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December 2021

Canadian army

Battle Creek receives approximately $ 60 million from the National Defense Act

Signing of the National Defense Act sends tens of thousands of people to Michigan.

Maintaining our armed forces is one of the most important aspects of national security. Especially since countries like China and Russia continue to try to expand their reach. This military investment does not stop with the fortification of military infrastructure, it also includes a salary increase for members of the military service and civilian employees of the Ministry of Defense.

The law also includes a 3-year pilot program that allows Beneficiaries of TRICARE receive their medications from a network retail pharmacy rather than having to obtain them from drugstores on military bases or depending on the postal service, while creating a basic needs allowance to help military families low-income to feed themselves.

Here’s where most of Michigan’s $ 144 million goes:

  • $ 28 million in improvements to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County
  • $ 23 million to support the infrastructure of the Alpena Combat Readiness Center in Alpena County
  • $ 16 million in facility improvements at Camp Grayling Maneuver Readiness Center in Crawford County
  • $ 10 million in facility upgrades at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base in Calhoun County
  • Shadow of the camp will also receive $ 5.7 million under the Energy Conservation and Resilience Investment Program
  • The bill also provides $ 12 million to build an Army Reserve Center at Southfield
  • $ 49.09 million for a new naval operations support center at Battle stream

The annual budget, which stands at $ 768.2 billion, authorizes an additional $ 9.9 billion for defense needs outside the bill’s traditional jurisdiction, bringing the overall price to $ 777 billion.

In addition, the bill includes $ 476 million to address PFAS contamination, including environmental remediation and restoration, establishment of a PFAS task force, establishment of ” a mandatory report to be submitted to Congress describing efforts to address PFAS exposure at 50 sites across the country. A portion of these funds will be used to remedy PFAS chemicals that were found at the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field.

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International headquarters

Sudan: curfew in the capital of North Darfur after the looting of the WFP

El Fasher – A curfew went into effect in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur yesterday at 6 p.m. and continued until 5 a.m. today, in accordance with a decision by the North Darfur Security Committee after the widespread looting of a UN Food Program (WFP) warehouse, which followed the looting of the former logistics base of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) north of El Fasher last weekend.

The director of the North Darfur police force and rapporteur for the State Security Committee, Major General Abdelkarim Hamdo, called on the population to respect the daily curfew from 6 p.m. in order to preserve their lives. He said the state security committee was at the same time preparing a plan to secure strategic and vital state facilities.

Mohamed Abdelkarim, leader of the National Ummah Party in North Darfur, warned of the danger of a series of attacks and looting against the headquarters of UNAMID and the World Food Program in El Fasher, markets, shops and banks.

He told El Fasher’s Radio Dabanga yesterday that what is happening in El Fasher now, in terms of the security chaos and looting of the UNAMID headquarters and the World Food Program, clearly represents the weakness of the ruling authority. at all levels, and that the material is planned and programmed. He explained that the general feeling of the citizen of El Fasher is that this series can be passed on to markets and banks at any time.

Public looting at the WFP warehouse in El Fasher yesterday (Photo: RD)

Abdelkarim held authorities fully accountable for what was going on, noting that vehicles and ticket offices were looted in broad daylight using large cranes and in full view of the authorities.

He said the current chaos in El Fasher is due to the large number of armed militias and the multiplicity of unruly forces. He told Radio Dabanga that security chaos and looting were perpetrated by these forces.

He called on the authorities to control these forces and bring any outlaw to their rescue, and warned of anarchy and utter chaos if urgent measures were not taken to end this anarchy.

Informed sources in El Fasher claim that the real looting of the UNAMID headquarters took place in an organized and orderly manner three months ago by the official authorities.

Activist Fatima Fadul told Radio Dabanga that the official looting of the mission’s headquarters in El Fasher began after the state governor, Nimir Abdelrahman, replaced forces that were present with others.

She explained that an armed movement was accused of looting the mission headquarters, while an armed force led by a man calling himself Eisa El Maseeh (Jesus the Messiah), was accused of looting the Program’s stores. world food, according to the testimony of the governor of the state.

Fadul said she expects armed groups to attack El Fasher markets and banks in the coming days.

