City Council hires contractor for new police station, other buildings | The Calhoun Times

The Calhoun City Council unanimously approved the recommendation of architect Gregg Sims to hire Felker Construction Co. Inc., with a low bid of $4.8 million, to build the new police station, vehicle service building and recreation parks maintenance building at McDaniel Station Road and Recreation Drive.

City Manager Paul Worley said 11 bids from across the state were received for the 2018 Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) project, and that Felker not only had the lowest bid but also the confidence of the architect.

The project includes a 13,754-square-feet police station, a 5,000-square-feet vehicle service building and a 4,000-square-feet maintenance building for the parks department. Worley said the new buildings will allow the police department to be housed under the same roof for the first time in a long time, will create a dedicated location for working and cleaning city vehicles, will included a dedicated kennel and related

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It’s the Best, and Worst, of Times for Business in Florida, Survey Finds | Investing News

Reuters

FILE PHOTO: An empty street is seen in Little Havana, Miami, after local authorities restricted the activities of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and other similar businesses for precaution due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, in Miami, Florida U.S., March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File PhotoReuters

(Reuters) – Florida is one of the five best states in the nation in which to do business, according to a new survey. It’s also one of the five worst, according to the same survey, thanks to COVID-19.

Every three years, Development Counsellors International, an economic development marketing firm, surveys executives to rank business climates in the various U.S. states. For the first time since they began doing the survey in 1996, a single state landed in the top five in both categories: Florida. The DCI report was released on Tuesday.

“The rationale for Florida being on both the best and worst lists was

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Journal Times editorial: Don’t rush COVID-positive kids back to school | Editorial

We recognize that there is disagreement and controversy over managing K-12 education in a pandemic.

But we’ve found something that shouldn’t be in dispute: Kids who’ve tested positive for COVID and been sent home for quarantine should not be sent back to school until their quarantine period is over.

The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department is asking schools in Washington and Ozaukee counties to use attendance software to track students with the coronavirus.

Why, you may ask? Well, some parents knowingly sent their children to school even after they tested positive for COVID-19, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sept. 22.

In one instance, a student was so ill that the student went to the nurse’s office, said Health Department director Kirsten Johnson. The nurse discovered the student was on the list of those who had tested positive and should not have been in class.

“We’ve been trying hard to work

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Nearly three times more COVID deaths in Mississippi’s for-profit nursing homes, analysis shows | State Government

Twice as many residents caught COVID-19 at Mississippi’s for-profit nursing homes, and nearly three times more died there, an analysis of health data by the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting shows.

The average number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in these for-profit homes? Four in 10 residents.

One possible factor: 80% of Mississippi’s nursing homes had already been cited for infection-control problems before the pandemic hit.

Charlene Harrington, a professor emeritus at the University of California at San Francisco who discovered similar results in a just-released study of nursing homes in California, said the current pandemic is exposing problems that have persisted for decades. “We’ve just looked the other way for 30 years,” she said.

OSHA has been investigating three nursing homes in Mississippi, all of them for-profit, for workplace catastrophes or fatalities, including Lakeside Health & Rehabilitation Center in Quitman. One of the home’s nursing assistants, Carole Faye Doby of

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These are challenging times for the commercial real estate business in Bradenton-Sarasota area

Stan Rutstein’s “Let’s Talk” signs on prime real estate seem to be everywhere in the Bradenton-Sarasota area, inviting potential commercial real estate developers to take a look and run the numbers.

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Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Rutstein is still ready to talk. But the pandemic has had a dampening affect on commercial real estate, much as it did initially on single-family home sales. The difference is that residential sales bounced back quickly, super-heating the market, and bringing multiple offers and record prices to sellers.

That’s not been the case in the commercial market, the segment that focuses on office, industrial, retail and rental apartment space.

“It is best to look at it by category. Retail at the moment is at a hiatus. There is a severe credit issue. Cash flow has been little or none,” said Rutstein, agent/broker at Re/Max Alliance Group in Bradenton.

The retail market

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Journal Times editorial: Busing prep athletes outside city doesn’t protect anyone | Editorial

A lot of wacky rules have emerged in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19. One of the strangest involves local schools and sports.

Students at St. Catherine’s and Racine Lutheran high schools are able to play soccer, football and volleyball. But they cannot play or practice in the city.

Those two schools, unlike their Racine Unified counterparts, are allowing those sports to be played. But under the City of Racine’s Safer at Home ordinance, those “high-risk” sports cannot be played within city limits.

So to practice, Lutheran and St. Catherine’s athletes need to be transported to fields or facilities outside city limits. Likewise, there are no home games, just away games.

“If the sport/activity is not permissible under the ordinance, it doesn’t matter whose facility is used, it’s not permitted,” Racine Communications Director Shannon Powell said in early September, explaining the decision.

The list of “high-risk” activities includes

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Journal Times editorial: Kenosha needs to be able to move forward | Editorial

As a consultant, retired Madison Police Chief Noble Wray seems like an excellent choice to review the state’s investigation into the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha on August 23.

Wray was introduced in Kenosha on Monday, just as the ongoing probe was marking one month.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul gave no timetable but said the probe is “in the final stages” and the file would be “turned over soon.”

Wray, who retired from the Madison post in 2013, will review and analyze the final Department of Justice report and then give his findings to Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley.

Graveley will make the final decision on whether criminal charges should be brought against Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey or the two other officers involved in the shooting — Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek.

All three officers have been on administrative leave since the shooting, which set

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Converting Factories Into Homes – The New York Times

As the pandemic stretches on, office buildings sit empty as their tenants work from home, and brick and-mortar stores continue to lose ground to online shopping. Witness the bankruptcies of major retail giants J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, and the pile of Amazon deliveries in your building lobby, as clear evidence.

Some developers are already responding to these changes by converting nonresidential spaces for other uses, including as residences. But this idea isn’t new — just look at Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, once home to manufacturing and now among the city’s most expensive residential areas, known for lofts converted from factory floors.

A recent study by RENTCafé examined the conversion of commercial and institutional spaces to homes over the past seven decades, and found that they’ve never been more prevalent, with the 2010s posting a record number of such conversions.

The study, which informs this week’s chart, reports that across the

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Journal Times editorial: Put politics aside and help Kenosha | Editorial

“The administration acted quickly by bringing initial assistance to Kenosha, and going forward I will continue working with the administration to provide additional resources to help our community come together and rebuild.”

So we really still don’t know whether the points made in the letter are valid and under review, but what we do know is Kenosha businesses and the Kenosha community need money. And fast.

And we also know that it’s well past time that Evers, Baldwin, Steil and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., worked in a bipartisan manner for Kenosha. That should have started the day after the riots and fires left millions of dollars in damage.

Instead, we’ve had partisan statements and now letters, visits by Evers and Steil, and not much from either senator.

These four should begin today working for Kenosha in a bipartisan manner that is so absent in politics today. They can start

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Journal Times editorial — Good news: Teen vaping shows a significant decline | Editorial

Lost in the never-ending reports of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and new cases was a nugget of good news: vaping by U.S. teenagers fell dramatically, especially among middle schoolers.

The national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just under 20 percent of high schoolers and 5 percent of middle schoolers said they were recent users of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products.

That’s a significant decline from last year when the survey posted numbers of 28 percent for high schoolers and 11 percent for middle schoolers.

By any mark, that’s progress. The CDC said the survey suggests that nationwide the number of school-age children who vape fell by 1.8 million – from 5.4 million to 3.6 million – which indicates there is still work to do.

While teen use declined, experts said there appears to be a bump in the use of disposable e-cigarettes. According to

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