, was moved to a recommendation in the DHHS guidance document, which can be found here.

RestaurantsRestaurants are defined to include, but are not limited to, cafeterias, food halls, dining halls, food courts, and food kiosks. The definition also includes locations within other businesses or facilities, including, but not limited to, airports, shopping centers, educational institutions, and private or members-only clubs where food and beverages are permitted to be consumed on-premises.

Restaurants are allowed to operate subject to capacity restrictions that limit occupancy to the lesser of the following:

The other requirements that apply are as follows:

Patrons do not need to be family members to sit at the same table and do not need to stay six feet apart. Nor are wait staff required to stay six feet away from customers.

The business immunity provision included in recently enacted COVID-19 legislation applies to restaurants.

The DHHS guidance document for restaurants can be found here.

Bars, Night Spots and Arenas

Phase 3 includes reopening provisions for bars, night spots and arenas that have seating for guests. The indoor areas of bars, defined as businesses which are not eating establishments or restaurants and that are principally engaged in the business of selling alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption, must remain closed. However, lounges (such as cigar bars and hookah lounges), venues for live performances, and adult entertainment facilities can reopen indoor areas with a maximum capacity of 25 guests with each group of guests seated so that they are spaced out six feet from other guests. No alcohol can be served inside these establishments. These types of establishments, along with bars and spectator stands and viewing areas at a sporting facility, stadium, sporting complex, or speedway, may open their outdoor areas with a maximum capacity of the lesser of the following:

Alcohol may be served in these outdoor areas and each group of guests must be seated so that they are spaced out six feet from other guests. Bars not using waitstaff must designate an ordering area that allows each patron to wait six feet apart from other patrons. If necessary, patrons may place their orders by coming inside the bar, but they must consume their beverages in outdoor seating areas only.

The following requirements also apply:

Movie Theaters, Meeting Spaces and Entertainment Facilities

Various entertainment businesses and meeting venues are allowed to reopen under Phase 3, including the following:

Guests must be in seats except to enter, leave, visit the restroom, or obtain food or drink. Each group of guests must be seated so that they are spaced out by six feet in all directions from other groups of guests. The capacity limit is the lesser of the following:

The following requirements also apply:

Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo BusinessesPersonal care and grooming businesses include, but are not limited to, the following:

These businesses can open subject to the capacity limits defined as the lesser of the following:

In addition, the following apply to these business operations:

The DHHS guidance document for these businesses can be found here.

Fitness and Competitive Physical Activity FacilitiesThe following types of establishments are defined as Fitness and Competitive Physical Activity Facilities (provided, however, that the following establishments must remain closed if located within an amusement park):

These facilities must comply with the following requirements:

Large Outdoor Venues

An exception to the mass gathering ban is included in Phase 3 for Very Large Outdoor Facilities. A venue must meet all of the following criteria to qualify:

Capacity is limited to no more than seven percent of the facility's total seating capacity. The facility operator must direct or monitor the flow of guests through common spaces to maintain social distancing and establish a guest flow plan that limits people massing together. All events must be ticketed with assigned seating and the operator must ensure that each group of guests attending the event is actually separated by six feet from each guest in each other group. The operator must have staff periodically monitor crowds to ensure that guests do not take seats other than their assigned seats. A "group" of spectators means a set of friends or family members who bought tickets together and came into the event venue together. No group of spectators shall exceed ten people. All employees and guests must wear face coverings.

Amusement Parks

Amusement Parks may open at 30 percent capacity of the parks normal maximum occupancy and operate outside attractions. The amusement park operator must limit the number of guests within each ride or vehicle to either:

Indoor rides and attractions must remain closed, although indoor restaurants, concessions, gifts shops or retail spaces, and restrooms may open.