Offices looted at the UNAMID base (Photo: UN)

In addition, sources have warned of a health and environmental disaster in the region due to the waste left by the mission at headquarters. Activist Fatima Fadul told Radio Dabanga that people stormed the warehouses that contained the remains of UNAMID batteries and equipment that posed a threat to human health, as well as indications of the danger of the warehouses that had been hit by weapons.

In this context, lawyers and human rights defenders called on international bodies, in coordination with UNITAMS and the Government of the Sudan, to intervene urgently to protect the headquarters of international organizations and institutions in Darfur from an urgent manner that does not accept delays so that the situation does not get out of control after the complete looting of the UNAMID mission and the World Food Program warehouses in El Fasher by the regular forces, rebel fighters and citizens.

Lawyer and human rights defender Jibril Hasabo said urgent action to protect these decisions is now needed so that organizations providing aid and protection to the people of Darfur can be reassured. Hasabo said the complete looting of WFP stores in El Fasher will affect internally displaced people in camps receiving services and assistance from the program, and will also affect the safety and security of people, and in particular the internally displaced. in El Fasher and all of Darfur.

He described what happened as a dangerous indicator of what will follow and cause panic and anxiety among international organizations working to alleviate the crisis and humanitarian aid in Darfur.

The General Coordination of the Displaced and Refugee Camps strongly condemned the looting of the headquarters of the UNAMID mission in the past, and of the headquarters of the World Food Program (WFP) in El Fasher.

In a statement yesterday, the Coordination holds the Sudanese government, its militias with various names, and the armed movements that signed the Juba Peace Agreement, responsible for the persistent insecurity in the towns and localities of Darfur, in particular. previously UNAMID mission headquarters, and World Food Program headquarters in El Fasher.

In the statement, the official spokesperson for the Coordination, Adam Rujal, called on the UN Security Council and the Troika countries to take serious and decisive decisions to protect the displaced and defenseless people in Darfur, and to immediately send an international force under Chapter VII. of the Charter of the United Nations, to make peace, for the good of humanity only to save the lives of the last victims of the genocide in Darfur.


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Non profit living

Obtaining results awards: a year in review

ORLANDO, Florida – Each week, as part of the News 6 Getting Results Award segment, we spotlight people in Central Florida who are going above and beyond and making a difference for their neighbors.

The people and how they chose to help were as diverse as the communities they served.

As this year draws to a close, we thought it was a great time to reflect on their stories and the moments that impacted so many people.

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We started the year in Brevard County, where Brevard Mask Makers volunteer Marsha Plog made masks for students and the elderly.

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Mary Ann Laverty spent her days driving across the county, delivering supplies and finished masks to those in need.

“We have so many talented sewers and seamstresses in our community who were willing to help, but they had certain limitations,” Laverty said. “We have made over 35,000 masks that we have donated to the community and we continue to be strong. “

It might be hard to remember now, but at the time, the COVID-19 vaccine was just starting to become available and people were struggling to get appointments through online portals.

Linda and Richard Griffing, who are retirees, tried several times, but each day the date schedule was full before they could register.

“You were going to the site and you couldn’t get anything,” recalls Richard Griffing. “Suddenly all the appointments are gone. Boom, end of story, ”added Linda.

But Mary Steele used her spare time and computer skills to help those who couldn’t register.

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“I just hope if it was my mom someone would help her,” Steele said when asked why she spends most of her free time helping others.

We visited the Greenwood Place Assisted Living Center. Mary Ann Ball has written to us to congratulate the staff there for keeping her parents safe and in a good mood during COVID security protocols.

“One day it was raining and the staff was there with umbrellas saying that was what we were doing,” Ball said. “Our loved ones need to see family.

We met a school resources manager who is changing perceptions.

Assistant Brian Jensen has been the School Resources Manager at Mollie Ray Elementary School for the past three years and wins over students and their parents, one semester at a time.

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“Kids who when I started here didn’t even speak to me in large part because of my uniform,” Jensen recalls. “Now they come to see me every day. “

From the moment he arrived on campus, Jensen made it his mission to get involved. Netisha Thornelant’s parents learned about it. Thornelant nominated him for the News 6 Getting Results Award.

“Well I sent the email because I know Channel 6 comes at a price for results and with everything going on between police interactions, especially with minorities, I think Deputy Jensen is someone who provides that good example of police interaction with our youth. “

We met Jerry Vaughan, a veterans advocate who goes to great lengths to honor the last wills of the men and women who have served our country.

