America’s Small Colleges Were Already Hurting Pre-Covid. Things Are About To Get Worse.

There was history underfoot at Vermont’s Marlboro College. Tucked away in the Green Mountains, the nonprofit institution founded at the end of World War II held its first graduation in 1948. Robert Frost read a poem at the ceremony and Life Magazine printed a picture of its lone alum: a former rifleman named Hugh Mulligan who spent the years after the war hobnobbing in Paris with the likes of Picasso and studied Shakespeare in operatic form. 

Mulligan died in 2008. And now Marlboro is gone too, shuttered after this year’s spring semester following years of fiscal turmoil. The bucolic 533-acre campus was sold for $1.725 million in cash and debt, plus operating expenses—a sum reportedly “far below the property’s assessed value.”

It’s hardly alone. At least a dozen independent, regional colleges are on the brink of collapse—mostly in the northeast—and all buckling from the one-two punch of dwindling enrollment

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Drop ‘unwise, uninformed and unlawful’ ban on rapid testing in nursing homes

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ top testing official said Friday Nevada’s ban on rapid coronavirus tests in nursing homes could “endanger lives” and urged state health officials to immediately reverse course.

Why widespread COVID-19 testing is crucial to fighting the coronavirus pandemic

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Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said Nevada would face unspecified enforcement actions if state health officials did not remove an order instructing nursing homes to discontinue use of point-of-care antigen testing machines made by two companies, Quidel and Becton, Dickinson.

HHS  “expects immediate action from Nevada to reverse its unwise, uninformed and unlawful unilateral prohibition,” Giroir said Friday in a phone call with reporters. “Lives are at stake and our administration is not going to allow actions to risk our seniors or any other vulnerable or underserved population.”



Brett Giroir wearing a suit and tie: Adm. Brett Giroir, director of U.S. coronavirus diagnostic testing, looks on as he testifies during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on a national plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 31, 2020.


© Kevin Dietsch, AFP via Getty Images
Adm. Brett Giroir, director

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Once unknown Nigerian ‘masterpiece’ by Ben Enwonwu up for sale

The Court of the Oba of Benin painting
The Court of the Oba of Benin painting

A previously unknown work by Ben Enwonwu, Nigeria’s most celebrated 20th Century visual artist, is up for auction in an online sale organised by Sotheby’s.

The Court of the Oba of Benin, thought to have been painted in the 1940s, is described as a “masterpiece” by the auctioneers, but was never documented and was held in a private collection.

It was created in the wake of Enwonwu’s apprenticeship with the bronze casters in the Nigerian city of Benin – the home of the famous Benin Bronzes.

The painting, which is one of his earlier works, shows a festival at the Oba’s palace and reflects the artist’s celebration of the culture of the area.

“Throughout his career, Enwonwu felt very strongly that a modern Nigeria should be rooted in its own heritage and history,” Hannah O’Leary, head of Sotheby’s African art department, told

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Nursing Homes Are Lower Percentage Of New Cases

ATLANTA, GA — While the daily number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths has leveled off in Georgia over the last few weeks, another important metric — the percentage of new cases occurring in nursing homes and other group-living facilities — has dropped.

Working from data supplied by the Georgia Department of Public Health as of Wednesday, Atlanta news station WXIA-TV reported that new cases at long-term care facilities comprise only 4 percent of the total. In May, it was 13 percent of the total.

Still, the absolute number of elderly Georgians who die from COVID-19 remains high. Of the roughly 7,300 deaths from COVID-19 in Georgia so far, about 94 percent of them are 60 or older.

GEORGIA CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS FOR OCT. 9, 2020

The Georgia Department of Public Health in Atlanta reported a total of 329,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at 2:50 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9. According to

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World Class foreclosure sales canceled after Paxton legal opinion – News – Austin American-Statesman

Austin real estate investor Nate Paul faced foreclosure on properties in Austin, Plano and San Antonio this summer from lenders seeking to collect a combined $20.5 million in delinquent debt.

But foreclosure sales of the properties scheduled for Aug. 4 didn’t take place after a rushed written legal opinion — ordered by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton under unusual circumstances and dated Aug. 1 — rendered such sales more difficult to hold.

The American-Statesman first reported Thursday on Paxton’s Aug. 1 opinion and a scheduled Aug. 4 foreclosure sale of a Paul-controlled real estate entity based in Austin that subsequently was called off.