The following requirements also apply:

Museums and Aquariums

Museums and aquariums may open subject to the following requirements:

Mass Gathering Ban

Mass gatherings are still prohibited and are defined as an event or convening that brings together more than ten people indoors (Executive Order 176) or more than fifty people outdoors at the same time in a single confined indoor or outdoor space. This includes parades, fairs, and festivals. The mass gathering limit does not apply to retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming businesses, pools, childcare, day camps, overnight camps, educational institutions or government operations. However, it does apply to parties and receptions regardless whether the event takes place in a restaurant, in a conference center, in a hotel ballroom, in a venue that is used exclusively for receptions or parties, or in some other space otherwise open. The prohibition on mass gatherings does not include gatherings for health and safety, to look for and obtain goods and services, for work, or for receiving governmental services. Nor are normal operations at airports, bus and train stations or stops, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls, and shopping centers affected. It also does not apply to the exercise of First Amendment rights.

Requirement to Wear Face CoveringsThe definition of a face covering means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.

Where Masks are Required

In general, face coverings are required as follows:

ExceptionsThe face covering requirement is not appliable to workers, customers, or patrons who:

Businesses may offer curbside pickup, provide home delivery, or any other reasonable measure to deliver goods to customers who claim that a face covering exemption applies to them.

Enforcement of Face Covering Requirements

Law enforcement officers may cite individuals who fail to wear face coverings as required. In addition, law enforcement officers may cite a business or organization that fails to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings.

If a business or organization does not allow entry to a worker or guest because that person refuses to wear a face covering, and if that worker or guest enters the premises and refuses to leave the premises, law enforcement personnel may enforce the trespassing laws.

Immunity Provisions

Section 4.14 of SB 704 provides immunity to essential businesses with respect to claims from a customer or employee for any injuries or death alleged to have been caused as a result of the customer or employee contracting COVID-19 while doing business with or while employed by the essential business, so long as there was no act or omission of the essential business constituting gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm.

And as referenced above, this provision is applied to restaurants (even though they originally were not open as essential businesses).

Section 3D.7.(a) of SB 704 includes an immunity provision for health care providers that is almost identical to the essential business immunity provision.

Later in the legislative session, HB 118 was approved by the General Assembly. This legislation provides immunity for individuals, governmental entities, corporations, nonprofit corporations and other legal entities (collectively person) from legal claims alleging that the persons act or omission resulted in a third partys contraction of COVID-19. Any act or omission that constitutes gross negligence, willful or wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing is not covered. The immunity applies to claims arising on or after July 2nd and continues in effect as to claims arising no later than 180 days after the expiration or rescission of Executive Order 116 (the executive order issued by the Governor declaring a state of emergency in response to COVID-19).

The immunity provision in this legislation has a few attributes of note that are not present in the immunity provision included in SB 704. First, it applies to a universe of entities beyond just essential businesses. Second, it is not limited to claims from customers or employees. And, lastly, it is effective for a longer period of time (claims arising no later than 180 days after the expiration or rescission of Executive Order 116 vs the expiration or rescission of Executive Order 116).

The legislation also includes a new requirement that a person must provide reasonable notice at each premises of the actions taken to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to individuals present on the premises. However, the bill provides that a person is not liable for the failure of any individual to comply with rules, policies, or guidelines contained in the notice.

Executive Order 153 provides that it does not create a private right of action by any party against the State of North Carolina, its agencies, departments, political subdivisions, or other entities, or any officers, employees, or agents thereof, or any emergency management worker (as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. 166A-l 9.60) or any other person.

COVID-19 Additional Resources (North Carolina):

NC Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/

NC Department of Commerce: https://www.nccommerce.com/

NC Judicial Branch: https://www.nccourts.gov/

NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv

NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services: http://www.ncagr.gov/

Department of Insurance https://www.ncdoi.gov/

Golden LEAF Foundation - Rapid Recovery Loan Program https://ncrapidrecovery.org/

Department of Homeland Security:

FDIC and Other Bank/Lending Regulators:

US Small Business Administration:

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Combined Federal, VA and NC Government Resources for COVID-19 - JD Supra

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