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Vaughan collects vintage uniforms as part of his Dover Detail project. Uniforms are used for veterans who wish to be buried in the uniforms they wore while on duty.

“One of the last things he did was ask me to find a uniform for him so that when he got out he could go out however he wanted,” Vaughan said as we watched him put on a uniform. the WWII Navy to decorate it. veteran Philip Bradstreet, who died at the age of 94.

We were there the day longtime children’s champion Linda Sutherland retired. Sutherland was Executive Director of the Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County for 20 years.

She was nominated by her colleague Jarred McCovery.

“We made the decision to name Linda, it was a no-brainer,” said McCovery. “She’s just accomplished so much during her tenure here, everything she’s done for families, it made perfect sense to nominate her for this award.”

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We showed you horseback therapy at Freedom Ride Stables in Orlando. Every day for almost 20 years, riders of all ages have climbed these magnificent giant creatures and become one with nature. Staff and customers are eagerly awaiting the new facilities a few miles away.

We have witnessed the friendship in the alleys of the Villages. The Special Friends Bowling Club meets weekly to provide activities and socialization for village residents with special needs.

Ray Kleczowski has been organizing the meetings for over 20 years.

“There are no faults here.” Kleczowski said, as dozens of people played, laughed and cheered around him. “This is how life should be. “

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We saw Paddle With A Purpose volunteers cleaning up our waterways. The organizer, JR Tanhgal, is a leader with several non-profit organizations in the region.

“I don’t think people realize the magnitude of what he does,” said volunteer Briona Jones. “The amount of money he raised for different organizations. “

We have featured several people who dedicate their time to help feed their neighbors. Mike Hayes took advantage of his restaurant experience and opened a non-profit kitchen called God’s Table.

Shereece Mitchell turned her knowledge of healthy eating and exercise into a drive-thru pantry called Butterfly Lifestyle.

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Kelli Marks started Backpack Buddies to help feed children in their Orange City community.

And Deryl Ames helped build and stock a small pantry in his St. Cloud neighborhood.

Finally, with a new year upon us and hope for the future, we saw a special group of volunteers remember the service members we lost in 2021.

Volunteers from the Cape Canaveral Ladies were on hand for every funeral at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery while no other friends or family could attend.

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“There are times when I’m here where some of these services touch me and I find myself in tears,” Debra Griffin, president of the Cape Canaveral Ladies, told us.

The coming year will certainly have more surprises in store for you, but as we have seen, your neighbors never fail to “get results” and we will be there to share them with you.

If you know someone “Getting Results”, use the form below to let us know. You may see them featured in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.


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Canadian army

Number of NWT exhibition flights increases to 17, including Norman Wells

Ollie Williams Last modification: December 29, 2021 at 7:07 p.m.


The territorial government on Wednesday added three flights to its list of Covid-19 exposure, including two from Inuvik to Norman Wells.

The three flights added on Wednesday were operated by Canadian North. They join 14 other flights reported by the territory as possible exhibition sites since mid-December.

The latest flights affected are From Inuvik to Norman Wells on Christmas Eve, the same flight on Tuesday December 28, and Canadian North’s Edmonton-Yellowknife flight on December 28.

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For a list of affected lines and instructions, see the Exhibition notifications web page.

Meanwhile, the Territory has declared a workplace Covid-19 outbreak at the Raven Pub in Yellowknife. (After this article was first published, the owner of the Raven disputed the GNWT’s statement of such an outbreak, saying no one working at the pub had tested positive and public health had not been in contact. to notify of an outbreak.)

There were two more new exposure warnings for Yellowknife on Wednesday. Check the exhibit notifications page if you were at Anytime Fitness between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve or at the Salvation Army Men’s Shelter between 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Earlier Wednesday, the government of the Northwest Territories said there were now 87 active cases of Covid-19 across the territory. Of these, 72 are in the Yellowknife area.

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International headquarters

Measuring Growth – Chabad Lubavitcher World Headquarters

Dave litman likes to keep a low profile. An innovative giant of the tech boom of the 1990s and a pioneer with his business partner Bob Diener in the online travel and hospitality industry, Dave started a low cost airline business in 1984 that grew into a consolidation operation. wholesale multi-million dollar airline tickets. In 1991, he and Bob founded what has become hotels.com, to finally sell their stake in the company in 2004.

