Wildfire safety blackouts in California by PG&E could leave homes without power till Friday

A return of bone-dry humidity and gusty winds Wednesday in Northern Calfornia during the peak of wildfire season is expected to result in power outages for tens of thousands of customers that could last until Friday.

The nation’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), warned it may begin power shutoffs by Wednesday evening to as many as 54,000 customers in 24 counties.

“We really view it as a last resort option,” Mark Quinlan, the company’s incident commander, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

POWER OUTAGES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MAY IMPACT 50,000 PG&E CUSTOMERS IN SAFETY SHUTOFFS

Wind gusts possibly hitting 55 mph have spurred the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a red-flag warning from 5 a.m. Wednesday through Friday morning.

While PG&E said it will make a final decision sometime on Wednesday

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Coronavirus outbreaks ravage nursing homes again, even after Newsom safety measures

After a steady slide in the statewide number of new coronavirus infections at skilled nursing homes, facilities in Santa Cruz and Shasta Counties are grappling with severe outbreaks, with several dozen people at both places testing positive and residents dying of COVID-19.



a man walking across Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay: The Sundial Bridge in Redding. Coronavirus outbreaks have recently hit nursing homes in that Northern California city and also in Santa Cruz County. (William Koplitz / Getty Images)


© (William Koplitz / Getty Images)
The Sundial Bridge in Redding. Coronavirus outbreaks have recently hit nursing homes in that Northern California city and also in Santa Cruz County. (William Koplitz / Getty Images)

The outbreaks raise questions on whether a May directive by state health officials, requiring regular testing of nursing home residents and staff, is being comprehensively implemented. Some watchdogs fear another spike could be in the offing at facilities that care for some of California’s most frail and vulnerable.

“Something is terribly wrong because they shouldn’t be having deaths,” Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus at UC San Francisco who studies skilled nursing facilities, said

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A wave of death in Sweden’s nursing homes has exposed holes in a famously generous safety net.

In the popular imagination, Sweden does not seem like the sort of country prone to accepting the mass death of grandparents to conserve resources in a pandemic.

Swedes pay some of the highest taxes on earth in exchange for extensive government services, including state-furnished health care.

Yet among the nearly 6,000 people whose deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in Sweden, 2,694, or more than 45 percent, had been among the country’s most vulnerable citizens — those living in nursing homes.

That tragedy is in part the story of how Sweden has, over decades, gradually yet relentlessly downgraded its famously generous social safety net.

Since a financial crisis in the early 1990s, Sweden has slashed taxes and diminished government services. It has handed responsibility for the care of older people — mostly living at home — to strapped municipal governments, while opening up nursing homes to for-profit businesses. They

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Worcester boss says safety must be priority for Sale match

(Reuters) – Worcester Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons has said player safety must take priority when deciding whether their Premiership Rugby game against Sale Sharks goes ahead.



a man wearing a suit and tie: Premiership - Worcester Warriors v Bristol Bears


© Reuters/ANDREW BOYERS
Premiership – Worcester Warriors v Bristol Bears

A cluster of positive COVID-19 tests at Sale prompted the Premiership to postpone their final league match against Worcester to Wednesday from Sunday, while Gloucester’s game against Northampton was cancelled due to Saints players self-isolating after facing Sale.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has launched a probe into how Sale returned 19 positive COVID-19 tests, with 16 of them from the playing group.

“When you have 19 … test positive, that to me represents a cluster, … it’s a huge red flag and a fairly serious situation for any club to find themselves in,” Solomons told Planet Rugby.

“We’re now in the hands of Premiership Rugby, the RFU and Public Health England,

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Lakeland, Florida’s ‘iconic’ swans for sale for safety reasons, reducing costs

Later this month, around 30 of the beloved swans at Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland, Florida, will be for sale to the public.

“The magic number that we try to keep our swans around is about 65, and we’re suspecting that we have got well over 80 right now,” said Kevin Cook, director of communications for the city of Lakeland.

Cook said swans have inhabited the lake since about 1923. However, after the last remaining swan had a run-in with an alligator in 1954, the lake was left swanless — until a concerned resident wrote to Queen Elizabeth II of Britain asking for a donation of two of her swans.

The queen agreed to donate a pair of her mute swans, which arrived at Lake Morton in 1957.

Today, at least 80 mute swans reside on the densely populated lake, raising concerns about safety. In the last two years, Cook

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Lakeland’s ‘iconic’ swans for sale due to safety, reducing costs

Later this month, around 30 of the beloved swans at Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland, Florida will be for sale to the general public.



a swan next to a body of water


© Provided by NBC News


“The magic number that we try to keep our swans around is about 65, and we’re suspecting that we have got well over 80 right now,” Kevin Cook, director of communications for the city of Lakeland, told NBC News.

Cook said that swans have inhabited the lake since about 1923. However, after the last remaining swan had a run-in with an alligator in 1954, the lake was left swanless — until a concerned resident wrote to Queen Elizabeth of England asking for a donation of two of her swans.

The Queen agreed to donate a pair of her mute swans, and they arrived at Lake Morton in 1957.

Today, at least 80 mute swans reside in the densely-populated lake, raising

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Lakeland, Florida is selling some of its ‘iconic’ swans amid rising costs and safety concerns

Later this month, around 30 of the beloved swans at Lake Morton in downtown Lakeland, Florida will be for sale to the general public.

“The magic number that we try to keep our swans around is about 65, and we’re suspecting that we have got well over 80 right now,” Kevin Cook, director of communications for the city of Lakeland, told NBC News.

Cook said that swans have inhabited the lake since about 1923. However, after the last remaining swan had a run-in with an alligator in 1954, the lake was left swanless — until a concerned resident wrote to Queen Elizabeth of England asking for a donation of two of her swans.

The Queen agreed to donate a pair of her mute swans, and they arrived at Lake Morton in 1957.

Today, at least 80 mute swans reside in the densely-populated lake, raising concerns about safety. In the last

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MITRE Issues Independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes Final Report

MCLEAN, Va. & BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MITRE announced that its report on the independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, delivered to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 1, 2020, is now available online.

The 186-page report contains 27 principal recommendations, and over 100 accompanying action steps organized into 10 themes: Testing and Screening; Equipment and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); Cohorting; Visitation; Communication; Workforce Ecosystem – Stopgaps for Resident Safety; Workforce Ecosystem – Strategic Reinforcement; Technical Assistance and Quality Improvement; Facilities; and Nursing Home Data.

“I want to thank the 25 commission members – from infection control experts to nursing leaders to a nursing home resident – for candidly sharing learnings and carefully shaping recommendations that have the potential to improve safety and quality of life in nursing homes immediately,” said Dr. Jay Schnitzer, chief medical and technology officer at MITRE,

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Mortgage holders falling through gaps in safety net

More than 1 million homeowners are at least 30 days behind on their mortgage payments despite aid from the CARES Act, a sign that the law meant to ease financial stress and ward off foreclosures has let many fall through the cracks, data from real estate analytics company Black Knight shows.

Misconceptions and a lack of awareness have led to the pitfall, say housing counselors, leading some in both the House and Senate to call for automatically enrolling borrowers who are 60 days behind on their mortgages into forbearance, or a temporary reduction or pause in payments. A disproportionate share of minorities were failing to take advantage of forbearance, according to Census data.

On HoustonChronicle.com: Renters, mortgage holders often unaware of federal aid packages

“An automatic forbearance would allow homeowners who do not reach out to their servicers a needed pause so they can have the opportunity to limit their

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