Paxton’s opinion came at a time potentially more opportune for Paul and his company, World Class Property Co., than previously known, however.

A second Paul-controlled real estate entity based in Austin was slated for an Aug. 4 foreclosure sale, according to court documents, as were an entity

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Florida’s Choice Realty Celebrates Grand Opening of Real Estate Company Serving Ocala, Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida – Press Release

Buying or selling a home in Northeast and Central Florida just became much more simple. Florida’s Choice Realty is answering the call with a deeply experienced, knowledgeable, and motivated team of real estate professionals.

Northeast and Central Florida are prime places to buy and sell real estate. Of course, trying to navigate the local real estate scene without professional assistance can be a huge challenge. Fortunately, there’s a new option available in the area both ready and willing to help. In exciting news, Florida’s Choice Realty recently announced the grand opening of its office, with a dedicated team who are helping clients both buy and sell homes. Florida’s Choice Realty are serving the Ocala, Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida communities. The new real estate company has been met with enthusiasm.

“Our team of agents team of agents bring a combined 25+ years of experience in the residential real estate industry,” commented

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Trump Administration Orders Nevada to Allow Rapid Covid-19 Tests in Nursing Homes

The Trump administration ordered the state of Nevada to withdraw a directive blocking nursing homes from using federally provided rapid coronavirus testing equipment, highlighting a debate over the proper use of the tests after reports of some false-positive results.

In a letter to Nevada officials, Adm. Brett Giroir, the Department of Health and Human Services official who has overseen U.S. testing efforts, said the state’s action is “inconsistent with and pre-empted by federal law and, as such, must cease immediately or appropriate action will be taken against those involved.” The letter was dated Oct. 8 and made public Friday.

Adm. Giroir defended the performance of the federally supplied equipment on a call Friday with reporters, saying the false-positive rate was low and the issue could be managed by using proper procedures to confirm results. The state’s action wasn’t justified, he said. Adm. Giroir declined to say what enforcement action the

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Welltower Sells $1.3 Billion of Real Estate. What Does This Mean for Investors?

While commercial real estate transactions have been down in 2020 with the uncertainty in the market, Welltower (NYSE: WELL), one of the major three real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the healthcare space, is turning heads with their recent announcement. The REIT has just announced a handful of dispositions that total $1.3 billion. Even for a REIT with a $23.41 billion market cap, that’s a lot of real estate. What will these transactions mean for investors moving forward?

What Welltower is selling

The selling off of these properties began in mid-September, when they sold a senior housing portfolio for $702 million. This portfolio was part of a joint venture with a company that managed the properties. Welltower owned 80% of this joint venture.

This deal definitely wasn’t a fire sale by any means. This sale represented a 5.1% cap rate. This sort of valuation is a good sign for the

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Federal Official Threatens Nevada for Halting Rapid Tests in Nursing Homes

The leader of the nation’s coronavirus testing efforts condemned Nevada’s health department on Friday for ordering nursing homes to discontinue two brands of government-issued rapid coronavirus tests that the state had found to be inaccurate.

“Bottom line, the recommendations in the Nevada letter are unjustified and not scientifically valid,” Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a call with reporters on Friday. The state’s actions, he said, were “unwise, uninformed and unlawful” and could provoke unspecified swift punitive action from the federal government if not reversed.

The rapid tests, which were distributed to nursing homes around the country in August by the federal government, were supposed to address the months of delays and equipment shortages that had stymied laboratory-based tests.

“The important issue is to keep seniors safe,” Admiral Giroir said in an interview on Friday. Antigen tests, he added, were “lifesaving instruments” that

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2 lawyers charged in alleged scheme to steal nearly $750K in surplus foreclosure cash

Criminal Justice

Two Florida lawyers have been charged in an alleged foreclosure fraud scheme that cost victims nearly $750,000.

Rashida Overby and Ria Sankar-Balram were arrested Oct. 5, according to a press release and stories by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (here and here) and Law360.

The lawyers allegedly filed fraudulent court documents in which they claimed to represent elderly property owners or heirs of deceased property owners who were owed surplus funds from foreclosure sales. After judges granted the pleadings, the lawyers allegedly kept part of the money and wired the rest to two co-conspirators.

The alleged co-conspirators, Illya and Patricia Tinker, are already in jail following a conviction in a different fraud scheme that took ownership of 44 homes through forged documents. Sankar-Balram helped represent them in their

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