Today CEO of Travel finance network, the Texas resident spends some of his time working with Chabad representatives on the strategic development of data-driven decision making. In cooperation with Chabad on Campus International, it has launched an initiative that will allow it to accurately measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of its programs.

LI: How do you see yourself, a remarkably successful entrepreneur, compared to Chabad and the shluchim who are in the business of counting souls?

DL: I am an investor in the Chabad business. Of course, I want a return on my investment. But unless someone can tell me what the back and forth is, I don’t know. So I started to mix the lessons I learned in business with the lessons of Chabad. It was the start of the measure.

What first brought you to Chabad?

DL: I connected with Rabbi Zvi Drizin in 2004, just as he moved to Dallas. Zvi focused on young Jewish professionals, and I quickly realized that Chabad attracted more young adults than any other organization in town. I have seen the advantages of the Chabad model.

It’s different from synagogues and temples membership models where you pay membership fees – like a subscription model – and go to services. In the Chabad model, you have these very enterprising people going out and establishing Jewish communities. These people dedicate their entire lives to making the world a better place for the Jewish people. This is their main concern and it is extremely effective. It is a model that relies mainly on donors.

But as a donor-based model, it’s more vulnerable than a subscription model, isn’t it?

DL: Yes, so you need donor buy-in. There’s no better way to gain buy-in than to measure performance. If you can produce a report that shows your performance this year compared to last year, you can dramatically increase your donations and production. So it’s a victory for the shlou’him, for donors and for the Jewish people.

I believe that measured performance is improved performance. And to measure performance, you need to identify your target outcomes (i.e. what you’re doing) and you need metrics. You can’t hit a target that you can’t see.

Dave litman

Does the investment that Chabad will make, for example, in sending shluchim to an isolated town with very few Jews, make business sense to you?

DL: I’m looking at addressable markets. So for example, if you are in the middle of Manhattan and your target market is 50,000 people, I want to know, how many do you see? If you’re in Montana, where there are say 2,000 Jews in the state, and you hire 1,500, you’re probably doing better than Manhattan, which gets 5,000 out of 50,000.

Measuring, collecting, monitoring and analyzing data are things that the shluchim, who usually carry the weight of their communities on their shoulders, have not been able to afford to focus.

DL: Yes, so we have created a portal that makes it accessible and easy for them. We started with a handful of Chabad reps, and as he grew we brought him to Chabad on Campus International. We have now launched a pilot program with around 30 Chabad centers. My business partner Bob Diener is funding the development of proprietary software that will allow us to deploy it more widely in all Chabad centers. I think we will have a strong turnout.

In the future, what does Jewish life in America look like to you?

DL: Things are changing and becoming more dynamic in different places. Texas is now the largest migrating state, and over the next thirty years it will likely overtake California in terms of population and economy. Chabad is sensitive to these demographic changes in the United States. Jews leave Illinois, New York and California for Texas, Tennessee and Florida. And Chabad is in a good position to take advantage of it.

Chabad is the bright spot for the future of Jewish life in America. He is vibrant, young and energetic, and he is essential to the future of Judaism in America. I want to see it continue to grow and measure that growth every step of the way!


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History organization

Andre Ethier cites Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Night as his favorite memory from Dodger Stadium

Amid a close run in the NHL, the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired 12-time star Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox in a three-team deal on deadline exchanges without derogation on July 31, 2008.

Ramirez made an immediate impact for the club reaching .396 / .489 / .743 with 14 doubles, 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games en route to help LA win the division and its first playoff series in addition to two decades.

Ramirez quickly became a fan favorite and re-signed with the Dodgers to a two-year contract in the offseason that followed. The organization capitalized on its popularity by launching a “Mannywood” section in left field for the 2009 season.

LA also hosted a bobblehead night for Ramirez that year, which ended in a memorable way with him winning a grand slam for sure against the Cincinnati Reds.

Andre Ethier, who was only in his fourth season in MLB at the time, called “Mannywood Night” and Manny Ramirez’s bobblehead his favorite memory at Dodger Stadium, via the official Dodgers YouTube channel:

“I don’t know. It’s hard. I had so many good memories at Dodger Stadium. I think one of my favorites must be in [2009], when we first had Manny Ramirez. He came in, got off to a good start and it was “Mannywood Night”. All these people were in those dreadlocks and bandanas, and he didn’t start this game but comes in for a nip, has a winning home run in the eighth inning or something.

“It was’ Mannywood ‘bobblehead night or whatever. It was probably one of my favorites because it was my third year in the big leagues and it was like,’ Wow. I play with it. Manny Ramirez and I’m really in the big leagues now. It was my first moment of pinching myself in the big league. Obviously there was a lot going on before that, but it was like, “I really am. right here right now.”

Ramirez’s late-game heroism in the July 22, 2009 game against the Reds came to fruition after he was ruled out of the starting lineup with a contusion to his right hand resulting from an impact on a field the night before.

Ramirez produced .322 / .433 / .580 with 53 doubles, 44 homers and 156 RBIs in 223 games in three seasons with the Dodgers. His 555 career homers are ranked 15th in MLB history.

Ethier buys theater for families to watch Disney’s “Encanto”

As part of its collaboration with nonprofit organization Not Without You LA, Ethier recently purchased a movie theater so families can enjoy Disney’s “Encanto”.

Have you subscribed to Dodger Blue’s YouTube channel? Don’t forget to activate the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date with all the Dodgers news and rumors!


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Canadian army

Antonov introduces the first An-178-100R and the certification process begins

Today, December 28, Antonov State Enterprise, part of Ukroboronprom, presented the first An-178-100R №001 military transport aircraft designed for certification testing. Experts and senior army officers participated in the completion of construction and testing of the aircraft.

The An-178 military transport can be used for personnel transport, delivery of weapons and light military equipment by grounding and parachuting methods, as well as for the transport of goods.

“Tomorrow will be exactly a year since we gathered at this workshop to sign a historic contract with the direct support and participation of the President, launching new planes into the skies for our Army and our Armed Forces.”

“Today we are seeing the first results of this contract: the aircraft which will soon take to the skies and serve our Armies. A year ago, very few people were convinced that we were capable, that we were ready, and that we would do it. Today, we are confirming not only the capacity but also the ambitions of new contracts: military contracts for the Armies, for the Ministry of Infrastructures, the Ministry of the Interior. ”

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“So I am convinced that we have a lot of work ahead of us. And may the new year 2022 bring us a lot of new contracts, a lot more work, a lot of new planes. This year, Ukroboronprom’s production figures have increased by more than 20%, mainly due to the construction of planes. That is why I would like to sincerely thank them for their work – Glory to the Antonov State Enterprise, Glory to all employees of this legendary factory, and Glory to Ukraine! », Said Yuri Gusev, general manager of Ukroboronprom.

Foreign suppliers from Europe, America and Canada are also involved in the equipment of the aircraft. Much work has been done during the implementation of the An-178 program to ensure a new qualitative level of all aircraft systems, including hydraulic system, aircraft control systems, power supply electric, air conditioning, etc.

“It’s a very emotional moment. Many of us dreamed of being pilots when we were kids. But the most difficult task is to build an aircraft, which will then be used by the pilots. In my opinion, it is symbolic and significant that Ukraine demonstrates its defense capabilities through synergy and joint efforts. Today the ceremony takes place in the presence of representatives of the relevant parliamentary committee, which is fully supported by the armed forces, representatives of the Ukrainian armed forces, the air force command, the leadership of Ukrobornprom and factory, Ministry of Strategy and Ministry of Defense. I am sure that this synergy is the key to our success. And there will not only be three of these planes, but there will also be more. We have proven that we know how to build, fly and defend ourselves. Thank you very much for that, ”Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.

“I sincerely thank the Antonov employees for showing, demonstrating on metal that we are a team doing everything possible to improve our armed forces. Believe in the Armed Forces, believe in Ukraine! Said Oleksandr Zavitnevych, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada committee on national security, defense and intelligence.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Yevhen Moisyuk stressed: “The Ukrainian Armed Forces need modern military equipment that will increase our capabilities and strengthen national stability. I am sure that this aircraft, the AN-178, in the skillful hands of our pilots will bring victory to Ukraine. “

Mykola Oleshchuk, Air Force Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said: “The Air Force has been waiting on board the Ukrainian Army for thirty years. And it is good that it is a Ukrainian-made aircraft – An-178!

“We still have to go through a difficult path: preparing the flight personnel, specialists in the aeronautical engineering service, so that we can control this aircraft, repair it and carry out combat missions with quality.”

In his speech, the Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Strategic Industries, Denis Sharapov, underlined that with the creation of the Ministry of Strategic Industries, the state has focused much more on aircraft construction.

As a result, the official said that the ministry, together with stakeholders, has drawn up a state scientific and technical program for the development of the aviation industry for 2021-2030, which has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. from Ukraine last fall.

“The implementation of the program both to promote and create new aeronautical technologies and materials, new jobs in Ukraine. Aircraft manufacturing should become a locomotive for many sectors of our economy, ”said Denis Sharapov.

Changes were made to the design of the aircraft to ensure the functionality of landing passengers and cargo, as well as to perform other tasks of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

The state order for the construction of three planes was received at the end of December 2020 with the support of Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine.

Construction of aircraft to meet the needs of the armed forces is carried out according to plans. Construction of the glider for the first of the three aircraft ordered has been completed. The fuselage, wing and tail of the second An-178-100R were assembled ahead of schedule, and fuselage assembly for this aircraft has begun.

Today’s event was made possible by the coordinated work of the Antonov team. It is certain that this work was dedicated because it did not stop even during the growing pandemic. Our sincere thanks to all the employees of the company and to our partners! There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I am sure that together we will accomplish all the tasks aimed at equipping the Armed Forces of Ukraine with new transport planes! », Said Serhiy Bychkov, general manager of Antonov.


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International headquarters

STIHL to build new warehouse and headquarters in Camberley

A new UK warehouse and headquarters for a global power tool company, STIHL is expected to be built by Midas Construction. The project will lead to the creation of a new purpose-built 11,285 m2 development in Camberley, Surrey, off the A331. Midas Construction, a Southampton-based company Midas Group subsidiary, should start preparatory work for the project in December 2021.

The project includes the creation of an automated industrial warehouse for the storage of machines and their spare parts with an office and a support workshop, including retail display space and equipment for staff such as a canteen. A new access road to the site will also be built from the A331, as well as earthworks, associated parking and landscaping. The new UK warehouse and headquarters project is designed by Hale Architects, using contemporary materials with crisp, modern and simple details to deliver a premium appearance. Extensive landscaping will include habitat creation and the planting of important native trees, wildflowers and shrubs.

Also Read: M Group Services Acquires Babcock Power Line Business.

The new head office built for this purpose

Steve Lee, South Division Manager at Midas Construction, said: “We are delighted to be working with STIHL GB and to have been tasked with creating this important project for the company. In addition to having achieved a leading international brand, STIHL has been a notable local employer in Surrey for four decades and we are delighted to play a role in this great investment which secures its future in the region and will enable the company to to continually prosper and grow.

the STIHL FR Managing Director Kay Green added, “Our new, purpose-built head office represents a remarkable capital investment and commitment to the future for the local workforce. State-of-the-art equipment will help us plan for many years of future growth that will continually benefit the local economy. Midas Construction’s initial work on the site will include demining and grading of the former Thames Water Utilities site, preparation of the new main warehouse, and the start of the GB head office project in February 2022. The whole project is expected to be completed in December 2022.

If you have a remark or more information about this post, please share with us in the comments section below.


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Non profit living

A sober living house that closes its doors after decades of service | News

After providing homes for thousands of people with no place to go for more than 20 years, Griffin’s Gate in east Bakersfield will soon be closing.

The understated residential house, which the nonprofit Casa de Amigos has operated on a historic property on Monterey Street since 1999, will close on Friday. Its founders say providing the service has become unaffordable as funding has dried up.

“It’s a little bittersweet,” said Jack Hendrix, who founded Griffin’s Gate with his adopted son Pepe after retiring as a teacher at East Bakersfield High School. “That was the difficult part of the decision to close the doors because there were still people who needed this place, but we can’t provide it anymore just because we don’t have the money. “

Griffin’s Gate served as a place of refuge for people with addiction and mental health issues, parolees, and people who needed medical attention after a hospital stay but lacked a place to receive this care. The association has used contracts with organizations like Kern Behavioral Health and Kern Medical Center to stay afloat, but organizers now say those contracts are no longer available.

At a time when homelessness appears to be at its peak in Kern County history, the community is losing one of the few places ready to welcome people.

“We have helped a lot of people in the community,” said Pepe. “I am sad that we are closing. I really like this kind of work.

One of the people Griffin’s Gate has helped is Hal Joyner. Around 2002, he was addicted to methamphetamine and on his way to jail. Instead, he ended up staying on the Monterey Street estate for three years as he got his life back on track.

He now occupies the position of house manager, a position which will expire at the end of the year.

“I made a lot of good friends,” he said. “I am still friends with a lot of them. I watched the changes he made in people’s lives.

Reyes Gamino, one of the last residents of the house, reflected on his stay at Griffin’s Gate on Monday afternoon.

“I feel good here,” he said. “I’m still pretty young and I don’t like to be a burden on anyone. Here I can still live a semi-normal life.

Gamino first stayed on the property in 2019 after being hospitalized with complications from congenital heart disease. After leaving the county, he returned after his ex-wife died of coronavirus last month.

He is now looking for a place to live with his children and will be allowed to stay on the property until he is successful.

“To find real hearts like that is difficult,” he said of the Griffin’s Gate operators. “It’s more of a house than anything else.”

The home is known for much more than its work with the homeless and disadvantaged. Built in the late 1800s by a major Italian immigrant, it is known as one of the oldest houses in Kern County.

Hendrix plans to rent the house to tenants until he decides to sell the property. He said he started the house to provide him with an activity when he retired, and since he wasn’t golfing it was the right thing to do.

It’s been over 20 years since the doors to this historic home were opened for charity, and after such a long time it can be hard to know what to do next.

“People were like, ‘Why are you wasting your time with these people? They’ll never do anything, ”Hendrix said. “I have always been an optimist. I felt like people needed a chance sometimes. They needed a place to rise.

He described the closure as frustrating and fondly recalled the time he spent leading the operation.

“Over the years,” he added, “we’ve had a lot of people come and see if we’re still here and tell us they’re grateful to have a place to be.”

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @smorgenTBC.


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History organization

Last minute plea tries to save Freedom House from demolition

In a residential pocket of Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood, where Roxbury meets Dorchester, an old brick building sits on a fenced lot, its wooden steps twisted and rotted, peeling paint visible through the window frames in rusty metal.

The longtime Freedom House – now a decaying and neglected structure on Crawford Street – has played a vital role in the local civil rights movement, serving as a meeting place for equality and community advocates neighbor from the 1950s.

The Freedom House building at 14 Crawford Street in Roxbury, December 9, 2021

Tori Bedford / GBH News

One mile from the house where Malcolm X spent part of his youth, Freedom House founders Otto and Muriel Snowden appeared before Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders, local elected officials , anti-racism activists in Boston and President John F. Kennedy. Decades before a 1974 federal court order, social workers at Freedom House in Roxbury launched a Schools for Freedom movement and protests to fight segregation and racism in Boston public schools.

Currently slated for demolition, the building was constructed in 1900 and is a civil rights era time capsule that the city seems to have forgotten about – although a recent request to delay its destruction begs the question: is it too late to save Freedom House?

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Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. greets a group at a reception for him in March 1958. To the far left is Rev. Walter C. Davis of the Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

Katrina Shaw, executive director of Freedom House, said the nonprofit has spent a decade trying to get funding for renovations to save the old building.

“But people weren’t giving. People didn’t want to give, ”she told GBH News. “People love the idea of ​​Freedom House and what it meant for the city, but no one would really put their money behind it.”

In 2010, the state awarded Freedom House a million dollar challenge grant to restore his old house and renovate a new location across the street, a former branch of the public library where the organization currently operates. The managing director at the time, Gail Snowden, the founders’ daughter, appealed for help to raise funds to preserve the structure.

“Our love for the building has kept us there for so long at a financial cost,” Shaw said. “If we could preserve it, we would. But when it starts to cannibalize your own request to actually do the Freedom House mission, then I think you have to make some tough decisions, just like you would never choose your home over your child.

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Cameraman recording NAACP director Frank Williams speaking in his office at Freedom House, 14 Crawford Street, 1960

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

Last year, Snowden gave his blessing to Shaw and the current directors of Freedom House to sell the building. The historic site has been sold to a development company started by the late John Corcoran, a native of Dorchester, for $ 1.5 million, money that will go to programs at the new location, where the foundation focuses primarily on academic opportunities. , financial and social for university students. . Hoping to innovate in 2023, the developer plans to build mixed-income housing and a memorial on the site to honor the work of the founders.

“This decision was difficult to make and it was not made in a hurry,” said Shaw. “And if anyone wanted to give Freedom House like $ 20 million, I would restore it.” I’ll do that tomorrow. I’ll do it in five minutes. It had always been our plea to be able to fundraise, but we couldn’t. ”

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The new Freedom House building at 5 Crawford Street, Roxbury, December 9, 2021

Tori Bedford / GBH News

The old Freedom House building is just a few blocks from dozens of historic landmarks, Revolutionary War structures, and homes of English settlers and church deacons. It is one of the few monuments from the Civil Rights Era remaining in Boston and a symbol of the struggle for equal rights that may soon be extinguished.

“You know, it’s interesting, nobody called me about this,” Byron Rushing, president of the Roxbury Historical Society, told GBH News. “We respond to roughly the people who raise the issue. Can we save this building? What must we do to save this building? No one asked me that question.

Boston’s current segregation – and the racial wealth gap – leads to the neglect of landmarks in predominantly black neighborhoods like Freedom House, Rushing said.

“People don’t know this story, outside of Roxbury, and the new inhabitants of Roxbury don’t know the story,” he said. “If this building was on the Black Heritage Trail, we would have a lot more publicity about it. ”

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Otto Snowden and a Boston delegation led by Lieutenant Governor Elliot Richardson to and from Selma march for civil rights in Alabama on March 15, 1965.

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

Christopher Martell, a UMass Boston professor who lives in Dorchester, teaches his students about Boston’s educational history through a tour that begins at the former Freedom House, a major hotspot during the violent reaction to school desegregation.

“This is especially important because it tells a much longer story than the Boston buses,” Martell told GBH News. “Most of the students in the suburbs of Boston have no idea of ​​its history. They don’t even know much about the civil rights struggle in Roxbury and Dorchester in the 1950s and 1960s. ”

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A day of freedom, February 26, 1964.

Donation to Northeastern University Archives Dept. by James W. Fraser.

Last month, Martell wrote a letter to the Boston Landmarks Commission, pleading for the Freedom House to be preserved as a protected monument.

Shortly after Martell’s letter, the commission received a request to delay the demolition, citing both the importance of the Freedom House during the civil rights movement and the building’s use as a College of Hebrew teachers. from 1920.

According to a spokesperson for the commission, the commission considered Freedom House to be historically important. Once the municipal agency receives two alternatives to demolition, the applicants hold a public meeting of the community and the commission schedules a formal hearing.

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Mayor Michelle Wu meets with members of the senior organization Goldenaires of Freedom House, December 9, 2021

Tori Bedford / GBH News

A delay from the monuments commission does not guarantee the demolition will be blocked, but it could shed light on the problem, a development Martell hopes will help the city find an alternative solution.

“The Monuments Commission has only limited power,” he said, “but this is a place where advocacy is really important, as it would be more difficult for a developer to simply demolish the building s ‘there was a collective movement to push back this. ”

Shaw seems resigned to say goodbye, knowing that the main mission will continue, regardless of which building it is in.

“The spirit of Freedom House, the work of Freedom House, is here and it continues,” said Shaw, pointing to the bustling office, where students took classes on laptops and served lunch to the Goldenaires of Freedom. House, a program for seniors. Goldenaires coordinator Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith, a native of Roxbury who attended Goldenaires meetings with her mother in the old building, says she is sad to leave the space where she spent much of her time. his childhood.

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Goldenaires Liberty House, 1970

Photograph provided to Northeastern University by Freedom House

“I am a victim of a prominent estate so I cannot show my children where I lived because our house is no longer there,” Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith told GBH News. “I hate to see the loss of something historic because my mom breathed that air, and all those Goldenaires, you know.” There is something about being able to hold on to something, for your children’s children to see.


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